Chicken with Mushroom Sauce

I love mushrooms. I eat them in salads, I eat them on pizza, I eat them in omelets, in soups…you get the idea. So this yummy recipe for chicken with mushroom sauce satisfies my craving for one of my favorite things!

Ingredients:
4 boneless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp Tarragon
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter

1. Season the chicken breasts on both sides with the tarragon, onion powder, salt, and pepper.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and cook the chicken breasts until done (mine took about 10 minutes on both sides, use a meat thermometer to keep track of the temp.)

3. While the chicken is cooking, slice the mushrooms (if you couldn’t find pre-sliced ones like me) and mince the garlic (another side note, I just got one of the those garlic press things for Mother’s Day and they are awesome!)

4. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside. Add the butter to the skillet and allow it to melt.

5. Add the mushrooms and garlic to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes.

6. Add the chicken stock, bring it to a boil, and continue boiling for 5 minutes.
7. Then add the whipping cream and boil for another 4 minutes.

8. Serve the chicken topped with the sauce.

There ya go! Creamy, yummy, delicious! Enjoy! Check out more recipes here:

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TOS Review: Homeschool Legacy

Homeschool Legacy ReviewI LOVE unit studies! I mean, I really, really love them. In fact, next year, I am thinking about doing our entire year based on unit studies, so I am always on the lookout for good ones. Therefore, I was really excited to get to try the We the People: Getting to Know Your Constitution unit study from Homeschool Legacy for this review. Homeschool Legacy unit studies are unique in that the bulk of their studies are offered as once-a-week studies, although you could certainly tweak that (and we did). This particular study is for grades 4-12 and I used it with my son who is in the 8th grade.

Homeschool Legacy ReviewI chose this particular study because learning about how the government works is something we are passionate about in our family. The We the People study comes as a PDF eBook and is designed to last eight weeks, although Homeschool Legacy offers a variety of studies that last for different periods of time. One of the things I liked about this unit study in particular is the variety of resources it provided. There was a very long book list available for most weeks, meaning you were pretty likely to find books available to use at your library. The most needed resources are marked with a star, but even those give you the flexibility of finding similar content if necessary. There are books for family read alouds as well as books for kids to read on their own.

For the first week, we read about Daniel Shay’s rebellion as well as reading some Washington Irving books and my son read a couple of biographies of Ben Franklin and George Washington. In the subsequent weeks we read about what it was like for the Founding Fathers during the time they were writing the Constitution, the different branches of government, what it takes to run for President, and a lot of other topics. We also read the Bill of Rights and the Constitution more than once. The unit study also includes a lot of links to videos (with an average run time of about 10 minutes), virtual field trips, suggestions for family movie nights (National Treasure was one of our favorites) and other resources.

Each week, you do daily readings from the family read alouds and read alone books, then you dedicate one day per week to doing the activities. These start with a family devotional that both my hubby and I loved (yes, as I predicted, he “overheard” this study and couldn’t resist taking part because he loves the government). These devotions focus on the faith of our Founding Fathers and how they used it in forming our government. From there you get into the history readings and discussion. One of the first things students do is set up their notebook with their timeline. It’s a hand drawn timeline that students add to each week as they work when they see the timeline symbol.

While activities vary from week to week typically there is reading, discussion, and some type of student activities. These might be a word scramble, matching, fill in the blank, or something else. These are usually pretty fun and very effective. For example, my son really enjoyed the Preamble Scramble and by the end of the week, he had learned the Preamble to the Constitution (I was impressed!)

Preamble Scramble part 1

working carefully!

Success!

My husband and I really liked the videos that were linked as well. The first ones we watched were focused on how the government was designed to be limited (something we agree with) and how it has strayed from that vision. In fact, the whole spirit of this study is to focus on the true spirit of the Constitution, and it encourages students to really dig deep into what the Founding Fathers intended and look at where we are today and draw their own conclusions about what is working and is not. I feel like it gave a very thorough look at this important document and we were really excited by the entire study (and the fact that we got to see the actual document during our trip to DC last year made it even better). I would absolutely recommend this study to anyone looking to investigate this topic with their child. The e-Book copy of We the People costs $17.00. After using this unit study, I am very interested in using more of the studies from Homeschool Legacy and am going to be looking at what else they have to offer for next year!

To learn more about Homeschool Legacy, get in touch with them on social media here:
Homeschool Legacy on Facebook

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To see what other members of the crew had to say about this and the other unit studies my fellow crew members got to check out click here:

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Sour Cream and Swiss Chicken

MMMM…this yummy, creamy, recipe is the perfect comfort food. It is also very easy to make and large enough to feed a crowd.

