In between these two smileworthy events we made our way to Novi for a concert by Childrens Theater of Michigan, (and for yet a second day in a row Mother Nature has failed to make the temperatures hit 70 degrees here. Sigh. It's July for crying out loud!) a quick stop at the mall to pick up a maize and blue worthy birthday present and then back here for some lunch.
In the midst of all of this, I managed to put together a super easy dinner for tonight, Campbell's Three Cheese & Spicy Sausage Baked Rigatoni. As I mentioned in yesterday's blog, Campbell's actually originated and is based in New Jersey. And honestly, this was kind of a Plan B dinner option for me tonight. In honor of Jersey's strong Italian ties, I had really wanted to try to make Jersey Sunday Dinner Gravy. This isn't 'gravy' like on mashed potatoes but what better be known as a kind of marinara meat sauce. But the ingredients, time and realization that I would not even come close to making it authentic (and the fact that I am trying to keep things simple this week since we're leaving on Friday) had me put this on the 'someday' recipe list. So tonight's dinner was still Italian themed and with the bonus of being a Campbell's recipe using Campbell's products (Prego is a subsidiary of Campbell's). My crew loved Italian food and this recipe was super easy to put together, you could adapt it however you might like and earned thumbs up all around. I wanted to have cannoli for dessert but couldn't find them at either of the grocery stores I was at yesterday, so we settled for cream horns instead. (Mom, totally thought of you!)
Before dinner, though, they tackled today's New Jersey project. I mentioned yesterday about "The Wizard of Menlo Park" and it was a no brainer that we would have to do something based on Thomas Edison's inventions. I found this lightbulb doodling idea on pinterest and decided they would LOVE it even if it didn't work out. So I found some 25 watt clear bulbs the other day, hauled out the sharpies and they went to town. I have to admit this actually worked MUCH better than I had anticipated. You could make out the different colors and everything when we tried it out. If nothing else, they really enjoyed themselves. We would try them out and then they would rush back and add more colors. Chalk one up for pinterest!
After dinner tonight we broke out Monopoly (remember the streets are actually in Atlantic City?) and had some fun taking each other on. (We paired up boys vs. girls) As is most often the case with Monopoly there wasn't really a 'winner' by the time we were ready to call it quits but everyone had fun :)
Not sure what tomorrow looks like, couple of things in mind haven't decided what we're going to do, though. Trying to lineup something roar-tastic (hmmm, any ideas) but not sure if that's going to happen or not. Trying to track down an ingredient for tomorrow's recipe, so that may keep us occupied for awhile. More importantly, tomorrow night Grant is going to make a phonograph! So you definitely won't want to miss that :) So until then...
New Jersey Fun Fact of the Day: New Jersey has developed wide industrial diversification and is known as the "Crossroads of the East." Products from over 15,000 factories can be delivered overnight to almost 60 million people in 12 states. The greatest single industry is chemicals; New Jersey is one of the foremost research centers in the world.
At the concert this morning
Discussion about which flowers to pick
They decided to color these orange
Ready to see if it works...
Kayla's finished bulb
How cool! This one's the Bean's
Noah's finished bulb
Three Cheese Rigatoni with Spicy Sausage