Monthly Archives: March 2013

Jesse’s Easy Vegan Chili

Jesse has long been the chili master in our house. With our recent switch to an oil-free vegan diet, we weren’t sure how to keep up the tradition. Yesterday, Jesse just decided to “go for it,” and this is what he came up with. I must say, it was very tasty, and I ate WAY more than I should have in one day!

3 cans beans (we used red kidney beans, black beans, and pinto beans)

10 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles

6 oz. can tomato paste

½ caramelized red onion

3 T. chile powder

1 T. cumin

1 T. parsley

1 T. basil

½ c. apple cider vinegar

6 drops liquid smoke

Salt to taste


Music Practice, the Easy Way

Ian had been flying through his drumset and guitar books. Up until last week, that is. Last week, things became suddenly hard. He knows the top three open strings on the guitar, and F and G on the E string. So far, so good. On his drumset, he has learned to play several patterns and read a bit of music. But last week, his guitar method introduced C on the B string, and his drum method introduced fills. Ten different fills on one page. Enter the crying sessions. Well, Monday night, we had such a terrible night. We probably spent 90 minutes on his music practice. I felt so sorry for him, but I could not allow him to throw a temper tantrum and win. So we pressed on, but I knew I needed to do something different. So Tuesday and Wednesday, here is what we did: after finishing every subject in school, Ian always receives a ten minute break before he starts his next subject. Well, we decided to throw in a bit of music practice here and there throughout the day. So after his first break, he played the first song in his guitar book 5 times. It took him all of about 3 minutes. Not scary, right? Even for an 8-year-old. After his second break, he played the second song, and so forth. Well, things are going much smoother now. He’s happy and he’s learning, and that makes me happy too!