My Learning Project Wrap Up!

My learning project wrap up is here! The time has gone fast and I am now testing myself with this little creature below.

Preparing for my turkey dinner took quite some time. First of all, I needed to decide what I wanted to cook besides the turkey and find those recipes. Not long after that I decided to nail down who I would be inviting. From there I used Out of Milk to organize myself for the dinner. I found Out of Milk after trying out a few tools I could use in my last blog post about my learning project found here. Below is part of my to do list on Out of Milk that I followed to get things done. I found this tool very helpful and would encourage anyone to use it if they are trying to organize a meal or event that you are cooking food for!

I decided to make a traditional turkey dinner- a turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and a lettuce salad.  I am not going to say the whole process of making a turkey dinner was easy, but it was better than expected. Everyone enjoyed being together and the food was great! I am happy with how everything turned out. Below are some pictures of what I made and the recipes above them. Sorry there are no “how to” videos, my webcam has stopped working!

Turkey & gravy. Recipe here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mashed potatoes. Recipe here.

Stuffing. Recipe here.

Salad.

Here is the final product on the plate below.

Finally, I want to wrap up all that I have learned throughout this whole process of my learning project. Before beginning this learning journey I wan not confident in my ability to cook! In one of my first blog posts I share that basically my only strong area in cooking was preparing breakfast! Now that I have embarked on this learning experience I feel a lot more sure in my ability to prepare meals for myself and others. Throughout the semester I have learned how to make meals such as lasagna highlighted here and pork chops highlighted here.  These meals I would not have attempted before beginning my learning project. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to teach myself something through a class!

As I completed my learning project I also found and used a variety of resources that helped me learn new skills. Some of these resources are highlighted in this blog post where I gave reviews on some of the tools I had been using.  In addition to these tools and a few others I also found tools that I can use in the future as well! Cliptomize and Out of Milk were very helpful for my learning project. Cliptomize allowed me to create an online digital cookbook and Out of Milk kept me organized for my turkey dinner. To access my cookbook on Cliptomize click here. Completing this learning project has allowed me to broaden my knowledge of resources and tools that are helpful in this ever increasing tech world!

Not only did I gain resources, but I also had to learn how to blog about my accomplishments and teach others about what I did. In the beginning this process was daunting to me. I could not imagine trying to upload pictures, create videos, etc. However, now I am confident in sharing my learning with others and have learned how to document my learning. Below is one of the “how to” videos I created to teach others about what I was doing (in this case layering lasagna). Going through this process I have not only learned myself how to use online tools to document learning, but also can carry this knowledge into teaching students to do the same. Win, win!

My last words are don’t be afraid to try new things. You never know the possibilities there are until you try, with anything!!

 

Who knew “Out of Milk” was a good thing!

Last week for my learning project I began planning the turkey dinner I am going to be having in the next couple of weeks. This week I wanted to find an app or website that would help me plan out my event. After searching for two hours I finally found an app that works for me!

First of all I tried an app called Punchbowl. At first I thought that this app allowed you to plan out an event, including food, guests, etc. However, after signing up and exploring I realized that it only has invitations that you can create and send to people. Although I think this is a pretty cool app, it does not fit my needs for my turkey dinner! However, if you are ever wanting to make invitations and send them digitally, you should check this app out. It looks pretty cool! Below is what Punchbowl looks like. (Little side note: I learned how to snip a shot from my screen and save it as a picture!)

 

The next app I wanted to use was called AnyList. AnyList is an app that allows you to create a grocery shopping list and also add recipes onto the app. However, after further reading up on the app I realized that I could only access it on an apple product. I am a Samsung girl so there went that idea! Anyway after learning about the app I think it would be useful for anyone out there with an apple product and wants create shopping lists and keep recipes in one place! Below is what AnyList looks like.

And last… finally…

Out of Milk! Out of Milk is an app that allows you to create shopping lists, to do lists, add groceries to your pantry, and also find grocery deals close to you. First, I signed up for Out of Milk and explored the app. It appears that it will work well for me! I will mainly use the shopping list and to do lists to organize my turkey dinner. I have already began adding things to my to do list and have added some things to my shopping list. Below you can see that I have added roast turkey to my to do list. Also, you can see the different options you have to visit and build on (shopping lists, pantry, to-do lists, grocery deals).

 

 

Here are some other things I have decided on for my turkey dinner aside from finding an app to organize myself:

  • I am hosting the dinner at my brother’s house
  • There will be 6-8 people attending
  • I will be roasting a turkey and having somewhat traditional side dishes

 

Stay tuned for more about my turkey dinner later!

