April 13, 2013 § Leave a comment
Classic Go-to Cookbooks, beautifully photographed cookbooks by bloggers, recipe clippings from magazines, family favourite recipes on paper from my mom, recipes printed out from the net and bookmarked on my computer… how to organize the plethora of recipes ?!
The best solution that I have found is Evernote Food. If you are already familiar with Evernote, the all-around note taking, messages storing, web-page clipping app, then Evernote Food will be a snap to get into.
I am really excited about Evernote Food, and if you too have been looking for a way to organize all your recipe sources, here is a little round-up of Evernote Food solutions!
Evernote Food App
1) For your magazine clipped, handwritten, in-book recipes that you would like to gather all into one space for easy access at home or on the go…
Go to My Meals and take 1 or multiple snapshots of the on-paper recipe, you can even take pictures of the recipe after you have made it. Write captions, add tags for organization, the recipe name, etc.
I LOVE THIS, I love the multiple photo option allowing me to take a picture from the recipe and my finished product. I love that I can easily write notes next to the recipe and give it multiple Tags for all the different uses I may have for this recipe… Genius!
2) You have just invented a recipe that rocked, and you want to write it down for generations to come…
Go to My Meals again! Make up a title for your creation, write down the recipe and take all the pictures you want of it while you make it.
3) You just went to a restaurant where you were served something that you never thought of before, and it has totally inspired your menu for your girlfriend’s upcoming birthday party…
Go to Restaurants, Evernote will locate your position, click to accept what restaurant you are dining at. Hit New Meal to take a picture and write notes about your plate. Save for inspiration!
4) I have no recipes and don’t know what to cook and the kids are screaming and guests are coming… helppppp!
Go to Explore Recipes where you can choose from a bunch of recipes from the most popular online sites and blogs… but I am not going to push this … because my blog is not indexed here!! Maybe you want to write to Evernote and let them know:)
5) I just found a great recipe (on Cassandra Potier Watkin’s blog), and I really want to save it for later…
Evernote Web Clipper
If you are unsatsified with the recipes offered on the Evernote Food App… for example, my recipes are not listed, then you are going to want to download the Evernote App and Evernote Web Clipper onto your computer (Evernote Web Clipper is not a tablet or phone compatible app).
The Evernote Web Clipper is a little button in the shape of an elephant head that will be added to your on-line ToolBar. Whenever you see something online that you would like to save as a note, click on the elephant head and it saves an image of the web-page to your Evernote app. Evernote automatically transfers all recipe clippings to Evernote Food.
Evernote has made finding your web clipped recipes really easy by allowing you to immediately Tag your findings into categories when you clip.
6) So now I have all these recipes, how do I get to them…
Go to Evernote Food App page My Cookbook… and there they all are… organized by Tags, easy to access and waiting to aid you in the kitchen!
Excited?! For more information, go to Evernote’s Site or Download everything you need here:
Evernote Food App
April 8, 2013 § 2 Comments
You can make up a big pot of this soup as quick as it takes you to open up a bag of (organic) frozen peas and chop-up a few potatoes and onions!
Yes, I do cook with frozen vegetables. I freeze my own vegetables, when they all seem to arrive at once from the garden, and I always keep a couple of frozen vegetable bags for days when time is limited… I totally understand how the idea of chopping and peeling can seem like enough of a reason to call for a pizza; resist the urge by keeping some frozen veggies in the freezer:)
Head-ups… make sure that there is nothing but veggies in those frozen bags, added colors and flavors sneak up in the most unlikely of places!
Green Pea Soup
Bag of Frozen green peas
3-4 medium potatoes
Add peas to a soup pot, a big pinch of sea-salt and water to an inch above the peas. Turn the heat up under the pot while you peel and quarter the potatoes and onions. Add them to the pot. Once the water is boiling and all the ingredients are in the pot; simmer for 20 minutes.
