Perfect Mashed Cauliflower

photo (13)

This recipe is DELICIOUS, if you like cauliflower, and if you are not on a diet that limits fat. Fat is my third favorite “F” word. One of them is “Friday.” You can use your imagination on the other one…I am working on it, ok? ;-)

This recipe is NOT low fat, as I was heavily hinting at above. It’s healthy depending on your perspective on the subject. If you are going to eat this with something sugary/carby, that would be bad. If you plan to eat a sensible, low-carb meal, it’s very healthy! You will need a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, I can make no guarantee about how creamy it will turn out.

On to the recipe! You will need:

  • Two 12 oz bags of frozen cauliflower (I use these because they are convenient, affordable, and steam nicely)
  • 3-4 Tbsp cream cheese (you can use reduced fat)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley flakes (optional) to taste

Pour the frozen cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl. Add a tiny bit of water, cover and steam for 15 minutes. Remove and drain well in a colander. You can even press down on the cauliflower a little bit to get extra moisture out. Dump the cauli and remaining ingredients into your food processor. Use the blade that reaches nearly to the edges of the processor…you want this well-blended and very creamy, with no lumps. Pulse a few times to make sure the cream cheese and butter start to melt in, and then set that puppy to “ON” and let it go to town.

After a minute or two, you should have very creamy, super yummy mashed cauliflower. Feel free to add it to another serving dish, or you can be lazy like I am and just spoon it right from the processor. It’s YUMMY! So very, very yummy! I barely miss mashed potatoes.

It is also really good with a clove of garlic. I steam the clove with the cauli and then blend it right in. Your breath will smell like garlic for hours after – fair warning. Obviously, if you use fresh garlic, skip the garlic powder.

This recipe makes 4 large servings, or 6 smaller servings.

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2014-2015 Composer, Artist, & Poetry/Bible Studies

The-Waterseller-of-Seville-(detail)-1623

Composers for 2014-2015

Hildegard von Bingen

  1. O quam mirabilis est
  2. O ignis spiritus paracliti 
  3. O ignee spiritus
  4. Vision 4 “Love”: Et audivi vocem
  5. Antiphon Caritas abundant in omnia
  6. Ordo virtutum

 

Children’s Classics

  1. Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade (interactive story with music)
  2. Sergei Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf
  3. Paul Dukas: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
  4. Engelbert Humperdinck: Hansel and Gretel 
  5. Claude Debussy: La Boite A Joujoux
  6. Georges Bizet: Jeux d’enfants, op. 22

 

Sergei Rachmaninoff

  1. Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18
  2. Prelude in C-sharp minor Op 3 no 2
  3. Symphony 2 in E minor op 27
  4. Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14
  5. Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini op 43
  6. Danse Hongroise (Hungarian Dance), Op. 6 No. 2

I made this entire list into a playlist on YouTube. Modern technology is a homeschooling mom’s best friend! :-)

 

Artists for 2014-2015

Fra Angelico

  1. The Last Judgement, 1432-1435
  2. Transfiguration of Christ, 1437-1446
  3. The Madonna with Saints, 1438-1443
  4. The Deposition from the Cross, 1443
  5. The Annunciation, 1450
  6. Adoration of the Magi, 1445

 

Diego Velazquez

  1. Old Woman Frying Eggs, 1618
  2. The Waterseller of Seville, 1623
  3.  Juan de Pareja, 1630
  4. Aesop 1639-40
  5. Joseph’s Bloody Coat Brought to Jacob, 1630
  6. Las Meninas, 1656

 

Edgar Degas

  1. Blue Dancers, 1889
  2. The Absinthe Drinker
  3. The Dance Class, 1873-75
  4. The Bellelli Family, 1859-60
  5. The Little Dancer, sculpture; executed ca. 1880 or 1881
  6. Three Jockeys

 

 Poetry & Bible

For the first semester, we will be combining poetry with Bible and reading a selection of Psalms. We will read one Psalm every day from now until Christmas break, discussing just as we would Bible study and regular poetry.

For the second semester, we will do various children’s Bible studies from this site. Our poetry will be a combination of Tennyson, Dickinson, and Wordsworth.

