Friday, January 29, 2010

I Love to Make My Own

Day 29.

January is almost gone! I was supposed to have oral surgery today, but the dentist wants me on antibiotics through the weekend, so I have to go back Monday afternoon. The anticipation is the worst. I need a lot of work in my mouth, and it's going to be a while before I'm up to eating "real food" again. I've been trying to come up with things I will be able to easily eat. Since what I can eat will be limited, I need to make sure that what I do eat is nutritious. I was thinking about:

  • split pea soup with NO HAM, pureed till smooth - Lots of protein, fiber, and very filling

  • Muscle Milk. I bought some at GNC today.

  • yogurt. I have a yogurt maker. Yes, I even make my own yogurt. :)

  • Ice cream! Ditto. I have the KichenAid ice cream attachment, and it makes delicious ice cream. I was thinking it would be nice blended with my Muscle Milk.

  • Soup with tiny pasta, like orzo, and tiny bits of spinach, over-cooked.

What do you eat when you have dental work done, or have mouth pain? Baby food is out. So are mashed potatoes. I existed on these foods solely the whole time I was healing from my wisdom teeth removal in my teens. Thinking about eating them makes my stomach churn.

I picked up this little gem at Tuesday Morning today. You should see if you have a Tuesday Morning in your town. They're great little shops with plenty of surprises. You never know what you're going to find a Tuesday morning: French Milled Soap. Plush doggy beds. One-of-a-kind trivets. Ice pop makers. You just never know.

Anyway, always a sucker for a kitchen gadget, and loving making my own things, I couldn't pass this up at $9.99. The box provides a website for buying more bags for the freeze pops, and you use your own juice (there's a recipe booklet for mixing flavors, but we went with straight Juicy Juice Tropical this time), which means no nasty chemicals or weird coloring.

It was a fun 15 minutes spent with my daughter. It was simple enough that she was able to do most of it by herself with me snapping away with the camera.

First, you measure your juice. The measuring cup's markings are done by "pop." One pop, two pops, three pops, or four pops.

Then, you pour the juice into the top of the plunger. The top of the plunger is like a giant funnel, making it easy for little kids to pour the juice in without making a mess of things.

Next you put a freeze pop bag onto the nozzle and press the plunger down. Juice flows into the bag. One plunge equals one filled freeze pop bag. The bags self-seal when you take them off, which we both thought was really, really cool.

The next step is admiring your handiwork and putting the freeze pops in the freezer to harden.

I suspect this will be a hit with the whole neighborhood this summer. I love it because it allows the kids to make something on their own AND it gets 100% juice into them instead of 100% artificial colors and flavors. I can't wait till the day I own a juicer. Imagine the flavor combinations we'll make then!

I give this product an 8 on the Kid Friendly Cooking scale. It's simple, fun, economical, quick to assemble, takes NO batteries, and encourages healthy eating for children. It's easy to clean up and doesn't take up much storage space. The self-sealing bags add immensely to the coolness factor. Also, the set comes with Popsicle molds, which we didn't use today, but definitely will use in the future. The box says this is for ages 5 & up, and I agree with that recommendation. Smaller hands will have a hard time pushing the plunger, but a parent could help with that part.

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