August. 2018. My baby starts school this month. I will have two kids in school. Can someone bring me a tissue? With back to school looming in my near future, I am more happy than ever to have dinners planned for the next month. We will most likely continue to have summer weather for another two and a half or six months, so I am still using my grill as much as possible and my oven as little as possible! I like my slow-cooker too because it doesn’t put off much heat.
I have egg souffles on the menu again this month. I have had them on my plan several times, but they have always gotten bumped for one reason or another. Last month, I actually made them and it was so easy. And it worked! They were delicious. I am also really excited about Panzanella salad this month. I have made it before. It’s not very filling, but is delicious! I am actually going to serve it like a side dish to the grilled chicken on August 10th. We may throw some fruit or green beans or something with it to make it a little more like a meal.
Because I am on the OSU Stillwater campus with 13 teenage 4-H Members from Lincoln County at Oklahoma State 4-H Round-Up, I do not have a scanner. A cell phone pic of my menu will have to do this time. Check out the recipes on the August 2018 Menu Pinterest board!
Parents all over the nation are starting to think about that “back-to-school” season. We are reminded of it when we see school supplies on the shelves at the store. We are reminded of it by television commercials advertising back-to-school sales. We are reminded when we look at our kids and realize how much they have grown over the summer. Going back to school can be difficult even in the best of situations. But the end of summer break can be especially hard on children of divorce. Luckily, there are some things co-parents can do to ease this transition for themselves and for their children.
- Communicate clearly. The start of a new school year increases the need for clear communication between co-parents as they coordinate school costs, school pictures, parent-teacher conferences, school events, sports activities, homework… but this increased need for communication opens the door wider for miscommunication and conflict. Avoid miscommunication and conflict with your co-parent by making a detailed plan or contract that lines out how each parent can support their child.
- Use apps to help! Smart phone apps like 2Houses or Talking Parents (to name a couple) can allow co-parents to share calendars without having to talk to each other.
- Notify the school. Make sure each parent is on an email or call list at the school so that both parents are notified of activities and snow days.
- If it is your time with your child, make sure homework is completed.
- When children are transitioning between homes, be sure to double check for homework, school books, uniforms, and favorite outfits/shoes. Sometimes kids forget things, and it will be easier on everyone if you make sure you have everything before you get home than to try to contact your co-parent about it later.
If you are still having trouble communicating with your co-parent and navigating the start of a new school year, consider mediation to help you determine who should do what, and when.
My husband has been doing intermittent fasting. Some new research has shown it can be effective for weight loss. If you’ve never heard of it, the short story is this: Eat an appropriate amount of calories, but limit your eating to an 8-hour window. My husband eats between 11:00 am and 7:00 pm, but he eats the amount of calories appropriate for him for a full day in that shortened window.
My husband and I have hosted an adults only Christmas party the last two years, and our hope is to keep hosting it for many years to come. One of my favorite things about hosting this dinner party is cooking a fancy meal and setting a really fancy table, using my wedding china and most beautiful Christmas decorations. I want to make creme brulee for dessert this year, but decided I needed to practice and choose a flavor. Last night I tried out my first recipe, which was a classic vanilla.
Let me tell you, creme brulee is pretty easy to make. If you can make scrambled eggs and real hot chocolate, you can make creme brulee! BUT you definitely need the right tools. I bought myself some adorable little creme brulee ramekins and a butane kitchen torch to be ready for my new recipes. What I didn’t think about was the fuel for my torch. When I realized my error, I sent the hubs to the store to buy some. He got what he thought would work…. zippo lighter fluid. I told him it would not work because we needed butane fuel and this fluid was something else. He went back to the store and returned with butane fuel. In the wrong kind of dispenser. Alas, that was the complete gamut of options for us in our hometown. I tried using a particularly strong lighter we had for our grill. It took me about 10 minutes to caramelize a 1 inch section of one creme brulee portion! Needless to say, we just ate it as is. It was pretty good, but would have been so much better if my torch had been properly fueled up.
The picture is what my creme brulee SHOULD have looked like! Click the picture for a link to an easy to follow recipe!
Now I plan to try out two more recipes/flavors before I make my final decision for my Christmas party menu: butterscotch and coffee! I can’t wait!
Do your most important task first thing in the morning when there are fewer distractions and your will power is at its strongest. When Ernest Hemingway was working on a book, he used to start writing as soon after first light as possible to get the job done!