Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chore Chart

I used this template from Donna Young's site to make a document for my own use.  I liked the format but it wasn't typable (is that a real word??).

Her original:

For my chart I will change the font colors for kitchen duty, bathroom duty, and pets/M's helper to match their names that I will type in the top right corner.  That way their daily rotating duties will be color coordinated with their names.  The chores in the "everybody" column will remain in black.  The second page will be separate... maybe near the bathroom mirror or inside their bedroom doors??

An aside:  all three dc help out on laundry day; Sundays have a different cycle [I tried not rotating it for a day of rest but it wasn't working out and was less peaceful than just alternating Sunday responsibilities]; I have the zones posted separately (on an index card that I tape in a prominent place in the kitchen) which rotate by week.

This is the first year for dd-9 to be in the rotation - we added the Pets/M's Helper chore category so we can rotate evenly.

My file as a .doc:

My file as .odt:

And as a pdf:


Fudgesicles ~ Art History Link

What's Cookin'?

Homemade Fudgesicles:  This is so easy that you'll wonder why you haven't done it before... I sure wondered why I hadn't!!

Step 1: Make chocolate pudding.
Step 2: Freeze in popsicle molds or paper cups with a spoon in it.
Step 3:  Enjoy!

Now, here's the tricky part:  Don't use boxed pudding to make the chocolate pudding.  Seriously, it takes almost the exact amount of time to do it from scratch.  Personally, I don't use the recipes that require egg yolk because of the extra step; however, you may want the extra protein.  I also do not use cornstarch so I just use white flour instead for this splurge.  There are many chocolate pudding recipes online.  I mix the following in a small pot and stir constantly over medium heat until it bubbles or thickens:

4 Tablespoons Cacao
5 Tablespoons Rapadura
5 Tablespoons white flour (really about 4-1/2)
2 Cups milk (I mix in 1/2 C until smooth and then another 1/2 C until all is added)
1/8 teaspoon Real Salt (only if using UNsalted butter)(I have started buying unsalted butter so I can control the salt in it and use Real Salt)

After it has thickened mix in 1-1/2 Tablespoons Butter.

That's it!  Now you have wonderful chocolate pudding to use for fudgesicles or... chocolate pudding :)

The dc enjoyed it this afternoon during the super hot weather (dh says it's so hot the birds are wearing oven mitts!).  It got 3 thumbs up (it would've been 6 thumbs up but they were holding it with the other hand).  I asked them to compare it to a commercial fudgesicle and they said it was creamier, didn't melt as fast, and tasted like pudding.

This recipe is part of Kelly's Real Food Wednesday:

What's Schoolin'?

Here is a great link for Art History, Art Appreciation, or for individual artists or artist studies:


There are also some great music cards for shelf work on that site.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Montessori Scope and Sequence

What's Schoolin'?

Montessori Scope and Sequence Links:



Scroll down for a list of links (thanks, Daisy, for this webpage!):


This has cool links to photos or presentations:


Here is the one from above for the overall scope/sequence for all grades:



Divided by Periods:

What's Cookin'?

Trust me... you don't really want to know (that means I don't really know!).  My list of possible meals this week are:  Homemade pizza on Afgan flatbread; quiche; chicken soup (made with leftovers and chicken bones I got over the weekend from my freezer that's in my mom's garage - I'll make the bone broth, then take out the bones and add in leftovers); lumpias (real lumpias with ground pork and cooked cabbage but in egg roll wraps).  That's it.  We move to another rental in 3 days so I don't want to get very many groceries.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

"Homeschoolroom" Pictoral Inspirations

We don't even have our house yet, much less an organized schoolroom, so these are certainly not from me!  As I was looking online for inspiration I thought I would share a few finds.  There are lots of wonderful Montessori schoolroom blogs with ideas for youngers.  I will post a few of those.  I'm struggling with how I want it to look/work for older students (youngest is 4th; oldest is 10th) while maintaining the free choice shelf work aspect.  It will be out in the open (as opposed to a separate school room as it was in our old house) so I would love for it to look nice as well.

The dc will have desks in their rooms to stay (somewhat) organized but we'll come together in the "dining" room for the most part; although they've always been free to work wherever they please for independent work - even outside.  Also in that "dining" area we'll have some type of shelving/storage for shelf work.  It's the dichotomy of wanting the works to be visible but not wanting the works to be visible ;).  The geography works are the most challenging because our pin maps are oversized.  I've been window shopping for several weeks and it's been fun dreaming. 




Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What We *really* Ate

There are some great menus out there.  This is not one of them.  This is the translation of great plans and ideals into real life under less than ideal circumstances.  We're still living out of suitcases and boxes in a rental (I'm so grateful for the rental we have!!).  We have about 1-1/2 weeks in this rental before we move to another rental.

Sometimes we look at all of the awesome ideas, routines, lifestyles, and how-tos online and unwillingly fall into discouragement.  I thought I would post reality to encourage someone out there - ha, maybe even myself! - that it's okay.  Do what you can when you can however you can.

Bob's Red Mill 7 Grain Hot Cereal:  I soaked it the night before with the recommended amount of water and some whey.  In the morning I poured off the water and put back in the same amount of fresh water (like soaking rice).  I tossed in a bone from the freezer that I had saved to make bone broth for some added minerals and calcium.  After it was cooked I put a pat of butter and a small handful of blueberries in each serving.  Wow.  Wow.  Delicious and no sugar crash-and-burn; just a good feeling of energy.

[Youngest dd dictated this section to me word for word!]
Corn Dogs - "Good Edible Stuff":  My mom made homemade corn dogs and boy, were they good!  I hope she makes them again.  They were fantastic.  They were nice and mushy with the hot dogs in them.  My mom didn't have a stick so she made them like a pizza.

I used Bob's Red Mill gluten-free cornbread mix and poured it over small sections of Applegate's hot dogs that I had gotten for the 4th of July as a special treat (I froze the extras already cut).  I then cooked them in my mom's Express 101 electric cooking thing (there's a story there!)(I am not recommending that contraption 'cuz it's teflon covered but it's really helping us out right now).

No-name nourishment:  Leftover frozen mashed sweet potatoes (3 cups); 2 peeled, diced, boiled, and mashed beets; 1/4 pound leftover frozen diced stew meat.  I put all of this in a baking dish; covered; and heated it through.  We ate it with Jacob's crackers/butter and watermelon.  Odd combo but satisfying, nourishing, and satiating.  The touch of humor was needing to use a frying pan to serve the watermelon. :)

I had 2 scrambled eggs early before running a before-breakfast errand; the dc had, yes, boxed cereal (sigh) - Cascadia Farms organic O cereal (extrudiated, so major compromise food).

Bob's Red Mill 7 Grain Hot Cereal:  I wanted it for lunch because it was so good the day before.  When I asked if anyone wanted any all 3 dc shouted out, lol.  Unconventional lunch but it was good.  One dd and I used blueberries and the other 2 added raisins.  Yes, I threw a bone in there again while it was cooking for the goodies.

Spaghetti:  I used 1/2 pound grass-fed beef and some diced bell pepper/onion.  To that I just added a can (ugh) of organic tomato sauce with lots of Real Salt.  It was...okay.  I overcooked the noodles, bleh.  For sides we finished that watermelon and had yogurt with blueberries and a salad.  I was thrilled to find organic carrots at the local Wal-Mart for less than $1 for a pound bag.

Me and oldest dd: eggs.  Other dc boxed organic cereal (ugh).

We ate at a local small-business sandwich shop.  I shamelessly ate a pulled pork sandwich without grilling them about their pork source.  Usually I only order pork at Chipotle (read this, here is a small quote: "Today, in addition to all of our pork and all of our chicken in the US, more than 50 percent of our beef is raised in this way. And someday soon, all of the meats we serve will be naturally raised."). A kid's taco kit at Chipotle is just right for me.  I'll miss knowing it's nearby for those emergency meals on the run (not that we went often but the 4 times a year it sure was nice!).

Crackers and cheese:  I had a bit of sliced cheddar from the freezer (Minerva Cheese) that I defrosted and served with some Pita Crackers.

Leftover cooked grass-fed rump roast from the freezer; mashed potatoes (organics from Wal-Mart for $3.50 with plenty left over); and peas.  One dd hasn't been feeling great so I made a meat broth by shredding some of the roast and simmering it in a little water.  Then I poured off the liquid and gave her that.  She ended up with seconds and also ate seconds of the potatoes :).  She felt much better.

