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Friday, January 28, 2011

Chicken Marsala

To prepare chicken tenderloins or thin breasts, pound flat and salt and pepper to taste. Dredge in flour and then egg, then sauté in oil and butter 4 minutes each side.

To prepare sauce:
Start with a liberal amount of olive oil and one dollop of butter in a heavy skillet. Add 1/4 cup onion, 1 garlic clove (smashed), and sauté.
Add 3 teaspoons flour to make a roux, deglaze pan with 1 cup marsala wine. Add mushrooms and chopped fresh parsley. When mushrooms are tender, add 1 1/2 cups beef broth. Let thicken, pour over chicken breasts.  Salt and pepper to taste.
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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sticky Lemon Chicken with Champ

Sticky Lemon Chicken with Champ
My husband made this wonderful dish for us for dinner and I had to share. It is Gordon Ramsey's recipe and there is a youtube video that teaches how to make it.  When I came home after a very long Monday, this was a real treat.  We had to eat late as the kids had tons of activities, but it was worth it.  I brought in leftovers to school the next day and I literally had a circle of people around me after I heated it up.  They all wanted some.   In case you want to try to make it, here is the video.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Everybody's Different...

During our class tonight, I really noticed how everyone can hear the same thing and come up with a completely different understanding of what they heard.  We all bring our own filters to the table.  People who were familiar with Learning Theory Families knew certain things and the rest of the class played catch up.  The ones who understood the way the product could look or what it should represent, didn't necessarily understand the content.  THANK GOODNESS we had each other.  We all come from different backgrounds and don't all have the same starting point.
  After examining some of the products, I knew we shouldn't have second-guessed our inclination to have some text in the product.  I felt like the link we created for the two families was not clear. Halfway through the exercise- I realized someone else had joined our team, so that was a surprise.  When I tried to load Ryan's PowerPoint, it fragged my macbook and I had to switch to another macbook. I was lucky I had another on hand.  Whew!   I may have to re-download the Office for Mac software because I think my PowerPoint is corrupted.  I have had trouble a few times with it and I do not have time for that in this class.  It just won't do if my macbook freezes up when I open a PowerPoint.  Half the time we are opening PowerPoints.

Our Class- as different as the two sides of the brain
 I was unaware that we could have two wimba rooms, though we can't be in both at the same time.  If we can I haven't figured our how to do it.  I truly enjoyed working with new people tonight. Even though we each brought different understanding to the communal table, I feel like we worked well as a team.  We LEARNED as a team, made decisions as a team, what emerged was our shared understanding or misunderstanding, which is an example of George Siemen's connectivism. Here is a link to a nice Connectivism glossary.

I love pot luck suppers because you never know what you are going to get, and there is always the potential to find a new dish to enjoy.  In the case of this class, the mixture of students who are familiar with each other and the students who are fresh to the group are going to make this an interesting and rewarding semester.  The scavenger hunt activity was fun and we were so careful to leave breadcrumbs.  Consequently, when we opened another group's hunt, we were laughing because they left just the bare bones for clues, and we still found what we needed to find.  It goes to show that one method can be just as right as another, or there is MORE than one way to skin a cat.  I wonder who came up with that saying? Who wanted to skin a cat anyway?

Sunday, January 23, 2011


"The tendency to approach problems at much too complex a level and fail, not because the tasks are difficult, but because they are too simple." (Elkind)

Trying not to over-think the tasks in front of me, hard to do. I couldn't even make breakfast happen right this morning, burned the wrong sausage- the plantains not ripe enough, not happy with rice cooker, hated the back-up breakfast choices, and over-thinking my schoolwork enough that I don't even feel confident enough to take the syllabus quiz. I should have moved past this stage during adolescence, but apparently, I am still stuck. Sorry for complaining, trying to move past it all. I would help if I chose ONE direction to concentrate on for more than five minutes. I keep going back and forth. You can tell because I am here blogging instead of working.  My process of learning stinks on a regular basis, and today it is just a mess.

Ok, after a little nap and some amazing macha refreshing me, I have returned to life, though I do not plan on cooking or baking anything until I am sure the curse has worn off. The syllabus quiz was too easy for all the stress I assigned it (I hate timed assessments), and I have looked at many examples of  Synectics.  I am taking it slow, I will get to the personal learning theory papers next after I am done looking at all the synectics examples.  I am grateful that they are all posted for our benefit in the course materials section.  It would be helpful to know which ones were the best- if there was a rating system so we know which are the absolute BEST examples.

 After looking at a few websites that showed "best practices"  I came to the conclusion that it is easy to slap a "best practices" label on anything.  As we have peer-reviewed articles available to us through the library or other internet sources- it would be helpful to have peer-reviewed websites for all teachers to access for any best practices claim. I know there was some talk about an alternate internet of only peer reviewed "stuff"  Forgot what it was called.  Waiting for it... we all know what works BEST for us or for our students, to have websites rated not by number of hits but by scholarship and experience would be amazing (Plus just think of all the jobs that would be created this way).

On another positive note, I  was on EBSCO and realized that some of the articles has associated mp3's what a boon to my tired eyes!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My Learning Style

I had to decide what my learning style was, I think this is it.  I like a model, I am not very creative on my own, but I can find applications and tweaks ONCE I have a model.  Tonight's class was good, some fresh faces and lots of familiar faces as well.  Brian is mine, hopefully he and I have fun discovering Synectics, I have NO idea what that is.  Sounds fishy to me.
The syllabus is a furry, smelly beast right now that I have not yet made friends with. I know once we start rolling,  it will stop having eight heads and a thousand claws, but I also know it will be a lot of work in a very short period of time.  So enough of my jawing, I have to get back to work.  Honestly I do.  My readers need to ready themselves to read another smattering of weekly class posts interspersed with my real life, my non-academic life, which fits into like TWO hours of my day, when I should be sleeping, or showering or something extremely creative or fun.
My Learning Style
I have planned some fun in the next week and then officially my life is over until this class is behind me.  I will be done by Easter break, that is a blessing because I plan on visiting some friends far away. I posted a plea for an epal from Paris, France, I will have to see if I get one. I need one for this course, so if you know anyone, and DRINNE, I am sure YOU do, please let me know.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011



NYC ##


So thankful for my home right now

My home may be small, I may have one bathroom, but I have a place to go every night. I am so sad for the family from my school who lost their house today. I can collect clothing and gift cards to give them, to replace some of the things they have lost. However, I cannot give them a place to go tonight, and for the coming months, that they can call home. There is nothing like the feeling of pulling into my driveway and having my home waiting for me. Just imagining how they feel is depressing beyond words. If you care to help, I will update this post with an address where donations can be sent.

A Skull in Connemara | 2010/11 Season | Lantern Theater Company

A Skull in Connemara | 2010/11 Season | Lantern Theater Company
I cannot wait to see this Saturday night with my daughter and her friends. I will review after the show and update you here.

UPDATE:  Ok, we saw it and laughed our faces off. There are times NOT to read a play ahead of time, and this was one of them.   I think I still have bones in my hair, and now I know there should not only be a warning about possible smoking on stage, but a directive to PLEASE WEAR GOGGLES to this show if you value your eyesight just the tiniest bit. Since it is an extremely small, black box theatre, everyone got hit with a bit of skeleton.  After all, they have no room left in Connemara, so we may as well take the remains home with us.
Jake Blouch was a true delight as Mairtin, he was a fresh face to the Lantern Theatre Company and I hope they bring him back for more, once they fix his skull and clean him up a bit.  Completely engaged in his character, his lewdness and moronic demeanor kept us alternately gasping with horror and hilarity, especially when he became particularly intimate with a pair of skulls. Stephen Novelli was equally impressive and also new to the company, I plan on following his career  to see what else he shows up in. As the play progressed, his character (Mick) was pulling on our heartstrings one moment, then shocking us with his swaggering show of bravada and might in the next.  I could not believe I was seeing the same Jered McLenigan I saw in Taming of the Shrew and Henry IV Part I.  I do believe it is time for him to update his program photo, I didn't recognize him either time, he is good at either not looking like his picture, or else the extremely short haircut was throwing me off.  McLenigan's too-tight, too-short pants reminded me of Queen's lead singer, Freddie Mercury.  He was also quite adept at strutting around the stage playing Thomas Hanlon, the man we LOVE to hate because he is just that good at being a nasty bugger. Ellen Mulroney's back was to us most of the play, which I think is an oversight in blocking, normally the Lantern manages those bits more effectively, so I don't feel up to giving her Maryjohnny any kind of review.  I could not see her face.  Trust me, the merest expressions on the other three actors would carry this show even if the script wasn't as hysterical as Martin McDonagh could make it, with the digging up of one's own wife and all the bones being flung about. The choice of actors is a triumph for director Kathleen MacMillan. I only hope they don't run out of bones before the end of the run.  It is a shame it is only a three-week run, I would LOVE to go back and see it again.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Are you on the lam?

