Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What's for dinner? (III)

These are the most amazing vegan stuffed shells ever.  Seriously.  If you need proof Andy ate them.  EVEN AFTER I TOLD HIM THEY HAD TOFU IN THEM.  And he said they were good.  And he ate seconds. And he took leftovers for lunch the next day.

You would never know they had tofu in them.  I don't have an intense hatred of all things tofu as Andy does, so that's not necessarily a deterrent for me, but I do like real cheese.  Generally I find vegan things that try to imitate cheese fail.  This one succeeded in a major way.

Vegan Stuffed Shells

This recipe comes from the Chloe's Kitchen cookbook, but you can check out her website here, and there are some similar recipes available for free.  If you ask me, this cookbook is worth it.  I have only made one recipe from it that was not well liked.  One.  Not bad.  The majority of the cookbooks I purchase I make one recipe from, and it turns out ok.  Then the book just ends up collecting dust on the bookshelf.  This one is in my kitchen and covered in food stains, because it's awesome.

What are you having for dinner tonight?

Monday, September 24, 2012

"Miss, what color are your pants?"

For the record this conversation actually happened:

Student:  Miss, I have a question.
Me: Yes?
S:  It's going to sound really stupid.
Me:  There's no such thing as a stupid question.
S:  Ok . . . um, Miss, what color are your pants?
Me:  What?
S:  Like, they're not red, but not brown either . . .
Me:  They're maroon.
S:  What's that?
Me:  A color.  It's what color these pants are.
S:  No, that's not a color.
Me:  It is, do you want to look it up in the dictionary.
S:  No Miss.  I guess I believe you.

Outfit 9.20.12

I'm Wearing:
Jacket - Charlotte Russe
T-Shirt - JCrew
Pants - New York & Company
Boots - Clarks

I'm standing kind of funny because I splattered coffee all over the right side of my body.  Hopefully it will come out.  If not this jacket is at least half the age of my students so I wouldn't be devastated if it met it's demise due to beverage stains.

What is your most bizarre colored piece of clothing?  Do people comment when you wear it?  I didn't consider these pants to be that out of the ordinary, but they gave me an opportunity to teach something other than history to my students.

Friday, September 21, 2012

What's for Dinner? (II)

Like every other blogger/human out there it seems I am eagerly anticipating fall weather.  I feel sorry for people that don't live somewhere with seasons.  There are many things I look forward to about fall, one of those things is food.

Now don't get me wrong, I love pumpkins and pumpkin based foods.  However, when you are sick of all the fall pumpkin foods and want some real good comfort food for a lazy night hanging around home watching netflix this is what you should make.  If you're not sick of pumpkin stuff I bet this would go awesome with a pumpkin beer . . .

Chickpea and Dumpling Soup

The Chickpea and Dumpling Soup recipe from Peas and Thank You has to be the epitome of comfort food. It totally tastes like something my grandmother would make.  The broth is flavorful and the texture of the dumplings is perfect.  Your kitchen will smell divine when you're cooking it.

I did think this fell a bit short in the soup department though.  The recipe only recommends 4 cups of vegetable stock.  I put in an extra cup of water just because I wanted to thin out the veggie stock flavor a bit.  Even with the extra cup the soup to dumpling ratio seemed a bit off.  We ended up with some extra dumplings we tossed because we didn't have enough soup to go with them.  I think next time I'd do an additional 4 cups of water and just double the seasoning suggestions (again I'm not a big fan of the taste of vegetable stock/broth, you could easily do more stock if you wanted).

Despite a liquid shortage I'll definitely be making this again.  I predict this becoming a weekly meal once the winter hits.

What are you having for dinner tonight?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Weekend Highlights II

This weekend my parents came down to visit.  They're looking into moving closer to us, so Andy and I got to tag along while they looked at some houses.  We were fortunate that the weather was so nice.  It was a perfect fall weekend, so we brought them to visit one of our favorite places, Newburyport.

Newburyport w/ Andy

Newburyport w/ Mom & Dad

When we weren't out and about my parents thoroughly spoiled Thor.  He got a whole bunch of treats, presents, and non-stop attention.  He was pretty bummed out when they left.

Thor under the coffee table.

It was the perfect weekend following my first full week of school.  It's actually starting to feel like fall.  I felt like I couldn't get my head in the game for this school year because it still felt like summer.  Now that it's getting chillier out I feel even more excited for this school year . . . and wearing my boots with tights . . .

What did you do this weekend?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Opulent Raglan in Progress

At the beginning of the summer I started making a heavily cabled sweater from a pattern in Interweave magazine.  I had ordered a bunch of pink Wool of the Andes with the intention of making some kind of pullover, because I don't have any hand knit sweaters in that color.  I messed around with the gauge and sizing and began making this beautifully patterned sweater.

Dickinson Pullover in Progress

Although the cable pattern looked awesome something just didn't feel right about it.  I don't know if it was that I had altered the gauge/sizing from the original pattern, or that the pink was just too bold for a heavily cabled sweater, but I put the project on hold.

While poking around a bookstore I came across The Best of Knitscene and saw the Opulent Raglan pattern.  I instantly knew it would be perfect for the pink yarn.  The pattern is so simple and elegant, but not overwhelming in the bright pink.  A new pink pullover project began.

