Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Juicing without a Juicer!

What's Schoolin'?

Wow, I can't believe it's already been over 2 weeks since I've posted!  Much has happened... [sparing you the details!]  Here are some finds:

Batik-effect easy T-shirt.  This looks like a great project; and so easy with glue and acrylics!

Youngest dd wants me to give her 'hard' spelling tests so I looked online for some lists (to free up my brain!):

Scripps Spelling Bee site:

What's Cookin'?

I've had a nagging urge to juice for my liver for several months (long story but I don't have a happy liver).  I couldn't afford a strong juicer and had settled on the $30 one at Wal-Mart; but it may be months before I can even get that one.  Well... I remembered Paquita making me a carrot/orange juice as a teenager when I had food-borne hepatitis (common where I was living).  She had to make me drink it at first, but wouldn't you know it - after I was well I would beg her to make me some because I liked it so much by then. I know we only had a blender and I recently asked my mom about making it.  Unfortunately, she had no idea and couldn't help me.  So...

I got some beets, celery, carrots (which we usually have, anyway), and fennel.  I was able to find these organic at very reasonable prices - in fact the organic beets happened to be less than the non-organic (although the fennel was high to me).  Then they sat in the fridge, and sat, and sat for over 2 weeks!

Yesterday I put the following in the blender along with about 1/2 C water (I added another 1/2 later) and pulsed it until it was well blended:

1 peeled and chopped beet
1 peeled and chopped carrot (It was the last one in the bag and getting a bit "unfresh" so I chose to peel it)
Small piece of fennel, chopped
1 celery rib; chopped
2 small unsprayed pears from the farmers market (cored and thickly sliced)(this was just for flavor)

It worked!!

I strained some in a glass to have some right away.  Mmmmm.  I made myself stop at 2 ounces (more on that later).

I strained the rest of the "juiced" concoction in a quart mason jar and put that in the refrigerator to sip on over several days.  I'll only have 2-4 ounces daily and work up to 4 ounces 2x daily depending on detox symptoms and schedules.

Now, I know this isn't as great as juicing but I'm super excited to be able to do this with what I have.  I also realize that it's best fresh, but I don't want to waste this precious purple liquid gold so I'm refrigerating it.  I may also go ahead and freeze some in 4 ounce portions.  Again, not ideal, but ANYTHING I can do for my liver is better than nothing (I'm fighting my 'latent perfectionism' here!).

After just 2 ounces hours later my mouth still felt... different.  I'm very toxic which is why I have to go slowly.  Just those 2 ounces really hit me this morning and I had to go back to bed for about 30 minutes due to extreme pain and fatigue [breakfast in bed is only a luxury when you want breakfast in bed!].  Even with increased water and oil pulling.  I'm going to salt load as soon as I get back from taking one dd to class (part of the iodine protocol).

Here are some photos I took of this juicing adventure.  You know how hard it is to keep things in focus while trying to keep out the chaos right next to and behind the photo subject??

Here is everything in the blender with the Beet Kvass next to it that I was making at the same time:

I strained a little to drink right away (2 oz):

 I strained the rest into a quart mason jar and refrigerated it for later:

It made more juice than I expected - yeah!

There you have it!  Two GREAT beet drinks ~ Beet Kvass and "Juiced" Beet and veggies:

Yikes!  Our 4-H goat just learned to jump the fence!  Time to go....

I'll post some juicing resources another time...

This juicing adventure is part of Kelly's Read Food Wednesdays, Freaky Friday, and Fat Tuesday:

Monday, September 10, 2012

Our Menu

What's Schoolin'?

I guess we're flirting with unschooling because I was sooo sure we would finally have a 'structured' school day today (It's my 3rd try for an "official-ish" 1st Day of School with our great new schedule!).  However, we had a little goat emergency, had to go to town for medication, administer said medications, etc... On the other hand, oldest dd got some animal science/vet lessons (and so did the others, peripherally).  We also got to open our new school supplies and had a great lunch (freshly homemade Naan flatbread folded over with lettuce and cucumbers and nitrate-free salami) - so not a total school loss!  They did some school this afternoon and had fun re-organizing their desks and work areas.  It's fun to see their different personalities.  One dd went straight back to her Science she started last week, another has taken everything off of her desk and has all of these stacks on her bed (and has to spend time with every single item, lol), and another is totally off track sorting through her Webkinz, toys, and clutter (but decluttering so I'm not complaining!).

I found a small rolling cart at a thrift store Saturday that I can roll to and from the back room to the living room for lessons.  It already has my Montessori R and D Language and Math manuals on it.  I'm hoping that this will really help keep the coffee table clear!

What's Cookin'?

I was so grateful to wake up yesterday with a clear mind and no pain/fatigue.  I went into planning and making mode in the kitchen and took full advantage of feeling great, a.k.a. normal for most people, for a change!  I planned before church and the dc and I worked for a couple of hours in the kitchen together in the afternoon just enjoying time together.  Each of us took 2 recipes and did some great prep work for the week!


