Thursday, January 2, 2014

Good Way to Start 2014

Today teachers had to go back to school, although the kids are off till Monday.  Today was "OUR" day.  We were given the opportunity to work on a project of our own choosing.  We just had to submit a proposal describing how we were going to "professionally develop" ourselves, and then spend the day doing it.  What  a lovely gift!  I spent the entire day with our grade level special ed teacher.   We took a unit that I've often done with my reading classes, and we reviewed my existing activities, checking to see where they aligned with the Common Core State Standards and where things needed to be beefed up.  Then we went through it and turned it into a unit that we will be team teaching to a combined class of regular ed students and her pull-out reading class.  We also explored some new resources we found on line, created some writing activities following the 6 Traits +1 writing process, and developed some extensions for those who need more of a challenge. It made the fact that we are at the beginning of a blizzard much more bearable!  Had the kids been in school, it would have been a snow day.  It was tricky driving in and back but I was lucky that my husband was free and could do the driving for me!  They've cancelled tomorrow's workshop day already, so we have a 3-day weekend!

Today's dinner menu:

Spaghetti with Italian sausage and tossed salad.

Here's how I make my sauce:

1 jar good spaghetti sauce (Classico is my favorite, but I often use the cheaper Prego)
1 can of tomato paste
1/4-1/2 cup red wine
2-3 crushed garlic cloves
1-2 TBS "fresh" basil  (I freeze excess basil from my CSA share in the summer in recipe size packets, and then just unwrap the packet,and snip the whole frozen leaves into the sauce)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf

I started by cutting Italian sausage links into 1 inch pieces, and browning them in a heavy skillet with a little olive oil.  Then I add the jarred sauce and the tomato paste.  I rinse the sauce jar with the wine and put that into the pan, along with the rest of the ingredients.  Then I just let the sauce simmer.  I cook the spaghetti and when it's drained I just plop it into the sauce and serve with grated Parmesan for me, and the shaker of oregano for my husband!

I prefer to use hamburger instead of the sausage, but my husband prefers the sausage, so I rotate!  When I use the hamburger, I just brown it with about a 1/2 cup of diced onion and the garlic, drain off the fat, and then add the sauce ingredients.

I usually make the whole package of spaghetti which gives us leftovers for lunch or supper later on in the week.  

So that was tonight's dinner.

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