Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I hope so, cause that is what I have in store for you today!
The weather may be wonderful and while I want to gallivant about in the mild fall air like my silly pups did on our walk this evening, I was inside sniffing and trying to appease 90 whinny high schoolers. But it's nearly Friday, so all is well.
You can tell I'm not feeling 100% just based on my meals today:
Breakfast was a mega green monster packed with a whole banana, tons of spinach, almond milk, and Naturally More PB.
For lunch I had a delicious bowl of butternut squash soup with greek yougurt and some of the Archer Farms "Handful of Everything" trail mix, that is SO good!
Dinner was about as classic as you can get, and even though I cooked this meal it was my Dad's request. Beanie Weenies and Mac n' Cheese. My beanie weenies are actually pretty healthy, since we use chicken dogs and plain canned beans to which I added ketchup, brown sugar, cayenne pepper and a splash of Dijon mustard. Pretty tasty, but I won't be craving this meal again.
Basic food equals a basic post. Have a great night everyone!
Love to all,
~a sleepy and semi-stuffy, Jess
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Between overdue data, IEP meetings, school improvement committee, trying to get BETA up and running and just keeping up with my normal classwork (grading, writing tests, quizzes, lecture notes, more grading, keeping the kids either awake or not killing each other, grading....oh and grading) I've been at school ALOT already this week. Oy.
In addition I think I'm fighting off a something...I'm just run down already and it's only Tuesday, boo.
I hope everyone is having a great week thus far! While I'm not blogging much I'm enjoying reading about your adventures!
In lieu of food I leave you with one of my favorite pictures of mine:
This is yet another picture from the road trip my girls and I took after we graduated (can't believe it will be 2 years come May!). I feel like I talk about this trip a lot, but it is really one of my favorite vacations of all time, and I'm dying to get back up to that area again soon.
Love to all,
~The "rebel" teacher, Jess
Sunday, September 27, 2009
I hope everyone is having a relaxing Sunday and has had a great weekend overall! My weekend started out as a "working" weekend but has ended up being pretty relaxing, whoot!
After a rough Friday with the brats, I mean students I was happy to come home, eat a snack plate of leftover's from the Thirty One party and then chill on the couch with the NetFlix delivery of Doubt and grade all my biology tests. Grading tests isn't too bad when you have a movie to distract you. Then this party animal went to bed. At 11pm. On the dot. Crazy. haha, I'm so lame. But it was AWESOME. Especially since I was up at 8:30am (some of you call that sleeping in, but I sure as heck don't!) to work on the storage shed. It had been 2 weeks since we last worked on it, due to conflicting schedules, so it was actually great to get back to work and after 4 hours of profuse sweating (Fall, my arse!) and inhaling more than a years worth of concrete dust, we are finished with phase one of the Abarnment! I promise to have a full recap out for your reading pleasure sometime this week! yay!
After such a successful day, I decided some celebrating in Gville was in order and texted all my "in town" ladies to see who was available for a Saturday dinner. My 'Stiner was game, as usual! (have I mentioned how wonderful it is living only 40 mins from her? Cause it's freaking fantastic!). So, after Mass I drove over to her supercute townhouse and after a long and lengthy discussion of options for dinner, we decided on Chopstix! And I'm totally kidding about the "long lengthy" part I think our convo when like this"
C: "Do you want want to go to Chopstix for dinner?"
J: "Hells Yeah!"
*Both run for the car as stomachs growl menacingly*
Because I totally say things like "Hells Yeah!" no, really I do! Just ask around!
I actually had never been to this restaurant, but I love "pan-Asian" restaurants, especially since I used to work in one, Freshman Year of college. Chopstix did not disappoint.
We started off with some Veggie Tempura:
This amazing plate of lightly fried vegetables included: eggplant, zucchini (my favorite!), huge broccoli florets, mushrooms (I got them both, since Christine is not a fan!) and a surprise treat of sweet potato. I love how light tempuras are, even though they are fried. (Thanks to Christine, for being the "hand model")
I also ordered the Crazy Gator Roll, which was Tuna, shrimp, avocado and masago... not sure what was "crazy" about it....to "share" but my partner in crime, I mean dinner, wasn't feeling it...so this little piggy ate the whole roll, minus one piece, herself... I was so busy chowing down I nearly forgot to take a picture....so yes, there were more than 3 pieces at one point! haha.
