Coconut Crunch Bread

ALOHA!

the first time i ever tried this recipe i went ‘COCONUTS’ over it!  it’s so de-lish it beat out zucchini bread as my new favorite bread.   (and i LOVE zucchini bread)

i had a friend ask for the recipe this morning and i figured you guys might want it as well?   it’s not a main dish but serve it with a side of protein filled eggs and bacon, then voila! dinner is served.  🙂

Coconut Crunch Bread

4 eggs

2 cups sugar

1 cup oil

2 tsp coconut flavoring

3 cups flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup buttermilk (you can make your own by using 1 cup milk with 1 tsp lemon juice: let stand 5 min.)

1 cup coconut

1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (optional)

blend eggs, sugar, oil and flavoring.    sift flour, salt, powder and soda together and blend in wet ingredients.   add buttermilk, then coconut and nuts.

grease 3 medium bread pans or one bundt pan.

bake at 350 for around 40min.   with 5min. of cooking time left, mix the following topping together in a saucepan:

2 TBSP butter-let melt, then add

1/2 cup water

1 cup sugar

1 tsp coconut flavoring

when sugar is dissolved and the glaze looks clear, spoon it over the hot bread from the oven.  i usually poke the loaves with a fork or knife several times so there are holes for the glaze to drizzle down in.  it’s so yum you’ll just grab a fork and start eating right out of the bread pan!

enjoy!

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Monster at the End of this Book!

hello everybodeee!   it is me, loveable furry old grover…….have you flashed back to being a child yet?  oh, i loved sesame street and i loved that little blue monster with his arms a flailing! it’s SUPERGROVER!

the monster at the end of this book was written by one jon stone and adored by millions!!

i absolutely loved reading this book out loud.   i remember it being the first book i ever read where they break down the fourth wall and the character talks to the reader.  even though i read the book over and over again i always loved how a little blue monster was talking to ME!

if you’ve never read this book it’s a must.   sweet little grover has heard there is a monster at the end of the book and begs you to NOT turn the page.  he is so scared to find out who the monster will be he glues, tapes and bricks the pages closed. we the readers are sooo strong we still turn the pages and make him nervous by getting closer and closer to the end of the book.

i remember my mom reading the book in grover’s squeaky monster voice and he always sounded so scared and pleaded for me not to turn the next page.  time after time i would happily ignore his request and turn the page,  giggling as my mother would cry ‘NOOOOOOO, YOU TURNED THE PAGE!’.

if you break it down i guess the moral of this book would teach children disobedience? but you’re disobeying a monster, so it’s forgivable, right?  🙂

after pages of being terrified and begging you NOT to read to the end of the book, grover discovers HE is the monster at the end of the book.  he looks around and states, “oh, i am so embarrassed!”   i won’t even share how many times i’ve said that out loud!  🙂

thanks for reading!  here’s wishing you all have a little bit of grover in your life.

the end.

Chicken Dorito Casserole

thanks to my sweet friend marilynn for bringing me this delish recipe!  it’s no surprise my family gobbled it up……it’s doritos, it’s chicken, it’s cheese…it’s perfect!

Chicken Dorito

1 pound chicken breast halves
10 oz. Doritos
2   8 oz. cans cream of chicken soup
1   8 oz can cream of mushroom soup
1 C picante sauce (salsa)
1/2 C milk
2 C grated cheddar cheese 
1 T chili powder
1-2 T oil 

Cut chicken into small pieces and fry with oil and 2 T of the salsa, until
browned and cooked through.  (If you are in a hurry or have leftover chicken
from something else you can skip this step and just add cooked and shredded
chicken to the following soup mixture.) In a bowl mix soups, milk, chili
powder, and the rest of the salsa.  Add chicken.  Spray 9 x 13 pan w/Pam and
layer chips, sauce, then cheese, twice.  Cover with foil and bake @ 350
degrees for 35 - 40 minutes.  Uncover last 5 minutes and enjoy!

The Little Engine That Could

with my life consumed with ‘all things olympian’ this week, i had to find a book that matched the theme of hard work, optimism, giving it your all and in the end……triumph!

when i was young i had a copy of ‘the little engine that could’.  i loved this book.  i loved to look at the pictures and i remember how the little blue engine was dwarfed in size next to the big engines next to it.  when asked to help pull a broken engine up the hill all the big engines use excuses and feel ‘above’ the task of pulling up another engine.

the little blue engine is asked to take on this difficult and overwhelming task and his response is……i think i can!

as he heads up the hill and the troubles set in, he just repeats ‘i think i can, i think i can, i think i can’ over and over again.  he doesn’t give up and reaches his goal in the end.

i love the olympics because these athletes have all worked sooo hard on their journeys.  every one of them have a history of injuries, lost competitions and frustrations along the way, but they stayed on track and made it to the olympics.

