I’ve moved!

25 Dec

If you’re still following me on this blog, make sure you head on over to Pencilsandpancakes.com and subscribe by email!

 

Don’t leave me!!!

9 Dec

Hello all! I am in the process of attempting to switch over to self hosted blogging…..

I changed the nameservers but they say it takes 24 hours so I have no idea if it worked. I don’t want to leave you hanging in case it DID work. I will put up the link to my new blog when it is available.

If you like what you see, please follow me on bloglovin or your personal blog reader once it’s switched over.

And any advice to make this process easier will be much appreciated!!!

Also, if you self hosted, any suggestions on an affordable blog designer?? Thanks!!

 

Here’s a picture of my cat to hold you over.

IMG_1126

RX Bar Review

8 Dec

I have another great Paleo, grain free, refined sugar free snack options to share with you!

If you haven’t already heard of RxBars, you should go to their site to check them out. It is a grain free, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, everything artificial- free protein/meal replacement bar.

IMG_3421[1]

“RxBars are handmade with a passion devoted to ensuring the highest standards of quality.  There are no misleading filler ingredients in our bars — only natural, quality ingredients that provide functional nutrition and satisfy hunger.

Each bar contains no more than 8 ingredients, all of which conform to the standards of the Paleo Diet”

They are all made of REAL, natural ingredients, so you don’t have to worry about artificial sugars and whey protein like most protein bars. Like I’ve said I used to eat protein bars, shakes and all sorts of snacks but not after I took a glance at the ingredients list. I also used to eat a lot of protein shakes with whey protein but in all reality I’d really rather just eat real food.

These bars are great when you need something whole and natural but are in a pinch, as I was when I was out shopping the other day……satisfied my hunger without a trip to the mall food court! Excellent. They taste AMAZING!! They send me four kinds: chocolate coconut, coffee cacao, apple cinnamon and blueberry. I thought I would love the coffee one, but it wasn’t my favorite. The chocolate coconut one hit it out of the park. I’m loving coconut anything lately. The apple cinnamon was a close second. I just the taste of figs, which these bars use as figs AND dates (which are in Lara bars). Not that Larabars aren’t awesome, cause they are. But the taste of figs make these bars stand out from the crowd. It was great for when I was in a pinch and needed something yummy without running to the drive through!

IMG_3607[1]

And that’s exactly what I would use these bars for. When I need something quality in an emergency. Unfortunately, I experienced quite a sugar crash about 30-40 minutes after eating the thing. Even though the figs and dates are natural sugars, sugar is sugar. And it affects my body negatively, as I have found out. It didn’t help that I ate the Rx Bar on THE day after my 21 Day Sugar Detox was over. So that may have had something to do with it.

All in all, I would buy these bars again because I like that they have quality ingredients, and I need things for when I’m traveling and want to stay eating clean. However, I probably wouldn’t eat them on a regular basis because of the high amount of sugar and the caloric content (about 250-300 calories per bar). They taste amazing though, I highly suggest you try them if you’re looking for a whole food option for on the go!

OH! I almost forgot- another great thing about these bars is they have this cool little re-sealable packaging! So even though they contain a lot of calories, you can eat half and put the rest back. How many times have you opened a Larabar and said “I’ll only eat half”. Yeaaaa right! These great little packages make it so easy! I actually used it the other day and ate half of one after my workout for two days in a row.

What are you favorite snacks for when you’re traveling?

Do you eat protein bars?

Buttery Parsnip and Sweet Potato Mash

4 Dec

It was an amazing day when I discovered that I could essentially turn any root vegetable into a “mash”. All these years mashed potatoes have stolen the show…but if you think about it….sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beets. The possibilities are endless. Over the summer I made mashed beets with coconut butter. I don’t think I blogged about it, but it was good. It was the only way I could get my husband to eat beets.

I spent a considerable amount of time deciding whether to use lard or ghee in this mash. I decided the ghee would give it a nice buttery taste, reminiscent of mashed potatoes. OMGHEE!!!  Get it? So good. The leftovers are sitting in my fridge now taunting me!!! Replace your traditional mashed potatoes with this dish and you will never go back. Mashed potatoes are boring. Ick.

IMG_3752[1]

Parsnip and Sweet Potato Mash

3 medium parsnips, peeled and diced

1/2 cup cooked sweet potato (about half of one large?? mine were Thanksgiving leftovers so I don’t know how many I started with!)

