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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...

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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,...

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Rouxbe – Starting My Online Culinary Education

Rouxbe – Starting My Online Culinary Education
It's hard to believe that I ran a successful mobile cooking school for children without having attended culinary school.  Of course, you have to remember that the number 1 priority of working with children is, in fact, liking  children. And it doesn't hurt to be an experienced educator, who's goal is to make learning feel like playtime.  But I digress... After my involuntary hiatus from the classroom this coming school year, I was given the opportunity to participate in the Professional Plant-Based...

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Challah, Our New Family Tradition

Challah, Our New Family Tradition
It has been said that when I put my mind to something, I resemble a dog on a bone (figuratively, I hope!). I ponder, I mull, I research, and of course, I turn to social media for advice. About a week before our son was due home from residential treatment, I wanted to come up with some new ways for us to spend time together and to develop traditions in the kitchen. He is a major holiday lover, so I decided that there wouldn't be anything better than a weekly celebration that would bring our family...

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Gotcha Day, revisited

Gotcha Day, revisited
Two days ago, as I flew to New Mexico to pick up our son from residential treatment, my mind was overwhelmed with thoughts, hopes and fears.  Would we be reduced yet again to the "walking on eggshells" state of existence that we experienced for the nearly 7 years before making the monumental decision to seek residential therapeutic care for Ari?  Or would the past 16 months of treatment, maturation, and extensive support be enough to reunite our family and ease us into a state of peaceful and...

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Backyard Bounty: Apricots

Backyard Bounty: Apricots
Every summer, our vacation plans seem to overlap with the ripening of fruit on our apricot tree.  But it looks like we will get lucky this year - and there are several recipes that we would like to try. Our backyard is bursting with crows and squirrels this time of the year - so we have our competition cut out for us.  My daughter is part monkey, and can climb trees like a champ - so she reached what she could from inside the tree, and then used a ladder to grab fruit on the thinner and...

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Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead
I have been flooded with emotions over the course of the past few weeks.  The school year is nearly finished, and I have been a whirling dervish of grading, packing boxes and moving them home.  Along with the sadness of leaving some amazing students and colleagues, there are still some lingering hard feelings of a new job ending too soon (for mysterious, but undoubtedly political reasons). But it is said that things happen for a reason, and in reality, it does appear to be so.  My son will...

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Love in the Kitchen – For the Horses

Love in the Kitchen – For the Horses
After years of struggling with our daughter's picky eating habits, we seem to have turned a corner.  Not only is she making a concerted effort to enjoy new foods, but she is also asking to cook.  She has been on a roll lately - making Norwegian waffles, pound cake, meringues for Passover, and several varieties of horse treats. Nope, you didn't read that wrong.  She is baking for her beloved - a pony named Chico.  He isn't the only one who loves the treats.  All of the equines in the barn...

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Cooking Playdate – Lemons Galore!

Cooking Playdate – Lemons Galore!
In the 7th grade, Kristin and I became instant friends. Perhaps it was our mutual love of animals (or Duran Duran!).  Despite the inevitable middle school girl drama, we remained friends throughout the years, and then lost touch after she moved to a different high school and we went away to college.  Fast forward many years, and we were reunited by chance - and this time, I plan to hang on. When I posted a message on Facebook about my bursting lemon tree and my interest in a cooking play date,...

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Growing Green Onions in the Kitchen

Growing Green Onions in the Kitchen
After teaching children about sustainable food for nearly 10 years, I have been hankering to grow more of my own food.  I have never exactly had a green thumb, probably because I am easily distracted and don't water my garden often enough.  Since I wont' be teaching full time in the classroom next year, I should have plenty of time to get outside, water my plants, and work on my goal of growing more of our own food. Since I am motivated by success (who isn't?), I thought I'd start with something...

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