Heeeeeerrrrreeeee turkey turkey turkey!!

This week I thought I would start thinking about my learning project finale coming up for my ECMP 355 class. Over the semester I have been able to learn something of my choice and get marks for it- NOT too often does that happen in University!!

Anyway…

Here are just some of the skills I have learned over the semester so far through choosing to become better at cooking:

  • How to use a variety of kitchen tools (example: actifry)
  • How to make delicious soups (I was afraid of making soups from scratch before!)
  • How to find good recipes online and a variety of sources for learning cooking techniques.
  • How to make a digital cookbook to save my recipes!
  • How to make “how to” videos– haha
  • How to budget time in order to make time for cooking (cooking is a great way to relief stress for me.)

 

So you may be wondering why I have a turkey below….

Photo Credit: xadrian Flickr via Compfight cc

I have decided I want to host guests and make a turkey dinner for my learning project finale!!

Here is what I think I need to do so far:

  • Find a turkey recipe (and also learn how to carve a turkey!)
  • Decide what side dishes I want to make
  • Shall we have dessert?
  • Make a grocery list
  • Decide who I want to invite (probably family)
  • How will I entertain my guests?

I am not sure what I am missing because I have never hosted people for a big dinner before- any tips for those of you who have would be great!

For this week I am going to start with trying to find a turkey recipe and beginning to plan out how I will set up my turkey dinner. Below are some resources I have been using so far:

Here’s to hoping my turkey looks like this when I am done with it!

Photo Credit: Carly & Art Flickr via Compfight cc

Let me know if you have any ideas for my turkey dinner! Stay tuned for more later.

The smallest action can make someones’ day. (learning more than cooking here!)

People appreciate it when someone does something for them, even something small. I encourage you all to think about someone special to you today, or even someone you hardly know and do something for them. As I have become an adult I have recognized how important it is to do things for the ones you love (and other people of course)!

The smallest action towards someone can make their day.

Today I am thinking about my fiance. He does a ton of things for me all the time and I owe him. I am spending the week with him and I wanted to make him a nice meal after a long day’s work. So here I am trying to impress him with stuffed peppers. I hope I succeed!

This week I heard about the stuffed peppers recipe I am trying through a friend. It’s crazy to think that simply texting a link can allow you to access a recipe so fast. No more sifting through paper cookbooks I guess! Anyway, here is the recipe for those of you interested. In the recipe it calls for ground turkey but I am using ground beef simply because of availability! Sometimes you just can’t find the right ingredients at a small town grocery store.

Skinny Taste is where the recipe came from. I like this site because it provides the nutritional values for all the recipes on the site. This is helpful if you are trying to track calories! There are tons of recipes on the site with interesting categories to browse including a kid friendly category. Also, they have diets you can follow. Great site, you should check it out!

OK, here is what I did…..

First I had the ground beef cooking in a frying pan with onions and garlic. I also added the necessary seasonings at this time (parsley, garlic powder, cumin powder, salt & pepper)

Once this cooked for about 10 minutes on low I added 1 cup of fat free chicken broth and a 1/4 cup tomato sauce, then stirred.

Once the ground beef was completely cooked through I added the rice. I chose to use Uncle Ben’s Bistro Express which does not take long to cook. I simply added the rice to the ground beef mixture straight from the package. Here are all of the ingredients combined and ready to go into the peppers.

Here is the stuffing process….

 

 

 

 

The stuffing filled the 6 bell pepper halves I had. There was stuffing left over so keep that in mind if you are wanting to do this recipe. Once I stuffed the halves I added cheese on top. On the bottom of the pan I added the left over chicken broth to bake. I baked for 45 minutes at 380 degrees Fahrenheit.

Now I am sitting here waiting for my fiance to get home……. hope he likes it.

Thanks for reading!

One layer, two layer, three layer…

Today’s task:

Mastering the Absolute Best Ever Lasagna recipe I found on Food.

First of all I needed to brown the ground beef. I also added onions and garlic to the pot.

I show the next steps in the following video. In this video I start what will be the meat sauce.

After this video I added the ground beef to the tomato sauce to finish the meat sauce. I let the meat sauce simmer on the stove until the noodles were ready.

Once I added the ground beef I prepared the cheese mixture that would be another one of the layers of the lasagna. I also prepared the lasagna noodles, which was the other layer.

