Apple Crumble Tarts

I’m heading to my parent’s for Thanksgiving dinner tonight and since I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin pie I told my mom I would make another dessert. Pinterest rarely fails me! I decided I wanted to make something using apples and thought about tarts! A quick search resulted in a recipe for Mini Cider Spiced Cranberry Apple Pies. They were simple to make and I tweaked a few things to make them my own.

I was happy to see that pre-made shells were used!

I used two apples (McIntosh) instead of using cranberries.

I mixed up the chopped apple with flour, sugar and cinnamon. The recipe called for nutmeg as well but I didn’t have any.

Next, I spooned the filling into the shells. I had a bit of filling leftover.

Mixing the ingredients for the topping was easy. It called for butter but I didn’t have any of that either. I know, terrible. So I used margarine.

 Once mixed the topping went onto the tarts.

I baked them for 30 minutes and they came out looking like this.

I was happy with how they turned out except the shells weren’t cooked quite enough. I didn’t want to risk burning the topping so I didn’t leave them in longer. Next time I will try baking the shells a bit before filling them. 

Taste-wise I thought they were pretty yummy. My dad found them a little too sweet and my brother said they were awesome.

I’ll definitely make these again and perhaps I’ll try them with a different fruit!

You can find the original recipe on The Recipe Rebel blog. Click HERE!

Happy Baking ❤

Advertisements

Taco Soup (Weight Watchers)

It’s a rainy Saturday and I’ve got tons to do – cleaning, laundry, work prep, homework. Sounds like a perfect day to do something else! That something else ended up being trying a new recipe. I was looking for a healthy soup that I could freeze so I headed to Pinterest as I usually do. I searched “Healthy Crockpot Soups” and quickly came across a recipe for Weight Watchers Slow Cooker Taco Soup. Now I’m not actually on Weight Watchers but since I wanted something healthy and I already had most of the ingredients so this sounded perfect. I headed to the store and picked up the remaining ingredients.

It was super easy to make. Just brown the onions and ground beef.

Throw all the other ingredients into your Crock Pot and give it a little stir.

Add the browned onions and ground beef.

And turn it on for 4 hours on high (or 6 hours on low.)

The final product was yummy! I topped it with shredded cheese, a dollop of sour cream and chopped green onions. This recipe is a keeper!

Get the recipe on the Recipe Diaries blog! Just click HERE!

Enjoy!

Summer Eats

Who doesn’t love food? If you say you, I think you might be lying. Anyway, that’s besides the point because this is about me and some of the scrumptious foods I came across throughout the summer. 

Sweet Chili Cauliflower, MeeT in Gastown, Vancouver
Iced Mocha & Shortbread, Blacksmith Bakery, Fort Langley
Noodle Box with Chicken, Roaming Dragon Food Truck, Shipyards Market – North Vancouver
Vegan Mango Pineapple Ice Cream, Welcome Parlour, North Vancouver
Bacon and S’mores Waffle, Waffles with Benefits, PNE – Vancouver
The Main Event with Bacon, Reel Mac and Cheese Food Truck, PNE – Vancouver
Roasted Mushroom + Country Bacon Pizzette, The Belgard Kitchen, Vancouver
Chief Dominic Charlie Burger, The Tomahawk, North Vancouver
Salted Caramel, Chocolate Peanut Butter and Mint Chocolate Gelato, Matteo’s Gelato, Port Coquitlam
Grilled Cheese Cheeseburger, Montana’s BBQ & Bar, Langley
Baja Shrimp Tacos, The Dime, Vancouver
Chili Cauli & Cucumber, The Dime, Vancouver
Warehouse Poutine, El Furniture Warehouse, Whistler
Sea Ya Later Tater, Taters: The Baked Potato Co., Shipyards Market – North Vancouver

Slavic Roll with Lemon and Raspberry Filling, Slavic Rolls Food Truck, Shipyards Market – North Vancouver
And now, something that totally surprised me. Coen suggested we have this for breakfast one day and I admit I was totally skeptical. It only took one bite to discover how delicious it was!

