Monday, June 30, 2014

Blueberry Orange Mug Cake

I think I just might be obssessed with these little cakes.  They are so quick and easy to make, and it's fun to experiment with different flavor and ingredient combinations.  This time I was inspired by my morning smoothie, an oatmeal, blueberry and orange juice combination. It was delicious, which got me to thinking of how the flavor combination might work in one of these quick cakes.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Quick Delicious Corn on the Cob

Sometimes the simplest way is the best. Take this recipe for instance, if you can even truly call it a recipe. To me it just simple, delicious, and something I've been doing for years. In all the years that I have made corn this way I have just never let Quirky help. Why I don't know, maybe because it was simple that I did it without even thinking about. Oh well...whatever the reason for not doing it in the past, today was a perfect day for us try this recipe together.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Chipotle Black Bean Hummus

Summer, unfortunately for us, is one of Dork's busiest times. However, one of the benefits to his job is that Quirky and I can stop by and visit with him and the people he works with just about anytime. This is a good thing because a few days of long hours and barely seeing each, I start to go stir crazy. The little things that Quirky does begin to aggravate, the everyday sounds around the house begin to annoy. I admit it...I need Dork. The other day was one of those days. I needed to see his face just as much as needed to hear his voice. So Quirky and I decided to make Dork and the people he works with a treat for them to snack on. We decided on homemade bread and a Chipotle Black Bean Hummus. The bread was made from my basic go to recipe that I have made for years, but the hummus was something that we made up as we went along. If the way Dork and the guys gobbled it up is any indication then I think it might have been pretty good. Here is what we did:

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Single Serving Peanut Butter Banana Bread

This little bread was moist and delicious, and it was made in the microwave. Yep...I told you I would be revisiting the whole mug cake in the microwave concept. For some reason today,  that I'm beyond comprehending, my fever addled brain kept telling my stomach that it wanted banana bread. Since I am battling the dreaded summer cold, and quite frankly don't feel like standing up long enough to make "real" banana bread, I decided to revisit the mug cake concept. So with a handful of ingredients and less than five minutes I managed to calm the craving. This is what I did:

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Field Trip to the Chrysler Museum of Art

The third day of our trip Dork finished up early and we were all able to go to the Chrysler Museum of Art. It was awesome...ok I thought it was awesome. Dork and Quirky are of the same mind sight when it comes to art museums..."look its another really old piece art by another dead guy." I find this so surprising, because Quirky is such a blossoming artist herself. Oh well...I can be thankful that I had the opportunity to expose her to such wonderful pieces of art and that I myself was able to see paintings that I had always loved but thought I would never see beyond the pages of a book. Paintings by artists that I have admired from the first time that I realized that there was something called art history, which combines two of my favorite things.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Field Trip to the Norfolk Zoo

The second day of our trip we ventured over to the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk. It was a zoo on the smallish side. We saw a variety of animals from hippos to red pandas, most of which were curled up asleep. We did get a chance however to see the Asiatic Bears horsing around and playing with each other, which was fascinating to Quirky. We were also lucky enough to be standing in the right spot when a giraffe walked right up and started eating just a few feet in front of us. Otherwise we saw a lot of curled up asleep animals, whether do to the heat or the noise, who knows.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Field Trip to the Norfolk Botanical Gardens

Recently Quirky and I were able to visit the Virginia Beach and Norfolk, Virginia area with Dork. Dork was busy most of the day with work so that just left Quirky and I to entertain ourselves. The beach was way too crowded for Quirky or my taste, but lucky for us there were some great fieldtrip opportunities nearby. The first morning we were there we went to the Norfolk Botanical Gardens.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Peanut Butter Mug Cake with Chocolate Frosting

We are not a family who has dessert after every meal, but sometimes, you are left wanting and the only way to fill the void is with something sweet. You know what I mean...another helping of broccoli or potatoes is just not going to do it. Another slice of roast beef is just going to make you mad. If you were kid you might pout and throw a fit because you wanted it so bad. Tonight was one of those nights for me. I wanted something sweet with minimal effort; I wanted something sweet fast. Having seen pictures of mug cakes all over Pinterest and the internet I knew the basics so I felt that was the best way to go to satisfy my craving.

I decided to combine two of my favorite things, peanut butter and chocolate, to make one that I hoped would turn out delicious. I was not disappointed. They turned out moist and a cross somewhere between cake and cookie. After spreading them chocolate frosting that I forgot I had, and sprinkling them with chopped nuts they were nothing short of delicious. ( Turns out I had store bought icing in the pantry, lucky I forgot or I would have probably ate it straight from the tub like some deranged chocoholic. ) I was even nice enough to make one for both Quirky and Dork. From the silence around the table and the scrape of spoons in the bowl I would say they liked them too. 

