Lessons from the Master

I like the idea of Fall but I’m not quite ready for summer to go away yet.

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It’s hard to think about pumpkins, corn mazes and apple picking when the sun is blazing and the thermometer is tipping at ninety degrees.

And that suits me just fine.

The husband and I trying to squeeze in every drop of sunshine that we possibly can until the weather turns cold and we have to trade in our water skis for snow skis and stow away our wake boards in favor of snowboards.

The last sentence probably makes you think we are water sport enthusiasts.

We totally are.

I mean, check this out.

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It’s a rough life.

No, really.

The husband totally got stuck in that floaty tube and then declared he was going on a diet.

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What’s that one where you drink lemonade with maple syrup and cayenne pepper?

You mean the master cleanse?

Yeah, that one. I’m going to do that. For five days. Do we have any lemons?

Let me just start by saying this is a terrible idea.

This is a man who drank a two liter of soda by himself last weekend.

And ate an entire package of Oreos.

And feigned ignorance when there was all but 3 chocolate chips left in the bag.

Also the same man that ate 11 donuts in the middle of the night.

With no recollection of it in the morning.

A five day cleanse consisting of little more than lemon water, maple syrup and cayenne pepper?

This sounds like a terrible idea.

And a delicious cocktail.

Let me know how that cleanse works for you babe.

I’ll just be over here sippin’ on the last dregs of summer.

The Master Craft

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1 cup of water

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons whiskey

1 tablespoon of maple syrup

Pinch Cayenne Pepper

Ice

Add the water, lemon juice, whiskey, maple syrup and small (tiny!) pinch of cayenne pepper to a glass and stir until well mixed.

Add ice.

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Sip away!

Pumped

There hasn’t been much cookery around these parts lately.

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The extent of meal preparation has involved making banana berry smoothies,  a loaf of peanut butter and jelly’s and eating frozen edamame straight from the bag.

Its been delicious.

But then fall came and smacked me in the face.

And suddenly freezing all of my super ripe bananas for smoothies and banana ice cream seemed irrelevant.

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Pumpkin isn’t allowed in any form until at least September.

A strict rule that I never adhere to.

But now I at least feel less awkward about drinking pumpkin lattes by the half gallon.

Get ready for four months of pumpkin madness.

Starting with butter.

Banana Maple Pumpkin Butter

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BANANA MAPLE PUMPKIN BUTTER

2 very ripe bananas

1   (15 oz.)  can pumpkin puree

1/4 cup maple syrup

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food process and puree until smooth.

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Pour into a small pot over medium-low heat and cook for about 30 minutes or until thick.

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Fall is here.  

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GET PUMPED!

Hi. I’m in Delaware.

I’ve spent the better half of the last seven years making fun of Delaware.

And by “better half” I mean each and every one of those 2,555 days

I plan to spend the next 2,555 days making Delaware fun.

Here’s some things on my calendar for the next few months:

RUN OR DYE

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August 17th 2013

10,000 people signed up to run?

I think that’s like the entire population of the state.

DOVER DOWNS 3rd ANNUAL BREW FESTIVAL

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August 24th 2013

I hope the gay guy coordinating the event doesn’t still think craft beer equals pom-poms and cardboard cut-outs of football players.

Shouldn’t a homosexual know not to stereotype?

 AMISH COUNTRY BIKE TOUR 

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September 7th, 2013

There’s pie in the middle of this ride.

And beer at the end of it.

Enough said.

 DELAWARE BEER AND WINE FESTIVAL

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Yes, but where’s the pie?

BAD PROM 5k

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TBD

High school proms are bad enough.

I think I’ll skip this one.

MORE COOL THINGS THAT I WANT TO DO:

Zip Line Adventure Course

Zipline

Oh, Delaware.

You secret little scamp.

I had no idea you had zip lines.

Or trees this tall for that matter.

ADVENTURE RACE SERIES

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Races include running, biking, and kayaking…..and one race goes right through a water park!

