Monday, February 25, 2013

Hands on learning

We do a lot of hands on homeschooling here. Projects are fun and of course make life more interesting. I though I would share what we have been up to this past week.

We are still working our way through Colonial Times and what better recipe to try our hand at than a food that is constantly mentioned in the books we read.... Johnny Cakes. 

Simple, quick, and easy to travel with. These cakes were often called journey cakes as they were carried in saddle bags for quick eating while on the go.

A simple mixture of cornmeal, flour, salt, water, and a tiny bit of molasses.

Fried up in our cast iron skillet.

Definitely better served with butter and a little bit of our homemade blueberry plum butter.

We've been studying simple machines in science and made our own levers.

We experimented with changing the position of the fulcrum to see how this effects the force needed to make the object move.

And on this snowy and cold day (windchill between -22 and -1 all day), we decided to make our own broom with straw gathered from the tundra.

It took quite a bit of effort (why does the internet always make things look so simple) LOL, but we finally achieved success!.... and it actually works!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Small Town Weekend

Remember when I sliced my finger open, I wrote that night that I had a post ready but that went by the wayside.  So I thought I would share it with ya'll tonight.

I love living in a small town. Even though we are in the middle of nowhere there is always something going on that the whole community comes together for. 
The first weekend this month was no different. 
Sunday dawned a beautiful day. The views from my window take my breath away.

We ate a late breakfast and the headed over the the school gym for the ice cream social which benefits out local preschool. The whole town turned up, and by the time we left, the line was out the door.

A had a blast enjoying her multi-flavored concoction that she created. Five flavors which in no way went together unless you are a 5 year old kid. Topped with whipped cream, candy, and a cherry on top.

A good time sharing ice cream with friends. Nothing better than a small town weekend

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Our day

Man it's been a busy week. Today A and I spent a few hours this morning at the clinic...basically I combined 5 appointments into one. Yep, that's how I roll LOL! A and I both had our checkups, me my annual and her her 6 year...she won't be 6 till March, but close enough. Then I got my stitches out (woohoo!!!!), the doctor loaded up A and I with allergy meds to try to head off the effects of a Louisiana spring in preparation for our visit with Nana next month, and I got some more asthma meds to take with me so that hopefully it wont get as bad as it did last year I was there. I also am finally getting all the blood work done to see if I have any underlying disorders that contributed to my severe pre-eclamspia with A. Just almost 6 years later. They drew so much blood that I felt like I was sucked dry. 10 viles. Nice huh? It was also time for my B-12 shot that I get every 3 months so I got that taken care of. Two hours later, A and I were set. Needless to say, school didn't happen today. But I thought I'd leave you with a pic of some math from yesterday. This afternoon we made Johnny Cakes to go along with our study of colonial times, but I haven't uploaded those pics yet so stayed tuned.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Valentines Day Fun

We had a lot of fun activities planned for this Valentine holiday.

We had a homeschool Valentine party hosted by one of the mom's and most of the homeschooled kids on the island were present...a few were out of town.

The kids made mailboxes that everyone could put their valentines in. It was a lit of fun and A really enjoyed it.

That night DH took A and I out for a fancy V-day dinner at the Grand and we all had a lot of fun.

Tonight was the PCR Father/Daughter Valentines Dance. 
DH and A braved the weather (it was super nasty with blowing ice and snow) and headed out. I snapped a few pics before they left and then I headed out to meet a friend for dinner.

On my way home I stopped by and snapped a pic of the two of them dancing and then slipped away. The photos aren't the best quality since they are from my phone, but it was great seeing them in this moment of joy.

I love my family. Happy Valentines Day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Hide the knives!

Well I had a post planned for the fun we had this weekend, but that will have to wait as it is now hard to type.

Here is why.....

Yep, that's my ring finger on my left hand, complete with 7 stitches. :( 
This afternoon I was cutting an apple for A and was totally to lazy to wash the dirty knives so I used the big huge chef knife and...wack. GAAH. Within minutes I knew this was bad and called dh at work (at the clinic) wrapped my finger tight and drove to the clinic where dh was waiting in the lobby for us. The bleeding never slowed, the entire 30 minutes until the stitches were put in. 

It;s throbbing and hurts, but I am blessed to have such wonderful medical care at my pun intended. 

No more knives for me. And the bad thing, this is totally dh's fault for jinking me. A was slicing a tomato at lunch under our supervision and she told dad that she was great at this. "I observe mom when she uses one so I am great at it." DH's witty response was "I don;t think you should be taking you knife holding skills from mom." Thanks hun....not 4 hours later and I slice it wide open...literally about halfway through the finger.

The pain was not as bad as the doctor teaching the PA student about the numbing shots and narrating "now you want to go down until you hit the bone, then move back and run the needle down along the side of the bone." Okay, I so don;t want to hear that. LOL

All is well though. I should go get them out in a week. 

