Sunday, February 7, 2016

What's cooking this week?

Another busy week has gone's Sunday again! Yesterday was a cold and rainy day...ALL day. I took Ella to the library while Stephen went to work. When he came home, I went into work for a bit to get a few things ready for testing this upcoming week. Since the day was nothing exciting or special, I thought it would be nice to go out to dinner just the three of us. We tried out a yummy Italian place nearby. As soon as I walked in and saw a man playing the guitar and singing "that's amore" felt like home (New York, baby)! The food was delicious too...we will be back for sure!

As you could probably imagine, last night what somewhat of a "cheat meal"! I had baked ravioli and it was totally worth the splurge. I'll have to get back on track with some healthier choices this week....
Here's the plan:
Sunday: Grandpa's Marinara + Baked Eggplant Parmesan
Monday: Not cooking (having leftovers)
Tuesday: Black Bean Veggie Quesadillas
Wednesday: Apple Cheddar Spinach Panini (+Steak for Hubs)
Thursday: One-Pot Caprese Pasta (there always seems to be one meal from the week before, I don't quite get to)
Friday: Chicken and Lentil Soup (in crockpot)

We are sticking close to home again today. Maybe we will take Ella for a ride in her wagon to the park up the road, but that's it. Staying home, cooking sauce and watching movies sounds like just the right kind of Sunday for me! I have leftover gingerbread mix and snowflake sprinkles...maybe I'll have her help me make gingerbread snowflakes. That's the extent of my baking! Ella had a blast making cookies during December, I said I would try to do it more "year-round"! I don't have a sweet tooth, so cookies aren't typically a threat to my healthy eating!

I love creating opportunities for this little sweetie to help me in the kitchen (don't mind all the stuff on the counter, #reallife)! We bought her the cutest step stool that has two steps! It brings her up to the perfect height! The other night she watched me make white chicken chili and I let her rinse the beans. I caught this little thief sneaking beans out of the strainer more than once! 
That's about it over here! I hope you all enjoy the rest of the weekend!
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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Brie, Pear & Arugula Flatbread

Will this still be a food blog? Who knows? Let's face it....I lost touch with all the recipe posting longggg before I decided to take a break. I haven't actually stopped cooking though. Sometimes I need to "re-up" on the inspiration, but it doesn't mean I ever stopped getting experimental in the kitchen. I still hate to measure AND I still loosely follow almost EVERY recipe I attempt to make.  The recipe below is a prime example of that. THIS is the original recipe I set out to make when somehow things took the typical turn. I ended up going more with a combo of that grape/brie one and a favorite flatbread recipe from a restaurant by me called City Fire that uses pears. I guess that's where this creation was born. In my very own and specific words...the best that I can remember 5 days is the recipe for this yummy deliciousness!  
1/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. of whole grain mustard
1 tsp. of dijon mustard
1 tbsp. of honey
Pizza dough (I get mine in a case by the deli section of our grocery store)
8 oz. of brie cheese - sliced thin
2 pears - peeled and sliced thin (you may not need ALL of this)

1. Pre-heat your oven according to the directions on your dough (I think the Publix dough is 450 degrees... but I'm not 100% sure).
2. Whisk together the extra-virgin olive oil, whole grain mustard, dijon mustard and honey. 
3. Roll out your dough. We take ours out of the fridge about 15 minutes before we are ready to start rolling. We also spread some cornmeal on the counter so it doesn't stick and roll it out pretty thin. (I don't know why I'm saying "we"...Hubby is the dough roller in the house.)
4. I (this would be my job) brush the dough generously with the honey mustard mixture. Save a little bit to drizzle over the top when it's done. 
5. Top the pizza with the brie cheese. 
6. Cook your pizza part of the way - then take it out and add the pears to finish it off. (My pizza cooked for about 20 minutes, after 10 minutes is when I added the pears...the last 10 minutes was a perfect amount - you may need to use your judgement).
7. When it's all done and the crust is cooked to the pizza with arugula and then drizzle it with the rest of the honey mustard mix. Make more if you need to...because chances are good that I way underestimated my measurements. SORRY, I'll get better at this!
Enjoy! It's CRAZY good...we will definitely be making it again!
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Sunday, January 31, 2016

What's cooking this week?

Happy Sunday! It's a packed weekend for us over here! Yesterday, we took Ella to story time at the book store....then off to the park and lunch with friends. Today we're having another day of fun! This morning I'm getting up and out super early to take Ella on a fun little play date with some more friends. Ella has a very busy social calendar! Ha! This busy weekend is following a non-stop week, and I am TIRED! After I get home this afternoon, I plan to spend the rest of my weekend cozy at home! Luckily I've got a super simple dinner planned...
Here we go:
Sunday: Grilled Grape Brie and Arugula Flatbread (didn't get to make it last week)
Monday: Not cooking (having leftover cauliflower soup)
Tuesday: TACOS!!!
Wednesday: Steak for Hubs and Skinny Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Thursday: One-Pot Caprese Pasta
Friday: White Chicken Chili

Through all of the running around this weekend, I managed to start a new book AND squeeze in a girl's night last night with my awesome friends Sherina and Rachel! Oh, how I miss seeing their faces every day at work! There's not enough time in just one evening to catch up with those two, so we will be planning another dinner real soon! 