My sweet tooth is soothed and the best part is it took less than five minutes to make. I will definitely be trying some more of these. Mind is going crazy with ideas...maybe a coconut cake or a red velvet cake. Oh the possibilities are endless. Here is what I did:

Peanut Butter Mug Cake

1/4 cup Self Rising Flour
2 Tbs Sugar
1 Tbs Peanut Butter
1 Tbs melted butter

In a small mug or ramekin, mix all ingredients until completely blended. Be sure to scrape the bottom well to get all of the flour. Place in microwave and cook on high for 1-2 minutes or until done. Be sure not to over fill your mug or ramekin, the cake will rise. Let cool and then ice with chocolate icing if you have it, or sprinkle with chocolate chips, drizzle with chocolate syrup, or devour straight from the microwave as is. Either way it's going to be delicious.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Autism and Communication...Wonderfully Verbal
Most people who didn't know us, who didn't know Quirky before we moved here, would be surprised at how far she has come in her communication in such a short amount of time. She has her own way of saying things, but she gets her point across. If you listen carefully, you'll recognize movie lines and tones of voice that she has stored away for use. Her words may not come together in the most eloquent of ways, and some days I'm left wondering what she is talking about, but Quirky is gloriously verbal. Dork and I, although we get aggravated some days, understand that we are lucky. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Field Trip...Jazz and Blues Concert Series

Music Appreciation: Jazz
We are fortunate to have near us a community college that often offers free events, such as plays, concerts, or lectures, that are open to the public. This school year, for music appreciation, we were to able to take advantage of a series of Jazz and Blues concerts and lectures. We were able to attend two of the concerts.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Buttery Fudgy Deliciousness

Yummy! Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
As you might have guessed from some of my previous posts that Dork was recently out of town and Quirky and I went crazy cooking. It occupied our time and our minds and helped us to forget just how much we missed our Dork. Of course we had to make him something special for when he got back. So we decided that we would make him cookies, double chocolatey extra yummy cookies. We really...I mean really love chocolate around here. So we started out pulling out all the ingredients to make the recipe for double chocolate cookies that I had when I realized that I was missing a good portion of the ingredients. I had less than half the butter I needed, only a third of the cocoa powder, on and one the list went. Yikes!'s time to replenish the baking supplies. We could have given up...

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Body Systems Unit Study

Body Systems Watercolors
I mentioned in this post, that Quirky and I, for school this year, for several weeks worked on a Body Systems Unit study. We have studied body systems in previous years, but not in detail...she was not ready and the information just would not stick.  So I mapped out a few weeks for us to review what we had previously learned and dig deeper into new material. I came up with a short list of guiding questions to keep us on task. We checked out numerous books from the library, utilized several different apps, and used the internet. I even bought body system posters at local school supply store. The unit itself took far longer than I intended,

Monday, June 9, 2014

Vanilla Chai Muffins

Vanilla Chai Muffins
Quirky and I love to experiment in the kitchen. Often we take a general idea of what we want and then run with it. Imaginations are not just for stories and art, we use them in the kitchen too.

This muffin came about one afternoon because of how much Quirky loves hot chai tea, well that and we had nothing...well nothing that Quirky really wanted left to eat for breakfast the next day. (We were both tired of cold cereal!) So Quirky and I decided that we would make a quick batch of muffins. It didn't take long and they turned out delicious. Here is what we did:

Friday, June 6, 2014

Shepherds Pie...a Quick Meal for Quirky and Me

What do you do when you are planning on having baked potatoes topped with veggies, but you're just a wee bit scatter brained from have spent numerous hours solo with your Quirky autistic kid and unfortunately forgot to buy the potatoes. ( Which was one of the main reasons we had gone to the store that day, yet I still came home without them...sigh.) Going out to eat was not an option...I was not leaving the house again. So after rummaging through our cabinets and contemplating whether it was bad parenting to feed your kid cereal for dinner, it finally clicked with me that we had instant mashed potatoes...Hello. So I decided to go all topsy turvy and instead of having veggies on a baked potato, we instead made Shepard's Pie. It was quick, easy, and delicious. Here is what we did.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Field-trip...Bird Sanctuary

One of the most important parts of education, in my humble opinion, is actually seeing and experiencing the world around you. Yes you can talk about birds, read about birds, look at websites about birds and yes you can even find videos about birds if you look hard enough. And yes, a person can learn a lot from all of those things, but nothing can comparing to watching someone fascinated at seeing all of these magnificent birds close up. Quirky and I were very lucky this year and were able to go on a fieldtrip with friends of ours to a Bird Sanctuary. They were kind enough to ask us to tag along on a fieldtrip they had already planned. I am so glad that they did.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Comic Strip Class Final Project

If you have read this post, iTunes University Introduction to Comics Class, then you know that Quirky completed a mini course on iTunes University about comic strip art. Nothing fancy but she has taken what she has learned to heart and has put it to  great use for her final project. Since we have alternating between music appreciation and art units, this will be one of the last two projects we complete for this school year.