Bread, Butter, Sliced Strawberries and a Sprinkle of Sugar
There you have it. Some of my summer 2017 top eats! Below are links to some of the websites in case you get a hankering for something you see here. Happy Eating!

MeeT

Blacksmith Bakery

Roaming Dragon

Welcome Parlour

Reel Mac and Cheese

The Belgard Kitchen

Matteo’s Gelato

Montana’s BBQ & Bar

The Dime

El Furniture Warehouse

Taters: The Baked Potato Co.

Slavic Rolls

Back to School

Boy, is it ever difficult to get back into the groove after summer vacation! No, I’m not complaining – I’m thankful for the time I get off! It was a rude awakening when my alarm went off on Tuesday morning but it was great to see my colleagues/friends; some of whom I hadn’t seen since the end of June.  And my little nuggets from last year? (You should have heard the outburst of laughter the time I called them my little chicken nuggets) Well, they didn’t seem so little anymore. I was greeted with hugs and “I missed you” from several of them. Students were only there for 40 minutes and we spent the time reconnecting and sharing about our summers. 

Meetings and preparations for the week followed. This year we decided to do something a little different for our opening week. We took all the grade 3, 4 and 5 students and organized them into five groups. Each morning we would do five rotations so each group would spend 30 minutes with each of the five teachers. We each chose lessons that were meaningful to us. My colleagues chose aspects of social responsbility, art and self-regulation. I chose Growth Mindset.

A couple years ago, a presenter and a Professional Development Day session I was attending mentioned Growth Mindset. I had never heard of it before but it intrigued me. I looked into it a little bit and have explored it with my students, although not to a great extent. 

The best resource I’ve found to introduce students to Growth Mindset is found on the Class Dojo website. There are five short videos (“chapters”), in which Mojo (a monster) finds out all about Growth Mindset. There are discussion questions that accompany each video as well as a set of questions to send home if you choose. 

Over the course of the three days I had the chance to go through the videos and discussion questions for the first three chapters. I also showed them the last two videos. Unfortunately we didn’t have time for discussion. Students who end up in my grade 2/3 class this year will explore it more!

Like most teachers, I spend a lot of time on Pinterest and I’ve got a board dedicated to Growth Mindset. I came across several pins of picture books to use so I recently purchased What Do You Do With an Idea? and What Do You Do With a Problem?  I am looking forward to using these two books!

By Friday I was exhausted, even though it was a short week. I’m sure fellow teachers can relate! On Monday morning I’ll meet my new class and, although I still have some of those beginning of the year anxieties bubbling around inside me, I’m looking forward to the new year!

Summer’s End

And just like that, summer is almost over.  Where does the time go?  I’ve been in a panic to get things done; it’s not like I’ve had the past eight weeks to do them.  The weather is ridiculously hot; my condo feels like a sauna.  How am I supposed to tackle all my little chores?  It’s like I have no choice but to visit places with A/C; like my massage clinic and Earls (hellooooo, Happy Hour) later this afternoon.

Despite having so much time off it’s always hard to go back to work.  I look forward to seeing last year’s class on the first day.  I love hearing about their summer adventures and sharing mine.  Truth be told, I miss my little nuggets over the summer.  It’s a strange feeling to spend Monday through Friday with them over the school year and then to not see them for two months.

It seems like just yesterday I was leaving my classroom for the summer and now it’s time to go back to set things up for next week.  The anxiety is kicking in…what grade will I be teaching?  Who will be in my class? What is going to be best for all my little learners?  How can I reach each and every one of them? What can I do to ensure they all feel loved?  Should I set my classroom up differently this year?  What should I keep the same?  What should I do differently?  So many questions, so few answers, and some of those questions will remain unanswered until I meet my new students.  It’s virtually impossible to know what I should do until I get a feel for my new kids – their interests, their needs – all that jazz!

