Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday Funny- Gymnastics

Apparently the new cool thing to do is do GYMNASTICS in the bathroom. Yes, you heard that right. Cartwheels and splits on the bathroom floor! GROSS!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Mac & Cheese - Classic Kid Food

I babysat a few cuties the other night, and decided to try a new mac & cheese dinner from cooking light.  It was very simple, and I made it before the kiddos came over, and then popped it in the oven when we got home from the park. Its not your boxed mac and cheese, it is gooey & creamy, but apparently, a little?!? healthier for you than the super cheese version I usually make!

10 oz. macaroni
2 canola oil
3 garlic cloves
2 1/4 cups unsalted chicken stock, divided
1/2 cup skim milk
8 t. all-purpose flour
4 oz 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
Cooking spray
3 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 3/4 cup)

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain & set aside.
2. Preheat broiler to high.
3. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add garlic to pan; cook 3 minutes. Do not burn the garlic! Stir in 1 cup stock; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute. 
4. Combine remaining 1 1/4 cups stock, milk, and flour; stir with a whisk until flour dissolves.
5.  Add milk mixture to garlic mixture, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil; cook 5 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken. 
6. Remove milk mixture from heat; add cream cheese, stirring until smooth. 
7. Stir in salt and pepper. Add cooked pasta to milk mixture, tossing to coat. 
8. Let stand 5 minutes. Pour pasta mixture into a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray.
9. Sprinkle cheddar evenly over pasta mixture. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to brown. Let stand 5 minutes.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Funfetti Cake Batter Buddies

This weekend we had our neighborhood block party! Did you know that the city of Mission, Kansas provides grants for block parties?! We applied, and were able to cover a lot of the food costs with the grant.  I made this yummy treat as a dessert! I have also made these with my Barstow kids and they gobble it right up! It really does taste like cake batter!

10 cups Chex cereal (1 box)
24 oz vanilla flavored Almond Bark
1 box Funfetti cake mix (any kind of cake mix would work)
1 cup powdered sugar


Have the Chex ready to put the Almond bark on. 

 Melt Almond Bark according to the package directions. (About 2 minutes)
 Pour the cereal into a large bowl and drizzle the melted Almond Bark over the cereal. 
Mix gently with a spatula.
  Dump the cake mix and powdered sugar onto the cereal and mix gently until all the cereal is evenly coated. Because I doubled it, I added the powders to the Chex in a large grocery bag. 

Adapted from: So Very Blessed

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Roasted Broccoli

Earlier this summer I went to Vegas, and had this AMAZING broccoli at the Social House.  While, this isn't exactly like it, it is pretty close.
Broccoli Florets
olive oil 
fresh lemon juice
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 425*
Open the bag of broccoli and pour in 5T of olive oil, salt and pepper, and 4 cloves of garlic. Shake it up. It is important to start out with dry broccoli, so it gets nice and crispy! 
Line a cookie sheet with foil and dump the broccoli on it. 
Bake for 20-25 minutes. 
Drizzle a little more olive oil over it and squeeze lemon juice. 
You can top it with parmesan cheese if you would like, or some bread crumbs, but I thought it was delicious with just the lemon juice! 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Chicken Parmesan Burgers

I love chicken parmesan, so why not turn it into a burger on my favorite kind of bread, ciabatta! I also liked being able to use my fresh herbs. 

Ground chicken was not easy to find.  They do not sell it at Trader Joe's or Target, but do at your regular grocery store. 

4 square ciabatta rolls
1t minced garlic
1 pound ground chicken
1/3 cup plus 2T marinara sauce, divided
1/2 t chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 t. chopped fresh thyme
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 t salt
1/8 t black pepper
cooking spray 
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
 basil leaves

1. Preheat broiler
2. Cut rolls in half, and place bread cut side up on a baking sheet.  Broil for 3 minutes, or until lightly browned.  You can also drizzle them with olive oil.  After you take them out of the oven add a little bit of garlic to each roll. 

3. Preheat oven to 375*. 
4. Combine chicken, 1/3 cup marinara, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper, and red pepper.  
5. Divide into 4 patties.  
6. Heat a cast iron pan over medium high heat, coat pan with cooking spray.  Add patties to pan.  Cook for 3 minutes.  
7. Turn patties and place pan in oven.  Bake at 375* for 8 minutes.  Top each with cheese, bake for 1 minute. 
8. Layer bottom half of roll with 2 basil leaves, 1 patty, marinara, and more basil! 

Adapted from Cooking Light - Back to School issue

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Funny

School is back in session and I have some Friday Funnies for you!
My class has 25 children, the most I have ever had!

We were doing a measurement scavenger hunt and they had to find items that were different lengths.  One of my kiddos came up and said, "Look, Miss Cremer, my belly is exactly 1 meter around!"

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Trader Joe's Instant Oatmeal ~Fancy Style

My detox diet a few weeks ago had me eat oatmeal, with flax seed & brown sugar.  This has become my new go-to breakfast! It is quick (1 minute), and easy! Flax seed also has many great benefits. I accidentally bought the blueberry flax seed, and I think it was a great mistake! There are bits of dried blueberries mixed in with the flax seed. 
1 packet instant oatmeal
2/3 cup milk (I used skim) you could also use water
1 t brown sugar
1 t blueberry flax seed
Mix all ingredients together and microwave for 1 minute! 

It would be really great with some fresh fruit on top.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Back To School 2013

 Back To School activities! I blogged about these last year, but switched them up a bit this time.  I used their Wordles as my door decorations.  I hope they stay up all year!

The Guess Who activity, I had to do smaller, since I have a larger class. I shrunk down the clues, and under the flap is their first day of school pictures! 

