Monday, September 24, 2012

Meal Plan Monday: September 24th, 2012 (FALL!!!)

Prosciutto Chicken in Pesto Cream Sauce (Needs a translator)


Mexican Sweet Potato & Bean Skillet w/ White Cheddar Queso

Grown Up Grilled Cheese and Chunky Tomato Soup

Moqueca De Camaro

Upside Down Day

Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash & Quinoa Recipe

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash
2 large acorn squash (about 2 1/2 pounds each) or 4 small acorn squash
1 1/2 cups quinoa1 onion1 red bell pepper1 green bell peppergarlic (add what you like!)Herbs/seasonings as you pleaseCrumble/ soft style cheese (we liked goat feta!)Olive Oil

Roast the squash: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut each squash in half, and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Place the halves cut side down on a baking sheet, and roast for about 20 to 35 minutes, until slightly browned and easily pierced with a fork. (The time will be less for smaller squashes; test with a fork after 20 minutes; if the fork doesn’t go all the way through, cook a bit longer.) Make the quinoa: Cook the quinoa following the instructions. While the quinoa cooks prepare the fresh ingredients: Dice peppers and onions. In a skillet, heat olive oil. Add the onion and saute about 4 minutes, just before they begin to brown. Add peppers and garlic until cooked but still somewhat bright. When the quinoa is done, stir in the sauteed veggies. Then add the herbs and seasonings. Taste, and add more salt or pepper to taste, as well as a drizzle of olive oil if desired. When the squash are done, spoon quinoa generously into each half. Top with cheese. Put back into the oven until food is bubbly and cheese is browning.

Meal Plan Monday

Monday, September 17, 2012

Meal Plan Monday: September 17th, 2012

Baked Ziti

Lentils and Braised Winter Greens with Lemon Ginger Vinaigrette (From The Northwest Vegetarian Cookbook)

Chicken and French Fries

Cumin Laced Chickpea Soup

Rice, Roasted Red Pepper and Green Bean Casserole

Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

Tomato Masala with Homemade Paneer

That's right! This week we are trying our hand at cheese making! This is real as simple as it gets, as far as cheese making goes, so I am excited to see how it goes. And being that paneer tends to cost close to $10 a lb, the idea that I can make it from a gallon of milk, making the cost a quarter of that, just floats my boat.

1/4 c water
1 gallon of whole milk
1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1/3 c white vinegar

Pour water into a large, heavy-bottomed pan. Then slowly pour in the entire gallon of milk. Stir in the sugar. Turn on the heat to medium and bring the milk to a boil for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to keel from scorching. Watch constantly, and when the surface begins to foam up, but before it over flows, pour in the vinegar and remove from the heat. The foaming will subside and solids will separate from the liquid. Wait 5 minutes, until the liquid has completely separated from the solids.

Line a colander with triple-layered cheesecloth. Place the colander in the sink and carefully pour in the entire contents of the pan. Let stand about 5 minutes to drain. Wrap the cheesecloth around the paneer in a ball shape and tie in a double knot.Place the ball of paneer, still wrapped in cheesecloth, on a large plate (on a counter or in the sink) and place in a 2-quart pan filled with water on top of the paneer. This will flatten the paneer to about 2 inches thick and press out more water, making the cheese firmer. After about 30 minutes, remove the pan of water (For firmer paneer, let it remain under the pan of water for 1 hour. This would be best for the Tomato Masala use.) Unwrap the paneer, carefully scraping off with a spoon any that adheres to the cheesecloth, and place it on another plate.

Meal Plan Monday

Monday, September 3, 2012

Meal Plan Monday: September 3rd, 2012

Enchilada Casserole

Coq au Vin

Sloppy Lennys

Baked Bean Stew

Fish Tacos


Curried Cauliflower (From Cast Iron Skillet Big Flavors: 90 Recipes for the Best Pan in Your Kitchen )

1 head of cauliflower
4 tbsp unsalted butter; melted
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, roll the cauliflower in the melted butter until evenly coated. Blend the sugar, curry powder, turmeric  paprika, and salt; sprinkle over the butter-coated cauliflower. Stir to evenly coat. Spread out evenly in a 10-inch cast iron skillet. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the cauliflower pieces with a spatula. Return to the oven and cook until the cauliflower is tender and golden, 10 minutes more. Transfer to a serving dish and serve warm.

Meal Plan Monday

Saturday, September 1, 2012

From Design to Reality: An Unschooling Adventure

 We recently took a trip camping at a lake. It was all kinds of fun, beautiful, and all the stress that comes with taking three small children on such a trip. But while we were there we did something awesome.

L1 has been fully obsessed with camping and fishing. Since we were already camping, he was ready to go fishing. So, he needed a boat. I suggested he draw up a design for the boat he wanted.

We got to work, searching the beach and our supplies. Driftwood. Rope. An old tarp.

L1 was very specific in his instructions. We followed them. This was his time and his project and it was our job to help him make his vision a reality. 

We talked about levers, knots, buoyancy, the mountains around us, the fish we could catch, the birds we saw, the rocks, the sun, the clouds, the sounds we heard and made (including a rad percussion jam session on a piece of driftwood with tree roots that all made a different note) and any number of things in between. Then we stepped back and admired the work. And saw L1's dream sitting in front of us.

We all played on the ship for the duration of our trip. Captain Beard, Captain Skeleton Turtle Jack, Princess Captain Jack Harkness (Who also turned to Princess Captain Jack Harkness Zombie), Mr Smee, and more characters joined in swordplay, teamwork, exploration, feats of strength, balancing acts, and breaking out into song.

That was one amazing day at our school.