August 22, 2018

Weekend Recap: Campaigning and Cooking

On Friday, I already wrote about the trail run that ended in disaster – with me splayed out face first in the dirt after a fall 🙁 I had thought I’d be okay after a good night’s sleep, but my left knee swelled up like a balloon on Saturday – resulting in me canceling all my Saturday plans (bye bye, long trail run) and taking it easy instead.

I slept late, until 7am, and woke up to find that while my right knee was slightly better, my left knee was still really sore and tight. It loosened up the more I walked, though, so I tried to keep moving rather than curl up on the couch. I had plenty of cleaning to get done around the house, and I also installed this new auto-closing screen door, so that had me getting some steps in! By the time I headed out for lunch, my knee was feeling okay.

For lunch, I met up with one of our current Town Trustees to get campaign advice. I’ve been so thrilled with how helpful everyone is with my campaign! Afterward I had time to meet up with a neighbor to walk around the neighborhood and catch up, and then it was back to the campaign. I needed to get signatures for my petition to be on the ballot in November, and rather than asking friends, I decided to use it as an excuse to knock on a few doors of neighbors I didn’t yet know. It was fun to make a few new friends on the process! I wrapped that up and ran a few errands to the library and grocery store, and then had the rest of the night to myself to relax, read a little bit, and get to bed early.

Sunday, though, was a busy day. I was supposed to be celebrating Amanda‘s birthday with a hike, but at the last minute, had to bow out. Although my knee was a little bit better, I didn’t want to overtax it by tromping around on the trails. Instead, I spent the morning cooking up a storm – I was hosting the post-hike birthday brunch, and I was really excited! Since Amanda is dairy-free and also doesn’t eat a lot of processed carbs, I looked up some new-to-me recipes, and ended up making these Paleo blueberry crumble bars along with a rosemary sweet potato hash, which I served with scrambled eggs on the side for those who wanted them. All super clean eating, but super delicious too!

I had a fabulous time hanging out with Amanda and our mutual friends, plus a few new-to-me friends that I can’t wait to see again. And I was so excited I got to host everyone at my home! But that morning didn’t mean the end of the hosting. After a bit more campaigning and errands, I started prepping more food for a dinner party I was hosting that evening.

My friend Cathryn and I started a “cookblog” club in January, by which we mean a potluck supper club where we each cook a recipe from the same blog and bring it to share. It’s been a great chance to test out recipes we wouldn’t otherwise have the courage to make, and I have definitely stepped out of my shell with the recipes I choose. This month, we were cooking from Love and Lemons, and I was making curried avocado chickpea salad sliders. Mine weren’t the prettiest dish on the table, but once assembled, were surprisingly delicious.

Here’s a plate assembled with all the goodies, which DOES look gorgeous. Yum!!

Before we got to the full meal, though, we started out with an awesome ginger peach sangria made by Sandra…

We loved this!

And for an appetizer course, Cathryn made a chilled Green Cucumber Tomatillo Gazpacho.

I’ve never been a gazpacho fan before, but this was REALLY delicious and I’d totally make it myself.

After the soup, we went around the table describing the dishes we made, along with any recipes notes or substitutions.

Roasted Cherry Tomato & Thyme Couscous Salad, by Barbara
Grilled Peach Salad & Mint Pesto, by Elisabeth
Shredded Brussels Sprout & Cranberry Salad, by Karlin – this was one of my absolute favorites and I went back for a heaping serving of seconds!
And the aforementioned Curried Chickpea Salad Sliders. These looked like guacamole with chickpeas thrown in (the chickpeas didn’t mash very easily), but they tasted delicious with slices of tomato on Hawaiian rolls! A nice alternative to mayonnaise-y salad sandwiches.

Our friend who was supposed to bring dessert had to drop out at the last minute, so I quickly scanned Love and Lemons’ recipe list and found these no-bake almond butter oatmeal cookies, which I could make from ingredients I had in my pantry. They were really sweet and rich, but got a big thumbs up for being easy to throw together at the last minute 🙂

All in all, cookblog club was a blast! Every single one of the recipes were delicious, and it was a really wonderful group of women this month. A few of us ended up staying and chatting long after the meal was done, which I think is the sign of excellent company 🙂 But eventually, I had to kick everyone out… I still needed to pack for a full week in Florida, which I hadn’t had time to start before dinner!

This week, I’m working as usual Monday through Thursday, but taking Friday off to visit the beach and get some downtime with a book (or two or three). I’m hopeful that the extra day of rest will help my knee heal so I’ll be ready to race my 5K on Sunday! Fingers crossed…


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