Saturday, November 29, 2014


My son Jake has always loved computers.  When he was two he would sit at my computer, open up the photo booth and take pictures of himself.  He then would open his gmail, attach a photo, and send it to his preschool teachers with the subject HI, the only word he knew how to type by himself.

Obviously Jake's skills have improved over the years.  Whoever has a computer or technology question immediately calls on Jake.  Jake's knowledge is enormous and he loves to learn new things each day.  Jake even gets phone calls for his tech help from far and wide.

Finding gifts for Jake is always a real challenge.  He does not want very many things.  A few years ago he got a Raspberry Pi.  This has nothing to do with a delicious dessert. It is a complicated engineering device that I could not possibly explain to you, simply because I do not understand how it works.

When I stumbled on Littlebits a few weeks ago I knew I had found an awesome gift for Jake.  As soon as it arrived in the mail, Jake tore it open and completed every single project in an hour.  The pieces were open ended enough that Jake had many future projects in mind to make the kit last much longer.  During the Black Friday sale, Littlebits had a sale.  Jake chose a new kit so that he can create more cool inventions.

Today Jake wants to share with you his door alarm.  Jake designed it himself, using the pieces in the Deluxe Kit.  As soon as his cloudbit arrives, Jake will be making many new projects including a sound trigger that will email me when my laundry is done.  I can't wait!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Where am I?

My poor neglected blog. I have given you no attention in what feels like forever.  In reality it has been only 2 months.  The past 2 months have been crazy.  Joey has a HS diploma and is working in the culinary field.  He makes amazing food for us and he will be a famous chef one day, I am sure of that.  Alex and Noah are both still suffering from their POTS symptoms.  This video is a good summary of what their daily issues are:
Both Alex and Noah are in the IIS(Interim Instructional Services) program through Montgomery county.  It is the only way for them both to keep up with their school work.
Jake is in 5th grade and having a very good year so far and Diane is in 1st grade and having a fabulous time.
Tons of cooking going on. Our weekly soup is a mushroom, potato farro stew and it is amazing. 
Lots of craziness going on around here.  Will try to update more often.
I will leave you with our healthy Mac and Cheese recipe.

Sara's Mac and Cheese
Heat 1 and 1/2 cup milk in a pan.  In a small bowl whisk together 1/4 cup milk and 3T flour.  Add this mixture in to the milk and heat up after it is slowly boiling for about 5 minutes. Keep whisking it, until it gets a little bit thicker.  Take pan off the heat and stir in 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese, 1 cup of ricotta cheese and a little salt.  You will now have a nice creamy, fairly healthy cheese sauce.  Stir in one box of your favorite cooked pasta.  Combine until all the noodles are nicely coated with cheese sauce.  Pour into a oven proof pan.  Sprinkle over the top a bit of salt, parmesan and cornflake crumbs.  Bake at 450 degrees for 20-30 minutes, until bubbly and brown a bit.

Friday, September 5, 2014

School is back in session

Where did the summer go? Why do all the fun things go by so quickly, and then the things you dread take forever.
The kids are growing so quickly, and I honestly feel like I blinked 18 years ago and now I have 5 kids who are growing before my eyes.
Two weeks ago Jake started 5th grade.
It is such a relief that Jake has awesome teachers this year.  It has been a tough 5 years, but so far so good!
Diane started first grade this week.
One of the highlights of her new classroom, was her own desk!!  She was not quite as excited to hear that she would be starting the morning with classwork.

The first day the children were welcomed with Magic Playdough in a bag.  Food coloring was hidden inside the playdough and as they manipulated the dough, the color exploded.  It was a great way to start First Grade.

Today I was lucky enough to be invited for Snack and a Story.  Diane chose her favorite book and the kids enjoyed it very much. I wish a happy back to school to all of you!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Have you heard of Instacart?

Have you heard of the App called Instacart? It is hands down, the best app that I have downloaded in
 the past 5 years.  Not even joking!
Don't get mad at me though, this app does not work everywhere.  However, if you live in the DC Metro area you are in luck.  This app allows you to shop at 4 local stores:
Whole Foods
Harris Teeter
and Safeway.

Each area in which Instacart operates,  will have their own local stores for you to shop in.
This service is awesome, I can shop on my phone for groceries while sitting at a doctor's appointment, waiting in the carpool line, or getting my car serviced. The possibilities are endless.

