Saturday, October 4, 2008

Recipe: Sugar-Free Pumpkin Pudding

Tis the season for pumpkin things, at least in my household.

This recipe slightly modified from

1 small box (1 oz) instant sugar free vanilla pudding
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie seasoning (no sugar added)

Mix together pudding mix and evaporated mix. Chill 5 minutes.

Add pumpkin and seasonings to vanilla pudding mix. Stir to thoroughly combine.

Chill ten minutes or until ready to serve, top with sugar free cool-whip or whipped cream.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I've decided this whole being a grownup thing is entirely overrated.

I had to buy a car last week. I like my new car - she's shiny, orange, automatic, and a Honda Fit.

But I'm working a lot and my house is a mess and I need a break. I think I'll feel better when I can focus my energies all in one place.

I'm teaching at UC Davis in their English Intensive Program. It's a multi-lingual program, and I'm mostly having fun with it. I've got some great students and I'm learning my way through the curriculum and most of them are doing very well and really improving. I think I may have to do a rehash on classroom policies on Tuesday, though.

Anyway - life is crazy. I start teaching at the community college in a few weeks, so for about three weeks, I will be absolutely miserable. Which, for anyone who knows me, means I'm actually going to be reveling in it.

Monday, June 23, 2008

So, one of the awesome things about taking the bus nearly every day is that I'm getting through a novel roughly every two weeks. I don't have a long bus ride - only 20 minutes each way, but still, it's a nice bit of quiet time that allows me to put on my headphones and just read.

Last week I read Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynn Jones. I've seen the movie by Hayao Miyazaki too many times to count, but the book was just as good, and different enough to be able to enjoy both of them without them being carbon copies of each other.

This week I'm working on Transformation by Carol Berg. Not far enough into it to say much at this point, but I enjoy it. I think it's part of a series, but I've been burned by not liking sequels enough that I buy them one at a time now.

It's nice being able to read for fun again. I was so burnt out on reading when the semester ended in May 2007 that I had to teach myself to crochet, because I couldn't focus on reading, even old favourites for very long without getting frustrated and bored.

In other news, I was offered and accepted an adjunct teaching position at one of the local community colleges. It's one class of Freshman Comp, for now. We'll see if anything else opens up as registration for the fall happens.

I've also accepted two classes from the local UC's Extension Program. I'll be teaching composition to international students, which should be fun.

This summer is going to be crazy busy now, which is good, I think. I teach M-F starting next Monday, then mid-August I teach M&W evening, all while continuing to work for the property management company. The UC classes end Sept. 5, I think my last day at the management company will be Oct. 31 at the latest, and then the semester at the Community College ends Dec. 23 (when grades are due). Of course, this is what I'm used to life being like in the Fall, so even though it's a different kind of crazy, at least I have someone to help take some of the load off this time.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Recipe: Cottage Cheese Salad

Cottage Cheese Salad

  • 1 16oz container cottage cheese
  • 1 tub cool whip whipped topping
  • 1 package sugar free orange jello powder
  • 1 can pineapple tidbits (or 1 to 1.5 c. fresh diced pineapple)
  • 1 10 oz can mandarin orange segments.

In medium-large bowl, combine cottage cheese and jello powder, mixing thoroughly to avoid clumps of gelatin. Stir in fruit. Fold in whipped topping.

Chill until ready to serve.

I like this for breakfast in the summer time. It's light, but sweet, and the cottage cheese has enough protein to keep me going for a couple of hours. My mum also serves this at most holiday meals.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A to Z

Juls tagged me, so....

A- Attached or Single: Single
B- Best friend: Juls, Kate, Kimmeh, and Kenn
C- Cake or Pie: Chocolate
D- Day of choice: Saturday
E- Essential item: Water bottle
F- Favorite Color: purples
G- Gummy bears or worms: Both
H- Hometown: Woodland, CA
I- Indulgence: Yarn, a haircut, a really good desert
J- January or July: January
K- Kids: No thanks. I'll spoil every one else's.
L- Life is incomplete without: Coffee.
M- Marriage Date: no thanks.
N- Number of siblings: 1
O- Oranges or Apples: I like both, but apples are easier to eat.
P- Phobias or fears: forgetting something, being a crap teacher
Q- Quotes: "No day but today." -Rent
R- Reason to smile: Awesome friends
S- Season of choice: Autumn
T- Tag 3 times: anyone who wants - not sure anyone reads.
U- Unknown fact about me: Until I was about 10, people used to call me "Toothpick," I was so skinny.
V- Very favorite store: Torrid or Old Navy
W- Worst habit: Not doing the dishes.
X- X-ray or Ultrasound: CT Scans? Though I think I've had one x-ray when I fell at work and they thought I broke or fractured my tail bone.
Y- Your favorite food: A better question would be what kind of food I don't like...
Z- Zodiac Sign: Pieces.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Recipe Roundup

I have some of my favourite recipes on a website that I don't really use anymore, so I'm going to start transferring most of them over here.

Starting with this one:

Taco Salad


-1 head iceberg lettuce, or 2 bags of mixed greens or whatever quantity for however big you want your salad*
-3 large tomatoes rough chopped, or grape or cherry tomatoes to taste
-1 10oz bag shredded cheddar cheese (or grate your own if you're more ambitious than I am)
-1 red onion, frenched
-1 small can diced green chilies (opt)
-1 small can sliced black olives
-1 lb ground beef, turkey, or chicken
-1 packet taco seasoning
-1 bottle Catalina or French salad dressing (the red stuff)

Brown meat in large skillet. Mix in chilies and olives. Add taco seasoning and mix well. DO NOT add water according to package directions. Let cool.

Meanwhile, chop lettuce and add to large bowl. Add remaining ingredients except salad dressing.

When meat mixture has cooled, toss with salad. Add salad dressing and toss to evenly coat.

Serve over taco chips or tortilla chips.

*this recipe based on 2 bags mixed greens which gives fair proportions

Saturday, May 31, 2008

I made strawberry pie

Fresh Strawberry Pie*

1 cup Splenda
2 tablespoons sugar-free strawberry Jello (packet in small box)
1 tablespoon plain gelatin (1 packet in box)
4 tablespoons cornstartch
1 cup water
1 pound strawberries, sliced (or 2 cups)

1 baked pie shell

Bake pie shell according to package directions (or make from scratch if you're far more ambitious than I am). Let cool.

Mix together Splenda, gelatins, cornstarch and water in saucepan. Heat over medium until thickened. Whisk in beginning stages to break up cornstarch. Remove from heat. Stir in fresh strawberries. Pour mix into baked pie shell. Chill for several hours until firm.

Serve with whipped topping of choice.

*I made this sugar free. Sugar can be substituted.

If you have really good really fresh strawberries, you could try using plain gelatin all together and letting the strawberries speak for themselves. I didn't have the really good ones this time (there's a great fruit stand just outside the other side of town with excellent fresh berries, but mine were from the grocery store), so I used the above mix.

Less gelatin might allow for a more compote like filling (more like blueberry pie), and I'll have to give that a try next time.