Sunday, May 31, 2015


I always have great intent on posting something new, but get distracted by all the games on Face book.  Then I need to read and catch up with what is happening in my friends and families lives around the country and never make it over here to post.  Truth be told, I have been too busy and too exhausted to even get on the computer most nights in the past 2 or 3 weeks.  I think I went an entire week without even opening my home computer.  That is not to say that I didn't get on a computer or phone or tablet.  NOPE!  That just means I didn't get on my home computer to blog.  (I have been known to blog at school, but that is usually when I have everything done and need to either A) immediately write down or post a blog about what I am thinking or B) fill time or C) avoid doing something I don't want to do - like grade projects or papers.) I have been on here twice - no, three times this weekend and I am finally getting over here to the blog.  Looks like I made it here twice this month.  That is really good considering it was May with all the things that happen during this month - school coming to a close, parties and graduations (not that I go to either one of those, but have catered a few), cleaning the class, restaurant and kitchen - well, getting my students to clean all those things, grading. grading and more grading making sure everything is in the computer and accounted for, packing away everything in the class and labeling all the equipment readying the room to be cleaned by the custodial staff and last, but not least, typing up finals.  I am not one of those teachers that teaches the exact same things every year where I can use the exact same final year after year.  I really don't know how they do that.  Life happens in my classroom that knocks plans out the window on a continuous basis and I never know what will be on the final until the week of finals.  I was in and out so much this spring (sick, competition, sick, state competition, caterings), that I realized when I pulled up part of last years final for Restaurant Management, that they may not have covered what was on that exam. I know I didn't remember going over it.  Although, it was part of a sub assignment they were to cover.  So, instant review sheet!!  Now, to pull several exams, cut and paste and add some new stuff and voila!  new finals!  Now, for the bad part.  My final exam schedule - due to double blocked classes and the set schedule, all my classes have two different parts.  What I mean by that is for example, my 2nd/3rd period class comes to class for second period and then leaves for lunch and returns for third.  (the next day my 6th/7th period does the same thing) However, the fun one for me is the 4th/5th period class that comes the last session of the day on day 1 and the first session of the day on day 2, but since it's the spring semester - only the juniors come on day two because the seniors took their exam spread out over the two days before finals even started.  Got that?  It totally confuses the majority of my students the first year they are in my class.  So, I literally give two different final exams!! Part of one exam we started this week - is cleaning!!  It gets my stuff all clean and gives them a grade.  The best part is - it's part of the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills)   It's part of the curriculum!!!  That is a fairly easy thing to grade.  You either did it or you didn't.  Or like one group - you part way did it and another group had to come in and re-do it?  very few points are coming your way.  However, you have another day to try and earn more points for that part of the final.  Works for me!  I am hoping to wrap up the rest of the cleaning tomorrow and have Tuesday as a quiet study day - knowing my classes it won't be quiet - before giving the finals on Wednesday and Thursday.  Woo Hoo!  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  However, it's not shining very bright since we have 3 - count them 3 - inservice days after the students are gone.  One is our normal records day where we finish up grades and last bit of cleaning and putting away items.  The other two are new this year and are inservice days.  WHAT???  Why would you put inservice days in the calendar after the school year ends?  You have teachers that have already resigned and retired or are looking to get out and you want to do an inservice?  I think it is totally ridiculous and don't know what everyone else will be doing on those days, but our crew is giving a test.  (This part has been deleted by me because it was more of a rant and I don't think you want to hear what I have to say about this situation and will quit right here.)  I hope to be on here more this summer and share with you what I make, cook and create.   Okay since I have used this as a distraction and avoidance of typing up exams, I can leave you and go feed my barking dogs.  It must be close to 5.  It's amazing how well they can tell time some days.  (They are usually spot on, but some days they try to get food early and start in about 4:00.  Not, today.  It's 4: 55 and time for me to go feed them)  

Friday, May 8, 2015

Geat Reviews

Everyone LOVED the salsa!!  I just laugh because it is Pace Picante sauce that I added extra spice and flavor to and it just disappeared out of the kitchen!!  My students were upset that there wasn't anymore left today to eat with the leftover enchiladas.   Now, that one of my students finally came by to pick up what he left in my classroom I can go home and sew!!  I am working on backs to quilts to I can send  4 or 5 quilts off to the quilter.  I haven't sent anything to her in so long!  I am excited to pick out quilt patterns and thread choices.  Now to just get some tops out of my house!!  I still need to put on the binding for about . . . 12 quilts that she previously quilted.  Oh, well.  I am only in it for the fun part!  Picking fabric and sewing tops!  gotta go!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Recipes and Fun Times

Since I have been here last, I have been to Corpus Christi, Texas with a bus load of students for state competition, celebrated Easter, spent 3 days quilting with my friends and celebrating my birthday.  At school, I have done 2 caterings,  2 restaurants, taught and practiced sauces, cupcakes and argued with my students about how to make Green Chili Enchiladas!!  Life has been busy to say the least.  Speaking of Green Chili Enchiladas, I have a friend coming to restaurant this week that has been put on a no meat diet.  It is killing her- a rancher's daughter who grew up eating red meat - to not eat ANY meat at all.  It would kill me, too.  She really wanted to come to our last restaurant this week, but we are serving green chili chicken enchiladas (yum!), but she can't eat any.  I thought about leaving out the chicken, but we use cream of chicken soup, and she can't have any of that either.  So, I created a black bean green chili enchilada just for her.  It is actually delicious despite the turned up noses of my students.  Once they tasted them - we had to bake a couple just to see if they worked - they thought they were delicious!!  This is a recipe that is great the way it is, but I keep thinking of other things I can add or change up to make them better.  (sour cream in the sauce?) ( green chilis inside the enchiladas) See, I keep tweaking it in my head and it keeps getting more delicious!  At least in my head it sounds delicious. 

Speaking of delicious, another item we are making this week for restaurant is tres leches cake.  This is one of those easy, simple cakes that everyone thinks is hard to make.  Trust me, it's not.  One group of students was slicing up strawberries and putting sugar on them getting them ready to go over the cake.  Another group were cutting up cilantro and doctoring up some salsa that I had on hand.  You know that commercial, "you got peanut butter in my chocolate. you got chocolate in my peanut butter" ?  Well, I took a strawberry and a cilantro leaf and . . . the rest is history.  Those flavors go really well together.  One of my students and I were tempted to toss it all together and leave class just so we could enjoy the loveliness in peace.  We didn't, but look for a dessert sometime in the future with those two as the showpiece!  (or maybe even a strawberry/cilantro margarita in celebration of cinco de mayo!)

I am trying to get one or two more backs sewn this week so I can send quilts off to my quilter.  I need to be sending her 2 a month until I can clear all the tops out of my room, but I don't get backs done that fast.  (to me that is the boring part)   It's a sad top overtaking my room situation.  I also want to create more tops.  I see something online and start pulling fabric in my head to create,  but know that I really, really need to work my way through my tubs and try and get some past projects finished.  I know, I will make myself a deal of some kind.  Make 2 quilt backs, finish up a tub and then at the end of the month I can start a new quilt.  sounds good to me, but then when the 1st of June rolls around, what then?  Make 2 quilt backs, finish up a tub and . . . work on the same project I started last month?  that sounds like another tub finish.  Oh, well, I will figure it all out.