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November 25, 2014

Cream Cheese and Cheese Balls: A Thankful Teacher's Tale

By Meghan Everette
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

    There are few things I like in this world more than cream cheese. It is really a decadence, a standby, and a simple staple all in one. Guys, it is cheese. And it is creamed. And it is oh, so delightful. I’m thankful that I have more than enough food. I’m thankful for some soft corners. And I’m thankful that cream cheese helped put them there. Cream cheese is a food for people that have more than they need. I’m lucky to be one of those people.

    When I think of the things I’m most thankful for in my life, I have the standard family, friends, and basic necessities. But because I’m a teacher, I also have to think about my job. Perhaps more than most, teachers live their careers. Being a teacher is as engrained in my life as anything else. It isn’t a job where you arrive in the morning and clock out at the end of the day. Teaching knows no limits, and I’m thankful.

    Why? Wouldn’t it be easier to leave it all behind at 3 p.m.? Maybe. But my own children have teachers that don’t clock out, and I’m thankful. I had teachers put in the extra hours, and I’m thankful. I had professors go the extra mile, and I’m thankful. I want that for my children as well. I’m a teacher. I’m blessed to have biological children and a class full of adoptees. My children; teachers never just mean the kids at home.

    • I’m thankful for my family that puts up with a budget spent on my classroom, hours toiling at the computer, and sprinklings of classroom crafts around the house.

    • I’m thankful for my friends; the co-workers that know when you need a soda and a hug, give you their extra copies, let you rifle through their supplies, and take care of the field trip paperwork.

    • I’m thankful for the experiences and influences I’ve met in traveling and attending conferences this year. Each time I come away more excited, rejuvenated, and ready to tackle the world. The group of social media PLN folks I’ve met this year keep me looking forward and excited about education.

    • I’m thankful for my parents that care so passionately for their child that they send notes, make phone calls, show up to conferences, and double-check that I graded everything just right.

    • And I’m thankful for my students; the kids that love me unconditionally, try their best to impress me, challenge me to be better, and cheer when I’m back after a missed day. And to my cheese balls, the ones that make me laugh every day with a sideways glance or a carefully crafted line, thank you for the joy you bring to my classroom and my life.

    Thank you for reading, friends. I reward you with the most wonderful gift I can give: easy and tasty uses for cream cheese so that you can maximize those few hours between when the closing bell rings and when you need to entertain your guests. You can also download a blank recipe card to share your own treats with friends. I hope this season finds you with full bellies and full hearts.

     

    Chipped Dip Turkey

    Stir together chipped beef and cream cheese, and then add pecan halves for decoration. I usually make this into an owl shape, but the salty treat transitions easily to a fun turkey.

    ingredients for chipped beef turkey appetizerlaying pecanschipped beef turkey

    recipe for chipped dip turkey

     

    Cream Cheese Cornucopia

    Top cream cheese with seasoning and bake in croissant dough. Serve warm for a treat that can be eaten alone or with crackers. If you feel particularly festive, mold the cheese and dough into a cornucopia shape before baking.

    cream cheese criossantsprinkle with seasoning cooked cream cheese

    recipe cream cheese corucopia

     

    Sweet Thankfulness

    Stir powdered sugar, cream cheese, and mini chocolate chips together for a sweet dessert treat. If you feel like getting fancy, brown sugar and vanilla make nice additions as well. Serve with graham, animal, or vanilla crackers.

    chocolate chip dip recipe chocolate chip cream cheese dip

     

    What are you thankful for this holiday season?

     

    There are few things I like in this world more than cream cheese. It is really a decadence, a standby, and a simple staple all in one. Guys, it is cheese. And it is creamed. And it is oh, so delightful. I’m thankful that I have more than enough food. I’m thankful for some soft corners. And I’m thankful that cream cheese helped put them there. Cream cheese is a food for people that have more than they need. I’m lucky to be one of those people.

    When I think of the things I’m most thankful for in my life, I have the standard family, friends, and basic necessities. But because I’m a teacher, I also have to think about my job. Perhaps more than most, teachers live their careers. Being a teacher is as engrained in my life as anything else. It isn’t a job where you arrive in the morning and clock out at the end of the day. Teaching knows no limits, and I’m thankful.

    Why? Wouldn’t it be easier to leave it all behind at 3 p.m.? Maybe. But my own children have teachers that don’t clock out, and I’m thankful. I had teachers put in the extra hours, and I’m thankful. I had professors go the extra mile, and I’m thankful. I want that for my children as well. I’m a teacher. I’m blessed to have biological children and a class full of adoptees. My children; teachers never just mean the kids at home.

    • I’m thankful for my family that puts up with a budget spent on my classroom, hours toiling at the computer, and sprinklings of classroom crafts around the house.

    • I’m thankful for my friends; the co-workers that know when you need a soda and a hug, give you their extra copies, let you rifle through their supplies, and take care of the field trip paperwork.

    • I’m thankful for the experiences and influences I’ve met in traveling and attending conferences this year. Each time I come away more excited, rejuvenated, and ready to tackle the world. The group of social media PLN folks I’ve met this year keep me looking forward and excited about education.

    • I’m thankful for my parents that care so passionately for their child that they send notes, make phone calls, show up to conferences, and double-check that I graded everything just right.

    • And I’m thankful for my students; the kids that love me unconditionally, try their best to impress me, challenge me to be better, and cheer when I’m back after a missed day. And to my cheese balls, the ones that make me laugh every day with a sideways glance or a carefully crafted line, thank you for the joy you bring to my classroom and my life.

    Thank you for reading, friends. I reward you with the most wonderful gift I can give: easy and tasty uses for cream cheese so that you can maximize those few hours between when the closing bell rings and when you need to entertain your guests. You can also download a blank recipe card to share your own treats with friends. I hope this season finds you with full bellies and full hearts.

     

    Chipped Dip Turkey

    Stir together chipped beef and cream cheese, and then add pecan halves for decoration. I usually make this into an owl shape, but the salty treat transitions easily to a fun turkey.

    ingredients for chipped beef turkey appetizerlaying pecanschipped beef turkey

    recipe for chipped dip turkey

     

    Cream Cheese Cornucopia

    Top cream cheese with seasoning and bake in croissant dough. Serve warm for a treat that can be eaten alone or with crackers. If you feel particularly festive, mold the cheese and dough into a cornucopia shape before baking.

    cream cheese criossantsprinkle with seasoning cooked cream cheese

    recipe cream cheese corucopia

     

    Sweet Thankfulness

    Stir powdered sugar, cream cheese, and mini chocolate chips together for a sweet dessert treat. If you feel like getting fancy, brown sugar and vanilla make nice additions as well. Serve with graham, animal, or vanilla crackers.

    chocolate chip dip recipe chocolate chip cream cheese dip

     

    What are you thankful for this holiday season?

     

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