Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Styluses ... Styli' ... Those tablet things!

I had to make a quick run to Clovis last night to finish getting some Valentine stuff for the classroom and things to make a basketball shirt (for the last home game ... I'm a little behind!). When I ran into Big Lots I went by the electronics to see if I could find any inexpensive styluses for the classroom. We do a lot of Nearpod assessments since I saw it on A Kinder Kindergarten blog post back in November. The kids use their fingers and we tried a homemade stylus that just wasn't working well, so we needed something.


Low and behold, Big Lots had a pack of TEN, yes, 10, styluses for only $5! That's $.50 a stylus! 2 of them are large and the other 8 are smaller, but they work just as well, and helps the kids with holding writing utensils. It's a lot easier to read the kids' handwriting on the iPads, too.


I'll post some pictures of our styluses in action once things wind down from Valentine festivities. They are DEFINITELY worth looking into!

Happy shopping!

Zucchini and Squash Chips!

Soooo remember how I said I had some produce I needed to get rid of? Yeah, I still have a LOT to get rid of. So for one of my Super Bowl Sunday snacks, I made zucchini and squash chips! I usually toss my zucchini and squash in some Weber's and olive oil and roast it because I can never get the breading to stick on them, but this time it worked really well.



Ingredients: 
1 Zucchini
1 Yellow Squash
Bread Crumbs
Weber's Roasted Garlic Seasoning
Salt, pepper and cayenne to taste
Parmesan Cheese
Milk (for dipping)


I like to use a mix of zucchini and squash any time I cook them. I think it's a color thing with me! Any who, chop of the ends, the use a mandolin (mine was at school from a cooking day ... so sad) or cut them into thin slices.





Next it's time for bread crumbs! I like to make my own breadcrumbs. That way, I can season them however I like and not have just one type. And I never pass up the chance to use my Ninja chopper! It saves me so much time! For these breadcrumbs I put some Weber's Roasted Garlic Seasoning (my mom introduced me to this and I use it on so many things!), shredded Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and cayenne for a little kick. I used 3 sliced of whole wheat bread for these, too. A little bread goes a long way. I still have a good amount left over.


Put everything in a chopper/blender/food processor and give it a few pulses. Done in a few seconds!


Next, take the slices of zucchini and squash and dip them in the milk. Once they're coated, toss them in the breadcrumbs. 


You could do a lot at once and just toss them all in a gallon sized bag, but I like mine super coated so I did just a few at a time.


Place them on a cookie sheet and pop them in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes on 425. I like mine crunchy so they were in there for a little over 20 minutes.


ENJOY! They were soooo good. I ate half of them in one sitting without even thinking about it. This may be a meal a few times a week. At least it's a vegetable, right?

Happy cooking!


Sunday, February 7, 2016

Currently February



AAAAHHHHHH! It's been February for a week now! What happen to January!?! Since I've been slacking on my personal blog for the past month, I guess now's as good a time as any to start up again! Because I LOVE it and don't want to miss out, I'm linking up with Farley again for this month's Currently!


LISTENING: I don't have internet at home so I run up to school on the weekend every so often to finish up some things I didn't get done throughout the week (mainly my class blog and clean up a bit). It is FREEZING up here! My room is usually cold, but on the weekends it seems 10 times worse! My little space heater keeps at least half of my body warm.
http://www.biglots.com/p/climate-keeper-personal-heater-fan
Mine's about 6 years old, but it still works really well.
LOVING: MY TAXES ARE FINISHED!!!!! This is the earliest I have EVER gotten them filed! So, while I've been totally slacking with blogging and filing and general cleaning ... I DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT TAXES!

THINKING: My classroom seriously looks like Pidgeotto came in, opened all my filing cabinets, and used whirlwind! And yes, I'm aware of how nerdy that reference was. There are papers EVERYWHERE! And I even have a filing system. Maybe I'll add it to my list of things to do next weekend.

WANTING: My Aunt and cousin are traveling to Italy this summer and have asked me to go along. OF COURSE I WANT TO GO TO ITALY!!! I mean ... look how purdy ...


NEEDING: Downside to going to Italy is it's expensive ... and I have 5 months to save up .... oh, and I'm a teacher! If I'm not spending money on me, I'm spending it on my kiddos. Let the penny pinching begin!

SWOONING: Whilst sitting at home basically doing nothing yesterday, I remembered all this food I have in my fridge that needs to get cooked before spoiling (mainly veggies). I love making french bread and pizza from scratch, but didn't want a whole pizza. So instead, I made pizza bites! They were SOOOOOOO good!


Head on over to Farley's Currently and link up with her for this months Currently.

Happy Linking!

Pizza Bites!

A couple of weeks ago I went grocery shopping. I'm not sure why considering I knew I was going to spend most of my time at school with no time to cook! Yesterday I remembered all this produce I had that needed to get cooked and eaten ASAP before it went bad! I love making French bread and pizza dough and had all these veggies ... so pizza bites it was! and they were gooooooood.



I like to make my dough from scratch, but you buy dough that's already made like Pillsbury pizza dough or even crescent rolls. If you like making pizza dough, here's one I use and I like the way it turns out.



Ingredients:
Pizza Dough
Flour for dusting
Your pizza ingredients! Here's what I used:
Mushrooms
Red Bell Pepper
Black Olives
6 Cheese Italian Blend


Roll out your dough and cut it into a square. I used the top of one of my Christmas tins to get my square shape.


Fill the square of dough with your ingredients. I sandwiched my veggies in between cheese to make it suuuuuper cheesy.


Fold the corners over to create a ball, sealing the corners so none of the filling spills out.



Place pizza pockets into an oiled cast iron skillet. Brush the tops of the pockets with olive oil or melted butter.




I had some dough left over, but not enough filling so I made garlic knots with my remaining dough. Roll the dough out to make a "snake", then tie it like a knot. That easy!




Once the knots are finished, toss or dip them in melted garlic butter and sprinkle with parsley.



Dinner is served! Mmm. So good!

Happy Baking!



Homemade Pizza Dough!

Being single and having virtually no one to cook for means either having to adapt a recipe, eat the same time for an entire week unless you let it go bad, or just make your own version from scratch. I prefer to make my own from scratch. And that's exactly what I choose to do when it comes to things like pizza! Here's my recipe for homemade pizza dough!



For me, making pizza dough for the first time was a little intimidating because of the kneading. I just new I was going to knead some help in that department. But, it was surprisingly simple and not the least bit terrifying once I got the hang of it! Making pizza dough is SUPER easy.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/8 teaspoon yeast
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup warm water

*keep in mind this is half of what a recipe usually calls for since I don't need a whole lot of dough!

P.S. how CUTE are these 1 cup prep bowls I got at the Dollar Tree!? They wee a pack of 4 for a $1.

Start off by letting the yeast dissolve in the warm water. It doesn't take too long, just a few minutes. 


It will look foamy like this when it's ready.



Next, add in the rest of your ingredients. Oil, salt, sugar, and flour.




I like to keep about 1/4 cup flour off to the side in case I need a little extra.

Start kneading! A stand mixer is a LOT easier, but my little one-butt kitchen doesn't allow for that.



After kneading for 5 - 10 minutes, you'll end up with a ball of dough. Cover it up and place it in a warm place to allow it to rise.

I like to cover mine with a towel and stick it in the oven (OFF) or microwave since it's so cold here. Let it rise for about 30 minutes, until it has doubled in size, then punch it down. Do this twice.


 Once you've let it rise and punched it down a couple times, it's ready to use! I like to use mine to make pizza, garlic knots, bread sticks and calzones. Mmm.

Happy Baking!