Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sesame Chicken and Tofu

Nom Nom I think its time for another food post.

Today J and I went for our normal shopping for groceries for the week and we couldn't decide what we wanted for dinner.  J was indecisive and I wasn't really hungry at the time so I wasn't really hungry for anything.  J said to me that we should make the sesame chicken recipe that we tried a couple weeks ago.  I was up for anything so I agreed and boy am I happy that we did!

 Now if you don't know me then let me start off by saying that I love the Food Network Magazine.  I've only started reading it in the past few months but I love going to Barnes and Noble and finding a new one on the stands.  When I get home I read it once or twice through before I rip out the pages of recipes I like and put them in my binder full of recipes that I've found that I either want to try or I've tried and they are keepers.  A couple of weeks ago I pulled out this recipe for a healthier version of sesame chicken.  It was absolutely delicious, of course not exactly like take out, but a pretty darn good replacement for it!

Today J and I decided to change it up a bit and it was still delicious.  We opted for no snow peas this time around and added an entire block of firm tofu .  Also, J and I tend to eat white rice over brown rice (I know, I know... we need to fix that) and I didn't really see the point of adding sesame seeds.  Let me tell you this was soooo good!  We had barely any leftovers (we doubled the recipe from last time to account for the tofu and a little bit larger portion of chicken) and the tofu added the perfect texture to the meal.  To be honest, I never was into tofu until I met J and he showed me what good tofu is supposed to taste like, so I highly recommend that even if you've only had tofu once before and didn't like it that you try it again in this recipe.  You can find the recipe for this great dish at the Food Network Magazine website (if you click it will send you right to the recipe).

Mmm looks like its dinner time!

Don't forget the rice!

So delicious!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Well Hello Again

Geez, it has been ages since I've posted on here.  I really thought that I would have the time to do more posting on here during my student teaching, but due to planning, coursework and the journal I'm required to keep about my teaching experience I haven't had any time.

I can't believe I'm finished the first placement of my student teaching internship.  It feels like I entered the classroom just the other day.  My time in the second grade was truly amazing.  I have my highs and my lows but ultimately the entire experience showed me how much I would love to be teaching in the younger grades.  The kids are just so amazing and it is just a truly rewarding experience to know that you are really setting up students for future success in school.  My students made me so sad to leave, on my last day they made me this compliment quilt

which is something they do for the star student each week.  They each make a 5x5 piece of paper with a compliment about that person and a picture.  Then we attach them all together to make the quilt.  Here are some of my favorites:


I almost received a handful of pictures and cards before I left from some of my favorite students.  Boy oh boy this is making me miss them right now.

Ah they were such a great group of kids!

Anyway I just finished my first week in the sixth grade and the kids and the classroom environment are totally different.  I'm having a hard time in making the transition from one grade to another.  I don't mind the sixth grade, but I would've rather stayed in the second grade and finished with my class.  Oh well, I can't dwell on it too much.  My first lesson is on Monday and it is weird because teaching one lesson means that I am teaching 4 classes! Yikes!  I'm interested to see whether the students will take to me or not.  Also...instead of having 22 names to remember I now have roughly 120 students whose names I have to remember.  Wish me luck with that.

On a side note, J made us fish and chips last night.  It was sooooo good!! When I was younger you couldn't get me to go near any fish other than salmon.  Fish sticks made me feel sick and I couldn't be near the smell of tartar sauce.  Now, however, my taste buds have clearly changed and I am more than happy to eat or try any type of fish and smother it with tartar sauce.  

Cod was on sale at our local Stop and Shop so we picked some up and right by the fish was McCormicks Beer Batter (which we used beer instead of water in) and yum yum yum....  The fish tasted like it was from a restaurant.  The only flaw to our meal was that we didn't have fries and instead we had actual potato chips which wasn't bad but wasn't great.  Here are some pictures of J's awesome fish.

Nom Nom.  I highly suggest trying making your own fish and chips at home.

p.s. The only bad part about making fish and chips at home is that our apartment still smells like fish today...I've been cleaning to hopefully remove whatever is left of the smell.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

New Recipe: Sweet Potato Gnocchi

So the other day I finally had the opportunity to make the recipe I saw on The Foodie Scientist.  I had really been wanting to try it because J and I are both suckers for sweet potatoes.  Except usually we prefer them with brown sugar and butter (real healthy I know).  I thought that this recipe sounded delicious and worth a shot.