The following video shows how to prepare the lasagna once you have all three components ready (noodles, meat sauce, and cheese mixture).

One layer, two layer, three layer…

The first layer is noodles, then the meat sauce, and then finally the cheese mixture. You can do how ever many layers you wish. I was only able to do two!

Here is the lasagna ready for the oven. Once you have the lasagna ready for the oven bake it for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. I found this time and temperature suitable enough.

I must say over all the lasagna turned out great! It was tasty. However, it wasn’t my favorite thing to cook so far. There were many dishes that I needed to use! Also, the whole process seemed time consuming. I am ready to try something else. Any suggestions for what I should cook next would be great!

On the other side of things Food seemed to be a good resource to use. You can sign up with them and save recipes if you wish.  I found the recipe on their site easy to follow and straight forward.

Also, I found an app that is helping me keep track of meals. The app is called Meal Planner. I downloaded the app from the play store. On the app you can not only keep track of meals you have, but also add ingredients and items onto your grocery list. In addition, there are some recipes on there! I am super excited to try this app out and I will let you know how it is working for me soon!

 

Happy blogging.

PS- I am still searching for video editing programs. Let me know if you have any good ones to use!

Also, let me know if my “how to” videos are helpful or how I can improve on them.

Some Helpful Tools…

Where has the time gone?! We are over half done our semester and I would like to give you some reviews on the tools and resources I have been using so far for my learning project in ECMP 355.

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Photo Credit: ❡ ♻ ₭ Flickr via Compfight cc

Here are some of the resources I have used so far and how they have been working for me:

1. YouTube: I know quite a few people have been using YouTube as a source for their learning project, like Robbi Nace Keller in her post. She uses YouTube as a source to learn how to sharpen her gravers. I think YouTube is a great tool to use to learn new things. In my own experience for my learning project I have used YouTube just a couple times to learn a recipe or see how to do something. Mainly I use written recipes and instructions because I prefer to learn that way. However, YouTube has served as a place where I can also upload videos for others to see. For example, in this video I explain how to make the filling for shrimp fajitas. YouTube allows me to easily share “how to” videos and instructions with others. So far YouTube has been an awesome tool to use. I think we can say: Thank-you YouTube!

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Photo Credit: redsoul300 Flickr via Compfight cc

2. Pinterest: I don’t need to say much about Pinterest. I think we all know how great it is! I have countless boards on Pinterest, including resources for teaching. However, I have been using Pinterest for my learning project as well. I have a board specifically for recipes I can use. It is so easy to search for something and find it on Pinterest. If you haven’t gone to Pinterest for your learning project yet I suggest you do!

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Photo Credit: vastateparksstaff Flickr via Compfight cc

3. Cliptomize: I have already shared quite a bit with you about Cliptomize. I just want to remind you that it has been super helpful for me in recording all the recipes I have done and want to keep for the future.  Cliptomize isn’t just for cookbooks, you can make any kind of book on there. I suggest you check this resource out!

4. No. 2 Pencil: I found this blog when searching for recipes for my learning project. I have used a couple of recipes from here so far. This site is super awesome because aside from a ton of recipes there is also DIY and craft ideas to check out and use.

5. Natasha’s Kitchen: This is also a blog I found when searching for recipes. This resource has an inviting tone and lots of great stuff! Recipes are categorized nicely so they are easy to find. Check out the categories here.  Also, the recipes on this blog are easy to follow. One cool thing I found was this blog encourages you to share what you have cooked on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter and tag it with #natashaskitchen. I may have to do this task sometime!

6.  CyberLink Media Suite: I have been using CyberLink Media Suite to try to edit my videos that I create. However, I have had trouble trying to edit out parts of my videos on advanced video editing. If anyone has the same program on their HP computer and knows more about it please comment below and help me out!

7. CyberLink YouCam: I have been using CyberLink YouCam to record all of the videos I have shared so far. Below a boy explains some of YouCam’s features. CyberLink YouCam is an easy enough tool to use to create videos. You simply click the Capture button to record and then click it once more to stop. So far this tool has been working for me. Also, like he mentions in the video, it is easy to transfer videos from this program to YouTube once they are created.

I hope you appreciate the resources I have shared so far. Check them out and let me know what you think of them! In the future I will be sharing more with you and giving reviews.

I want to finish with questions for you:

  1. What resources have you used so far and have they been helpful?
  2. What video editing tools do you use? (Please share as I am seeking to find a program that is useful to me- easy to edit out parts of a video and possibly be able to add text, music, or other simple features.)