What sets the Instacart app from the rest? They will deliver your whole order to you (for a nominal fee) within 1-2 HOURS!  Yes, the ingredients you forgot for your dinner can be at your front door in minutes.  During the school year, this app will be a total lifesaver.  You can also sign up at their website and shop instantly if you do not have a phone with apps.

Now that I shared how awesome this service is, you want a discount code, right?
How about $10 off your first order and FREE delivery?? Just click this link and I will hook you up!  or go to their website and enter the code SLAFOUNTAIN1 and you will receive the same offer.

You will be thanking me during the next ice storm, rainy day, or busy afternoon as you order your dinner to be delivered.  I don't think I will ever run out of milk again.  Instacart to the rescue!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Kale Chips in the Microwave???

In our Maryland's Pick organic food bag we have been getting 2-3 heads of kale a week. There is only so much kale salad we can eat.  (I have also been putting kale in our smoothies but SHHHHH)  We have been sharing our kale and eating our kale, but it has grown a bit boring!

On these hot summer days the last thing I want to do is turn on the oven to make a few kale chips.  So a friend mentioned that she made them in the microwave. Brilliant!!
I used a beautiful head of curly lacinato kale this week and I tried to make the chips in the microwaved and it worked.  This is not really a recipe, and you will have to figure out how your own microwave will cook them.  You want to try to get them not too burnt, but crispy similar to potato chips.
Microwave Kale Chips
Oil (any flavor is fine, I used coconut oil)

Wash and dry the kale.
Rip it up into small pieces.
Pour a little bit of oil on it and sprinkle on some salt.  Massage the oil and salt in to all the pieces.
Place on a glass dish and spread them around so they are not touching each other.
Cook on high power for 2 minutes.  Open the microwave and move it all around a bit more.  They will look very soft and mushy at this point. Perfect!
Spread them out again and cook for 1 more min.
Open the microwave. Almost crispy and chip like.  Cook 30 seconds more and mine were done.  They tasted just like kale potato chips. Healthy, delicious, easy, and the house stays cool.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Would you like some #Sharktankswag

Our family loves to watch Shark Tank together.  We quickly give our opinions on whether the product that is being presented will be funded or not, will become popular or not, can be found on the internet or not.  It is a very fun family evening activity.  Shark Tank provides some much needed conversation with the teens and tween group.

Last week we were so excited when we got the opportunity to receive a box of #sharktankswag from #CNBCPrimetv .

Even our dog Molly was excited!
Are you watching Shark Tank on Tuesdays? CNBC at 8 pm? Back to back episodes, so two for the price of one??
We will be watching tonight and enjoying the swag that we got in the mail.  Would you like a box of swag too? Enter my giveaway and you can have your very own box of surprises.
What are you waiting for?
Enter now!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 27, 2014

Maryland's Pick- Week Two

This was our second week of Maryland's Pick from our local Whole Foods. Another big bag of green, healthy, and delicious items!!
Not much different than last week. Again, all organic items from Homestead Farms. I am really excited about the squash. Quinoa zucchini fritters are definitely happening this weekend.
We also will make some kale chips with the lacinato kale.   The contents of the bag from the weekly email looks like this:
1 bunch Curly kale
1 bunch Lacinato Kale
1 bunch Basil
1 bunch Parsley
1 lb Yellow squash
1 lb Patty Pan squash
1 lb Zucchini
1 bunch Dandelion greens
1 bunch Sorrel
                                                            1 bunch (1/2 lb) Garlic Scapes

If my kale chips are yummy, I will share the recipe. We have just made kale salads and they are good enough.  We also used the lacinato kale on top of a pizza I made yesterday as well. I will share that new find next week.  It tasted incredible.

Eat your greens!  If you are not sure what to make with some of these greens, put a little bit in a fruit smoothie, simple and delicious.

