Friday, February 16, 2018

Learn About: Celebrating the Chinese New Year

My mom wants us to learn about all different kinds of people and places and we do this a lot by eating different food.I like to cook and one of my cooking classes was about chinese food.  it was fun to make and really good too.  I learned to cook Long LIfe Noodles, dumplings and mango pudding. i made it for my family at home too so i could practice and we could all learn about the holiday. me and my brothers liked the chop sticks.

 chinese new year is February 16th.  it is their biggest holidy. My mom is going to copy and paste the recipes so you can make your own food for chinese new year.

at cooking class

  • 8 ounces very thin long wheat-flour noodles (or brown rice noodles)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil + more if needed
  • 3 small cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1-2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce + more if needed
  • Sea salt and ground white pepper; to taste
  • diced green onions for garnish
  • sesame seeds for garnish

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and salt it generously. Add the noodles, stir, and cook for about 4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water and set aside in a large serving bowl.

  • In a separate small bowl, whisk together the sesame oil, garlic, soy sauce and salt and white pepper, to taste, until combined well. Pour the mixture over the noodles and toss well to coat. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt/pepper and/or soy sauce if necessary. Garnish with diced green onions and sesame seeds and serve immediately.

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 cup shredded green cabbage
  • 3 ounces shiitake mushrooms, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha*, or more, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 36 won ton wrappers
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil Soy sauce, for serving

  • In a large bowl, combine pork, cabbage, mushrooms, garlic, green onions, hoisin, ginger, sesame oil, Sriracha and white pepper

  • To assemble the dumplings, place wrappers on a work surface. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the pork mixture into the center of each wrapper. Using your finger, rub the edges of the wrappers with water. Fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape, pinching the edges to seal

  • Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add potstickers in a single layer and cook until golden and crisp, about 2-3 minutes per side.

  • Serve immediately with soy sauce, if desired


  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • pound frozen mango chunks
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • (1/4-ounce) packets unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup COLD water
  • cups mango puree (made with ingredients above; instructions are below)
  • cup heavy cream, chilled
  • tsp lime juicePlace 8 (6-ounce) ramekins (or cups) on a baking sheet; set aside.

  • MANGO PUREE: Place ¾ cup water and ½ cup sugar in a small saucepan over high heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved and mixture is boiling, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.Place frozen mango chunks in a blender and pour in the sugar mixture. Blend on medium-high until very smooth, about 1 minute.Pour through a fine mesh strainer set over a medium bowl and press the puree through with a rubber spatula. Discard any pulp, or stringy fibers. Measure 2 cups of the puree and set aside. (Save leftover puree for another use.)
  • MANGO PUDDING: Place 1¼ cups water in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil.Place ¾ cup sugar, the gelatin, and salt in a large mixing bowl, add the ½ cup COLD water and whisk to incorporate, about 30 seconds. Add boiling water and whisk until gelatin and sugar are dissolved, about 1 minute.Add the 2 cups of mango puree, heavy cream, and lime juice. Whisk to combine. Divide evenly amongst the ramekins/cups. Refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Product Review: Lug's Legendary Jerk Sauce

This is a product review. i receved free product to give my real opinion.

I have made wings with Lug's Jerk Honey Mango twice and its really really good.  It is sweet and a little spicy. me and two of my brothers like it a lot.

We really like to eat chicken wings but you can use if for a lot of other recipes too.  My Dad says the flavor reminds him of vacations in Jamayca.  my mom likes it too but she likes to put it on regular chicken without bones.

The recipe is really easy.  You just put Lug's Jerk Honey Mango on the chicken and then put it on the grill for about 10 minets each side.

It's been fun to learn how to cook on a grill.

These bottles would be great for Christmas for someone who likes different spicy sauces.
my mom said that the closest place to buy these in our area is McGonigles.

Watch my video on facebook for more tips.

Monday, July 17, 2017

helping the homeless in the heat

it will be hot in KC this week!  it made me think about people going thrugh homelessness agin.  Last year we made bags to hand out from our car to help the poor and homeless servive in the hot days.  We are going to make them again.  Here is what we put in the bags so you can make some too if you want to.  my mom is going to type the rest./

-----a note from mom :)----

I feel like this is sometimes an uncomfortable or controversial topic, but still worth mentioning.

