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Slumber parties and sleepovers

November 13, 2018
Kiki Angelos , MOV Parent

Most kids love to have their friends over for sleepovers - sometimes the children want to invite their best friend or several friends and with several friends over, we must do a little more detail planning for the event.

First, allow yourself several days or a week in order to plan and organize your sleepover for your child. Keep in mind that in today's world, many parents have concerns when it comes to letting their child go to someone's home to spend the night. Children as young as 5 years old do well at a slumber party, where some need to wait several years before taking part. To make it easier for your young ones, try a pajama party where the children arrive at 7 p.m. or so in their pajamas and return home to their own bed later in the evening.

A general rule for an overnight party is to take your child's age and divide it by 2 for the number of guests, so 3 guests for a 6 year old and so on. For major sleepovers after an important event such as a birthday party or after a ballgame, you can send an invitation and get a response as to who will or will not attend. Include in your invitation what events and activities you will be doing and as to what time to arrive and what time the parents should pick them up the next day.

Many times Friday nights are the best choice than Saturdays because kids are more tired after a school day plus many will go to church on Sunday mornings.

Most kids enjoy a cooking project at a sleepover, like making a pizza from scratch or chocolate fudge, and of course, a big pancake breakfast the next morning.

Suggestions for activities for a boys sleepover: Miniture golf, board games, sports trivia contest, pool party, bowling party, skating party, watch movies , shoot basketballs in the driveway and playing on their iPads in today's world.

Suggestions for girls activities: create small scrapbooks, decorate or paint pictures, learn beading, plan a spa with makeup, manicure and pedicures, play music trivia, dance, watch movies or plan a skating or pool party.

Another idea is to have everyone bring a sleeping bag and arrange them to all sleep in the living or family room.

Be sure to have plenty of snacks like cookies, milk and orange juice and potato chips, etc.

Be sure to have the telephone numbers of all the parents who has a child staying over, just in case they would change their mind about staying all night and want to come home.

Until next month!

Turkey Meatloaf

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

3/4 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 clove garlic, minced

2/3 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth or water

1/2 cup uncooked bulgur wheat

1 pound lean ground turkey

1/2 cup cholesterol-free egg substitute

8 tablespoons chili sauce, divided

1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Heat oil in small saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, celery and garlic, cook and stir for 3 minutes. Add broth and bulgur. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until bulgur is tender and all liquid is absorbed. Transfer to a large bowl, cool to lukewarm. Preheat oven to 375. Add turkey, egg sustitute, 6 tablespoons chili sauce, soy sauce, cumin, paprika and pepper. Mix until well blended. Pat turkey mixture into greased 8x4 loaf pan. Top with remaining 2 tablespoons chili sauce. Bake meat loaf about 45 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165. Let stand 10 minutes; drain excess liquid. Remove from pan; cut into 10 slices.

Saucy Tropical Turkey

3-4 turkey thighs, skin removed

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 small onion, halved and sliced

1 20-ounce can pineapple chunks, drained

1 red bell pepper, cubed

2/3 cup apricot preserves

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 cup cold water

2 tablespoons cornstarch

hot cooked rice

Rinse turkey and pat dry. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat; brown turkey on all sides. Place onion in slow cooker. Transfer turkey to slow cooker; top with pineapple and bell pepper. Combine preserves, soy sauce, lemon peel and ginger in small bowl; mix well. Spoon over turkey. Cover; cook on low 6-7 hours. Remove turkey from slow cooker; keep warm. Blend water and cornstarch until smooth; stir into slow cooker. Cook, uncovered, on high 15 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened. Adjust seasonings. Return turkey to slow cooker, cook until hot. Serve with rice.

Snappy Citrus Salad with Turkey

1/2 pound fresh sugar snap or snow peas

10 slices deli mesquite or smoked turkey brease

3-4 red grapefruit, peeled and sectioned

Boston lettuce leaves

1 pint fresh strawberries

strawberry poppy seed vinaigrette

Snap off stem ends of sugar snap peas. Plunge peas into boiling water for 1 minute, drain, then plunge into ice water. Drain and pat dry. Roll up turkey slices and cut crosswise into halves. On each of 4 dinner plates, first arrange 2 peas, so ends ar about 1-inch from rim of plate. About halfway from center of each plate, place 2 grapefruit sections and 1 turkey roll next to sugar snaps, and continue alternating peas, grapefruit and turkey. In center of plate, place 1-2 small lettuce leaves. Wash berries and cut into halves; arrange about 6-8 strawberry halves over lettuce. Serve immediately with strawberry poppy seed vinaigrette.

Strawberry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons strawberry vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon chopped onion

1/4 teaspoon slat

1/4 cup salad oil

1 teaspoon poppy seeds

Combine vinegar, sugar, onion and salt in blender; process until smooth. Add oil and process until thickened. Stir in poppy seeds.

Kiki Angelos is a food columnist for the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.



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