MATH TEACHER BLOG!

Hey folks,

I’m going to be real with you, snapping a picture every time I baked some zucchini muffins was kind of problematic. But I’m blogging again! This time it is a math teacher blog, specifically:

MultipleFactors.Wordpress.com

Yes, it will be predominantly math teacher musings but I can also promise BRIGHT COLORS, MULTIMEDIA, and FUNCTIONS THAT LOOK COOL.

I’m excited (as the all-caps indicated), and I may even be able to cross-post some stuff. For instance, the first unit for math 1 is all about measurement and scale, so there will most definitely be some relevance to food.

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Thanksgiving, Mostly

Let me just say that having mono (especially as an adult) is the opposite of delightful. My immune system was worn down from having bronchitis so I was susceptible to this virus intended for teenagers. One of the hazards of my line of work, I guess.

I still made it to Ohio for Thanksgiving, though! I don’t love Ohio but I do love my family and how excellently we eat.

1. Gingerbread Pancakes!

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Emily made the Joy the Baker recipe and I attempted to veganize it. Funny story, though. I bought some sour cream, but the morning Emily tried to use it, she discovered it was bad, so we went to Whole Foods to replace it. That way we could get some vegan sour cream, too. Then that was bad, so I gave up and just used apple-cider-vinegar-and-soymilk “buttermilk.”

2. Beet salad

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So. Good. My dad made this. Roasted beets, oranges, walnuts, and a vinaigrette. Nothing else necessary.

3. Cauliflower steak with romesco sauce

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Romesco sauce wins. And check out the brown on that cauliflower! Also a creation of my dad.

4. Pink rice, lentils, and multicolored carrots.

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Most of that stuff is the wrong color, yeah, but that makes it even better. The pink rice was my mom’s discovery. It tastes not unlike brown rice, but a little more complex.

I’m back to cooking now, so I should be updating more regularly. In fact, I am going to go make some cookies for little to no reason.

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Camping Trip!

I am just now fully recovering from the spectacle that was the all-school camping trip last week. Like I mentioned before, I oversaw kitchen operations throughout the week. As soon as we got there, some of the kids helped me organize the food. Compared to camp, this place had SO MUCH SPACE!

 

I made a pretty simple menu starting with sandwiches for lunch then spaghetti for dinner. Plus salad – kids ate salad!

So I mentioned that I was sick, and it turns out that what I had was bronchitis. This triggered an asthma attack in the middle of the night the first night of the trip. Not being able to breathe is one of the most terrifying experiences I have ever had, but I am OK now. I got back from the hospital just in time to make breakfast.

That second day I was mainly located in the kitchen, but I did get the chance to go outside and take a small hike with another teacher and a great group of students.

Aphids!

 

Fungi

Overall a great trip!

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Tundra Bars & Baking Swap

It has been a while. I’ve had some variation of an illness for the past 3 weeks almost so I’ve been cooking fairly uninspiring food. Until this weekend!

I joined a monthly vegan baking swap. Here’s how it works. Each month we choose a cookbook or a blog to bake from, and everyone signs up for a different recipe to bring. This was the first one I’ve been able to attend, and we were baking from “Lickin’ the Beaters” and “Lickin’ the Beaters 2″ by Siue Moffat. I made Tundra Bars which were full of peanut butter, chocolate, and coconut. These were crazy delicious. Full disclosure, I just snapped a picture of the one I was eating for breakfast.

I ran into an apparently common problem. First timers typically want to try too much of everything & fall into an uncomfortable sugar coma. That definitely happened. Having so many different homemade baked goods that were all definitely vegan was exciting and overwhelming. I’m glad that I met more vegans, because vegans are special and great, and I don’t know nearly enough.

Next week we have our all-school camping trip, and I’m in charge of food. It should be fairly reminiscent of cooking at camp – similar numbers, though different ages and personalities. Plus, the kids will be helping me cook. I’ll bring my camera.

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Grated Apple Muffins

These muffins satisfy that adage, “necessity is the mother of invention.” It was necessary that I bake something for breakfast, and it was necessary that I do something with these apples I was not eating.

Housemate: What are you baking?
Me: Well, these apples are no longer edible, so I’m making muffins.
Housemate: Oh, you mean those apples that were sitting on the counter forever?