Some how, after all the lovely appetizers I was still able to munch on my wonderful entree of Vegetable and Tofu Rad Nar- which is pan fried wide noodles in a mildly hot and sour sauce.
I love going to Pan Asian places, since you can usually customize your meal....mine totally was, since the options were only Beef, Chicken or Seafood. I just asked if I could have veggies and tofu instead and it was awesome! I do wish it had a bit more of the "sour" aspect, but it was so good. And Huge! I ate maybe a 1/3 of this? And have now had some for lunch today (Sunday) and am taking the rest for lunch tomorrow (Monday).
Christine got the Chicken Pad Thai and has lunch for sure too! Any guesses on our bill? We got 2 noddle bowls, the tempura and a sushi roll all for 31 bucks! (plus tip of course). Maybe it's just me, but I think that is a fantastic value these days. If you live in the Gainesville Region check out Chopstix for sure!
Mom asked if I would do breakfast this morning...so seeing our abundance of bananas around the house as of late I figured some banana pancakes were in order. Plus fried eggs and sausage to keep the Papa Bear Happy.
While these weren't the best pancakes I've ever made (I just used the Bisquick recipe and then doctored it up with the bananas- 1 mashed plus extra for each cake, cinnamon and vanilla extract) the carmaizled bananas hit the spot.
As I said, leftovers were a tasty lunch, after an emergency run to my Mom's Elementary school to bootleg some copies, since my high school copier is down and out still and I NEEDED these tests copied. In repayment I rewired her computer and showed her some tricks on excel. We are both fairly computer savvy, but I'm more handy in Excel and she in Word/Publisher, so between the two of us we do ok! I would still love to take a class on Excel or just all of Microsoft Office...maybe I'll work that in when I go back for my masters.
I've also been snack-snacking on some Archer Farms "A Handful of Everything Mix"...this, like most Archer Farms products, is high quality at low cost and I really enjoy the mixture of nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate chips! Yummy.
Dinner was Sunday Classic, that we haven't had in a looooong time. BBQ "halfbaked" chicken, green beans and mushrooms, plus grilled potato and onion packets! Oh, so good. Now worries on the 1/2 baked...the chicken is cooked all the way through, Dad just splits whole chickens in half and grills them as is...this time basted in BBQ sauce.The potatoes really hit the spot though. It's such a simple dish to throw in with any grilling night. Just slice a whole backing potato and an onion and then layer the slices together, in the potato shape. Add a pat of butter if desired and wrap in foil..."bake" on the grill and serve up with a dollop of sour cream (or greek yogurt if you are me!).
Now I'm off to catch up on last week's episode of Glee and finish grading papers/writing lecture notes!
Love to all,
~A full and contented, Jess
PS. I was just laughing as I edited this. My "relaxing Sunday" was chockful of paper grading, notetaking, copymaking and computer moving....not what I used to consider relaxing at all!Here is a cute, if slightly blurry picture of Luna dog-to round out an overlong long post!
Remember those Tupperware parties in the early 90's? The perms, the high-waisted mum jeans and tucked in floral blouses? the chex mix and ham and cream cheese roll ups? Well, it's back, but way better.....
On Thursday my Mom and I c0-hosted a Thirty One party. Thirty One is a "bag" homesales party. They have tote bags, lunch bags, diaper bags, over-night bags, purses and all the other fun accessories that go along with travel, plus some other cool organizing stuff too. One of my Mom's best friends, Aunt Bronna (they say they are sisters, so I've always called Bronna, "Aunt") recently fell in love with the company and became a consultant, so we agreed to host her "debut" party.
Some of the products are really cool and I'm psyched to get my lunch box and organizing tote bag. Plus I have some great gift ideas now too!
