Monthly Archives: October 2007

Payday!

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Today was payday.  In addition to that, I also received the final 10% from my Fund for Teachers grant.  In addition to THAT, I had a very annoying 5th period class.  So, I decided to go grocery shopping.  There is a Harry’s Farmers’ Market (owned by Whole Foods) not far from my school, so I decided to stop there, rather than going far north to the State Bridge location.

My way of decompressing is to wander around the farmers’ market, looking at exotic goods.  I must have been there for an hour and a half.  Here is what I bought:  1 lb. of boneless rib-eye steak (to try out on the George Foreman grill), apple-cherry pork sausage links, lamb mint sausage links,  boneless turkey thighs, pomegranate martini mix, Fox’s ginger crunch creams (not a ginger-lemon biscuit, but still good!), Indonesian sauce packs, grilled asparagus salad, butternut squash and cranberry salad. feta and red pepper dip, hummus, pita chips, white wine, feta cheese, two organic frozen dinners, key lime soda, and hand-milled peanut butter.

I spent my money like poor middle-class trash!  And I still had to go to the grocery store around the corner and get bread and cold medicine!  I found some pan de muertos to bring to school tomorrow.  I also located some cajeta and membrillo to cook with this weekend.  We have had no trick-or-treaters.  I am about to go to bed now!  Oh, the steak was great – I am very picky about steak and usually find it tough.  But this rib-eye was medium-rare to medium and still very tender!  Yay, George Foreman grill!

The Cookie Cupcake Experiment, Part Two (Ginger-Lemon)

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I loved the Oreo Cupcakes so much – but I am striving to come up with my own original recipes. Believe me, this is tough, because there are SCORES of cupcake recipe sites out there! Then, it occurred to me that I could try some other sandwich cookies in place of Oreos. Immediately, the Ginger-Lemon Creme Cupcake came to mind.

I am an Anglophile, so I knew that these kinds of cookies existed. Still, it took trips to two places to find some. I located two boxes of LU Ginger Lemon Cremes at Ingles and bought them both. This is where the expense comes in – there are about 45 cookies in a bag of Oreos, where the LU only had 14 cookies. Since there were only two boxes ($2.99 each), and I knew I would need more crumbs for garnish, I bought a box of Anna’s Swedish Ginger Thins. I had some Lemonheads left over from the Lemon Cupcakes, so I knew I would use them, too.

GINGER-LEMON CREME CUPCAKES
MAKES 22 TO 24

28 ginger-lemon creme sandwich cookies (2 boxes LU or Carr’s)
1 package (18.25 ounces) lemon cake mix (I used Duncan Hines Lemon)
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Zest from 1/2 lemon

Creamy Lemon Icing (recipe below)
About 10 Anna’s Ginger Thins, crushed
About 24 Lemonhead candies

1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners. Set the pans aside.

2. Count out 12 ginger-lemon creme cookies and separate the top and bottom wafers. Make sure each has some of the icing on it. (I find that a knife helps with this – use it to separate the halves, then scrape some of the extra icing for one half and smear it on the other half.) Place one wafer, icing side up, in the bottom of each paper liner. Set them aside. Place the remaining 16 cookies in the Cuisinart and crush them.

3. Place the cake mix, sour cream, oil, eggs, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 1 1/2 minutes more, scraping down the sides again if needed. Add all of the ginger-lemon creme cookie crumbs and fold these into the batter until well incorporated. Spoon or scoop 1/3 cup batter into each lined cup­cake cup, filling it three quarters of the way full. (You will get between 22 and 24 cupcakes; remove the empty liners, if any.) Place the pans in the oven.

4. Bake the cupcakes until they are lightly golden and spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 5 minutes. Place them on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes before frosting.

Lemon Cream Cheese Icing

8 Tablespoons butter, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
Juice from 1 lemon
Peel from 1 lemon
1/4 cup lemon curd
1 packet True Lemon®
6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar

1. Place the butter and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl. (Microwave for 1 minute if they are not softened). Blend with an electric mixer on low speed until fluffy.

2. Stop the machine and add 2 cups of the confectioners’ sugar, the lemon peel, the lemon juice, the lemon curd, and the packet of the True Lemon®. Blend with the mixer on low speed until ingredients are mixed together.

