Thursday, February 23, 2012

Addition Centers...

    This weekend I created some addition centers for my kids to complete.  You can buy the pack on my TpT store...The pack includes three "sort by the sum" worksheets, 1 "froggy addition" matching game, 1 dice addition worksheet, and 1 "stories about joining" worksheet.  Enjoy!

A little closer look...

Find it here!

Monday, February 20, 2012

President's Day Freebie...

Hopefully this finds you in time to use with your kids this week.  It's nothing too fancy, but comes out SO cute when finished... I forgot to take pics though!  We used small pictures of each student in the left hand corner and cut out top hats out of black construction paper... Enjoy!

Grab this for free on my TpT site... HERE!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Custom Hand-Painted Name Signs

I've been making these name signs for a few years now and all who receive them seem to love them.  I've made them for children as well as teachers.  They make the perfect gift for events like teacher appreciation, birthdays, & graduation for future teachers.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Momma Kell's Stromboli (& another "bonus" dough recipe)


      Nowadays when I need to bring a recipe to a party I instantly open my laptop and browse the latest and greatest Pinterest ideas.  Sunday was a little different for me: While thinking about what to whip up for the Super Bowl, I didn't need to click, pin, or download a thing...I opened my recipe book.  My mother, Kelly Madigan, has a Stromboli recipe that makes her famous among our family & friends in Erie, PA.  My husband and I were talking about it the other night and came to the conclusion that no matter how much she makes, there is NEVER enough.  You could always eat one more piece & you can be guaranteed that there will never be leftovers.  (I think this was reiterated when I walked in the door Sunday and the Stromboli didn't even make it to a table before hands were on it)  What's so cool about the recipe is that she's been making it since my parents were married (29 years).  She used to make it for the "anniversary parties" they had with their wedding party every year. (Fun idea-- I wish all my bridesmaids were in one place!!)  In fact, I have proof:  she still uses the same envelope the recipe was written on 29 years ago.  It's covered in crap, for lack of a better word.  It's grease-stained and the ink is bleeding so much I'm surprised she can still read it (not that she needs to) but it's also covered with years of love and memories in the kitchen.  I'm so excited she was willing to let me share her secret with the world-- you will never regret making Momma Kell's Stromboli. (& to all of my local friends-- I still get dibs on bringing it to parties!! haha)
*P.S.- Mom, no matter how many times I make it, it's never as good as when it's yours. :)
*P.P.S.- Don't cry.


-1 loaf of Rhodes frozen bread dough (they sell white, wheat, and pizza can also use your favorite type of pizza dough)
-2 egg yolks (save the whites for later)
-1 TBSP parmesan cheese
-1 TSP parsley
-1 TSP oregano
-1/2 TSP garlic powder
-1/4 TSP pepper
-2 TBSP olive oil
-1/2 pound pepperoni
-12 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

*I'm going to try and take you on a "picture walk" (sorry for the teacher talk) through the recipe...

Before you start, make sure your dough is thawed out.  You can set it in the refrigerator overnight, set it on the counter all day under saran wrap, or defrost it in the microwave.  Just be careful: the microwave can start cooking the dough and hardens it after being in there too long.  If you're defrosting in the microwave, spray the dough with Pam and cover it with saran wrap.

You can serve it with your favorite pizza sauce, but I don't even bother-- it's good enough by itself!


Recipe #2:  Use the same bread dough to make BBQ Chicken Pizza- one of our FAVORITES!

-1 loaf Rhodes frozen bread dough, defrosted
- Diced BBQ Chicken (we cook ours on the grill and then cut it)
-Your favorite BBQ Sauce
-Mozzarella Cheese
-Red Onion, sliced thin
-2 TBSP Olive Oil
-Optional: Cilantro

1.  Roll out loaf of dough into a rectangle.

2. Spread dough with BBQ sauce and 2 TBSP olive oil 

3.  Add ingredients on top:  Mozzarella cheese, red onion, chicken, and cilantro

4.  Bake @ 350 for about 25 minutes.  Watch it closely to make sure your crust doesn't burn.

ENJOY! & one last pic for fun...

Happy 100th Day of School!

Just a few pictures of the fun we had today...

A last-minute run to Dunkin' Donuts (because these are the things kids remember about Kindergarten) :)

My example for the kids ... I'm not sure who to give credit to for this idea-- there are so many variations floating around Pinterest & blogs!!

...Because everyone needs a giant paper fish tank in their classroom.

Some of the kids brought in 100 items to share.  Most brought in small things (pine nuts, paint chips, you get the picture), but this one went ALL OUT! ... I'm just glad I wasn't there to help him gather them at home :)  His bag was bursting at the seams!

     Thanks Julie Lee for the Crown Freebie!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Stuffed Shells Casserole

    Although I love to cook, there are some days when those Kindergarten kids drain the life out of me and I need an easy-peasy meal to make.  I'm all about any recipe that takes a tedious task in the kitchen and simplifies it.  I started making this one last summer when I had off and was able to watch the Rachael Ray show every morning (please come soon June 10th).   She made a similar recipe to this that made me re-think why I was wasting time stuffing every single shell.  She took the basic ingredients of stuffed shells and mixed them up to make a single casserole: brilliant.  
      She makes her own quick sauce (which is great if you have the time), but in this recipe I suggest your favorite jar sauce.  If my Grandma Connie had the internet and could read this, she'd drive to North Carolina and slap my wrist.  Jarred-sauce is a big "no-no" in my family and our "Sauce Sunday" tradition growing up made me kind of a sauce-snob.  If you have a great family sauce recipe like I do, here's what I suggest: make a huge batch and freeze it off in smaller portions, so you have some available to make recipes like this.
      I've tweaked and tried the recipe different ways since then and this is what I've come up with: simple, delicious, and makes GREAT leftovers:

1 pound ground turkey (or beef- your preference)
1 pound of your favorite pasta (I used radiatori because I think they're fun, but you could use small shells)
1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce
1  15oz. container of part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
2 TBSP parsley
1 TBSP garlic powder
Salt & Pepper

1.  Start by boiling your water and cooking the pasta so it's ready to go when you are.  Also- set the oven to 350.  This will help you finish the recipe quickly.
2.  Brown the ground turkey in a large skillet.  When the turkey is cooked, add in your jar of sauce.
3.  In a large bowl, mix together the: ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, egg, parsley, garlic powder, salt & pepper.
4. Drain your cooked noodles and add them to the cheese mixture.  Mix to coat all of the pasta.
5. Use a 9x13 casserole dish: Spread 1/2 of the meat sauce on the bottom of the dish.  Add the pasta & cheese mixture on top and spread evenly.  Add the remaining 1/2 of the meat sauce to the top.
6. Bake @ 350 for 30 minutes or until the sauce on the top begins to bubble.

**You can add more shredded cheese on top if you'd like
**A great mix-in for the cheese mixture is chopped spinach if you're looking to add some "hidden" vegetables :)

*Side note: casseroles don't take the prettiest pictures, but I promise it's delish! 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Measurement Centers...

We've been working hard on measurement this week and I was determined to create some centers that gave my students some hands-on practice.  We started them today and they are off to a GREAT start.  They are collaborating, communicating with each other, and moving around the classroom.  That may drive some teachers crazy- but I love it.