Monday, August 23, 2010

First Day of School

I think I was a wee bit more nervous than he was. Will he sense the other students' anxiety and decide he doesn't want to stay? Will he tell the teacher when and if he needs to use the bathroom? Will he decide after one day that he doesn't want to go to school after all? But overall, Stephen, Ryan and I were all confident that half-day PreK was a good fit for him this year.

We got his supplies all in order, including a new pair of shoes and a backpack, and last week we met his teacher and the assistant. So far so good. Then yesterday, Ryan and I took him out for a pizza lunch and gave him a flip book of pictures that he could keep in his backpack.

Then today was the big day. We were instructed to meet the assistant in the cafeteria before school this morning, and from there Stephen would walk with his class to his classroom.

There were no tears from either Stephen or me as we said goodbye and watched him walk with the other kids down the hallway. He was so excited. And that was enough to make me feel confident walking out the door and leaving him there for the morning.

He hasn't said much about what happened during the day, but he has been happy since getting home. I did have a clue that he had enjoyed it very much: He asked me, "Can I go to school every Monday?" He was quite pleased to find out that he gets to go every day!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Meals and Recipes

I never thought the day would come when I would be sad about a recipe website changing hands. But it happened. Recipezaar, which I depended on to be able to always find something that would work, has become, and lost the feature which I most appreciated!

The ingredient sifter.

I would typically look for a recipe - such as shepherd's pie - and then be able to easily weed out the ones that contained ingredients I didn't want. Or didn't have. Their new filter doesn't do this. It just looks through main ingredients and lets you sort that way. The allrecipes site has a similar feature, but it just doesn't work the same way.

I still want easy access to some of the recipes I've found on there that I keep going back to and making time and time again. This is an easy way to do that AND share with my family and friends.

Curried Red Lentil Salad I got a little worried as I was pulling this all together to make for a dinner last weekend. The spices and main ingredients seemed quite varied and I wasn't sure how it would turn out. But it was fabulous, not to mention healthy and easy!

Healthy Energy Bars
I made these back when Abby really needed to start eating breakfast but didn't seem to like the options that we gave her. Since then, she has been doing better, but I still want to keep this recipe around.

Homemade Pie Crust Here's a simple crust for the baking-challenged, like me. I found it by looking for one that didn't use shortening!

Spinach Quiche We call it "egg pie" around here. The amazing thing is that both of my children eat it!

French Potato Salad I found this one looking for a potato salad that doesn't use mayo, just for something different.

Minestrone Soup Discovered when I was looking for a minestrone soup I could make from scratch with gluten-free noodles, this soup was a lifesaver when I was babysitting another little girl. I made the soup about once a month, then froze it in ziplock bags and reheated for our lunches. Stephen and Phoena both loved it!

Homemade Tomato Soup Ryan loves tomato soup, especially paired with grilled cheese, but I just have this thing against buying canned soups. So I discovered this recipe one day, and we love it! The kids even eat it--with lots of crackers, of course.

Artichoke Spinach Lasagne This recipe made the rounds in an online community I'm a part of. It's a great vegetarian lasagne that meat-eaters really enjoy!

Meatloaf Don't ask Abby if this is good--she wouldn't touch it last night. But Ryan and I both enjoy it and it's made with things I generally keep in the house, making it a simple meal when I don't think ahead :).

What sites do you like using for finding recipes? I've been on Tasty Kitchen, $5 Dinners, and Epicurious recently. And I'm reading Vegan Lunch Box ... some ideas that I'm hoping to use to make our lunches more interesting!