Teaching and Tasties

Delicious eats and daring, death-defying teaching feats

Healthy Ice Cream? December 19, 2008

Filed under: Food — tlsussman @ 9:55 pm

You wouldn’t believe me if I told you, but I have discovered (ok, maybe I didn’t discover it) healthy ice cream.  Being allergic to dairy, ice cream and I don’t really get along too well.  Although I love the tasate, I do not love what it does to my GI tract.  I have long forgotten ice cream, in fact, until today.

I was reading through some raw recipes and came across a very complicated “ice cream”, only to realize it just a bunch of frozen bananas.  Although skeptical, I happened to have some bananas in my freezer that were calling my name (or maybe that was my newly acquired sweet tooth).  I threw 2 of them in the blender with some chopped pecans and let ‘er rip!  It takes a few minutes to get everything smoothed out, but the result is the consistency of ice cream.   From here, add what you like!  I put some carob powder in mine and had chocolate ice cream that, to me, tasted just as good as the real stuff.  Next time I will try some fruity flavors – made some strawberries or something.

No added sugar.  No added flavor.  Why don’t we market this stuff?!?!  I could be rich!

BTW – sorry there’s no picture…I ate it too fast!!


It’s the most wonderful time… December 13, 2008

Filed under: Food — tlsussman @ 8:32 pm


The holidays have descended upon us, which means food, lots of food.  For some reason, people believe that the holidays must mean that it’s also time to eat tons of sugar and chocolate.  This is OBVIOUSLY ok since New Year’s is right around the corner.  I can just make a resolution then and solve my weight gain or advance towards diabetes (let’s hope not).  So not only do I have to worry about students brining me chocolates and candies (I guess they didn’t get the hint that I like shoes), but my friends also want to have a cookie party.  The best part about this cookie party is that it is not an exchange, but rather, we show up at my girlfriend’s house with our boyfriends and such, and she provides the cookies.  Although less work, where’s the fun in that??

Along with taking away my fun, my friend has also given herself twice the work, as cookies for me are just not that easy!  We did find a gluten free cookie mix, but I’m not sure how good it is.  So, in the nature of the holidays (and my own curiosity) I began my search for EASY gluten-free cookie recipes.  While I have the whole cooking thing down, baking and I don’t usually get along.  I’m just not that patient!!!!  Surprisingly, I came across some delish recipes on allrecipes.com.  I was a bit surprised to see that this site had a decent amount of recipes from the very easy to the very complicated.

As an aside…I dont’ bake because it is complicated.  And now?  With the need for xanthum gum and sorghum flour?  Really?  It makes me want to bake even less.

So I found two yummy looking recipes.  The first is for Candy Cane meringues.  I have always loved meringues and I knew they weren’t too complicated and didn’t involve too many ingredients.  The only problem here is the amount of sugar.  While I can eat sugar, too much actually makes my head throb and sometimes, when eaten in ginormous quantity (as in more the whole bag of Skittles), makes my mind and eyes a bit blurry.  That being the case, I wasn’t sure about these.  I figure, however, if I make enough of them, the sugar is divided out enough that it wouldn’t be too bad.  As much as I searched, I didn’t find a sugar-free recipe without using some nasty fake sweetner.  I thought about stevia, but I’m not sure how much or if it would work.  Something to think about for next time…

Candy Cane Meringue

2 egg whites

1/2 C sugar

1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp cream of tartar

2 crushed peppermint candy canes

  1. Preheat the oven to 225º
  2. Mix the egg whites, salt and cream of tarter until soft peaks form.  Slowly add in sugar until stiff peaks form. Spoon meringue onto a foil-covered cookie sheet about 1″ apart.
  3. Bake for 1 and 1/2 hours until the inside is dry.  Turn off the oven and crack door.  Keep meringues in oven until cold.  Remove with a spatula and place in an airtight containter.

Well, they look delicious.  I think it was totally worth tiring out my arm waiting for those peaks to show!  Let’s just hope my head can take the sugar!  If not, I’m sure there will be plenty of sweet teeth to save the day!

Recipe two was also easy and quick.

Peanut Butter Cookies

1 C peanut butter    img_0003

2 eggs, beaten

1 C honey or agave nectar

cocoa powder (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. Mix peanut butter, honey and cocoa powder until smooth.  Add eggs and continue to mix until smooth.
  3. Place spoonfuls on oiled cookie sheets.  Smooth dollops into thin patties.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until small holes form on the top.  Remove from oven and allow to cook 10 minutes before removing from pan.

Now, I have to be honest and say that this is definitely doctored a bit to make me feel better about eating cookies. I didn’t have chocolate chips, so I figured cocoa powder would be just as good.  Since I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, I decided this would be ok.  I also did my best to avoid the sugar on this one.  Honey and peanut butter go together so well…I figured What the heck!  In fact, they are quite yummy.  I think I put a little too much honey in the first batch, so maybe just less than 1 cup would be better.  Although I like the taste, it was a little too strong.  I also used creamy PB, but I bet the chunky would be really good and would hep the texture along as well.

They’re great!  They have that chewy cookie texture with no flour and no fuss!

I would say that today’s baking adventure turned out pretty well. Tomorrow…I try some recipes from my new cookbook…Veganomicon by Isa Changra Moskowitz & Terrry Hope Romero. The recipes look like they are to DIE for!!!


The discovery of wikis… December 7, 2008

Filed under: School — tlsussman @ 4:51 pm

I always knew wikis existed, but I did not know their educational potential until recently.  As a Spanish teacher, we do SO many projects, which I love.  It lets the kids really push themselves and think and write and do outside the box.  So I was thinking back on my techie camp and came across wikispaces, a wiki that gives free space for educators.  I figured, what the heck?  Nothing to lose on this one…

At this point, I have create 3 assignments for one class.  The first, a group project, went well, but not as well as I wanted.  The benefit of the wikis is that anyone can edit them from anywhere.  For my site, it only allows those I have invited, which makes it extra safe for the kids!

Our most recent project was a weather report.  I would say, in general, it went really well – until a student decided not to follow directions. (BIG surprise there!)  I made a page for each kid, but he decided that instead of editing his personal page, he was going to edit the main page, the one with all the directions.  Lo and behold, my directions are all gone, as are the connections to all the other students’ pages.  THANKFULLY, he is a bit behind and chose to do his project after everyone else had turned theirs in!

What is great for me, and potentially sucks for the kids, is that I can see their every move!!  In fact, they can see what everone else does too…they just aren’t quite quick enough to figure that out.  (Man I love these kids!)

Checking upI can hit the “history” tab at any time and see who edited what, at what time and what he/she added or deleted.  So for a group project, when a kid says he did all the work…I can really verify it!  I think it definitely holds the kids a bit more accountable.

Our new project should be interesting.  The kids are to draw a monster, person, being, etc. and write a paragraph describing it.  They post the paragraph on the wiki and a friend draws what they imagine from reading the paragraph.  The picture is then posted and so is the original.  The two get together to compare and contrast, which is also posted.  It’s great, because the page is easy to set up and the directions are right on the page:

picture-11Sometimes I create the pages for the kids and other times I let them.  I think this time, they will get to start the page.  It will be a test in following directions, as they will need to make sure the page shows up in the right place!

Since this is the third project they have done, I am hoping they can move a bit quicker (ha) and get this done in the 2 weeks before break.

Pray for me!!