Healthy Go-To Recipes

from All-Over the Web

Today I want to share with you some of my favorite “healthy” recipes from all over the web.

I’m guilty like everyone else every January in redirecting my attention to healthier living. Is that a bad thing? Nah, I don’t think so. Even when I’m more conscious of maintaining healthy living over the holidays, I always feel I need a refresh and reboot in the weeks following. I’m usually sick of the sweets and crave vegetables more than ever.

This year more than anything, rather than focusing on what I “shouldn’t” eat to be healthy, I want to shift my attention more simply to what I SHOULD be eating. How can I get one more serving of veggies into my day? Did I eat at least one piece of fruit?

In the first couple months of the year, Drew and I eat at home more than ever. Last year I recall eating at home every meal in January, literally – not even takeout. I think it was more about the challenge for me than anything, but we did, and it was great! In doing so, I discovered some of the recipes I’m about to share with you today.

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Friday Finds

Cherries, a Mystery, and NBC Chimes

Last week Drew and I took a three-day getaway to Pennsylvania. We had our eyes set on Hershey and the Yuengling factory tour in Pottsville – yes, I spelled it right, it’s really “Pottsville.”  (For those of you who may be wondering what Yuengling is, it’s a beer made in Pennsylvania and my husband’s favorite). He was thrilled when he found out it’s coming to Indiana in February!

This photo is in front of the factory.

This one is right on the other side of the street and is their newly remodeled museum/store/tasting building. I just had to show you because I thought the front of the building was beautiful!




While on our trip I was able to catch up on some leisure reading including this crazy but true Mystery in Six Parts.



With eighteen hours in the car, we also listened to this podcast on 99% Invisible about the NBC Chimes. I figured since the NBC chime-theme is what many use to identify a Major 6th, you may find it interesting.

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Evernote: An Independent Music Teacher’s Handbook

Part 2 - Web Clipper [Video]


Helloooooo, 2017!

There are three times each year that the seasons give me a chance to feel refreshed and invigorated.

  1. The last week of May after the school year lesson schedule comes to an end and I’m preparing for a lighter summer schedule.
  2. The middle of August gearing up for Fall lessons to resume (this is the time I feel most refreshed and in order).
  3. NOW. The turn of the year when I have a chance to reflect and re-consider goals, organization, and life in general.

Many of us, during at least one of these three points in the year, realize it’s time to refresh and reorganize our studios.

January is one of my slower months of the year. It’s cold; there are no holidays, conferences, festivals, or recitals.

It’s the perfect time to rethink how you work including organizing your studio physically and digitally.

Evernote is the perfect program to help independent music teacher in this area. Today I’m going to walk you through the perfect little tool that will be your best friend on the internet and your mobile device for capturing and organizing life – the Evernote Web-Clipper.

Before that…

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Friday Finds for a New Year

(Plus Piano Safari Winner!)

Congratulations to Kristen Rendall, winner of December’s Piano Safari giveaway!

Here are a few fun stats as we wrap up our last episode of Friday Finds for the year.

Since Piano Pantry’s kick-off in March of 2016, I’ve shared 293 finds, and received 53 comments on 36 Friday Finds posts for 2016.

Can I tell you something? I LOVE it when you comment – even if it’s a short one! As a blogger, you can see the stats, but the numbers are just that – numbers. It’s getting a chance to read the words and thoughts of you, my readers and getting to interact with you that makes it so much more fun, so keep it up in 2017!

You would think after sharing 293 things I would be completely out, but quite the contrary. Absorbing content is something I love doing and I promise to only ever share finds that I feel are completely worth your time to check out.

Here’s what’s on my mind as we take a turn into the new year:

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Piano Pantry’s Best of 2016

As 2016 comes to a close, I’m looking back at this past year and can’t believe what a whirlwind and blessing it has been. It’s been a year of opportunity, growth, challenges, and firsts.

Today I would like to share with you a personal reflection as well as the best posts from Piano Pantry in its first year.



This past year, I decided not to make any “New Years Resolutions” but to instead, sit down and set specific goals for myself. Evernote guru Michael Hyatt wrote a post How Evernote Can Help You Achieve Your Goals in 2015 that I used as inspiration.

Speaking of Evernote if you missed it, check out my post on using Evernote as an independent music teacher.

Evernote: An Independent Music Teacher’s Handbook

One of those goals was to start this blog and my studio website by March 1 (the latter of which I accomplished this summer). This site’s first post  Welcome to My Studio was published on March 20 right before I left for the MTNA conference in San Antonio. Check!

