Back From Biloxi!

We are back from the Kindermusik convention in Biloxi. Lots of fun and lots of great new things to share with our friends and families here in Oxford. We especially loved the Drum Circle on the moonlit beach with the bonfire and the marshmallows!

Spelling Bee!

Ryan, my 5th grader, came in 4th in the district spelling bee for kids 5th – 8th grade! We are really excited to be moving on to the county bee next week. Study? He doesn’t think it is necessary. Oh, well. We’ll see how things go…

Wednesday Families, You Asked For It

Knowing I had 4:30 and 5:30 classes to teach on Wednesday, this past week I managed to pull myself together earlier in the day and get something simmering on the stove to be ready for dinner. Mind you, this does not always happen, particularly on a day when Miss-Almost-Two-Years-Old decides not to take a nap. Yes, many a Wednesday evening will find Ian throwing a frozen pizza in the oven while I finish classes.

The Our Time classes have been having a lot of fun “cooking” also!

This week, as I said, I did get the stove fired up and a pot of spaghetti sauce on the go. After class I was directly told by a couple of moms that this one needs to be posted. (I think they were just really hungry but here it is anyway.) Keep in mind that I make BIG batches of this kind of stuff and fill up the freezer for an option to those frozen pizzas.

1 large can diced tomatoes
1 large can crushed tomatoes
2 small cans tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
3-4 stalks celery chopped (small so Daddy doesn’t know it is there) Throw in the leaves too.
3-4 onions roughly chopped
8 or so cloves of garlic pressed
2-3 bay leaves
3 Tbl basil
3 Tbl oregano
2 Tbl marjoram
1 Tbl crushed red pepper flakes
ground black pepper
2 lb. ground chuck, browned and drained
1/2 cup red wine
several shakes of Tabasco sauce
several Tbls of Worschester sauce

In the morning or shortly after lunch I spend a little time chopping and opening cans then walk by every now and again and stir. Everything doesn’t have to go in all at once. I usually get the cans and most of the veggies and herbs in then go take care of STUFF and every now and again come back and add something else. This works for my ultra distracted way of life! I do turn OFF the stove to go run errands, pick up and deliver kids, etc. Just remember to turn it back on when you come in. The smell will usually remind you!

When I find it on sale I buy the big packs of ground chuck, cook it up and put it in the freezer. This is great for something like this because you don’t have to stand over the stove on sauce making day. If I have leftover veggies sitting in the fridge I will often throw those in. Half a zucchini, last nights green beans, shredded carrots, it all works. I often add a few more garlic cloves towards the end for a fresh garlic kick. In our house you can’t really have too much garlic.

Even the Seafood Hater Ate This One!

Ok, maybe he was just really hungry after having such a beautiful day which was not too hot to play outside. They both took full advantage and played with some neighborhood kids ALL DAY outside! Yeah!! One of the things that has always seemed wrong to me as a transplanted northerner is that kids never play outside all summer! They might get the notion but less than 10 minutes and they are back inside. The flip side of this is that, yes, you can go to the park and play for hours after school in January and February.

So here is the relatively quick meal I came up with after getting home from a meeting at 5:30 and having to sit down with the baby until almost 6 before even taking anything out of the fridge.

I started with one of those boxed Near East rice mixes. I chopped up some sun dried tomatoes and threw those in while it cooked.

Thaw some frozen spinach and squeeze the excess water out of it. Saute in some olive oil and add some chunks of feta cheese. Heat until the cheese mostly melts into the spinach.

I had some catfish and fresh basil that needed using so this is a variation of something I found on Epicurious.

4 catfish filtes
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic

Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Mix all the other ingredients and spoon over the fish. Broil the fish without turning until done.

Ta-da! Did it take 10 minutes to get it all done? No, but you know the story on that!

Baby Me

Poor little one. She looks so sad here. We realized recently that as the youngest with 2 older brothers Shaela was growing up in a house where the only thing approaching a doll was a Teen-age-mutant-ninja-turtle, Batman or Superman figure. Grandma and I took her doll shopping. That was a whole new experience for this “boy mom.” This is the baby doll she picked out. I was personally thrilled that it didn’t talk or yell at me when I got near it nor did it drink or wet it’s pants. When asked later what her doll’s name was, she gave it a little thought and my 21 month old said, “ME.”

To the Zoo We’ll Go on the Allee-Allee O

The Allee-Allee O, the Allee-Allee O

We have been having so much fun this summer in our Zoo Train Kindermusik classes! We even did a trip to the Memphis Zoo and invited everyone from all the classes to join us. Lots of families went to the zoo – but you know who’s kids I took pictures of?

No, no. Not those little ones! Mine!

Ride ’em COWboys!

Now that is a monkey if ever I saw one!

No comments, please!

Yes, even the big ones eventually wear out!