Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Nuts for doughnuts!

I awoke Sunday morning determined to complete at least 1 of my Daring Kitchen challenges.  Given the fatty nature of deep fried doughnuts and the fact that I'd likely end up eating all of them myself, I opted to bake my doughnuts.  The result?  Delicious pumpkin doughnuts that tasted like sweet pumpkin bread!  They may not look as nice as other Daring Bakers' glazed confectionery delights...but I was able to eat half a batch in one sitting with relatively no guilt. 

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

The batter was gooey but easy enough to work with once I decided to forgo the mixer and opted instead for solid arm wrestling with the dough.

I obtained a circular shape by using a zip lock bag as my piping bag, cutting the corner off of the bag, and squeezing out the dough from the tip of the bag.  It worked marvelously but was gooey on the last doughnut and difficult to get the last bit of dough out.  As you can see, I simply make squiggly messes for the last bit of dough.

After 10 minutes in the oven, I enjoyed delicious baked (and relatively healthy) pumpkin doughnuts with my morning coffee.  A wonderful Sunday morning, it was indeed!

Fine Divider Owl

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Scavenger Hunt Sunday 10.24.10

The weather has (mostly) cooperated this weekend and allowed me to get jobs done outside and not feel too overwhelmed by the impending cold weather.  I spent a bit of time taking shots for this week's scavenger hunt.  Fair warning, however, these shots are all SOOC and from my point and shoot!

The 5 Senses

This weekend I made some homemade goodies and my 5 senses were definitely working as I was kneading the dough, seeing the goop all over my fingers, inhaling the wonderful pumpkin aroma in the kitchen, listening to the snap of the oven as the goodies baked, and of course, enjoying the taste of the freshly baked pumpkin goods when they emerged from the oven.


This old playground equipment in a local park is the lonely child who's no longer wanted in the group.  Instead, children opt for the new plastic equipment while this lonely child sits being tagged by the older children.


I dug into my Daring Kitchen archives for this photo because admittedly, my dining has not been quite up to snuff this week...unless you count the Mexican take-out I got yesterday?  This photo is of an Indian dish I made with homemade nut butter...a recipe that I've replicated for dinner a few times because it is sooo good.


Nothing says night like a 24-hour coffee shop.


Taken just as the rain was rolling in and I was running for cover.

And now, it's off to finish my lesson plans and eat some more goodies (did I say that out loud?)...

Have a wonderful Monday!
Fine Divider Owl

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fill in the Blank Friday

Thank you Friday!  After this week I am looking forward to a weekend of my new pumpkin spice coffee, down time, a hunt for this week's scavenger hunt photos, 2 daring kitchen challenges, and a few many hours of yard work exercise getting the summer pots away.  And despite trying to block it out, I have a ton of assessment data to forge my way through in order to plan interventions.  Eegatz...that's a lot I seem to have planned!

Thanks to Lauren for this week's Fill in the Blank Friday:

{photo by Photos Day! via We Heart It}

1.   I am  incredibly happy that it's the weekend!

2.  I wish  the temperature was still warm and I didn't have to scrape the car windows each morning .

3.  I like  chocolate, anytime with Mr. Fine, a good trashy romance novel, a solidly successful trip to an outlet mall, and mexican salads with cilantro dressing .

4.  I can   sit on the couch and eat 3 cookies in a row -- seriously, just did it.

5.  I hope    I am able to continue living life to its fullest for Mr. Fine and I -- keeping my priorities straight and leaving lots of time for me.

6.  I think  a lot right now -- all of which is in a jumble of Friday nightness.

7.  I was   totally psyched to watch The Vampire Diaries last night and think that I'm officially hooked!

What does everyone else have planned for the weekend?

Fine Divider Owl

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lessons of the Day

So we had a lock down at school today.  For real.  For 5 hours. Have you ever experienced one?  No?  Here's what I learned:

1.  Even after sleeping for 11 hours, one is not prepared for a 5 hour lock down at school.

2.  Students do not enjoy being entertained for 5 hours without learning (this is what I tell myself).  Had I been in our own classroom, I could have continued teaching with minimal disruptions...perhaps with only the occasional whine that bathroom breaks were necessary (and unavailable, I might add).  I Students were getting very agitated after a few hours.

3.  Carpeted classroom floors are much quieter -- I was cringing within minutes in the other room with no carpet.

4.  It seems lock downs don't apply to administrators who need to have their afternoon smoke break.  Classic.

My students happened to be out of our classroom when the lock down began...which meant that they couldn't leave that space until lock down ended (at dismissal 5 hours later).  Two hours into the lock down I was 'escorted' to my students and was told to entertain them in another classroom (without the materials and carpet in my room) -- tough, let me tell you!

Safety was of course, my number one priority, but seriously, at the end of 5 hours?

Photo Credit
The up side?  The teachers got to leave right at dismissal and I took a swing by the stores because I had extra time and found pumpkin spice coffee for home!  Looks like a weekend treat for the Fines! :-)

And, let's not forget that The Vampire Diaries are on tonight and I may just *have* to watch them. ;)

Fine Divider Owl

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sunday Scavenger Hunt 10.17.10

Mr. Fine and I had a wonderful weekend!!!  I had finished this week's lesson plans last Wednesday so I was for sure rockin' the weekend 'real person' style.  What better way to finish up the weekend than a photo scavenger hunt?  My photos for this week's challenge are sights we caught together this past weekend:

[click on photos for larger versions]

Side Lighting

Jack O'Lantern

Faces Formed In Nature



Hope you had a great weekend, too!  What sights did you take in?

