Tag Archives: soup

Ash Wednesday

Hey friends!

It’s Ash Wednesday! Which means I’m rockin’ some sweet forehead smudges
They’re totally in this season.

I used to go to 6:30 am mass on Ash Wednesday growing up. While it was great in some ways it meant I inevitably had someone tell me “there’s something on your forehead!”

I’m not sure how I’d manage to get a big old black cross smudged across my forehead without noticing, but thanks everyone, thanks.

I go to evening mass now, which saves that fun.

Ash Wednesday also means no meat, and fasting.

Catholics have a very lose definition of fasting-it’s more or less “don’t eat quite as much as normal”. Here were my Ash Wednesday eats:

Breakfast was oat bran with a tablespoon of peanut butter thrown on so that I wouldn’t chew my arm off. Jesus wants you to keep both arms

Lunch was curry quinoa, spinach, and lentils
Because Jesus and I both love lentils

And dinner was the old Catholic staple (right behind fish sticks and Papa Murphy’s veggie pizza) of grilled cheese and tomato soup

Ash Wednesday also means that I, yet again, forgot to take last year’s palms to be burned
(They go back the Sunday before to be burned for the year’s ashes. I ALWAYS forget)

I’ve already been asked a few times… I don’t give up anything for Lent. I could give you a whole CCD lesson on why, but basically I work on adding things to my life, rather than subtracting . Going to Mass more, following the Church’s commands for abstaining from meat on Fridays, read a religious book or two (like my catechism I had out in the picture above!), things like that. Cause really, personally I’ve found that giving up candy doesn’t bring me closer to God. Which is, you know, kinda the whole point of lent….

You doing anything for lent?


A Spudnut Moment

Know what I haven’t done in a grip and a half?

Posted a whole day’s worth of food.

So, here’s a day in the life.

I woke up exhausted and I downed two cups of unpictured coffee.

I’m an idiot and that was way too much liquid in my tummy, so I wasn’t digging  breakfast.  But I was off to teach and I knew if I didn’t eat something by calendar I’d be ready to eat the class pet.  So I ended up sticking one of these suckers
(Fact:  these are better if you call them La vache qui rit.)

On some Dave’s Killer bread
I adore hummus and toast in the AM (totally normal, right?), but I ate all the hummus last week and need to cook more chickpeas.  So this worked.

I grabbed my lunch
Weird mishmash of stuff.
Two kiwis, an apple, peanut butter (for the apple),  a hunk of Sin Dawg, crack oranges, and beef jerky.  I’ve been eating yogurt for lunches (and breakfasts) like it’s going out of style.  It’s kinda hit the point where it did go out of style.  Whoops.

(I ended up not eating the oranges, but I always aim to overpack-24 children + low blood sugar = hell)

And guess who I found in my class!  My friend from last year!  He switched schools!  Thankfully he’s less of a “friend” this year.

I got home from work and munched on some of these
These are crack.  I would possibly birth your children for a lifetime supply of these.

While I munched I threw together dinner.

1 can diced tomatoes + back beans I cooked the other day + chicken + brown rice + corn + spices = soup
More chips on there.  Way more.  But I hate soggy chips with a fiery passion so I add them as I go.

And for bed dinner

Which was disappointing.  Not because I don’t love popcorn or anything, but because I watched my girl Sarah give a shoutout to my hometown (first min and a half is all you gotta watch)

And since watching that?  It’s all one big Spudnut moment.

And by “Spudnut moment” I mean I would kill for a spudnut right around now.

What’s a food you want and can’t get?  I want spudnuts.  And more of that PB ish from Trader Joe’s.

We are all Friends!

Since bringing Baby Bliss (yes, his-well, hopefully it’s a he-name is Bliss for those who asked) I have been doing a lot of yelling.

I chose to yell “we’re all friends!” at the cats.  Because as a teacher, I know it’s better to pick positive words.  (We’ll ignore what friend means to a teacher, ok?)

And as a teacher I also read a lot of books where animals comprehend human speech.  So I’m delusional and think they understand.

It’s quite possibly working though.  This happened today
That is BOTH cats cuddling me.

Sure, it’s not each other, but it’s a step.

This step meant that I could be friends with my kitchen tonight.

I’m spending most of this week (Today-Thurs at the least) teaching Kindergarten.

It’s fantastic because they think I’m nice and pretty and hilarious.  (Sample comedy from today:  “In Canada, the last letter of the alphabet, that says the zzz sound?  They call that letter name zed!”  Had then in stitches.  If there were comedy clubs that catered to 5 year olds I could have a new career)

Being the funniest person in the room is hard work, so I tried to knock out a ton of food prep tonight while the cats were cautiously tolerating each other.

I got tomorrow’s dinner in the crockpot
Packed up my lunch:   Couscous + carrots + spinach + hummus
And yogurt (homemade again-I’ve made three batches now!) with blueberries
I realized the yogurt would be far more delicious with some granola.  And we were out.

