My GrandpaT always said at nearly every meal to at least one of us grandkids "Why don't you eat and leave the food alone?" Which, to a 5 yr old, is pretty confusing. I think I have it figured out, but don't tell my family. We all believe what we want about Grandpa's words of wisdom on just about everything in the world.
For me, I will simply say - it makes me wonder what in the world I really have eaten myself into...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Homework Hassle

As I write I am having Huge Homework Hassles with Midget. She HATES homework. Understood, so did I all through school. I didn't have a parent who made me do every stitch of it either, so I never learned good homework habits, thus I graduated with a 2.7 GPA. I am determined to give her a better sense of responsibility when it comes to her homework, but somewhere she picked up the idea that she can make me crazy with whining and acting like I am shooting her when I have her correct her errors, etc. She is so danged intelligent, and so she rushes her answers then has to redo them when her rushed answer is wrong or sloppy, but it's my fault (according to her).
From St. Patty's Day. She dressed herself... love it!

Usually we have a pretty easy time with this nightly ritual, but on some nights it's a struggle. Tonight, I chalk it up to her late night last night (She got a flashlight hidden under her pillow and Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire to read) and she woke up 30 minutes before her usual time. My life sucks when she doesn't get enough sleep, it makes her overly emotional.

So anyway, we have strategies we use here for her when we have a hassled night. Time out, of course, but not just time out. Time out with breathing exercises (In through the nose, out through the mouth), counting down from 10, 20, or 30 depending on how upset she is. I really subscribe to the Love & Logic principal's of parenting too. She has to have consequences, For now I choose them and they are for her to have to redo the incorrect problems before she turns them in. Eventually I will have to let her have the consequences of turning papers in with all of her errors and see how she fares then. Of course her teacher is well aware of her penchant to rush, and right now her homework is more about doing the work then for an actual grade.
We're learning and working through all of these things together, and loving the ride for the most part. Our next adventure in learning is actually her assessment for the Gifted's program. Oh. Lord. Help.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Fruit + My Brain = Best. Fruit. Dip. Ever!

I am not much of a cook, but when I have a stroke of genius, well..... it really turns out great. For a cookout with friends On St. Patty's Day, I was to bring Tortilla Chips w/Bean Dip, and Fruit. Hmmm... Bean dip was easy peasy. And how easy is fruit? But the dip?... my last choice (store bought) ended up being thrown away about 3 months after the party because no one liked it, and no one ate it. So I began to brain storm, reviewing some of the fruit dips I have had over the years: yogurt, marshmallow fluff, all kinds of stuff. then I thought about something I could revamp to suit my purposes.
I used to frequent this bagel shop that made something called "Yummy Bagels" They were these cinnamon raisin bagel knots covered in the yummiest frosting/glaze. Once, about 2 years after they stopped making them, I chatted up the manager, reconnected actually since we went to school together, and got the very short recipe. Cream Cheese and Powdered Sugar. That's all. They mix together and make this thick, but runny glaze like substance. As I said... hmmm... I can work with that!
I went to the store to buy my fruit (Pineapple, Gala Apples, Green Grapes, and Strawberries) and pick up nothing else, because I had all that I needed at home already!

Just 5 ingredients! (Yeah, I forgot the yogurt in the pic..sue me)

2 pkgs Cream Cheese
1 cup or so Powdered Sugar
1 1/2 or 2 cups Vanilla Yogurt
1 or 2 tbsp Vanilla Extract
2 tbsp (to taste) Lemon Juice
*I made a large batch, but it's easily halved for a smaller batch.

Blend together cream cheese and powdered sugar. It should be smooth and frosting like.
Then add to that the vanilla yogurt and vanilla extract and blend again.
I really liked it at this point, but something was missing... It needed to be... BRIGHTER! (No, no green food coloring, even though it was for St. Patrick's Day). I added the lemon juice. I think it would've been good with some lemon zest too, but I didn't think of that when I was shopping. Anyway, the whole thing turned out super yummy, and that something missing was definitely the lemon juice, it was just enough to amp it up, but not make it lemony.

When the crew dug in I got all glow-ie since they were all raving like it was the best thing they had ever tasted. I have to admit, I think it turned out pretty dang good.

In fact when I left I decided to have mercy on the hostess and let her keep all the fruit and dip that was left over.

She sent me the picture to the right, It's the last of it, and I'm pretty sure it is sitting on her bed spread. Bud she did send it with the subject line of "Yummy!". So not only is it good, it's after dinner, dessert good. Possibly even bedtime snack good.

I couldn't be more proud... now what else can I get into?
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