Saturday, June 27, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Chewy Cherry Pecan Coconut Bars
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup chopped pecans (but you could substitute walnuts)
3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained and quartered
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I use Mexican vanilla)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Prepare crust: Combine flour, powdered sugar, and butter in medium sized mixing bowl. Cut butter into flour/sugar using a pastry blender or two butter knives. Press mixture into an 8" square baking pan. Bake 18-23 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from oven.
3. Prepare filling: Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. (I added the cherries last, because I was afraid the whole thing would turn pink... not that this is necessarily a bad thing!) Spoon on top of crust and spread evenly.
4. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Teaneck, N.J. (June 10, 2009) – Fathers believe helping their children excel in school is one of their primary roles according to a recent survey by Ipsos Public Affairs for Kumon Math and Reading Centers. As America prepares to celebrate Father’s Day on June 21st, the survey finds today’s dads are more active in their children’s academic development compared to their own fathers.
A recent educational survey of more than 1,000 American parents with children ages five to 15 found that 50 percent of dads say they are the ones who most motivate their children to do their homework, indicating that dads feel they are as likely as moms to help with schoolwork. This is quite different from previous generations. Only nine percent of these same parents chose their own father when asked who motivated them to complete their homework when they were growing up.
“In a world of dual income families it is inspiring to see fathers taking a leading role along with mothers in their children’s education,” says Dr. Mary Mokris, education specialist for Kumon Math and Reading Centers. “Fathers are actively addressing their children’s academic needs all year round.”
Kumon Math and Reading Centers shares other dad highlights from the survey:
- Fathers who volunteer with their children spend an average of 2.78 hours per week volunteering together.
- More than eight in ten dads feel confident helping their children with math, history, geography or science homework.
- Ninety-eight percent of dads personally help their children when he or she experiences a problem with homework.
- Three out of four dads are aware of summer learning opportunities for their children.
- Six out of ten dads enroll their children in an organized learning program for at least one week over the summer.
- More than 30 percent of dads enroll their children in supplemental education programs such as tutoring or summer camp to keep their skills sharp during the summer.
Kumon, the world’s largest after-school math and reading program, was founded more than fifty years ago by Toru Kumon, a math teacher and father, who wanted to help his son do better in math.
About Kumon Math and Reading Centers:
Kumon [k -mŏn] is an after-school math and reading program that helps children fulfill their potential by motivating them to achieve more on their own. The learning method uses a systematic and individualized approach that helps children develop a solid command of math and reading skills. Through daily practice and mastery of materials, students increase confidence, improve concentration and develop better study skills. Kumon has 26,000 Centers in 46 countries and more than four million students studying worldwide. For more information, please visit http://www.kumon.com/.
About the Survey: The survey was fielded April 3– 9, 2009 via the Ipsos North-American I-Say Panel, a household consumer panel that has been pre-staged and pre-screened. A total of 1,039 American parents with children between the ages of five and 15, inclusive, were interviewed online.
Happy Fathers Day!
Hugs and blessings~
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Here's the tutorial on how to make your own Candy Bouquet:
- Assorted wrapped candy bars, gum balls, hard candies, lollipops...
- Container for your arrangement (Mine was a plastic bowl and about 2" deep and 6" in diameter, but I'll bet a flower pot would work great for this!)
- Wooden skewers or dowels
- Silk flowers with leaves (Strip the flowers and leaves off the stems. Save the flowers for a future project.)
- Floral foam
- Colored tissue paper
- Cool-temp glue gun
- Bow to decorate container
Friday, June 12, 2009
Pico de gallo (Spanish for Rooster's Beak) is a fresh condiment, much like salsa. It can be served as a dip for tortilla chips or as a topping for your next batch of tacos or fajitas.
Before you begin this easy recipe, you have to take a couple of minutes to listen to the "Pico de Gallo" song by Trout Fishing in America. Listen closely to the lyrics. I guarantee you'll laugh so hard you'll cry-o!
Anne's Pico de Gallo Recipe
1 lb. Roma tomatoes, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (2 jalapenos will give you additional heat :- )
Squeeze of lime juice
Salt to taste
Optional: Cilantro, chopped (I'm not a fan of cilantro, so I don't use it in my version)
Put all of the ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. Serve with tortilla chips or as an accompaniment to tacos or fajitas.
