Currently viewing the tag: "snow"

IMG_6317And BOOM, it’s mid-February. 2014 has been exhausting thus far. Partly because I work in a field that has been changing since I entered it. The cyclical lulls of ebb and flow that most jobs have don’t exist in teaching. New York City teachers have to be in constant motion. A new teacher evaluation system, new national standards, and the role of standardized tests are huge burdens, not to mention just trying to teach the children, nurture their emotional development, and help build their social intelligence. By 3pm, I am ready to run home. By Thursday I’m usually spent, wrung out. And this winter weather has added to everyone’s ability to make the best of the day.

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IMG_6443Unfortunately my dear blog has been mostly neglected during this winter hustle and bustle. But with a week off to decompress, I’m ready to spend more time with you, dear blog. And we’ll be back in the high life again. Steve Winwood.

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What a delight to get a snow day on what would be my second day back at school! While we were snowed in, I took care of business. Like making a hearty breakfast: vegan French toast! PicMonkey Collage2Nevermind running out to the grocery store to pick up milk and eggs before the storm, this French toast requires neither. And what a way to use up the rest of the bread.

DSC_0006These are perfect little French toast bites. Add some Earth Balance and maple syrup and I can eat a dangerous length of bread. Save some for later and they taste like fast food french toast sticks out of the nuker. Secretly good.

PicMonkey Collage1With temperatures dropping to the single digits, we took in the outside cats, much to the upheavel of our 3 resident cats. The huge ginger cat, aka The Big Galoot¬†and the sweet little fluffy girl who’s been tugging at my heartstrings, aka Hippie Frank.

IMG_6093Parking lot snow mountain.

DSC_0073My garden, winterized. Happy Snow Day!

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The “Blizzard of 2013″ came and left us with a covering of cotton white.IMG_2680

In moon boots and pajamas, I checked it out.IMG_2686

Vitamix fun: white bean artichoke cilantro pestoPicMonkey Collage5And fool-proof roasted Brussels.

IMG_2698So delicious!

Beets two ways. Veggie-Go’s fruit leather. (Best. 15 calories. Ever.)PicMonkey CollageRoasted beets. I drooled on my shirt when I rotated them in the pan.

Scalloped potatoes a la mandoline.PicMonkey Collage2Creamy, herbed potatoes will help me face the work week.

House-made seitan.PicMonkey Collage3Bring on Monday!

My buddy and I woke up to the chime of my phone. 10 minutes before I received the NYC Alert text, The Electrician delivered the sweet, sweet news of the snow day. I texted the other 5th grade teachers and went back to bed, lulled by the exclamations of the ambitious shovelers outside and the spinning wheels of snow-trapped vehicles. Too soon I woke with a caffeine withdrawal headache and needed to trudge the fresh snow to Lula Bean for a large black.

The snow enveloped cars in white mountains, trimmed winter sticklings like a lush coat and brightened up the mismatched colors of apartment buildings down my street. With my pajama pants tucked into my huge 80’s-style Hoth moon boots, I enjoyed my walk in the snow. The day was brimming with opportunity and I was hoping not to squander it. Coffee will help.

My first endeavor, nutty wheat bread. It’s been a while since I last made bread. I was discouraged by uneven slices, impatient about letting it cool thoroughly after a 4-hour session in the bread maker and plagued by too much bread left over. But these are easy fixes! I reduced Nutty wheat above to a 1.5lb loaf, subbing curdled soy milk for buttermilk and some Earth Balance for the butter, and got a reasonably sized loaf. I added in some mixed fancy nuts I’ve been meaning to get the heck out of my pantry. Pantry turnover, as well as lunch for all of next week, was my mission.

Having a capital-S Slew of fresh dill in my possession, I made a vegan dill mayo with some sprigs and the remainder of my Vegenaise. This will top my lentil burgers. I am happy to announce that the green lentils have left the pantry. What a relief! They were bothering me in there. I am neurotic, yes.

I also made a simple wheat berry salad as an accompaniment to my lentil burgers. Just some wheat berries, raisins and some splashes of olive oil, fig balsamic vinegar and some red wine vinegar. To the right, the cooling lentils for my patties. Did I tell you that making this patties also killed the rest of the bread crumbs in my pantry? Booyah! Anyway, the patties were quite easy: lentils, onion, carrot and some spice and heat. I also added corn for color.

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Mounds of snow.

Main road.

Smooth white waves.

Going for a walk.

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This winter broke New York City’s 114-year snowfall record, leaving me with 2, yes 2, snow days. But pay no mind to Punxsutawney Phil’s shadow or the Sonny & Cher on your clock radio because a taste of Spring came early. The coming of Spring is always exciting in the big city. The chatter of vulgar stoop talk wafting up from city stoops and the blare of passing autos’ open window tunes are not yet annoying; the sunny side of the street and the treat of a walk not requiring a puffy coat delightfully overshadows the cool breeze likely to return soon. But for now, Hello Spring.

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