Monday, 23 April 2012

I'm Baaa--aaaccckkkk!!

Dear blog, I have missed you.  Life just got in the way and nothing could be done about it.

So, I'm back, by popular demand.....ONE, yes, ONE of my faithful readers messaged me to say that she missed this place!!!  My popularity knows no bounds!!!  ;)

I thought that you might want to know what has been keeping me busy.  To see how well you know me, I've made up a few multiple choice quiz questions.  Okay, let's see, I'll go back a couple weeks.

1.  To celebrate Easter, I:
       a)  Made a big meal and had family over
       b)  Organized and performed a special music package at church
       c)  Couldn't do either of the above - hey, I'm a shift worker, remember?!!  Work trumps fun.
       d)  All of the above

And the answer is.......

d)  All of the above    Super woman, I am NOT, but I did manage to get myself and my musicians organized way back in March with music packages and rehearsals and we spent some time and put together a special Easter Sunday morning service.  I love church on Easter Sunday morning - it just represents the whole reason the church exists, doesn't it?!!  Of course, I had to be organized because, yes, I was booked to work Easter weekend - Good Friday and Saturday found me pounding the halls of HBH.  We even took some time on the Saturday to decorate eggs with the residents.  One elderly fella seemed to enjoy being part of the circle.  We'd show him the latest egg that someone finished and he'd comment "Oh, I wonder what kind of robin laid THAT egg!"  We all giggled for his benefit.  Five minutes later, another egg would be shown to him and, yup, same joke..."I wonder what kind of robin laid THAT egg!"  By the end of the afternoon we were having more than a few giggles at him   his joke that really was new to him each time he told it!  Ah, I smile.  And then, yes, we had Dean's parents over for supper Easter Sunday - always a good day to be with family and it was all nice except for the rebellious turkey (literally) who chose to be tough instead of tender.  Boo.

Okay, next question.

2.  Inspired to lead my own group of musicians into some new and improved musical skills, I taught a seminar on Worship last Saturday.  During my final week of preparation, which of the following did NOT happen:
       a)  I got overly ambitious and went into overdrive and baked my heart out
       b)  I had insomnia
       c)  My aunt passed away
       d)  We took a trip to Waskesiu
       e)  None of the above
       f)  All of the above
       g)  Can you repeat the question?

The correct answer is......

f)  All of the above!  With the deadline looming, we still chose to take an overnight trip to Waskesiu with the boys during the last weekend of Easter break.  The weather was cold and rainy but we had such a nice time.  The cabin was beautiful, we enjoyed the outdoor hot tub and walks through the bush.  Very nice indeed.  Once we got back and my final preparations started, I truly did go into hyper-drive.  I was F-O-C-U-S-E-D, with a capital F.  My stacks of yellow sticky notes that had been collecting for months had to be put into reasonable order, things needed to be written and re-written, organized...yikes!!!  And by the time I would drag myself to bed, I'd be too mentally busy to sleep and so, yeah, some level of insomnia/busy sleeps sustained me as best they could.  Yes, on top of writing the seminar, I decided that serving cookies to my team would be nice and baked more than I needed to.  And, in the midst of all that, my dad's sister passed away without giving any of us any notice that she was going to do that.  I mentally scrambled for a bit, anxious to hear the date of the funeral as Saturday was out for me, due to this seminar.  To my relief, the funeral was Friday, which meant that I could go - and that meant A LOT.  I really wanted to be there and I'm glad I was.  Family is so important.

Next question.

3.  My baking extravaganza turned out:
      a)  Excellent - all three batches of cookies were superb!
      b)  Well, um, hubby said something like "um, well, er, I liked the lemon ones."
      c)  How am I supposed to know?  I never touched them
      d)  A and B
      e)  B and C
      f)  A and C

And the correct answer is......

e)  B and C.  Yeah.  That was the truth, or so my objective judge told me.  It is true (c) - I didn't touch 'em.  That was one of those "I'm baking too much at one time and, yuck, I'll pass on the sugar" moments.  So, they were taken to the seminar on Sat. and Dean reluctantly said that, yeah, one batch was good.  The others.....didn't really make the cut.  I made a peanut butter sandwich cookie (that he felt was, well, only, hmm, one dimensionally peanut buttery).  Then, in the vein of sandwich cookies, I found a recipe for a snickerdoodle sandwich cookie (snickerdoodles sandwiched with brown sugar cinnamon frosting).  He felt the icing was too thick and turned the whole cinnamon thing into overkill.  The last batch, which he liked, btw, was a glazed lemon cookie.  Once I finish this post, I plan to grab a couple of those and a cup o' tea and, hopefully, enjoy.

Okay, last question.

4.  After the insanity of all things Easter/seminar/funeral/concert (forgot to add that we also went to a concert in Saskatoon Friday after the funeral), I worked my regular night shift.  Now I won't even attempt to pretend that one Night shift/month is a hardship, but it was really hard dragging my butt to work last night after all of the busyness of the week.  Nonetheless, I went, and we had a good night and now I'm done nights until the May long weekend comes around.  To recover from all of that crazy busy week/night shift stuff, what did I do today?
      a)  Went to bed with a nice hot magic bag and snored until 3
      b)  Went to bed with a nice hot magic bad and dozed until 11:30 a.m., for heaven sake.
      c)  Started the new day with eggs and toast and a nice big cuppa joe
      d)  Drifted during an afternoon movie under a nice warm blanket
      e)  Begged hubby to cook supper
      f)  All of the above, except (e)
      g)  All of the above, except (a) and (b)
      h)  How the HECK am I supposed to know?????

Well, the correct answer is......

(b), (c), (d), and (e).  Went to bed, but, nah, drifted and didn't sleep much.  Woke, hungry, like I ALWAYS am after a night shift and got hopped up (really?) on carbs, protein and caffeine.  Stayed wide awake  awake through all of some of a movie this afternoon and, yes, hubby cooked supper for me without any persuasion at all.

Which brings me to today's recipe.  I'm posting this recipe partially because we always have to go digging through web sites and magazines, etc., etc. to find it each time we make it.  Should be a little easier to find this time, right?!!  Hmm, wonder if he ever reads this blog?...... 

Anyway, this is his recipe.  He found it, he experimented with it and he cooks it....and we love it.

Its' very fancy name is:  Bucatini All'amatriciana, otherwise known to us as "that cherry tomato/balsamic vinegar spaghetti dish Dean makes".

To make, saute 4 ounces of bacon until crisp, and then crumble and set aside.

Add 2 Tbsp olive oil to a saute pan and saute 1 garlic clove (minced) with 1/4 tsp dried pepper flakes briefly.  Add 1 cup chopped onion and saute until soft.  Stir in 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar and cook 1 minute; then add 3 cups chopped cherry tomatoes and saute for 6 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook 12 ounces of spaghetti until done.  Drain and toss together with the tomato/vinegar mixture and add the bacon.  Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.


So, there, we've caught up.  We're still good?  ;) 

And, by the way, my latest favorite tea latte is black cherry vanilla.  Mmmmmmmmm.