Monday, September 27, 2010

cornmeal and pine nut bread

1. How can you transform any normally distributed random variable into the Standard Normal Distribution?
2. How has the pace been this week?
3. What is your foremost question or concern?

About once a week I ask my upper school students for some feedback using an activity called The Two Minute Drill, which I learned from an inspirational teacher several years ago. I give out small pieces of paper and ask three questions to gain feedback anonymously. The first question is always one that helps me assess whether students have understood what I've been teaching. The second asks them for some feedback on my teaching. And the third question is always the same: any concerns?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

curried potatoes

Sometimes it's time for comfort food. For Anthony, my husband, potatoes are the best comfort food. He grew up in a "meat and two veg" household where potatoes were a daily enjoyment. I saw this recipe on Simply Recipes and knew that it would be a happy night when I made it for dinner for him.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

morning glory muffins

How can I help a group of twelve-year-olds learn to use algebraic symbols to describe a matchstick pattern? What activity would help a group of fifteen-year-olds who have already been labelled as "bad at maths" experience some success (and enjoyment!)? Can I develop an interactive way of teaching the standard normal distribution?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

caponata--a Sicilian aubergine relish

In case I ever run out of new things to try--ha!--I have joined a blogging group called The Velveteers. There were four of them to begin with, and they started by re-inventing red velvet cake. Now, several months later, Alessio, Aparna, Asha, and Pam have opened their ranks to new members, and I rushed in! Each month they try something new--an ingredient, or a theme--and each person is supposed to interpret it slightly differently.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

weekend links #7

food links:
--A look into the military rations of the soldiers serving in Afghanistan (from The New York Times). It's fascinating to see what each country provides. For example, one country gives each soldier three mini toothbrushes with each day's ration package.
--WWOOF, an organisation that connects organic farms with people who want to visit them and work there.

recipe links:
--Kale chips (from Sugarlaws). I guess I am part of the "bulgur and quinoa set" that Katy describes.
--A lovely looking Indial lentil recipe: dal nirvana (from Steamy Kitchen).
--Two beautiful salads: succotash (from Kitchenist) and quail egg and gorgonzola salad (from Lucullian Delights).
--Pickled, spiced grapes (from The Kitchn). What a clever idea that sounds delicious. Make it before a party.

off-topic links:
--A really neat plate arrangement on the kitchen wall (from The Kitchn). I wish I wasn't renting at the moment because then I would be able to do this.
--A graph to use in teaching (from Indexed).
--A genius idea for organising kids' clothes so they can dress themselves in the morning (from I'm an Organizing Junkie). This also would make packing for trips dead easy.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

citrus, mushrooms, greens, and beans, with a ginger dressing

These enoki mushrooms are from Japan or Korea, they are mild in flavour and crunchy in texture: they made great salad toppers. Ant and I went to our first care group meeting with our new church friends and we had a lovely pot luck meal together. Our host asked for salads to be brought--I was very happy to oblige!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

winter squash bread pudding

"I've become a tad obsessive about collecting winter squash recipes, believing secretly that our family could live on them indefinitely if the world as we know it should end. My favourite so far is white beans with thyme served in a baked hubbard-squash half.... With stuff like this around, who needs iceberg lettuce?"
--Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

How true it is. Winter squashes are hardy, tasty, versatile vegetables. (Iceberg lettuce, on the other hand, is a miserable excuse for a vegetable. I have never posted a single recipe for it.) Winter squash makes wonderful smooth, blended soup, risotto, or even scones. Or this delicious bread pudding.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

apple bars with peanut butter glaze

When at the Hong Kong library this weekend, I discovered the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking cookbook. What a find! I can already foresee myself trying out many new recipes, such as Sunny Citrus Squares, Lemon Barley Scones, and Pumpkin Quick Bread. I immediately added spelt flour and orange juice to my shopping list. (Using orange juice in baked goods, I have learned, neutralises the slight tannic flavour that some people taste in whole wheat.) And I have great plans to share all my new ideas with you.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

pumpkin and peach salad with lemon grass dressing

This is salad that definitely got me out of a rut! The Paperchef challenge this month made me put together ingredients I would not have thought of combining before. But the results were brilliant. The challenge required that I use pumpkin, peach, capers, and lemon grass. Capers, mostly from France or Italy, and lemon grass, from Asia, do not seem like obvious friends. But they taste great together, and made a delicious main dish salad.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

weekend links #6

food links:
--You've got your backyard garden. Is farming your own fish the next logical step? (from The Financial Times)
--Six tips for increasing your tolerance to spicy foods (from Serious Eats).

recipe links:
--Roasted garlic and garlic-infused olive oil: a good use for some spare oven space when it's turned on to bake something else (from Suzie the Foodie).
--How to make a tastier veggie burger (from The Kitchn).
--Whole wheat cookies for snacks. Little do they know it, but my colleagues may be helping me try these out soon (from Lite Bite).
--A make-ahead dahl recipe for easier dinners in a pinch. Avoiding takeaway (from The Kitchn).

off-topic links:
--I'm easing myself into the idea of doing some running--jogging, actually. Posts like this from Carrots'N'Cake have been making me think more seriously about it (from


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