3. Add more sugar (1 – 2 cups) and beat until sugar is incorporated. Add sugar by the cup until a light creamy consistency is achieved. Icing should have enough sugar to harden – melty icing is not neat.

4. Use to frost cupcakes. I was able to ice up to 36 cupcakes, with about 1 cup of icing left over. I prefer to have too much than too little.

5. Top each cupcake with Ginger Thin cookie crumbs and place a Lemonhead candy in the center of the cupcake. Here they are:

lemonginger-cupcakes.jpg

Oreo Cookie Cupcake Experiment, Part One

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I think I am done with the cookie cupcake experiment. I started out with the basic recipe from Anne Byrns’ The Cupcake Doctor:

COOKIES AND CREAM CUPCAKES
MAKES 22 TO 24

30 Oreo cookies (plus 12 more Oreos, cut in half with a serrated knife)*
1 package (18.25 ounces) plain white cake mix (I used Duncan Hines Vanilla)
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners. Set the pans aside.

2. Count out 12 Oreos and separate the top and bottom wafers. Make sure each has some of the icing on it. Place one wafer, icing side up, in the bottom of each paper liner. Set them aside. Place the remaining 18 Oreos between sheets of waxed paper or in a large, closed zipper-lock bag and crush them by rolling over them with a rolling pin. Set these crumbs aside. (I popped them in my Cuisinart and crushed them!)

3. Place the cake mix, sour cream, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 1 1/2 minutes more, scraping down the sides again if needed. Measure out 1 1/2 cups of the crushed Oreos and fold these into the batter until well incorporated. Set aside the remaining crushed Oreos for the frosting. Spoon or scoop 1/3 cup batter into each lined cup­cake cup, filling it three quarters of the way full. (You will get between 22 and 24 cupcakes; remove the empty liners, if any.) Place the pans in the oven.

4. Bake the cupcakes until they are lightly golden and spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 5 minutes. Run a dinner knife around the edges of the cupcake liners, lift the cup­cakes up from the bottoms of the cups using the end of the knife, and pick them out of the cups carefully with your finger­tips. Place them on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes before frosting.

(I found the above directions to be a little confusing. It read like she wanted the cupcakes flipped so that the cookie side was up, but I decided that she was just telling people how to remove cupcakes from a pan…could there be people who don’t know that?)

I used her basic Buttercream Frosting recipe and did NOT incorporate the cookie crumbs:

Cake Doctor’s Vanilla Buttercream: Place 8 tablespoons real butter, at room temperature, 2 teaspoons vanilla and 1 cup powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl. Blend with electric beaters at low speed 30 seconds. Add 3 more cups powdered sugar alternately with 3 tablespoons milk, a tablespoon at a time, blending at low speed. Increase to medium speed and beat until light and fluffy, 1 minute more. Makes 3-1/2 cups.

I iced the cupcakes with the vanilla buttercream, sprinkling Oreo cookie crumbs on top, then planting 1/2 an Oreo cookie in the center. (One bag of Oreo cookies has about 45 cookies, so there will be 3 extra for mess-ups – or to eat!) Here is an illustration:

oreo-cupcakes2.jpg

All I Wanna Do…

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…is sleep, cook, and eat. And that’s pretty much what I did this weekend.

Friday, we all tried to high-tail it out of the school as soon as the kids left – about 12:40 PM. I headed to RuSan, and ordered 7 pieces of nigiri, and – for a change – a “Gone With the Wind” roll. Yummy. I sent my first salmon roe back because it tasted a little old, and they made me another. If I ever have any time off early, or have to stay on that side of town for a late night thing, I always go to RuSan. It’s cheap and good!

My original plan was to go straight home, but I was obsessed with the loss of my cupcake boxes. I thought I might find some more at Michaels’ so I stopped at that shopping center before heading out. BUT, before that, I spied a TJ Maxx Home Goods store, and decided to pop in to look for my latest “must-have” gadget: a Dutch oven. My father had given me an iron Dutch oven a while back, but I think I am not a good cast iron caretaker. I wanted a Le Creuset or something like it, but I didn’t want to pay an arm and a leg.

