Published 2/24/14 by: Kaitlin
So I found myself on Saturday morning in a fairly quiet Trader Joe’s. Yes, you just heard me correctly – Trader Joe’s wasn’t a zoo on a weekend day! I figured this was some sort of sign from the cosmos so I opened up my phone to Pinterest, and perused my Nom Nom page pins, and found this awesome Greek yogurt mac and cheese recipe. I soon realized that I don’t own onion or garlic powder, and that I had wholesale size (Thanks BJ’s!) bags of shredded cheese already, so I decided to do what I always do: modify! I have to say, this mac and cheese came out so much better than I anticipated, and the prep and cook time were so quick that I ended up eating dinner at 4:30pm by accident! Delicious and under 30 minutes to prepare and cook? I’ll take it! Please let me know if you make further accommodations when you cook this, and how it turned out!
16 ounces of your choice of pasta
8 ounces of your choice of plain Greek yogurt
1 shallot diced
1 cup of Cabot’s Horseradish Cheddar Cheese (shredded or cubed)
1 cup of shredded Mexican Blend cheese
3 cups of Kale (or spinach)
Salt, Pepper or other seasoning to your liking
Cook pasta according to package directions until it is at al dente status. Place your kale (or spinach) in the bottom of a strainer in your sink, and dump the pasta on top of it to wilt it. Save approximately 1 cup of boiling water from your pasta bowl to add to your cheesy yogurty sauce!
Return the pasta and kale to your original pot and add in yogurt, cheese, pasta water and shallots. Mix until everything is gooey, and serve immediately!
Published 2/23/14 by: Kaitlin
6pm.com – I actually just bought a pair of these from Anthropologie, and they’re divine, and now I want to have as many pairs as possible because I get greedy when something is this awesome.
neimanmarcus.com – I have a pair of the traditional Jack Rogers sandals in black, and think these would be an excellent versatile addition to my ever-growing shoe collection.
net-a-porter.com – This bag is a pipe dream, but it’s my birthday, damn it, and I will cook up whatever outrageous requests I want.
$115 – harrods.com – I saw these in Dillard’s and apparently should’ve bought them on the spot? They’re darling. They’re available for $75 at Nordstrom.
thepinkpalm.net – I saw someone wearing this scarf in an airport in Florida, and between the bold colors, and the chevron, I’m in love.
piperlime.gap.com – I love Kate Spade’s Techsessories. This is so fun for the summer!
pier1.com – I love any peacock design. The end.
amazon.com – My friend Steph recommended this brand to me, and I’m never looking back. This hot blue “Quench” flavor is one of my favorites, but if you want a splash of color (and to smell like a Jolly Rancher) go with Cherry Me.
Published 2/22/14 by: Kaitlin
*Author’s note: I recently traveled to Florida over Massachusetts’ February school vacation to visit my snowbird parents. This is my excuse for not posting much this week, but also gives you a preface for today’s post.
Dear Parents on the Plane,
I applaud you trying to make your kids do school work on the plane on your way to your destination because it’s a good use of time. Here’s the thing though: you’re doing it wrong.
1. Homework is a pre-assessment tool for teachers – we use it to figure out where the gaps are for our students. If you micromanage homework, and make your kid correct it all the time, then it automatically becomes useless for us educators. I love that you’re making your kid do his/her homework, but your job is to manage work completion, not guarantee its accuracy. So Dad #1 on the plane with the Catholicism workbook? Lay off. Your son’s teacher needs to know that 1) you read the entire thing aloud to him (much to my dismay), and 2) your son had to re-do every single multiple choice answer after you told him it was wrong. When his teacher sees that homework in a week, she’s going to think he’s mastered the material, but in reality: you’ve mastered it. Congratulations: you just finished the catechism requirements of your third grader (and he still has no idea what’s going on).