Soaked Bob's Red Mill cooked with a bone from the freezer (pastured pork chop bone) for added nutrients.
[Olders had a piece of Ezequiel Sprouted 7 Grain bread with butter before running an early errand with dh and had the hot cereal when they got home]

Me: A quasi-chicken salad with 2 hard boiled eggs, 1/2 mango, Hain's safflower mayo, Real Salt, a dash of Italian Herb vinaigrette, and some leftover chicken.  It boosted me out of my fatigue almost immediately.  Then I had a small bowl of organic Kettle potato chips (sigh).
Dc: Sandwiches with leftover chicken or roast on Ezekiel bread with mayo; nice and thick potato soup; lots of mango; plain yogurt (youngest dd put mango in hers).

Tacos (sort of):  the leftover 1/2 lb of grass-fed ground beef that I had cooked with pepper and onion; fresh cilantro; sour cream (Daisy brand); cheddar cheese (regular store brand cheddar); lettuce, and organic salsa (maybe the Target brand?) served on pita bread :).  We ate some applesauce on the side also.

I guess I can't conveniently skip writing a meal if I'm being truly honest with this food log, so... Dh offered donuts for breakfast this morning.  2 dc took him up on it and 1 dc ate a hard boiled egg (by choice!).  I had a hard boiled egg (with a tiny bit of mayo) for protein and a bowl of Back to Nature sweetened wheat-fuls.

Applegate ham on Ezekiel bread w/ Hain's mayo; sauerkraut; pears; raw carrot; some Jason's crackers.

A handful of kettle potato chips (no canola/corn oil) each (okay, I had 2 handfuls - my weakness) as dinner was cooking.

Leftover-filled egg rolls/lumpias:  My dc love anything cooked up in an egg roll and they are all called lumpias (my apologies to any Filipinos who know what a lumpia *really* is... I try to make those too!).  I threw the following leftovers in a big bowl:  mashed potatoes, a teeny tiny bit of roast and chicken, and some frozen peas.  I put little scoops on the egg roll wraps and added a tiny piece of cheddar cheese.  Then I rolled them and fried them in virgin sunflower oil (trying to stay away from canola - major GE crop - and don't have my coconut oil).  For dipping I tried the vinaigrette I have and also mixed (in another bowl) mayo and ketchup for the dc.  We ate 20 and 2 are left for the freezer.

I missed a few days that I was going to include.  Basically we had scrambled eggs one morning and (again) Back to Nature's version of shredded wheat another.  For lunch, despite great plans of bean and cheese melts using homemade soaked/cooked beans from the freezer, we just had the regular sandwiches and sides.  We're having those bean/cheese melts for breakfast today.  For dinner we had pancakes from the Bob's Red Mill package served with butter and local honey.  Oldest dd made those for us and the dc really liked them.  We tripled the batch and it was just barely enough for 5 people.

If you've actually read this "menu" I'm quite impressed, lol!  Hopefully it will give some encouragement seeing how I try, yet stumble, yet keep trying to give my family nourishing food during our transition.  Who am I kidding?  The transition is the excuse - I haven't ever had it all together :).

This is part of Real Food Wednesday:

Monday, July 18, 2011

Free Online Lesson Planner

What's Schoolin'?

Free Online High School Courses:

Lesson Planner:

Here is a free online lesson planner that worked really really well for me... when I used it :).


It worked great with the way I plan units, Montessori presentations, or teacher directed lessons. I liked it better than the the basic (free) Homeschool Tracker due to its flexibility and ease of use.  Setting up the courses the first time takes a while as you learn and input.  The following years it was pretty quick to set up new courses.

A few quirks:
I don't care about the times and didn't use it for a schedule, but I DID want the courses printed in the weekly schedule in order of presentation.  Well, it alphabetizes when you print them all out for the week (within each day) so to solve this problem, when you name your course start with the number.  For example, I named math:  1.Math; 2.Writing, etc. If you use scheduled times when you set up the courses this may not be an issue.

You can print by the month, week, or day.  You can print out an assignment sheet for each child as well.

You can use it to keep records of what the child DID instead of planning.

You can plan each subject out as far as you want independently of the others.  This was the major selling point for me.  I don't plan weekly well.  When I'm on a roll with a topic I want to keep going.  Others I tried wanted me to plan each subject for the week.  That's not how my mind works; especially since I don't really follow many curr with just inputing page numbers.  I have to actually write what we'll do or at least the materials. 

If you skip school one day (field trip, illness, etc) you can push everything forward, which is nice.  However, if you just want to push one subject forward because you didn't get to it, you can't.  Maybe it's improved since then.  I am looking forward to checking on that aspect and trying it again this year.  Remember:  It's free!

