Educational Cookies

I have a night class each week for two hours called, Best Practices in Education. We basically learn all the up-to-date Common Core Standards and best teaching methods research is currently reporting. I enjoy the class for the most part (other than groups projects…I die a little inside when I hear a professor say group project) because the teacher is really fun and she makes two hours enjoyable.

The best part of the class however is “educational” snack time. This means that each week a person is in charge of bringing in a snack for the entire class, but it has to be educational.

This past week was my week so I decided to make make educational cookies.

20130929-230116.jpg

20130929-232205.jpg

Here is what the cookies looked like: chocolate chip cookies with vanilla frosting, sugar letters, and m & m’s.

Here is what I wanted them to look like: chocolate chip cookies with vanilla frosting with numbers (1-9) and symbols (+ – = *) and sprinkles. (The kids would then add, subtract, and multiply with the cookies.)

Here is what happened: college budget = not enough money for 60 perfect cookies. The letters were cheaper then the numbers and I totally forgot about sprinkles at the store and all I had was M & M’s….so there you go.

Nevertheless, they were yummy, I had leftovers, and I’m done with that job for the semester.

Just for fun, here was my favorite educational snack so far:

20130929-231339.jpg

A rice crispy pumpkin with a tootsie roll stem. So cute. :)

What was your major in college? What is your job now?

I’m having a major, “what do I really want to do with my life?” crisis lately. Somedays I really like the idea of being a teacher and other days I am so terrified I’m tempted to change majors right then and there. I love kids, however teaching them is a big deal and not something to take lightly…therefore I want to make sure I’m really cut out for the job…and I don’t know yet if I am. 

Scenes from Christmas.

tmas4 tmas3 tmas2 tmas1

tmas9 tmas8 tmas7 tmas6 tmas5

Christmas was excellent this year. Snow on Christmas day. A million cookies of every shape and size. Family and friends home. Christmas ham. Cozy fires in the fire-place. Family games. Movie night. New clothes. Light shows.

Thank you Jesus for coming into our world with one main mission: save the lost.

Merry Christmas! Here’s to 2013.

Breakfast and Reunions

Today was a lovely, relaxing Sunday. It started out with church at my sisters church which I really enjoyed! The atmosphere was great and I really liked the preacher. Afterwards we headed to the Original Pancake House where they have a few gluten-free items on the menu.

I went with a veggie omelet and some gluten-free pancakes.

party3

I kid you not when I tell you the omelet was the size of my head. The pancakes were some of the best restaurant gluten-free pancakes I have yet to try.

I came home and took a three-hour nap. Catching up on sleep is on my to-do list for the break. ;)

I woke up just in time to get ready for church and our Christmas dinner fellowship that followed the service.

We had a plethora of food including some very yummy desserts. (Sorry, no pictures were taken.)

I did get a picture with some friends though. It was good to have the gang back. :)

party5

I came home and took Topy on a quick walk to see some Christmas lights. Currently I am watching Easter Parade with my mom and enjoying some cheese and crackers.

Here’s a few pictures of our Christmas party preparations last night:

party2

party1

All the gluten-free desserts turned out excellent, my mom rocks.

What is your favorite food to enjoy at a Christmas party?

Home for the Holidays.

Thursday afternoon I finished my last final and started out for home. It feels great to not have homework and projects looming over my head for a whole month, but I am sure going to miss everyone! My first semester was better than I ever could have imagined. I love college.

Last night I put my baking pants (actually sweat pants and no make up)  on and helped my mom cook multiple desserts for a Christmas party.

cook2 cook1

We made cookies, brownies, chocolate eclair cake, strawberry jello cake, and probably something else I’m forgetting. Plus, my mom made it ALL gluten-free. She’s awesome.

This morning I started my day out with a beloved oatmeal pancake topped with banana slices and 1 tsp maple syrup.

cook3

Afterwards I grabbed my yoga mat for a quick workout with Jillian. I ran three miles on the treadmill yesterday and my hips were very tight this morning, probably because I’m used to running outside. Some yoga was just what my body needed.

cook4

Now I’m headed out to pick up my best friend and spend the day catching up and Christmas shopping. I’m so excited to see her!

Enjoy your Saturday!

Pumpkin Party

I am home for the first time in three months for Thanksgiving break! I am very thankful my school gave us the whole week off and today I celebrated by using a whole can of pumpkin to make three pumpkin recipes. Gosh, I miss having a kitchen.

{The good news is, two out of the three recipes turned out.}

After eating our families traditional Sunday brunch of eggs, bacon, and toast; I rolled up my sleeves, cracked open the pumpkin puree, and got to work.

To start off the party, I whipped up a pumpkin spice latte from a recipe I got from a friend. Sadly, the recipe did not turn out like Tish made them. I will share the recipe with you tomorrow and maybe you will have some advice because I would love for it to taste as good as before.

Next up was a loaf of Gina’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip bread which is my absolute favorite. Pumpkin and dark chocolate is a genius invention.

