Tuesday, February 26, 2008

How I feel when no one comments.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Lemon Tart with Almond Crust

I had a request for the dessert I served after our Valentine's Day dinner. You can find it in the Taste of Home Feb-Mar '08 edition. Here it is:

1 C. all purpose flour
1/2 C. sliced almonds, toasted (Forgot to toast mine)
1/4 C. sugar
6 T. cold butter
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/4 tsp. salt
2-3 T. cold water

1 C. sugar
3/4 C. lemon juice (I used out of a bottle)
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
2 T grated lemon peel
dash salt
6 T butter, cubed

Place the flour, almonds, sugar, butter, extract and salt in a food processor. Cover and pulse until blended. Gradually add water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, pulsing until mixture forms a soft dough.

Press onto the bottom and up the sides of a greased (with unspoiled shortening - lol inside joke) 9-in. fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

In large heavy saucepan, whisk the first six filling ingredients until blended. Add butter; cook and stir over low heat for 7-8 minutes or until thickened. (I cooked much longer and never got what I would call thickened?) Strain; pour into crust. Bake at 325F for 8-10 minutes (mine took 15 minutes) or until set. Cool on wire rack. Refrigerate leftovers. (I made mine the night before and refrigerated overnight.)

It DID turn out very delicious - very tart and lemony. We all enjoyed it.

Teenagers and Money Woes

Last weekend, my 17 yo son decided to see if he could work at the farm on Saturdays...seems he's having a bit of trouble budgeting his money...his dad suggested he simply spend less. "But that means less fun," was his reply. Later, he said he guessed Dad was right, he'd just have less fun. Wednesday night at church, his pocket was full of change...it appears he's been using change for lunch money all week.

We've tried something new with him, since he was around 15, we give him a sufficient allowance on the first of the month. But out of this money, he has give his tithe to church, buy fuel for his truck ('94 Chevy = $), lunch money, haircuts, truck repairs or expenses, and spending money. This has been a wonderful learning experience for him. He knows exactly what gas for that truck costs, what it costs for truck inspection stickers, license plates (one February expense) and that you can spend $5-10 at Pizza Parlor or Whataburger several nights a week, and it adds up. Throw in a concert or two in Corpus each month, and you're using dimes for lunch money - lol. Plus, we probably come out ahead not giving him money each time he goes out for something.

As for the rest of us, Allan's shoulder is still giving him fits...finally went to the chiropractor on Friday, and to our massage therapist today. Seems to have helped at bit, and he's planning on visiting both next week as well. The pain seems to be a bit better, although the tingling is still there. He washed all the clothes yesterday except for two loads, so my work today is practically done.

I left school yesterday once again with no lesson plans. And we have a church event to go to on Sunday, so *sigh*, I guess my streak is really up. My papers are graded though, and I will average grades sometime today. I got a letter for a free membership for pastor's wives at Curves this week and am considering this. I used to go to Curves and loved it, and maybe this is what I need to jump myself off the plateau where I've been sitting for several months.

Jacob made it to the quarterfinals of his Tennis tournament on Friday, so I think his ankle is holding up OK. He plays another tournament on Friday, maybe he'll do a bit better.

Markus played in two soccer games this week (both losses). He didn't get much playing time in Tuesday's game, which disappointed him. The team they played last night was very good, he said. It's always tough to lose all the time. But that is Kingsville sports for you - we have a lot of experience in losing.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Thoughts on Valentine's Day, and the Week in Review

Valentine's Day - a day that brings me much happiness, and also sadness. Happiness, because I have the wonderful pleasure to be married to my best friend. The most amazing and wonderful man. A man I cannot imagine my life without. God brought us together - we were meant to be together - there is no doubt. We had a very nice day. We started out with breakfast at McD's before school. I made one of Allan's favorite meals - pot roast with carrots, potatoes and gravy. I made a wonderful dessert - Lemon Tart with Almond Crust. I had never made it before, and even borrowed a tart pan. Did NOT think that watery lemon filling would ever make a solid...but it did, and it was delicious. I came home to a beautiful vase of flowers and chocolates. We don't usually exchange gifts on this day anymore. It really is Valentines Day everyday for us. We both are always looking for opportunities to do nice things for one another. Even the most everyday things are special to us, just going through them together. We're very blessed. I read somewhere in cyber space someone's comment that people who go all out for Valentines Day are missing the point if they limit their kindnesses to one day a year. I feel sad on this day, because I know too many people who do not have a relationship with their husband like I have with mine. I wish everyone could be so happy. However, I am not willing to share:)

As for the week past:
I did in fact go to school on Sunday (with hubby along for the ride) and did my lesson plans, so I started the week prepared after all. It was a crazy week because of Valentine's. The kids were worked up all week, and Thurday they were hopped up on sugar big time. I, of course, walked out of the house leaving the box of their gifts on the table. Allan brought it out to me.

