Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Today I...
-hit snooze 3 times
-drank 1 cup of coffee (cutting back)
-had 2 fruits and 1 veggie by noon (also turning over a new leaf)
-attended 3 loooong meetings
-received 3 new teacher textbooks, 2 file folders, and 1 binder full of information
-made 2 lesson plan templates
-wrote 1/2 of a lesson plan (it's a start)
-covered 1 bulletin board
-laminated 5,000 small items (approximately)
-assembled 18 donated backpacks full of supplies (it was like Christmas!!!!!!!!)
-met 3 new teachers
-won 1 round of Retention Family Feud (oh yeah, we teachers are just cool like that)
-made 1 new schedule
-scrapped 1 new schedule
-consoled 3 frazzled new teachers
-ate 3 handfuls of Sour Patch Kids
-played 2 songs of PS22 on YouTube b/c Pandora is blocked.

Welcome back to school.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Shaun: What's your favorite flower?  Lilies?  Orcas?
Me:  That's a whale.

Points for effort, not so much for accuracy.  I will be very surprised if he shows up one day with an orca.

(Please be in awe of my awesome photo editing skills.  Impressive, I know.)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Chocolate Hazelnut Crepe Cake

How to make a crepe cake.

1.  Be unable to resist a challenge sent in the form of a "this would make a cool birthday present" email.

2.  Buy a strainer and make an impulse purchase of a smiley spoon.  Cool, right?

3.  Gather all of your ingredients.  Run out of counter space.

4.  Melt 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter into 1T of water.  Add 8 oz of semi-sweet chocolate.  

5.  Combine 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour, 1/3 c. sugar, and 1/2 t. salt.  In a separate bowl mix 2 1/2 c. of room temperature whole milk with 6 (!!) eggs and 1T of vanilla.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry, then add the chocolate. 

 6.  Using your new, fancy pants strainer, strain the batter to remove any chunks or clumps.  I used semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of baking chocolate, so I had some chocolate/wax residue as well as flour clumps.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

7.  While you are waiting, combine 2 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream with 1/3 c. confectioner's sugar.  Whip until you have soft peaks and then add 1/4 c. of hazelnut spread (Nutella).  Be sure to lick the Nutella spoon when finished.  Refrigerate.  (This step is my creation- perhaps add more Nutella and less sugar next time?)

8.  Boil 1 1/4 c. heavy cream with 1 T corn starch.  Remove from heat and add 10 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped (don't cut corners by using chips!).  Do not stir!  Wait 5 minutes and then mix together.  Set aside.

9.  Drink a much-needed caffeine boost thanks to the extra trip you had to take to the store to get forgotten ingredients.  Can you tell I used to work at Starbucks?  I can sure fill up a cup with specific requests- Iced Grande 1/2 caff vanilla non-fat latte.  Yum!

10.  Take out your mom's super-cool 1970's crepe maker.  Seriously, they don't make them like they used to!

11.  Make 5 gazillion chocolate crepes.  The first 5 are usually a bust for me.  I had about 30 extras even so.  That was a LOT of crepe making.  Stack them all on a plate.

12.  On a wire rack, layer a crepe with 2-3T of hazelnut filling.  Repeat 30ish times.  I meant to keep track, but I lost count.  This cake was somewhere between 30-40 crepes high.

13.  Refrigerate 15 minutes to set.

14.  Add chocolate ganache.  Refrigerate 15 minutes or more to set.  Re-plate and add toasted hazelnuts to garnish.

15.  Deliver to your friend's birthday party and bring a sharp knife and a big sweet tooth!

Thanks to Martha Stewart for her inspiration and crepe/ganache recipes.  I was not quite up to the task of her filling or candied hazelnuts.  Another project perhaps on another day.

Hopefully by now you are sufficiently hungry.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

You have known me

Think of your best friend.  Or your spouse.  Or your mom.  The person who knows everything about you.  (I will not judge you in the least if you choose your mom.)  He or she knows your food preferences, favorite colors, pet peeves, mood swings, hopes and dreams.  Go ahead.  Try to list everything you know about the person closest to you.  You know a LOT.

Yet there are still things that person does not know.  As poor as I am about hiding my true feelings, there are still sometimes that I conceal things.  My thoughts are not all broadcasted to the world (good thing!).  Even someone who has walked with me my whole life has not lived or felt everything I have.  

Except for God.  He is the only one who knows every hair on my head.  I don't even know them all, just on bad hair days.  He knows the true condition of my heart, even when I am lying to myself.  The good, the bad, and the really, extra ugly.  I don't have to hide that, because he already knows.  He already knows the rude thoughts I had in traffic, the way I judged a friend's appearance, the self-centered way I lived my day.  He knows where I have been, and what He has brought me through.  He even knows where I am going.  He knows me better than I know myself.  

So why hide?  When I am ashamed of something I have done or perhaps not done, my initial inclination is to run away from God.  But why?  Nothing is hidden from Him, and yet He still calls us to Him.  

As a kid when I was upset, I would run away from home.  This consisted of packing the orange peanut butter crackers (this is still a mandatory item for hikes and survival trips), my compass, and a book (usually Hardy Boys) into my trusty leather hip pouch.  I ran away a whopping 100 yards to "The Hump," the dead end of our street, and climbed a tree.  I was far, far away.  But just to be safe, I could still see the front door.  And there I stayed in that tree until I got tired or I was called for dinner.  By that time tempers had died down and I all I really wanted was to be home.

God already knows your failures and He still wants you.  
Stop running away from home and just go home.  

As the dew falls on the blade
You have touched all this fragile frame
And as a mother knows her baby’s face
You know me, You know me

As the summer air within my chest
I have breathed You deep down into my breast
And as You know the hairs upon my head
Every thought and every word I’ve said
Every thought and every word I’ve said

Savior, You have known me as I am
Healer, You have known me as I was
As I will be in the morning, in the evening
You have known me, yeah, You know me

Oh, and as the exhilaration of autumn’s bite
Oh, You have brought these tired bones to brilliant life
And as the swallow knows, she knows the sky
This is how it is with You and I
Oh, this is how it is with You and I

From the fall of my heart to the resurrection of my soul
You know me, God, and You know my ways
In my rising and my sitting down
You see me as I am, oh, see me as I am

And as a lover knows his beloved’s heart
All the shapes and curves of her even in the dark
Oh, You have formed one in my inward parts
And You know me, You know me, yes

Savior, You, You have known me as I am
Oh, healer, You have known me as I was
As I will be in the morning, in the evening
You have known

You have known me, in the morning, in the evening
You’ve known me, God
In the morning, in the evening You have known me
Yeah, You’ve know me

You have always known me
You know me, God, You have known me
You have always known my heart