It is not too late to signup for your own Maryland's Pick bag at your local Whole Foods. What are you waiting for??? Go get a bag for yourself!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Fennel Chicken Salad

We got 6 big bunches of fennel in our Maryland Pick bag this past week. I have never bought fennel before and I really did not know what I would do with it.  Since we were sick this past weekend, we had a lot of chicken soup, and soup means leftover cooked chicken.  We threw together a delicious fennel chicken salad and it was so good.  The fennel tasted even better than celery does in it. Crunchy, fresh, and delicious.
Give it a try!
Fennel Chicken Salad
2 cooked chicken breasts cut into chunks
5 fennel bulbs, diced
1/2-3/4 cup mayo
onion flakes
chopped almonds
1 T lemon juice
dry cranberries
sunflower seeds
grapes, diced
Put  all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Serve on bread, challah, cracker, lettuce, kale, whatever you have available!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Garlic Scapes Dip

This weekend was full of sickness. UGH!!!  Diane was so sick with a high fever, strep throat, just wanting Mama's cuddles.  But our basket of greens was calling so we made our first recipe.  If you like the flavor of garlic this dip is for you!!  It is super strong, yet delicious.
This recipe is really easy to make.  The green curly things are called garlic scapes.  You cut off the flowers and the ends, then you chop up the green stalks.  They are really the coolest looking vegetable I have ever seen.

Garlic Scapes Dip
15 ounces can of butter beans or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup garlic scapes, chopped (discard the flowers)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
2 T lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
Drain and rinse your beans. Put them in the food processor.  Pulse them a few times.  Add in all the pieces of garlic scapes and the parmesan and olive oil.  Process for a minute.  Add in the lemon juice and spices. Process till very smooth.
This dip would be great on a falafel sandwich or on whole grain crackers, a sliced baguette, or in a
tomato half.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Maryland's Pick: Week One

The day was finally here. I have wanted to sign up for a CSA for many years, but it is always so expensive.  When I saw signs atour local Whole Foods Rockville, for a local CSA called Maryland's Pick I stopped at the customer service desk for more info.  $20 a week for the whole summer. SOLD!

The excitement was really building for us because we signed up over two weeks ago but this was our first bag.  The first week, we signed up too close to delivery date, so they would not have time to make our bag.  Last week we arrived first thing on Sunday morning(pickup can be friday, saturday, or sunday), to find out that someone else picked up our bag on Saturday!!! So sad, but no worries, we were not charged for it, so we just had to wait another week.

I did not get to take a picture of the red bag all the goodies came in, because everyone took everything out too quickly.  Here is everything that came in the bag.
An email is sent on Thursday, sharing the items that will be in the bag, along with the Farm that they will come from. (Today the offerings were all from Homestead Farm)  Everything in the bag each week is locally, freshly picked and organic!  Recipes and suggestions are also included in the weekly email.
The breakdown of our veggies were:
 Three kinds of Kale: Red Leaf, Green and Lacinato
Garlic Scapes
Sorrell, dandelion greens and the scapes again
And last but not least some baby squash
My little girl is home sick today with a fever and feeling quite crummy, so the cooking of these gorgeous veggies will have to wait a few days.  But, I do know we will make an arugula salad with pine nuts and fennel as well as a kale salad and some kale chips.  If you want to sign up for this awesome bag, ask at your local Whole Foods, and you will be enjoying some awesome local produce just like we are.  I know that there are a few spots left at the Rockville Whole Foods, so what are you waiting for?? Go signup now.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Zucchini Muffins and Fritters for the win!

I love zucchinis.  I could eat them everyday and be a very happy person.  My favorite way to eat them is so simple. Peel, cut into coins, then saute them in a tiny bit of EVOO with some Chickpea Flour sprinkled on top as well as some salt. YUM. So easy and so delicious.
Since we have an abundance of zucchini this week, we branched out from our usual snack and made muffins and fritters. They both are amazing.  The muffins are vegan and the fritters are not, but could easily be made vegan with an egg substitute.
Hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

Zucchini Muffins
1 and 1.5 cups sprouted wheat flour ( or your favorite flour)
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup coconut oil (or your favorite oil)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup grated zucchini
 Preheat oven to 350.  Peel and shred your zucchini.  Squeeze out excess water.  Put zucchini in a small bowl.  Mix in applesauce, sugar, vanilla, vinegar and oil.
In another bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
Combine wet and dry ingredients, combine until just mixed.  Fold in chocolate chips, and some nuts would also be delicious.
We made 11 muffins from this batter.  Bake 19 minutes.