Opulent Raglan in Progress

So far this has been a simple top down knit.  The cable pattern is super easy.  I think I'm going to make some mods to the hemming on the bottom, but otherwise the pattern is perfect as is.  I'm so glad I found this pattern, I feel like it will give me the perfect pink cable sweater to add to my collection.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What's for Dinner? (I)

This school year I plan to really make an effort to cook dinner most nights of the week.  Since there are only two of us and most recipes are for 4 -6 people there are typically leftovers.  This means I have a lunch for the next day, and usually a way better lunch than whatever I'd be able to get from the school cafeteria.  I've been trying out some new recipes lately.  I'm a vegetarian, so everything I cook is meat free, and a lot of it is vegan.  It can be hit or miss with Andy, but this one was a major hit.

Quinoa Enchilada Garden Bake

The Garden Enchilada Bake from Peas and  Thank You is super quick and easy to make.  My version isn't vegan, I used real cheese, and I also swapped out the zucchini for corn.  After making enough zucchini baked goods to survive the zombie apocalypse I need a break from zucchini.  I also felt that corn was more fitting for the recipe.

Quinoa Enchilada Garden Bake

I used red quinoa, which I love the taste of.  If you're not a quinoa person you might want to use the regular kind.  Both Andy and I thought this was super awesome.  I might add some onions to it next time, but otherwise it was perfect.  The leftovers didn't last longer than 24 hours.

What are you having for dinner tonight?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Child 44

Child 44 (Leo Demidov #1)Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was totally the epitome of a good summer beach read, or ideal for bringing on the plane.  It's a quick, easy read.  The writing and character development is mediocre but the plot is pretty good.  There were plenty of plot twists.  Some of it was a bit predictable, but I wasn't able to guess exactly what was going to happen in the end.  I also enjoyed that this was set in Soviet Russia in the intermediary period between Stalin's death and Khrushchev solidifying his power. The historical details were generally broad and/or vague, but still interesting and seemed factual enough.  I'd recommend this book to anyone who likes Tom Clancy or Dan Brown novels, it had some similarities to both.

View all my reviews

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Outfit 9.6.12

Even though it's the third day of school it's the first day I got to meet one of my new classes.  I decided to break out the classic black skirt.  I'm predicting this is going to get worn at least once a week this school year.  It's so comfy, has pockets, and looks put together.

Outfit: 9.6.12

I'm Wearing:
Necklace - H&M
Earrings - Charlotte Russe
Skirt - Ann Taylor Loft
Sandals - Target

Picture 012

Since the outfit is a bit plain by itself I thought some bright jewelry would jazz it up a bit.  I think the jewelry also makes this outfit look "summery" but it still feels like summer here.  It's been super humid and sticky the past few days.  I keep seeing pictures of cardigans, tall boots, and pumpkin spice lattes.  I'm ready for fall, if only the temperature would agree.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

First Day of School Outfit

As I mentioned in my previous post I'm now going into my fifth year of teaching.  There are a few things I've learned about first day of school outfits in the past few years:
  1. What you wear does give students their first impressions of you, but so do many other things.  Don't assume students will think you're stern or low-key because of your clothing.
  2. Students can tell when you're uncomfortable, so don't wear anything you have to keep adjusting or is tight, etc.
  3. You're going to stand/walk way more than you anticipate (all those first day assemblies and escorting your class back and forth to the auditorium) so comfy shoes are key.
  4. It's probably going to be warm/humid (my school doesn't have AC) and you're going to be a little nervous/antsy/running around so don't wear anything that will show how sweaty you are (I made this mistake my first year).
With those things in mind, I picked out this outfit for my first day.

First Day of School 2012 - 2013!

I'm Wearing:
Blouse - New York & Company
Skirt - Ann Taylor Loft
Sandals - Target

It met all my requirements for a first day outfit, and I managed not to splatter anything on myself at lunch.  My first day activities went well and my students seem as eager to learn as overwhelmed freshmen can possibly be on their first day of high school.

Students and teachers - how much thought/effort do you put into your first day outfit? 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My Classroom!

Today is the first day the students return, so I decided to share a little bit about my classroom this year.

I'm beginning my fifth year of teaching.  Supposedly the fifth year is the "burn out" year.  I definitely do not feel burnt out.  If anything I feel even more excited about my job and the direction my teaching is going in.  However, my classroom was looking a bit burnt out.  I really hadn't updated anything in it since I moved my room two years ago.  Going into this year I really put a lot of effort into making my classroom both aesthetically pleasing and useful to the students.

This bulletin board is at the front of the room.  It has all the important vocabulary and unit questions for the topic we are currently studying.  Although I keep an assignment calendar on my class wiki and the students have a handout with all the due dates on it, I thought it won't hurt to put a calendar with due dates up front also.  Now they have multiple reminders and no excuses for not turning in their work on time!

Classroom 2012 - 2013

My "general school info" bulletin board.

Classroom 2012 - 2013

Last but not least, my layered curriculum bulletin board.  I'm especially excited about this one.  Since the layered curriculum approach allows students many assignment options I always have a ton of resources for every unit.  Usually I kind of plop them on the front table and they end becoming really disorderly.  Then students are constantly asking me where to find things.  It takes time away from them getting work done, and time away from me assisting them with more important matters.

I was trying to think of the best way to distribute information for their choice activities while keeping it orderly and allowing them to easily check out all the options available.  The folders on the bulletin board solved the problem.  Now all the materials can be easily and readily available.  No one needs to interrupt me checking in with students to ask where to find something.

Classroom 2012 - 2013

In addition to looking forward to my new classes and classroom set-up, I'm looking forward to this being my last semester of graduate school, and being advisor the senior class.  I can't believe they're seniors and graduating this year.  Time flies when you're having fun.

Teachers and students - what are you looking forward to most this school year?