Sunday, September 30, 2012

Apple- Carrot Whole Wheat Muffins

               I am always trying to come up with new ways to present a fat laden recipe as a low fat version.  An easy recipe to tweak and make healthier is a muffin.  I found that substituting apple sauce for the oil works perfectly.  Muffins are one of those great foods where you can easily hide some fruit and vegetables.

               Muffins are easy to make.  No mixer is required.  They can be frozen and stored in your freezer.  As soon as you need one, you can just pop it in the microwave.  Nothing can be quicker for breakfast.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Apple Dumplings in Syrup

                 One of my friends mothers has a small plaque on her kitchen wall that says "warm apple dumplings".  Everytime I saw that plaque, I have wanted them.  I remember scolding my friend once, "you advertise these warm apple dumplings, but you never have them".  It would be the winter of course and perfect for such a thing.

                   I took it upon myself to make these heavenly delights.  I searched around the internet and learned that they are basically self contained apple pies.  What sets them apart from a traditional pie is a caramel like syrup that they cook in.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Spiral Top Buns

               I wanted to post another bread recipe.  I find it is so easy to make bread/ rolls, that I don't get intimidated by a recipe anymore.  I just go for it.  No fear here.  Having a bread machine does make it easier but you can use a stand mixer or the old fashioned way, use your hands.  The bread machine makes it less messy though.

               I needed rolls for my sloppy joe recipe.  I decided to use a recipe from King Arthur Flour that I found.  It was their onion bun recipe.  Only difference is that I didn't use onion.  I made them plain, but sprinkled poppy seeds on top.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sloppy Joe's

                 Sloppy Joe's are an all American dish, as far as we know.  The origins are a bit obscure, as with so many food dishes.  It's possibly began in the 1920's by an Iowa restauranteur who combined beef, with some sauce, spices, and placed it between two pieces of bread.  During the 30's, recipes with ketchup and tomato sauces were added.  It was found to be a great way to make ground beef go further during WWII, by adding sauces and vegetables.

                  Of course, to make things easier, you can now get Sloppy Joe sauce in a can.  I say no to the can, and say it's not so hard or time consuming to make this all American dish on your own.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Cheddar Cheese Soup

                I just found out that a favorite soup of mine in Walt Disney World(my family's favorite place), is no longer going to be served.  It was the cheddar cheese soup at Whispering Canyon Cafe.  The last time I had that soup, a year ago now, my then 11 month old, and my then 10 year old, ate most of it on me.  As a homage to this soup being retired(maybe temporarily), I decided to make cheddar cheese soup today.  It's not exactly the same soup, because I don't have the recipe, but it is definitely worthy of being in the same league of yumminess.

                Bowls were licked clean with this soup.  Bread served with it was it's best friend.  This soup was supposed to make a meal during the week, but it didn't get past the seasoning tasting. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tempura Pickles and Broccoli

                 I love the idea of fried pickles I've seen in restaurants.  The first time I ever had them, I loved them.  Then I realized how salty they were.  It all depends on the pickles you use I guess, and the batter.  I wanted to give it a whirl.  Once in a while aren't you just in the mood for some fun fried food?

                 I wanted to tempura batter our new favorite pickles. (Woodstock Farms pickles).  They are dills but aren't too salty as far as dills go.  I am sure bread and butter pickles would work well too.

                 I had some broccoli in the fridge as well, so that got battered up as well.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Asian Inspired Burgers

                Still in an Asian cooking mood here.  Maybe it's because of all the study of China and Japan.  It doesn't matter though, the food is just great.

                I had made these amazing onion buns, a recipe I got from King Arthur Flour.  I needed to put something on them.  I thought hamburgers, and of course they were going to have an Asian twist.  I wanted to make a barbeque glaze for them as well.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Japan Week

                 This past week we studied Japan.  It culminated with some yummy food I have posted.

                 We learned Japan is made up of over 3000 islands.  The largest 4 contain most of the population.  Tokyo is located on the island of Honshu, and is the capital.  It is also the most populated city.

                 Since 80% of Japan is mountainous and very hilly, most people live in the cities near the coast.  That's why the cities are so crowded.

