This past week we learned about dragons, nice dragons, and drawbridges. Both Leila and June Bug have begun to have bad dreams at night, so I figured it would be best to play it safe and really emphasize the niceness factor of the dragons we learned about. I may have even added a few words to our books to really emphasize how nice dragons are. :-)
On Friday, we ended up deciding to celebrate Ju-Ju's 9th birthday. Her real birthday is next weekend, but she will be out of town with her mom, and then the following weekend is Easter! (Can you believe it!?!) Thus, we decided, rather last minute, that Friday was the day. We usually have dessert night once a week, (otherwise with my baking obsession and our sugar addiction every night would turn into dessert night), so on Thursday night I had Ju-Ju look through recipes on Pinterest with me for our treat of choice. Little did she know she was actually picking her surprise birthday cake! Ha Ha! She chose a Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake. It was sooo good, ridiculously rich and decadent, but delicious. Leila, June Bug and Roo helped me bake the cake and cookie dough. We also made a banner and decorated the room. When Julia got home from school and dance the girls hid in the corner and popped out yelling, "Happy Birthday!" Ju-Ju was TOTALLY surprised! It was a really awesome night together.
BOOKS OF THE WEEK:
Jane and the Dragon
By: Martin Baynton
Who Wants a Dragon?
By: James Mayhew
LETTER OF THE WEEK: D
ARTS CONNECTION: Dragon Watercolor Painting
CRAFTY CORNER: Wooden Spoon Dragon
MONTESSORI- INSPIRED WORK BOXES
Melissa & Doug Sort and Snap Match
This activity was everyone's favorite! The girls and H would sit around working on these puzzles together, nicely, for long stints of time. It was so awesome to watch! Roo also loved dumping the colored snap buttons and putting them back into the tin.
Pipe Cleaner Structures
I have been wanting to try this activity for a while. This was so fun and super easy and inexpensive! Love it!
Wooden Food Cutting
When June Bug sees this work box on the shelf she gets super excited and immediately pulls it out and begins cutting. The girls love matching up the pieces of fruits and vegetables and then cutting them up to create various soups and baking creations! :-)
This puzzle I borrowed from the library! How great is that?
Dragon "Fruit" Snack
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake
For the cake:
1 pkg French vanilla cake mix, plus ingredients on back of box
1 small box vanilla instant pudding mix
For the cookie dough/cookies:
2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
4 T milk
1 T vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
For cookie dough frosting:
3 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
4- 4.5 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 T milk, if needed
Additional 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Cookie Dough Frosting
1. Once your cake is cooled, about 8 cookies are baked and the other dough balls are chilled and halved, prepare your frosting.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together softened butter, brown sugar and vanilla until creamy, about 2 minutes. Slowly add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until light and fluffy. Add milk if needed.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease two 8 or 9″ baking pans with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, prepare cake mix according to package directions. Stir in powdered pudding mix and the vanilla bean paste. Evenly divide the batter among the two pans and bake according to package directions or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with light moist crumbs (about 24-27 mins). Allow cakes to cool completely on wire racks.
3. Meanwhile, prepare eggless cookie dough. In a large bowl, beat together butter and both sugars until creamy. Beat in milk and vanilla. Lastly, slowly beat in flour and salt. Stir in chocolate chips. Using a small cookie dough scoop, portion out cookie dough into small balls and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Save about 8 cookie dough balls and bake in a preheated 350 oven for about 8-10 mins and cool. Freeze the rest of the dough balls for several hours or until firm. Once firmed, cut the dough balls in half.
1. Put one cake on a cake board or flat serving surface (like a cake stand). Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, take out about 3/4 cup of frosting and stir a handful of halved & chilled cookie dough balls into the reserved frosting. Spread the mixture evenly on top of the cake. This is your filling.
2. Top the bottom tier and filling with your second cake. Begin frosting your cake using an offset spatula for smoothing & spreading. Make sure to evenly coat the cake’s top and sides, adding more frosting as needed.
3. Once the cake is frosted to your liking, begin placing the cookies along the edge of the cake, evenly spacing them. Then, top your frosted cake with the remaining miniature chocolate chips. Place the cake in the fridge for several hours to set (uncovered is fine) then serve. Once cut, store covered in the fridge to maximize freshness.