I made this recipe the other night and it is yummy. Ezra ate just the squash, and Noah ate mostly squash with a few noodles.
Butternut Squash Casserole Parents Magazine
1/2 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes (2 cups) Okay I don’t know about you, but what the heck would I do with the other half of the squash? I just buy a small/medium one and use the whole thing, also they have really thick skins so I don’t peel, I chop in half and then use my melon baller.
2 tsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 lb whole wheat elbows, I found quinoa elbows at Whole Foods in the bulk food section
2 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. Flour
1 1/4 cups reduced-fat milk
1 3/4 cups low-fat, white cheddar cheese shredded and divided (1.5 cups and .25 cups)
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Toss squash with oil and salt on a foil-lined tray. Bake for 20 minutes or until tender, set aside.
2. Cook pasta for 2 minutes less than package directions; drain and place in a bowl with squash. Meanwhile, melt butter over low heat. Whisk in flour; cook for 2 minutes.
3. Slowly whisk in milk. Bring mixture to a boil then simmer for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1.5 cups of cheese stir until melted. Stir cheese sauce into pasta and squash.
4. Spoon into 6 greased, individual ramekins. Sprinkle remaining cheese. Bake 10 minutes. Okay I don’t have ramekins so I bake in a 8 x 8 pan.
Nutrition per ramekin 330 calories; 17g protein; 13g fat (7g saturated); 39g carbs; 3g fiber; 329mg calcium; 2mg iron (mine would be slightly different since I used quinoa instead of whole wheat)
As many of us know buying fresh produce for our families can be pricey. Thanks to my neighbor, I recently discovered Green Bee Produce. Basically you get a box of produce for $18.50 and $2.00 of that goes to the school where you pick it up. It is very nice produce, but it is not organic or local. I did email them to ask where they bought the produce from and they did reply that they stay as local as possible. The produce we received today came from California, Mexico, Idaho, and probably Ecuador (for the bananas). Our local grocery store doesn’t have local produce (very often) and not much organic anyway so this isn’t much different then what I would buy. I try to stay as local as possible, so most of the time I stick with the west coast, we get a fairly good variety that way thanks to our close proximity to California.
Now let’s talk value. Here is a run down of the produce we received and my estimates of what it would cost to purchase it at the store I usually shop. I am going off of memory and guestimates for the grocery store prices, but I will try to low ball it.
2 packages of Blackberries – the best deal I have seen 2 for $5
Pint of strawberries – $2.99
3.25 pounds of bananas – usually $.59/lb $1.92
1.25 pounds of Asparagus – $2.99/lb $3.74
1.25 pounds of romaine lettuce – (okay I have no idea on this one) $1.00/pound $1.25
1.75 pounds of apples – $1.50/pound $2.19
1 pound of tomatoes – $1.00/pound $1.00
5 pounds of potatoes – $2.99
3 pounds of pears – $1.50/pound $4.50
2.25 pounds of onions – $1.00/pound $2.25
2 green bell peppers – $2.00
1 red bell pepper – $1.50
3 lemons – $.39 each $1.17
Total store guestimate – $32.50. So I saved $14 and supported a local school.
The boys are their daddy have a game called Mailbox Monster. Mailbox Monster brings about tons of giggles. We keep trying to catch the giggles on video but it is very difficult, because as soon as the camera comes out they want the camera! Here is our best attempt at catching the game and all its giggles:
Whenever someone posts something on their blog or facebook that I disagree with I try to be open minded about it. I know I don’t have it all figured out and that in some things my own opinions could be misguided. I also know that everyone has a right to their own opinion, but a recent facebook status update frustrated me:
WELCOME TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Press 1 for English. Press 2 to disconnect until you learn to speak English. And remember only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you, JESUS CHRIST. And the AMERICAN SOLIDER. One died for your soul, the other for your freedom. If you agree… copy and paste in your status
I am sorry but if your profess to be a Christian that implies you follow Christ. In my opinion the above quote is not in any way Christlike. I think it is actually in direct contradiction to the second greatest commandment according to Jesus (Matthew 22: 36-40):
36″Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'[a] 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'[b] 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
If you are truly following this command you would be showing compassion to your neighbors. The above facebook status in my opinion does not show compassion.
