Oh these scones. They were a labor of love for me. I made them not once, not twice, but three times before I got them just right. The first time they were too dense and not sweet enough. The second time they were a touch dry and I overcooked them by about five minutes thanks to a pesky almost three year old who turned the oven dial up 25 degrees to 375º when no one was looking (ahem… Benji). The third time I hit perfection. I halved the recipe, added a touch more butter and duct taped the oven dial to 350º….
Holidays are a time for family to get together, make new memories and reminisce over old ones. They’re also a time to be surrounded by a bunch of cookoo kids and cousins. During our festive gatherings I typically witness the rowdy sugared up version of my children as they actively try to destroy one another in the form of “I’m bored and cooped up in this crazy house” entertainment.
One effective way we’ve discovered for dealing with crazy kiddos over the years aside from technology is to create a fun diversion. Lego Gauntlet, as our kids affectionately call it, is a contest between cousins to see who can master the speed and art of lego building. There is no limit to the number that can play. All you need is a large bucket of random legos, a rowdy group of kids (or adults for that matter), and a desire to have some organized fun.
Here’s how it works. One person is the score keeper and idea creator.
In our case, that someone was Uncle Matt. You can see the tally sheet above. The names of the kids or adults participating runs across the top. For scoring, “S” = Speed, “Q” = Quality and “T” = Total. We typically play four Rounds and one Final Round. The person with the highest points from each of the first four rounds wins that round. For the final round, the selections are voted on by the “non participating” relatives and the one with the most votes takes the prize. Speed is ranked from 1-5; 5 being lightening fast and 1 being turtle slow. Quality is ranked from 1-10 with 10 being Van Gogh worthy and 1 being something my 2 year old brother put together. Multiply the two numbers and you get your final score.
To begin a round, the score keeper states what he wants to see built and then the game begins. You have 10 minutes for each round and once time’s up, you need to present and describe your final masterpiece to the group in whatever state it’s in. Building ideas can come straight from the scorekeeper or you can make it similar to a game of charades where you toss a bunch of ideas into a hat and whatever idea is pulled, that’s what you build. The faster you finish, the more speed points you’ll amass. The more creative or accurate the rendition, the better you’ll score on quality. Rock both categories and you take the round!
Here are a few of the entries from the ideas listed above:
These were the deer from round 3. Which is your favorite?
And here’s the winning entry from the final challenge: Thanksgiving Dinner.
The inclusion of Batman and baby Alden in the back left corner (the newest addition to the extended family) sealed the deal.
We’ve played this game for the past two family holiday visits. It’s become such a core tradition that the kids begin asking to play before the bags are even unpacked! If you’re looking for a fun diversion this holiday break that will buy you a few hours of fun and cooperation, then give Lego Gauntlet a go. You’re welcome. 🙂
How about your family? Do you have any fun activities or games that you play as a part of a holiday tradition?
Can you believe that Thanksgiving is less than a week away? I love the holiday season but dang if it doesn’t feel like time speeds up with all the excitement going on. This year we’re hosting the big day which means we’ll have seven additional mouths to feed including this precious little one. Meet my new nephew Alden Jacob….
Ever been to Panera and tried out one of their broth bowls? Well I have and I love them with a serious foodie passion. I’ve eaten all the varieties and my favorite by far is the quinoa bowl. It just feels healthy. Being the flexible vegetarian that I am, I tend to order it with the egg. My husband and boys, on the other hand, are meat lovers to the extreme so for them, chicken it is….
Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a productive and fun weekend. Before diving into today’s musings, I thought I’d point out a small change to the blog. You may or may not have noticed that the fitness category officially morphed into health. Why you might ask? Because, honestly, being healthy isn’t just about exercise. It’s about the whole person; the mind, body and spirit. I realized I could just focus on one piece, but then I’d be missing out on some of the most important aspects of what we really need to be healthy. You can be in perfect physical shape, but if your heart and mind aren’t being cared for in the same manner then, chances are, you’re not truly whole. So on that note, this post focuses not so much on the physical but more on the mind and spirit.
Today I thought that I would share a versatile and easy recipe for my take on sofrito. Now before all the experts out there tell me I’m doing it wrong, I will throw out the disclaimer that this is not traditional and yes I took some liberties to make it my own. Love it or leave it I say. I do hope you decide to love it though because this stuff is pretty darn good.
What is sofrito you ask? Look it up and you’ll see that it’s a Caribbean (particularly Puerto Rican) and Latin American sauce that is used to flavor anything from stews, to soups to beans and more. This stuff can take an ordinary dish and kick it up to a whole new level. I’ve spread it on sandwiches, added it to soup and mixed it into my chili base. It’s just that good. If you really want to have fun, I could see italian, indian and even cajun versions of this. Just sub the spices and voila.
You ready to get cooking? Here’s the scoop for how to whip up a tasty batch of your own.