                 Japan is also on the "Ring of Fire", and is home to over 250 volcanoes, of which over 100 are still active, including Mt. Fuji.  In fact, Japan was created by large earthquakes which pushed the earth's crust up.  It is at the edge of the Pacific plate which is why there are so many earthquakes that rattle Japan.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Smooth and Creamy Cauliflower Soup


             Here is another easy soup recipe.  Yes, it was one of those days where I looked in the fridge and said "oh, there's a cauliflower that needs to be cooked."  To make a vegetable go a long way soup is a great option.  I also like adding some fresh croutons to add a bit of crunch.

             For the croutons you will need a bread like French or Italian.  I used what was left of a loaf of my homemade bread.  Cut up the bread in squares to your desired size.  Place them on a baking sheet and drizzle them in olive oil.  Place them in a preheated 350F oven.  Let them go for between 10 and 15 minutes.  In my oven the underside cooked quicker.  You may want to check them after 5 and turn them over.  Take them out when they are toasted to a light golden brown.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Gyoza Update 2 Okonomiyaki

             So, in my previous post I discussed how I used the leftover gyoza filling for a stuffed cabbage.  Today I will tell you what I did with the rest of the filling.  For this I have to thank Ellie from Home Cooking in Montana.  She gave me a recipe idea that I'd never heard of.  She told me of a dish called Okonomiyaki.  It's a Japanese style pancake and means "what you like cooked/grilled".  You can read more about it here.

              It was a perfect solution for my left over filling.  You basically make a pancake batter that includes whatever filling you want.  In this case it was my gyoza filling, and cabbage.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Gyoza Update 1 Stuffed Pickled Cabbage

            Okay, so the other day I made gyoza, which my husband declared as the best dish I ever made.  My only dilemma was that I had left over filling. Yes, I could have just made more wrappers.  I just wanted to try something different.  I ended up with 2 different ideas for the left over filling.  The first one was what I will call a "fusion" type dish.  I combined a childhood dish with this Asian dish.

            What I did was a stuffed cabbage.  The fusion part is that I sort of pickled the cabbage leaves, which is the way I had stuffed cabbage growing up.  Romanian stuffed cabbage if you didn't know, uses pickled cabbage.  The sauce it boils in combines tomato paste, ketchup, and water.  Then it's topped off with sauerkraut.  My great grandfather made the best.

            I know that Asians pickle lots of vegetables, and the dipping sauce for gyoza is tangy as well, so I knew that pickled cabbage would go well with the filling I had already made.

             How to pickle the cabbage though.  I never actually pickled anything.  Pickles are something I do buy.  I found a pickle brand that everyone likes in my house.  It is made by Woodstock Foods.  The pickles aren't too overpowering.  Long story short, I had a jar with just 3 little pickle slices left.  Why not just use and not pour down the drain the pickling liquid in the pickle jar?

             So, I placed the pickling liquid in a pot.  It was about a cup and a half.  I then separated the cabbage leaves from the head.  I placed the leaves in the pot and then turned the heat to medium low.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Baked Potato Soup

              Soup was something my mom always made from scratch.  We always had warm soups often in the winter.  Of course I would help.  I used to love stirring the onions in the pot.  They smelled so great.

              Now somewhere between childhood and my own adult life I went to "the can".  Ick, that I even did that.  I am ashamed to admit, but for a while I forgot that soup was something you could make at home with ingredients that were on hand.  Soup is not a hard thing to produce after all.  There's no mystery in it.  In fact I find it is one of the easiest meals to make.  Just look in your produce bin and you'll probably find the necessary ingredients.  For example, I had potatoes and onions.  Ok, potato soup!  For a kick, barbecue sauce.  You can find the recipe for barbecue sauce in the recipe for Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches here.

               A key ingredient in soup is some sort of stock or broth, so I always buy lots of chicken or vegetable broth and keep my pantry stocked.

               A hearty soup is an easy and nutritious meal to serve up to your family.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Chewy Chocolate Granola Bars

            When I was a kid, I used to love to find a chewy granola bar packed in my lunch.  The kind with the chocolate chips, of course.  Unfortunately or fortunately depending on how you look at it, I am trying to avoid anything with high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, soybean oil, safflower oil,  ingredients I can't pronounce, oh I could go on.  But like with everything else, at some point these preservative laden snacks were without.  They had to start somewhere of course.  Someone didn't just say "well, how am I going to use this polysorbate 80 today?"