Gnocchi dough
I finally had a whole day on Friday to make these, believe me when they say you need 2.5-3 hours to make these they mean it.  The process of making the dough is not complicated, but you do have to be able to cook the potatoes for an hour and have time to make all the individual gnocchi which takes a decent amount of time.

Individual gnocchi before ridges are formed.
 I'm not a big fan of sage and to be honest I didn't feel like searching for chestnuts at the grocery store so my final product was only cooked in butter sauce and covered with some Parmesan.  Next time (because I froze half of the batch to see how they would cook up after being frozen) I will definitely try a different sauce.  While the gnocchi had a great texture, they weren't as flavorful as I was expecting them to be so maybe next time I'll pair them with some pesto sauce or some type of cream sauce.
They smelled delicious while they were cooking...mmm.

Finished product, may not look like a lot but it was filling.
I would absolutely make this again, but maybe with J's help because it was definitely tiring.  Oh and ps wear an apron!  Unless you have a huge counter space (which I do not ), you will most likely end up like this at the end of making the gnocchi.
Flour everywhere!
For me, an entire batch made roughly 165 gnocchi.

I'm off to run some errands.  Enjoy the beautiful day!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Lions and Tigers and Bears...oh my!

Today was one of those awesome days where J and I both have off from work, me a long weekend from school and J the first day off in almost a week.  The weather was PERFECT, not too hot, not too cool and a perfect end of the summer breeze.  Can you guess how we decided to spend it?  I'll give you one guess...
That's my name right there...sssssee?
Okay maybe one more guess...
I'm a year old but I'm still itsy bitsy.
Okay if you haven't figured it out, we went to the zoo!  I haven't been the Philadelphia Zoo since my cousins were little if not longer...they are both still relatively little @ 13 and 15 (i think...ha ha such a bad cousin here).  And let me tell you, being at the zoo I reverted to my 7 year old self...I couldn't wait to see the 3 month old giraffe and the elephants (which are sadly no longer at the zoo due to their inability to raise funding to create a larger and more updated habitat).

Even though J and I have been together for almost 4 years, it is one of the places that I went to as a child that I've never taken him to (along with the Camden Aquarium).  There are still so many places that I have yet to take him.  Its also fun when we go visit his family in California and he's the one showing me around.  It is one of the things I love most about our relationship, that he's from one coast and I'm from another, we get to do so many new and exciting things.

Anyway...back to the zoo. There were so many awesome exhibits that looked to be new and revamped.  Currently there is a Lego exhibit going on that is kind of cool (although I'd prefer to see real animals if I'm going to be at the zoo) where near a dozen or so animal exhibits there would be a Lego creation of the animal. Pretty nifty.
It took 1,100 hours to make.

Also, there were so many baby animals: orangutan, giraffe, turtles, kangaroo, and many more that we weren't even able to see because they were that new to the zoo.  You can't help but be in awe of the adorableness of these babies. 
This little one is around 3 months old.
I highly recommend taking a trip to the Philadelphia Zoo if you have the opportunity or live in the area.  Even on a crowded day like today (believe me with the nice weather and it being Labor Day Weekend there was a pretty large crowd), the zoo never felt overwhelming and it was a nice relaxing stroll.  I can't wait to take my own kids there one day...

Later Gators!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lazy Day

So last night was my official last day at the retail store I've been working at for the past two years.  It really didn't feel like I was truly leaving the store, maybe because it is possible I will go back after my internship or because I'll be seeing some of the girls Wednesday night because one of the girls is also leaving the store (but she's actually moving away).

I can't tell you how lucky I've been.  When I used to work at the swim club I worked with some really great people, in fact, some of my best friends.  When I left there and had to find a new job near school I really wondered how anywhere would live up to the fun times I had at the pool.  While working at the store blew...I mean seriously you think going from food industry to retail you'll deal with less picky people but they're even worse in retail, the people I worked with were fantastic.  A lot of employees came in and out of the store, but there were people that I worked with that I hope to know a long time from now, they are fantastic people.  I only hope I have more luck throughout my internship and hopefully the rest of my career.

