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Five on Friday

The Teacher's Table

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Welcome to the first post of Five on Friday. Every Friday I will list the top five things that made me happy this week. It could be anything from a new kitchen tool, new product, new food, recipe success, or maybe just a life event. No matter what it is, I will share it with you here every Friday.

I would love to hear your top five too. Please leave me a comment with your top 5 below. Let’s spread a little joy and be happy for the little things in life. Happy Friday! 😀

1. Hope Hummus– If you haven’t tried it you need to. It’s delicious and nutritious. I ate two containers of it this week. I tried the Jalapeno Cilantro and Spicy Avocado. Yummy! They have several other flavors, I gravitate towards spicy, but they have non-spicy too! Plus it’s organic, non-GMO, sold in recycled containers and the company is all about promoting good things. You can check them out by clicking the link below and then go buy a bunch of hummus. Check out Hope Hummus. They are also doing a give away right now to win free hummus for a year. If you win you have to share! 

2. Primizie Tortilla Chips-These yummy crisp crispbreads are what I dipped in all that hummus. I ate two bags of these crispbreads. I can highly recommend the Chile and Lime and the Ancient Grains, although they have other flavors I can’t wait to check out. These crispbreads are organic and  non-GMO. I particularly liked the nuttiness of the Ancient Grains crispbreads. They are filled  quinoa and amaranth seeds. They are super good! You can check them out by clicking the link below. You will need something to eat with your hummus. Discover Primizie.  Oh and if you try them this week Ibotta is giving you a $1.00 back on every bag. So sign up and head to the grocery store! 

3. Publix– I just can’t get enough. I don’t really like to clothes shop and I will do just about anything to not have to go inside when the weather is sunny, but Publix makes me happy. I like going in the store, tying samples, and talking with the friendly employees.  I look forward to my weekly email every Thursday morning of the newest bogos . I like to look at my app while drinking my coffee and plan out what I can make with the items on sale. Plus you can clip coupons right from the app. If you don’t have the app get it!

4. Email Updates Completed-I finally figured out how to set up my email updates to all of you wonderful readers. This was a lot of work and it was pretty confusing, so I am pretty proud of myself for finally getting it right. Shout out to Mr. Teacher’s wonderful sister for the help! If you haven’t signed up for the newsletter yet, you can below when you comment with your 5 things. I really look forward to sharing with you!!!

5. Mr. Teacher Comes Home Tomorrow-Finally, even though today marks the very last Friday of glorious summer vacation, I am so glad that it’s here because Mr. Teacher will finally be home from his travels tomorrow night.  He has been gone for over 2 weeks. It’s no fun to cook just for yourself and he is my companion, recipe critic and sometimes photographer. Needless to say, I have missed him these last few weeks.

So that’s my top 5. Share yours below and have a wonderful weekend!

 

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The Sunshine Blogger Award

 

Thank you so much Nikkepdia for the nomination!!!!

She has a sweet blog with life style information and cute bunny pictures.

You should check out her blog Nikkepedia .

 

The Rules
1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
2. Answer the 11 questions your nominating blogger asked you.
3. Nominate other blogs and give them questions to answer.
4. Notify your nominees.
5. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.

 

Here are the questions Nikkepdia asked me.

  1. What do you like most about blogging?

I like that I can get my recipes written down. For years I have been asked how I make or do something, but I didn’t always know exact measurements or times. This blog has forced me to have to measure and keep track of what I do in the kitchen.  I now also have a forum to share my ideas, thoughts, and memories.

  1. What do you look for when choosing other people’s blogs to read?

I like to read blogs that are easy to read, and that I can relate to. I like everyday people posting about everyday things in new and different ways. I like it when I can feel a connection to the person who wrote the blog.  I want to laugh out loud along with the writer, at stories about things happening in their lives and may have also happened to me. It makes them real.

  1. What has been your biggest accomplishment (in life or in blogging) so far?

I’m new to the blog world, so my biggest accomplishment is figuring out to how HTML code for right now. Man that was confusing! I also am feeling proud of setting up my email subscriber list, joining some group boards, and getting me name out there. As I have said before, the blog is a work in progress. I can’t wait to see where it goes and to take all my readers along for the ride!

  1. Which blog is your favorite to read?

I don’t have a favorite right now. There are many that I prefer to or read when I see them on Pinterest and I have found by joining the groups Blogger Hangout and #Authentic Bloggers on Facebook.

