Green & Gold Couscous

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There are sophisticated flavors in this couscous salad, and if you’re looking to challenge your little one’s taste buds, it introduces new foods in a kid-friendly way.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 and 1/2 cups dry pearl couscous
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 cups arugula
  • 2 cups shredded raw yellow beets
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the couscous and toast for 4 minutes. Add 3 cups water and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender. Drain any excess liquid and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the mustard, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, and 1/3 cup olive oil to make the dressing.
  3. Place the couscous in a large bowl. Add the arugula, beets, walnuts, and raisins. Add the dressing, stirring until well coated, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Note: You can cool the couscous completely before assembling all the ingredients together, but I actually prefer to add the couscous while it is still a touch warm. This wilts the arugula slightly, which suits my preschooler’s tastes better, and helps plump up the golden raisins.

Missing-Mitten Puppets

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We loved this suggestion from our December issue of High Five magazine! What parent of small children doesn’t have an odd mitten or two lying around? Kids always seem to be losing just one of a pair. To prolong the fun, I also purchased a cheap three pack of gloves, so our imaginations could run wild with puppet making. Although mittens would have been ideal, gloves worked just as well for our new puppet friends.

First, we followed the two suggestions from High Five. An old yellow glove received orange thread as a mane, which Travis loved gluing to the fingertips.

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We added googly eyes and felt pieces for the nose and mouth. Black thread was perfect for little whiskers.

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Felt ears (in pink and blue), a blue felt nose, more googly eyes, and more black thread as whiskers turned an odd blue glove into a mouse. Squeak!

From there, I left Travis’s imagination take over. We had a very abstract elephant covered in orange thread and yellow felt, shown here in the foreground:

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He next asked to make a porcupine, so I got out “quills” from brown felt and Travis added a pom pom nose.

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Then he decided we needed a black cat, with pink felt ears and facial features. Travis insisted that the cat needed a sparkly pom pom, too.

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Then of course it’s time for a puppet show!

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What color mittens do you have on hand to turn into animals? Please share ideas in the comments!

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