Monday, November 29, 2010


The hubs had me pick out something to make for his company Christmas Party this weekend- only problem someone else is doing BBQ.... so my GINORMOUS pork butt will sit in freezer for a while long... I was really excited about making pulled pork sliders... oh well!

I need help coming up with an easy finger food for about 50 people....any commenters chosen will have my love and respect!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

"Vacation, all I ever wanted..."

For the past 4 1/2 days I have been on vacation- mentally! I LOVE my job, yet there is something about a holiday that helps wash away stress that builds up in the daily routine. We- see my better half here , went on not 1, but 2 trail runs, cooked amazing meals, and shared in some excellent down time... all in all this Fall break has me pumped for the 3 working weeks until Christmas Break... I digress....
Let me rewind this little recap to last night's dinner. We are lucky, very lucky, to have family that will share one of the fruits of the Bay... the Chesapeake Bay...Rockfish!

We grilled up some PRETTY filets, laid it over Quinoa, and made a 'cream' sauce to go on top... by cream I mean fat free milk sauce. Thinner than a cream sauce, but worth it to me!

For the cream sauce I kind of went my own direction.... with no direction...

Serve over Rockfish and Enjoy!

1 Tbsp flour mixed into 1 cup skim milk

make the slurry and put over medium heat- add 1/2 cup white wine

bring to a boil and simmer for roughly 10 minutes- add Crayfish bodies (minus the tails which have been peeled and reserved for later)

Add a dash of Old Bay to sauce

Allow to thicken, strain out Crayfish, careful not to leave any parts... that wouldn't be fun to find!

Add a pinch of Parmesan cheese, crayfish tails and fresh shrimp

This was a figure it out as you go along kind of dinner! It ended up turning out very tasty, and hopefully we will get some more Rockfish Handouts, so we can dish it up again.

So this morning we woke up exhilarated and ready to tackle another run- sans any issues getting out of the driveway. It was too easy to get moving, we figured something was forgotten- but unlike yesterday's pre-run shenanigans today was just easy. We put in 4.3 miles on the trails, the rock and root laden down hills are hell on knees and ankles, so a slower pace was needed to forgo any mishaps... that and I'm still trying to regain my running strength and stamina- lazy bones!
Someone is ready for bed!

Dinner was created using.... leftover Turkey... is anyone else over turkey?
I like changing my dinners up, often using different flavors and cultural inspirations, so having SO much turkey to use can get a bit old.... well challenging.

In comes Turkey and White Bean Chili.

It was truly simple to make 1 can of cannelini beans, rinsed and drained, sauteed onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, carrots (strange yes but it worked), turkey, and canned tomatoes with green chilis.  

Topped with a tiny bit of cheese, and healthy scoop of Greek Yogurt- this bowl satisfied  the post run hunger that creeped up on us!  Now it's off to read the new Fitness magazine, and crash out before getting back into the grind! 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

What Saturdays are made of...

Sometimes I don't know if I truly love running or want to love running... it depends on the day and the run I guess. I do love how it makes me feel- and lately I've been avoiding running. Excuses, excuses- but should we really makes excuses to keep away from doing something that makes us feel so good?! Funny the way we humans work- I'd rather put away laundry and scrub bathrooms... I think not.
So this morning we hopped in the car- well after being met with one obstacle after another- headed to one of our favorite places to run, and had a blast. Stopping periodically to snap some photos, we still managed to put in a decent 4.5 miles. The dogs are pretty new to this whole running thing, so it's taking some time getting them used to not pulling, er dragging, me through the trails.
Today I kinda loved running... but only a little bit!
I love running up hills- LOVE IT!! It's going down them that I hate... bizarro!!!

