Cheesy Acorn Squash

acorn side

One of my favorite things about the fall season is all the vegetables! While it’s still 90 degrees outside, I love to peruse the fresh produce aisles at the grocery store and check out the new options. This week there was a sale on acorn squash. I’ve already shared my recipe for stuffed squash, but this week I decided to make the squash as a side dish.

Ingredients:
1 large acorn squash (for two people, for four people you would need two)
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Wash the squash and use a sharp knife to chop the squash in half. Scoop out the seeds.
3. Rub the inside of the squash with olive oil.
4. Season the squash with the salt, pepper, garlic powder and Italian seasoning.
5. Bake for about 20 minutes with the flesh side up, until sauce begins to soften.
6. Divide the heavy cream between the two halves of the squash and top with the Parmesan cheese.
7. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until the cheese melts and the cream is absorbed and the flesh pricks easily with a fork.

That’s it, enjoy! Thanks for stopping by!

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TOS Review: Fitting Words (Roman Roads Media)

Roman Roads MediaSo we are in my son’s senior year of high school and he has already begun some of his online classes to pursue his children’s ministry degree. As he begins his college education I realize the need for him to really be able to speak, debate, and write thoughtfully to present his thoughts and beliefs. This is one of the reasons I think it is very important to include Rhetoric as one of his subjects this year. I was so so excited to find out I was going to get to review Fitting Words Classical Rhetoric (Complete Program) from Roman Roads Media. When I first started checking this out I thought “wow, this looks really good” and when I got into it, I can tell you, I wasn’t disappointed.

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For starters, when they say this is a “complete program”, they aren’t kidding. It really comes with every single thing you need in one package. From the textbook, to the student workbook, to the exams, complete answer key and even (yes!) video lessons, it’s all here. Of course, you can pick and choose how much you want to use because as the parent, you are always in charge, but everything is right here, and it’s all put together so well that it is really easy to use.

Parents should begin by reading the introduction which explains each component and gives a very convenient schedule for either a one year or two year course. I am one of those moms who always appreciates a schedule. Yes, I will probably tweak this to suit our particular needs, but for me a schedule is a great starting point because it gives me some idea of how to break down the material. Since we are in my son’s senior year we decided to follow the one-year schedule, but if we had gotten this earlier I probably would have done this course over two years to give us more time to dive into some of the further suggested readings and other things.

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The video lessons that accompany the course are broken into two parts for each lesson, one that goes over the main lesson and one that takes students through the exercises for those lessons. Now, my son is not a great video learner. However, he did like watching the application videos a lot. Mainly because he liked how Mr. Nance (the author) explained the exercises and he said the videos helped him to better understand the figures of speech introduced in each lesson. He also watched the videos that reviewed the lessons before he took his exams. So, I allowed him to choose which videos to watch and he utilized them in the way that suited him best. I liked the way they were set up, because they were not incredibly long and the menu made it easy for him to find the videos that matched the lessons he was on.

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Okay, so getting into the program, can I just say that I really kind of got into this myself and did a lot of pre-reading ahead of my son? The lessons in this book are meaty, and actually really interesting. If you think rhetoric is a dry topic, it’s not. At least not the way it’s presented in Fitting Words. The textbook consists of 30 lessons divided into seven units that cover topics ranging from types of arguments, to emotions, to delivery and so much more. Along the way your children will read Bible passages, excerpts from Phaedrus, and all kinds of speeches and other examples that will help them bring to life the things they are learning.

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In the workbook, they will learn to apply what they are learning through activities that ask them to read Bible passages and identify the emotions of the speakers in those passages, look at historical documents and explain the methods the authors used in writing those documents, identify figures of speech in well-known writings, and have opportunities to give speeches of their own for specific purposes such as soliciting specific emotions from their audience, give a speech appropriate for a ceremony, and more.

