Tuesday, July 31, 2012

No Bake Oatmeal Scotchies

Today I made Shugary Sweet's No Bake Oatmeal Scotchies.  I took them to my friends at the bank, post office, and school.  If I were to make this recipe again, I would use four cups of oats, as I think they were a bit too sweet.

This is a super quick recipe to make.  It would be great to do if you are in a hurry.  I had all the ingredients on hand in my pantry too.

Fluffer Nutter Blondies

Today I am making a treat for the nuggets at my friend's daycare.  They are getting Something Swanky's Fluffer Nutter Blondies.  I had all the ingredients to make this, so that is one of the reasons it won out.  I may have been to the grocery store every single day since I've been home.  Maybe.

I could have worked harder with the marshmallow creme to make a better presentation.  It was approved by the 4 and 5 year olds who ate it.

Impromptu Date

We went into Pierre to watch the newest Batman movie.  HH and I saw the previous one together when we were dating.  I was happy that he got to see it, as he has been wanting to for some time.  The movie was a bit too intense for me.  I normally fall asleep during movies, but this one I couldn't.  I read the last hour of the movie.

We then went to Wal-Mart to stock up on some pantry/baking staples.  I forgot just how different things are priced where I live.  I spent $81 and I got so much MORE than I am used to.  We made a note that we must start buying more in bulk when we are in bigger places. 

What I'm Reading

Chasing Francis:

A megachurch pastor quit his church, and found out there are more questions than answers, and that isn't always bad.

Evolving in Monkeytown:

This is my first post from my new MacBook Air!!!  I got it before I left Kentucky, but this is the first time I've fooled with it.  We both have IPhones, and we have an IPad, so I figure this won't be such a huge leap.  It is very user friendly, and I've been able to find out pretty much anything I need by typing, "How to ______ on a Mac."  I want to be able to use this more efficiently than I have previously used our phones and IPad.  

Monday, July 30, 2012

Potluck Sunday

We are having our potluck a week early because we have a summer intern who is heading back to Tennessee, and the pharmacist is moving to be with her husband in New Jersey.

Honey Cornbread Muffins

Don't let the look of regular cornbread muffins fool you, these things are out of this world!

Sunny Peaches and Cream Pie

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
6 TBSP butter, melted

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup Cool Whip, thawed

1 pkg (3 oz) Peach Jello
1 pkg (3 oz) cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
1 1/4 cups water
2 cups sliced peeled freshpeaches or canned sliced peaches

1.  In a bowl, mix cracker crumbs and sugar; stir in butter.  Press onto bottom and up sides of 9 in pie plate.  Bake at s for 6-8 minutes or until lightly browned.  Let cool on wire rack.

2.  For filling, in a small bowl, mix cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until blended.  Fold in whipped topping.  Carefully spread over crust; refrigerate until set.

3.  For topping, in a small saucepan, combine gelatin and pudding mix; stir in water.  Bring just to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring constantly; remove from the heat.  Cool 5 minutes.  Arrange peach slices over filling.  Spoon gelatin mixture over peaches.  Refrigerate for 4 hours or until chilled.

Almond and Apple Wild Rice Salad

1 1/2 cups uncooked wild rice
2 medium apples, chopped
2 Tbsp plus 1/2 cup orange juice
4 tsp olive oil
4 tsp red wine vinegar
1 TBSP honey
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
2 celery ribs
1/2 cup unblanced almonds

(I also added halved grapes and cubed cheddar cheese.)

1.  Cook wild rice according to package directions.  Transfer to a large bowl; cool completely.

2.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl, toss apples with 2 TBSP orange juice.  In another bowl, whisk the remaini, oil, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper.

3.  Add apples and celery to rice.  Drizzle witbine.  Refrigerate, covered, until chilled.  Sprinkle with almonds.  If desired, serve with toppings (grapes and cheddar cheese).

This dish was amazing.  The blend of ingredients was very different, and not something that you would "think" would go together, but it worked very well.  I came home with part of this dish, but I knew some people wouldn't try it because of the risk factor.  Those who did eat it, enjoyed it.

Warm Bean Dip and Lemon Brownies

This evening we went to a cookout for the summer intern who will be leaving in the morning to head back to Tennessee.  

