Lego Math – Learning Workload With Gears

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Winter 2012 Two-Page Scrapbook

two-page qp winter

Freebies – I have a QP and a template.  The zip file is below.  I hope you enjoy this winter scrapbooking freebie.  Please note that these templates will work best for those who use a lay-flat printer.


two page winter layout and qp




Have a blessed day!

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Gluten Free Thanksgiving Turkey Meal

Thanksgiving turkey dinner


Alright, so the picture quality is not great.  I didn’t serve dinner until dark and my kiddos could not wait another minute; but let me tell you it was totally worth it.  My husband (who is forever the biggest food critic I know) raved about how it was the most moist turkey dinner he has every had!  Yes, I am a little… or super… proud.


We were using a frozen Butterball turkey from Walmart, so I did not want it to get too salty like I have heard can happen with a brine, so I tried something a little weird, I made my brine without salt, that’s right without salt.



2 Gallons of water

2 oranges (peels only)

Container of Rosemary

2 Cloves of garlic

1 Tablespoon of peppercorn

2 cups of apple cider

5 bay leaves


Super simple, I warmed the brine on the stove (all ingredients) for quite some time and it made the house smell AMAZING, so amazing in fact that we left the brine I could not get into the bag to simmer the rest of the day.  We let the brine cool for about 2 hours and then put it in with our turkey overnight for about 17 hours (the turkey had been thawing for 2 days before we added the brine).


In the morning I dumped off the brine mixture and proceeded to stuff my turkey, this is what I used in our awesome GF Thanksgiving Turkey Meal!








I diced up these wonderful items I picked up for $1 a bag at the local Natural Grocers and stuffed them into my turkey.  Before anyone has a panic attack, the stuffing was not a concern for food poisoning, it was recooked separate from the turkey before served; but I think it may have really helped keep the turkey nice and moist.


Next, I took one stick of butter and cut it into pieces and wedged it between the skin and the turkey meat.  I sprinkled a very small amount of sea salt onto the outside of the turkey and a little bit of thyme.  Then, I massaged the turkey.


Finally, I took the legs and bound them together with bacon and created a basket weave of bacon over the entire turkey.  This basket weave also gently held the wings in to the body.


The picture makes the turkey look a little overdone for some reason, but it really was perfect!  It was amazing to listen to my husband and children rant and rave over how awesome it was!


I will also be writing up the directions to my GF pumpkin pie, stuffing, biscuits, pumpkin rollups, and turkey pot pie (that left my little Aidyn wanting more turkey pot pie in place of his pumpkin pie…what REALLY?!?!  Awesome!).


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Dehydrated Bananas


Bought a lot of really ripe bananas, so we dehydrated these in little 1/4″ cuts on 135 in the dehydrator.  These are a huge hit with the kiddos.  They are a nice little treat that we can pack around anywhere.  We were able to buy the entire lot of bananas for 23 cents and it is enough for about two snack times for the four kids!  They go over super well!  When they are dry they have a tendency to attach and adhere pretty strongly to the grates on the dehydrator.  We just very gently push on the back side and it pops them off like the old-fashioned ice cube trays worked 🙂  Do not push too hard or you will break your grates, just a very little pressure will loosen them enough!


Have  a blessed day!


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Dehydrated Apple Rollup Chips


Every kid I know loves fruit rollups, but how do you really feel about feeding the kids all of those extra chemicals?  Have you thought about it?  Have you read the label or just done as I once did and thought that they were healthier than the other snacks you could be giving them (i.e. HoHos and Twinkies)?  I went to the local health food store and got an insane amount of organic apples for almost nothing, but they certainly all needed to be used soon, so I set out to make applesauce, so of which would be frozen and added to smoothies, etc.  Regardless at about 10 gallons of applesauce, I was topped out on storage, so I poured the rest on trays and put them in the dehydrator.  I commonly do this with leftover smoothies too and the kids absolutely love them.  Actually, as awful as it may seem, I use them as a snack to bribe the kiddos with 🙂  Anyhow, I break them into little chips of varying sizes and they are easy to pack off for snacks and can all be stored and room temperature.  You can mix it up with anything you like.  You could also make them in your oven set at a low setting (135 if possible, maybe a bit warmer) on parchment paper.  I generally hide a bit of vegetable in them, and you could add them into oatmeal for a little extra flavor without having to buy that prepackaged stuff!

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Italian Zucchini


Dad has a garden and has been sending us “italian juice” for years.  We use it to make spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce, etc.  It is really pretty basic (I will try to get a recipe from him, it is so nice to have a quick and simple sauce to make when you are running a bit late on food prep).  Anyhow, he sent italian juice that he had actually packed zucchini into as well.  I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do with the zucchini, so I sifted the zucchini out, put a pan on with olive oil to warm, and fried the zucchini just a tad adding basil and  to the top and sprinkling just a tad of mozzarella over the top.


If you are wanting to try this without the “italian juice” I would suggest using just a bit of sauce (thinned with water) to marinade the zucchini.  I think it would be pretty awesome over some rice or rice noodles.


