weekly dish {2/17/2013}

wpid-weekly-dish.jpgLots of stuff was going on this week. Tuesday was Fat Tuesday–or what I lovingly call it, Paczki Day. I bought some paczkis for the staff in my classroom at work; I myself had an apple filled paczki. Funnily enough, I had the delectable donut on my 150th day of no sweets. (To clarify, I know donuts are unhealthy, but I don’t consider them a sweet. They’re just as unhealthy as a plate of pancakes/waffles, a pouch of pop tarts, etc. I view it as a breakfast food that I just try to steer clear from more often than not.) I don’t want to seem redundant in my photos, but below is a picture of my paczki (which you can see a few blog posts back). On the rare occasion I have a donut, it has to be from this local bakery in my hometown (which I drive through every day to and from work). Anyways, I just have to tell you that this guy with whom I attended high school is going through whatever it’s called to become a priest (I apologize for my lack of Catholic-knowledge) and he’s studying right now in Italy. He actually got to distribute communion at the Pope’s Ash

dueling pianos

dueling pianos

Wednesday mass, his last public mass as pope!! I’m not very religious, but that is pretty cool ๐Ÿ™‚ Thursday we had a Valentine’s Day party at work and one of the kids turned 10, too. As with the past holiday parties, it was a little hectic, but a nice break for the kids. Friday we took them on a field trip to the local police station–the school’s DARE officer led the tour and he was super amazing with our special kiddos. Then we took them to Chili’s–our community learning experiences often end with lunch in a restaurant because those social skills are something they need to learn. Last night (Saturday) there was a fundraiser that my brother-in-law arranged for his volunteer fire department. It was a dueling pianos show and dinner–SO GREAT! The piano players were really funny and just suited for the audience ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope they do this again next year. This afternoon, Nick and I went to the nearby zoo. His mom wanted to go see what Nick had done there (about a year ago, his company did some work on some steel doors and structures). Her idea of wanting to go to the zoo for her birthday–in 20-degree weather–was about as bright an idea as me asking to go skiing for my birthday (which is in the end of August). But I’ll admit, it was nice to see the animals–usually I just go in December to see their Christmas light displays, not the animals ๐Ÿ˜›

I’m very sad that tonight is the (US) season finale of Downton Abbey! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I guess that is the bad thing about having 50-minute episodes, with some specials even longer–long episodes means short seasons. But at least tonight’s episode is to ย be 1.5 hours. And I must say that I’m VERY mad about the huge spoiler they let loose during the preview last Sunday concerning Mary and Matthew–I suspected it would come, but I would have rather been surprised!! On another note, I’m currently readingย The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier. It is sooo good! I love the setting, probably because it’s set in Ohio and I can really relate to the landscape the characters paint. Earlier this week, I finally finished reading the unabridged version ofย The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas…all 1462 pages, which took me over a year to read (because other books sidetracked me). So glad that I can officially say the ABRIDGED edition ofย COMC is my favorite book of all time ๐Ÿ™‚

IMAG1515

elephant louie (that steel tree was one of nick’s projects)

Monday it was supposed to be warm when I went to work, but it wasn’t warm at all. So I ran home and went back into town and tried out the step class at the gym with the instructor I hadn’t been with yet. It was okay, but I felt like I barely broke a sweat. I think I like the cardio part of the step classes with the original instructor I had. On Tuesday it was fairly nice outside, so I went for a run after work–6.06 miles. I was slower than my last long run, but (and I’m not trying to make excuses) I did have to use the bathroom after about the first mile ๐Ÿ˜• Didn’t want to push myself too hard, if you know what I mean. Wednesday was step again, but with that initial instructor. Thursday I was supposed to do some upper body work with a friend, but she got tied up at school and I don’t like hanging around town for hours to work out anyways (my gym is on my way home from work, so I will wait for about an hour for some classes, but much longer than that and I just go early alone and get home). I used one of the ellipticals that friend introduced to me (there are 4 different kinds at the gym) and I love it! Lets me choose my stride length and elevation as I go, instead of just the predetermined back-and-forth most machines have. Friday I skipped :O But Saturday was a third step class with the second instructor, with a toning portion added on to it at the end. Her cardio was a lot better this time! Today Nick and I took his parents and brother to the nearby zoo, so that 2-hour walk was my workout!

This Past Week’s Cooking

…did not include those sweet potato burgers I’d mentioned ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Nick has been eating a lot of turkey bacon this past week for his diet, which made me CRAVE brinner. So I did make some pancake waffles (I’m not a flipper, so I just put the pancake batter in the waffle iron ๐Ÿ˜› ) and scrambled eggs a couple nights this week. I could’ve made healthier whole wheat pancakes, but I have Bisquick and I’m trying not to waste any food.

my brinner

my brinner

On Monday I did attempt to make some baked sweet potato fries. I wasn’t sure how they’d turn out, so I seasoned some with season salt, others just salt and pepper, and some I left “blank”. They tasted funny. I’ve never had them before, fried or baked, so I wasn’t sure what they’re supposed to taste like. I made them the same way I make them with regular potatoes. But the insides were a little mushy (as I’d expected), but tasted a little cold? So I think I might actually look up some recipes for baked sweet potato fries and see what others have to say as far as temperatures and baking times goes. I’m not giving up on them yet!

various baked sweet potato fries

various baked sweet potato fries

And I didn’t cook it myself, but it was delicious!!

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apple cinnamon paczki

On the Menu

We are having a family dinner with my family on Wednesday, and I was in charge of bringing the bread. So I’m making two types, both of which I think will accent my dad’s meatloaf nicely:

dilly onion dinner rolls

spiced sweet potato biscuits

I’ve made the Dilly Onion Dinner Rolls once before and thought they were really tasty! As for the Spiced Sweet Potato Biscuits, that’s really just something I want to try because I have the sweet potatoes to experiment with ๐Ÿ™‚

I already started this process and will finish it tonight, no doubt. I’m dying to find out how this tastes:

pb & banana ice cream

It is truly made of these two ingredients, the pureed banana being the creamy base. If it’s good, I might see what it tastes like with some cocoa puffs added, as a sort of “chocolate sprinkle” ๐Ÿ˜›

And maybe, just maybe, I’ll get around to trying out the sweet potato burger from last week ๐Ÿ˜€

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