Spreads and Spreadsheets

How do you handle growing to do lists? Do you tackle them head on until you’re done? Do you tackle a bit at a time taking breaks? Do you procrastinate until you’re nearly out of time to accomplish everything? Or do you handle what you can and let the lower priority items slide?

Liptaur ingredients

For me it depends. Is the list manageable or is it overwhelming? If it’s a manageable list, I’ll tackle it head on from start to finish. If it’s overwhelming, I procrastinate. Right now, my list is overwhelming as you might imagine. We’re normally busy, like most families, with our every day family life. Now add to that, preparation for a seven month adventure, and suddenly my normal busy life looks like a cake walk. I’m absolutely not complaining, but there is a lot to do and the days of the calendar are moving much more quickly than I anticipated. I can’t afford to procrastinate.

making crostini

So, I have a plan and I’m going to kick it off this morning, while I have an opportunity. You see, this Sunday morning is unusual. The kids slept over at my parents for the annual grandkids sleepover. Mike left early to pick Mr. N up from the sleepover and head to rehearsal and Miss A will be coming home later. I am alone.

rye crostini

This, in and of itself, is not unusual. I work from home, alone, most days when the kids are at school, but those days are for work. To have this time on a weekend, well, that’s a rarity. Now, normally with a mounting to do list, I would putz around the house finding plenty to do – just not things on my list. So this morning, I started laundry, cleaned my room, made our bed and packed my computer, my calendar, my lists and a pen and headed for coffee.

making liptauer

I needed a change of scenery. If I sit in my office, I’ll get distracted by work. If I don’t sit in my office, I’ll play in the kitchen. Today it’s time to focus. As I realized we’re already moving into October it hit me – we only have 14 weeks before we leave. Sure that’s a little over three months, but when you factor in Mr. N’s play, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, and our regular every day life activities, it doesn’t leave us with much room for procrastination. In fact, no room.

mixing liptauer

So after I share this beautiful Austrian spread, prepared by Mr. N, I’m going to make a calendar. I’ve determined my week at a glance planner, well helpful on a daily basis, isn’t going to cut it. Neither are my multiple to do lists – one for the house, one for work, one for the trip, one for the kids, etc. I need one big calendar, a spreadsheet, with all 14 weeks and I need to start dropping my to do list items onto specific days and weeks. My thought is that this will take my lists from overwhelming to manageable, while also keeping me from procrastinating. Wish me luck!

bread spread

Now as for this dip, well, this is a special recipe we prepared for an exciting opportunity. While at the Wine Bloggers Conference in August, I met the editor of Wine Tourist Magazine. After a brief discussion of his magazine and our blog, we exchanged cards. Fast forward a few months later and I am now writing a food column for this beautiful website.

liptauer spread

It was a natural arrangement. Wine Tourist Magazine explores wine regions around the world from famous destinations to lesser known regions, offering insights on where to stay, taste and explore. And as they explore the wines and wine destinations of the world, we’ll be sharing a recipe from around the world, which as you know we’re rather passionate about here at Eat Play Love. It’s all about exploring the cultures of the world through travel, wine and, of course, food! I’m very excited and proud to be a part of this new venture.

liptauer crostinis from Austria

The October issue of Wine Tourist Magazine features Austria. After a little research into Austrian food and culture, we came across the Heuriger, an Austrian wine tavern. Since Austria is on our list of destinations this coming year and we’ll certainly be hitting a Heuriger, I dug a little deeper and it turns out that spreads are commonly served with wine. And so, Mr. N and I set out to make an Austrian Liptauer, a cheese spread spiced with paprika.

Austrian Liptauer

It can be used as a dip for bread, crackers, pretzels, etc., or as we’ve prepared it here, a spread for a rye bread crostini. It’s an easy, flavorful appetizer perfect with dry white wine. Grüner Veltliner anyone?

Austrian Liptauer Crostini

We served our Liptauer while Mike’s parents were in town and they made a delicious afternoon snack. We had a solid consensus on this appetizer as well – 3 spoons all around. Mr. N and Miss A both enjoyed the little crunchy bites and even took a few to school the next day for lunch. Now, you’ll want to be careful with the crostini. The spread, if put on the crostini too early, will cause the bread to soften. So make sure to spread the Liptauer just before serving.

