Saturday, January 31, 2009

Journey to the Past

We "Journeyed to the Past" again; this time at the Huntington Beach Library. Jacque Takuka Nunez, a tribal descendant of the Acjachemen Nation, and her family took us on a journey via storytelling, song, and dance to a time when her people prospered in Orange County. We learned about their daily life, what they ate, what they wore, what games they played, and how they interacted with nature - (here's the link if you'd like to see her show sometime:)Micayla and a few other kids from the audience participated on stage where they were taught how to play an Indian stick game. When the journey ended the kids took a close up look at the fantastic scenary. Then we headed to our favorite sandwich/smoothie shop in H.B. - Jan's Health Bar - - Yum!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Autry National Museum

We went to the Autry National Museum - My favorite part was mining for gold and learning about the California Gold Rush and how people came from all over the world to mine for gold here in Califonia! It was fun and really interesting! There was a place where people could dress up as cowboys and ride on a fake horse. Nate did it and said: Ride um cowboy! But it came out "Rumbo cowsboy"!

After you go see the Autry Museum, then if you want to see a real gold mine and mine for real gold (even though you don't get to keep the gold you find), go to Julian and there is a place that is called Eagle and High Peak Mine You can mine for real gold and go on a tour of the Gold mine! We have gone there before and it is lots of fun! But if you have claustrophobia then please do not step a foot into the Gold mine because my friend went with us and her mom had to go back out after the end of the tunnel disappeared. I recommend staying out if you have claustrophobia because when we did the gold mine tour we were in the mine for about an hour! So we had fun at the Autry National Museum and fun at the gold mines in Julian!

Posted by Mugs (a.k.a. Micayla)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pie Please!

Pie is a favorite around here. Over the holidays Micayla made few Key Lime Pies. They were pretty darn good if I do say so myself. She typed up the recipe here for you (from a cookbook called Pie by Ken Haedrich):

1 3/4 cups of graham cracker crust ( I put the graham crackers in a small zip lock bag and whack it with a spoon)
2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Big pinch of salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly butter your choice of pie pan and set aside.
2. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.
Mix briefly with your fingers. Add the butter and incorporate well, mixing first with a fork, then with your hands, rubbing thoroughly to form evenly dampened crumbs.
3. Spread the crumbs evenly and loosely in the pan, pressing them into the bottom and up the side. Refrigerate for 5 to 10 minutes.
4. Place on the center oven rack and back for 7 minutes let it cool on a wire rack before filling.

3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
Grated zest of 2 limes
one 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk (t.j.'s has organic kind)
2/3 Cup of lime juice (preferably Key Lime - t.j.'s often has bags of these:)

1 cup cold heavy or whipping cream

In a medium-size bowl, beat the egg yolks and lime zest together with an electric mixer on high speed until somewhat fluffy and well aerated, about 5 minutes. (set the timer; that's a lot of beating, and you might be tempted to cut it short.)
Gradually add the condensed milk and continue to beat until the last of the condensed milk has been added and the mixture is rather thick and fluffy (about 4 mins.). Slowly add the lime juice mixing on low speed until evenly blended. Pour the filling into the chilled pie shell.
Place in oven on center rack and bake just until the filling appears set - about 10 minutes.
Transfer pie to wire rack and let cool completely. Then refrigerate until very cold - at least 2 hours.
When you are ready to serve the pie - beat the cream with the mixer until it holds soft peaks. Add a little confectioners' sugar if you want.
If you'd like a yummy piece of key lime pie, but you're not inspired to make it, try Finbar's

More recently Allie made a Peanut Butter Pie from Recipes from the Heart by Tonya Beaudet (from "The Spot" in Hermosa Beach).

Crumb Crust
2 Cups flour (whole wheat if possible)
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 Cup soy (or grapeseed oil)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 Cup honey
1/2 Cup finely chopped walnuts

Combine dry ingredients, then gradually add oil and honey and mix well. Press mixture into well oiled pie pan.

Peanut Butter Pie Filling
1/4 Cup Water
3/4 Cup Honey
2 tsp. vanilla
1 pkg. (16 oz.) tofu, rinsed and drained
3/4 Cup Peanut Butter (preferrably chunky)

Place all ingredients in a blender in the order listed. Blend well stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides - blend until smooth. Poor into unbaked crumb crust and bake for 25mins. @ 350'. Allow to cool and refrigerate before serving. Yum!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

This is James Taylor's song "Shed a Little Light". Enjoy listening to the music video below in honor of Martin Luther King Day!

Posted by Carly

Friday, January 16, 2009

Centennial Farm

We were inspired to make an early visit (traditionally we go in Spring) to the Centennial Farm this year: . Some friends of ours were going to see the piglets that had just been born, and since the weather was unseasonably warm it felt like Spring anyway. We had fun checking out the piglets, petting baby chicks, and (our favorite thing -something we had never seen there before), a cotton plant. We pulled the cotton from the boll and compared it to the lamb's wool they also had at the farm. At home Great Grandma told us about her experience (as a child) picking cotton on a farm in Texas and we found this resource on-line:

The Centennial Farm is a great place to go to see farm animals and plants. They have tons of animals ranging from a bunnies to oxen! They also have lots of different herbs, edible plants, and fruit trees. Go in the Spring, when all of the babies are born! You're bound to have a great experience!

Posted by Carly

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Fun Day at the California Science Center

Today we went to the California Science Center, where we go once a month for a homeschool day. Lots of homeschoolers gather there to be taught about different elements in science such as: electricity, air pressure, rockets and roller coasters. After we do experiments we usually see an IMAX movie. Today we experiemented with electricity and magnets. In the pictures above, Micayla is touching a Van de Graaff generator, I've created an LED bug, Allie and Nate are using a hand generator to create energy for their electromagnet, and in the last picture Allie made a spinner with a battery operated motor. We learned more about circuts and how energy can travel and move things; it was fun. If you'd like to join us for future science days in LA, check out this link:
Maybe we will see you there sometime!
posted by Carly

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy 2009!

Happy New Year! We rang in the new year by paying a visit to our local mountains.
A trip to the snow was long overdue. This is what Allie looked like when we reached an alititude high enough to reveal a thick blanket of white powder everywhere.

Here is Nate all set to go sledding down the hill - fast! And the girls ready for some fun! Hope your "New Year" is off to a great start too!