 

Fourth Grade Science Plans

I am a couple days behind, but I just finished Zoey’s first semester science plans! The Pinterest board has all the books, project ideas, and videos I am hoping to use. We are covering some areas that I know we have missed in past years. At this point, I am working on filling those little holes in her education and pursuing her interest in biology.

Science Semester Board

 

And here is the Word doc with a week-by-week breakdown. It should help make sense of the board. :-)

Science – First Semester Plan

 

Fourth Grade History Plans

Alas! I do still have one child homeschooling this year. Zoey has proclaimed that she never wants to go to regular school and I am happy to oblige her. :-)

I have been making plans and schedules for her, and ordering supplies and hitting used curriculum sales. I was finally able to get my hands on all the volumes of Story of the World AND all of the activity books. My plan, as she is in 4th grade, is to cover two of the books each year, so that by the time she ends 5th grade, she will have covered all four volumes. It’s pretty ambitious, but we have cut our activities back and I only have her to focus on, which means if I am organized, we can get a lot accomplished.

I love using Pinterest in conjunction with Microsoft Excel for planning my lessons. I can write everything out (Excel) and have a visual guide with all the books and ideas I plan to incorporate. Since we have done ancient world stuff before, I am not concerned about rushing her. I am considering our first semester to begin on Monday and end at Christmas break…that will be 16 weeks and 77 days of school. I think I have chosen a lot of great books and fun projects. I want to keep her busy and also makes sure we have a fun, hands-on kind of year. She really learns best with hands-on projects and lots of visuals.

Here is the pinterest board I created for SOTW Volume 1:
SOTW 1 Pinterest Board

 

And here is the document I created to break it down week-by-week. I considered hyperlinking each book to my library for easier access, but decided I don’t want to spend that much time prepping right now. I have an alert in my phone to request library books for the following week every Sunday.

SOTW Volume 1 Semester Plan, Week-by-Week

Hopefully I will have my science plans uploaded tomorrow, followed by composer, artist, and poetry on Monday. WOO HOO! :-)

Pardon me while I scream into this pillow…

Two of my kids are starting school on Wednesday. Like…SCHOOL. The kind with teachers that are not me, and homework, y’all. We haven’t used that dirty word since the summer of 2007.

Classes, schedules, and (shudders) homework.

I am churning inside with a combination of anxiety, dread, excitement, and curiosity. I am just an observer. A cheerleader. An encourager.

For the first time in 7+ years, I am no longer in charge of their education. I didn’t make out any schedules, or order books, or do any blogging. I feel a little bit hollow. But then I think about this opportunity they have to receive a great books/classical education, and I get so excited for them that I can barely stand it.

Sydni seems to be flat-out excited and ready to rock this thing. She was disappointed that Cole had an assignment to complete before classes begin.

Cole is wary. He doesn’t like anything that cuts into his game time, which is one of the main reasons we chose this option. However, he logged in tonight for some pre-semester orientation modules and I caught him not only smiling, but laughing. I am taking it as a good sign. He also asked me to help him add his schedule to the calendar on his phone…with alerts. *shiny*

There is one snag that has me singing charter school blues today – they are not following the CCSD calendar. I work the CCSD calendar teaching an after school program. This means my kids have a different spring break than me. It’s a pretty bum deal.

I am already making adjustment plans for camping (either I request time off, or I pull them for a few days), but I had hoped it would be easier to navigate vacation time. In the grand scheme of things, it will be fine. They will be (essentially) done with school by mid-May, which coincides with the end of my work schedule. That will be pretty fantastic.

So, pardon me for a moment while I scream into this pillow over here. I am not sure if I am screaming with nervous excitement or frustration. It’s probably a little of both. Check in with me next week. I may have more objectivity then. ;-)

beerelevance

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N.A.S.H. - National Alliance of Secular Homeschoolers

The vision of The National Alliance of Secular Homeschoolers is to advance the recognition of secular education in the homeschooling community and to support academically secular homeschoolers. Through the activities and involvement of N.A.S.H. at the national, state, and local levels, secular homeschoolers will have a stronger, significantly influential voice in the world of homeschooling.

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Wife, Mom, Secular Homeschooler

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