Tuesday, February 17, 2015

School Library Journal Review!

Candy Experiments 2 got reviewed in the School Library Journal, with some very positive feedback! To quote:

"With more than 60 experiments, this sweet sequel to 2013’s highly entertaining and educational Candy Experiments (Andrew McMeel) is packed with sugar-coated activities that introduce young scientists to the chemistry behind some of their favorite confections....There’s little question that readers will be engaged; the colorful and appealing design and layout, as well as the close-up shots of candy shards, are definite eye-candy." (Jan 2015)

The reviewer did notice one minor detail: in my experiment Instant Crystallization, the units switch from standard to metric. Actually, there was a good reason for us to use metric system here. For that experiment, my husband calculated the amount of xylitol and water we would need to make a supersaturated solution, one so saturated that the xylitol started crystalizing instantly when the solution was disturbed. The optimal ratio--22 grams of xylitol stirred into 4 grams of water--was more precise than I could explain with teaspoons and tablespoons, so I used grams as the main measurement. Good catch, reviewer Audrey Sumser!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Last week my husband brought me a fun surprise: hand-dipped chocolate strawberries. Yum! Now two favorite blogs have posted recipes. One fun reminder from Biting the Hand that Feeds you: since you eat the strawberries so quickly, it doesn't matter if the chocolate blooms! That means you don't need to worry so much about the tricky tempering process--just melt the chocolate and dip.

CHOCOLATE-COVERED STRAWBERRIES at Pacific Science Center Wellbody Blog

Happy Chocolate-Dipped Valentine's Day with Driscolls! at Biting the Hand that Feeds You

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Foaming Snowman

We don't have much snow up on the mountains yet here in Washington (my daughter's ski school has cancelled 4 times in a row). So it's a great time to build snowmen with Asia Citro's Foaming Dough recipe, from her blog Fun at Home with Kids, and from her book 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids. Made with baking soda, this dough dissolves in vinegar for a great acid-base reaction demonstration.

Here's our snowman:





And here's his sad demise!



You can find the full recipe for the dough at the Magic Foaming Snowman blog post
on Fun at Home with Kids. Enjoy!