So to emergency visits to the clinic in less that a week for me. I told dh I am just helping to keep them in business ;)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Headache Free and some 101 Ways to Cook Fish recipes

I spent the last 2 days catching up with A on homeschooling and also catching up on some house keeping that desperately needed doing. After being out 3 days with a migraine and another day and a half from side effects of the medicine, well the house was in quite a state. But today I am thanking God that for the 3rd day in a row I feel no pain. The shot seems to have broken the cycle of migraines I had been suffering through for the last 3 weeks.

Anyway, so I thought I would share a quick catch up on some of the fish dishes we have been enjoying lately.

Black Sea Bass with a white wine, orange-mango reduction

This was so yummy and it is a fairly simple dish. I loved it paired with the roasted asparagus and grape tomatoes. YUM!

2 black sea bass fillets, skinned 
(I have learned that I have a topical allergic reaction to my hands when skinning sea bass, so beware. It could just be me, I tend to be weird like that, but they break out, turn red, and itch like crazy.)
salt and pepper
sliced green onions
2 TBS vegetable oil
3/4 cup orange mango juice
zest of a small orange
1/2 cup white wine
2 tsp minced minced green onions
1 stick of butter

Season fish with salt and pepper and saute in oil in cast iron skillet for about a minute per side- just enough to sear. Transfer skillet to oven and bake at 400 for 15 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.

Meanwhile, Cook juice, white wine, orange zest and minced green onions in a sauce pan over medium heat until it is reduced quite a bit and is syrupy...stirring occasionally.  Strain mixture through small holed colander and return to pan. Over low heat add in the butter 1 TBS at a time whisking continuously until all butter is add and texture is smooth.

Remove fish from oven and plate, topping with white wine, mango orange reduction sauce and freshly sliced green onions.

 Halibut and Chorizo Stew

2 teaspoons olive oil, divided 
6 oz ground chorizo sausage
1 cup chopped onion 
2 TBS minced garlic
1/2 cup dry sherry 
1/2 cup chicken broth 
2 tsp dried parsley 
1 (28-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained 
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained 
skinless halibut fillets 

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in large soup pot. Add chorizo sausage and brown meat. Add onion, cook 3 minutes or until just tender. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add sherry, cook 2 minutes, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in broth and next 5 ingredients (through chickpeas); stir to combine. Nestle halibut fillets in stew; spoon tomato mixture over fillets. Cover and simmer 5 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Halibut in a Lemon, Butter, Caper Sauce served of a bed of linguine.

2 large halibut fillets- skinned
salt and pepper
1 TBS butter
2 tsp minced garlic
2/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
zest of one lemon (about half)
4 TBS lemon juice
2 TBS capers 
1 TBS dried parsley
1/2 slick butter

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season halibut with salt and pepper.

Melt the butter in the pan and add fish; cook turning once until fish flakes easily. Remove fish from pan; keep warm. 

To the pan, add the wine, chicken broth, lemon zest, lemon juice, capers, and parsley to the pan; cook until reduced by half, stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat. Add butter to pan, stirring constantly with a whisk until butter melts and sauce is smooth.

Serve over linguine. Yum!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Where have I been?

I woke up to a migraine on Sunday, and no matter what I took, it continued to flare up. By Tuesday afternoon I could take it no longer and headed into the clinic. I ended up with a shot of very strong meds and was knocked out. I slept for about 20 hours and have a huge bruise on my back side, but it is well worth it to be free of that pain. I am hoping tomorrow A and I can get back to our regularly scheduled day. Today she got a daddy day since he had to stay home with here while I was in bed. Anyway, now you know where I have been :)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The simple things...

Sometimes it's the simple things that can bring so much joy to ones life.

Take a 5 year old, who lives in bush Alaska with no chance to get to a McDonald's but once a year, to her there is nothing better than a cheeseburger flown in from 800 miles away.

About 4 hours old, popped in the microwave for 30 seconds with the wrapper still worse for wear in her eyes.

5 year old bliss!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Colonial candle dipping

Friday we woke to a beautiful morning...

of course later it turned nasty...oh Unalaska weather, but we had a great day anyway continuing our study of colonial times by dipping our own beeswax candles.

A grated the beeswax and then we placed it in an old coffee tin in a pot of simmering hot water to melt.

The process is a long one

...and A realized what a hard job it was in colonial times to light a home. In our 2 hours we made 8 make enough for a whole family, for a whole year, to use as their main source of light, well...she decided she liked electricity best LOL.

My beautiful colonial girl showing off her finished candles.

We let the candles dry between dips and the smell was wonderful!

The fruits of our labor, lighting the dark.

A beautiful moment.