Sunday, July 31, 2005



(Well, they have been done for quite some time, but this post mysteriously disappeared, so I decided to repost it. Isn't that funny???)

lucy in the pie with diamonds

Har, har, har. Sometimes I crack even myself up. :)

So, I made a lemon merengue pie this afternoon. Never done that before, and it was actually pretty easy! (It's for a coworker's birthday, which is tomorrow.) A nice challenge for today.

I also went to see Jess, one of my coworkers, at her shiatsu student clinic. I've never had a shiatsu or massage before, and it was great! I feel all wobbly and a bit loopy. Jess said that it's normal to feel a little out of it, since bodywork is pretty intensive and gets all of your muscles to squeeze out all the icky junk they have collected. (Thus, I'm slamming water to flush out the icky stuff.) We'll see how this helps the cyatic back crap I've had off and on the last couple of years. I also need to get better about staying on top of doing some yoga every now and then! And I'm also aparently supposed to lay off the caffeine. (I have cut WAY back in the last few years, but I guess I could still be a little better about it.)

Let's see, otherwise, it's been a nice, productive, busy weekend. Christine and I hung out on Friday night -- we ran errands. Wah-hoo! Then yesterday, I got a TON of stuff done around the apartment before I went babysitting. (I also got some paperwork done after the boys went to bed, but I still have 3 year end reports left to write. Bah!) This weekend passed very quickly, but my productivity was worth it. :)

Off to finish my year end reports. I mean it this time. I'll post again when I complete them, I promise!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

miss smartypants

couldn't help it . . .

My IQ Is 120

My Logical Intelligence is Exceptional
My Verbal Intelligence is Genius
My Mathematical Intelligence is Exceptional
My General Knowledge is Above Average

Sunday, July 24, 2005

healthy cookies

Yes, I have developed a cookie recipe that I dare call "healthy." Now, I will preface the recipe with a few disclaimers: they are not that sweet, are a very dark, unusual color, and have more of a brownie-like texture, as opposed to a more dense cookie-like texture. However, if you like molasses spice cookies, are cutting back on sugar, and are trying to eat more whole grains, you might just want to try these! Here goes:

Stir together:
1 cup canola or other light vegetable oil
1 cup molasses (use at least half a cup of blackstrap molasses for added nutritional benefits and lower sugar content)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Sift together, then stir into above:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch ground cloves

Stir in:
2 cups oats

Let the batter rest for a few minutes so the oats and whole wheat flour can absorb the liquid. Scoop out onto cookie sheets and bake for 7 to 10 minutes at 375.

I may experiment in the future with adding other nutritional powerhouses such as wheat germ, nuts, and ground flaxseed, but for now, enjoy them as they are!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Janelle rocked my world!

Why, you ask? Well, because over a year ago, she sold me her window air conditioner and came over to help me install it! Now, given the current weather situation, I don't think I'd be surviving otherwise. It's bad enough being outside in 90 degree heat with children for days on end, but to have to come home to it too, I don't know how some people do it!

One of the children said today, "why do we have to go outside? It's so HOT." I felt for her. I encouraged her to wear a hat and sunglasses, which she was not interested in doing, so she just hung out in the shade instead. The kiddies have really been troopers, however. We've discovered some tricks to keeping them cool(er) -- sprinklers, bare feet and a running hose in the sandbox, shade, lots and lots and lots of water, hats and sunglasses, letting them run around in their underwear or swimsuits, and hosing them down seem to all help somewhat. We still don't make it much longer than an hour each day. I miss the beautiful 70s we had earlier this week -- we had some wonderful, glorious hikes to the prairie with butterfly nets. Sigh. I hope the heat will break soon.

I do have to say that, despite wearing a hat and sunglasses and SPF 45 constantly, I have a nice tan. One of the perks of being a preschool teacher, I guess.

Man, my feet are really dirty. Probably because I ran around barefoot most of the day. (Both outdoors and in the classroom.) It's just so stinking HOT.

Could I complain about the heat a little longer? I could, but I won't. I'm going to go eat supper instead.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

I'm at work!

Yes, indeed, I am at work. I'm feeling antisocial today, so I'm eating lunch in my classroom in the quiet. (Well, near quiet -- I'm listening to the air condidioning vent squeak slightly, but that's about it.) I may have to start doing this more often -- it's very restful.

I haven't blogged in a while, and I'm not sure why! (Well, it probably has to do with the fact that I haven't been cooking much/at all because of the heat and because I've been sick, so I haven't had any recipes to post, and I haven't been doing much because I've been sick!)

I can add these comments, though!

I read the entire Harry Potter book on Saturday. It was fantastic. Full of surprises and action, and Chelsea's read the whole thing to, thank goodness, so I had someone to talk about it with last night! Hooray for Chelsea!

I saw "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" on Sunday and it was FABULOUS! People actually applauded after the movie finished. Very cool.

I'm learning the song "Big Rock Candy Mountain." (We changed some of the lyrics so it is child-friendly.) Dan is awesome.

