Friday, March 25, 2011

Call me crazy...

I am recording this  moment for when I need a good laugh.  THIS is why I love my job.
After a long day of herding cattle (a.k.a. taking my 2nd graders to the museum) we were on the bus and this conversation occurred between me and two students (we'll call them G and B)

G:  Hey Ms. A, do you loooove apples?
Me: You know I do.
G: So why don't you marry them?
Me: Ok.  I will.  Saturday.  In fact when I come to school on Monday, you'll have to start calling me Mrs. Apple.
B:  Ms. A that would be weird.  You watch a movie together and ______ (B makes pretends to be an apple completely motionless with a goofy face) , at dinner ______ (makes the face again), when the baby is born ______ (makes face again).
We all are cracking up.  B proceeds to share countless ways an apple could be a boring husband.
B: Ms. A, I'm not sure an apple will make a good husband.
G:  So, Ms. A, do you looooove carrots?
Me: You know I do.
G: So why don't you marry them?
Me: I can't.
G: Why not?
Me:  Cause I'm marrying the apple.
G: Oh.

And this is why I love teaching.  In no other profession could this conversation ever take place.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hospitality: I'm 24 and I still love to play house.

So... this weeks adventure starts with a coffee mug.  If you know me even a little bit then you might know that I am totally the "mi casa es su casa" kinda girl.  I love having people over.  I love baking.  I love sharing my home.  I learned this week however that that is not quite as easy to do when the person you are sharing with is not your biggest fan.  I was challenged to share my mug.  Apparently I am not so willing to share a delightful Christmas mug with you if you don't really like me.  It was difficult.  If we tested my heart, I would have failed at hospitality.   The rest of the week, however, I feel like I made up for my grinch-like heart as I have hosted two get-togethers in the past two nights.  

So, night one?  I had 8 guests for dinner.  Menu? Citrus chili chicken, pinneaple, chips and homemade chipotle salsa, black beans and these delectable orange finger cookies with dark chocolate (see pic below).  I had a legit pastry chef as a member of the party.  Yikes! Luckily she liked it, so yeah! In my next life, maybe I can be a chef after all...Yesssss.  If thats the case, I would like to have my chef hat bedazzled.  Please and thank you.

Night two? My girls came over for bible study. It was a win!  Menu?  Red pepper mango guacamole, spicy black bean dip, veggies, fruit, chips, and dark chocolate zucchini muffins (see pic below). 

We are not going to talk about the coffee I made for night two though... The fact is that I have only ever made coffee for me.  I may or may not have put double the amount of grind necessary to make a normal pot of coffee.  Details, people.  I just am trying to be super Bostonian or something.  Do not fret however, Saundie, coffee maker extraordinaire, has now properly informed me of how to correctly brew a pot of coffee for more than just me, myself and I.  She rocks.  She deserves this:

(and probably that amount for all of the playing house I have done this week...)

Peace, love and baking y'all!  And high-five my roommate next time you see her.  She's the bomb!

When God's people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Romans 12:13

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Cheesecake and life weren't made to be reduced fat

This is a tale about a time when I made a reduced fat cheesecake.  It is not a happy tale but a tale that must be told none-the-less.  Yesterday I was preparing for the arrival of a dear friend and decided to make a cheesecake.  I love cheesecake.  If you do not? I do not understand you.  That stuff is delish.  So, being that I am now more than ever a health nut, I made a reduced fat cheesecake from my America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family. 

Step number one in making a reduced fat cheesecake?  The crust (with about half the amount of butter).  Result? In five minutes less than the recipe recommended, the crust was over-browned nearing burnt.  I was upset.  In hindsight, I should have just started singing, "do do do, another one bites the dust" and laughed it off, but the perfectionist side of me was mourning my over-browned crust as a chucked it into the trash.  Luckily I had pre-made crusts on hand, but it is soooo not the same.

The actual filling was fun to make but in the shallow pre-made crusts, it definitely didn't need the recommended amount of time in the oven.  The cheesecakes turned out edible but deeeefinitely not photograph-able.  Fact: cheesecake is delicious because of all the things that make it bad for you.  It was not meant to be reduced fat.

Another thing that was not made to be reduced fat? Life.  I praise the LORD for grace.  I am so glad we get to have grace and the fact that it is unending is incomprehensible.  Thinking about the massive amounts of failure that occur on any given day, it is overwhelming to think about the overflow of grace we are given.  I have been meditating today on this quote however, "grace can lead to a life of mediocrity".  The reality is that just as cheesecake was never made to be reduced fat, grace was never made so that we could live a lukewarm life.  Grace should spur us on to glorify God all the more.  Mediocre, lukewarm, reduced fat are not words to describe life in all that it was meant to be.

"The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full." John 10:10

Something else I have stuck in my head?

This video...Enjoy!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pixie Dust Has Zero Calories and Other Things You Learn at Fairy School

Once upon a time in a not-so-far-away land, there lived a bunch of little munchkins.  These munchkins loved school. They loved learning math and the magical powers of numbers that combined and divided with ease.  In science they learned of carnivorous plants, which they imagined as dragons guarding some treasure of the forest within. What they loved most of all were the mystical characters that jumped off the pages and into their imaginations, of the villains, princes, princesses and ogres embedded into marvelous tales spritzed with pixie dust.  Then one day, as the students were engrossed in process explanation books (our typical "how to"), a student was whisked away into the land of fairies with a book all about fairy baking.  Her teacher peered over her shoulder and eagerly accepted the challenge to bake as a fairy would.  So that night, she packed her things and headed on the long journey to Fairyland Culinary School.  What she would encounter next would surprise her...

O.k. people, enough with the once-upon-a-time thing but seriously, this recipe came from a book in my classroom about throwing a fairy party with whimsical fairy-like treats that one of my students suggested I make.  Can you believe that it called for 2 cups of butter???? Hence, I quickly realized that fairies must have exceptional metabolisms.  I guess it makes sense, as they flit probably half way around the world every day. 

Sugar...we are not going to talk about it.   I tried my hardest not to keep track of everything that went into this.  Lets just say the caloric count was depressing.

Francine, my blender, hard at work.  Workin hard for the money, so hard for it honey.

This little ball of dough has a great destiny: bringing smiles to the faces of small children.

Making the whirly-twirly cookies was splendiforous.  I am a fan and although I am well aware that my technique was not the efficient one, baketherapy is not about efficiency.

My name is Enigo Montoya.  You killed my father, prepare to die! ...or just bake into a delicious treat.

Tada! And so regardless of the nutritional value of these swirly delights, the plan is consumption by the little munchkins of room 119.  Tomorrow, it is time for a fiesta!  Can't wait! Until next time, peace, love and BAKE!