Please stop to think why they might not yet know English. Maybe they have fled a dangerous situation and are just now getting settled. Maybe there is no English class near them or they have no reliable transportation. Maybe they don’t have money for a class. Maybe there is not enough volunteer tutors. Maybe they are trying really hard and it just isn’t sticking, learning a foreign language isn’t easy. Do you think they are refusing to learn English to spite you?
I do understand that there are some immigrants in this country that have lived here for a long time and simply do not want to learn English (I assume they are afraid of losing their culture). The vast majority are trying to learn our language, our culture, and how to fit in. Over the summer I watched a documentary on the Lost Boys, they had to learn everything about America, even how to use electricity. Please keep in mind that most people that immigrate here come from a third world country and they have a lot to learn, not just English.
The boys are (thankfully) still at the age where pickiness hasn’t yet developed. I am hoping to head off some of the toddler pickiness by adding lots and lots of variety now. They do have some food items they clearly love more than others, some healthy (oranges, carrots, sweet potatoes, applesauce) some more questionable (pizza, graham crackers, bratwurst). I wanted to add more fruit variety to their diet, and knowing how much they love applesauce, I knew it was a good place to start. I also didn’t want to spend every day peeling and dicing fruits, I do plenty of food prep around here and didn’t want to add too much more, plus when they are hungry they are HUNGRY. So I purchased a whole bunch of frozen fruit and spent about 30 minutes one day (with toddler help) and pureed it all up and placed it in these handy freezer containers, wrote on some removable labels, and presto I have lots of easy to grab pureed fruit to add to applesauce or anything else, like say yogurt (currently they aren’t eating). I also add a little whole grain baby cereal to the applesauce. It makes for a yummy, healthy treat.
14 months actually marks a big moment for us. The boys have now officially been with us longer than without. 🙂
I am noticing I have not been taking as many pictures of them, I think it is due to the fact that I can no longer leave the camera in easy to grab places. The boys are really into exploring the house right now and find all sorts of stuff to get into.
They both mastered the art of the snack cup this past month and are now a little obsessed.
Ezra is practically running now and hardly ever crawls anymore. Noah is working on learning to walk, he does great with your hands or a push toy, but isn’t willing to try balancing yet. He can do it though, he took a couple of steps the other day, but then he was mad about it!
Clapping and peek-a-boo are still two of our favorite activities. They also love books. The joy of unloading kitchen cabinets was discovered this last month and my kitchen floor is a disaster each and ever day, but at least they let me cook or wash dishes while they make the mess.
No new teeth this month. I suspect Ez might be working on his molars though, somedays he is really chewing on his finger in that area. He is not a happy teether. If Noah is working on any new teeth, we have no clue, he doesn’t let us know like his brother.
They really love to make noise, when they are awake there is no silence. They make all sorts of noises with their mouths, they bang on everything, and they like to drop things on the tile to see how it sounds.
They do almost everything together, but they are complete opposites. Noah is much more contemplative and Ezra is all action. Ezra thinks everything is hilarious, but with Noah you have to earn your giggles.
We have a ton of fun together and the action almost never stops, and we don’t want it any other way.
I couldn’t bring myself to do a Wordless Wednesday post. My heart is breaking for the people of Haiti today. I pray that the estimates of 100,000 dead are wrong. I pray for all those living in chaos right now, with no where to go because their city is flattened. Praying is not enough though, so I encourage you to act, donate, volunteer, or whatever you can do, just do it, and if all you can do is pray then please do. CNN has a page set up with organizations that are looking for donations or volunteers, its not a complete list, but it is a start for those who don’t know where to look.