My baby enjoying my old woobie
Those of you close to me know that I love my woobie, I am like Linus, I carry it around the house and it gets beat up.  I have had my latest one for almost ten years. My woobie was left behind on our family vacation to comfort my dogs.  We were going away for a week and I felt awful about leaving them in a "Doggie Resort."  Even thought the place was nice, the staff were friendly and it was all clean, I know that my dogs are used to comfort.  They loll around on couches and rugs all day, not hard concrete floors.  Even though the cage was the size of my tiny kitchen, where my dogs typically spend their days when I am at work, I couldn't relax.
My husband came up with the brilliant idea of leaving them my woobie.  I have been asking for no less than five years for a new one and each Mother's Day, Valentines Day and Christmas Day passed by with no new woobie in sight (Birthdays are for big-ticket items like couches and vans). My husband promised I could go out and get a new one if I gave mine to the dogs.  I dropped my babies off with my woobie and KNEW that it could never grace my bed again after living in a Doggie Motel.

My Temporary Woobie
We came back from vaca and I FORGOT I had no woobie to sleep with.  IMAGINE!  My husband gave me his blanket, which I hate, but he slept with a little kid's blanket until I could get a replacement.  After a few cold nights I stopped by my local quilt shop to select one.   I will not mention the name of the shop until the mystery is solved, but here is my new Flannel Quilted woobie.  It took a few minutes to decide from what they were WILLING to sell.  I picked the better of two evil patterns. I got the granny one instead of the great-granny one.  Actually, I chose the thicker of the two because it is so cold right now, but it will never work for the summer months.  I really wanted the ones hanging on the ceiling (they were so amazazing) and will have to wait until they run out of the fabric that they used for them.

So I am announcing that is is my temporary woobie. I prefer one with many piecings and a gentler design with GOOD color choices.   Here is the strange part of my story, I wanted to photograph the women who made my woobie; one jumped right in and the other was strangely reticent.  She would only show the side of her face and I assure you, she is quite pretty, not deformed at all.  I know I take a bad picture, but I would never hide my face on a creation photo.    Truly weirded out now, I wonder what the deal is. Is she on the lam? Did she kidnap her child and run away?  Is she in the witness protection program?  Hmmmm.  I feel a little bad speculating like this when she could just be shy, or maybe she hated the quilt she made.  It's a mystery...
She almost wouldn't take the picture

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Monday, January 3, 2011

It's all who you know

Biggest Hit Day Ever

Thank you David Pogue, you brought my obscure blog over 5,000 hits in one day.  You tweeted my post to your over 1,328,181 followers, and I was famous for my 15 minutes (My brush with fame). You also have me tweeting again after a little hiatus.  I have forgotten how much information and how many cool people I met on twitter. New items I learned from twitter this week: how long the lines were are SeaworldDelicious is up for sale, and people get real sappy around the holidays. Mr. Pogue, since you were so generous with me I will re-post your latest book here in hopes that anyone reading this will run out and support your latest endeavor. 
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Portobella Escargot with shaved Parmesean

This was so delicious! The Hurricane in Pass-A-Grill, on St. Pete Beach.
Everything was so delicious, but this was a total surprise, I have never had escargot prepared this way.  They also had an amazing drink that was a cross between a Margarita and a Mojito.  I drank my husband's all up before I even noticed it was gone.
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Colonial America

Colonial America Wonderful resources for teachers with smartboards or one-to one laptops focusing on Colonial America studies.

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