How is it only 7 O’Clock?

I hate it when it gets dark early – I really do.  I don’t feel as if I can do as much.  It’s even difficult to go for a walk when it’s so dark.  I know it happens every year – but I can still complain about it!  🙂

Yesterday went well – I made it in time to catch the semi-finals of the diving competition.  The diver I was going to see took fifth!  The competition seemed to be a lot tougher this year.  Overall, the meet went well.  I was able to talk to my friend while we were waiting for the swim meet to actually start.  It’s nice because she’s in a similar program that I’m in.  I felt bad because she’s not loving it – she’s considering not doing the student teaching portion.  I hope she doesn’t, but I know how hard it actually is.

After the meet, we met my friend’s husband at a little Italian place outside of Madison.  It was fun – my friends were locals there.  They knew what was good – which was just about everything.  I had a beer (which tasted GREAT after being in a hot pool for hours) and a small portion of spaghetti with meatballs.  It was good and I didn’t finish it completely.  It was a good compromise – I wanted the carb-loaded pasta, but I didn’t have to eat all of it.  🙂

This morning I stayed in due to a really bad headache.  Thankfully, it was only a caffeine headache (I think).  After I took some Excedrine, I was just fine.  I was worried that I was getting sick.  I didn’t feel right – but I think part of that was because I got a lot of sleep last night.  I made some whole wheat pancakes for breakfast.  We decided that it was going to be a two-meal day.  (Is that terrible?)  We were going to have two larger meals.  For breakfast, it was whole wheat pancakes with bacon and orange juice.  We modified an Alton Brown recipe for instant pancakes.   They were pretty good.  🙂

After breakfast, the hubby and I watched “August Rush” (Mmmm… Jonathon Rhys Meyer) and then decided that we need to do something!  The hubby got a haircut and then we went to World Market.  I LOVE that store!  We picked up some sweet goodies (Dark Chocolate w/ Sea Salt), beer and a container for the pup’s treats.  And then, we decided that we were going to go to Trader Joe’s!  *girlish squeal*

We explored the area around the mall and got some dinner, which was Five Guys.  I have loved that place ever since DC.  It’s cheap and delicious!  I got a little cheeseburger with mushrooms, onions and A-1 sauce.

 

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Five Guys!

It was really yummy and the perfect amount of food.  And then, it was off to Trader Joe’s!  We got all the staples: ground turkey (they have the best!), almond butter, chicken breast, frozen veggies, chicken broth (I got four this time – they have the best and it’s soooo cheap!), oat bran, some pomegranate seeds, etc… etc… I absolutely LOVE Trader Joe’s.  I just wish it was closer to us.  It’s a trek every time we go.  (Okay, it’s not *that* bad, but it’s about 25 minutes away)

We got back and it was dark, but we decided to get a walk in.  I was only at 2,000 steps for the day!  We took the dog out, but some beer in the freezer so it would be cold by the time we got back.  We walked for about 30 minutes.  I was still under my 10,000 steps by about 4,000.  10,000 steps are A LOT!  I never realized it before.  I came close yesterday – I logged about 9,000.  It helped that I took a three mile walk – but that was only about 7,000 steps.  Craziness!

My reward for our walk?

 

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🙂

 

A piece of dark chocolate with sea salt (I should have got 4 bars!  It is sooo good) and a beer.  🙂

Time to watch some DVRed TV and enjoy the night.  I still can’t believe it’s only 7:30.  In a way, it’s kind of nice.  We got a lot done.

Have a nice Saturday!  🙂

Soup’s On!

Tuesday is almost over – it seemed to go on – and on – and on – and on.  🙂

My day was spent doing school work and attending class.  It’s still weird not to have high school swim practice in the afternoon.  I have some extra time – and, apparently, I spend that time doing homework!  🙂

Breakfast was Kashi blueberry waffles with light cream cheese and strawberry jam.

Lunch was another Lean Cuisine – still no excuses.  It was the last one that I had on hand, so I’ll have to be more creative tomorrow.  🙂

Classes – in a word – were boring.  It’s getting to that point in the semester where I spring break would come in handy.  In the spring, you get to have a week off right in the middle – but you have to wait until Thanksgiving in the fall.  I could really use that week off!

Tomorrow, I’m teaching.  I was a little nervous going into it, but now I’m really nervous.  Because the teacher I observe is also my professor for the methods class, she told me to tell the class what I was doing.  She proceeded to go into this long thing about how I’m walking a fine line and I have to be careful about not going over it.  She assured me that I was okay and she’s excited about it and she approved it awhile ago!  But she also told me that she has an alternate lesson ready if I change my mind.  (Of course, I took this as, “Do you want me to change it?  Should I change it?  OMG – WHAT AM I DOING?!)  Oh – and one person has already opted out because the material is a bit controversial.  (Female genital mutilation)  So – now I’m feeling *really* nervous.  I am going outside of my comfort zone – I’ve never taught this kind of material before and I’m trying to prepare themselves for questions that might come up.  Granted – I’ll only be covering the “controversial” material for about 10-15 minutes, I’m sure it’s the stuff that the students will remember.  Who knows what will happen.  I’ll be sure to give a full report tomorrow – if I don’t “cross the line” and end up in some teacher jail.  😀

After class, it was time for dinner.  I was really excited about it!  I love soup.  And, for some reason, I love pureed veggie soups.  The Alton Brown Leek-Potato Soup sounded fantastic – easy and cheap!   The nice thing about the Food Network website is that they provide some videos.  There was a video for this soup.  It is a good thing that there was because I probably would’ve done things a lot differently.  (Like browning the leeks).  In was – in one word – AWESOME.  It was filling, comforting and down-right delicious.

 

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Leek-Potato Soup

Here’s the recipe (Straight from foodtv.com):

Ingredients

  • 1 pound leeks, cleaned and dark green sections removed, approximately 4 to 5 medium
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Heavy pinch kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
  • 14 ounces, approximately 3 small, Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced small
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon snipped chives

Directions

Chop the leeks into small pieces.

In a 6-quart saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the leeks and a heavy pinch of salt and sweat for 5 minutes. Decrease the heat to medium-low and cook until the leeks are tender, approximately 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the potatoes and the vegetable broth, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and gently simmer until the potatoes are soft, approximately 45 minutes.

Turn off the heat and puree the mixture with an immersion blender until smooth. Stir in the heavy cream, buttermilk, and white pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired. Sprinkle with chives and serve immediately, or chill and serve cold.

Notes:

We used half butter – half olive oil to sweat the leeks.  I think I might switch it to all olive oil next time.

We used chicken broth – we had it on hand.

I substituted half and half for the cream – I might even try substituting regular milk.  Maybe 2%?  I’m not sure about skim milk, but we’ll see.

I cut the half and half and buttermilk in half (1/2 cup of each) – a cup of each just seemed like a lot!  I think I might even be able to cut it down to a 1/4 cup of each next time – maybe eliminate it completely.

I didn’t have white pepper, so I just used black.  I’m sure it’s just as good.  (I should get some white pepper!)

We served it with some bacon on top – it added some nice texture and a little extra flavor.

I can’t wait to have some tomorrow for lunch!  There isn’t much left – but enough.  🙂

I think it might be time to try a butternut squash soup.  The husband isn’t too keen on it, but I think it’s definitely worth a shot.  The squash in the stores look so tempting – but I’m not sure how to attack them.  I especially want to try spaghetti squash.  Any one have any advice?

Now, it’s time to finish the Biggest Loser (I can’t believe some of these numbers!!) and have some dessert – some sugar free Jell-o pudding.  Yum!

G’night!  🙂