Monday, October 31, 2011

Guess My Number Math Game

I discovered this on, none other than, Pinterest. I, or the Prince, think of a number and write it down. The "guesser" then has to ask math related questions to identify the number, I only allow three random guesses. It fits right into our journey into the world of odd and even numbers, place values, greater/less than, reasoning, problem solving, review of before, after and in between, etc. In addition, the Prince really enjoys playing! I made mine on a sheet of construction paper and placed it into a page protector (it could easily be laminated, but I was out of laminating sheets and eager to use it)and we use a dry erase marker.

Here the Prince it crossing out all the even numbers :-)

Here is the original created by Amy from Step into 2nd Grade.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Shrimp and Grits and Goat Cheese/Green Onion Muffins

This morning I saw Sandra Lee make a very easy Shrimp and Grits recipe. Now I grew up in the South and I have eaten lots, and I mean lots, of grits; grits with eggs, grits with fish, just long as I have salt and butter I will devour some grits. The one dish that  I never tried is shrimp and grits, and boy o boy was I missing out! Below is a very very easy, cost efficient and delicious version!

Shrimp and Grits adapted from Sandra Lee


  • Salt grits and shrimp to taste 
  • 1 cup quick cook grits
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 strips bacon, coarsely chopped (okay, this is where you will judge me and I'm okay with it. Since I am vegetarian and faux bacon contains wheat...I substitute faux bacon chips..YEP! the ones that go a top a salad...don't add them until after the onion is sauteed and use about 2 TBS)
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and de-veined
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce ( I added about 4, we LIKE spicier!!)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • **The only thing I would add is a clove of garlic to the sauteing onion...we LOVE garlic


In a large pot, bring 5 cups water to a boil. Add a large pinch of salt and stir in the grits. Simmer until the grits are fully cooked, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the mayonnaise.

In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy, about 5 minutes. Turn the heat to medium-high, add the onions and cook until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the shrimp, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until shrimp turn pink, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the butter, lemon juice and hot sauce. Toss to coat the shrimp, and remove from the heat. Stir in the parsley.

Now on to the muffins that I could eat every minute of every day for the rest of my life.......Goat Cheese and Green Onion Muffins! I did not make these into mini-muffins, I don't have a mini muffin pan :/, so I (okay, the Prince) made 6 gigantic and amazingly delicious large muffins. Have I mentioned I have a cheese obsession??!!

Pinned ImageGoat Cheese and Green Onion Mini Muffins
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine
  • 1 cup whole milk ( I used low fat buttermilk and highly recommend it!)
  • 4 ounces soft mild goat cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour ( I used GF Bisquick)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
        • 1 bunch green onions
1.  In a small bowl stir together the goat cheese 2 tablespoons of the milk until combined
2. Into a bowl sift together flour, baking powder, and salt
3. Melt butter and in another small bowl whisk together with remaining milk and egg.
4. Chop green onions using both the white and the green parts.
5. Stir butter mixture and green onions into flour mixture until just combined
6. Put batter into greased mini muffin tins and top with a dollop of the goat cheese. ( I used a regular size pan)
7. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden around the edges. Let cool slightly before serving

Chocolate Marshmallow Madness Cupcakes

The Prince is a Food Network junkie. He will ask to watch his channel and the next thing I now he is watching Chopped, Restaurant Impossible, Sweet Genius, Iron Chef, Food Truck Wars, Hungry Girl or some type of challenge. He DVRs them. I should probably admit that we all the Food Network junkies. The Prince has his favorites and one of them airs on Sunday. That favorite is Hungry Girl and today he immediately wanted to make her chocolate cupcakes with marshmallow topping (we have made these before, but she was a repeat today so he was inspired once again.) So after I fought my way through my daily P90x workout, I headed downstairs to see all the ingredients lined up neatly on the kitchen island. I supervised and he baked.

