Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I only recently discovered how delicious Brussels Sprouts can be. We never ate them growing up. When I was in college, I thought they were adorable and worth a try. I bought a package and boiled them in my dorm room kitchenette. Disgusting!

My experience with them might have begun and ended there, if my hubby hadn't suggested that we try them a few months ago. Always game to experiment with recipes, I agreed to give them another try. Am I glad I did! Roasting transforms Brussels Sprouts into an amazing treat, crispy on the outside with a creamy, savory center.

They are surprisingly easy to make, given how decadently delicious they turn out. The easiest way, of course, is to buy a bag of frozen, already cleaned Brussels Sprouts. While I enjoy the taste of these just fine, my kids prefer the fresh variety. Of course they somehow manage to absent themselves from the work of preparing them...go figure.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

1 -2 lbs fresh Brussels Sprouts

2 -3 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp chopped garlic

2 tsp sea salt

ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Remove the outer leaves and stem end from Brussels Sprouts. Place in a large roasting pan in a single layer.

Drizzle with olive oil. Add garlic and toss well, until all of the sprouts are evenly coated with oil.

Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, and stir again.

Bake for about 45 minutes, until sprouts begin to brown, stirring once. They should be fork tender.

Yields 6-8 servings.

linking to:  Super Link Party

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Transaction

The other day I got the sense that something was going on with my kids that needed my attention. Being the experienced mom that I am, I deduced this merely from hearing the words, Don't tell Mom! hissed by my oldest to his younger siblings. That's what 13 years of parenting will get you!

Just then M-girl came running into the kitchen and informed me that 13 year old K-boy had sold his 6 year old brother an old, handheld video game for the bargain price of $20...a game that might have been worth five dollars brand new.

Over the protests of both boys, I negated the transaction, although I did allow D-boy to keep the game for free. When I appealed to K-boy's sense of fair play about the whole thing, he admitted that it was a dirty deal. Then, looking sheepish, he asked me, How else am I supposed to make money?

Ah, the problems of the young teen! So much to buy, yet too young for working papers!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Black Beauty Book Club

This month for book club, the girls read Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell. Though it was first published in 1877, it still speaks to young girls of today. At least half of the book club girls are crazy for horses right now, so this was a natural choice to have them read.

I began our discussion by explaining to the girls that Anna Sewell wrote Black Beauty with the intention of changing some of the ways that horses were treated in Victorian England. She purposely highlighted some of the sadder details of a horse's life. At the same time she managed to weave a story about friendship and loyalty. To her credit, attitudes about the humane handling of horses did begin to change shortly after her novel was published.

It was interesting to see how well the girls were able to draw comparisons between foolish, harmful fashions for horses and ridiculous fashions for people. They once again upheld my theory that exposure to great literature is a desirable tool in shaping great minds.

For our project we made these adorable horse heads (black of course) using the outline of each girls' shoe to form the face. Three more triangles of paper form the neck and ears. The faces were drawn on and the mane was made from snips of black yarn.

The girls all enjoyed reading and discussing Black Beauty. Next month we'll be discussing, Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos, by R. L. LaFevers.

Friday, March 22, 2013

At Last

Sorry it's been so long since I've posted anything. You've all been anxiously waiting...right?

My schedule got completely thrown off by everyone in the family getting sick a couple of weeks ago, starting with me. I managed to keep everyone fed, clothed and educated, but updating the blog fell by the wayside.

Now we're all more or less recovered, and I'm back to my routine. At last.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Kitty Cat Birthday

Around here, our pets are a part of the family. They're a part of the family that eats the same, dry food all of the time and gets left at home when we go on vacation, but still they're valued. We even make them cake on their birthdays. Of course then we eat it right in front of them, but the thought is there, right?

M-girl and D-boy took charge of decorating the cake for the cats' recent birthday. It was yummy, and you could tell just by looking at them how much the cats appreciated it. That's what it was all about, the cats' happiness...really. I mean, it wasn't just an excuse to have cake or anything.

See how thrilled they look! Priceless.

What about you? How do you spoil your pets?