Liptauer dip

You can find our recipe over at Wine Tourist Magazine, as well as a bit of history on the dish. We had a lot of fun exploring our first taste of Austria (and our second – coming soon – a definite crowd pleaser in our house), and we’re looking forward to soon experiencing more while actually in Austria!

Liptauer Austrian dip

Until then, we’ll be back later this week with a delicious dessert recipe for someone’s – ehem – 29th (or thereabouts) birthday. 😉 Until then, it’s time to make a calendar! Thanks to everyone for your follows, thoughts and comments on our upcoming world adventure. Make sure to keep them coming. We’d love to hear all about must-see places to explore. Alright, enough procrastinating already…until next time – Prost!

For the recipe: Austrian Liptauer Crostini

To sign up for Wine Tourist Magazine’s monthly newsletter: Follow Wine Tourist Magazine

21 thoughts on “Spreads and Spreadsheets

  1. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise says:

    Trying to catch up here and I do hope you don’t mind too many comments 😛
    I know what you mean about an overwhelming to do list. We are moving back to Jordan this summer and though I do have a little more time than you do at the moment, moving permanently from one country to another is no easy job
    I usually take my to do lists head on but when they get to be overwhelming I freeze and procrastinate until I am really in trouble lol But then again, I do my best work under pressure. However, for this move, I will follow your lead and make a spreadsheet, I think it is a brilliant idea moving items from a general “I need to do this and that this month” to ” I am doing this on that specific date”
    Best of luck in your new adventure 🙂 I just know you will all have a blast and make the best out of it

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kristy says:

      I too procrastinate when overwhelmed and stall until the last minute. It’s funny, the spreadsheet is sort of working. I’m accomplishing far more than normal, but finding that some items are getting procrastinated. I suppose once a procrastinator, always one. Still, it’s an improvement. Best of luck these next few months. Moving is so hard and I can’t imagine between countries!


  2. Eva Taylor says:

    Congratulations on the food writing, I’ve been loving my food writing gig and I still have to pinch myself that I’m doing something I love and someone is paying me to do it!
    This recipe is very similar to the Hungarian körözött that I make with goats cheese but its originally made with Liptauer. It’s my go to dip/spread. I’ve made it with cream cheese as well but I prefer the tang of goats cheese.
    I am definitely a list person but info procrastinate when it’s something I dislike doing. I can’t believe you’re leaving so soon! What an adventure!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kristy says:

      Sounds delicious Eva! I can’t wait to try Hungarian food in Hungry!! This is definitely a great spread for parties. So easy and makes plenty. And I too procrastinate when it’s something I dislike doing. Hard to break that habit!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ChgoJohn says:

    You sure do have a lot to do but how very exciting. What an adventure! This is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and event. I’m so happy that you guys can take full advantage of it. I don’t have much use for spreads these days but I’m pinning this one. It sounds delicious, Kristy.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. thecompletebook says:

    Once it is all on a spreadsheet, I’m sure it won’t seem as daunting a task Kristy. Would love to lend a hand if I could. Scrumity spread. Sure I would also have given it a solid 3 spoons.
    Have a super day.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    Liked by 1 person

  5. hotlyspiced says:

    It does sound like an extremely busy time. When you say it in weeks, it does seem like your departure date will come around very quickly, especially with all the annual holidays and Christmas and Mr N’s play and your jobs and running the house and packing and sorting. What a time! Congratulations on your gig with the magazine xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Cecilia Mary Gunther says:

    I have been thinking of making my own paper calendar for the year ahead. I like your idea of a spreadsheet but I am more of a poster on the wall kind of girl, visual. So i am going to get a big sheet of poster board and I am going to create my own calendar – a permanent one. Maybe Miss A can help me with the decorative border!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kristy says:

      I have the poster on the wall kind too. Actually, I now have three different calendars. Probably seems inefficient, but it’s broken down to keep things organized. Miss A would love to decorate a calendar for you! 🙂


  7. Dawn says:

    I was there, and honestly between our trip, H’s Bat Mitzvah and the craziest year of work ever, I am not sure how I got through it, but I did! OneNote was my best friend 😊 I will tell you though, I am still catching up on things, but I am getting there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kristy says:

      I’ll have to check out OneNote. Never used it. I know we’ll get through it and it will be worth it. It’s the coming back I don’t look forward to. 😉


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