Monday, March 18, 2013

A Must Have Treat For Baseball Season!

"Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack,
I don't care if I never get back,
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don't win it's a shame.
For it's one, two, three strikes, you're out,
At the old ball game."

Homemade Caramel Chex Mix

8 Cups popped popcorn (not per-buttered, the lighter the better)
4 Cups rice / corn cereal squares
2 Cups miniature pretzel twists
1 Cup of nuts of your choice (I like to do a combo of nuts)
1 Cup packed brown sugar
1/2 Cup of butter (I like to use unsalted seeing there is enough in the pretzels and nuts)  
1/4 Cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soad

Preheat the oven to 300*F.

*I have a very deep stone roasting lid that holds the entire mixture. If you just have 9x10 bakers you may need to use a couple of them. If so, then mix all your ingredients into a large bowl that will hold the entire mixture and once mixed quickly transfer into baking dishes.  Some crock pot dishes can go into the oven, check your instructions for details. 

Combine the first four ingredients into your dish/bowl and gently toss. Combine brown sugar, butter and corn syrup into a saucepan. Cook and stir mixture over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil over the entire surface.  Reduce heat to medium low. Cook without stirring for 5 minutes.  The mixture will still bubble over surface. Remove pan from the heat and quickly stir in vanilla and baking soda.
This is important! Gently, yet quickly, pour caramel sauce over dry mixture and stir in until the entire mixture is coated. 

Transfer into baking dishes (if need be). Place bakers into preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes.  After 15minutes of baking, stir mixture and continue baking. After baking transfer mixture onto a large piece of parchment paper to cool. Although very tempting wait at least 4-5 minutes for mixture to cool before placing in your mouth. The caramel is very hot.

Servings: 15 Cups


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Reading Log

I combined my skills as a writer, mom and kindergarten volunteer to create a reading log to use with my daughter, Emma.  The goal of the reading log is to enhance her reading ability, sequencing skills, improve her handwriting, and becoming aware of her site words in her daily reading. The author in me, is getting her to tap into her imagination and learning to use those skills to write in story form.

You are more then welcome, in fact I encourage you, to use the reading log with your little ones.  If you would like the word doc emailed to you, please email:
Your email will be kept private and the word doc is the only email you will receive.

Thank you and enjoy!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Pop Rock and Soda Experiment Using the 5 Senses

We headed to our play table with our science journals in hand to perform the "Pop Rock and Soda Experiment".  I stretched the experiment further by discussing how our 5 senses reacted through out the process.
2-3 Packet of Rock-Pops
1 Round balloon
1 Bottle of clear carbonated soda
Journals (If you want to keep a log)

 Before we started the experiment, we discussed that the soda contains tons of tiny bubbles called carbon dioxide gas (CO2). Then I opened one bag of Rock Pops and we examined the texture and color of the  rocks. The Pop Rocks also contain carbon stored with 600 pounds of pressures. When the two are mixed together, they cause a physical reaction producing foam in the soda. The foam will then release the CO2. The building CO2 will inflate the balloon.

Then it was time for the taste test! I asked the girls what they thought would happen once they placed the candy into their mouth. This was their very first time sampling this popping treat. I asked them to put their ears up to the candy and asked what they heard. My five year old said she could hear little pop sounds. Then I allowed both girls to place the candies into their mouth. Once they had a taste of a pile of candy, I asked them what they felt now that candy had a reaction inside their mouth. Emma on her own said, "Mommy the popping is loud now!".  For the sense of touch, I asked them what they felt going inside their mouth, and if it felt different then when the candies where in their hands. 
As we filled the balloon with Rock Pops, we came up with our hypothesis of the reaction the candies would have with the soda.  
Once the balloon was filled, we careful placed the balloon around the top of the soda bottle. Make sure the candies stay inside the balloon at this point.
Once the balloon is secure, lift the balloon up and allow the candies to fall inside the soda.
I pointed out that the tiny bubbles started to rise to the surface, creating foam and filling the balloon with carbon gas. We watched as the balloon became bigger and bigger.
Now that the balloon was filled it was time to tie it up!
We finalized our experiment by pouring the soda into glasses to see what change occurred with the soda. The soda became a light color of pink from our strawberry flavored Rock Pops and had a hint of berry smell and taste.

 The girls had a blast performing this experiment! Plus, there was the extra perk of being able to eat candy and splitting a soda between sisters.
I stumbled on this experiment on the Steve Spangler Blog  
        I also researched the reaction between the Pop Rocks and soda on Your Dictionary Since.