Sunday, September 13, 2009

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

Does anyone know what day it is???

THAT'S RIGHT! The start of the Bengals football season!
Quite possibly the most exciting day of the year for me. There's just that anxious hope that this year could be different. And regardless, I still get to watch some football!!!!

Words can't express my excitement!

Here's hoping that Mike Brown can't screw it up this year worse than years past...


I recently received a Mimio for my classroom and I gotta say that I absolutely LOVE it! It makes teaching so much fun! As you can see in the picture above (which is NOT me!), the kids get really involved and really enjoy using it as well. A Mimio is similar in concept to the SmartBoard, but it takes up a lot less space (It's also MUCH more affordable)! In the top left of the picture you can see a grey bar. This bar is the interactive tool that reads everything you do with your mouse pen and feeds it back to your computer. I have been trying to use more technology in the classroom (my goal is once a day), and not to use it solely to use technology for technology's sake, but to enhance learning.
We've already done quite a bit with our Mimio and I plan on doing many more lessons with it. It has great templates and even has great starter lessons on the website. I am absolutely amazed at the cool things they continue to create. If you're a teacher, I would definitely recommend learning how to use this and making efforts on getting one in your own classroom.

Date Night

Now that I'm at Williams-Sonoma, I am constantly getting new ideas for dishes. I'm trying to step out of my routine box and try at least one or two new recipes a week. Last night was a spur of the moment date night for Mark and me. We went to church last night in Lexington, but on the way I mentioned that I would make some brownies for dessert.

I've been making these Double Chocolate Brownies that Ami made for Mark and I one day. I wanted to step outside of the box brownies and this recipe is just fabulous. I stole Ami's idea and I put grey sea salt on them right before putting them in the oven. I just LOVE the salty-sweet taste! I made them for Labor Day and for our small group dinner the other night (I paired them with some homemade pumpkin ice cream!), but that only left us with one each. I decided I'd make a whole batch just for us last night. I also decided to make some homemade vanilla ice cream to go with it.

At this point, we were ready for a good meal to go before it. We literally spent an hour and a half at Meijer just exploring all of our options for a great meal. Mark even had the great idea of going over to their book section to look up some new recipes!

We ended up buying some ciabatta bread that I paired with some fresh sliced mozzarella, roma tomatoes, and balsamic vinegar. Yum! We also sipped on some shiraz by Barefoot Wine. It's a very tasty wine that is very reasonably priced.

For the main course, I made ravioli with a creamy pesto. It was SO good! I can't find the recipe anywhere online, but I have it in my cookbook at home. It was so colorful because it had green beans, yellow peppers (I added some extra grilled peppers that Mark grilled up), and roma tomatoes. The creamy pesto sauce was just a mixture of pesto, sour cream, and lemon. It was such an easy recipe and just full of flavor (but they all paired together so well).

For dessert, we had our brownies along with our fresh ice cream. We also got some french vanilla coffee beans that we ground up in our chopper/grinder. Mark made us coffee for after dinner in his french press. I am just starting to love coffee, which could be very dangerous. I still like cream and sugar in mine so I took a small spoonful of the vanilla ice cream and plopped it into my coffee. Delicious!

By the end of the night, we were absolutely stuffed. We had a multi-course meal for a fraction of what it would have cost us to go out on a date and we have leftovers to boot! Great night!

Next time, I'll take pictures so I can actually display the dishes!