 

Ingredients:

4 chicken breasts

1 pack Swiss cheese slices

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

1 minced garlic clove

1 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup grated Parmesan

1. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and place the chicken breasts in the pan. Cover each breast with a slice of cheese.

2. Mix the sour cream, yogurt, minced garlic, garlic salt, pepper, salt, and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan in a bowl and spread that over the chicken.

3. Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese.

4. Bake at 375 degrees for one hour or until chicken is cooked through.

And that’s it! Gooey, cheesy, yummy, goodness in a pan. Eat it up, with rice, potatoes, veggies, a salad, whatever! Enjoy! Thanks for stopping by, check out more recipes here:

Menu Plan Monday 5/18/15

My life has been all kinds of topsy turvy lately and I have not been able to get it together to write a Menu Plan Monday post, but I was determined to get back on track today (sick or not), so, even if it’s a little late, here’s what’s for dinner at our house this week:

Monday: Cheeseburger Soup

Tuesday: Spinach Artichoke Chicken

Wednesday: Sausage and Peppers

Thursday: Baked Grilled Cheese

Friday : Dinner out for my son’s 17th birthday!

That’s it! It feels good to get back into a regular rhythm again. Thanks for stopping by. See you next week!

Cheeseburger Soup (Crock Pot Recipe)

This is a quick and easy recipe for the crock pot that my hubby and kids love! It tastes really good and only requires a few ingredients. It’s also great for my low-carb diet, as I can serve it to my family with rolls, but skip the roll myself.

Ingredients:
1 lb. lean hamburger
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can condensed cream of cheddar soup
1 can beef broth
2 cups shredded cheddar

1. Cook meat and onion in a skillet until browned. Place in the crock pot.
2. Mix the broth, soup, and tomatoes in a bowl and pour over the meat. Stir ingredients together.
3. Cover and cook on low for four hours.
4. Stir in shredded cheddar and cook for 10 more minutes until melted.

That’s it! I told you it was easy (and easy on the budget). Thanks for stopping by, check out more new recipes here:

TOS Review: Real Life Press

Real Life Press Review

I am always looking for ways to include more Bible study in our curriculum. However, as my kids get older, this isn’t always easy. So, I was happy to give the Firmly Planted, Gospels, Part 1 curriculum from Real Life Press a try for this review. The curriculum comes with a PDF Family Study Guide and Student Workbook.

Real Life Press Review

This ten-week study focuses on events from the life of Jesus like his birth and his miracles. I like the fact that it is only a ten-week study because it allows you to move onto other topics. When the guide says “family” they mean it. The study guide breaks the lessons down into activities for younger and older children, so you can truly use it to teach all of your kids at once.

Lessons are divided into daily activities, starting with a main passage that is the basis for the lessons. Scripture memorization for both younger and older kids is included. A short passage explaining the significance of the passage promotes discussion. After that, there are short readings from the Bible for each day, with an extra section for older students that invites them to go deeper into the passage, and a section that talks about ways kids can apply the lesson to their lives that day.

For us, the length of these passages was perfect. Reading them out loud took around 10 minutes. I appreciated the digging deeper section because it gave all of us something to think about. In some cases, we were shown connections between the Old Testament prophecies about Jesus and the fulfillment in the New Testament. Other times, we explored other Biblical characters like David and Moses. The life applications sections invited us to pray, think about Christ’s sacrificial love, and how to model that in our daily lives.

In the workbook portion, you get several activities to go along with the lessons. While no official schedule is given for these activities, they are pretty easy to break down into a few for each day. The same types of activities are included for each lesson, and you can certainly pick and choose the ones you want to do. The activities have a nice balance for older and younger students.

There are some basic questions about the passage, that you can print or discuss orally. Copywork for younger kids and a journaling page for older students encourage kids to explore their thoughts about the passage. At first, these were hard for my boys, because journaling about the Bible was new to them, but eventually, they got the hang of it. Mazes and coloring pages are fun activities, and there are two crosswords, one for older kids and one for younger.

Sometimes when I was reading, my kids would work on the word search, and even though he is older, my middle schooler occasionally asked to do the coloring page. But for me, the best part of the workbook was the exploring the Bible section that taught us more about the structure and connections in the Bible itself. I found these to be very interesting and they led to a lot of “A-ha!” moments for all of us.

