Sweet Tofu and Giveaway Winner!

Some days don’t go according to plan. It would be a lie for me to say that when the students talk over me, ignore my directions, are just plain rude, or don’t participate at all, I don’t take it personally. For as strong as I pretend to be, things grate on my nerves, and sometimes by the time that bell rings at 2:40p, I can’t wait to run home. Of course, even with these little hiccups I’m so incredibly happy with my decision to pursue teaching as my career.

I mention the above because Tuesday was one of those days. But more importantly, it inspired me to make something on the sweeter side for dinner. Conveniently, I had all those delicious sauces from House of Tsang just hanging out in my pantry, and decided to put some to use. Tuesday night’s dinner was a play on hot & sour chicken/beef/pork, but with tofu! Because the sauce is pre-made, this can be made in a matter of minutes. The only thing you need to prepare for is pressing the tofu, which takes at least 15 minutes. I threw it with some veggies and noodles – yum. You can find the quick and easy recipe below!

I’m sure you are all chomping at the bit to find out the winner of the House of Tsang prize pack! Well, thanks to Random.org, being first gets rewarded today!

The goodies go to Krissy, who mentioned one of my stir-fry favorites – water chestnuts!

Krissy, send me your address and I’ll be sure to get the package out to you ASAP!

Sweetly Sour Tofu

1 package extra firm tofu, pressed
1/2 cup House of Tsang sweet & sour sauce (or your favorite brand)

1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees
2. Press tofu for 15-20 minutes between two plates with a something heavy (I used a cookbook) on top, then cut into even cubes
4. Place tofu into a medium sized bowl and cover the tofu with the sauce, using a a spoon to make sure the tofu is evenly coated
5. Once tofu is coated, place it on a greased baking sheet (I like to put foil down and spray that)
6. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until browned on both sides with a little crisp

Easy Baked Donuts

This past weekend was my first attempt at lesson planning. Sure I’ve made some mock lesson plans for courses I’ve taken over the last two years, but not plans for an entire week, that I’d actually be teaching. Thankfully it snowed on Saturday, so I was forced to stay inside and get it done. Teaching is no joke (not that I ever thought it was), and I definitely have a lot of work ahead of me.

Nothing like a little Shakespeare

Teaching aside, the husband and I were in the mood for something sweet on Sunday morning. The mini donut pan I have from my bridal shower hasn’t been used in months (and was only used once), so I figured I’d break it out. These are your “old fashioned” style baked donut – it isn’t anything fancy, but boy are they good. With a simple cinnamon and sugar coating, they’re perfect with a cup of coffee. It certainly beat getting in the car and going to Dunkin’ Donuts, and then feeling bad about that decision later. The only time I allow myself to have donuts (and by “have” I mean devour) is after long runs – usually accompanied by a Coolata.

Easy Baked Donuts
– makes about 14 donuts –

Donut Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup milk or creamer (I used coffee creamer which makes it richer, but any % milk will work fine)
1/2 tsp white vinegar
1 egg
4 Tbsp butter

Cinnamon Sugar Topping:
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and whisk together.
3. Combine the wet ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat, until the butter is completely melted. Be careful not to have the mixture get hot – the butter just needs to melt.
4. Add the wet mixture and egg to the dry ingredients and whisk together.
5. Using a tablespoon, scoop out the dough from the bowl and into your donut pan. You want the mixture to sit just below the rim of the pan.
6. Bake for 12 minutes, then take out to cool for about 2 minutes.
7. As the donuts are cooling, combine the sugar and cinnamon for the topping on a plate, and melt the butter in a bowl in the microwave (about 30-40 seconds).
7. Once the donuts can be handled, dip one side into the melted butter and then roll them in the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Food Planning: Teacher Edition

For those of you that are frequent readers, you know that I quit my job at the end of December and will be starting to student teach tomorrow! To say I’m nervous is an understatement, but I’m also very excited. I’m lucky enough to be in a school district that’s only about 10 minutes away, and working with a teacher that I had the opportunity to work with in previous semesters for observation hours. Going from working in an office (with my husband) for three years to a classroom is definitely going to be a big adjustment, but like I said, one I’m excited for.

One of the biggest challenges, I think, is going to be planning and preparing my lunches accordingly. When I did my observations, I found myself bringing a peanut butter & jelly sandwich most days. Now don’t get me wrong, a good PB&J is necessary sometimes, but shouldn’t be a daily¬†occurrence¬†for a 25 year old. That being said, I’ve been researching quick, easy, healthy, and most importantly affordable options for lunches. Growing up I had a turkey and cheese sandwich or wrap almost every day, with some type of fruit and some type of dessert. I want to keep my meals room-temperature friendly if at all possible, so frozen lunches that I’ve relied on throughout my cubicle days are no more.


I have plenty of veggie wraps in mind (with cucumbers, avocado, hummus, etc.), but don’t want to tire of those too quickly either. And there’s always the option of bringing leftovers (that is, if we have any). So, this is where I need your help – what do you guys bring for lunch, especially the teachers out there?

Fingers crossed for my first day of school tomorrow – the next 14 weeks should be interesting to say the least!

Two Weeks

Every once in awhile, I get the urge to make something on a week night, and realize there is no way it should stay in our house. It’s usually a combination of fear that the treats will disappear quicker than they were made, and also the realization that there is a strong possibility they’ll be forgotten about in the fridge. So, that’s when I bring my treats to work. I know that everyone in the office appreciates those surprise treats, as I’ve won multiple contests in the office. It’s certainly a nice pat on the back!

At the end of the month, though, my office treats will be no more. Rather, I’ll be trading them in for classroom treats! For those of you that have followed the blog for the past year and a half, you may have noticed my alluding to homework, and being back in school. I never wanted to mention exactly what I was in school for, just in case things didn’t work out. However, after three semesters of online courses, it’s finally time for me to student teach. I graduated from The University of Scranton with an English degree, and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it. After getting into the working world, I realized my initial thoughts about teaching were what I truly want to do. So, I took the steps necessary to get the ball rolling, and am finally in the last stages. In order to become a certified teacher, I have to student teach for a semester. Basically, I get to work full time, for free!

I of course am going to miss everyone I work with, and the company will always hold a special place in my heart. But, I need to follow my heart, and believe it or not, my heart is working with the teenagers of America, trying to make reading and writing seem cool. Or, at the very least, not torture.

To soften the blow of leaving, I’ve been bringing in treats more frequently. I may also still be a contributor to their documentation and online knowledge base. So these last two weeks are going to be filled with desserts in the break room. What a better way to get in the Holiday spirit! First on my list was pumpkin chocolate pie.

Unfortunately I thought I had a can of pumpkin left in the pantry, but I was wrong. So, I decided to make a chocolate silk pie instead! My co-workers were fans, so it worked out in the end. Hopefully my future students and fellow teachers will be fans of my baking as well!

Easy Chocolate Silk Pie

1 pie shell (graham cracker, short bread, regular – whatever you like!)
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 12 oz. can condensed milk
2 egg yolks

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. If using a regular pie shell, blind bake for 10 minutes
3. Meanwhile, whisk together condensed milk and egg yolks in a sauce pan over medium-high heat until thick, being sure not to have the mixture boil
2. Stir in chocolate morsels until completely mixed
3. Pour the chocolate mixture into the pie crust, and bake for an additional 5 minutes
4. Cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving (the longer the better!)
*I drizzled some fleur de sel caramel sauce over a slice which was absolutely delicious!