Bronna doing her thang!
My Mom being a goon and "modeling" one of the purses...and now you know where I get my "gooniness" from!
My Gra and one of her neighbors came! (and a lot of other people...but I wasn't a good photographer)
And what is a party without snacks? (I forgot to take the before pictures...but here are the remains!)
Brownies! Yummmmmmmy. (we also had some sticky buns, but I wasn't digging those so much)
Shrimp Cocktail and a very fresh and tasty veggie tray with bleu cheese for dipping.
Unpictured included some cream cheese and olive spread, sliced cheeses-Cheddar, Swiss, and Pepper Jack plus an assortment of crackers.
My plate looked like this....or rather would have looked like this, I was just "grazing" on Thursday since I was being hostess also restocking snakies and keep the wine glasses full-just the way we like em!....this was my snack plate of a dinner on Friday night. Still yummy the next night!
Love to all,
~A bag party lovin', Jess
PS. Check out the great swag I got just for being a hostess! A keychain- which I totally needed for my school keys, plus a great post-it notepad and a pen! Looks like I'm geared up to spread some Operation Beautiful love around. I've been slacking and this is the perfect re-motivator!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Nothing terribly exciting going on. I'm so beyond swamped with work, it seems like everytime I take something off my todo list 4 things replace that one item! All the data that is required by the state is just a nightmare! But I am still really loving teaching and the best thing is I learn something new everyday, which is my goal in life...to never stop learning and growing. AND my "kids" are still pretty good mostly....I did get told by one of my students today that "You have really broad shoulders, Ms. M...." Um, thanks? All the better to play center on the football team? So random, and for those of you that haven't met me in person, I actually have rather narrow shoulders for the rest of my body....aren't high schoolers funny? Love it.
I have gotten out for a few runs, now that the rains have stopped and the ground is still nice and packed. They've been very slow (we are talking 13-14 min miles) but actually felt pretty good, which is my real goal...to enjoy running. I'm missing yoga like crazy, especially Denise and all the wonderful yogi's I practiced with at her studio, but I'm doing my own home practice to keep my spine and legs happy, and am still hoping to find a studio I enjoy. At the moment I'm just hoping to find one night a week I can try to attend classes. Yes, I work that much and yes, it is totally ridiculous!
And without further ado, here a some highlights of my recent eats.
Recovery Breakfast after a night of Stubbies brews, care off The Bagel Bakery! Ham, egg and Munster cheese on an everything bagel. I rarely eat bagels so this was a real treat. Also, I never thought I would say this, but a "energy" juice hit the spot much more than a coffee could have.
Kashi Go Lean waffle with almond butter, 1/2 a cut up peach and 0% Fage! Plus a scrambled egg, because it's not really breakfast in my book if it's missing eggs!Scrambled eggs with mushrooms...and ketchup, obviously!
Um, I have been eating more for lunch than just lemon hummus and wholegrain pita chips, I swear....I guess they just weren't photo worthy....that and sometimes I end up eating "lunch" as bites while the kids change classes.
I know I've been screaming that I'm porked out, but when my mom made one of my favorite comfort meals of smothered mushroom porkchops, rice and broccoli, well, let's just say this plate was veeeeery clean when I was done!
Some very tasty mushroom raviolis with saute' zucchini, peppers and onions with some marania sauce. These may have just been store bought Bertoli ravioli (in the cold case, fyi) but they were stellar!
Now I'm off to grade papers with the stars!
Love to all,
~ A progressively sillier, Jess
Saturday, September 19, 2009
I like to go light to dark when I'm drinking "craft" beers, it's a bit like starting with a light white wine if you are a wine drinkers so I knew I wanted to start my evening with a cider. I was excited to find out they had one on draft last night so the Ace Pear Cider was my first beverage of the evening.
It was a great cider, one of the best I've ever had. It has a lovely aroma that reminded me of apple blossoms (or perhaps that should be pear blossoms, since it's a pear cider? I've never smelled pear blossoms first hand so....)and fresh cut grass and was very light and refreshing with out leaving that sickly sweet feeling on my teeth like some ciders are prone to do. I would definitely have this again!
