Saturday, October 25, 2014

A Short Fast Week

It seems like the remainder of my week passed in a blink. 

Wednesday, I met my new class: all 28 of them. Having such a large flex course is going to be a challenge, but I've already revised plans to accommodate this larger group. After work, I was stressed about everything that needed to be done with grading, getting the apartment in order, and preparing for my conference, but I went to yoga and had dinner with a friend, which made the stress more tolerable. 

Thursday was my power through it day: I finished grading all pressing assignments, did lots of laundry, we prepped the apartment for the cleaners, and we did all our grocery shopping. Thank goodness for Thursdays. We also were able to attend a lecture last night by Robert Edsel, the author of Monuments Men, which was sponsored by the Museum of the Southwest. The lecture topic: "Is art worth a human life?" explains the true story of how stolen art was recovered from the Nazis and returned to the museums during WWII. It was really neat to see the lecture because Brendan and I saw much of the art on our trip to Europe this summer, and many of the museums we visited were referenced. There is now an organization dedicated to preserving art and cultural treasures during war and conflict. One takeaway from the lecture that is really staying with me is the idea that all art, architecture, and symbols of human achievement belong to us all collectively. Thus, we each are collectively responsible for preserving the achievements of mankind. Edsel was an extremely interesting and engaging speaker, and I'm thrilled that this was a free public event. Midland has a treasure in the Museum of the Southwest, and Brendan and I enjoy our membership immensely.  

Friday, after a good teaching day, I squeezed in a phase two workout from New Rules of Lifting for Life. I returned to a totally clean house. Also, I don't think we ever showed off our new to us table from Jill and Ryan. It's squeezed in a little tight in our apartment kitchen (our old table is being used as a desk against the wall in the background), but we know it's going to look lovely in our new house. It was a super sweet gift, and we're excited about it. 

Check out these flowers I found for $5.

After my workout and shower, I got to catch up via phone date with my friend Lauren. Then, Brendan made us this outstanding Delicata Squash Delight. 

Preheat the oven to 375
slice two small delicata squash in half, then slice into inch wide strips 
on a cookie sheet, toss the strips in olive oil and roast for 30 minutes, keep a careful eye on the squash because it will burn 
meanwhile, in a rice cooker, prepare one cup uncooked white rice (you could use couscous if you have it) 
Chop 1/2 medium onion and 1 shallot finely 
In a wok, cook them with olive oil until translucent 
add 1 can diced tomato, drained
1 can white kidney beans, drained 
season with salt and pepper and harissa seasoning 
cook for 5 minutes 
add 1 handful of fresh baby spinach 
cover and cook for 2 minutes, until the spinach is wilted 
remove roasted squash from the oven, and add it to the mix 
serve over rice, top with parmesan cheese, and enjoy! 

Total prep and cook time: 35 minutes
Deliciousness factor: 4.5 out of 5 stars. I LOVED the flavor of the delicata squash (even more than I love butternut squash). This recipe tasted great with a glass of Pinot Grigio. Also, the parmesan cheese brings out all the flavors. Brendan notes that it was fairly easy and looks attractive in the bowl. 

Our weekend is off to a good start. We hope yours is too. 

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