Today is my only day off before the beginning of my internship.  The kids don't come in until the 7th, but we've got to get the classroom together before they come in.  So today I'm being lazy before the running around and keeping up with second graders begins.  Other than running over to the gym in a little bit I only intend on doing some reading and knitting the rest of the day.  Oh and making some pizza for dinner (yum yum yum).

Here are some pictures of the baby blanket I'm making for J's nephew that is due in January!
This is what it looked like in the beginning.
This is what the almost finished product looks like.
All I have left to do is weave in these ends.
What the front looks like.

What the back side looks like.
 Off to the gym!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Nom Nom

Found these adorable cookies during a search for new dinner cute!  I just recently tried using royal icing and find it to be really cool, but an odd flavor and texture.  It kind of reminds me of the frosting on top of frosted Poptarts (which I was never crazy about, unfrosted all the way!) but the taste is just eh.  J really likes the icing so if I decide to make them for an event I'm sure others will like them.  The possibilities with this icing are endless, I'm hoping to make some marbled looking ones by using sponges and food coloring soon, I'll be sure to put up pictures when I do.


Today is a beautiful, sunny day off from work, but instead of relaxing outdoors I'm using the day to do the normal cleaning of the apartment and piles of laundry that have taken over J's closet.  J has decided to take his chances with his friend Paul and try to buy tickets off of someone at the Barclays today.  J loves golf and Tiger Woods so he's willing to get up at 6am to go watch.  I went with him last year to the practice round of the US Open and it was an interesting experience, but honestly not my cup of tea so I decided to sit this one out.

Since Fall is quickly approaching (Yes!) I'm starting to see fall recipes pop up on some of my favorite blogs...butternut squash soup and sweet potato gnocchi anyone?  I'm going to be making a little folder of recipes I want to try so that when Jeremy and I are indecisive about what we want to buy for dinners each week I can pull out something new for us to try.

Also, I'm on a mission to find items for the room bulletin board for the second grade classroom I'm working with.  My cooperating teacher wants a surf-themed board so I'm looking for surfboard, palm tree, and seashell templates, as well as anything else I can get my hands on.

Other things on my to do list for today:
-Read parts of The Morning Meeting Book, this is my first responsibility in the 2nd grade classroom.
-Work on finishing the baby blanket I'm making for E and C's baby (Due in January!) by weaving the ends into the blanket.  I'll post finished pictures of it another day.
-Figure out something I can do to decorate our bedroom wall that does not involve painting it or putting any sorts of holes in it.


Thursday, August 26, 2010


With less than two weeks until my first day of student teaching I've decided to enter the blogging world.  I can't promise that it will be updated very often, but I do promise to share what I experience as a student teacher in both the 2nd and 6th grade.

After two years of working in a clothing retail store I'm ecstatic to be leaving and begin working towards my actual career.  I'm interested to see what I'll be able to accomplish now that I'm essentially working a 9-5 job.  I know that people get very tired of working the same 9-5 job every day but I'm a sucker for routine and thus I think it will be enjoyable.  Also, I will not miss working a shift that is supposed to get me out at 9:30pm and I don't even get home to eat dinner until 10:45pm (talk about unhealthy).  However, I will miss getting a paycheck as student teaching internships (at least in NJ) do not pay and I will have to live off of what I saved during the summer for the next 3 months (that includes food, gifts for the holidays, an anniversary, etc..).  

I'm also extremely excited to begin teaching!  I keep getting nervous about the whole experience but I know that it is going to be awesome.  My cooperating teacher is fantastic already (we haven't even worked together yet!) and is handing off a bunch of crafty projects to me in order to get the classroom set up.  Talk about the perfect task for me!  I have so many ideas running through my head already!

So essentially this blog will be my experiences of teaching, cooking, crafting and whatever I can get my hands into with my weekends off (when I'm not writing lesson plans and doing work for my Graduate classes of course).

Well J is slowly falling asleep in front of his computer so I guess that is my cue to call it a night.