Next up was a Golden Pheasant Draft. I know I enjoyed this lovely glass, but I don't remember anything specific or special about it. Just a nice refreshing brew.
It turns out that both Christine and I were considering the same beer for our 3rd round of drinks and since she is often distrustful of "dark" beers I went ahead and ordered the Chimay Cinq Cents.
It came in a goblet, which made me very excited, because I'm a silly little girl when it comes to my beer coming in something other than a pint glass. (so, PS. I liked the tall boy that my Pheasant came in too!). I really enjoyed this beer and for some reason I was very entertained by the fact that it's brewed in an abbey....I guess I was getting a smidgen loopy at this point.
Next up actually got passed to me when Christine rejected it, lucky for all of us I enjoyed it and the wonderful bartenders took care of switching this Fuller's Extra Special Beer on to my tab instead.I started laughing though when Christine got served her replacement beer (mine is in the pint glass on the left, her's is in the globlet on the right), since it was much darker than the one she passed off to me. It all about personal taste though!
Now to be perfectly honest I should have just stopped with the Fullers ESB, but I had already picked out the Sam Smith Oatmeal Stout to be my last drink before I got passed the Fullers, and being the stubborn Irish Gal I am I went off and ordered it anyways.
It was a delicious, dark and creamy darling and I'm quite glad I got it; I was slightly overbeered at this point though, I will not lie. I don't like feeling sleepy and slurry when I'm out in public but I felt fine this morning so all is well.
Another fantastic night at Stubbies! Here's to many more....or at least 92 beers worth!
Love to all,
~an always blossoming beer enthusiast, Jess
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday was a typical day, sort of. One of my classes was retesting, since I am a kind teacher and couldn't stand to see them all fail abysmally...well, they already did the failing part, I just didn't want it to go into the grade book while the other class and I took on Valance Electron Energy Levels. That wasn't pretty and I even got my first "This is laaaammmme, Ms. M" from my 5th block regarding what I thought was cool "atomic trading cards" lesson. Whatev, kiddos, my lessons are cool!
And so is my food....If you like leftovers. And luckily I do, so check it out:
Breakfast:1/2 a naner with Honey Almond Butter and some toast with Olive Oil spread. Classic aka, boring. But it did the trick....and nearly held me over until lunch.......
I broke into this guy as soon as I shooed my 2nd block class out the door (ok, they ran out, but I would like to think they lounge around chatting with their non-lame teacher! hehe).
1/2 a Black Cherry Almond Cliff Bar. Very tasty. Add another one to the "flavors I will buy often" list. Savored with the other 1/2 of my Publix Red Tea from Sunday shopping!
Lunch was leftover spaghetti squash with chicken and vodka sauce from Monday night. Still good....so good, actually. Funny thing, one of my co-workers asked me if I was vegetarian....which I am obviously not, since I was eating chicken in front of her! hahah, she just couldn't understand why I would want to eat squash instead of pasta. I just like my veggies, ok? :D
Oh! I also tried the new flavor of Chobani: Pineapple! It was really tasty. I was mixing it up thinking, wow this is really rich and creamy, how did they do that...and then I realized it was 2%, not my normal 0%. Man that extra 2% of milk fat is amazing. What a real treat!Dinner was more leftovers: Green Beans and Mashed Red Potatoes, but I subbed the pot roast from Sunday for a much tastier (in my opinion) protein entree of MorningStar Farms Chikn Strips. I love these much more than any real chicken strip. Weird right? Tasty.
Oh and that thing, that looks like a fried egg on my plate? It's ranch and honey mustard for dipping. I didn't really it into it much this time though.....my condiment addiction is getting better everyday! Whoot. Oh and a side salad was consumed too.
Which brings us to today....I was out of the classroom today finishing up our curriculum with the rest of the science department and I'm very proud to say we finished it up today! Yay! That is partly why I'm totally brain dead right now and would much rather read all your lovely blogs all night, but I'm going to wrap things up here and get back to the text books, because now that I really know what I'm teaching my little boogers, I mean charming students, I realized we are wayyyy behind, already. Ack.
