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About Me

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Massachusetts, United States
I am a happily married 1st grade teacher who loves to eat!

An Apple for the Teacher

An Apple for the Teacher

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Besame mucho!

It was Italian night in our house last night. For me, that just means cooking meatballs and speaking with an atrocious Italian accent (as in "passa me the moozadella"). While I am not a big fan of pasta (don't get me started, noodles are not my thing), I love tomato sauce. Paired with meatballs or chicken cutlets, tomato sauce is a staple in the D-family's household pantry. I have made my own version of Giada DeLaurentiis's turkey meatballs. The only reason I stray from the original recipe is because of what I do (or do not) have available in my pantry!

These turkey poultryballs are so fab that you'll never miss ground beef, and that's a promise! While I am no Italian, I am related to a few and they also are big supporters of the turkey meatball (shout out to Sara and Joe!). Here's the dynamite recipe ( a variation of Giada's original):

1 package of ground turkey ( I use extra lean, but if you want more flavor - do otherwise!)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tablespoons milk
2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
3 Tablespoons fresh chopped parsley OR 1 teaspoon dried parsley
pinch of salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients by hand in a large bowl. Roll tablespoon size turkey balls and set aside (should be enough for 12-18 balls). Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Working in batches of 5 or 6, cook on each side for 3 minutes. Keep cooked turkey balls in the oven on 200 to keep warm. Serve over spaghetti and homemade tomato sauce (I promise I'll follow up with my easy-peasy tomato recipe!).

Even Mona wanted a taste!

Voila! Wait... that's not right, "Ecco!" (I think?) Either way, enjoy!


The Dilemma

Happy Thanksgiving! If you can believe it, I am up early to finish baking before heading to the Earn Your Turkey 5k in Wakefield Center! And boy am I going to need that run before digging into the goodies that await later today. Look at this decadent goodness -

I offered to bring dessert to my mother-in-law's for Turkey Day. Now I need to give you some background info before delving right into my list of desserts. My own family is one of tradition. We've had the same 10 foods at every holiday meal, and dessert is not something we alter. My grandmother's pies are a staple, as they should be - they are heaven in your mouth! We have an array of homemade apple, pumpkin (actually, we only refer to this as squash), chocolate cream, pecan and (gasp!) mincemeat (for the strong stomachs). As tradition dictates, plenty of vanilla ice cream and homemade whipped cream is served on the side. And then I got married...

My husband's family is NOT one of tradition, though I am not sure they are even aware of this fact. While they do stick to the "basic" turkey (fried, of course) for dinner, dessert is another matter. Imagine my surprise when I walked into the dining room on my first Thanksgiving with the in-laws 3 years ago to find NOT ONE PIE ON THE TABLE! Instead there was an array of cheesecakes, Christmas cookies, brownies, chocolate covered pretzel and ... Jell-o? Yes, Jell-o. For a moment I wasn't sure we were celebrating the correct holiday.

Since that first holiday spent with my in-laws, I have seen the occasional pie or two, but it is by no means a staple to the D-family's Thanksgiving. While I miss my Grandma's squash pie, I have to say, a slice of Turtle Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory is really not so bad.

When I offered to make dessert for today I put a lot of thought into my decision. If I was traveling to my own family's Thanksgiving I would have whipped up a variation on tradition - maybe a pumpkin streusal pie or an apple crisp. But for the in-law's I had to take a tradition and make it completely un-traditional. And so... the Candy Bar Pie. A perfect blend of tradition and downright rebellion.

I got this recipe from a co-worker just yesterday as I was in a panic about what to bring!  She told me about this pie and I knew it would fit right in o the D-family's holiday table. It's pretty simple, and I highly recommend making it with an old family pie crust recipe (my Grandma's is so flaky!). The refrigerated Pillsbury pie crusts work well too if you are in a hurry.

Grandma Sully's Pie Dough
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 c shortening
3 T cold water

Sift dry ingredients. Add 1/2 c shortening and knead until fine. Add the final 1/4 cup shortening and knead until less fine. Gradually add 1 Tablespoon of water at a time until the sough is a comfortable consistency.  Chill 1 hour before rolling.

Have a happy Thanksgiving! I'l leave you with some fun first grade level Thanksgiving facts -

Did you know the main course of the first Thanksgiving consisted of deer, lobster and clams?

In fact, the Wampanoags in a way, crashed the first Thanksgiving. The Pilgrims invited Massasoit to join them for a harvest feast, not knowing he would bring along 90 of his closest friends!

The first Thanksgiving lasted for THREE DAYS. It was changed because the coined term Black Friday sounded much better than Black Sunday, which is easily confused with Black Sabbath, not appropriate for a holiday soundtrack. Enjoy!


A Clean Sweep

Yikes! I actually did it - deleted my entire blog and started over! I actually deleted over 2 years of time consuming blogging (which was very well written I might add). Sometime though, hitting the delete button causes just as much relief as stress. I'm still trying to decide what direction I want to go in with this new set up. Wow! Such freedom! Shall I write about school? Housewifery? What strange thing my neighbors are up to this week? With a new blog, I could write about it all! The one thing I know that will come up regularly is... food! Baking, cooking, serving and eating - it's all too good to pass up!

One thing I would really love is a new camera so that I can take pictures of the goodies I am whipping up (and putting down!). Maybe Santa will bring me something special... One thing that really pushed me in the direction of re-vamping (pun intended) my blog is this - tonight is the opening of the fourth installment of the Twilight movies, Breaking Dawn.

That was a joke, I was simply bored! But hey, this new template is looking pretty good, though I am still unsure about the font, is this making anyone else dizzy?

Enough small talk. Onto food, this is the creative genius of a constantly Rumbling Tummy, after all. I promise a festive Thanksgiving entry before T-Day (c'mon people, Turkey Day). BTW (Mom, that means "by the way"), my *firsties are putting on a Thanksgiving skit in honor of Abraham Lincoln (don't know of his contribution to Thanksgiving? Check it out here!). We will have included in the audience the K-8th grade students and teacher, parents and 29 Korean teachers visiting from Seoul (don't ask, but for this reason we will be "singing" a song in sign language, which is universal... right??). So, the pressure is on. After Tuesday I'll be much more rested and ready to post. Until then, have a snack.

*firsties = first graders, but a much cuter way to say it!


New and Improved

Given the fact that I teach first graders by choice you should know that I have a short attention span. Therefore... new blog, new design!

I needed a refreshing change. Hope you like it!