I ended up with a very beautiful Chantal Talavera enameled iron pot – it’s a very unique shape. I had originally lugged out a traditionally shaped cobalt blue pot, but the Chantal pot caught my attention. I could not seem to find an example of the pot, but it is shaped like this, only in cobalt blue. The lid is beautiful and I will definitely be able to serve from it at the table. I just read an article in Vegetarian Times on One Pot cooking. Of course, I want to try it!

My Oreo cookie cupcakes were a big hit – they were truly awesome! I gave some to my colleagues, both to the testing team (we were doing ITBS testing) and to my department cohorts. I also brought some to my mom when we met her for dinner at Fellini’s that night. I had 4 left, and would not have had any more for myself if I had not come upon my husband starting on the third. I took it from him and explained that, if there are an even number of items to eat in the fridge, that he should only take HALF!

Spurred on by the success of the cookie cupcakes, I immediately started thinking of other cookies to use. This meant that I spent a bit of time Saturday (after I got up at 1PM) looking for a certain ginger cookie with lemon filling. I went by Whole Foods, and didn’t find what I was looking for, but I did buy some awesome lamb sausages, a purple cauliflower, and two Moosewood frozen entrees I had been wanting to try.

I made a great One Pot Meal using my lamb sausages, pasta, potatoes, peppers, onions, and mushrooms. Of course I didn’t follow one of the recipes in Vegetarian Times – I just kind of used them as a guideline. Lamb sausages – yum!

Setting Up Shop

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For the past couple of days, I have been re-tooling my CafePress shop: Maison Celeste.  CafePress is a wonderful resource – I have been using it to sell my designs for years.  I started out with individual shops for each of my designs, because that was the free way to do it.  Then, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase a store.  That way, all of my designs are showcasel-gallo-1.jpged together and there is a coherent theme.

I knew that I needed to re-do some things, but kept putting it off.  Two weeks ago, I made this elaborate inventory sheet with the names of my different shops within Maison Celeste.  I have 76 designs up and counting!  Talk about a daunting task.  CafePress has added so many new items and t-shirt colors, and I felt like I was losing sales because my designs were not offered to their full potential.  I was going to painstakingly go through all of my shops and check off what I was already offering, then go and fill in with the new products.

After doing that for one shop, I knew that was going to take weeks!  Instead, I opted to just re-do them all.  It’s easier than it seems.  CafePress now allows you to mass edit things like shop names, design descriptions, price markup, and deletions.  Then, I learned how to make up product sets for different types of shops and saved them for future use.  That way, I don’t have to go through the process of picking products each time I edit a shop.  I have a different set of products offered with my simple Loteria images, and a more elaborate set to go with larger format designs.  I also plan on re-tooling my collages offerings – I don’t think that people need a thong with one of my works of art on it – although I definitely offer those for appropriate Loteria cards!  ;-)

So far, I have redone Celeste’s Loteria – offering one shop for the simple card designs and one shop for my calendar prints.   I tried making one shop using both, but it got too complicated – I was leaving some things out and making duplicates of otherelvenadolite.jpgs.  I set up a new section with newly Altered Loteria Cards, including two versions of El Gallo, and my lovely Diablito Azul.  Next, I will do the same thing with my Loteria Quilt shop – separating the original cards from their larger calendar formats.

Next week, testing will be done and I will have to return to my normal class routine – forcing students to learn French using a computer.  Today, we can leave at 12:45, so I think I will go and have some sushi for lunch.  I deserve it.  I haven’t been to RuSan’s for a while.  I had invited my mom, but she has to work.  Then, I will go home and probably take a nap.  What else do I do?

I made some lovely Oreo Cookie cupcakes – pictures coming soon.  I got the recipe from the Cake Mix Doctor cupcake book.  Here is a lovely pictorial someone did of their Oreo cupcakes.  They are awesome tasting!   I was going to bring them to school in the cupcake boxes I bought last Sunday, but for the life of me I cannot find them.  It’s maddening!

New Blue Dog Shrine

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For those of you that are unfamiliar with George Rodrigue and his Blue Dog, he is a native of Acadiana – my home for my formative years. Legend has it that my father used to play cards with him a long time ago. Now, he’s an internationally knowordpressbluedogopen.jpgwn artist, with a gallery in Carmel.

