Thursday, March 31, 2011

Italian Raisin Walnut Bread

Italian Whole-Wheat Bread - Adapted with slight changes for making in Bosch Universal Plus Mixer from: The Bread Bible: Beth Hensperger's 300 Favorite Recipes

If you do not have a Bosch, use the same ingredients and follow the procedure that you usually follow when making bread.


plumped raisins


dough ready to rise

dough after 30 minutes of rising

ready to eat!

Recipe
Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups warm water (105 - 115 degrees F.)
3 Tb SAF instant yeast
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup honey
2 Tb molasses
1 Tb Soy Lecithin
1 Tb salt
about 6 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup raisins, plumped
2 cups of walnuts, chopped

Directions:
1.  Pour warm water, honey, olive oil, soy lethicin and yeast into the Bosch mixing bowl.
2.  Pour 3 cups of freshly ground whole wheat flour over wet ingredients. (Nutrimill Home Grain Mill is an excellent grain mill if you are interested in grinding your own grain.)
3.  Cover and mix on level 1 in the Bosch mixer for 1 minute
4.  Add salt and continue mixing on level 1
5. Add flour about 1/2 cup at a time until the dough does not stick to the sides of the bowl and looks like the right texture
6. Once the right amount of flour has been added, cover and turn the Bosch mixer to level 2 and mix for 6 minutes
7. When the 6 minutes is up, pour a small puddle of canola or olive oil on your work surface, remove the dough from the mixer and knead dough 3-4 times on the oiled surface. Add raisins and walnuts while kneading.  Do not add additional flour when kneading.
8.  Then separate the dough into three round loaves. Pound them each on the table a few times to remove air bubbles. 
9.  Allow loaves to rise for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees during this time.
10.  Once dough has risen, mark with a knife and dust with flour if desire. Bake for about 30 minutes, till golden brown and a hollow sound when you knock on the top of each loaf. 

Black Bean and Quinoa Wraps

I was recently inspired by a meal that was prepared for us by a good friend in Boston. She made the most delicious Black Bean and Quinoa Burritos.

Last night we had some leftover Black Bean and Roasted Sweet Potato Soup, but not enough for a meal. So, here is what I did:

I spread a thin layer of the soup over a piece of whole wheat flat bread or tortilla, then spread a layer of Quinoa, freshly chopped green onions, cilantro, fresh spinach, grated pepper jack cheese and some salsa.

You could easily used plain black beans and roasted sweet potatoes instead of the leftover soup that I used.

Layering process


Finished...ready for eating!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Red Lentil Soup

Gluten Free, Soy Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free


Ingredients:
2 cups red lentils
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 to 2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup rice
8 - 10 oz. can of tomato sauce
Seasonings: salt, black pepper, allspice, cumin, and crushed red pepper
Fresh lemons for squeezing over soup


Directions:
1.  Boil the red lentils in about 4 cups of water, as the lentils boil, scoop away foam that forms. Let boil about 5 minutes.
2. Saute in olive oil the onion, garlic, and diced tomatoes.
3.  Add uncooked rice, one can of tomato sauce, and onion mixture to the lentils.
Simmer ingredients together till rice is cooked and lentils have begun to break apart.
4.  Season to taste with: salt, black pepper, allspice, cumin, and crushed red pepper.
5.  (Optional) Blend in a blender for smooth texture.

Serve with freshly squeezed lemon

Chick Pea Fritters

Gluten Free, Soy Free, Dairy Free, Egg FreeIngredients:
1 1/2 cups chick pea/ garbanzo bean flour (I ground mine fresh in my Nurtri Mill)
3 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tb olive oil
Peanut Oil for frying (or other frying oil)

Directions:
1. Oil a baking sheet with sides
2. Put the flour in a saucepan. Gradually whisk in the water. Then whisk in salt, pepper and olive oil. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent lumps, and then cook, stirring until mixture is thick and smooth, about 5 min.
3. Pour the hot mixture into the prepared baking sheet. It should form a layer no more than 1/2 inch thick. Let cool completely. It will be quite firm.
4. Invert the pan onto a cutting surface. Cut the chick pea sheet into strips about 1/2 inch by 2-3 inches.
5. Poor Peanut Oil into a deep saucepan to a depth of about 2 inches. When oil is hot, add strips, a few at a time; do not crowd the pan. Fry til golden brown, 2-3 min. Be careful....I burned my fingers!
6. Using a slotted spoon remove fritters to paper towels to drain and continue with remaining fritters. Arrange on a plate, sprinkle with salt and pepper, serve warm.

