Monday, April 18, 2011


Dear readers,

As I'm sure you've noticed over the last few weeks, I've been stressed out and generally unhappy and until late yesterday I was still firmly on that path. When you look around and see so many negative things happening to you (whether it's reality or perception) or around you it's incredibly easy to give in to those feelings and ride the Negative Nelly express. I have no problem admitting that in recent days I've been a daily passenger on that train but I'm extremely sad to say that I think my attitude may have influenced a few people to hop aboard alongside me.

Yesterday evening I got some news that made me realize that in the grand scheme of things I've got it pretty good and I need to put an end to my self-imposed pity party and look on the brighter side of life. I looked up the definition of gratitude today and read the following, gratitude: the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful. It didn't take much reflection to come to this very simple conclusion; I have SO MUCH for which to be grateful.

My Gratitude List
1. Family and friends who love and support me always and allows me to be myself with no judgement.
2. An amazing boyfriend who makes me laugh every day and just makes my life brighter.
3. A job that gives me the opportunity to work with young people to help them grow into the wonderful people they can become.
     a. Also, a job that lets me be silly and share my passion for what's going on in the world today.
4. Co-workers who I would for sure put in the friends category.
5. Pretty good health.

While it might be a challenge as we draw nearer and nearer to the end of the school year, I'm making a promise to myself to look on the bright side and to seek the silver lining in every situation. Every day we can all find one thing to be grateful and thankful for; the hard part is that we must choose to acknowledge it.

Someone might need to do this to me next Wednesday!!!

If you've found yourself being a bit of a Negative Nelly lately you're welcome to join me in recognizing and celebrating those silver linings, little victories and moments of sunshine by posting them here.

My silver linings for today are: 1) the kids were really well behaved during our Diversity Assembly and 2) our district wide department meetings went well and were over quickly!

So my lovelies, what were your silver linings?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Stress Relief in Cookie Form!

This has been a stressful week both personally and professionally and I'm looking forward to tomorrow more than is healthy I'm sure. I'm hoping against hope that next week is leaps and bounds better than the one I'm in the midst of enduring, which can be boiled down to (oh man, I just channeled my dad!) it's not my fault, it's yours; I should matter; and my feelings are valid even if you don't like them. So yeah, this week can suck it! Only time will tell how next week will go but in the mean time, I have my secret stress busting weapon... baking! Well maybe it's not so secret since I might have mentioned once or twice that I REALLY like baking. :)

There will be a marathon baking session in my kitchen, lack of space be damned! I plan on making simple favorites and challenging myself by attempting things I've been crazy intimidated by in the past. If you have requests by all means let me know; Megan's kitchen is open for business and by gosh I'm taking orders!!!  Except for meringues, those are still WAY too scary. The day I attempt a meringue you all better show up with a straight jacket and some serious meds because it will breakdown city over here!

One of the recipes I plan on making is my Grammy Lou's applesauce cake, which I think originated even before her (Mom, help me out with the timeline). I'll post the recipe and some pictures when it's all said and done but I can tell you right now this is something you're going to want to make and soon! Your kitchen will smell AMAZING and you'll be filled with love, joy, happiness and the desire to hug everyone you meet. It's a perfect end to an Easter dinner (or any dinner truth be told) just pair it with a nice cup of decaf!

I know this week has worn hard on lots of those close to me and it's got me wondering how others release stress. Plus it's a great time to introduce my first give away!!! Now I'm not all fancy and hooked up like Ree over at The Pioneer Woman so I won't be giving away any KitchenAid mixers. But the winning entry will get their choice between a $10 dollar Starbucks card or a $10 gift certificate to the Cocoa Bean Cafe with several locations throughout SE Idaho and Utah.

Love their Mexican Chocolate cupcake beyond words!

So how 'bout it lovely readers? What are your surefire stress relievers? I'll choose from the responses from I've received by 6 pm on Sunday!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What a headache, literally!

Headaches are one of my least favorite things in the world to deal with and this time of year I find myself dealing with them constantly! And Lord almighty, today was no exception. I started out feeling just fine; the sun was shining, the kids were happy and working hard and I found there was only 1 more faculty meeting all year.  Lunch was fun with free pizza and cookies and two of my more troublesome students were absent. Woo hoo, party time in room A-42!!! Then the clock struck 12:55 (well technically it read 11:55 because my clock is possessed by some weird time demon and resets itself every morning) and BOOM! It was like a ton of brick was dropped on my head and I thought I was going to die; the pain was so bad the tips of my ears hurt and my jaw-hinge (not sure the actual name, Anna help!) was throbbing. I took a deep breath and looked out my wind pretty sure about what I was going to see and yup, I was right. The sky filled with dark, angry looking clouds.

