Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Big Breath of Calm

....or something like that. It's been a busy couple of weeks here in the Henrich household; we moved some family, visited some other family in Michigan, and I began wrapping up student teaching. I officially have six days to go!

One day soon I'll have plenty of time to bake and clean and play with my dog and post pictures of my life again. For the time being, however, this measly little post will have to suffice. I'm trying to take this evening to relax a little bit, cook a simple meal, have a glass of wine, "mark" a couple papers (in kindergarten this means writing "good job!" at the top of each paper. I love my job!), and try to spend some time with my husband.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Procrastination 101

In case anyone was unaware, I am a professional procrastinator. I rock at putting things off until the last minute, but I will also say that I am pretty good at being efficient and accomplishing everything I need to when it really comes down to it.


That being said, student teaching has really put a new spin on my procrastination methods. I'm not comfortable improvising everything I do in the classroom, so I try to plan ahead by at least a week, and I usually have an overall scope for the next month or so. At least, I will until I'm done student teaching. That time is arriving alarmingly fast.


One of my new favorite ways to procrastinate is Pinterest. It's amazing. Truly. I've found delightful DIY ideas, delicious-looking recipes, and awesome decorating photos. It makes me itch to redecorate and hit the yard sales hard, but my little apartment is already full of stuff and I love the way it's decorated.


Guess I'll have to satisfy my urges by visiting one of my favorite stores (Ikea) with one of my favorite people (Liz).


(haha, tricked you, didn't I? You thought I was going to say Dan.)


Anywho, I guess I'm just growing up. I'm learning to put off checking my email and facebook and make dinner instead. I'm learning to do the dishes as they come into the sink, rather than waiting three days for the sink to be full (yes, sometimes when I don't do a lot of cooking I can not wash dishes for two or three days and still have room in the sink). I'm also learning how to make myself relax, which I've never been good at. Mugs of tea, glasses of wine, back rubs from husbands, walks with the dog in the evening, and a little bit of yoga and pilates tend to do the trick. It's just a matter of making the time for these things.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday Fun-day

I have a love-hate relationship with Sundays...as most people probably do. I always enjoy going to church, but it's a wrench to set the alarm on Saturday nights, especially now that I'm teaching Sunday school. Once we get there, however, it's always good to see our friends and worship together.



And then there are delightful Sunday afternoons! Usually we have an old-fashioned Sunday dinner at the Henrich house with Dan's whole family, but since his parents are moving (AGAIN) next weekend and they are frantically working to fix up their new house to a livable status, our Sunday routine has been disrupted for the time being. Today we went out for brunch with his sisters, and then they came back to our apartment to hang out. While they were here I decided to use up a few more apples leftover from our annual Oktoberfest party (it was late this year) and make some homemade apple turnovers.


Yum!


I started with some puff pastry from the store (no, I wasn't that ambitious).



I chopped the apples, mixed them with lemon juice and cinnamon....







Cut up the puff pastry and add the apples. This was actually the trickiest part, because I wanted the turnovers to be full of apples, but it was hard to get the quantity of apple I wanted and still get the puff pastry to close.






But, finally...




30 minutes in the oven, and these were quite a hit, judging by the speed with which they were consumed.






I also made a Jewish apple cake and I'm going to simmer down the rest of the apples into apple butter this week. Huzzah!


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Delicious Fall Snack

Let me preface this by saying:

I love my husband.





He is a wonderful guy. He is kind and generous and (usually) thoughtful. He never hesitates to give of himself to others.

That being said, he is also extremely social. And I am not. Extremely social, that is. I love my friends, and I've definitely grown in the area of "wanting to be around other people for more than 20 minutes at a stretch," but I doubt I'll ever be as sociable as he is. My home-alone time is extremely valuable to me.

Why is it so valuable, you ask?

Because I make things like this:





I love love LOVE pumpkin things. I've always felt the value of seasonal things, of savoring that one time a year that a particular beloved item is available. And this year, pumpkin is at the top of my list. Pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin beers, you get the point. So when I was at Trader Joe's yesterday and found cans of pumpkin on sale, I jumped at the chance.





And since my darling husband is ~still~ not home from work (damn you, happy hour!) I decided to take advantage of my solitude and bake one of my favorite fall treats. Pumpkin muffins.





Of course, this works just as well when it's pumpkin bread, but muffins cook faster and by this time of day all of my patience has been used up by a bunch of five-year-olds. So muffins it is.

Pumpkin Muffins


1 1/2 C flour
1/2 C brown sugar
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
3/4 C pumpkin puree
1/2 C oil (or applesauce, to lower the fat)
1/2 C honey
1/2 C raisins and walnuts, each (optional)

Mix the dry ingredients; add the wet ingredients. Mix well. Add the nuts and raisins, if using. Grease muffin tin at bake at 350 for about 12-15 minutes.

Voila! Of course, I don't have pumpkin pie spice, so I just tossed some cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice into the bowl. Whatevs, right?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ta-daaa!

I passed my Senior Portfolio Assessment today. Basically I collected all of my work from student teaching, related it to the six Temple teaching standards, and then "interview" with a panel of three professors from Temple/education professionals. Scary, but it's over! Just two observations and a month of student teaching left. And then...dun dun dunnnn...I have to find a job.