Sign up for the What's Cooking Newsletter! Subscribers will get a free bonus of our 6 best tips on cooking with kids The Whole Family Cookbook The Whole Family Cookbook

Goodbye, Hamlet {A Dog Treat Recipe}

Goodbye, Hamlet {A Dog Treat Recipe}
I am a softie. A rescuer.  Maybe that's why students used to ask if they could eat lunch in my classroom.  It's certainly why I brought home Hamlet, a rescue dog, just two months before our adopted son came home from Guatemala.  I was yearning to nurture - and there was a delay in our adoption paperwork.  And so, just like that, Hamlet helped to fill the void. Suddenly, three nights ago, Hamlet collapsed and I rushed him to the emergency veterinary clinic.  I'll spare you the unpleasant...

Continue Reading

Bird Seed for Breakfast

Bird Seed for Breakfast
When my daughter came into the kitchen this morning, she started to giggle.  And then she asked me why I had bird seed on the counter.  "Isn't that what we used to feed the parakeets?" she asked.  Yep - I suppose millet IS a main ingredient in bird seed, but I tried to convince her that this was slightly different, since it was intended for people instead of our former avian friends. Coconut Millet, photo from Rouxbe.com One of my goals in taking the Rouxbe online plant-based cooking certification...

Continue Reading

Make Your Own: Cup of Noodles

Make Your Own: Cup of Noodles
When I saw this version of homemade cup of noodles, I knew that I was going to have to give it a try.  I have become obsessed with using glass jars in the house - to store, to freeze, and to reuse all over again.  And the jars for this recipe were too cute to pass up.  Plus, I love how they look when they are packed and ready to grab from the refrigerator. I am trying to use as few unprocessed ingredients as possible, and am not thrilled with these little packages of concentrated vegetable...

Continue Reading

Planning Ahead – and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Planning Ahead – and Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Since I am not at work all day, I am spending a good portion of my time trying to be efficient so that I can be more "emotionally available" to my family.  One strategy that seems to be working well is to spend some time early in the week prepping a ton of veggies so that most of the heavy lifting is done prior to the dinner time crunch. This week, I got a lot of knife skills practice (which is GREAT for my Rouxbe cooking class!). I diced a butternut squash, cut kale leaves into ribbons, halved...

Continue Reading

Who’s Your Daddy?

Who’s Your Daddy?
I believe that one of my greatest contributions to the classroom was that I was maternal.  I was filled with passion for what was right and would act like an agitated Mama Bear if I felt like someone was doing wrong by my students.  Maybe I'd get upset because there was disrespect in a relationship between two students; sometimes students were treated as if they didn't matter; and often, their health was ignored by others who should have been making it a priority. Now that I am no longer in...

Continue Reading

Lesson Plans Aren’t Just for the Classroom

Lesson Plans Aren’t Just for the Classroom
It has finally come and gone - the start of the new school year. And for the first time in several years, I didn't return to the classroom with my children and former students.  After losing my job, I wasn't sure how I would handle the transition.  But I am handling it.  Because I have to. Of course, I couldn't resist thinking about what I would have done on the first day of school with my students.  How would I have inspired them or lit the spark to encourage them to try harder than ever...

Continue Reading

Life Has No Reset Button - So Organize the Kitch...

Life Has No Reset Button – So Organize the Kitchen
When life feels out of control, I like to purge.  It somehow gives me the sensation that I am in charge.  Of something.  But usually not the things that matter.  It makes no difference, though - it still leaves me feeling somewhat more satisfied. Lately, I can't escape the feeling that I am caught in a cyclone.  Our son's transition back home started smoothly, but is rapidly leading back to where we began.  My daughter's riding instructor asked her how I was coping, and she replied that...

Continue Reading

Plant-Based Diet Myths Debunked: Protein

Plant-Based Diet Myths Debunked: Protein
Just ask any vegetarian what they hear the most after telling somebody that they don't eat meat.  I am not a betting gal, but I'd put money on this:  "How do you get enough protein?" All joking aside, you do not have to eat meat in order for your body to get enough protein.  I thought it might be helpful to share the basics of how proteins are built and what they are used for in your body. Some basic biology vocabulary: Mono = one; Poly = many Monomers are single units (like train...

Continue Reading

5 Reasons Real Life Should Be Like a Dude Ranch

5 Reasons Real Life Should Be Like a Dude Ranch
This has been a time of great transition for our family.  We have gone from the hectic schedule of a busy school year to the relative ease of summer, jobs are in transition, and our son has returned home.  We were sorely in need of a family vacation...and while most people consider a trip to the lake or beach to be an ideal destination, we had something else in mind.  We yearned for something adventurous, but also easy.  I didn't want to worry about making meals (or even a week's worth of dinner...

Continue Reading

Summer Quinoa Salad – a Simple “Go-To” Dish

Summer Quinoa Salad – a Simple “Go-To” Dish
My first Rouxbe assignment was to make my "go-to" plant-based dish.  I know it sounds odd, but I don't really have a specialty.  I usually do a little-of-this and a little-of-that (although I do make a mean coconut macaroon...)  So, I decided to keep it simple and make a summer quinoa salad.  This dish represents how I like to cook - with fresh ingredients that I already have on hand.  Quinoa, filled with protein, serves as an ideal canvas to combine with cucumbers, bell peppers, kalamata olives,...

Continue Reading