Hugs and blessings~
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
When I came across the following recipe for kind of a "faux" chile relleno casserole that involved none of the above prep and NO FRYING, I thought "no way", and filed the recipe card away. So... I was fumbling around in the kitchen the other day trying to figure out what to make for a weekend brunch and came across the recipe. I had all the ingredients for the casserole on hand, so I thought I'd give it a go. Oh my goodness! It was quick (5 minutes of prep!), easy, and absolutely delicious!!! This one gets filed under "love it". I will definately be making it again. (My husband said I'll be making it again SOON!)
Here's the recipe:
CHILES RELLENOS CASSEROLE
courtesy of Casa del Granjero in Albuquerque, New Mexico
1 cup green chile, roasted, peeled, and chopped (Check the freezer section at the grocery for chopped green chile. It's already prepped for you :-)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/4 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/4 cups Montery Jack cheese, shredded
1/2 cup flour
1 t. baking powder
1 1/2 cups milk
Garnish suggestions: shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, diced avocado, diced onions, sour cream, salsa
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix the first seven ingredients, stirring until well incorporated.
Pour the mixture in a buttered 9x9 baking dish or a 10" pie pan.
Bake for 50 minutes or until fully set.
Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes.
Slice, garnish, and serve.
Hugs and blessings~
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Have you ever wondered why reading is so easy for some children, yet so difficult for others? Breaking the reading code is the key to unraveling the mystery of learning to read. To decipher the code, students must first transform letters to sounds, and then blend the sounds together to form words. This is not an easy process. Yet as complex as it is, this process happens rather effortlessly for the majority of children during kindergarten or first grade.
Once children break the code, they become emergent readers, ready and eager to learn to read. These are the students who take off like reading rockets and smoothly transition through the rest of the stages of reading, eventually becoming successful readers. Ideally, this transition occurs before students enter fourth grade where they begin to use their skilled reading ability to learn all school subjects, including math and science.
For children who have difficulty breaking the reading code, however, learning to read can be an agonizing ordeal. The bad news is that as these children wrestle with learning how to read, they fall farther and farther behind their classmates. The good news, however, is that these struggling readers can be taught to read. Scientific research has provided us with the knowledge of what works best in teaching children to read, and Kumon’s Reading Program—starting with it's beginning levels—has put this knowledge into practice.
There are two parts to the reading puzzle that children need to master in order to break the reading code.
- Part one requires the ability to recognize that words are made up of small sounds. We call this phonemic awareness. For example, the word cat is made up of a hard /c/ sound, a short /a/ sound, and the /t/ sound.
- Part two requires the ability to link these sounds to letters of the alphabet. We call this alphabetic principle. For example, the hard /c/ sound is represented by the letter c, the short /a/ sound is represented by the letter a, and the /t/ sound is represented by the letter t.
The purpose of developing phonemic awareness in students is to give them these linguistic insights upon which the alphabetic principle depends. By understanding that words are made up of a sequence of sounds, students easily learn the sounds that go with letters. For example, when the sound /d/ is recognized as the sound heard in doll, dog, and day, students quickly learn that the sound of the letter d is /d/. When the sound /h/ is recognized as the sound heard in house, hat, hen, and heavy, they understand that /h/ is the sound of the letter h.
Phonemic awareness is the ultimate difference between those who catch on to reading very quickly and those who do not. Simply put, struggling readers lack phonemic awareness. Trying to memorize which sounds go with what letters and which words begin with what sounds, will not help these students learn to read if they have not mastered this skill. Fortunately, phonemic awareness can be developed if it is taught explicitly and systematically for approximately 15 minutes per day over the course of one school year.
How can struggling readers learn this skill? The development of the reading readiness skills of phonemic awareness, followed by the alphabetic principle, begins in Kumon's early Reading Program. Children can be taught phonemic awareness by first drawing their attention to rhymes and then making their own rhymes. For instance, by rhyming words such as cat, hat, pat, and mat, they quickly learn to recognize the sound of /at/, and they learn that by changing the beginning sounds of rhyming words, they can make new words. When they learn to do this, they can be taught to substitute the ending and finally the middle sounds of rhyming words to form new words. For example, if they change the /t/ in cat to /p/, the new word is cap.
Next, children need to learn to play games with words. They can be taught to blend sounds together to make words. For example, if a child blends the sounds /m/, /a/, /p/ together, the word map is formed. A child also needs to be taught to take a word apart by breaking it into its different sounds.
Although it is not easy for struggling readers to master these skills, it is possible with daily practice. For students who learn to attend to the structure of language, the alphabetic principle will make sense and they will rapidly develop the phonetic skills necessary for reading, thus breaking the reading code. Once accomplished, struggling readers and beginning readers will all grow into successful readers!Hugs and blessings~