Monthly Archives: June 2013

Best Truffles

I was commissioned to make some truffles for a bake sale. Normally I’m not a fan of truffles because they are too sweet or too buttery or too… something. But since these tasted so good, they earned a right to be mentioned.

Recipe is from Kraft Foods.

  • 1 pkg (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 pkg (4 oz. each) BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, broken into pieces, melted
  • 1.5 tsp  vanilla

Beat cream cheese, slowly add powdered sugar, add melted chocolate and vanilla. Blend well, refrigerate for at least an hour. Shape into balls, roll in whatever goodness you have in your kitchen, place into mini cupcake liners, and store in the fridge.


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Avocado Eggs

Something weird I noticed after eating avocados for a week. The dry skin I have in certain areas went away! Maybe I needed fats and moisturizer from the inside as opposed to the outside?
Anyways, I normally don’t eat deviled eggs because they have mayo in them, and I am picky to the degree where I will not eat mayo. So here’s my version of deviled eggs, WITHOUT mayo!

Cook eggs, cool them, shell, cut in half. Put yolks into dish, add as much soft avocado as you want, season with salt and pepper. Place in piping bag and fill in the whites! Viola! Deliciousness!



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Carrot Cupcakes (GF)

We had an enormous bag of carrots that was having difficulty being emptied. After eating shredded carrots with sugar, putting plenty of carrots into chicken noodle soup, and eating plain carrots as a snack, I wanted something more. I found a recipe here which I slightly improvised and made into cupcakes.

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1/4 cup sweetened toasted coconut
  • 1/4 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the sugar & eggs, add oil. Mix the dry ingredients and add to the first mixture. Then add nuts, carrots, coconut and raisins. Grease mini cupcake pans and fill 3/4 full.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes, depending on how dark you want them. Insert toothpick in center to ensure doneness.

I enjoyed eating them just like this, without frosting. Later I used the Betty Crocker can of cream cheese frosting, whipped it up, and decorated the top.


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Baked Sweet Rice Casserole

Today I craved a sweet rice dish that my friend’s mom used to make. It was a golden rice dish, right out of the oven, and it was so incredibly delicious that I would ignore my stomach’s full warnings and keep on eating it.
So after Googling a few key words, I realized that there is a plethora of sweet rice dishes. There was one way to solve that problem: talk to my friend’s mom! She gave me a recipe, and no they were not in exact measurements, just what the ingredients were, and approximately how to throw it all together. That’s OK; I was happy. Here is my attempt at making this amazing dish.

  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 2 cups milk

Bring this to a boil, and then simmer, for a total of 20 minutes. Add:

  • 3 Tbs honey
  • 1 egg + 1 Tbs sugar, beaten

Mix all this together, transfer to a glass dish, and place into a 350 degree oven. Bake until golden. I wanted to add some raisins because I remember those used to be in the original dish, but since I didn’t have any, I added dried blueberries (nope, not the same thing). After tasting this dish, I decided I probably needed to add another 1/2 cup of  milk, to make it more creamy, and perhaps more honey, because it didn’t turn out quite as golden as how I remember it. Nevertheless, the taste is incredible 🙂
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Kids Sitting Still

Today in my subbing job there was an assembly for the school. It was a basketball game consisting of staff vs. 5th graders. Yes, a very entertaining and exciting break from the normal routine of the school day.

My first-graders had reviewed the rules for assembly behavior, practiced being quiet and walking in a consistent line. I had to practice that because I didn’t want to risk losing them or herding some other class away.

Although the event was close to an hour long, the class was well-behaved. It is tough to sit still for so long even if the event is quite amusing. Yes, some kids were squirming around a bit (so was I) and one boy in particular had a tough time being very still. He was sitting at the edge of the row, and wasn’t bothering anybody, so I wasn’t too concerned.

The teacher who was behind me apparently cannot tolerate kids moving around. She kept nudging the boy and urging him to stop moving. After several attempts at this, she told him to stand up to the side (where the teachers were) so the squirming would be eliminated. Well, this boy is not a sitter, or a stander, because he kept shifting from one foot to the other, and leaning on a chair, or stepping over to the side, and eventually I told him that he could sit down if he could try to sit still. Lo and behold, this teacher immediately starts tapping him to remind him to quit moving and sit still! 

This frustrated me. First, because the teacher was undermining my authority as a substitute teacher and thinking I cannot handle my class. Second, because the boy wasn’t being a distraction to anybody except to that teacher. Third, I feel the expectations should be lenient enough where children are allowed to shift and move around in their seats to a reasonable degree, especially when considering the length of time they are expected to sit.

Obviously it’s nice to have kids sitting still and listening quietly and not being a bother. However, this incident helped me realize that oftentimes we (by we, I mean teachers or other people dealing with kids) forget that they truly are children, and want to move around, and sitting still for long periods of time is a major challenge. I hope I keep that perspective in mind and not ever get hung up that I want kids to be like robots.



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Kids are unhappier today than ever before–and the reason isn’t what you think.

Need to give kids more challenging things to do and allow them to mess up sometimes.

That Writing Lady

Check out my TEDx talk on kids and happiness! My talk starts at minute 59 of this Livestream:

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