K is for Kindness

Invitations:

On Monday and Tuesday I put out different coloring sheets of children acting in kind ways–raking leaves, doing the dishes, comforting someone who has been hurt, taking care of a pet, etc.  Then at circle time each child talked about what was happening in their picture and how that portrayed a kind act.

On Wednesday and Thursday I put out lots of small heart shapes that I had cut out of white drawing paper.  I also put dollops of pink, red and purple paint onto the small plastic lids that I often use as make-shift pallets.  I let the children use their fingers to paint the hearts.  They could take the hearts home that they painted and when they saw someone doing a kind act, the child could give that person a heart.IMG_4768.jpg Continue reading

High Altitude Sugar Cookies

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Since I live at over 5600 feet above sea level, all baked goods need to be adjusted for the altitude.  If you don’t, then you will have cookies that spread out and are flat, and cakes that overflow their pan and then sink.  Counterintuitively, the trick is usually in adjusting the amount of leavening–to less than the recipe calls for!  I have a really good cookbook, that I have had for quite some time called Pie In The Sky by Susan Purdy.  This is the sugar cookie recipe that I always use and it is from that cookbook.

High Altitude Sugar Cookies

12 Tbsp. (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened ( I hardly ever use unsalted butter)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla or almond extract (I almost always use almond)
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

Pre-heat oven to 350º.  In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla.  Add the baking powder and salt.  Add the flour and mix until well incorporated.  Form into a ball.  (if too sticky ad 1-2 Tbsp. more of flour.)
Work with about one-third of the dough at a time and keep the rest refrigerated.  Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin.  Roll the dough out about 1/4 inch thick.  Cut into desired shapes.  Place on greased baking sheets and bake for 8-12 minutes or until they are slightly golden around the edge.  Cool completely on wire racks and then decorate.

Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup butter
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2-3 Tbsp. cream of evaporated milk
2 tsp. vanilla or flavoring of choice
1/4 tsp salt

With an electric mixer whip the butter until creamy.  Gradually beat in the sugar.  Add the cream or evaporated milk and mix until fluffy.  Add the vanilla and salt.

Preschool Rolls

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“When we eat good bread, we are eating months of sunlight , weeks of rain and snow from the sky, richness out of the earth.  We should be great, each of us radiant, full of music and full of stories.  Able to run the way clouds do, able to dance like the snow and the rain.  But nobody takes the time to think that he eats all these things, and that sun, rain, and snow are all a part of himself.” ~Monica Shannon Dobry. Continue reading

Apple Recipes

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Because “A is for Apple” we ate a lot of apple recipes for Preschool snacks this week!  One of my favorite things to do with the children each autumn is to make applesauce.  They all delight in helping to turn the handle on the apple peeler and watch with awe as the apples are peeled, cored and sliced into lovely rings.  And they feel such a sense of pride in having taken part in preparing some of the food for our morning snack. Continue reading