Wednesday, July 31, 2013

3 Cook-Ahead Tortilla Meals

What's Schoolin'?

I simply cannot keep my olders from doing school, lol!  Even on the weekends!  So, in the context of Montessori, I really don't actually try to keep them from school - I'm simply amazed and give them those choices.  Both are eager to work on Math (one finishing Geometry and another starting Geometry).  Not because they love Math so much that they can't stay away; but rather, they are motivated to just plain finish it. :)

They are also feverishly trying to finish Chemistry so we can do Physics so we can do the 4-H Vet Tech program, which is what they really want to do.

The Vet Tech materials can be found here:

What's Cookin'?

I made 3 different meals one afternoon based on tortillas that I thought I would share.  Since we are showing the house and can't do complicated cooking in case someone comes on short notice, I've been trying to cook make-ahead meals on Sundays when we are relatively safe from showings.

It all started because I wanted to make taquitos to have handy in the freezer for a quick lunch.  However, the blue corn tortillas (organic, treated with lime) I was using starting falling apart when I heated them in butter in a pan like I normally heat tortillas when I want to roll them.  So... I did the next best thing and layered them with the taquito ingredients.

Taquito Casserole:

1. Lightly grease the bottom of the baking dish (or spread a little salsa on the bottom).

2. Layer the tortillas in a single layer.

3.  Spread out your taquito filling.  Mine was rice, chicken, and some cooked squash from the garden.

4.  Realize that you have no salsa (not necessary for the actual taquitos) and that it might be a little dry, so... squeeze a little organic ketchup over it all.  If you have salsa, even better!

5. Sprinkle a layer of grated cheese.  [I had some Tillamook cheddar cheese that was buy 1 get 1 free at Albertsons.]

6. Repeat with the tortillas, taquito filling, and cheese.  I also sprinkled a bit of pre-cooked beef from the freezer on the top layer because I had been rather skimpy on the chicken.

7.  Cover with foil and freeze or bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

The layer of ketchup is a little weird.  Next time I will mix some salsa (or even ketchup) in with the filling.  The kids loved it.




~ 1 Pack of organic, lime-treated corn tortillas.  Organic, sprouted would also be a good choice.  I like Buenatural brand from Azure Standard.  Otherwise, I use Food for Life sprouted corn tortillas.  I make my own flour tortillas but can never get my corn ones to come out well.  I'm hoping to try some Salvadorean style ones but that would be another post!

~ Filling of your choice.  What works best for me is mainly rice with meat and veggies depending on availability.  This time we used white rice (no time/space for soaking brown rice), precooked chicken, and sautéed veggies from our garden.  I usually mix in some shredded cheese at the end.  Sharp cheddar adds good flavor with less cheese if you are stretching your budget as I am.  This is not a soupy filling.  You want your filling to stay inside and the end product is crisp and crunchy.


1. I like to heat the corn tortillas in a little butter on each side to help them be pliable.

2. Put about a tablespoon of filling across the center and roll it up.

3. Place it seam down in a lightly greased/oiled baking dish.  Repeat.  If you leave a little space between each taquito they will crisp up better.

4. Bake at 350F for about 20-30 minutes or until crispy but not burned :).

5. Cool and freeze. [Or eat right away!]

6. To reheat:  I take as many as needed straight from the freezer, pop them in the oven, and bake for about 20 minutes at 350F.  This doesn't give them time to get soggy.  I don't know if they would, but do it this way just in case.  My children like them served with organic ketchup or sour cream.  Wait, that would be me... they like them plain.

The cooked taquitos are in the pan on the left:

Breakfast Burritos:


~  1 package of sprouted grain tortillas.  We like Food For Life Sprouted Grain Tortillas You could also use flour tortillas.  We used the burrito size but taco size would work great also.

~  1 dozen eggs, scrambled to taste.  This would be a great time to add some veggies if you want to sauté some onion, bell pepper, garden squash, whatever, before adding the egg to the pan.  YUM!

~  8 oz cheese block, shredded. [Note: You may want to make sure that it doesn't have the new 'mold inhibitor']


1.  Cook the eggs.

2.  Quickly heat the tortillas in a little butter to help them be pliable.  Plus the butter adds a little extra yum.  Coconut oil would be good for this step as well.

3.  Let the eggs cool enough to handle so you don't get burned as you roll them.  Trust me on this one!

4.  Same as the taquitos, you put your egg filling in the center of the tortilla.  We were very generous with these.  Unlike the taquitos that are wrapped tightly, the burritos can manage with the ends overlapping as if the tortilla were folded into thirds.  So, it can handle a larger filling.  Make sense??

