Yesterday, our oldest selected tacos to make for dinner. We decided to use an Old El Paso dinner kit. He wrote out his list and off to the store we went. We grabbed ground chicken, a dinner kit, cheese, cilantro, guacamole, tomatoes and lettuce (we have a lot of amazing onions from our CSA).
After an afternoon of bowling, we got to work making dinner. He grated the cheese, chopped the cilantro (with heavy supervision) and cooked the ground chicken. I drained the meat, but he did everything else. He was so proud of himself! Dinner was a big success. His younger brother even went back for more
We had a lot of fun in the kitchen together. I love that he’s learning all of the different steps and enjoying the process.
I haven’t made my own taco seasoning, but am planning to try this recipe the next time around:
Original recipe from AllRecipes.com
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
In a small bowl, mix together chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container.
What’s your favorite taco recipe?
Like many people, I try to express my gratitude often. It is still nice to take a moment and put them into words.
I am lucky to have an amazing husband. We laugh, run, and explore the world together. Our kids are truly a gift! They snuggle, make jokes (that are actually funny), explore and share their wisdom with us.
My parents don’t only help out with the kids, they are sounding boards for everything from sports and parenting to running a business. They are our rock. My sister is always there when we need her and openly accepts and laughs at all the silly things I send her from pinterest.
I have an amazing network of friends. My friends come from all aspects of my life. Some are childhood friends, colleagues and fellow parents. I can’t say enough about the strength and fun they bring me everyday.
Many of my students can fall in the friends category. They show up each day and allow me to do what I love. I couldn’t do it without them.
I’m off to spend time with my family!! Enjoy your day
Yesterday, was our youngest’s turn for making dinner. I found an old kids’ cookbook that I used as a kid. He went through and picked baked fish sticks. He has been trying fish and chips when we are out so it seemed like a good idea. We made up our own recipe for the fish and used Ellie Krieger’s Smarter Tartar sauce. He decided baked fries would be a good choice for a side.
The fish was pretty easy. We bought 1 1/2 lbs cod fillets (he ordered at the seafood counter) and cut the fish into thirds the long way and then in half. About 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs mixed with a little salt and pepper, and 2 eggs (broken up with a fork).
We lined a baking dish with tinfoil and sprayed it with olive oil. Then we dipped the fish in the egg and covered in breadcrumbs. There was a lot of fish, so it was a tight squeeze. We sprayed the fish with more olive oil before baking.
The fish cooked at 400* for 20 minutes
Ellie Krieger’s Smarter Tartar:
Smarter Tartar Sauce:
6 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt (you can use 1/4 cup Greek yogurt)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 scallion, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped sour pickles
1 tablespoon chopped capers
Spoon yogurt into a small bowl lined with paper towels. Place in the refrigerator for 1/2 hour until some of the liquid from the yogurt is released. Scoop thickend yogurt into a small bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.
Yield: 3/4 cup
Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/healthy-appetite-with-ellie-krieger-/crab-cakes-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback
We cut up the potatoes into strips and mixed with olive oil, salt and pepper. They baked at 400* for 30 minutes
I roasted Brussels sprouts and put out carrots to round out the meal. It was a huge success. The chef even had a second helping of fish
It’s been a busy week. I brought the kids to school early Tues and Thurs for a trial run of the BOKS program. We were practicing for last night’s Fit Friday where we demonstrated the program for the school.
Each year the school hosts two Fit Fridays, one in the fall and one in the spring. It runs for an hour and is designed to get the whole family moving. This time, we ran a bunch of the games featured in BOKS and ended with a little yoga.
The early run throughs were a great success for a variety of reasons. It showed us that the younger kids need a little help and some of the games run better if the kids are similar height. The preparation also provided us great helpers. Our kids were able to help demonstrate the games for the other kids. Thankfully, everything ran smoothly!
All of the kids did a great job through the evening listening and following instructions! I have to say the yoga was a highlight for me. Every child in the gym engaged with big inhales and exhales, they mooed and meowed through cat/cow stretch and they were ALL silent for savasana. They were so cute through our quick sequence!
Our boys absolutely loved it and want to do it everyday. I can’t wait to do it every week in January!!
Do you have BOKS at your school or Fit Fridays?
OK, so maybe not the healthiest of options, but I decided to let the boys pick and it’s all about encouraging them to cook. Our oldest LOVES lasagna and I had to give him credit for wanting to make it. We normally add spinach to our lasagna, but we used kale (because we had it).
A few years ago, my mom put together a cookbook with all of the family favorite recipes. She even added pictures of us to the recipes. My boys love looking at the pictures when I use the book. Last night we used the recipe from my mom, but changed a couple of things.
I came across a recipe for pumpkin kale lasagna (I can’t wait to try it!) and decided to prep our kale the same way. I sautéed 2 diced garlic cloves and onion. Then I added the kale and 1/2 cup white wine. Once the wine had cooked down, I added the kale to the ricotta cheese. We also added most of the mozzarella to the ricotta.
Our oldest did all of the mixing and layering. He wanted to use store bought sauce so we used Newman’s Own Marinara sauce. He was excited to do all of the work. So far, everyone is still excited about making one dinner a week. I’m curious to see what our youngest picks next week.
Do you play with your recipes?
