Last month the husband and I took the kids to L.A.! It was an awesome, quick trip which we hope to do more of in the next few years (if we remain in San Diego).
We left town at nine Tuesday morning and made it to the California Science Center around 11. If you’re ever in L.A., I suggest you visit the Science Center. It was a lot of fun for all four of us (how often does that happen?!).
The 6 year old wanted to start with the ecosystem exhibit. The exhibit features multiple rooms with different ecosystems. You can learn about the plants and animals that live in each and there are interactive elements in every room. In the arctic, there is a large wall of ice. There were a bunch of hand prints from people before us holding their hands on the wall long enough to make an indent. The River Room allows kids to make rivers through sand. I think this was the 6 year old’s favorite activity. We created dams and he watched the water create a lake. There is a kelp forest, island zone, and rot room. Both boys loved the Rocky Shore area where we could watch water rise and fall and touch aquatic life.
After the ecosystems, we checked out the Space Shuttle. We’ve seen two before and it’s never that exciting for the kids. There isn’t much to do except gawk at how this large spacecraft made it to space and read about the history of space exploration. Boring for kids and as adults with kids, we had to watch them instead of reading.
From here we headed to the RV for lunch. The Husband spent an hour and a half in the RV with the toddler after lunch while the kid and I went back in to explore.
My older son is in first grade and they were learning about sound in school. I was really excited when we walked into Creative World and they had a few exhibits on sound. I took pictures and emailed them to his teacher.
Creative World also featured hands on exhibits pertaining to earthquakes, magnets, designing towns, building large structures, and helping the environment. Some of these exhibits were very old and seemed out of date but the 6 year old still loved this area.
When the Toddler woke up, we went to the discovery room. This area is designed for toddlers and young children. Both boys enjoyed this room but we had to cut our time short so we could get to our parking spot for the evening.
More on where we parked and day 2 coming soon!
I bought some delicious chicken sausage from Costco a few days ago with the intention of making Lexi’s Clean Kitchen’s Shakshuka. Unfortunately, I thought I had diced tomatoes but we’re out. I had to improvise last night and it turned out delicious!
Chicken Sausage with Penne and Broccoli
- 1 package (4 links) Chicken Sausage, sliced into rounds
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- 1 lb Penne
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 small bell pepper, diced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (separated) freshly grated Parmesan
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- In a large pot, generously salt water. Set on high and wait for a boil.
- While waiting for the water, heat oil in a large skillet. Once hot, toss in chicken sausage. Cook until browned (3-5 minutes). Remove and place into a bowl.
- Once water is boiling, pour in broccoli. Cook for 4 minutes until cooked but still crisp. Remove the broccoli with a slotted spoon and put it into the bowl with the sausage. Add in penne. Follow directions on box until al dente.
- Back in the skillet, add onion, bell pepper, salt, and pepper. Cook until soft, about 6 minutes, on medium heat. Lower the heat to medium-low and add in cream and 1/2 cup of Parmesan. Cook while stirring for about 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add in broccoli and sausage and mix until well combined.
- When penne is al dente, reserve 1/2 of cooking liquid, then drain pasta. Add reserved liquid and penne to the skillet. Stir to combine.
- Add 2 tbsp Parmesan on top and serve hot.
There are a bunch of modifications you can make to this recipe. I meant to throw spinach in at the end but forgot. Also, the green pepper can be omitted. I only used it because we had one ready in our garden and my 6 year old loves when we use food from the garden. I think garlic would be a good addition and will likely add it next time.
For Valentine’s Day I made heart-shaped chicken nuggets. I’m not a great Pinterest mom but occasionally I impress myself. 😉
This recipe is from a friend of mine. It’s simple, delicious, and healthy. The kids and I devoured them. Served with sweet potato fries and spinach, it makes a great meal.
Sweet Potato Chicken Nuggets
- 1/3 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup flax meal
- 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1tsp onion powder
- 1 lb. chicken breasts
- 1 small sweet potato, steamed and skin removed
- 1 garlic clove
- Seasonings of your choice – I use salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, oregano, and parsley
- Preheat oven to 375*F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Pour oatmeal into a food processor and grind about 20 seconds. I like when some pieces are still large and some are very fine. Pour into a bowl. Mix in flax meal, cheese, onion and garlic powder. Set aside. (This will be your breading.)
- Into the food processor, put chicken breasts, sweet potato, garlic clove, and seasonings. Blend this together until well combined.
- (Here comes the gross part!) Spoon out 1 spoonful of chicken nugget mixture and put into breading. Roll it around until completed covered.
- Place chicken nugget onto parchment lined baking sheet. You can now shape it into any shape you’d like. Continue this process until all the chicken nugget mixture is gone.
- Place in the oven for 18-20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
I hope you likes these as much as my kids and I do! You can also easily add in some hidden vegetables. I think carrots and cauliflower would taste good. I thought about adding beets to make them red but opted to leave them out this time. If your kids don’t mind seeing green flecks in their food (my 6 y/o does) some spinach, kale, or broccoli could totally be added to the mixture.