Thursday, December 31, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Oldest dd starts high school next year ...(pause for brief freak-out)... and the tiny remnant of Type A that exists in the corners of my self is prompting me to do this little planning project. I'm making a spreadsheet showing different scopes/sequences for history based on different sources/approaches. I'll be working backward to see what we need to focus on next year. The areas I'm exploring are: a school district HS history classes; a private part-time school history classes; classical ed; university requirements from a state university; university requirements from a private university. I'll post my findings later.
Three Kings Day:
I am so psyched about this new recipe. Our family tradition on Jan. 6th (Epiphany or 3 Kings Day or Dia de los Reyes) is basically this:
1. Eat a crown cake for breakfast [Oh, and we hide an almond in the crown cake and that person gets a small prize.]
2. Open stockings
3. Drink apple cider or hot chocolate while packing up the Christmas decorations and taking down the tree (I'm going to try homemade chocolate syrup using honey/cacao - we'll see how it goes).
4. Give a huge, satisfied sigh (while dh puts the boxes in the attic)
This is how we *use* to make the crown cake:
Layer 2 cans of cinnamon rolls in an angel food cake pan. Bake. Dump on a plate and drizzle with icing. Tastes delicious but full of the trans fats that we now avoid at home. Last year I *think* I used Kelly's bread recipe with her cinnamon roll instructions and did it basically the same.
This year I'm using this recipe for sourdough monkey bread. I killed my sourdough starter a couple of months ago but I just started my first attempt of the 5-minute soaked bread recipe. In fact, a few minutes ago I took out a blob of dough to rise for the 10-grain variety. Anyway, I think you could just use whatever your basic bread dough recipe is and continue with her instructions. How easy can it get? Roll balls, dip in melted butter, roll in cinnamon sugar, put in the angel food cake pan, bake. Eat. Eat. Drink milk. Eat. Mmmm.
For the icing I'm going to use the butter/powdered sugar/vanilla combo (compromise food, to be sure - but in a small amount!). I will probably wing the amounts at the last minute.
By the way, this was posted on Real Food Wednesday hosted by Kelly at kellythekitchenkop.com.
-I just had the *best* snack! Leftover spaghetti squash pesto heated in chicken broth with Salvadoran cream added in the bowl after serving with some salt added.
- Black beans were soaked last night and cooked all day in the crock pot. They are done and we'll eat them tomorrow mixed with rice (Casamiento) and corn bread on the side. I may throw some salsa in the Casamiento if I remember.
- There's a loaf of bread rising on the counter. I'm trying this recipe (I didn't have wheat gluten nor the seed mixture for the top):
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
When I first introduce it I use some snake pages someone shared in which there are numbers that evenly work out to tens. For example: 2+8+4+6+9+1+7+3+5+5. They can be scrambled but the pairs should always be together so that there is a ten for every 2 bars. These are in the box and the child uses them on their own. Once they are ready (and can proficiently self-check, which seems to be the hard part) I introduce the black/white bead bars and they can begin to create their own snakes.
Don't know what I'm talking about? Here is a great demo video (short and sweet) by Suzanne of JMJPublishing. Click on Positive Snake Game 1, 2, and 3.
I have a love/hate relationship with avocados. I LOVE to eat them. Especially on a sandwich (with or without ham) with sauerkraut. I HATE to waste them. Which I do. A lot. You would think that someone who grew up in the tropics eating them all season long would know how to properly select one. I either cut them too soon (ick) or wait too long (ick, ick). Or, my all time favorite - set them in a bowl on top of the fridge for "just a day" and forget all about them.
Recently my mom had some little snack packs that I fell in love with immediately. Single servings of fresh avocado. Portable too! They slip easily into my lunchbag for on-the-go eating or at work. Unfortunately they are a little too much for what I want to spend for 3 servings.
Last week I got a different kind of packaged avocados (read: less expensive). They were halves, not mashed, and the only ingredient is avocado. No preservatives. They are vacuum-packed and have an early expiration date. The package had 6 but they are all in the same seal so I had to decide how to handle the extra (even I can only eat so much avocado at a time!).
