Peach Cobbler Pastry Braid
I wrote this post as part of the Plugrá Butter Brigade. Thanks, Plugrá, for sponsoring this post and for making my favorite butter! I use Plugrá in pastries, especially, since its low moisture content ensures a flakier texture.
My 8th year students are completing a project to deepen their service passions this year. "Projects" in my class aren't just projects; they're journeys designed by the students themselves within a supportive framework I provide. Some of the kids have taken off. Their path was smooth and they fell right into the service fit for them. N.S. continued work she had already begun serving at her dance studio, where she was inspired daily. I.P. created bluebird habitats on our campus last year and decided it was a natural segue to rebuild our beekeeping program this year.
For many kids, though, it's been a challenge. This is far from disappointing to me: this is exactly what I expect and prep them for. We call the inevitable obstacles during their project work "mountains and moats." They require collaboration, problem solving, analysis -- the very skills I want them to develop. This is where learning happens. My job is to support kids as they learn how to react responsibly to these situations. The unexpected part this year is that I'm facing plenty of mountains and moats myself.
Brown Butter Spice Cake with Whipped Icing
I've partnered with ALDI to try out their grocery stores and develop holiday recipes for you! ALDI's has compensated me for my time and recipe development, but all my opinions are my own.
Mike's been trying to whittle down our spending since we're in a lean financial period. The cars and the dog keep falling apart at random intervals and requiring numerous visits to the mechanic and vet, respectively (we don't take our dog to the mechanic, although perhaps that's a thought. I wonder if they take Care Credit.)
He had been suggesting we eat out less, much to my dismay, but he finally analyzed our spending a few weeks ago and realized that that's not the problem. It's not even the dog, though we just found out she has allergies. Good grief.
Drunken Pumpkin Gingerbread Snack Cake
Mike and I sometimes play a game where we list all the places we'd love to live. We both gravitate towards big cities with great public transportation (or walkability), great food, and lots of things to do. Topping my list are San Diego, San Francisco (in its cheaper days, please), and Florence! Wouldn't it be nuts to live in Florence?
One thing that baffles us during these discussions is how people live where it's cold. A huge chunk of our nation's population lives where it's cold for, like, half the year! Where they have to dig their cars out of snow to go to work starting in October! Where things like ice fishing and snowshoeing exist! You might be sitting somewhere right now where it's already started snowing. I need to understand.