Sunday, February 3, 2008

Prioritizing and Pierogies

I realize homework with four classes, especially when they are primarily English classes, can become a little consuming. Typically, that is not until the semester has been underway for several weeks. It is the only the beginning of the third week, and already I have gotten to the point this semester that homework has begun to define me, as it claims much of my waking hours. Little confession, I stopped and did the cookies and played outside for that very reason. I am an "A" hound. Nevertheless, just as I did with the cards, I had to prioritize again. I want to enjoy school, but I was beginning to resent the homework. Two of my classes are online. In theory, they are great. In reality, they can be too. Both of my online professors were negligent at the beginning of the semester, and that caused a great deal of chaos. Textbooks have to be bought online, and a required book list was posted by the middle of December. One of the professors just forgot to list one of the required books, the one that the homework would come out of . The second week of the semester, he announces we have to have it, and here is a link where you can purchase it. It is another week before anyone has their book. In the meantime, we have "busy" work to do. Now that the books are in, wham! Now, we go back and do the work so we can catch up, and keep up. The other professor posted a syllabus sometime toward the end of the first week of the semester, but it did not include a schedule of the semesters assignments. After prompting from students, to get the thing posted, she did so last night. Same thing... hurry up, to catch up, to stay up. Am I bitter, no? I am not even angry. Why waste the energy? I don't have time for it. I have however, documented and will continue to document such events. At the end of the semester, I will send a letter with documentation to the proper person, at the main campus in, Indianapolis. I will include in that letter that I have been accepted at another university, and into their department of my major. I will no longer be a student at this university, but that I hope the letter will serve as helpful for future students enrolling with these professors. So, from here on, though I will keep focused on my GPA staying up, craziness and neglect on the part of professors, will not dictate my life. Oh, I should mention, the other two professors that I have classes on campus, face to face with, are great! They have been very responsible with their end of the professor - student relationship, and they are serious about teaching the subject matter at hand. I've learned quite bit from both of them, and though the homework is heavy, it has been and will prove to be well worth it.

Now that I am aware of the tactics I may be facing with these two faceless professors, I have put into place some safeguards for myself. Restructuring my culinary demands at home, should help. As much as I enjoy cooking and baking, I am incorporating easy recipes, with few ingredients, that require a minimum of dishes, and are quickly put together. I have several recipes like that, but would really welcome any you have to offer. My favorite quick meal is a tub of yogurt, a banana, and a piece of whole grain toast with fruit spread. Delicious, filling, one spoon, one knife, and the rest in the garbage. However, Jon just does not feel that constitutes a meal... at least not on a more than once a month basis. And even then, he forages for sustenance later in the evening. Hum..... wonder if Jon would like to take the helm of the USS I Gotta Cook, boat? Nah........ I have a clear picture what that would mean.

Pierogies Florentine... rename it if you like, I never thought about what to call this. This is fairly quick fare.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Frozen box of Pierogies, usually they have twelve in them.
1-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/4 chopped onion (heaping)
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
8 oz. fresh spinach
black pepper, to taste
3/4 teaspoon Smoked Paprika - sweet. (That is what I have. McCormick has one, too.)
1 10-3/4 ounce can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1/3 cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded

  • Thaw pierogies by dropping them in boiling water. This takes about 3 minutes. When they float, they are done. Drain them.
  • Sauté onion in olive oil. When onion is tender add garlic, and spinach, sauté until wilted.
  • Plot that mushroom soup into your casserole dish. Stir in black pepper, and smoked paprika.
  • Arrange pierogies and spinach however you like in your casserole dish.
  • Combine cheeses and sprinkle them on top.

Bake 20 minutes, at 350 degrees.

You have choices of fillings in frozen pierogies. Since there is quite enough flavor in the other ingredients of this dish, I use a bland filling of Potato and Cheese. Normally, I would use fresh garlic cloves but I am looking for quick, remember? But honestly, as much as I enjoy the fresh garlic, the jarred crushed garlic is not bad.

If I have leftover bacon on hand, I sometimes crumble it up on top of the pierogies before sprinkling the cheeses, or I might cut it up if it is raw, and sauté it with the onion, omitting olive oil. I browned Turkey Smoked Sausage, in the skillet I sautéed the onions in. I threw together a leafy salad, adding golden raisins with the croutons because they taste great along side the sausage, and smoky pierogies.

Fast and yummy!

Be well!

1 comment:

Kim said...

Oh, that dish looks yummy!

That's interesting how the online profs are so flaky. Hmmmm, I hope that's not the norm. We're thinking about online classes for our son when he gets to be college age.

Have a blessed evening, my friend!