I admittedly never know the best way to handle encounters with people experiencing homelessness.

People seem to pick one of two camps:
1. They give money, or,
2. They give nothing, for a variety of reasons, including fear, disdain for the practice of begging or a concern that their money would be used for something unsavory.

Anyway, in my awkwardness, I will continue…

Last summer Max and Sullivan became increasingly curious about the people who stand on curbs next to stoplights holding signs:  "Homeless.  Please help."

"Why aren’t we helping?!"  they'd asked. My go-to responses were: We donate to charities that help them.  Or, I don't have any cash on me.  And I'd briefly explain why some people experience difficult times,  and then the light would turn green and we were off. 

While visiting Chicago last summer, we were at yet another stoplight where we encountered an older man with a dog, holding a sign on a particularly hot day.  Sullivan yelled out the window to the gentleman..."DON'T WORRY...YOU CAN HAVE ALL THE MONEY IN MY PIGGY BANK!"  My heart broke and then swelled with pride for his selflessness.

My kids were wide-eyed and intently watching how I handled these situations and all they saw was ME not helping.  So I started to think about a tangible way to get them involved in helping and discovered this idea of handing out care packages.  

I figured the more "hands-on" they could be the better.  This is not just quick solution pulled from an adult’s wallet. It takes some time to put together and they’re made of things that kids understand, like snacks  for grumbling tummies and Band-Aids for scraped knees.
Max & Sully, circa Summer 2016
 I did some searching on what items are best to include and was very interested to find that some of the items I thought would be helpful actually are not 
(ie. mouthwash and soap are surprisingly on the "Do Not" list).

We found a good guideline here:

We included:
Sunblock, First Aid kit, antibacterial wipes, socks, travel mug, beef jerky snack, applesauce, Chapstick,
And a handwritten drawing/note from the kids that said “We wish you the best.”

The kids had a lot of fun shopping and picking out all of the items.
the boys packed and packed until we had a nice stash to keep in the car.
This obviously isn’t saving the world, but the kids sure think they are.  And I want them to always believe that they’re capable of making a difference.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Good stuff at Goodcents!

There are exciting new things to try at one of my favorite restaurants, Goodcents!  

There is rainbow bread for kids.  It is really yummy and looks cool but tastes like regular bread.  Also there are new healthy Sensible Sandwiches for adults like my mom.

We got invited to a special event at Goodcents to try their new sandwiches.  
my mom took these pictures for me
My Mom and Dad got to try the Sensible Sandwiches.  They said they tasted really good and had lots of meat on them.  I asked my mom what her favorite one was and she said it was the Chicago Beef.  I asked my Dad what he liked and he liked the Horseradish Beef.  They both said the Turkey Garden Club was their second favorite one.  My mom thinks I should mention that the new sandwiches are all under 500 calories each.
We all left feeling full.  We even got to choose a cookie before we left!

Thank you Goodcents Deli Fresh Subs!

We even went back already.  That's how much we liked the new menu choices.  Here are pictures from lunch last week.

written by Max
(spell check by mom) 

Here is the new Sensible menu we copied from the website.
The new Sensible menu features six sandwich varieties that are all under 500 calories, including: 
  •     Skinny Italian Club – roasted turkey, salami, tomato, lettuce, giardiniera
  •     Horseradish Beef – roast beef, cheddar, lettuce, onion, creamy horseradish
  •     Turkey & Cranberry – roasted turkey, cranberry relish, lettuce, onion, olive oil mayo
  •     Turkey Garden Club – roasted turkey, bell pepper, house-made sour cream cucumber spread, tomato, lettuce, onion
  •     Chicago-Style Beef – roast beef, giardiniera, tomato, lettuce, olive oil mayo
  •     Spicy Ham – ham, capicola, pepperjack, tomato, pickled jalapenos, spicy mustard
Go to your nearest Goodcents and try these new items soon!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Learn About | Summer Book Club

In the summertime my mom reads us chapter books at night and we get to stay up later.  We call it Summer Book Club.  This will be the third summer we have done Summer Book Club.  We get something fun to do at the end of all the books.