While the pumpkin bread was cooking I decided to use of the last of the pumpkin puree and make Pumpkin Butter.

And when the hot pumpkin bread came out of the oven, I couldn’t resist a hefty slice with some fresh pumpkin butter on top.

Clearly I am making up for the fact that as a child I was determined to detest pumpkin. Thank goodness for food bloggers who made it look so appealing.

Tomorrow I am spending the day with my mom and am super excited to spend time together and catch up with my best friend. :)

But for now, I’m off to watch White Christmas and eat some more pumpkin.

Happy Fall Y’all.

Gone with the Week

What a couple busy weeks it has been! My phone is full of so many random pictures that I decided it was about time to post about.

The college group at my church back home sent me a box full of [junk] food! It was so thoughtful of them. :) I saved the baked goods (not gf but so good) and gluten-free items for myself then brought the other items to movie night.

In my last post, I mentioned visitation was last week which was a lot of fun but so tiring!! Thursday night, we knew ice cream at 11:00 would make everything better.

I am so glad I got a couple of boxes of Larabars at Target when my parents were here. I have officially re-awaken my love for them.

[Sorry for the awful lighting on the next two pictures]

I got a text from my friend on Sunday night that said, “Come to my room, we have pumpkin dip and chocolate Milano’s.” Yep, I didn’t have to think twice about that! The pumpkin dip was delicious with vanilla wafers and well, expensive cookies are good any day. Plus it was open dorm so we all got crazy and colored pictures.

I made peanut butter and “jelly” (frozen strawberries) last night for a snack and forgot how much I missed eating this everyday for lunch in high school. I often want to get it in the cafeteria but they don’t have gluten-free bread.

Has anyone else heard of the new UNREAL candy?? I am so excited to try it! You can read more about their story here but they are basically taking candy and making it “healthier” than regular candy. It includes no corn syrup, partiality hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors, and no GMOs or preservatives. So far they only have five candy bars but the more support they get, the more candy they will make. Perfect for Halloween right? They are sold at multiple grocery stores including Kroger and Target, so go check them out! (Hey mom if you are sending any candy for Halloween, this is my request- or anything dark chocolate ;)

This weekend is Homecoming so I am going to the musical tonight with some friends and then my sister is coming to visit for the weekend, YAY!
Happy [frigid!] Friday.

Dorm Room Fudge

I had my first baking experience in college this past Friday and it was hilarious. Obviously, my first thought was to document it for my blog.

It all started Monday when my friend was constantly reminding us that her birthday was Friday. Since it was fall break this weekend, most of our friends were gone so Katrina and I had planned to spend the day with the birthday girl and take her to lunch and help spend her birthday money. We still felt like we should get her something (but not very expensive!) and somehow we decided on microwavable fudge.

And instead of using the kitchen in the dorm, we decided to turn up the Christmas music, open up the window to the rainy outdoors, and make fudge in my room.

We did not have a sifter for the sugar, (which is very important or else you end up with chunks of powdered sugar in the fudge…not that we would know) so we stirred it with a fork for about 15 minutes.

We also did not have a large microwavable bowl (or any large bowl for that matter) so we mixed the ingredients in a pan (hence, the mess) and then transferred it into two small bowls to microwave and then back in the pan to stir.

Did I mention we accidentally made in on my roommates desk? I was cleaning our refrigerator while Katrina was going to start sifting sugar and before I realized what desk she used, it was too late. But don’t worry, we cleaned everything up and left it neater than it was before. :)

We also thought this would only take about 30 minutes but two hours later, we were still at it. (We did make two trays of it, though.)

And by the time we finished, the cafeteria was closed so we had to go to Mcalister’s Deli for dinner. I think they try to starve us on fall break…hence they close dinner at 6:00 and there is only one line open the whole weekend with the same food. Yum. :)

Much to our my surprise, the fudge actually turned out really good! We both pretty much ate a whole tray by ourselves.

And the best part? It really is easy to make. As long as you have a sifter. And a large bowl. And a kitchen.

Easiest-Ever Cocoa Fudge

Ingredients:

3 and 2/3 cups confectioners sugar, sifted

1/2 cup Hershey’s Cocoa

1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces

1/4 cup 2% milk

1 tablespoon vanilla

(Optional: 1/2 cup chopped pecans)

Method:

Combine confectioners sugar, cocoa, butter, and milk in medium microwave proof bowl.

Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes or until butter is melted

Stir until mixture is smooth

Stir in nuts and vanilla and blend well

Spread evenly on a lightly buttered 8 inch square pan and let sit out till firm (or refrigerate for faster results)

Cut into 1 inch squares

Gone with the Week

Happy Fall! I don’t know about you, but it is a glorious 81 degrees where I am and I’m in love. I am done with classes for the week because tomorrow is fall break, so it’s a three-day weekend! I had the opportunity to go home with a friend but since I have the room to myself this weekend and a few of my friends are staying around here, I chose to hang out on campus. I managed to take a nap today, so obviously, fall break is already starting out good.