1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

1 small clove of garlic

1 tablespoon full fat canned coconut milk

1/2 tablespoon ghee

salt and pepper to taste

1. Prepare (peel and dice) sweet potatoes and parsnips and rosemary.

2. Fill a pot with your parsnips and water and put on the stove to boil. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender (roughly 10 minutes). If you start with an uncooked sweet potato, I like this method to cook it.

IMG_3755[1]

3. Place everything in a food processor and blend it up. You may have to push down the sides to get everything mixed up a couple of times.

IMG_3754[1]

IMG_3753[1]

IMG_3746[1]

^^New can of coconut milk I now order of Vitacost. It’s BPA free and way cheaper than the $3 cans at the store.

Sooooo good! Can’t wait to eat those leftovers! This is a must make.

IMG_3751[1]

Dinner last night….beef roast, broccoli and mash! Omg.

What veggies do you like with your dinner?

Have you ever tried a different type of “mashed” vegetable?

Inside out and Back Again Book Unit Ideas

3 Dec

Chances are sometime this year whether you’re a teacher, work in a school, know someone who’s a teacher or have kids you have heard the words “Common Core”. What is it? A new set of standards that the country is implementing to get all states on the same page about what is taught in schools. This means all states have the same standards, instead of separate standards for each state like it used to be.

The common core standards are designed to make underperforming U.S students more college and career ready. I believe they are  more authentic and will be more helpful than the old standards for meeting that goal.

Some teachers are irritated with my state, New York, because they have gone ahead and designed whole book units on books for each grade level and “suggested” to schools to teach these units. This takes away creativity of the teacher as she is no longer able to design her own lessons. No one wants to be a robot and just follow a script, which is what essentially the NYS modules are.

inside-out-back-again

My school district has not mandated that we use these units, however I really liked one of the books, Inside out and Back Again by Thannha Lai so I decided to go ahead and teach it. I haven’t followed the scripted lessons word for word; I have taken what I could use and implemented changes that will fit the needs of my students. Okay, since I’m probably boring you with teacher speak, here are some ideas that I used to spice it up.

1. Include websites and more supported material on Vietnam that is student friendly.

Many of the articles and websites that the state used were dry. So here are some that I used to spice it up.

Vietnam War Facts

Fall of Saigon Video

Helicopter Pilot recalls Fall of Saigon

Sweet refugee stimulation video game <<<< really cooL!

Refugee Background

2. Real life correspondence with refugees.

The school I used to work at was an area that serviced a lot of ESL and refugee students. I got in touch with a friend (thanks Judy!) and we organized a little “pen pal” type activity. My students are so excited to see what our refugee student has to say in response to questions they created! We’re reading them tomorrow in class. This will help with their refugee research for the final project. I also reached out to local agencies and organized an office supply drive at my school. Some refugees at a center in Buffalo are having a hard time with supplies for applying for jobs and learning English. I organized a drive at my school and I will deliver the office supplies to the agency when the drive is over. Another great real life connection!

3.Differentiated final project

The final project of the module was the write a poem. I offered them multiple choices utilizing my school’s 1:1 I pad situation. They will use apps like Instablend, Piccollage, Videolicious, and Podomatic to create these projects.

Final Projects for Inside out and Back Again

I can’t wait to share the projects when they are completed! This blog topic was way far off from my regular topics but I am excited about the ideas I tried and just wanted to share! Thanks for reading!

If you’re a teacher, how do you feel about the common core?

Does your state have scripted lessons? Would you follow it?

20131204-144422.jpg

Holiday Baking Wish List

2 Dec

Anticipating the shorter-than-usual holiday season this year flying by before I can even blink, you better believe I was in the kitchen, blasting Christmas music while baking cookies and putting up decorations the DAY after Thanksgiving.

It was REALLY tempting to go Black Friday shopping…all the ads, the emails, the people posting on Facebook. The only thing I bought Friday was a freezer in anticipation of the 1/4 of a cow we’re getting later in the month. And it felt good! Normally I just end up buying stuff for me that I don’t really need. I get anxiety thinking about all the people. I’d rather just buy stuff online honestly. People are boasting and bragging about all the money they “saved”….however I didn’t spend any so I win!!!

I baked a couple of batches of cookies this past weekend, and I am going full force now trying to make a list of the holiday cookies I plan to make. This weekend I tried out a couple winners that will definitely be repeated…especially these:

Coconut Macaroons with raspberry chia jam from Oh She Glows

macaroons

Also, I made these for my husband and his friends while they were out hunting. They were VERY rich and chocolate-ly. They were so rich it almost easy to not eat the whole batch when they came out. Just kidding I still ate like 3. But it was a valiant effort.