I remembered the advice posted on a group: freeze it! After eating my fill of avocado sandwich I mashed the rest and mixed it with fresh juice from 1/2 lemon (actually it was a 'lime' which are green lemons to me and limes are a different fruit altogether - sort of like calling a grapefruit an orange, but anyway...). I added a little Real Salt also. After mixing I spooned it into an ice cube tray and stuck it in the freezer.
I was making rice wraps for lunch (youngest dd really likes rice wraps with meat and cheese) and remembered the avocado in the tray. I popped them out, left one to thaw, and put the rest in a baggie back in the freezer. I put it in my rice wrap with (you guessed it) sauerkraut. They stayed a pretty bright green and it was delicious! [Should I add that, being the impatient person that I am with inanimate objects, that I put it in the skillet a minute to hurry it along??] $1.99 is worth it to me for approximately 10 servings of delicious and healthy avocado - and no waste!!
The other day I had the pleasure of being stranded at home for the day. It really was a pleasure that I relished (once I got over the fact that I couldn't do what I had planned for the day). I had a container of organic apple juice that the dc had picked weeks ago for a remake of the "Killer Pancakes" recipe that are sort of like 'pancake muffins.' I didn't want it to go bad so I did the following on our home day:
- Apple flavored Killer Pancakes [the batter was a fiasco so I ended up pouring it in a baking pan and later cutting like granola bars - they ended up really liking it]
- Apple water kefir
- Apple juice jello. I was so thrilled when I found out that you can make jello from fruit juice. They can enjoy a mainstream treat without the dyes and excess white sugar. The recipe is on the box of plain jello but it's basically 2 cups juice plus the packet (pour 1/2 cup juice in a bowl and sprinkle the packet on it while you boil the juice. Then pour in the juice and stir to dissolve. Done. No more work than the normal packets and no dyes!).
Taking advantage of being at home I also:
- Made a batch of yogurt using Braum's milk because they don't "routinely give antibiotics" to their cows nor does it have hormones. Not organic but the closest to it on a tight food budget. That's my compromise milk and I save the good milk for drinking.
- Made rolls for sandwiches.
Warning against exposure to nano titanium dioxide:
If I understand correctly, it's the nanoparticles that you can inhale or ingest that are the problem, not the actual titanium used for joint/teeth implants. Honestly I haven't studied that but the focus of this study was the nanoparticles. (Thanks, C. for posting on the group!)
I've noticed titanium dioxide in foods recently but I'm focused on so many things to avoid already that I barely registered it. That will now change. I usually put the packages back anyway (sigh). Our modern lifestyles lend themselves to convenience foods but many of the modern convenience foods are poisoning our kids. Even traditionally healthy foods have unnecessary additives. Please, banana flavoring in dried bananas (I am now grabbing and pulling my hair). "Mold inhibitor" in cheese??? Give me a break! Cheese molds. It's natural. That chemical that we'll find out later causes cancer isn't! Now I only buy block sharp cheddar cheese with the Kroger or Wal-Mart label. Kraft has it in their block also and they all have it in the shredded. Either eat it quickly, freeze it, or cut off the fuzzy green parts all around the outside, lol.
I feel a rant coming on....deep breath....that's better...
I REALLY want to check out and read Pottenger's Cats. My dc are 3rd generation cats (that sounds so weird, lol). In his experiment the 3rd generation quit reproducing entirely (or was it the 4th? Like I said - I still need to read it). Obviously the study was with cats and does not directly pertain to people; but it does point to the role of diet/nutrition and it's effect on a species. We have so many fertility issues in this country. Coincidence? And that's just one indicator of the damage done to humans. My mom's generation started off with good, healthy, traditional foods. Her's changed to the modern mass food conveniences so that's what I started out with - trans fats, dyes, high fructose corn syrup, dead milk, dead/toxic cereals, etc and it's all I knew. My dc started off with that even before they were born. Along with all of the bad I and they were ingesting was the LACK of good stuff to counterbalance it. Is it any wonder that even during cancer treatment she was still running circles around me as I struggle to rehab from Lyme?? She at least got a good start before her eating habits changed. I think that made a difference.
Quote of the Day:
"Humour plays close to the big, hot fire, which is the truth, and the reader feels the heat."
Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
This is a picture of poison ivy. You can get poison ivy rashes even in the dead of winter - I had no idea! The vines just looked like sticks. These are the berries to help you identify it while it's dormant.
