Sunday, August 28, 2011

Edible Cookie Dough

First of all, let me just say that this recipe is NOT healthy so for everyone following this blog for healthy living tips, close your eyes.  I did not make any changes to the recipe because I wanted to figure out if it would work for teaching my foods class.  I will likely in the future try making it sugar free/ fat free/ etc but we will see how it ends up when I try to remake it into healthy.

So the reason for this recipe.  I needed something to demo to my students on how to measure ingredients and I have heard over and over to always make recipes at home first--even if it seems simple.  Since it is crazy hot at my school--my honest guess is 90* plus--the ovens are out.  I have a south facing classroom with the entire wall filled with windows.  So making cookies to bake is not an option because my room would only get hotter.  I'm not turning the oven on in there and neither are my students until it cools off.  The next reason I decided to make edible cookie dough is because all of my students were begging to be allowed to lick beaters when we cooked and I laid down the law of NO.  Hopefully they will enjoy this instead without all the hazards with raw eggs.

Plus this recipe is awesome for teaching all the different measuring techniques.  (Pack brown sugar, spoon & level flour, scoop & level chocolate chips, liquid measuring cups, measuring spoons--yup, it has everything!)  In some of my past cooking classes, I have seen Peanut Butter Playdough as the measuring technique demonstration.  But I didn't like the sounds of that because I was nervous about them using it as Playdough.

Anyway, allow me just to say that this tastes just like real cookie dough.  You would have NO idea that there are not eggs in it.  And as a warning it is slightly addicting.  Also note, this recipe really is for cookie dough!  It can NOT be baked into cookies!!  There is nothing to hold it together/ emulsify it in the oven and it would literally just turn into a melted gooey mess.

Note: this stuff is addicting... this is only about half of the original amount.
But just so everyone knows, we did give lots away in ziplock bags...

1 c. margarine, softened--the real recipe called for butter but margarine worked great! :)
¾ c. brown sugar
1 box (3 oz.) instant vanilla pudding--I used french vanilla
¼ c. milk
½ T. vanilla
1 t. baking soda
3 c. flour
1-2 c. chocolate chips

In a large bowl (Kitchen Aid) cream softened margarine and brown sugar until fluffy.  Beat in dry pudding mix.  Add milk, vanilla, flour and baking soda.  On low, mix until smooth.  Dough will be slightly sticky.  Stir in chocolate chips and chill.  DO NOT BAKE!

Can shape into balls and freeze.  Then dip the balls into melted chocolate and then refreeze to make cookie dough truffles.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Finished Day One & FACS Display Case

Last night I had an extremely hard time calming down and falling asleep.  I ended up camping out on the couch and at least got some shut eye.  My fears showed through my dreams though so the night was not exactly comfortable.  But luckily none of my nightmares came true!

It was a great first day of school.  And tomorrow, I will be rearranging my computer/ document camera/ etc.  Tripping over the cords and temporarily crashing it today was enough to make me rethink the layout.  Plus, by rearranging, it will make it so one computer can be used for the projector always and I can use the other to do things I need to.  It is a win-win situation--after I get the rearranging done!

Anyway, I thought I would show off my display case.  Can I just say that I love it?  Walking by it every morning brings a smile to my face.  Even if all the kids don't appreciate it, all the time I spent with it won't be for waste because it helps me remember why I love what I am doing.
The sign in the top left says "the facts about..." with "FACS" dangling below.
Then each of the different parts are labeled with the FACS section they represent.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Dragon Slayer

Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess.  Most people wouldn't recognize her as a princess because she did not wear big fluffy dresses everyday and she did not live in a castle.  But she was still a princess--royal by birth.

The princess loves cooking and interior design and preschool and sewing.  She also loves teaching.  So the princess decided to combine all of her talents and become a teacher--not a regular "princess" job but it is what she loved so she followed her dreams.

This teacher princess spent many hours getting ready for school to start--even on non-contract teacher days.  She cleaned her classroom and wrote lesson plans and rearranged furniture and wrote lesson plans and made bulletin boards and wrote lesson plans and designed a cute display case.  Oh and did I mention that the princess wrote lesson plans?  Because she did. ;)

On Thursday the princess met about half of her students for the first time.  It was 7th grade day so instead of having to teach in her classroom, the princess followed the school schedule for the day and taught the kiddos how to open lockers, where the bathroom was, how to go to lunch, what to do if there is a fire drill, etc.  You know.  All the important stuff that a 7th grader really needs to know.

