February 28, 2010

Another new experience: Adopt-a-blogger

I’m always up for new experiences and I’ve found a good one.  I was reading Dine and Dish one day and stumbled upon a post about adopting a new blogger to mentor them through a few months of food blogging.
I left my comment stating that I’d love to be mentored even though I technically qualified to be a mentor.  I’m certainly not experienced even though I’ve been on here for a while.  I recently received a message from my new buddy Deanna from Occasional Sugar.   Interestingly, she had also ‘signed up’ to be mentored, not to be a mentor.  We’ve decided that we’ll mentor each other through the next few months and see where we end up. 
Now, since it’s a school night and tomorrow is a very busy day, I must sign off.  In the next few days I’ll post a little more about Deanna, and hopefully give an update on what’s been going on in my kitchen. 
As I go, I’ll leave you with this post from Occasional Sugar.
She says:
Most of you probably know that I am getting married this year and most of you have probably figured out that I am planning on baking cupcakes to serve at this massive event. There has been a lot of talking but not a whole lot of baking going on and I'm starting to get anxious.
…does anyone see the similarities between me and Deanna already?  This could be a fun couple of months.
February 21, 2010

Coupon Binder Giveaway

Super Jenn is offering another cool giveaway.
Super Jenn Logo
She is offering a coupon binder.  I’ve been pondering possibilities and working on my own couponing skills (my best was saving 48% on a grocery trip), but haven’t gotten up to a binder for organization yet.  How wonderful would it be to have someone give you the binder?  I just can’t seem to find the time to work on that project for myself.  What a jump-start that would be!
Visit Jenn here for details on the giveaway:
February 16, 2010

Blog update in progress

I am trying to increase my blogging abilities…writing, photographing, posting, layout settings, etc…  Please bear with me as this blog goes through some changes in the coming days and weeks.
If you have any suggestions about learning to blog, please feel free to share them.
Thank you,

pink flowers
thoughts of spring on another chilly snow day…
February 11, 2010

~ Love on a Snowy Day ~

Winter in Louisville means an occasional snow day.  On the first lucky day in February, I decided to make blueberry muffins.  While Josh headed outside to shovel my drive and uncover my car, I headed to the kitchen to make breakfast for us.
Yes, the muffins are heart-shaped.  I have the regular and mini Wilton silicone pans.  I’m still trying to decide if I like them.  While muffins always bake well in them, the pans are terrible to clean.  I’ve followed many tips for using them, including baking with and without non-stick spray.  Either way, I cannot get the muffins to come out in one piece and I always have a tough time getting the spray gunk off the pans after.  Anyone have any suggestions (other than throwing the pans away and going back to my regular metal muffin pans)?
I had blueberries in the freezer that I chose to use in these muffins.  Instead of letting them thaw, I threw the frozen berries into the batter and they promptly froze the batter.  It was a little difficult to evenly fill the muffin pans, but I liked that none of the berries got mushed while I was folding them into the batter.  They stayed fat and round, and looked wonderful in the hot muffins.
Here’s my favorite muffin recipe:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
  3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.
February 07, 2010

We Love Pancakes!

Last week The Most Awesome Kindergarten Teacher and The Most Awesome Librarian continued a collaboration project with The Most Awesome Kindergarten Class. We have been working on informational writing, specifically How-To stories. After the students wrote a story to teach me how to find a book in the library (thanks for the great idea Awesome Librarian), we decided to write a story teaching people how to make pancakes.

To begin our study, we read two books about making pancakes. One was Pancakes by Jan Pritchett, a book in our Rigby Literacy series. This was a great teaching tool because it is a wordless book so the students had to verbalize all parts of the story and couldn’t rely on the text.

The second book was Let’s Make Pancakes by Emma Rossi. This is a leveled reader also, one that I found in our school’s bookroom. This book had text to read and the steps were slightly different from the steps in the first book, so we were able to have a discussion to compare and contrast the two books, which added to the depth of literacy skills covered throughout the week.

After we studied both books, the students created their own ‘book’ by listing the pancake-making steps on separate pieces of paper, then reading through them and correcting the sequence of steps. They then matched pictures (Google Images and MS Word clip art are wonderful resources) to the steps to finish the pages.

As a culminating activity, The Most Awesome Teacher and Librarian used the students’ created directions to make pancakes—a true test to the accuracy of their work. We made it through an intruder drill and a tripped fuse in our power strip to make the pancakes during writing time.
Every student had a hand measuring ingredients so it was truly a class project. Take a look at these pictures to see our fun.

pancakes for blog
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup shortening, melted
  1. In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Combine the egg, milk and shortening; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
  2. Pour batter by 1/4 cupful onto a greased hot griddle. Turn when bubbles form on top of pancakes; cook until the second side is golden brown.