Archive for October, 2010

Historical Halloween

Halloween is here again, and my kids were responsible for coming up with a costume that was a historical myth or legend. This is their class’s second year doing this and I think it is such a wonderful and creative idea.  But because the announcement of this assignment was a little bit later than expected the kids already had planned their costumes.

Dancing Bones

These awesome GLOW IN THE DARK pajamas have been a huge hit in our house and I love looking at the baby in our bed, in the middle of the night still glowing….  But how were these to be historical?  Well, T decided to be the skeleton of Robin Hood and added a hat to his costume.  Where as L switched it up even more and chose a leopard costume.  Hmmm, how were we going to come up with an oral presentation for that one.  Well, we did and it was fabulous. T told about how Robin Hood became an outlaw, and L told the story of how leopard got its spots, adapted from Rudyard Kipling’s story.

historical halloween

The costumes may change again for the real deal tomorrow, not quite sure what will transpire, but looking forward to a fun filled day.

Also anticipating a visit from our sugar fairy!!

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Pinto Beans MY way

I have always been a lover of pinto beans. I fondly remember growing up and having them as my most favorite after school snack.  My mom is first generation Mexican American so it was a staple in our home. When I moved out  it took me  a while to reclaim this comfort food, but now as a mom of three, it is back in full force.  We all love pinto beans and live for Taco Tuesday or whenever the mood hits.  Often people ask how I make them and I change it up with whatever I have.

But there are a few basics:

  • Buy your beans bulk, they just look better. I would also highly suggest this mail order company, Rancho Gordo, where I get my  beans because they are awesome and they have many other bean varieties.  They also sell at the SF Farmers’ Market.
  • Be sure to SOAK your beans at least overnight or sometimes even 24 hours.  I have even soaked mine longer, but overnight is fine too. You are doing this step because of the phytic acid which is in the bean and by soaking them you are making them easier to digest.
  • Rinse, Rinse , Rinse- I sometimes rinse my beans two to three times before I cook them.

So it might seem like there is some work to do, but honestly it is so simple and worth it. Once you have soaked and rinsed, you can put them in your slow cooker in the morning on low and come home to some hearty beans.  Now the choices of what to cook them is up to you, but I often just do water and salt. Sometimes homemade broth, sometimes store bought broth, I often add garlic, onions, and other vegetables to add some flavor, but it is really not necessary.  If you really want to step it up, throw in a ham hock, my mom used to do that, and it was oh so good.  I really don’t do that too much, but I have thrown some marrow bones in there for more flavor, in addition to more minerals and vitamins.

So you see the possibilities are endless, you just have to go for it. And then it gets fun when you mix beans and make an awesome chili. I will write about that one later. Baby steps.

Truly Inspirational Homeschooling

I am truly amazed by what my homeschooling mom peers do and create to inspire their children. I am only on year four of this journey with my children and I know the possibilities are endless.  I just am so inspired when I see something like what this mom has created with her students.  It makes me what to do the same thing, but in my neighborhood.  Take a look, it is a little long, but so worth it.

Check out Akamai Backyard, and see how attainable sustainable really is.