I really wish that my one week blogging break coincided with a real, actual vacation. Rather, I was just out of town over the prior weekend, and in Columbus for two workdays, which threw my schedule off for the entire week. Winnie's Dad and I didn't eat very well last week. In fact, I'm not sure I cooked an actual dinner all week. Not good.
Unfortunately, this week is not going to be much better and so I do not have a menu for you this week. I have commitments after work on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, so aside from leftovers from dinner tonight (slow cooker lasagne), Winnie's Dad is basically on his own for dinner until Friday. I did pick up a frozen pizza, a turkey pot pie, and some soups for him to choose from. Even worse, as I look at my calendar for the next few weeks, I realize Winnie's Dad and I are going to be like ships passing in the night and my meal planning is going to suffer. Maybe March will bring a calmer schedule? I can only hope.
Last weekend was very busy, and a little profitable. Winnie's Dad and I posted three items for sale on Craiglist on Wednesday night, and we had potenial buyers stopping by on Friday evening (sold), and two on Saturday (both sold). In between the visits from non-killers (that "Craiglist killer" moniker sure has people scared of Craiglist), I spent a good part of my day on Saturday making and delivering lasagne to a college friend who is in town for an extended stay and then staring at a spreadsheet. Spreadsheets. Not my forte! But first, let me tell you about the lasagne I made on Saturday.
First off, Winnie's Dad was excited when he woke up on Saturday morning, and entered a kitchen filled with the smells of a batch of lasagne in progress. But, that excitement quickly turned to disappointment when I told him the lasagne was not for us. As soon as it was done, I told him, I would be taking it to a hotel to deliver to a college friend, actually, the older sister of a college friend. The short version of this very long story goes like this. Sorority sister's older sister (who was also in our sorority) lives in South Carolina, married, with three children. Husband needed a liver transplant and his wife, my friend's older sister, matched as his living donor. Husband, his parents, wife, and her Dad, arrived in Pittsburgh the first week of January for the transplant surgeries and extended stay for recovery. My friend's father has been keeping an online journal and I have been following the ups and downs of the couple's recovery. I couldn't stop thinking about this family and wanted to do something to help make their situation and their stay in Pittsburgh a bit easier. I couldn't help medically. I wasn't close enough to them to feel comfortable visiting. So, I decided to cook. That is something I can do, and hoped it would bring them all some comfort to come home from a day at the hospital to a ready-to-cook meal in their refrigerator. That's where the lasagne comes in. So, Saturday morning I made lasagne, delivered it to the hotel and then headed home to stare at my spreadsheet.
Now, the spreadsheet. Well, that might be another long story. Since 2006, I have been a member of a women's group (not Junior League, but close) in my town that does fundraising, volunteering, and has lots of social events. Most members refer to our group as "Juniors", so that's what I will call it here, from now on. I was president of Juniors a few years ago, and have always been very actively involved. I am not really capable of being "slightly" involved in something. I am either all in or all out. This year is no exception. Each year, Juniors selects a charity that benefits local women and children, and then throws a gala to raise money for that charity. I have previously chaired the event, and this year, I signed on to chair the event's silent auction and ticket sales committees. Silent auction is well on its way, with great donations coming in daily and one of my co-chairs in charge of keeping our donation inventory. As ticket sales chair, I'm also responsible for organizing the event's registration, which means creating a spreadsheet for all guests who have purchased tickets. So, that's what I did on Saturday afternoon. We are about three weeks away from the actual event, and I'm feeling much better about my "workload" not that the spreadsheet is started. Turbo Tax is on my agenda for next weekend. Fun. Fun. Fun.
Sunday was not productive and a bit disappointing. The Super Bowl did not bring Pittsburgh its seventh Lombardi trophy. Three turnovers. Really, that is all that we need to say about the game. Though, I could go on and on about what an embarrassement Christina Aguilera was to her hometown--yes, she's from the Pittsburgh area--by messing up the National Anthem or how boring the commercials were this year. The bright side is that Winnie's Dad and I had a fun evening with some great friends, that included chicken wings, nachos and reuben dip. I made the reuben dip and it was pretty good. Though I profess to hate sauerkraut, I guess the better explanation is that I don't like it on its own. Mixed with soure cream and cream cheese, well, that's another story! Here's the recipe, altered for how I will make it next time. There was not enough corned beef in the recipe I used.
1 lb sliced corned beef, diced
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. sour cream
1 c. sauerkraut, very well drained
1 1/2 c. shredded swiss cheese
2 T. ketchup
2 T. spicy brown mustard
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients in large bowl and transfer to a 1 quart baking dish. Bake for at least 30 minutes until bubbly and top is browned. Serve warm with cocktail rye bread.
To ligthen this recipe up, use light or fat free cream cheese and sour cream.