Oatmeal, Flaxseed, Banana Waffles

Soy Free, Dairy Free

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
2 T. ground flaxseed
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
2 ripe bananas (mashed)
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 water
6 T. canola oil
2 T. brown sugar

Directions:
Preheat waffle iron. Whisk together dry ingredients, then add wet ingredients and stir just til mixed together. You may need to add a little more water or milk to make the batter the right consistency. Cook the batter to desired darkness in the waffle iron. 
Enjoy....They are dense, but delish!

Whole Wheat Hummus Pizza

Whole Wheat Crust
ingredients:
1 c. warm water (105-115 degrees)
2 tsp active dry yeast
pinch of sugar
2.5 to 3 c. whole wheat flour
2 Tb olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
cornmeal for sprinkling


directions:1. Pour warm water in a small bowl. Sprinkle yeast, sugar, and 1 Tb flour over surface of water. Stir til dissolved and let stand at room temp. until foamy, about 15 min.
2. Mix: In a large bowl, place oil, salt, 1 c. flour, and yeast mixture whisk hard until smooth, about 2 min. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 c. at a time, stirring with wooden spoon until soft, sticky dough forms that just clears the side of the bowl.
3. Knead: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead to form a springy ball, dusting with flour when needed, about 3 min. The dough should be soft and springy. Form the dough into a flattened ball. (Optional - add seasonings to dough at this time...basil, rosemary, ect)
4. Place dough in a greased deep container. Turn once to coat the top and then cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temp. until tripled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours. (The dough may be refrigerated overnight at this point. Let stand 45 min at room temp. before proceeding if you refrigerated the dough.)
5. Prepare toppings while dough rises. Preheat oven to 500 degrees at least 20 min. before baking. Put pizza stone in oven while preheating if using one.
6. After dough has risen, shape dough onto pizza pan (sprinkle both sides of dough with cornmeal if desired), pizza stone or cookie sheet.
7. Bake crust 5 min. at 500 degrees. Remove from oven, top the pizza and then return to over for 5-10 more minutes til dough is crisp and pizza toppings are warm and melted.

Hummus
Blend together in a blender or food processor:
1 - 16 oz can garbanzo beans, 1/2 c. tahini, 1/4 c lemon juice, 1/4 c. water, 3/4 tsp salt, 3/4 tsp cumin, and 2 cloves of garlic crushed
Optional: add kalmata olives or red bell peppers




Hummus Pizza
1. After crust has baked 5 min. Remove from the oven.
2. Spread a layer of hummus over crust
3. Top with a variety of Mediterranean toppings, suggestions: red peppers, red onions, kalmata olives, feta cheese, spinach, egg plant (The red peppers, onion and egg plant can be roasted first for 5 min or so to ensure that they are tender)
4. Top with mozzarella or feta cheese, return to oven for 5-10 minutes
5. ENJOY!



Tabbouleh Salad

Soy Free, Dairy Free, Egg FreeIngredients:
1 1/2 cups pre-soaked bulgar wheat
1 1/2 cups parsley, chopped
2 T fresh mint, chopped or 2 tsp dried mint
2 scallions, minced
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tomato, cubed
1 cucumber cubed
2 T lemon juice
1 T olive oil

Directions:
Gently mix all ingredients (except lemon juice and oil) in a large bowl. Once ingredients are mixed, add lemon juice. Chill 1 hour to blend flavors, toss again and add olive oil. Serve in a mound of lettuce.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Kibbe

