Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How the worst day ever can end with a smile...

At the beginning of September I bragged about my contest winning recipe... for which I have yet to decide what to spend the winnings on, and I really didn't think it could get any better than that. Especially with the way today started off.

First, Bryan and I have had to completely flip-flop our schedules. I used to go into the bakery early in the morning because he worked nights, but when he got promoted to Team Leader this month, it came with a 5:45am shift. We were able to work around it by my going to work the night before to do my baking and then coming home at 4am, just as he's getting up. We love having him home in the afternoon and evenings again, so the weirdness of my "waiting around all day" to go to work is worth it.

Anyway, the point of this story is that this baking-the-day-before-I-work thing, his working early morning and our switching driving duties to and from school, has really messed with our heads. I clock in on Monday and clock out on Tuesday. I have no idea what day it is anymore. So, this morning I get home, sleep four hours, get up and get Sophie ready for school. She has a Western Days celebration this week and Wednesday the kids can wear their western attire. Last year I was embarrassed for Sophie when she was one of the only kids in 3 classes that didn't have anything remotely western on. This year I was determined to find an outfit that we could convince her to wear for the party. After braiding her hair and getting the outfit on, I thought she looked like a young Laura Ingalls (I set the DVR to record some Little House on the Prairie), and then I did some minor repairs and upgrades to the over-priced, fraying straw, Fred Meyer bargain bin cowboy hat, and then we were ready. We drove to her best friend's house, who rides with us to and from school on Wednesdays.

(Just for fun, this is both girls photographed the next day. Ye-Haw!)

At this point, I was just relieved that I didn't forget to pick up Laney, since I'm used to doing the picking up from school, and taking her home. But when we got there, Laney was still in her jammies and her great-grandma was saying, "Is today a school day?! I thought it was only Tuesday!"

Ugh. I mentally went over the last 24 hours and realized GG was right. It wasn't Wednesday, it was Tuesday! I felt like a world class idiot, even as we shared a laugh over it, and then Sophie and I drove away... just as the dummy light on my gas tank started voicing it's opinion.

On the way home I sent a text to Bryan, telling him not to pick up the girls from school today. He writes back that he didn't think he was supposed to, but is now worried that today was the day we scheduled a play date as well. He's totally confused and I need to explain that I'm just an idiot and if I had led him to believe that today was Wednesday, he should know I was wrong. Of course, I don't get a chance to explain anything, because that's when my cell phone's SD card corrupted and my keyboard quit working. Ugh! It's only noon.

If you've read me before, you know I can babble on and on, but eventually I'll get to the real point. This time it's that despite how the day started, I actually got really good news when we got home. I started to pick my way through the clutter accumulating on the dining table and one of the larger items was one of those books that randomly show up in the mail. If you don't return it immediately, unopened, then you've just joined the Book of the Month Club, or at the very least committed to spending $40 on a book you never ordered. I was considering how I might avoid a trip to the post office if I was able to cram it into the mailbox, even though the mail lady brought it to the door, as she does all over-sized packages, when I suddenly realized I was tearing open the envelope glued to the front of the box.
Seriously!? Can I get any blonder today?! *sigh*

Now I'm thinking to myself, "Well, it IS a Taste of Home book and I've been subscribing to their magazine since 1994, and I have all the other Special Edition Hardbound, Best of..." books.... so, maybe I should buy this one too." Then as I argue to myself that I don't even know where I'd store another hard cover book, I read the first line of the enclosed letter.
"We are delighted to inform you that you are receiving a copy of the Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook 2011, which includes your recipe on page 89. This complimentary copy is yours to keep free of charge. It's our way of saying "Thank you!" for contributing to this one-of-a-kind cookbook."

Now, I suppose to get a recipe into one of these books, one needs to submit a recipe, but I created this one for a Recipezaar.com contest in 2008 and have zero recollection of ever submitting it for anything else. I've written about this recipe for the newspaper, back in 2008, so if you've seen it before; forgive me for reprinting it, and thank you for remembering it!
Lastly, I want to extend some credit for the success of this recipe to my son, Nick. The day I created this recipe I was creating about 6 different recipes, all with sun-dried tomatoes, spinach and artichokes in them, and my guinea pig testers were a dozen guy friends that set up their televisions and X-Boxes in our garage for a 10 hour Halo2 marathon. The guys are always honest when giving me their opinions on food I create or recipes I'm trying to review for other chefs. On this day, it was my 15 year old son that took one bite and told me what my recipe was missing. I made it again with his suggestion, and it was a hit!

Artichoke, Spinach & Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 (6 1/2 ounce) jar artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed & drained
3/4 cup grated Asiago cheese
1 cup sun-dried tomato, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray.
In large bowl combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, shallots and garlic.
Stir in artichoke hearts, spinach, tomatoes and cheese.
Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese that sticks out the top of the mixture begins to brown slightly.
Serve with fresh vegetables or baked tortilla chips for dipping.
Serves: 8-10
10 minutes prep/25 minutes cook time

1 comment:

  1. Great blog post! Sophie & Lanie are super cute in their outfits. I love the part where you set the DVR to record Little House to stay within the theme of the day. Nice work getting your recipe (albeit accidentally) into the Taste of Home cookbook. Quite an accomplishment. I am eager to learn what ingredient Nick correctly identified as missing. You provide many details, but this is a very important one you left out ~ lol!


Creative Commons License
TinksTreats by Lorilyn Tenney is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License