Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Solar Cooker


Weston had been asking me to help him make a pizza solar cooker for a few weeks.  I had no idea what he was talking about, so I had to ask him where he saw the solar cooker.  He told me that he saw it on Curious George, and he explained how they cooked a pizza in the sun (it was actually lasagna). I wanted more information on the topic, so I tried to locate the actual episode about the solar cooker.  Eventually, I found the episode, but wasn't able to watch it on the internet unless I paid for it. However, on the same day, the solar cooker episode aired on TV!!! What are the chances of that happening??!!! So, after watching the episode, we went to Little Caesars and picked up a couple of pizza boxes.  We made our solar cookers that day, but it wasn't warm enough to try it out. We decided to wait for our next warm and sunny day. I wished he had seen this show in the summer when we were having 100+ temperatures outside!! Yesterday, Weston stayed home from school because he was sick. It was going to be sunny and warm, so we decided to use that time to try out our cooker.  I had my doubts about it working after doing a little research on the topic, but I was excited to test it.  The simple solar cooker that we made was supposed to be better for warming precooked  foods, such as hot dogs.  Weston really wanted to cook a pizza, but I knew that it would  really difficult. I usually cook our pizza on 450 in the oven.  Yesterday, it was in the lower 70s. So, I found another recipe that I thought would be easier to cook in the sun than pizza. We made an peanut butter cookie dough that was supposed to be a good recipe for the solar cooker.  I was hopeful about the cookies, but not the pizza.

Putting together our pizza cooker

We butted heads while we were making the cooker.  I ended up putting him in time out over it!  He was insisting that I make it a certain way, but his way wasn't the correct way to build it .  After Nathan and I explained to him why it wouldn't work, he would not stop arguing about it.  He landed himself in timeout for being disrespectful:(




This is a brief description of how it works!
video

 Our Experiment:
It is time to try out our solar cooker!
First, we had to preheat our ovens.

While the ovens were preheating, we made pizza!

Time to cook the pizza!

This boy is having too much fun on a sick day! 

Making peanut butter cookie dough.

We placed our cookies in the oven!
Now, we have to wait!!!
 
A few hours later...
The plastic wrap had collected steam from the pizza, and the pan was warm!  However, it never cooked our pizza!

My sick boy sleeping.  I thought about cooking the pizza in the oven and slipping it back in the box while he slept.  I left the pizza in the box, and figured I better tell him the truth!!  At least it will give us a reason to try it again in the summer. He was not disappointed at all.  He knew that it was not hot enough for it cook.  I think he was more excited about building the box more than anything!

The cookies were warm, but they never baked completely.
Our solar pizza. The cheese was slightly melted, but that was it!!  

Luckily, I saved some extra pizza dough and made pizza in the oven!!!         

Weston's School Photo 2011

 
I swear it feels like I just brought this school boy home from the hospital!!! He looks so grown up! Where does the time go?!!!

Fall!

We look forward to fall every year!After being cooped up in the house all summer, it is such a relief to have cooler weather.  It is so nice to be able to get outside again, and there always seems like there is so much fun stuff to do!! The only thing I don't love about fall is that our boys seem to stay sick!! I think they have both been sick as least three times, but I've quit counting. I have been so thankful that I have been able to be a stay-at-home mom during these times.  It can be exhausting, and frustrating at times, but I am happy that I am not juggling a full time "paying" job along with it!!

Weston has already missed four days of school this year due to illness.  
 

Whenever Wyatt gets a runny nose, he usually has to have breathing treatments to control his asthma.  Luckily, he is more patient than a lot of toddlers his age!  Breathing treatments can be very time consuming, uncomfortable, and noisy!!


Halloween 2011

 
On Halloween, we ate at my parents house, and then we went to my sister's neighborhood for trick-or-treating.  This year, Wyatt was so amazed that he was able to get candy just by knocking on someone's door.  He loved every minute of it!  Weston was equally excited about the candy, but he was even more excited about the costumes. He enjoyed looking at all of the costumes on the streets, as much as he loved wearing his pirate outfit. I hate that Halloween fell on a Monday this year, because the boys were so exhausted when we finally made it home. 

eating at Nana and Papa's

Two pirates ready for trick-or-treating!









Trick-or-treating at Tammy's house!




Weston's pumpkin at night.

Pumpkin Carving


After Weston's field trip on Monday, we went straight home and carved pumpkins! We had forgotten about carving them over the weekend, so we had to carve them as quickly as possibly before went Trick-or-Treating. I can't believe Halloween almost slipped by without us carving our many pumpkins. Nolan came over to join in the fun!







Weston chose this design.