I have a little history with Mr. Rodrigue, even though we’ve never met. It started – wow – 10 years ago, I think, on a trip to Quebec with my mother. We went up there after I moved back to Atlanta to teach. We flew up, stayed in Montreal for a while, then drove to Quebec – it was awesome! While I was shopping in Montreal, I came across a store selling large format Blue Dog calendars at a greatly discounted price. I think that they were $2.00 Canadian, which was like $1.25 USD at the time. I immediately bought all of them – I think there were 75 in all.

I had to cart them around until the end of our trip, and it was a bit of a pain getting them checked in on our flight home. I kept a couple for myself – one of which I cut up to make a bulletin board display. I gave one to my best friends, and I gave the rest to my father, who is a bit of a flea market/collector/dealer guy. I didn’t really make any arrangements for reimbursement for his selling them – I think because he had put me up and sent me back to college the year before (allowing me to get re-certified to teach).

One day, maybe 4 years later, I started to become familiar with E-Bay. I was an instant fan, of course, but didn’t do a whole lot of buying at the time. One night, I decided to do a search on the Blue Dog, and an auction for my very calendar came up. The high bid at that time was $275 and it probably sold for more.  I was shocked – of course, I immediately put my calendar up – it was probably my first auction.  I think I made over $300 for that calendar – that I paid $1.25 for!!!  Of course, I was then full of “if only” thoughts and recriminations, pining for the other 74 calendars.  But I got over it.

Then, I started making my little shrines, which were made from unpainted triptych frames I bought at Hobby Lobby.  I had bought a box of note cards with the Blue Dog on them, and decided to frame one of them, painting and decorating the frame.  In case anyone is wondering, what I did was fine.  If you go online or to the French Quarter, people everywhere have bought the cards and matted or framed them for sale individually.  I even went to the gallery in New Orleans and left one of my shrine frames for George.  I never got a thank you, but that’s okay!

I also make shrines to Frida and to the Virgin of Guadalupe, and I am thinking of trying an Elvis shrine.  I was forced to have frames made in China and bought 100 of them, which I am still using.  I also picked up 30 of these awesome Gothic door triptychs at a junk store on Buford Highway.  I was told that they were from a display at Neiman-Marcus.  They are twice as big as my other shrine frames.  I have only just started using thosewordpressbluedogclosed.jpg, because there were a few challenges I had to overcome – including adding a back panel for pictures. I have so far made two Guadalupe shrines with them, and I only have about 25 left.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to frame a page from a Blue Dog agenda (one of 12 that I bought on E-bay).  It takes a bit longer to paint the frame, and I had to figure out how to decorate the outsides of the doors.  The frames were part of a wall display and kind of opened backwards so that they could be hung with the decorative doors on the inside, opening out.  I have put the new shrine on E-Bay, and hope that it sells well.  To see it, check out my E-Bay auctions.

It is day 2 of testing.  This year, ITBS testing is on the same week as Conference Week, so the schedule is really wacky.  In addition to having conferences with my own advisement group, I am doing translation for other teachers.  I will be so glad when the week is over.  Tonight, we stay until 7PM.  Tomorrow, we have a faculty meeting.  It’s like we never leave this place!!!!

The Weekend

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Well, I don’t have a lot to report from this weekend.  On Friday, I went to La Botana after work for a little snack (food commiseration for my horrible 5th period class).  I brought cash, since I am pretty sure that my credit card number was stolen there in May.  I even read a post on AccessAtlanta mentioning a similar experience.  It did not stop the person posting from recommending the La Botana in Lilburn, but they warned people to pay in cash because someone was stealing credit card numbers… Good cheese dip and margarita, though.

On my way home, feeling “re-invigorated”, I called a couple of people.  I called my husband and suggested that we go out and listen to Mudcat, a band I used to hang out with years ago.  I don’t know what I was thinking.  I got home, got into bed and took a nap.  Of course, when I woke up, I didn’t want to go anywhere…  But I had made a promise to my husband, so I dragged my B-hind into the shower and got ready.

