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Archive for November, 2008

Just a quick post of my BSI (Blogger Secret Ingredient) recipe entry …

 

Pumpkin Walnut Oatmeal Cookies

 

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This week’s secret ingredient is walnuts and was selected by the fabulous Amy, over at coffee talk.  Great choice, Amy!  Walnuts are not only delicious, they are also very healthy, as they are an excellent source of the important omega-3 essential fatty acid.

 

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (I was excited to use the leftover roasted sugar pumpkin puree I had from my Thanksgiving pie!!)
  • 2 egg whites, beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup demerara sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (I used 1/2 cup spelt flour and 1 cup AP flour)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 3 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Beat together the pumpkin, egg whites, vanilla and both sugars; set aside.  In another bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, soda, nutmeg and ginger.  Mix together at low speed until well blended; stir in oats and walnuts.  Drop by the spoonful onto a sprayed baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes, until bottoms are browned.  Cool on a wire rack.

This recipe was modified from the recipe found here.

 

Think I will go sample another … enjoy!

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Making A Dent

Happy day!  My track record the past couple days hasn’t been so good, but I’ve finally managed to make a small dent in my day’s to-do list which includes:

  • Plan weekly menu – check
  • Christmas decorations – well … I’ll go with half a check – see below for explanation!
  • Weights – check
  • Grocery store
  • Finish invitations
  • BSI recipe

Ok, I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but it really has taken me up until now to get the first three things accomplished!!  I need to buckle down and get busy!

Most of my time today was spent with the decorating … I had to pull everything out of the bins, look over it all, place it where I thought it should go, pull it all down, declare I’m buying all new holiday decor, get scolded by husband, put it all back in place, put the empty bins back in the attic … whew!  

We still haven’t gotten the lights on the trees … Devin’s pretending to be distracted by the football game(s) on TV.  That’s ok – I won’t allow him food, drink or sleep until I am graced by pretty, sparkling lights on my monstrous Christmas tree.  Isn’t that cruel?!  😀

 

Even though I am still without bananas, I went all-in for a bowl of warm cold cereal mush this morning –

 

With chopped apple and homemade cranberry sauce

With chopped apple and homemade cranberry sauce

 

It had been too many days without it and I was starting to feel the effects of withdrawals – insatiable hunger, irritation, shaky hands … you know, the whole nine.

I really like the tartness the cranberries brought to the bowl and I look forward to having them again … with my darlin’ banana.  I just know that combination will be tres delish!

I’ve given in to the last bit of leftover Shepherd’s Pie and wrote that in for dinner tonight – plus that will keep me from having to go to the grocery store in this NASTY weather.  I’d rather go tomorrow when it’s not raining … hopefully the gray will be gone by then!

Lunch today was a simple plate of the following goodies –

 

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  • Morningstar Black Bean Burger on a whole wheat wrap with romaine, onion, ketchup and mustard
  • Steamed edamame – so fun to eat!
  • 1/2 Golden Delicious

Oh no … I just thought of something … if I don’t go to the store today, I won’t have bananas for the morning!  Whoa.  Major dilemma.  What’s a girl to do?

I will have to think through my banana-acquiring game plan while baking my BSI recipe entry, Pumpkin Walnut Oatmeal cookies!

Peace out, fancy people.

 

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Howdy!  Hope everyone is having a great weekend so far.  It has been a perfectly, relaxing day in this household … I didn’t even leave the house until 3:30 and Devin hasn’t left at all today.  We’ve been supa bums and lovin’ every second of it.  It is a cold, rainy day here in the Carolinas, so it was the excuse we were looking for to hid under a blanket and watch Legends of the Fall on TV … plus college ‘ball … and golf … and SportsCenter … hence, the reason I escaped when I did.  That was enough testosterone in one sitting for me.

I actually didn’t fully partake in the watching of all that action-packed entertainment, but I did manage to catch up on my blog reading – HOORAY!  I’ve really felt disconnected from blogging too many times this week … I guess that’s just what happens when life gets busy. 😦

 

Since I couldn’t imagine eating another bowl of cereal without a banana (flashback to yesterday’s lonely bowl of Grape Nuts, H2H and raisins – so sad), I decided to make a special breakfast for the husband and I …

 

Egg white sammie on a toasted whole wheat muffin with Morningstar "sausage" patty

Egg white sammie on a toasted TJ's whole wheat muffin with a Morningstar "sausage" patty

Chobani vanilla with chopped apple, pom seeds and a juicy clem

Fruit & yogurt parfait: Chobani vanilla with chopped apple, pom seeds and a juicy clementine

 

Needless to say, all this lounging around hasn’t put a dent into the monstrous disaster I’ve made of our house with all the Christmas decorations strewn about.  I guess that’s what Sundays are for.  The nasty weather is to remain, so I will hold myself hostage in the house until all the mess is cleaned up.  I can’t wait to take a picture of our soon-to-be fabulous tree for everyone to see!

For lunch, we once again tackled the leftovers in the fridge … mine consisted of leftover pizza from last night and CEiMB mac & cheese

 

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Our lunch was rather late since breakfast held us over so well.  As soon as I was done eating, I forced myself to get in the shower and get out of the house for a bit … I was feeling a little hermit-y.  Word o’ the day.

