To Break or Not to Break (Bread)

We live in the modern age and most of us are perpetually in a hurry. So how do we build strong Family Dinner Cartoonbonds with our family? Eating dinner together is what most of the top results from a Google search on building those bonds will return. The question remains. Is it actually the meal or could it be parents taking the time to be more involved in their kid’s lives that makes the difference?

A University of Florida article called “The Importance of Family Dinners” says that families may not be aware of the benefits that can come from family mealtime. It also states:

Research suggests that having dinner together as a family at least four times a week has
positive effects on child development. Family dinners have been linked to a lower risk of obesity,
substance abuse, eating disorders, and an increased chance of graduating from high school.

In my experience, the deciding factor is parental involvement at a deeper level, not necessarily trying to force everyone’s schedules to meet at the same time each night. In her article “Why We Don’t Need Family Dinners”, Lisa Hefferman said this about trying to coordinate the nightly activity:

We had family dinner almost every night at ever-changing times. Dinner at our house could be at 5:15 or at 8:45, with huge complaints all around about not being hungry yet or being starved by a mother who is waiting for a father to return.

Authors Ann Meier and Kelly Musick state that their research shows that the benefits of family dinners aren’t as strong or as lasting as previous studies suggest. They add that their findings suggest that you shouldn’t get down on yourself for not being able to corral everybody for dinner. Instead, just finding different ways to connect that will benefit you all is just as helpful. Engage each other and value the time together. That is what makes the difference.

I suggest taking interest in the things that your kids like. It may not be easy, but it will earn their respect. I like to let my kids tell me something I know and act like I didn’t know it. It helps them to feel like a productive member of the family, and sometimes they surprise me with things I don’t actually know!

A parents work is never done.

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Aside

Listen to what Earthly Delights says about creating your own Vanilla Extract:

Why would you want to make your own vanilla extract?
Well, it’s less expensive, for one thing.  For a modest investment, you can make enough high-quality vanilla extract to last you for years.

Why would you want to make your own vanilla extract? Earthly Delights Blog says:
Well, it’s less expensive, for one thing. For a modest investment, you can make enough high-quality vanilla extract to last you for years.

Shopping For Everyone! Web Accessibility makes it happen.

Web accessibility means that the Web can be used by all people regardless of disabilities. accessibility problems don’t always mean physical disability. It could be you wanting to hear a list of items for sale on your favorite shopping site, or a friend trying to interact with a small screen in a bus moving along a bumpy road.

Let’s face it, we need web accessibility standards. I’m a supporter of it, and I think you should be too.

Make Your Own Flavored Syrup!

This is the second in a series of three articles about just a few of the things I’ve created in my culinary adventures. You can read the others too!
Dairy Free Cream of Asparagus and Roasted Pepper Soup
Salty, Savory, Sweet, What do I recommend?

I love flavored syrup, making it is quite simple really, and always much better than store bought because you can add the love that a machine can never get into the bottle. I make all of my own flavor extracts, but that’s a topic for another time. If you don’t make them I recommend starting with a really good pure vanilla extract.

What you need:

  • 2 cups organic evaporated cane juice
  • 1 cup purified water
  • Vanilla extract
  • kosher salt

A few easy steps and you’re good to go.

  1. Add the water and sugar to a pot over medium heat.
  2. Add 2 Tbsp. Vanilla Extract. (more or less to taste.)
  3. 1/4 Tsp. Kosher salt

Heat until sugar is fully disolved, cover and let cool. That’s It!
I store mine in the fridge so it will keep longer.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy the syrup.

Please check out my other articles in this small series
about a few of my culinary motivational drivers!

Salty, Savory, Sweet, What do I recommend?

This is simply a look into the things I use the most to achieve the flavors of my life.
Here are two examples of how I use them to create!

Dairy Free Cream of Asparagus and Roasted Pepper Soup

Make Your Own Flavored Syrup!

