Friday, October 30, 2009

Which Books?

This evening while I was at the bookstore, I was lamenting over the fact that there are so many wonderful children's books yet not enough time to read them all...especially before our children leave home.

Which works of literature would you like your children to read (or have read to them) before they leave your nest? Let's try to limit it to the top ten or less. You may also want to list the ones that were most influential to you as a child.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Autumn Sausage Casserole

From: Make it Fast, Cook it Slow by Stephanie O'Dea

Family Rating: Different

I would not rate this as a "We didn't like it" or a "You've gotta cook this again!" It was good but falls in the different category probably due to the spices (cinnamon and allspice). The prep work involved cooking a pot of rice and chopping vegetables and meat. I did start the crock pot later in the afternoon than I should have. After an hour-and-a-half the carrots were still crunchy so I cranked up the heat from low to high. It cooked on high for another hour-and-a-half which was too much. The edges were a little brown and crunchy and overall the rice was mushier than I like.

What I'm glad I did:
I mixed all of the spices, sprinkled them over the chopped vegetables and meat, and tossed to thoroughly coat the veggies and meat with spice. The spices were distributed more evenly this way.
I used a granny smith apple which added a nice tart flavor.
I used golden raisins and the kids didn't notice. I don't like cooked raisins and even I didn't notice them.

What I would change:
I would like to try a different type of sausage (used Polska Kielbasa 'cause I love the stuff).
Cut sausage in fourths instead of halves. More likely to get a bit of sausage with each bite.
Slice the carrots thinner to reduce cooking time.
Possibly add the rice later to reduce overcooking.
I think this meal might be even better cooked in a sauce pan. Cooking the onions and carrots together (caramelizing?) would be the trick to taking this from "different" to "We would eat this again."

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Women and Education

Ladies, whether you have a degree or not I hope you'll participate in my mini-poll. Men, chime in with your observations about the women in your life.

What part of your post high school education do you use on an everyday basis?

Has your post-secondary education been useful in specific situations? (ex: financially supporting the family, church callings, community or social participation, being an informed consumer, etc.)

Is there anything you wish you would have done differently in regards to post-secondary education?

Thank you for sharing your experiences!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Neti Pot Party!

Neti pot demonstration.

A year ago when I first heard of neti pots, I decided to buy one thinking it would be a great way to avoid sinus infections related to colds. For me that is the worst part of a cold...the lingering stuffy nose and sinuses that won't clear.

Procrastination happens.

This morning 7yo woke me complaining of an earache. She has had a bad cough and then yucky nose for about three weeks. For me, an earache is a sign that I'm on the mend. I know it sounds weird, but I've found that if I'm going to get an earache that is when it happens. Assuming 7yo's situation is similar, I gave her Tylenol and spent the day telling her, "Blow. No, blow harder!" (We avoided blowing the side that made her ear hurt.)

This evening the girls and I loaded up and drove to town on a mission to buy a neti pot. 7yo was happy to be in possession of the neti pot until we got home and mom announced we were going to have a neti pot party. Then the whining began. Yes, there was whining, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. Of course she survived. 14yo sister came in afterward to demonstrate how to use a neti pot without the drama. And 11yo had to show the rest of them that she was game too. She generously left me enough fluid to try rinsing at least one side.

Yeah, I know. We shouldn't have shared the pot. But, we've all had the same bug recently and hey, we're family. We love sharing...even germs. c: