Sunday, October 23, 2016

Idahoan Signature Russetts Mashed Potatoes

I have a love/hate relationship with making dinner.  I used to love it, but it seems like the more kids that I pop out the less I enjoy making dinner.  There is always some reason or excuse.  I don't have the time to grocery shop.  It takes too much time to make dinner.  Nothing sounds good.  There are too many kid activities.  I'm lazy.  Really the last one is the most important one!

So, when I do actually make dinner I like short cuts.  We used to really enjoy the pre-packaged meals (before kids and before I learned how to really cook) that come in a box and you just add meat.  Ahhh...that was the life...the life before I knew how much crap was actually in those meals.  Well, fast forward to now.  I still like pre-packaged items (seasoning mixes/marinades, stuffing, rice, etc) so when Influenster sent me Idahoan Signature Russetts Mashed Potatoes (check them out here) I was game.

We use the dehydrated potato mixes already but this brand was new to me.  It had two methods of making it.  I thought surely one will be stove top and one will be microwave, but I was wrong.  They were both on the stove top.  The only difference was one included milk, water, and butter didn't.  We opted for the first choice.  

It didn't take much time to make at all and the consensus was pretty even across the family.  The potaotes were just OK.  The flavor was fine but the texture seemed to be a bit off.  We made it exactly as described on the package but I probably would have tossed some salt in the boiling water and added a bit more milk.  I can't imagine making these the second way..yech.

Was it easy?  YES.
Did it taste good?  Ehhh, it is what it is for what it is.
Will I purchase this again?  Hmmm...probably not.  If I'm going to go the dehydrated potato route I'll probably just stick with the brand that I have.

By the way, I received this product free from Influenster.  My opinion is my opinion :)

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Star Wars Rhythms

So I don't post much, but with the school year starting tomorrow I thought I would at least share one thing that I'm excited about...Star Wars!  Ok, really my husband and kiddos are more excited about Star Wars than I am, but I decided to make it my classroom theme this year.  Really I chose it because I love BB-8 and R2-D2.

Anyway, four years ago a co-teacher and I came across this great rhythm picture.  (If you were the original inventor, please let me know so I can give you credit AND a big thank you because it was a hit with the high school students.)  For the most part they liked it, they actually liked it!

Fast forward two years later and I am no longer teaching high school but have moved to an elementary building.  I really wanted to use this but I didn't think they would have the same humor as my high school students and since they are still working on the basics of rhythm some of the pictures might be too hard for them.  

Thankfully someone else decided to take this idea a step further.  Insert food rhythms!  (Again, if you were the one who did this, let me know!)  This was great for my littler ones.  They were able to read the food names and find the rhythms that matched their own personal name.

So here were are a few days before school and I'm trying to think of a great activity to do the first day of school.  I keep coming back to the food rhythms and how much fun it was but now they already know what food they could I change it.  Star Wars!  Perfect!  I already have the bulletin board up and a few decorations.  Why not take it a step further and come up with some rhythms.  So with the help of my husband and boys we were able to come up with Star Wars Rhythms.  As my husband points out the inflection might not quite be 100% accurate (Chewbacca vs. Chew-bacca) but it is meant to be fun!


Here's hoping the students have as much fun finding their rhythms as I did.  By the way, it is a lot harder than it looks to fit in to each of the rhythms already provided!