Aug 30, 2012

whole wheat applesauce muffins


It has been quite the week.  It's the kind of week that calls for muffins.  And hugs.

It's been pretty stressful with the semester just getting underway.  But, there's so much fun just around the corner.  Between me and the weekend, there are just a few more crazy hours of students wanting to join my classes late, total online workbook confusion and watching panicked 101 students as I speak to them in Spanish (in a Spanish class...crazy, I know).

Aug 28, 2012

bean casserole (without the can)



Classes started yesterday.  I'm always excited to get started, greet the new faces, plan some new lessons, and get back into a routine.  But, that excitement tends to be short-lived.

I really struggle at the beginning of a new semester.  I want to stay home, to cook, to walk the dog, to keep the apartment clean, and to have a moment to breathe.  But, I also want to get out and work.  It's a little bit of an internal war every August and January.

Generally the pre-semester breakdown happens a few days before classes start.  This time, though, it held off until day one, actually the end of day one.  Weird, I know.  Needless to say, I'm a little miserable to be around during those transition days.

Aug 23, 2012

peanut butter granola and planning


Some days require more planning than others.  Yesterday was one of those days.  I knew I was going to be going to the doctor to get cortisone shots in my knees.  And I knew that I would subsequently be hobbling around for a day or so afterwards.

So, I went into planning mode, taking care of the next 24 hours' worth of business yesterday morning before the appointment: vacuuming, walking the dog, cleaning the kitchen, ordering pizza for dinner, and of course making granola.  All of the most important things were done.

My husband's been guzzling granola for the past couple of weeks, and in the process saving a lot of cereal/snack money.  So, I decided to feed into his granola kick by switching it up a bit.  And, needless to say, it was last night's snack.

Aug 21, 2012

peach blackberry crumble


I love fruit crumbles, pies, buckles, crostatas, and cobblers.  Pretty much any excuse to use fresh fruit, sugar, and butter is a good one.  My current excuse: Fresh Fork provided us with peaches and blackberries that weren't going to last very long. 

Let's call this the end of summer celebration.  Fall planning is in full swing, pumpkin-flavored everything is starting to appear, and my mom swears the leaves are starting to change.  I may be in denial, but they sure still look green to me.

Aug 18, 2012

grown-up mac and cheese


I, like every other kid to ever live, was always jealous of grown-ups.  Being a grown-up meant things like staying up past Full House, snacking without "ruining" your dinner, and getting out of flag football in gym class.

Now it means things like paying bills, drinking coffee to wake up at 5 am, and vacuuming. 

But, the good news is that it can also include fancy cheese and beer.

Aug 15, 2012

healthy {vegan} chocolate cupcakes with brown sugar frosting


I have discovered the secret to lifelong happiness.  Would you like to hear it?

I thought you might.

It's healthy cupcakes!  For reals.  A couple of weeks ago, my parents took us to a new cupcake store in town (a cupcakery...love it!).  Anyways, they only use whole wheat flour and unrefined sugar, while being organic and low fat (and some are even vegan or gluten-free).  They even post the calorie count next to each cupcake (from about 180-250 per cake).

Sounds too good to be true, huh?  It's the kind of thing that sounds great in theory and then tastes like cardboard, right?

Aug 14, 2012

spicy kale potato cakes


There's not anything better than a rainy Tuesday summer morning.  That's what I woke up to today.

It involved an extra cup of coffee on the couch with the pooch, watching Good Morning America, while still in denial that things need to get done.  

It involved dreams of delicious vegan cupcakes (that came to life during the afternoon...recipe to come!).

Aug 10, 2012

roasted eggplant hummus (baba ghanoush)



Today is the last day of classes for the summer (woohoo!!).  It's pretty much a holiday around here.  It's a day when it doesn't matter so much if your slightly chipped nail polish is showing in your flip-flops or if you're wearing (work) jeans.  My work is pretty much done in the classroom.

Granted, I still have 19 long tests left to grade, but compared to the number of finals I have to grade in a normal semester, it's a vacation.

It's also the beginning of the first normal (Saturday/Sunday) weekend that my husband has had off since starting his new job.  He always worked at least one--but usually both--days of the weekend at his past job.  This is a wonderful, weird adjustment we're happy to be making.

Aug 8, 2012

ratatouille


Not that I don't completely love my job (because I do...usually) and not that I don't have the best group of students ever this summer (because I'm pretty sure I do), but the idea of having a break on the horizon kind of makes me smile.  Two more days until classes end!!  Then, two full weeks off to enjoy the summer before the real craziness starts.

I've just about reached that point when I realize that summer is ending and I've kind of missed it between classes and grading and planning.

Aug 5, 2012

zucchini spice muffins


Yesterday, to celebrate our anniversary we spent the day at Put-in-Bay, an island in Lake Erie.  It was a gorgeous day for the trip.  The day started with zucchini spice muffins and went on to include things like a boat ride, a winery tour, a pizza picnic overlooking the bay, frozen mochas, long walks, and lots of relaxation.  Any of those elements would make a good day, but together they made for an amazing day.