About Me

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I am a very lucky woman with a husband and son who are smart, witty and entertaining. Our son, B, attended public school for two years, and then we embarked on a new adventure in the Fall of 2010 - homeschooling. We don't have all the answers, but we know B and this has been the best thing for him. I blog to preserve our stories and our memories, share recipes, vent and ramble on about our crazy, yet blessed, life. Would you care to follow along?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Quick, Easy Chocolate Croissants with 2 Ingredients You Probably Already Have On Hand


Yesterday, I was craving chocolate, so I made some chocolate croissants.  Way easier than making cookies or brownies when you have a can of crescent rolls in the house, leftover from Thanksgiving dinner (I gave myself permission to not make butter rolls from scratch this year and I'm glad I did!).  We usually make chocolate crescents just like the Pillsbury can directs you to make their rolls, only we add some chips to the triangles before rolling them up.  This time, I wanted them to look more like the filled croissants at bakeries.  So fast, easy and delicious!  Here's what you do:

Monday, November 26, 2012

Decking The Halls

Now that Thanksgiving is over, we're Decking our Halls for Christmas.  We did half of our Christmas cards on Saturday (although we won't be mailing them out for another week or two, it's nice to get them done and ready), with the help of family we put the tree and outside lights up yesterday and this morning, B and I have really enjoyed decorating the refrigerator!  I've never decorated the fridge before, but I found this pin on Pinterest earlier in the year and thought it was a great idea.  Unfortunately, I cannot give credit to the original pinner of the idea because the link behind the pin has been removed.  But whoever you are, we are grateful for the inspiration!

We got out the scissors, tape and construction paper, put on the Christmas carols and went to town.  B did everything except the stick arms; I did those.  The hardest part was actually clearing off the refrigerator!  ;o)

Enjoy the rest of your Monday, everyone!  We've definitely set the tone for a festive day here by starting our day off with Frosty the Fridge!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

If an apology begins with, "I'm sorry if...", it's NOT an apology.

I'm so tired of hearing this fake apology from individuals and corporations on the news.  "We apologize if we offended anyone..."  The "if" says you don't believe there is any insult nor wrongdoing on your part so you don't own it.  The "if" puts ownership on the offended.  What you are really saying is, "It's too bad that you are so sensitive to take offense at something I did.  I feel sorry for you and sorry for me that our PR department/my manager is making me apologize to you."

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Jessica Seinfeld's Chocolate Chip Cookies

B woke up yesterday morning and decided he wanted to make chocolate chip cookies.  The hubs and I were still asleep, BTW.  He started looking through my cookbooks to find a recipe. The 4th book he went through was Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious.  She had a recipe for chocolate chip cookies in there and B looked over the ingredients list to see if we had everything.  He found all the ingredients in the pantry except for one - chick peas.  That's right, chick peas.  He had no idea what chick peas were, but he absolutely loved her Sloppy Joes so he was willing to give it a try.

Luckily, at this point, he remembered he is not supposed to use the oven!  He figured he'd mix up the batter and get it all ready for us when we woke up.  How thoughtful of him!  ;o)  But he still didn't know what chick peas were.  So he woke up the hubs and asked if he could get him some chick peas, please.  Imagine the hubs' surprise and confusion, being woken up with that question.  It still doesn't top me being woken up by B at the age of 5 saying, "Mama, my balls are gone."

After going for a lovely late afternoon walk, we came back to the house and B made the cookies.  The same friend who recommended Jessica Seinfeld's Sloppy Joes to us also told me her husband loves these chocolate chip cookies with chick peas.  She is 2 for 2 with her recommendations; these cookies are good!  You don't taste the chick peas at all.  I thought maybe they'd melted during baking, but they didn't; you cans till see them in the cookies.  But they are just soft like the dough and blend in.  No taste difference at all.  I don't know what made Mrs. Seinfeld think to add chick peas, but it works!

Once the chick peas and chocolate chips went in, we had to cover the mixer with a towel to prevent flying chick peas!

