Monthly Archives: January 2013

Strawberry Banana Protein Shake

Does anyone else have an issue loading up on fresh fruits and vegetables at the grocery store? I feel like if I buy too many fruits and vegetables, I am struggling to eat them all before they go bad and I am just wasting money.

When figuring out what fruits and vegetables to buy, I usually just go with what’s on sale that week (unless I want to make a specific recipe). This week I went with



-blackberries, blueberries and strawberries

-bananas (I buy these every week)

-organic green lettuce


To help this issue, when I buy strawberries, blackberries, raspberries or blueberries I generally freeze most of them because I usually use them for smoothies anyway. I am still working on the last bag of strawberries I bought in August that’s in the freezer! I figured I might as well stock up while they’re cheap and I’m glad I did! Since they were on sale this week, 3.99 for two packages seemed reasonable enough to replenish my stock and make this delicious *new to me* protein shake:


1/2 a banana

1/2 cup of fresh or frozen strawberries

1/4 cup of cottage cheese

1/2 cup of almond milk

1tsp chia seeds

1sp flax seeds

5-6 ice cubes

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

Blend until smooth!

Add sweetener if needed!

The combo of the banana and cottage cheese made this shake extra creamy and delicious.


And yes, I use the same cup whenever I have my protein shakes. It’s the only one I have that’s big enough!!! Although this shake was overflowing!

Last night the fiancé and I finally made it out to dinner to a Mexican restaurant we’ve been wanting to try. I ordered the “Plato Azteca” which was a reasonably priced seafood (no idea why I decided on seafood at a Mexican restaurant, but it sounded good) dish with veggies (mushrooms, onions, zucchini, red pepper) and refried beans on the side.


It was good. I think we were really built up from people’s expectations and then when it was just good we were left feeling perplexed. I won’t lie it wasn’t the best Mexican food I’ve ever had. The best Mexican food I’ve ever had was when I went to southern California to visit my best friend who lives there.


True story. This was the restaurant. Let’s just all pretend we are there for a moment.

The fiancé went with the “Flautas Blancas” which were fried  tortillas with chicken and cheese inside.


Again, satisfactory. Glad we tried it though. I will definitely go back and try something else on the menu.

Feeling pretty lazy today, but the good news is I was able to walk on the treadmill for an hour and actually burn some calories. So far, the pain in my leg/back is not different or worse, and actually felt like it improved shortly after I was done walking. We will see. Baby steps….

Questions: How do you deal with buying fruits and vegetables?

How do you feel about Mexican food??


Facebook for School!

I think I mentioned the program ‘My Big Campus’ on this blog a little while ago, but I finally had the chance to put it into action this week in my classroom! The kids seem excited about it. One student exclaimed ‘This is like Facebook for school!’’

The first project we will be doing with this program is……you’ll never guess it….but blogging! I wanted my students to start blogging to design a digital portfolio of sorts via Edublogs (a WordPress program); however in order to make the students’ information and work private, I would have had to pay or the school would have to purchase a license :/.

I went to training for the My Big Campus program shortly after my blog project was derailed, and I realized that the My Big Campus profile allows you to have a blog through the program and it is totally private. Score!


Screen Shot of home page and ‘wall’.


Screen shot of profile

So this week students started gathering work to put on their digital portfolios. Students have to pick three pieces we’ve done so far:

1, 1 of 4 essays we’ve completed  (I know, 4 essays in 3 months, I’m mean)

2. A quiz, classwork or homework

3. A close read article with questions.

First, they will write a reflection about the piece based on these three questions:

– Why did you decide to include this piece?

-How did the piece allow you to grow as a student?

-What skills did you learn while completing this piece?

Then, they will either take a picture of the work and upload it on the My Big Campus blog, or copy and paste their paper from the word document into the blog. Finally, they will type their reflection under it and publish the post. When they are done they will have three separate blog entries that will serve as a digital portfolio and showcase of the work they’ve done this year. I’m hoping parents can also go on to access the student’s work.


Screen shot of sample ‘blog page’. I was showing this to students yesterday to demo what they would be doing. The picture came up sideways.  onIMG_0232[1]

Sample ‘reflection’. I was sharing this with them to get them to see what the reflection would look like.

With the My Big Campus program, you can also post announcements like homework and reminders, create tests and quizzes to assign to students, and hold forum-type discussions.


Assignments Page


Track students’ progress

I can’t wait to see what else I can do with this! It’s the first year so I’m sure as the students and I get more familiar with it it will be easier. Of course there’s the conversation that has to be had regarding what is appropriate for students to post, how to use it ethically, etc., that needs to happen. I’m sure I’ll run into students who want to abuse the privileges….

Question: How do you feel about the idea of a "Facebook for School”? Important tool or breeding ground for inappropriate behavior?


