Taran had a particularly fun day. He went on his first ever school field trip to Elachee Nature Science Center. I know he really enjoyed seeing all the different animals on site. Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos from that, as I didn’t accompany the class. I’ll be sure to post some if his teachers give the parents any pics.
After class, Taran attended his school’s Fall Festival . He ate fun fair food, bounced on moonwalks, jumped on a bungee-trampoline, and even rode a pony.
Some of Ari’s students were manning the booths and rides. A couple of them kept asking him, “How old is your Daddy??” Taran did not know – I’m surprised he didn’t say “99”, his default age. Apparently Ari’s age is a major mystery among his students!
Me-Ma (Ari’s mom) took the kids to the festival. That left me a couple of hours to myself at home. What a treat! I kept the TV and radio off, relishing the quiet. It wasn’t too hard to decide what to do with my free time – cook! I derive immense satisfaction from making my family wholesome meals, but I rarely have enough time to devote to cooking. Usually, dinner consists of quick items – turkey meatballs (from the freezer), grilled cheese sandwiches, pieces of chicken breast, fish sticks, any frozen veggie (for the girls), applesauce (enjoyed by all), etc. I’ve quickly learned not to say the words “eat,” “food,” or “dinner” before everything is prepared, unless I want the girls to alternate between pawing at the fridge and grabbing my legs as I hurriedly cook. In any case, I had been wanting to make this recipe for mac and cheese with carrots and cauliflower hidden in the sauce. (I was inspired by my friend Susanna after she made a similar dish a few days ago!) I am forever trying to get vegetables into my kids’ diet – the girls will actually eat pretty much anything – Taran is the real issue.
I was amazed at how simple the recipe was. Steam carrots and cauliflower till extra soft…
Once steamed, puree the veggies in blender. Add buttermilk and shredded cheese. (The recipe called for cheddar as well as Bleu cheese and Parmesan, but I opted for sharp cheddar and mix of six white cheeses.)
Puree until the mixture looks something like this…
Add the sauce to cooked macaroni noodles, top with breadcrumbs, and pop it in the oven till brown and bubbly.
The mac and cheese was quite tasty. You would never have known that there were veggies in the sauce! The girls gobbled it down (as did I). Taran, however, struggled to eat. He had trouble matching this “real mac and cheese” to the Kraft variety, creamy and smooth. In the future, I won’t bake the dish as long, so that the cheese sauce retains more creaminess. If anyone else has tips on hiding veggies, I would love to hear!
I also caught a few photos of the girls today, as they were dressed extra cute. You’ve seen how most of my photos show them in mismatched outfits. Me-Ma, however, dresses to the nine (she even wears silk PJs!), and she loves to make sure her grandchildren are just as stylish.
I LOVE their shoes!
I also got a sweet photo of them hugging:
All in all, aside from Taran’s finicky eating patterns, it was a very pleasant evening at the Young house.
If you ever wonder where Ari is in all this mix…the man is working hard! Twice a week (including this evening), he teaches at North Georgia College in Dahlonega. When he gets home, he plays with the kids, graciously helps me with household duties, and then confines himself to the “man cave” (yes, that’s really what we call it) to develop lesson plans, make quizzes, or grade essays. Teachers may *seem* to have it easy, but unlike many professions, their duties do not end when they get home! Kudos to all the teachers out there, including my awesome husband, who take the time to really invest in the lives of their students. (And manage to remain wonderful spouses and parents as well!)