This owl was tame and used for a talk/demonstration. To the right is a picture of deer tracks in the mud.
I was going to take pictures of our pancakes this morning but I obviously didn't get there in time! The big plate HAD regular and the little plate HAD the banana pancakes. Here is the recipe that I got offline a few years ago and below is what I actually did.
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon rapadura sugar (it may be demerara)
- 1-1/4 C milk
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I just wanted to share a few sales going on in case you haven't seen them yet. Two of my favorite subjects: food and school! [and no, unfortunately, I get nothing from either of these companies; I just think they are exceptional products]
Tropical Traditions has some awesome sale prices right now. I don't have the budget for big ticket items but I'll be ordering their tooth cleaner and lip moisturizer.
I've been using their unflavored lip balm and just love it so now I'll get one for each of the dc. Check out these ingredients: organic virgin coconut oil, organic beeswax, and organic virgin palm oil. That's IT!! At $2.50 you can't do much better for a petroleum product at the store.
I've been avoiding glycerine and flouride in tooth care products for the last 6+ months so their tooth cleaner caught my eye a while back. I've been trying to remineralize my (bad) teeth although I have to admit that I haven't been doing all that I could. I need to be more diligent. You can see them here. The only ingredient I'm not sure about is xanthum gum. Any opinions on that?
Their organic palm shortening is 44% off right now! Wish I could get it since I use it often. No trans fats! Feel free to put "Referred by 5685391" in the section of "How did you hear about us?" at checkout (I think it goes under 'referred by friend' - thanks!). Check them out:
I think if I were to ever get the dark chocolate peanut butter I would be seriously addicted!
In the Hands of a Child will be having their annual Black Friday sale. I use to write my own unit studies, but I felt compelled to write a thesis for every topic we studied! I really enjoyed it but I reached a point in which I just needed something that covered what we needed and had to let it go. This way we can add rabbit trails if we wish but there's also an end :). We generally lapbook science and history for the olders and units for the younger of her choosing. This year has been an adjustment school-wise so the olders are still finishing up their early 1800s lapbook for home during the sporadic time that we have. I may post them eventually. Officially they're studying history at their enrichment classes.
I've used several lapbook units from HOAC and have been pleased with every one. They also have quarterly freebies but I have not been able to download any of the recent ones - not sure why.
Check them out here:
Quote of the Day:
"There is no point dwelling on all the foolish mistakes we have made in our lives. For one thing, it can be very time-consuming." Dr. Thomas Sowell
I'm sort of stagnated this week and am too tired to soak/plan for tomorrow. I'm sure I'll regret it tomorrow! Middle dd needs to use up the strawberries I got her last week for her preserves asap! The week just got so busy that her preserves got bumped every day.
Enjoy the sales!
Saturday, November 14, 2009
What does one do with so many bananas?
1. We've been doing the obvious: eating them.
2. I put a bunch (or maybe it was two bunches!) in the dehydrator. Actually, I think 11 sliced bananas fit in the trays. That left one tray for the soaked almonds and one tray for almond 'mush' that will become almond flour [I'm waiting for the almond mush to finish drying so I can use that tray for breakfast cereal that is ready to crumble]. The dc really like dried banana chips for their lunches or on-the-go snacks. Lately I've been noticing "banana flavoring" on dried bananas in the stores. What? Do bananas not have enough banana flavor? I haven't found any lately without that or without sulphur dioxide so we just make them. As a side note though, I DID find some salty plantain chips with just oil and salt -mmmmm.
3. We'll freeze some to use for smoothies.
4. Have you ever tried sliced banana drizzled with a bit of honey? What about baked bananas? Fried lightly in a bit of butter sprinkled with cinnamon?
5. If any last beyond the perfect ripeness we may make banana bread or banana pancakes.
The down side: I'm allergic to bananas and can't eat them! I may have gotten over my allergy by now but I just stay clear anyway. Good for the dc though.
The Europe map is colored and laminated. Next step: glue to foam board (instructions for making pin maps is in the works).
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
1. Find your map and print it out. I like the 2x2 size (4 pages). Owl and Mouse (listed in other post) is an excellent resource.
