Sprouting Our Beans

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We're taking the week to sprout ourselves for the summer! See you in a week.

The Sprouts: Rakhi Bracelets & Fruit Chaat

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As we’ve been reading about India we learned about the Rakhi Festival, a celebration of the bond between brothers and sisters.  A rakhi is a decorated piece of sacred thread.  The thread is considered stronger than iron chains and is believed to strengthen an inseparable bond of love and trust.  The Rakhi Festival falls on the full moon day in the fifth month of the Hindu calendar.   This year the festival falls on August 13. While it is only June, it seems like the perfect time to celebrate Rakhi in our house.  

Menu for the week of June 6, 2011

We’re always hungry for books around here…






The Sprouts: Celebrating the Rain with Mangos!!!

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We’ve been having a lot of rain and cool weather around here.  It’s got everyone asking, “Is Summer ever going to come?”  But it is nothing compared to the strong winds and rain accumulation that can occur during India’s monsoon season.  In Monsoon Afternoon, by Kashmira Sheth, we learned that after the initial downpour, there is a steady pattern of rain lasting for at least a couple of hours most days.  In the book, a young boy and his Dadaji (grandfather) explore the streets, having fun in the rain.  At the end of the story, Dadaji and the boy, pick the last of the mangos, with the coming of the monsoons in June.

So we’re celebrating the rain with mangos!!!  We love Amy Wilson Sanger’s World Snack Book Collection, her rhythmic writing and creative collages tempt your taste buds on every page while introducing kids to different cuisines. Part of the series, Chaats and Sweets, highlights some of the snacks and treats of India.  Our first try was a refreshing mango lassi, a yogurt-based drink: mango, banana and rose water are some of the common flavors.  It was hard for the kids to be patient all week while the mangos we bought ripened…. but their yummms and more please, expressed that it was WELL WORTH the wait!

Menu for the Week of May 30, 2011

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The perfect time of year for outdoor cooking...no matter the weather!

The Sprouts: Arriving in India

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During our "trip" around the world, our next stop is India.  My husband teaches Computer Science and quite a few of his students are from India.  He has taken the kids to watch his students play Cricket and we some times play music from India (http://www.desi-radio.com/ is one of the online radio sites, or a quick type of Indian music into a search engine will get you other options). It will be fun to explore the country and cuisine further. Our children have, do I dare say, eaten Indian food but usually the Naan bread is the primary thing consumed.  Who can blame them, there is nothing like warm Naan!!!!!  The following family menu is a great way to introduce the cuisine:

•          Easy Chicken Masala

•          Caramelized Cumin-Roasted Carrots

•          Cool Cucumber Raita

With Oven-Baked Naan (Recipe Below)

It gets a TWO THUMBS UP from our kids every time we make it.  

Menu for the week of May 23, 2011

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We’ll have delicious salad-inspired meals this week as part of National Salad Month.  

Buckwheat & Mixed-Grain Waffles

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This weekend we celebrated Pete’s 40th birthday! We started the “celebrations” with gluten-free, egg-free, sugar-free waffles. For something special, the kids and Pete added a dallop of whipped cream with strawberries. I added the cut berries along with some juice from warmed berries…I didn’t miss the whipped cream or syrup one bit. In fact, the tingling feeling in my hand has essentially disappeared-- another reason not to miss it!

As we began using more variety of grains, we learned that buckwheat is not wheat or a cereal grain, but rather an energizing and nutritious fruit seed. It is a good source of protein and fiber. We’ve also cooked it like oatmeal and topped it with yogurt and fruit. It’s well worth a try!

Menu for the week of May 16, 2011

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May is national salad month. There is nothing like fresh, tender baby greens this time of year and we have some ready for picking!! We’ll start our week on Meatless Monday, with a Mexican-style salad packed with greens, avocados, corn and other great eats! With our new speller, and our wanna-be speller, Scrabble has become a popular game around here. The kids helped me spell out our menu for the week.

The Sprouts: African Wrap Up

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The music of Africa is another vibrant, cultural component of Africa.  As I mentioned in a previous post, we enjoy listening to our Putumayo African Playground CD.  While visiting Phoenix recently, we were able to explore the music of Africa further at the Musical Instrument Museum.

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