Some more free online planners:



Years ago when I looked through millions of lesson planning (software and/or online) I found and liked this one.  They even had a conference call with me and led me through it:
What's Cookin'?

Free samples from Bragg's:

Here are some bone broth links:


I have *got* to get my hands on some bison bones!  I can't afford the meat but maybe some bones.  That's what I do with organic free range chickens - I just get the bones instead of the meat.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Big Lots Food Finds and Some School Finds

What's Cookin'?

Simple Sides:  Boiled tiny potatoes from the farmers market and boiled diced beets.  Lots of butter and some Real Salt.  Several dc went back for seconds.

Emergency Dinner:  We came in at 5:30 and I was fatigued.  It was time to pull a rabbit out of a hat.  Olive oil ('cuz that's the only oil I have right now) and butter in a skillet; add a bag of frozen oriental veggies; add about 2 cups of pre-cooked/pre-cut frozen chicken leftovers and heat all on medium.  When it's all heated through sprinkle in some flour (we overdid it with about 3 tablespoons!) and a bunch of milk (until it's runny because it will thicken noticeably).  Bring it to a low boil and add more milk as needed to keep it the consistency of gravy.  The only seasoning I have is Real Salt right now so I generously gave the family some trace minerals as I added some Real Salt.  From the freezer to the table in less than 30 minutes.  Okay, giving credit where credit is due:  Middle dd stirred it, after I tossed it all in the pan, and kept an eye on it until it was time to make the gravy in the pan.

Big Lots:  If you have a Big Lots in your area you may be surprised by some of the food items.  Bob's Red Mill flours.  Yep.  Here is what I got and remember, no shipping!
Organic High Fiber Pancake and Waffle whole grain mix - $3.50
7 Grain Hot Cereal - $3.00
Gluten Free Cornbread Mix - $2.45

I hesitated to get the cornbread mix because corn is such a BIG genetically modified crop and it was not organic.  However, I found this on their website which puts my mind at ease.  Unfortunately, since it's a mix it'll be a compromise because I can't soak the corn in lime.  Hopefully I can eat a little without any consequences due to the mold/toxins/mycotoxins that get neutralized after soaking corn in lime water overnight.  The truth is, I probably wouldn't have soaked it anyway because my pickling lime is in my mom's garage somewhere...

"Are your products genetically modified?
No. All of our products come from identity preserved seeds. This means the seed planted in the ground is non-GMO. We simply can't guarantee against cross pollination due to natural occurrences such as wind drift, so we do not label our products GMO-free."

I can soak the 7 Grain Hot Cereal for tomorrow, but the Pancake and Waffle mix already has baking powder in it.  I wonder:  Would it change the pH or would it just fizzle out and not give it rise?  I could always add more baking powder in the morning but I'm not sure what it would do to the soaking since it is already in there.  Another compromise.  Yes, ideally, just make the pancakes from scratch (or simply not eat it). However, I haven't found plain whole wheat flour in the stores around here yet and I wanted to do give them a treat in the midst of the transition.

I think what I'll do is try to get some bone broth in them any way I can.  I may even toss a bone from the freezer in with the hot cereal while it cooks.  We've been eating a LOT of compromise foods and white flour and unsoaked grains.  I may need to temporarily get some Concentrace until we're settled again. 

Another find at Big Lots: 
Old Orchard Organic Pomegranate Green Tea (caffeine free) 64 oz for $2.00 [I'm not sure about decaf green tea since it naturally has caffeine and I'm not sure how it's processed, but I got some for the pomegranate]
They also had Fig Newtons for $2 for dh but we won't talk about that!!

I found some Milton's graham crackers for the dc with minimal ingredients for $2 as well and some Jacob's cream crackers with just wheat flour, palm oil, salt, sodium bicarbonate, and yeast for $1.50.  These are both stashed in the cabinet for a later time.  The crackers are for homemade cream cheese or some low-pasteurized cheddar from grass fed cows that I just took out of the freezer.  Hopefully the topping will counter some of the compromise foods.

These Food Finds are linked on Kelly's Real Food Wednesday:

PS:  I'm reading Dr. Brownstein's book Salt Your Way to Health.  It's an easy read if you want to understand why REAL (as in authentic not just the brand) sea salt is good for you and refined and/or lab salt is bad.  We NEED those trace minerals.  Okay, that would be another post, but I read 1/2 the book in one sitting and will finish it today. 

