Toes in the Sand

Archive for the ‘kitchen goodies’ Category

Sometimes you are learning something when you least expect it. Here are some surprising learning opportunities that have happened in the past week.


~Dragon is writing a book about monsters and malls.  He has been using the computer to locate America’s largest mall. He then looked up a USA map to see where it was located in relation to Florida(evidently, some malls will be destroyed in his book.). This was not only writing and handwriting, but computer skills and geography.

~Squirrel wrote her pen pal.

~Tracker kept track of his Pokemon or Bakugan drawings.


~Pokemon cards & games. There is a lot more math there than you would think. The boys have been doing addition, subtraction, multiplication. They are also organizing and researching them online and in books. They have also been playing on their DS.

~Cooking. Dragon made dinner last night and Tracker helped with breakfast this morning.

~Allowance. A great game that helps kids learn how to make change and to deal with unexpected expenses. I believe that this is their new favorite game.

~Money, they have been counting their money and trying to figure out just what they could buy at the store. Squirrel was using a calculator to add.

~Measuring. I cannot remember what they have measured. But Tracker almost always has a tape measure on him lately.

~Olympics: keeping track of scores in snowboarding, curling, and skiing.



Serving sizes: what is a proper serving for children, for adults.

water vs. soda. We now have 2 pennies in soda to see what happens. So far   the pennies are looking worse and the metal is being eaten through.

risks of being overweight: this came from a TV show where there was an        overweight teen on the show. This struck close to home and started  the        entire thing.

why is water important.  The signs of dehydration

~Magnets are constantly being played with. Tracker’s favorite activity is to attach a magnet to a hot wheel and use another magnet to make it move.


~Olympics: locating various countries on the map

~Dragon’s story.


~squirrel drew an amazing picture of Shaun White on the half pipe. I am going to scan it and then send the original to Shaun White along with a letter of congratulations from the kids.

Physical Education

Swim lessons

Wii sports

jump ropes and hula hoops

riding bikes


I was on cafemom and one of the posts made me think. What are some of the things that you serve for lunch? I immediately asked my children what they liked. I heard black bean dumplings, tortellini, and spinach mushroom boca burgers. I sat and listed everything that we do have for lunch and I realized that we do not have that much variety. I think that we tend to eat the same stuff over and over. I am going to have to add some variety to the mix.

So I leave you with a question, what is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Mine is an avocado, tomato, and lettuce sandwich on toasted bread. Yummy. I might have to go get some tomatoes.

Last night’s dinner was Tempeh with Maple, Mustard and Balsamic Glaze. The sides were mashed parmesan potatoes with cauliflower, garlicky spinach and baked acorn squash rings.

The recipe is from 1,000 Vegan Recipes. I LOVE the glaze. The only thing that I will do differently next time I make this, is slice the tempeh thinner. I was really impressed by the potatoes. I loved them. I boiled a head of cauliflower with 3 really large potatoes. When I mashed the potato & cauliflower mixture together, I added Earth Balance(butter), parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder and a little bit of soy creamer. I loved them and will be making them again.  The acorn squash was ok. The squash was tender, but it was not carmelized. I am still looking for a recipe that wows me.

Do you have a New Year’s Eve tradition?

We always have a pizza bar and snacks. This year we are going to add a Make-Your-Own Sundae Bar. We even went to Wal*Mart and bought sundae glasses to use. The kids are extremely excited about trying them out. This is the one night a year that I will let the children stay up as late as they like. They never make it to midnight. 🙂

This Year’s Menu

Pizza Bar

Toppings will include:

black olives

spinach(both raw & cooked)

grilled tomatoes

sliced mushrooms

carmelized onions

raw onions

provolone, swiss and mozzerella cheeses

mozzerella sticks

black bean dumplings


Sundae Bar w/ soy ice cream


Posted on: 12/17/2009

We are back. We had a marvelous time! We even got to meet Tink. It made a certain little girl and her mommy very happy.

Last night we had our traditional  tree triming family party. I made potato boats(potato skins), black bean dumplings, Sloppy Joe bites(Qourn ground beef & BBQ sauce served in wonton cups), various hummus and crackers and Mango salsa with tortilla chips. My kids loved going through the ornament boxes and hanging up their favorite ornaments. The decorations are all out. The tree looks fantastic.

My family really enjoyed this recipe.  I cannot wait to try it again.


Sour Cream and Onion Twice Baked Potatoes

2 medium-large russet potatoes
1 tbsp. butter
1 cup diced onions
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup sherry
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Chives, parsley, or any other fresh herb
2 tbsp. grated parmesan

Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Scrub potatoes, piece with a fork, wrap in foil.
Place potatoes directly on the oven wrack, bake for an hour.
While potatoes bake, heat a skillet over low.
Add butter, onions, salt and pepper.
Sautee for 15 minutes, or until caramelized, add sherry, reduce and turn heat off.
When potatoes are cooled, about 30 minutes, cut off the top 1/3 and scoop out the flesh, add to a mixing bowl.Add onions, sour cream, garlic powder, herbs and parmesan to mixing bowl.
Mix well, taste and adjust seasonings.
If mixture seems dry, add stock or milk to thin.
Place potato shells on a baking sheet.
Spoon mixture back into skins, place back in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, until a golden brown crust forms.
Remove from the oven and plate.

***Changes I made*** I had to almost triple this recipe to feed my family. We used a large onion, red wine instead of sherry(all I had),  shredded cheddar cheese and spinach flakes.


We woke up to temperatures in the low 40’s. I actually had to turn on the heat last night. I cannot remember the last time that I have had to turn on the heat this early in the year.  I knew that my children would be very cold when they woke up, so oatmeal was in order.

I made Pumpkin Oatmeal for breakfast. This dish received 3 thumbs up from my children. I was told that I had to make it again. I did change the recipe. First I multiplied the recipe to feed my children. I also used 1/2 vanilla soy milk and 1/2 plain soy milk in the place of the milk. I also added a little bit more oatmeal at the end because my children like the texture with some raw oatmeal and some cooked.  I also used raisins instead of cranberries, why? My daughter is not a fan of cranberries.

Pumpkin Oatmeal with Raisins and Pecans

serves 4

1 1/2 cups vanilla soy milk

1 1/2 cups plain soy milk

2 cups old fashion oats

dash of salt

3/4 cup homemade pumpkin puree

dash of cinnamon(to taste)

handful of raisins

1/2 cup chopped pecans

3 Tablespoons brown sugar

a tsp butter

Bring the milk and salt to a boil. Add 1 1/2 cups of oatmeal and cook for 3 minutes. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, raisins and cook for another 2 minutes. I then added about 1/4 c oats, butter, and half the pecans and stirred. I then took it off the heat to get thicker. Once it thicken up, I dished it out and then added more pecans for a topping.

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