Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Tomato Zucchini and Goat Cheese Tart

I just had my first day of new teacher training!  It was a really great day and it made me feel less overwhelmed about school starting.  I was able to meet my mentor and talk with her and another math teacher.  I had tons of questions and they probably think I'm slightly silly, but it was great to be able to ask those questions.  I also listened to some great advice about classroom management and the first day of school.  Both of these topics gave me some confidence in that I know about them and have a sense of what I believe and they made me nervous because I am going to need to adjust based on my classes!  I wish I could know my students, but I know that will come soon enough.  We also took a tour in a school bus of the entire district and I was amazed at how much land is encompassed!  Finally, I got my school ID!  I am officially official!  I still have two more days of training and I am just grateful to have so much time in the school and around more of the teachers.

Today I have a yummy vegetarian recipe that I made the other day to use up some fresh veggies!  I saw this tart recipe on Recipe Girl and adapted it slightly based on my taste.  The dough is almost exact and it was great.  The veggies and cheese are what I was in the mood for!

Tomato Zucchini and Goat Cheese Tart

For the Crust:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/3 cup nonfat buttermilk
For the Filling:
1/2 onion, cut into thin strips
8 oz herbed goat cheese
1/2 zucchini, sliced
1/2 squash, sliced
1 large tomato, sliced
fresh basil
salt and pepper
olive oil

1. In a food processor, process the flour, cornmeal, salt, and sugar.  Continue to process as you add in the butter.  Slowly pour in the buttermilk and continue to process until dough forms into a ball.
2. On a piece of parchment paper, roll out the ball of dough until you have a round piece about 11 inches in diameter.  Carefully, place the rolled out dough into your tart pan and trim the sides.
3. Preheat oven to 350
4. Placed sliced onion into a pan with olive oil and sautee until onions become translucent and soften.  Sprinkle onions on the tart.
5.  Crumble the goat cheese over the onions and then top with sliced zucchini, squash, and tomatoes.  Season with salt and pepper and top with fresh basil.
6. Place in oven and let bake for 45 minutes.  Cheese will be melted and crust will become slightly browned

Enjoy :)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Happy Birthday Mommy! Oreo Coffee Ice Cream Cake!

It is about time that I got back here!

I have been really busy getting ready for school and moving to the city!  It has been a crazy and exciting time and I have so much to share.

For school, I have been working on my web page, planning the first day, and thinking about my classroom management plan.  I have gone in a few times to set up my desk and binders and get acquainted with the staff.  I got my own key and had some meetings about benefits.  I must admit, I still feel like I have no idea what is going on, but I am excited.  Next week, new teacher training starts and I can't wait to meet some of the other new teachers and become more prepared for the start of the year!

I have been exploring restaurants like crazy now that I am in a new place and it has been great.  Some of our favorites so far have been Glen's Diner and Margie's Candies.  We have been eating out quite a bit since we want to explore, but I have also been cooking in my new kitchen and I can't wait to share some of my creations.

Today, I have to share my latest dessert creation in honor of my Mommy.  Yesterday was her birthday and we had an awesome night out in the city.  We started out at the Signature Lounge on the 96th floor of the John Hancock building.  The view was incredible.

We had appetizers and drinks and it was lovely.

Next, we headed back to our apartment for dinner across the street at Caro Mio.  This Italian restaurant is known for its HUGE portions.  Also, it is a BYOB so that was fun.  Our dinner was fantastic.  My mom got salmon, dad got bolognese, Bri got eggplant parmesan, I got pasta primavera, and Zack got the crowd favorite: Gnocchi.

Finally, we headed back to the apartment for dessert.  Now, this is where I get excited since I made a dessert that had my mom's name written all over it.  I was inspired by a recipe over at BruCrew for Oreo Fudge Cappuccino Ice Cream.  My mom loves coffee ice cream and oreos! So, I decided to make an Oreo Coffee Ice Cream Cake!  I made coffee ice cream, layered it with crushed oreos and topped it all off with a ganache frosting.  It was delicious!

