Monthly Archives: May 2013

Au Pair in America Scavenger Hunt in NYC


DSCN0953Rain did not deter Au Pairs from all over NY state from a fun Scavenger Hunt in NYC.  Organized by the Community Counselors for Au Pair in America, clusters from Westchester, NYC and Long Island participated in the hunt.

DSCN0956Starting at the main branch of the NYC Library, they finished in Bryant Park!  For 3 – 4 hours racing all over NYC, au pairs snapped pictures of themselves with smiling NYC doorman, by Broadway marques, Central Park statues and so much more.  4 teams of 4 each won prizes contributed by the counselors and several more won raffles as well.  They all went home with unique pictures of themselves in NYC!


So Many Parks on Long Island!


There are lots of parks on Long Island!  You can find one near you by putting in your zip code.  Or enter the name of the park you want to find and you can search for it that way, too!

Make a Bird Feeder with your Host Kids

Recycle a soda bottle into a bird feeder.  Some inexpensive wood spoons, bird seed, a cord to hang it with and a tree to hang it in is all you need.

Then you and the host kids can watch the birds flock to the feeder!   Have the kids color pictures of the birds that visit.  Take photos, too.  Identify the birds and keep a little photo album of the birds that visit your feeder 🙂

Tacos for Cinco de Mayo

Kid Friendly Tacos

    taco-truck-lunches-medMake lunch a fiesta by turning tonight’s leftovers into tomorrow’s tacos. With a simple make-your-own taco seasoning recipe, you can easily flavor meat from tonight’s dinner and add a variety of toppings on a tortilla. Who needs taco trucks parked in the nearby lots when you can make your own tasty tacos?

Taco Seasoning Recipe
Start with this easy taco seasoning, and add it to the meat of your choosing! The seasoning will store for up to six weeks in an airtight container, so you can make multiple batches.

Makes about 3/4 cup

1/4 cup chili powder
1/4  cup salt
3 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika (use smoked paprika for deeper flavor)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Meat, fish or beans


  1. Whisk together all ingredients and transfer to an airtight container.
  2. Add two tablespoons (or to taste) of taco seasoning and 2-3 tablespoons water per pound of meat, fish or beans. Stir to combine; simmer 5 minutes.

Taco Lunch Inspiration
Now comes the fun part. Use your seasoned leftovers and try some of these delicious combinations, which include adult and kid-friendly options.


  • Adult Option: Combine mashed black beans, shredded grilled chicken, grilled red pepper slices, diced tomatoes, pickled jalapeño slices, sliced green onions, salsa and sour cream on a flour tortilla.
  • Kid-friendly Option: Season ground chicken and spoon it into a crunchy taco shell. Top it with a dollop of queso, shredded lettuce and salsa.


  • Adult Option: Lay pork on a warm tortilla and top with grilled pineapple slices, diced red onion, cilantro leaves and canned chipotles in adobo sauce mixed with sour cream.
  • Kid-friendly Option: Line a tortilla with sliced pork, and top with shredded pepper jack and cheddar cheese, diced avocado and orange sections.


  • Adult Option: Mix leftover white rice and black beans with chopped green chiles and taco seasoning. Top with greens, salsa, shredded pepper jack cheese and a squeeze of lime in a flour tortilla.
  • Kid-friendly Option: Heap refried beans mixed with a pinch of taco seasoning onto a crunchy taco shell and top with guacamole, shredded cheddar, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, salsa, sour cream and sliced olives.


  • Adult Option: Use leftover mahi-mahi, tilapia, or any favorite fish and top with shredded Napa cabbage, tomatillo salsa, sliced avocado, minced fresh cilantro and lime juice in a warm flour tortilla.
  • Kid-friendly Option: Stack a couple breaded fish sticks in a flour tortilla or a crunchy taco shell. Top with shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream seasoned with a pinch of taco seasoning and a squeeze of lime.

Tip: Eat tacos on the go! Season the meat the night before and build the ingredients in a portable container, and refrigerate overnight. Put tortillas in a plastic bag. In the morning, pack it all, with a spoon, in an insulated lunch box. You’ll have a portable taco truck at your desk or in the lunch room!

Cinco de Mayo

image002Cinco de Mayo officially commemorates the anniversary of an early victory by Mexican forces over French forces in the Battle of Pubela on May 5, 1862. It is not the anniversary of the defeat and expulsion of the French forces by the Mexicans, which occurred in 1867. It is also not, as is often assumed, the day of Mexico’s celebrations of independence, which are actually held on September 16. It is believed that the origins of Cinco de Mayo celebrations lie in the responses of Mexicans living in California in the 1860s to French rule in Mexico at that time.

Cinco de Mayo is seen as a day to celebrate the culture, achievements and experiences of people with a Mexican background, who live in the United States. There is a large commercial element to the day, with businesses promoting Mexican services and goods, particularly food, drinks and music. Other aspects of the day center around traditional symbols of Mexican life, such as the Virgin de Guadalupe, and Mexican-Americans who have achieved fame, fortune and influence in the United States.

Click on this link to go to some free Cinco de Mayo coloring pages for children:

May Day!

What is May Day?
May Day is May 1st and is a celebration of the arrival of spring. It is believed that the holiday originated in Roman times as a festival of flowers.

may_day_baskets-1024x761Today, children celebrate this day by making small baskets filled with treats or flowers to give secretly to friends and neighbors. It is a common custom (and lots of fun) to leave the basket on the doorstep of a friend, ring the doorbell and run away.

How about making some May Day baskets today with your host kids?