what a wonderful life lesson this little story can teach our children.   “stay on track, believe in yourself and enjoy the journey!”

i love the quote, “whether you think you can or you can’t…..you’re right!”

if you haven’t read this book to you kids in awhile, or ever……it’s a must read.  here’s wishing each of you an incredible journey.

i think i can, i think i can, i think i can, i think i can………i thought i could, i thought i could, i thought i could……..

the little engine that could by watty piper

Swiss Chicken

i’m totally into the olympics so i figured i’d share a recipe from around the world…….ok, so it’s not really from switzerland but it has swiss cheese in it, so work with me here! 😉   there are a lot of stuffing chicken casserole recipes out there but i think this is my favorite.  the swiss cheese gives it a bit of zip and mrs. cubbison’s stuffing is a step up from stove top.   enjoy!

Swiss Chicken

4-6 chicken breasts         ¾ c water

Slices of swiss cheese       1can cream of chicken

1 cube marg.       Mrs. Cubbison’s cube stuffing

Spread chicken in pan.  Lay slices of cheese all over chicken.  Mix soup and water together and pour over chicken.

Sprinkle one bag of stuffing over chicken.  Melt marg. and drizzle over stuffing.  Cover and bake at 375 for 50 min. then uncover and cook 10 more min.

if you are serving a crowd, it’s easier to use diced chicken and shredded swiss cheese instead of whole breasts.  you can also use mrs cubbison’s DRESSING instead of cube stuffing.   i prefer the cubed because i like a few crispy parts on the chicken instead of all soft stuffing.  just make sure you cover it for sure when using the cube stuffing.

French Dip Sandwiches

in the winter months nothing beats a warm french dip sandwich, so i had to share ……

Easy French Dip Sandwiches

buy thinly sliced roast beef in the deli dept. or the pre-packaged deli on the cheese aisle

provolone cheese slices

2-3 envelopes of powdered ‘au jus’ mix

hoagie buns

kraft peppercorn ranch salad dressing, onions, peppers, mushrooms (all optional, but way yummy!)

heat au jus mix as directed on package in a large saucepan.  once it’s boiling turn to med.-low heat and drop the roast beef slices into the juice.  cover with a lid and let simmer for 10-15min.  occasionally mixing meat so it all gets in the juice.

slice buns open leaving a small portion connected.  butter both sides and layer with provolone cheese.  broil until lightly browned.   using tongs, layer meat on sandwich close bun and enjoy!

scoop up individual bowls of sauce for each persons ‘double dip cup’ and enjoy!   put them with a side of spicy hot jalepeno chips and you’ll WARM right up!

happy dipping!

SWEET Valentine Ideas

Here’s a collection of some ‘sweet’ valentine ideas that i ‘love’.   i hope you can find something to help you plan the perfect party for family, classroom or ‘just because’.    happy valentine’s day everyone!

One of my favorite sites for printable games is valentines a to z.  the games have a cost but are so worth it and you can print as many as you want.   very clever and they’ve gone to all the work so to me, they are worth the cost.  these games are perfect for time fillers for the older classes because they require reading, writing and matching.

http://www.valentinesgamesatoz.com/games/Valentinesgamesinfo.html

valentines day is all about finding your true love, right?    so it seems fitting to have a ton of Perfetct MATCH or Peferct PAIRing games for the classroom.  these can be tweaked to fit any grade level,  which works great for a classroom party.

MATCH GAMES- for each of the following match games you can find items or write items on a heart and have the kids find their match.  The heart can be cut exactly in half to be harder or cut with zig zags, waves, etc for the kids to match easier.

COUPLES-  ahead of time write famous couples names on a heart (one name on each side) or get photos of them. Kids get one side of a heart or half a picture.  without talking they have to find THEIR MATCH as quickly as possible and sit down.  (I love to use Disney characters, so belle and beast, mickey and Minnie, Cinderella and prince charming, etc.

ITEMS- pair items that go together.  Peanut butter and jelly,  ice cream and cake, milk and cookies, etc.   they each get one item and see if they can find their matching item quickly.   or you can write one item on a piece of paper and they have to find their match first without talking and sit down when they are found.

EDUCATIONAL- you can have math problems on one side of the heart, answer on the other.  Or spelling words cut in half.  Each child gets one half of the paper heart and they see who can find their match the fastest.  Believe it or not the kids love the math problems!   we played this game over and over again.  who knew kids liked math so much?! 🙂

JOKES-first part of joke on one paper, punchline on other.  Kids have to race to see who can find their match first.  i have a ton of valentine jokes if you want a copy, email me and i will shoot them over to you.  the older grades really like this game.

example:  Q. What did the valentine card say to the stamp?      A. Stick with me and we’ll go places!

