Friday = Macaroni & Cheese!

Given that we still observe the meatless Fridays, this recipe is a go-to one especially when the day is going faster than I can catch up with it and dinner time appears out of no where! I never cared for Macaroni and Cheese when I was growing up until I discovered the major difference in using ‘real’ cheddar cheese and not the processed stuff! If you want to sneak in some vegetables, steam and puree a cup or so of cauliflower and mix it in the cheese sauce! A small can of diced chilis (mild or hot) makes an interesting change of pace. In fact, you can substitute the bread/panko topping with crushed tortilla or corn chips.

Macaroni & Cheese

2 cups grated, sharp cheddar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon dried mustard
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 pound macaroni, just cooked. It should be a tiny bit underdone as it will finish in the oven.
1 cup milk. You might need a bit more
1/4 cup butter
Panko or bread crumbs

Toss the cheese with the dry ingredients.

Gently heat the milk and butter until very warm. Add the cheese mixture and keep stirring until it is melted and well combined. If the sauce seems too thick, add spoonfuls of milk until it reaches the consistency you want.

Pour the sauce into the prepared macaroni and mix well. Top with either the Panko crumbs or bread crumbs. Instead of drizzling melted butter or margarine on the topping, I just spray it with vegetable spray. It cuts the calories and helps it brown.

Put into a preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes or until bubbly and hot through.

For variety, I like to mix in a can of drained, diced tomatoes into the dish.

Reality Memories From Bygone Homeschooling Days!

When a new school year begins, we all anticipate great things being accomplished with our intellectually willing children. There are many things we would like to hear as we begin our studies but reality sets in all too soon.

1. Time for school! I thought we would take it easy today but several of you little darlings sent me private notes, begging to begin with math instead of art!

This is the third time I have called you to the school table! And you used up your art time yesterday when you crayoned your new math books.

2. Are you sure you wouldn’t like some fresh cookies and milk? It has been two hours since breakfast and you must be hungry. I promise we will still work on Geography afterwards.

No, you can’t have something to eat. You should have thought about hunger when you refused to eat breakfast this morning. Yes, you have to finish Geography and no ad-libbing on the maps today. No undiscovered countries that only you know about!

3. I can’t believe how neatly you set up your insect collections for science. And to think I only assigned this term project yesterday and here you are done already!

Smashed bugs don’t count for your bug collection even if you remember what it was before you squashed it. I don’t care if you weren’t the one who mashed the bug. You shouldn’t have put it in your sister’s bed to begin with!

4. How wonderfully you combined your poster paints to make a copy of one of the great Masterpieces! And you didn’t get a drop of paint on the floor, table or mommy’s art book.

Look, it is a numbered dot-to-dot coloring page. What do you mean you don’t understand the instructions?

5. Sweet child of mine! No wonder you asked for an extra two hours of school yesterday. You were busy composing this wonderful story for English class. Double-spaced and typewritten, no less.

A three-page composition doesn’t count if written in crayon! It was supposed to be on what we did on our summer vacation. And I did not spend it torturing you! But don’t give up on the idea – there is always next year!

by Barbara Barthelette

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words!

As I was busy with my weekly chores before starting on the regular chores of the day, I realized I had pictorial proof of how my day goes. I now have pictorial proof when my husband comes home from work and asks, “So, what did you do today?”