Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Going Bananas!!

What's Cookin'?

I've had several ideas for my weekly homeschool enrichment D-I-Y class (Do It Yourself) that I teach tomorrow but nothing was really jumping out at me... well, actually one was but it may be too fiddly for them to tie so many knots to make this rug.

As I was winding down and looking through the links on a real food blog roll I saw a banana dessert and an idea did indeedy jump out at me.  Tomorrow we'll talk about all of the different ways to eat bananas and make a few of them.

How many ways can you think of to eat bananas?

~ fresh (or like a monkey as my dc used to say when they were little)

~ sliced and sautéed in butter with cinnamon sprinkled over it

~ baked in the oven until soft (again with cinnamon on it)

~ rolled up in a crepe with... cinnamon(!)... and maybe even homemade whipped cream.

~ wrapped in a tortilla with peanut butter

~ in a banana split

~ sliced in a bowl with honey drizzled on it

~ banana cream pie

~ banana bread or muffins

~ sweet banana chips (slice thinly and fry in oil like potato chips)

~ Dehydrated banana slices (my kids LOVE these!)

~ frozen~

~ banana pancakes

These are just some of the zillion ways to eat bananas!

Now, let's extend it to plantains!

~ Platanos fritos

~ salty banana chips (again, slice thinly and fry in shortening like potato chips)

My grandmother used to have to harvest the bananas green and keep them in a storage shed or else they would all get stolen off of the trees.  I don't remember that but my mom told me the story.  So, it's not as weird as we think to harvest them green before getting them to the stores.


Class went really well.  Me made 2 cooked recipes and 2 fresh recipes.

~ Steamed in a pan on the stove with just a little water and a lid

~ Baked

~ Banana pudding

~ Sliced and wrapped in tortillas with peanut butter and honey

The children really seemed to be enjoying it.  Fortunately our class is right before lunch and the kitchen area bumps up against their lunch room so they can just take their DIY snacks straight to lunch!

Friday, April 18, 2014

You know you're in Texas when....

You know you're in Texas when you come across this sign... and it's for real! :)
[And yes, there were people washing their horses - but not on the sidewalk!]

Happy Easter Weekend and Blessings to All!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Deal Alert: Oral Wellness

What's Savin'?
(Yes, these subtitles can be a little lame sometimes, lol, but at least I'm thematic!)

I'm keeping it posted, though, so we'll be ready and will update and repost when the sale is open again.]

Oral Wellness is having a 21% sale on Thursday, April 17, 2014 - One day only.  The code word is ANNIVERSARY.

I'll be getting the 3 pack of the HealTHY mouth essential oil drops.  Shipping for 3 bottles is about $3.95 (according to an e-mail - they were fast to respond, by the way).  It will end up being about $13 per bottle.  That is a great deal.

[Their website was having trouble Wed night before the sale but hopefully it will be up and running by tomorrow morning.]

[I am NOT affiliated with Oral Wellness... I'm just passing along a good deal.]

Biome Globe

What's Schoolin'?

I alluded to this idea in this Biome post and here is the how-to and pictures.  Forgive the blurry pics - it's hard to tell if something is in focus with my bifocals!

I used Liesl's Biome map as my control for making the Biome Globe.  You can see it in the photo.  We've used it for years (thanks, Liesl!!).  It is laminated and rubber cemented to foam board for a pin map.  I always use strapping tape around the edges of my pin boards to secure them better.

We happened to just use our old land/water globe to make our Biome Globe.  It would've come out a lot smoother without the sand :).

Oh!  My daughter actually painted it as an extension of her biome studies.


Monday, March 31, 2014

High School Logic

What's Schoolin'?

This is not about a high schooler's logic, but rather about a Logic course for high schoolers :).  Actually, my high schoolers are very logical, for which I'm very grateful!

My senior is getting .5 credit on her transcript for Logic.  We decided to use the Logic: Fallacies and Paradoxes class from Homeschool Connections, an online course.  We subscribe to the recorded classes so any or all of my children can do any or all of the recorded classes for one monthly fee.  It is very affordable, relatively speaking for online classes, and offers the flexibility of doing what we want when we want. The teacher of this particular course teaches Philosophy at Benedictine College and she enjoyed the 6 hour class very much.

The recommendation for the online course was a 1/2 semester credit (or .25 of a full credit).  To bring it up to .5 she is doing 6 more hours of Logic work on her own using The Fallacy Detective.  She notes her start/stop time.  We chose this instead of the 12 hour course that would have counted for the full .5 that we wanted.

