Friday, February 12, 2010

Fractions and Cooking

 As I sit here typing away, my two littles are literally bouncing off the walls.  They are playing Olympics I think.  They have their bathing suits on and are pretending to swim.  As they run they bounce themselves off the door back into the "water" (the tile floor).  There is a basketball involved too.  Water basketball, maybe??
My big girl is busy in the kitchen whipping up delicious snacks for the family.  So far she has made rice krispies using strawberry marshmallows in honor of Valentines.  She is planning to cut those out with a heart shaped cookie cutter.  Next on the list is Muddy Buddies.  Yummy!

The neatest thing is about her cooking is that she practiced her fraction skills.  Any homeschooler knows that cooking is a great way to incorporate math skills or even science.  At our house we rarely have the proper size measuring cup available when we need it.  They just hide or disappear or something.  Tonight, big girl needed 6 oz of chocolate chips for her muddy buddies.  She needed to translate that to cups.  What an opportunity to teach her how to find my cooking substitutions page in my cooking notebook.  After discovering that 6 oz equals 1 cup, we couldn't find a 1 cup measuring cup.  She found a 2/3 cup and wondered how much more was required for 1 cup.  Hey- a fraction lesson!  2/3 plus what equals 3/3 or 1?  1/3 came the answer as her face lit up and the light bulb went off in her head.  Eureka!!

This is one of the best things about homeschooling.  I love seeing the discoveries my children make on their own.  It means so much more than studying a dry text on the subject.  Now we are off to enjoy the treats and I will lay down tonight with a heart full of satisfaction and thanksgiving for the blessings of the day.

Oh, I almost forgot.  Here are the recipes for our treats.  I am sure you can look on the marshmallow bag, the rice krispie box, or the chex cereal box and get them but here you go anyway.

Rice Krispy Treats
6 cups krisped rice cereal
1 bag marshmallows
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp margarine or butter

Melt margarine and marshmallows over low heat. When completely melted, remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Pour in krisped rice and stir to combine.  Spread in greased 13x11 pan and press down.  Cool, cut, and serve.

Muddy Buddies
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
6 oz chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter or margarine
9 cups chex cereal (any variety)

Microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter, and margarine for 1 minute.  Stir.  Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring each time, until everything is melted and smooth.  Stir in vanilla.  Measure 9 cups of cereal into large bowl or container.  Pour chocolate mixture over cereal and stir gently to combine.  When combined, pour powdered sugar over the cereal, cover, and shake to combine.  You can do this in a large plastic bag.  Store in refrigerator. 

Hint*  Do not use spread or tub margarine products

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