  1. What’s your one essential item you can’t live without?

A hair tie on my wrist. I know I’m 37 years old, and this is a teenage hang up, but I can’t let it go. I have very long hair that I love. I will never cut it short again. I need my hair tie so I can throw my hair up when I am riding in the car with the windows down or outside with my students at recess. Don’t worry, I have nice looking ones, not just tacky rubber bands and I often wear a bracelet over the top of them too.

  1. Where do you see your blog in 5 years?

I would love to have my blog become cookbooks and a cooking show.

 

Blogs I nominate:

If you would like to be nominated for this award, please send me an email at Jessi@theteacherstable.com

I will add you to the list and send you the form. I look forward to hearing from you!

Click and use my code for special offers! Get $10 for signing up now!Want to earn money back on groceries you buy every week? Check out these sites out now!

 

 

 

 

Fried Green Tomatoes-Not the Movie

The Teacher's Table

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In the winter of 2007, I moved to Norfolk,Virginia I was excited to be back in the states after living overseas for several years.  Virginia is a history lovers dream and I am HUGE history buff. I couldn’t wait to visit Jamestown, Yorktown, Williamsburg, and numerous other historic places which were only a short drive from my new place.  But most of all, I was excited to try some new food.

I had never eaten fried green tomatoes before I moved to Norfolk. In Michigan when you have green tomatoes, you put them on the counter until they get ripe. Not in the south though. They serve them up all kinds of ways and I fell in love.

GreenZebra cut open.jpg (600×368)

This is the Zebra Stripped, which might be my favorite heirloom variety.

If you have never had a green tomato, you need to put them on your list of things to try. They have a completely different flavor and texture than red tomatoes.I have discovered there are two kinds of green tomatoes. One is the unripe version of any red tomato and the other is the heirloom green tomatoes that come in several different varieties. Both types are edible and incredibly delicious. They crisp, firm, tart, juicy, citrusy, meaty, and refreshing. Green tomatoes are beautiful in salads. They hold up well when you cook them. In the south they show up in casseroles, in grilled cheeses, on eggs Benedicts and on hamburgers. However my most favorite ways to eat them is fried.

Crispy Breaded Fried Green Tomatoes with Roasted Red Pepper Coulis, Chevre, and Basil

Since my love of the green tomato was great and my wallet was small, I went to work growing my own tomatoes. I had a massive garden and I recreated some of my favorite appetizers and meals from places all over the south. My family and friends have fallen in love with these green jewels too.  Now that I have this blog,  I can’t wait to share them with you!

Cornmeal Encrusted Fried Green Tomatoes

Here are two of my most requested fried green tomato recipes- Cornmeal Encrusted Fried Green Tomatoes and Crispy Breaded Fried Green Tomatoes with Roasted Red Pepper Coulis, Chevre, and Basil. Oh and if by some chance you have any leftover fried tomatoes, you need to try Fried Green Tomato Grilled Cheese.

Fried Green Tomato Grilled Cheese

I hope you fall in love with them too.


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Jamaica

The Teacher's Table

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About 10 years ago, I had the chance to visit Jamaica for 3 days. It was a whirl wind trip. I remember how friendly and fun the people were. I remember the blueness of the water and beauty of the mountains. I remember drinking way to much rum punch. But most of all I remember the food.

Oh the food!!!! I had never had jerk chicken like that before. I had tried it a few times before my trip, but never really liked it. This jerk chicken was different however, and oh so very delicious! I ordered it everywhere  I went. I couldn’t get enough of the sweet, spicy, not exactly hot, juicy chicken.  Right before I left I purchased some jerk seasoning. When I returned home I went on mission to recreate that same flavorful, finger licking,  jerk chicken. I think I have come pretty close.

My recipe is easy! It isn’t overly hot because you can always add heat, but you can’t take it away. You don’t want to serve something to a guest and have them not be able to taste anything. It is full of spices. The marinade hits all of your taste buds. It’s tangy and bright with a hint of sweet. I serve the jerk chicken with extra slices of habenero peppers, roasted bell peppers and onions, and creamy coconut mango rice. For a little extra kick, Mr. Teacher and I like to add some hot sauce too.

Habanero Mango Medium Hot Sauce

I’m currently crushing on this slightly sweet hot sauce. It’s the perfect compliment for jerk chicken.

Click to order your  Mango Habanero Hot Sauce.

You can easily make this on the grill for a barbecue, but honestly I like to pop mine in the oven. It like how the juices from the meat mingle with the peppers and onions. I like how the house fills with smell of spices making your mouth water and your stomach growl. I like how you can pour the pan drippings over the completed dish for extra flavor too. Are you hungry yet? Give my Jerk Chicken with Coconut Mango Rice a try and let me know what you think. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

 

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It’s All Greek to Me

The Teacher's Table

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We love Greek food! Unfortunately it seemed like the only time we got to eat it, is when we would go to an occasional Greek Festival. So I decided to do something about it. I created all the delicious food to make at home in our own kitchen any time the cravings arise.