 They loved guessing, some of them were real tricksters! I have 7 kids with J names, so lots of them used that clue!

We are still working on our Top Secret stories, but they will be up soon!

Monday, August 19, 2013


This weekend I went to the Farmer's Market and bought some grass fed beef. I wanted to see what the hype was all about.  I had to think of a dish that would really focus on the meat.  I found a recipe for meatloaf in Cooking Light. I had all the ingredients on hand, so I went ahead and tried it.

cooking spray
1/2 cup chopped onion 
6 T ketchup, divided
1/2 cup panko
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
3/4 t. dried oregano
1/4 t. salt

1/4 t. pepper 
3/4 lb. Grass Fed beef- (CL called for 1 lb sirloin)
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350*
Heat a small skillet over medium heat, spray with cooking spray.  Add onion and cook until lightly browned.  
Combine onion, 3 T ketchup, and remaining ingredients in a bowl.  Gently combine (I used my hands!)
Place meat mixture on baking sheet coated with foil and cooking spray.  Shape into an 8x4 loaf.  Brush top of loaf with remaining 3 T of ketchup.  Bake at 350* for 35 minutes, or until a thermometer registers at 160*
Let stand for 10 minutes, cut into slices. 

Zucchini Fries

I made these using fresh zucchini from my garden, before the dreaded squash bug ate all of my plants! If anyone knows good ways to keep those darn bugs away, let me know! The last 2 years, I have had about 2 weeks of tons of squash, then they all die! 

Zucchini- sliced into "fry shape" 
1 egg
1/2 cup bread crumbs - I used Italian seasoned
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
cooking spray 
Optional dipping sauce- I used the new Kraft Miracle Whip Kickin' Onion Blossom Dipping Sauce

Preheat oven to 425° and cover baking sheet with foil.
Slice zucchini.
In a bowl beat egg with a fork.
Put the breadcrumbs and cheese in a bowl and mix well.
One by one, dip the zucchini sticks in the egg whites and roll into the bread crumb mixture, to coat well and place on the baking sheet.
Spray fries lightly with cooking spray.
Bake for about 20 minutes, turning over half way through. Cook until crispy and golden brown. Serve with dipping sauce or marinara.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Trader Joe's Tilapia & Brown Rice

With school starting, it is much easier to get into a routine.  I am doing this 3 day detox diet, and one of the meals was fish, rice, and spinach. I am the worst rice cooker, so when I saw pre-cooked brown rice at Trader Joe's I was sold.  I'm not a huge fish fan, but can handle the mild taste of Tilapia.

This recipe (fish & rice) only required me putting it in the oven and microwave! Trader Joe did the rest! If you want a quick, easy, and healthy meal, head to your nearest Trader Joe's! The fish came with 3 fillets, and the rice was about 1 1/2 cups.  So it could make a meal for 3.  I froze one fillet to have later!

These fillets would be great for fish tacos too!

Place under broiler (lower rack) on low for 10-12 minutes. 

Open pouch to vent, heat for 60 seconds in the microwave! 

I did squeeze the lemon it came with over the fish. 

Place on foil, sprayed with cooking spray. Broil on Low for 10-12 min

Serve tilapia over rice! Enjoy!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Barefoot Baby Sandals

A few months ago, I bought a Hot Summer Days Goodie Box from The Plaid Barn.  It came with a bunch of craft stuff, including these cute flowers and colored elastic.  My original plan was to make headbands with them. But after I saw some barefoot sandals, I knew I needed to make these for some of my favorite babies! 

You need 2 flowers (or any other embellishment! Look online for ideas), colored elastic, and a hot glue gun.  

First, measure the elastic. You will need to cut 4 pieces the same length.  
  • Newborn 2.5″
  • 0-3 Months 3″
  • 3-6 Months 3.5″
  • 6-12 Months 4″
  • 12-18 Months 5"
You could also measure around the foot and ankle of your baby. 
Hot glue the first loop in the center of both flowers. 

Make the ankle strap by looping it around and matching it up with the first elastic.  

If the elastic/hot glue/flower area is rough, you can add a square of felt to cover up the area. 

Baby Reese trying on her shoes. What are these Mom?!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fantastic in 5th- Chevron Style!

School has started! This year I have TWENTY FIVE Fantastic Fifth Graders! Last year I ended the year with 16, so this is going to be an adjustment! One nice thing is I that I know a few of these kiddos & their families, as I had them in 1st grade.

In order to fit 25 desks in my room, I had to do some rearranging.  I took out a file cabinet, moved my desk back, and moved the computers around.  I also added 2 new bookshelves to hold the new books we got to go along with our new reading series.

Here is the picture dump!

My cousin helped me make these flowers.  I still have a few I need to hang. 

My cousin Gabby, who is in 7th grade, helped me sew these curtains!
Today a kid asked me where I got them, because he needed some for his room!

Name Tags- I printed their names on card stock, then used washi tape to decorate.

New bookshelves!
I have my kids store their school boxes here, so they don't lose supplies in their desk

My updated Common Core math wall!

I got a lot of these cards from TPT-Ginger Snaps

Still love these metal buckets for supplies! They have lasted all all 6 years of teaching!

My document camera! LOVE! I started using this last year for math.
 I like having it at the front of the room. 

Coffee maker is always a must! 

I had my kids take a picture holding this sign on the first day of school!
I found this for free at 

This is the best time saver! I have black paper under these, and put washi tape on clothespins.
The kids can hang up their own work, and it is straight!

My desk makeover- I used chevron contact paper I bought on Amazon.

I may have gone a little overboard on the chevron, but we love it! Kids, Parents, and me too! There is more, but I am giving it its own posts!