Friday, January 4, 2013

The best laid plans...

Oh, my goodness, how time has flown.  I had the best of intentions to document all of our adventures this school year, but then the first week of September we found out we are expecting our third bundle of joy!  Super happy news, but what a motivation killer!  I spent the first half of this pregnancy face down on the couch, I'm afraid.  The sickness lasted most of the day, and it was difficult to keep up with the very basic of tasks, much less updating anything here!  But, I'm happy to report that I am feeling more or less human again and hope to revisit this little corner of cyberspace.  I do have some pictures that I've taken over the past several months I hope to post soon.  And we are plugging along with our homeschooling adventure, so hopefully I'll have some new things to share!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dinosaur Day Camp - Day Three

We continued with Dino fun on day three.  We continued reading the Magic Treehouse Book, which my daughter is enjoying.  The day's focus was on the T-rex.  We followed up the story with a couple of fun T-rex activities.  The first was to build a t-rex using this template.  Essentially, it's a paper t-rex "puzzle" that you cut out and piece together so that it can stand.  Here's my daughter creating her t-rex:


She decided her t-rex needed a leash, so we broke out the yarn.

Our t-rex happens to be a girl, of course, complete with blue eyes, eyelashes, and a bow on her head and tail.  Takes some of the fierceness out the the creatures, for sure!

Our next activity was similar, but this time we stuffed a two sided t-rex.  I'm so sorry, but I don't remember the website I printed the template from to give proper credit, but if I stumble upon it again I will add a link.  We printed two pictures, cut them out and stapled them together leaving a small opening for stuffing.  My daughter stuffed the dino with cotton balls and then stapled the opening shut.  Here's the process:

And the finished product!  Slightly less girly, but still with the blue eyes. :)

And the dinosaur face off!

Finally, to round out the day, we played this Build a Dinosaur activity on the Scholastic website.  Until our next prehistoric adventure...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

CSA - Week Four

Another week of yummy produce to enjoy.  I'm having to get creative with the zucchini - between the CSA and my own garden, we are being taken over!  But it's not a bad problem to have.  Come winter we'll really miss the stuff!  Here's this week's share...

It includes zucchini (of course!), squash, tomatoes, garlic, peas, radishes, cabbage, cucumbers, and blackberries.  I'm going to make freezer jam with the blackberries because we just can't eat them fast enough and I need to clear the fridge for vacation.  I think I'll pass the peas along to friends - we just don't care much for them around here.  So, that leaves the cabbage and radishes to deal with.  Still not sure how to use up the heads of cabbage and not sure about the radishes, either.  I don't care much for them raw, but I've never had them any other way.  My husband likes them alright sliced on a salad, so that's probably as creative as I'll get.  I'll miss a couple of weeks due to vacation - my MIL will be enjoying the shares in my place until we get back.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

CSA - Week Three

We are still so enjoying our CSA share!  Here's our haul for week three:

I must confess I cheated a bit and also included several zucchini that I picked from my own garden over the weekend.  But, the share included zucchini, squash, cucumbers, popping corn, garlic, tomatoes, garlic scapes, blackberries, and cabbage.  I don't work with cabbage very much, so I'm a bit at a loss as to how to use this up.  My husband doesn't like cole slaw, and I've never cooked cabbage.  Guess I'll have to google some recipes!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Dinosaur Camp - Day Two

More dinosaur fun to be had!  We read some more from the Magic Treehouse Dinosaurs Before Dark book.  Then, we did some dinosaur activities.  First up, we went to this website where there a step by step instructions on how to draw a number of fun things.  We started with the dinosaur section, where my daughter really enjoyed drawing this guy:

It's a pteranodon, in case you couldn't tell. :)  She drew the dinosaurs, then decided to move on to fruits and fairy tale characters.  Not exactly on topic, but fun for her nonetheless.
She loves to draw and had no art classes at school last year (budget cuts), so I was happy to let her have at the drawing for a while.

We then made a couple of pteranodon crafts inspired by those found on, which is a great resource.  Here's what we ended up with:

A pteranodon cut and assembled from a paper plate.  My daughter tired of coloring quickly. :)

A pteranodon "puppet" from a toilet paper tube.  Cute!

We also found a very cool website which has video replications of dinosaurs and what they might have looked like back in the day.  My daughter spent quite some time going through these short video clips.

Finally, I packed this lunch in honor of dinosaur camp.  We ate at the park and I surprised my daughter with a fun themed lunch.

It's a dino shaped salami sandwich on wheat bread, strawberries, cookies (to share), and a yogurt tube on the side.  Looking forward to our next day of dinosaur camp!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

CSA - Week Two

Here's a picture of our CSA haul this week:

Included are cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, green onions, more garlic scapes, tomatoes, and on the cob popcorn.  I just love having a fridge full of fresh veggies, although with the harvest from my own garden, we are nearly buried in zucchini.  I'm cooking it as often as my family will let me get away with, but it seems to be multiplying!  Anyway, not a terrible problem to have, I suppose.  My daughter is excited to pop up the popcorn - should be yummy!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Garlic "Escapes" - CSA Week One

This year we decided to join a CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture.  Essentially, you pay an annual fee upfront to a local farm at the beginning of the growing season which then entitles you to a share of the harvest for the year.  I was so excited to get our first allotment!  The first week we got zucchini, cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, tomatoes, and something I was not familiar with - garlic scapes.  Or, as my daughter keeps calling them, garlic escapes.  They are basically the green shoot which forms above ground as a garlic bulb grows underground.  Mine looked like this:

Crazy, right?  I did some googling and found that these babies have the flavor of garlic, but in a much milder form.  I searched through my Google Reader for inspiration, and came across this recipe which looked like it would fit the bill.  I made a few changes for our tastes, and here's my finished product: 

I did add some grilled chicken on top for my husband because he doesn't really do meatless meals, but I thought it was just perfect without.  Overall, I liked the garlic scape, although I need to work on removing all the woody parts.  Some of them were a bit tough.  But the mild garlic flavor was nice.  Good thing we liked it, because word on the street is that garlic scapes will be making more appearances in our CSA shares.  So, I'm on the lookout for recipes using them..  Here's the pasta recipe as I made it...

Pasta with Garlic Scapes
Adapted from Andrea the Kitchen Witch
Makes 2 servings
8 oz spaghetti
4 garlic scapes
1/2 c frozen corn
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
1/4 c chicken broth
1/4 c heavy cream
1/2 c fresh grated Parmesan cheese

First, cut garlic scapes into 1/2 inch pieces with kitchen shears.  I thought I got rid of all the tough, woody ends, but I did not. I hope to do better next time!

Boil spaghetti noodles according to instructions on box. While pasta cooks prepare sauce.

Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add butter and oil, once butter has melted add the garlic scapes. Toss to coat in fat and cook about 1 minute, until the scapes smell fragrant and are barely brown. Add the frozen corn and cook 1 minute longer, garlic scapes will start to brown.  Here's what mine looked like at this point:

Already looking and smelling yummy!

Add the chicken broth and reduce by half. Add the heavy cream, salt & pepper and Parmesan cheese. Stir to melt and incorporate cheese into sauce. Add cooked and drained pasta, toss with sauce and serve.  As I mentioned, I browned up a couple of chicken tenders seasoned with salt and pepper to put over top of my husband's portion.  He enjoyed this as well, and he's not a huge fan of pasta in general.  Can't wait for next week's share!