A favor and a new recipe

So, I’ll admit the obvious – it’s been a while since I posted.  Like, months.  Sorry.  We moved, had summer break, started school, and now it is March 8th already.  I’ll promise to do to better.

Now, onto my favor.  When I am not at home cooking and spending time with my family, I’m a middle school teacher.  I teach 4 Family and Consumer Science classes and 2 reading enrichment classes.  I’ve applied for a grant through Farmer’s Insurance but can only be awarded by getting a certain amount of votes.  Right now, our number of votes isn’t looking very promising.  The money from the grant will be used to purchase reading material for our reading enrichment classes.

This is where I need your favor – go vote for me and my school!  Click on this link : http://www.thankamillionteachers.com/vote-for-a-proposal/

My last name (obviously enough) is Soll and my school is New Providence Middle School.  Our school has very low-income students and a large percent of the students have parents in the military.  Our school needs all the support we can get.  You have to provide your e-mail address, but you will not get any type of spam and junk mail.

After you have voted, please pass this along to everyone you know.  You can vote once everyday until April 1st.  Every single vote matters.

In return for your vote, I’ve provided the recipe to my new favorite dressing.  It can also be used as a great pork chop marinade.

Brown Sugar and Balsamic Dressing

1 t ground sage

1/2 t salt

1/4 t pepper

1 garlic clove

1/2 c water

1/2 c brown sugar

1/4 c balsamic vinegar

2 T soy sauce

Mix all ingredients in a sauce pan over low heat and stir until sugar is fully dissolved.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

I hope you will enjoy this dressing over a nice salad while you vote for my grant!

Green Smoothie Success

imagesAs a teacher, you know you have had a successful day when your students have learned something new, enjoyed learning it, and want to go home and share their new knowledge with their family.

Today was a successful day.

The students in my Family and Consumer Science class made (and enjoyed) green smoothies.  Out of my 78 students, only 8 really complained about the smoothies and didn’t like them.  The rest were pleasantly surprised.  Many of them are planning on going home and making more of them.  Here’s the recipe that my students used.

Banana Berry Green Smoothie

1 cup spinach

1 cup water

1 cup orange juice

1 cup blueberries

1 cup strawberries

2 bananas

We were able to make the smoothies b/c 5 teachers loaned us their blenders.  It will be great if I don’t have to worry about borrowing blenders once I have my next group of kids.  If you’d like to help out the class, then check out my project on donorschoose. org to donate money and help us get some blenders.

http://www.donorschoose.org/project/cooking-up-something-good/1026415/

Fat Free Zucchini Muffins

courgettesI’m a big fan of zucchini muffins.  They are great for breakfast or an afternoon snack.  Plus, they are easy to make.  Over the summer, I’ve made zucchini muffins more times than I can count and each time they were a little different.  My husband teases me and says that I never make something the same way twice.  I must agree.  I usually cook with what I already have in my kitchen.  It’s a great way to decrease cost and it helps prevent food from going bad.

My most recent zucchini muffins are very different than the rest.  All of the recipes that I have used call for oil and eggs to keep the muffins moist.  However, oil and eggs add a significant amount of fat.  I wanted to add some protein and try to decrease the fat content in my muffins.  I decided to use Greek yogurt instead of oil and eggs and the final product taste great.  Here’s my final recipe (which I think I will stick with for now on) and the links to a few other good ones.

Fat Free Zucchini Muffins

1 cup Fat Free Greek Yogurt

1 cup honey

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

3 cups white whole-wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups shredded zucchini

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix the yogurt, honey, and vanilla until fully combined.  Add the dry ingredients and stir until the dry ingredients have absorbed all the liquid.  Last of all, add the zucchini and mix well.

Pour the batter into lightly greased muffins tins and bake for 15-20 minutes.  You should end up with around 18 muffins.

The final result isn’t as sweet as other muffins, so keep that in mind if you have a sweet tooth.  Here are the other recipes that I have used and recommend.

http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2010/06/25/recipe-zucchini-bread/

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/100-whole-wheat-zucchini-chocolate-chip-bread-recipe