Sunday, September 10, 2017

Back to School "Sour Cream" treats

Submitted by Linda
Anybody remember the sour cream packet that came with a Wendy's baked potato?
As a paper craft, the 'sour cream' treat has been around for quite a while, but I had never made them. I decided that 'back to school' was a good reason to make some. First cut a rectangle of cute paper 4 1/2" by 6 1/2". I then used sticky strip to make a tube, and close the bottom of the tube. I used a crimper to make the bottom look "officially" sealed.
Next, I opened up the top, to scoop in the treat. I used Jelly Belly Jelly beans for mine.

I closed the top with more sticky strip, and used my old crimper to seal the top closed.
Then I added a tag with some school themed washi, and voila! The one pictured below is for our lunch lady at school. Woo hoo for the lunch ladies!
For more detailed directions, and better photos, click HERE.

Another project for the start of school was making tooth pockets for my kindergartners.  My mom and I cranked out 24 of these babies! (The pocket is hidden on the back).
I can't stand the cuteness of them lined up like a tooth-choir! 
And no, I don't sell these but I can connect you to someone who does!

My teaching colleague Denise found an article about starting the first day with homemade playdoh, to give the kids a happy start to their first day of kindergarten. So Nick, Chandler and I made 8 batches. Easy stuff to make, but your stirring arm may get tired. We had a lot of laughs stirring and cooking!
Nick is starting the year as a substitute in my grade level (yes, I'm a happy momma!).  I'm helping him out with some lesson planning, and he gets to do my crosswalk duties in exchange! Ha!
Here we are at the first staff meeting!
We've had a great start to the school year. Here's hoping that you folks are all back in your September routine!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Sarah's Cilantro Lime Salad Dressing

Submitted by Linda

Did I mention in my last update that my two adult boys live with us? For the most part this is a good thing, especially when it comes to cooking. Both Tommy and Nick are adventurous cooks and eaters, and usually can be persuaded to help cook and/or shop for groceries. In fact, we joke about the two of them starting a food network hit called  "The Naked Chefs", as they often get up on a Saturday and spend much of the day cooking in their boxers. (This is probably TMI - oopsies. At least I'm not including a picture, right?) The only downsides to having guy cookers are that they can be a) very messy and b) often use every pan in the kitchen.  

On Monday, I was getting my "back to school pedicure" and (since the internet never works at the salon), I brought two magazines from home to read and enjoy. I'm embarrassed to say that I was reading the March 2017 issue of Real Simple. And yes, it is August (I'm a little behind on my magazines).  In one article, people were sharing things they had done which has surprised themselves, and one gal shared that she had just learned to make her own salad dressing. And I was reminded that I've got an amazing salad dressing to share.

Lately we are all obsessed with this dressing, because it is so delicious and fresh. Also, I am not a super big fan of cilantro, but in this dressing it is just right!  Here is what you need:
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (do not touch your eyes or face during or after handling jalapeƱos!)
1 clove garlic
3/4 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root (more on this below)
1/4 cup lime juice
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons basalmic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup packed cilantro (washed and roughly chopped)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

About the ginger: Normally I have a firm stance on using fresh ingredients whenever possible. However, I find ginger root to be a pain. It's hard to chop (it's kind of fibery), and sometimes when recipes call for the juice from the ginger, it can't seem to get any out! So shown below is my favorite ginger product! It is ginger paste, and is already prepped and ready! I found this tube at Stater Brothers.
Directions: Place jalapeno pepper, garlic and ginger into food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
Pour in lime juice, honey, basalmic vinegar and salt, then add cilantro and pulse a few times to blend.
Turn food processor on, and slowly drizzle in the olive oil until incorporated into the dressing.
Season with salt to taste.  And Voila!
I served it on a basic green salad - Yum!
Now when I make it, I always make a double recipe. I hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Living Vs. Existing

Submitted by Linda
Hello all of our dear girlfriends in the blogosphere!

It's true, what they say about time going faster as we grow older and that time flies by before I get to all the things on my to-do list. It's also true that teaching is a never ending job. When I make these types of excuses, I remember that my dad used to say, "We all have the same 24 hours". In other words, use your time wisely. Take care of people. Take care of yourself. Feed your soul. Live, don't just exist!

I haven't posted regularly in about 2 years. Yet my family and I are still cooking and eating. Michelle and I are still crafting and stitching. But somehow getting it posted on the blog has been a challenge.

Recently a friend of a friend mentioned how she has enjoyed using our recipes. Our faithful follower Gaby mentions the blog when I see her in passing, or in a text. And I miss having the virtual archive  of our projects and our lives. So, I am back, for now, typing away.

Here's the update from my past two years:
*my mom got a new knee and I was the chief care-giver during her recovery.
*Nick graduated from college, moved to Portland, moved back, and started his teaching credential program at APU.
*Craig made a big job change, still at APU but in a completely different role.
*We got a puppy (I'm sure I'll talk more about this again - because getting a dog was the best thing we did in 2015!!)
*We hosted our 2nd annual Front Row Friends crafting retreat in March of 2016
*Michelle and I both continued teaching the tiny scholars (though Michelle learned to read and got promoted to first grade, while I'm still in kindergarten).

I still spend several nights a week at my mom's house (two miles away - how great is that?), and we stitch away. I have continued being a 'dishtowel' factory, until I found a bigger project to tackle!! Bareroots Designs has an embroidery pattern for each month of the year, which features a darling little house. The queen of all things 'girlfriends', Susan Branch, speaks and writes of darling houses and little homes and how much the image speaks to us and makes us thankful for the places and people we call home. I love flying this flag with Susan's signature house:

The picture below is my August house. I had so much fun picking out the fabrics, and doing the hand stitching. For the actual sewing machine work, I say " Wish me luck!", then I head to the sewing machine and get 'er done (you may remember that the sewing machine and I are not the best of friends.)
Oh, how I love this little house. It appears like this in every month's design. I can't wait to share the other months with you!

The title of this post is "Living vs. Existing". I have to give credit to my fantastic teaching colleague, Jessica, who recently called me out (in the kindest way) of just existing, rather than living. She inspired me to quit saying, "I'm too tired" or "I'm too old" and encouraged me to fully engage in all that life offers. I hope you can do the same.  Until next time,