Now I'm not sure how many people in the world suffer from the severe pain brought on by barometric pressure induced headaches but I can assure that I feel your pain, acutely. And for those of you reading this that find they get a horrible headache whenever the rain clouds roll in, here are a few articles that you might find interesting. They offer theories on why and how changes in the weather cause severe headaches and steps you can take to lessen pain and in some instances possibly avoid pain all together. Now while I found these articles informative, I'm not saying you should rush out and schedule an appointment with an acupuncturist or chiropractor as some suggest. Though, if you are located in the Idaho Falls area,  you might want to call up Anna Larsen at Your Body Better to schedule a massage. Contact her at 208-227-3087 or use the "schedule now" button on her facebook page

So, dear readers, if you all will excuse me I'm going to lay down in a dark room with a cold compress over my eyes. If you want to join me in my hardcore wishing and hoping for the pain to disappear I'd be forever grateful, especially since Ben's taking me to Pachangas for dinner and I hear it's WONDERFUL!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Simple Pork Chop dinner

Okay, this is what I had for dinner and it was so SIMPLE but so DELICIOUS!!! It's basically a breaded pork chop topped with grated cheese and mushrooms that have been cooked with butter and worchestershire sauce. The chops and mushrooms are cooked in separate pans so if you (or in my case, your significant other) are weird and don't like mushrooms you can simply leave them out.

You will need the following ingredients:
4 thin pork chops (thin cut is a MUST)
1 - 1 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 - 2/3 cup shredded parmesean cheese (I used Kraft in a bag, already shredded for me!)
3 eggs, beaten
4 tbsp butter, divided
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup fontina and gruyere cheese, shredded
1 package of sliced mushrooms
4 splashes of worchestershire sauce
Dashes of salt and pepper


1. In a medium sized pan melt 2 tbsp of butter over medium heat, once butter is melted add mushrooms and push around to coat. Add several splashes of worchestershire and stir around again to coat. As you're preparing the rest of the meal you'll want to occasionally stir the mushrooms and add more butter or sauce as needed.

2. In separate dishes combine the bread crumbs and parmesean (dish 1) and 3 beaten eggs (dish 2)

3. In a second, larger pan melt the last 2 tbsp of butter and then add tbsp of olive oil.

4. Trim fat from your pork chops and season both sides with salt and pepper and then dip into egg mixture. Allow excess egg to drip off the chop and then place in breadcrumb mixture and coat thoroughly. Transfer to the pan and cook on each side for 3 to 4 minutes.
    ******Because these are thin cut they will cook much more quickly than normal chops.

5. While the chops are cooking shredded both fotina and gruyere cheese, about 1 cup total. When the chops are done sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of each chop, cove the pan and remove from heat. The cheese will melt and get all nice and gooey. Let sit between 2 and 4 minutes.

I served my chop with roasted broccoli and asparagus and au gratin potatoes (thanks Mrs. Betty Crocker). All in all this took 25 minutes but that was due mostly to the potatoes; over medium heat mushrooms take about 15 mintues and chops take the same when you throw in prep and cheese melting time.


The finished product!

I hope you find time this week to make this YUMMY meal and when you do... you're welcome!

Lazy Sunday... I wish

It's Sunday, I should be lounging on the couch watching the Master's and sipping coffee but instead I'm engaging in one of my least favorite activities... cleaning. I HATE cleaning, I LOATHE cleaning, I ABHOR cleaning. Especially when the kitchen is involved.

I know how you feel sister!
To say my kitchen is small would be to understate things severely; my kitchen is minuscule, and yet it manages to get absolutely filthy in next to no time. I'm sure this is at least partially contributable (is that even a word) to the tininess of the space and the largeness of my microwave and coffeemaker but that doesn't make it any better or acceptable. To make matters worse, I've run out of paper towels and have no sponges so my stove, which is looking like a murder scene with all it's stains, will remain gross because I have absolutely no desire to venture into the outside world. So I will have to be content with the sink being empty and the dishwasher being loaded and the counters wiped down.

About what my sink looked like this morning.

One day I will have the perfect kitchen, my dream kitchen with so much counter space you could climb on up and take a nap! And on the counter top you will find my wonderful Kuerig coffeemaker (thanks to my shmoop!) and a KitchenAid tilt head stand mixer in Boysenberry or Tangerine. I'm going to will that into existence even if it kills me!!! If any of you have a Boysenberry KitchenAid mixer you no longer want I'd be happy to take it off your hands!

