Thursday, December 31, 2009

Pumpkin Crumble Cake

Cooking lots and lots of delicious food is a new passion of mine. My best mate is a super complimentary, honest, and always grateful consumer of my cooking efforts, which continues to fuel this new passion like oil on fire.

I considered starting a new blog or wiki with recipes, but this one will do just fine. If you try out a recipe and would like to leave feedback or suggestions, PLEASE comment.

I've been craving a new pumpkin dessert for a couple weeks. The original recipe for this delicious dessert was from my mom's recipe collection and was called Pumpkin Squares. I renamed the yummy dessert, added a little flour to the topping, but kept everything else in the recipe exactly the same.

Pumpkin Crumble Cake

Bottom:
1 pkg. yellow cake mix (less 1 cup to use later)
½ cup butter, melted
1 egg

Mix together and press in a 9 X 13 inch cake pan. It will be like a cake batter.

Filling:
1 large can pumpkin
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
¾ cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 can evaporated milk

Mix with an egg beater and pour over the bottom layer.

Topping:

1 cup reserved cake mix
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup flour
1 tsp. cinnamon

Blend topping with fork as in a pie crust. Sprinkle on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Serve with whipped cream.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

late night trains

thunderous screeching
blue sparks
oil and grit
exhaled crushing

weeds blown wide in the dust
blurred landscapes
parallel rails
constantly coupling
never touching
warehouses and dreams slip by

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Communication, Cooperation, and Choices

My good friend Mike Harman has been coming into my class every Wednesday morning for 45 minutes and teaching my students lessons on "Communication, Cooperation, and Choices."

I've always wanted to see the teaching model where students are given rather difficult tasks they can work on together and then led through some guided reflection on what happened. Mike's doing it masterfully and it really does build the community in the class.

I particularly like how he identified those three C's as the main topics that we learn about each week. This past Wednesday the students were divided into groups of five. Each group had to stand on one side of a 3 by 6 foot piece of butcher paper (their magic carpets). The challenge was to get across the gym floor without anyone getting off the paper and without ripping it. Great challenge, great set-up, and great discussion after they all finished.

Even though I have the books that Mike gets these lessons from, and even though I've always thought it would be cool to try out, I'm going to have enough confidence and ideas to really do it with my class next year, if Mike isn't able to come back.