5.  Sprinkle shredded cheese and wrap it.

6.  Eat immediately or freeze for later.  I made these to freeze.  I'm not a fan of aluminum at all but I needed these to be able to go from the freezer to the oven to the car for on-the-road breakfast so I wrapped them in foil.  A healthier option would be to wrap them in parchment paper and then in a container in the freezer.

The breakfast burritos are in the packages on the right in the picture:


These recipes are part of Read Food Wednesday. and Fat Tuesday and Allergy Free Wednesdays .

Shopping through any affiliate link helps to support our homeschool.  Thanks!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Gottatries ~ Free Kindle Version of Creating Transcripts...

What's Cookin'?

Here are some Gottatries that I've seen this recently around the web:

Easy pickles!  It's been a while (about 4 years?) since I've made pickles.  These are easy and you don't have to can them!  My last fermented ones weren't so great so I may opt for the fast track with vinegar.  The jalapenos that I preserved with apple cider vinegar 2 summers ago are still good:

Oat cakes.  Simple.  I love it and can't wait to try it.  For some reason that I cannot fathom my children do not like the texture of oatmeal (one dd in particular but it puts a damper on my enthusiasm to make oatmeal for breakfast).  They do all like homemade granola bars with lots of oats, and oatmeal muffins, so I think they would like this too.  (note to self: leftover oatmeal and eggs):

Carrot salad:
A friend brought a super delicious carrot salad to a cook-out (Thanks, D, it was amazing!).  It had shredded carrots, apples, chopped walnuts, some lemon juice (to keep the apples from browning), and a tub of vanilla yogurt.  I hope I remembered right!

I almost bought some chocolate granola at the grocery store today but I put it back.  Here is a recipe to make it at home -

Cream cheese frosting colored with pureed veggies or fruits.  Amazing idea.  I can't wait to try it!  We don't use artificial colors and I try to keep petroleum out of my kids as much as possible.  This looks like a great change from plain white, off-white, or chocolate frosting.

My family isn't big into any 'fresco de...' (or 'agua fresca de...') but this post inspired me to try again.  I love frescos and find them very refreshing.

Homemade powdered drink (like instant lemonade):

Cranberry Orange Bars (with coconut flour):

Strawberry Lemonade Fruit Snacks (fresh strawberries, lemonade, gelatin):

Trail Mix Oatmeal:

What's Schoolin'?

Here is a free Kindle version of Creating Transcripts for Your Unique Child.  I'm not sure how long it will be free.  I just downloaded it to my Kindle after seeing the preview ("Look Inside") feature.  You can also read Kindle books on any PC by downloading their free reader.  I did that for years before getting my Kindle as a gift:

Disclaimer:  Affiliate link

What's Creepy?

First hamburger will be served made from stem cells in a lab.  This creeped me out so bad that I couldn't finish reading it - I kept getting the heebie-jeebies!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Glencoe Literature Study Guides [High School Lit]

What's Schoolin'?

So many good books and so little time!!

I just finished going through my olders' Literature Logs and sorting the titles into the appropriate course for their portfolios.  They keep a list of all books that they read regardless of genre, purpose, or assignment all in one spiral.  Since we still do History and Literature thematically this works really well.  For example, both Mark Twain (Joan of Arc) and Dante would be read during our study of the Middle Ages but one counts for American Lit and another for World Lit.

They already have more than enough to support a full high school credit for British Lit, American Lit, and World Lit.  Seeing it sorted and listed under each course gave me a huge sense of accomplishment! :)

Before getting to the lit study guides I want to show you these cool interactive lit resources.  Click on the + button for:  Glencoe Literature: The reader's choice 2002.  Choose any of those options.  They didn't all open for me but I think it was more likely my internet that kept shutting off :(.

Glencoe has some really good Literature Study Guides, such as this Beowulf one.  Here is the main link with the titles/links.  Main problem:  no answer keys.  For some reason, even though I go through as a teacher it still only shows as the student version (and I've tried every which way).  I have e-mailed them and hope to hear back soon.  Otherwise, I like them so much that we will use them anyway.

Here is my list of those I would still like to do with my olders from this website:

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Cyrano de Bergerac


The Metamorphosis

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich [I had to read this in my second language in high school!  Most of my World Lit was in Spanish for some reason.]

Pride and Prejudice

The Red Badge of Courage

The Scarlet Letter

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

A Tale of Two Cities

The Tempest

Possible additional titles:

The Brothers Karamazov

Great Expectations


Heart of Darkness

Jane Eyre

My Antonia

The Pigman

True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

Wuthering Heights

The Yearling

You know, it is completely possible that I've posted about this resource before!