Meat scored before baking

Out of the oven and ready to eat


Ingredients
1 cup bulgar wheat (soaked in cold water for two hours) For gluten-free use 1 cup cooked brown rice, 1 cup cooked millet or 1 cup cooked quinoa.
1 onion, chopped
About 2 pounds of ground beef
1/4 cup pinenuts or walnuts, toasted
Seasonings to taste: salt, pepper, cinnamon, and allspice

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350
1. (Do step one two hours ahead of time) Soak 1 cup bulgar wheat in cold water for two hours
2. Saute a chopped onion in olive oil with 1/3 of total ground beef (For the entire recipe use about 2 pounds...more or less depending on the number of people you are feeding)
3. Toast 1/4 cup pinenuts
4. Stir toasted pinenuts, about 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp allspice into the sauteing beef and onions. Season till desired taste.
5. Mix soaked bulgar with remaining 2/3 ground beef. Add salt, pepper, cinnamon and allspice. Mix together.
6. Layer in a baking dish 1/3 raw beef with bulgar, then cooked beef and onions, then top with remaining raw beef mixture.
7. Brush the top lightly with melted butter
8. Cut the meat into diagonal squares.
9. Bake for 30 min. at 350 degrees

Quinoa Porridge

Recipe - Serves 4 
A great alternative to oatmeal - If you are looking for variety.


Gluten Free, Soy Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free
Ingredients:
1 cup Qunioa
2 1/2 - 3 cups milk (coconut, almond, rice, or cow's milk)
1 apple, chopped (leave skin on)
1/3 cup raisins
1 cinnamon stick or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 T. honey or maple syrup

Directions:
1.  Rinse Quinoa and transfer to a sauce pan.
2.  Pour 2 cups of milk over Quinoa and bring it to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
3.  Add apple, raisins, and cinnamon then simmer for 5-6 more minutes or till liquid is absorbed. (Remove cinnamon stick)
4.  Serve in small bowls and drizzle with honey or maple syrup and remaining milk.



Quinoa with Raisins, Apricots and Pecans

Recipe - Serves 4


Dried Apricots without added sulfur. (Taste much better than they look!)


Ingredients:
3 T. pecans, chopped
2/3 cup Quinoa
2/3 cup orange juice
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup dried apricots (use apricots without added sulfur)
1/4 cup raisins
2 scallions, chopped
1 T. cilantro, chopped
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt

Directions:
1.  Cook pecans over medium, heat 3-4 minutes or until lightly toasted. Let cool on a plate.
2.  Place Quinoa in a strainer and rinse.
3.  In a medium sauce pan combine Quinoa, orange juice, and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or till liquid is absorbed.
4.  Transfer Quinoa to a large bowl. Add apricots, raisins, scallions, cilantro and toasted pecans. Add lemon juice, oil, salt and toss well.

Sweetener Substitution Tips


If a recipe calls for sugar you can use the following instead of 1 cup of sugar.
  • 1 cup of Turbinado
  • 1 cup of Cane Juice Crystals
  • 1 cup of Sucanut
  • 3/4 cup of Maple Syrup (subtract 3 T. of liquid from the recipe)
  • 3/4 cup of Honey (subtract 1/4 cup of liquid from the recipe)
  • 1 1/4 cup of Molasses (subtract 5 T. of liquid from the recipe)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Baby Food - Red Lentils, Squash and Coriander

Ezra is starting to eat a wider range of foods. We have just recently added red lentils to his menu. I chose red lentils because I love them, we have a lot of them, they are inexpensive and they are easy to cook. When you are picking  lentils keep in mind that there are different varieties. Red lentils work well for babies since they cook fast, get quite mushy and are supposed to cause less gas than other lentil varieties.

Earlier in the week, I had baked a squash, pureed it, then froze it into cubes.

Today, I cooked the red lentils...I simply put about 2 cups of lentils and 2 cups of water into a sauce pan. I brought the water to a boil, then simmered the lentils for 20 minutes or so, till were good and mushy.


Then I simply mixed two thawed squash cubes with a few tablespoons of cooked lentils and a dash of coriander. 


Then I froze the remainder of the cooked lentils in our for Fresh Baby Food Storage Trays for future lentil combinations. 