Today’s NaBloPoMo prompt is “What’s your favorite hour of the day” but there are so many good ones, I decided to pick my least favorite hour.
My least favorite hour is 7:00 PM. This is the beginning of bedtime and it is the longest hour of the day. There is a lot of repeating myself and raised voices. It’s that time of day where you can see the light. Relaxation and TV time with the hubby is within grasp.
First, we go through all the usual brushing teeth, reading for school. Then it becomes, “no playing football in your room”, “no jumping from bed to bed”. Finally, there’s quiet. This usually means they have snuck down the stairs and are watching what we are watching. Eventually, they fall asleep.
We have a pretty good routine and overall, it isn’t that bad; but definitely the longest and my least favorite hour of the day.
A few of my favorite hours are:
9:00 AM because I’m usually teaching a class and it makes me happy
2:00 PM this is usually my downtime when I blog and catch up on Revenge or General Hospital
4:30-7:00 PM the kids and my hubby come home, we have dinner, homework and generally a good time
What is your favorite or least favorite hour of the day?
Last night was our youngest’s turn to make dinner. He wanted to make pizza. While he called it make your own, he wanted to do all the toppings himself. We sat down to write his list. The little man put a lot of thought into what toppings everyone would want.
Then we went shopping…
Ultimately, it was time to cook. We kept it pretty simple with Pillsbury pizza dough (his choice), sauce (that he picked in the store), cheese and a few extras. Here are the pizzas
Some of the photos are similar to last week’s post but our youngest wanted to be sure he had the same photos as his big brother
Normally, I prefer shopping by myself, but so far the kids have done well with a little extra responsibility. They bring their own list and help me with the rest. Hopefully, it continues to go well. Do you include your kids in food preparation and shopping?
Last night our oldest made baked ravioli. He was able to help (while supervised) with a lot of the tasks in the kitchen. I asked him what his favorite part of helping was and his answer – “learning how to make the food”. He really enjoyed using the can opener and learning how to safely stir the sauce.
Here is how we made it…
16oz of ravioli
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 diced cloves of garlic
28oz diced tomatoes
3/4 cup pumpkin
2 tablespoons fresh basil
6oz baby spinach
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (I use part skim)
Preheat the oven to 450*F
Cook the ravioli
While the ravioli is cooking. Sauté the garlic in olive oil. Once it’s fragrant, add the tomatoes. Cook over high heat until most of the liquid evaporates. Add pumpkin, basil and salt.
As ravioli is finishing, add the spinach to boiling water until wilted (approx 30 seconds). Drain ravioli and spinach and return to pan. Add sauce and stir. Place mixture in a greased baking dish. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top.
Bake 10 minutes. Until cheese is bubbly and golden. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.
It was a big hit What’s one of your favorite recipes?
This week, I was lucky enough to attend a training seminar at the Reebok headquarters in Canton, MA. I went with a group of moms to learn about implementing the BOKS (Build Our Kids’ Success) program at our school.
As we settled into the gym, we were introduced to Kathleen Tullie, the founder of BOKS. Kathleen is an energetic force who took an idea all the way to fruition. She was originally inspired by the book, Spark. The research presented in Spark, explains the benefits of exercise on the brain both intellectually and emotionally. She saw this and knew it could be applied to elementary school kids. After gathering other moms, they approached the school and made it happen.
Kathleen and Reebok have taken the idea and run with it. Thanks to the Reebok Foundation and many volunteers, BOKS is now in 500 schools across the country and a few overseas. The program began as a way to get kids moving and has become so much more. There is a full curriculum complete with exercises, games and nutritional facts.
Surprisingly, the biggest hurdles are getting principals and PE teachers on board. We are fortunate at our school that the PE teacher is not only on board, but came to the training with us. Like many aspects of society, people want to claim their space and not look at the overall picture. Here is a great, volunteer lead approach to bringing healthy living to kids. Hopefully, the success of the program will speak for itself and everyone can come together for a good cause.
We are in the beginning stages of implementing this program at our school and I couldn’t be more excited! Does your school offer BOKS?
P.S. I’ll be sharing more about our experience at Reebok – it was amazing!
Fall on Cape Cod is beautiful! The air is clear, the sky and ocean become an amazing blue and the locals claim the streets. There is a wonderful bike trail that extends along the Cape Cod Canal (on both sides). While strolling along the canal, you see small boats, cargo ships and tankers along with wildlife and many other people enjoying the same space. We often save walking the canal for fall and spring.
Recently, the boys have been bringing their scooters, which allows for a slightly longer walk. This weekend, we met my mom and her dog for a walk/scooter ride. Immediately, our oldest wanted to make it to the bridge. Who am I to say no? Off we went. The boys did a pretty good job staying to the right and enjoying our trek. I brought water and snacks, which we decided to enjoy when we reached our destination.
As we approached the bridge, there was a bench about 100 yards away. We decided this would be a good resting point. Well, it wasn’t the bridge – so our oldest challenged me to run the rest of the way with him. Of course, I accepted and off we went. He was so excited to fully meet his goal, he charged back towards the car. This resulted in me running after him, so that he was a safe distance ahead.
It was such a beautiful day and fun to watch our son set a goal and reach it. He kept his eye on the prize and kept moving forward. Next time he wants to try for the other bridge. We will give it a go and if nothing else – work towards it over the fall.
Do you set goals?