Macaroni & Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese (2)

I wish I could claim there was some secret, healthy ingredient in this homemade mac ‘n’ cheese. But nope. This is pure comfort food, and sometimes that’s exactly what the family needs.

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 6 tablespoons Earth Balance butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups unsweetened soy milk
  • 2 cups shredded Daiya cheddar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon yellow mustard
  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the flour and whisk until combined. Add the soy milk and cook for about 2 minutes, until the mixture starts to thicken.
  3. Stir in the cheese and continue to cook over low heat until the cheese becomes melty. Stir in the pasta, salt, black pepper, and yellow mustard.

Macaroni and Cheese (1)

Sheet Day

Sheet Day (3)

In life with a toddler, it’s easier to do a chore (any chore!) if you turn it into a game. Here’s my hack for making it feel less like drudgery on the day I wash the sheets.

Strip the bed, but don’t toss the sheets into the washing machine right away. First, make a fort! You can mix things up each time, but ours always involves some variation of the couch cushions, cozy pillows and blankets to sit on, and the sheets strung across the top.

Sheet Day (2)

Veronika loves to pretend this is her house. A little pillow makes a handy “door” for coming to visit. “Ding dong!” she says for the doorbell.

Sheet Day (5)

Inevitably, it just becomes a cozy place to crawl in and hide.

Sheet Day (7)

Or relax and read!

Sheet Day (8)

Don’t forget about pillowcases. They are perfect for playing peekaboo.

Sheet Day (10)

Or for wearing as superhero capes.

Sheet Day (6)

When we’re done, I ask for Veronika’s help to throw all of the sheets into the laundry basket. She loves this part!

Sheet Day (11)

The sheet day fun is complete, and so worth it that I don’t mind making the beds up after.

Sheet Day (9)

Mix a Pancake

Mix a Pancake (4)

A friend once told me her kids ate pancakes for breakfast every morning and my mind nearly exploded. How did she deal with the mixing, and griddles, and clean up and still get the kids to school on time? In my house, pancakes are a weekend project!

Well, one of the benefits of home schooling is that mornings move slower now, and there’s more time for a pancake mess. All I needed was a handy trick to keep my toddler busy until the pancakes were ready! Here’s a fun rhyme you can turn into a game:

Mix a pancake,

Stir a pancake,

Pop it in the pan.

Fry the pancake,

Toss the pancake,

Catch it if you can!

Mime the actions for each line as you say the poem through the first time, and then add props! Veronika has a few spoons and pans that are just hers, for keeping busy in the kitchen.

Mix a Pancake (1)

Beanbags then make perfect “pancakes”!

Mix a Pancake (3)

Tossing and catching the “pancake” was especially fun.

Mix a Pancake (5)

You’ll have breakfast on the table in (almost) no time at all.

Mix a Pancake (2)