2. Color. I use the command cards as a guideline for Europe but when I was finished I realized a few countries were missing and I had to make a few new cards and tried to fit the same size. Each command card says something like: "Find Germany. Color it green. Mark Germany off of the list." I should make the list now but I have a feeling it's not going to get done so, instead of adding it to my "guilt list of things undone" I'll just let it go for now. Note: If you don't have command cards, just color however you wish with the water always blue.
3. Trim and tape pages together. I use scotch tape on the back.
4. Laminate [my favorite place to laminate is Mardel for only $0.25 a foot]
5. Use rubber cement to attach to foam board. You could use spray adhesives but I don't do well with those.
6. Trim using exacto knife and a metal ruler.
7. Finish the edges. I like to put some clear strapping tape around all of the edges. You can skip steps 5-7 completely if you are going to just use the map on a carpet square or corkboard.
8. Poke holes in each country. Stand back and enjoy your accomplishment. Call all of your children and allow them to bask in the glory of your talent with you (give them a gentle nudge if they don't oooh and aaaah right away).
9. Make your pins [this may be another post later with pictures]. T-pins work really well. Print and cut your labels (country name, capital, landmarks, whatever). I use blank white labels for the backing. I peel the blank label and place it sticky side up; put the T part of the T-pin on it; place the word label text side up; smoosh all together. Trim the edges. Ta-Da!
Storage: Since I don't have much room I have them stacked on several shelves. You can see how I added shelves to the tall shelf for map puzzles/pin maps at these links (since I can't get blogger to paste it here from a url).
The picture below on the left is when I had glued it to the foam board in the corner. It's on a white table so it's a bit hard to see. The picture on the right shows the tools I like to use to cut the foam board. Notice the extra foam board underneath - put something like that or cardboard under what you are cutting and don't do this on a nice dining room table! I always do it on the floor.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Here is a good treat to get some extra coconut oil and probiotics into your diet.I don't know the name for this; creamy coconut bark maybe?
Here is the recipe:
4 ounces unsalted butter
8 ounces cream cheese
vanilla and sweetener to taste
Mix all together and drop bite-size blobs onto parchment paper and freeze.
**Here is what I ended up doing (the amounts are small because I was experimenting and had already eaten most of the cream cheese!):
-2 tablespoons coconut oil (I used refined for this - not as good for you as VCO, I know, but it won't help if I don't eat it
-2 tablespoons butter (salted because that's what I had)
-2 tablespoons cream cheese (mine had probiotics because it was homemade using yogurt)
-2 teaspoons demerara
dash of vanilla
1/4 teaspoon raw cacao (less processed than cocoa but use what you have)
I melted the butter, CO, sugar, and vanilla together. Since I overmelted I had to wait a while for it to cool. Then I had to wait longer and finally stuck it in the fridge to cool. When it was finally cooled down but not hard I added the cream cheese. Well, it was a little hard because by that time I had gotten distracted and overcooled it. But it still mixed easily. This was cream cheese made at home from raw yogurt. I waited for it to cool before adding the cream cheese because I didn't want to kill the enzymes. Had I been using Philadelphia cream cheese from the store I wouldn't have been so particular on this point. I dalloped onto wax paper and put them in the fridge. It made 12 dallops :).
These are soooo good! Thanks, L., for the original recipe. My cream cheese had a sort of aged twang to it that gave it a teeny bit of sour twang. Regardles, still very good. I'll be making this again!
Sunday, November 8, 2009
- Layer of wet newspapers
Thursday, November 5, 2009
**I feel so honored... The author I blogged about, Robert Elmer, left a comment on my blog!!! What a nice man. I hope he keeps writing and writing more books for our youngsters. Scroll to the comments section to read it here:
Quote of the Day:
"If I were two-faced, would I being wearing this one?"-- Abraham Lincoln :)
I put together one of the raised beds for the garden today, yeah! It only took about 20 minutes since it was already cut (they do free cuts at Lowe's). Unfortunately I got the wrong kind of wood. I think we may have some non-toxic lacquer in the garage that I used on some children's furniture a long time ago. I'll give it a once-over with that for good measure. The one I put together today is 1x5 feet and will be the strawberry bed. Tomorrow I hope to lacquer it, set it out, and start layering in it. Hopefully by Sunday or Monday I can transplant the strawberries.
We're still struggling with the asp infestation. I'll spray again this weekend - which means it will rain the next day! That's been the pattern every time I spray.