Blend until smooth and creamy with an immersion blender. Serve with creme fraiche and chopped mint or basil.
Leave out the salt for some yummy baby-food!
April 5, 2013 § Leave a comment
Store bought salad dressings can turn a healthy dish awry with their high doses of sugar/salt and mystery ingredients. That is why I like to always make up jars and Tupperwares of homemade salad dressings and vinaigrettes.
A delicious salad dressing takes raw veggies to yum! Putting your dressings together in advance is a snap. Having a pre-made dressing just might motivate you to add a quick salad to the menu when you need a meal fast!
This is my super easy version of a carrot ginger dressing. Unlike many carrot ginger dressing recipes, I don’t add miso which can make it a bit too salty for my kids taste buds. This delicious sauce can be made thick for a veggie dip or thin (add water) for a vegetable dressing. Add this to your collection of homemade salad dressing for a little variety! It is just as delicious on steamed vegetables as it is on top of a salad.
Ginger Carrot Dressing
3 medium carrots peeled and diced
1 large garlic clove, smash and peel the skin off, roughly chop
1 thumb size piece of fresh ginger with its skin removed, diced
1/4 cup of brown rice vinegar
1/4 cup of sesame oil
1/2 cup sunflower oil or other mild vegetable oil
1tbs soy sauce
tbs mirin (optional)
1/4 water +
Blend all the ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Add more water to get desired consistency.
The dressing is served over some steamed broccoli in the photo… Who says dressings are just for salads!
January 31, 2013 § Leave a comment
No, well not exatcly. I was familiar with Paul Tough’s previous book about the burgeoning ‘alternative to public education programs’, and after reading an enthusiastic review, decided to read this one. The premise of this book immediately hooked me. As a journalist, Tough relates through scientific research and personal stories a theory being developed by many economists, psychologist and neuroscientists that:
“What matters most in a child’s development,…, is not how much information we can stuff into her brain in the first few years. What matters, instead, is whether we are able to help her develop a very different set of qualities, a list that includes persistence, self-control, curiosity, conscientiousness, grit and self-confidence.”
In other words character, stick-to-it-ivness and grit are just as important as the mastery of cognitive skills in determining success in life (success in terms of getting a degree and well paid job).
Got you hooked too?? I will leave the details for you to read, but here are a few points that really resonated with me in this book:
- Love and cuddle with your children as a means to reduce their stress levels and help their own brains develop ways to calm down and reduce stress as they grow and face adversity.Children who are born into stressful/traumatic home situations (depressed parent, sexual abuse, drug/alcohol abuse, etc.) are in a constant flight or fight state and find it neurologically impossible to calm down and concentrate on tasks.
- Let your children face problems and experience defeat, as opposed to helicopter parenting. Giving children the opportunity to get back up and try again is a life lesson in perseverance.
- Being vulnerable with our children, as opposed to covering up our own faults and worries, is sharing our humanity and strength to grow.
- Success is not the mastery of one thing or another, it is a combination of life skills and intelligence. All the grit in the world won’t help you pass a math test if you have not had the education. The best education in cognitive skills will not motivate students to forge into uncomfortable new experiences and persist when life gets tough.
For more information about the writer Paul Tough.
To order the book.
January 19, 2013 § 1 Comment
A common breakfast or snack in our home is fresh bread, apples or a banana with almond butter. Rich and creamy, it is my favorite nut spread… and a snap to make! All you need are almonds and a food processor.
Almond Butter (Making your own almond butter also means that you can control the salt content or add spices, honey, etc. for a delicious treat.) 1) Add 2-3 cups of raw almonds to a food processor. Make sure they are fresh! One rancid almond will ruin the whole lot. 2) Add a pinch of salt if desired, but wait to add spices or honey at the end of blending. The heat created during the long mixing process could spoil their flavor. 3) Blend the almonds, scraping down the sides when needed. The entire process can take up to 20 minutes for the oils to heat and break down! The almonds will first turn into almond meal, which can be used to make a number of breads and dessert, then the mix will begin to clump and eventually break down into a creamy spread. Store your spread in a mason jar in the fridge. Enjoy!
