I always like to have a couple of standby weekend projects I can do with the kids and are fun for the whole family. These projects are also great if you need a little time to get dinner ready because the kids can easily do these on their own. As an added bonus, the supplies for the projects today are easy to find or even better, you might already have them at home! I rounded out this show with a couple of tasty and healthy dishes. You could make the salad and shrimp dish together for an extra special dinner or add some grilled chicken to the mixed greens recipe for a low-carb entrée salad. Enjoy!

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Rachel Beller’s Mixed Greens and Roasted Pear Salad
Serves 4-6

3 ripe pears, peeled, halved and cored equaling six pieces. (Save one piece for the dressing recipe that follows)
Olive Oil for brushing the pears
1 head of red leaf lettuce, washed and dried
1 bag baby arugula
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
4 ounces crumbled goat cheese or blue cheese – I used Blue Cheese
1/3 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped

For the Pear Vinaigrette
1/2 roasted pear (saved from roasting step)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple or pear juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
THE RECIPE

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Brush pears with a little olive oil and place cut side down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake 20-25 minutes, until pears are lightly browned and fork tender. Allow to cool to room temperature. You can make these ahead and store in the refrigerator. Set aside one of the halves pears to use for the vinaigrette dressing.
2. In a large serving bowl, combine both lettuces and the sliced onion. Set aside.
3. To make the vinaigrette: Place all the vinaigrette ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. If mixture is too thick, add a bit more juice, if necessary. Pour enough dressing over the mixed greens in the bowl to coat them nicely. Divide the salad among four plates. Top each plate with a roasted pear half (or two) and sprinkle the goat or blue cheese evenly among the plates. Scatter the toasted walnuts evenly among the four plates.

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Quinoa and Shrimp Medley
Serves 4-6

Quinoa Ingredients:
2 cups of water
1 cup of quinoa –
1 Tsp of Better than Bouillon (vegetable or seafood flavor base)
2 ounce grated Parmesan cheese

Directions for Quinoa:
Boil water with 1 Tsp of Better than Bouillon, add quinoa and cook according to package directions, approximately 15 minutes. Add the 2 ounce of Parmesan cheese and mix together.

Shrimp Medley Ingredients
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 teaspoon of lemon zest
pinch of red pepper flakes or to taste
1 can of artichoke hearts drained and roughly chopped
4 ounces of spinach
ground black pepper and salt to taste
4 lemon wedges to serve on individual plate

In a large frying pan heat olive oil over medium heat add garlic and onion. Cook until onions are translucent; add shrimp, lemon zest and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Sauté until shrimp are cooked through. Add the artichoke hearts and cook for a few more minutes. Turn heat off add spinach, season with salt and pepper and toss.

Place desired amount of quinoa on the bottom of each individual plate add shrimp medley on top and serve with a wedge of lemon. Enjoy!!

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Fruit Race Cars
Makes 3 race cars

Ingredients:
3 Bananas
1 quart of strawberries
Toothpicks

Directions:
Peel two bananas and cut a sliver lengthwise of the “bottom” of banana so banana will sit flat on surface.
Take three strawberries and put a toothpick inside to attach to top of banana.
Cut 4 banana circles and 4 strawberry circles for tires. Attach the “tires” to the sides of bananas with toothpicks.

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Butterfly Art

Supplies
Bow tie pasta
water-based paint
paint brush
Black marker
poster board
School Glue

Directions:
Paint bow ties
Glue to poster board after they dry
Use black marker to make dots and antennas for butterflies

Ice Hunt

Supplies:
Small plastic toys such as: cars, snakes, army men, etc.
Small plastic container, the size of a shoe box filled 1/2 to 3/4 of the way to the top.

Directions:
Get toys and put it into the container and freeze overnight.
Give your kids golf tees and use wooden mallets to chip the toys out!
Will keep the kids entertained!

Photos By: Lorianne DeVita

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