Weekend recap

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

You'll have to excuse my lack of posting yesterday (and every day, really. I've been slacking). I was off of work yesterday because Martin Luther King Jr. Day is what my college likes to consider "a day on, on a day off". If that doesn't make one lick of sense, let me explain:

Civic engagement and volunteerism is a HUGE facet of our school's culture and we strongly encourage both students and staff to actively donate their time and service to our community. In fact, our annual O'Bannon Institute was created to celebrate our commitment to civic service and each year we promote mass volunteering projects as well as host forums that address local issues related to nonprofits, education and politics (this year our keynote speaker will be Colin Powell. No big deal or anything. *brushes shoulder off*).

So while yesterday was a holiday (and an opportunity to sleep in), myself and a small group of employees volunteered some of our time at the Hoosier Hills Food Bank. We folded hundreds (probably thousands, really) of plastic bags that are going to be stapled to postcards and placed in mailboxes in hopes that people will fill the bags with canned goods and donate them to the food bank.

So what else did I do this weekend?

I was a baking/cooking fool!

Friday night we had a small dinner party with Colby and Ireli, and I was tasked with bringing dessert. Since work has been hectic, I had tor rush home that evening and throw an apple pie into the oven without much pomp and circumstance. Sometimes I'm such a perfectionist that using store-bought filling and crusts hurts my ego, but I was in a major time crunch and just needed something edible to serve my friends.

On Sunday evening, we had dinner and drinks at Dan and Emily's house and I made up my mind that I was bringing something positively delicious this time. I didn't have a lot going on during the day on Sunday, so I got to work on recipe for Brownie Refrigerator Cake that I saw floating around Facebook last week.

People "share" random recipes on Facebook all the time, but this is the first one that caught my eye. Brownie Refrigerator Cake is quite simple: Bake a layer of brownies, top it with a layer of whipped cream and cream cheese, then add a layer of pudding, and then add another layer of whipped cream. Top with chocolate chunks or syrup, and store in the fridge until it's time to serve.

Sounds simple and amazing, right? IT WAS.

Dirt Pudding is probably my all-time favorite dessert, and that is exactly what Brownie Refrigerator Cake reminds me of. It was sinfully good. It was creamy and decadent without being too rich or too sweet. The perfect dessert.

And I Instagram-ed the shiat out of it:




If only pictures were lick-able.

On Monday evening, after I returned from volunteering at the food bank, I tried yet another new recipe. This time, it was a dinner idea I found on Pinterest.

Seriously, social media has enhanced the food I consume tenfold.

This weekend was cold and we got a little bit more snow, so it only seemed fitting that I make a big batch of soup to keep us toasty this week. I'm a huge fan of broth-based soups and Clayton's a huge fan of anything you put in front of his face that isn't beans, so this one was a win-win. Without further adieu, I present to you: Lasagna Soup.

 I adapted this recipe from Cooking Classy. (You stay class, San Diego.)

And that pile of creamy deliciousness plopped on the top of my bowl? That's a melted mixture of fresh Ricotta, Parmesan and Mozzarella cheeses and fresh parsley. Ricotta cheese makes me super gag-y and is the number one reason why I always shy away from traditional lasagna, but when you combine it with two other cheeses that I absolutely love, it totally works out. And once the glob of cheeses melts into the rest of your soup? Forget about it!

Clayton and I also got to put on our contractor hats this weekend and added some insulated black-out curtains to our large patio doors. For months we debated hanging curtains or just buying a set of vertical blinds, but the aesthetic appeal of curtains eventually won out and after a quick trip to Wal-Mart (and some mild swearing when we started drilling into studs), we added a warm, cozy touch to our dining area.

We also installed two pairs of curtain holdbacks in the living room (and I have to be honest, I thought this hardware had a more sophisticated name than just "holdbacks" ... which explains why it took me forever to find them at the store. I was looking for something fancy like "drapery hooks". Can you tell I'm still new to being a homeowner?).


Pretty, right? And yes, that couple in the frame on the end table is the picture that came with the frame. I'm terrible about these kinds of things.

Remember the ending to My Best Friend's Wedding when Julie Roberts unsuccessfully prevented Dermot Mulroney from marrying Cameron Diaz and she's sitting alone at the reception talking to her gay best friend on that hideous cell phone from the 90s? And the ever-charming, ever-handsome Rupert Everett, while delivering the ultimate pep talk to Roberts (reassuring her that life will go on even after losing her true love) says "Maybe there won't be marriage... maybe there won't be sex... but, by God, there will be dancing"?

I say that to myself almost every weekend. 

Is that weird?

But I phrase it differently, obviously.

Whenever Clayton asks me what I want to do over the weekend and I rattle off a list of activities, I always conclude with "But by God, there will be running."

So I ran this weekend.

There's still snow on the ground and I'm a wimp this winter, so I ran 3 miles on the treadmill on Saturday and a little over 5 on Sunday. Saturday's run was dedicated to a young lady that was killed by a drunk driver while out running last week and Facebook started a mass event titled "#Megsmiles". All you had to do was complete a run of any length or distance on Saturday, and then post a before or after picture on the event's page to honor her passing.


I tried my best to look cute since literally thousands of runners were posting pictures to Meg's page, but after running inside a tiny room that turned into a sauna after only a few minutes, that became almost impossible. But as you all have learned by now, running is not glamorous. And in this case, it just didn't matter. I was posting my photo in solidarity with my running community. 

How about you: What did you do this weekend? Did you have Monday off, too?

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