Fine Divider Owl

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fill in the Blank Friday

Woo hoo!  Today brings us not only the end of the week, the beginning of the weekend...but also to Fill in the Blank Friday.

I will say that I was waiting anxiously last night to see what Lauren would think up for us to share.  Well, maybe the anxiety was because I was spending more time actually watching The Vampire Diaries on the television than watching my laptop and all of the work on it.  Does anyone else watch that show?  Last night was my first night...and I'm a bit worried that I may just like it?!  But nevertheless, I was excited to see what new goodies I could share with my blog readers this week.

And so...

1.   Blogging is  a way for me to act like a real person instead of a teacher obsessed laminating game making crazy all of the time.

2.  A current fashion trend I wish I was brave enough to wear is  hats -- totally hats!  I can only pull off a ball cap when I'm cutting the lawn or playing sports...anything else (including a rugged, old-look GAP ball cap) I just don't have the umph to pull off.  But oh, do I wish I could wear hats like Lux on Life Unexpected.

3.  My greatest accomplishment in life thus far is  who knows?  I'm constantly changing what I deem as a great feet.  This morning?  It was getting out of bed, as I think I've got the dreaded cold.  Soon, I fear it may be having children?

4.  If I had to choose between a mountain or a beach vacation I'd choose    mountain because I looooove skiing with Mr. Fine.  But...the race would be awfully close if there was an all you can eat buffet and a scuba diving day included in the beach vacation.

5.  A talent I wish I had is    playing the guitar...when I was young it was to be cool like my camp counselors.  Now, I want to play the guitar to be cool for myself.

6.  A talent I do have is  teaching kids and loving it .

7.  This week  is ending with a great weekend with Mr. Fine who's been away!!

Have a wonderful weekend -- I'm hoping to enjoy the weather and finish up my shots for the Sunday Scavenger Hunt. :-)  What great plans do you have?

Fine Divider Owl

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Scavenger Hunt Sunday 10.10.10

Does the date seem a little weird to you?  It did to me just a little as I typed that!

Today, I'm posting some photos as part of the Sunday Scavenger Hunt at Ramblings and Photos.  I am not a photographer -- I leave that to Mr. Fine.  But I'm trying.  With only my point and shoot available, I enjoyed looking all week for shots that would meet the criteria.  Here's what I came up with:

This cute flower has managed to stay alive amidst the now near to death vegetation around it in our backyard.

I was reading outside this evening savoring the wonderful weather we've had when this leaf floated downwards and landed ever so gently on my book.  Obviously, my photo opportunity had arrived! ;)

Fall Colors
 I'm really enjoying the trees change color.  There were better shots that I saw this week...but I was driving each time and didn't really want to be that person that stops traffic to get a shot.

I didn't even pose this leaf -- it was meant to be!

The glowing flame of the pumpkin scented candle that has been making our kitchen smell divine this week!

And so, you can see that I was going more for "what did the theme/ideas mean to me" rather than photographic genius.  I'm looking forward to next week!

Fine Divider Owl

Friday, October 8, 2010

Fill in the Blank Friday

Today after a busy week at school I'm participating in Fill in the Blank Friday over at Lauren's blog.

1.   The first thing I do in the morning to start my day is  check my email on my phone and stare at the clock tick away for 20 more minutes before forcing myself out of bed.

2.  Today I wish I was  vacationing somewhere so I could enjoy the beautiful weather that was today.

3.  If I had an extra $100 in my bank account today I'd   buy and savor pumpkin spice lattes everyday with no guilt until the $100 ran out.

4.  Tomorrow    I will be shopping for some cute plant pots for my classroom...and watching football, of course!

5.  Two things that don't go together are   orange juice and apple pie.  Both fruity yet disgusting together!

6.  Something I can never pass up at the grocery store is   a new type of fair trade coffee.

7.  The last time I tried something new was   last Saturday when I tried a pumpkin spice latte...hence #3! ;)

Have a great weekend everyone!

Fine Divider Owl

Monday, October 4, 2010

Just where do they come up with this stuff?

So I know that I said this was a personal blog and I'd try to keep my teacher-ness out of it. But really, two student comments from today are too good to not share.

Today was picture day but luckily our picture was in the morning so I didn't need to keep checking my hair in the mirror all day. ;) Apparently, I should have been. This is what I heard when I picked up my students from their special: "What did you do to your hair Mrs. Fine? A science experiment?" Huh. After doing a quick check a few minutes later I noticed nothing amiss...just how high are their standards?  I guess I'll go back to rolling out of bed and throwing my hair in a pony tail.  Seems to appease the youngins'.

But not to worry -- all was fine two hours later when, writing in their writer's notebooks, one student was writing about why Mrs. Fine is so nice to the class. Their answer? "Maybe it's because we are nice to her and because we follow her directions." From the mouths of babes.

Have a good week! I'm off to bed after lugging oodles of bean bag chairs out of their summer storage spot and into the car...we're set to move out of our seats tomorrow during reading workshop -- wait til they get a load of that!

Fine Divider Owl
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