Hidden Art Friday

counting kissesIt’s been super hot around here this week, so when the kids get home from swimming lessons, they either scamper out to the kiddie pool on the back patio or gather a stack of books to read inside where it’s cool.

We’re not doing an official summer reading week here on the blog this year, but I’m still having my kids do some of the local reading programs.  For my family, reading programs are a fun excuse for us to actually record how much we read (my list-loving soul loves feeling that I have something to SHOW for myself at the end of the day!).  We’re signed up for the library reading program, my son is doing the Barnes and Noble Imagination’s Destination, and we’re going to take advantage of the Pottery Barn Kids Summer Reading challenge.

And my friend Sarah asked me to give an update on the beans recipe contest!  I ended up with around 20 new recipes to try out on my kids.  We’ve tried over half of them, with pretty good success.  At the very least, my big kids are no longer balking at being served a bean dish for dinner.  Familiarity is good.  Not buying so much meat has been great for our food budget (especially as I’ve also been stockpiling snack foods for our upcoming cross-country road trip).  I think I’ve managed to lose a couple pounds of baby weight.  And because many of the recipes are cooked on the stove top or in the crock pot, I haven’t had to turn my oven on as much (always a plus in the heat of summer).  So far one meal was a huge hit for everyone, another couple were popular with my three big kids, and most were enjoyed by at least half of the family.  I have a new favorite, and my husband has a couple new healthy lunch ideas!  Because I’m never sure if anyone will eat a new meal, I’ve been trying to try a new recipe every 2 or 3 days, with old favorites planned in between.  Only one dish so far has been a total dud, but fortunately Sarah happened to be at my house ’til dinnertime the next day and gladly took the leftovers off my hands to feed her family (who gobbled it up).  So just because not all of my kids liked something, that doesn’t mean your kids won’t.  Take a look at all the entries in the comments and let us know if something was a big hit for your family!   I have a few more to try before we head off on vacation, and I’ll announce the winner(s) next month.


While our Mon-Wed posts are on hiatus for the next few weeks, feel free to check out some of our favorite reading posts from the archives:

Elsa’s favorite baby books

Elsa’s favorite older baby/toddler books

Elsa’s mom, Donna, talks about the benefits of reading together

Bethany shares 5 favorite chapter books for ages 5 and under


Have a lovely weekend, and we’ll see you next week for Hidden Art Friday!

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2 Responses to Hidden Art Friday

  1. Becky says:

    I signed Susie up for our library’s summer reading program, and we’ve enjoyed it so far! Thanks for the info about the PBK summer reading! I think we can do that (need to call the store and double check that she’s not too young), but she’s too little for the B&N one. I was on vacation when you posted that bean recipe contest, so I didn’t see it until now, but I now have some great recipe ideas to try! 🙂 I was just thinking the other day that I needed to cook more bean recipes, so I looked through my Whole Foods Cookbook and bookmarked a bunch of good looking ones. I couldn’t decide which one to try first, so Robbie picked out Chickpeas Florentine–they turned out really good! I served them over polenta. Susie even ate a few–ironically, compared to most kids, she’ll eat beans but very rarely eat meat, so I’m always trying to have beans or hummus around for her to get alternative protein sources. Let me know if you’d like the recipe–I know it’s too late for the contest, but it’s always nice to have more to try! 🙂

    • Emily says:

      Becky, please do share the recipe–sounds good! My Susie also prefers beans to meat (tonight she picked the chickpeas out of her siblings’ salads and left the grilled chicken to the side), so she will be happy to have another bean meal to try. =)

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