Sunday, January 04, 2009

Sunday report, with bonus recipe!

Update: I forgot an ingredient for the casserole. See below for correction.

I exercised a total of one time this past week. Not to start the year with excuses, but I did just make the resolution on Thursday. I use the gym at work. It is tiny, but it has two ellipticals, two treadmills, and two recumbent bikes, along with some free weights and one of those weight machine thingies where you can do lateral pull downs and such. I suppose I could have gone into the office Saturday or today to get in another workout, but nah. I did walk for several hours at the mall yesterday. Although it was not vigorous, it is much better than my typical Saturday of sitting in front of the TV and/or computer.

My plan is to work out Monday, Wednesday, and Friday after work. Exactly which days may have to be adjusted based on things like what day everyone wants to go out to sushi and the like. This coming week, Thursday and Friday are going to be atypical. We are having our annual Kick-Off, which is supposed to be a kind of look back, look forward event. I'm not quite sure what we're doing Thursday. It's departmental meetings, I think. So I think I can work out that evening. But Friday we are not going in to the office. We are meeting in a conference room at the RBC Center (it is like 1 mile from our building), and then going out for a big dinner. I have no idea where yet. Communication in my company leaves a lot to be desired, but I'm told that's the number one topic at Kick-Off, so hopefully it will improve in the future. I have often thought of proposing that I add to my current position the duties of internal communication. But that would mean I have to know everything that's going on and decide who needs to be informed. And although we've been told in the past that this is a "transparent" company, the current administration comes across as more secret cabal than populist collaboration.

But I digress. Moving on to a more pleasant topic, let's talk casseroles. As in, the one I made for dinner tonight. It is to die for, but the ingredients are so simple. I found it in one of those recipe books they have at the grocery store checkout line. I love those. They're always good for a few winners. This is a breakfast casserole, but honestly, it is good any time of day.

20 oz. fresh shredded potatoes
1/3 cup butter
1 cube bouillon

Melt butter, combine with potatoes. Mash up bouillon cube and sprinkle over potatoes; mix. Press potatoes into bottom and up along sides of 2qt baking dish. I've found that the taller ones result in a moister finished product than the long flat ones. Bake that at 350 for 30 min.

1 lb turkey sausage
1/3 cup onion

Meanwhile, brown the turkey sausage with the onion and drain fat, if any.

1 cup cottage cheese (original recipe calls for 4%--tonight I used 2% and it was just as good, but not as firm after cooking)
3 eggs lightly beaten (I usually use real ones, but tonight I tried southwestern Egg Beaters and it worked fine)
4 pieces of American cheese (please do not get 2% or god forbid, fat-free)

Combine the cottage cheese and eggs. Tear the American cheese into small pieces and drop into egg mixture, then stir. Pour sausage into egg mixture and stir. (You may wish to add some chopped roasted garlic at this point--the recipe does not call for it but I do!) Then pour everything into the potato crust and bake at 375 for 45 min, or until knife inserted at center comes out clean. Allow 10-15 min for casserole to set before eating. You can get 6 servings out of it if necessary, but it is so good you'll probably only get 4.

My only complaint about this recipe is that you have to bake it twice. I may try eliminating the potato baking one day to see if it still comes out okay. Or maybe only baking it until I'm done preparing the filling.

And yes, I realize it may seem ironic starting this post with talk of exercise, and ending it with talk of cheesy comfort food. But the comfort food is the reason and reward for the exercise!

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