Yup, that's right, you can win $1800 in cash and all you have to do is buy a raffle ticket.
(And I'll let you in on a little secret - it's a small school, a small raffle.
Buying one here will give you a much better chance of winning something* than
when you buy a raffle ticket from a much larger organization. It's the whole
little fish, big sea/big fish, little sea debate.)
Listen, I'll just say it. Josh is the new head of school here and it doesn't exactly look
great if the head of school's family (or you know, just the wife) can't even
sell the minimum number of required tickets.
So if you have the cash, then please consider spending it here. The school could really use it - and I know that every single school could really use it, but believe me when I say that this school can really use it.
If you don't have the money, please don't feel like you need to at all. Cause you don't. At all. Sending some good vibes our way is more than enough.
But just know that one of those cute kids on the website is mine. And they're threatening to take her down if we don't sell our tickets.
Okay, that's not true. But look at that face. She could use some new books in her classroom. Or markers. She's really not picky.
You can go here to buy a raffle ticket now.
Or you can just send me a note wishing me luck for when I buy all the raffle tickets myself. Although, it would probably look bad if the head of school picks his own name out of the raffle hat. So how 'bout this - give him a chance to pick your name!
Okay, I'm done now.
Don't hate me for this. Cause I kind of hate myself a little for asking.
*There are other prizes too! And I know this because I have been going from store to
store asking for them. Yup, that's what I've become here in Florida. That person.
If you've been following along, you'll know that we have been running a 30-day
Paleo contest with the kids. In truth, it's not a real contest, it's more of a mandate
because I provide all their food so they kind of didn't have a choice but we're
calling it a contest. They like that and also, they kind of know that they are
getting their dollar-a-day-in-October prize either way.
Having said that, I am proud to say that the kids are still on the Paleo-train
and I'm still driving that train.
I have two recipes to share today but no pictures because I am feeling way too lazy to
upload any from phone, hence the name of the first recipe. But check out the stock photo above - looks like some darn fine photographer took that picture!
Anyway, our two recipes today are the Lazy Girl's Shwarma and Eggplant Sticks.
Both are paleo-friendly and both are super easy although I will admit that the chicken is
way faster than the eggplant. And you know what, I made them both up. I kind of knew how to make shwarma but not really, so I winged it and it worked. And the second, well, it's almost the beginnings of an eggplant parmesan recipe, but not.
I've been doing a lot of cooking these past two weeks and I'm all about a shortcut. Except
that my kids fell in love with shwarma recently and shwarma is a very involved
meal to make - there's the dicing of the chicken cutlets, the marinating and the
sautéing and or frying on the stove, and um, yeah, I can't do that right now.
But you know what works instead?
Not dicing the chicken.
Not marinating the chicken.
And yup, not frying it.
Mix together the spices, pour over the chicken and bake and you know what - it tastes exactly the same!
Lazy Girl's Shwarma
Here what I did:
Pour 1/3 cup olive oil into a small bowl.
Add 2 tbsps. cumin
1 tsp curry
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp. garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
And then mix it all up.
Here's the hard part. Ready?
Pour it over your chicken - I use a chicken cut into 1/8ths - but I don't cut it, it comes like that.
I know. It couldn't be easier.
And if your pan is big enough and you have room to throw in a bag of frozen cauliflower and a bag of frozen broccoli in under the chicken, do it. The vegetables come out amazing. It works with potatoes too.
The next recipe is a little bit more involved, but just a little.
Slightly Less Lazy Girl's Eggplant Sticks
For this recipe, you're going to need:
1 eggplant, peeled and cut into sticks - maybe 1/2" thick and 4" long but please, promise me
you won't measure.
olive oil or
flour or almond flour or any gluten free flour
For the record, I went with brown rice flour because
1. They sell it at Winn Dixie and that's where I was this morning and
2. I can't afford almond flour.
Start by mixing the eggs, honey and mustard in a bowl. I used about 2 tbsp. each of
the honey and mustard. If the honey won't mix in well, add a little boiling
water to soften it, but don't add too much because then you'll scramble your
eggs. Add maybe a tbsp of boiling water and mix it well, quickly.
Pour some of the flour into another bowl, but don't pour too much - this stuff is pricey and
once you dipped an egg-covered eggplant in the bowl, you can't pour the flour
back into the package - but you can always add more, so err on the side of caution.
Add the eggplant pieces into the egg mixture, mix well to coat and then let the eggplant
soak up the egg for a few minutes.
Heat your frying pan, add the oil and while it's heating, start dipping the egg-soaked
eggplant into the flour.
Add the eggplant to the hot frying pan one at a time, being careful not to let the oil
jump up and burn you.
Let the eggplant fry till it's golden and crispy on one side, flip them and do it again
on the second side. I can't say for sure how long it will take because we each
cut our own eggplants, you know? But it's not long. A few minutes, max.
When they're done and yummy looking, use a slotted spatula to lay them on a paper towel to soak up the oil.
I haven't served these to the kids yet, but I just had a few and they're very very good. You
can dip them in ketchup if you like, but they're already honey-mustardy so you don't really need to.
For what it's worth, I'm going to serve this tonight with unstuffed cabbage and roasted
Wishing you a great Shabbos!
The honeymoon is over.
The kids hated the almond-chocolate-coconut cupcakes from yesterday.
I too hate coconut but a cupcake is a cupcake you know?
I've decided to stick with things the kids know and love. And then just change them a little.
