Half day off

On Monday I unexpectedly had to stay home from work until lunchtime so I’d be here for the delivery and installation of the two plants Dan and I bought for our hedge the day before. While I could have used that time to sleep in and be lazy (i.e., extended my weekend), I decided I was going to be as productive as possible instead. Here’s what I accomplished.

1) Made cream cheese frosting. It was originally supposed to be green cream cheese frosting to go with the green velvet brownies I made for St. Patrick’s Day, but I used up all of the green food coloring making the brownies. I figured regular white/off-white cream cheese frosting would taste just as good. When I got to work and put a dollop of frosting on each of the brownie bites my co-workers were very happy. So if you’re looking for a change of pace in your desserts, I would suggest replacing red food coloring with another color in your red velvet cake/brownies/whatever. It’s festive, unexpected, and doesn’t change the flavor at all!

2) Cut up vegetables for carrot soup. I didn’t have enough time to cook a full meal that morning, but I got all of the prep work done so I could easily make carrot soup later in the week. Unfortunately when I finally made the soup on Thursday night I made a big mistake. Instead of using the mild curry I’m familiar with, I used some new Whole Foods curry that I’d never worked with before. It was much stronger and a bit spicy and I definitely used too much. The end result was almost inedible – at least for my palate. I’ll eat it for lunch anyway, though, because I don’t want it to go to waste.

3) Did chores. Took out the trash. Cleaned up downstairs. Washed dishes. You know, the usual. It was nice to have the time to do all of these things when I’m not stressed out about making dinner and getting to bed at a decent hour at the same time. There’s something intensely satisfying about coming home from work and not having any chores waiting for me. Clean counters, tidy tabletops, and empty garbage cans – that’s a thing of beauty. Ten years ago this would all have seemed very mundane to me, but married ladies understand what I’m talking about.

4) Wrote a webpage post (“Weekend accomplishments”). How else do you think I published such a long post on a Monday? Usually my brain is the consistency of mush by Monday evening and I can’t put together a sentence that’s more complicated than, “Dinner is ready.” But last Monday I had a couple of hours to think about my weekend and put the important parts of it into words to share with my readers (all three of you). I love it when that happens.

5) Got dinner started. Before I left the house to go to work I threw a beef roast into the Crockpot and poured some Dr. Pepper over the top. I got this idea from a recipe I saw on Pinterest. (I’m obsessed with Pinterest, I’ll admit it.) Then just before I walked out the door I turned the Crockpot on low so that the meat would be ready to be shredded for tacos when I got home. That was one of the easiest homemade weeknight dinners I’ve ever made and it tasted pretty good too!

6) Put gas in the car. This is one of the things I dread every week. I’m always too worried about getting to work that I don’t stop on the way, and gas stations are always busy in the evenings as everyone is scrambling to fill up their cars before driving home. There’s nothing more frustrating than arriving at the gas station and finding that every one of the pumps is in use with other cars already waiting in line. So a leisurely trip to the gas station in the early afternoon when the rest of the working public is otherwise occupied is a breeze.