Zucchini Fritters
1 cup cooked quinoa
1.5 cups of shredded zucchini, can be a little more or less too
1 onion shredded
1 egg
1-2 egg whites
1/2-3/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Oil to saute them in
Peel and shred your zucchini. I used 3 medium ones. You can use more or less if you have it.  If you use your food processor, this just takes a few minutes.  Pop the onion in and shred that too.  Try to squeeze out and get rid of as much water as you can.
Place zucchini and shredded onion in a large bowl. Stir in the egg, egg whites, wheat germ and spices.  Keep stirring.  Add in parmesan cheese.  You want to try to get the mixture to stay together when you form it into the patty.  If you need to, you can add more egg white or wheat germ to form the patty easier. 
Make sure your Oil is very hot in the pan.  Fry a small patty and brown it on each side.  Eat it as soon as it is ready. Delicious, healthy and easy!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Presenting Marshmallow, Chicken Pot Pie, Daddy Walnut and Mrs Nobody

Our four chicks who hatched are now living in the safe side of the cage.  Little Miss Muffin and Goldie were a bit aggressive with them, so we made a partition to keep the baby chicks safe.
It is so hard to take photos of these active chicks.  But here are our four new additions to the Kindergarten class.
Chicken Pot Pie
                                                                    Mrs Nobody
                                                                Daddy Walnut
 When I came into class today to read a story and bring a snack I saw this awesome chart on the whiteboard.  The kids had all come up with names for the new chicks.  Each name was written down and as my daughter told me, they did a blind vote.  How cool!!  Some of these names are hilarious.
Diane could hold and play with these chicks all day.  This has been an amazing experience for her and the whole class.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Red Pepper Bruschetta

My oldest son is going to culinary school soon.  There are many benefits to his being a chef.  He can eat a dish from a restaurant and figure our the recipe and replicate it.  He can also create many awesome dishes from various ingredients.  He learns technique at work, and really has improved his cooking skills.  He also bring home lots of food that would otherwise be thrown away.
Yesterday he made a gorgeous Red Pepper Bruschetta that I want to share with you today.
Red Pepper Bruschetta
One loaf of rustic Italian bread
Red peppers(the ones you typically find in an olive bar)
Fresh basil
Fresh mozzarella
Balsamic Glaze

1. Slice the bread and toast lightly.
2. Chop the red peppers into small pieces and take out any seeds.
3. Chop the basil into small pieces.
4. Slice the mozzarella into thin pieces.
5. Take out the toasted bread.  Press the mozzarella onto each slice, followed by some red pepper and some basil.  Bake at 425 for 5-10 minutes. Watch carefully for it to just get bubbly, not burnt.
6. Drizzle the balsamic glaze on top of each piece.
7. Enjoy!

Hatching Chickens!

Our chicks have hatched!!
We had a live feed webcam that the class could watch last night and it was amazing to see the little chick pecking his way out of the shell.  We were able to see chick #2 come out at 6 am as we got ready for school.  So exciting~
The kids just love watching them hatch and the parents do too!
You can see two of the chicks newly hatched. They are drying off in the incubator and after 48 hours they can join Goldie and Little Miss Muffet who are growing really big each day!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Growing up

Little Miss Muffin and Goldie left our Kindergarten class to visit the First Grade for the day.  They sent us two really cute pictures!!  They are growing so fast and have a real personality already.  We are still counting down to our chick eggs hatching!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Choose your flavor Quinoa Muffins

I love to have healthy snacks on hand, a go to protein packed quick pick.  Quinoa is an awesome way to add health and protein to the kids diet.  I have posted a quinoa cookie with chocolate chips before, but today I am sharing with you a Quinoa muffin.
Once or twice a week I make quinoa in my rice machine. This way I have cooked quinoa ready for recipes, stir fries, or to mix in to a recipe.
The muffins I made today would be great with any berry (blueberry, cranberry, raspberry, blackberry) fresh or frozen, whatever is on sale!  Whatever flavors your kids enjoy.  You can also use a nut, or a chocolate chip of any kind.  One son hates chocolate chips, and only likes white chips.
Today we offer for your snacking pleasure:
White Chocolate Chip Quinoa Blueberry Muffins

1 cup cooked quinoa
2 cups flour ( we used sprouted wheat)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp orange zest
1 cup milk (we used almond coconut milk)
2 TB cornstarch
1/2 cup Orange Juice
1/4 cup coconut oil or applesauce
2 cups total of added items to include nuts, coconut, berries, or chips

Preheat to 350 degrees
In a large bowl mix 1 cup quinoa(cooked) with 2 cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 cup sugar, and 2 tsp orange zest.
In a small measuring cup whisk 1 cup milk and 2 TB cornstarch
Add the wet to the dry.
Stir very gently.
Add the 1/2 cup OJ, and the coconut oil.
Fold in the berries, nuts, chips, etc...
Bake for 25 minutes.

