Happy Halloween!

School was a lot of fun today. Remember the rush of Halloween as a kid? Barely able to sit in your seat because you were dreaming about your costume and the anticipation of all the candy you were about to receive? It was enough to make me burst.

Yeah, a lot of that going on today.

Instead of letting the impending sugar rush get to me, I planned some fun Halloween themed activities. We’re working on friendly letters in writing, so we wrote to monsters and described what we were going to be for Halloween. During Readers Workshop I read Halloween by Jerry Seinfeld, and we did a sensory image exercise (while listening to Seinfeld read it himself!).

My favorite is, “Wait, what is this? The orange marshmallow shaped like a peanut? Yeah, we’ve got enough of these already.” I hate those things!

Their homework tonight is to write down how many pieces of candy they receive. Tomorrow we’re going to practice median, mode and range with our data.

Tonight, however, I’m dressed up as a lazy witch, and I’m handing out candy to the neighborhood kidlets.

Lazy witch = hat, black sports bra, black t-shirt, black yoga pants and black socks. I got lots of compliments on my hat, however. And that is what I live for. Compliments from kids on my sense of style. Don’t be jealous. You know you do to.

I have a mask on too, however, as I live in the neighborhood I teach in and I’d prefer if my students don’t know where I live. I’ve had three kidlets from my school so far, including one from the class next door, and none of them recognized me.

In between dishing out the goods I’m working on our meal plan for this week. I barely have any of it written, so instead of Meal Plan Monday, I’m bringing you a recipe. In the words of Chelsey, I’m sorry I’m not sorry.

Chicken Burlattas

for the black bean version, click here

Yields 10 burlattas

Ingredients

1 cup dry short grain brown rice

3 cups shredded chicken (leftover rotisserie chicken from Costco works great! Or 2 chicken breasts)

2.5 cups shredded Mexican cheese, divided

2 14 oz cans red enchilada sauce

1/2 a medium yellow onion, diced

10 flour tortillas (We prefer Guerrero for this recipe)

Directions

If making your own chicken, (rather than using leftover rotisserie chicken), bring a large pot of water and place chicken breast inside. Cook 20 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink in the center. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and shred.

Meanwhile, bring brown rice and 2 cups water to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes.

Once rice is cooked and chicken is shredded, add both to a large bowl. Add 1 can of enchilada sauce, 2 cups cheese and the diced onion. Mix well. Split mixture evenly between 10 tortillas. Place in a 9×13 glass pan, sprayed with cooking spray, or split between two 8×8 glass pans. Top tortillas with the second can of enchilada sauce and remaining cheese.

Bake 30 minutes. Serve topped with plain Greek yogurt or sour cream.

Enjoy!

I split them between two pans, one lined with aluminum foil for freezing. I flash froze the whole pan for 1-2 hours. Then I removed the burlattas from the pan and wrapped them with more aluminum foil. They will keep up to 6 months.

How did you celebrate Halloween? Did you dress up?

WIAW travel edition: Oregon

I’ve been a bad blogger. I’ve been traveling a lot lately, which means most of my pictures never make it to the desktop. This isn’t the end of the world, but it does mean I’ve had a lot of fun eating experiences that are sitting on my camera waiting to be unleashed. Until then, I have another traveling eats edition of WIAW for y’all. Get excited

Friday morning I hit the road with my friend, and co-worker, Rhonda. Our destination is one of my all time favorite towns: Hood River, Oregon.
(source)

Hood River, the windsurfing capitol of the world, is about an hour east of Portland, OR and is full of cute shops, eateries, wineries and breweries. We started the weekend off right at Full Sail Brewing Company.

We decided to split the artichoke dip app (with delicious whole wheat pita bread) and a sampler.


After enjoying all but the hoppy brews, Rhonda and I found a table at a Cancer fundraising event that happened to be going on up the street.

A hoola hooping contest started shortly after our arrival…
I didn’t enter, but I did enjoy a little hoola hoop action.
Impressive, no?

The next morning we found Doppio, a cute little coffee shop on the main downtown road. The line was very long, but it was worth it for a table in the sunshine and local organic ingredients.


After a little shopping, we headed to our next destination: Newberg, Oregon. The half-marathon was located in Dundee, Oregon, six miles down the road. Our dinner Saturday evening wasn’t the best, but we made up for it with a stop to Sweetest Thing, an adorable cupcake shop near our hotel.

I couldn’t decide on one flavor, so I wound up getting two! On the left is the s’mores, a chocolate cake with a ganach center and marshmellow buttercream frosting (omg, yum!) and on the right is the raspberry lemon drop.

