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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Our Children's Teachers Are Truly Appreciated

This week was Teachers' Appreciation Week. Our children mean everything to us, so those who spend the days with them, guiding, inspiring, and nurturing them, are wonderful, in our minds.

Jill and I did a lot of the same things for our children's teachers this week.  We also did a few things differently.  We wanted to share our week with gifts.  (If you can find someone to craft share on weeks like this, it makes life much easier and the teachers, get double the benefits!)

Monday: GraciAnn and I made chocolate chip cookies for her teachers. We put them in cellophane bags and added some cute ribbon.  She made each of them cards too.  We started the week out small, but they knew we were thinking of them! Here's an awesome chocolate chip cookie recipe that was shared on HowDoesShe: http://www.howdoesshe.com/perfect-chocolate-chip-cookies
Jill makes these cookies regularly, usually a double batch!  She doesn't put the dough in the refrigerator though as it makes the cookies thick and she likes them flat and gooey!

Tuesday: I (Shannon) made lunch for the teachers at GraciAnn's school.  Lucky for me, it's a small Montessori school so I only cooked for 12.  I made pulled pork, potato salad, three bean salad, baked beans, and brownies.  I also brought in King's Hawaiin Rolls.

Pulled Pork Recipe: First, I preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Then I heavily salt and pepper a Boston Butt and put it in my Pampered Chef roaster.  I put it in the oven and turn the temperature down to 225 degrees.  I cook the pork for at least 8 hours but up to ten.  It literally falls apart.  I use Sonny's Sweet BBQ sauce on my pulled pork. It is so good.  Jill does the crock pot version.

Potato Salad: I cut up red potatoes (leave the skin on) and boil them in salted water. I am careful not to overcook the potatoes.  They should still be firm.  I drain the potatoes and put them in the refrigerator to let them completely cool.  I chop up celery and put it back in the refrigerator.  I cook bacon, on the roasting rack, in the oven at 350 degrees. The grease gets away from the bacon and it is crisp.  I let it cool and then chop it up.  You can add chopped onions.  I don't always.  I mix all the ingredients with low fat mayo and freshly ground pepper to taste. (This is Jill's favorite potato salad!)

Three Bean Salad: 1 can each of  drained wax beans, green beans, and kidney beans. Add chopped onions and green peppers.  Add 1/4 cup each oil, vinegar, and sugar.  Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate overnight.

Baked Beans: I use Bush's Country Style baked beans. I add a pound of maple bacon that I've cooked in a 350 degree oven, on a roasting pan, until the bacon is completely crispy. I use a small amount of the bacon grease to cook a cup of sweet chopped onions in.  I add a half cup of brown sugar, a little mustard, and a little Worcestershire sauce. I mix all ingredients together and cook the beans, in a 350 degree oven, for an hour.


Brownies:  This is my first secret.... Betty Crocker Triple Chunk brownies.  They are so good.  They are even better with my second secret...The brownie edge pan. Brownie edges are the best and with this pan, every brownie has an edge.  It takes 1 1/2 boxes of the Triple Chunk brownies to properly fill the pan.

Wednesday: GraciAnn brought her teachers 2 bookmarks each (made by Jill), 3 post it note holders (also made by Jill), and a dinner certificate for Texas Roadhouse which is an absolutely fantastic restaurant in our area.  Ryan took the bookmarks and post it note holders on separate days as Jill didn't have them both ready on the same day!


Thursday: GraciAnn brought her teachers jars filled with M&Ms.  I bought every kind of M&M on the shelf and mixed them altogether.  I put them in a mason jar and decorated it with vinyl, cut on my Silhouette.  Yum! (A tutorial will be coming soon!)  Ryan's teachers said these were the perfect gift as everyone could use a jar of chocolate!  Many of the fellow parents made comments that these were super cute and thoughtful!  Shannon did such a nice job!

Friday:  GraciAnn brought her teachers hand painted signs I designed and made.  I love how  they turned out!  Ryan's teacher's loved these as well.  The teachers felt very special receiving these! Shannon is very talented with all her signs!


Teacher Appreciation Week is over.  We will never stop appreciating all the teachers have done for our children. We will continue to send in random gifts and notes to let them know they are always appreciated.

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