They were off to a great start. But they make a seriously delicious breakfast with soy yogurt. I had wanted to start eating things with yogurt for breakfast because I had big dreams that protein for breakfast would equal never being hungry at 10:00 when lunch is at 11:55. Unfortunately that did not pan out – does anyone know of any surefire ways to make breakfast last until lunchtime when I’m teaching and can’t just eat more food?

I grated the apples so that they would be partially solid and partially mushy like applesauce to bind everything together. The little apple strips ended up just being absorbed into the dough, so if you do want discernible chunks of apple I would suggest dicing one of the apples instead of grating it. I loved the effect of grating them, though, because there aren’t big pieces of anything but the whole thing is moist, sweet, and appley, the way baked goods with eggs could never be.

Here’s the recipe!

Grated Apple Muffins
Inspired by the Moosewood Muffin recipe from “New Classics” with which I was obsessed a couple years ago

ingredients:
1C whole wheat pastry flour
1C all-purpose flour
1t baking powder
1/4t baking soda
1/4t salt
1/2t cinnamon
1/4t nutmeg
1/4t ginger

1/4C canola oil
1/2C brown sugar, packed
3 apples, peeled and grated
1/2C soymilk, or other type of milk
1/2t vanilla

0. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place muffin cups into 12 muffin tin spots. Peel the apples.

1. Stir together the dry ingredients, mixing them thoroughly.

2. Into the same bowl as the dry ingredients, add the oil and sugar, allowing the sugar to dissolve into the oil. Grate the apples into the bowl, then add the milk and vanilla.

3. Mix everything together. As soon as the 2 parts are absorbed together, stop mixing.

4. Divide the batter into the 12 muffin cups.

5. Bake for 25 minutes.

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Brown Rice Risotto with Beets and Basil

The way I cook, you wouldn’t even know that I have a food blog. I either cook the same stuff I always cook (another tofu scramble? miso-curry squash again?) or I make something like this:

It’s practically impossible to take a non-disgusting photo of something that is mushy and full of beets. This turned out really delicious at least!

I’m not sure where the beet + basil combination came from, but I had some leftover basil from something I was making last week and beets sprang to mind. It’s a unique flavor combination, not least because basil is from the summer, and beets are winter vegetables, so the chances to combine these flavors are limited.

Also, a note on the use of the term “risotto.” According to Wikipedia, my source for all the necessary technical definitions in my life (usually math-related), risotto “is a class of Italian dishes of rice cooked in broth to a creamy consistency” – not necessarily made of arborio rice. The reason this questionably qualifies as a risotto is that I don’t like broth and therefore used water. It’s also notably less creamy than it would have been if made from arborio rice, but I liked that. Here’s the recipe.

Brown Rice Risotto with Beets and Basil 

ingredients:
4 beets, peeled and diced
1 red onion, peeled and diced
olive oil
1C brown rice
about 4C water, or broth, or a combination
1 15-oz can chickpeas
1/4C minced basil
1 clove garlic, minced
salt & pepper

0. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

1. Place the beets and onion on a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, cook the rice as per usual, but add an extra quarter to half cup of water.

3. Let the beets cool for the additional 10 or so minutes the rice will take. Then combine the vegetables and rice with the additional water/broth/what have you in a frying pan or similar over medium heat. As with any risotto, stir frequently. Unlike other risottos, the process will take only about half an hour. The rice is already cooked, it just needs to soak up some more stuff.

4. After about 10 minutes, add the basil, garlic, and chick peas.

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BCWS 50th Staff Reunion

 

Greetings from the cove!

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Burgundy Center for Wildlife Studies, also known as “camp,” where this blog, as well as several important friendships and life lessons, has its origins. I’m surrounded by old friends, former campers, former staff while I was a camper, new friends and coworkers, and whole other generations of camp folks, including the children of former staff members, some of whom are on staff themselves. Everyone has slightly different variations of the same story to tell: camp was a universally excellent place to to spend our collective formative years.

Relevantly to this blog, I made breakfast this morning. Pancakes for 80. I doubled the pancakes for 60 recipe.

It took approximately 3 hours and a great deal of help to generate so many pancakes.

All of this came together pretty easily, in spite of some contradictory advice from the recipe:

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