So I solved that problem
And while it baked, took a shower.

Cause I like being funny and all, but I don’t wanna smell funny.  Little kids have no tact.  If you’re stinky they’ll let you know.  Repeatedly.

Teaching is awesome for your ego (“I like you!”  “you’re nice!” “you’re pretty!”) until the day you go to work with a pimple and have to answer the question “Mrs, what’s on your face?” all.  day.  long.

And now I’m going to go enjoy the blissful quiet of my cats not currently trying to eat each other.

How Takeout can paw this pathetic face I don’t know.
If you have pets, how long did they take to get along?


Don’t forget to enter to win some Fresh Express coupons!

I looked through my pictures today, and wasn’t sure what to write about…. Yesterday was just so…. basic.

The most exciting thing I’ve been doing lately is watching the cat play with her pepper box

(that’s a box. With peppers in it.  She loves it.  She drags those stupid peppers everywhere.  I found seven in the kitchen today.  And one in the guest room.  She’s advanced for her age)

But really?  Are basics so bad?

Yesterday I made us both oats for breakfast

(yup I followed up a salad with the most normal breakfast evahhh.  I am large, I contain multitudes.)

My husband has oats for breakfast a lot.  I lovingly make them.  In the microwave, with water.

Since I was having some too they were made on the stove, with part milk, and were also half oat bran, rather than just normal oats.

He loved them.

I feel a little guilty now.

(So guilty in fact that I made him French Toast today.  Seriously.)

I put some pumpkin and pumpkin cream cheese on mine

Is cream cheese a weird choice?  I don’t know.  But I have some in the fridge, and I’m perpetually convinced food is about to go bad.  So I have to use it before my brain is convinced it’s coated in microscopic mold.

Breakfast also calls for some coffee

Carbs and caffiene.  The basics to get your day going.

(Know what’s not basic?  Water.  I didn’t drink any till after work yesterday.  Whoops.)

Lunch was, again, basic

Yogurt (that’s a half full container, with peanut flour and enough cinnamon to kill a puppy), banana, carrots.

And I had a day of teaching kindergarten that was basically a blast.

Dinner was something I don’t make nearly enough

Chicken veggie soup.

I always get all these ideas of soups to make and ignore the basic chicken soup.  And that’s silly of me because it’s so darn good!  And easy.

With bread
I could feed my husband basically anything with bread on the side and he’d be happy.

Not going to lie, I like me some basics.

What’s a super basic meal you love?

I like toast.  A lot.  Like a weird weird lot.   But only if it’s made in the oven.


Subbing is an adventure.

Some days, you get to have a blast teaching Kindergarteners about how to write a 2 (“boys and girls make sure after you make the belly on the two you make a pointy spot before you do the line”) and have them in stitches giggling at Duck on a Bike


Kids loved it.  “The duck is on a BIKE!” Giggles all around.

(no the book doesn’t have anything deeper to make it super funny.  It’s a duck.  On a bike.  The kids were rolling on the ground laughing.  I went with it).

But some days, the teacher you’re subbing for calls you the night before and describes her class.  “They’re like the velociraptors in Jurassic Park”


Adding to the list of things I’ve taught where I’m unqualified:  special ed, middle school, Russian immersion (seriously I’ve taught it), PE, and…. dinosaurs.

I student taught at this school.  It’s a tough school.  The poorest in the district last I checked.  In a housing project.  These kids have a lot going on at home.  There are teachers there who are just burned out.

It was going to be a long day.

There was a late start, but I still had to be there at 7:45.  I corrected some papers, ate breakfast
I never drink enough water unless my blood sugar is really effed (in which case I cannot drink enough.).  I get different water-ish things to make myself drink more.  Currently I’m all about the seltzer water.  Plus Trader Joe’s Greek yogurt (with an absurd amount of cinnamon stirred in.  So good.)

And wrote a blog post.  Which somehow was eaten.

Good morning, you’re teaching velociraptors and technology hates you.


Then I got a text from the teacher, asking me to please have the kids put their stuff into plastic garbage bags


Oh there’s a bedbug infestation in the housing project this school is located in.

Clearly, my day was just getting better and better.

And they’d added in a scripted reading program.

“Scripted” means I get a book like this
Blue = I read.  “Signal” = I snap, and the kids are supposed to respond.  The snapping feels like dog training or something.   Not a fan.

I had leftover soup for lunch
(which was tasty!) and got through the rest of the day.

After the bell rang, two girls asked if they could stay to work on homework. Most of the kids go to the Boys and Girls club after school, and there should be space and staff to help with homework.  But I hear it’s kinda crazy down there.  So as much as I wanted a dinosaur-less room, a snack, and an advil, I let them stay.

One of them, at the end, looked up at me with big eyes and said “I’ve never had a teacher help me with homework before!”

She’s in third grade.  And she hasn’t ever had a teacher take 5 minutes to help her with homework.

