Food Trickery

Food Trickery 2

Originally uploaded by gerlthouse

My new favorite thing. Why? Because everything tastes better on a stick. Even the pickiest eater (mentioning no names) couldn’t resist the fun looking lunch we had today. Hooray!



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What’s For Dinner?

 For dinner tonight we had salad. It started as me just using up a few things in our fridge but turned out to be super tasty. On our last visit to Papa and Granna’s house we had delicious shish kebabs made especially for Anna Kate by Papa Jim. He used Lawry’s Hawaiian Marinade on the chicken and it had great flavor. I picked up a bottle at the store and poured it over chicken breasts this morning before we started school.

When it was time for supper, I got out my trusty grill pan and cooked the chicken. While that was going I got our plates and filled them with this spring mix lettuce blend that we like. I added feta cheese, mandarin oranges, pink lady apples, and chopped pecans (toasted a little). I looked up a recipe online for honey vinaigrette. Here it is:

2 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. vinegar (I used apple cider)
1 tbsp. oil (I used grapeseed)

We used that to dress the greens. I sliced the chicken and placed it on top and we dove it. It was so tasty. And so easy. Give it a shot.


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New Schedule

How many times have I “re-vamped” my homeschool schedule? Oh, I don’t know…probably 67 times so far. And we’ve only been at this for a year (almost). No kidding. I will spend several days thinking and writing and come up with a terrific schedule that is “sure to work this time.” I’ll print out copies and put one on the fridge and one in my lesson notebook and one in my journal and one in my planner. I commit to making it work…no matter what.

But the only “no matter what” is that everything changes and my master plan doesn’t work. Ug. It’s so frustrating. So I re-vamp, re-commit and re-get frustrated. 

The main issue is that none of our weeks look the same. The only day that is the same each week is Sunday. Chad’s work schedule changes every single week. Some days he works 6:00 am to 3:00 pm, some days it’s 1:00 pm to close. One day a week he’s off (yippee!!!!) and other days it’s 8:00 to 5:00. So those are the variables. Then we have things that we do each week. On Monday’s we go to the Chiropractor. On Tuesdays we go pick up our milk. On Thursdays we grocery shop. Then there might be a doctor appointment or a haircut or we might want to go meet Momma D for lunch or go play with a friend. You get the picture. But somewhere in there we must do school. Something’s gotta give.

So, I sat down last week and listed off our obligations and began to make changes. First, I moved our chiropractor appointment to Tuesday, as well as grocery day. Now Tuesday is the only day that we have to leave the house. Then I tried to figure out a way to schedule each week. I bought magnetic paper at Staples and cut them into little strips and squares. On each strip I wrote our different obligations.

  • Chad’s works schedule
  • Chiropractor
  • Milk pick-up
  • Grocery shopping
  • School (four days a week)
  • Faith (our friend who comes and hangs out with us)
  • Library
  • Chad’s day off

So, the plan is that each week when I get Chad’s schedule (usually on Saturday) I can plan the upcoming week by moving our little components around. In theory, it works great. I’ve said this before, but I really think it will work this time.  Check with me in a few weeks to see how it’s going. You can click on the little picture below to check out what it looks like. Oh, and I had leftover magnetic paper so I put all of our menu options on them (red-breakfast, purple-lunch, blue-dinner, green-sides). Super easy to menu plan. And I’m so sorry about the image quality. I’m trying to learn more about this photo thing.

Fridge Schedule

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New post…sort of

I added a new page to our blog on why we homeschool Max. Check it out if you are interested. It in the side column. I’m working on several pages that I’ll be adding soon on homeschooling and other things.

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What’s for dinner?

I feel like I cook the same things over and over sometimes. So many of my recipes start with a pound of ground beef and an onion. Or I do chicken breasts a thousand different ways. In the last year or so I have taken a close look at our family’s eating habits and have tried to work toward better nutrition. One of the things that we did was join a produce co-op and began to get a tub of fresh, organic produce every two weeks or so. The tub often contained veggies that I had never really used (kale, beets, etc.) and I had to find ways to use them. Each time our tub held sweet potatoes and they began to stack up. Afterall, sweet potatoes are for Thanksgiving, when they are eaten with butter, brown sugar, nuts, marshmallows and other tasty goodness. In my quest to use up my mound of sweet potatoes I came across this recipe. It is one of my absolute favorite things to eat. It’s from one of  Moosewood Restaurant’s cookbooks. They have great recipes. I like to make extra and have them for lunch throughout the week. They make great leftovers. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Quesadillas
1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons oil
4 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and grated
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder, or more to taste
2 teaspoons cumin
pinch cayenne
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
8 tortillas
Saute onion and garlic in oil until transluscent. Add the grated sweet potatoes and seasonings.Cook, covered, for about 10 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking.When the sweet potato is tender add salt and pepper and remove from heat.
Prepare quesadillas by spreading filling on one tortilla, top with cheese and another tortilla.
Grill in a skillet or bake at 350 until the cheese is bubbly.


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My Symphony

So, I have this new blog. I have another blog, too. The purpose of that blog is to keep our family and friends apprised of the happenings at the Gerlt House. Fun stories about the kids, cute pictures, etc. But periodically I want to discuss other things. I have all of these interests and all of these questions. I have things that I think about day in and day out. Things like how to teach my children more effectively. How to provide the best nutrition for my family. How to schedule our day so we will be the most productive. How to serve my husband better. How to stick to our budget. All of the things that come with managing a household. That’s what I want to write about.

It’s my hope that, by doing so, I’ll meet other people trying to do the same things. For example, I cannot tell you how many times I have sat down at the computer and “googled” homeschooling a deaf child, trying to find ANYONE else out there who is trying to do this like we are. I have had a hard time finding others like me. Maybe, if I write, someone will sit down and “google” that and find me and we can chat.

So, there we go. The purpose for this blog. The title? The title is from my favorite poem. It was written by William Henry Channing. Now, if you do any research at all on this man you will learn that he was a Unitarian and a Transcendentalist. I am certainly neither of those. But I do love these words that he wrote many years ago and I recite them often. 

To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common–this is to be my symphony.


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