Yesterday was a non-contract day and technically the last day of summer for the princess.  But can you guess where the princess was?  Yup.  For almost 11 hours the princess was making photo copies, rewriting lesson plans and eventually printing them, and so many other things that the princess can't even remember what she did--all in attempts for trying to have her classroom ready on Monday: the first real day of school.

The princess started to feel overwhelmed.  She wanted to go home but couldn't because there was still things that have to be done before the kids show up bright and early in their brand new outfits Monday morning.  The princess told her knight in shining armor that she wasn't going to be coming home any time soon because she was so busy and stressed and on the verge of tears.  So the knight came to the dungeon to slay the dragons and free his princess.

The knight gave the princess a huge kiss and tight hug and that helped everything seem a little better.  He worked on organizing and making a seating chart template.  The knight slayed the dragons and the princess was freed.  The knight in shining armor took his princess out to eat and then to the movies.  And the princess decided that anything is possible as long as she has her knight by her side. <3

P.S.  Today is Saturday.  Teachers are NOT supposed to work on Saturdays.  But this princess still has to finish making seating charts, make procedure guidelines for desired student behavior charts, print some pictures and make a getting to know the princess box for her students, and go shopping--like required shopping so her students can start on labs.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

School {pause}. Me Time {play}.

Recently, I have found my whole life is SCHOOL.  Little did I know that I would be spending way more time now than I ever did when I was in college.  I thought I graduated so I could be done with homework.  Ha!  I don't think that philosophy applies to teachers.

I have been attending meetings at least 2-3 times a week this entire month.  I'm really looking forward to when those will minimize!  These meetings take up all sorts of time.  And, to be fair, I am learning and they are needed but still, I have plenty of other things to do.

And slowly, my several page to-do list is being crossed off.

  • Make bulletin boards -- check.
  • Arrange desks -- check.
  • Decorate display case -- almost check. (I just need to print out some labels!)
  • Learn how to log in to my computer, use gradebook, check my e-mail -- check, check, check.
  • Clean my room.  Throw away cupboards FILLED with stuff from the old teacher.  Make room for me.  -- check (although this will probably be a work in progress.)
  • Make Scope and Sequences -- check.
  • Work on lesson plans -- check, for at least the first couple of days.

  • Learn how to use my printer, copy all of my disclosures and worksheets, go shopping for needed supplies, lesson plan for longer than a couple of days, make seating charts, order things from the district, color code my aprons/ kitchen lab, finish my display case, continue dejunking my rooms, sign up for insurance, ETC. -- UNCHECK.  There is still SO much to do!  But the kiddos will come whether my list is complete or not though. So here is to making the best of the situation with my unchecked list. :)

On the up note.  I did win a free i-pod at one of my long teacher meetings.  That was pretty sweet!  It is currently in the process of being "refurbished" though so hopefully it will be usable.  Who knows.  It may never even turn on.  But it still felt cool winning.
P.S.  I (1) miss blogging.  It is a creative outlet/ stress reducer for me.  And (2) I miss eating healthy.  I'm seeing a trend--I get stressed from being so busy then I start having more sleeping problems and then I start eating more (not-so-healthy) options.  Luckily, I can choose to change both! :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Guess: Where was I sitting?

Just thought you might want a glimpse into my busy life (and the reason I haven't been writing as much on here recently).

I will give you one try.  Guess where I was sitting?!  ;)
I have always studied like this.  When I was in high school or college working on papers or studying for tests, my "space" would look exactly the same.  I love sitting on the floor and then spreading everything I need in a circle around me gradually as I use it.  I even have my own desk now (which I'm pretty sure my hubby was hoping I would use for lesson planning) and I still preferred the floor/ spread out method.

Lesson plans are coming slowly.  My goal is to be 1 week ahead of where I'm teaching.  It will be less stressful that way.  Ultimately, it would be nice to be an entire section ahead but seeing how that was not working, I decided to make a reasonable goal instead.

I still have A LOT (like I'm not even kidding about the term A LOT) of organizing, cleaning, bulletin board making, etc work I need to get done in my classroom.  It is going to be a busy next few weeks before school starts! :)