Okay, now let's get back to packing more fun into this weekend! Hope it's a good one for you all! Here's a sweet pic of Ella and her little friend Chloe from the park yesterday afternoon. I just love their boots and sweet little smiles!
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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Seven Things About My New Job

Can I still refer to my job as "new"? In my will feel new until year one is in the books. The crazy thing is that the end of the school year is actually sort of in sight. We're more than halfway through the year...testing is rolling around, and know how that goes once it gets underway! If you don't know....take my word for goes FAST!
The cowboy art came with the office....very calming.
For six years I worked as a school counselor at a middle school...and now I'm an elementary counselor at a charter school. Total life change! Here are some random facts about the new J.O.B...

1. It is ridiculously close to home. I'm talking TWO miles away, five minutes if lights are timed right! I'm still excited by how quickly I can go from my house to my office. Excited and grateful!

2. I work with little kids now. They are so tiny and adorable...2nd and 3rd graders! I still say a little "awwwww" when I see the tops of their heads bopping by the Guidance office window! This is an adjustment from the middle school kids I used to work with. I'm enjoying working with the littles, although I miss the connections and conversations I used to have with the older ones. This isn't necessarily a good or bad thing...just different. I'm enjoying it a lot so far. 

3. I actually started off in a different building with the 4th and 5th graders for about a month before things shifted around and I packed up my entire office and moved over to 2nd and 3rd. I joke around and refer to my position NOW as my "new, new job". 

4. It's different being part of a team, but on my own. The setup is not a traditional K-5 elementary school although we are considered ONE (side note - the entire school is really K-12, but I'm talking about the elementary part). Because we're so large there are actually three different buildings that make up just elementary, each with a school counselor. We are a team and do work very closely together...however....the typical day to day is obviously spent at our own buildings. 

5. I literally get emotional every time I think about the fact that Ella will be able to attend such a phenomenal school. I'll just leave it at that. Wait...did I mention the school is phenomenal. Oh boy, here come the tears....

6. In a way, Ella goes to my school already too! There's a building up the road with a one and two year old program. Can you say perfect?

7. I love it. It's new, exciting, challenging, rewarding and fun all at the same time. The people have been wonderful, welcoming and patient as I learn all there is to know about my new role!

Whenever people ask me about it, it seems as though they really want me to make the comparison between this job and my last job. Here's the deal....there's absolutely no way to really compare. It's like comparing apples to oranges, each job has it's own unique set of pros and cons. Different county, different grade levels, different everything! In certain ways it's too soon to really tell which is better, and I don't want to even go there. Does it matter? I loved my experience at Inverness Middle and now I'm on to the next chapter of my life. I'm all about elementary and excited to really get to know these kids. There's still much to learn. Mrs. Skoblicki is ALL IN! Go Buffalo!

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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Almost a YEAR! (+What's Cooking)

Dusting off the cobwebs and taking a look, how I've missed this place! Hello, old friend...blogger template! This is happening, it's been almost an entire year since I've taken a "break". I had no clue how long it would be, and  honestly I was scared that I wouldn't actually return. The thought of this little space of mine that I've claimed, getting lost out in cyberspace seriously scared me! There's no way I could just leave it floating out there, never to return to again!  When I started really getting the itch to come back I re-read THIS post, noticed that February 15th would make one whole year and decided that's it....that's the day. Well, it would have been nice...but anyone who knows me, knows that I'm the most impatient person maybe EVER, and once that decision was made it seemed almost impossible. How dumb, I'm not waiting any longer! I'm back! Yippeeeee! 

A LOT has happened in the past (almost) year....I'm not even going to try to fill in all the blanks. We are all the same, but different....older (yikes) and I'd like to say wiser! Ella Rose is TWO now, our house is a lot more lived in, Hubby has taken up a new hobby (running) and I have a brand new job close to home that I LOVE! I'm also a Beachbody coach now! Maybe more on some of those things later! Anyway, here are our faces just to show you what a difference a year makes!
Sooooo, I'm going to cut right to the point and do what it is that in my opinion I always did best on this blog....

*"Every Sunday" - minus the occasional almost year long break.
Okay, so I'm still on the health kick and torn between cooking super healthy low calorie food for myself, but not wanting my skinny hubby to be missing out on the calories he needs (especially now with the running). #thestruggleisreal
OMG, were hashtags even a thing a year ago?!?!
Here we go:
Sunday: Grilled chicken with roasted red peppers and fresh mozzarella over fresh garlic spinach
Monday: Leftover grilled chicken (I always have hubby grill extra)
Tuesday: TACOS!!!
Wednesday: Steak for Hubs and Creamy Cauliflower Soup
Thursday: Cucumber Avocado Subs
Friday: Grilled Grape Brie and Arugula Flatbread (should be interesting)

That's the plan, I may even do some mason jar salads for an easy grab and go lunch. It's a typical Sunday here, not much has changed in that respect. We've just got a much more articulate sweet girl running around. She's at such a fun age! I'm looking forward to spending the rest of my Sunday with this sweet face! Hope you all have a wonderful Sunday and week ahead!

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