Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sorry for the delay!

So sorry to say that before today it had been three months again since my last post.... Lots has happened in that time...

As you may remember, I started teaching Nov 11, 2009 at my old high school here in FL. I have had a great year and have worked with some awesome kids. Graduation is next Friday and my own baby, Mandy, will be one of the kids crossing the stage, accepting their diploma, and moving into the next stage of their lives... Definitely going to be a kleenex moment! But, life goes on and theirs is just starting!

I was informed a few weeks ago that my current teaching position has been cut for next year. In other words, "It has been wonderful having you here this year, but we're really sorry that we can't keep you for next year....." SO, back to the grindstone of finding a new job. I had really hoped that my life was finally taking a turn for the better, more level road... Apparently that wasn't the case just yet! And, in today's teaching force here in FL, there are a lot of folks looking for positions because they've been cut just like me. Fewer positions + more applicants means a harder time finding something! My principal wrote me a great letter of recommendation. We'll see what happens.

Yesterday, I went and took a test ($200!) to get qualified in a new certification area--Middle Grades Integrated Curriculum, 5-9. The passing score I received (yeah!!) means that I'll be qualified to teach language arts, social studies, math, or science in grades 5 through 9. I was already certified to teach social studies to grades 6-12 AND exceptional students (ESE) for grades K-12. I am hoping that all of this is enough to find something great and close to home. Cross your fingers for me, okay??

From a new take on the KFC Double Down chicken sandwich

And yet another internet find!

The freakish Double Down at KFC has 540 calories, with more than HALF of those calories coming from fat. There are 32 grams of fat in that thing! Aside from the fried chicken patties (a.k.a. the "bread"), there's cheese, creamy sauce, AND bacon! As for the Grilled Double Down? Oddly, that one isn't much better, with 460 calories and 23 grams of fat. If you really want to kick a craving, here's how to faux-fry your way to Double Down town...

Start with two 3-oz. raw boneless skinless lean chicken breast cutlets, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness. Grind up 1/2 cup original Fiber One cereal in a blender or food processor, and season to taste with some chicken grill seasoning. Dip your cutlets in fat-free egg substitute, and then coat 'em in the seasoned cereal crumbs. Cook over medium-high heat in a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray until done (about 4 minutes per side). Meanwhile, mix up some fat-free mayo with a little ketchup, Dijon mustard, and a dash of cayenne pepper; that's your sauce. Cook up a slice of extra-lean turkey bacon (or thinly sliced center-cut bacon), and break it in half. Now spread a little sauce on top of those faux-fried chicken cutlets, and top one with a half-slice of reduced-fat Jack cheese. Put the bacon over that, followed by the other half-slice of cheese. Put the other cutlet on top with the sauced-side down. Heat the whole thing in the skillet, pressing down with a spatula, until the cheese melts. Mmmmm!

Your swap will have around 340 calories, 8g fat, and 14g fiber. For a "grilled" version, just skip the cereal and egg, and season your chicken directly with the grill mix -- that'll have about 270 calories and 7g fat. Not bad!!!

Awesome looking reduced sugar oreo cheesecake recipe!

Just found this on the web and HAD to share!!

What have we here?



That’s right, kids! The good stuff is still available to us!

Creamy white and packed with crunchy bits of cream-filled wafer cookies this cake will make a huge splash whenever you serve it!

(I have to say my daughter made the one that got photographed…so gorgeous!)


Vegetable cooking spray
2 pkgs sugar free Oreos or Murray’s sugar free chocolate sandwich cookies, divided
1/4 cup butter, melted
Four 8-ounces pkgs reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups Splenda Granular
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cups sour cream
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with the cooking spray. Wrap in aluminum foil so that the butter doesn’t seep out and burn in the oven and place on a baking sheet. Set aside.

Finely crush 1 1/2 pkgs of the Oreo cookies (or 1 pkg of the Murray’s) and place in a medium bowl along with the melted butter. Mix well and press into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the prepared pan. Bake for 12-13 minutes, or until crispy to the touch. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

In a large bowl whip the softened cream cheese just until smooth. Beat in the Splenda, vanilla, sour cream, and whipping cream just until blended. One at a time, beat in eggs just until incorporated. Coarsely chop remaining cookies and gently fold into cheese mixture. Pour into cooled crust. Bake for one hour, loosely covering with foil after 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the cake, but do not remove the sides of the pan. Allow to cool completely. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill overnight or at least 5 hours. Remove sides of pan and slice. (Cheesecakes will be creamy, soft for the first few hours, and will become more dense and cakey the longer they are allowed to chill. They really do get better as they sit and rest!) Makes 18 servings.

Per Serving: 230 Cal; 6 g Protein; 17 g Tot Fat; 14 g Carb; 0 g Fiber; 0 g Sugar; 219 mg Sodium


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