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Food Beauty

Sometimes, while cooking, I am struck by the beauty of food. Here are a few moments that I managed to capture in my own kitchen. Let this be a reminder to slow down, and appreciate the scene and beauty in the small moments of life.

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My husband would call this a “bad pour”, but to me it was a quiet moment of reflection.

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It may not have been a hit at the dinner table, but it was pretty to look at.

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It just reminds me of summer, and I like red, and they taste so good.

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I liked the way the star fruit looked, perched on the rim of the glass, but it was a bit in the way. I was happy to find that the scene was just as beautiful when floating on top.

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The simplicity of the sun streaming in, as I baked some morning eggs. I love simplicity.

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This scene literally made me stop and stare at the contrast between honey & soy sauce. I felt bad when the time came to stir it, but the chicken was great!

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Testy about Tests

‘Tis the season for standardized tests. Those of you with school aged children, or those of us that teach them, understand that this is the time of year that schools put kids through the ringer with tedious standardized tests. Whether you are taking the PSSA’s, Terra Nova’s, ACT’s, SAT’s, PSAT’s, Elemeno P’s (just kidding), it is an exhausting endeavour. As a parent, there are a few things you can do to help your student.

First, ensure that they go to bed early and get a good night’s rest. A shower at bedtime may help them to relax and sleep well. Second, discuss any stress that they may be experiencing and keep the week’s schedule simple. We don’t want them focused on friend or family drama. Third, plan stress busting activities for afterschool free time. Surprise them with some new outdoor activities like jump ropes, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, water guns… Fourth, keep morning routines simple and free from chaos. Pick out cozy clothes the night before and pre-pack their backpack before bedtime. And finally, feed them well.

As your Food Fairy, and resident teacher, I have a few ideas for snacks and breakfast that will boost your learner’s testing energy.

Breakfast–

  • eggs– dippy, scrambled, omelets, or Quiche
  • bacon, sausage, or ham
  • oatmeal
  • cheese
  • yogurt with granola
  • pancakes
  • french toast

Snacks–

  • cheese stick
  • peanut butter crackers (be aware of your school’s allergy policy)
  • apple slices
  • granola bar
  • fruit like grapes, berries, or a banana
  • small crackers or pretzels

Foods to Avoid–

  • High sugar foods such as candy, cookies, soda, pies
  • Sugary cereals
  • Any foods that may upset their stomachs– (be wary of fiber bars that may make them have to “go” during testing)
  • caffeinated beverages

Here is a recipe that my daughter has requested for her testing mornings. I plan to make some things ahead so that they just need to be reheated in the morning 🙂 Good luck!!!

Hash Brown Quiche

**adapted from a Paula Deen recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 cups, shredded frozen hash browns, thawed and drained
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 3/4 cup cooked sausage crumbles, or bacon crumbles, or diced ham
  • 1/2 cup diced green onions (optional)
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Gently press the drained hash browns between paper towels to dry them as best as possible. In a 9-inch pie plate, toss the hash browns with the melted butter into the plate. Press them into the bottom and up the sides to form a crust. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and starting to crisp.

Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. When the hash brown crust is ready pour the egg mixture over it and return to the oven.

Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for about 30 minutes until the Quiche is light golden brown on top and puffed.

PS…This is also a favorite in my house for Christmas morning, and dinner on a cold rainy night.