- I have 4 whole pumpkins roasting in the oven. I've never done this before so I hope it works!! I have 3 more that I'll try cutting in half, cleaning out, then baking and then I can see which method I prefer. However, if this way works out then I may just do the others the same - it was sooo easy. My only question about this way is whether or not the seeds are good for anything after being cooked inside the pumpkin as opposed to being scooped out before cooking and dried/roasted separately.
- chicken bone broth is in the crockpot
- We made sweet potato french fries for dinner tonight. It wasn't cooking fast enough in the oven (because I started too late) so I ended up dumping them into a pan and finishing them on the stove. Delicious.
- Serves me right... I gave in and got some onion rings at Sonic this afternoon. Sure enough, it must've had some corn meal in the batter because my hands are now bleeding (sigh). I knew not to get their tater tots but secretly hoped I could get away with the onion rings. They sure were tasty.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Olders are working on their history lapbooks, youngest dd is doing the pattern blocks, and I just sat down and typed up a few extra practice sheets for grammar. The olders are at the point of showing what words the adverbs modify and got a little stuck. Personally, I find adverbs to be the hardest part of speech. After working through the Montessori R&D Manual we started the Winston Grammar Program, Basic Level. Both are excellent and compliment each other beautifully.
I can see Winston Grammar easily used in a classroom setting. DH is a special ed teacher and sees how useful it could be in a lot of different settings for a wide variety of children. I think it would fall under Best Universal Practices. It's an excellent yet incredibly simple to use program. The cards are a good manipulative transition between concrete and abstract. Grammar is so abtract, isn't it? The cards are color-coded by part of speech, have the label of the part of speech with the coding on one side, and clues on the other side. What a perfect tool for active participation in the classroom and guided/independent practice. Perfect for whole group, small group, and individual work. Those who still need the cards to do the workbook can use them at their desks while others can just do the page without.
At home we usually do a few practice sentences with the cards and then they do the workbook page without. However, they can use the cards to see the clues if necessary. I would recommend this program after they have at least a cursory knowledge of the parts of speech. Our dc got a good foundation of that with the R&D montessori Otherwise, you could supplement with some hands-on lessons between each part of speech as it progesses.
Do I sound like an advertisement, lol??? Here is their link:
To be fair I should do a post later on the virtues of the Montessori R & D Grammar manual :).
- Almond crackers [As I was putting in the egg white this morning I accidentally popped the yolk and tried to scoop it out best I could!]. These should go well with the goat cheese we got the other day.
- Almonds are soaking for almond milk
- We made Apple Bread yesterday as part of our All Saints Day celebration and it was a success. I think it was called Bobbing for Apples Bread at Catholicmom.com. Oldest dd was sad to see me cut the leftovers into smaller pieces and put them in the freezer. I told her that this way they could take them in their lunches :).
I am so jazzed.
Background: Last winter we solarized a small area for my (our) veggie garden. Well, the bed never happened and we gardened in the flower beds and in a temporary bed around 2 small trees. BTW, the reason that we solarized it is because, of all places, we chose part of the area where we had trained the dog to go. If you knew my experiences with parasites you'd understand why I'd want to kill any microbes, good or bad, before starting a garden there.
Why am I jazzed? Because I now have a new plan. One I can start NOW. I am very much a project person, NOT a routine person (much to my chagrine!). Instead of one big bed I now plan on making several smaller beds. The area is 5x12 feet. I'll start by making a bed 5x1-1/2 feet for the walking onions and allums. Since it is smaller I can fill it more economically and faster. That's important because I want to transplant the onion now and I'm waaaaay overdue in planting my garlic. I can plant straight in there. I'll keep the onions I planted in the container this summer where they are and hope they don't freeze too hard this winter and just transplant the one from the flower bed. It will finally be able to walk! So, that will be my allum box.
Then I'll have another box 5x1 feet. There I'll transplant the strawberries. Since Dh is digging up our mystery tree near them, I want to get the strawberries out of there quickly. I hope the mystery tree makes it because I suspect that it's a plum or some type of fruit tree. I'd rather move the scraggly oak (and not worry if it makes it) but I see his point that it's more likely to survive the transfer than the oak.
