Baking Apple Pie with Kids

 

When it comes to our apple unit, we just couldn’t resist baking an apple pie to celebrate all our hard work.

Easy Apple Pie Recipe

 

I admit it, I usually buy a pre-made pie crust, but this time around we made one from scratch.  The kids had fun using the rolling pin to make it nice and thin!

After placing the bottom crust in the pie pan, we left the top one on the table and gathered the ingredients to make the filling.

 

Baking apple pie with kids

 

Homemade Apple Pie:

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

2.  Place bottom crust into pie pan.
3.  Peel and cut 6 large Granny Smith apples.  (When working with kids, peel the apples first and cut them into thick slices.  This makes it easier for them to then cut the apple slices into cubes.)
4.  Mix 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice, and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves.   (Lots of great measuring opportunities for the kids here!)
5.  Carefully toss the flour and spice mixture with the apples, making sure each apple is coated.

 

mixing ingredients for apple pie

 

6.  Pour apple mixture into bottom pie crust.

7.  Top apples with 2 tablespoons of butter, cut into small pieces.

8.  Fit top crust over apple mixture and press crust edges together to seal.  (We used mini play dough cutters to cut some cute shapes into our top crust first!  If you don’t do this, then make sure you cut slits in the top crust to create steam vents.)

baking apple pie with kids

 

9.  Brush the top crust with milk.  (At this point we opted to shake a  mixture of cinnamon and sugar on the top.  Kids LOVE to shake ingredients!)

10.  Bake 40-45 minutes.  The pie should be golden and the apples fork tender when finished.

recipe for apple pie

 

 

The hardest part is waiting for it to bake!  (And to cool off afterwards!)  We used the time to clean up the kitchen, always an important step in baking, and then to run some energy off outside on the swings.

 

 

Do you bake with the kids?  What’s their favorite thing to make?

Spinach and Berry Salad

 

Over the summer my sister’s family stayed with us for several days.  During their visit my sister introduced us to this delicious spinach and berry salad.  It tastes as good as it looks, and I just had to share it with you!

 

Berry salad with spinach and feta cheese

 

 Ingredients for the spinach berry salad:

  • Romaine lettuce
  • Raw spinach
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Strawberries
  • Feta Cheese
  • Poppy seed dressing

Building your healthy berry salad:

To build your salad, first fill the bottom of a large bowl with clean romaine lettuce pieces.  On top of this you will add the raw spinach, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and feta cheese.  (I love how my sister placed them in separate groups — making it a visual feast for the eyes before the salad even hits your plate!)

berry salad with spinach and feta cheese

 

Poppy seed dressing is the perfect complement to this salad.

If you want a little crunch, you could add sesame seeds.  (My sister’s family usually adds walnuts, but we have nut allergies in our household and opted to stick with just the berries and greens.)

 

This salad pairs well with a variety of things, but I like it particularly with a chicken dish.

 

Bon appetit!

 

Easy to Make Apple-Scented Bubble Dough

 

 

When we first made Bubble Dough, it was such a hit that my daughter has asked repeatedly to make that “super soft play dough” again.  We just couldn’t resist making a batch of apple-scented play dough, perfect for the start of fall.

easy to make apple-scented play dough

 

To make your own apple-scented play dough:

  • Measure out 1 cup of corn starch
  • Add 1/2 cup apple-scented shampoo
  • Add in 3-4 drops of green food coloring (if desired)
  • Mix well!

 

Bubble dough is a very soft play dough, and when mixed together it will hold its shape for a bit before slowly “melting.”

For a bit of added fun, we added some “apple seeds,” stems, and apple tree leaves to our play!  (Here’s a secret:  the seeds are actually watermelon seeds I saved for crafting.  It would take a lot of apples to get that many seeds!)

making apple play dough

 

They had fun mixing the seeds into the play dough.

And the apple scent was a huge hit, too!

green apple play dough

 

Apple, anyone?

 

Apple is one of my favorite fall-inspired scents!  I think we may need to make this apple-scented play dough again before the end of fall.

 

What smells remind you most of fall?

“What’s Wrong with You?”

 

 

Upset and angry and unable to handle the emotions flooding through him, my son had just hit his sister before racing to cry in his room.

What’s wrong with you?!” was my husband’s automatic response as our son ran down the hallway.

I cringed at his wording.

“What’s wrong with you?”

Those four words seem simple enough.  But think about the connotation of those words when used repeatedly with a child.

Is there really something wrong with him or her?

What not to say to a child

 

No one can control the emotions they feel.

As adults we have had years to learn how to handle those emotions, but young children don’t have that experience.  If their sister teases them, or someone else wins that cherished game of Candyland, they may not be able to handle the emotions.

 

“What’s wrong with you?”

Use those four words often enough and the child begins to think there really is something wrong with him/her.  Instead of learning to deal with their emotions, they become embarrassed by them and try to hide them.  And hiding those emotions is NOT a healthy way to deal with them.

 

I would like to ban the phrase:  What’s wrong with you?    There are so many better alternatives when it comes to dealing with the reactions of a child, or even adults for that matter.

 

 

I thought about ending there, but there is more to the story than just that.

At 5 my son has become much more aware of himself and the world around him.

Recently at bedtime he asked me why his fingers are the way they are.  (His pinkies are both significantly bent inward.)

We have spent months trying to get his Sensory Processing issues identified, starting off with a referral to a psychologist, then an occupational therapist, and even having a pragmatic speech eval done this past week.  This last visit he asked, “Why am I always the one that has to go see people?”

The last thing I want him to feel is like there is something WRONG with him.

He is not broken.

He is beautifully made, the way God intended.  And perfect in my eyes.  (I may be a bit biased as him mother, but I think he is a very smart and talented little guy!)

 

And so that is why this phrase bothers me just a little more when it is used with him.  No child should be made to feel there is something wrong with them when they act like a child.

And that phrase, “What’s wrong with you?”  As adults we need to think before we speak because our words have more impact than we may realize.