Friday, March 18, 2011

Sweet Mama Zog's Bread of the Month Club - March

Sweet Mama Zog's Bread of the Month Club - March batch of bread was an easy decision...
Black Russian Rye. 


The bread did not turn out exactly as I had hoped, but it was quite tasty and enjoyed by all.




St. Patrick's Day - A delicious Holiday!

We had a meeting at our house last night and we enjoyed Reuben Sandwiches, Oven Roasted Potatoes and Guinness Cake in honor of St. Patrick.


I have enjoyed Reuben Sandwiches on many occasions, but last night was the first time that I actually made them myself and my efforts turned out a success. Just ask our guests from last night...unless they were just being polite?!?

I would like to say that I had made the bread as well, but it just is not true. Instead I defaulted to Johnston's Bakery in Sheboygan. They make quite a large variety of rye breads...Black Russian, Jewish Rye, Berlin Rye...and more that I can not recall. I did bake Black Russian Rye bread on Monday, hoping to use it for the Reubens, but it just did not turn out well enough for sandwiches. It was delicious in flavor, but dense and flatter than I had hoped. This often happens to me when I try a new bread recipe for the first time as well as having a full house of visiting brothers and a crying babe. So, it was not the recipe....it was me. So, I am thankful for a local bakery full of delicious breads.



Reuben Sandwich Recipe
Ingredients:
Rye Bread - We used a Jewish Rye with Caraway Seeds and Dark Russian Rye from Johnston's Bakery in Sheboygan
Butter (for buttering the bread)
Corned Beef, shaved
Swiss Cheese, sliced
Sour kraut
Thousand Island Dressing (dressing recipe from allrecipes.com)

Directions:
1.  Mix 1 to 2 Tb of Thousand Island Dressing with 4 cups sour kraut.
2.  Lightly butter one side of each slice of bread.
3.  Assemble the sandwiches with amounts of each ingredient to your liking. Follow this general order: Bread, sour kraut/ dressing, corned beef, swiss cheese, bread.
4.  Grill on the stove (like grilled cheese) till the bread is toasted, sour kraut is warmed and the cheese is melted.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Moby Wrap...don't leave home without it!

The Moby Wrap  truly has been one of those, "don't leave home without it," additions to our baby gear. The Moby seems complicated at first, since it is a 6 foot chunk of knit fabric. However, the Moby Wrap has one basic way to wear the wrap, then there are many different ways to position your babe inside the wrap. Once you get the basic tie down, the wrap can basically be tied on in your sleep. (And since "sleep deprivation" best describes the first couple months of parenthood, it is good to be able to do things in your sleep.)

I'm so cozy...I think I'll pick my nose.
I love that the Moby Wrap creates a soft, cozy, warm and secure place to carry your infant. Ezra has taken many naps out-and-about in the Moby whether we were at church, grocery store, a friend's house, coffee shop or just out for a walk. Inside the Moby, your babe is close to you and protected from the outside world...and mostly protected from the intrusive strangers at the grocery store that want to kiss your baby. We used the Moby with our son from birth to about 4 months regularly. Now that Ezra is 8 months old we mostly use the Ergo Carrier, but the Moby does still work well up to 35 pounds.

The Moby Wrap rolls or folds up to easily fit into your diaper bag. I like that this wrap is very easy for on-the-go parents. In our current apartment a stroller needs to be stored in the basement, so anytime we would want to use it, it first needs to be hauled up the stairs. I would much rather tie on the Moby than battle a stroller up the stairs while also caring for my little one. A Moby is also for all terrain walking...there is no way a stroller can hike through the woods, stroll on the sandy shore or roll over snow mounds. I can only think of a few instances where a baby carrier would not be the ideal mode of transportation for my baby.


Various Moby Wrap Positions

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

In My Meadow

As springtime is on the way, I feel compelled to read "spring" books to Ezra. One of our favorites is, In My Meadow, by Sara Gillingham (author) and Lorena Siminovich (illustrator).