Have a blessed day,


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Butternut Squash Soup


1 Large butternut squash

4 Apples (I used all different types)

1/2 cup of cream

1/2 cup of mozerella

1 handful of spinach

Curry to taste


Topping Options:

Sour cream




Sweet peppers



Directions: First cut in half, remove the tiny bit of seed/pulp and core and core the apples.  Chunk the squash.  Boil squash and apples for a short while (I left on the peel of the apples and the squash).  Strain and place the apples and squash into a blender (my Blendtec is amazing for this!  I picked it up at Sams Club last March and have used it nearly 2000 times since!)  Add in all ingredients and blend!  Soup is done.


I have also made this soup by cooking apples and squash in the crockpot for several hours and then completing as above.  It works great either way and makes it easy to do this whether you will be home all day or in and out 🙂


The kiddos love this, and it gives me a great way to use all of the apples I get from Natural Grocers on discount!


Fun fact about butternut squash:  Foods with its yellowish-orange color are known for their skin rebuilding properties!  Sounds great to me!


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Potato Soup


1 onion

1 Tbsp of garlic (minced)

2 Tbsp of peppercorn (to taste)

Salt (to taste)

1 head of cauliflower

7 potatoes

1 Tbsp of olive oil

1/2 cup of mozerella

2 hand fulls of spinach

1 cup of cream

2 green onions


Directions:  Dice potatoes leaving skins intact and pour boiling water over potatoes and cauliflower.  Place cauliflower (cut) into blender (I use my Blendtec and it has a wonderful souping option).   Add in all ingredients (except salt and potatoes), and blend.  Place potatoes in a stockpot on the stove (or in a crockpot) and let them boil.  Pour in all of the blender content and let warm.  All done!  Add milk to thin to preference.

Interesting fact about salt:  High quality sea salt can actually improve your overall health including your blood pressure despite its negative image given by the highly processed table salt that has been used for years.  Cooking salt (either kind) will result in less flavor from the salt; so if you season with salt in the midst of cooking you are more likely to increase your sodium intake.


I am not a medical professional, this is only advice that was passed on to me by my physician.

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Plantain Pizza Crust – Primal OK, gluten free


So for a long time I have been looking for a reasonable and tasty crust for pizza.  While meatzza works and cauliflower crust is alright, it is just not as tasty as what I wanted and was leaving me sad and disappointed 🙁


The other day a friend of mine was showing me about plantains, and I had the great idea of making them into a pizza crust.  Here is what I came up with.  (My favorite part is that the crust does not have a strong odor or taste).


I bought 4 plantains that were ripe at the grocery store for a whopping $0.53 (much lower than any other crust I have looked at and enough to make two 9″ pies)!


I oiled the pie pans and popped the plantains into my handy dandy, favorite kitchen appliance (seriously I use this thing nonstop, almost 2000 uses in two years!), my Blendtec.  (Check out their “Will It Blend” Series on YouTube, it’s seriously amazing!)



I selected “soup” and only blended it until smooth, poured it in the pans, and baked at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.


Next time I will play with them to find a way to reduce the amount of carb in the crust but maintain the delicious taste!


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Organic Foods Cheap!


Have you ever heard that statement… “It’s too expensive to eat healthy.”  What a great excuse, except there are ways to get foods organic and healthy and cheap.  Here’s one example, everything in this picture is organic other than the 4 bags of broccoli slaw.


For $21 (plus tax) I bought:

  • 4 plantains
  • 9 bananas
  • 2 bundles of romaine lettuce
  • 3 boxes of romaine lettuce
  • 1 bundle of green onions
  • 4 bags of broccoli slaw
  • 3 green peppers
  • 1 bundle of parsley
  • 12 pears
  • 28 apples


So how did I make this amazing score?  I went to Natural Grocers on their truck day (when they have the largest amount of markdown) and picked up bags of fruits and vegetables for $1 each, all ORGANIC!  Most of the produce is from Natural Grocers.  The other items I scored similarly by heading out for the garlic I forgot to the nearby Mosers store, there it all was in a markdown cart Organic and affordable!


What on earth will I do with all of that?  The family ate three heads of lettuce in salads today and more than one bag of broccoli slaw.  Those items really need to be used before they get a chance to go bad.  I cut the roots off of the green onions and put them in some water on the ledge in my counter.  (I have already got some soaking there).  I strain them and let them dry a bit every day before replacing them on the seal.  If not mine were starting to rot.  I put the best part of the green onions in with some super cheap organic potatoes I bought at Natural Grocers in a crockpot and then blended in the Blendtec later (delicious mashed potatoes tonight!), they are on sale this week (5 lbs for $1.79).   I spent several hours cutting up apples and putting them through my blender.  The result?  10 gallons of applesauce, several fruit rollup pieces, and 6 cups of frozen smoothie material.  The kids cut the 9 bananas into chips and put those in the dehydrator too.  I blended the pears and froze for smoothies later.  Froze the parsley in a baggie.  Blended the plantains and made pizza crust from them.


Ten gallons of applesauce sounds insane, but it will bulk up our smoothies, go into other dishes, and I will probably make some pretty amazing apple desserts too!


I have several Starbucks bottles because of a small addiction I have to coffee, and I have found they are wonderful for storing extra sauce in.  They freeze well and they are marvelous for my husband to use as he is on the road as a quick snack.


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