Cooking Classes: Cheesecake

Mr.M promised his support teacher that he would make cheesecake for her when she came for her home visit. I am pleased to report that we were true to our promise – a shock, really, considering how WILD it’s been around here! Thankfully, cheesecake really isn’t that onerous of a task. In fact, it’s quite easy! There are just a few things that you need to watch out for!

Here’s some pictures of us in action…and I’m sorry, but horribly, I forgot the final result photo! WHAT?! I know :*( Shame fills me!

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Greasing the pan and making the graham cracker base.

 

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Beating (but not overbeating!) the cream cheese.

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Preparing the berry sauce!

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Fresh, delicious berry sauce, so much better than from a can!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooking Lessons 101: Sushi

We’ve been adding cooking to our homeschool repertoire in an attempt to engage and excite our recently diagnosed ASD son. It is a wonderful way to engage him and sneak in “school”. And it’s a great way for me to get him out of his quiet space and spending some time with me as during down times he gravitates to spending most of his time in his room reading…not that that is wrong, but it’s good to do other things and broaden your horizons. There are so many fantastic life skills and educational opportunities with cooking, from math, to direction following, food safety and even the important skill of following through on a project.

Sushi was an interest of Mr.M’s…and it really worked on his ability to stay on task and yes…to finish what he starts. Because as anyone who has made sushi knows, it’s a bit time consuming!

Even scripture has a few things to say on finishing what we start…take this one for example!

“Now you should finish what you started. Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now by your giving. Give in proportion to what you have.” 2 Cor. 8:11 NLT

I purchased this fantastic “learning to make sushi” kit from Chapters. It had a really excellent DVD with it. We watched all the way up to the California Rolls section (which was what he wanted to make). It totally broadened our horizons on different kinds of sushi though, and actually made us consider trying some different types!

We needed some help improving our sushi rice, and this video REALLY fixed things. Both Marcus and I realized what we had been doing wrong, and were able to correct it:

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We got our mixture of sushi rice vinegar from the book that was included, and the taste was perfect. Our rice turned out amazing and was super easy to work with!

Here are some pictures of our final results: All in all, we thought it was a complete success!

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Moments such as this…

A moment between two brothers ages and differences and worlds apart in their interests. Enjoying each other’s company. I do not get these very often with them, but they come in bursts. And your heart grows, because you hope and pray that one day, they will cherish each other’s company and be the VERY best of friends.

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And this moment…a time to cherish and remember, time with nana to learn and grow. And make apple sauce with a seasoned cook 🙂

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We went Yonanas!!

yonana1My boys have always wanted a Yonana’s machine. It’s always beckoning to them at Superstore whenever we go there. And honestly, I couldn’t deny that it looked pretty neat. In a half dairy free family, with gluten free dietary restrictions galore, as well as myself eating ridiculously healthy in an attempt to lose the extra pounds from the last baby, and an ice cream addict hubby, I figured we might as well give it a shot since it was on sale.

I am not normally a fan of kitchen machines that only serve one purpose. However, I do allow some exceptions to the rule.  The Yonana machine is small and compact, and basically  turns bananas and other fruit into a healthy sherbet/ice cream style treats in a couple seconds. You take out a banana that is frozen, let it defrost for 10 min on the counter (you can’t shove in a rock hard fruit into it), and then push the plunger down.

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After you add the fruit and push the plunger, out comes the frozen fruit, smooth and creamy! No added sugar, no preservatives, just what I put in, which is just the way I like it. Very compelling considering all the junk and sugar in ice cream and desserts these days. And very healthy for the baby too, who absolutely goes bonkers every time offer him some of mine. And since I’m not doing desserts – this is a great alternative to that once in a while. It’s very much like a smoothy, but a lot thicker and creamier. YUM!

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The other thing I like about the Yonanas machine is that you can put other fruit in if you don’t like bananas. I think that bananas do have a very good consistency for a “ice cream” style dessert, but we’ve tried strawberries and mangoes mixed in, and they taste amazing as well. The above picture shows our strawberry and banana blend. (My personal favourite). There is a recipe book that comes with it which shows you how to make different blends, and there is a section for non-banana Yonanas too. And for those of you that like chocolate, you can even add some chocolate chips into your favorite blend. It’s very similar to Yogenfruz. We use it all the time now!

And no, I was not paid to sell this to you, it’s totally my opinion and I just wanted to share it 🙂