Triple Chocolate Grain Free Cookies

Photo(1)

Mmmmmmm Cookies.

 

So, thanks for Pinterest, I have quite the list going regarding the recipes I’d like to try for Christmas cookies. However I’ll have to narrow it down to 2-3 recipes because baking, especially Paleo baking, can get expensive!!!

I found this spritz recipe in an old cookbook that I plan on making for the cookie press my mom got me last year! I have no idea how to use that thing but Google University should be able to help out a bit.

image

Here are some others I have been eyeing:

 

Gluten Free white chocolate cranberry cookies

Paleo Thin Mints & Samoas

Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake with Maple Vanilla Frosting

Joyful Almond Coconut Chocolate Bites

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I also plan on making some homemade goodie bag Christmas presents for people, including these recipes (sorry for the spoiler if you’re one of the ones who gets one…….Smile) I want to put them in mason jars like so:

jars

Salted Caramel Bacon Bark

Holiday Nut Mix

Pretzel Gift Idea

Almond Cherry Bark

 

How will I decide?!?!?!

 

What cookies are you making for the holidays?!?!

Thanksgiving 2013

30 Nov

This year I have countless of things to be thankful for…..but honestly I try to make being thankful a habit that I practice all year, and not just on Thanksgiving! This allows me to focus on the more important matter at hand:food.

IMG_3692[1]

This year was awesome!!!! Although I didn’t get to fulfill my dream of hosting a full Thanksgiving dinner in our new home (I’m sure I will someday) I did prepare a couple of dishes for dinner at my in-laws. I bought Danielle Walker’s (author of Against All Grain) e-book Thankful on a whim the other week and decided to try out a few of her recipes. I’ve made a couple of her Paleo treats before and I was a fan. Normally I pick out a few recipes from different places to try, but I knew I wanted to make green bean casserole…and then I saw the Paleo pecan pie and made the decision to try that as well. I’ve never made pecan pie…or even eaten it for that matter. It was a hit! I am planning on making it again for Christmas, but I’ll have to increase the amount of filling and decrease the amount of crust. There seemed to be a lot of crust for the amount of filling that was made. But the flavor was amazing!!!

IMG_3654[1]

Rolling out the dough was kind of hard- the almond flour makes it really crumbly. But it worked out!

I also made her green bean casserole, sans the mushrooms and onions to cater to everyone’s tastes. It was also a recipe I’ll make again.

IMG_3697[1]

We weren’t planning on it, but I also tried the recipe for homemade cranberry sauce. I have never had the canned cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving….it never looked appetizing to me. This recipe was simple enough. Although we agreed it could have used more sweetener than it called for. I was fine with it since I am used to unsweetened desserts.

IMG_3693[1]

The turkey was literally the best turkey I’ve ever eaten!!!! I don’t know what my MIL did but it was so juicy. My plate: turkey, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, and cranberry sauce. I went back for seconds, obvi. And pecan pie for dessert.

 

IMG_3698[1]

And….it looked a lot more like Christmas than Thanksgiving over here. Winter is coming early. Wonderful….

IMG_3695[1]

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. I feel like a bad blogger as I have been neglecting the blog world since I’ve been on vacation. I promise I’ll get back on track this week!

What was your favorite thing on your Thanksgiving plate?

Pencils and Pancakes

learning about life one lesson at a time

The Domestic Man

Paleo-friendly recipes inspired by traditional & international cuisines. New recipes every Tuesday.

Otherwise Simple

Living, Laughing and Staying Healthy...simplified

Fueling a Life

fitness, fashion, food, & fun - fuel for feeling alive!

Daily Cup of Kate

Enjoying Life One Sip at a Time

The Cave Woman Cafe

Going forwards by eating backwards

Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind

Culinary Adventures in Paleo Cooking

#PaleoThugLife

Recipes and rants in R-rated language

Strictly Paleo...ish!

It's just real food...

Reading Tea Leaves

Blogging about Tea, Teaching, and Rejuvination

The Cookie ChRUNicles

Running through life while balancing healthy eating and single motherhood

The PhD Experiment

Because at this point, my life is one big dissertation project

Brain, Body, Because

searching for balance.

Read, Run, Repeat

A tale of fitness, books, food, and life in between

The Balance Beam

Thoughts on a Myriad of Topics

Cooking for the Other Half

life, in and out of a new england kitchen

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 400 other followers