Our favorite part of this book is the finger puppet that shows through on each page. What a great way to get your little ones excited about books. The story takes you through the bunny's meadow and leads you to the bunny's burrow where he snuggles up to take a nap surrounded by those who love him most, his family.  This board book is sturdy enough for little fingers to explore and loaded with bright cheery pictures to captivate young audiences.


There are other books in this series including: In My Den, In My Tree, In My Pond and In My Flower.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Chicken with Saffron Rice




Chicken with Saffron Rice Recipe - 6 - 8 servings
Ingredients:
3 1/2 pounds of chicken thighs and drumsticks
salt and pepper
Olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 tsp crumbled saffron
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
5 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
1/2 cup dry sherry (Charles Shaw (AKA Trader Joe's 3 Buck Chuck) Sauvignon Blanc worked well) or Apple Cider Vinegar
2 1/4 c. chicken or vegetable stock
14 oz. can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
1/2 cup green olives, pitted and halved
3 cups rice
fresh Italian parsley, minced for garish
optional: a bunch of fresh chopped kale

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Use Dutch oven, warm 1 Tb olive oil. Brown chicken (7-8 minutes). Transfer chicken to a plate and wipe the pan.
2.  In the same Dutch oven or pot on medium heat, warm 1 Tb olive oil. Cook onion, red bell pepper, saffron, red pepper flakes for about 10 minutes. Add garlic, sherry and cook together for 1 minute. Add browned chicken, stock, tomatoes and juices from the can. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, covered.
3.  Add rice, olives, salt and pepper then bring to a simmer. Cover. Bake 30 minutes. Stirring halfway. (If you use brown rice it may take longer.)  Stir in roughly chopped kale (or even spinach) Let stand 10 minutes.
4.  Serve with parsley sprinkled on top.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Whole Wheat Waffles and Fruit Topping

Soy Free, Dairy Free

Whole Wheat waffles...great for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

The only part about waffles that I don't love is the mess that I always seem to make when I prepare them.

We received a waffle iron for a wedding present (over 5 1/2 years ago) and we have frequently enjoyed waffles since. They were a very cheap meal many evenings during our first few years of marriage.

This last time I made waffles, Ezra tried a little corner of one for his first waffle taste. He loved it!

One of my favorite waffle toppings is fruit.
This fruit mixture contains: blueberries, cranberries, pears, apples and rhubarb.


Whole Wheat Waffles Recipe
Ingredients:
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups of water or milk (I always use water and I love the results.)
1/2 cup oil (canola or vegetable)
2 cups of whole wheat flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 T cane juice crystals, sucanut or sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

Directions for waffles:
(If you want to make fruit topping, start the fruit first and allow it to simmer while you prepare the waffles.)
1.  Preheat waffle iron. Spray with cooking oil if needed.  
2.  Beat the eggs till they are foamy, then add the water and oil and beat more. The foamier the liquid, the lighter and fluffier the waffles.
3.  Mix together the dry ingredients with a whisk (flour, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon and salt.)
4.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir till everything is wet and only slightly lumpy.
5.  Cook waffles in waffle iron and enjoy!

Directions for fruit topping: 
1.  Clean fruit and cut into small pieces. Combine your favorite fruits like: apple/pear/ blueberry, cranberry/apple/cherry, pear/rhubarb/blueberry...ect
2.  Put the fruit pieces into a small sauce pan, add anywhere from 1 T to 1/4 cup of sugar or honey depending on the natural sweetness of the fruit and your own taste preference.
3.  Heat the fruit and sugar to a very light boil, then turn the heat down and simmer till fruit is soft and syrupy. About 15 minutes. Then serve over your waffles.






Friday, March 11, 2011

Red Curry Vegetables and Rice Pasta

Last night's dinner was a creation in a pan. The idea started when I decided to try some of the rice noodles that I recently purchased from Country Life Natural Foods.


Then, I felt confident that I needed to include coconut milk in whatever I ended up making.


And...in my opinion if you are going to use coconut milk, then you need some red curry too...and that is how last night's dinner evolved.


