Lots has happened in the past few weeks! Most importantly, I received a full time position in a grade 5 class! And I’m so excited to have my own class. At first I was a little nervous about teaching intermediate, since I did my practicum before in a grade 2 class. However, I’ve been substitute teaching in all grades over the last two years and so far I’m really enjoying grade 5. I find that the day goes by faster, since there’s always something happening and things to get done, students to help etc. In primary there is a lot more play time, ‘centre’ time, and down time with the little ones. I really enjoy teaching a lesson, being able to introduce new concepts and themes for each subject, and really interacting with the students. So far everything’s going well!
Also in the past week or two it’s gotten an awful lot more chilly. In the morning there is noticeable frost on the ground and windows, making the drive into work look like a frosty winter wonderland. As Adam tells me, I’m lucky to have a short commute to work – only a 15 minute drive! Which i’ll be even happier about when it starts snowing.
All the cold weather and frosty windows makes me want to start decorating for the holidays, so this weekend Adam brought out the boxes of christmas decor. I always love going through them and re-discovering old items or things I had purchased at the end of the holiday season last year. The only thing I’m having trouble with is that we don’t have a mantle or fireplace, and we don’t even really have a shelf/countertop in the living/dining room. So, when I took out the stockings and stocking holder I wasn’t sure where it was going to go. Last year we put it under the TV, on the shelf with the playstation/tv PVR etc. but since we always swivel our TV to face the kitchen etc, it knocks off the stocking holder or you constantly have to move it out of the way. I’m still not sure where they’ll go, but i’m trying to talk Adam into making a ‘credenza’ in the dining room… we’ll see how that goes 😉
For now, i’m gathering my holiday baking recipes together so I can start baking for get togethers. We already have our third annual neighbour get together at our place next Sunday with about 15 people, so I’m trying to get ready early.
I made this cake for a dinner with Adam’s sister and brother-in-law one night and it’s a dense cake, almost like a pumpkin pie meets cake – cake. Since I have a dairy allergy to cow’s milk, I wondered what it would taste like to use goat cheese in the frosting instead of cream cheese, and it was delicious. I would definitely use this frosting on other cakes or even brownies.
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
- big dash of cinnamon, nutmeg
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin - not filling
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup almond milk or other milk alternative
- 1/2 cup soft goat cheese
- 3-4 cups sifted confectioners sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line three 6 or 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, in a medium bowl.
- With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy
- Beat in eggs, 1 at a time.
- Beat in pumpkin; add vanilla
- Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with 2 batches of almond milk; beat until just combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
- Divide batter evenly between prepared pans.
- Bake until cakes are golden brown, edges pull away from sides of pans, and a cake tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
- Transfer to rack to cool.
- beat butter and goat cheese until fluffy, add in icing sugar one cup at a time, beating until light and fluffy.
- Place bottom layer on a cake stand and spread evenly with half the frosting.
- Top with second layer, spread more frosting and top with last layer. finish the top with more frosting and sprinkle with walnuts.