About Me

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Inukjuak, Quebec, Canada
Always up for a new adventure. I love Musicals, photography, my family, road trips, and beads. So far I have been fortunate enough to teach in Japan, South Korea, Kenya, and the Canadian Arctic. Currently in my 5th year in the frozen North and up for any new adventure.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Great Brownie Experiment

This school year I needed a new challenge that would allow me to channel my stress energy into while enjoying something I enjoy.  I decided to try and find the best brownie recipe.  I sent out a call for recipes from friends and families and they did not disappoint.  I cut off the number of recipes to try at 30 due to the amount of chocolate I would need, not to mention sugar etc.  Since roughly September, I have been bringing in different kinds of brownies to leave in the staff room to be tasted and judged by my fellow teachers.  After all, who better to judge than teachers who are generally in severe need of chocolate and sugar on those really tough days.  Huge thank you to all my willing test subjects, I know that you put your taste buds and waistlines on the line for me and my experiment.  I am attaching the document file that includes all the recipes, as well as the notes from the judging.

The top five brownies were as follows:
The Katherine Hepburn (with walnuts), The Double Decker (brownie with white chips layered over chocolate cookie dough), Caramel Swirl (caramel with pecans), Brownies on the Brain (chocolate chips and cocoa nibs), and The Mocha (coffee & pecan).

And the winner is.... a tie! Katherine Hepburn and The Mocha tied for best overall brownie.

List of the competitors
#1 – Original “Fry’s Cocoa” -nice & fudgey, “tastes like chocolate milk”, rich chocolate taste
#2 – Katherine Hepburn (with walnuts) -love the nuts, good chocolate taste
#3 – Peppermint with ganache -“chic” look, good mint flavour, maybe add mint to the white chocolate swirl, “reminds me of girl guide cookies”
#4 – “Oh Chocolate” (two owls cafĂ©) - darker than original, very chocolatety
#5 – “Rich Fudge” Fudge 1 -texture is more like cake
#6 – Mocha (with pecans) -“wow, taste buds blown away”, love the nuts, richer flavor, good classic look
#7 – Cakey Brownies - “like a dense chocolate cake”
#8 – Chewy Brownies - similar to fudge but good
#9  - “Fudgey” Fudge 2 -“nice bite to them, good fudge taste”
#10 – Dulche du leche (Ten special) – nice, couldn’t taste the cayenne but good orange and coconut
#11 – Peanut Butter swirl – a bit dry, need to swirl the pb more
#12 – Brownies on the Brain (with cocoa nibs) – excellent, wow chocolate flavour, almost as if there was booze in them
#13 – Caramel Swirl – mmm caramel, delicious
#14 – Brownie Bouquet “fluffy” – ok but denser than imagined
#15 -  Blondie 1 – more like cookie dough, strong vanilla taste
#16 – Skor Brownies – delicious, love the bits of skor
#17 – Double Chip Brownies – very dark, ‘almost’ too much chocolate with the added chips, not much pb chip taste
#18 – Chocolate Cream Cheese Brownies – nice, slightly fluffy texture, not too much cream cheese taste
#19 – White Chip Orange – meh, not much orange taste, odd texture with the graham cracker crumbs
#20 – Double Decker Black & White – Fantastic, delicious, love the contrast, definitely a favourite
#21 – Guinness Dark Brownies – rich dark flavour, almost like a dark cake
#22 – Caramel Pecan – good caramel flavour, nice ratio of nuts
#23 – Dulche Coffee Brownies – ok, caramel was a bit odd, didn’t use the icing
#24 – Peanut Butter Chip – yummy, good chocolate taste, nice ratio of pb chips, one of the favourites
#25 – Double Peanut Butter Paisley – great pb taste but not really chocolate, difficult to swirl the chocolate syrup
#26 –After Eight Mint Brownies – excellent mint melted taste, dark and not overly sweet
#27 – S’mores brownies – Crumbly with the graham cracker crumbs, marshmallow kinda slips off
#28 – Red Velvet cheesecake brownies – Yummy, very nice 
#29 – Malt Ball Brownies – excellent, nice sugar/caramel flavour

#30 – Pecan pie brownies – lovely, gooey and chocolatey 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Some days....

It has been a crazy month so far and some days it seems like everything is against you.  Freezing weather (hasn't been warmer than -35C since Christmas), cranky students, rush for end of term and report cards, hockey tournaments in and out of town (which means high absenteeism), and wacky internet connections.  This morning at recess I found that a student had tied a rope into an empty noose and hung it in the far stairwell, probably one of the most disturbing things that I have seen in quite awhile.

Today is Friday the 13th and the school just went dark, lights and water are out, but random rooms still have power.  Should have stayed in bed this morning but since I am the teacher that really isn't an option.  Reminds you of that cartoon "But mom I don't want to go to school today" "I know honey, but you have to go, you are the teacher".  Now we wait on maintenance to try and fix the problem.  Personally if it were my choice, I would give in and let the students out to go watch the hockey tournament at the area, it is where they want to be anyway and it would make all the teachers happy on this Friday from hell.