Monday, November 30, 2015

Cooking With Kids - Lasagna Soup with Crostinis and Salad

Picture from

At our first week of co-op, we made a very simple and easy  BUT very delish dish ~  Lasagna soup with Crostinis and Salad

We made it differently than the original recipe (which I will share at the end of the post) but it still tasted yummy. I also have a printable version of this recipe here.

What you need:
For Lasagna Soup
1 lb of hamburger (or ground turkey)
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
1 carton (32 oz.) of chicken broth
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes - any flavor
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp minced garlic
8 lasagna noodles (or gluten free noodles)
1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
Mozzarella cheese for topping

For Crostinis

1 loaf of French bread
4 tbsp of olive  oil
1 tbsp of minced garlic (more if desired)
salt and pepper to taste

For Salad
 1 head of lettuce
any veggies you and your loves like in your salad
favorite salad dressing

Make sure you have ready:  1/2 cup of diced onions (We usually have an adult cut the onions due to the "tear making" fumes they sometimes have.)
2 tbsp minced garlic  (we get ours from a jar at Aldi's)

(I don't have the kids get EVERYTHING ready before we start to cook as there is always "down time" and not everyone can stir  near the hot stove.)


 In a frying pan, sprinkle some salt on the bottom and add in the meat, crumbling it as you put it in. (make sure hands are always washed after touching raw meat!) Turn the heat to medium.  Cook for about 1 -2 minutes and then add in the onions and garlic.  Cook until the meat is thoroughly cooked - no pink.   Line a bowl with paper towels or some napkins.   Pour the meat mixture into the bowl.  The paper towels/napkins will absorb the grease!   


 In a large pot, add in the meat mixture, chicken broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Italian seasonings, salt and pepper.  Stir all the ingredients together mixing well.  Turn the heat to medium high and bring to a boil for 2 minutes.  Then reduce it to simmer for 30 minutes. 


While the Lasagna Soup is simmering, let's get to work on the Crostinis!


Step 1: Cut the french bread into slices about 1 inch thick.  Place all the slices onto a cookie sheet. 
Step 2: Mix in a small bowl - 4 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp of minced garlic with some salt and pepper.
Step 3: Using a brush or small spoon, spread the olive oil/garlic mixture onto each slice. (add more garlic if needed)
 Step 4: Put in a 375 degree F. oven for about 10 minutes.


While letting the crostinis cool, let's get back to the Lasagna Soup. 


Take your 8 lasagna noodles and start breaking them into half dollar sized pieces, or the best you can!   After the soup as simmered for 30 minutes, add in the broken up lasagna noodles.  Cook until they are tender which is about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Put your salad together now by cutting up your lettuce and preparing any of your veggie add-ins.  Mix it all together and put in the refrigerator until the soup is ready. 

When the noodles are tender, mix in 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese and stir well.   Serve in bowls and add the shredded mozzarella on top.  Dip your crostinis in the delicious broth or eat without it.  Add your favorite dressing to your salad and enjoy a great meal that you and your kids made.  Your loves will feel so proud they made this whole meal, and the time spent together doing it is priceless

 The original recipe was found at Shugary Sweets blog.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Homeschool Co-op - Let's Try This Again

Last year, I started a co-op. Everything was free with 100% parental involvement. I had GREAT ideas, but maybe a bit big to start with.   I was teaching cooking class, US Geography, Literate and Create, and Gym!!    With the crazy sleeping schedule due to delivering papers and trying to homeschool MY loves, it quickly fell apart.  My heart broke as I have wanted to start a co-op for at least 5 years. 

In June, we delivered our last paper.  I was talking to a friend of mine about bringing Mr. Man to her for shop-like classes.  She is awesome with woodworking and had already worked with him doing mosaics.   SHE brought up the idea of doing a co-op again this year....but alot more simpler.  I knew the families that I wanted to participate from last year and a new homeschool family  moved into the area that I wanted to join as well.  

This year I am only teaching 2 classes!  I am doing the Cooking class, again, because it was all the kids' favorite class from last year,  and the Younger Shop class.   There is also an Art class, Older Shop class, and once a month we go to our local library for Library Skills class.   Our student's ages range from 15 to 3 years old.  EVERYONE participates and we have a wonderful time.   

I decided to start blogging about each week's Cooking Class.  Again, the ages are 15-3 years old, so I need to find recipes that will have everyone doing something.  For the most part, we can accomplish this.   Also, we have one child with gluten issues, one child with a corn allergy, and a couple with lactose issues.   I try very hard to find recipes that will allow all to eat.   So if there are substitutes, I will share them!   

I know these recipes work for kids as we have done them!   I hope you will enjoy the recipes and do some with your loves.   


In our co-op class, we are finishing this great bear ornament project.   It is such a cute idea and they can do their bears anyway they want to: black, brown, black and brown, polar bear, panda, rainbow, etc. 

I chose to do mine brown and black. My nose got a little messed up and so did my  heart because I couldn't find my tiny brush, but it still came out so cute!

Here is what you will need.

Acrylic paint: whatever color your kids want to paint their bears with.
6 Jumbo popsicle sticks
A package of assorted wooden pieces.  I found mine at Michaels.  
Wood glue
any color ribbon

Let's create!!!!!!

Step 1: Make the base -place 4 of the jumbo popsicle sticks side by side. 

 Cut the 5th stick in half and trim off the rounded ends.  Put glue on the cut pieces and place one near the top and one near the bottom.  Set aside to dry.

Step 2:  Bear Parts - The bear pieces are: 1 large circle, 1 medium circle, 1 small circle, 4 small rounded oblong pieces, and 2 small tear drop shaped pieces (these are to be cut to make the ears).