 FORDHAM BREWERY TOUR

I’ve taken the tour before, but on Fridays they have outdoor movies and live music.

And a continuously rotating tap.

Did you know the Fall beers have already been released?

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But summer just started!

HAPPY SUMMERING!

Peach Pits

I thought I had it this time.

I woke up feeling good.

Like a winner. 

It was tried, tested, and approved.

The peaches were good.

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The recipe was good.

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The feedback was good.

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The bars were good.

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This was it.

Third time’s a charm.

I was going to win this damn peach recipe contest.

Or at least place.

Or at the very least, drop my peach bars off and walk smugly out the door.

None of those things happened.

When I went to cut the bars, arrange them painstakingly perfect on a platter, and drizzle them with the tart lemon glaze, I had to slap the smug right off of my face.

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The bars were mush.

I don’t know if it was the heat, the humidity, or the fact that I’m pretty sure I forgot an ingredient, but the bars were clearly not going to win any contests.

So I did what any pinteresting person would do.

I shoveled that mess into some mason jars.

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And then I took I nap.

Well first I ate 70 million spoonfuls of peach pie mush.

And then I took a nap.

And then I ate a bunch more.

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And then I named them peach crumble jar bars.

And then I took my sister’s advice and drank some peach shnapps.

Except I left out the peaches.

And the Schnapps.

Ok, it was vodka.

I drank vodka.

And I felt just peachy after that.

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I also looked at this a million times.

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37 PEOPLE WHO ARE WORSE AT COOKING THAN YOU

Because other people’s failure makes me feel better.

OUT FOR SUMMER

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I learned that lesson the hard way.

Save yourself and read this post brought to you by my sweet, loving sister.

She’s a teacher.

So let her teach you some crap. 

Well, I don’t know about you, but I am spending my summer on a tropical island, enjoying the sounds of the ocean, the breeze, and the sway of the palm trees. It’s absolutely gorgeous, and I couldn’t imagine a more serene way to spend my summer ‘vacation’. Here’s a pic of me…..soaking up the rays! 
 
By now, I hope you know how far fetched that introduction was! Ha. That’s just a terrible picture using the effects on Photo Booth! Notice the long sleeves and pants? It’s rainy here in Michigan today, and I now feel like Richard Simmons…so let’s get on with what’s really going on over here. 
 
 Here’s how I’m really spending my summer: taking kids to/from sports camps, day camps, friends houses, boating, reading, soaking up the sun, gardening, meeting up with my friends and teacher-friends, hosting family gatherings, lifeguarding at the backyard pool, cleaning my house, doing lots of laundry, and more! It truly is a great summer. I’m looking forward to our ocean side condo vacation coming up in August (for real!). Know what else I’ve been doing? Sneaking in WORK! 
 
Today was the last day of all camps for my 3 kids. It’s raining, and I didn’t want my laminator to get too out of practice, so I thought I’d fire it up today! I’ve been busy making products for my classroom and TPT and TN stores, as well as downloading great products from others. I decided to print and laminate it today. Here’s my huge stash. 
 
As I’m sitting here laminating things, something in my brain begins to nag me about how much time is spent SITTING while I search, download, and put page after page through the laminator….which snacks and TV in front of me. After I’ve spent some time trying to change my eating and exercise habits the last few months, SITTING around too long felt all wrong. 
So—-I decided to combine my work with exercise and I found out I could get 13 squats in per page from the time I put it in the laminator till the time is rolled all the way through. Once my muscles got warmed up, I sometimes hit 17-20 squats. I did 23 pages today (lots more to go)—-but I’ll just go ahead and average 13 squats/page and multiply that by 23 pages for a total of 299 squats!!!! 
 
