Monthly Archives: August 2014

It's that time of year again – ZUCCHINI TIME!! Dried Zucchini Chips

Zucchini Chips - www.krisandlarry.comYes, this time of year is a crazy time… monsoon weather comes up and yes, zucchinis start growing and growing and GROWING!!!  I remember the year that I moved to Arizona, about 25 years ago, someone left a bag of zucchini in my mom’s car at the grocery store… The zucchini wars of 1991 in Chino Valley, AZ.

There are many different ways to prepare zucchini… We LOVE Z-Bread – and have now perfects a Gluten-Free version for Trystan… All of the kids gobble this one down!  Click here for that recipe! 

We make a TON of dried chips during the summer, including kale and zucchini.

Since I have a few zucchinis the size of my arm… yes, I know… you are supposed to pick them when they are little… but, they seem to grow overnight with the monsoon rain. We sliced them thin and placed in a glass bowl.

I drizzle with 1T of olive oil and toss until coated.

Lay out on the dehydrator trays – I run 2 Excalibur 3900 dehydrators most of the summer and fall with goodies for snack for later.

Sprinkle with salt (We only use pink salt in our house… and I grind it … SO GOOD!) Or you can try a BBQ blend, garlic salt, ranch dressing mix (we make our own with buttermilk and other seasonings)

Dry at 115 degrees for 12+ hours or until crisp.  (Don’t use too much oil or they will be greasy and mushy and ever get really crisp)

Spaceman Word Spacer – homeschooling

ABM_1408404168I am always looking for ways to help my munchkins on writing.  When I was student teaching, the kindergarten teacher had these COOL SPACEMEN word spacers to help the kids learn to space their word when they write.

You will need a clothes pin, white paint, sky blue paint, a red and black sharpie.



  • Paint your clothes pin white.
  • Let dry.
  • Add a blue semi-circle for the helmet.
  • Draw your clothes (follow my sample if you need help) using the sharpie.
  • Repeat on the back side of the clothespin.

This serves as a little reminder that there are spaces between each word while your littles are writing. My 3rd grader just pins it to the top of his paper. My 1st graders use it while they are practicing writing.

To use, have the kiddling write their first word. Please the spaceman on their paper after the word and then start writing their next word. It puts a finger wide space in between each word on their papers until they can remember to SPACE!

Home-made Enchilada Sauce (and Gluten Free and Dye Free)

When I shop for different foods at the grocery store , I am very conscience of every ingredient that is in an item. If I can’t pronounce it, it probably should not be in my body.  We don’t eat anything with dyes in it, stay away from extra salts… and avoid as many chemicals as possible.  (My sister congratulates me on my journey in “turning crunchy” – check out her website at Once I realized that so many of those chemicals were hurting my kids… I started checking out all of them.  (Remember – I have one deathly allergic to red dye, one who is gluten and lactose intolerant, 2 others who are on a processed and dye free diet, etc)


Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce

  • 2 Tablespoons butter

    Enchilada Sauce from Scratch
    Enchilada Sauce from Scratch
  • 1/2 cup onions
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1-16 ounce can tomatoes, diced & undrained
  • 1-8 ounce can of tomato sauce (We go through a lot of tomatoes in this house, but a few times a year I make a huge batch of homemade tomato sauce and paste from scratch.)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1-4 ounce can of green chilies (We grow our own chilies)
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (We use pink Himalayan salt in our house only)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (We make our own chili powder from dehydrating chilies from our garden)

Melt butter in saucepan on stove. Add onions and garlic and sauté until tender. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, chilies, sugar and seasonings. Simmer for about 15 minutes until heated.

Organizing Kids – Writing on Sliding Glass Door

ABM_1406832284We are always coming up with new things to do with 8 kids… mixing it up a bit. Last night, I wrote all of their chores for the next day on the sliding glass door,….. It worked. Something different that our normal chore chart and it kept the kids interested and working hard on their morning chores…. Afternoon is free for fun (Only a few more days before my public school kids go back to their classrooms… and a week before my homeschooled kids get started on their work.)

Try to mix it up every once in a while… A white board marker works GREAT to write on a window…. I recommen Red or black however as they are easier to see!

These markers also work on mirrors to leave love notes or notes of encouragement!!!