Categories
Books

Day 9: The Twelve Books of Christmas

The Twelve Books of Christmas

On the ninth day of Christmas

An Unconventional Librarian gave to me

Christmas Slow Cooking by Dominique DeVito

christmas slow cooking by dominique devito

2013 Christmas with Southern Living

2013 christmas with souther living

Christmas by Taste of Home

taste of home christmas

Best-Loved  Christmas Classics by Southern Living

southern living best loved christmas classics

The Twelve Day of Christmas by Jan Brett

the twelve days of christmas by jan brett

Awkward Family Holiday Photos by Mike Bender and Doug Chernack

awkward family holiday photos by mike bender

Coloring for Grown Up Holiday Fun by Ryan Hunter and Taige Jensen

coloring for grown ups holiday fun book by ryan hunter

Holiday Crafts by Catherine Worman

holiday crafts
And Fun Christmas Crafts to Make and Bake
funchristmascrafts
Check back tomorrow for book 10!
Categories
Books Children

Fun in the Kitchen with Edible Science (Nat Geo Kids)

Do you have a budding scientist in your house? Well if you’re like me, you love food, but did you know that cooking is a form of science?

Also, what did you think of Brain Games? Pretty interesting, right?

Don’t you love the brain?

Both books are perfect for homeschoolers!

Categories
Books Lists resources

An Unconventional Librarian Holiday Gift Guide

The holidays are just around the corner (eek!) and now’s the time to start thinking about gifts for the bibliophile on your list.  I’m compiling my list and I’m checking it twice, making sure Santa knows what book goes to which lucky reader.
An Unconventional Librarian Holiday Gift Guide
I am now curating books in the following categories:
Cookbooks make great gifts: aka cookbooks for the terrible cook (COOKBOOKS)
Books Dad wants but doesn’t know it (HISTORY, BIOGRAPHY, ROCK AND ROLL)
Books that will keep the little ones busy on Christmas morning and out of Mom’s hair (MIDDLE GRADE AND PICTURE BOOKS)
Books Mom will curl up under the blanket and enjoy: aka Mommy’s Day off! (CHICK LIT, MYSTERY, POP FICTION)
Book related items: bookmarks, book themed clothes, jewelry, etc.
Want your title in this list? Email me at [email protected] SUBJECT: 2015 Holiday gift Guide
Categories
Blogging from A to Z Challenge Books

#AtoZChallenge T is for Tia Mowry on the Cooking Channel

Today I have a real treat for you! Because I love food, and really, who doesn’t love food? I’m sharing a recipe today from Tia Mowry. You might remember her from the TV Show Sister, Sister.  Well she’s a young mother (I know!) with a new show premiering on TV and I want to share her recipe for spaghetti and turkey meatballs.

Tia Mowry's Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs

We cook a lot with turkey meat at the address so I wanted to see how she does it and see if I can make my own recipe yummier!

Here’s Tia’s recipe:

Turkey Meatballs:

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup milk

1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup fresh baby spinach leaves, chopped

1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cloves garlic, grated

1 large egg

1 pound ground turkey

4 to 8 tablespoons grapeseed oil

 

Quick Marinara Sauce:

One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cloves garlic, chopped

 

Pinch kosher salt

1 pound spaghetti

Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Chopped fresh basil, for garnish

For the turkey meatballs: Add the oats to a food processor and pulse a few times. The consistency should resemble breadcrumbs. Add the oats and milk to a small bowl and set aside for 5 minutes.

Add the onions, spinach, Parmesan, salt, pepper, garlic and egg to a large bowl and mix well. Add the oat mixture and combine. Lastly, add the turkey and gently fold into the wet mixture. Keep the mixture light by not over-mixing. Form into bite-size balls using a small cookie scoop for uniform meatballs.

Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add half of the meatballs and brown on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove and repeat with the second batch, adding more oil if needed. Set the meatballs aside but reserve the Dutch oven for the sauce.

For the quick marinara sauce: Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, salt, pepper and garlic to the Dutch oven and stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Gently add the browned meatballs to the sauce. Do not overcrowd. Simmer until the meatballs are cooked thoroughly, another 10 to 15 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with a generous pinch of salt. Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes.

