Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Recipe Wednesday

I LOVE the spinach-artichoke dip at Olive Garden!

This delicious recipe from Budget Savvy Diva 
really put us in mind of that awesome dip.

I did make a few changes: I used mini-penne pasta instead of Orecchiette. I also used an Italian cheese blend in place of the Parmesan and mozzarella. And the baking time is definitely off - it is not even going to be heated through in 10-15 minutes. I suggest covering the pan with aluminum foil and baking at least half an hour, then removing the foil, sprinkling the cheese on top and popping it back in to melt the cheese. I actually ran it under the broiler to brown.

YUM!! Let me know if you make it and love it!

Spinach and Artichoke Baked Pasta
  • 14 oz of Orecchiette Pasta ( or short pasta)
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup of Chopped Onion
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic ( Minced)
  • 1 Cup of Sour Cream
  • 4 oz of Cream Cheese ( Room Temperature)
  • 3/4 Cup of Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice + Zest
  • 10 Oz of Spinach ( Make sure to squeeze excess moisture, after it has been thawed of course)
  • 13.5 Can of Artichoke Hearts rinsed and chopped
  • 1 Cup of Mozzarella
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon of Pepper
1.    Preheat Oven To 425
2.    Cook pasta according to the box. Keep 1/4 Cup of the Pasta Water before you drain the cooked pasta.
3.    Heat oil in pan and cook onions for 8 – 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one minute.
4.    In a large bowl – Mix Sour Cream, Cream Cheese, Parmesan, Lemon (juice and zest), onions, and garlic. Add Pasta and mix.
5.    Stir in spinach, artichokes, 1/4 cup of cooking liquid from the pasta, salt, pepper, and 1/2 Cup of Mozzarella
6.    Place mixture into greased 2.5 – 3 qt casserole dish and place the rest of mozzarella cheese on top
7.    Place in the oven till golden brown on top – about 10 – 15 minutes.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Eleven more...

days of school. That still means: DRA reading assessments, quarterly performance assessment, report cards, cumulative records, class record card, placement cards, ILA portfolios...

Make.   It.   Stop.
At least they are past this point in math, LOL.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Never Forget. Ever Honor.

Happy Memorial Day. It's more than just a day off.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Soooo...Call It KARMA

I have a friend at school who is just the kindest person. Helen is positive, helpful, hopeful, loyal, etc, etc. You get the picture.

She is always bringing me great soups that her husband, Ruben, makes. They're made from scratch, delicious and if I didn't hate the term Clean Eating...I'd say that's what they are.

So it occurred to me one day that I NEVER bring her anything!! I thank her heartily, eat up her soup and return her Tupperware sparkling clean. True, I have made some hair clippies for her two adorable granddaughters...but still.

Helen's bag has an H. Chris loved Helen's and ordered the exact same thing!
I decided to make Helen an aqua/chartreuse monogrammed crossbody bag as a thank-you. Helen LOVED it and pranced all around the school, showing it off.

Helen promptly ordered two more for her daughter and one for her daughter-in-law, but both in a crisp black and white damask print. I whipped them up and Helen again paraded around the school with them.

Jen wanted a W, for her last name, so her first graders wouldn't all start calling her "Jen", LOL.
Jen, who teaches first grade, LOVED that damask print so much that she ordered one.

Followed in rapid succession by orders from the rest of the first grade team.

And some teachers in fifth grade.

And Chris, the nurse.

And teachers in second, third and fourth grades, several of whom ordered two.

And the music teacher. And the TAG teacher. And the librarian. And two SPED teachers. Again, you get the picture.

To date, I have made a whopping TWENTY-FIVE crossbody bags for teachers and staff at my school! Even with the "School Friends" discount, that is still a decent amount of cash.

You might call it a fad. I'm calling it good turn deserves another. And what goes around, comes around.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Alllllmost Wordless Wednesday

I have a whole post running around in my head about Karma. However, this is supposed to be (almost) wordless. Maybe over the weekend sometime. I just surely hope that what goes around, comes around.

OMG, is that MY DOG driving the Karma Bus?!
This is where I want to live.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Joys of Motherhood 2


(CLICK HERE to revisit Joys of Motherhood 1.)
Her daddy reports that she kept saying, "Gogurt...HAT! Gogurt...HAT!"

Trevor let Zoey enjoy her yogurt-hat and then gave her a bath. She was running around her room naked while he rummaged for an outfit when he heard her say, "UH-OH!" LOL, she was standing in a puddle, so ZIP, back for another bath!

Later that same day...
If you think the door looks bad, you should see the COUCH. No idea what she's eating, but at least it's not YOGURT, LOL!

Friday, May 18, 2012

18 Days of School...

DRA reading testing...PALS literacy testing...quarterly graded writing....cumulative folders....ILA portfolios...placement cards...class record cards...OMGOMGOMG TGIF

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Jot Journal - That Cool Project I Promised

I really like the idea of keeping a journal.
In fact, I like it so much that I have 3 pretty ones.
They're all blank.

