Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Encouraging Greatness

Right around the time of the 2012 London Olympics, our principal started off the school year by showing us the Nike "Find Your Greatness" video. He wanted us to encourage students to find their greatness and start the year with motivation to do great things. Last year, I had my kids write short bios on why they were great underneath the heading "FIND YOUR GREATNESS".  It was a great activity and an extremely uplifting one!

Last year came to a close and those giant "FIND YOUR GREATNESS" letters stayed on the wall. I couldn't quite figure out what to put under them again, AND it had taken me for-ev-er to glue each individual letter on the wall. Therefore, I made the executive decision to leave them hanging. 

Yesterday, due to another snow day, I had some free time to let my creative juices flow. I decided to update my lonely "FIND YOUR GREATNESS" letters with encouraging quotes from men, women, and Kid President to start off our 2014 year!

My hope is for students to feel encouraged and uplifted after reading these powerful quotations from people from our past and present. 

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Scottie Rob's Champagne Poached Lobster

Meet Scott. 

He happens to be my favorite chef.  Now, you may think I am biased - and I am, but I am also right when I say he's an incredible chef. On New Year's Eve, he made us an amazing poached lobster dish. I intentionally ate really slow so I could savor it even longer. 

Sadly, I don't have a photograph to show you the finished product. You will just have to have faith in me when I say - it was ah-maze-ing. The perfect New Year's Eve dish! 

Scottie Rob's Champagne Poached Lobster
You'll Need:

2 lobster tails
1 leaks bundle
I  bundle green onions
1 C Whipping cream
1 C Brut Sparkling wine/champ
2 T lemon juice
2 cloves minced garlic
4 T butter
1 T dill
S&P to taste

Make it!

  • Chop green onions and leaks
  • Combine leaks, green onions, champagne, garlic, and lobster tail (in shell) in pot and bring to boil
  • Cover pot and let simmer for 15 min
  • Remove lobster from pot and set aside
  • Add whipping cream to leaks and green onion mixture and bring to a boil
  • Reduce by half
  • Whisk in butter one tablespoon at a time, add lemon juice, dill, salt and pepper to mixture
  • Remove lobster from shell and cut into medallions
  • Serve lobster over bed of leaks
  • Spoon remaining sauce over lobster

Monday, January 6, 2014


I want to remember this moment in time. It's very cold. Today, it was -3 degrees. 

We're in a Polar Vortex? Say what?

Brrrrrrr! Stay warm, folks!

New Orleans Round Up

It seems that most of us in Missouri, well the Midwest, are currently living in a snowy fairy tale. The tale of Christmas break just won't end because of the most recent snow fall and frosty temperatures. I walked out to check my mail and I wanted to cry because the wind and temperatures hurt my face, that and I have an extremely low tolerance for pain. 

Today's post is all about our recent trip to NEW ORLEANS! Neither my boyfriend or I had ever been before and we thought it sounded like the perfect way to start 2014. We hopped on a plane at 6:00AM (with a dream and a cardigan.. oops, sorry, got distracted!) on New Year's Day and headed south! Last year (whoa!), I blogged about our trip to Disneyland and a few of my favorites from the vacation. Here's my rundown of NOLA and some highlights I think you should include in your itinerary of The Big Easy.

We stayed in a quaint little hotel right in the heart of the French Quarter. Walking right out of the Place d'Armes would put you on Royal Street or a left turn out of the front doors would put you in Jackson Square. It was a great location with an equally great price. Side note: someone should be paying me to write this!

Place d'Armes on St. Ann Street

We arrived just in time to take part in the Jazz Brunch at the Court of Two Sisters. The courtyard and atmosphere of Two Sisters is pretty spectacular. It was raining when we dined there so we couldn't take advantage of the courtyard, but we got to enjoy the Jazz and buffet!  
Yummy dish(es): Creole Jambalaya and King's Cake 

When we got off the plane, we got wind of a little excitement happening down in the Quarter. Since the Sugar Bowl was happening the following day, we (luckily) stumbled up on the AllState Sugar Bowl Fan Fest featuring a FREE concert with Imagine Dragons. Score! 