Combine some of the sauce with the cooked spaghetti. Plate the spaghetti and meatballs and add the remaining sauce over everything. Garnish with parsley, basil and more grated Parmesan. Serve hot.

 

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Active Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

I personally would omit the milk and the cheese because I can’t have dairy. I’d probably substitute vegan cheese for my own toppings as my kids don’t like it. But the best thing about spaghetti is that you can make it Sunday and make enough to eat all week long, woooooo! Leftovers and packed lunches, here I come, BAM!

Tia’s show starts next week:

Tia Mowry at Home– Premiering Wednesday, April 29th at 9:00pmET/6:00pmPT – SERIES PREMIERE! (COOKING CHANNEL)

Come along as Tia Mowry takes us inside her life, sharing her recipes for success… and for dinner.  As a working actress, wife and mother, Tia is always on the go, but creating tasty and tempting foods for her family is the part of her day that brings the biggest smiles. Growing up with parents in the armed services, she enjoyed tasting a variety of flavors in the different cities they lived, and she loved recreating the dishes with her mother in the kitchen. Ever since she was a young girl, these influences have sparked her desire to cook for her own loved ones – whether it is a healthy meal for her son and husband, or a dinner party for her best friends. It is a busy and full life, but Tia would not change a thing!

Check back later for another T post. It’s your lucky day!

Categories
Books Children

Librarian in the Kitchen; Food Network’s How To Get The Kids Involved in Thanksgiving

I don’t talk about food much but let’s be honest; I eat food. Mostly coffee, but since cookbooks are books, I’m never too far from a cookbook.

Cookbooks are books too!

I always dig out my cookbooks during the holidays, especially the one handed down to me from my Aunt.  The best part about cooking for the holidays is having the little ones help you in the kitchen.

But what can little fingers do to help in the kitchen?

Plenty.

Categories
Conferences Travel

Librarian in the Kitchen: Conference Preparations; Cooking for the Family

I love to travel! There’s nothing like learning new things and seeing new places.  As a blogger, I love  to attend several conferences and while it’s fun to travel, there is a certain amount of prep work that must be done to get out of the door. One of the things many of us do to prepare for conferences is prepare meals for the family we’re leaving behind.  In preparing for my trip to Sacramento to attend kidlitcon, I turned to my friend Heather, from Real, the Kitchen and Beyond, for food suggestions.

Chicken is very easy to prepare in numerous ways and my only requirement for Heather was that the meals couldn’t have dairy in them which meant no cheese. Boo.  Anyway, after reading Heather’s recipes here, I had my ideas!  We secured 5-8 pounds of chicken in bulk and I set to work cooking. If you’re like me and don’t have a crock pot big enough for all that cluck, you hafta get creative.

crockpot cooking

My family is the epitome of  picky eaters so we only buy chicken breasts. I like to divide up the chicken according to how many people I think might eat this particular thing i’m going to cook.

For the Crockpot, I placed 3 breasts and covered in water.  I added half a bag of Lipton Chicken Soup for flavoring. Once this had cooked, my Pumpkin shredded it and used it for chicken tacos.

Next I pulled out my dutch oven for the stove top.

stovetop cooking

Three or four chicken breasts should do the trick here. I was making chicken chili, so the more chicken the better.

I just use basic seasonings here; pepper, minced garlic (I prefer fresh but jar or dry will suffice in a pinch), and onion powder. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer for hours. Chicken should break apart with a fork.  Do not remove chicken from the pot; just break it apart right there with a giant fork or spoon or whatever you have.

Then add your fave beans. I just used whatever I had on hand: Canneloni beans, Light Red kidney beans, Black beans.  Any beans that you like will do. When I’m making beef chili i don’t drain the beans because I need the liquid but because I’m making chicken and there is plenty of liquid in the pot, I drain the beans. It’s your choice.

After adding the beans, I add

  • chili powder
  • paprika
  • cumin
  • sofrito
  • stewed tomatoes that have some sort of flavoring in them for a little kick like jalapeños or similar.

