Teaching and Tasties

Delicious eats and daring, death-defying teaching feats

Fall is in the air October 28, 2008

Filed under: Food — tlsussman @ 4:28 pm

Well, I was feeling the fall chill as I stepped out of my car and into my house, so I figured it was time to cook up some fall goodies.  Since Halloween is just around the corner, orange caught my eye.  I found a delicious recipe from Laurel’s Kitchen for a Ginger Butternut Squash.

All you need is some squash, lemon juice, ginger, agave nectar, salt and pepper.  I hate to say that I don’t really measure, so your guess is as good as mine!  Cook the squash in the oven at 400° until tender.  Mash in a bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and stir until mixed.  Be careful with the ginger.  Since it is strong and the squash is not, too much is overpowering.  It makes for an easy side with a sweet and tangy flavor.  And oh so easy!

Another easy recipe is roasted root vegetables.  I happened to have a turnip, parsnip and beat on hand.  Potatoes, rutabagas, yucca, etc are also great.  The combo just depends on the flavors you want.  The turnip is kinda harsh, but the parsnip and definitely the beat, are a little sweeter.  Basically, peel what you want and cut into large pieces.  Toss with olive oil, sea salt or kosher salt (they give better flavor than table salt) and rosemary.  You can add sage too, if you like.  Spread on a cookie sheet and bake at 400° until soft but still crunchy.  This is SO easy and really delish.  Also very filling.  It makes a great side for a party, too because of the colors.

I was also in the mood for soup, so I decided on a raw cream of mushroom soup from my friends at GoneRaw.  This is a wonderful website for those with alergies…I can eat so many things.  They can also be adapted to a less raw lifestyle!

Put 2 C water and 1/2 C sunflower seeds** in a blender until creamy and smooth.  Add 2 cloves chopped garlic (or more to taste), salt and pepper and 1/2 T nutritional yeast.  Blend until smooth and it begins to warm.  Add 1/2 C chopped button mushrooms and blend for no more than 10 sec.  Pour and eat!  I decided that instead of blending until warm, I would put some in a bowl and nuke it for a few seconds.  It was perfect!

**I used roasted and salted seeds, which have a stronger flavor.  If using this type, use less seeds.

The final adventure is a long-time favorite of mine in the fall – the taffy apple.  Since I can’t eat dairy, I can’t really eat caramel.  So…I used another recipe from GoneRaw.  Combine agave nectar and cocao powder until blended.  Add cocao to taste.  Place a chopstick in the middle of an apple.  Roll the apple in the chocolate sauce and then roll in your favorite crushed nuts.  (I used walnuts.)  Place in fridge to set.

A few thoughts on the chocolate sauce: the sauce was thin and therefore didn’t stick so well to the apples.  I didn’t want to freeze it all because the apples would have been NASTY!!  So…my thought it to freeze the chocolate sauce for a few hours and let it get pretty hard.  Remove from freezer 15-20 minutes before you want to use it.  It should be thick enough for the apples.  When you finish, if not serving immediately, place in the fridge.  That should hold ’em!

Either way, they were absolute delicious!  Easy and tasty.  Plus, they are good for diabetics, since the agave nectar is a slower releasing sugar.



Traveling tales October 22, 2008

Filed under: School — tlsussman @ 1:45 am

So it is almost the end of 1st quarter, and the traveling isn’t getting any easier.  Besides being on the cart and in four classrooms for four periods, I also have to deal with getting back and forth to the elementary to teach the 4th and 5th graders.  I think that traveling wouldn’t have been so bad, except that I was so used to having my own classroom.  To go from having my own space and my own room, to sharing 3 different classrooms is driving me insane!  I am extremely organized, yet I can’t seem to get it together.  Maybe my system just isn’t good?

The other issue is the problem of the elementary school.  While I think the kids are totally cute and we do have a decently good time together (as they find just about EVERYTHING amusing), it is very trying.  I walk into another teacher’s classroom and the kids all of a sudden believe that they don’t have to follow classroom rules.  Besides, I see them for 25 min, 2 times a week.  Not much I can do with that.  In fact, many of them call me the name of last year’s teacher.  Oh well.  I just don’t even know how to deal with them.

I love the middle schoolers – I can be sarcastic and joke with them and we can create a relationship.  I don’t get that with the elementary.  It is just a burden and takes me away from the more important things in my life – the middle schoolers.  I hope that this is not a permanent thing…or I may have to find a new job 😦


Shanah Tovah… October 2, 2008

Filed under: Food — tlsussman @ 8:18 pm

With the start of the new year (5769 that is!) comes some new goodies.  Rosh Hashanah was totally hectic and wonderful this year.  My grandmother is getting older and can no longer really cook for everyone anymore.  So…that left the task to my mom, my two aunts and me – not that I mind.  Since I am so difficult to cook for (yay alergies!), I decided to make dessert.

Dessert #1 needs a little help, but here it is.  Rawish apple pie.  I took the recipe from GoneRaw, although I changed it a bit.

Crust: 1 C dates, 1 C walnuts and agave nectar to taste.  Process until it is crumbly, but still a little wet.  Place in pie tin and refrigerate.

Filling: 3 C apples soaked, agave nectar, cinnamon, 3 dates, 1 tsp lemon juice, raisins

1. Cut apples and soak.  2.  Make syrup: add dates, agave nectar and lemon juice to blender and blend until liquid.  3. Drain apples and add syrup.  Toss well.  4.  Add raisins and spoon into crust.  Voila!

I like my apple pie warm, so I baked the apples for about 10 min in the toaster oven (it cooks faster) at 350°

Dessert #2 – Banana Chocolate Peanutbutter Cream pie (also from GoneRaw with a few changes)

Crust – see above and add cocoa powder or carob powder.  Freeze when finished.


Tier 1 – Peanutbutter and agave nectar.  You can use crunchy or smooth, depending on your taste.  Mix together until well combined. Place in the pie crust and freeze.

Tier 2 – 3 frozen, extremely ripe bananas cut into small pieces and cocao/carob powder. Process bananas until they begin to mush.  Add cocoa powder.  Process until it becomes the consistency of ice cream.  Place in the pie crust and freeze.

Tier 3 – 3 frozen, extremely ripe bananas cut into small pieces.  Process until the consistency of ice cream.  Place in the pie crust and freeze.  You can add walnuts to the top if you would like.

Remove pie 5-10 minutes before serving and place in the refrigerator.  If left frozen, it will be rock solid!!