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Evernote: An Independent Music Teacher’s Handbook

Part 1 - Studio Organization [Video]

When I first started teaching piano as an independent music teacher, I learned quickly there was more to the profession than being a pianist and pedagogue. I was managing a business and, in a way, people. Tasks like tracking student information, lesson plans, overall student progress, music to be ordered, recital participation and repertoire lists, became a big part of the job.

Before Evernote…

I would find myself unable to recall materials I needed to purchase when I happened by the music store unplanned.

Oodles of information and ideas in which I intently made notes during sessions at local, state, or national conferences found themselves in paper stacks, with never a second glance.

Valuable and detailed advice regarding iPad to midi capabilities I read in a Facebook thread were later fuzzy in my mind when I needed it most. When I tried to find it, the conversation found itself lost in a sea of never-ending social-media posts.

If you’re like me, you long for anything that will streamline the business side of what you do. While today’s digital world offers many tools and applications to help us manage and organize the tasks we juggle on a daily basis, there’s one that stands out: Evernote.

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Friday Finds

Chordtown Christmas and a Virtual Piano

Friday Finds (1)


The Plucky Pianista has a new website and it’s purty. I would totally use my name for my website too if it weren’t already taken by a James Beard award-winning chef!


The type of post few piano teachers and/or bloggers write. Thank you Rosemarie.


These Colgate Wisp’s are great to keep in your purse, or in the console or glove-box of the car for a quick mouth refresher!


My discovery is a little late for this year but I’m now looking forward to next Christmas as I’ll have both Anne Crosby Gaudet’s Chord Town Christmas and Irina Gorin’s new Christmas Collection that goes along with Tales of a Musical Journey.

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Friday Finds

Amy with Paul Badura-Skoda


As I was rifling through some old files of my graduate years, I came across this photo I had completely forgotten. Austrian pianist and recording artist Paul Badura-Skoda is by my side after he performed a concert in 2009 at the local arts center (called Arts Place) in my hometown here in Indiana.  I also had the privilege of being the designated transport for him, to and from the Indianapolis airport.

(I’ll admit I had never heard of him previously as I’m not completely in the know-how of famous classical pianists. Still, I think it was pretty cool I had that opportunity.)

The fact that I had completely forgotten about this makes me realize how beautiful photos are at capturing moments of our lives.

Can I tell you quickly how I got to this place? (Feel free to jump down to this week’s finds below but if you have a few minutes, I promise it’s a good and short story)!

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Piano Safari

Stuffed Animal Shopping Guide and Book Giveaway



Piano Safari has been a method on my radar since the first version of the books came out. I’ve known about it since (I’m guessing) 2008. Julie Knerr, one of the authors, went to grad school with a girl I did my undergrad studies with (they may have even been roommates-I can’t remember for sure). My friend told me about the method, and I haven’t looked back.

I was drawn to Piano Safari due to my disappointment with the technique books on the market. I hated them to be quite frank. I didn’t feel they were effective and they were…well, what they were – exercises – and boring to boot. Even though most technique books do correlate with what the students are learning in the lesson book, I never felt the transfer of learning happened.

It wasn’t until 2013 that I started using the method heavily. With the increased use came the desire to maximize on the “fun” of the safari theme more with stuffed animals.

Building up my safari-theme animal collection was a bit of a chore! I remember asking the authors where they got theirs but mostly I was on my own finding them. Today, I hope to help YOUR search a little easier than mine.

I’ll be sharing not only where I purchased the animals but why they’re a good investment, how I use and even store them.

If you stick around to the end, there’s a bonus giveaway! It’s my first giveaway here on Piano Pantry so I’m pretty excited about that!

Now, onto the nitty-gritty of this post.

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Friday Finds

Bubble Wrap Voicing and Triscuits


Brought to you by “Amy’s lunch on Tuesday.”

My intrigue with the limited edition Pumpkin Spice Triscuit was rewarded when I found they were quite tasty! They have just the right amount of seasoning, and while they held their own all alone, they would be awesome with a cranberry cheese ball or some sharp cheddar. Well, everything goes with sharp cheddar in my opinion!

This recommendation is of my accord. Triscuits is not paying me to proclaim their goodness.


Creative practice trackers. The piano key layout is a nice touch too.


Bubble wrap to teach voicing – brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, Christopher Fisher!


While I believe in letting students “take a break” over the holidays if they want, encouraging holiday practice by having students get autographs from those for whom they performed is a fun idea. Even if they don’t “practice,” keeping them playing is the most important thing, and our students can never get enough performance opportunities.


pe-2-pedal-extenderThe PE-2 Pedal Extender from DPH Music Arts is put to a lot of work in my studio. I would buy it over and over again.

They are having a Thanksgiving Promotion -20% off until 11/27/2016.  Order online at  to get the discount.

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