If your family is’t much on spices totally back off on the spicy flavors. Just for fun I added little alphabet pastas because that’s what I had in the pantry.

Cover and simmer for an hour or so, stirring frequently.  The longer it simmers, the softer your beans will be.  When chili is ready, I IMMEDIATELY freeze half of it so I can enjoy a meal quickly one day when I’m strapped for a meal.

Finally, the remaining chicken went in the oven.

Bakingoven

I covered the chicken with water and sprinkled a little bit of minced garlic garlic for flavor. Bake at 250 for several hours until tender.  I made no plans for this chicken so that the family could do what they want with it. My husband likes to put chicken on top of his Lean Cuisines or on a store bought salad; my pumpkin likes to make bbq sandwiches,  so I like to leave them with options.

Because my family has weird eating preferences and also because my kids are 22 and 17, I generally tend to cook only on Sundays. The rest of the week they can heat up leftovers or fix their own meals since I am working.

Now that I know my family will have food in the house, I’m free to hit the skies for my own traveling adventures!

What do you fix for your family when you go away? Don’t forget to pop over to Heather’s site and show her some love!

 

Categories
Books

The Twelve Books of Christmas: Day 9

The Twelve Books of Christmas

On the ninth day of Christmas

An Unconventional Librarian gave to me

Christmas Slow Cooking by Dominique DeVito

christmas slow cooking by dominique devito

2013 Christmas with Southern Living

2013 christmas with souther living

Christmas by Taste of Home

taste of home christmas

Best-Loved  Christmas Classics by Southern Living

southern living best loved christmas classics

The Twelve Day of Christmas by Jan Brett

the twelve days of christmas by jan brett

Awkward Family Holiday Photos by Mike Bender and Doug Chernack

awkward family holiday photos by mike bender

Coloring for Grown Up Holiday Fun by Ryan Hunter and Taige Jensen

coloring for grown ups holiday fun book by ryan hunter

Holiday Crafts by Catherine Worman

holiday crafts
And Fun Christmas Crafts to Make and Bake
funchristmascrafts
Check back tomorrow for book 10!
Categories
information

Preschool, the UK and Trifle

Last week I was teaching my little ones about the UK. Ok so really I was just exposing them to the idea that there are different places all over the world, but whatever, right? Anyway, we talked about the UK.  I showed them a map of the UK and we colored the flag.

We discussed the idea that Great  Britain has a Queen.

I taught them the poem “Pussy cat Pussy cat where have you been?” which we acted out on the flannel board.

The culminating event to all things UK was making TRIFLE!!   My kids love food, and any project that contains food is always a winner so it was a no-brainer when I decided to make trifle. Trifle is really easy to make, difficult to mess up and so fun to eat!

Here’s the recipe I used:

  • cake: you can buy a store cake or make your own. i made my own because one child has egg allergies and I substituted applesauce for the egg
  • fruit: i used fresh strawberries but you could really use anything. I believe true trifle is actually made with jelly.
  • vanilla pudding –  premade
  • Reddiwhip (the kind that squirts out of the can); i think Coolwhip or similar could also work

So here’s what we did.  First, we put a layer of cake in the bottom of a glass bowl.

Then the children each put a container of vanilla pudding on top.

Looks yummy already, non?  Each child was allowed to take their “empty” pudding container back to their seat to eat it the remaining pudding. This was an accidental but INGENIOUS idea cuz it kept them from begging for another turn. SCORE!

After the pudding (note to self: next time make sure you have pudding for EVERYONE. Two children didn’t get to put the pudding on and almost had a meltdown) came the whipped cream!

This lucky little guy was afraid of the can at first then as you can see, he grabbed it and attacked his job like a seasoned machinist!

and…here is our finished product!   Easy peasy lemon (whipped cream) squeezy!

Here’s how it looks from the top: totally yummy looking isn’t it?  I think my kids have career options!

And the best part? No one sneezed or flicked anything into the bowl.  PERFECTION!

 

What have you made with your little ones? I need more ideas!