Monday, June 28, 2010

Mission Impossible?

My sister got married on Saturday! A beautiful wedding on a beautiful day. The couple danced the night away with family and friends. They will be heading on a road trip to PA, SC, and a couple of other places. Yay!

On a more frustrating note, finding a place to rent seems impossible! Nothing seems to be working out. It's unbelievable the price people will charge for a crappy rental! We checked out a house yesterday that left us less than impressed. As we got out of the car we were hit with the smell of cigarette smoke. After walking around the house my husband and I literally felt it in our lungs. Maybe we're just not used to it, but this house seemed like it had the smoke pumping in! Then there's the houses which seem nice until you get to the one room that they didn't post pictures of. One house had a scary second floor bedroom that I swear I'd have to board up. It had floor to ceiling, wall to wall, dark wood furniture. I can't even explain the creepiness of this room other than to say that all I could think of was that movie The Haunting in CT. I know why they conveniently left pics of this room out in their advertisement!

We never thought it would be this difficult to rent a house. We joke that we'll end up in our parents' houses with a microwave, living out of suitcases. Joking...just joking...we NEED/HAVE to find somewhere to live!!!

Landlord Summer Salad
Our wonderful landlord,who we don't want to leave, makes this salad at picnics and gatherings. *I do not eat shrimp, however everyone else who eats this asks for the recipe.

5 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 cup Olive Oil
3/4 lb Orzo Pasta
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
2 lbs shrimp ( peeled and deveined)
1 cup minced scallions
1 cup fresh dill (chopped)
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley (chopped)
1 diced cucumber (unpeeled and seeded)
1/2 cup diced red onion
3/4 lb diced feta cheese

Cook orzo pasta according to package directions. Drain and pour into a large bowl. Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, 2 tsp salt, and 2 tsp pepper. Pour over hot pasta and stir well. Place shrimp on sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. Toss to combine and spread in single layer on sheet pan. Roast in oven for 5 to 6 minutes, until shrimp are cooked through. Don't overcook! Add shrimp, scallions, dill, parsley, cucumber, onion, 2 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper to orzo. Toss well. Add the feta and stir carefully. Set aside at room temp for 1 hour, to bring out flavors, or refrigerate over night.

Friday, June 25, 2010

New Digs

I went to visit NS yesterday. I felt like the transfer building, new rules, new state test, new people, new way of doing everything! Luckily, I think it will be a great place to work at. I get my own classroom with a smartboard, I have great classes ( Algebra 1 and Geometry), and people seem very nice. I can't wait to go in and start setting up the room. The only bad thing is that I can't have a coffee pot in my room. I'll have to walk all the way to the teacher's lounge for my java.(I was spoiled at OS). It's the price you pay for new digs!

An "it's too hot to turn the oven on" Dessert

Mixed Berry Dessert

3 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh orange rind
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup blackberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 cup frozen reduced-calorie whipped topping, thawed

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add berries, tossing gently. Spoon mixture into individual dessert dishes. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons whipped topping. Yield: 4 servings (1/2 cup each)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Goodbye Old School

Today was my last day working at Old School. I still feel like I'll be returning there in August. I packed up my classroom and cleaned out my desk. I even took home the coffee pot. It just somehow feels like a normal school year ending. I will miss the friends that I've made at OS and I hope that we all stay in touch. I've grown so much in the last five years and I hope that New School will be even better.

Last day snack...

Vanilla Almond Granola
Oven: 300
vegetable oil cooking spray
4 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup golden brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup craisins

Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray. Mix oats, almonds, brown sugar, salt, and ground cinnamon, and craisins in a large bowl.

Mix oil, honey, and sugar in saucepan on medium heat. Bring to a simmer, remove from heat, and mix in vanilla.

Pour over oat mixture and mix well. Spread granola on baking sheet and place in oven for 30 minutes. You can stir occasionally, while baking, if you prefer. I like to wait and separate after baking. Cool completely.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Keeping in Touch

Many changes have happened this year. Many changes are still happening. I'll be moving to a new state, starting a new job, finding and moving into a new home, making new friends, and attempting to keep in touch with my current friends. I hope this blog can help me keep in touch and keep track of all the new things.

Recipe from a great friend:
Kate's Vegan Ginger Cookies
Addictive spicy sweet cookies
Oven: 350F
4 tablespoons turbinado or demerrara sugar*
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup soy milk
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Grease 2 cookie sheets. Place turbinado sugar in small bowl. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. In a separate large bowl, mix oil, molasses, soy milk, sugar, and vanilla.

Pour dry ingredients into wet and combine well. Roll into 1-inch balls, flatten into a 1 1/2 in diameter disk, press cookie tops into turbinado sugar and place 1 inch apart sugar side up on a prepared cookie sheet.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes, let cool on cookie sheets for 3 to 5 minutes, transfer to cooling rack.