Apple/Chicken Patties on homemade yeast rolls
Chili and Cornbread
Tortilla Soup
Spaghetti and green salad
Lumpias (with ground meat and cabbage)
Chicken Pot Pie
Beans and Rice with zucchini
Sides:  Vegetable/cheese oat cake; green salad; sauteed zukes, tomato, onion, pepper.


Zucchini Bread
Cranberry oat muffins
Cottage cheese and fruit
Cucumber Boats (with homemade chicken salad inside)
Buttermilk smoothies
Bean/Cheese melts
Cheesy mini-meatloaves (or cheeseburger cups)
Pasta Salad (cold pasta with cucumber, etc)
"Einstein Burgers" (2 C cooked beans, 1 C cooked rice, veggies)
Protein Bars
Homemade animal crackers
homemade chocolate pudding
Rice pudding
Pumpkin cookies

What dds and I did in the afternoon:

Oldest dd made 4 pie crusts that are in the fridge ready for me to make the chicken pot pies.
Youngest dd made zucchini bread; then she made her own dessert recipe.
Middle dd prepped the Naan bread that we cooked today for lunch and made the yeast rolls for the patties.
I baked one pack of chicken thighs; put another chicken pack of breasts in the crockpot; made the chicken/apple patties; cooked some 'zucchini mock crab cakes' for a side some day, and made cornbread.

The hardest part of cooking ahead is actually waiting to eat it!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Plate Tectonics

What's Schoolin'?

Plate Tectonics:

I  found this nice map of the plates here:

And a matching unlabeled map here:

I will print out each map and a set of labels.  They can all be put in a page protector and added to our Culture works.  They could also be used to make puzzles.

For my olders (and youngest may want to do this as well) I am printing a regular world outline map also.  They can draw the plates, label them, and color as desired.  These can then be trimmed and glued in their Culture Notebooks.

Some more resources:

Here are some related resources I found on Amazon.  I have not actually used them yet but they look like they may be helpful:

What's Cookin'?

There is a Funky Fresh Kitchen Challenge all month at Heavenly Homemakers:

Any referral fees from associate links help to support our homeschool.

Gottatries (short for once!)

What's Cookin'?

Here are some recent gottatries:

Preserving avocados (in fridge or freezer):

Soap Making:

Tator Tots (I've used the recipe from Heavenly Homemakers but this looks good also):

Avocado Fries??? Mmmm

Apple Cinnamon Muffins (I could soak the flour/oats in 1/2C buttermilk with 1/2 C water)(note: 1/4 C applesauce and 1 diced apple):

Real Food Search Portal:

Creamy Burritos (cream cheese; tomato paste)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Our Schedule ~ Chicken and Rice

What's Schoolin'?

If you like to look at photos of Montessori home setups like I do, then you'll love these photos (and look at the beautiful view of the mountains!

Our Schedule:

The Process:
I took a big piece of construction paper and the girls and I sat down for a conference (with a snack!).

I made out a 2-week template for Week A and Week B since some of our outside classes/groups alternate weeks while others are every week.  I made some crude blocks to fill in as we needed more blocks.  We wrote all of our outside commitments in blue pen.

Then we brainstormed all of our school subject areas and how many times (or how much actual time) we needed to spend on those per week.  I divided those into independent time and time with me for presentations or directed lessons.

Finally I started plugging them in to the blocks.  I changed some things around from Week A to Week B just to see if we like them better at different times.  These are 'vaguely specific' :).  I may say History, but that often includes Citizenship; it may say Science (specific) but Language Arts (general and may include grammar, spelling, writing workshop, etc).  So, this one works for us right now (I hope!).


Youngest Dd:
-Directed lessons/presentations 4x weekly (all subjects)
-Shelf Work time:  2x Week A; 3x Week B
-Independent work time (for curricula such as Math or our Science follow-up work or more shelf work):  4x/week
-Language Arts: 4x weekly (more is possible during shelf work time)
-Spanish: 4x weekly

-Directed lessons for Science: 2x weekly
-Directed lessons for History:  2x weekly
-Language Arts: 4x weekly
-Shelf Work time: 1x weekly (plus another x weekly for Geography if using shelf materials)
-Geography: 1-2x weekly
-Spanish: 4x weekly
-Independent work time (for Science, History, etc): 4x Week A; 4x Week B

We also have outside classes such as Art, Speech, sports, Drama, Etc.  that fill up our schedule.  We plan on dropping 2 outside classes in the Spring.  We also spend a lot of time on our 4-H projects and activities.

After reviewing it several times I typed it up on the computer (it took 2 pages; 1 per week) and taped it to the refrigerator.  The olders have been working really hard to be back in the house from their 4-H animals by 8:00-ish.  We'll start with this new schedule next Monday so we'll see how it goes!