Now for some recaps of the week (and past weeks)…

I got out of  class early so before my next class I took a quick study break on a swing. You have to soak up this weather as long as you can. A couple of times a week a group of us will grab some blankets and “study” on the front lawn after classes. It’s a blast.

Late night studying is the library is always better with friends and food. ;)

You are going to get so sick of my coffee pictures but they are just so fun to take! Although with the new Starbucks opening up, I may drink it all before I even take a picture. I love Starbucks.

My mom brought me up some gluten-free sugar-free cookies and energy bites which I seriously look forward to eating everyday. Too bad there are only about five left!

My parents also bought me a mini pumpkin for my room which can only make you smile when you walk in. :)

I will leave you with a picture of the worlds best dark chocolate. I bought this at Whole Foods right before college and actually managed to not eat it all in a week. Needless to say, it is so rich and flavourful and you should go buy some right now. And buy me some and mail it.

I am off to get ice cream tonight with some friends then celebrate a birthday tomorrow (and of course, sleep as much as possible)!

Friends, Family, & Fall

Hey everybody! How is the last day of September treating you? I am currently enjoying a caramel latte, so I would say it’s been a pretty good day. :)

This weekend was “Family Weekend” at my college and my parents came up Friday-Sunday to spoil spend time with me and get to know the campus and my friends.

It was really great to see them and not eating in the cafeteria for an entire two days was stinkin’ awesome. (Especially considering the food is the worst on weekends.)

I wasn’t able to snap to many photos from the weekend but I’m happy to share the ones I did.

Our first meal out was at a Brick Oven pizza place in town with the best margarita pizza ever. I think I ate this in two minutes.

That night, we ate at Chick-fil-a (un-pictured) because I was craving fries and they have the best fries. We went to a magic show after dinner and then ended the night with frozen yogurt (pictured above). I was so excited I mixed everything together and it tasted like heaven in a cup. I don’t think I have ever gone almost two months without fro-yo in the past two years- needless to say, it tasted amazing. I’m in withdraws.

The next morning, we got some fuel for our hour drive to the city. It was the grand opening of the Starbucks on campus and we couldn’t miss out on all the excitement. Tall skinny caramel latte, please. Being in Starbucks with my dad brought back fun memories of when we would go there…I’m so glad they came to visit. :)

Once we had our fuel we drove into the city in search of the important things in life like Chipotle. Priorities, people. You know its going to be a good weekend if it includes frozen yogurt and Chipotle. I got the burrito bowl with brown rice, black beans, tomato salsa, cheese, lettuce, and guacamole. YUM.

After Chipotle, we went to Target because there isn’t one in my college town. And, let’s be serious…I get pretty much everything at Target- clothes, shoes, dark chocolate, room decorations…you name it and Target has it. If you are ever in doubt of what to get me for my birthday, a Target gift card will never go to waste.

So we did alittle a lot of shopping and my mom bought me a shirt, dress, and some workout clothes (since apparently you shouldn’t re-wear workout clothes but then that means I have to do more laundry…). Then we picked up some grocery necessities (Peanut butter, dark chocolate, Larabars- you know, priorities :).

We then headed back to campus in order to go to the first home football game!!

We won, for the record. :) The weather was perfect and we managed to steal some seats during half-time since we got there a little late because we were *shocker* eating at Chilis.

This morning, we woke up bright and early to go to church and then headed to Ihop for my last good meal before it’s back to reality.

I was going to get something healthy because I think I managed to gain the freshmen 15 in one weekend, but then I saw Pumpkin Pancakes. Best decision ever. I have seen so many food bloggers make pumpkin pancakes and now that I have tried them, I am definitly making some over Thanksgiving break.

I am currently in the library sipping a caramel latte trying to get motivated to study for midterms coming up this week and next. Have I seriously already finished half of my first semester? I guess time really does fly when you’re having fun!

Thank you Dad and Mom for such a great weekend! You can visit any time. :)

Have a Happy Fall Day.

Last Supper

For my last supper (dramatic much?) before college, I requested Cesar Salad and Eggplant Lasagna. We made it last night (so that I could eat it two days in a row!) and it was the best lasagna I have ever had.

{I didn’t even think to take a picture of the salad because I was so focused on lasagna.}

{And that my friends, is why I never could or never would go vegan…cheese.}

{I lit candles in attempt to recreate the relaxation room and because I’m cheesy like that.}

If you are looking for a great recipe for lasagna, this is most definitely it.

I had two huge slices and would have had more if I hadn’t known what we were having for dessert…

A half off yogurt coupon means we must go. I am sure going to miss being five minutes from eight frozen yogurt shops!

Well, tomorrow is the day so can’t promise that posting will be very consistent at first, so please have patience. Can’t wait to share my college experiences with you!

What would you request as your last supper if you were going to get the freshmen fifteen spend the next four years eating cafeteria food?