 ***OH! last night he made his father and I play Sweet Genius. Our three must use ingredients were vanilla soy milk, processed strawberry icing and ice! As soon as we began he said, "AND IT MUST BE TALL!" Half-way through he said "AND YOU MUST ALSO MAKE A DRINK!" We had 15 minutes...and YEP! I won!! I took my husband DOWN!!!!!

Okay, Okay....on to today's creation by the Prince.

A certain handsome Prince began eating before I could take a frosting picture :)

Here is the recipe as created by Hungry Girl:


One 25-calorie packet hot cocoa mix (like
Swiss Miss Diet or Nestlé Fat Free)
Half of an 18.25-oz. box (about 1 3/4 cups) moist-style devil's food cake mix ( we only had 3/4 cup of GF Betty Crocker cake mix so we used it and added 1 cup of Bob Mills GF brownie mix!! - this was the best combo EVER! so moist and fluffy)

1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
1 tbsp. Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated) or granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. salt

1/4 cup Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme
1 tsp. light vanilla soy milk

1 tbsp. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
12 mini marshmallows


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a tall glass, combine cocoa mix with 2 oz. hot water. Stir until cocoa dissolves. Add 6 oz. cold water and stir well. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, egg substitute, sweetener, and salt. Add the hot cocoa mixture and whisk until smooth.

Line a 12-cup muffin pan with foil baking cups and/or spray with nonstick spray. Evenly distribute cake mixture among the cups.

Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool.

To make the glaze, put marshmallow creme in a small dish. Add soy milk and mix well.

Once cupcakes have cooled completely, drizzle marshmallow glaze over them. Top each cupcake with 1/4 tsp. chocolate chips and 1 mini marshmallow.

Refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy!


Goat Cheese and Green Onion Muffins

I ran across this recipe this morning on Pinterest and I MUST make them! Pictures will come soon!

Goat Cheese and Green Onion Mini Muffins
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine

  • 1 cup whole milk (I'll use fat free buttermilk or plain soy)
  • 4 ounces soft mild goat cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (of course I'll use GF Bisquick)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 bunch green onions
1.  In a small bowl stir together the goat cheese 2 tablespoons of the milk until combined
2. Into a bowl sift together flour, baking powder, and salt
3. Melt butter and in another small bowl whisk together with remaining milk and egg.
4. Chop green onions using both the white and the green parts.
5. Stir butter mixture and green onions into flour mixture until just combined
6. Put batter into greased mini muffin tins and top with a dollop of the goat cheese
7. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden around the edges. Let cool slightly before serving
Makes around 25 mini muffins

Saturday, October 29, 2011

2 Digit Addition and Even/Odd Sort

Ever since the Prince began adding he wanted to do multiple digit addition, so of course I let him. It was like he learned single and multiple digit addition simultaneously and who was I to say that's not the correct way. He has not learned addition with re-grouping, as of yet. In addition, we have been working with even and odd numbers, so when I ran across the following worksheet it fit right into the Math journey we are currently on.

Click HERE if you would like to print a copy of the following worksheet. Thank you Mrs. Lemons from Step in Second Grade, you are making my lesson planning super easy!

It probably seems backwards to most, but I started teaching the Prince addition via word problems. He is essentially a natural reader and has had a very advanced reading ability since he was young, in addition he loved to the read silly short stories I use to write about his family, so I capitalized on that and added numbers within the stories. I can't tell you how many math problems I wrote about how much candy his Pap used to eat or how many fish his Uncle Ronnie caught!

So of course next week's math with include word problems. Click HERE if you would like your own copy of the great worksheet created by Mrs. Lemons.


This week we spent time reading fiction and non-fiction books about Bats and making cool charts and of course, BATS! Next week we are focusing on Owls and will compare and contrast the two nocturnal creatures.

We used K-W-L a couple of time this week, so I wanted to clarify what those letters stand for:

K- what you already KNOW
W- what you WANT to know
L- what you LEARNED after reading/studying

Here is a sneaky way of having fun and doing a lesson:

Thanks to Amy for the idea! She has been inspiring many of my posts/lessons lately.