I just sighed with longing; it was a really loud sigh so you might have heard it. My apologies!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I know I shouldn't but I can't help myself!!!

Heaven help me, I'm about to be bad; very, very bad. I'm under the influence of Jessica and her awesome blog, "How Sweet It Is" and find myself getting ready to make these...

Yeah, that's right people; take in the awesomeness that is an Oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookie. Now I realize that this is something that could come back to bite me but it's Thursday, my light bulbs keep burning out and I'm too short to change them and I teach 7th grade so I kinda don't care.

I love baking, always have, but I have an INCREDIBLY tiny kitchen and well, I like to spread out when I bake so I don't bake as much as I'd like. For these evil bites of deliciousness I'm willing to make it work (on a totally unrelated note, how fantastic is Tim Gunn?)

Who else is drooling? Please say it's not just me because that would make me sad. Plus it would make me wonder what's wrong with you! Oreo. Stuffed. Chocolate. Chip. Cookies.

I'm not crazy or delusional. These are not healthy in any universe which is why I will keep a few for me and take the rest to school to share with my colleagues, because sharing is caring.

Alright, enough talking; it's time to bake. If you don't hear from me tomorrow I died because these were JUST THAT GOOD!!!

***These images come from the How Sweet It Is site.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bring on the 'shrooms (and no, not THOSE 'shrooms)

This week I'm on my own since Ben is still in Arizona (lucky punk) soaking up the sun, spending time with his family and getting in lots of golf in gorgeous weather. This means several things such as, my feet will get a reprieve from being messed with, I get total control of the remote, I don't have to immediately put the shower curtain back in the tub after a shower AND I can cook things with mushrooms and olives and no one will complain!!! Can I get a woot woot!?! Now this might not seem like a big deal to many of you but I ADORE mushrooms and olives and it makes me more than a little sad to pass them by when I'm at the store or remove them from recipes in order to please my picker eater but I do it because a) it makes him happy, b) I'm incredibly thoughtful like that and (maybe most importantly) c) I don't want to listen to him complain about how gross they are.

As I sit here all snuggled up under two blankets (because Idaho Falls is not Arizona no matter how hard I wish) I thought I'd share some of the things that make my life easier when it comes to meal planning and grocery shopping.

First there is the most marvelous website ever created. I give you Tasty Kitchen, the brainchild of Ree Drummond aka The Pioneer Woman. If you've never been to this site you really should make it a priority. Tasty Kitchen will change your life no matter what level of cooking expertise. The site was created as a place where everyday people could share their favorite recipes and you could expand your recipe box in a few simple steps. You can scroll through the recipes as they're posted or look at the featured recipes of the day; you can search for recipes using specific ingredients (like mushrooms) or by category (i.e. main course, cold dips, salads).

I searched "mushrooms" and found the following which I can't wake to make...

Second is a little something that "The Project Girl" (Jen Allyson I believe) whipped up. It's a weekly meal planner AND shopping list. I've used this several times over the last month and have found that my frequent stops at the store for the ***insert food item*** I forgot have been reduced dramatically. I love that the shopping list is divided into categories, makes it so much easier when you're going down the aisles. It also gives you guidance and direction for the week; you know what you're going to make and when you're going to make it. Download and save your copy at

I swear to you, both of these sites will be time wasters (in the best way possible of course) and you'll soon come to find them indispensable! Enjoy my dears!!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

I'm melting!!!

Holy crap; it is hot. No, that's not true. Hot does not even begin to describe the weather outside. What word do people use to describe how hot the surface of the sun is, because I feel that would be the MOST accurate description of the insanity that is happening outside.

Now I realize that it gets much warmer in the Phoenix area than it does in Idaho Falls but in late March I was honestly not expecting it to be in the upper 90s. I spent 20 minutes outside and I thought I was going to melt. The randomness of the weather I've experienced in the last 5 days (snow on Monday and almost 100 degree temps today) has led me to one conclussion... Mother Nature is a crack addict!!! Seriously, crazy pants, such a wide swing in weather is just super uncool!

I was really excited to cook dinner for Jessi and Dallas but now I'm scared the house my burst into flames if we turn on the stove or oven so if you, my dear readers, have any suggestions for things I could make without using heat producing appliances, bring 'em on!!!

When I came down this morning Jessi was watching Julie and Julia and it made me giggle seeing as that was the inspiration for me starting this blog. I came in around the scene when Julie was wondering if anyone was reading her blog. I've heard from a few friends that they are taking a gander at this piece of my mind/life but I'd love for you to leave comments, suggestions, topics for discussions!!! My friends aren't the shy and retiring types so come on, let's get chatty!!!