Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Finished with School!

I was very excited to send off my last grade report today!  Nolan finished school a couple of weeks ago, and Elaine completed her last subject today.

IMG_4104

IMG_4108    IMG_4106

Super proud of Nolan!  He’s reading very well, and he excels at math.  In fact, he’s going to do first grade math this summer so that he can bump up to second grade math!  He cried when I told him that he was on his very last math paper for the year!

Elaine's Last Day of 2nd Grade

Elaine's Last Day of 2nd Grade     Elaine's Last Day of 2nd Grade

Elaine is also doing well.  Excellent, actually.  She pulled straight A’s this year, with her lowest average for the year was a 95.  She is beyond bored with her reading program because she is reading at a much higher level than her age.  In reading she was supposed to read three chapter books.  The teacher said, “Have you ever read a whole chapter book before?”  Um, yes.  Dozens upon dozens.  She can whiz through a Boxcar Children book or a Mandie book in a day.  I really need to get back to a public library because my wallet can’t afford all these books!  Needless to say, we are going to move up to fourth grade reading next year!

Big difference from the first day of school!  Proud mama here!

First Day of School 2016

Quinoa Casserole with Homemade Enchilada Sauce

My friend Danielle passed this recipe (don’t really like the title of her blog) for a Quinoa casserole on to me.  We like it a lot!  But I’ve made a few tweaks… 

When I went to make the casserole the first time I hadn’t been able to get any enchilada sauce at Aldi.  So I looked up a recipe to make my own.  The result was this super fragrant, delicious (and easy) enchilada sauce that I now use to make the casserole each time. 

Quinoa Casserole

1 cup quinoa, prepared according to package directions
1 recipe enchilada sauce
1 can corn, drained (you could also use frozen…)
1 can black beans (or 2 cups cooked black beans.  I like to cook a whole bag at once and freeze in two cup portions so I can pull it out for recipes like this).
Cilantro (I use dried, because I don’t cook with it enough to justify buying a whole bunch)
Salt & Pepper to taste
3/4 cup shredded cheese
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese

Follow the rest of the instructions as listed at the link.
I’ve found that I don’t need the extra spices because the homemade enchilada sauce is so delicious.  I make it just as instructed, even though it’s for the kids, because the added ingredients in the casserole tone down the spice.  Also, by adding extra corn and black beans the casserole serves us for two meals.  We garnish it with sour cream, hot sauce, and dip tortilla chips into it. 
This was the first time I had ever cooked with quinoa.  I wasn’t thrilled to pay $3+ for a small bag, when I get a bigger bag of rice for $1.29.  But I got three casseroles out of the bag, so that’s still pretty frugal.  And in fact, the last time I made it, I only had 1/3 cup quinoa left, so I added some cooked rice to it.  I couldn’t tell the difference.  It’s still a frugal choice, either way.