Why I Took a Break from Blogging

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After many weeks of rest and relaxation I have come to the conclusion that I miss blogging. I needed a long break in case you haven’t noticed. It was a challenging school year and I admit that I needed a month to revitalize myself as a teacher, mom, blogger, parent, wife, cook, soccer driver and more. I had too much on my plate for one person to handle and it came to a resting point.

After a lot of extra sleep, a family beach vacation, college tours with my senior daughter and a mini-vacation to Dollywood, I’m back feeling like myself. I’m already enjoying summer and my family.

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I see not only one rainbow, but two and God is good. I feel revitalized and ready for a new adventure. Now what will it be? I’m praying and ready to hear his voice. Usually I set New Year’s goals, but I’m thinking of new school year goals for my family of six. My oldest daughter is entering her senior year and my oldest son is going to be a freshman. My two youngest are in elementary and my husband and I are still plugging along in our middle school and high school teaching jobs.

Life is good. God is good. I’m savoring the season. I am back to blogging! How about you? How is God revitalizing you?

Celebrating the Prom, Mother’s Day and Hitting Submit

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I went another year to prom where I teach. I went with my high school sweetheart after 24 years!

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I celebrated my Mom who taught me everything I know about cooking. I made my first biscuits when I was 5 or 6; can’t remember which.

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I finally hit submit after countless hours and lack of sleep deprivation. I feel like I put my life on hold during this crazy semester and now it’s almost over. I’ve done the hard work and I’ll sit back and wait until November to here. But oh how I am relieved and I’m finally prepping meals again.

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So many times I had to quote. I’m grateful to be back blogging and thank you for your patience. Happy Saturday.

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Freezer Friendly Homemade Pizza Sauce from REAL tomatoes {New Recipe}

tomatoesWhat do you make when you have a 25# box of tomatoes and 50 teenagers? Pizza Sauce! My four foods classes tried a new recipe and we loved it. Students couldn’t believe the aroma of the fresh diced tomatoes and basil.

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They were into the dicing and presentation.

tomatoes3I was quite surprised with the recipe after simmering 90 minutes. It was humorous hearing them read the recipe and and dramatically say, 90 minutes! Seriously, the simmering made all the difference and the whole second floor was begging for the recipe.

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The immersion blender turned it into a rich delicious pizza sauce.

pizza sauce 2We made my homemade naan pizza crust the day before and now onto toppings. Since I was focusing on nutrients for this cooking lab, students had a variety of choices. Most preferred the usual teen pizza.

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Although, I had a handful throw some nutrients on their pizza.

pizza sauce3Now on with the recipe we used. Recipe adapted from Kitchen Treaty

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (about three large cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
  • 2 pounds diced fresh tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Black pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a medium saucepan over low heat, warm the olive oil.
  2. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about a minute. If you’re using dried oregano, add that along with the garlic. If you’re using fresh, add it to the sauce at the end of the cooking time.
  3. Increase the heat to medium. Add the tomatoes, sugar, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper.
  4. Leave over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until boiling. Reduce heat to low for a nice simmer.
  5. Simmer uncovered for 90 minutes.
  6. Stir in fresh basil
  7. Allow the sauce to cool to a safe temperature and then, using an immersion blender or working in batches with a blender,
  8. Allow it to cool completely if you are planning to freeze.

You can see my freezing tutorial here.

Now have a happy pizza sauce dance because you will have a tremendous amount!

 

Just Being Real

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I promise to be a better blogger and friend, but this past month has been crazy and busy. School has been overwhelming. Our club has been preparing for a state leadership meeting in Greensboro. My oldest daughter tore her ACL and meniscus and had to have surgery.

Needless to say, I haven’t taken the time and had very little energy to post anything new on my blog. We are going in different directions on Easter so we tried to get a picture the Sunday before. So here we go, we made it to the park in front of this beautiful lake.

Yes, I managed to get the kiddos to wear their matching clothes, but they hated it. They complained, they complained some more and we barely got a picture. Oh we were planning to have a picnic, but we forget the packed cooler at home.

But oh so funny, my husband posted our picture on his facebook and it got 100 likes. If only they knew we aren’t picture perfect. NEVER.

I’m a sinner in need of my Savior and I’m so thankful to celebrate Good Friday with you.

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This Sunday I am celebrating, He is Risen! I am forgiven for my past, present and future sin.

I am blessed to be real with you. I have so much on my plate, juggling four children, teaching four foods classes, writing new foods curriculum, writing  three components for my National Boards and trying to be a REAL blogger. I’m not doing the best job as the blogger, but I’m forgiven and I hope to update my blog much sooner as my school year draws to a close.

May your Easter be filled with peace, joy and comfort knowing we have a Risen Savior. He’s REAL and ALIVE and lives in me!!

Biscuits Galore

I broke the biscuit making record this week. Since I have four foods classes at school, I made over 60 biscuits during demonstration the first day. The second day was independent lab day and we had another 60 or so. Needless to say, I’ve seen enough biscuits for the week.

Though I don’t use shortening at my own house, we use the Big Daddy recipe in class. It teaches students how to measure sticky ingredients like shortening.

And we use the best kitchen hack ever to remove it easily with quicker clean up.

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Have you tried my healthy whole wheat biscuits here? It’s a favorite at our house. Just not this week;)

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Two Week Recap

IMG_3497 (1)Have I told you how difficult it to manage two blogs, teach 55 students, parent 4 children and cook a decent meal lately? Plus, the list goes on, but it’s a blessing to pause and thank God for the opportunities to reach others. So here’s what we’ve been up to. My daughter lost her first front tooth. We tried to get her to pull it for a week because it was hanging by a root.

IMG_3404I tweaked my black bean and corn salad recipe here by pan roasting my corn first and adding avocado. It was so yummy. I highly recommend it with everything.

IMG_3470My students created a gallon-tine equivalent chart. It surprised me with creativity.

IMG_3478 (2)My daughter and I tried Faith cookies that are soon to be released at Wal-Mart on March 12. They are a yummy treat and a perfect way to share our faith. I dipped mine in coffee and she tried hers straight up.

IMG_3434 (1)Speaking of sharing, my FCCLA students created homemade kleenex covers and we delivered them to our local Hospice House near our school. It’s a blessing to work with caring students who are genuine and share their love with others.

IMG_3409 (1)Last, but not least, my son turned 9 last week. It’s always a whirlwind in the Brown household. I’m finishing my national boards for teaching this semester and teaching 4 classes without a planning period. I’d appreciate any or all prayers. Thank you for continuing to be a loyal follower of this blog and/or Cougar Kitchen as I balance faith, family, work and all of the above.

Have a super blessed week!