Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Fish Nuggets & Hush Puppies

I love discovering new recipes online.  I hardly use cookbooks (but I pin plenty of recipes on Pinterest). I'm always trying new recipes and I've decided to try to post more of our family's favorites on my blog this year!

Tonight I made delicious fish nuggets and hush puppies!  Hubby said they taste exactly like Long John Silver's.  I'd like to think they taste even better.  They were a big hit!!

I made both nuggets and hush puppies at the same time, frying them together in batches in the oil.

Fish Nuggets


3-4 fish fillets, I used swai fillets
3/4 cup flour
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 cup water
enough oil to fill a large skillet about 1 inch deep


Cut fish into 2-inch pieces.
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
Add water and stir until just combined.
Heat oil to between 360 and 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Coat each piece of fish in the batter and fry until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side.
Sprinkle lightly with salt.

Hush Puppies


1 small onion, minced
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. yellow cornmeal
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 large egg
1 c. milk


Combine the minced onion, flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, sugar, onion powder, and parsley in a bowl. Whisk the egg and milk in another bowl. Whisk the egg mixture into the flour mixture until just combined.
Heat oil to between 360 and 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Carefully drop tablespoonfuls of batter into the hot oil.  Fry about 4 minutes per side.  Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet using tongs or a slotted spoon. Sprinkle lightly with salt.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Review: Homeschool Planet

We have been off from school since before Thanksgiving when our school year ended.  In that time, we celebrated both the kids' birthdays, two major holidays, bought a house and moved!  It's been a bit hectic to say the least.  Now that we're getting settled at our new place, I’ve been spending some time working out our lesson plan for the coming school year: slotting in spelling lists and math assignments, divvying up science units and lining up books to read for both personal reading time and family read-aloud time.  And I’ve got JUST the tool to help me do it!

everything you need to organize your home
and homeschool in an easy-to-use online planner

Honestly, I don’t have time to learn new software at this point in my life.  And it’s not because I’m slow on the uptake when it comes to technology!  I’m pretty savvy!  But time is a precious commodity for a homeschool mama.  That’s the thing I’ve loved the most about Homeschool Planet; it’s completely intuitive!  I have been able to do everything I’ve wanted without struggling to figure out how.  

My favorite features

  • BOTH a Calendar View and a Planner View: ‘cause variety is the spice of life, right? Plus, sometimes you need to view information in different ways.
  • Separate logins for Miss M to view her own assignments and check them off when complete.  What better motivator than a chance to use the computer, right?
  • Color Coding: need I say more?  I love the wide range of colors to choose from!  They make the whole thing more lovely to look at and easier to navigate.
  • Blocking out the school year: like Amy at One Blessed Mama, I love being able to block out our Sabbath Schooling schedule (generally about 6 weeks on, 1 week off).  Homeschool Planet has made this supremely easy and even allowed me to make last minute adjustments without throwing all my lessons out of whack!  That right there?  That’s gold, baby!
  • Automatic Rescheduling: every homeschool mama knows she needs to be able to shift lessons when Life Happens.  Homeschool Planet makes this super simple.  With the click of a button you can reschedule a single assignment, merge it with another day, or shift the entire class down by a day (or more!)
  • Not limited to just lessons: one thing I don’t want to do is juggle a calendar for school, for church activities, for birthdays, etc.  I want everything in one place, thankyouverymuch.  Homeschool Planet makes it very easy to do that!  I can keep track of article deadlines, blog post due dates, dentist appointments, relatives’ birthdays, etc.

Try before you buy

No one wants to waste their money on a product that isn’t going to work for them.  

That’s why you can try Homeschool Planet free for 30 days.  They don’t even collect your credit card information, so there’s no risk!  Best of all, if you do decide to buy a subscription, all the information you have entered will be preserved! You will not lose your hard work!

Currently subscription prices are $69.95/year or $7.95/month.

I haven’t encountered any glitches or problems using Homeschool Planet, but if you do, I’ve heard wonderful things about their customer service including the ability to “roll back the clock” and restore your information going back a certain amount of time.

What didn't work for me

I have no particular love (or hate!) for the widgets along the sides of the planner.  They don't excite me in any way, nor do they particularly get in the way.  They're just...there.

I really don't like that the video starts playing when you go to the information page about Homeschool Planet.  But that doesn't affect daily use of the planner!

I definitely did not like the pink default scheme when I first started using the planner, but thankfully it wasn't difficult to find the setting to change that.

I have no use for the on-the-go features of Homeschool Planet.  I don't have a smartphone or a tablet, so those features remain untested and unused here on Sycamore Hill.  But for those of you who do use make use of this technology, my con may be your pro!

Overall, I find Homeschool Planet to be a very powerful and useful tool both for getting the big picture of our homeschool year and for managing the day-to-day lessons.  I expect to keep using it on a daily basis the rest of this year, if not beyond!

See what the rest of the Home & School Mosaics reviewers thought!