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Each chapter approaches it’s topic directly and explains it in detail with plenty of examples. The chapters themselves are pretty short (a big plus for my son!) with sidebars that highlight key concepts and ideas. At the end of the chapter there are questions you can use for discussion that encourage students to think more deeply about what they just read, suggestions for further reading, and a short memorization exercise. In addition, students will complete the related assignments in the workbook for their lessons. The thing is, even though the information itself is meaty, my son did NOT feel like he was overloaded with work to the point that he dreaded this subject and that is really the key to success for me at this point. Because if I have to fight with him to get him to do it, chances are, it probably isn’t going to get done. That is another reason I really like this course. He’s learning a lot, but he doesn’t feel like he’s being slammed with work! You can always dig further with the additional suggested readings, and if we were using this as a two-year program I probably would, but since we only have a year, we are going easy on that, only reading those particular ones my son is really interested in.

In the appendix you will find a full glossary, the full text of historical speeches featured in the text and a listing of Biblical speeches featured as well. This was very handy for my son to use as a reference for assignments.

The amount of depth in Fitting Words was just really impressive to me. I feel like my son is going to grow as a thinker, a writer, and a speaker through using this program, and the skills he learns are going to benefit him in his college courses. I definitely think this is a great program for any high school student. To learn more, connect with Roman Roads Media here:

Roman Roads Media on Facebook

Roman Roads Media on Instagram

Roman Roads Media on YouTube

Roman Roads Media on Pinterest

To see what other members of the crew thought of this program and the others we got to check out, click here:

 

Classical Rhetoric and Picta Dicta {Roman Roads Media Reviews}Crew Disclaimer 

Menu Plan Monday 9/10/18

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Ahhh September! Fall weather (not really!) hurricane prep, and the hope of cooler temperatures a few months down the road! That’s pretty much the description of early fall here in Florida. We are still pretty much pushing 90 degrees every day so it’s basically summer part 2, which is okay with me! I’ve got a fresh crop of key limes, and I just used them to make my favorite pie! We are still spending our afternoons swimming in the pool or hanging at the beach and weekends cooking out with friends, so aside from those ugly storms swirling out there, the lack of fall weather doesn’t bother me too much! Here’s our menu for the week:

Monday: Enchilada Casserole

Tuesday: Cheesy Chicken with Potato Bites

Wednesday: Stuffed Zucchini

Thursday: Polenta Casserole

Friday: Probably leftovers

Thanks for stopping by for Menu Plan Monday! Have a great week!

TOS Review: GrammarPlanet

GrammarPlannetGrammar is one of those subjects that is often difficult to teach just because most students find it dry and boring. Let’s be honest, it’s hard to make identifying nouns and pronouns and diagramming sentences fun! However, I believe that a solid understanding of grammar is very important in teaching students how to write. Those who have a thorough understanding of how grammar works will have a better understand of how to put sentences together when they are writing. So, I was excited to check out a new online program from GrammarPlanet to see if it might make grammar instruction a little bit easier.

Aimed at students 10 and up, the program includes video instruction, practice lessons and quizzes. Each unit offers a set of printable notes your student can use to guide them in the lessons and refer back to if they get confused. I thought this was a nice feature and good reference point. We kept the notes in a folder for my son to refer back to throughout the units. There are 12 units total that start off with simple topics like nouns and move on to more complicated topics like everyone’s favorite thing, diagramming sentences!

grammar planet 1

Videos are typically short, lasting around 5 minutes or so, and the speaker in the videos is clear and pleasant (this is important, the person delivering the instruction is a huge part of any course). After watching the videos, students complete practice sets on each topic. One of the things I really like about this program is the immediate feedback students get when they do the practice. Each sentence is scored right away and they can quickly see if they made a mistake. This helps them make corrections as they go, which I think helps them learn much better than if they find out about their mistakes at the end or something like that.

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After they complete each unit students take a quiz before moving onto the next unit. The tests consist of a number of questions that mix multiple choice questions with questions that ask students to identify the different parts of speech within a sentence. Quizzes are slightly different in that students do not receive feedback until the very end, where they can see their score and then see what they got wrong on each question. Again, I like the fact that students don’t just see that they got a question wrong, they get to see why they got it wrong and what the correct answer is.

