Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pork Roast and Vegetables with Biscuit Crust to make some simple and crazy delicious comfort food with your pork roast left-overs:

1 pork roast cooked all day in crock pot (seasoned with garlic and onion)
potatoes, carrots, and onions cooked with roast in crock pot with broth.

Cut pork into bite sized pieces.  Spoon all 'left-overs' into pie dish.  Top with cooked peas (or any other vegetables on hand), sprinkle with a bit of dry tapioca, salt & pepper, and chicken broth.

While vegetables & meat are heating in the pie dish in the oven or microwave, prepare biscuit dough.

My Biscuit Recipe
2 cups flour (1 cup whole wheat/ 1 cup white)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Add 1 stick unsalted butter (yup, it's that bad for you) chopped into small cubes
Pulse mixture until course meal forms.  
Add 2/3 cup of cream (or milk) and mix well.

Spoon biscuit dough on top of "pie."

Bake 20-25 minutes in 425 degree oven.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Shrimp cooked with tomatoes, a touch of cream, white wine and a hint of lemon. This pasta dish is so simple to make and is ready in about 15 minutes, perfect for a weeknight meal."

That's what "Gina" said about the Angel Hair with Shrimp and Tomato Sauce, and I need as many perfect weeknight meals as I can get.

  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • oregano
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley (I added fresh basil and oregano too)
  • 8 oz angel hair pasta (whole wheat, low carb or high fiber)
    Boil water for pasta. Cook according to package instructions.Meanwhile, season shrimp with salt and oregano. Cook shrimp and garlic in olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, wine, salt and pepper and cook an additional minute. Add half and half and cook 1 more minute.Add lemon juice and parsley and serve over pasta. Divide equally in 4 plates.

    Now that we are back into the familiar groove of school, I'm still feeling grateful and happy to be a teacher. I love summer, but I think I'd feel lucky in my job even without those three months off every year!

    Today was just one of those great days. I felt prepared for the day, more organized (than last year), confident in my role, and surrounded by lovable students excited to make music.

    Maya is loving Kindergarten. She seems to come home every day either exhausted, or incredibly (obnoxiously) hyper....and full of stories. Some stories come out immediately in the car, others just pop up over dinner, or bedtime...or days later. And some of her stories are just for me, conspiratorially whispered into my ear when Ryan is across the room. She finished her last vowel today in class. And with her mixture of Ryan's meticulous perfectionism...and my...distracted, free-spirited...creativity?'s a challenge sometimes to get all her schoolwork done in timely manner. But, every paper she does finish looks...impeccable. So our new motto is "Do your best, but GET IT DONE!"

    Sometimes I have to repeat that motto again and again...for me. Just to stay on task. Between the laundry and ironing, the house-cleaning, the dinners and the dishes, the online coursework and reading and communication, the lesson planning, and school paperwork, the Kindergarten papers, and the places to be, the doctors appointments, and the pretend play, the puzzles, and the storybook reading, and the important conversations and times with friends....I get a task at times, running frantically between jobs, never finishing any. And sometimes, I just end up on the couch, bewildered at where to start. Then there's always facebook! :)

    But this week, the crazy chaos is manageable. And quite fun. I love my new schedule. I miss the faces and the familiar routines, the musical fun, the shared history that my old teaching role provided for so many years. I will cherish my memories, and 'my kids' there forever. But I'm feeling much more settled, more rooted this year, both as a Mother and as a Strings Teacher. I love my days with just Sophie and our Tuesdays with just me and both girls. We go to ballet and gymnastics, and we play together and read and talk all day. I'm pretty lucky.

    And next weekend, my Love is taking me away for my belated birthday celebration. Two days and one night in Chicago alone. Just the anticipation is a perfectly delightful gift.

    Thursday, September 01, 2011

    Back to school.

    The world seems to be suddenly spinning at a faster pace.
    I think we'll settle into this new routine alright, but getting prepared is a little overwhelming at times, and I'm not quite as 'together' as I'd hoped at this point. Ahead of last year, definitely. Will I ever feel completely organized, prepared, and in control?

    I just turned in my first paper of the semester. And I think my online class is going to be manageable. I had been pretending that this course would actually just disappear from my agenda this year, though I need it to have a professional teaching license. I've been dragging my feet about becoming a student again and ignoring the existence of this one last class. But one class, without driving to Lansing all week... this will be fine. And it will be over before Christmas.

    Maya is heading to school this year too. Her backpack has been ready for weeks, and we're all pretty excited about Kindergarten. I'll post her first-day pictures soon!

    This time of year always comes with a powerful mixture of feelings... nervous anticipation, panic, sadness in mourning the loss of summer, a bit of regret at the plans left undone, relief for the fresh start, excitement for new routine and hope for big possibilities for growth and accomplishment.