              So for the kids as always, of course, I decided to try and produce a granola bar that was similar to the one I used to find in my lunch box.  It had oats in it to promote it as a healthy food, but as a kid I barely noticed them due to those awesome chocolate chips and rice cereal crunchiness.

              I wanted to avoid using actual sugar, so I decided to use agave nectar.   Agave is great, because it is as sweet as sugar, but has a low glycemic index.  It actually tastes similar to honey.  So if you want, you can do half agave and half honey, or all honey.  Honey does have a higher glycemic index than agave.  Agave is also safe for infants to consume as opposed to honey which is not.  You can read more about agave here.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Japanese Gyoza (Dumplings) with Beef

            We finished our study on Japan this week, so of course I was asked by my adventurous eater (my 11 year old) to make something Japanese for dinner.   I thought of what I had in the fridge and what could I possibly make with it that would be Japanese.  Luckily, I had asked my husband to pick up ground beef and cabbage at the store the other day.  Seeing those two ingredients I knew I could make a dumpling.  My favorite appetizer found at a Japanese restaurant is Gyoza, which forgive me if you already know, are dumplings.

             They were actually brought to Japan from China.  Chinese dumplings always seemed more doughy to me, where Gyoza dumpling dough seem thinner, and I personally like the crispiness on the one side.  They don't seem to taste as dense as the Chinese dumplings, in my opinion.

              These do take some work, especially if you are going to make the wrapper, which I did.  If I was going to make a recipe from scratch, I was going all the way.  Since I made the wrapper as well, I can tell you what not to do.

              I did an internet search and found that the dough is 2 parts flour to 1 part water.  Depending on the time of year you may have to adjust the water amount.  This is pretty much trial and error.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Chocolate Marshmallow Ice Cream

              Once I made my marshmallows, I knew I had to make one of my favorite ice cream flavors, which is chocolate marshmallow.  I love the texture of the ice cream when there is  marshmallow in it.  It adds a chewiness.

              This is a really easy recipe.  Of course you need to have the marshmallow available, so you will have to prepare it ahead of time. Since I'd made marshmallows a few days ago, I had some readily available.

              This is a recipe definitely worth trying especially if you like chocolate and marshmallow.  Throw in some small pieces of the home made graham crackers and you will have s'more ice cream.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

No Corn Syrup Marshmallows and Marshmallow Topping

              I mainly had bought marshmallows to make cereal treats and s'mores.  I  have two kids who will just eat them straight.  In my quest to get corn syrup out of our lives I stopped buying them.  Nooooooo! Yet another product I could no longer allow in my house.  Yes, my kids are so deprived.  I was on a new mission.  I had to find a recipe for marshmallows.  I did succeed.

             If you like eating marshmallows straight, this recipe is great and easy.  If you like marshmallow topping, it's awesome.  I will admit though that they do not work so good for s'mores.  They go from solid to liquid in a microwave in about 3 seconds.  There is no gooey stage for these marshmallows for s'mores.  Of course I didn't try them over a flame. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Roasted Veggie Pizza

            I had all these lovely veggies in the fridge.  One of my favorite ways to eat vegetables is by roasting them.  One of my favorite foods is pizza.  So put one on top of the other and you get roasted veggie pizza.  There is no tomato sauce in this pizza.  I cover the crust with a basil pesto.  It is such a hearty dish, and so healthy, that you feel good about eating it.

           Making home made pizza isn't hard.  The key is the crust.  It is hard to get a pizzeria taste at home.  You can use a pizza stone of course.  A barbecue grill can work, so I am told.  It helps to use a double cook crust technique.  This is when you partially cook the dough on a baking sheet.  Then when it is partially cooked you can put your toppings on.  Then place it back in your oven, directly on the rack, or you can put it directly on the barbecue grill.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Brioche Rolls

             I am no longer afraid to try and make different types of breads.  I recently wanted to try brioche.  Brioche is of French origin.  It is very versatile in that it can be used for savory sandwiches, and with some sugar topping or chocolate chips added, it can be nice for a breakfast.  Many people also use it for french toast.

             I tried a recipe from King Arthur Flour for the brioche.  I made small sandwich rolls using the recipe by dividing the dough into twelve parts.  I used my muffin pan to form them.  You can bake it in a bread pan for a loaf.  The cooking time will just need to be adjusted as well as the heat.  You can find exact directions for how to cook a full loaf here.  If you want a shinier top, brush the tops with an egg wash before you bake.