Red Curry & Veggies with Brown Rice Pasta 
serves 2-4 (depending on hunger level)
Ingredients:
rice noodles (as much as you need)
1 can coconut milk
2 tsp red curry paste 
(I added more hot red pepper to mine, but this spice level was good for my husband)
2 Tb fresh basil, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 small broccoli head
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
2 cups fresh spinach
(Add whatever veggies you want: bell pepper, squash, bean sprouts....ect)
1 garlic clove, crushed
salt and pepper to taste
coconut for garnish

Directions:
1. Saute the onion, mushrooms and garlic in olive oil, add broccoli once onions become translucent.
2. Dissolve red curry paste in 1/4 cup boiling water. 
3. Add coconut milk, dissolved curry paste and basil to the vegetables. Bring to a boil, the simmer for 30 - 60 minutes. Simmering for longer will develop more flavor. 
4.  Prepare rice noodles 10 minutes before eating.
5.  About 5 minutes before eating add spinach and season with salt and pepper. Add hot red pepper if desired. Sprinkle with coconut flakes and serve curry sauce over rice noodles. 







Sample Menus - Baby Style - 8 months old


Ezra is eating a lot more foods now that he is 8 months old. Cooking for him is becoming so much more fun now that I can blend flavors and add spices. According to many sources, 8 months is when you can begin adding protein, wheat and limited dairy to your baby's diet...if your baby is ready. Ezra has started eating a small amount of organic plain whole milk yogurt (we usually by Stoneyfield). Ezra has also become more interested in finger-foods. So, he has just begun nibbling on small pieces of homemade whole wheat bread and rice cakes. He does a great job chewing his food, considering that he only has two teeth. I think the Teething Feeder has really helped him figure out how to "chew."



What is Ezra eating for breakfast these days in addition to breast milk?
  • Oatmeal with mashed banana, bluberries and cinnamon
  • Oatmeal with organic applesauce and a spoonful of organic plain yogurt
  • Organic applesauce, mashed banana and cinnamon with a spoonful of organic plain yogurt
Morning Snack?
  • Breast milk
  • An apple, mango or pear cube in his Teething Feeder
What is Ezra eating for lunch in addition to breast milk ?
  • Pureed squash mixed with pear and cinnamon and a few cubes of whole wheat bread
  • Pureed carrots mixed with organic applesauce and a few small pieces of rice cake
  • Cooked and mashed sweet potato mixed with blended brown rice and a few fruit cubes in his Teething Feeder
  • Organic whole milk yogurt with a dash of fresh, chopped mint and whole wheat bread cubes and a few pieces of fruit in his Teething Feeder.
Afternoon Snack?
  • Breast milk
  • An apple, mango or pear cube in his Teething Feeder
  • A few cubes of whole wheat bread or a few small pieces of rice cake
What is Ezra eating for dinner in addition to breast milk?
  • Pureed green beans, mixed with blended brown rice and a pinch of basil
  • Cooked and mashed peas blended together with brown rice noodles and a dash of oregano
Before bed snack?
  • Breast milk


Monday, March 7, 2011

Favorite Children's Books?



I am wondering...


1.  What were your favorite books as a child?
2.  And what are your favorite books to read to the children in your life now?

Not A Box...Another one for your bookshelf

Not a Box, by Antoinette Portis is a fascinating children's book. 


This book encourages creative thinking and imaginative play. It quite literally challenges children and parents to "think outside the box."


Throughout this book, the narrator continues to ask the bunny why he is sitting in the box or looking at the box...or like the picture above "Are you still standing around in that box?"


Then in response to the narrator, the bunny answers time and time again, that it is "not a box." The pictures in the book show what object or objects the bunny is imagining the box to be each time.
In the picture above, the bunny says, "It's NOT, NOT, NOT, NOT a box!" But, rather he is pretending that the box is four very different modes of transportation that he is travelling in through his day dreams and enjoying tremendously.



God has given us and our children such tremendous imaginations. Chances are that when our little ones see a plain old brown box that in fact their minds are already picturing many other adventurous things. But, simple books like, Not a Box, may help us as parents to remember to be playful and encourage the God given creativity that our children already possess.