Parenting Strategies on the Go

"Parenting Strategies on the Go" -Haven Caylor, Ed. D.

“Parenting Strategies on the Go” -Haven Caylor, Ed. D.

Parenting Strategies on the Go

 

In 2008, life blessed my husband, Sean, and me with two healthy babies. We have an engaging and magnetic tale of parenting with unique learning strategies on the go that all parents can benefit from; however, this book is far more than that. As a professional educator, I saw how both everyday events like planning food and clothing and special trips like a visit to Disney World were gateways to introducing children to life skills and to nurturing cognitive development through learning strategies. With minimal planning time, any parent can use these strategies to inspire their children to learn, and the best part is that the planning and the execution of the plans are fun and exciting.

Each chapter is devoted to exposing children to diverse learning strategies: Strategies to elicit proper behavior in public events, strategies for choosing souvenirs as teaching tools, and strategies to journal your children’s precious life events. The concluding chapter is a strategy unit guide for learning during a special trip—in this case, New York City—and we got to test that guide in June 2013.

 

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Quick, Fun, & Delicious Christmas Pretzels to Make with the Family in Minutes

Yep, Guided by their Daddy H, Ammon & Carter make homemade holiday pretzels!

Yep, Guided by their Daddy H, Ammon &
Carter make homemade holiday pretzels!
Pretzel Prep Time (including Baking) = 30 minutes
Decorating with Vanilla Candy Coating & Color Stripes = 30 minutes
Yield = 2 dozen (24) 3 inch Pretzels

(Simple ingredients for a Scrumptious Treat…oh, yes, we we’ve been studying German and Spanish as well)
Pretzel Ingredients

Turn your oven on to 425° F

Pretzel Ingredients
Packet of yeast
1 ½ cups of warm water
Pinch of sugar
Pinch of salt
3 cups of All Purpose Flour

Vanilla Coating = Log House Candiquik

Red & Green stripes = Wilton Candy Melts

To make the Pretzels alone, you probably already had the necessary ingredients in your cupboard/kitchen cabinets. During the Holiday Season, it was quite easy to find the vanilla Candiquik as well as the Wilton Candy Melts. All I had to do was make a quick trip to Walmart. It had everything we needed.

As you stir the mixture (no electric mixer necessary) keep adding All Purpose Flour, ¾ to 1 more cup to make the dough bouncy and not sticky.

No Mixer = Easy-Peasy!

No Mixer = Easy-Peasy!

Keep a squeaky-clean, flour-dusted surface while kneading the dough.Poke the dough with your finger. If it bounds back, it is ready to make a pretzel ribbon.

If the dough bounces back, you're ready for pretzel ribbons. Kneading is fun!

If the dough bounces back, you’re ready for pretzel ribbons. Kneading is fun!

Depending on the size you want your pretzels to be, pinch off dough so as to roll out a ribbon. It took several trial & error pinches of dough balls to figure out what made our length of ribbon. We had it down in less than 5 minutes. Anywhere from 12-18 inches inches (once again, depending on the size you want your pretzels.

A clean surface helps roll out the ribbons smoothly

A clean surface helps roll out the ribbons smoothly

Shape your pretzels into a circle then twist the ends together.
Egg Bath: Beat an egg, pour it into a shallow bowl or pie dish, give the shaped pretzel a nice bath (both sides) and sprinkle with salt. Some people these days keep Sea Salt in their kitchens, or if you all are like us, use simple table salt. This egg bath with salt is a DEFINITE in this household for regular pretzels. If you want to keep your Christmas pretzels “sweet” you may want to skip this process; HOWEVER, if your taste-buds love that “sweet-salty” combination, by all means, SALT AWAY!

Dust your baking pan/pans lightly with flour for baking. Place your pretzels in the pan and bake at 425° for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn the oven to broil for 5 minutes (maybe less….watching closely ) to help the tops become brown. Take the pretzels out of the oven and find a good place for them to cool down.

Dipping the Pretzels into Log House's Vanilla Candiquik

Dipping the Pretzels into Log House’s Vanilla Candiquik

After the pretzels have cooled for approximately 15 minutes, start reading your directions on how to melt your Candiquik. If you are adventuresome, use a double boiler. If you are more like us, follow the microwave instructions. Use a sturdy toothpick to turn your pretzels. After they are coated, place them on either butcher paper or wax paper. The coating will be hard in about 5 minutes.

With Daddy H's syringe creation, making green stripes on the Pretzels

With Daddy H’s syringe creation, making green stripes on the Pretzels

Finishing up with some red strips from Wilton's Candy Melts

Finishing up with some red strips from Wilton’s Candy Melts

Follow the directions (back of the packaging) for melting the Candy Melts. I used the large syringes (our collection from years of dispensing liquid, toddler medications) for making thin stripes of red & green on the pretzels. The melted Melts liquid is too thick to suck up in the syringes, so I took a plastic baggie, scooped the warm, melted Melts into it, dotted a whole in one corner and pinched in the liquid through the open stopper end. It flows WONDERFULLY as long as it is dispensed QUICKLY. If you do not have syringes, drizzle with a spoon or perhaps a honey dipper.

Once again, making and baking these pretzels only takes 30 minutes. The decorating takes another 30 minutes. So, 1 hour of fun, family baking and a treasured time for Christmas togetherness.

Pope Benedict XVI Blessings

St. Peter's Basilica Sunday October 23, 2011

On Sunday October 23, 2011, Ammon, Carter, and I got to see
Pope Benedict XVI. He was giving Sunday Mass at St. Peter’s Square at the
Vatican. We are not Roman Catholic, but we share Christianity as a common bond,
and our Lord and Savior is Jesus Christ. It was a special moment to get to see
him and think of the 1,600 year old traditions of the Catholic Church. It will also be cool to share this with Carter and Ammon when they understand the Pope and what he represents to the world.

Pope Benedict XVI on the "Pope-Tron"