June 22, 2016

Tangy French Salad Dressing Recipe {Fresh from the Kitchen}

Earlier this month, I shared a recipe for Mom's Marvelous Honey Mustard Salad Dressing and I promised that I would also share our favorite Tangy French Salad Dressing recipe as well. This recipe was developed because "French" dressing is the only kind my husband will eat. We don't want to buy the various versions of it because the ingredients in most of them are simply dreadful for someone trying to go more organic, and organic versions cost an arm and a leg. So it was to the cookbooks I went. I found a version and we made it--but it was bland. So I started tweaking it as I always do. I finally found a combination of ingredients that creates a version he enjoys--it's actually kind of a mix of a traditional "french" dressing and its cousins "catalina" and "tangy tomato". So without further ado, here is my recipe for Tangy French Salad Dressing.

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When it comes to salad dressing, I like to keep it simple. If I can't throw it all in a blender, give it a whirl, I don't want to be bothered with it! So none of my recipes need any fancy tools except a blender! In fact, you could just put it all in a mason jar and shake it! It would also work with any kind of salad dressing shaker as well.

A lot of salad dressing recipes call for fancy oils, but unless you have a personal preference for oils and want to use something difference, I always just use extra virgin olive oil in all my dressings that call for oil or salad oil. I have never had issues with flavor. Next in regards to vinegar. While you can use any vinegar really, I keep mine to either Red Wine Vinegar, Balsamic Vinegar, or Rice Vinegar. For this recipe, I have tried them all, and it tastes the best (we think anyway) with Red Wine Vinegar. I have also tried using different infusion versions of Red Wine Vinegar in it (pomegranate is my favorite version) and it's delightful. The only vinegar substitution I recommend for this particular recipe, would be plain white vinegar.

Here's the recipe--just 8 ingredients!

June 21, 2016

LearnBop: Personalized Online Math Program {Curriculum Review}

Math. It's a subject where I am very grateful for online curriculum where someone else can "teach it" and I can be more a mentor. We have tried several online math programs and have had success with a few of them. We had a chance to review LearnBop for Families from LearnBop and I was curious to see whether this program would be a good fit for our boys or not.
LearnBop Online Math Program: A Review

Product Information

LearnBop is a personalized online math program for grades 3-12, specializing in providing a type of one-on-one instruction with a highly adaptive, self paced curriculum. The program is geared towards children who need to bring their math skills to a 3rd-12th grade level, prepare themselves for high-level exams, avoid a summer slump, or just improve and build confidence in math. The parent benefits by being able to use the program as a personalized tutor of sorts, and use it whenever it works best in their schedule. 

The LearnBop for Families is a new addition to the LearnBop curriculum (which has been used in schools for awhile now). This program allows homeschoolers to receive the same level of math help as can be found in the original version of LearnBop. The program is available as a Single Student Plan ($14.95/month or $149.95/year) or a Family Plan--up to 4 students ($19.95/month or $199.95/year).

LearnBop works best on the latest versions of Chrome, IE, Safari, and Firefox for desktop on of Apple or Windows. You will also need a stable broadband connection for all the videos. The program also supports the iPad Safari Browser (iOS 7 and higher). 

We were given a one year subscription of the Family Plan to be used by Little Britches (grade 4) and Baby Britches (grade 1). We used it with Chrome on our laptops.

How Did We Use the Program?

The program was a simple set up. Each child was given a character as their picture, and I could pick what roadmap to get them started. What are the roadmaps? They are the units or paths that you want your child to follow. Here are the possibilities:

June 17, 2016

What Do You Do...When You Reach The End of Your Journey? {Homeschooling: Keeping It Real Series}

When you begin your homeschooling journey, you rarely think about the end. I mean, most homeschooling families have more than one child, so they are looking at YEARS before the journey is over. And so you just focus on the ups and downs in front of you. The endless planning. The endless record keeping. Piles of curriculum. Overflowing bookshelves. Field trips. Never really thinking about the fact that one day you will be at the end of your journey. Every now and then though we might secretly wonder "What does it look like over there on the other side?"  Today's installment of the Homeschooling: Keeping It Real Series will let us do just that. Carol of Home Sweet Life is sharing what her view is like--with one daughter graduating from high school, and the other only 2 years away--13 years since the time she began her journey...

When You Reach the End ~ Homeschooling: Keeping It Real Series

The view from where I sit today looks so very different from the view 12 years ago. Back then I had two little girls, just starting out. Ok, who am I kidding, I had one who was super excited to be finishing Kindergarten, and one who couldn’t care less if she ever started school. Emily was almost six, Arlene was almost four, Emily wanted desperately to unlock the key to reading… and Arlene, she only wanted to be read to, cuddled on my lap,… and to avoid finger paint at all costs!

Today I have  Senior who will graduate High School in December, and a Sophomore who sometimes struggles with her more advanced Algebra problems. Today I’m thinking about how I need to actually type up Emily’s transcript soon, and what we should be purchasing for Arlene to work on in the Fall.

How did this humongous transformation take place? 
One day at a time.