Oreo Coffee Ice Cream Cake

Coffee Ice Cream:
14 oz Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 cups heavy cream
3 tbsp instant coffee
about 24 crushed oreos
Ganache Frosting:
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla

1. In a large bowl, beat cream, condensed milk, and coffee until combined.
2. Pour into ice cream maker and churn according to directions.
3. Place half the crushed oreos on the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.
4. When ice cream is done, pour half over the oreos and spread it out to cover the oreos.  Then, place the other half of the crushed oreos over the ice cream and pour the rest of the ice cream on top.  Place in freezer to harden.
5. Meanwhile, make the frosting.  Heat up the cream in the microwave for 2-3 minutes or until just about to boil.  Pour over the chocolate chips in a separate bowl and stir until chocolate is melted and combined.  Next, pour in vanilla and beat with the mixer until ganache starts to form soft peaks.  Pour over your ice cream cake and place back in freezer until ready to serve.  To serve, just push the springform pan out and cut into slices.

Enjoy :)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Move

I moved!

This past weekend Bri and I moved into our very first apartment and we couldn't be more excited.

Well, to be honest.  It was crazy stressful and we were a tad bit strained.  However, now that we are sorta settled, we are pumped.  We love the place and we finally finished building all our furniture and making it look like home!  It has been so fun and exciting and I'm sorry that I have been so MIA.  We didn't have internet until yesterday afternoon and this is the first time I have been able to blog!

I have not really been cooking because it has been so crazy around here.  I have been trying out a bunch of different restaurants in the area!  My bestie Caryn and her boyfriend Max are staying with us right now and we had a great night last night.  We explored the area and had dinner at Fountainhead and dessert at Yogurt Square.  I had an amazing veggie burger and then indulged in some delish frozen yogurt.  Both places were delightful.  The night before, Caryn, Bri and I all went to a place called Mxtico and had amazing Mexican food.  I got the fish tacos and it was fantastic.

Overall, everything seems awesome around here.  I went for a run for the first time in Chicago and explored a little more.  I found a new lakeshore to run on!  I also experienced my first commute as I went out to Zion for the first time to see my new school and meet some of the people.  I will be doing that again 6 more times for new teacher training and geometry meetings.  I am excited to get acquainted with everything and I am also very nervous.

More news coming to you soon as I try out my new kitchen!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa

How did it become August?!?!?

I finally was able to submit all of my teacher certification stuff for Illinois, I received my new teacher training schedule, and I'm moving tomorrow!

It's also the last day of camp and I can't believe it.  Time has just been flying by and camp has been so much fun.  I absolutely love my campers and counselors and I have a great time at camp.  I will miss it all so much.

Today I have a great dinner idea for you!  My mom and I went to Whole Foods and bought some Mahi Mahi Fish Taco Filling from the fish counter.  Then, we made our own Mango Salsa and sliced up some avocado to top it all off.  It was a really yummy dinner and the mango salsa was a great idea to add to the tacos to spice them up a little!

Mango Salsa

1 mango, cut into cubes
1 jalapeño, diced
1/2 cucumber, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
3 tbsp fresh cilantro

1. Mix everything together and toss with the cilantro.

This would be a great little side dish to have as a fresh salad and I would also add it to regular salsa to make it more exciting.  If you want more spice, add the seeds of the jalapeño and if you want less spice, leave them out or put less jalapeño in.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Foodie Friends Friday

This week, Foodie Friends Friday is back!  This week is a just a party so bring whatever you want! Just follow the rules and link up some recipes that are perfect for this party! Also, host favorites will be featured on Daily Dish!  This week I'm linking up Red Velvet Cupcakes, Funfetti Cupcakes, and Chocolate Chip Meringues.

Most Clicks:
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2. Hush Puppies
3. Pizza Dipping Sticks

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