Thursday, April 23, 2009

Still here

I'm still here, it's been a beautiful and busy spring, and I've just been spending time with my kids outside instead of typing here at the computer. I have a ton of stuff that I've been putting together to talk about. Earth day yesterday was very inspiring, so I'll be talking about all the projects the kids and I have been working on.

I found new recipes, and new recycling ideas, I finally started sewing the teddy bear for my nephew...yes I said nephew. My brother and his wife are having a boy!! I'm super excited and I'm trying not to be an over bearing opinionated auntie. I'm sewing this bear by hand, but I think from here on out I"ll be using the sewing machine. I have to get my husband to set it up in a place where it will be a permanent yet out of the way fixture.

So, here's one recipe for today to tide you over until I get to post this again. Was a vegetarian hit with the whole family and it circled around the ever cheap potato.

Potato Casserole:
3 boiled large baking/russet potatoes
6 cloves of thinly sliced garlic
1/2 vegetable broth
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
cheese to taste -- try parmesan, mozerrella, swiss
butter or butter substitute

  • Oil baking dish
  • Slice cooked potatoes thinly.
  • Layer potatoes, then garlic, then cheese, then butter, and repeat until you run out.
  • Poor milk and broth over everything.
  • sprinkle top with breadcrumbs and any extra cheese or butter
  • Cook at 375 for an hour or until top is golden

    This recipe could easily be made vegan by using vegan butter, and vegan cheese, and soymilk. Enjoy!
  • Thursday, April 9, 2009

    Eggplant day

    One of my son's favorite recipes for eggplant. He loves the vegetable, loves the name, loves that it's purple. What more can I say? ;)

    Eggplant Tomato Casserole
    1 large eggplant
    1 1.2 tsp. salt
    2 eggs beaten
    2 tbs.melted butter
    1/2 onion chopped
    1/2 tsp organo
    1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
    2 tomatoes sliced (or a whole package of cherry tomatoes cut in 1/2)
    1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

    Preheat oven to 375

    Peal and slice eggplant. Put eggplant in a pan with about an inch of boiling water and cover tightly. Cook 10 minutes on high heat, and drain. Mash eggplant and mix in the eggs, melted butter, pepper, onion, oregano and breadcrumbs.

    Butter a shallow, baking dish. Cover the bottom with half of the tomato slices. Spoon in all the eggplant mixutre and spread evenly. Arrange the rest of the tomato slices on top. Mix together the cheeses and sprinkle over the top layer of tomatoes. Sprinkle paprika on top and bake for 45 minutes.

    Recipe altered from The Vegetarian Epicture, by Anna Thomas Check other blogs at the Thursday Recipe Swap.

    Tuesday, April 7, 2009

    Trying homeschooling

    So, after doing a ton of research, I wanted to do a test run of working one on one with my kids homeschooling style. This week is perfect for us to do a little bit because my son is on spring break from school. Last summer, I worked with my son a lot on stuff that I thought he was behind on, specifically penmanship. He got so much better, that we were able to move on to beginning addition, and even counting money.

    When he began kindgarten this year, he tested first grade level in everything, and his math skills were almost second grade level. Despite my efforts, they kept him in kindergarten instead of putting him in first grade because he has behavioral/social issues. He's just high energy in my book.

    So this morning, we did some worksheets I found online, more of a continuation to what he's already doing in school. We worked on money, addition, subtraction, and graphing. This afternoon, we'll be doing some science, talking about plants, plant parts and such. I love doing this with him. I love spending time with him, and discovering things with him. I looked forward to this week having him home. I miss him while he's at school.

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    We even got little sister in on the act. Working on her letters and letter sounds this morning was alot of fun. She resisted it at first, but with alot of positive reinforcement, she began enjoying working on her letters. She did really well for her first time, tracing the letters. Even talked about beginning sounds of the words and matching them up with the right letters.

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    My fear of homeschooling is the commitment, and the responsibility of messing my kids up. I love sitting down with them, and I think that every child benefits from this kind of interaction from their parents. I have my degree in music education, and I think if I have a curriculum to go by, or a map of the year, I'd be ok. I want to take the leap, but for me it's really scarey. I've seen homeschooling go really well, and I've also seen it go really wrong. More soon!

    Monday, April 6, 2009

    Manic Monday

    How often do you change your toothbrush? Once every 3 months

    What is your favorite item of clothing to shop for? Dresses for my daughter

    Do you use social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)? Yes

    Which do you use most often? Facebook

    Saturday, April 4, 2009

    Shopping Bags

    So one of the easiest things you can do to lesson your carbon footprint is to not use grocery store bags. I'm sure you've heard this by now and if you don't have your own bag to bring yet, I'll give you some easy ideas to get you on the boat. If you need to know why you should get on this boat, I suggest you check out this list here.

    First, the bag I use is one from Ikea. They are the dimpa beach bags, which I searched their website and didn't find, but I did find these cuties. Anyway, I purchased them on a wim, and I'm really glad I did. I have three of these nifty bags. The only thing I find annoying about them is that because they're so big, I feel the need to fill them to the max when I'm shopping, and that can get really heavy.

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    If your a sewing type, I found these Morsbags. She gives us an easy tutorial on how to sew your own bags from fabric you already have around the house. I have issues even looking at my sewing machine right now, and one project that I've been procrastinating to get started. When I finally get brave enough to sit down and sew the bear, I'll make a bag and of course share the outcome.

    Another link I found was at tipnut. They have all kinds of patterns out there from knitting, crochet, and sewing. So whatever you can do, I'm sure there's a pattern for you here.

    If you need reasons to use, a place to search for kinds out there, has a variety of things for you to look at. You can also check out Reusable

    I hope I've planted some ideas for you to try for Earth Day, it is coming soon!!

    Friday, April 3, 2009

    Friday Pizza and other things

    So, I talked about my cheap pizza deal, and my first shot last weekend of making pizza wasn't too terrible. Tonight's was alot better, but I didnt' take a picture of that one, so you guys get to see last weeks. ;)

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    So today's pizza looked much better. You can see in this pic, I put some onions on 1/4th of the pie. That was my side. ;) Today I put mushrooms and onions, and taught the kids a new word. Escapee! Because they would find tidbits of my mushroom and onions and say...Mom! Escapee!!

    As for the cookout I went to, I had a total blast. Was a bunch of my friends from high school finally getting together after such a long time, and it was truly like being where I belonged. I had such a great group of friends, guys and girls who were some of the best friend's a person could ask for. Seeing them last weekend, and just being accepted for who I am was so tremendous. Seeing their kids, seeing their kids play with my kids. great.

    So, being the barbeque and me not eating meat, I brought my own burgers. I looked for recipes online but I ended up coming up with my own, and it was really good.

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    I took a picture of everything I put in it, wrapped it up on foil and brought it with me. Popped it on the grill in the foil, and tossed it in a bun when I was done. They smelled really good, so alot of my friends were asking what it was. Some turned their noses up, saying they didn't like mushrooms. I do, and that's what matters, and it was good, and way healthier then a hamburger.

    So for the breakdown of my recipe, clean the mushroom and remove the stem. A dash of soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil. I sprinkled some ground ginger on it, put a bay leaf on top. It would have been really good had I cut up a clove of garlic and sprinkled some dry red peppers on it for a kick. Just some ideas. It's hard to mess these up, and it was SO good!

    Anyway, happy Friday to all!


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