I'll put one row of bricks in between each bed so I don't have to work in the mud. It'll be a tight walking space but I think it will work between those 2 small beds. Including the bricks, those 2 beds equal 4 feet, so I still have 8 feet left for 2 other, bigger beds. If I can get a rain barrell for Christmas I may be ready by spring!
The timer went off for the almond crackers and my computer time! :)
Saturday, October 31, 2009
We had such a great family day that we didn't even really notice that it was Halloween. When we got home the dc watched some TV and middle dd popped some popcorn (in coconut oil). Then dinner and on with our regular routine. Tomorrow we'll celebrate All Saints Day. I'll be searching for a special dessert to make, they'll dress up and we have to guess who they are, make 'spoon saints' (or rather popsicle stick saints) and do a word search and crossword I found at Catholicmom.com. Not very extravagant but something to celebrate this special day and honor these wonderful role models who lived for and gave their lives up for Jesus.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
HOWEVER, we weren't completely pleased with the ending of the last book of the series (sorry Mr. Elmer!!). So the Writing Challenge I've given to my olders is to either write a different last chapter or an additional chapter. Their chapter should have closure and answer some of the questions that we were asking after we finished reading it (we all errupted when the last sentence was read!). I'll be writing one also :). Maybe I'll post them after we finish.
Here is a link to his website. This particular series is OOP, what a shame - it is truly an excellent series (scroll down):
BTW, the AstroKids series is another excellent series by the same author. A great way to introduce the genre of Science Fiction. I usually laugh outloud in at least one place in those books. Unfortunately our library only has the first 4 in the series. We would LOVE to read the others. Youngest dd is reading one that we found at a used book store right now.
I look forward to The Young Underground series and others from this author. Really, I can't recommend Robert Elmer enough.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Apple Sauce and Apple Butter
- 6 apples (2 red delicious, 2 granny smith, 2 gala)
- 1/4 C demerara or rapadura
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1. Peel and dice the apples.
2. Put about 1/2 inch water in a 1-quart pot.
3. Add the diced apples, sugar, and cinnamon to the pot. Cover.
4. Cook on medium heat until the apples are soft; stirring occassionally, approximately 20 minutes.
5. Mash the apples in the pot with a potato masher (it will be a bit chunky but we like chunky apple sauce/butter).
** Now it's apple sauce! Enjoy some in a bowl while you continue on and make apple butter :)
6. Cook with the lid off until all of the water is cooked off and you reach your desired consistency, stirring constantly, approximately 10 minutes.
This recipe made about a quart - it's hard to say exactly because we tasted it at the apple sauce stage and the apple butter stage. For tasting the apple butter I spread it on the crackers from the previous post.
Kelly is hosting this week's Real Food Wednesday Blog Carnival. http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2009/10/real-food-wednesday-blog-carnival-for-102809.html
Visit her link for lots of real food recipe links as part of the carnival.
Barney Frank: "We Are Trying On Every Front To Increase The Role Of Government"
Here is a video clip. He speaks quickly so you have to really pay attention to catch it. Gee, at least he's being honest. If you don't know who Frank is or what he's done in the past he had a major role in the fiasco of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Here it is in a nutshell. I found this synopsis in the Wall Street Journal. It's short and worth the read. Here is a quote from the last paragraph:
"Mr. Frank has had many accomplices from both parties in his protection of Fan and Fred. But he was and is among the most vociferous and powerful..."
And yet, the saga continues. After all that's happened he is STILL pressuring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to loosen its standards for some risky condo loans. This is from this year, after the bail out:
Now back to our regularly scheduled topics... :)
Ack! I killed my sourdough starter! (sob!) Life has been so crazy the last few weeks that it's been neglected on the counter. I keep it on the counter because we make it so often... or rather *made* it so often. The water kefir is not looking so good either. It's probably vinegar right now. I'm off to put on my cape and try to save it before it's tooooo late.
On the upside we just made some non-NT animal crackers for 4-H this afternoon. Since I was so exhausted last night I didn't soak anything and didn't change anything in the recipe today. It is from a children's cookbook called Kinder Krunchies put out by Discovery Toys. It sure would have been easier to grab some crackers off the shelf at the store (sigh) but even though it's not NT I know there are no trans fats, excitotoxins, etc, etc. I quadrupled the recipe.
