Thanks to another Pinner, I have dinner

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I have been using Pinterest for a couple of years now. At first I didn’t really know how to use it or what it was. There was a lot of buzz about it and I would see things my Facebook friends had “pinned”. I joined but still didn’t really use it much.

Now, I do spend a few minutes once or twice a week going through my favorite categories which are food (any kind), health and fitness and organizational tips. I have gotten many new recipes to try and last night I made a variation of one that I first saw on Pinterest a year or so ago. That is cheese steak stuffed peppers. I love cheese steaks having lived in Philadelphia for ten years and I like stuffed peppers too. This recipe is a big hit with my husband, but I usually just give my kids a roll to have their cheese steaks in because up to this point they haven’t cared for stuffed peppers. Last night, my eight year old asked if he could have a pepper too when he saw what they looked like!

I got thin sliced steak at Trader Joe’s and fried it in my cast iron skillet with some sliced onion, olive oil and salt and pepper. Once it was cooked, I cut the tops off some green peppers and de-seeded them. I lined the bottoms of the peppers with a slice of provolone and added three ounces of he steak and onion mix. The peppers weren’t full and I was wishing that I had some quinoa cooked to fill the peppers. Instead I finely chopped some cauliflower and filled them with it. I added about 2 tablespoons of shredded cheese and put the tops back on. I baked it in the oven at 350 for about twenty minutes. The peppers were really good, but I probably should have cooked them for about ten minutes longer so the the cauliflower and peppers were not quite so crunchy.

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I will continue to search Pinterest to find more recipes and ideas about what to make for dinner.

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First Day of School

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Today was the first day of school. It is a day that I have been anticipating and dreading in equal measure for the last three months. My youngest son started full time school today. He joins his brothers in a Spanish Immersion program that will continue through 5th grade. For the next two years, there will be one school drop off and pick up. This will greatly simplify our lives in many ways.

Family and friends have been asking half tongue in cheek half seriously what I am going to do with my time now that all my boys are in school. Since September 2003, I have been a full time stay at home mom except for the ten months that I finished graduate school and dipped my toe in the water as a working mother. That wasn’t ideal for our family so  I inevitably stayed home. Well actually we did anything but stay home.

There have been playgroups, preschool programs, travels, museum and zoo visits, park outings and many many errands with children in tow. In so many ways, that was a simpler time. The children were harder to care for because they needed help with so many things, but our days we our own. Five years ago, when the oldest started school those care-free days came to an end. We have to adhere to a school schedule and calendar now and it isn’t always convenient. There is no more traveling to NYC and further whenever we want. There are no more mid week trips to the zoo or Smithsonian museums with my boys. I can still do those things, but it won’t be the same. My free time is scheduled between 8:40 drop off and 3:05 pick up.

I plan to spend a lot of time in my boys’ classrooms. My middle son’s teacher already has a weekly job for me. I will do all of those errands without kids and hope to occasionally have lunch with my husband. I will do the school drop off and pick up most days since our elementary school is outside our neighborhood. I will take care of sick kids, do laundry and cook meals. Today I started a new fitness program which I will write more about later. Life is changing as it does, and while I am sad that babyhood is over for us, I am looking forward to the next chapter. I also wish my children every happiness and success as they move forward  in their lives.

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