Salty,
I love salt. There are always two or three types in my spice rack.
The standard all purpose choice for me is Kosher Salt, I like the course grind.Photo of pink salt crystals
My second choice is Himalayan Pink Salt, one of the purest salts available. This amazing salt has crystals colored from off-white to a deep pink, which is due to it containing 84 trace elements & iron. The benefits are endless.
There are many kinds, you can find them easily on the web or even in some local grocery stores.

Savory,
This is easy, I’ve never met a dish that couldn’t use some more garlic.
I’ve found uses for every herb or spice you can think of, but my epiphany
was to flavor with a minimum of them. It’s that simple.

Sweet,
In a word, Yummy! That about sums it up- just kidding.
For me, using processed white conglomo sugar is not an option. I prefer more
natural alternatives. photo of african muscovado sugarWe use Evaporated Cane Juice in place of the white stuff. and a wonderful
African variety called Muscovado Sugar
instead of brown sugar. It is much better tasting.

Thanks for tuning in! Don’t forget to check out my other articles in this short series!

I Love Music

Hey guys! When i was asked to guest blog here, I was thrilled! There are so many bands/artists/genres to talk about and I honestly don’t know where to start.

Dubstep

Now a lot of people don’t like dubstep, and I will admit there are some really bad songs, but when the beat drops, and your kinda just like moving your body to the beat, that is what makes a good song from a bad song. Way too many artists that I like so i’ll name off a few. We have Adventure Club, Buku, The Glitch Mob, Flux Pavilion, and one of my favorites, Klaypex. Were you surprised that I didn’t say Skrillex? Skrillex was okay back in the day, still is okay, but there are better artist.. no offense Skrillex.

Alternative

Sometimes ill just get into moods where I’ll lay on the ground or my bed, or just sitting somewhere, put some alternative music on and just watch the world go by. There is just way too many bands, but I like Bon Iver, Kings of Leon, Colplay, Imagine Dragons, Two Door Cinema Club, and one of my favorites Portugal. The Man.

Rap/Hip-Hop

Yes, I do listen to rap/hip-hop. I honestly do like everything really, except country (Sorry guys!). What I love is how fast people can rap! Yes, there are some songs that are absolutely pointless about what they are talking about, but sometimes its just the beat they are rapping to that makes that song okay. Not all of it is rap though. I mean the stuff that plays on Z100 is okay. There are a few songs that just kinda grow on me.  Some artists I dig are Macklemore, Plies, Ke$ha, Eminem, Chilish Gambino, Lil Wayne, and I don’t really have a favorite, I just listen to the stuff that sounds good.

Thanks for letting me guest blog here!

This article was written by Savanna Lord author of Learning WordPress:The Walking Dead

One of my Favorites! Dairy Free Cream of Asparagus and Roasted Pepper Soup

Don’t get me wrong, I love cream soups made in the traditional fashion, lots of heavy cream and whole milk with virtually no water. it would seem that the A bunch of asparagus on a green backgroundreoccurring theme in my gastronomic journey since culinary school (A multitude of eons ago) has been sauces, soups and the like. Speaking of which, check out my next article on How to Make Flavored Syrup! I think you will like it.

My wife has shared this love with me until recently when we discovered she had become lactose intolerant.(Dang.)
Needless to say, me being the wonderful man and husband that I am, I began to experiment with dairy free alternatives. The following is to date, our favorite. Enjoy! Continue reading

Get to Clickin’.. 4 things you need to check out.

  1. 9 Useful Youtube Tips to Spice Up Your WordPress Site.
    • This article has some very useful info on going beyond the basics of posting video, I loved it!
  2. Blog Exercises: The Art of List Making
    • Our very own Lorelle demonstrates the art of the list. (Which I used to help me create this one! *wink*)
  3. Living Simply, Don’t Use it? Then De-Clutter and Make a Profit!
    • This is an awesome article. Good advice and some simple get started tips! I feel better already.
  4. Pinterest! A wonderful way to find inspiration.
    • I simply agree with Miss Cassie on this. Have you surfed Pintrest lately?

    Well I hope you enjoy these links as much as I did. Until next time, Engage.