food and family in salt lake city

This year at my son’s school, I had the opportunity to be an art co-oper. I’ll be honest here, and confess I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I just picked a day that worked for my schedule. Little did I know that art co-opers planned ALL the art for the year. Let me just stop here, and tell you I appreciate art, I enjoy looking at it, pondering it, and owning it.  However, I have no back ground in it. I took an art class here or there, but I recall hardly a thing (kind of like Bio-Chemistry). So I (a dental hygienist) with another brave co-oper (a nurse educator) tackled 1st and 2nd grade art.

It was rocky in the beginning and we had no clue as to what we were doing. I think the kids could smell our fear and ate us up alive. We had 2 hours to fill and we struggled. At first, we did lots of crafts, but the kids would hurry through and we’d have an hour left to fill. So we began brainstorming the needs of the children. What were there interests? How can we get them focused? How the heck do we fill 2 whole hours?!


Eventually we found some focus with themes. The kids were studying Australia and Africa, so we went there. We studied the cultures, their way of life and tried to utilize the unique arts from those continents. We even got together with art co-opers from the other classes and began rotating the kids between classrooms to further educate the kids, and keep them moving. We found some excellent books from the library on how to teach children art. We learned (I say we, as in the kids and I), about Expressionism, Impressionism, and Abstract art. We explored our feelings and emotions through music, paper, paint, and clay. In the end it was still a big job, but I loved it. The kids (and I) learned and grew by leaps and bounds. Their art work showed it (mine did too, since I had to do all the examples).


Last week was our grand finale, it was the school’s Art Stroll. The school was hopping with kids, families, and friends. Every classroom was transformed into a unique and fun art gallery. I was so proud to show off all the kid’s art. It was a lot of hard work and planning, but it definitely paid off. A big thanks to my other art co-oper here because I couldn’t have done any of it without her help.

Right up until the end, we were readying the classroom for art stroll. I ran home to relax for just a bit, and made a quick dinner before I had to head back to the school for finishing touches. I made Roast Chicken with Spices.

This is one of my new favorites. I made it in about 5 minutes, put it in the oven, and left to finish up for Art Stroll. When I finally got home, I was starving. I heated this up and inhaled it. It was so tasty. I couldn’t believe how easy it was for the amount of flavor. If you like Asian, Indian, or Thai food, you’ll probably like this chicken. If you are not a fan of curry (mom) you might not enjoy this tasty little number. I really loved the onions that became sweet and carmelized. This recipe will now be one of my regulars, as for being an Art Co-oper next year, I’m still not quite sure.

Roast Chicken with Spices

(“Jamaican-Style Roasted Chicken” adapted from Frugle Foodies)

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
3 tablespoons curry powder
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (depending on your heat tolerance)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
6 carrots, cut into 1″ pieces
3 onions, sliced
1 (5-6 pound) roasting chicken (I actually used 1 whole chicken, pre-cut)

Mix together soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, curry,  cayenne, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Arrange carrots and onions around chicken in roasting pan. Rub marinade over chicken; bake in 350*F oven 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until juices run clear. Baste chicken half way through with sauce from pan. Serve over couscous or rice.


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