That Praxis Test

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who wished me luck yesterday while I took my Praxis! I had planned for this to be a long Facebook post, but I felt it belonged better on my blog.

I took all three at once (math, reading, writing) and passed the reading with flying colors.

But I didn’t pass the math by 8 points. I was a little upset I didn’t pass, but then clarity hit and I cried because I was surprised and happy that I managed to just get the score I did.

For anyone who knows me well, you’ll know math has never been my strong point or anything I was ever interested in. I spent years failing math and thinking I just “wasn’t good at it,” but that’s not true. I aced math in college and for having not been around math since college and studying for the test since October, I have to say I was amazed I even managed to not pass by 8 points. I know that when I re-take the test I will pass it.

And math has become interesting to me. I am fascinated by how it’s being taught and I actually understand it more now than I did when I was kid. I even have a book about mathematics on hold at the library. I am no longer terrified of it.

Hard work pays off. Support helps. You all are awesome. Next time, when I take that test, I won’t allow any fear to creep into my head. I will study even harder and have that test be the only thing I have to think about in the testing room, not two other tests combined with it.

Make it Vegetarian: Thai Chickpea Pizza

IMG_0485 (2)
I found a recipe for a Thai chickpea and vegetable pizza from Veggies Don’t Bite while scrolling through Pinterest last night. I’ve had Thai chicken pizza before, and I knew that it could turn it out as a vegetarian dish.

Instead of making the peanut sauce the recipe calls for, we went to Trader Joe’s and settled on their Satay Peanut Sauce.

My boyfriend and I also decided to sprinkle the pizza with Parmesan cheese before putting it into the oven.

The outcome? Delicious. I loved the chickpeas as a topping and think I’ll try adding them onto my normal vegetarian pizzas every now and then. The only change we’d make for the next go around would be to add more of that delicious peanut sauce.

If you’re bored with your pizza night, try this recipe. It was fantastic!

How to Knit, Part 1

Want to learn to knit? It’s easy! Here’s how to get started.

First, you’ll need a pair of knitting needles and some yarn. I recommend size 10 aluminum needles. For yarn, I suggest Red Heart Worsted Weight (it’s usually about 3.50 at Walmart or about a dollar more at Michaels.) Choose a bright color of yarn so you will be able to see your knitting better than with a darker color.

Second, you need to find a good tutorial and books. Here are the videos that I watched over and over again:

One of my favorite books for knitting is “The Idiot’s Guide to Knitting.” It’s very easy to understand and includes great beginner projects.

One of the easiest things to make when you’re a beginning knitter is a scarf. I’d go with a basic stockinette stitch, which you’ll learn if you watch the above videos. It’s the basic two-stitch repeat for knitting: knitting one row and purling the next. By knitting a scarf, you’ll be able to get plenty of basic knitting practice while also making something beautiful.

This should be enough info to get you started. Happy knitting!

Baked Banana Cranberry Bars

I found this recipe for baked oat bars on Oh She Glows the other night and decided to whip up a batch of my own. I made a few changes, so below is my adaption of Angela’s original recipe. For hers, you can (and should!) find it here.

The biggest change I made to the recipe was patting out the oat mixture until it was fairly flat. This resulted in a crunchy edge and the day after they’d cooled and been placed in the fridge overnight, a thin, slightly crispy, and chewy texture.

Baked Oat Bars with Bananas, Cranberries, and Currants
Adapted from this Oh She Glows recipe.

2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup 2% milk or milk of choice
1/4 cup oil (I used vegetable oil)
1/4 cup Turbinado sugar
1 tbsp ground flax
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup dried red currants
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup flour (I used all purpose)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups oats (I used old fashioned rolled oats)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Mix wet ingredients and then add in the rest of the ingredients.
2. Spread onto a greased baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees, or until golden brown.

Throwback Thursday: Popovers

Back in December, my boyfriend and I decided to make one of our favorite soups: broccoli cheddar. We love this Food Network recipe for a “healthified” version.

We wanted bread to go with it, but we didn’t want anything too heavy. We also were bored with buying bread from the store. My boyfriend suggested we tried popovers.

It has changed our lives. We made them several times, and each time, we giggled with delight (or at least, I did.)

It’s the little things.

Popovers, if you haven’t had them, look like a dinner roll, but on the inside are basically hollow. They’re a similar batter to a crepe, but are baked in a muffin tin in the oven. And, you guessed it, they “pop over” when they bake. The result is a light and airy muffin that’s basically hollow on the inside, making it the perfect vessel to put soup in. We love Alton Brown’s recipe, but have also made Mark Bittman’s recipe for popovers too. Both are delicious, but we prefer Alton’s because we weren’t huge fans of the sugar in Bittman’s.

Or, as we discovered, plain yogurt and apricot jam.

Popovers are versatile, easy to make, and delicious. They’re just enough of a change from a dinner roll to make a dinner come to life. They’re great savory and also as a vessel for something sweeter.

Have you tried popovers?

Easy Italian Salad

I have made this salad at least four times now, each time adding different ingredients. You can make this with bagged salad, but I prefer the fresh iceberg and romaine. This is a perfect salad to bring to a large gathering. It does take a bit longer to prep than my Easy Kale Salad, but it’s well worth it.

Easy Italian Salad
1 head iceberg lettuce
1 head romaine lettuce
1 red onion, sliced
1 container cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 small can sliced olives
3 tbsp pepperocinis
4 tbsp croutons
pinch of black pepper and sprinkle of red pepper flakes
Dressing of choice (try to keep it light)

Toss all ingredients into a bowl and do not add dressing. This will be prevent the leaves from getting too soft. If everyone you are serving it too agrees on one dressing, add it just before serving. Not too much! Drizzle the dressing around the edge of the bowl and then toss the salad. That’s it!

What I’d like to add the next time I make it:
– Cucumbers
– Shredded Carrots
– Shredded Kale