What's Schoolin'?

This floor plan for a 3-5 Montessori classroom was posted on one of the groups:

I noticed they have 10% off right now:

Free online grammar/writing workbooks:

Adapted Classics:  I'm usually not one to get abridged versions of classics.  In the words of middle dd, "I'd rather wait and read the original book."  However, when I saw Heidi, Pollyanna, and The Little Princess for only $1 each at Target I snagged them.  Youngest dd is excited to read Heidi because she says that she's heard about it and is curious.  I remember watching the Heidi cartoon growing up but, I admit it, I've never actually read the book... until last night.  I really enjoyed this abridged classic and look forward to the original. 

So, if you happen to be in Target, scope out the dollar section by the front door. 

They also usually have card sets.  You could get double sets to make 3-part cards or simply to put on the shelves for shelf work, depending on the card set.

Mardel:  It's time to get geared up for Mardel's big education sale July 21st!  20% off all education, school supplies, homeschool, and kids' products. Fortunately for me there's a Mardel in all three towns I keep bouncing back and forth between these days.  Here's a link (on the homepage there's a banner announcing the 20% off that day):

Our new schedule we are trying this week: 
Mornings:  Breakfast and go run around scouting out the new town for about 1-1/2 to 2 hours.  It's too hot to do anything outside so mainly window shopping and the library, errands, etc.
Noon-ish:  Home for lunch
Afternoons:  About an hour of schoolwork (mainly math but will add our Chemistry and History tomorrow); quiet time for everyone (maybe just 1/2 hour); free time/play time while I make dinner. [this already got changed the first day because dh wants to go swimming in the late afternoons - truly great, just hard on dinner prep.  I'll work it out and time with daddy is too important to skip]
Evenings: Dinner, etc routine.

What's Green?

Freecycle:  If you're not hooked in with freecycle yet, give it a try.  It's easy to see if there is a group for your area and to join the local group.  The purpose is to keep usable items that would otherwise go to the landfill out and into the hands of someone who actually wants/needs that item.  I have been blessed over and over by people's generosity.  I have also tried to bless others with items we no longer need. Make sure you use .org in the link:

What's Lyme Green?

This looks like a really good site to start out with regarding Lyme Disease.  It has some good links in one spot but isn't overwhelming.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011


It's been quite a while since I've done this.  Here are my "Gottatries" from Kelly's Real Food Wednesday:

Easy chicken strips:  Dredge chicken in egg; then dust or coat with flour mix:

Summer squash sauteed with meat for a skillet meal:

Garlic sourdough crackers [note to self - look at her root cellar post]:

Walnut/pea veggie dip (if I remember right walnuts help with the production of acetylcholine - or is it seratonin?  I knew I shouldn't have read both chapters on the same day from the brain book I'm reading!!):

Check out the links for drinks (we really, really like our fermented lemonade and use minimal sugar):

Oh, so THAT'S what you do with kohlrabi!:

Meatballs over turnip-parsnip mash:

Simple banana ice cream.  One dd recently said she will never eat bananas again (long story) but this may entice her:

I found that our homemade crepes froze and reheated really well, and I hope to plant mint and strawberries again, so this is a great combo:

Easy ice cream:  fruit, real cream (frozen), a tad of sweetener like honey, and blend:

I always forget to make sloppy joes and the family loves them.  Here's a variation:

Crispy almond pancakes:

Easy Meltable Cheese (calls for 1-1/2 gallons clabbered milk so I'll have to adjust proportions to lessen the recipe)(ingredients are clabbered milk, butter, sour cream, salt, baking soda) :

[I had to stop here at 52 :(  Life calls...][There are many more great recipes and links - check out the GM papaya link]

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Keep and Share ~ Crustless Quiche

What's Schoolin'?

Keep and Share:  I admit it, last year was a dud year regarding organization, record keeping, and planning/implementation.  For a "latent perfectionist" it was frustrating and defeating.  However, (insert perky voice) this year will be different!!  One of several things that have helped for record keeping in the past has been Keep and Share.

I think Keep and Share was developed and is used by most people as a *planning* tool and an *organizational* tool.  I'm semi-liberated from using left-brain organizational techniques as-is and try to tweek them to my brain type/functionality (and continued health/brain issues for which I need to compensate and with which I need to function).

Basically, Keep and Share is a calendar tool.  What is really cool is that you can have several calendars going at the same time.  One could be for planning, I guess ;).