Typically the Prince would have written his own answers on this cool chart, but I forgot to do it and the school day was over, so I politely asked him the answers and with no protest he I wrote.

If you want a blank copy, click HERE.

The Prince tends to be pretty hard on himself when he makes a writing mistake, so when I make one I make sure it is clear for all to see and verbalize something like "yikes, mommy is a mistake girly today." Um, and no these mistakes were not done on purpose....

And then I assessed .....

Click HERE to get this assessment and writing tool on Bats created by Mrs. Lemons.

What the Prince decided to be for Halloween and Why.....

The Prince loves all things family. He loves visiting family, he loves writing/texting family, he loves hearing stories about family and he has strongly identified himself as one part of his heritage. There are several people that have encouraged this and here are just a few that have....

Hanging by fire at his Uncle Ronnie's after going for a swim with his Uncle in the river.

So you have probably guessed his costume...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bang Bang Shrimp (or in our case Tofu;)

Bang Bang Shrimp

This is a dish from Bonefish Grill that people RAVE about. However, I must admit that I have never been to Bonefish Grill, hence I have never eaten their version. What I can attest to is this recipe and HOLY FLYING PURPLE COW!! this is YUMMY! My husband deflates a bit when he sees tofu, but his words after tasting this dish were, "This is the best tofu I have ever eaten and if you ever open your restaurant this has to go on the menu!" In addition, I saved some fried tofu separate from the sauce for the Prince, but he wanted to dip it into the he dipped away. I made this on Monday and he asked me today to please make it again for dinner. I promised to buy more tofu tomorrow. So enough with the rambling and on with the recipe. If anyone make this with shrimp and you have eaten it at Bonefish Grill, please report back and tell us how it compares.

I served my bang bang tofu with jasmine rice and steamed broccoli.


1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
(or a pack of extra firm tofu, cut into cubes and frozen prior to dipping in milk and flour/panko mixture)
For the sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4-5 teaspoons chili garlic sauce, such as Sriracha sauce
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
For the egg mixture:
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk (I used plain unsweetened soy milk)
For the breading mixture:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour ( I used GF Bisquick)
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
For frying:
8 to 12 cups vegetable oil ( I honestly only used about 1 cup, I didn't see the need for deep frying)

  1. Combine all ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl; cover and set aside.
  2. Combine beaten egg with milk in shallow bowl; set aside.
  3. Combine flour, panko, salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and basil in another shallow bowl; set aside.
  4. Bread the shrimp by first coating each with the breading mixture. Dip breaded shrimp into the egg and milk mixture, and then back into the breading. Arrange the coated shrimp on a plate and pop them into the fridge for at least 20 minutes. This step will help the breading to stick on the shrimp when they are frying.
  5. Heat oil in deep fryer to 350 degrees F. Use amount of oil required by your fryer.
  6. When oil is hot, fry shrimp 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on rack or paper towels.
  7. When all shrimp has been fried, drop the shrimp into a large bowl. Spoon about 1/4 cup of sauce over shrimp and stir gently to coat.
Head over to FAKE GINGER and visit the site where I discovered this scrumptious recipe!!


Colorful Toast

 ...and eat!  Painted bread (milk and food coloring) then toasted! (totally forgot about this from working at the childrens program)

Painted bread (milk and food coloring) then toasted! Click HERE to explore the original post discovered on Pinterest. Below is our recreation.

This picture is extremely blurry, but you can still see a happy boy.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Chick Pea Salad - Sandra Lee Style (vegan)

I really wish my picture did this salad justice, but you will have to just believe me when I say this is delicious. This is the second time I have made this salad, not only because I enjoyed it, but mainly because the Prince continually asked for it. So make it and enjoy.

(I thought about taking a second picture, in hopes of improving, but I couldn't because we were starving!!!)


Chick Pea Salad:

  • 2 (19-ounce) cans chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced ( I used red and would recommend it as I think it compliments it better)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley leaves
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine.

