I Always Hated Bambi

...but this real-life Bambi and Thumper might be cute enough to make me vomit.


Found Strangeness Series

Found on the beach in Yachats on January 17:



Here is a link to the article in today's Register Guard about my class's inauguration activities. It's a great one.


Appreciate it by giving us paper - Schools are in such dire straits right now and people have no idea. Grrr.

Also, please think about attending Stand for Children's President's Day Rally on February 16 at the state capitol building to defend our school from losing FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS next year, leading to cuts in staffing, programs, and materials and increased class sizes.


Yes, it really is this bad. Double grrr.



For all of you out there who don't get Twitter...




Check out the Many Adventures of Phaedra, the most recent addition to my blog list.

In other news, the River House Blog has been remodeled and is lookin' good. Check it out!

In other, other news, Val got Apples to Apples for Christmas and it is GREAT.


Preemptive Strike - Don't Kill Me, Mama!

Is your cat plotting to kill you?
...and because of this, I have decided to make her a STAR!

Check out Mama Cat's Flow:

From time to time, feel free to let her know how much you like me and that you would really be bummed out if she killed me. Thanks, guys.


Nice Taters.

A little bit of fun from my kitchen to yours.

Shepherd's Pie

In keeping with my previous blog posting, I figured inventing my own recipe was reason enough for a sweet new blog post, even if the purpose is only to help me remember the recipe later. the story of this one is that I had been looking around for a shepherd's pie recipe that I could get into. I looked through about 5 recipes and chose what I liked. Here it is!

Sara's Shepherd's Pie:
6 Potatoes
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. chicken broth
1 lb ground beef, turkey, or sausage could be good too
seasonings: I like salt, pepper, and granulated garlic. I also used some creole seasoning in the peas and carrots layer
1 large onion
4 cloves garlic
1 large carrot
2 c. frozen peas
1/2 c. cheddar cheese cheese
bread crumbs

First, prepare the ingredients in each layer.

Potato Layer - 
It's basically mashed potatoes. Boil the potatoes 12-15 minutes until soft. Whip with a hand mixer along with 1 c. sour cream. Add chicken broth a little at a time. Add salt to taste, but don't be overly stingy - This is the only salt in the whole thing. Make sure the consistency is more pasty than runny. Set aside.

Peas & Carrots Layer
Dice the carrots into small pieces and saute for 3-4 minutes. In the meantime, rinse the frozen peas to thaw them, and throw them in with the sautéed carrots for another minute or two. Add seasonings. Set aside.

Onion & Garlic Layer
Dice the onions and garlic. Cook on medium heat until brown. Set aside.

Beef Layer -
Cook the ground meat fully, adding seasonings of choice. Drain the fat. Set aside.

Top Layer - 
Dice the fresh parsley and grate the cheese. Have your bread crumbs handy.

Now get ready for loads of layering fun...
In a deep casserole dish, or a 9x13 pan if you want to grate more cheese for sprinkling on the top, layer the ingredients in this order:
  1. One third of the potatoes, spread evenly and flattened with a rubber spatula
  2. One half of the peas & carrots
  3. One half of the onions & garlic
  4. One half of the ground meat
  5. One third of the potatoes (add the same way as before)
  6. The rest of the peas & carrots
  7. The rest of the onions & garlic
  8. The rest of the ground meat
  9. The rest of the potatoes
  10. All of the shredded cheese
  11. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup bread crumbs over the top
  12. Sprinkle parsley on the top
Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes on the bottom rack until the top has browned. In a 9x13, you may have to take it out earlier or cover it. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then serve. It is gloppy and delicious. 

Roast in a Pot

Announcing: Sara and Valerie got a sweet new slow-cooker for Christmas! Woo hoo!

Awesomeness Pot Roast:
2 lb cut of bottom round
4 carrots, peeled, cut in thirds
4 celery stalks, cut in thirds
1/2 onion, cut in chunks
4 potatoes, cut in fourths
garlic, cut in slivers
parsley, diced
beef bullion
worchseterschire sauce
Pickapeppa sauce

Sear the meat on all sides on medium high - This is great with our new slow cooker, which can also be used on the stove top! While searing, stab the meat in 8-10 places and stuff the slits with garlic slivers. Flip and do the same on the other side.

Put on a roasting rack in awesome new slow cooker. Surround with vegetables. Mix bullion, worchseterschire, and Pickapeppa in three cups of water. Pour over meat and vegetables and sprinkle the top with parsley.

Cook, covered, on high for one hour, then turn down to medium for another hour and a half, or longer. The longer the better, but don't let your potatoes turn to mush. 

Mmmm, pot roast.