Ingredients for brioche from King Arthur Flour
I did make some adjustments due to ingredients that I didn't have such as dry milk and instant yeast.  If you want to try the recipe exactly as it is on King Arthur Flours website, click the above link.

China Week

               We finished our study on China last week.  The kids really enjoyed it.  I think they enjoyed learning how to write their names in Chinese the most.

               The kids in China start learning calligraphy by age 6 and seeing how the characters for their words and sounds look, I can understand why.  It's very technical.  I am thinking that a dash drawn the wrong size might mean something not intended.  Lucky for my kids, they don't live in China!  They have penmanship issues once in a while.  Interesting that their cursive is much nicer than their print.  Handwriting Without Tears cursive book is great.  My son just started cursive, and he is already nicely making words.  It's a great program.  Definitely no tears.

              Here is what our white board looked like.
           They were surprised to learn of all the inventions that came from China such as fireworks, silk, and paper.  They found it interesting that a little boy could be Emperor.  They also didn't think it was fair that the Emperor could only wear yellow.

           Some of the books I used for China were D is for Dancing Dragon, and  China.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches

             I'd been having a craving for a good barbecue chicken sandwich.  A tangy yet sweet barbecue sauce, topped with a cool, creamy cole slaw.  I'd recently created a Carolina style barbecue sauce.    There are loads of barbecue sauces out there.  I can buy from so many different brands in the store, but I started really reading ingredients almost a year ago, and won't touch most of them now.  The ones that seem to have better ingredients cost an arm and a leg.  Since I had most ingredients that a barbecue sauce includes, I figured why not make my own?  So I did, and it worked out so well that I haven't bought barbecue sauce all summer.

             What goes better with barbecue food than a good creamy cole slaw?(In the United States anyway, I think.)    I can make a great non-mayo based cole slaw, but I have never perfected a creamy mayonnaise type dressing for cole slaw.  The best one that my family loves, and friends have complimented me on is one from  I have tried adjusting ingredients this way and that way, but nope can't make it better.  So, if it's not broken, don't try and fix it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Quinoa Cakes with Grape Tomato Salad

            After a reader, Ellie from Home Cooking in Montana, commented on my Farro Salad by saying it was similar to a salad she made with quinoa it got me thinking.  I had never cooked with quinoa before.  Actually, I had never eaten quinoa.  I knew that quinoa was a healthy grain, so I decided to get some information about it.

             First of all, I learned quinoa is not a grain at all.  It is an ancient seed that is in the same family as spinach.  It was present during the time of the Inca's and they called it "The Mother Food".  Scientists call it a pseudo cereal.

             It is a great food for vegetarians, because it is considered a complete protein source.  It contains a good amount of the amino acids, lysine and isoleucine.  It also contains a small amount of Omega 3 fatty acids.  Quinoa is also a good source of folate, magnesium, phosphorous, fiber, and calcium.  These molecules also do not get broken down during cooking, so the nutrition, post and pre-cooked are the same. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Apple Muffins

              Fall is in the air.  The nights are cooler, the sun isn't as high in the sky as it was, and it is getting dark sooner.  The supermarkets are starting to put out the cinnamon scented pine cones that just totally make me feel like it is apple picking season.

               I saw a recipe from King Arthur Flour for Pumpkin Cake Donuts, and I thought "what a great idea".  It sounded like a very fall dish.  Yes, it is still summer, and it got pretty hot today, but I felt like making a fall type recipe.

               Now, I didn't make the pumpkin donuts.  I don't like pumpkin, and I don't have the really cool donut baking pan they sell.  I automatically thought of making something with apples.  Apples are usually what I think of when I think of fall.  Since I couldn't make those cool looking donuts, I decided a muffin would be satisfying.  I am plotting on the donut pan though.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Home Made Graham Crackers

             If you have been reading this blog for a while, you will probably have figured out that I am trying to use as few processed products as possible.  It's a personal choice.  With this choice, I am avoiding buying anything with high fructose corn syrup in it.  Yeah, I know, it's just a sugar.  My issue is with how they get the sugar from the corn.

             So, one of the products I no longer buy are graham crackers.  When I came across a recipe for graham crackers at smitten kitchen, I knew I had to try it, for the kids of course.

