Posts tagged vacation

Homestead

My wonderful, two-week fall break is wrapping up and I was less than productive in my crafting.  In fact, I haven’t picked up my scarf in a week or so. One of the reasons (at least this is my excuse) is that we’re buying a house.  We’re currently in our option period and have an inspection scheduled for Monday. If all goes well, we should be in our first home by early November. Then you’ll never get rid of me and my household crafts! (Sewing curtains are the first matter of business)

I’ve been reading a lot over break.  I started and finished Kate Jacob’s Comfort Food during my trip to Maine. I loved The Friday Night Knitting Club, this one was OK, though  didn’t think it was as engaging at the knitting book.  It follows a fifty year old woman, who is the host of a cooking show, and whose personal and professional lives are changing.

Comfort_Food-712076.JPGI joined a second book club, and they’re reading In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote.  I’m about 50 pages from finishing.  I thought I had read it before, but I think I might be confusing seeing the movie Capote with reading this book.  Anyway, it’s apparent why this is considered the most well-written true crime novel ever. The narrative is poetic. I’m totally intrigued.

I’m also about half-way through Nineteen Minutes, by Jodi Picoult. It’s about a school shooting in New Hampshire.  It has some characters that appear in other books by her, which I’ve never read.  I think as a teacher I’m morbidly drawn to these books because I see the bulling and social situations that begin in elementary school. I know I do everything I can to create collaborative and accepting classroom communities and I can only hope that it’s enough.

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Staycation

Because my family is in New England and the Husband’s family is in the Mid-West, we rarely think about spending the holidays anywhere other than our humble apartment in L.A. I love my family and my in-laws, but snow, ice, freezing nostrils, mittens, and temps below 30 just aren’t my things. Instead, I usually take this two weeks (used to be 10 weeks when I worked for LAUSD) to sit on my couch and crochet, read, and watch movies. Apparently, I’ve been ahead of the game all this time.  This kind of sloth is now known as a “staycation.” It’s all the rage now that the economy is in the toilet.  I’m happily revelling in the hottest new trend as of Saturday.

I’ve been cooking dinners more frequently (you’ll  notice this goes in waves with where I am in the school year- beginning of the year- we eat frozen meals, vacations- home cooking, right after vacations- convenience food, toward the end of the year when I’m in downhill mode- more cooking).

Last week I came up with the idea for this concoction because I have 4 frozen pie shells.  It’s a “Mexican Pie”.  I filled the pie with vegetarian refried beans, topped that with green chiles, then put a layer of soyrizo (vegetarian chorizo), then topped with cheese and three eggs beaten with a little water and milk. I baked at 375 for about 45 minutes. We topped it with sour cream and avocado slices. It was delicious and needed no extra flavoring because of the chiles and chorizo.

mexicanpieI also made a yummy dinner with Israeli couscous- which is the large pearl grain. I made that as directed and sauteed veggie chicken strips with onion and spinach.  We topped the whole thing with feta.  Again, no need for extra seasoning, because the feta and the seasoned chicken strips take care of it.  I had it with sparkling pomegranate juice, which was a holiday gift from one of my students.

israelicouscousLast night I made Veggie Beef Stroganoff.  I got the recipe from another teacher at school who had it for lunch one day.  I mentioned to the hubby how good it looked and he told me how much he LOVEd beef stroganoff.  So a month or so ago I surprised him with it.  It was tasty, so I made it again with the left over sour cream from the Mexican pie. This is sauteed onions, garlic, veggie beef strips, and mushrooms, with vegetable broth and red wine and sour cream.  I put it over wheat rotini because egg noodles have even less nutritional value. I also made brussel sprouts because I love ’em!

stroganoffToday was rainy and cold so I stayed in and cross-stitched all day.  I can’t believe how slowly these projects go.  I listened to music on the Party Shuffle mode the whole time I worked.  It was fun to hear all the good music I have hidden in my ginormous iTunes library.  Here’s what the mystery gift is looking like after about 6 hours of wok on it today.

xstitchgift2This evening I’ll be working on finishing Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.  I’m about 250 pages from the end.  My goal is to have it done by Christmas, so Chris and I can watch the movie version as our Xmas movie. I think I’ll have it done.  It’s the only book I’m working on right now. The only serious book, anyway.  I’m in the middle of another knitting mystery. I’m not sure what I’ll start next- maybe The Post-Birthday World, by Lionel Shriver.

Have a great holiday season and I’ll check back in next weekend!

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