So, fellow teachers, try to let go of those anxieties – there is nothing we can do at this point – and enjoy the last week of vacation!f33a217f3c6955931cfc3a000f13bebc

 

Fear

Earlier in the summer I bought a new journal.  I didn’t need one but it looked so pretty sitting there on the shelf and the quote on it “spoke” to me.  It was also on sale and, well, I’m a sucker for a good deal.20170729_111815

“She decided to start living her dreams.”  What was it about that quote?  The word DREAM has been one of my favourite words for a few years now.  I don’t really know why but if I wasn’t scared to get a tattoo (I’m a wimp) the word would be somewhere on the inside of my wrist right now.  Clearly I’ve thought about it.

Following dreams…easier said than done, for me anyway but I would hazard a guess that it’s true for many others as well.  So what is it that holds us back?  That nasty four letter word…FEAR.  But fear of what?  Fear of failure.  Of disappointment.  Of being hurt.  Embarrassed. Rejection. Of feeling unloved. All of these scary things lead to feelings of fear, at least for me.  What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail?  What would you do if nobody was judgmental? What if you could just brush things off and never feel that gut-wrenching feeling of being hurt?

When was the last time you faced a fear?  For me it was on the last school day in June.  I sang…by myself…in front of the whole school: students, parents, colleagues.  AND my own mother came!  Was I scared?  Yes.  Nervous? Absolutely.  But, I DID IT! And did I feel good after? I felt amazing!  Was I proud of myself?  Hell yeah!  Honestly, it was one of the greatest feelings finally doing something that I had wanted to do for so long but had been too scared.

I ended up brainstorming a list of things I fear…in that journal, of course!20170827_113046I’m sure if I took more time I could come up with many more and probably categorize them to find a general theme.  Maybe that’s a task for another day.

Anyway, I told Coen I was writing about fear and he reminded me that we all have fears.  And what was the worst that could happen?  And that time usually heals most wounds.  That led to my Pinterest quote search.  Gosh I love Pinterest!  A few of my favourites include:

 

I also ended up reading the memoir “My Year with Evelyn” by Noelle Hancock.  It’s all about fear and follows Nicole’s challenge to do one thing every day that scares you (thanks, Eleanor Roosevelt!)51f6bdfbb4eff6d2cf34d523867e494f

I don’t think I’m quite ready for that yet, but it’s definitely something to think about!  I totally recommend reading “My Year with Eleanor”; it was pretty insightful.  I borrowed if from the library but you buy it online.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/My-Year-Eleanor-Noelle-Hancock/dp/0061875015/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1503861796&sr=8-1&keywords=my+year+with+eleanor

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/My-Year-Eleanor-Noelle-Hancock/dp/0061875015/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1503861885&sr=8-1&keywords=my+year+with+eleanor

The memoir gave me a lot to think about…and maybe it will inspire another post at a later date.  Happy Reading!

Finding my Voice

When I was a young child I would go straight to the little desk at my grandparents’ house and begin to “write” or so I’ve been told. I have no recollection of when it first began but apparently I would spend hours drawing and pretending to write until I learned to write for real! I don’t know what I wrote but there are probably some papers in a box somewhere at my parents’ house. [Edit: my aunt just reminded me of the time I created a menu for an Italian restaurant – I saw that a few years ago!] I have vague memories of doing this as I got older or maybe it’s that I’ve been told it so many times over the years that I’ve created the memories. I often wonder this about childhood memories particularly when I was really little – do I really remember? Or do I think I remember because people have told me stories about those moments? Something to ponder…

My aunt reminded me the other day that my grandma always said one day I would be a writer. Maybe that day is now. Blogs didn’t exist back in the day, so my grandma probably meant a different type of writing, but does it matter?

Blogging has helped me find my voice. It has allowed me to share my thoughts, opinions and feelings in a different way. I don’t have many followers but my voice has reached readers all over the world. I’ve received positive feedback about my posts and that’s encouraging. I’ve found that desire to share. 

I don’t have a particular niche. I write about what I want, when I want. It doesn’t matter that it might not be everyone’s cup of tea but it’s my enormous steaming mug (Starbucks collector series of course) of Decaffeinated Earl Grey from M&S.  And that’s all that matters.💜