I'm excited to start Summer Book Club again.  We don't do chapter books during the school year because I'm not allowed to stay up late and I have to do book worm reading first and practice sight words so there is not enough time. I also think my mom is more tired to stay up to read long books.  This summer I will read part of the chapters to everyone and not just my mom because I learned to read in Kindergarten.

These are pictures of my favorite book clubs we have done before during other summers.

// Mouse & the Motorcycle + the movie + Ralph-the-Mouse's fav snacks \\
We got to eat snacks in our laundry basket motorcycles.
Ralph the Mouse loved peanut butter sandwiches and bacon delivered to his mouse hole in Room 215

// The Chocolate Touch + a trip to The Melting Pot for CHOCOLATE! \\

// Mr. Popper's Penguins + visiting penguins at the zoo //
{our first Book Club July 2014}

We are starting to read The BFG by Roald Dahl.  We started it at the end of last summer but had to stop because school started.  It was my mom's favorite book when she was in elementary school.  I'm excited that they are making a movie about the book so maybe we will get to go see it when we finish the book.

I want to invite any other kids that want to do Summer Book Club to do it with us.  We can read the same book and then do something fun like seeing the movie or have snacks together at a park or something.

-Max Murray
a note from mom:

Anyone who wants to join our Summer Book Club email or message me...Max is serious about wanting friends to join :)  I plan on throwing a couple small parties or outings together once the books are finished.  We're going to try to finish The BFG by July 1st.  **IF you do read this to your kids, though, know that you might want to censor some parts and a few questionable words.  It just depends on how old your kids are and what you're comfortable with.**

Also on our reading list this summer (more of my childhood favorites):
  • The Boxcar Children
  • Sideways Stories from Wayside School
  • The Indian in the Cupboard

Forcing my children down my own memory lane one book at a time ;)


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Learn About | Never giving up.

My Dad told me about the word perseverance.  It means that you never give up even if you want to quit trying.  Even if you're frustrated and can't do it right you need to keep going.

When things are not easy it feels like stopping is a good idea.  It makes me mad to keep trying when I can't get things right or when I'm tired. My brother Sullivan always tells me that "Murray's don't give up" because my Dad tells us that.  I didn't give up with reading and now I am good at it.

During soccer Sullivan felt like giving up every single game.  He only wanted to go to the snack bar and would stand in the middle of the field when he got tired of playing.  My Mom and Dad kept making him go to the games.

The last soccer game of the year was also the day of my Dad's race.  He told us that running is hard but he doesn't stop until he gets to the finish line.  He said it is a challenge.  He said he ran because he wanted to show us how to not stop when you want to stop.

So my mom took us to the finish line so we could see my Dad have perseverance.  He was tired and had a lot of sweat when he came across the line but we were proud of him and I think he was proud of himself too.  I think it helped Sullivan at his last soccer game.

Perseverance is still really hard to do even after I learned the word and saw Dad running across the finish line.  I still have to get reminded all the time that things are never easy the first time you try them.  I wish they were.

Here are pictures of my Dad running that my mom found on a website.

 Later that day Sullivan had his last soccer game and he played very good.
 He didn't give up once.

 He ran the entire time and didn't ask about snacks until after the game was over.
 I think he was proud of himself.
 I'm proud of myself for being good at soccer too.
- Max

Monday, January 11, 2016

Learn about | Brothers

I really like having brothers.  
They are nice and helpful and like to play the same things I do.  

My mom lets us all share a room except for Milo.  It's really fun and we like to be together a lot.  Sometimes we talk or throw our stuffed animals in bed but my mom still lets us stay together. Even if she has to remind us that it is bed time sometimes.

I feel lucky that I have brothers to be friends with.

Here are some things to learn about having brothers:
1) You need to share and be patient
2) It's nice to help them open their snacks
3) They sometimes make you really mad
4) They do a lot of nice things for you

These are pictures of us being brothers.

-Max Murray