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Adventures of a Park Ranger's Wife

Life through the eyes of a State Park Ranger's wife

Photo shoot

B has been working 7 days in a row this past week. So D and I needed to figure out how to keep ourselves busy. We played with more chalk. We tried some finger paint (D wasn’t really interested in that). 

 After arts and crafts for a few days, we took a few walks and I took some photos of D dressed up. It was pretty fun. At least for me. 

Here are a few shots:

 

D dressed as Captain America

 
D dressed as Jake the Neverland Pirate
  

D preferred to hold the sword by the blade. No matter how many times I tried to correct him.

  

D’s shirt says “King of the Forest”

Playing in trees and with sticks
 
D dressed as Peter Pan
  
The tunic D is wearing for Peter Pan is from his baby shower.
  
D’s hair is sticking up thanks to water.
  
Off to Neverland!
   

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Artichoke Enchiladas 

After going to a restaurant and enjoying their artichoke enchiladas, I thought that I could put my cooking skills to the test and make my own. They turned out pretty good if I say so myself. Fair warning, I just eyeballed the spices. So you can do the same or go with the estimations I made. Also, our family loves garlic so I added a lot of garlic powder. (Next time I may even add minced garlic. So that is an option for you as well.) When it came to the cheese all I had available was the 1/3 of a cup. Feel free to add more. I will be. 

In a medium bowl put the drained artichoke hearts in. Add a little of the brine. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper to the artichoke hearts and mix.  
 

Artichoke mix

 Take the artichoke mix and spoon a portion into a tortilla.  

Inside of the artichoke enchiladas

Wrap the tortilla up and place in the baking dish. Repeat until you fill all the tortillas and the dish is full. 

  

Spread the remaining sauce over the top of the enchiladas. Add cheese on top. (I made the mistake of putting the cheese first then the sauce).

 

Ready for the oven

 Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 5 minutes. 

 

Fresh out of the oven

Serve with your favorite complimentary side dishes! I hope you enjoy the dish!! 

Artichoke Enchiladas 

Ingredients:

  • 2   14oz cans of quartered artichoke hearts in brine
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano 
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder 
  • 1 teaspoon cumin 
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1  28oz can of green chili enchilada sauce (mild, medium, hot…your choice)
  • 6 tortillas 
  • (At least) 1/3 cup queso fresco (or cheese of your choice) 
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. In a small bowl drain the brine from the artichoke hearts. Set aside. 
  3. In a medium bowl put the drained artichoke hearts in. Add a little of the brine. Then dump the brine out. 
  4. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper to the artichoke hearts and mix.  
  5. Pour a little of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of an 8×11.5 baking dish. Set the rest of the sauce aside. 
  6. Take the artichoke mix and spoon a portion into a tortilla. Wrap the tortilla up and place in the baking dish. Repeat until you fill all the tortillas and the dish is full. 
  7. Spread the remaining sauce over the top of the enchiladas. Add cheese on top. 
  8. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and place in the oven for 30 minutes. 
  9. Remove the foil and bake another 5 minutes. 
  10. Let cool for a few minutes and then serve. 

Warning this could be messy

I took inspiration from one of the other outdoor activities and came up with my own. Chalk water balloons. 

You take your favorite liquid chalk recipe and put it into water balloons. But just so you know it can be messy. 

I put our liquid chalk into squeezable containers from the dollar store.   

liquid chalk containers

From there I put a water balloon (also from the dollar store) on top of the spout of the squeezable container, then I just turn the bottle upside down and filled the balloon with the chalk. This is the messiest part. It took a few times to perfect filling in the balloon.  

My hand after filling the balloons
 If you have an issue with having multi-colored hands I suggest using latex gloves or something equivalent. 

The end result gets some pretty decent sized chalk balloons. 

 

Our chalk balloons

We had a nice day throwing the balloons at the street in front of our place.  

