new school year, same apathy toward blogging

Since I last visited my own blog site, I’ve moved to another state and started teaching 9th grade for the 3rd year in a row. A whole bunch has happened that I’m SURE is blog-worthy.

I occasionally contract these grandiose ideas about how often I’m going to blog. (I call it “contracting grandiose ideas” because sometimes that’s how it feels- I NEED to be blogging, it’s that important…)

Then life gets in the way, the feeling doesn’t just get put on the back burner; it’s taken off the stove completely. When I go back and read what I’ve posted in the past, I get that fire in me again, but it eventually dies too.

I may as well post something worthwhile and tell you what I’m reading…

I just finished The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. It was chilling in most places and beautiful in some others.

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Now, I’m reading Finding Manana by Mirta Ojito because it was on the shelf in my classroom and I’d never read it. It’s a memoir of a Cuban refugee. I really like it so far.

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I’m also reading The Daylight Marriage by Heidi Pitlor because whatshouldireadnext.com told me I should. Oh, how I love that website!

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I think my next post will be a tribute to my artistic students’ awesome work. They hand me such beautiful pieces, there’s no reason not to share them with y’all.

‘Til then! 🙂

Turkey sausage skillet meal

I am super proud of myself for how closely I followed this recipe. This was last night’s supper.

Sausage Skillet Meal Recipe from Taste and Tell Blog

I did not use any onion, because you know, C is a hater. I used frozen broccoli and a fresh zucchini instead of the veggie medley. I did not use any milk, but I did add some plain yogurt and Laughing Cow cheese triangles. Also, parsley is, as my kids would say, “So extra!” I generally leave it out. We don’t need our food to look pretty. We eat way too fast.

Cooking the pasta with the meal is so convenient. I’m officially a fan. Try it if you haven’t yet. I wish I’d taken a picture of the final Skillet-Pasta-with-Sausage-Taste-and-Tell-1product. However, it looked fairly similar to the picture posted.
I hope you all try this. It is super simple and tastes yummy- definitely comfort food. Let me know what you think.

Book Update

It’s been a couple months since I posted about what I’m reading. I thought I’d catch everyone up…

I finished Kiera Cass’ Selection series. Happily Ever After is just as cheesy and sweet as we’d hope.

I re-read Davis Sedaris’ When You are Engulfed in Flames. Because greatness must sometimes be revisited. He is one of my favorite authors. He is hilarious and real and I want to be his best friend.

Last year, I read Gone Girl when that was all hyped up… before I watched the movie, which bytheway did not disappoint. And since I loved that so much, I frequently entered that title in to whatshouldireadnext.com and one of the top titles was always The Silent Wife by ASA Harrison. Well, I finally got around to reading that and it is wonderful. It has that same creep factor that Gone Girl did.

Lastly, I have been devouring Augusten Burrough’s work. I started with Running with Scissors last summer, I think. Just recently, I read Dry, which is his story of his battle with sobriety. It is eye-opening and shocking in all the right places.

Right now, I am reading both Possible Side Effects and Magical Thinking. They are both great. Both collections of short pieces with I LOVE.

 

I win!

I have recently been scouring the tomes of Pinterest for recipes that are carb-free (more often, carb-light) in an attempt to be a little healthier (and lose some of the “winter weight” I acquired). While I want carb-free, C still needs something substantial enough to satisfy a grown construction worker-sized appetite.

I found this recipe on the blog, Primavera Kitchen, for a Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet a while ago, but until this week have been too intimidated to try it. I followed it exactly, except that I omitted the onion and the parsley. Also, I sprinkled C’s with parmesan.

I didn’t take a picture of the finished product, but it seriously looked like the pictures posted with the recipe. Here’s a good one:

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C said, “I was concerned when you first described it. But this is a repeat.” LOVE that.

I tried.

I love the idea of a healthy snack that I can eat ALL of. And a sweet friend of mine had a test to study for on Wednesday night, so I figured I could keep some and share some of a healthy snack… I decided to make bite size healthy “muffins.”

I put that in quotes because, as it turned out, there was nothing muffin-like about them. Well, ok. They looked like muffins.

I used this recipe from a blog called The Lean Green Bean. Too cute. I bet when the LGB blogger makes them, they are great.

I failed.

C tried them, bless his heart. He hates telling me he doesn’t like anything I cook. His response: “Not your best, babe.” Thanks, Sweets.

On another note, I found a writing prompt I plan to give my 8th and 9th grade students:

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Here’s my attempt:

Accept defeat.
Be nice.
Call your mom.
Do your homework.
Envy no one.
Face your fears.
Grow from your failure.
Help Mom with the groceries.
Invite the nerdy kid.
Jump in first. You’ll look most confident.
Keep your promises.
Learn something new every day.
Make a good first impression.
Never fry bacon naked.
Open the door for old people.
Put your phone down.
Question authority… respectfully.
Remember Dad’s birthday.
Stand up for yourself.
Take only photographs. Leave only footprints.
Understand that life isn’t fair.
Value your family.
Watch out for falling rocks.
“Xpect” greatness.
Yield to pedestrians.
Z… is a hard letter. I’m stuck. If you come up with anything, feel free to comment. 🙂

The best pork chops

I can’t take really any credit for this recipe, as I searched Pinterest and found mostlyhomemademom.com‘s recipe. And of course didn’t follow it.

Her recipe calls for pork chops, ranch dressing, Italian bread crumbs, and Parmesan cheese.

I used Italian dressing instead of Ranch, and plain bread crumbs with my house season. But I did keep the Parmesan cheese! They turned out DELISH! C said, “Can you do this again, but with chicken? …this week?!” Love that.

We ate these with leftover mashed potatoes and stuffing. And can you believe, we forgot the applesauce! Oh well.

“cooking”

CHICKEN TACO SALADS

Ingredients:

  • frozen cooked chicken, cubed, thawed
  • taco seasoning
  • tortilla chips
  • lettuce
  • tomato
  • beans
  • shredded cheese

Directions:

  • Dump chicken into pan. Add taco seasoning. (I used about a table spoon for 2 chicken breasts, cooked, then cubed.) Cook on medium heat until chicken is warmed though.
  • At this point, do whatever you want… however, we like tortilla chips in a bowl, topped with shredded lettuce, tomato (or salsa), beans (refried pinto OR black), and shredded cheese. And quite a bit of hot sauce.

This was a great quick meal to throw together because I already had chicken cooked, just needing to be thawed.

And last night was a great night for an even simpler meal than usual. A repairman came to the house to fix our whiny dryer. David-the-dryer-repairman told me that he’s ordering a part to fix it… it will take 4-5 days and cost me about $75. I felt way too adult-like in this moment because of how excited I became (I may have shed a tear) that my dryer will be fixed in the next week.

It probably won’t end up costing me any less than it would have if we’d have just bought a new used one, however, we already own this one and I HATE our society’s disposable mentality. I wish I could say that it was my idea originally to have this one fixed, but it was actually at the insistence of a friend. And I’m so glad that’s what we’re doing.