A Chunk Off the Old Block
This story and recipe form Little Red aka Lacey is a must read if you too are in need of a tylenol smoothie.

Oh no, not the school,” I think as the caller ID announces the school name throughout the house.  That dreaded midday phone call could be a host of terrors: vomit… fever… fight… lice… asthma… strep,… pink eye… diarrhea…  

Role Play Script School Nursing 101 
Step 1)  Address parent
Step 2)  State your name and title
Step 3)  Declare “Everything is OK, but…”
Step 4)  Clearly and calmly state illness/ condition
Step 5)  Downplay condition
Step 6)  Suggest “You can pick him up if you want.”
Step 7)  If parent doesn’t agree to pick up student,  repeat step 6until they get it through their thick head.

   I guess you can put 2 and 2 together.  Yes, I was a tad bit thick-headed the first time I was a recipient of one of these passive-aggressive phone calls.   “Hello, Mrs. Rzeszowski.  This is Mrs. Lentini, the school nurse.  Everything is OK, but your son fell at recess and chipped his tooth…"  I’m an old pro with the nurse by now and beat her to the punch, “Oh, Ok Mrs. Lentini- I’ll be right over to pick him up.”  

    I arrive to see what the nurse calls a chip, I would aptly call a chunk! His front tooth is 2/3 gone.  A successful reconnaissance of the blacktop did result in the chunk, now swaddled in a tissue, in a Ziploc, and pressed into my hand, “The dentist may be able to reattach it.”

    In an attempt to brighten Everett’s dark day, we stop off on the way to the dentist at a literal hole in the wall smoothie joint, called The Juice Caboose.  He hadn’t had lunch, & I kidded him that he now had a perfect place to put a straw; he’d better take advantage of it while he still can.  

    Riding over to the dentist’s, he seemed content.  Suckling still calms a big kid down.  When he walked into the back room with the hygienist, he winked at me with the straw in the new slot.  I shrugged and held my breath.

    After a few minutes, “Mrs. Rzeszowski?” the dentist calls, “Please, come in.”   
    “It looks like we’ll be able to fix it, but…” he swivels around to look me in the eyes as he shakes his head and gestures towards Everett, “Next time...”

    I look over at Everett who grins on cue to show the raw edge of his tooth is stained deep purple.

   Exasperated, the dentist says, “Next time, Mrs. Rzeszowski, no blueberry smoothies!”

   Our numerable dental visitations are ever increasing with the addition of palette expanders and braces into our lives; the following recipe reflects the obvious necessity of seedless options with such dental apparatuses as well as the inclusion of pain relief generally required post-tightening.

Now, do we have a talented dentist? or what!

The Smooth Operator- Pantry Must Haves
A spotty banana
1 c orange juice
6-8 ice cubes (sometimes I sub vanilla ice cream for ice cubes & yogurt)
a dollop of plain yogurt                                                                 appropriate dosage of liquid Tylenol

Toss first 4 ingredients in a blender (or use a hand blender as I do)

Stir in Tylenol.  Pour into a glass.  Pop in a straw & serve.  


Pantry Must Haves (makes 3 glasses)

Sugar Rim:
2 tspn honey and 1 tspn warm water
green sugar sprinkles

2 cups milk
1 banana
1/2 cup plain unsweetened yoghurt
2 kiwifruit
handful crushed ice
2 - 3 Tbspns honey (depending on taste)
1 drop green food colouring (optional)

First pour the honey and warm water mix into a saucer.
Pour sprinkles into another saucer.

Dip glasses in honey water, then into sprinkles and roll to coat the rim.
Leave to dry for a few minutes.

In blender combine smoothie ingredients, and pour into a jug.
Carefully pour into glasses, being caresful not to touch the rim.
Serve to your little leprechauns with some cheer!  Sláinte!

Nikki xx

Raymond's is a bit of an institution in Montclair, NJ and is known for it's scrumptious brunches.   I am a huge fan of the Breakfast Burrito.  Open all day, there is just a constant stream of hungry locals and people from further afield. Lucky for us they shared their recipe for Mexican Hot Chocolate!

Raymond's Mexican Hot Chocolate
(Serves about 6-8 troops)

1 Qrt milk
1 Qrt water
1 cup sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
3 star anise
2 whole ancho chillies
2 whole cardomom pods
2 Tbsp honey
1 cup dark chocolate
1 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 to 1 tsp cayenne pepper

Mix milk, water, sugar and honey into pot large enough to hold all of the ingredients. Add cinnamon, anise, chilies and cardomom pods and bring to a boil over a medium heat.  Let simmer for 10 minutes.  
Mix in cocoa, cayenne pepper and chocolate and whisk until chocolate dissolves.  Cover and let steep for 30 minutes for flavour to develop.  Strain and reheat.   

Hot Cider warms you up after a chilly night of Trick or Treating or maybe just walking the dog!  Plus, it smells so wonderful and is incredibly easy to make.

Jug of Fresh Apple Cider (I prefer the unpasteurized kind that's         rather silty, but also needs to be consumed quickly!) 
cheese cloth & string
1 T whole cloves
1 T ground allspice
3 cinnamon sticks

brown sugar 

Put the cider in a pot on the stove with a low flame.  If you like it extra sweet add a tablespoon of brown sugar.  Fold cheese cloth and cut into a 10" square (approx.) Fill with the spices and tie up into a little satchel. Place in the pot and let it simmer for at least 20 minutes.  

I like to squeeze fresh oranges into my hot cider and I also like to garnish with oranges (and not the cinnamon sticks, they can get bitter or can splinter!)  I love the idea in this picture of pressing cloves into an orange slice.  I'm going to try that on Halloween!   

Several years ago we took our then four children down to Curacao for a vacation.  (No, we do not vacation so luxuriously every year, but I wish we did!)  It was a lot of fun, but super hot.  By time we made our way to our resort (at the very top of the island) we were drenched with sweat and wondering what on earth we had been thinking to bring four kids so far and the kids are thinking this is not feeling anything remotely like fun.  We walk into the resort lobby and there waiting for us is a hotel employee with ice cold towels and this cold, delicious fruit punch.  For years one of my kids would talk about just how nice that "butler" (I seriously doubt that is his real title) had been to be ready for us like that; such a kind, kind man.  Anyway, it hit the spot and my children were instantly fans of "the butler" and his juice.  On our last day there... they also talked the recipe out of him.  I seriously doubt it was a secret recipe, but he made them feel like it was and they are convinced it was the best souvenir we brought home.  It is super easy.  We hope you enjoy!

Butler Punch

1/2 pineapple juice
1/2 orange juice
red grenadine to taste
serve ice cold

Better yet... see if you can get someone in the house to dress up like the butler and put ice cold towels on your head while you drink it!  ;)

Click HERE to link to Sarah's Page and read more!