Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How Do You Teach T-Rex Manners?

Okay, so my darling five-year-old was a T-Rex yesterday. All. Day. Long. That means that when he came to the dinner table, he wanted to eat only meat and only use his two-fingered hands to eat with. (Because, a T-Rex only has two fingers, Mom!) Needless to say, it didn't sit well with this "you must watch your manners at the table" mommy. I can't stand it when I see kids of a certain age eating with their hands. With the exception, of course, of chicken nuggets and french fries. I also cannot stand it when children do not sit in their seats, and on their bottoms. Getting up and wandering around annoys me to no end.

I've heard other mothers say that as long as their child is eating, they don't care how they eat. That is just ridiculous to me!

That is why I really take the time to try and teach what I think is considered modern day manners. I don't expect my children to be seen and not heard--which is exactly what was expected of me as a child. Instead, I want them to be polite individuals that don't push people out of their way in public, say please and thank you, and don't gross me out or embarrass me at the dinner table. So, last night, my little T-Rex ate with his fork...albeit he only used two fingers to hold it, but that was okay. And just because my son's favorite dinosaur happens to be a carnivore, doesn't mean T-Rex can't try something new--so the veggies were eaten too.

Experts say that it is best to model manners to children. They also suggest correcting them physically, not verbally, at the dinner table. That is something I will keep in mind for the future, because I do tend to get in the trap of "complaining" about behavior at dinner, which doesn't make for easy digestion for any of us. Handing my son a napkin will probably give him a better clue anyway than telling him fifty times to wipe his face.

It is not often I get to dine with a T-Rex, so it was a rather fun meal and I think we were able to watch our manners and still remember that sometimes a five-year-old just really needs to be a five-year-old. We left the stomping and the growling, however, for after desert!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I Made Shepherd's Pie!

Okay, so it might not be a big deal to you...but to me it is a big deal. I have never made Shepherd's pie before, nor had I really had a desire to until I went searching for a recipe to use up the ground turkey that I had defrosted and was sitting in my refrigerator waiting to be used. You see, I have been trying to cook with turkey more because it is a healthier choice--and that is absolutely something we need to focus on here in the red ranch--but I often get stuck in a rut and can't think beyond my basics. Yes, as hard as it is to believe, Shepherd's pie is beyond my basics! So behold....the Pie!

Doesn't look so healthy does it? Alright, we have far to go on our healthier journey, but at least it wasn't made with fat filled beef! Here's the recipe (via if you would like to give it a try:


cooking spray
1 1 /2 pounds potatoes
6Tbs. butter or marg.
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb ground turkey
2 packages of instant gravy (although I used premade in a can)
1 cup water
1 (16 oz) package of frozen peas and carrots, thawed (although I cut up some organic carrots)
2 cups shredded cheese of your choice (that's where the low-fat cheese comes in!)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease medium baking dish.

Cover chunked potatoes in saucepan and boil for 20 to 30 minutes, or until soft. Drain, beat and add butter, milk, salt and pepper.

Brown turkey in a medium skillet, add gravy. Stir often until bubbly.

Add turkey mixture to the baking dish. Next, layer peas and carrots, then top with mashed potatoes. Sprinkle on the cheese and bake 20 to 30 minutes.