They were heavenly, and helped us avoid our SMOKING room. Sigh. I waited too long to book a hotel room, and thought I was booking a non-smoking one, but after clicking back and forth between websites too many times, the non-smoking rooms had been booked and somehow I didn’t notice. We opened the window, put both fans on high blast and used half a bottle of fabreeze. The room smelt like clean smoke for about twenty minutes. It was a miserable experience (I’m allergic to smoke), and my run may or may not have been affected by the third-hand smoke conditions. But, luckily, we were able to check into a non-smoking room the next day.

After racing and showering, we ventured into Dundee, Oregon, a small winery driven town with one stoplight, and opted to have lunch at Dundee Bistro.

I ordered a side of truffle oil fries for the table,

and the fungi pizza for myself.spinach, oyster mushrooms, sweet onions & chevre

After lunch we decided to use some of our free tasting coupons from our race swag bag. First stop was Winter’s Hill. I wound up purchasing a case of their 2007 Pinot Blanc. Reese and Rhonda were slightly more economical and split a case. But it was a rockin’ deal at $99, and Oregon doesn’t have sales tax. Win, win!

Only after we had driven there did we notice you can go on a horseback wine tour!

The second stop was De Ponte.

We actually ran through the vinyards of Winter’s Hill and De Ponte had one of the water stations on their property. It was much more enjoyable to visit them AFTER the run then when we were actually on the course 😉

After wine tasting we decided to go to Panaderia y Taqueria, a cheap, hole in the wall Mexican restaurant, and it was a very good choice. The homemade chips and salsa excited our taste buds as we waited for our meals to arrive.

I also entertained the ladies with the contents of my purse while we waited.
What, you don’t need 8 lip gloss/stick/chapstick options? Two bottles of lotion aren’t in your bag? You don’t need a supply of bandaids, pepto bismol, advil, beano, pamprin, lactaid or other random pain relievers? Psh, you’re the weird one.

After lots of laughter, our meals arrived. I could barely eat half of my super burrito, but it was very delicious!

Rhonda left Oregon vowing to start a blog about me blogging, and I left Oregon with my camera full, my body sore and my belly stuffed 🙂

Have you been to Hood River or Dundee, Oregon?

Mexican(ish) Quinoa

Whle in Yakima, (my high school hometown, not to be confused with Walla Walla, where my heart to resides and I consider my true hometown), I attempted to post a few times, but my parents live out of town, to the point where the only Internet available is via satellite. And before you start humming yourself a little Dave Matthews,

I’ll have you know you cannot watch that youtube video at an acceptable speed out at my parents house.

So instead of boo hooing about the fact that I couldn’t update y’all on my super-exciting life, I took a blogging break. I didn’t even read blogs.

Ok, that isn’t entirely true. I did read some of my favorites, and got shamelessly addicted to a new one. My friend, Mandy, tipped me off to The Bloggess, via the now-viral Pick Your Battles post.

I laughed. I cried. I wanted to leave a giant chicken on my own front porch. And I know I’ll be purchasing the greeting card for a friend or two.

While in town, my mom asked me to show her how to make quinoa. She purchased a bag years ago, and let it sit on the shelf, assuming some day she would run across a recipe calling for quinoa. She never did, and eventually threw the bag out. Saturday was her lucky day. I whipped up some of my favorite sauce to marinade our chicken, and set to work on a Mexican(ish) quinoa salad. This recipe isn’t much different than any other quinoa salad I’ve made before, but it is very tasty, and therefore must be shared.

Mexican(ish) Quinoa Salad

Salad Ingredients
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
2 cups chicken broth  (or water)
1 can black beans, rinsed/drained
2 oz cojita cheese, crumbled
½ red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, diced
½ sweet onion, diced
10 grape tomatoes, halved
½ bunch cilantro, stems removed
1 ½ avocado, diced

Dressing Ingredients
Juice of one lime
3 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp chili powder
2 TBS stone ground mustard
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Bring chicken broth, or water, to a boil. Add rinsed quinoa and reduce to simmer, 15 minutes. Remove from heat, place lid on pot, and let sit for 5 minutes. Place cooked quinoa in a bowl and place in fridge to cool.

Meanwhile, mix black beans, cojita cheese, onion, bell pepper, tomatoes and cilantro in a large bowl. In a small bowl, wisk together all sauce ingredients. When quinoa is cooled, add all ingredients together, mixing in diced avocado at the end (to prevent browning).

Enjoy as a side dish to chicken or fish, or as a vegetarian entree.