1. Grind 1/2 C oatmeal in blender until fine. (coffee grinder worked great)
2 tsp honey
1/4 + 1/8 tsp salt
3/4 C flour
1/4 tsp soda
3. Cut in 1/4 C butter
4. Add 4 Tblsp buttermilk
5. Roll very thin. Cut with animal cookie cutters.
6. Bake at 400F until brown (10-12 minutes).
Notes: I didn't have butter milk so I used half yogurt/half milk for the buttermilk portion. The first time we made this, maybe a year ago, we tried using animal cookie cutters and it didn't work very well. I just scored it in squares with a pizza cutter before putting in the oven and that worked really well. Oh, I added a little bit of cinnamon but not enough - you can't taste it.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Some other things that I get regularly at Drug Emporium: palm oil, honey, Clif nectar bars for dc's lunches or on-the-go snacks, Hain's safflower mayonnaise, Fran's Fryers frozen chicken, and my current food-addiction obsession - Boulder Canyon plain potato chips (one of only a few that don't use corn oil). They have better prices on the above items than any other local store.
I was working on 3 meals during dinner prep today-and survived to tell about it!
- Dinner was baked chicken, cauliflower with a bit of cheese melted on top, corn, and brown rice (made with the liquid being 1/2 chicken bone broth and 1/2 saved water from boiling potatoes/beets yesterday - I couldn't throw out that beautiful water after draining them and had saved it!).
I cooked 2 cups brown rice to 4 cups liquid. There was enough rice for 3 meals: side for dinner, arroz con leche (rice pudding) for either breakfast or a snack tomorrow, and egg rolls that have yet to be rolled. I actually looked at the bag today and it has thiamine, niacin, iron, and protein.
- I also browned some chicken for the egg rolls. It's a particular cut from Fran's Fryers that sort of looks like cubed steak. I cut it up small while I'm sauteeing it and it gets nice and crunchy. It reminds the dc of chicken nuggets even though it's not breaded. Right now there is a container in the refrigerator with a mix of rice, this chicken, and cauliflower - strange mix but that was the veggie I had on hand; thus the side of cauliflower with cheese for dinner tonight.
I wanted it to have a bit of sweet/sour flavor and I don't keep any soy sauce in the house. I need to look into fermented soy sauce but I just wouldn't use it enough to justify the expense. Anyway, I put a bit of the mix in a bowl to test it with ketchup and apple cider vinegar. I thought it was good but I like odd things sometimes. Middle dd walked in and I gave her some to try. She wrinkled her nose, tried it, and said she liked it. So, I put ketchup, ACV, salt, and pepper to flavor this egg roll filling. Am I missing something???
- The third dinner I was working on was pre-cooking the elbow macaroni for tomorrow night's mac and cheese in the crockpot. Now if I can only find the recipe...
- Middle dd had put almonds and a banana in the dehydrator yesterday so those got put up this evening.
You know your eating habits have changed when your dc are digging for Box Tops for Education seals for a class competition and they only come up with 2; one from a sandwich bag box and the other from a kleenex box! I feel a little bad that we didn't have more to contribute; nor can we help out with collecting Campbell's labels for education - but I feel really good that we've been able to make some changes in our eating. Not only for my own recovery, but for the children's current and future health. I sure hope we can keep it going!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
I am a firm believer in natural consequences for my children. But you know, sometimes there just isn't one that corresponds directly with their behavior. Overall our dc are obedient, helpful, respectful, loving, playful, and cheerful; but there are times... For those times I have a very loose behavior chart. Mainly, for the olders, I use it for disrespect or not following through with something I've asked them to do (several times). I am not 100% consistent, but the tool is there if I feel it necessary - I guess you could say that I use it intermittently which, from a behavioralist point of view (which I'm really not), is suppose to be the most effective. Montessori purists are perhaps aghast that I would even discuss this! It goes against their natural learning and is imposing, right? I agree. On the other hand, it helps remove me and the child out of a situation which can sometimes be a good thing. So here it is:
There is a simple grid with their name at the top. One of those round magnets is in the block. Each time it is moved down. When it reaches the bottom they loose a priviledge and start all over again. Usually they lose whatever the next fun thing is and a lot of the time it ends up being not watching a TV show or something like that. It just depends on what's going on in life and it's always my perogotive. Yesterday both the olders reached the bottom and coincidentally lost a priviledge at the same time. They lost the treat of having ice cream on the way home today while the youngest (who did NOT loose a priviledge) got one. As we approached the house middle dd said, "Mommy, I'm glad you don't spoil us," so I guess it's not too bad. It may be a week or even a month between priviledge losses but it does help to have that option for us. It removes me, the child, and emotion out of the consequence and moving the magnet will oftentimes help the child check herself and calm down (or focus on responsibilities).