  

  

 

  

  

  

Pinterest fail

As you may have guessed I love Pinterest. I’ve used it for party ideas, outdoor activities, and recipes (just to name a few things). Well, I thought that I would try a recipe for “cake batter cookies”. 

There are several different recipes you can find on Pinterest and I won’t mention the one I used, because maybe you’ll have better luck. Not to mention I am not claiming this recipe as mine or listing it with all it’s ingredients/directions. 

Everything started out fine once I mixed all the ingredients together. Then the directions said to put the dough in the refrigerator for 2 hours. I did all that. My problem started when I tried to make the dough balls that would then bake into cookies. 

The dough after 2 hours.

 

The dough was very crumbly and would barely stay molded together, if at all. Instead of these perfect molded cookie dough balls I ended up with what ever I could get to stay together. 

About to bake

 

I had the cookie dough crumbling as I placed them on the cookie sheets as well as when I moved the cookie sheet into the oven. When all was said and done the cookies came out looking like they weren’t done and would fall apart if you looked at them too long. A FAR cry from the supposed award winning cookies that had inspired me to bake. 

Can you tell the difference between the dough and the cookies?

 

We shall see if they taste any good. : /

Easter 

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter if you celebrate the Holiday. We colored eggs this morning. D got some goodies from the Easter bunny.  

 

Then we went to B’s parents for brunch and dinner. D went searching for for eggs. And enjoyed scavenging from everyone’s dinner plate. 

   

     

Baseball, chalk, and face paint 

It was another nice day out today and B happened to be off from work; so we rounded up supplies and had another day outside. Thanks to Pinterest, we tried exploding chalk (http://www.growingajeweledrose.com/2013/05/play-recipe-sidewalk-chalk.html?m=1) and face (well, body) painting (http://babyccinokids.com/blog/2014/04/16/the-little-things-playing-the-easter-bunny/). I thought that perhaps since D was interested in throwing things, he may enjoy throwing the exploding chalk. However, I was wrong. B and our neighbor enjoyed throwing them though. Our only issue was our bags seemed to want to remain unexploded. 

 

  
 When it comes to the face (body) paint, I would urge splurging on nicer paint brushes. We purchased a set from the Dollar Store and while they worked, they were stiff and did not leave a clean line (if that makes sense).  But D enjoyed painting the back of his neck.    

  
While we were at the Dollar Store, we also picked up a little ball and bat. Mainly to see if we could get D interested in baseball. He did think it was funny when ever B hit the ball with that bat. D enjoyed throwing the ball and even seemed to enjoy swinging for it.  All and all we had a nice little afternoon.    

Bath time fun

I decided to try bath paints for D today. I got the recipe from http://www.meetthedubiens.com/2010/11/bubble-bath-paint.html .

I only made two colors, because I only had two repurposed containers with snap lids. But that turned out to be a moot point since D decided to dunk the containers into the water. Before that happened D seemed to enjoy taking large globs of paint and putting it on the tub walls. I’d say it was a success! 





And yes there is some paint on D’s back. That’s from me. Since it was made with baby body wash/bubble bath I thought it would be a colorful way to wash D during his bath.

Keeping busy 

My cousin in-law tried a diy recipe for cloud dough or moon sand for her daughter. She used flour and baby oil (as I’m sure many have seen in the different pins on Pinterest). I wanted to replicate her activity for D. However I didn’t have any baby oil and didn’t really want to pay the prices I found. So I went to Pinterest and found several pins using flour and vegetable oil. Eureka! We already had vegetable oil at home, plus if D decided to try and eat it then it would be safe. 

D seemed to enjoy the activity. His favorite was to pick up the sand/dough and let it fall out while he opened and closed his hand. At one point he even stepped into the bin or sand/dough. Definitely something I would try again. 

Edit



Outside again 

We spent the afternoon outside again. Today we focused on D’s kiddie pool. He still wouldn’t get in it. But he did play in it. So I am counting that as a success! It’s all about baby steps, right?





In between splashing and “fishing”, D did try to run off. And even made it to some steps (he loves stairs).





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