I brought:

Lemon Brownies
I love the Pampered Chef individual brownie tin.  I bought it back in April, but this is the first time that I've used it.  They look so uniform and more professional.
Warm Bean Dip
(with tortilla chips)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
2 cans (16 ounces each) refried beans
1 packet taco seasoning
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups monterey jack cheese, shredded
green onions
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix together cream cheese and sour cream in a large bowl.  Mix in refried beans until combined.  Stir in taco seasoning.
2.  Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with cooking spray.  Spread mixture evenly into the bottom of the baking dish.  Sprinkle the top with both cheeses.
3.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and slightly browned.  Garnish with green onions.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Cooking Decorating with Kiddos

I had two awesome helpers today, Cameron and Precious to assist in making "Lego Cookies."  I had the cookies made, and they were the decorators. 

We also made Oreo Olympic Medal Treats.

Celebration and a Home Cooked Dinner

HH worked to help load the UHaul for the pharamcist who is leaving.  I watched my friend's kids (and created stuff with them).  We had a celebratory lunch as a big group.

For dinner, I was itching to try:
Aunt Sissy's Poppy Seed Chicken (served with wild rice)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Back Home and Ready to GO!

It feels so good to be HOME.  I've enjoyed being with my family, but I was counting down the seconds to coming back home to HH and the life we have created here.

Yesterday, I printed off a ton of recipes that I've had my eye on (about seventy five) over the summer.  I was ready to get back in the cooking groove.

HH has been living on Campbell's Chunky Soup, Dairy Queen, Subway, and the generosity of these church groups who feel sorry for him since his wife is out of town.  I had just the recipe to welcome him back...

Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta (Chef in Training)

I used diced ham from the store, and crumbled bacon to save on prep time.  I've not cooked much with Swiss cheese, but I like it.  I might look for more recipes with it.

Spice Chai Latte Cake Mix Cookies with Vanilla Cream Frosting (Eat at Home)

I had some Spiced Chai Latte Mix from Trader Joes, and it worked great with this recipe.  It made a ton of cookies, so I was able to share it with several people.  I took some to my friend who owns the daycare, and her adult son said, "Let's just tell dad their wasn't enough."

Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake

This looked amazing, but was a giveaway to our new friends.  I loved the sugar crystals that I bought, and I think they added a pop (or a very Starbucks look) to the final product.

The best part was being with HH last night driving around taking the goodies to our friends.  I love this man to the moon and back!  He is always encouraging to me, and breathes life into my spirit.  I think I could live almost anywhere with him.

Today brings catching up on things at a very leisurely pace.  I've got some bills to be paid, a few items to put away, etc.  Nothing will be done in a hurried fashion. 

I am going to go back to my classroom to start setting up on August 6th.  I will give myself a week to do that.  Then the following week is jam packed with meetings (three days of which I get paid extra for!). 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Graduate Class

This graduate class has been one of the most challenging things that I have done.  I was a co-teacher of the class, and I worked really hard to help make the ideas relevant to the teachers.  I wanted them to be able to apply what they learned to their classroom this fall.

 My mom, sister, and I did an art class.  Here my sister and I are showing off our final products. 

Books I'm Reading

I read this for the class I taught.  It was a very good read for those who work in urban/rural poor settings.

I'm not very far through this book, but wow was Bernie a master liar. 

Ever deal much with a tough relationship?  This book is a great resource.  It challenged me in ways I am perhaps not ready (or too stubborn) to grow.

This is a follow up book about the stories that people lived after reading Same Kind of Different as Me.  Sweetness indeed.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Tomorrow's THE Big Day!

I've been in Powerpoint Wonderland....ha!

Starting tomorrow, I'm co-teaching this graduate class.  (Not writing the name, because I don't want to be found via Google search.) It feels awesome, because I took this class in 2005, and I can't imagine that I've learned enough stuff to be considered the teacher leader.  I am such a reading nerd though.  I totally pre-order reading teaching books.

I've finished my Literature Circles and Building and Maintaining a Classroom Library powerpoints.  I'm about 75% done with my Independent Reading powerpoint.  The trick is that I've had to work at coming from different angles, as my topics are not new topics, but ones that are really important.

Tomorrow night, I'll be working on What Matters for Struggling Readers powerpoint.  Then, I will work on fine tuning my demo lessons for later on in the week. 

My sister got engaged on Saturday.  For those who have followed the blog for some time, you know her husband passed away in February 2011 from a traumatic brain injury, after almost 4 months in a coma.  I'll try to post a picture of them.  He is a Navy recruiter, and seems to think she hangs the moon.  Wedding plans are being made, and they are looking at around March/April next year.

Friday, July 6, 2012

More of the West

Awe....HH is so sweet!

Devil's Tower National Monument (Wyoming)

The world famous Wall Drug. 

The Badlands