Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wholesome Winter Squash Muffins

I received my new mixer for Christmas last weekend (we celebrated early with my parents)!  It was a difficult task deciding which recipe to whip up first.  I glanced around the kitchen and noticed I hadn't used the squash sitting on my counter.  I decided to make a version of my own squash muffins.  I was pretty pleased with the results (especially since it was my first time baking a squash :). 

3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup cooked, mashed winter squash (I used buttercup squash)
1/2 cup butter softened
2 eggs beaten
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Put it all together:
1. In a large bowl combine the first six ingredients; mix well. 
2. In another bowl combine the rest of the ingredients.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients; mix until just moistened.
3. Stir in the chocolate chips.
4. Fill paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Enjoy with a large glass of milk!

How to Spend a Snow Day?

This year marks my third year working as a teacher.  In those three years we have never had a snow day...and now we have had two snow days in the last two days!  On Monday morning I felt like a giddy child when I saw Minneapolis Public Schools (our school corresponds to their closings) on the wcco school closings website.  I could hardly go back to sleep.  One idea after another kept popping into my head about how I was going to spend the dayI've been thankful for these past two days at home.  I feel refreshed and ready to go back to school.  Here are a few things I enjoyed while being snowed in...
                                                  extended time reading and journaling

baking muffins with my new Kitchenaid (recipe to come :) )!
writing Christmas cards to my kindergartners
How do you like to spend a snow day?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thai Basil Chicken (Pad Krapow)

After a trip to United Noodle Sunday we decided to try to make one of Jemimah's favorite Thai dishes, Pad Krapow.  It was fairly easy and very delicious!
Here's what you'll need for Pad Krapow (serves 4):
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion (you are suppose to use shallots but we prefer yellow onion)
2/3 lb. Chinese long beans, chopped in 1 inch lengths
1 lb. ground chicken or turkey (we used turkey)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 teaspoons sugar
6 cloves garlic
1 bunch of Thai basil (leaves only)
1 diced green pepper
serve with:
fried eggs (1 per person)
lime wedges
Here's how to cook it:
1. Heat the oil in a wok on high, add the garlic, green pepper and onions and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
2. Add the beans, stir-fry until cooked but still crunchy (3-4 minutes).
3. Add the turkey (or chicken) to the wok and brown, break up the meat into small pieces. 
4. Add fish sauce and sugar.  Taste to see if more sugar should be added.
5. Add the soy sauce.
5. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the basil leaves until wilted.
6. Serve with rice and lime wedges.  Top with a fried egg.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

welcome december!

December has made her entrance with ten degree days and blustery blizzards.  We finally were forced to unpack all of our winter wear.  Even though I have done my fair share of complaining while enduring Minnesota winters, I have to admit, it is quite beautiful.  

A few things I love about winter:
1. snuggling up with Josh (and a good book)
2. hot chocolate
3. slippers
4. Christmas crafts with the kindergartners
5. baking 
6. fresh, white snow
7. fireplaces (I don't have one but I love sitting by them :)
8. knitting
9. lighting candles
10. winter walks

Here are a couple of family pictures my sister Justine took over Thanksgiving break...   
Happy December Friends!