Did you know penguins laugh?

April 25, 2011 at 7:21 pm (links)

I have a thing for funny animal pictures/videos. This is well known, and as such I get many links. My friend Laura sent me this one today:

Penguins are Ticklish

Go, watch it, and then laugh.

(The goat who figured out the food dispenser is pretty good too.)

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Sour Cream Dutch Apple Pie

April 25, 2011 at 12:35 pm (family, pictures, recipes)

I don’t make pretty pies, as evidenced by this picture:
Sour Cream Dutch Apple
But, it was tasty! My theory is pie gets all mixed up when you try to slice it, especially fruit pies. So as long as it tastes good, your mission is accomplished. (Also, I’m not very good at crusts, so that’s probably the problem.)

I got this recipe from Taste of Home, and it’s by far my favorite apple pie recipe.
Ingredients
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* Pinch salt
* 1 egg, beaten
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 cup sour cream
* 2 cups chopped peeled tart apples
* 1 unbaked pie shell (9 inches)

STREUSEL TOPPING:
* 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons cold butter

Directions
* In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour and salt. Stir in the egg, vanilla and sour cream; stir until smooth. Add apples; mix well. Pour into pie crust. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 325° and bake for 30 minutes more.
* For topping, combine flour and sugar in a small bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle topping over pie; bake 20 minutes longer or until filling is bubbly and topping is browned. Cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or chilled. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 8 servings.

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I brought this pie to our Easter dinner yesterday with my husband’s family. We cleaned up nice, I think!
Us on Easter

Happy Easter – He is risen!

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Pea Plants and Babies

April 21, 2011 at 5:35 pm (teaching)

So for one of my lessons I had the brilliant idea to plant pea seeds with my students and then we could measure them and keep data as a combo math/science lesson. It’s been a week and a half and only four of thirteen plants have sprouted… but we had fun, so who cares.

We can’t leave the plants outside overnight, so each morning we take the box of plants outside. As I was walking out with two students and our plants this morning, I asked them if they’ll remember to take care of them after I leave, since tomorrow is my last day of student teaching. (YAY!)

One of my students’ response? “I don’t know about that… I could barely take care of a baby, let alone a plant!”

🙂 Yes, cause taking care of a plant? SO MUCH more work than taking care of a baby…
(And no worries, he doesn’t have a baby. Whew.)

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And now, Rosita

April 19, 2011 at 5:44 pm (crafting, pictures, random)

Another Friends connection: I killed my beloved couch!
See picture here: I killed the couch
I took this with my phone, so it’s not the greatest.

I can’t say enough how much I love this couch… when I am curled up, I fit perfectly on the cushions, with my head propped on the arm. People, I am tall. This doesn’t happen often. So when my then-boyfriend inherited it from his mom, I told him we’re never getting rid of this couch. And now, after five years of being together, the couch is still with us. (It had at least ten years of life at my in-laws too… so it’s well loved.) A few months ago, my husband was ironing on the living room floor when the iron fell over and melted a bit of the bottom. I mourned but moved on. Then today, I did an even more horrible thing to the couch… I was trying to vacuum the heating vent behind the entertainment center (it was gross, take my word for it) so I set the vacuum on top of the couch arm so I could reach the vent with the hose. When I finished and put the vacuum away, there was my couch arm… scalped. I’m pretty sure the fuzz was melted off?

So today, I am feeling like Joey and his beloved chair Rosita. And, hoping my couch heals itself overnight.

Really, I think I’ll be slipcovering the couch this summer. I’ve been wanting to for a while, after getting a good tutorial from the wonderful Marisa at Parenthetical Me in October, and now I just need to do it. Covering my vacuum mistake… totally worth the ordeal of making a slipcover.

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Vesuvius

April 16, 2011 at 10:00 pm (random)

We’re watching some program on TV about Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius. Although it’s kind of a depressing show (summary: they didn’t die the way we’ve been taught they did, but the real way they died was just as tragic/painful) I’m cracking up because I keep thinking of the Friends episode where Joey buys the V volume of the encyclopedia.

RACHEL: So did you break up with Joanna?
CHANDLER: I think so.
JOEY: Well, it’s good thing you got out when you did, before she blew up like that Vesuvius.
ROSS: The volcano?
JOEY: Yeah. And speaking of volcanoes, man are they a violent igneous rock formation.
RACHEL: What?!
JOEY: Oh yeah, lava spewing, hot ash, of course some are dormant.
MONICA: Why are you talking about volcanoes all of the sudden?
JOEY: Well, we can talk about something else. What do you want to talk about? Vivisection? The Vasdeferens? The Vietnam War?

Sometimes, I’m pretty sure there’s a Friends quote for every situation.

