Sunday, August 7, 2011

Too Yummy Not to Share!

Tacos that are super yummy and gluten-free!

Tonight I made tacos for Chuck and me for dinner. I've made this same meal 2 or 3 times before and every time we enjoy it so much that I thought this was too good not to share.

Now I know that the majority of you don't have to eat gluten-free like I do, but if you try this recipe for GF tacos your will not miss the tortilla. Sure we could have used a corn tortilla and still maintained the gluten-free status - but we are also trying to cut out as much sugar and unhealthy carbs from our diet. Honestly, I think they taste fresher without the shell.

So here's what you need:
Romane lettuce leaves (these will be your "shells") be prepared - have enough for 2nds or even 3rd servings!
Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Mild Organic salsa (Hy-Vee brand is awesome!)
For every pound of ground beef (I highly recommend buying grass-fed organic beef. The quality/taste is so much better and much, much better for you!):
Mix together 1 tablespoon ground cumin, 1 tablespoon ground oregano, 2 teaspoons chili powder, & 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt. Set this aside until needed.
Chop up 1/2 of medium-large sized onion

In large skillet, add a bit of olive oil and cook onion just until translucent. Stir in your seasoning with the onions. Crumble the ground beef into the seasoning/onion mixture and cook until throughly browned. Depending on the fat content of the beef, drain any excess grease from browned beef.

Now to put these yummy guys together -
Take a Romane lettuce leaf and add the meat. Top with shredded cheddar and a tablespoon of the salsa.

Then Enjoy!!!

The seasoning combination and the onions cooked with the beef as it browns really adds so much flavor to the meat. Much better than browning your meat and then adding the seasoning.

This photo is from a few months back. I made this plate up for one the kids and put the salsa on the side in case they didn't want it. But put it on! It really adds another layer of flavor to the taco.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Time for a New School Year!

The time has come once again to begin a new school year!

The first day of official work for me is August 15th, but every teacher knows there is a ton of work to do before the students walk into the door. Every year I tell myself that I will work throughout the summer on school things...when in reality I know that I won't really do much until August 1st. The school year is so hectic and stressful for me and I really enjoy just relaxing and doing whatever with my wonderful husband and our kids. This summer I made sure to enjoy it because of what lies ahead this school year. It will most likely be the hardest of my 17 years teaching.

Changes have come to many school districts around the country and mine is no different. Cuts in funding meant cuts in staff. Cuts in staff means changes. Our group of 7 elementary art teachers is now down to a group of 5 to provide our art program to 12 elementary schools. This means that we had to realign how to cover all those school among us. We all have 3 schools to go to. We still see our students for 45 minutes a week - we just have to squeeze many more classes in each week.

I had to leave a school that was new to me last year that I really loved being at to go to another school brand new to me. I also will be returning to a school that I had taught at for many years in the past. I have mixed emotions about these changes. I'm excited about this new has it's benefits and I'm happy to see my old students and staff that I missed last year at the school I'm returning to. The one constant is my "home school" - that didn't change except for having one whole less day to teach there.
Along with the change in staff, this year I will no longer teach 6th grade - they have been moved to the Jr. High buildings.

So this week I began working to get all 3 schools ready for the start of the year. My number one priority is my new school. Because it is new to me, the room is a blank slate that needs to be set up and organized for the hectic year to come. I have to have an organized and pleasant environment for the students and myself so that we can all succeed.

Here is a few before photos of my new room:
 Yes - There are some nice tables here! That's a +

Oh...It's an actual chalk board. And where's my projector? =(

The first thing for me is adding some color!!  An Art Room can't be boring white. 
Stay tuned for After pics!