About Ali Cummins

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Asian Lentil Burgers

I continue to be impressed with lentils. It really is amazing how they absorb the taste of the various ingredients and spices. Every time I make these burgers, I am sure that it will be a disaster. The kitchen reeks to high heaven of that traditional lentil stench, and the sight is just as pleasing as the smell. But, with each added ingredient, the smell starts to dissipate and the lentils merge into something much more palatable. All with the power-packed nutritional benefit that the lentil offers. Did you know that lentils help your body regulate blood sugar? They do! And they help you maintain a healthy level of cholesterol.

Asian Lentil Burgers

Asian Lentil Burgers

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Cook lentils until tender. Drain.
  2. Mash lentils and mix with all ingredients
  3. Form into burgers.
  4. In a skillet, cook lentil burgers with a small amount of vegetable oil or butter to avoid burning. You do NOT want to burn lentils. Very smelly.
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Enjoy! I served mine with a side of rice and dipped the lentil burger in soy sauce. Delicious!


Bottle Cap Stamps with Sponge Ink Pads

The girls and the stampsRiley moved to a new building for preschool this summer. The Academy is still part of her daycare but is much more structured and much more focused on academics. She is really embracing it! This makes me a very happy and very proud mama. It also makes me want to be a part of it, which has caused me to spend a lot of time thinking about how I want to nurture her academics at home. I’ve bought sight word flashcards, and we’ve been doing a decent amount of Post-It note spelling. I’m happy to report that she has successfully read “it” and can spell her name.




Forever in search of new educational activities, I have been saving the lids from the girls’ empty milk cartons for months. I wasn’t 100% sure what I was going to do with them until a bolt of brilliance struck! Why not make them into alphabet stamps and have the girls practice their letters? I was pretty proud as we assembled the stamps together and wet our homemade ink pads. We had a good time. We laughed, created, and learned. Riding high on my accomplishment, I was brought crashing down as Riley let me know that the activity was not fun. Ouch. I fear we have entered a new era in which I am no longer as cool as she, or I, once thought. I assure you though, it was fun and educational, I merely live with a mini teenager in training.
Put those old milk carton tops to good use. Make stamps out of them #parenting #kidscraft Click To Tweet

What You’ll Need:Bottlecap Stamps

Bottle caps (I used bottle caps from milk cartons)
Alphabet Foam Stickers
Sponges
Washable Paint

 


bottlecap stamps supplies

  1. Stick one letter to the back of each bottle cap. Don’t miss this opportunity for learning. Review each letter with your child as she helps you stick them on the caps.
  2. On the spongy part of the sponge, make an “x” with your chosen color of washable paint. Fold the sponge in half both lengthwise and widthwise to fully absorb the paint. Make sure there is enough paint on each sponge “ink pad” to wet the stamps.
  3. Push the newly made bottle cap stamp down on your desired newly made ink pad and stamp away!

Nurture the Experience
I think it goes without saying that this is a great time to learn the alphabet.Talk with your child about the letter that she is using. Repeat it, sound it out, and talk about what words start with that letter. Learning takes place most quickly when you are able to connect the subject matter to something that relates to the child. Try to connect the letter to something that is meaningful for your child. For example, if your child is really into Paw Patrol, connect the letters to the names of the characters. C is for Chase, R is for Rocky and Rumble, etc.


That’s a Bad Smell

The seasons are changing. I’m not ready to say goodbye to summer, but I can’t help but enjoy the fall feel of the mornings. I step out outside, taken by the sharp, crisp cool air of fall rolling in. I take a deep breath. The new air smells just as crisp. Clean.
Then I step back inside. My nose automatically takes the defensive again. A position that it has taken and become quite accustomed to since I first brought Riley home. Before then, it was relaxed. Laid back. Quick to point out an offensive smell but reassured that it was a quick fix. There are no quick fixes anymore. (more…)

5-Minute Corn Salsa

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Sometimes the mood for salsa strikes, but time doesn’t allow for it. Or sometimes you just forget that you have an event to go to and need to make something quick. Neither of those happened to me, but I was still happy to have salsa in such a short amount of time, and with ingredients that I already had around the house.

5-Minute Corn Salsa

5-Minute Corn Salsa

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Dice onion. This will be the most time-consuming part of the whole dish. If you want to shave off some time, I highly recommend investing in a chopper (note to moms: you can use this and carry a baby at the same time)
  2. In a medium bowl, combine onion, sweet corn, tomatoes, chili powder, and garlic. Mix together.
  3. Add vegetable oil and lime juice. Mix again.
  4. Grab some chips and enjoy!
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Grammy’s Mac and Cheese

My mom makes the best mac and cheese. I’m not bragging. It’s just a fact. The ultimate comfort food, it has been called upon over the years to soothe heartaches and enhance celebrations. Now, for my children, it has become Grammy’s Mac and Cheese. I know the recipe. It’s an easy recipe. But it will always taste better when Grammy makes it.

Grammy’s Mac and Cheese

Grammy’s Mac and Cheese

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in a medium-size saucepan. Begin cooking noodles while making the sauce.
  2. Whisk in flour until smooth.
  3. Add milk slowly, stirring with the whisk consistently.
  4. Add in small cubes of Velveeta, allowing the cubes to dissolve before adding more. You will use about 2/3 of the large box. Check for taste along the way until you reach your desired cheesy-ness.
  5. Add sauce to cooked and drained macaroni.
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