In addition, there are mapping activities and other puzzles you can use. For the older kids in particular, the Upper Class worksheets invite students to delve deeper into the subject. These papers include further Bible passages for kids to read and interpret, and questions to really get them thinking. I thought these were VERY appropriate for middle and high school students. For example, in the lesson on John the Baptist, the focus was on repentance and sin, and encouraged kids to look at their own lives and identify the areas they need to work on.

I found that the Upper Class section typically gave us our deepest discussions, and that made me very happy. As my boys become teens I know they face so many challenges, and it is important that I find a way to give them as much support as possible. However, tackling these topics isn’t always easy, so being able to use the study as a starting point, and having a Biblical reference for the discussion, was really helpful.

On the whole, I was very happy with this study from Firmly Planted, and I would be interesting in using their other ones (the series is going to take you all the way through the Bible in 10-lesson sets). The workbook portion of the program costs $24.95 for a PDF download, and you can print copies for your own children. The student book that contains the story and daily readings costs $9.95 for the PDF. The only thing I would change about this is to have a physical copy. While I loved all the colored pages, they took a lot of ink to print, and ink is expensive.

To find out more about this Bible study and the other products offered by Real Life Press, connect with them on social media here:

The Busy Mom on Facebook

The Busy Mom on Twitter

The Busy Mom on Pinterest

Find out what my fellow crew members had to say about Real Life Press here:
Real Life Press Review

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TOS Review: A+ Interactive Math

A+ Interactive Math Review

My kids and I have struggled through math for years. In elementary school, I did okay. But once they got to higher math, the struggle began. Recently, I have been concerned about my kids having “gaps” due to my own personal errors. So, I was really excited to get to try the Adaptive Placement Test and Individualized Lesson Plan from A+ Interactive Math. The program is designed to identify gaps in your child’s in your child’s learning and create a targeted lesson plan to help the catch up!

A+ Interactive Math Review

Basically, you sign up your kids and choose a grade level (for my son, we used Pre-Algebra, although I am told higher levels are currently in development). Your child signs on and takes a series of “mini” tests. Each one took my son about 10-20 minutes. After they complete the tests, a program is designed based on their individual needs. After completing the program, students should be caught up in about 3 months.

Lessons include multi-media lessons that utilize audio, video, and text presentations. Each lesson also includes built-in review that covers needed concepts based on your child’s performance. Automatic grading and tracking makes things easy for parents and worksheets provide extra practice. Step-by-step solutions help students (and their parents) identify errors and make corrections.

For parents, the program allows them to review each test and see how their child performs. It also tells you if the student is on grade level or not. The reports are VERY detailed, telling you how many times the student attempted the test, allowing you to look at each problem and view their answer and the correct solution (if they got it wrong). It also tells you how much time was allotted for the problem (in many cases around 5 minutes) and how long it took your child to solve the problem.

Each test targets a specific area. For example, in Pre-Algebra, tests cover topics like fractions, exponents, parabolas, expressions, and polynomials. I found the detailed reports to be tremendously helpful for me. For starters, it allowed me to really see what my son needed to work on, and it gave me step by step solutions to the problems, so I could get them right too! Also, it helped me in terms of figuring out what to focus on with him.

In addition, parents can access summary reports and progress reports for each area. These reports tell you how many questions students attempted, how many they got right etc. It also tells you whether or not the students need an adaptive lesson plan based on that area. The student lesson plan for my son in the area of exponents included interactive lessons and online worksheets designed to help him catch up. Progress reports show you how close your child is to reaching their goals in each area. For my son, the lessons and worksheets were very instructive, and easy to complete. By that I mean that instead of being filled with anxiety and struggling for hours, he was able to go through the lessons and complete the worksheets on his own the majority of the time. I was available (as in present in the room) for help when necessary, but really, he worked through this mostly on his own. If your child is easily frustrated, worksheets can be saved and worked on in stages.

For my son, this program took about 20-30 minutes per day. For us for math, that’s pretty good. Seriously, with our regular paper-and-pencil math program, we spend a good 40 minutes trying to work through it together and usually end up fighting (or crying) by the end.

I feel like by the time we complete this program, my son will be in a really good place as far as Pre-Algebra goes, putting us in a good position for next year. This program also only costs $29.99 for one student, with the price going up for each additional student. I would definitely pay this because I think it is worth it. I just wish they offered even higher levels like Algebra I and Geometry for older students (like my high-schooler!).

You can learn more about A+ Interactive Math through their social media pages here:
APlus TutorSoft on Facebook

A+ TutorSoft on Twitter

A+ TutorSoft on Pinterest

To see what other members of the crew thought of this, and the Family Math Program, click here:

A+ Interactive Math Review/

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