The Top Five–Drink Photos of 2022

Between our Disney Dinners and other special events this year, I’ve made a lot of speciality drinks, and some of them were really pretty! Here’s a look at my my favorite (and prettiest!) creations from 2022, starting off with a concoction I created for Kirby Day:

I think the pink salt rim is what really sells this Kyyyalstaad Fizz (lemon and lime juice with sparkling water) we had on May the Fourth:

I created a nonalcoholic version of the Monorail Yellow…I love how summery it looked!

If the Monorail Yellow looked like summer in a glass, the Lava Smoothie looked (and tasted) like the tropics in a glass!

The Witches Cauldron Brew from The Nightmare Before Christmas cookbook was the perfect drink for fall:

Keeping up with the theme of six photos in my “Top Five,” here’s one that’s definitely not like the others…hot chocolate from our first snowfall of the year in November!

Tomorrow I’ll be taking a look at my favorite vacation photos…let me tell you, that was a hard list to narrow down!

Tasty Tuesday: The Top Five–Food Photos of 2022

It’s time to take a look back at 2022, starting with my favorite food photos of the year (minus desserts and drinks)!

Let’s start in February, with this beautiful quiche I made for the tea party we had to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne:

A lot of my best food photos this year occurred during our “Disney Dinners,” like these Moana’s Motunui Sliders:

Some of my other best food photos came from my adventures in German cooking, like this Bavarian Obatzda with homemade pretzels:

We had a lot of fun with The Nightmare Before Christmas cookbook…I love how colorful this “Snake and Spider Stew” was!

More German cooking…this time, a whole dinner plate featuring homemade schnitzel:

And a bonus picture, because nachos at the ballpark just photograph so well!

I took a lot of food photos this year, so stay tuned for specialized lists focusing on desserts and drinks, too!

2022-23 School Year–Week Twelve

Fun things first! Monday was a mostly fun day, split between reading creepy stories for Halloween (mostly Poe, featuring “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Raven”), and stories about Martin Luther and the Reformation. We also worked on our final The Nightmare Before Christmas dinner for October, which included the Witches Cauldron Brew (full of fantastic fall flavors), Christmas Tree Empanadas with picadillo filling (possibly my favorite recipe we tried all month), and a Sally Patchwork Layer Cake, which Ladybug decorated by herself:

And then there was regular school work. Ladybug learned the quadratic formula in algebra 2. She also learned how to balance equations in chemistry, which I think is fun, and she…does not. In history, she had her first introduction to Mecca, and also read about Justinian and Theodora and the Bubonic Plague. In creative writing, she worked on fantasy writing. We finally made it to the part where the fellowship is established and sets off in The Fellowship of the Ring.

Chickadee is really into long division in math now! We finished Homer Price, and began reading Centerburg Tales, just to find out what happens next. She learned about the difference between monkeys and apes in science (not that she didn’t already know that from Veggie Tales!). We started reading about Crete in history, including the story of the Minotaur. In grammar, she reviewed the list of prepositions, and learned how to identify the object of the preposition.

I’m hoping the weather next week is as nice as they’re saying it’s going to be, because we have something fun planned!

Tasty Tuesday–The Nightmare Before Christmas Cookbook

For the month of October, Ladybug and I decided to make recipes from The Nightmare Before Christmas cookbook. Our goal was to make one dinner a week (three total recipes each, from either drinks, side dishes, main courses, or desserts), plus a special Halloween meal. We met our goal, and made a few bonus recipes, too! Not only did we make something from each section of the cookbook, we made all of the drink recipes! Every single thing we tried was excellent, and we have some new family favorites that we’re looking forward to making again!

  • Vampire Brothers Bloody Party Punch
  • Snake and Spider Stew
  • Oogie Boogie Meringues
  • Frog’s Breath Floats
  • Cucumber and Mint Limeade Love Potion
  • Jack Skellington Shepherd’s Pie
  • The Mayor Two-Faced black and white cookies
  • Jack Skellington Black Bean Dip
  • Full Moon Queso Dip
  • Igor Cheesy Breadstick Bones
  • Worm’s Wort and Frog’s Breath Soup
  • Lock, Shock, and Barrel Spiral Peppermint Cookie Pops
  • Mummy Boy Dogs
  • Oogie Boogie Bag of Bugs
  • Christmas Town Gingerbread Snowflakes with Spiders
  • Homemade Christmas Eggnog
  • The Mayor Chocolate Pretzel Spiderwebs 
  • Halloween Town Band Zombie Mocktail
  • Oogie Boogie Pasta Worms
  • Oogie Boogie Double Chocolate Dirt Cake
  • Witches Cauldron Brew
  • Christmas Tree Empanadas
  • Sally Patchwork Layer Cake

This has been a really fun cookbook to work our way through, and I’m looking forward to trying even more of the recipes in the future! Eventually, I hope we’ll get around to some of the craft projects in the book, too!