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new nicknames, and birthday reflections

April 12, 2011 at 6:25 pm (family, friends, random, teaching)

Upon finding out it was my birthday today, the students tried to guess how old I was. Most guesses ranged from 18-23. When I said I was turning 24, one girl remarked, “You’re young, but pretty.”

Young but pretty?! Okay… 🙂 Suffice it to say, they were very surprised at how old I actually am. Also that I’m married. It still cracks me up when students are surprised that I have a life outside of school!

Some other students (not in my class, in another class) also calling me “Barbie” now. I’m not really sure what to make of that. Do they think I’m too pretty? Too fake? Childish? I have no idea, and I don’t plan on finding out. 🙂

So today, I am 24 years old. This feels incredibly old to me… the other day someone asked me how old I was and I almost responded “22,” before I realized not only was I 23 at that point, I was almost 24! I’m excited to be older, I’m excited for this year. I feel like we’ve been transitioning from college and grad school life thus far, and the next year has a lot of big grown up changes coming. 23 wasn’t that exciting of an age, but I hope 24 will be.

How about you? Are you more excited about certain birthdays than others? I hope you’re still excited about birthdays in adulthood… a birthday is such a fun day to celebrate!

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Things that are making me happy today

April 7, 2011 at 8:46 pm (random)

– I only have two more weeks of student teaching, as of tomorrow! There were days when it seemed like I’d never be finished with my credential program. And tonight I went to my last student teaching seminar!
– I’m flying to see my family in May, courtesy of my parents. I am so excited – I’ve been missing them like crazy lately, and a quick trip home will be relaxing and energizing, all at the same time.
– My birthday is next week, and Easter (2nd favorite holiday after Christmas) is not long after. April really is the best month, I have to say. 🙂
– A student who’s been having a lot of difficulties came to school yesterday and today. If she’s at school, that means she’s not at home making dangerous choices, so I’m grateful for every minute that we can hopefully help her. She’s one of the students who has touched my heart the most in the last six weeks.

It’s almost Friday. I’m really happy about that too!

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New Recipe: Monkey Bread

April 4, 2011 at 6:10 pm (friends, recipes, resolution: 1 a week)

We had dinner at the house of some great friends on Friday night, although Bethany was super sick and couldn’t join in. 😦 I brought this dessert, and left the rest of the batch at their house so she could try it when she felt better… hopefully her husband left some for her because I hear he kept sneaking bites. 🙂

I’ve had this before but never made it, and I’ve heard of most recipes using a butterscotch pudding mix as the sauce… I think that might work better? This sauce was a little less caramel-y than I’m used to. Also, I did something wrong because I filled up my bundt pan and used up all the brown sugar mixture, yet I still have about 1/3 of the dough left in the fridge??

I found this recipe on thenest.com:

Monkey Bread
Serves 6 to 8. (or, three really hungry people.)
Dough
1 envelope active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup warm whole milk
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened, divided
4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
Coating
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
½ cup light brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
Icing (I didn’t ice it. It’s plenty sweet enough!)
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
¼ cup whole milk

1. Prepare Dough: In mixer bowl, stir together yeast, water and pinch of sugar. Let stand 5 mins. Add sugar, salt, egg, milk and 3 tbsp of the butter. Attach the flat beater, set to Stir and mix. Then mix in 2 cups of the flour in 4 additions, until a dough forms.

2. Remove flat beater and attach dough hook. Set to Speed 2 and mix in remaining flour, in 4 additions. Continue kneading about 1 min. Using hands, form dough into a ball. Place back in mixer bowl, rub with remaining 1 tbsp butter and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise about 1 hour.

3. Prepare Coating: Place butter in small bowl. In another bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.

4. Cut dough into ½ inch pieces and roll into balls. Coat balls in butter then roll in sugar mixture. Place in prepared pan, with balls touching in layers if necessary. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Bake for 30-35 mins. Let cool for 15 mins on rack, then 20 mins on serving plate.

5. Prepare Icing: In small bowl, stir together confectioner’s sugar and milk until smooth. Drizzle over loaf.

My changes: I didn’t have enough time after work to make the dough, let it rise, and assemble it, so I did everything the night before and then stuck the filled bundt pan in the fridge overnight. I was worried it’d get too soggy, and that may be why the sauce wasn’t as caramel-like as I had hoped, but for the most part it held up really well. And definitely a time saver! It had just enough time to bake and cool after work. Overall, a great recipe and not too difficult. I’ll be making this again, I’m sure!

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Link: Angry Birds plus Muppets

April 2, 2011 at 2:47 pm (links, random)

Saw this on one of the blogs I read. I’m totally addicted to Angry Birds, so it made my day. 🙂

Coming eventually, once I go grocery shopping and clean the apartment and plan lessons for next week: the recipe for my first adventure with monkey bread.

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