The best part about the recipes are that they are easy to make and can be prepped in advance. This makes them a wonderful addition to entertaining menus. Oh and bonus! They are low in fat, high in protein and will not cost you a fortune. I use fat-free Fage Greek yogurt. It really is the most thick and creamy, along with whole grain pitas and lean meat. My salad dressing contains very little oil and a ton of fresh veggies. You won’t feel bad if you splurge and eat 3 or 4 pieces of Baklava. I surely don’t!

I was frequently making Gyros, Tzatziki, Greek Salad, and Baklava for friends and family when they came to visit, when I found out last summer that Mr. Teacher’s family was coming to stay with us for a few weeks. I was busy menu planning and getting everything ready. I had never met Mr. Teacher’s sister and her fiance. I was very excited! It was then that I learned that they were vegetarians. I kind of froze. I had all these wonderful meal plans that mostly focused on meat as the main course, but we always eat a lot of vegetables. What else could I add to my now go-to Greek menu?

Falafel! I had never made it before, but I’m sure glad I gave it a shot. It was a hit! I did fry it last summer and you could certainly fry the delicious herbaceous balls of goodness if you like, but I have found that baking works just fine.  It does make them lower in fat. The Baked Falafel is now part of our regular Greek entertaining menu.

Give my recipes to a try! Invite over some family and friends. Run to the store and grab the ingredients, some Greek beer and maybe some Ouzo, and treat everyone to a Greek meal they will not soon forget. OPA!

 

 

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Misawa

I have been thinking a lot about my Misawa days lately. One of my friends, Leslie, has unexpectedly passed away and it has brought up many memories that I would like to share.

RIP Leslie!

Regina, Kelly, Me, Tracy, and Leslie. I’m missing a few girls, but I couldn’t find a picture with all of us.

I have always loved to cook, but I really did not know how much my love of cooking and my skills would be tested until I moved to Misawa, Japan. 13 or so  years and another lifetime ago, I was a twenty something military wife who was brought to the land of the rising sun. This was the last place I wanted to go. This was before everyone had a cell phone and could talk face to face online. We had limited internet and base TV. My mom would send me video tapes with Friends and Seinfeld recorded for us to watch as a group. I missed my family and friends, and most of all, I missed the USA and all the wondrous food!

Don’t get me wrong, I did get to do many amazing things while living in Misawa, Japan. To name a few,  I’ve climbed Mount Fuji, slept on tatami mats on a ship on the way to explore the Sapporo Snow Festival, eaten raw everything from seaweed to chicken at the massive fish markets, caught live salmon swimming up stream with my bare hands, learned to love Japanese Food and culture, and I met the most wonderful group of women, whom I am lucky enough to still call friends today even though so much in our lives has changed.  With out them, I would not have made it for 3.5 years. There is just something about being so far away from home for an extended amount of time without access to home that plays with your mind.

Anyways, back to the food. American food was something I missed terribly. I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. My new found friends and I would dream about pizza without mayo and corn on top and all of the not so healthy, but tasty fast food we could not get in Japan. So my culinary skills were put to the test and one of my most requested recipes was born.

We had family members send us sauce packets from fast food places. We had a plethora of sauce packets from Arby’s and I decided to try and recreate their signature classic beef sandwich wrapped in foil and wax paper. I can still remember my friend Kelly drawing the Arby’s logo on top. I also made curly fries and jalapeno poppers for a group. It was a fabulous success! While everything was pretty exact to what you could order off of the menu, I did twist around the jalapeno poppers. Mine were not fried, but wrapped in bacon and grilled. I did serve them with the classic raspberry sauce that you could order back then or maybe you can still get it now, but I haven’t eaten there in years.

These Bacon Wrapped, Cream Cheese Filled Jalapeno Poppers with Raspberry Sauce were fabulous and have stood the test of time! Now 12 years later I still get requests for the recipe. These perfectly spicy, smokey, cheesy, and sweet poppers are wonderful as an appetizer for almost any event. They can be made in advance. You can use low-fat cream cheese. There are no carbs for those people who like high protein and no gluten. I have even done them with bacon that isn’t smoked so my sister can eat them. Give them a shot! I hope you enjoy them as much as my friends, family, and I have.

My most requested recipe!

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