There’s a reason kids turn into velociraptors.

When you live in a neighborhood where people get murdered outside your school?  (yeah, that happened this summer)  When it takes your 4th year at a school before a teacher helps you?  When vandalism is such a problem at your school that you get ONE chance, and only one chance, to use the bathroom all morning?

And the problem is, I can’t undo it all.

But I can take a deep breath and say “sure” to something a child asks, even if I don’t want to.

Because really, I didn’t get into teaching just because I loved using pointers and white boards

(although I do love both)

And when you feel like you’ve got a classroom full of velociraptors, you have to remember that your job is to help them become people.

(and when you get home from working on helping dinosaurs become people, ice cream and ibuprofen are a totally acceptable after school snack)

I live in Oregon

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know we drink our fare share of beer.

Possibly someone else’s fair share of beer as well.  Details.

But the thing is, I may be from Washington, but I live in Oregon now.  If you live in Oregon, it would be silly NOT to take advantage of the brewfests.  (Or the brewery open house where you get to drink FREE BEER FROM THE TANK).

And since we live in Oregon there are about 398403850948 fresh hop beers out right now.  So on Friday we went to a fresh hop “taste-ival”

We had a super balanced dinne-cheesesteak
And beer
(Side note-I love that we got real pint glasses at this.  Generally, beer fests give you plastic mugs, like the ones we got at Oktoberfest in Bend.  And you paid $5 for them, so you feel bad throwing them away.  So you save them, and then they only get used when you have small children over and need a plastic cup.  And then realize it looks pretty terrible to give a toddler a beer mug full of apple juice.)

We each had 8 tastes.  Which meant 16 different beers.  (well, 15 different ones, as my husband needed more than one taste from Double Mountain).

I’m horribly indecisive, and there were like 40 some beers there.  So I may have started picking out beers based on their names
I like puns.

(I really do like puns.  Terrible ones.  Sometimes when my husband is trying to go to sleep I start telling him jokes I make up.  Usually about cats.  “Where does the cat keep her wallet?”  “in a purr-se!” “What sort of boat does a cat have?”  “a CAT-amaran!”.  For some reason he doesn’t appreciate it.)

At the festival we met Patrick who blogs about beer and economics, and Jeff who writes Beervana.   Accidental blogger meetup.  Random.

Because we live in Oregon we also had some rain this weekend.

Which was the perfect excuse to bust out some comfort food
Creamy chicken stew, and biscuits.

So yummy, so yummy.

(too yummy in fact-I ate leftovers for lunch on Sunday, and couldn’t stop eating it.  Then felt less than awesome when we went on a run.  Way.  Too.  Full.  But worth it.)

We also had this girl visiting for the weekend


(If you haven’t been reading for a while, Shelby is my cousin’s dog.  She briefly was our dog because my cousin didn’t think they had enough time and attention for her.  But my cousin missed her too much, so she wasn’t ours for long)

So, I’m from Washington, which is why I love apples.  And I live in Oregon, so I drink (possibly too much) beer.  What eating habit can you blame on where you live or where you’re from?

Comfort Food 102H*

*I was going to call this comfort food 101, but I realized it’s not really a 101 course.  In undergrad I was in the honors program.  Rather than philosophy 101** honors kids took philosophy 102 H.

Cold weather makes me ready for comfort food.  Yesterday, with a rainy morning outside I realized my life needed some real comfort food.

I looked in the cupboards and found these
Plus I realized I had this sitting on top of the microwave
(yes, my yeast is expired.  no, I didn’t pay 54 cents for it.  I had a coupon.  I paid 12 cents. For a 4 pack. I love me some coupons.)

I realized that there’s few better things on a dreary day than soup and fresh baked bread.  So I got to work.

(I’m fairly sure normal people don’t bake bread when they’re in the mood for comfort food.  Hence the 102H.  I’m ok with not being normal.  It means I have bread.  Win.)

We all know comfort food needs butter
and comfort food means I even busted out

We don’t use a lot of it in our house.  It’s exciting when it happens.

(I also may have ran out of whole wheat bread flour.  Details)

While the bread was rising
I worked on some split pea soup
I love split pea because it’s all stuff I have in my house.  Dried peas, chicken stock, carrots, celery, and onions.  Simple.  And yet magically delicious.

And I got to sit down to a happy, warm lunch

After lunch, the rain stopped so the kitten and I went outside.  She immediately decided to make good choices, and did this


Then realized she couldn’t get down.  Smart kitten.  Smart kitten.  Of course, it started to rain again as this happened.

So I scooped the kitty out of the tree, went inside, and had another bowl of soup.

When it rains, you can never eat too much soup.

What’s your favorite comfort food?  I love soup, and I love that it’s pretty low key to make.  Stew is well loved in our house too, it just takes more planning.

**philosophy 101 was logic.  Really, if there was ever a course a bunch of smart kids need, it’s logic.  Intelligent /= logical.