So, there you have it!  A pain-free logic course :).... And no, I'm not affiliated with Homeschool Connections at all - I just wanted to share what is working for us.  I should note that the recorded courses are recordings of the class webinar sessions, not just recordings of lectures, so there may be some pauses and you can hear other students' responses, etc from the original course.

So far we have only used the SAT prep course and this Logic course.  I plan on having my high schoolers go through some of the writing classes, even if they don't do the assignments, to make sure we don't have any gaps.  They are strong writers but my senior may try to CLEP out of College Composition to lighten her load next year.  We are also going to do one of the Spanish classes asap.  Latin is in our near future as well...

There may be affiliate links in this post. Your cost remains the same but I may get a small referral fee. That never affects my recommendations.


What's Green?

Homemade dryer sheets:

Soap making 101:

What's Cookin'?

[I just updated with this recipe] French Toast Sausage Casserole (Mmmm.  Uses cooked sausage links, bread, eggs, milk]:

English Muffins recipe (I can't wait to try it...):

We used this cherry pie for daughter's St. Gregory the Great celebration.  She made the pie using Wholesome brand pie crusts, 1/4 C flour, and 2 cans of drained cherries: 

Raspberry Oatmeal Bars (uses 1/2 C jam).  Simple.  Easy.

Sweet potatoes in orange sauce (need to get: 4 sweet potatoes; 1 apple; 1 C orange juice)

I love that we can make homemade marshmallows (who knew??).  Here is another recipe:

I'm intrigued with this homemade breath freshener idea:

Juicing 101 post:

Coconut Trailmix Cups [I will probably sub the coconut butter for real butter and use coconut for the melted oil]

Another tortilla recipe:

Article about coconut oil and brain function:

Essential oil blend for menstrual cramps (using a roll-on)(I may put Pan Away in some oil in a roll-on or in distilled water in a spray bottle; or use Deep Relief):

My Young Living distributor number is 1634316 in case you would like to purchase directly from Young Living.  Give me a holler for a 10% blog discount through April, 2014.  The easiest way is to post a message in any post - they are moderated and I will get it quickly.

There are Amazon affiliate links on this blog.  Your price stays the same but I may receive a tiny commission if you go to Amazon through any links.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Deal Alert: Primal Pit Paste

What's Green?

[Note:  This sale only lasts until Jan 29, 2014 11:59 PM EST]

[Another Note:  I am in no way affiliated with this company.  I am simply sharing this info about a product that I have tried have enjoyed.]

Primal Pit Paste uses only safe ingredients in its deodorants and other products.  I got their Body Whip when they had a sale around Christmas and I absolutely love it!  I actually like it better than my plain virgin coconut oil that I've been using for years for my face cream.  The children have used it on their dry winter skin and really like it.  I got the sample tiny jar of deodorant and it didn't work as well as my homemade version so I'll hold off on getting that until the "strong" is in a stick (since I already have my own for home, I only need a stick for travel).


In their newsletter that I just got yesterday they announced the following:

Buy 2 Pucker Paste and get 1 free
Buy 1 Body Whip and get 2nd one 50% off
Buy 1 Primal Pit Paste STICK and get 2nd one 50% off

The sales didn't show up on the homepage but it took it off when I put some in my cart to verify it before posting.  Double check your totals before confirming your order just to make sure.

[One last note:  I am, however, an Amazon affiliate so if you miss the sale you can find it at these links below as well - or at this page - and I'll get a few cents.]

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Chicken Spaghetti

What's Cookin'?

Well, not much, actually, since I'm not in my own kitchen!  However, I made this the other night and the children loved it.  I didn't actually measure while I made it so I'm guessing approximate quantities :).

What makes this so easy is having the chicken cooked ahead of time.   The chicken can be boiled or baked - a great use for leftovers!


- 1 pre-cooked chicken breast, shredded in big chunks or diced however you like it.  Mine was huge.  Use 2 if they are regular-sized (Sprouts had boneless/skinless on sale for $1.69/pound). Approximately 2 cups of diced chicken.  You could use 2 cans of chicken if you wanted, but I recommend fresh.

- 2 "cans" of cream of something soup.  I avoid MSG so I suggest either making your own or getting a clean brand.  Again, not at home, so I use Pacific Organic Cream Of Mushroom Soup and Pacific Organic Cream of Chicken Soup .  I used one of each but will only use 2 of the cream of mushroom next time.