Like tonight, they love taco night, I've talked about that before. So we had taco night, but without the tacos, which I guess really just makes it sloppy joe night, but that's okay cause they like sloppy joes too.
Instead of the regular canned tomato sauce I usually use without a second thought but which has sugar and natural flavors (whatever those are), I used a can of crushed tomatoes and a can of tomato paste, each having just two ingredients or less: tomatoes and water. Maybe a little citric acid to keep things acidic but I'm okay with that. And no one even noticed the difference. Served it with some cole slaw, tomatoes, avocado and leftover corn and everyone left the table full. No tacos and no complaints.
My problem is still breakfast. I feel like I might make those cupcakes again but without the coconut. I'm just nervous of wasting the almond flour that costs just slightly less than eleventy million dollars on a hit or miss baked good. I think I'll sleep on it, maybe I'll get some cupcake clarity overnight.
The thing is though, I have to figure out breakfast because I don't have time to play around in the morning, I started teaching art last week and I am now a working mommy on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. And I have to say, this is totally cutting into my time for, how should I say this, everything. I don't know how mothers everywhere work. How do they (you) do it? When do you do the laundry? Food shop? Cook for shabbos? Make dinner? Clean the bathrooms? And I only work two days a week. I feel like a complete failure. I guess in a way that feeling like that is good because it can only get better from here, right? See? I'm looking on the bright side.
Like I said, last week was the first week of art and besides for the fact that the whole thing made me so tired that I could have lay down on the picnic table at the playground, it went well.
I am excited though to share what we make in art class but I also have a confession to make: I am an unoriginal art teacher.
I would so love to come up with original and new things for the kids to do and make but who has the time? And with pinterest and every other art teacher and their husband blogging about their lesson plans, I kind of don't have to think. The problem is that it is very easy to fall down the pinterest hole and not come out for hours. I have to be very careful not to get sucked in. At the risk of sounding like someone's grandmother, I'll just say it - this should be the worst problem I ever have. Amen.
Anyway, thanks to pinterest and the many many people who blog about the same thing (does anyone do anything orginal?), we made coffee filter tie-dye art. I did this project with the 3rd and 4th graders and they loved it so much, I'm planning on doing it next week with the nursery throigh second. This is the first place I saw the project, but it most certainly was not the last place.
It's so easy and the kids get to be creative too.
Take a coffee filter, fold it in half, then in half again and then once more in half. You end up with a small triangle.
Using a spray bottle (or in my case, a regular water bottle and my hand), wet the coffee filter and have the kids use markers to make dots on the coffee filter. Dots should be on both sides of the triangle, as in, if you make a row of red dots at the top of the triangle, make the same row of red dots on the other side.
Once the whole triangle is covered on both sides, unfold it and wow! A tie-dyed coffee filter. Each kid made a bunch of coffee filters - I had to cut them off eventually.
While the coffee filters were drying in the sun - yeah, we have art class outside, the perks of living in Florida - each student took a few minutes thought to finish this sentence: "This summer, my favorite round thing to do/make/eat/play was____."
I was so impressed with their creativity.
I got ice cream cones, bicycles, sunglasses, tubing down a river, flying balloons and so many others and I didn't even give them any leading ideas.
Once the coffee fliters were dry, we glued them onto large sheets of construction paper. Then the kids drew their summer stories around the coffee filters.
Here is some of what we did:
Some kids even begged to take a few plain coffee filters home with them to show their parents how to do it.
Or to make coffee. I don't know.
More art to come.
Succos came, succos went. So did my parents. And now school has started again. How's that for a three week update?
Oh, and we took the kids off wheat.
And sugar, but sugar is really hard.
Its more like added sugar garbage that we're abstaining from.
Its going to cost me a cool $120 to conduct this experiment; I promised each of them a dollar a day for 30 days. Kind of like the kid version of the Whole30 except the only reward for the grown up Whole30 is feeling better. That's a good thing, but thirty dollars is pretty nice too.
The kids have been doing surprisingly well without wheat. They ask for cookies or bread or crackers here and there but I've been able to divert their attention for the most part. Breakfast is hard though, they are sick of scrambled eggs which is why I took a special trip to Whole Foods to pick up some almond flour and coconut flour - and now I have some chocolate-almond-coconut muffins baking in the oven. I really hope the kids like them and eat them for breakfast. I also really hope I find someplace else to buy almond and coconut flour because man alive, Whole Foods is expensive.
Needless to say, I've been spending way more time in the kitchen than I'd like to. But it's been worth it. My two kids who cough and just generally hack away all night long have been silent sleepers for the past five nights. And my five year old, who generally visits us three times a night has been sleeping through the night - not any later than she normally does - about 4:30am - but you know, baby steps.
My big coup this week was pizza night. The kids really wanted pizza and I really didn't know what to do. I saw a few recipes for cauliflower pizza crust but they all sounded like so much work. And then I thought an egg might do the trick. This took way longer than I thought it would but I made these pizza crusts. Each crust is one egg, fried into a very thin omelet. One egg per frying pan, cook it on both sides and wala (how do you spell that?!) a round something to put sauce and cheese on. I was able to bake six at a time in the oven, but I couldn't make them fast enough. So funny really, because it's really just pizza eggs, something we've been eating for years but I guess it looked enough like pizza that everyone was happy.
I didn't think of then, but you could also put mushrooms or onions or peppers or whatever on your pizza and get a few vegetables into the kids at the same time.
Week two of the wheat-free experiment starts now.
Are you a Mom?
Of course you are,
your shirt is dirty :)