Pork-chops & videos- random hey?!

It feels good to be back after February break and be writing a blog post! It’s even better that I am continuing on my ed. tech. journey while enhancing my cooking skills. You may be wondering why my title is so random- well I will be telling you about cooking pork-chops and showing videos so there you have it! Feel free to give me feedback on anything!

Watch below for an introduction to what I prepared in the kitchen today. I am trying to incorporate more videos into my posts sharing things with you!

Today was definitely my biggest challenge in the kitchen so far. I chose to step out of my comfort zone a little bit and prepare something that was a little more challenging to get right. Today’s task was to prepare pork-chops and scalloped potatoes! To view the recipe click here. I retrieved this recipe from The Midnight Baker. I encourage you to check out their site! This recipe drew my attention because you could put everything together in one pan to bake- again less dishes!

Now I am going to take you through what I did to prepare and cook the pork-chops and scalloped potatoes because at times it may have been a little bit different than what the recipe asked.

Step 1: Cut up vegetables. I chopped the potatoes and onions into thin slices to go on the bottom of the pans, underneath the pork-chops.

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Step 2: Watch the video below to see what I did next after cutting up the vegetables. The one thing I forgot to mention in the video is to cook the dish for 1 hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

What is said in the video:

  • Season potatoes and onions with salt, pepper, seasoning salt, garlic salt, paprika, and chili powder. Then mix together.
  • Add potato mixture to pans.
  • Brown pork-chops separately in frying pan on stove.
  • When pork-chops are done browning put them on top of potatoes in pan.
  • Pour sauce (mushroom soup and milk) over pork-chops and potatoes and then bake in oven.

I hope the video above helped in understanding what I did! I want to provide more “how to” videos seeing as some prefer that over just text and pictures.

Below is the finished product and us “digging in” to our meals.

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Stay tuned this week to see some reviews on the tech. tools and resources I have been using so far for my learning project!

 

I want to end off with 2 questions for you for now:

What video editing tools do you use?

What strategies do you use to choose blog post titles? (I think my titles could use some help)

What’s cooking in Michelle’s kitchen today?!

Hi all!

So, what was cooking in my kitchen today?

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The final product!

BEEF STIR FRY!

For my learning project this week I embarked on making beef stir fry with rice. It took me a while to find a beef stir fry recipe I liked and one that I had all of the ingredients for. I found a recipe on a food blog this week called Natasha’s Kitchen. I strongly suggest you check this blog out. There are tons of recipes that you can search for or find by category. It is a user friendly site that I found to be super helpful!

Now I will show you some of the steps I went through today to prepare my beef stir fry!

NOTE: I had the skillet set to about 250 (medium heat) for most of the time.

First of all I cut up the beef steak I was using into longer, thin strips and then added it to the skillet with 1 tbsp of oil.

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Once the meat was partially cooked I added the garlic and spices it called for. In addition I also added paprika and chili powder. I let that sit for about 10 minutes and then added about half of the sauce I was to prepare.

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After adding the spices and sauce I waited for about 20 minutes and then added the vegetables (mushrooms, onions, celery, peppers, carrots). You can choose whichever vegetables you like and put them in. The recipe told me to cook the vegetables separate but I just added them to the skillet with the meat and cooked them together. This approach worked out well and less dishes!

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Once the vegetables were mostly cooked I added the rest of the sauce and let that cook for about 20 minutes before I changed the setting to warm until lunch. Below is a picture of the stir fry ready to be served with rice.

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Overall, the process of making stir fry was not too bad! The recipe I found was fairly simple to follow- I made a few adjustments to it but thankfully it turned out anyway! I think this was my strongest dish yet and the feedback I got from family was great! For the full recipe and instructions click here.  Hope you try it, it was really good.

Lastly I want to share with you the kitchen tool I used this week- an electric skillet. This is a great tool because it is essentially a frying pan that plugs in. It has different heat settings, will cook food for a long time without you having to check it often, and you can get a fairly big size. I found this tool very easy to use to make stir fry in because everything could be cooked well in the same place! I strongly suggest you look into buying one of these! Canadian Tire has great deals on them sometimes! Just check out their website or go there.

One last thing- I have now added a few recipes to my Cliptomize cookbook. Check it out here!

When life gets tough make banana bread with mom.

