Saturday, July 01, 2006

Catching Up

Wow.... I can't believe its been so long since I posted! Dear daughter and I have been very, very busy, too busy for me to post, obviously - but we have definitely been cooking and eating! I did try rice pudding in the pressure cooker, and it came out great! I also made curried chicken salad pitas with the leftover breast from the chicken soup.

Last weekend, I hosted our church choir for the first annual choir appreciation dinner, and we had a wonderful time. Not everyone could make it - it was very difficult to schedule, believe me! I served bruschetta with roasted red pepper and artichokes, hummus with crudites and crackers, salad with balsamic vinaigrette, roasted potatoes, roasted rutabaga-carrots- zucchini, ful bit zait (gigande beans in an olive oil and lemon juice vinaigrette), pork souvlaki marinated for 24 hours, and for dessert, individual vanilla panna cottas topped with hand picked blueberries (thank you Baba!) and a splash of either cointreau or amaretto. Everyone really seemed to enjoy the food and the company; I know I did! There were almost no leftovers and no photos either - I had the camera ready but totally forgot to take any photos!

This past week has been particularly busy at work since it is the end of our fiscal year, and I have been negotiating with funders to try to retain funding in this climate of reduced dollars. So, I didn't do a lot of cooking and we actually ate ramen or popcorn for dinner a couple of nights. I did take some french onion soup out of the freezer and some pasta e fagioli from the freezer as well.

Last night, I attended a going away party for Jim. He's a wonderful bass, a kind and a gentle man - a real "gentleman" as well, that I met through I Cantori. He has been transferred to Dallas, so most of the I Cantoristas gathered at my dear friend Carla's house to say goodbye. The food was plentiful and good, as were the libations! My favorites included Catherine's delicious green salad with chicken chunks, avocadoes and bacon dressed with a lightly curried vinaigrette. I think I'll duplicate it at home this week, but add in something sweet as well, maybe a few chopped dried apricots. My other favorite was a mixed seafood vinaigrette that Heather brought - not too many people were brave enough to try it since it was loaded with calamari tentacles, but I love calamari, so there was more for me! She is from the Monterey, CA general area, so her palate is quite different from the typical southern palate - it was really delicious. And I brought baqlawa (that's the Lebanese version of baklava), a large tray of it. I make a pretty decent baqlawa, if I do say so myself. I did manage to get a photo of this before I carted it into the car, so I'll post a recipe later this weekend.

I've got Monday off as well as Tuesday, so I'm planning on doing a lot of relaxing this weekend, as well as starting my next three icons: a Dormition plaschinitza (aka epitaphion), St. Christina for some friends who have started a mission by that name, and St. Mary Magdalene (the patroness of my own mission, which I have been wanting to do for a long, long time). You can see some of my iconography here. On the 4th, I'm going to a pool party and will probably bring my new favorite pasta salad as my contribution. In the meantime, I've got choir rehearsal followed by vespers tonight and divine liturgy followed by a Sisterhood meeting on Sunday. And somewhere in all this, I really want to see my Dad since I didn't get to see him last weekend.

And don't forget weekend dog blogging! And 5-a day blogging!

I guess I won't be doing too much relaxing after all!

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