new york state test breakfast and dinner menu

People have their own personal signs of when spring has arrived. Baseball. Flowers.

Our daffodils are brightening the day along with tiny purple crocuses.

Inside, the hibiscus tree is beginning to bloom. The day we spotted the first bud meant the tree that sat in a sunny corner in the den, was getting ready to start the blooming cycle again.

These bright pink flowers will continue to appear all summer long as the tree spends a vacation on the patio.

It was so nice to crack open long-shut windows and let some fresh air in the rooms of the house. The warm sunshine was welcomed by us and dog decided to stretch out in it and relax.

All of it means spring — but it also means state test time. The first time my older guy took the tests were in the third grade. Parents shared stories about stressed children who were nervous about the tests. For whatever reason, my guy didn’t seem to be bothered. He was ready to sharpen his pencil and tackle whatever they were sending his way.

To put a positive spin on this exam, that would be administered over a THREE-day period, he got a distraction because he was put in charge of the menu for breakfast and dinner. Instead of dreading the doom of a three-day exam, he couldn’t wait for the time to come.

He chose eggs, scrambled one day, sunny-side up on another. Steak and potatoes for dinner. Canadian bacon. Toast with butter. Cheeseburgers. Baked pasta. Whatever he wanted. He was in charge of the menu!

We followed the tradition right into middle-school this year. Again, it kept him focused on something positive that fueled his brain power. This year it was his favorite lasagna up first.

The order for lasagna also meant we bought our basil plants for the season. We got four plants for the basil pot that sits next to the grill.

The next night was fried chicken and mashed potatoes. The “bread crumbs” are ground-up corn flakes and it gives the chicken, that has been soaked in buttermilk, a crunchy outer layer.

He likes a well in the middle of his potatoes and the gravy pooled inside. A sprinkle of chives on top.

The next night he chose hamburgers and French fries with what the guys refer to as their favorite “French fry sauce.” It’s the aioli they love made with mayonnaise and ketchup and a blend of chives.

Since the tests were officially over, a movie for dinner was requested.

All of the warm weather and sunshine inspired us to spread out beach towels on the floor and have burgers and fries with a movie. We could hear a soccer practice going on in the park across the street, the sounds of tennis rackets hitting tennis balls, and the fresh air was drifting in through the windows. What movie was playing during our inside picnic and a movie?

We let this guy choose since, as the song in the movie says,……………. because we’re happy!

Be sure to check out my latest post over at Parade about kids’ snacks. http://parade.condenast.com/276137/aliceknisleymatthias-2/4-kids-snacks-that-may-not-be-as-healthy-as-you-think/

For more reading this weekend: http://www.makealivingwriting.com/

 

 

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