Question from Quora: Parental Involvement

What is the biggest barrier to parental involvement in children’s education?

Getting parents to understand that their children still need them to be involved in their kid’s lives, even at school, and even in high school. We discovered that kids who had their parents involved as volunteers at school, felt more secure and did better in their schoolwork.

Questions on Quora: Parenting Classes

Should a couple receive parental training before starting a family?

I think so. Human beings don’t come with owner manuals, and each generation has new challenges that the previous generation didn’t have to deal with. Learning about child development and relationship skills can make it much easier. Even with that, there will those new challenges that we can’t even imagine right now. Having the right skills can make it much easier to cope with all of the changes that children and families will go through.

Recipe of the Day: Macaroni and Cheese

If there is one recipe that I’m known for it, would be macaroni and cheese. My recipe is an adaptation of my mom’s and grandmother’s recipes and I make it a lot. It’s easy to do, a little more time-consuming than opening a box of Kraft’s but tastes much better.

I have on a nephew who still hasn’t forgiven me for putting onions in my macaroni and cheese. Apparently, that is sacrilege.

Cindi’s Special Baked Macaroni and Cheese

2 cups of uncooked elbow macaroni
1/4 cup of butter
1 chopped onion
1/4 cup of flour
2 cups milk
8 to 10 ounces of grated Cheddar cheese
4 to 5 ounces of Velveeta cheese, cubed
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder or garlic clove, chopped or minced (optional)

Fill a 2-quart saucepan with cold water and a little salt. Bring to a boil and add macaroni, cook for about 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse and put aside. Melt butter in another saucepan. Add chopped onion (and optional chopped garlic) to melted butter and cook until translucent and slightly browned. Blend in flour and cook over low heat, stirring, until smooth and bubbly. Stir in milk and continue stirring until the sauce becomes thick and creamy. Remove from heat. Stir in grated cheese and cubed cheese and blend until melted. Rinse macaroni in hot water and drain again. Pour macaroni into a casserole dish. Add cheese sauce and mix. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, until hot and bubbly and slightly browned on top.

Recipe of the Day: Sesame Chicken a la Mode

Trying to figure out what to have for dinner one night, I made up this recipe. I call it Sesame Chicken a la Mode. A la mode originally meant “in the style of” and then it meant “on top of” (which is the way I’m using it), but most people think of it meaning “with ice cream”…. This is kind of a take on Beef Anyhow which is a take on Pork Inihaw, which I understand is a Filipino recipe. A friend gave me a recipe of Beef Anyhow 40 years ago.

Sesame Chicken a la Mode

5-8 chicken thighs

Mix 1/2 cup of soy sauce with a 1 tbsp of rice wine vinegar and 2 tbsp of brown sugar. Stir together and set aside.

Mix 1 cup flour, 1 tbsp minced garlic, 2 tbsp sesame seeds, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp Chinese five spice powder, a dash of cinnamon.

Dip chicken thighs into the soy sauce mixture and then in the flour mixture and place in one layer in a baking pan.

Cut up one whole onion into quarters and dip in the remaining soy sauce and place around the chicken thighs.

Bake at 375 for about 20-45 minutes, and then add a cup of water to slightly braise.

Cook up white rice according to package directions.

Shred half a head of iceburg lettuce.

Place a bed of lettuce on individual dinner plates.

Add a scoop of rice on top of the lettuce, and add some of the cooked onions on top of the rice.

Add a piece of the crispy cooked chicken on top of the rice and lettuce.

Add a dollop of sour cream, a quick splash of soy sauce (if you wish) and a some chopped green onions over the top of it all.

Serve with canned mandarin oranges.

TMI Tuesday: August 9, 2022: Smartphones

Photo by Lisa Fotios on
  1. Does your smartphone have a grip on you? In one hour, how often do you check your phone?
    a. I am glued to my phone. I check it every 1-2 minutes; it is satisfying.
    b. I check it 1-2 times per hour.
    c. I check my phone only when I get notifications, and I don’t get many.
    d. I check at lunch time and at the end of the day mostly, unless I get a notification.

B. My phone is not in my hand all the time; it sits on a rack next to my chair so that I can see if someone is calling or texting me. My niece and I video chat, but I prefer to do that on my laptop. I tap on the screen of my phone once an hour to check the weather and temp. I have “reminders” that beep and buzz once an hour. I can’t thumb type, so I hate texting on it; I’m much more used to a qwirky keyboard. Now on my laptop, I’m glued to it for 12 hours a day; reading, writing, researching, playing games, and shopping.

  1. Israeli spyware Pegasus* marketed and sold to other governments is used to spy on activists, journalists, and political leaders. Do you believe hackers are monitoring your smartphone?

I believe hackers monitor everything, not just our smartphones; computers, landlines, tablets, and TV’s. There is no such thing as privacy anymore.

  1. When in flight, on an airplane, do you put your phone in flight mode?

No, because I don’t fly anywhere and haven’t in over 20 years.

  1. What is the lock on your smartphone?
    a. facial recognition
    b. fingerprint
    c. numerical code
    d. pattern
    e. I don’t lock my phone

e. I don’t lock my phone; I know I should, but it’s such a pain to use.

  1. Do mobile phones interfere with your relationship(s)? How?

I hope not. When someone wants to talk, I put it away or put it down unless I’m taking a picture.

How to play TMI Tuesday: Copy the above TMI Tuesday questions to your webspace (i.e., a blog). Answer the questions there, then leave a comment below, on this blog post, so we’ll all know where to read your responses. Please don’t forget to link to tmituesdayblog from your website!

Happy TMI Tuesday!

Lluís Bussé

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