Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Unmasking the Juicy side of Minnesota

Welcome to a rainy hump day in the Hills.  We've had so many days of sunshine lately I've almost forgotten what the rain was like for a full day.  But rather than wallow in it, we took advantage of it around here by working on some inside projects instead.  It's been quite the day, let me tell you...

The Bean and I used the rain as an excuse this morning to run quite a few very productive errands.  Let's just say the Dynamic Duo and I have been pow-wowing lately and after orders from the Bigger One, the Bean and I made sure that we had Sunday wrapped up.  (Well, that's on tomorrow's agenda, but purchased!)  Plus we have a very cool birthday party to attend on Saturday (yay!) that we bought for and made it to the library to get a book on Paul Bunyan that Grant and then kids read while I worked on dinner and this week's Friday night movie - The Mighty Ducks!

Speaking of ducks...

When we made it back home Kayla and I took a few minutes between rain drops to go for a little walk with the camera.  The past couple of days at different times all of us have a seen a GIANT turtle that's been sunning itself in the area and we wanted to see if we could get a picture.  No such luck on the turtle, but we did spy the ducks!  Well, at least until the Bean shouted "Mama, it's the baby ducks!" and the Mama duck hurried them all under a tree where viewing was a little more difficult.  Oh well..

We came home in time for my assistant chef and me to make tonight's dessert of Salted Caramel Stuffed Chex Cereal Treats.  (Chex is part of the General Mills family!)  I was so proud of my mini-me chef who with little assistance made the caramel pretty much all on her own!  These were fun to put together and between this and last night's dessert I think Grant may start lobbying for a move to Minnesota.

She also helped me put together the Juicy Lucy Burgers that we had for dinner.  I mentioned last night that the Juicy Lucy or Jucy Lucy (the spelling actually depends on which place Matt's Bar or the 5-8 Club you believe created the original version) originated in Minnesota and is basically an inside out cheeseburger.  Or, as it is described:  "A piece of cheese is surrounded by raw meat and cooked until it melts, resulting in a molten core of cheese within the patty. This scalding hot cheese tends to gush out at the first bite, so servers frequently warn patrons to let the burger cool for a few minutes before consumption to avoid injury."  Yeah...

So I knew I was going to have to try my hand at making these, but I knew it couldn't be *quite* that easy.  So I actually tracked down a helpful write-up and slideshow to assist in my juicy lucy creation.  I am proud to say that we had no 'blow-outs'!  And the reviews - well I'll let the pictures tell you.

I also mentioned yesterday that I would clue you in on what exactly this week's project (which we finished up today!) actually had to do with Minnesota.  Well, if you'll remember, the 3M corporation  (founded and headquartered in Minnesota) is responsible for the creation of scotch and masking tape.  So I decided to show the kiddos how making tape could be used in their artwork (specifically with paint on a canvas) to make some cool shapes, designs and lines.  They painted the base color on their canvases yesterday and masked out what they wanted on them then.  This afternoon I set them loose with the paints! They had a blast and had a hard time waiting for it to dry long enough to pull off the tape.  But after dinner we did and I have to say, I'm loving the results.  Can't wait to hang these up and add them to my collection.

Since it was still rainy and wet after baths tonight I pulled up "The Ballad of Paul Bunyan".   on youtube for the kiddos to watch.  I so remember watching this as a kid!  They're both pretty taken with Tall Tales now (the book Grant read to them had a whole bunch of them in it!) and I'm thinking I'm going to have to keep that in mind for other states.  Plus I think there's a Disney movie that has lots of different tall tale figures in it.  Got to look into that...

In the meantime, I'm off to (hopefully) watch the Tigers beat the White Sox and start looking into stuff for Michigan week when we get back.  I'm hoping to make it EPIC for them, as it's my goal to *show* them Michigan, not so much teach it to them.  If anyone around here wants to help, please let me know!  I'd love to hear about what you love most about the states, some of its hidden gems, etc.  I may bleed maize and blue but I'm not a native.  Anyway, Bean and I are picking up her pottery tomorrow (yay!), I'm going to make something "impossibly easy" for dinner and I think the kiddos have tons of ideas for how to color their maps tomorrow.  So until then...

Minnesota Fun Fact of the Day:  The first Children's department in a Library is said to be that of the Minneapolis Public Library, which separated children's books from the rest of the collection in Dec. 1889.  (This makes me smile.  I was recently described by my friend Morgan as having "the mind of a children's librarian in the body of a Stay At Home Mom" so you could say that I hold this section of the library near and dear :)

Finally got the Montana scrapbook page done last night

Look what we found at Target today!

Think she was excited?

Can you spot the baby duck?

They're hiding under there if you look really close :-p

Ready to make some caramel

She did it :)

Now making the cereal part

One layer, than the caramel

Pushing down the top

Ready for tasting later

Following the Juicy Lucy tutorial (yep, I even had my ruler out!)

She helped

Painting away

Noah's ready to be unmasked later

Mikayla's ready for unmasking

Forgot that I had also made this Minnesota Broccoli Salad for dinner tonight as well.  Everyone liked it - the kids favorite part was the hard boiled egg

Cooking up the juicy lucy's

I cut this (for picture purposes) about 25 minutes after it came off the griddle :)


Look, an N!

Peeling it all off

Noah's finished creation

The Bean's project

So proud

Lovin' 'em!

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