2. Don’t reward your kid for completing his/her homework unless you plan on doing that for the next twenty years of their education. While I understand that some kids need a light at the end of the tunnel for work completion, you need to remember that they’re like puppies: they quickly grow accustomed to treats. So, Mom #2 on the plane with the lollipops? Cut it out. Childhood obesity is for real, and you don’t want your daughter to think that every time she completes a vocabulary worksheet she gets candy (which seemed to unfortunately already be an established expectation).
3. When your son or daughter gets stuck or frustrated with a topic on a homework assignment there are options other than forcing them through it. You could have them move on to a different assignment and come back to the original problem later (when they’re fresher), or you could have them try it for five more minutes and then initial the homework letting the teacher know it was attempted. Here’s what you shouldn’t do: have your kid give up and leave it blank, or make them keep hammering at it until they have a meltdown. Please listen to me on this. It’s really valuable information.
The Middle School Teacher on the Planeby
Published 2/11/14 by: Kaitlin
So I had a snow day last Wednesday and decided what better way to head into the last half of the work week than to make my co-workers some Valentine themed cookies? I tweaked the recipe from this Christmas cookie post to include some of favorite spread: the infamous Trader Joe’s/Speculoos Cookie and Cocoa Butter Swirl. You’re welcome.
1/2 cup unsalted room temperature butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup Speculooks Cookie and Cocoa Butter Swirl (or any kind of cookie butter you like)
1 1/4 cup of flour
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt (or regular, but I used sea)
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of light brown sugar (or whatever brown sugar you desire)
36 Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups unwrapped (I bought the heart-shaped ones)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all the sugars, liquids and butters in a bowl, and once it is at a creamy (not lumpy) status, add all of the powdery ingredients.
Spray a mini muffin pan, roll the dough into one inch balls, and place in the individual pan spots.
Bake the dough for 10-12 minutes until it looks lightly brown. (Note: the other blog said 8-10 minutes and that was not adequate and messed up one batch of the cookies for me)
When the cookies come out of the oven, firmly press a peanut butter cup into the middle of the cookie. Don’t be shy about pressing down. Yes, your cookies will crinkle, but no big deal.
When the peanut butter cups start to sweat (get gooey) garnish your cookie with some sprinkles.
Let these suckers cool FOR A LONG TIME. I moved mine too quickly and the chocolate and sprinkles started to drip down the sides. It was messy, but still delicious.by
Published 2/10/14 by: Kaitlin
It’s the Monday before Valentine’s Day, so I thought I’d make you all privy to my list of the dreamiest American gentlemen. Honestly, this list hasn’t evolved much since 1999. Call me traditional. Ha! Who’s on your list?
Clockwise from the top left:
Miles Teller – The guy to watch in 2014! He was fantastic in The Spectacular Now, and his jazz-drummer film Whiplash won the top honor at Sundance this past month. He’s going to be in Divergent in March, and just signed on for a Scorsese boxing biopic.
Ryan Gosling – When does The Notebook 2 come out? Kidding. If you still think he’s just a pretty guy, please get your paws on a copy of Half Nelson.
Bradley Cooper – If you can manage to play a convincing newspaper reporter on Alias, and also be the token jerk in The Hangover then you may be on to something. Oh and he speaks French. Swoon-worthy.
Matt Damon – Cambridge MA native, who’s a few credits short of having a Harvard degree. That mega-watt smile, plus a screenwriting Oscar equals total dreamboat.
Ben Affleck – Double Oscar winner and Bostonian. He writes, acts and directs. He managed to marry the loveliest lady in the land: Jennifer Garner. Total catch.
Tom Brady – Yes he modeled for men’s Uggs that one time. All is forgiven. He’s the King of New England. He will go down as one of the top five quarterbacks of all time. And how about that chin dimple?
Kyle Chandler – I put him in the middle because he deserves it. Whether it’s Early Edition, Wolf of Wall Street or Friday Night Lights, he commands my attention more than any other actor on the screen right now. Also, he’s convinced me to bring winking back.
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