MOVIE QUOTES or CHARACTERS:  you always hear people say I LOVE THAT MOVIE!  See if the kids can match quotes to movies.   www.imdb.com is a great resource.  Just type in your favorite kid movies then go to movie quotes on the left side of the page to build your game of quotes.  i have two teams and two bowls of different quotes.  see which team can figure out their quotes first.

HOLDING HANDS:  everyone reaches in the circle with a left hand and grabs hold of someone’s hand.  Then you do the same with the right, making sure you don’t have hold of the same person’s hands.  On go everyone tries to get un tangled without letting go of hands.

SITTING AT DESK GAMES:

VALENTINE’S SCATTERGORIES- Kids just go down the list and try to think of creative things that start with those letters.  Give them a few minutes, then have the kids read off what they have.  If you have the same answer as someone else you both have to cross the answer off.  It’s fun to see who can come up with the most creative items.

DICE/HEART GAME-  each child should have their own set of paper hearts numbered from 1-10 and a pair of dice.  If you don’t have enough dice, kids can share the dice, but each child should have their own hearts.  The goal of this game is to get all your heart numbers turned over by rolling them on the dice.  Have each child lay their paper hearts in front of them from 1-10 and start rolling.

Example: if the child rolls a 6 they can flip the heart with #6 over OR they could flip the #5 and #1 OR  #4 and #2.   they can’t flip all of those combinations, just what two hearts equal six or is a 6 but not both equations.     let’s say they chose #4 and #2.  now those two numbers should be flipped face down and they roll again.

If they roll a 7 they could flip over the 7 OR decide to flip the 6 and 1 over.

You don’t want to always just flip the number because sometimes you need those to help with if you roll an eleven or twelve.  Even though those numbers arent’ on the hearts, if you roll them, you still need to flip hearts down that add up to those numbers.  Sometimes it works to get rid of the lower numbers first, but other times it doesn’t.  it’s just a way to get kids to do math over and over in their heads but have fun at the same time!   (you can do this on a white board as well. Instead of printing the hearts, then you just erase the numbers inside the hearts as they go.)  this is much easier because you don’t have to cut out all those little hearts.   i had 5th graders beg for this game because they loved the easy math but it was fun.

WHO SAID THAT- I made up anonymous valentine letters from secret admirers, and the children had to guess who wrote and who received each one. For example, one of my letters read: “Dear Valentine, I think you are beautiful even when covered in ashes and soot. I dream of taking you away from your evil stepmother’s house. When you come to live in my castle, you will ride in royal carriages instead of pumpkins. I will give you anything you want in life, whether it’s glass slippers or to be able to stay out later than midnight. Love, Your secret admirer” The kids knew that this letter was written to Cinderella from Prince Charming.

VALENTINE WORD SCRAMBLE-Use the phrases from Valentine heart candies to create this word puzzle. Scramble the letters from a phrase. List up to ten scrambled phrases on a page and have the students unscramble the phrases. For example, EMBNIE unscrambles to become BE MINE.

FINISH MY PHRASE-list a bunch of phrases on a paper and let kids fill them out.  See how many match.  This is the opposite of scattergories, you WANT to match people on this one.   Example: “Sweet _______.” Was it Sweet Heart, Sweet Dreams, or maybe even Sweet Tooth?   http://www.valentinesgamesatoz.com/games/finishphrasedear.html

Valentine Make-a-Word Puzzles-Print a Valentine’s Day phrase on a piece of paper. Have the students cut out letters and lay them on the desk. Moving the letters around, students make as many words as possible. Have students list each of their words on a paper. Make this game harder by requiring words to be at least four or five letters long.

Some phrases to use could be:Happy Valentine’s Day; Be My Valentine; Will You Be Mine; St. Valentine’s Day

ACTION GAMES:

Heart Relay: 2 Large construction paper hearts per team. Divide children into teams. The first person of a team takes the 2 hearts and lays one of the hearts out on the floor. The child steps on the first heart and then places the second heart in front of them. The child steps on the second heart, reaches back and picks up the first heart and then places that heart in front of them. Continue to the end of the course and then run back and tag the next team member. Variation: Divide the teams in half and have the person walk on hearts to the other side.

Valentine’s Day Party Tiddly Winks
Before the party cut a medium – large paper heart.
Provide each player with 4 plastic disks
(Tiddly Winks or Bingo markers).
Form a circle at a table or on the floor.
Place the heart in the center of the circle.
When you say “Go” the players “shoot” their disks onto
the heart by pressing the edges with another disk  –
How many can they get to land on the heart?
It’s harder than you think! – Let the kids try this as many
times as they would like. If you have a large group of
children, divide players into smaller groups and make more heart “targets”.