2022-23 School Year–Week Eleven

Ladybug learned how to complete the square in algebra 2. In chemistry, she learned the difference between chemical and physical changes and we did a few fun experiments to demonstrate the concepts. She read about the Americas in the 600s in history, which put us in the mood to visit Cahokia Mounds in a few weeks. She worked on rewriting selections in her own voice in writing. We also made a few more recipes from The Nightmare Before Christmas cookbook…The Mayor Chocolate Pretzel Spiderwebs, Mummy Boy Dogs, Oogie Boogie Bag of Bugs (roast Brussels sprouts with cranberries and pepitas and a balsamic glaze), and Christmas Town Gingerbread Snowflakes with Spiders.

Chickadee learned how to calculate simple exponents in math, and made more complex factor trees. She started the chapter on primates in science. In history, we read about the return of the Assyrians and Ashurbanipal and the library of Nineveh. She reviewed subject and object pronouns in grammar. We started the final chapter of Homer Price…it’s gone by very quickly!

On Thursday, we took a break from our regular schoolwork and used our Missouri Botanical membership to take a 5 mile hike around Shaw Nature Reserve. It’s the first time we’ve been there for anything other than Prairie Days, so it was really our first chance to explore the property. We especially liked the trail down to the Meremec River, but the whole place is beautiful, and we’d like to go back in the spring!

I can’t believe we’re headed toward November…it’s always one of my favorite months for school!

2022-23 School Year–Week Ten

This week, Ladybug learned binomial theorem in algebra 2, and I’ve been singing the Pirates of Penzance ever since! She finished part one (the first five chapters) of The Scarlet Letter. She moved on to adjective clauses in grammar (and a few adverb clauses snuck in, too). She finished up the chapter on molecular geometry in chemistry (and Turkey gave her a tip he learned in his college chemistry class!). In history, she read about Buddhism in China. We made another dinner from The Nightmare Before Christmas cookbook…Igor Cheesy Breadstick Bones, Worm’s Wort and Frog’s Breath (asparagus, potato, and leek) Soup, and Lock, Shock, and Barrel Spiral Peppermint Cookie Pops for dessert.

Chickadee found averages in math, and continued estimating. She finished the chapter on marsupials in science, learning about the one kind of marsupial we have close to home, the Virginia opossum. We reviewed types of sentences in grammar, and the proper ending punctuation for each. We continued to read Homer Price. She learned about the Phoenicians and the return of Assyria and Ashurbanipal in history.

Hopefully next week we’ll get out of the house for a field trip!

2022-23 School Year–Week Nine

This week, Ladybug learned about Paschal’s triangle in algebra two, something I think is really cool. In chemistry she learned the difference between polar and non-polar covalent bonds. She read about the Ostrogoths (again?) and Byzantium (also again?) in history. She started a literature study of The Scarlet Letter. We finished reading book one of The Fellowship of the Ring. We worked on our second The Nightmare Before Christmas dinner featuring cucumber and mint limeade love potion, Jack Skellington Shepherd’s Pie (she did a great job with the details on his face!), and The Mayor Two-Faced black and white cookies.

Chickadee is working toward long division in math. She also reviewed division problems with money. In science, we started a chapter on marsupials…so far, we’ve read about kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, and koalas. We read about some doughnut trouble in Homer Price. She learned how to diagram predicate nominatives and predicate adjectives in grammar. She was very excited that she finally got to read about King Tut in history. We also covered Moses and the Exodus.

It’s hard to believe October is already about halfway done, but we’ve still got a lot of stuff to look forward to!

2022-23 School Year–Week Eight

We started the week with a rare Sunday field trip, to Grant’s Farm:

Ladybug learned how to identify the conjugates of a binomial in algebra 2. In chemistry, she read about single, double, and triple bonds to finish the fourth chapter. We finally finished Romeo and Juliet…she’s glad to be done with that (although we do still need to watch the movie)! She read about the High Kings of Britain, Niall of the Nine Hostages, and St. Patrick in history. In grammar, she started identifying appositive phrases. Now that it’s October, we set aside Recipes from the World of Tolkien for the time being, and made a dinner from The Nightmare Before Christmas Cookbook, featuring Vampire Brothers Bloody Party Punch, Snake and Spider Stew, (an albondigas or Mexican meatball soup with fettuccine “snakes”), and Oogie Boogie Meringues.

Chickadee made factor trees in math, and reviewed multiplying three-digit numbers. We finished reading Heidi and started Homer Price. In history, she learned about the Middle Kingdom of Egypt and the Hyksos. We read about hyenas, mongooses, and meerkats in science, finishing the chapter on Feliforms. She put everything together that she’s learned in grammar so far to diagram some complex sentences. We also did a little baking together this week, making s’mores cookies from the My Little Pony Baking Book:

And we ended the week with a field trip to the pumpkin patch:

We’re already almost a quarter of the way done with the school year…I can’t believe it!