We were most likely the only Mizzou fans in a sea of crimson because the town was flooded with OU and Alabama fans. Nevertheless, we wore our goal with pride. My tweet even made it up on the jumbo board prior to the concert!

Imagine Dragons - FREE!
After the concert, we hopped in a cab and headed down to St. Charles Street and dined at Emeril's restaurant. If you're feeling fancy, it's the perfect place to go. Our meal and experience was incredible. I highly recommend! 

Yummy dish: Dry Aged Moulard Duck Breast

The next morning we set our alarms to be one of the first to arrive at Cafe du Monde. A friend of mine had advised us to get there early otherwise we would be standing in line. We arrived around 8:30 and walked right in and had a seat in the patio area. If someone could make me beignets and coffee every morning for the rest of my life, I would be perfectly content. 
Yummy dish: Beignets :)

The Original French Market Coffee Stand

For lunch, we braved the line of the legendary Acme Oyster House. Now, you must know... I do not eat oysters. Deep fry those little puppies and I'll consider it, but I'm not about to slurp anything down. My boyfriend on the other hand is a fan, so I'll be a team player! At the conclusion of our trip, we decided that this was probably our least favorite spot and we'll probably skip this place the next time we visit. 
Standing in Line
After a little touring of the city, we hopped in a cab and headed to Magazine Street in Uptown. Our first stop was the Bouligny Tavern where we had an array of small plates. Each one was equally delicious and it was a nice little spin on dinner to eat several options versus just one main dish. 
Yummy dish(es): Marrow & Garlic Bruschetta & Fries with Aioli  

Before arriving in New Orleans, I had a laundry list of things we had to eat. It's one of the few places, in my opinion, that has so many unique dishes that must be consumed. Oh, and trust me, consume we did! Thanks to a recommendation by a friend, we had lunch at the historical Napoleon House and had our first Muffuletta Sandwich. We found out later the Napoleon House is one of the few places to sample this sandwich warm - which we both enjoyed!

Great Spot
During the afternoon, we spent some time sightseeing through the city and checking our the museums of Louisiana's history, Hurricane Katrina, and Mardi Gras. These museums are located right next to the St. Louis Cathedral which is also a sight you must make a point to see. 

Jackson Square & St. Louis Cathedral

With Mr. Jackson
Friday night, we wanted to find a fun place to watch our Missouri Tigers BEAT Okie State in the Cotton Bowl. Right before the game, we had an amazing dinner at St. Lawrence. I would consider this place a diamond in the rough. When we checked it out online, it had little reviews and didn't speak too loudly to us. Once we got into the restaurant and started our meal - we were impressed. This was probably one of my favorite restaurants we went to. Definitely worth checking out!

Oh, speaking of the Cotton Bowl... did you see where we won? GO TIGERS!

Source: USA Today
On the last morning of our trip, we popped in EAT for brunch and weren't disappointed. The atmosphere, staff, and food was delightful. This was recommended by my sister and she made a great choice - I now, recommend it to you!
Yummy dish: Fried Green Tomatoes

We had a little bit of time to burn before we needed to scoot to the airport, so we did some exploring through the French Market. In hindsight, I wish we would have kept a lunch open and dined at the market because the array of food choices were incredible. Plus, I was very temped to try some gator on a stick - but I was stuffed from brunch! 

Gator Gumbo, please!
I do believe we checked off everything on the "eat this in New Orleans list", but I could be mistaken. Here's what we had: beignets, muffulettas, oysters, po' boys, gumbo, jambalaya, King's Cake, and pralines. Did we miss something? If so, I guess we'll just have to go back again!

Of course, I didn't list everywhere we visited and popped in but these listed were my favorites. If you're looking for other great spots, I would add the following to your list of things to do/see:

Pat O'Briens

Have you been to New Orleans my faithful readers? Share with me your favorite spots to dine, tour, and visit. 

Happy New Year!

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