Sunday, December 30, 2012

Quarter Life Weekend Update #3

I can't believe December has gone by with only 1 post.  Sorry everyone!  Needless to say, these past few months have been a whirlwind, and the break went by quickly as well.

The holidays were somewhat low key.  To be honest, I had a fever starting on Christmas Eve and have been sick ever since.  Sadly, that meant no holiday baking and not much of anything, to be honest.  It has, however, left me plenty of time to get ready for my next position.  The position I had since September ended a week before winter break, and I was incredibly sad to go.  I had taught a subject I was incredibly passionate about, with an age group I ended up really enjoying.  I don't think I could go back to elementary education.  I'm happy to be using my degree and sharing my love for science with older students that can really get into the material and appreciate it.  Middle school was incredibly difficult, but I cannot see myself continuing down any other path.

My next position starts right after New Year's, and I will be teaching 6th grade Earth Science for most of the remainder of the school year.  It'll be an interesting experience to say the least, since my first unit is on minerals and I know much less about minerals than I do about cells, for example.  Plus, I will also be teaching an 8th grade computers cycle class, which should be interesting as well...

I am both excited for and terrified by the arrival of 2013.  2013 will bring a lot of changes and take me out of my comfort zone, which is both thrilling and intimidating.  I had such a wonderful experience at my last position that it makes it hard to leave, but I know I will grow to like this new school as much as my old one.  It'll be difficult to start over in a new school with new students, parents, and staff, not to mention an additional 40 minute commute.  However, every new experience simply adds to my repertoire, and I'm not going to lie, I kind of hope the second half of 2013 begins with a full-time position...

New Year's Resolutions?  Same as every year I guess...keep up with my workout routines, run a 10K, and to continue to push myself to develop as a teacher (in both my lessons and my classroom management).

I hope 2013 brings you health and happiness and you get to spend New Year's Eve with loved ones :)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Thai Curry Noodle Soup

Growing up, my parents always cooked the standard meals.  We'd rotate between steak, chicken, and pork, with pasta and fish thrown in.  I think most of it is because I was the pickiest eater when I was little.  For a while, I went through this stage where I would only eat tan foods.  And then my parents had to put up with me being vegetarian for about 3 years.  Needless to say, I was (and still kind of am) a high maintenance eater.

When I did finally begin to branch out in college and start to eat more diverse foods, I forayed into the world of Asian cuisine.  It started with sushi, and then different types of noodle dishes (my favorite tan food), and now I'll eat bibimbap and curries.  I've attempted to recreate some of these dinners at home, but one of my most recent favorites was this Thai curry noodle soup.  It wasn't based off of something I had eaten in a restaurant, but more or less something that I saw on Pinterest.  This soup combines a lot of my new favorite flavors and can be adapted to fit many different types of pallets.

You need to start with a curry base, which you can buy in mild, medium, or hot.  Then you pick your veggies and protein (we went with red peppers, green onion, and tilapia).  Finally, you decide whether or not coconut milk is too sweet for you (we left it out) and pick out your favorite type of noodle.  Allow to simmer and reduce for about 15 minutes and you have an easy out-of-the-box weeknight dinner.  Even though it is a soup, the meat, vegetables, and noodles make it very filling.  This soup was really enjoyable and made enough for 4 plus some leftovers!

Thai Curry Noodle Soup
Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook time: 20 min

-     2 tbsp vegetable, peanut, or olive oil
-     2 - 3 fillets tilapia
-     ½ tsp sesame oil (optional)
-     1 ½ c water or coconut milk
-     1 red pepper, sliced
-     2 green onions, chopped
-     1 head broccoli, diced
-     6 – 8 basil leaves
-     1 (3/4 lb) package Lo Mein noodles

Heat a medium-sized frying pan over medium-low heat and add the oil.  When hot, add the tilapia and fry until both sides are just golden brown.  Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the sesame oil, curry simmer sauce, and water or coconut milk and bring to a low boil.  Add the vegetables and let simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Then, add the Lo Mein noodles, stirring constantly so they break apart.  Add in the tilapia and allow to simmer for about 5 more minutes.  Serve immediately.

Adapted from: Zen Family Habits