Younger dd's is a little different. She just has a smiley side and a frowny side (are those real words?) with 3 magnets in the smiley column. If she moves all 3 in one day she looses a priviledge. I can't even remember the last time she lost a priviledge.
I hope this works. I uploaded a pdf file to googledocs so you can just print it. Here is the link:
Let me know if this works!
So there are my very un-Montessori, un-natural consequences, negative consequence charts! Fortunately, life is full of natural consequences so it's used sparingly.
Friday, October 23, 2009
We have had the same Multi-Pure water filter for at least 10 years and it still works great. Ours is on the counter by the kitchen sink. It can go under the sink as well but we just use it as is.
Head on over to Kelly's to enter the giveaway (and feel free to tell her where you got the link!).
Not a cooperative group game, I admit :).
I prefer the texture of the yeast-free bread mainly because I've been having trouble with the sourdough rising since the temperature cooled off (my sauerkraut is having a hard time fermenting as well). The sourdough has been a little too dense lately for my personal preference. On the other hand, the sourdough is easier to cut in thin sandwich slices. Middle dd emphatically prefers the sourdough and the other 2 could care less :). The yeast-free bread tasted/cooked exactly the same with soaking as it did without so it's a definite keeper recipe for soaked bread. Both loaves are 2 cups wheat and 1 cup white. We're not at the point of all wheat yet.
Peanuts (that have been soaked to remove the phytates) ready for the dehydrator:
Almonds (also soaked in water with salt to remove the phytates) on another tray ready for the dehydrator:
Monday, October 19, 2009
We actually had time to do shelf-work today :). Keep in mind that it was after Math (45 minutes) , Writing (free writing today!) (30 minutes), Spelling (Spelling Power, very short), and History (worked on their lapbooks at their own pace) (30 minutes). Thus the name Eclectic Living for the blog - our school and lives are eclectic. That said, I really miss the nice long shelf-work times. It really makes a difference when they can get into the groove and have the full 3-hour work period on a consistent basis. Today's only ended up being about 1-1/2 hours (unless you count laundry and lunch prep for practical life!).
Middle dd's first choice was the recorder which I thought was a good choice since she had already been doing brain work. She set a timer for 15 minutes and went to a back room. Then she asked youngest dd to join her with the globe ball. Later she did birds of the world 3-part cards.
Youngest dd chose the scale first and compared weights. She discovered that different combinations of weights can weigh the same. She also drew an incredible picture of some flowers and did the US state puzzle without the guide. The shell rubbing plates from sister's zoology box caught her eye so I moved them to the Topic Table for easier access. She was going to choose from the topic table next but it was time for lunch.
Oldest dd chose the zoology box first. She did the birds of the world 3-part cards for zoology, the globe ball with her sisters, and some theology work (she pulled out a workbook). (I'll add photos tomorrow, I hope)
The time went by so quickly and it was a wonderful school day!
- I'm experimenting with 2 different bread recipes. They just came out of the oven. 1st contestant: our regular sourdough recipe. 2nd contestant: a yeast-free standby recipe that I tried soaking for the first time. It's usually my go-to recipe when I haven't gotten the sourdough going but I may need to nix the sourdough for a while due to some time constraints in our new schedule.
- Pinto beans are in the crock pot although I have no idea what I'm going to do with them. Basically, they are handy to have ready.
- The ever-present almonds are soaking and ready to be made into almond milk (It would wake everyone up now so I just changed the water and will do in the morning).
- I cooked up some pork sausage at dinnertime. 1/4 went into tonight's spaghetti, 1/2 went into little patties for tomorrow's dinner of patties with cream of mushroom sauce served over rice, and 1/4 is ready for another dinner (sausage with rice, some sauteed veggies, and cream of mushroom soup).