22 May 2011

Spare Pears

I love a good pear.  You know, the ones that are amazingly ripe and juicy, but not at all grainy or mealy.  The problem is that the entire bunch tends to arrive at that point at exactly the same time (or at least that's what happens to me) and then I have a plethora of ripe pears and not enough ways to eat them all.

Sometimes I slice them and serve them with a good cheese. I put them in salads.  I make pear tarts.  I even add them to pizzas with goat cheese, carmelized onions and arugula.

Recently I've found a new way to use them up...in muffins!

These are moist, dense little guys that are pretty easy to make.  A wonderful muffin that at room temperature 'pears' perfectly with a hot cup of coffee. 

Next time I make these (yes, there will most definitely be a next time) I think I will swap almond extract for 1/2 of the vanilla and sprinkling some blanched sliced almonds on top. 

16 May 2011

Playing Hooky

I took the day off today.  It was one of the best decisions I have made in a long time.  Both of the courses I teach finished their content for the year last week and my AP kids had their exam.  I barely survived.  Many days over the last 8 months I have looked a lot like this:

Frazzled and more than a little stressed, but trying to pull it all together and keep smiling.  There have been countless breakdowns, tears and sleepless nights (not to mention the 5+ pounds and numerous gray hairs I've gained from stress) this school year.  However, I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel since we only have 12 more school days.  Hallelujah!!!!!

I celebrated my day off by staying up incredibly late last night reading and then sleeping in until almost 8... just because I could.  Heavenly.  And when I finally did get up and out of bed this morning I found this on our bathroom mirror:

Made my day!!!!  The Hubs earned some major brownie points for that one.

I spent the day tying up loose ends around the house, running errands and renewing my license at the DPS.  Not especially exciting, but incredibly relaxing.  All of that time spent waiting for them to call my number to get my new picture taken gave me even more time to read.  And the best part of the day - no one asked me any questions!  The teachers (and moms) out there know what I mean. 

To wrap up such a great spring day I needed a delicious, light dinner.  A spinach and arugula salad topped with roasted pecans, red onion, fresh goat cheese, roasted salmon, sliced strawberries and a balsamic vinaigrette fit the bill quite nicely. 

YUM!  Perfect way to round out a perfect day.