For Montessori:  Easy record keeping for what lessons have been presented to whom and what shelf work choices the children have made.  You could keep the screen up during shelf work time and just jot down notes as things happen.  You can also put in planned presentations (just a short note to remember; not the whole plan) as well.

For you 4-Hers out there:  The year we used this for 4-H was great at Record Book time.  I would input brief notes as life went on straight into the calendar.  For example "Dd made cheese cake."  I printed out the calendars for each child at the end and highlighted all pertinent activites for that child.  We compared it to the wall calendar and made sure we didn't leave things out like workshops and tours, etc.  I have to point out though, that dds told me yesterday (as I was starting to use it again - yeah!) that it's great but I'm really keeping records FOR them, they are not doing it themselves.  They still prefer the index card method they do on their own.  However, they agreed that it was good to have to make sure they remembered everything in case they missed something on their cards. 

One solution is to let each child have their own calendar page. You can import and combine calendars to print and each one can have a different color; so on the combined calendar you can have different colors for their input and your input.

There is SOOO much that you can do with Keep and Share and I haven't even scratched the surface.  If you discover something cool and use it a different way, please let me know!  The calendar was all I could handle at the time but maybe I'm ready to branch out with it a bit now :).

I only have 3 calendars right now: 4-H; Volunteer Hours; and Citizenship (our state requires that we teach 'citizenship' each year so I log things for that in case it ever comes up and I need documentation).  I'm considering having one for each child for them to log 4-H things - if they want.  They may still prefer the index or spiral.  I think just spending consistent time for them to jot down notes will make the difference no matter what system they choose.

For food/health journals:  You can keep a record of what you eat or symptoms.  They can easily be printed for doctor appointments.  If you're a menu planner they could be used for that as well.  Hmmm.... I think you can set things to repeat but I'm not sure about that.  Then I could insert quiche maybe every 2 or 3 weeks since my family likes quiche but I don't remember to make it often.

Also, Keep and Share is FREE :).

Give it a try at:

What's Cookin'?

Crustless Quiche: My recipes are packed; although I actually think I know where the ones are that I usually tape inside my kitchen cabinets (of which this is one).  Anyway... I threw together this quiche last night with limited kitchen resources and thought I'd share.  May this give hope (or amusement) to those trying to feed their families real food under less than ideal circumstances.

First of all, there is no mixing bowl or any big bowl in the rental house (but I'm so appreciative of this rental so it's not a compaint, just reality).  I had to use a skillet to mix everything.  If you are in the same dilemna try this:  Saute the veggies in the skillet; set aside in little cereal bowl.  In the cooled skillet mix 10 eggs, 2 handfuls of flour (I guess that would be about 1/2 C??), 2 teaspoons baking powder, and a bunch of sea salt.  Mix it well.  Divide meat/veggie mix into 2 buttered pie pans; pour the egg/flour mix into the 2 pans over the meat/veggie mix; put 1/2 C shredded cheese on top of each pan.  Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.  Let cool 10 minutes before cutting.

Or, you could do what I actually did:  Forget to use the correct order with the skillet and mix the above egg, etc. with a spatula because there isn't a big spoon.  Pour it into 2 aluminum (yes, aluminum) throw-away (yes, throw-away) pie pans greased with butter (remember:  these are less than optimal conditions - little cookware).  Then wipe out the egg stuff left on the skillet and saute the veggies and meat.  [I had 1/2 pound pastured pork sausage (pre-cooked) and some wonderful veggies from the local Farmers Market (round zucchini, sweet peppers, bell pepper).]  Completely forget the onion you had gotten for this meal and remember as you are typing your blog post.  Generously crumble cheddar over the two pie pans already filled with the egg/flour mix - about 1/2 C per pan.  Sprinkle the cooked meat/veggie mix over each pan holding back enough of the mix to make some awesome eggs in the morning.  Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.  Cool a few minutes before serving. 

Enjoy the ooohs and aaahs of your family and the accomplishment of serving real food in less than optimal kitchen circumstances. :). 

There were 2 slices left over from a family of 5 that includes 2 teenagers that eat more than adults and a 9 yr-old that eats almost as much as her sisters.  Those are wrapped individually in the freezer for quick snacks or a breakfast-on-the-go.  Making it a 10-egg quiche and adding the bit of extra flour helped stretch it.

This simple quiche is part of Kelly's Real Food Wednesday:

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Cheesecake for Breakfast???

