Moist Yogurt Pancakes with Strawberry Topping

Moist Yogurt Pancakes (2)

Special snow days off from school call for special breakfasts, and these decadent pancakes fit the bill! Note: you can grind your own oat flour from regular rolled oats, which is a cinch to do if you don’t want to purchase an entire bag of oat flour at the store.

Ingredients:

For the Strawberry Topping:

  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1/4 cup water

For the Pancakes:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 2 teaspoons + 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 2 cups plain non-dairy yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons melted Earth Balance butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cooking spray
  1. To prepare the strawberry topping, combine the strawberries and water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until you can easily break the strawberries up with the back of a spoon. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the pancakes: combine the flour, oat flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the applesauce and remaining 1/2 teaspoon baking powder. Add the apple juice, yogurt, vanilla, and melted butter.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring just until combined.
  5. Heat a griddle coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Drop the batter on the surface and cook until bubbles appear, then flip and cook an additional 2 minutes or so on the other side.
  6. Top with the strawberry mixture to serve!

Lasagna Noodle Painting

Lasagna Noodle Painting (6)

We love finding new “canvases” for painting, but today’s choice was one of the most unusual yet! I had a box of lasagna noodles in the pantry, so simply placed a few of them on a craft tray for Veronika. The long rectangles are practically begging to be painted!

Veronika picked out her colors of paint, opting for a mix of neon orange, green, and purple.

Lasagna Noodle Painting (1)

At first I just let her smear the noodles with the paint any which way. After she had painted a few noodles, I showed her that she could also create circles, wiggly lines, or dots.

Lasagna Noodle Painting (3)

She particularly loved dotting with her paintbrush after that!

Lasagna Noodle Painting (5)

We also had one wide-bristle brush which could coat a whole lasagna noodle in one swipe. I showed her how to do this, but she asked for her smaller brush back. If your child wants to finish the noodles with a sprinkle of glitter, that would look great, too.

Lasagna Noodle Painting (4)

As the noodles were drying, I decided to add Veronika and Travis’s names with puffy paint. Once the paint dried, I attached them to colored construction paper with hot glue.

Lasagna Noodle Painting (7)

Now they made beautiful labels for the playroom! We’ll see how long our lasagna plaques last. 

Lasagna Noodle Painting (8)

Cookie Cutter Painting for Valentine’s Day

Cookie Cutter Valentines (7)

It’s February, which means we’re starting to think about all things Valentine’s Day, especially with regards to crafts. Cookie cutters are a great medium for toddlers because your child will delight in creating a recognizable shape on paper, even before he or she is able to draw shapes by hand.

I set out a tray for Veronika with two shades of pink paint and heart cookie cutters in various sizes.

Cookie Cutter Valentines (1)

Veronika loved seeing all the hearts! She quickly had a knack for dipping a heart in the paint, transferring to the paper, and then turning back to dip again. “I made a heart!” she said proudly.

Cookie Cutter Valentines (4)

Because we happen to have several heart cutters, this was also a great moment to talk about size. I had her point out to me which was the big heart, which was the small, and – the tricky one! – the medium.

Cookie Cutter Valentines (5)

I love that cookie cutter crafts like this result in fool-proof art even for toddlers, meaning you wind up with great art to send to relatives or friends. Folded in half, the resulting heart paintings would make lovely Valentine’s Day cards.

Cookie Cutter Valentines (6)

Snowball Showdown

Snowman Showdown (3)

Here’s a fun twist on a snowball fight the next time you get a big snowfall!

We had nearly two feet of snow last night, so I shoveled out an area on our patio where Travis and I could make fort walls. Each of us then lined up mini snowmen along our side of the fort. Okay, the snowmen were basically just snowballs, because we didn’t have great packing snow that allowed us to make snow figures with a separate ball for the body and head. Still, they made cute targets!

Snowman Showdown (1)

Now, we took turns trying to knock each other’s “snowmen” over!

Snowman Showdown (4)

Depending how competitive your kids want to get with this, everyone can design their own full fort to defend with the snowmen sitting atop the walls, on opposite sides of a yard or patio. If you have enough family members for teams, then a player who gets hit by the opposite team’s snowball has to join that side. If your kids have a snowman showdown, we’d love to hear about it in the comments!