Jacob played in his first tournament - post injury - Tuesday. He got 4th place doubles. His ankle seemed to hold up OK, but said he wasn't moving around very good yet.

Markus had soccer games on Wednesday (Lost) and Friday (Tied). He continues to have a good time playing, and hopefully they are coming together better as a team.

I had someone ask me about my menu sheet that I use each week. I am apparently too computer illiterate to figure out how to attach it, but it is just a 3-column list with Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner for columns. I plan the meals, then make a list of ingredients that I need. I put my shopping list on the back, and group things by where they are in the store. It's simple, but it works for me.

Mrs. Darling posted about Spring cleaning the very day I began thinking about it. It will be harder this year since I'm working, but I can hardly wait to begin going through and throwing away things. It gives me much satisfaction to thin out our stuff. We have a lot of stuff. A lot.

My brain is getting tired. Boys are coming over later tonight, so I must get the kitchen cleaned, and my things put away. Laundry is still in progress. Allan's shoulder is still killing him. My prayer is for a good nights sleep for us both.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

End of an Era (OK -- a short era!)

My streak of being a well prepared teacher is over. I have a big stack of papers to grade, and no lesson plans for Monday. *sigh* I went several days without grading at home, and before you know it - I'm way behind. Even worse - it is Saturday night and I STILL haven't graded them. We had a field trip Friday, which took up all my planning time, so no lesson plans. Unless I go tomorrow and throw something together.

We had a busy week. Jacob was cleared to practice again, which he was glad about. We ordered him high-top tennis shoes, which he totally and completely hates. His first tournament post injury is Tuesday. I hope he does well what with not practicing for 3 weeks.

Markus played with the varsity soccer team yesterday, and had a really good time. The team lost, but he was happy that the coach said he could play on varsity.

Our friends from New Orleans were in town visiting this week - their schools have a week off for Mardi Gras. It was great to see them again so soon. They left this morning, which left Jacob feeling a bit lost without his best friend around.

Mrs. Darling posted this week about not making weekly menus. As always, I am totally impressed with this great lady. However, I am not her. I am not by nature efficient. Leaving meals to last minute planning spells disaster in our house. I have to work hard at what little efficiency I have. I plan out my meals on Saturday morning. (Even have a form I print off to fill in the blanks, and make my shopping list on the back.) This works for me. It is great to just look at the list and know what I'm cooking that night. Remembering to take thinks out of the freezer the night before can some times pose a problem. lol. Since I've gone back to work, this method has really taken away some of the stress that was there before when I worked. Plus, Allan hates to be asked, "What would you like to have for dinner?" That little bit of planning and thinking makes the everyday task of getting dinner on the table at the same time every night much, much easier.

I've enjoyed catching up with everyone, and have stuck to my Groundhog's Day Resolution for exactly one week. Pat myself on the back:)

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Groundhog's Day Resolutions

OK...most people make resolutions on New Years...never-the-less...

I hereby resolve to return to blogging on Saturdays. To check in on my blogging buddies to see how their lives are going. To share any interesting tidbits about my own life.

There! Let's see how it goes.

The month of January flew by. Allan was ill with a monster stomach virus several weeks ago (lost 9 pounds in one night!). Jacob sprained his ankle big time at tennis two weeks ago. He's recovering nicely, and hopefully will be back on the courts soon. I apparently developed a peanut allergy overnight since Allan rushed me to the ER last Sunday night after a peanut butter sandwich shut down my lung capacity in less than 10 minutes. I must be some kind of a freak of nature - why must my health be full of such drama?? Markus is the only one of us that has had nothing dramatic happen to himself.

Jacob was inducted into NHS last week. Thankfully he was able to limp across the stage and not have to maneuver stairs with the crutches.

Our newest cat, Parsons, turns out to be quite the mouser. Caught a big mouse two nights ago - in the HOUSE. Way to go Parsons!

School is going great. I think I have broken my record for being prepared every day. (3 weeks and counting!) I feel so professional :)

I will check in on everyone tomorrow, leave some comments, and hopefully find myself back in the blogging swing of things.