It’s still the first week back to school. This week is draggggggging by and I am exhausted! How exhausted?

At the end of a very long day – during which a kindergarten boy informed me that “Camels aren’t real. They’re just pretend…like unicorns.” – I left school after carline duty and went home.

When I got home, Elizabeth had already put the casserole in the oven and it was cooking away. I actually made it on Saturday and put it in the refrigerator for this week.

I removed the casserole from the oven and added cheese to the top. I stuck it back into the oven to melt.

I removed the casserole from the oven and we ate dinner.

I poured myself a tall glass of icy sweet tea and went to run a hot bubble bath.

I soaked in said bubble bath while drinking said sweet tea.

I somewhat dried my hair.

I went to bed.

It was 6:45.

Michael breezed through and asked, “Are you already in bed?”

From my face-down position, I mumbled into my pillow, “I’m tired. Leave me alone.”

He did.

I slept all night and got up this morning at 5:15. I swear, I could have slept several more hours!

My hair – which had dried while I slept – looked like a large, unruly cloud. I had to use two different brushes to beat it down! I ended up pulling half of it up with a ponytail elastic and calling it fixed.

The day went well. At this point in the week, I have met all but five of my classes (and all of PreK because they haven’t started coming yet). Kids who are returning to our school are fascinated by my new room since I moved from where I was. I have already learned the names of several of our new kids – especially the ones who are trying to see how much they can get away with at a new school.

While singing with first grade, we came to a song and video that talked about cauliflower. One sweet little hand went up and this baby said, “My mama won’t eat that. She’s scared of it.”

I was confused. “She-she’s scared of cauliflower?” I asked hesitantly.

He nodded. “Yep. She calls it ‘Ghost Broccoli.'”

Y’all. Seriously.

Teachers hear EVERYTHING!

I was again grateful that I had filled one of my slow cookers this morning, so dinner was nearly ready when I got home. I just had to make rice and it was done!

Slow Cooker Kung Pao Meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 2 32-oz. bags of frozen meatballs
  • 18.75-oz. bottle of Panda Express Kung Pao Stir-Fry Sauce
  • 1/4 cup of Buffalo Wild Wings Asian Zing Sauce
  • Jasmine rice for serving

Directions:

  1. Pour meatballs into the slow cooker.
  2. Pour entire bottle of Kung Pao sauce over the meatballs.
  3. Fill the bottle with water, shake it up, and pour over the meatballs.
  4. Add Asian Zing sauce.
  5. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  6. Make rice (directions below).
  7. Serve meatballs over rice.

Well Duh #1: I used turkey meatballs. You can use any kind of meatballs you like, but I recommend using beef meatballs, if you’re going to cook them for longer than 6 hours. The turkey ones will dry out too much. My bad.

Well Duh #2: I don’t normally use brand names when I’m writing recipes, but these really are the only ones I know of. They are readily available at most grocery stores. I found them at WalMart.

Well Duh #3: The Asian Zing sauce is spicy. If you don’t want yours to be spicy, LEAVE IT OUT.

Well Duh #4: I used a crock pot liner – and I’m really glad I did because the sauce is really sticky and would have been challenging to wash out.

Well Duh #5: I STINK at making rice on the stovetop! A couple of years ago, I found this foolproof recipe that is actually used in most restaurants and cafeterias. It’s really great if you’re making a lot of rice.

Easy Perfect Rice

  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 cups of rice (I used jasmine rice, but any rice will work!)
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  • Put water on to boil – either on stovetop or in the microwave.
  • Pour rice into a 9X13 baking dish. Lay pats of the butter on top and sprinkle with salt.
  • When water comes to a boil, pour 3 1/2 cups of water over the rice and stir.
  • Cover the dish tightly with foil.
  • Bake for 25 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before fluffing.

This made a GREAT meal for my tribe! Michael and Elizabeth are our spice-lovers and they really enjoyed it. It will likely become a new recipe in our rotation!

Hope your back-to-school time goes well this year!

And, by the way – camels are real!

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