Weekend in Review: 1/17-18

This weekend was…long-awaited.  I had a crazy work week (seriously – I’ll be telling stories about it over drinks for years, and mine will always beat yours).  So, I needed a little more decompression time than usual and didn’t get as much done as I would have liked.  Still, it was not entirely unproductive.

1 – I finished my freezer clean-out and inventory.  I was actually very pleased that I didn’t find anything ancient and/or unlabeled.  I went so far as to actually wash out the inside of the freezer (not as bad as you may think; an advantage of having a small one).  I have a friend who keeps a current freezer inventory on the outside door, and it always struck me as a good idea, so we’re going to give it a try.

The inventory included 5 pounds of freshly-chopped onions, which is part of my meal-prep plan.  As you can see, we don’t have a ton of space for complete freezer meals, so instead, I’m trying to stock up on individual ingredients that will save us time and effort.  So far, I’ve got onions and chicken stock.  That should get us halfway through a lot of recipes, right?

2 – Well, unless I’m not seeing it up there, I skipped #2 in my photos.  Freebie!

3 – Also on the freezer inventory was 7 dozen peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.  I made a double batch of the Joy of Cooking recipe (which I had never actually used before).  The pattern on the top is courtesy of the plunger from my food processor – much easier than forks!  The “samples” we baked up were fantastic, so this will be our new go-to recipe.

The rest of them are now in a big bag, waiting to be baked fresh whenever we feel the need for a lazy dessert.  Johnny’s a great cook, so I know we’ll never starve, but dessert is my domain and I’d hate to deprive him indefinitely.

4 – I love having a reliable go-to recipe for things I make on a semi-regular basis, rather than searching my cookbooks and internet history trying to find one that looks familiar.  The cookie recipe I mentioned about will go in that file, as will the French toast recipe I finally found and loved on Saturday morning (I have to admit that I did alter it a bit by using half-and-half rather than cream).  It had the perfect amount of sweetness and was perfect with our day-old Costco baguettes.

5 – Saturday was just a little warmer than the few days, so I was able to make progress on an ongoing craft project.  It’s a (now-belated) birthday gift, so I’m not going to share any pictures yet except to point out that I’m dealing with something apparently explosive at this point.

6 – It was warmer, and then yesterday dawned with a nice little episode of freezing rain.  I’m grateful for my Costco-sized ice scraper, and someone else to do the work.

7 – Aaaand, I had to share this because while it may look like any old phone call, this is one of two grown men who went from talking about football championships to hashing out Downton Abbey plots.  I believe they Lady Edith was the topic when I took this photo.  Love you, dear!

8 – Thanks to an awesome giveaway by Caitlyn, I am now the proud owner of a few bars of handmade soap from Durham Soap Shoppe.  I only just got it in the mail, and put it out last night, but I’m already pretty sure it’s going to be part of the solution to my chronically dry hands (thanks a lot, housecleaning + winter + pregnancy).  The one pictured is Eucalyptus-Lemon, which smells completely heavenly.

Normally, I might have saved them for a “special occasion” that never actually arrived, but I had just read a post called “Burn the Candles” (via Art of Simple), and well, I think I’ve got some nice gifts to start using up.

9 – My getting-stuff-done companion this weekend was the audiobook of Pontoon by Garrison Keillor.  I was trying to describe it to Johnny, and got as far as, “Well, I’m 8 chapters in, and we’ve progressed about…5 minutes, plot-wise.”  Basically, it’s exactly what you’d expect from Garrison Keillor, and you’ll either love it or hate it.  I think it’s perfect to have on while working, but fair warning: if you fall asleep while listening, you will never find your way back to where you left off.  You would just get lost in sentences that last 7 minutes, and tangents about the time Evelyn drove to Minneapolis.

As you can see from the Goodreads widget on the sidebar, I’m juggling a lot of books right now.  With some of them, I’m up against library deadlines, and there are others I’d like to finish before the baby comes.  My goal is to make time to read everyday without feeling guilty for not doing other things.  I’ve been fairly successful at doing it at lunchtime, or right before bed.

I’ll leave you with a photo I call View Through the Windshield on a January Morning.

IMG_0970

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