I love thanksgiving. Being from Brazil, it was just my parents, my sisters, and me. But we still went all out for thanksgiving. Turkey, stuffing, our variation on sweet potato casserole, and green been casserole. My mom always made homemade crescent rolls. To finish it off there was pie. Loads of pie. As I was thinking about all that, I had a sudden craving for something fallish. Sweet potato cupcakes sounded amazing.
Before you get all grossed out, hear me out! A mix of sweet potato, ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon, not to mention brown sugar adding it’s own hint of caramel. It smells just like fall. Get out your cupcake tins, it’s cooking time!
Sweet Potato Cupcake
1 cup flour
1 cup mashed cooked sweet potato
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 cup butter melted, and cooled
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 beaten eggs
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. In a seperate bowl mix together the wet ingredients except the sweet potato. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix well. Add the sweet potatoes and mix well. Pour into a lined cupcake pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Makes 9 cupcakes.
Enjoy your taste of thanksgiving!
Sadly, strawberry season is coming to a screeching halt. I was loving eating a ton of fresh fruit all day long, and especially the big, juicy berries. They were epic. I decided to buy some, thinking they would be as yummy. Can you say moldy 2 days later? I bought another pint, and they were ok. Not sweet, not big, and too pale for my taste. But, I refuse to let strawberries go to waste. My original plan was to stare at them blankly. My back-up plan was to make a strawberry cake.
When I think strawberry cake, I think the kind that comes out of a box. After looking through all of my recipe books, I realized that I had no recipe for a strawberry cake. Bummer!!!!!!!! I did manage to find one online.
It isn’t quite like a cake in that it isn’t crazy fluffy, but it is not dense like a cookie either. It’s more like….an ozark pie. That dense, almost gooey cake/pie with apples and pecans….it’s amazing. And this is alot like it. I’m a HUGE fan of both recipes.
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups sliced strawberries
Preheat oven to 350. Mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Set it aside. Mix together the liquid ingredients, set them aside. Melt the butter a little, then mix it into the dry ingredients until it looks like a crumbly mixture. Add the liquid ingredients. Stir it together until it’s all mixed together. Stir in most of the strawberries. Pour the mixture into a greased 8×8 pan. Sprinkle the rest of the berries on top. Bake for 10 minutes at 350. Lower the temperature to 325, then let it bake for 45 minutes, or until it’s golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
First month of teaching is under my belt! It’s been more stressful than I thought it would be, but so much more fun, too! I have had this recipe to try for a couple weeks, but grading papers had to take precedence over making a pretty amazing recipe. That….and putting up bulletin boards-like this one:
With fall arriving, there has been on over abundance of pumpkin stuff. Pumpkin hot chocolate, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, and pumpkin…anything. The one that I’ve had my eye on is pumpkin cheesecake brownies. I love cheesecake brownies! They’re amazing.
So, to celebrate finishing my first month as a teacher, and completing my bulletin boards I decided to make pumpkin cheesecake brownies. I did use a box mix, because I didn’t have time to make it from scratch….but it still tasted amazing!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies
1 brownie mix/batter, made according to instructions
3 oz cream cheese
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3 tablespoons sugar
-Preheat the oven to 350 F. Make the brownies, and spread the batter in a greased 9×13 pan. In a small bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the cream cheese, cinnamon, nutmeg, egg, and pumpkin until smooth. Spread it over the brownie batter, and use a knife to marbleize the batter. Bake the brownies for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!
These past two weeks have been quite the whirlwind! I unfortunately haven’t done much baking/cooking/living, but I have gotten alot of work done in my classroom!
My classroom went from kind of sad to cheerful and homey!
This is my good work board. When a child does a good job, they get their paper put up on the board for the other kids and the parents to see.
This is my classroom. As you can see it’s long and narrow, with lots of doors. Seven doors….just in case you were wondering.
I struggle with teaching kids how to stand in line. In order to help them (and me!) have a visual of how far apart they should be, I taped construction paper to the floor. After a week and a half, I’ll take away all but the line leaders paper. Another week and a half later, I’ll take away all the papers. Voila! A trained class. In theory, that is.
This is my “coat closet.” We don’t have a true one, so I made it out of command hooks. It’s right when they walk in, so they don’t have to traipse across my classroom with unwieldy backpacks.
And, this is the board that kind of sets the theme for my room. This month’s theme is the K4 nest. Birds, birds, birds. My little birds didn’t turn out as cute as the ones I saw in my head, but I still like them.
My calendar makes me smile. It’s cute!
When the kids come in, they are supposed to check the good morning board. It has instructions for what to do when they come in. Sorry it’s blurry, but the monsters are still cute.
Anyways, That’s the highlights from my classroom. I am so excited for Tuesday to get here and get to know all my munchkins.
Back to School! Depending on who you are, you may be dreading those words. Maybe you’re looking forward to having some quiet in the house. Or maybe you’re a teacher looking forward to getting back into the swing of the school year.
I am the last one. Except I’m not getting back into the swing of it. I’m a brand spanking new teacher! While I’m super excited for school year, there are some things that make me nervous. Like….handing four year olds scissors and glue. So, I decided I’m going to simplify my mornings, so I don’t start the day off frazzled. I’m notorious for eating something not healthy for breakfast. (yes, cold pizza counts as breakfast!) I’m a huge fan of muffins! That being said, I recently discovered you can freeze muffins. Brilliant! It only takes about 20 minutes to thaw a muffin-so it can sit on the counter while i get ready, and travel with me to school like a good muffin.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups oatmeal
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/4 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, stir together all the dry ingredients. If you want, add a dash of cinnamon. I didn’t, and it still tasted great. In a separate bowl, mix the whisk together the milk, peanut butter, and egg. Trust me, the peanut butter will dissolve in a couple million hours. Then, add it to the try ingredients. Stir until combined. Pour into greased or lined muffin tins and bake for 15-20 minutes.