Breakfast was a filling meal of scrambled eggs with spinach and a touch of Cheddar cheese. Plus 1/2 a piece of honey toast. (Little known fact, I cook breakfast for my Mom and I nearly every day, that's why you often see only 1/2 of something on my plate.).
Lunch was unphotographed since I ate at a "diner" with my co-workers and prefer to keep my bloggy baby out of prying school eyes for as long as possible. I say "diner" because it was really any other small town restaurant this time with a 50's paint job. I got the lunch special of grilled cheese and tomato basil soup. It was pretty good, abit rather greasy on the sandwich side, and certainly nothing to write home about. But I always feel good about supporting local Mom and Pop places like that, even if I won't be darkening their door regularly.
Now I'm off to hit the books...and bed soon I hope.
Love to all,
~An exhausted Jess
Monday, September 14, 2009
I'm not feeling too creative on the title today. Forgive me. It's been a typical Monday up here in my neck of the woods. I had a busy but productive day, although it seems that as many things I get accomplished by to do list grows just as much. It's all good though, just an observation.
Food was fun today though.
I finally had some spinach in the house (in da hoooouse!) again so a green monster, or "greenie" as my favorite Snackface likes to say, was totally in order.
Today's GM contained: 3 giant handfuls of baby spinach, 1/2 a nanner, about 1 cup vanilla almond milk (oh heaven to have this back, soymilk does not compare, sorry kids!) and about 1/8 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes I picked up at Mother Earth on Sunday.
Sided up with a piece of whole grain toast with olive oil spread. I don't know if it was the coconut addition or the subtraction of my usually nutbutter but this green beast was very earthy today. I loved it though, since the idea of sweet was making me yak a little this morning. It's rough for me to eat breakfast before 7am in the morning most mornings, but I make myself, because I don't get lunch until 12:30 and that's a long time for my bottomless pit of a tummy.
Lunch was tasty, but once again I fell back into a "bad habit." Veggie burger with lettuce, guac and Dijon mustard on a honey wheat roll, Fage with Honey (my favorite! sooooo good) and a random UF cupcake that one of my coworkers brought me.
This is the bad habit. I don't like store bought cupcakes. And the frosting always stains my fingers, tongue and teeth. I have a rule that if something is not "worth" the calories in some way that I won't eat it. And yet, there I sat eating the damn cupcake looking like a teacher turned smurf. I did stop myself finally 2/3 of the way through the mediocre baked good but seriously what the hell is my problem? Eating another's crappy leftovers from tailgating does not make you any better or worse of a coworker than before you put the offensive mini cake in your now royal blue jaws. Ok, self lashing over. And PS. The cupcake sucked.
Dinner was totally amazing though. I had picked up a spaghetti squash on Sunday at Publix and when my Mom showed interest in it we agreed to make a "Italian" meal together. I made the squash (steam it cut side down in the microwave in a glass baking dish with about 1/2 of water for 10ish mins and after it cools a little gently scrape out the flesh which will "string" all on its own. So good. Meanwhile Mom cooked up some chicken, mushrooms, onions, green pepper and fresh tomatoes in some Italian herbs and spices and I microwaved the end of a jar of Vodka Sauce (it was really tough, let me tell you!). This is what the whole mess looked like.
Oh. So. Good. With a side salad of course. And milk. Did you know I still drink milk with dinner nearly every night? Never out grew that one.
Hope everyone has had a great Monday back.
Love to all,
~A I've got the bare minimum done, do I really need to work more tonight, Jess
Sunday, September 13, 2009
I stayed the night with Christine (she has a spare bed just for me! Ok, well and all her guests, but I leave it made up for me! hehe) so we could do some brunching and shopping and just be the fabulous human beings that we are! :D (that was just for you, Christine!)
