Wednesday, May 30, 2018

JoJo's Biscuits

As my children are getting older they're enjoying more things that are hands on.  We love doing stuff
together where they can really dig in.  We do a lot of hikes, gardening, reading, games and as much as we can without technology.   I'm not a complete stickler, I let them watch TV and play on their iPads. I try to limit it, but usually I don't have to try too hard because we're always so active and busy that when they do have time to chill out on their devices I don't mind much.   However, I have seen that a lot of parents are so exhausted from living life that they rely a little too much on technology to entertain and really kind of babysit their kids- Trust me, I've had my moments too!   I've sadly seen a lot of children in my kid's school that they don't like to be outside and they are growing up lacking a lot of life skills because they aren't learning much outside of school.

According to the American Psychological Association "Martha Erickson, PhD, always believed that her frequent nature outings with her children, and her encouragement of their independent play and exploration outdoors, helped them mature into well-rounded adults. These days, she's getting confirmation of that fact.
"As many young people were spending increasing amounts of time watching television or playing video games, my kids were much more likely to head off on their bikes, canoe down the creek that flows through our city or rally some friends to create an outdoor adventure," she says. "Now, as young adults, they are fit, creative, adventurous and striving to protect the environment."
Increasing evidence demonstrates the many benefits of nature on children's psychological and physical well-being, including reduced stress, greater physical health, more creativity and improved concentration.
"The basic finding seems to be yes, nature does seem to be really good for kids," says Frances Kuo, PhD, founder of the Landscape and Human Health Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Beyond the health and cognitive benefits children may gain from free and unstructured play outdoors, nature also provides them with a sense of wonder and a deeper understanding of our responsibility to take care of the Earth, says Richard Louv, author of "Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit-Disorder" (Algonquin Books, 2005). Yet increasingly, nature is the last place you'll find children, research shows."  To read the rest of the article click HERE.
Unfortunately getting outside isn't always possible.  People live in cities, there's rain and weather to contend with.  Living in Massachusetts I know that it's winter half the year and most of the other days are raining or too hot to be outside, so it's always good to have activities to be able to fall back on inside the house.   One of my personal favorite things to do with my kids is to bake!  They love throwing on their aprons and helping me make dinner or baking some banana break or cookies.   I love it because it keeps their minds going.  They're not sitting in a classroom but their reading is far advanced because I have them help me read recipes, they get to practice their mathematical skills as I've taught them about measuring and how to double ingredients or cut them in half depending on how many people we're cooking for.  It's been a wonderful time to exercise their minds without noticing it because they're just getting to spend quality time with me and getting their hands (and clothes, and kitchen and.... everything) dirty.  But, I don't mind a bit of a mess- they're well worth the skills they're learning and the memories we're making.   

One recipe I've been looking for is a perfect biscuit recipe.   I'm originally from Texas and biscuits are just part of life down here- sadly not as much in Massachusetts.  I tried googling a few recipes and they didn't taste bad but they just weren't right.   One day I was watching Fixer Upper and I saw the episode where Joanna was baking biscuits and getting everything ready for opening Magnolia Table. They looked DIVINE!  We are such huge fans of Chip and Joanna, I think I've seen every episode of Fixer Upper, so naturally when Joanna came out with a cook book I NEEDED it, my husband got it for me for mothers day and I just prayed the biscuit recipe would be in there.  It was!  The first one!! I immediately ran to the store and picked up the last couple ingredients I needed and got started on them right away! The  children naturally threw on their aprons and dug right in.   We had a blast and they were so filled with love as we baked them together I knew they were going to be good.   

We had gone to the mall earlier that day and I picked up some Strawberry Peach Jam from Stonewall Kitchen and I knew it would be the perfect thing to compliment biscuits.   I added a little butter and a little jam and we all took a bite at the same time.  HEAVEN!!!  Literally the most delicious, tasty, amazing not only biscuits but food I've ever had in my life!  The kids were thrilled, my mom was thrilled, and my husband doesn't like jam or gravy (freak) but he enjoyed the biscuits just plain.   So if you're looking for the PERFECT biscuit recipe- you HAVE to make Jojo's Biscuits!   

So, to conclude this blog I would just like to summarize it by saying- Spend time with your children!  Do activities that will stimulate their minds and reduce stress while building memories.  If you're inside- something as simple as baking can make such a huge impact on their growth and your personal relationships.  Also, eat biscuits.... Don't look at the calories or nutritional facts while you do... just enjoy it!  
I picked up my copy of the Magnolia Table at Wal Mart.  I've also seen it at Target, here is a link you can order it from as well: Magnolia Table Cookbook.  For just the biscuit recipe click HERE

Thank you for taking time to read this blog, 

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