DO YOU LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR?-kids sit in circle with one person in the center being “it”.  it goes up to a person and asks, “do you love your neighbor?”   if the person says “yes” the person on each side of him “neighbors” switch places while “it” tries to sit in one of those chairs as well.  whoever is left out is now “it”.

if the person answers “no” to the question then they have to say what they do love. example “no, but i love anyone wearing red”  then all those people wearing red must get up and find a new seat and “it” tries to find one as well.

DANCE and ROMANCE-play some fun upbeat pop love songs and let the kids limbo to them.  you can decorate a dowel with crepe paper, flowers, hearts and so they can really feel the love!

I SIT-Once this game gets going, it goes really fast!   Sit everyone sit in a circle with one extra chair.  The first person slides over into that chair and says, “I sit…” Then the person that was next to them slides over and says, “…in the grass…” Then the next person slides over and says “…with my friend…” and picks someone from the group (example) “…Ashley!” So Ashley would have to move into the empty seat by that person.  Now Ashley’s seat is open, and the battle is on…

The kids on either side of Ashley’s chair hurry and try to sit in it first, and say “I SIT!” and then the next person on their side scoots over, “in the grass”, and the next person scoots over, “with my friend…” and they pick someone else.

once the kids understand how the game works, kick it up a notch.  when a person is called, “ashley” the two people on either side of ashley’s empty chair try to be the first one in it and say, “i sit”    for the person who makes it into the chair, they are safe and the game continues. for the other person who didn’t make it, they now slide their chair out of the circle and make it smaller.  you can only go down to about 4 or 5 people and then the game doesn’t work anymore, but to get it to that small of a circle is a riot.  tell the kids to keep the game going quickly so you have to think fast!

Honey I Love You-Honey I Love You, is another icebreaker that’s fun to play. Your group should be sitting in a circle again with one person in the middle. The person in the middle can go to anyone in the circle and say “Honey I love you, won’t you give me a smile?” The person who was asked the question has to answer back “Honey I love you, but I just can’t smile” (without smiling.) The person in the middle can do anything to the other person to make them smile except touch them. You have to be the judge as to what you call smiling.

PASS THE HEART-kids line up in two lines standing side by side each other.   have each student with their left hand grab the right wrist of the person to their right.  everyone will end up having crossed arms to increase the challenge.  then have several items at one end of the table for each team to pass down the row.   if an item is dropped, with out breaking the chain, they must pick up the item and continue passing it down.   valentine cards, candy bar, heart pillow, etc.

BUMPETY BUMP BUMP BUMP-is one of my favorite classroom grades, especially for 3rd or 4th grade and up.  it’s loud, fast and crazy.   it’s got a long definition, so check it out on the post of STAPLE GAME IDEAS.   i play this game whenever i can.

CONVERSATION HEARTS-you can pour them into a bowl and let the kids see how many they can put into their bowl in 30 30 seconds using only chopsticks!   or you can see how high they can stack them.  they aren’t completely flat so it’s tougher than it sounds.

DRINKS and CRAFTS:

HUG-trace kids handprints onto red cardstock.  Have a student open their arms wide, then measure a piece of yarn from each child’s hand to hand.  (you just measured their hug) tie the yarn to each hand.  “wrap these hands around you whenever I’m away so you can have a hug from me anytime of day. I love you”

Love to Read – This bookmark is a really fun and easy craft that won’t take too long to make. Go to your local craft store and buy some tongue depressors. Each child can decorate a tongue depressor or two with markers, flat foam shapes, sequins, glitter, etc. (really, anything flat will work). Buy some pompoms as well as googly eyes as well so that the children can glue a little “Love Buddy” at the tip of their bookmarks to hold their places in whatever books they are reading.

“thumbody” loves you!  kids can make valentines cards using their thumb print and a stamp pad.  i love making picture/characters out of thumbprints.  draw little stick legs and arms. maybe some kitty ears.  these are an easy craft without a big mess.  use the stamp pad that has the mesh on top so the kids don’t get ink all up their thumb.

DRINKS:  Cupid’s Delight:  Vanilla ice cream, cherry 7-up and a twizzler for a straw.

“Cup-O-Love” Punch-Freeze fruit punch in heart ice or candy molds, then serve with sprite. Make enough for three cubes per child

Heart Shaped Cupcakes – Whip up a batch of your favorite cupcake mix. Line your cupcake tins with paper baking liners. Fill the liners up half way, then place one small marble or a 1/2-inch ball of aluminum foil between each liner and one side of the cupcake tin. This will push the paper and the batter to form of a heart when it bakes. Bake the cupcakes according to package directions and decorate them any way you want.

http://www.hersheys.com/kisses/crafts/ what’s better than an edible bouquet?

if you are looking for a fun idea for g-ma’s or hubbies for valentines day, nothing beats having your kids spell out we love you!   half the fun is trying to get them to lay still on the floor while you take the picture 🙂

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