Friday, August 27, 2010

Mexican Lasagna

Some time ago I realized that most of the time I liked my homemade Mexican food much better than the restaurant Mexican food. I don't like the excess of salty cheese and the lack of variety in vegetarian choices (typically, all you can get is cheese, refried beans, and rice) While my food may not be authentic, it offers more and it's good!

So, let me introduce Mexican Lasagna.


  • 1 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 lb zucchini, diced (about 3 cups)
  • 2 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with chilies
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 can (10 oz) mild enchilada sauce or salsa
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • tortillas
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded Cheddar


Heat oven to 400F. Coat a 3-qt round dish with nonstick spray.
Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet; add onion and saute 5 minutes. Add zucchini and cumin, saute another 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, beans, corn, and sauce. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.
Place a tortilla into the baking dish. Top with veggie mix (about 1 1/2 cup) and sprinkle with about 1/4 cup cheese. Repeat 4 times (or as many time as you dish size will allow). Cover with foil and bake 20-25 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

Usually, you can cut it into pretty neat slices. It looks cheerful and tasted great! 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Joys and Frustrations of Being a High School Teacher's Wife

My beloved hubby teaches 10th grade English in a rural school. He can probably write a book on ups and downs of being here. I have my own things to laugh and get angry about. Here are some.

* Shon teaches only one grade, which means he gets new kids every year. And the kids are very curious about me. I mean very curious. Last Friday, a car full of 10th graders stopped at the library's parking lot next to us just so that the kids could get a look at me. On Monday, when I knocked on Shon's door to get a set of keys from him, several boys got off their chairs and ran to the door to see Mr. R's wife. It's funny and I do like positive attention.

* I help Shon grade whatever he brings home. Quizzes, tests, essays - you name it. I help him create tests, too. I guess he is lucky his wife has an English degree and knows the theory of grammar better than most native speakers (just the theory though!!). I wonder how often teachers get that kind of help from their spouses. Does anyone know?

* I get to read young adult literature (which I love almost as much as children books) as catch up on the classics I missed out. Also, I get to introduce Shon to Russian poetry - he even used some in class!

* For some reason, it's very difficult to reach my dear husband when he's at the school. Their email system is set up so that messages "from the outside" don't go through. Cell phones are not allowed. When I called the school the other day during the break (!), the secretary put me on hold for 5 minutes just to tell me Shon couldn't come to the phone, because he needed to stay in his classroom to see the kids off and welcome the next class in. I told her it was an emergency. She asked me who I was. A couple minutes later Shon was on the phone. He said she never called him the first time. It was important, but it was not an emergency. I hate to lie, but how else can I reach my spouse? By the way, parents are allowed to walk into his classroom at any time, even if their kids are not in there. Makes no sense to me!

* I get to meet other teachers. They are cool. I love the English department.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Life is not slowing down.
The house is still in mild disarray, there are still a couple of shelves and pictures to be hung, and curtains to be purchased, and books/papers to sort through. It already is a home though, and that feels really good. I do miss having the dog inside, however.

My first week at work was a little bizarre. There was a lot of time wasted, a lot of things unclear. There is still no contract (and from what I understand, there won't be one). There might, however, be a chance to do photography for the paper, too, which will be an amazing learning opportunity. I would also love to proofread, since the paper really needs it. All the mistakes and missing commas bother me greatly.

I'm driving the truck. There is no progress in my learning to drive stick, since both of us have been too exhausted to drive anywhere in the evening to practice.

I'm finishing another bag, working on 3 hats, and cross-stitching. Shon is looking at cruise deals. Also, I made some delicious barbecued tofu the other night.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Remember how I wrote about the slowness of my life? Well, forget about it! There's been so much going on lately, I don't get a chance to sit down and write it down properly.

So, in the past 2 weeks we:

1. Went to Charleston, SC, to visit our friend from Croatia who was, in turn, visiting there. We met her online 4 or 5 years ago, and then met her in person, when she kindly invited us to schedule our next date in Zagreb. It was really neat to see Zvonka after 4 years, to explore Charleston area, and to swim in the ocean.
From Trip to SC
Zvonka & I on a boat.

2. When we were ready to leave Charleston, the truck we were driving (borrowed from Shon's dad) threw a rod. Right in the middle of heavy traffic, too. We ended up renting a car, driving to my father-in-law's, and borrowing another vehicle from him. Now, this was the second automobile to throw a rod on us since the last days of May.
From Trip to SC
The poor old truck

3. Our friends helped us find a different house to rent! It is bigger, lighter, mildew-free, carpet-free, has a huge sunlit yard, and is CHEAPER! The only downside is that Sunshine has to stay outside. We have moved, but haven't completely unpacked yet, hence no pictures.

4. It looks like I've got a job.

5. Our mechanic offered to sell us an '83 Ford truck for a reasonable price, and literally 2 days after we told him we'd buy it, our friend Katie called and offered us her old Honda for free. We picked up both yesterday. I can't believe that in one day we went from being a car-less family, to a 2-car family. I also can't believe that I have my first car (at the tender age of 27). Who cares that I can't drive a stick? I will learn soon enough!

We feel blessed, overwhelmed, and mostly speechless. I am very, very glad that our God is more faithful than we are.