Since I jumped into teaching without much preparation, I have been using the textbook and publisher’s resources for everything. I prefer to teach with less worksheets and more hands-on activities, but I felt like I could barely keep up with planning lessons and grading papers my first week or two. Now I feel more comfortable and have had a chance to open up my box of math resources from when I taught many years ago. I am excited about using some games and activities I found for my students to review place value and estimation this week. I feel like I’m finding my groove in teaching math again.
- My husband went to the store this morning to get us a few groceries and some allergy medicine for himself. He used $47.17 cash.
- I made chili and cornbread for lunch and finally made use of my pressure cooker (see below). My in-laws joined us for lunch, and I should have gotten a photo from my mother-in-law of my father-in-law playing with play-doh with the little girls. It was sweet. I should have taken a photo of one of our bowls of chili or the cornbread, but I don’t think of these things at the right time.
- We picked up fast food on the way home from church and spent $21.50.
A couple of years ago, I saw on Pinterest or somewhere that a pressure cooker would make my life better (ha ha), so I requested one for Christmas, and my mom obliged. I read through the owner’s guide and felt intimidated. Plus, I was in a state of disbelief. This thing says it can cook beans in 10 to 12 minutes. Seriously?!? I used it once a few weeks after I received it, washed it, and stored it in my cabinet for the next year and a half (sorry, Mom). I had planned to make chili today, and I usually add a can of kidney beans to mine, but I had bought a bag of red beans, thinking we would have red beans and rice this month, not realizing that most recipes call for meat that I don’t have. Anyway, I had written myself a note on my paper menu for the month to cook the red beans for the chili, but I didn’t write that note on my menu board for the week, so I forgot until about 8:00 this morning. No problem. I could use my pressure cooker, right? Well, first, I had to soak the beans for four hours. Then, it took a good 15 minutes to get enough pressure built up to start the timer for 12 minutes. After the cooking time ended, it took another 10 minutes for enough pressure to release to be able to remove the lid. So the actual time in the pressure cooker was around 37 minutes, which is still considerably less than the traditional ways of cooking beans, so I think I will start using my pressure cooker more. I am still a bit intimidated by it, but I think that I will get more comfortable with practice.
My Chili Recipe
2 lbs ground beef
6 oz can tomato paste
15 oz can diced tomatoes (I chop mine up a little more with a manual food processor.)
2 – 3 cups water
15 oz can of kidney beans (or 2 cups cooked red beans)
1 onion, chopped (or 1 TBSP onion powder)
1 clove garlic, pressed (or 1 tsp garlic powder)
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp paprika
2 TBSP chili powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 – 1 tsp cayenne (optional)
In a large skillet (or a 4-quart pot), brown ground beef. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a 4-quart pot (if you started in a skillet). Add tomatoes, tomato paste, water, beans, and seasonings; stir well to combine. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour. Serve with cornbread and optional toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, ketchup, diced onions, etc. Makes six servings.