My learning project is not only serving as a learning experience- but a stress reliever. It seems like the world is so demanding around us: deadlines, work or school tasks, learning new things, etc. Sometimes we need to stop and appreciate the little things in life. Like making banana bread with your mom! I was going to share the recipe my mom has been using for banana bread for years (and the one we used to make our banana bread yesterday). However, my site isn’t liking me very much today. I was going to upload a picture of the recipe but it was not loading. Anyway, if you are interested in the recipe comment below and I will get it to you!

I classify my mom as a great cook. She has been cooking for her family for about 30 years now. If I cannot find something online for my learning project I can definitely ask her! Some day I hope to be as good at cooking as my mom is. The cooking I am embarking on for my learning project will hopefully send me on my way to being a better cook. Not only does my mom help and inspire me to cook, she also inspires me to do things in life. She is a positive and go to person to talk to. Anyway, I have a question for you: Is there someone who inspires you to do things in life? What have they inspired you to do? We all know building relationships and connecting with others is important. Comment below if you want to share with me who inspires you and why.

Lastly, I want to share some great resources with you if you are wanting to do some cooking yourself. I suggest you check these out:

In addition to these there are many more! Just google cooking recipes. Anyway, I will be using some of these in the next little while. You can also let me know what you think of these resources if you decide to use them. Just comment below.

Again, sorry for the absence of pictures! Thanks for reading.

-Michelle

My Take on Shrimp Fajitas & Fries

At the beginning of my learning project I had stated that I am not only trying to learn how to cook more foods and use different tools in the kitchen, but am also trying to cook healthy. Today I made  shrimp fajitas and oven baked crispy french fries.  Yes, when first reading this it does not sound healthy, however, the shrimp was baked in the oven with vegetables to fill the tortillas and the fries were oven baked with minimal oil. It may not be your healthiest meal but it is a step in the right direction if you are trying to eat healthy, but still enjoy food.

This week I mainly used Pinterest and YouTube as resources for my learning project. Using Pinterest was easy for me because I found and followed a recipe on there last week that turned out. I strongly suggest using Pinterest as a resource because it is super easy to find things and save for later. YouTube on the other hand was a new resource and experience for me because I am used to learning by reading and then understanding. When using the YouTube video I had to re-watch it a few times to get out all of the main elements I would need to follow for the recipe. I know, it sounds silly but I learn by reading, not watching videos! I find this interesting because most people I talk to say they can learn better from watching videos. Anyway, below is the video I followed to make the oven baked crispy french fries.

I followed the directions in the video very closely and the potatoes turned out… score! YouTube as a resource for my learning project, on the other hand, I am not so sure about yet. I think I enjoy going on blogs, Pinterest, and other mainly text sites that offer recipes and tips for cooking. On a complete aside, this is interesting to note as an educator because I need to remember I have students that learn through text and visuals, as well as other mediums.

I realize I am getting sidetracked. Below is a short video showing the steps I completed to prepare the shrimp fajita filling to go in the oven. I forgot to mention in the video that I chose to cook it on low so it would take longer (30 minutes). In the recipe it suggests it will be ready in 10 minutes. I had my fries cooking at the same time so I didn’t want the shrimp to be done earlier. After the filling was finished in the oven I simply filled a tortilla and added whatever sauce I wanted. They turned out delicious! For the full recipe and cooking instructions go here. Pinterest took me to this site (No. 2 Pencil) where it gave the full information for the recipe.

This video was not easy for me. I have never even attempted to record myself to teach others before, let alone record it and try upload it to an online blog!! This video is an amazing feat for myself! Learning this process of recording and uploading has been a valuable experience in itself, let alone the things I have been learning about cooking. If any of you are wondering how I created this video and uploaded it I simply recorded it through my webcam and then uploaded it to my YouTube channel. On there it turned it into a YouTube video and then I was able to share it easily in this post by copying the link on its own line! For those of you worried about others online seeing your video on YouTube, don’t worry- there is a private setting on there so only you can see it! Please have a look and give me feedback or tips on how I did on the video! I am proud to say I figured this all out myself.

I want to finish this post off with sharing some of the things I have learned thus far from engaging in this learning project:

1) I have learned to be more confident in myself and my cooking abilities. My dishes have turned out great so far.

2) I have added simple dishes that are delicious to my cooking toolbox.

3) I can use technology to my advantage! I have thoroughly enjoyed the engagement I have had with technology so far and I have been learning so much (like making and uploading a video). Thank-you ECMP 355!!

 

Thanks for reading- stay tuned for more on my learning project soon!