Tuesday, August 11, 2009

long weekends = my fave.

This weekend we celebrated Women's Day, which gave us Monday off from work. The long weekend was just fantastic.

On Friday, Will and I avoided mass chaos at the Embassy and didn't stick around for 5+ hours to see Sec. Clinton. Instead, after a busy week at work, we went home and made fantastic burgers and fries and got the complete scoop from our friends that did brave the chaos and saw Sec. Clinton and the new Ambassador to SA. An easy peasy low key night in = good times.

Saturday we hosted a party for the entire CDC-SA office and had the best time! We cooked warthog sausages, hamburgers, and fantastic grilled chicken legs (Will marinated them for hours and then basted with a butter/Texas Pete glaze = SPICY HEAVEN!). Folks enjoyed a lovely spring day in the sunshine - kids ran around our yard, Sanford was petted more than he has been in several years, and we just enjoyed a lazy day. I'm happy to have hosted my first grown-up party where kids of all ages and adults had a fantastic time and nothing got broken! Yay! After that, we headed to Tim and Rilla's for homemade chorizo and fun times with friends. It was a perfect Saturday.

Sunday we slept in. Bliss. I got online and realized that I somehow had ordered a $600 Gucci watch that I had been looking at on Amazon.com (it wasn't even one that I wanted!) and am thankful that the good folks at Amazon were able to recall the package before it got all the way to SA. Yay! I sat outside with the dogs for a good part of the afternoon, reading my book and looking through cookbooks to decide on the week's menu for me and Will (for the record, I'm trying beer enchiladas made with this meat sauce, lasagna roll-ups with meat sauce, and salad with crispy yogurt chicken). We went grocery shopping. We watched three movies (Gran Torino, Yes Man, and the International). A perfect low-key lazy Sunday. And most importantly, I made this for dinner.

I think this meal changed my life. I love patty melts. I do. Something about crunchy buttery bread, gooey cheese, and cooked onions makes me ridiculously happy. Its not something I eat often for health reasons, but oh man, I love them. Obviously, patty melts are not common in South Africa (nor do I imagine they'd be good anyway if I bought one at a restaurant). Cube steak is super cheap here (i.e. about $1/pound) and I happened to have some in the freezer. I found some small deli-type buns, which I thought would be good for portion control and not make a huge portion as seen on the website link above. Most importantly, I decided to buy some provolone cheese to melt on these bad boys. At the end, I put the bottom piece of bread on the cast iron skillet I had buttered the bread in and then put the meat on top and then layered thinly sliced provolone on top of that. I cooked it in the oven to get all melty and voila! Excellent sandwiches.

Yum. Absolute heavenly yum. Definitely try this recipe as its cheap and heavenly and will make the man in your life smile (and ignore the fact that this sandwich requires you to work out). Next time I may add mushrooms and bell peppers to the onions to make it similar to a philly cheesesteak (yet another menu item not found in SA).

Yesterday was another day just spent in the warm sunshine with friends. Hooray for what looks like the end of winter!!! We played tailgate golf, which is quite an interesting game that I'm terrible at. Will and I played Trivial Pursuit yet again and I am happy to report that we won. We love TP. Its true.

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