             You'd think it would be hard, right?  Nope, not at all.  The toughest part is cutting the dough in straight lines to shape the crackers.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Sundried Tomato Pesto

              I purchased a basil plant at the supermarket the other day.  It was not on my list.  It was one of those impulse buys that I try and keep myself from giving into.  I stared at the plant, along with the dill and parsley plants, and suddenly I had an epiphany.  Why can't I just find a spot by the kitchen window and I can have fresh herbs all year long?  Okay, an epiphany for me, I know plenty of people are all ready doing this.    It's actually funny that I only had this epiphany, because for years I would buy fresh picked herbs from the produce shelves, bring them home and then complain that I wouldn't be able to use them all before they would go bad.  Anyway, those three small herb plants now have a home in my kitchen.

             Whenever I think of basil, I usually automatically think pesto.  I had a jar of sun dried tomatoes that I had been wanting to do something with.  Put 2 and 2 together and you get sun dried tomato pesto .  Pesto's are great because they can be used as sandwich spreads, on pasta, as a base for a pizza, and I am sure for numerous other uses.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Beef Empanadas

             Empanadas are found all over Latin America and Spain.  The name comes from the Spanish verb empanar, which means to wrap in bread.  It's thought that the empanada originated in Spain.  Food wrapped in a dough was an easy way for workers to carry their meals.

            Different regions in Spain and Latin America have different ways of creating fillings for empanadas based on what types of food sources they have.  They can be prepared with cheese, beef, chicken, fish, fruit, etc.

            Today I made an empanada with a beef filling.  I prepared my own crust.  It was really easy with a food processor.  I think it took a total of 5 minutes from gathering the ingredients and turning the on button on the food processor.  Seeing how easy it was,  I would totally do it again.  You don't need to buy store bought dough, believe me.   

            I went with more of an Argentinian style empanada minus olives.  I didn't have any at hand because I really don't like olives that much.  If you like olives, by all means add them in.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Broccoli Fillo Pie

              I do try to be creative with what I have on hand in my pantry and refrigerator.  My shopping day is usually a Saturday or Sunday when the daddy is home to watch the kids.  So usually by the end of the week the fridge is starting to run on empty.  I see what's left and see if I can come up with something.

              On this particular day, I had a head of broccoli that I refused to let go to waste.  I was thinking of what I could do with broccoli other than roasting it.  That wouldn't make that much of a meal.
              I had gotten 4 boxes of Fillo Dough at the market last week.  It was on clearance at an awesome price and good until next year, so I couldn't say no to that.

             Usually when I think of Fillo, I think of Spanakopita, the Greek spinach pie.  It was the only dish I would eat with spinach for the longest time.  Now, I cook with spinach in so many dishes. 

             So when I saw the lonely broccoli in the produce bin, a vision of a broccoli pie using the Fillo entered my mind.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Learn Our History Review

                 With the Presidential election this fall, I thought it would be a great idea for the kids to do a study on our Constitution, how our government is run, and how a President is elected.  After all, the more educated a person is on how the government works, the more likely they are to take part in it. Not that I would push my kids to run for public office, but I want to make sure that my kids understand that when they will be of voting age their votes will mean something.  I want them to know that we are very lucky to be able to live in a country where we choose our leaders.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Country Report Template

              I came up with a country report for the kids to use for each country after we are done learning about it.  It is in the form of a travel brochure.

              If you are doing a world study and would like to see if this report will work well for you, I am sharing this file at the link here.  When you get to the page, just click "download now".

              The upper left corner is for pasting thumbnail pictures of the country.

Deep Dish Pizza

                 Ever since I got my bread maker, I started making things that I hadn't made before.  Not that I couldn't have before, I just never thought about it.  So now it is like, you want me to make bread? No problem. Rolls? No problem? Pizza? Why not?

                 As opposed to using a stand mixer to mix dough, the bread machine just lets me put in the ingredients, push start, and then I'm off to deal with whatever is needing dealing with.  With 4 kids, there is always "needing" somewhere.

                So making something like pizza has become a "no big deal".

                I am going to share my recipe for what I call "Hamburger Patty Deep Dish Chicago Style Pizza".  I was inspired by seeing a special on one cable network that was discussing Chicago Style Pizza.  It showed a pie that had a patty of sausage on the bottom.  It looked delicious, with lots of sauce and plenty of cheese.