I love grilled cheese. A crispy outside, soft bread in the middle, and warm, gooey cheese. I’d never thought much about a twist on it. the most I do is add some turkey. I found an entire section of grilled cheese makeovers. This one was, by far, the most appetizing!
The Brussels sprouts get cooked in some of the bacon grease. They are almost fried. When you bite into the sandwich you get the crisp bacon, the crunch of the Brussels sprouts, and the creaminess of the cheese. It’s got to be the best grilled cheese I’ve ever made!
Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Grilled Cheese
(NOTE: all ingredients are for one sandwich)
-1 slice bacon
-1/3 cup mozzerella cheese
-2 brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
-2 slices of bread
In a skillet, fry up the bacon. Let it drain on paper towels. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of the grease. Add the Brussels sprouts, and let them cook until they are tender on the outside, but still have a crunch on the inside. It should only take 2 or 3 minutes. Wipe out the pan. Add 1 tablespoon butter to the pan. Once it’s melted, cook the sandwich, about 4 minutes on each side, until it’s browned. If its necessary, add more butter the pan. And then you’ll have an amazing grilled cheese sandwich!
I used to love Mexican hot chocolate. Creamy, hot, and cinnamon…I don’t know quite what it was about it, but I loved it. Had it everyday one winter. Fantastic, until you get completely burned out.
A few months ago, I stumbled across a honey-cinnamon frosting. Originally I put it on a banana cake. That was the bomb. It reminded me of putting honey on hot banana bread. But, I had a craving for mexican hot chocolate. Given the fact that it is 80 degrees outside, that put a damper on the situation. My best friend had a cupcake craving, so I picked up some stuff to make chocolate ones, and decided to top it with the honey cinnamon frosting. I wasn’t sure how it was going to end up, but it was really good, and satisfied my mexican hot chocolate craving.
12 chocolate cupcakes, cooled and ready to be frosted
1/2 cup margarine/butter
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Blend together all the ingredients until you have a creamy frosting. If it’s too thick, add more honey. If it’s too thin, add more powdered sugar. Just remember, a little of either goes a very long way. Frost the cupcakes with the amazing frosting, and enjoy!
I love blueberries. Blueberry muffins, pancakes, in yogurt, fresh, frozen, whatever. I just love them.
And then…you put the word cheesecake with them. Blueberry…cheesecake….If that doesn’t make your mouth water, then….I don’t know what will. While flipping through my cookbook, I found this recipe a few weeks ago. It looked really good, but it made way too many bars. I eventually caved, and just cut the recipe in half.
Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/8 cup orange juice
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup oat flour (if you don’t have it on hand, put 1/2 cup of rolled oats in the food processor. Or, you can just use 1 cup all purpose flour instead of the half and half)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter, cut up
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla
Start off by lining a 9×9 glass pan with aluminum foil. It should look like this:
Set the pan aside. In a small saucepan, stir together the cornstarch and the sugar. Mix in the orange juice. Finally, add the blueberries. On medium-high heat, bring it to a boil. Once it thickens, take it off the heat.
For the crust, mix together the 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Cut the butter into the mixture. When it starts to stick together, pat it into the pan. (good luck!) Bake the crust for 10 minutes.
While that buttery goodness is cooking, in a mixing bowl mix together the cream cheese, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch until it’s smooth. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until it’s combined. Pour it over the hot, baked crust. Try to get it as even as possible to it will cook evenly. Distribute the blueberry mixture over that. (If your blueberry mix has thickened up at this point, add a little bit of water, reboil it until it’s smooth.)
Bake for 20 minutes. Let it cool before you cut it or it will fall apart. Cut it into 12 pieces. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy.
I grew up eating chicken stroganoff. I didn’t actually eat beef stroganoff until after college. A little odd, but that’s the way life goes sometimes. My mom’s recipe uses a bunch of ingredients you can’t find in the US. A little googling, and food network had one I adapted for myself. Serve it over pasta with a side of veggies for a meal that’s quick and easy.
1 small onion, chopped
1 small can mushrooms, sliced
1 chicken breast, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon paprika
1 14 ounce can chicken broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
In a skillet, cook the onion with 1 T of the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes. Add the rest of the olive oil, the chicken, flour, paprika, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook until the chicken browns, about 3 minutes.
Add the chicken broth and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a gentle simmer; cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sour cream and season with salt and pepper. Continue simmering until the chicken is cooked through, about 2 more minutes.
Serve over noodles. Enjoy!
Needless to say, Washington state is lovely. My one week vacation has turned into a month long stay, but I’ve enjoyed it. Camp Gilead is beautiful, the people, are great…and may I just say they have the best food ever! Chocolate cake, raspberry thumbprint cookies, smores, chicken divan, and jo-jos….Sigh. This is the life. Swimming, boating, gutterball, ga-ga pit, and all sorts of activites for the campers to do. It’s so much fun to be up here!
We made a pit stop at Kidd Valley for garlic fries. They were….the bomb! But I’m willing to bet most of the general population could locate me by the horrible garlic breath it left!
Camp has an adorable little train for the kids to ride on. It seriously has to be the cutest thing ever. According to the camp director, it’s been here since he was a kid! It’s at least 48 years old….not that we’re aging him or anything.
Snoqualmie Falls was beautiful. We didn’t have time to hike or anything, but…..it was still pretty.
Gutterball seems to be one of the popular games. I still have not played it, or figured out what it’s all about. It at least deserved a picture though, for all the times I’ve heard campers yell, “Race you to the gutterball table!”
As gorgeous as it is up here, I’m glad to finally be headed home.