For parents, GrammarPlanet offers you excellent reports about your child’s progress. You can login and click on unit report to see all the questions your child completed for that unit and exactly which ones they got right or wrong. In fact, if you click on a specific question, it will show you HOW they answered that question so you can see EXACTLY what they missed! I think that’s pretty awesome because it allows you to identify if there is a specific thing your child is struggling with or needs help with! You can also review all of your child’s test questions as well and reset a unit if you think your child needs to redo it.

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All of this is available for less than $40 for ad-free access to the site. I really think that if you want a simple way to teach grammar, GrammarPlanet is a good way to go! To learn more, connect with them on social media here:

GrammarPlanet on Facebook

GrammarPlanet on Twitter

GrammarPlanet on Pinterest

To see what other members of the crew thought of this program, click here:

*Grammar Program Online {GrammarPlannet Reviews}

 

Crew Disclaimer

Quick and Easy Key Lime Pie

key lime pie

 

Key Lime Pie is one of my husbands favorite desserts, and being from Florida, we have it in abundance. I am super excited because we just planted our first Key Lime tree in the backyard so I will now be able to pick my own key limes to make my pies. For now, I have a friend that gives me bags of them when her own tree has an abundance. She recently gave me a bag for this pie. I think the key lime pie is such a perfect dessert because of the balance of tart and sweet. Now, my Nana always made her own graham cracker crust and whipped cream, and for holidays I do that too, but honestly, on a regular weekend, I just don’t have that kind of time, so I focus my attention on the filling and take the easy way out for the rest! Here’s my recipe:

Ingredients:

1 pre-made graham cracker crust (or make your own)

about 10-12 medium sized key limes (it really doesn’t matter if they are fully ripe or not, I used ones that were more yellow than green for this pie and it came out fine)

2 cans sweetened condensed milk (I like to use Goya)

1/2 cup sour cream

1 can Redi-whip (or make your own whip cream)

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 300 degrees

2. Squeeze the juice from 10 of the limes, removing the seeds. You should have enough juice to fill about 3/4-1 cup measuring size depending on how tart you like your pie.

3. Use a zester to zest one of the other limes into a bowl.

4. Using a whisk, mix the juice, sour cream, and condensed milk in the bowl with the lime zest.

5. Pour the filling mixture into the pie crust.

6. Place the pie crust on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes.

7. Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool before placing it in the fridge.

8. Chill 3-4 hours before serving. Top with whipped cream and zest from the other lime before serving.

I love this because you can make it in the afternoon in just a few minutes and then have it ready to serve after dinner! Enjoy! Thanks for stopping by. Have a great week!

Menu Plan Monday 8/27/18

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Is it starting to feel like fall where you are? It definitely is not here, but I am still excited to move on from summer into the fall season! I am looking forward to the Fall festivals and all the holidays, even if it is still going to be incredibly hot while they are going on! This is our menu for this week:

Monday: Garlic and Basil Chicken

Tuesday: Pork Ragu

Wednesday: Stuffed Shells

Thursday: Spanish Rice

Friday: Leftovers (in preparation for the Labor Day weekend barbecues!)

Thanks for stopping by for Menu Plan Monday! Have a great week.

Menu Plan Monday 8/20/18

Another week, another scorcher! Its so hot here you can’t really be outside for long, but we are going to brave the theme parks for our visit of the year on Monday because we were able to snag some sweet fast passes. Fortunately, as pass holders, we can come and go as we please, so we are free to pop in for a couple rides and then go home, meaning we don’t spend the entire day trying to squeeze all we can out in these ridiculous temperatures! So, this is our menu for the week:

Monday: Crock pot mojo pork, because theme parks

Tuesday: Leftover pork turned into Cuban sandwiches

Wednesday: Lemon Chicken with cauliflower

Thursday: Cheeseburger pie

Friday: I have to work so who knows?

Thanks for stopping by for Menu Plan Monday! Have a great week!