It's the blankness that scares me. The fresh, crisp pages seem to call out for profound revelations. Sadly, my days are short on profoundness. And what if I had to scratch out a mistake?!
So here's my new Jot Journal. I'm jotting a few words a day, on non-scary index cards. I modified THIS IDEA on Pinterest so I could use a great old calendar for the dividers.
I decoupaged some pretty paper onto a wooden crate from Michaels. The whole project only took about an hour and cost under $6. The best part is that I'm actually using it.
Wouldn't this make a thoughtful gift for a busy mom?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

When Friends Find Out You Sew...

Just Say NO.
I just hate it when a friend starts out, "You sew beautifully and I know you're busy, BUT..."

I have a hard time saying NO, especially if there's a sob story involved.

Otherwise, how do you explain me agreeing to quilt a king-sized top that a friend's recently-deceased mom had left her? KING-SIZED. On a home sewing machine. 'Nuff said.

My most outrageous request was, "Can you make me a simple one-shouldered evening gown for a party next week? Just clingy and straight." Yeah. The words 'simple', 'clingy' and 'one-shouldered' should not ever be uttered together. Fortunately, the words I'M SORRY, BUT NO did come out of my mouth.

The pic above is my latest LEARN TO SAY NO project. This time, for the school nurse. And there wasn't even a sob story involved. 

Long-time readers of this blog may remember this t-shirt quilt I agreed to make for a friend's son's graduation.
How could I say NO to a fellow teacher who is also a baseball mom? Obviously, I couldn't.
This friend has another son who plays baseball. He graduates next year. GUESS WHAT I JUST AGREED TO?

Sigh. I'm getting worse, instead of better...

Friday, May 11, 2012


I just finished a really cool project. (It doesn't have anything to do with our friend, Jason, there.) I'll try to have some pics for you over the weekend. In the meantime, TGIF!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

How On Earth Did I Miss Alllllmost Wordless Wednesday? Plus, TRANSLATE!

Sometimes I feel like I need a barricade. 23 more days of school, including 2 weeks of testing. IN KINDERGARTEN.
Oh, and I added a new Translate widget.
It's in the right-hand column.
In case you don't read English.
Or maybe you just like to fiddle around, LOL.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Stuff That Makes Me Mad - Part Four - CLEAN EATING

In the mood for a mini-rant?

This title might lead you to conclude that I'm a preservative-sprinkling, processed-cheese slugging, melted-chocolate-guzzling gorger. You would be mostly incorrect. (I prefer my chocolate cold or even frozen.)

But really, what's with the Clean Eating thing?
I stole this from JC Deen's article. Scroll down for the link.

Don't get me wrong...I'm a huge proponent of having a healthy diet. I've been a vegetarian for 19 years. I don't eat much over-processed, canned or deep-fried stuff. I never sprinkle preservatives.

I was even super excited to try my new kale soup recipe last night, for Pete's sake! Yes, I said KALE. (It was delicious, BTW.)
Me with my kale.

The Clean Eating thing just bugs me because:
  • it sounds pretentious and holier-than-thou
  • it seems to imply that the rest of us are eating filth
I don't know about you, but there are some nights when a handful of frozen Hershey's Special Dark chips and a glass of chilled Moscato (or a cold bottle of Miller Lite) are all that's keeping me sane. YOU try teaching kindergarten all day. I'm just saying.

Anyway, I was relieved to see that I'm not alone in my opinion of Clean Eating. If you'd like to read JC Deen's longer rant article, CLICK HERE. I've got to run and get the triple-cheese pizza is here.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

YAYYYY for my Liebster Award!

Someone likes me! Yay!

How nice is it that I've received an award?! MC, over at Slair's Lair has awarded me a Liebster Award! CLICK HERE to see her post.

MC says, "Liebster, in German, translates to 'kind', 'likeable', or 'favourite' and this award is designed to point readers towards new blogs (pre-200 followers) that you may not yet know about.

So in the Liebster spirit, I'm going to do my own Liebster awards. Check out these awesome blogs!

1) Marlene's Many Hats - Marlene is SO talented and crafty...if you love talented and crafty, go SEE.

2) Ramblin Tam and Kaleidoscope Creations, BOTH by the awesome Tam. Ramblin Tam is my favorite...funny and fresh musings, which she calls 'ramblings about nothing in particular;. Kaleidoscope Creations is scrapbook-y and looks really informative.

3) Gibson Gang - music teacher extraordinaire, my friend and fellow chocoholic

4) abc, a brandie creation - Brandie calls it her journal of all things creative and she's right! She always has something fun to show, from quilty stuff to gardening and even a foray into woodworking!

5) Ten Acres and a Pond  - Even the blog title, Ten Acres and a Pond...even just the title makes me feel more relaxed! Join Nancy with her awesome before-and-after renovations as she makes her house a home..

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Allllmost Wordless Wednesday - Hah

Probably the cop wouldn't see the humor.