Step 3: Paint the Bear - paint all the pieces and set aside to dry

Step 4:  Add the ribbon - cut desired amount.  Cut the last popsicle stick to match the top one on your base. Glue each end of the ribbon to the existing horizontal popsicle piece.  Glue the newly cut popsicle piece and put on top of the ribbon and existing piece.  Set aside to dry.

Step 5  Finish the bear - with all the pieces dry, you can add a few remaining details.   For the eyes, use the OTHER end of your paint brush to make them.   Use a small brush to create a horizontal line for the nose (mine didn't turn out as well as I hoped).  If you want,  add a heart, or necklace, or shirt, etc.   Set aside to dry.

Step 6: Finish the base - at this point you can paint your base if you want to.  I don't suggest any kind of "writing" on the base until the bear is glued into place and dried. I chose NOT to color my base. 

Step 7:  Putting it all together!  Glue the nose onto the head.  Start putting together your bear on the base.   If you are going to write on the base, try putting it in the middle. (which mine wasn't ) I chose NOT to write,due to the lack of my tiny brush.  You CAN  use an ultra fine pint sharpie, but they tend to run a little on the sticks.  
You could put a name at the top and the year on the bottom.  If you put a heart on your bear, you could add the words "I love you beary much."  or  "Beary Christmas".  

I hope you and your loves enjoy doing this great craft.  Kids LOVE to make things to give as gifts.   Please share some of your favorite Kid's gift crafts with me in the comments or go to my Facebook page and share them there!  I will pick one to do at our co-op!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Fall Worksheets

Here is a great list of the fall worksheets I have in my store.

This one is FREE!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Miniature Autumn Fence Craft - Great Craft For Kids

 This maybe cutting it close, but there is still a few days left in November to do a great seasonal kid's craft!

We are doing a co-op this year and we have two shop classes.  One for the older kids (5th grade and up) and one for the younger kids.   The older shop class was going to make one of these very cute wooden lawn ornament.  

MY job is to TRY to do a similar shop class with my younger kids.  This is what I came up with, and this is MY youngest love's, so please try to understand his "artistic expression". :)

Due to time limits, we completed this project in 2 classes (2 weeks).  It was pretty easy and super fun!  They felt very accomplished because their siblings only did ONE (pumpkin, scarecrow, or turkey) and they did all three!!

 Great news is that most of the supplies you can get at any dollar store!
Here is what you will need:

5 - Jumbo popsicle sticks
3 - paint stir sticks @Wal-Mart in the paint section for FREE!
2 - regular sized popsicle sticks
1 - package of googly eyes
Acrylic paint: orange, light blue/jean-color, brown, creme, white
Wood glue
yellow yarn
small square of handkerchief - like material
regular glue
1 - green pipe cleaner
1 small sheet each of: white, black, green, tan, yellow, orange
3 -  small strips of adhesive magnetic strips
FINE sandpaper (optional)

Step 1:  Paint the 5 jumbo sticks white and set aside to dry.

Step 2:   IF you are getting the paint sticks from Wal-Mart, you will cut the sticks just before the curve part (see the picture above).   OPTIONAL: Using fine sandpaper, have your child sand the cut ends of the paint sticks smooth and rounded, along with any sides that aren't smooth. 

Step 3:  Paint each paint stick a different color -  #1 paint the whole thing orange, #2 paint 3/4 light blue/jean-color, #3  paint the whole thing brown and set aside to dry.

Step 4: Take the 2 regular popsicle sticks and cut them in half.  Have the child paint them on ONE side any colors they wish.  They will be the feathers for the turkey.  Set aside to dry. 

Step 5:  Using the foam sheets: cut  2 GREEN  leaves, ORANGE  nose for the scarecrow, TAN rounded hat for the scarecrow (not shown in young child's shop class project BUT in the older child's shop class project), BLACK pilgrim hat with WHITE strip above the brim for the turkey, WHITE pilgrim shirt for the turkey, YELLOW nose for the turkey.  

Step 6: Cut some strips of yarn to use as the scarecrow's hair. 

Step 7: Using the handkerchief material, cut a triangle to use as the scarecrow's bandanna

Step 8: Take the green pipe cleaner and fold it in half.  Put a pencil in the middle and take one end and wind it around the pencil and do the same on the other side.   This makes the pumpkin vine.

Step 9:  Take the 5 white jumbo sticks and glue them together with wood glue to resemble a fence. (like the picture below) Set aside for the glue to dry.

Step 10: Start decorating each painted stick using either wood glue or regular glue :
Orange - 2 green leaves and the pumpkin vine

Blue - 2 googly eyes, yellow yarn for hair, tan hat, orange nose, bandanna

Brown - Using wood glue, put the feathers on the back, on the front put 2 googly eyes, yellow nose, pilgrim hat, pilgrim shirt

Step 11:  Put the 3 magnetic strips on the back side of the fence on each vertical post.

Step 12:  Using wood glue, put the pumpkin, scarecrow and turkey on the fence.   (The kids found it easier to put the turkey on one of the ends due to it's feathers.)

Enjoy this seasonal craft! 


 Well, life happened as it always does and I saw time being taken away from homeschooling my loves and put into this blog that I love doing.   My children's education takes priority, as you can imagine, hence the long "silence".  


Now things are different.   We are no longer delivering newspapers, sleeping  8 STRAIGHT hours, and find we have so much more time for school, chores...and now.......time for the blog that I have loved working on....and more worksheets in my Learning As We Go store.  

I am not sure how the schedule will be at first, but I WILL be putting up posts and don't forget my Learning As We Go facebook page!  I will be sharing lots of great ideas, links, and encouragement there. 

God is good....all the time....and all the time...God is good!!