- 2 ribs of organic celery, diced.

- 1/2 onion, diced.

- 1 package of preferred spaghetti noodles (12-16 oz)(these could be regular, gluten-free, etc).

- 8 oz shredded cheese.  I've been using Tillamook because it's hormone-free.  You can get the 2 pound block at Wal-Mart for less than $9.  One block lasts me about 2 weeks (depending on what we're eating that week).  I usually get 2 blocks per month.

- Approximately 1/2 cup water to thin the soups.


Cook the noodles al dente and drain.  Don't overcook because they will be going into the oven later.

While the noodles are cooking, sauté the onions and celery in a small saucepan with plenty of real butter.  [When they were done I added the drippings from the chicken pan.  If you do that, omit the water in the recipe.]

Mix the 2 soups, the diced onion/celery, and the water/drippings in a bowl and mix well.

Pour the mixture into the cooked, drained noodles and mix well.  Add the diced chicken and mix again.  Add the shredded cheese last and mix again.  Pour immediately into a 9x12 baking dish.

Topping:  You could reserve a bit of the cheese for a topping.  I toasted 2 pieces of bread to make some quick bread crumbs and sprinkled it on top before baking.  Oldest daughter especially liked that touch.

Bake at 350F for approximately 20 minutes, covered (until bubbly).  Remove cover and bake another 10 to firm it up a bit.

To freeze:  You could freeze before baking or after.  I would freeze before for a ready freezer meal, but I froze 1/2 the casserole after baking as leftovers.

Serve with a fresh salad and a smile :)

Servings:  This recipe made 2 full meals for 5 people (and my kiddos had seconds!).

This recipe is a part of Real Food Wednesday

This post has some affiliate links that may possibly generate a few cents income.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Back online!

Wow... It's been quite some time since I've even been able to check my own blog!  I've been out of touch since November 8th (to be exact!).  That's the day our house closed and we moved in with my mom.  My husband got a router and hooked it up this weekend so now I'm back in the saddle :).  Right now I'm letting my olders sleep in to hopefully keep them well for the SAT this Saturday.  Since we've moved out of our house they are constantly fighting off something or
catching something (sigh!!).

Here are some goodies:

100% Pure has free shipping on all orders right now.  I recently got some nail polish and some creamstick (lipstick) from them when they had a great sale.  I haven't tried the nail polish yet, but the creamsticks are good:

Chronological History Reading List.  This is so, so awesome:

I can't wait to have a minute to delve into this.  This blog has Western Civilization/World History/World Literature/British Literature/British History/Classics/I've run out of tag words but it has a lot.  I wish I had seen it before doing Dante - I skimmed that section and there are some online resources [Of course that was the middle of our move so I'm thrilled to have gotten through it at all!]

Sourdough Bierocks and Empanadas [I will try without the sourdough starter since I'm not at home and it should work great with fresh milk]

Homemade hand sanitizer:
[I'd like to know more about whether the dosage of 30-40 drops for the amt of ingredients is strong enough to work...]
Here's another:

I cannot wait to try this chocolate cheesecake recipe - mmmm!

I know I just posted this link but when I re-opened up my blog page this jumped out at me and it was the same day I got online to search for how to get a bunch of coconut oil out of my daughter's clothes.  Ha, didn't remember that I had linked it myself!  I went to the link and have the jeans running in the wash right now.  First I just dusted it with baking soda.  The jeans had already sat for several days and I didn't have access to my mom's laundry machines at the time.  So, I dusted them and they had to sit for 2 more days.  Today I finally have access so they are in the washer after having been rubbed with dish soap.

Caramel Coloring may have cancer causing 4-methylimidazole, or 4-MEI.  Consumer Reports found it in sodas.  I wonder if they will check other foods with caramel coloring.

I'm considering selling Young Living Essential Oils.  Anyone sell it and have feedback for better or worse regarding selling them?  Please answer me offline (or if it's just a positive you could comment below).  Actually, since all comments are moderated you could post a comment either way and it will just go private.  Thanks!

Also, a big thank you to any that have gone through my Amazon affiliate links while I've been in no-man's land.  I earn a few cents through those purchases and really appreciate it.

It's so good to be back!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Free Montessori 3-Part Cards

What's Schoolin'?

Liesl has shared these wonderful cards that she has made.  I have her biome map laminated and on foam board for a pin map and for a control for other works.  We had it out the other day as a control for a biome globe.  I took pictures and hope to put them up soon.