Memories and healthy recipes for your dinner table.

Recent Posts

Zucchini Patties

I love zucchini. I love roasting them, dicing them up in sauces and who cannot resist a tempting loaf of zucchini bread. But, I am bored with this little green courgette. I needed something new to use my last zucchini in. Ironically I was thinking […]

Family Togetherness: Say HooYah!

Photo: (info unknown) One of the best ways to bring out positive behavior is to acknowledge it. Children and teenagers especially need our encouragement. They enjoy knowing good deeds have not gone unnoticed. One way we show recognition for the positive things done throughout the […]

Caramel Apple Brickle Dip

Caramel apple dip was once one of my favorite sweet guilty pleasures. It was all the rave in my circle of friends. If there was a baby shower, birthday party or get together you can bet caramel apple dip was on the table. I have not had caramel apple dip for years now and thought it would make a lovely appetizer or after school snack using the delicious apple just coming in season.

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 package Heath Toffee Bits

Mix the cream cheese, sugars and vanilla until smooth. Stir in toffee bits. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serve with a variety of sliced apples.

September Resolution to Give

The Giving Tree by Lady Squall With the onset of September also comes change. Children begin a new school year. College students move away. I no longer have to watch reruns of 30 Rock. New friendships will be made. Empty nesters will adjust to a […]

Vanilla Peach Pork Chops

The kids and I waited all spring and early summer for the nectarines to ripen on the the tree in the backyard. Finally our patience paid off. One day while making our routine check of the fruit we found several ripe ones. The nectarines tasted […]

September Website Reviews: Love2Learn2Day, PreschoolExpress, NTFFC

Last school year a few friends of mine and I decided to host a preschool for our four year old’s. We designed the preschool curriculum and drafted a schedule. There were four kids who thankfully got along well together. We met three days a week (Monday through Wednesday) for three hours. Each mom took turns hosting preschool at their house one week each month. The kids had a blast learning their letters and forming lasting friendships. My daughter just barely missed the cut off for Kindergarten this year. Unfortunately all her friends, she has meet since we moved, are going to school. Meaning she will be home with me and little brother. In my search to come up with fresh ideas to make a new ABC book I found No Time For Flash Cards.

NO TIME FOR FLASH CARDS:
If you have little ones at home and are looking for fun fantastic learning ideas for preschoolers from activities to crafts and book recommendations NTFFC is an easy place to start. Allison McDonald is the founder of No Time For Flash Cards. Allison has a degree in Elementary Education and spent 10 years working with preschoolers and parents teaching crafts. In 2008, after the birth of her son she left the classroom to be home with her son. Her passion for teaching children inspired her to share her ideas online. Thus, No Time For Flash Cards was created. You will find tons of books, themes and alphabet crafts to teach your toddler and preschooler.

Favorite NTFFC Links:
Toothpick Sea Urchins
Paper Plate Animals
Fine Art Museum
Venus Fly Trap

PRESCHOOL EXPRESS:
Preschool Express is a free on-line educational resource for children ages 1-5. Jean Warren is the founder of Preschool Express and the previous owner of Totline Publications. She is best known for her songs, rhymes and stories which can be found in popular books such as; Piggyback © Song books, 1*2*3 Art , Theme-a-saurus and the Totline Teaching Tales children’s book series. Jean created the Preschool Express Website as a way to give back to the world. Her hope is to provide every parent and grandparent the resources they need to create a natural learning atmosphere.

There is so much to explore on the Preschool Express. The calendar station offers teachers or parents a calender with chosen themes for each week. There are calenders for preschoolers and toddlers with a daily activity to do together. Plan a party at the party station. Learn to make snacks, read stories and discover.

LOVE2LEARN2DAY:
If you have a child who loves math Love2Learn2Day offers loads of fun games and manipulative ideas that are K-12 math orientated. The creator of Love2Learn2Day is an educational consultant working with both kids and teachers. The website is all about learning to have fun with math.

Favorite Love2Learn2Day Links:
Mapping a Farm
Play dough Maps
Incan Quipu Math (place value, history)
Math in the Movies

Potato Gnocchi

Whenever I am in the mood to cook Italian I always turn to my favorite Napa Valley Chef, Micheal Chiarello. His recipes are always clean and full of flavor. This recipe for Potato Gnocchi does not disappoint. Gnocchi [pronounced ‘Nyoke-ee’] is a type of dumpling […]

Zucchini Cornbread Casserole

I awoke one morning to find an enormous zucchini on top of the kitchen island. A friend at Stephen’s work brought them in. He said there were more but he was not sure how many I would want. This giant cuke was plenty. Part of […]

White Bean Salad with Green Beans and Tomatoes

I was looking for something different to go with grilled salmon when I stumbled upon this recipe for white bean salad. It combines fresh green beans with tomatoes and olives drizzled with a tangy vinaigrette. This white bean salad makes for a great side dish at any picnic or BBQ. Add canned tuna for a tasty lunch to take to work or use the dressing to flavor your favorite steamed vegetables.

Source: Adapted from Woman’s Day
12 oz fresh green beans
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
1?4 tsp each salt and pepper
1 can (15 to 16 oz) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 medium tomato, cut into wedges
1?2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
Chopped parsley

Steam green beans by dropping them into a pot of salted boiling water. Blanch for 3-5 minutes. Drain water then cover pot.

Meanwhile, make dressing: Whisk oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper until well blended.
Cut green beans into smaller bite sized pieces. In a large serving bowl, gently toss green beans, cannellini beans, tomato and olives. Drizzle dressing over salad and garnish with parsley, if desired.

Variations:
– 1 grilled salmon steak, flaked
– 2 cans (5 to 6 oz each) solid light tuna in olive oil, undrained. Replace the oil in the can for 1/4 cup olive oil.
– Use 1 (12 oz) bag microwavable green beans in the place of fresh green beans.
– Go Mediterranean by mixing 8 oz green bean with two bags mixed greens, 2 cucumbers seeded and sliced, grape tomatoes in the place of wedges, 1 can (12 oz) tuna in oil drained, olives, 1/2 cup Greek salad dressing, 1/2 cup crumbled basil-tomato feta cheese.

Family Togetherness: Story Dice

One night when tucking my son into bed he asked me to tell him a story. The sad part was my mind was blank. I could not come up with anything. I relayed the incident to a friend of mine who comforted me with her […]