Friday, January 27, 2012

Weekend Plans, Work Updates, and Other Cool Shiz.

Yes, I just said shiz.


Could have something to do with the fact that this weekend, as in, tomorrow, January 28th, my dearest and awesomest husband is taking me to New York City to see....

drumroll please...


Wow, that picture is smaller than I thought it would be. Oh well.

For any souls out there who don't know anything about Wicked, Shiz is the name of the boarding school that the Wicked Witch of the West attends before she becomes...well, you know...wicked.

In case I'm not expressing myself clearly (and I have a hunch that I'm not) I'm completely and utterly delighted to see this play tomorrow. Even though there's a tiny part of me that wishes I could see it with the original cast (Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth? Ummm, yes) I'm still super excited.

Add to this the fact that we're staying overnight in the citaaayyy, and boom! You've got yourself one awesome weekend. Plus Chad and Liz are coming with us. Which makes it awesomer.

(No, none of these pictures are mine. On Monday, or sometime thereafter, I'll post my own pictures.)

In other news, I'm officially employed by Jarrettown Elementary, and I'm really thankful. Even though I'm not working my dream job right now, it's still a great position and I love Upper Dublin's purpose and values. You know how you're supposed to research all that stuff before you interview and then mention it to your interviewer so you can come off all knowledgeable and agreeable and whatnot? Yeah, I'm one of those lucky people who actually believes in the mission statement of my employer. Pretty awesome.

Annnd, yeah. Thanks to my new job, my old tutoring job, and my new gym regime (I will be skinny, I will be skinny) I don't have a ton of time left. Maybe once the daylight returns I'll feel as thought I have more time.

Amazing how that psychology works, huh?

And of course, the fiend keeps us entertained.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Homage to Deliciousness

AND crappy photography. My Ipod Touch is not much better than my camera. I apologize in advance for the blurriness and overall poor quality of the photos you are about to view.

Thank you.

Last week I roasted a chicken in my crockpot. Yes, in my crockpot.

It was amazing.

I put my chicken in the crockpot before I left for school in the morning. I followed this method by the amazing Ms. How Sweet Eats, except I did put a lemon in the chicken cavity and I didn't roast the potatoes and onions in the bottom. Just loads of garlic, salt and pepper.

Then (mostly to see if I can, because this is not important to either me or Dan) I put the chicken onto a roasting rack in put it in the oven for about 20 minutes to make the skin nice and crispy. Be careful though, the meat almost falls off the bones!

Next (like how I'm using all the second grade writing transition words?) I scooped out some of the juice from the crockpot to make this.

That's right, people. Homemade gravy. And mashed potatoes. 

I even set a nice table. 


As if that wasn't enough, tonight I made this.

Fire-roasted pork tenderloin, with ginger roasted broccoli.

Courtesy of Gina's SkinnyTaste.

Served up with some peach salsa from Trader Joe's and white jasmine rice...yum.

I love having time to cook again!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

I don't actually know that much about MLK. Mostly I'm glad for an extra day off!

But today I decided to read this letter, written by Reverend King when he was imprisoned in the Birmingham Jail. I'd never read it before, but I'm stricken by his deep intelligence and clear expression, and the content which still rings astonishingly true today.

This is not to say that I expected anything less than intelligence, clarity, or truth; I can honestly say that I approached this letter with almost no expectations, since I am ridiculously ignorant about Rev. King.

I especially appreciated his comments about the Church; while he is addressing the "white" Church specifically (which should not really be, but I understand the context in which he is writing), many of his comments about the Church's unwillingness to be unpopular, and the disillusionment of young people with organized religion, hit the nail right on the head.

We are called to a higher ground, whether dealing with racial tension, lifestyle choices, or simple personality differences. It's important to remember.

Happy Martin Luther King Day.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

She works hard for her money

I started a new (and still temporary) job this week!!! I totally love it. I'm an "educational assistant" (AKA aide) in the multiple disabilities room at Jarrettown Elementary, same place as I student taught. Right now I'm subbing, but the head teacher really wants me, since we already had a good relationship during my student teaching. One of her students was in my class, and my coop was her go-to for supplies, suggestions, and assistance. It's super fun, and super exhausting. But I have, and probably always will have, a special thing for those "challenging" students. They're my favorite.

Anyway, my camera battery is dead and we're out of AA batteries. I've started browsing around for a better camera, but that's probably a good ways off yet. I'm interested in a nice one, and those cost money.

Which is in short supply.

(Not really, just when it comes to things like expensive cameras.)

(Food is not an issue, as evidenced by this.)

Quesadillas. Yum.

Sad little burnt cookie on the end.

 Yay for baking!

Halfway cookies. My absolute favorite.  Cookie on the bottom, chocolate in the middle, brown sugar meringue on the top.

Challah bread. (I don't usually bother to put the appropriate amount of phlegm into my pronunciation of "challah," which leaves me saying "holla," as in "holla yo!")

The remnants of Christmas morning brunch. I didn't get a before pic, we were hungry.

At any rate, you'll have to make do with fewer pictures until I get my bum off the couch to get some AA batteries.

I keep wanting to type "double A" and then realizing that AA is perfectly adequate.

In other news, it's 65 degrees in Philly today. Which, of course, means spring cleaning. Because 65 degrees = spring. Right?

Not really.

This mostly amounted to me cleaning out the fridge and freezer, which is always sad because I end up throwing away more food than I would wish, and then washing all the newly freed tupperware, before I ran out of steam. Really I need about five days of this weather and this mood to really accomplish everything I want to.

Which doesn't ever happen, so I go back to making messes in the kitchen, playing with Lily, and of course, blogging!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year!

Wow, that Christmas season just flew by.

For some reason, even though I've been spending so much time sitting around doing nothing, I haven't blogged. I guess I just don't have much to say when I'm not doing anything!

Make sense, right?

Of course right.

Anyway, Christmas was fun. We were just the right amount of busy, and Dan had enough days off that we were really able to relax and enjoy.

(As much as I love him, when he's randomly home it tends to throw off my schedule. It's not that I'm not glad to have him around! Because I am. It's just weird.)

We got to see some friends.

Hannah, I'm lookin' at you.

And spend some quality time with other friends.

Painting, for instance.

Finally, on Sunday night, everyone was home. So what did we do? I made dinner for everyone, of course!

"Of course you did," you say. Really, though, there was something incredibly soothing about being back in my kitchen, using my tools, my stove, and my ingredients, to make a simple, comforting meal for my friends who had been traveling.

(Did I mention we were housesitting over the holiday too? Yep, we were.)

Something magical about having all the time in the world, not rushing for a million guests, not trying anything new or fancy, just hunting through my kitchen for basic supplies, things I always have on hand.

Watching the layers of paper-thin skin peel away from the onions and garlic became a quiet meditation.

Slathering butter in between slices of bread and toasting them in the oven was peaceful.

(Don't worry, mom--I steamed some green beans to go with dinner too. I always eat my vegetables.)

And of course, a little something sweet.

Cheesy Ritz Chicken
Recipe by the magnificent and magnanimous Kelly Nelson Alberts

5 Chicken breasts
3-4 cloves of garlic
1/2 onion, chopped
1 stick butter
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
approx. 1 1/2 cups cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onions and garlic in the melted butter. Place chicken breasts in a glass dish. Drizzle the garlic, onions and butter over the chicken. Sprinkle crackers, then cheese over chicken. Bake at 375 for ~45 minutes.