New learning tools on our classroom walls

I added a couple new learning tools to our classroom walls; Even and Odd Doors and a Story Map. We have had fun with both. We are using our even and odd doors to play a simple Even Steven and Odd Todd game and using our Story Map to learn how to dissect and understand all the elements of a book/story. The Prince is really enjoying both, as he loves both reading and games. I can only attribute the ideas to, yep! you guessed it, Pinterest.

Our Even and Odd Doors, were inspired by a much craftier version titled Even and Odd Street. However, due to space constraints I modified it. Oh! and a big THANK YOU to my two boys for decorating the odd doors.

Pinned Image

Click HERE to download the Even Steven and Odd Todd game.

I want to take a minute and point out the obvious. My replicas are typically way lower quality, mainly artistically, than their inspirational originals, but they work! And isn't that all that really matters? So, if you are artistically challenged don't let that hold you back....create on my friend, create on!

Fall inspired marshmallow lollipops!

So from my previous post you can see that the Prince and his momma stayed busy last week. Well, with all of that hard work we had to have something yummy to sustain our energy. Okay, I have coffee; but what does the poor Prince have? Well I can show you:


lollipop sticks cut in half
melted butterscotch (use 1 TBS of milk to promote melting and add creaminess)

.... Viola!

These are super easy to make and very yummy. Of course, you can use chocolate and a variety of candies/sprinkles. Closer to Christmas, you'll see my Christmas inspired lollipop.

WHEW! EEK! Adjectives and Spiders all in one week!!

Last week was one very busy, very educational and very fun week here at the Sharp Academy. I must give credit where credit is due: PINTEREST! I am having so much fun discovering such great ideas and recreating them with my Prince. So let's move on to the pictures and there are lots of them!

Yep, one of his self adjectives is "hot." SMH.

Now on to spiders...

Spider Math

I read this story to the Prince and at the part where the grandfather flies away, I closed the book. I then asked the Prince to draw and write where he thought Gpa went. It reads   "A boat in the ocean." When he was finished I asked him why he thought that is where Gpa went and he responded, "because I saw it on the next page." HA!

I love our spider sandwich poem. The Prince used 3 verbs and 3 adjectives from his spider verb/adjective list.

We really had fun this week and even made a yummy treat ( I will post separately).  I have to again thank Pinterest from which the ideas appeared, but also the FABULOUS pages the ideas were linked to. A very appreciative thank you to : Step Into Second Grade and The First Grade Parade.

Quinoa Coconut Cookies - SERIOUSLY a must!!

Quinoa Coconut Cookies

These are actually quinoa, coconut, peanut-butter, chocolate chip (or butterscotch) cookies, but that name is just too long.

Another fantastic find from Pinterest. Here is the site of the original recipe.

1/3 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup peanut-butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa
1 cup chocolate chips

Beat together butter, peanut butter, eggs, vanilla and sugar until smooth. In another bowl combine flour, coconut, baking powder, and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to peanut butter mixture and mix until smooth. Stir in quinoa and chocolate chips. Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 9 minutes or until edges are golden. Cool on cookie racks.

I made this with gluten free Bisquick and then separated the batter and added chocolate chips to half and butterscotch chips to the other half. I am not a fan of chocolate, who am I kidding I think the stuff is yucky. I am also aware that makes me the odd one!

What I need to tell you is that these might honestly be one of the best cookies I have ever made!! Try it!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Black Bean Salad with Corn, Red Peppers, Avocado & Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette (vegan)


Here is the link to this OH SO YUMMY recipe!

Black Bean Salad with Corn, Red Peppers, Avocado & Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette



I only made a couple of adjustments: I only used 7 TBS of olive oil instead of 9 TBS and I used, our favorite, red onion instead of shallots. All three of us loved this dish. It is a must try. In addition, since I was serving this for dinner I also prepared jasmine rice to make it a bit heartier, it was delicious served atop the rice.