I’m happy to have gotten two birds with one stone today….and thought I could easily incorporate different exercise while I’m waiting for those pages to slide through. 
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I’m excited about this new multi-tasking opportunity. I mean, that’s what moms/teachers/women do best anyway, right?! Of course, I have no idea why I didn’t think of this sooner…..I bet I’d be a lot more fit if I combined my work with exercise a looooong time ago….especially since I seem to spend a lot of time on work and not enough ‘ME’ time. Although, playing geeky nerd on the computer is ‘me’ time, and I like it a lot. But being a thinner, in shape, geeky-nerd would be even better!! 
Now do the homework unless you want to see the crazy come out!
Thanks sister!
You can catch up with all my sister’s craziness on her blog

Word of the Day

Beersistence

 

Beer-sis-tense: [beer-sis-tuh-ns]

noun

1. The act of drinking a beer to aid in otherwise mundane activities such as cleaning the garage, washing the cars, or taking an excruciatingly long online boater’s safety course. As in, this job is going to require a little beersistence. 

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Beersistence

Helping you get things done ever since you turned 21.

Crush Me

Don’t tell my husband,

but I’ve got a crush on Dave Matthews.

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Although, I’ll make exceptions for cute boys holding craft beer.

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But I still have a giant crush on Dave Matthews.

DMB CRUSH

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2 cups ice

2 oranges + zest

2 tablespoons agave syrup

2 oz. vodka

Zest and peel the oranges.

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Add ice, oranges, zest, agave, and vodka to a blender.

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Blend until smooth.

Serve immediately.

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Red Solo Cup optional.

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I think I just saw Dave’s tour bus drive by.

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Is this real or am I dreaming?

Blue Up

If your belly doesn’t hurt after a day of blueberry picking, you’re doing it wrong.

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It took about an hour to pick six pounds of berries.

It took about 20 minutes until I felt like my stomach was going to explode.

I don’t want to see a blueberry until, well, tomorrow morning when the bloating has gone down and I do it all over again.

The best part of blueberry picking is listening to all of the conversations happening around me.

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Like the young mother taking the opportunity to turn sweet fruit into an even sweeter lesson about primary colors.

“The blue ones! I said the blue ones! Not the purple ones! Put the green ones back. I said put it back!”

Or the girl who found a bush with a “million” berries.

You would have thought she struck gold the way she was gushing.

Or the little lad who squealed excitedly when he “caught” a blueberry.

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Its a quaint little memory that I’ll pack away until February when the only produce in sight is a russet potato.

But for now, I don’t want to see, smell, or even think about fruit, berries, and anything even remotely close to the color blue.

Because once again I’ve Violet Beuregarded myself on blueberries.

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I’ll never learn.

And based on the girth of my stomach following dinner, I have the same problem with peas.

Especially when they’re fresh from the farm and coated in a tangy miso dressing.

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Mayonaise based pea salads are so 1986.

Miso is so summer of 2013.

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You might know miso in it’s more traditional soup form served at Asian restaurants.

But it makes a really great dressing for salads when combined with lemon juice and a little olive oil.

And little else.

What is miso?

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Fermented awesomeness, that’s what.

It’s good for your gut and tastes good too.

Pass the peas, please.

Pea Salad with White Miso Dressing

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1/2 pound shelled, fresh peas

3 tablespoons white miso paste

1/2 lemon, juiced

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 tablespoons of water

1/2 cup chopped herbs (a combination of parsley and dill would be nice)

pepper, to taste

Steam peas until tender but crisp.

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Add miso to a small bowl.

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Add lemon juice, olive oil, and water.

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Whisk to combine.

Pour over peas.

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Add 1/2 cup chopped herbs

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Toss to combine.

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Add pepper, to taste.

Serve chilled.

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PEAS OUT!

JUNKIE

While I was at dinner last night, I heard the lad at the next table screaming to his dinner guest that he “wanted to go vegetarian but didn’t want to be an inconvenience.”

I wanted to spit my Blueberry Belch Beer in his face.

Your food choices, sir, are not inconvenient.

