Crazy start to the week!!

>> Tuesday, November 23, 2010

So this week is, of course, Thanksgiving break for the kids. Elizabeth's school was having Parent Teacher conferences so she only had half day on Monday and Tuesday. Christopher went to school as normal.

My Monday was a little different this week. Ok, well REALLY different. To start, I was filming an interview for a new local show called Parentology. I was asked to be a guest and give a small interview about living on a tight budget. Now, anyone who knows me know I am terribly shy and have horrible social anxiety. This task I agree to was way beyond my normal capabilities.

Since the show was filmed in the morning, I wasn't really sure if I would make it home in time for Elizabeth to get off the bus. I decided to take her and Christopher with me. They really enjoyed it and loved seeing the filming. They sat in the control room during our interview.

I was very nervous but I made it though. It went really well and I *think* I did ok. They told me I did at least. The actual interview was only about 5 mins but there was 30 mins of setting up, checking lights and testing mics plus the pre-interview to get the jitters out. The crew was great and told me don't worry, we are here to make you look good. The one thing they said was don't look at the camera and I'm pretty sure I didn't so yay me. Hopefully I didn't at least.

We got home shortly(as in 10 mins) before Christopher had to head off to his school. It was a big day for him too! They were having their little thanksgiving party at school. They at corn bread muffins, popcorn and had some pudding. He had a great time.

While Christopher was at school, Elizabeth decided she wanted to put together a presentation for her class about her morning at the studio. She wrote a little paragraph and drew a picture of her in the control room watching Mom on the screen.

This morning, Elizabeth went to school for her half day and was able to give her little talk. The class sat on in the reading corner and she told them about her little field trip followed by a short q&a. Her teacher was very impressed with her.

At noon, Eli came home and Christopher was sent off to school. Elizabeth brought home her report card and her teacher phoned to do a phone conference.

Elizabeth is doing excellent in school. She is reading way beyond her grade level, which we already knew, and is exceeding her grade in almost every area. She is doing very well in gym, library, music and art. She has exceeded all her math expectations as well.
One area she needs to focus a little more on is well, focusing! She finds the work very easy at times and because of that, she flies through her work and can make some silly mistakes at times. She is quick to notice and fix her mistakes though.

Overall, her teacher is very impressed with her and was happy to have her join a special program with a few other kids every Monday. The librarian will take the kids aside to do a special project every week to challenge them a little more.

Christopher also received his report card last week. His report was a little less detailed but focused on all the basic skills one should have at age 5(although he is 4). He is doing very well with control of scissors, pencils and crayons. He follows the class rules very well and plays nicely with his classmates. He is respectful of his teachers and they enjoy having him in his class. He has not had any time outs or any discipline problems at all.

We are very proud of the kids and are happy to have them so well adjusted to school life. They enjoy going and are always excited to tell me about their day when they get home.


Chocolate Mint Torte

>> Saturday, November 20, 2010

This is a great chocolate mint holiday cake.

1 pkg dark chocolate cake mix- prepared as directed into two 9 inch pans.

Peppermint Filling:
3 cups cold heavy cream
1 cup powdered sugar
2/3 cup finely crushed candy canes. (I prefer the green/red/white stripped because they add more colour. I crush a little extra for garnish)
3/4 tsp vanilla

In a small mixer, beat cream and powdered sugar until stiff. Gently fold in crushed candy and vanilla until evenly blended.

Chocolate Ganache:
9 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream

Place the chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil, watching very carefully because if it boils for a few seconds, it will boil out of the pot. When the cream has come to a boil, pour over the chopped chocolate, and whisk until smooth.
Allow the ganache to cool slightly before pouring over a cake. Start at the center of the cake and work outward.

After cakes are completely cooled, slice your cake in half so you have 4 even layers. Spread whipping cream between layers, saving some for garnish and pour chocolate glaze over top allowing it to drip down the sides. Refrigerate at least one hour before serving. Serve with a dollop of extra whipping cream and sprinkling remaining candy as a garnish.

**This cake can also be made with a white cake mix and a white chocolate ganache instead of chocolate if you prefer.**



>> Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy Birthday to my beautiful Sister. My angel in heaven. I love you.


Turning a recipe don't into a recipe do!

>> Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Last night I made a new recipe for Chris. He has been wanting this for a while and well.. I hated it.

The recipe was for stove top casserole. It was quite simple. Cube and brown some chicken breast, add a can of cream of celery, cream of chicken soups as well as one can of milk with the chicken in a casserole dish, top with prepared stove top and bake for half hour.

He really enjoyed it but I just don't like stove top! Last night, I couldn't sleep. I started think about how I could change the recipe into something better. Something I would actually enjoy. Something I could make and freeze for later. Then it hit me. Of course.. Leftover Thanksgiving!!!

So my plan started out with leftover turkey instead of chicken(although both would be good) and my OWN stuffing which I do enjoy!!

I wanted to leave out the cream of chicken and celery soups and instead add maybe try cream of cheddar broccoli as well as some frozen veggies(really any would be good I think. I think it would be much better if I used the leftover gravy instead of the soup as well. Building in my head. I mixed the soup and veggies together, added them to shredded turkey and topped it with my own stuffing. I really think this would freeze well for a later date. Thanksgiving after thanksgiving. So, now I have a plan for my leftovers! Thanksgiving Shepard's Pie if you will! Wish me luck!


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