Spring Break In Photos

Spring break ended a week ago (with five straight days of rain and all my classes packed into one week, as a matter of fact), but I thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful weather and time off. Here’s some pictorial evidence of just that:

 

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Breaking into Spring

As of 5:30 p.m. on Friday night, I have been on spring break, not just from school but also from work (both spring breaks happened to fall on the same week).

Saturday morning I started my break with a big breakfast, hosted by Justin Andrews. We ate delicious food, talked, and laughed. Then we meandered over to Anna’s going-away garage sale where I picked up a new bag (after straining under the weight of school books and notebooks for seven months, my old one finally snapped this week), a garlic press (hallelujah!), and an armful of beautiful fabrics.

From there Derek and I rode down to the library where I perused the shelves for some fiction to read (I find it so hard to find good fiction sometimes). Then we packed a picnic dinner and spent the evening at Loose Park, sitting under a budding apple tree. We ended the night with a movie (the second Jurassic park, if you must know; I’d never seen it and spent a decent percentage of it calling advice to the characters and gripping Derek’s arm).

On my list for the rest of this week off:

  • Go to the Kansas City Community Garden’s office and sign up for a membership.
  • Start our garden. I confirmed with the landlord this week that it’s still okay for us to plant one and posted a flyer by the mailboxes today inviting the neighbors to join me. My goal is to get the plot tilled and a temporary fence (to keep out animals — especially the neighbor’s dog) this week.
  • Start (and perhaps even finish) my observations for my child development case study (yes, I do plan on doing homework this week unfortunately).
  • Begin researching Reggio Emilio for my curriculum comparison project (and decide on my second curriculum focus).
  • Begin research for my program spotlight project.
  • Finish research for my risk factor project and write the paper.
  • Write eight activity plans for my curriculum class.
  • Write four activity plans for my internship class.
  • Set up my observations at Plaza de Ninos.
  • Finish reading, reviews, and application activities for my health, safety, and nutrition class.
  • Read fiction
  • Spend time outside (it’s supposed to be sunny and in the 70s for the first few days this week)
  • Catch up on letter writing (I have at least five that I’ve been meaning to write)
  • Make something creative (perhaps that toilet paper role wall hanging? Or some flowery branches for our dining room?)
  • Write a blog or two (maybe. No promises…)
  • Do laundry (and all that everyday stuff that still needs to happen).

Actually, now that I look at that list, I have quite a bit of homework to do. Ugh. But even so, I plan to spend time relaxing and enjoying break, too.

Unfortunately, my body seems to have it’s own plan of being sick this week….

Another Variation on Pancakes

I am a breakfast person.

I know plenty of people who skip breakfast most days (my husband among them) and I used to count myself as one of those. I usually ate a combination of breakfast/lunch somewhere in the late morning or early afternoon. These days, though, I tend to wake up hungry, my stomach growling before I’ve finished my cup of coffee. Which usually leads to me cooking a bowl of oatmeal (substantial, nutritious, and cheap). After eating oatmeal nearly every morning this week, though, I decided it was time for something different.

I mixed up a batch of these pancakes (based on this recipe), cooking some and refrigerating the rest of the batter for another morning (how long can you refrigerate pancake batter anyhow?). They’re probably some of the fluffiest pancakes I’ve ever had:

Vegan Pancakes

Ingredients:

1 1/4 c. flour (whatever kind you want; I used whole wheat)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (optional)
1 1/4 c. soy milk
1 tsp. vanilla (or you could just use vanilla soy milk I suppose)
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

Directions:

Wisk all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the soy milk, vanilla, and oil and stir with a fork until smooth. Cook on a lightly oiled skillet over medium-high heat until lightly browned on both sides (they don’t get the same golden brown as regular pancakes). I found that sometimes it helps to spread the batter a bit after you pour it since it ends up fairly thick. Serve with your choice of toppings (I prefer a little bit of honey or applesauce; my husband can’t eat them without lots of syrup).

(Note: you can also use just water instead of the milk if you’d like, like the recipe suggests. I tried it with water the first time and it was alright, but I thought they tasted better with the soy milk and vanilla)

 

Saturday Morning Breakfast for Two

I tend to cook in larger quantities these days, so there’s plenty to share with whoever is around, but sometimes I like to make something special for just Derek and I.

This morning was one of those times. Our collective retreat this weekend was snowed/iced out, so we slept in and drank coffee together while I baked these eggs:

Lemon Baked Eggs with Spinach

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. milk
1 c. chopped fresh spinach
1 tsp. fresh grated lemon zest
1/2 c. shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 eggs

Directions:

Lightly butter two individual ramekins (or other oven safe dish). Put a tablespoon of milk in the bottom of each one, then top with chopped spinach, lemon zest, cheese, and garlic. Break two eggs on the top of each dish and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until eggs are set. Serve with toast.

Weekend Breakfast on a Thursday

Derek has today and tomorrow off of work, so this is sort of our “weekend”. We slept in, drank our coffee together, and then I made a puff pancake for breakfast (I’d never made one — or even seen one — so it was kind of fun; they weren’t kidding when they say the edges will puff up!). It took a little while to cook, but was really easy. If I made it again, though, I’d probably add a bit of sugar to the batter (the recipe doesn’t include any sugar, other than in the topping), but it was still tasty. Here’s the recipe I used (modified a bit from this recipe):

Puff Pancake with Strawberries

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp. butter
4 large eggs
1 C. milk
1 C. flour
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 C. strawberries, sliced
2 Tbsp. sugar
honey (optional)
powdered sugar (optional)

Directions:

Melt butter in 9″ pie plate in 450 degree oven for about 5 minutes. In a medium bowl combine eggs, milk, flour, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg; mix well until batter is smooth and creamy. Pour batter into pie plate; bake, uncovered, 30 minutes or until golden and center is dry (pancake will form a well in the center and edges will puff up). Meanwhile, mix together strawberries with sugar and slightly crush with a fork. Serve slices of the puff pancake topped with strawberries. Optionally, you can drizzle with honey or sprinkle with powdered sugar.