What's Green?

Here is a cool idea for room freshener.  It would make fun gifts.  Natural Room Scents:

What's Cookin'?

I wanted chicken and rice for dinner but I stay f-a-r away from canned soups.  I *thought* I didn't have time to make my own soup while my pre-baked chicken legs and pre-cooked rice were heating up in the oven.  However; it only took a few minutes, plus it turned out tasty and moist.

I put the following in a qt-size pot:
4 tablespoons butter
1 large handful of sliced onion (from the freezer)
1 small handful of diced celery (from the freezer - it gets a little brown but doesn't matter for soups or sauces)

I let these soften and cook a little.  Then I added:
6 tablespoons flour (arrowroot can be used instead)

After stirring in the flour I slowly added (while stirring constantly) 2 cups of water (milk can be used instead).

Once it was mixed thoroughly and (most of) the lumps were gone I poured it in the baking dish with the already warm chicken and rice.  I let it all heat through and served immediately.

I even had time to make a quick green salad :).

Hint:  Cooked rice freezes well for those times when you don't have time to wait 45 minutes for it to cook.  I literally put the rice in the baking dish straight from the freezer!  P.S.: I soak my rice and cook it with bone broth.

This soup/sauce recipe is part of Real Food Wednesday:

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Physics Part 3 (syllabus/online resources)

What's Schoolin'?


~ Phew!  Here is my plan for high school Physics for my olders.  My goal is to bridge the gap between purely conceptual Physics and 'formulaic' Physics (I made up that word!).  You'll see that I just did it by the week, not by the day.  Seriously, daily plans would drive me batty because I would need to change it constantly as life evolves.  This works much better for my family.

Please let me know if the link acts up as they occasionally do with google docs.  It should take you right to the pdf.  I hope you find it useful.  Please remember that this is for your personal use only.  If you share this resource with others it would be great if you gave them the link to the post.  Also, if you find it particularly useful, any donations are appreciated and go directly to support our children's 4-H projects (the button is upper left on the blog page).  Just ignore any notes that don't make sense - I occasionally make notes to myself in my syllabi :).

Click HERE for the pdf.

~ One more thing... This is probably even more helpful to more people because anyone using any curriculum for Physics can use this to supplement their course.  This is a document in which I've sorted tons and tons of websites by topic (really by chapter but the topics are listed by the chapter).  It has resources for a w-i-d-e variety of ages.  I like to e-mail these to my olders so they can just open it on a computer anywhere and just click on the links for whatever chapter they need.

Click HERE for the pdf.

I hope these are a blessing to someone else out there in the same boat as I:  wanting to bridge the Physics gap for a well-rounded course without either losing your hair or getting many more gray ones over it (I've already done the hair part for you!).

Here  and here are my other Physics posts.

Recap of resources used in the syllabus:

PS:  If you need the Power Basics for Chemistry they can be found here:

Power Basics Chemistry Student Book
Power Basics Chemistry Teacher's Guide

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Freezer Diving

What's Cookin'?

We've been "freezer diving" this week and have had to be very creative to use only what we have on-hand (except for more eggs this week - I've gotta have eggs!).  Inspired by this recipe (from my last Gottatries post), I'm making Mexican tamales tonight for dinner using some Bob's Red Mill Masa Harina, 1/3 lb pre-cooked (grass-fed) ground beef, and some corn shucks/husks that have been in the school supply closet for, um, let's just say a long time that never got used to make corn-husk dolls.  I have a bit of frozen corn but I'll just serve that on the side.  I either found the Masa Harina at Big Lots (they sell Bob's Red Mill products!) or got it from Azure Standard, I can't remember - it's been several months.  It is treated with lime so I should be okay with it.  Regarding the GMO issue, this is from their website: "Are your products genetically modified? No. All of our products originate from identity-preserved, non-GMO seeds. This means that the seed planted in the ground is non-GMO. We do not guarantee the complete absence of GMO materials in our products because of wind drift, pollinators and our lack of testing equipment."  Anyway, I grew up with Salvadoran (or Salvadorean) tamales so this should be interesting...

Along that note about only using what we have on-hand, youngest dd made up a recipe this morning and wrote it down - I should post it, eh?  Anyway, after making it she wrote it out for her own cookbook.  Here is the intro:
"If you don't have any butter, oil, shortening, vanilla, or milk, try the Sunrise Sweet Bar.  It's fast to make, easy, and yummy in your tummy when you start your day with this sweet snack."  Tan linda!!  She's giving me quite a lesson in happy resourcefulness and doing without with great cheer.  She thoroughly enjoyed making up the recipe, cooking it, and especially eating it!  She did such a great job and it rose just enough.

I hope this inspires some of you to do your own "freezer diving" and see what inspired meals you concoct :).

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