Posted in Learning Project

Harvesting food….ideas

A great internet resource I’ve managed to find to help with Diabetic/Transplant cooking has been Allrecipes. There is so much more depth to this website than simply being a recipe sharing page.
For instance, you can cater the recipes you are presented with by editing your preferences.  You can also share, subscribe to, create grocery lists, watch videos of the recipe being cooked (hello visual learners), review, add friends, photos, and personal recipes to the site.
After I set up my profile, I edited my food preferences to select the kinds of recipes to show up  on the front page after I login.
Because I am an efficient (see lazy) cook, I also subscribed to “Quick and Easy” recipes. I consider it the Holy Grail when I can find a complete meal recipe with five ingredients or less. Bonus points if they are common ingredients I already have.
Here is a shot of my preference page on Allrecipes:
You can see where I subscribed to “Diabetic” and “Heart-Healthy” recipes above.
So what is really cool, is that now as soon as I log in, Allrecipes will display meal suggestions based on my preferences. See below where a bunch of different ideas are offered, categorized by my preferences:

If I see something I like, I can save it to my favorites by simply clicking the heart icon on the recipe. Here is where it gets interesting: I can save it under pre-loaded categories, or I can create my own. We eat a lot of chicken in my family. Its affordable, its healthier than other meats, and it is ooooh so versatile. This recipe passed the salt and sugar test, and I know that Spare Parts loves mustard of all forms, so I had to add it to my favorites. I created my own chicken category though so that when I am inevitably staring at my thawing breasts in the sink I can come to this place quickly for inspiration. Winner Winner Chicken Dinners! No seriously, that’s what I categorized it under. WWCD

So that is Allrecipes in a Nutshell. The user-friendliness of the site is a plus for me, and the diverse recipe content is a definite plus for finding food that matches our needs and desires in my family. Did I mention that they have an app?!

Posted in EDTC300


I did it. I joined Feedly.
I’ve noticed the presence of RSS feeds online for quite some time now, but never took it upon myself to get one because I did not really understand what I would use it for.  I appreciate how EDTC300 encourages the class participants to explore different ways to use web based applications to make them relevant to learning, and to teaching.
I took to Feedly like a fish takes to water. As soon as I finished my super easy registration (seriously, like two steps- sign up, confirm registration by email) I prioritized my “feeds”. It is as simple as putting in topics I’m interested in. In this case….comics and animals. Oh yeah, and education of course 😉 . I have a special place in my heart for cute animals videos though.

I possess a device, in my pocket, that is capable of accessing the entirety of information known to man.
 I use it to look at pictures of cats and get in arguments with strangers.Source: Reddit

Seriously though, the education feed is really handy. I can see myself using it as a teacher regularly. It is a quick, efficient way to weed through the fluff on the internet for teaching resources. Case in point: life-based math lessons. Math was never my strong subject as a student. So, as a student teacher, embracing mathematics lessons and making them engaging is a new process for me.  I feel like Feedly has the potential to evolve into an application that I can count on heavily for free content and teaching resources.

For now though, The Daily Otter is one of my top pages.

Posted in Learning Project

Salt-Free is hard

Let me be the first to admit how much I loooooooathe food blogs.
The irony of that is not lost on me here, tell me I’m not alone here?
There is nothing that gets my goat more than having to read someones life story just to get to a recipe. I find Pinterest particularly rife with food blogs, but the recipes on them are usually pretty delicious.
Before I try a recipe I’ve pulled from online, I usually take the time to read through comment sections as well to see if they worked, and what people added, omitted, or changed.
SketchRecipeMy background knowledge with Pinterest and comment sections has made searching for Diabetic recipes a little easier, because I kind of know how to weed through them now.
So this week, discussing what to make for dinner with Spare Parts, she suggests that we try to use whats available in the house to make chicken soup.
Drumsticks? Check. Carrots? Check. Onions? Check. Celery? Check. Rice? Check. Chicken bouillon? Big fat check! Its very rare that I can put together a meal that isn’t Kraft Dinner without requiring at least one trip to the grocery store.
So I proceed to start making the age old family recipe of chicken soup. Did not think I would need technology for this recipe at all.
But then, reading the bouillon nutritional ingredients, I realized that there is a lot of sodium in it. Added salt (sodium) has become the enemy in our house.
Cue technology:

Trusty ole Google.
One of the search results returned a page from the British Heart Foundation with a complete list of herb and spice substitutions for salt. Bingo!!
This list is very helpful and one I have bookmarked, but sadly I did not have any of the spices it suggested on hand. Again, trying to avoid a trip to the grocery store halfway through cooking dinner. Back to google. I definitely needed that salt flavour to add to my soup because at that point it was looking and tasting a lot like dishwater.
Stack Exchange ended up being my saviour. It was neither a food blog, nor a recipe site. Rather, it is a discussion board! Discussion boards are like comment sections, but usually aren’t accompanied by other content such as a blog. Typically you will see a question posed or a topic of discussion where users are free to contribute. I like discussion boards. There usually isn’t a ton of media in them, and you can tell which ideas might be good or bad depending how how they’ve been voted upwards or downwards. Democracy at its finest. There are some pretty good suggestions in this thread but it was the one mentioning lemon juice that caught my eye. I know enough about cooking to know that lemon and chicken are complimentary flavours to each other, so by George, this just might work!
Boy Howdy, let me tell you, lemon juice is an excellent substitute for salt in chicken soup!
I had to give myself a pat on the back for 1: successfully avoiding a food blog for another day, and 2: salvaging my dishwater soup while keeping it diabetic friendly and 3: reaffirming my faith in discussion boards.
The lesson here? Shop around without leaving the house when it comes to cooking! 🙂

Posted in Learning Project

Cooking with Spare Parts

So, my learning project requires a bit of a backstory.
On November 24th, 2017, my mother underwent a double lung transplant. She spent a month in the hospital and came out better than ever. Life changing experience for our whole family.
That being said, WOW! There are sooooo many dietary restrictions that come along with being a transplant recipient (goodbye soft cheeses and rare steak!) We have pages and pages of restrictions in the book I like to call “The Bible”, which is basically her manual for post-op life.  On top of that, shes also duhn duhn duhn…..Diabetic! Yay! So fun!
So, needless to say, managing blood sugar, potassium, sodium and iron levels has been quite a challenge.
I figure what better new skill to learn that to master the art of diabetic friendly cooking while still keeping Spare Parts happy and fed. Spare Parts is the nickname we gave my mom because well….obviously. 😉
Join me over the next few months as I chronicle my triumphs and tribulations in diabetic cuisine.

Posted in EDTC300

The Journey Begins

Do you remember back in the early 2000’s where chat rooms were the cool thing and being computer savvy meant you were able to change the colors on your screen name? Well, that was me. Key word: WAS. I think it was right around the mass hysteria of Y2K that my technological skills stopped developing.
I can use my smartphone to scroll through Instagram and Facebook, create PowerPoints with animated slide transitions, but that is about it.
It’s not that I’m averse to technology, but I feel like unless coding and blogging and stuff like that is something I will be using on a daily basis, then why would I need to know how to do it? Yes, yes, I agree with the argument that it is necessary as a teacher to know these things (“You can’t drive the car if you don’t know the way”), but the pace at which technology moves is just so overwhelmingly fast. Now I’m hearing that teens these days don’t even use Facebook because “it’s for old people”?! Am I, at the tender age of twenty-nine, now considered old because I still diligently use Facebook as a primary means of communication? Side note: I have never, probably will never, have Snap Chat. I see Apple products in most of the schools that I have done practicums in, does anyone use Microsoft anymore? Has it gone the way of Oregon Trail and All The Right Type?


 Photo Credit: joshtasman Flickr via Compfight cc

…..I’m really surprised I was able to do successfully insert an image AND give proper credit. There is still hope for me yet!
Anyway, check out my twitter, which I use for school quite often. Twitterverse is still a new concept to me and I mostly use it to check up on how far Donald Trump has his foot in his mouth on any given day. I am a loud and proud YNTEP student so you will see some of my tweets from courses past about oppression, lesson planning, backwards unit design (ack!), and so on: My Twitter Account.

I have learned how to do two new things in this post. Progress!
Up next…adventures in RSS feeds.