Thursday, March 13, 2014

Fun with Fractured Fairy Tales

Buy Dog Tales Here
A fractured fairy tale is a classic fairy tale, told with a twist.  My kids love reading them.  One of our favorite books is Dog Tales, a collection of fairy tales featuring dogs instead of people, who have names like Rapawnzul and Little Red Riding Hound.  Cats are always the villains, dogs wear dresses and every story has a funny quirk.

These books are fabulous ways to engage with kids as you read together.  Especially with younger kids who may not be familiar enough with the original stories to really find the humor in the fractured tales, I like to start by reading the un-fractured version.  Then I introduce the silly one and tell the kids I want them to see if they spot any differences between the two.  They love pointing out how the books differ, but also how they are the same.  This is a really great way to truly engage in story time.

Many kids also love writing their own fractured tales.  When they first begin, their stories will probably mirror the ones you've read.  That's okay. They're still building those story teller muscles.  As kids get older and become more experienced writers, their stories will be more original and even more fun to read.  To ratchet the fun level even higher, involve the whole family in writing a new story.  Assign your fastest writer as scribe and start throwing ideas out there.      After the story is written, everyone can have a ball illustrating it.  When you're finished, you'll have a terrific family heirloom.

There are many wonderful fractured fairy tales out there.  Choose one had have fun!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Cabbage Steaks

Here's another recipe I found on Facebook.  I want to pin it, so I'm reposting it here.  If this is your recipe, please contact me.  I want to give you credit and link to your page!

This is a simple side dish worthy of a dinner party and couldn’t be easier to make. Four ingredients, a couple of minutes to prepare and toss in the oven for an hour.

1 (approx 2lb) head of organic green cabbage, cut into 1″ thick slices
1.5 tablespoons olive oil
2 to 3 large garlic cloves, smashed
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
spray olive oil OR non-stick cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 400F and spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Pull outer leaf off cabbage (it’s usually dirty and nasty looking), cut cabbage from top to bottom (bottom being root) into 1″ thick slices.

2. Rub both sides of cabbage with smashed garlic.

3. Use a pastry brush to evenly spread the olive oil over both sides of the cabbage slices.

4. Finally, sprinkle each side with a bit of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

5. Roast on the middle rack for 30 minutes. Carefully flip the cabbage steaks and roast for an additional 30 minutes until edges are brown and crispy. 

Serve hot and Enjoy!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Alton Brown's Christmas Eve Soup

That darned Pinterest...  It's such an easy and pretty way to organize everything I like on line.  I've become so dependent on it that I'm at a loss when I find something I like without an image.  If I can't Pin It, how in the world will I remember it?  Then I had a thought.  When I find something I really like for my kids, I blog about it and I can come right back to it in a snap.  That led to the bright idea to blog about these imageless finds, add my own image, and voila!  It's on my blog AND I can pin it!  I love it.  :)

This recipe if for Alton Brown's Christmas Eve Soup.  I found it on his Facebook page, but of course you can't pin from Facebook...  So here's the image:

And here's the recipe:

We have this soup for dinner every Christmas Eve.
Christmas Soup - serve 6-8
14 ounces kielbasa, sliced into 1/4 inch thick disks on the bias
2 teaspoons vegetable oil, as needed
8 cloves garlic minced
1 pound red kidney beans, soaked at least 4 hours or overnight
2 quarts chicken broth
1 pound red potatoes cut into .5 inch cubes
6 ounces fresh kale washed, rinsed and torn into 1 inch pieces
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Brown the kielbasa in a 7-quart Dutch oven and set over medium low heat until it has rendered most of its fat, approximately 15 minutes. Remove the kielbasa from the pan and set aside. If you do not have at least 2 teaspoons of fat, add enough vegetable oil to make 2 teaspoons of fat.

Cook the garlic in the fat for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent the garlic from burning. Add the beans and the chicken broth and cook, covered, for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, stir in the potatoes, cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Toss the kale into the pot, cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes or just until it is tender, but not mushy.

Sprinkle with the red wine vinegar, salt, and black pepper and stir to combine. Return the kielbasa to the pot and cook just until heated through. Taste and adjust seasoning.