It is obvious that I don’t go out often.  In fact, going out two Fridays in a row is a big stretch.  I haven’t seen Danny Dudeck and his band in maybe 5 years?  I have not been to the Northside Tavern, the dive where they play on a regular basis, in a long time either.  Imagine our surprise to get there, only to find cars parked everywhere – for blocks around.  Now, the Northside Tavern is not that large.  Could all of those people be there for Mudcat?

We got more and more curious as we drove around, looking for parking.  Finally, we passed a long line of people waiting to get into an event.  Apparently, a new club had opened.  That’s why the Ethiopian Parking Mafia was out… We didn’t want to pay to park, but finally gave up and drove into one of the temporary lots set up off the street in office building parking lots.  I rolled down my window, and my husband asked the man how much it would be to park there.  He said “Thirty dollars.”  We asked him to repeat himself, sure that we had misunderstood.  Again, he repeated that parking would be $30.  We asked if there was other, less expensive parking available and he said, “Yes, maybe there’s a place for $20.”

We later found out that Atlanta was hosting the BET Awards, and that the after-party was at a club called Compound.  No wonder there were so many Hummers and Escalades about!  We ended up asking the doorman at the Northside Tavern about parking, and he suggested we walk from the West Egg Cafe down the street.  That worked.

On Saturday and Sunday, I was plagued by a sore arm and hand.  My thumb really hurt, so crafting was out.  I went in for a massage on Sunday, and that seems to be helping.  I then went to Perimeter Mall to check out the new Sur La Table store.  That was fun.

Little Altars Everywhere

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pul-set.jpgEvery day, I receive an e-mail message – actually, three – from The Daily OM. This is a new-agey site with an often insightful horoscope, and also a meditation for the day.  Of course, there is also merchandising involved, so I get postings of new items from their store.  Usually, I just trash them, but the Subject of the e-mail read “pop-up altars” and I couldn’t resist.  I love the idea of folding items, and I love to make shrines, so this looked neat.

Of course, they are Hindu and Buddhist altars for meditation,  but there are all sorts of possibilities.  It would make a great idea for an altered book.  It also reminded me of Karen’s Whimsy, a website that has a gallery of Reliquaries that the artist has made from board books.  She has some really super things!

Bonus!  I just found one of the pop up altar books on Amazon.com for only $3.91 from a seller!  I’m getting it to see how it’s made.

Yesterday, I stopped by a cigar shop near my mother’s house.  In the past, I had picked up boxes from the Tinder Box in Lenox Square Mall.  I used to work at Crabtree & Evelyn, and every time I would go down the escalator, I would see piles of boxes outside the store, free for the taking.  That was before cigar box purses braziliasambabox.jpgbecame so popular.  I once got to the point where I had over 50 (maybe even 100… you know I’m a packrat – and had no real idea what to do with them.  I’m not into making purses.  I eventually gave a lot of them away or sold them at garage sales.

Since I have been spreading my artistic wings, I have really been drawn to assemblage art.  And I have started to accumulate boxes:  Altoids tins, AOL tins, and cigar boxes.  So it was with great gladness that I heard that the guys at the cigar place had some to give away.  I came out with at least 20.  Now, I need to make something with them!  I actually got two that had two doors on top instead of the usual 1 hinge.  One of them was very Brazilian, so I gave it to my Brazilian friend.  Isn’t that a cool box?   Now to find something to do with the others!

My Second Job

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Today I worked on a couple of orders.  I sold a Blue Dog Shrine on E-Bay, along with a blue Guaredcrossredux.jpgdalupe Cross.  I’m waiting for the e-check to clear, but I want it to be ready to mail when it does.  My biggest challenge in this biz is getting things shipped on time.  I also sold my green loteria cabinet, a red Guadalupe Cross, and a sheer Guadalupe Shrine.  Good stuff.  I just so often come home lately depleted from school that I don’t have the energy to work on orders.

I am trying to do things ahead of time and THEN put them on E-Bay. But sometimes Sunday night comes around and I just go ahead and put up things for auction.  Then, when they are ordered, I make them to order.  That is also how my Etsy.com shop works.  There are many things – collages, assemblages, and story boxes – that are made, but the crosses and shrines are made to order.  I love CafePress, because I just upload the design, choose the merchandise, and wait for them to do all of the work.