Spread some peanut butter on it and enjoy with some cold milk.
Before I go, wanted to share a quick picture of Goldie, the chicken who is in my daughter's class.  Goldie and Little Miss Muffin, as they were named by the class are growing so much every day.  It is amazing.  When I went into class yesterday to snap a quick pic, I think Goldie was posing for me.

Stay tuned for the eggs to hatch soon!!!

Friday, May 2, 2014

The chicks are so cute!!

The chicks are a huge hit in our Kindergarten class. I am not sure the kids are able to concentrate on much else.  Maybe next week the excitement will settle down a bit?
The kids love feeling how soft the chicks are.  They are just too cute, sleeping under the heat lamp.

And here are our 7 eggs incubating.  One is a special blue hen.  Stay posted for more chick updates!

Thursday, May 1, 2014


As my children grow older, I find myself trying to remember specific milestones.  My memory is spotty though as I age. But this weekend will be a big milestone for my middle child.
Being the middle one is a fun position. I was the oldest and I always felt in charge.  I still like to think I am in charge, even though I am losing some ground as the kids get older.
My middle son, Noah, turned 13 last week and will celebrate his Bar Mitzvah this weekend.  His Bar Mitzvah comes with more responsibility and tons of hard work.  Noah studied with my Dad for the past two years.  He worked very hard and his hard work will show this weekend.  I barely remember Noah as a baby.  In this picture Noah is 2 hours old.  I blinked and here we are 13 years later.

As I have written here before, Noah and his older brother suffer from an auto-immune illness called POTS(Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome). This illness has a huge effect on both of their daily lives.  Noah is raising money for research into developing a cure for POTS.  If you would like to make a donation(no donation is too small!) you can go to this link 

This week is also exciting because spring  is finally here! It took a while, and we are still wearing jackets and long sleeves off and on, but when our trees bloom, we know spring cannot be far off.
This winter was brutal, many storms, tons of snow, really cold temperatures, and sky high heating bills.  But spring is here and we will enjoy it, until it gets too hot HA!
I will be posting over the next month some photos of the chicken hatching I won from teachmama a few weeks ago.  Diane's class is going to be hatching chicks as well as observing and taking care of two chickens.  The kids are so excited.  It will be a wonderful learning experience for them.

If you are local to Maryland and you want to hatch some chicks or have backyard hens yourself, please contact Rent-A-Coop! They have been wonderful to work with and our Kindergarten class will show you how much fun the chicks are.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Spiral Night at Harbor School

Last night was magical.  Walking through each of the classrooms, that hold children as young as 3 and as old as 2nd grade was incredible.  Once a year the Harbor school holds a sprial night.  The theme changes each year.  Last year the theme was the human body.  We went through each classroom and looked at the incredible projects that had been created based on the body.  There were questions to answer in each room, contests as well.  The excitement built as we exited one room and entered the next. After last year's spiral night I did not know how this year could be better.

The theme this year was Artists.  Each child wore a piece of art (that they had decorated themselves).  We were handed our artists' passport with secret mini photos inside, one special picture to find in each classroom.  We were excited to enter our own Museum!

The artwork was incredible.  We enjoyed each and every room.  The teachers and kids are so incredibly creative and talented. 
The entry wall was inspired by Mondrian.  I love how each child had such a different final project.

The Gelede Headdresses were really creative. Honestly, each display was more impressive than the next.
This map was AWESOME!  I wish I had time to read everything.
Two classes studied Leonardo Da Vinci.  These sketches were so detailed and I loved reading the descriptions as well.
Diane's class made flying machines.

Each child in Diane's class studied an artist and then displayed a poster with some of their art.  Diane was excited to choose her Great Aunt Carla as her favorite artist.  I am not sure who was more excited Diane or Carla!  Diane learned that she and Carla have a lot in common. They both love dogs, cats and birds.  They both love pink, purple and aqua.

But wait, Diane's class did something even cooler.  They replicated Lascaux Cave.  Imagine having an actual cave in your classroom.  The kids each made paintings and the paintings were hung up inside, on top of, and all around the cave. It was so much fun walking into a cave in your Kindergarten classroom.  This is something Diane will never forget.

I have so many more pictures to post and no time to do it.  This blog post has been sitting open on my computer for about 10 hours now.  I keep sitting down and adding one more thing, then getting busy with something else.  I live-tweeted many other photos on Twitter #spiralnight.  Here are a few more of my favorite displays!