Monday, May 20, 2013


They are finally here!  Thousands of little worker honey bees have finally made their way to our home.

It has been such a long road for these amazing creatures.  They traveled here all the way from Georgia. Their arrival had been delayed for about a month due to low supply, but Dan met up with other beekeepers in Hudson, NH on Saturday to pick up our new friends.

I can't even describe the sound of this bee box in the picture.  The humming buzz of thousands of bees in unison was truly incredible.


Such an amazing day.  The swarm has died down and it seems the bees have started to get down to business within the hive.  They begin with pushing out the dead bees and acclimating themselves to their surroundings.  We will introduce the queen; who has been kept in a separate compartment from the rest of the bees, in a few days.  If you introduce her too soon, they will kill her (Gasp). It will be about a year until we can harvest honey for ourselves.  The bees will use the honey to eat until then.

I'm so excited to be sharing this adventure as a family.  And sharing it with friends and students is an added bonus!  Check back often as I share with you our journey with the bees!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Busy days

The days have been going by so fast.  The end of the school year is quickly approaching.  It's hard to believe but we are all excited for summer fun.  My enrichment classes are going very well.  I have a great group of kids, 24 in all between two days per week. I'm working full time at the school (aside from my cooking class) as well. And everything in between.  Life in general is just, well....hectic!

I'm noticing that I'm not spending as much time here writing, sharing and reading, as I would like to.
It's always in my thoughts, in my plans and on my 'to-do list'.  But sadly, it doesn't always happen.
And as much as I love this space, I'm learning that I can't beat myself up over it.  Things happen.  Life happens.  And well....that's just ok.  It has to be ok because that's the way life is sometimes. 
Just know how much I appreciate those who read my blog and those who share their thoughts with me.  It's because of you that I keep coming back here.

Thank you!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mother's Day Brunch ideas

Kids love to help and they love to cook and create for those they love.  What better day to do this and say Thank You to mom!  You'll find lots of inspiration with these recipes.

So get dad to gather up the kids in the kitchen tomorrow.  Moms, sleep in and enjoy your children on your special day.

Happy Mother's Day!

Cinco de Mayo

What a fantastic week it has been!  My classes had a little Cinco de Mayo "party".  To celebrate we made Edamame Salsa and Big Kid Guacamole, courtesy of Weelicious.

I know my own children LOVE guacamole.  Such a healthy snack full of brain enriching fats and protein from the avocados.  I like to make a big bowl along with blue corn tortilla chips.  It doesn't last long!

Another family favorite is salsa.  And really, what's better than a dip full of tomatoes, onions and cilantro??  When I came across the Edamame Salsa, I knew it was something we had to make!  All the yummy goodness of traditional salsa but with added protein from the Edamame Beans.  Delicious!

Many of the kids loved these dips.  Some were skeptical and 'ate' with their eyes and declined to try it. Sometimes colors and textures are just not appealing to some. I really try to encourage them all to at least try the new foods before saying no thank you.  (We do this at home and call it the 'No thank you bite.')  This is what Healthy Appetites is all about.  Bringing new food to kids who may have not had the opportunity to try as of yet.  I'm always incredibly proud of them for trying.  There are a few hard nuts to crack here in class.  I refuse to give up!  I'll get them to 'Cook and eat healthy food'! :)

Looking forward to next weeks class.  Pancakes are on the menu!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Family Time

We have recently started a new family tradition; Family Hike/Trail Day.  On Sundays we head out of doors for a hike or trail walk.  We choose a different destination each week, though we may revisit favorites as it feels right. It's a time for us to be together, enjoy nature, talk, feel connected with each other and our surroundings. I'm so excited about this adventure!

We have always been an "out doorsie" family so this special day feels like a no brainer.  But setting the intention for it to happen weekly keeps us active, accountable and spiritual.  My husband and I feel so much more spiritual hiking a mountain than we ever have in the conventional way.  I respectfully understand that this may not be the same for some folks.

Lately I have been thinking about how fast time seems to be going by.  Another school year is almost finished. I look at my son and see how much he's physically changed.  He's getting taller, his face doesn't resemble a "baby face" anymore.  My daughter will have one more year before she moves on to middle school.  I am so not ready for that!
I want time to slow down.  Spending this quality time together helps that, I think.  At least our time together is Meaningful.  Thoughtful.  Joyful.


Of course I want us all to be nourished before we head out. ;)   I found a smoothie recipe by Weelicious.  This is packed with spinach so no wonder the name is Green Monster!  It's also dairy free which is fabulous for Sophia and all of us really. It was delicious! 

Green Monster Smoothie via Weelicious
4 Servings
2 cups vanilla rice milk
4 cups packed fresh spinach
2 large ripe bananas
1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar

1. Place all the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.
2. Serve with a tall straw to slurp it up.

We've really enjoying our newest adventure.  Wonder where next week will take us? :)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Tip of the Week!

Fontina Cheese

Fontina is a delicious Italian cow's milk cheese.  It can be semi-soft to firm in texture with a range of flavors from mild and creamy to more intense - depending on the region in where it came from.

It's delicious in sandwiches, lasagna, and even fondue because it melts beautifully.

Grating Fontina can be challenging because it's soft texture.  Next time, freeze your wedge of cheese!  This makes it much easier for grating and doesn't change the texture of flavor when cooked.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Spring time enrichment

What an amazing, exciting time it is.  My spring enrichment class began this week. A great groups of kids; such life, excitement and spunk!

My class was such a big hit back in the fall that my enrollment has increased this time around. I'm now teaching two days instead of one. The age group ranges from Kindergarten to Fourth Grade.  A busy mama I am, but so very grateful!  Bringing new, healthy ideas and engaging the kids to want to cook and eat healthy food is so very dear to me!  Oh my heart feels so very full!

During last session, I found cooking with limited equipment, such as an oven or stove, a challenge.  I do have a toaster oven and a microwave to use, but I do need to be creative.  I've also learned that keeping 12 children busy during the "waiting" part of cooking is important.  This year I've decided to add some education material to use; such as coloring pages, measurement charts, food pyramids etc.

This week we made granola bars.  Really, what kid doesn't like them? Soft, chewy goodness.  The store brands can be pricey and many are filled with additives and preservatives.    These are so easy to make, have pure ingredients, and cost only pennies you really must try them yourselves!


1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups quick cooking oats {not rolled oats!}
1 cup crispy rice cereal
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips


In a large bowl, stir oats and rice cereal together. Set aside. In a small pot, melt butter, honey and brown sugar together over medium high heat until it comes to a bubble. Reduce the heat and cook 2 minutes. Pour in vanilla and stir. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well to moisten all ingredients. Pour into lightly greased small jelly roll pan {about 12x8x1} and press out to be about 3/4 inch in thickness. {If your pan isn't small enough, pack the mixture into one side. You really want to press them down so they stick together.} Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips and press down lightly. Cool on a counter top to room temperature for two hours or until the chocolate chips are set before cutting into bars. Wrap in parchment or plastic wrap and store at room temperature.
Recipe Notes: If your granola bars don't seem to be staying together when you cut them, you may have not boiled the mixture long want it to make it just past the softball stage. OR you made them too thin or you didn't pack them in tight enough. Stick them in the fridge for 20 minutes and that should help keep them together. {Be sure not to keep them in there too long or else they'll become super hard!}.

It is such an exciting time for us all.  I'm looking forward to creating with these 24 marvelous children for the next 5 weeks!  Check back here often to see what we've been cooking up in class and around my home!

Thank you for stopping by!