Has it really been a whole month since I've written anything?  Well, most of school is in storage, most of our kitchen is in storage, and life is teetering and tottering right now.  We have our 4-H Record Books to keep us busy for a few days and I keep catching dd-14 working on her Teaching Textbooks Algebra 1 book so she can finish the school year.  Wow, she's driven!

What's Schoolin'?

Jackpot!  I was at a homeschool store the other day checking out (with a used DIVE Biology CD that we will try this year) and noticed a stack of Three Cousin Detectives books by the cash register.  I called youngest dd over and she picked out the ones we didn't own yet.  They were each $1 or $1.50 - my kind of sale!  They are a second grade reading level (or third? I can't remember) and she read them quickly but they are such sweet mysteries.  Even the olders read them :).  Each centers around a fruit of the Spirit (or a Bible verse).  The three cousins actually get along and don't bicker the whole time like in some books that we've read.  This is the first one in the series:

What's Cookin'?

This was fun to watch:  Middle dd was watching Paula Deen on the Food Network at my mom's house when we stayed the week last week.  She missed the beginning AND the end of the episode but scribbled down the ingredients.  Then she set out to make it without even knowing what it was.  I figured you couldn't go wrong with ingredients like butter, graham crackers (we used Annie's graham bunnies; cinnamon or honey), cream cheese, eggs, chocolate chips (we used Enjoy Life), and only 1/4 C sugar...

It turned out to be a cheesecake and was super delicious.  Unfortunately for her... she doesn't even like cheesecake :).  She ended up liking this one though!

As she made it in the evening and it wasn't ready by bedtime (and they had been waiting and waiting and I'm such an ol' softy) I actually let them have it for breakfast the next morning.  But wait!  My standards got even lower because I let them have some the NEXT morning for breakfast as well before we packed up to leave, lol!  We don't even eat boxed cereal for breakfast and donuts, cinnamon rolls, or pancakes are rare treats.  Oh wait... we're eating boxed cereal almost every morning this week - yes, the standards sink even l-o-w-e-r :).  I think they are enjoying that part of our transition.  It was a struggle to find cereal that, although still a processed compromise, wasn't laden with artificial dyes, flavors, petroleum, high fructose corn syrup, genetically modified organisms, etc, etc, etc, but I settled on Cascadian granola oats and honey; and Barbara's Puffins.

Here is our tentative menu with limited cookware/resources:

- Baked chicken thighs.  I had to buy a baking dish but it was worth it.  Near the end I had to hide a few thighs for a later meal.

- Chicken-a-la-king (but made with 2 small pastured pork chops instead of chicken for a family of 5 so it was a ssstretch meal) using homemade cream of mushroom soup from the freezer and frozen peas served on Afgan flatbread I grabbed at the last minute of packing up the freezer food for travel ($1.99 at Kroger if you're local!  Ask at the bakery counter if you don't find any and they'll pull some from the freezer for you)(that's a long sentence!).

- Beef tacos using the following veggies sauteed from the local farmers market and then mixed with the precious cooked grass-fed hamburger meat:  bell pepper, sweet pepper, round zucchini, a round yellow squash, and tomato.  Served on regular white tortillas for dh and on Ezekiel's sprounted tortillas for dc and me.  I'm laughing at myself because I never noticed until posting the link that they do not have wheat.  You would never know (obviously!).  Garnished with lettuce, sour cream, and salsa.

- Quiche using regular store eggs and some very super precious pastured pork sausage [note to self: get some flour and baking powder].  I'll saute more of the above veggies to include also.

- Chicken pseudo-stir fry over rice or vermicelli (using the rescued chicken thighs and frozen veggies sauteed in lots of butter and EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), maybe even some coconut oil if I can find it in my mom's garage.

- Baked chicken (again) using Sanderson chicken that was on sale for $1/pound.  I hope to have leftovers for sandwiches or a chef salad.

- Frozen pizzas... yes, frozen pizzas.  I stood there at the store freezer for a while, sighed, and got Newman's Own brand hoping that it would have less additives; but I wouldn't really know because I chose to not even look.  I need to stock up on those Afgan flatbreads for homemade pizzas that we can make with our limited kitchen.  It's white bread but has very, very few ingredients.

I told the olders I would help them type their 4-H Record Books (we only have 3 more days to finish and polish them) so I'm off to be productive... or read an old Agatha Christie book I found on one of the rental's bookshelves :).