Wednesday, March 18, 2015

St. Patricks Day in the morning!

For the past few years we have celebrated St. Patrick's Day with a morning scavenger hunt.  I remember the first year it was as simple as each clue told the kids exactly where to go next.  Each year, Lucky the Leprechaun has made the clues slightly more tricky, turning it into an actual hunt.  At the end of the hunt there is typically a special St. Patty's Day breakfast (i.e. Lucky's treasure).

I remember the first year, the hunt was later in the day and ended with chocolate coins (the kids don't remember this at all).  The following year it ended with Lucky Charms and green milk.  The kids LOVED it.  Since then, we've changed our diet so much and I just can't quite stand the thought of pumping the kids full of sugar and artificial dyes first thing in the morning.  Last year it ended with green smoothies (thank you spinach!).  I wasn't sure what the reaction would be, but again they were so excited and ate it right up. 

I didn't want to do the same thing again this year.   Töchterchen really held out hope Lucky would bring Lucky Charms again.  My girl loves sugar, in all forms.  Mannchen thought he'd do something different again, but kept telling me how he couldn't figure out what it would be. 

I have so much fun doing relatively simple activities that bring so much excitement and joy to my children.  The scavenger hunt is never more than three or four clues.  The breakfast "treats" hiding at the end are never more than our typical breakfast items, turned green!  This year was particularly fun - listening to them countdown the days, plan how they might be able to catch Lucky, and brainstorm on what he might do this year.

This year, Lucky started the hunt with green toilet water (one place I have no problem using artificial dye!) and the first clue taped to the lid of the toilet.  That clue led them to the lid of our dog food container.
From here they had to find where Lucky "put the pieces together".  I thought that would be a tricky clue, but Mannchen found it right away.

From the puzzle they went to their desk. 
Taped behind the hanging marker/scissor buckets was the last clue.  The last clue directed them to "the place mommy's yummiest treats come from".  That seemed to be the hardest one, but with some help they realized it meant the oven.

In the oven where these - green muffins!  Again, thank you spinach!  In the fridge they found the last of the milk had been turned green also (thank you natural food dye).

Some one loves to pose for the camera.  Note the hubby in the background, working hard on a presentation.  Not quite as much fun as treasure hunts, but someone has to work around here.

The other kiddo?  Not so keen on having his picture taken, but boy do I love those smiles he flashes when there's no camera around.
We ended our day, once again with corned beef and cabbage Pioneer Woman style.  I know corned beef isn't the healthiest meat option out there, but it makes for a fun celebration once a year!
For those interested, here is the muffin recipe we used:
2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup coconut or canola oil (or melted butter)
1 tsp vanilla extract
5-6 oz. fresh baby spinach leaves
2 ripe bananas
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line muffin tins with paper liners.
In a large mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.  Mash two bananas in a small bowl.
In a blender combine egg, milk, oil, vanilla, and spinach leaves.  Blend until spinach is well pureed.
Add wet ingredients and banana to dry ingredients.  Mix until just blended. 
Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.  Bake 20-22 minutes.
Muffins should store at room temperature for up a couple of days, but I thought they tasted best the first day.  When we had them today I just didn't enjoy them as much.
With St. Patrick's Day behind us, we are not preparing for spring, gardening, and Easter.  I love the change of the season and the excitement that comes along with it!