Movin' along with my Whiskey Girl

We came home hung out, made some lunch.... and have gotten full use out of our "relaxing" weekend! For lunch Hubs had leftovers- Turkey Enchiladas! I was craving warmth so I set out to create a Turkey and Veggie soup. Mainly this was out of necessity to eat up leftover turkey, and finish eating up the veggies before heading to the store this week. Into my favorite (well one of my favorite) kitchen tool- the Dutch Oven- went garlic, onion, butternut squash, parsnips, celery, leeks, water, vegetable broth, turkey, fat free milk, fresh sage, salt/pepper, and sriracha -for kick! Nothing was measured, just a handful of this and that. To mellow out the sweetness of the squash the sriracha was added as a last minute ingredient! It gave it a spicy, sweet flavor that I was pleased with.
Afterwards it was hot tea time. I am definitely one who enjoys the festivities of the holidays- decadent food and bottomless glasses of wine.... mocha porters, and milk stouts.... oh my! I'll take all of the above, but it's JUST as important to celebrate the quiet moments in life. So today's crunchy leaves, chilled wind, snoozing pups, and hubs' trail companionship set my soul on fire- and my glutes!

So about that glass of wine....

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day started at 7:30AM, when I awoke in a flurry of "it's here, it's here..." The family would be arriving 7 hours- but there was many a thing to accomplish in 7 hours. The house was clean, but I wanted it to sparkle! The dogs needed to release some of the energy that only a puppy can harness- times 2! On top of that, I needed to carve out a few minutes of me time- so with that I HIGHLY encouraged hubs to go for a mountain bike ride! With it, he had his solo time, got in some exercise, and I was able to crank cheesy music as I ran around and perfected last minute details! The arrival of my sister was only 2.5 hours delayed (only increasing the "me time" before everyone started arriving)- but it wouldn't be her if she came over on time.

Before everyone arrived I sifted through a mental checklist- Mom's corn pudding, MIL's sweet potatoes, Sister's Green Beans and pies, Turkey Roasting (rubbed with butter, fresh sage, pepper, and stuffed with an apple,) stuffing and mashed potatoes were laid out and ready to go!

Poor Bird- never had a chance..

Plans for a Thanksgiving Day Run were postponed- until tomorrow, maybe?!- but was quickly replaced with a chat session between hubs, sista' and myself.

Family arrived, everyone split into different sections of the yard and house to catch up, food was eaten, dessert was served and in a flash the night had come to an end- and naps were being had on the couch. If I could change anything about yesterday, I would slow it down. It seemed to fly by- like any good day does I guess! As a result the pictures taking slacked....

To relive it this morning we transformed leftovers into a tasty breakfast treat- ham with cranberry sauce, eggs, and pumpkin bread....yes, please!

So here's to 2010's reasons to be Thankful- the hubs- who puts a smile on my face, family, the pups, a job I'm passionate about, a home I miss when I pull out of the driveway, and friends that make me a better person.

Is it bad that I am already thinking about Christmas Dinner?! I am very excited for all that December will bring like.... Christmas Parties, my first 29th birthday, a fishing trip, Christmas, and New Years... wow.... I know it too will all fly by, just as Turkey Day did- but not without a conscience effort to stop and take it all in!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Eve!

The night before Thanksgiving may just be busier than the actual Thanksgiving event! Today consisted of cleaning, planning, and getting ahead on the holiday's cooking- namely breads, potatoes, and cranberry sauce.
The cranberry sauce is very simple. 1/2 cup OJ-Water mix, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 cups fresh cranberries. Heat the oj and sugar over med-high until the mixture is bubbling- add the cranberries and stir until most have burst. It's simple and fresh tasting- especially on top of the turkey!

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread- from Libby's!

Homemade dinner rolls- thank you all recipes!

Lamest yet- mini corn muffins- from a Jiffy Box... I should be ashamed but I was running out of energy!
All of this. in addition to the mashed potatoes made for a busy- exhausting evening!
Being ahead though should make tomorrow more enjoyable ( especially with Mimosas during the sister cookfest!)
I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! Check back for Updates on how it's going... and for anyone keeping tabs- it took 2 days in the fridge, and 4 hours in the sink (with water) to defrost the turkey- and I forgot the baster.... again....