Look at that scooping concentration!
YUM!  Can you spot the chick peas?  Only if you know they are there and look for them. Going to try them on my parents this afternoon and not tell them about the chick peas.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My Chicken Noodle Soup Dump Recipe For Kathy


  • Dice up half an onion, 2 carrots, a couple of garlic cloves, and grate at least 1 tsp of fresh ginger. If I have shallots on hand, I'll dice up one of those, too.
  •  Salt and pepper 1/2 of a chicken breast and cook it in a pan with the fat of your choice.  Set aside on a cutting board.
  • Add a little more fat to pan you cooked chicken breast in and then add your onion, carrot, garlic ginger and shallot.  Saute until onions are translucent.  If I have leftover cooked veggies from dinners in the fridge, I add them now and then saute for another minute or two.
  • If you have any spices or herbs you'd like to add for extra flavor, this is the time to do it!  Drop them in with your sauteed veggies and stir to coat and heat them up, releasing their flavors.  I find I get more flavor out of herbs and spices when I add them before liquids then I get when adding them at the end.  Salt and pepper, however, should be added at the end.
  • Add 3 - 4 cups of Kitchen Basics Unsalted Chicken Cooking Stock and bring up to a boil.
  • Once stock and veggies are boiling, add a handful or 2, at the most, of your choice of pasta, turn the flame down so that stock just simmers and cook until the pasta is al dente.  I pick a small pasta, like ditalini, alphabets, mini shells, mini farfalle, orecchiette, or elbows if that's the smallest I have.  You can even break up spaghetti into small pieces.  Add a pasta too big or too much pasta and it will absorb all or most of your stock.
  • While pasta cooks, dice up your chicken breast.
  • When pasta is al dente, turn off the heat, add in your diced chicken breast to warm it back up and taste your broth.  Do you want to add salt and or pepper?  I add both, to my taste.
Depending on how much I serve myself, I get 3 - 4 bowls from this.  If I have a chicken or turkey carcass around, I'll make a pot of stock from that, make a big pot of soup without the pasta, and freeze in quart-size, zip-top bags.  Take out when you are ready to eat, thaw, bring up to boil, toss in your pasta and then simmer until al dente.  Or freeze in gallon-size bags and use when you want to take a family a meal.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Mock Election for Our Homeschool Group and the Hard Lesson B Learned from It


A pretty amazing and smart 6 year old girl in our homeschool group was so interested in the 2012 presidential election, she and her family decided to open a private voting precinct on their front porch so the children could vote!  Isn't that just fabulous?!  The mock election was yesterday and the family even provided an "absentee ballot" option, via Survey Monkey, for those who were unable to vote in person.  Brilliant!

The hubs and I talk about national and world issues regularly and B absorbs it all.  He has formed some pretty strong opinions regarding our country and it's presidents.  He has very strongly believed that his candidate of choice for the 2012 election is the one and only choice for America.  We've actually had to reign him in tell him he cannot exclaim in horror at the sight of bumper stickers and yard signs supporting the other candidate and it is not his duty to try to "enlighten" strangers to the "error" of their choice.  LOL! 

However, when I told B that he was going to participate in a mock election, he actually changed from being one candidate's fan, to a researcher.  He wanted to hear more details of both candidates, their qualifications, their records, their experiences and their promises.  And he came up with one very astute observation: he perceived one candidate to be best for our family and the other candidate best for our country.  Read that sentence again.  My 10 year old figured that out all on his own and was faced with the moral dilemma and burden of which candidate to choose.

I could see that weight on his deflated shoulders as his excitement over this election leaked right out of him.  Oh, how hard it is for a parent to watch your idealistic child smack head-on into reality!  We sat down and talked about it.  I pointed out how intelligent and compassionate he is to not only come to this realization but also heed it!  He is so far ahead of many adults!  It's a tough choice, one we all need to take seriously and weigh and I am so proud of him.