January 10, 2013 § Leave a comment
I got a huge kick out of her asking for the book Frankenstein on the same list as a robot. It was a great look into our curious nature of being fascinated with horror and yet want to do it anyway gusto!
The list reminded me of when I was around her age and we had a class project of designing a robot. We had to draw a picture of a robot and tell the class what its purpose was. I remember us all coming up with robots that would either do our homework for us or clean our rooms. A couple of the more imaginative kids had drawn robots to fly them around on adventures. In either case, the robots were distinctly humanoid and stemmed from a huge desire to rid ourselves of the mundane frustrations of work and travel. They were another person, yet an extension of ourselves, that would do all things that we had to do but did not want to.
I have a feeling my daughter’s robot and Frankenstein request harboured a similar desire. This year she has had more responsibility at home and in school.
When I drew my cleaning bot as a kid for the class project, my robotic fantasies were only a fantasy. Today, thanks to great advances in technology and robotics, we were able to grant our daughter’s Christmas wish.
There are a number of interesting robot kits out today, ranging from simple and inexpensive to the more complex kits that even allow you to program your own robot. Even toy groups like LEGO have robot kits out for kids.
We eventually opted to get her a kit from OLLO.
OLLO is a kids creative science robot division coming from the Korean company ROBOTIS, a leading developer of robots designed to interact and enhance human’s lives.
Since this was to be her ‘big’ Christmas present we bought the OLLO Explorer Kit. I was especially drawn to OLLO because of the kit’s presentation as a 12 week course through 12 different pre-programmed robots that each teach a different principle of robotics.
We have not finished all the robots. In fact the kids have been enjoying the built robot as a toy. Which turned out to be an added bonus!
OLLO Robot Review
Robot Kit Prices range from $20 – $280
Step by step building guide is very simple and easy to use.
The building guide is also a workbook all in one that, without getting too complicated, really presents a clear basic understanding about how it all works! You can either do it as a class or informally talk about the questions and answers with your kid.
Teaches kids how to build computer algorithms… the basic skill behind programming. This is a great skill to start picking up on as a kid! I am a big fan of logic builders like this.
The price, you can start off with a small $20 kit. The Explorer kit we bought our daughter was $150. Not a cheap present … but neither are handheld video games… and I think this is a lot more intellectually interesting. I see this as a great way to say to your kid … “instead of getting a computer handheld game device… let’s build a robot!”
Very sleek design. The box kit is very handy with resealable bags.
The robots are simple but really cute! The creatives at OLLO did a great job of making the final result look like a cute toy. My daughter even named the elephant and let her little brother’s LEGO men take rides on its back.
Kid quote after building her first robot 80% on her own… “I love building things.”
The pieces are small. At times I had to help my daughter out. I am not sure that my husbands bigger fingers would have managed. BTW, make good use of the OLLO tool provided… it really works.
You will have to add some tweezers to the kit. This makes it a lot easier to pick up the rivet pieces!
While the kit comes with a number of already pre-programmed activities, the goal is to eventually learn to create your own programs with the OLLO software. As usual… it only works on a PC, which is always frustrating for this MAC family.
To learn more about OLLO Robots…
December 27, 2012 § 1 Comment
What is it with new years resolutions that just thinking about having them makes me excited. I get excited over the possibility of doing better next year. But do I really acknowledge from where I have come and where I am at? How come my New Years Resolutions are always the same and how can that change so that the resolutions become a part of growth and not a stagnant go to wish box of impossible ideals?
This year I will commemorate what was accomplished this year, and having acknowledged last years progress will accurately see where I am and where I can go.
This end of the year I ask myself…
What went well?
What do I need to drop?
And standing where I am, how do I want to tangibly continue?