Strawberry Almond Flax Protein Smoothie

Hope everyone’s week back at work is going smoothly. Mine’s been rough to say the least. Staying positive has been tough and I’m experiencing some post-holiday blues regarding the weather, the back injury issue, as well as it being crunch time at school for testing. Is is summer yet?

I wanted to share a great smoothie recipe I had the other day. Like I said in a previous post, I don’t really consider many of my shakes to be my own original recipes but this one came on a whim and I had to share! The rich taste of the almond butter really makes it unique, and the protein fills me up! I also added chia seeds and flaxseeds because I just recently bought chia seeds and have been dying to see what the fuss was about, and flaxseeds are supposed to be good for you so I threw them in for good measure, lol.

strawberrysmoothie Strawberry Almond-Flax Protein Smoothie

1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I use designer whey)

1/2 cup of fresh strawberries

1/2 cup of low fat or fat free cottage cheese (just trust!)

up to 1 tbsp almond butter(I put about 1/2 tbsp, but I didn’t want to add a ton of calories)

1 tsp flax seeds

1 tsp chia seeds

6-7 ice cubes

water to mix everything up

Blend until smooth! You may also, if you prefer, want to add sweetener. I find I enjoy my shakes without it.

Let me know what you think!

P.S. Bloggers- I tried overnight oats!! I don’t know…I’m not completely sold. I just tasted like Greek yogurt and some gooey oats (which was what it was). And I much prefer hot oats. I put a bit of almond butter on top with some coconut shreds and it didn’t really do much for me. What combo should I try for overnight oats that will make me a believer?!?


Wedding Buffet Tasting

I’ve been thinking about doing this wedding post for awhile now! Finally it’s 2013 and I can really start wedding planning. According to everyone I’ve ever talked to, it’s the most stressful thing in the world. But so far I’ve loved every minute. I can imagine handing over the final check may be a bit stressful Disappointed smile


This past Saturday, I braved the blizzard-like conditions in Central New York to venture to our wedding venue city for food tasting for our wedding buffet. Yes- we’re having a buffet for many reasons including price, convenience, and timing. Don’t judge- k thanks.

It was almost a disaster, as the aforementioned blizzard conditions caused a delay in my travel.


The venue is about 45 minutes from my hometown all of which is highway driving. The steady snow made the roads rather slick and as I was driving along a tractor trailer that had just passed me jackknifed over an icy bridge. This was literally three cars in front of me. I almost watched the thing fall over the bridge. Thank God, no one was hurt and my vehicle and I stayed safe. Ugh. I HATE winter.


This open bridge where the truck hit the guardrail was causing me a bit of anxiety. Fun times!

Any how, finally traffic got moving again and slowly but surely I made it to the restaurant.

We were able to pick up to seven entrees to taste. The buffet for our wedding needs to include 1 chicken, 1 pasta and 1 seafood dish. It also includes a carved meat like roast beef or prime rib, but for obvious reasons we weren’t able to taste that meat as they were not going to make an entire rib roast for our party of 6 (my parents and my in laws joined us).

The seven entrees we chose were:

Filet of Sole with Crabmeat stuffing

Peppercorn Crusted Tilapia

Garlic Lemon Herb Chicken dusted with Seasoned Flour, Sauteed to a Golden Brown

Steak Au Poive (Beef) – Twin medallions of sirloin, sauteed with cognac, shallots, cream and peppercorns

Chicken Paupiette (Chicken) – With prosciutto ham, spinach, pepper jack cheese, roasted red pepper and finished with a creamy herb sauce

Ravioli ala Vodka (Pasta) – Jumbo cheese raviolis, vodka sauce and julienne vegetables

Penne Provencal (Pasta) – Roasted tomato, mushrooms, spinach, Italian herbs & olis, cheese and penne pasta

We also got to taste the potatoes and green beans, a salad with crumbly bleu cheese, roasted red peppers, candied walnuts and caramelized onions, and yummy cheese topped rolls.

wedding dinner

Only picture I took. I’m sorry, I’ll become a better blogger in the new year I hope. It is rather obnoxious to keep whipping out my phone at a fancy dinner. From top left: vodka ravioli, green beans, chicken paupiette, penne provencal and lemon chicken.

My favorites were the ravioli (still dreaming about it) and the lemon chicken. And the salad!


Not the best picture of us, I know, but again, I was lacking in pictures. Sorry!

After all was said and done we chose:

Ravioli a la Vodka

Garlic Lemon Herb Chicken

Peppercorn Crusted Tilapia

So if you’re coming to my wedding you can look forward to that. If not, you can look at my picture and imagine eating it. Sorry. Hope everyone is having a lovely New Year’s Day….back to work tomorrow….grin.