Wednesday, March 23, 2016

2 Products I Love On Sale at Educents

 This post contains affiliate links through which I can earn commission.

Educents has a few great sales going on products love.  Check them out below.  I'm not sure how long these sales will last.
I just snagged Volume City while it's on sale..marked down from $9.99 to $5.   It's a really creative way to make learning volume fun.

I love the Spanish videos by Foreign Languages are for Kids....and Educents usually has the best prices for them (right now is no exception).  All their products are at reduced prices, but I especially think the deal for all three off their videos for $69.99 (vs normal $89.99) is great.  This is a program that is still pretty new, so these are hard to find used (my usual suggestion).  You can see my full review of their program here.  I also suggest viewing their sample video on their website.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

St. Patrick's Day Free Faves

Knowledge Quest Map's St. Patrick'S Day Unit Study
This free 5 day unit study suggests a number of fun and educational
activities to do each day. Also included free (with free newsletter subscription) fictionalized story of Saint Patrick that I LOVE.   The true story of St. Patrick, is, at heart, and adventure story, and this captures that adventure well without leaving behind the history (does have one incident that is most certainly legend).  A nice map of Ireland is also included with the bio.

St. Patrick's Day Book
This free printable book takes a look at St. Patrick's day, and it's history, customs and traditions, from a secular viewpoint.  St. Patrick himself is only mentioned briefly, as the patron Saint of Ireland (there is no bio of him as in the Unit Studies above).  Leprechauns and good luck charms are also handled by saying that "some people believe" manner.

St. Patrick's Day Journey Interactive Game
My flash is not currently working, so I haven't been able to preview this but am listing it in my faves simply because the BBC tends to put out some clever and worthwhile flash games (and I'm hoping we've fixed our flash problem by St. Patricks Day, and I'd like to use this).

St. Patrick's Day Music Lesson
Learn about Celtic music for St. Patrick's Day.

Some Nifty Irish Coloring Pages
Ireland: Life in Celtic Times
Ireland: Celtic Knotwork, 2
St. Patrick Coloring Page (Shows him chasing out snakes, which is probably metaphorical, as there's no evidence Ireland ever had snakes). 
Christian St. Patrick's Day Coloring Page 
Artsy 3 Leaf Clover 

Not Free...But Worth Mentioning

Ireland Unit Study - Only Passionate Curiosity
I got this when it was briefly free...but for $2.50 it's not much.   This unit has lots of info about Ireland - it has math work using a map of Ireland, a page on the Irish flag, which also deals gently with the conflicts between Catholics and Protestants in Ireland.  Also has info on  the Hill of Terra*, a bio on St. Patrick (a little dry), Celtic Cross art, The Book of Kells,  a rainbow science experiment, design an Irish coin and an Irish recipe.

Shared on Tots and Me and  Throwback Thursday

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Eggless Cooking: Minty Irish Shortbread Cookies

This will be the first in a series of eggless recipes I've discovered and tried.   I found a recipe over at Feeding Big and added my own twist to it...chocolate mint leaves from my garden!  You could also use any type of mint leave for this, though.  It's a little less sweet than your typical cookie, but light and flakey and fun.

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) Irish unsalted butter, room temperature (regular butter can be substituted, but Irish butter is best because of it's high fat content)
  • 1/2 cup (+2  tablespoon sugar reserved...can use colored sugar for extra effect)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus one palmful for work surface)
  • A few sprigs of fresh mint
  1. Soften butter on counter (or try these methods).  Remember Irish Butter breaks down quickly because of it's high fat content, so don't take the butter out too soon.
  2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  3. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  4. In a small bowl add 1/2 cup sugar to the butter and gently mash it into the butter with a fork. With a spoon stir the butter and sugar until they are fluffy and light. 
  5. Slowly add flour while mixing with an electric mixer at low speed. Continue until dough comes together to form a ball.
  6. Chop a small handful of the mint leaves (to taste) and mix into dough, reserving enough whole mint leaves to press one or two into each cookie (I use the bottom leaves for chopping, and reserve the smaller top leaves as they fit on the cookies better).
  7. In your hands, roll small balls of the dough no more than an inch in diameter.  Press a mint leave on the top of the ball and then smash directly onto prepared baking sheet it with a flat instrument (a plate, jar, lid, kitchen mallet, whatever).   Should be about 1/4 of an inch thick.  Space 1 in apart.
  8. Lightly sprinkle reserved sugar  over cookies.  Colored sugar can be used for effect.
  9. Cook at 300 for about 15 to 25 minutes (until cookies just start to turn golden brown).  Cool on wire rack, and enjoy!   (Should be stored in airtight container for no more than 3 days).

FUN IDEAS TO TRY: For a more St. Patrick's Day flair, you could arrange three or four mint leaves to look like a shamrock. Or you could put a real clover on, as they are edible (WARNING THOUGH: Some people are allergic, so you should start with munching on one to see if you're in that group. Also, eating large amounts of clover at once is not suggested because in warm climates they can contain small amounts of cyanide...which is not as scary as it sounds, since cyanide won't hurt you in very small quantities. Clovers that grow in cold climate for some reason don't carry this chemical.)

If you give it a try, please stop by and leave a comment and let me know how it came out.