I woke up at 5:30am and was like, hells no since I had only slept for 3ish hours at that point. I finally woke up for real a little after 10am and enjoyed a cup of blueberry coffee (really good, who would have though berries and coffee?) and a shower before rolling out to brunch at the 43rd Street Dinner. Strangely I still wasn't hungry but had a headache (not drinking related, promise) and deiced that even if I didn't feel hungry I needed food. So food I got!
Veggie omelet (onions, green peppers, mushroom plus artichoke and some Cheddar cheese) and a HUGE sweet potato pancake.
I knew I wanted the pancake as soon as I saw it on the menu but it didn't come as a combo with eggs like any of the other pancakes (and I knew I needed some protein) but now I know why. Literally as big as my head! Oh so good though. I devoured the omelet and managed to put away just shy of 1/2 the pancake. I saved the biscuit that came with the omelet for later.
After some big time Target shopping and a fantastic mountain bike purchase for Christine at Gator Cycle. I totally want to get a road bike, but I'm going to build up my mileage on my mountain bike again first, while I build up my road bike fund too! haha. I'm super excited to have a riding partner now too!
We bought new helmets in honor of the occasion. And then wore them around the store with the tags on, because I'm a big nerd and Christine is a good sport to my antics!
All that shopping brought on a craving for fro yo, so we checked out a serve yourself frozen yogurt place called Mochi. I got a small (it goes by weight and my whole bowl was just 8oz) blend of original and taro, both of which were tart, just the way I like them, although the taro had a little sweetness to it. Topped with really yummy raspberries, giant blackberries and some mango. It was good, but nothing holds a candle to Gurtzberry in Winter Park. I need to go and SOON!
I bid adieu to 'Stiner and after meeting my parents for Mass did a little grocery shopping at Mother Earth for some specialty products including the new flavors of Chobani (Publix still doesn't have them, but M.E. did, go figure) and a few other random items which included my first taste of a Primal Strip of which I ate 1/2 in the car. It's pretty good, I really like the texture, but the fake smokey smell was a little over the top for me.
So, I washed it down with 1/2 of an Orange Pomegranate Tea from Publix, where I picked up a few more of "my" essentials. While I could have gotten everything on my list at M.E. they are pretty overpriced on some stuff. For example: Fage($5.50), and Almond Breeze($4.99 for the smaller carton, seriously?). I love this tea as a treat. It's very tart and refreshing!
Once I finally got home, a gas station debacle aside, it was another night of "bar food" for dinner, so I whipped up some guac and made the end of the cheese sticks. This was more like avocado salad with all the cilantro I put in and I used a Florida Avocado to support our local agriculture and they aren't as creamy as the Hass. (don't tell the Sunshine State this, but I do prefer my Hass). Still really tasty though!
I had my fare share of this spread (just water for me though after my beers last night, I decided to be kind to my cilia)
After a long morning of test grading and other teacher related work I had worked up an appetite and munched on this strange mix of left over guac and chips and 1/2 a banana with the amazing new Almond Butter I picked up yesterday. It's the Almond Breeze brand with honey and it's so good. I may have eaten a spoonful right out of the jar later too, but who's counting? haha.
Dinner was another "classic sunday meal" in my house, which I'm finding I no longer enjoy that much. Roast beef with gravy, smashed red potatoes, green beans and just some sliced tomatoes. I really enjoyed the veggies, but only picked at my meat. It wasn't bad, I just wasn't digging it.
My only other accomplishment aside from paper grading, chatting with old friends and blogging today was I finished the great book I've been working on this week. How to Talk to a Widower by Jonathan Tropper is an amazing book about a 29 year old widower who comes to grips with the lost of his late thirty something wife, becoming the official stepfather to her 15 year old son, having his own dysfunctional family and reentering the dating scene. It will make you laugh, cry and laugh so hard you cry. It was a great multimedia read, which I'm loving more and more. [What I mean by "multimedia" is some of the chapters are normal driving narrative, some are the magazine column he writes, some are emails and one was the chatter of this one woman he went on a date with. Fantastic!]
Now my loves, I'm off to bed.
~a looking forward to next weekend already, Jess