                Now I don't like sausage, but I had a package of ground beef that needed cooking.  As I was going through King Arthur Flour's website looking for a brioche recipe, I noticed the Deep Dish Pizza crust recipe.  I decided that Deep Dish Pizza was on the menu for the night, and that I would use ground beef instead of sausage.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Carrot Slaw

             I love slaws.  I actually prefer slaws made without mayonnaise to those with. I'm just not that big of a fan of mayonnaise.
            Whenever I think of a slaw, and maybe it's just me, I just think of cabbage mixed with carrots.
            Now when I was making a slow cooker chicken recipe, I thought that it would be great to combine chicken and slaw in a wrap. I was thinking of some sort of Asian kind of sandwich wrap.  A crunchy vegetable slaw with a type of vinaigrette.  A great summer barbecue accompaniment even.
            I had carrots and celery in the fridge at the time.  I thought okay, I'll use them in this slaw.  Why not?
            I use honey for sweetness, and lime and apple cider vinegar for tanginess in the dressing.  The dressing works great for this slaw, and would probably would work with cabbage.  If you use cabbage in addition,  you should probably warm the vinegar and honey on the stove top first and pour it over the cabbage, so the cabbage wilts a bit.
            This slaw can be made a day ahead of when you want to use it, and should be good for a week in the fridge.

Slow Cooker Chicken Wraps with Carrot Celery Slaw

              If you need to go out for a bunch of hours to work, or are out running errands, the last thing you want to do is cook in the kitchen when you get home, right?  And who wants to really have a frozen boxed meal?   A slow cooker is a great tool to make your life easier in the kitchen.  One pot to use, one pot to clean.  Just throw in the ingredients.  No fancy prep needed.  Push start and in 6 hours, dinner is ready.

              Slow cookers are also really great because they enable the food cooking in it to really soak up all the flavors of your sauce.

              Here I have a slow cooker chicken recipe that I combine with a carrot and celery slaw in roll it all up in a wrap.  The textures are great together.  The crunchiness of the slaw go great with the soft chicken pieces.

  1. 2 lbs chicken breasts, or thigh meat.
  2. 1/2 Cup of low sodium soy sauce (I use a soy sauce alternative.  The sodium difference is astounding.
  3. 1/4 Cup of lime juice
  4. 4 Tbl honey
  5. 2 cloves minced garlic
  6. 1/2 tsp ground ginger

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Banana Ice Cream

              Have you ever had Banana's Foster?  The caramelized banana's, the lovely smell.  Nope, I never had it.  I really don't like eating banana's.  I don't prefer the texture.  I do love the flavor of them though.  Weird, huh!  I love banana milkshakes, banana ice cream, banana muffins, etc.  As long as there are no chunks of banana, I'm good.

              The supermarket had banana's on sale this week, and  I thought why not make a Banana's "Not" Foster Ice Cream.  (No rum).

              My awesome ice cream machine makes making ice cream a breeze.

              I cannot stress how great it is to make your own food like ice cream and control the ingredients.  Have you ever really read the labels on store bought ice cream?  It's scary.  There is also the satisfaction of being able to make something yourself.

             Ice cream is neat because you can come up with so many flavors.  Our imaginations are the only things that can hold us back.  Okay, food preferences can too.  With this ice cream I wanted to put a swirl of chocolate in it but my 11 year old said she wouldn't eat it if there was chocolate in it.  I compromised my want by dipping Hershey bars in it.  The chocolate craving was definitely satisfied by doing this.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Homeschool Geography Introduction

          We started our homeschool this past week.  I am basing the Geography lessons on inspiration I received from the Expedition Earth curriculum.    I liked the idea of the kids studying multiple countries and their cultures.  

          Geography is also a subject that enables me to combine multiple educational genre's.  Geography is not just about where someone lives.  Geography just by its definition means to describe Earth. So anything you can put on a map is Geography. Our science will thus be a Geography study on biomes and ecosystems around the world, based on the countries we learn.

           Some of the books I am using are A Child's Introduction to the World, National Geographic's World Atlas for Young Explorer's, A Trip Around the World, Another Trip Around the World, Usborne's Encyclopedia of World Geography, as well as multiple books on each country we will study.

           The internet is a great source of information, and a great way for kids to "see"