So now I am caught up – I even finished up 5 other sheer shrines tonight.  I really want to do more collages, and I need to frame the ones I have.  I framed two of them, with the help of my mother, for a show last May and they look fabulous.  There’s so much to do – and so little time to do it.  And – I’m paying for a domain name that doesn’t have a website yet!!!!

In addition to all of this is my “real” job.  This week alone, I have done grades for 5 times the students than I am used to teaching, sent out conference letters for parent-teacher conferences next week (I will also be translating as needed), started a new unit with my students, and I still have to complete my lesson plans and the curriculum map for my course.  No wonder I’m tired!

Oh, while listening to the latest CraftyPod podcast, I found another cool podcast website.  It’s called Good Food.  I listened to a great podcast that touched on – among other things – chestnut pizza, Paris markets, water in West Africa, and chilies.  Then, I hit the jackpot:  Eyeball Tacos!!!  I live for that stuff!  Now, I wish I was teaching Spanish!  I would definitely have my students read that!!!

I don’t know if I got to talk about the tacos de sesos (brain tacos) that I had in Morelia – I also had some brains in Atlixco.  I have to say that I was not that impressed.  They had a similar taste and texture to cooked oysters.  But eyes!!!!  I don’t know if I even have the “guts” to try that!  So, I need to get myself to Santa Barbara or Chicago to see.

Okay, time for bed.

I heart Quia!

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I have just put the finishing touches on my 1st quarter grades – they are due tomorrow. I have been experimenting with weighting grades. I-Cue, our grade program, has a system where you set up categories for your grades. I have tests, quizzes, classwork (I have been too chicken to assign homework so far), grammar & mechanics, and participation. I can make certain grades “count” more – hence the weighting.

In case you are a new reader, I am a French teacher who has been assigned to teach my foreign language with a software program called Rosetta Stone. You may have seen ads for it on late-night TV or in the airport. It was originally created to teach travelers and business people another language, I think. Now, they are marketing big-time to home schoolers and apparently to public schools.

So far, my class is virtually paperless. I have workbooks, but the students cannot write in them. (Of course, they still do…) I started out by having them write out the exercises on paper, but we all knew that I wasn’t going to grade those. One of my fellow teachers told me about Quia – a website for teachers. She is using it for Spanish.

There, I am able to make games for my students – cool flash games like Battleship, Rags to Riches, Hangman, Concentration, Word Searches, Scavenger Hunts, etc. I haven’t made my own games yet, but I have chosen games from other teachers to use in my French class. I created a class page, and entered in all of the workbook pages from Rosetta Stone. Now, my students just type in the answers and they are automatically graded for me! I also made up reading comprehension quizzes for the Student Study Guide, Rosetta Stone’s very dry grammar book.

Right there, I have about 20 grades for my class! Rosetta Stone keeps track of the students’ progress, too. I can generate reports on all of the units and quizzes they have completed. Those grades have to all be over 80 or the student has to retake the test. That makes 30 grades per unit, plus a unit test.

I also plan on making use of E-Pals, a website where you can give your students a monitored e-mail account. I plan to use that to find correspondents for my students in various francophone countries. So far, schools from France, Belgium, Martinique, and Guadeloupe have agreed. I have used E-Pals before, but this is 5 times the scale I am used to.

Other sites I might use this year (along with my notes):

Free French Lessons Online – kind of goofy

There is a video of differences between France and U.S.: – Students can make a Venn diagram with comparisons, which range from: 24 hour clock, backwards month and day, titles, both hands on the table, bread on the table (not on the plate), not much ice, no free re-fills, nring a gift for dinner, no right turn on red, etc.

This is a site from a British school – too complicated – but cool options for reading, fill in blanks dictation

French shop pix with descriptions

U.K. standards for online French lessons

This is awesome! French in Action on streaming video. This is an old series that uses TPR and only French to teach the language. Show on projector?

BBC series Ma France – really cool – with grammar and activities. Videos have French and English subtitles that can be turned on and off.

French Steps – beginner course

travel videos – short – have France, Belgium, Switzerland, Quebec – Spain has a neat video of the Andalusian School of Equestrian Art

The Travel Channel – search for French video clips – yes! Accessible by school computers! France, Vietnam, Morocco (?), Cambodia, Tahiti, French Polynesia, St. Martin (11 videos, incl. French food)