When we went to the polling station yesterday, he actually stood in his voting booth for a long time, wrestling with his decision.  Finally, some more voters arrived and I told him he had to make a choice and move on.  So he did.  After putting his ballot in the box he said he felt nothing but relief.  I'm so proud of my little man and the lesson he learned.  And so grateful to an amazing and smart 6 year old homeschooled girl who made it all possible.




Sunday, November 4, 2012

Chicken and Butternut Squash Lasagna



When I posted about making Sloppy Joes for the first time last month, I mentioned my Chicken Lasagna and said I would post the recipe later that week.  I never did, so I am posting it now.  But I have another reason for posting it.  A friend of mine commented on my blog's Facebook page that she is not adventurous in the kitchen at all.  She follows recipes to a "T" and does not experiment or try to create with what she has on hand.  She doesn't think she would be good at it and worries her family won't like what she makes.  Well, I want to address her and others out there with some "baby steps" to being more adventurous in the kitchen, and the lasagna I made last month is a great example.  So here we go!

My friend, Julia, who is always sharing great recipes, provided me with the following Chicken Lasagna recipe:

Lasagna noodles
2 cups chopped, cooked chicken
8 oz sour cream
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 packet of Good Seasons dry Italian dressing mix
Shredded cheddar cheese

Cook lasagna noodles.  Mix chicken, sour cream, creamed soup and dry dressing mix.  In a 13"x9" pan, put a small amount of sauce on bottom followed by a layer of noodles, a layer of sauce and a layer of shredded cheddar cheese.  Repeat until you have 3 layers.  Bake at 375 for 35-45 minutes.

It's very good and is a great dish to give someone for new baby in the house, recovering from injury, etc.  But 4 years ago, I was inspired by Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious to reduce or eliminate the creamed soup, and I was successful.  I substitute pureed vegetables for 1 or both cans of creamed soup. I've used yellow squash, carrots and pumpkin but the most popular, and the one I used most often, is butternut squash.  I tried it with the canned stuff once, out of curiosity, and it was awful!  Roasting and pureeing whatever vegetable you decide to use yourself is best.  Here's what I do.

Friday, November 2, 2012

What kind of profanity is THAT??

When the hubs and I want to find a detailed movie review to see if it's appropriate for any of us, we go to Kids In Motion.  My friend, Robin, recommended it to me and I have never seen such detailed reviews in my life!  So detailed, they can spoil a movie for you.  However, with a sensitive child, we need to know if there is something in there that would not be OK for B.  As I stated in my review of Disney's Wreck-It Ralph, the cybugs were scary to B, 10 yrs old, but did not bother the 8 yr old who went with us.  I've even used the site for myself.  I have not read The Hunger Games books, but when I heard the plot, I had no desire to not see the movie.  Since becoming a mother, there are certain things I cannot watch in movies and your children being sent off to kill each other is one of them.  But a friend asked if I wanted to see the movie with her so I thought, "Maybe I could handle it; I'll just check Kids In Mind first."  Good thing I did!  Whoa, way too much for my heart!

We are interested in seeing the new Denzel Washington movie, Flight, and I was curious as to what earned it an "R" rating.  I mean, plenty of language, skin, inappropriate humor and violence appear in "PG" and "PG-13" movies nowadays, so what was so "bad" about Flight that I was not getting from the trailer?  I looked it up on Kids In Motion and got all the details.  OK, I get it now.  However, one thing stumped me.  Under the profanity category, this was listed: "...15 scatological terms..."  Huh?!  I asked the hubs, who is much more worldly than me, what it meant and he had no idea.  So I went to my 2nd most asked source - Dictionary.com.  The definition of scatology is "...the study of, or preoccupation with, excrement..."  Sooooo, you mean "shit".  The word "shit" is said 15 times in this movie.

The hubs and I have now learned a new word and have made a commitment to use it instead of it's crass synonym.  :o)

My Review of Disney's Wreck-It Ralph

I was asked to preview and review Disney's Wreck-It Ralph in 3D for Super NOVA Mommy. Go check out my review here!  Have a great weekend, everyone, and if you go see Wreck-It Ralph, let me know what you think.