Sunday, November 21, 2010


So he tells me I do this all the time.... obsess over an ingredient... run it into the ground.... decide I need to break up with the ingredient... only to start the vicious cycle all over again with something else.

Is there a helpline for problems such as these?!

So right now... and for the past month or so I've been obsessed with Libby's Canned Pumpkin Puree. I put it in everything.

My love affair with pumpkin is definitely a healthy one- fiber, vitamins A, K, C, and E, antioxidant, magnesium, potassium, and iron- that's a pretty rockin' nutritional resume!

So to get the mornings going there have been one of two breakfasts!

The first is a Pumpkin Smoothie

The night before I freeze a peeled banana. Add the banana to the following in a blender, and swirl!

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1 cup greek yogurt

3 TBSP Agave Nectar

1/3 cup Almond Milk

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp cinnamon

( I also tossed in an apple to the mix one morning... it was awesome!)

extra tasty with a side of graham crackers!

The second is for mornings that require some warmth.

Pumpkin Oat Meal

I make normal oatmeal- 1/2 cup Old Fashioned Oats, 1/2 cup Almond Milk, and some water depending on consistency desired. In to the mix also goes pumpkin pie spice, 1/4 cup of pureed pumpkin, and 1 TBSP Raw creamy almond butter. I crumble a graham cracker on top, sit back, and nom nom nom....

So my dear pumpkin- who makes fall that much more enjoyable with your round little body, and healthy packed deliciousness- if lovin' you is wrong, I don't wanna be right!

Sunday- Yumday

I am a lady of luxury... or so I was today! I left the house this morning to go pick up my mom. We visited a sick friend, headed over to my childhood friend's baby shower, ran errands around town- all before heading home to a 'licious dinner being fixed by hubs!

Hubs had it going on tonight.... on my way home he asked THE question- what are you feeling for dinner?

I mean after all it is a feeling- well, I'm feeling seafood, salad, I don't know why do I have to commit to one thing?!?!

I countered with what are YOU feeling?

This can go on forever some nights...

His answer was hmmm.. I was thinking Asian food!

PERFECT, I thought an Asian Seafood Salad sounded wonderful!

Fast forward 30 minutes and I arrive to the preparation of Asian Squid Salad, Grilled Curry Chicken- and Teriyaki Chicken, with a side of rice noodles and grilled veggies!

It satisfied every ounce of craving! The salad had a Nuoc Cham dressing (which was made from garlic-3 smushed cloves, Agave nectar- 2 Tbsp, fish sauce- 3 Tbsp, water -3 Tbsp, lime juice-3 Tbsp, and Chili garlic sauce- to taste). Dinner was amazing, the company- even better!

Now it's time to wrap my mind around the 3 day work week, before Turkey Day!!

I'm extra Thankful for the time I get to spend with the hubs and these two!

Lost Blogger...


1 blonde 20 something who used to take pictures of her food and write about it-

last seen wrangling 23 little ones into book bags to be whisked away on a bus home....

I guess it goes without saying that I've been MIA! Obviously, I've still been cooking- and sometimes making DELICIOUS meals!

Caution- time to get your violin out for excuses- The Internet where we live was less than desirable (I could open email, but didn't have enough juice to respond.) With a new set up rolling, we are back in business... for now...

With my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE holiday only 4 days away, I figured now is as good a time as any to get back in the swing of things- after all I enjoy cooking, snapping photos, and jotting down random thoughts about the whole process!

With last years near melt-down state over lumpy gravy and a save by the Moms, there are sure to be interesting stories to share!

I leave you with a few pictures of random Fall eats and of course pups, and hope to return with my trials and tribulations in 2nd annual Thanksgiving Dinner - at our place! With answers to questions such as how long does it take to defrost that bird? And- ooooh that's why I should have gotten a baster- what do I do now?

Baked Spice Rubbed Chicken Ready for a Cranberry Topping

The pups in all their cuteness- somewhere along the way we adopted another one (that's a whole blog post!)

Tampa Chicken"- courtesy of my step father after a wine tour with my mom and sister

The Tower of Wine- at The Hague Winery