Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

I hope everyone is spending today honoring their Father. We should really do this everyday, but you may have noticed that I enjoy a holiday. There's nothing wrong with a good excuse to celebrate something, and today it's fathers. I didn't realize how important fathers were until I had my first child. I'm so thankful that God has given our family this husband and father.
If you like to scrapbook then you might enjoy checking out Ten Two Studios latest Father's Day countdown. Now go spend some time with Dad!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands; one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Image: Salute the Flag by Norman Rockwell

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

She's A Grand Old Flag!

Happy Flag Day everyone! Here's a little about Flag Day from Wikipedia:

In the United States, Flag Day (more formally, National Flag Day), is celebrated on June 14. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened that day by resolution of the Second Continental Congress in 1777.
1916, Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day; in August 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress.
Flag Day is not an official
federal holiday, though on June 14, 1937, Pennsylvania became the first (and only) U.S. state to celebrate Flag Day as a state holiday.

Here are a couple of books in my collection that we will be reading to celebrate this holiday:

The Story of the Star-Spangled Banner - Natalie Miller

This is a Cornerstone of Freedom book. These books are excellent for teaching history to elementary aged children.

The Pledge of Allegiance - Scholastic

This is an excellent book with the correct words to the Pledge (ahem) and lots of facts about the American flag.

You can find more ideas for books and activities for Flag Day here.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

HealthiER Food! More With Less Cookbook

In my family we try to make things from scratch as much as possible so we know what's going into our food. This is an excellent cookbook for learning to make things from scratch that are easy on your food budget. The author, Doris Longacre, tried to create a book to help women cook nutritious meals with less money. There are lots of good tips for how to do just that. The recipes were submitted by many different women giving this cookbook an almost "community cookbook" feel. I also really like the spiral binding which makes it easy to lay flat when cooking from it.

This really is not "health" food, but in an age where convenience food is so pumped full of chemicals this could be thought of as healthiER food. Even though you are cooking from scratch you can still have some shortcuts. You can make a large batch of this sauce, add cheese and then freeze it. I freeze it in portions large enough for macaroni and cheese and then it's almost a convenience food. You can also add some salsa to it when you reheat it and have a great nacho cheese dip. Or of course over broccoli which makes it even healthier! Right??

Basic White Sauce

More With Less Cookbook
Joanne Lehman and Roberta Kreider

Melt in heavy saucepan:

2 Tablespoons butter

Blend in, cooking and stirring until bubbly:

2 Tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon salt (I don't add this)

Using wire whisk to prevent lumps, stir in:

1 cup whole milk (or cream if your feeling really indulgent)

Cook just until smooth and thickened. Makes slightly over 1 cup. Compares to undiluted condensed soups, and makes approximately the same amount contained in one 10 oz. can.

For cheese sauce the recipe calls for adding 1/2 cup grated "nippy" cheese. I use American and probably more than 1/2 cup. Probably more like 1 cup! You can make other variations of this with stock to replicate other condensed soups. Add 1/4 cup chopped mushrooms and 1 teaspoon finely chopped onion before adding flour for mushroom soup. Add 1/2 cup chopped celery and 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion for celery soup and use chicken broth and 1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning for chicken soup.
I'd love to hear your comments for other shortcuts for cooking meals from "scratch."