Week 12 Update

Hi Friends & Happy 2011! I’m back with my weekly update (didn’t I say in my last post that I would do this).  Everything is settled down again and I’ve de-Christmassed (is that even a word?) my home, so it’s nice to be back to some form of normal.  Here’s the latest updates:

#5 Finish cleaning out and organizing basement – I started this last January, I had had enough of my basement being a ‘dumping ground’. The basement was atrocious.  Hideous.  Embarrassing. Chaotic.  The basement made me feel like Monica on ‘Friends’ with her secret closet that was in complete disarray.  I have pictures, but I’m seriously that embarrassed by my messiness.  Well, I did organize a fair amount, but things are starting to creep back in.  I decided that when I put away the Christmas Decorations, I would start there and make sure that the area that housed our seasonal decor was at least organized and efficient.  I succeeded.  I also have an area with “Yard Sale Items” for later on this year.  I’m hoping the basement can be organized by the end of March.  By the time April comes, I like to spend time outside, so I should take advantage of the winter and the impending snowstorms now considered normal by Philly/Jersey standards and get to work.  Wish me luck!

#54 Try 10 new recipes – On Sunday, 1/2/11 (seems so weird that this is 2011) I made a ham and baked macaroni & cheese.  I’ve made ham in the past, but I’ve never actually made baked mac & cheese.  That seems totally weird because it’s one of those dishes that seems pretty basic and easy (yes it was) and was always one of my favorites growing up.  I’m an experienced enough cook that I should be making more complicated things, but it still counts.  It was delicious and given by Ed’s reaction I will definitely make this again.  Here’s the recipe (and I went off of some sort of memory of my Grandmother’s recipe):

1 Box Elbow Macaroni

2 14 oz cans of stewed tomatoes, drained

1/2 lb American Cheese

Salt & Pepper to taste

*Cook the macaroni per the instructions.  Drain macaroni and mix in the stewed tomatoes.  In a large casserole dish, layer macaroni/tomatoes, then add a layer of American Cheese.  Continue layering to top (with cheese layer).  Cover and bake on 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  Uncover and bake for an additional 5 minutes to brown the top.  Serve & enjoy!  **You can probably sub out the cheese for whatever your preference – mozzarella, cheddar, etc**

I do have two important tasks on file for this weekend:  #37  Have one weekend a month without any commitments and #53 Go a full day without text/email/internet.  This is the first weekend in a long time that I don’t have plans to be somewhere or do something.  I have this thing about over-committing myself and not taking downtime.  Yeah, that has to change.  And fast.  The only thing I’m ‘planning’ on is the babes taking me out to dinner (hint hint if you are reading this Eddie).

Hope you all have a great week!!

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4 responses to “Week 12 Update

  1. You are on a roll, Shan! Enjoy the commitment-free weekend! Those are almost always my favorite and, as you point out, a great antidote to the habit of over-committing oneself.

  2. Mac and Cheese is my favorite dish. Here is my grandmothers recipe:)

    16 oz of elbow mac
    2 lbs cheese: I usually use at least two different kinds.
    Layer the mac and cheese in. One layer of mac with cheese on top. For this amount it would usually be a layer of mac, then cheese, then mac, cheese on tope.
    Stewed tomatoes, mushrooms or plain, depending on feeling at the time.
    Milk about 2/3 rds up the cassarole, (I use vanilla rice dream).
    Top with egg whites – for this I would use about a cup
    Cook at 375 till nice and crisp on top.

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