Your choice to yell them across the bar, however, is.

I think it’s a myth that its difficult to eat a vegetarian, vegan, or plant based diet.

It takes some time, some adjusting, and some pre-planning, but once you’ve set your mind to it, its not difficult to learn to love fruits, vegetables, beans, and grains.

Those are all healthy, veg-friendly foods.

Which leads to the next myth.

The myth that if something is vegan, it’s healthy.

With an ever expanding niche food market, there are plenty of vegan junk foods and many convenience foods that are “accidentally vegan.”

Here’s just a few:

OREOS

Makes you wonder what is exactly in the cream filling, eh?

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SMUCKER’S UNCRUSTABLES

This is a surprise because most breads these days contain milk. Check your labels carefully.

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DUNCAN HINES’ HOMESTYLE FROSTING

I can make vegan frosting and yet somehow it surprised me that you could buy  vegan frosting from a major food company. It shouldn’t be surprising ,though, considering its much cheaper and more shelf stable to use hydrogenated shortening instead of butter.

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DEL-MONTE CREAM STYLE CORN

Apparently “Cream Style” has nothing to do with real cream!

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NUTTER BUTTERS

My step-dad eats a steady diet of these peanut butter cookies. He’s half-way to being vegan and didn’t even know it!

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LICORICE

A lot of candy has gelatin which is not veg-friendly. Licorice does not contain gelatin. Score for the vegans  horse hooves.

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POTATO CHIPS

It’s not shocking that a potato chip is vegan. It doesn’t mean it’s healthy though.

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KRISPY KREME FRUIT PIE

No “kreme” here!

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PILLSBURY CRESCENT ROLLS

“Big and Buttery” is plastered across the package and yet, no actual butter in sight!

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NON-DAIRY ICE CREAM

Non-dairy ice Cream is one of the foods that people want to believe is healthier if it’s vegan. Its still fat and sugar, people. Eat it but be mindful that 1/2 cup can contain 250 calories and 18 grams of fat which is the equivalent of premium dairy based ice creams.

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(Some) NON-DAIRY MILKS

Become a label reader. Some sweetened non-dairy milks contain anywhere from 12-20 grams of sugar. There are 16 grams of sugar in a full tablespoon. It’s something to think about if you’re pouring it over a bowl of frosted flakes (which also happen to be vegan!) every morning.

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The good news is that if you’re stuck in a gas station in Kentucky, you can probably find some vegan fare to tide you over. The bad news is that if you choose these foods on a regular basis, you’ll fare no better than your standard junk food junkie.

Choose wisely.

But don’t feel the need to scream your choices across a busy bar.

Nothing ruins a meal quite like the diner who preaches the evils of meat eating over a plate of pot roast.

Save it for the dessert course.

You know, the row of Oreos and Chocolate Soy Milk that you’ll be shoving in your face.

If you do get stuck in a gas station in Kentucky, check out PETA’s full list of “Accidentally Vegan” foods:

http://www.peta.org/living/vegetarian-living/accidentally-vegan.aspx

Hot Dog

I feel like summer came and just smacked me in the face.

Suddenly I want to do all the summer things.

Ride bikes.

Drink iced coffee from mason jars.

Go treasure hunting at the local flea market

Drink beer from mason jars.

Eat hot dogs.

Teach the (real) dog how to typewriter some corn.

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Nothing goes better with grilled corn than some veggie hot dogs and all the fixin’s.

When we were treasure hunting, we stumbled on some locally made hot and sweet pickles.

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Half the jar immediately made it  into my mouth.

The other half made it into a homemade relish.

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PINEAPPLE PICKLE RELISH

1 cup fresh pineapple

1 cup “hot and sweet” pickles + juice

1 bunch green onion, chopped

Add pineapple, pickles, and green onion to food processor.

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Pulse until all ingredients are chopped very fine. 

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Makes about 1 cup. 

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Here’s to summer and all its

festivities!

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