Monday, November 30, 2015

Beautiful Vegetables for the Holiday Table: Cooking with Kids

Exploring Vegetables and Cooking for the Holidays

We explored new vegetables and prepared two yummy and cute vegetable dishes for the holiday table. These activities were inspired by the book "Holey Moley" by Lois Ehlert.

Feasts around the World is the theme for November at Poppins Book Nook. You can find our previous Poppins Book Nook activities here: Fantastic Fall Forest Sculptures for Kids: The Thinker by Auguste Rodin.


Holey Moley

"Holey Moley" by Lois Ehlert is our book of the month. There is a bounty of vegetables to enjoy on the holiday table. Gardeners works hard to provide us with the yummy things. But what about that Mole in the garden? Is he a scary thief of all these colorful and delicious produce? No! Mole loves to help the gardener to protect veggies from bugs.

The picture glossary of worms, caterpillars, moths, and butterflies is provided for the eager Moles at heart. Of course, Mole loves his veggies! Now, happy and satisfied, he is ready for a long cozy snooze through the winter. Amazon affiliate link: Holey Moley.


Beautiful Vegetables for the Holiday Table: Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash

Preparing meals for the Thanksgiving table was exceptionally pleasant for me this time. Both of my kids were willing to help with cooking - that made our table super special and delicious for me. Great memories are made, and that's the only thing that matters! Of course, the above two sentences is what I kept telling them over and over for the next 2 days.

These vegetable exploration activities are the second session for my 4 year old. You can see our previous activities here: Our Fall Vegetable Soup for a Picky Eater. We started by observing the vegetables on the tables and reviewing the safety rules.


My Firefly had to wash her hands and vegetables. She had a real knife to cut vegetables this time. All children are different and accidents happen. As usual, please consider safety first when choosing activities for your child.


We prepared our vegetables (pictured below).
  • Brussels sprouts, the brown stem and 2-4 outer leaves removed, halved;
  • half a butternut squash, pealed, cut into cubes about the size of the Brussels sprout;
  • 2 apples, seeds removed, cut to the same size;
  • 1/2 cup roasted and salted pecans;
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries;
  • extra virgin olive oil.

Vinaigrette Salad Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil;
  • 2 tbsp. cider vinegar;
  • 1 tbsp. mustard;
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • salt and pepper to taste.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Put Brussels sprouts and squash into the bowl, sprinkle with olive oil, toss to coat all the chunks with olive oil thoroughly. Coat the baking sheet with oil, spread vegetables evenly and roast for 25 min.

Remove from the oven, turn the veggies over, add coated apples and cranberries, roast for additional 10-15 min. until squash is soft and Brussels sprouts are starting to turn crunchy brown on the outer leaves.

Prepare the dressing (optional): add vinegar, syrup, and mustard to the half cup of extra virgin olive oil, add spices to taste.

Served best when freshly cooked.


Vegetable Explorations: Cucumbers, Radishes, and Green Onion

My Firefly enjoyed exploring the bright colors and textures of the vegetables. Cooking together supposedly encourage them to try new taste. Well, maybe not this time. This salad is delicious, smells like spring, and so healthy!

Equal parts of radishes and cucumbers, cut thinly;
green onion, roots removed, washed, cut into thin circles;
2-3 eggs, hard boiled, cut into small chunks.

Salad dressing: equal parts of mayonnaise and sour cream, 1 tbsp. of mustard. Salt to taste.


Feasts around the World Is the Theme for November at Poppins Book Nook

It's time for the Poppins Book Nook - a book club that goes live on the last Monday of each months.
You can find our previous Poppins Book Nook books and activities here:
 Poppins Book Nook.


Enchanted Homeschooling Mom - 3 Dinosaurs - ABC Creative Learning - As We Walk Along the Road - Brain Power Boy - Chestnut Grove Academy - Embracing Destiny - Every Bed of Roses - Farm Fresh Adventures - Growing in God's Grace - Kathys Cluttered Mind - My Bright Firefly - Peakle Pie - Preschool Powol Packets - Pray Species - SAHM I am - Stir The Wonder - Sunny Day Family - Sweet Silly Sara - Teach Beside Me - To the Moon and Back - Tots and Me - Tree Valley Academy - Witty Hoots

More Cooking with Kids Ideas from My Bright Firefly

Christmas Holiday Cookies: Decorate and Enjoy
Happy Valentine's Day, Mouse!
Fun with Vegetables: Touch, Smell, Taste, Make Soup Together

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