Here are the links to these books at Amazon.  I have not read all of these so please use your own judgment.  I will be reading them as we cover each one.  It's been many years since I've read Kafka, for example.  Although I will share that I recently previewed Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and we will read all except the last part (the letter left by him at the end).

I hope these links are helpful and any purchases through these links help us in our homeschooling.  I know I will certainly use the links as we go through our literature! :)

Thursday, July 25, 2013


What's Schoolin'?

Here is a great (free) Study Guide for Beowulf.  I like that it has background knowledge and vocabulary; plus there are before reading, during reading (active reading), and after reading questions for sections of the book.  The only drawback... no answer key.  Since I had just previewed the book and could answer the questions it worked out okay, though.

What's Cookin'?

Here is a must-see movie:  Genetic Roulette.  I watched it when they had a free viewing and my older children watched it also (they usually drift in whenever I watch something food-related).  You can rent it for $2.99.

Here is a non-GMO Shopping Guide:

I keep the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen in my purse but that's related to pesticides, not GMOs.  I have been noticing "Non-GMO Project" on some of products I buy (like non-organic frozen blueberries that are more like transitional produce).

Purchasing anything through affiliate links helps to support our homeschool - thanks!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Methylation Cycle Made Easy

Here are 4 short videos that explain the Methylation Cycle.  I have tried and struggled to understand this.  It's so complicated that it's overwhelming!  Why do I care?  Why should you?  Well, the meth cycle affects many of our body functions.  For me the main issue is toxicity due to the effects of long-term infections.  While undergoing Lyme Disease and co-infections treatment I suffered as much from the treatment as the disease.  The pediatric dose of common antibiotics were super hard for me to handle.  It wasn't the drug - I had taken them plenty of times throughout life - it was the overload of dead Borrelia and other toxins from the die-off.  I could never detox well.  Now I know that my genetic mutations (which my Lyme Dr. found) specifically affect detoxing.  I think I would have handled treatment much better and had a better quality of life for me and my kids during those years if we had properly addressed those mutations. 

I've been researching the Methylation Cycle and gene mutations off and on (mostly off!) for several months now.  I hope to reach a point soon when I'm ready to deal with these issues.  I'd like to have a good grasp of it and some info to take to my doctor.

There are some diagrams and explanations for specific pathways here:

Dr. Yasko's site is extremely helpful and she has had success treating children with Autism.  You can download the book Autism: Pathways to Recovery for free on the home page.  I believe that is where she lists specific supplements for specific gene mutations.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Zucchini-Hamburger Stuffed Pizza Loaf

What's Cookin'?

~ Zucchini muffins:  Middle dd made her famous zuke bread recipe (a double batch) but we made muffins with it without any modifications.  Worked great!  Yes, I still need to upload that recipe!

~ Accidental chocolate-covered almonds:  I wanted to make a trail mix for the dc for snack today and roasted some pre-soaked/dehydrated almonds ("crispy nuts" in Nourishing Traditions) but was toooo impatient to wait for the almonds to cool before adding them to the mix.  The Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips melted over them and made a delightful gooey mess :).

~ And....

Zucchini-Hamburger Stuffed Pizza Loaf:



- Pizza crust (enough for 1 regular pizza)(preferably soaked or sprouted)
- 1/3 jar spaghetti sauce (more to taste if preferred)
- 1/3 lb cooked ground beef
- 1/2 pound (8 oz) shredded mozarella cheese
- 1/2 C shredded zucchini (with water squeezed out)
- 1 medium/small bell pepper
- any other veggies/meats you would like to add


I rolled the crust out into a rectangle and layered the following: approximately 1/3 of a jar of Bertolli organic spaghetti sauce (I saved that from the previous night's spaghetti dinner); 8 oz shredded mozarella (minus youngest dd's toll for shredding it!), tad less than 1/3 pound pre-cooked hamburger (I saved a little from the third pound bag for soup later in the week), about 1/2 C shredded zucchini (shhh!) and a medium bell pepper cut into lengths (I had a lighter than yellow-colored one from the farmer's market).  Note:  I squeezed the water out of the shredded zuke first.


Next, I rolled it up and gingerly moved it to a flat baking sheet with parchment paper.  I ended up with a curved loaf :).  I let it rise 15 minutes per the instructions and baked at 375F for 40 minutes or until golden brown.

I served it with leftover green salad (also from last night's spaghetti dinner!).


This recipe is part of Real Food Wednesday and Fat Tuesday .

[Note: I bought a package of Pepe's Bakery Pizza Crust at Wal-Mart.  We usually make our own crust but I'm a little frazzled with the whole moving thing.  I actually grabbed 2 packages and one is in the freezer.  It is about $1.60 and the only ingredients are: flour, water, yeast, and salt.  Yeah!!]