I need a vacation. I'm getting very tired.

Well, that's it for today, I guess!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

curried brown rice and lentils

I don't know whether you can legitimately make a curry in the crock pot, but I'm testing it out.

Ingredients (for 1 1/2 quart crock pot -- double to use a larger size)

1/2 cup dry lentils
1/2 cup uncooked brown basmati rice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 small yellow pepper, chopped
1 small apple, chopped
1 handfull raisins
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup water
curry powder to taste
garam masala to taste
ground ginger to taste (or alternately, use some minced fresh ginger)
chili flakes to taste
salt to taste
extra virgin olive oil (a few tablespoons)
Cook on low or high until the rice and lentils are tender and the liquid is nearly absorbed.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

shame on me . . .

Yes, I have been blog-neglectful. I fully admit this. Why, you ask? Well, I have been so STINKING BUSY! Sometimes I love being busy, but most of the time I just get worn out and forget to do things like blog and wash dishes. Gah.

So, let's see what I've been doing . . . well, summer camp started and that sucked the life-force out of me the first week. Then, 4th of July weekend was crazy fun. Thursday night, Ann and I discovered a wonderful restaurant in my neighborhood -- Salsa a la Salsa. It's on about 14th and Nicollet, tasty, and relatively inexpensive! Fantastic veggie tacos. Mmmm. Then, Friday night Ann and I hung out again -- we went to the grocery store (wah-hoo?) and then hung out at her house and watched cooking shows she had TiVoed for me. Saturday, we went to taste of MN and saw Epic Hero and the Honeydogs perform, (we also had dinner at Cosetta's -- yum!) then went and hung out with Michelle, watched Fox news, and made fun of all the drama the newscasters tried to create. Sunday was supposed to be a quiet, calm day, but Ann called me at about 6:30 and strongly encouraged me to come over to Nye's and watch Epic Hero perform (again. Yes. Twice in one weekend! Feast or famine with that band.) So, I went. They were great, but the best part of the evening came later. After 10:00 the music moved into the basement at Nye's (city noise ordinances and all,) so we got to see Tim Mahoney do a mini-set in what felt like someone's parents' basement -- you know, bad carpet, low ceilings, crappy lighting, bar in the corner. People were just standing and sitting around with their beers, Tim did a lot of requests/covers, and played one of my all-time favorite U2 songs: "MLK." It was a little surreal, but what a night! Monday, I read all afternoon, then we aimed for Nicollet Island to see Shakespeare in the Park, then stick around for the fireworks. But . . . no Shakespeare in the Park! Very odd. So I camped out with Ann's and my chairs while she went home to get a book (I had brought a book with me.) Two hours later, she and Michelle arrived. (I was more than a little worried at that point!) Anyhow, the fireworks were a little lackluster, I thought. THEN, after working all day Tuesday, Ann, Michelle, and two of Michelle's friends went to Psycho Suzi's for her birthday. We ordered tater tots as an appetizer. :) (We also had pizza. Very, very tasty pizza. And they make a fine cuppa joe, too.) Last night, I watched a movie and went to bed at 9:00. And I will be going to bed similarly early tonight as well. ;-) I need to regain my strength -- I have four more year-end reports to write, and I WANT to finish them soon! Hopefully this weekend -- other than a party at Michelle's friend's house, I don't have much to do.

I recently finished "Angels and Demons" by Dan Brown. The story was fantastic and very exciting, but his writing style bugs me. I still haven't read "The DaVinci Code." I think I'm going to read the latest Sue Monk Kidd first.

I will now share two awesome recipes I've made up as of late.

Homemade Baked Tortilla Chips

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
2. Lightly brush a number of your favorite brand of corn tortillas with olive oil, or alternately, spray with cooking spray. Cut into wedges. Arrange wedges on cookie sheet(s) and sprinkle with kosher salt. (Alternately, you could sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar for dessert wedges. Would be mighty tasty with vanilla ice cream, methinks.)
3. Bake chips for about 5 minutes or until they are light golden brown. Cool chips slightly (they will crisp up more as they cool,) and then dig into a big jar of Muir Glen salsa. Mmmmm......

Marinated Veg Salad
1. Smash up a few cloves of garlic. Simmer in about a quarter cup of extra-virgin olive oil for a few minutes. Cool. Remove garlic and mince.
2. Roast and peel a red pepper. Roughly chop half an onion and roast this, too.
3. Combine the garlic with salt and pepper to taste, a handfull of basil leaves, minced, the juice of half a large lemon, and couple tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Whisk in the olive oil you simmered the garlic in.
4. Toss the dressing with the roasted red pepper and onion, a cucumber, seeded and sliced, a green pepper, chopped, a can of chopped tomatoes, drained, and a can of quartered artichoke hearts, drained.
5. Allow the salad to sit in the fridge for a few hours before serving.
(You could obviously make this with whatever veggies you have on hand, but this combo was particularly tasty!)

I hope that the second one will help artichokes become your new best friend. Because they certainly are mine.