We needed clear lights to finish one of the bushes outside, plus envelopes for our Holiday Party invitations, so I was off on a mission.  It was close to 4:00 by the time I got to my first stop and I was amazed at how many people were still out and about so late in the afternoon.  I guess I figured everyone would hit the stores early and I would have the run of the river.  Not so … two shopping cart collisions later and I was out the door.  Enough is enough.  One shopping cart collision is all my scatterbrain can handle per outing.  I did get the lights though, so at least I got ONE thing accomplished today.

I started thinking about dinner while I was out and knew that I wanted to use up the leftovers in the fridge.  I’ve had my share of everything Thanksgiving now and I’m ready to move on to our normal eats again.  I’ve had enough carbs in the last few days to carry me into next year!!  Seriously.  I mean, who eats pizza and mac & cheese at the same time?!  It was good though … 😀

 

When I got home, I immediately went to the computer and began googling different recipe ideas for Thanksgiving leftovers … the one that struck me was Rachel Ray‘s version of Shepherd’s Pie with ground turkey and sweet potatoes.  I didn’t end up using her recipe, but the idea was born to create my own version of Shep’s Pie with what we had on hand –

 

Thanksgiving Leftover Shepherd's Pie

Thanksgiving Leftovers Shepherd's Pie

 

Here’s everything that got thrown in:

  • ~1 cup leftover stuffing
  • Frozen peas
  • Frozen okra
  • 1 thinly sliced carrot
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 2 cups turkey, cubed
  • 1/2 can Cream of Mushroom soup
  • ~1/2 cup turkey broth
  • 1 large sweet potato, cooked and mashed with 1/4 cup ff milk
  • S&P, to taste

 

Before the sweet potato topping ...

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Saute all the veggies in a small amount of EVOO, then add the stuffing, turkey, C of M soup and broth.  Once heated throughout, place in a casserole and top with the mashed sweet potatoes.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.

 

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Mmm mm mmm!  As you can see from the first picture, I topped mine with some homemade cranberry sauce.  So good.  So many different flavors and textures! 

The only problem … I have leftovers from our leftovers!!!!  That wasn’t suppose to happen … 

I’m out.  Have a lovely evening!

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Black & Blue

Hi everyone!  Happy Black Friday!!  Anyone get out there early as a bird to do some super sale shopping?!  I browsed through all the ads yesterday, but I didn’t see anything that was worth dragging my bum out of bed in the wee hours of the day. 

A few years ago I was standing in line at Target around 5:30 AM to be one of the first in the store when it opened at 6:00 AM.  Of all places I could have chosen at that hour, I ended up standing outside in the dark, freezing cold to get into Target … the irony is that it’s the one place I visit several times each and every week at any time of the day I please.  After all, it’s just a mile from our house.  Crazy lady.

After my blog marathon this morning, I was feeling rather cranky from all the technical difficulties I was encountering, so I flipped off the computer and haven’t looked at it again until now.  I feel like I am super behind on reading and commenting, but I’m hoping to make up for that this weekend since we should be pretty low-key both days.

I always enjoy getting the house ready for Christmas the weekend following Thanksgiving.  Staying true to this tradition, we pulled out all of our Christmas decor from the attic, plus we strung lights up outdoors on the bushes.  It was a perfect day to play outdoors since it was nearly 60 degrees!  I know I’ve said it before, but it’s really hard to believe it is almost December!!

Rewinding to breakfast, I decided to switch things up a bit (but not too much – it’s still cereal, just not granola) and settled in with a bowl of 1/2 cup Grape Nuts, 1/2 cup Kashi H2H and raisins

 

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We decided around lunchtime to pull ourselves together and get out in the hustle bustle to get some errands done.  Before we left, lunch was in order –

 

Crunchy buffalo tofu in a ww wrap with lotsa buffalo sauce and romaine leaves

Crunchy buffalo tofu in a ww wrap with lotsa buffalo sauce and romaine

Leftover black bean & rice soup ... no "sausage" left

Leftover black bean & rice soup ... no "sausages" left!

Crunchy carrot sticks

Crunchy carrot sticks

 

We still have plenty of leftovers from yesterday, but I just wasn’t feeling it.  This was just perfect.  

After our running around together, I decided to do some solo running … on the treadmill!  I was still feeling rather blue so I knew I needed to pound it out.  A good sweat always seems to lift my spirits!

A good hunk of pizza does a good job of lifting my spirits as well!  Since I still wasn’t in the mood for leftovers, we decided to head out to Wolfman’s Pizza for a bite to eat and a sippy treat –

 

Blue Moon with an orange slice

Sippy Treat: Blue Moon with an orange slice

We split a small Greek salad which had a ton of feta - YUM!

Bite to Eat #1: We split a small Greek salad which had a ton of feta - YUM!

Individual sized Veg-O-Matic pizza ... I only ate half.  Wasn't as hungry as I thought I was!?  That rarely happens!

Individual sized Veg-O-Matic pizza ... I only ate half. Guess I wasn't as hungry as I thought I was ... that rarely happens!!

 

I think it’s time to retire for the evening … as you can probably tell from my tone (or lack of) I’m just not feeling up to the game today.  It’s like a roller coaster … oh, how lovely it can be sometimes!  Ha!  Sleep tight, mis amigos!

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My Day Of Thanks … And CEiMB #2!

I am thankful for so many things in my life … my husband, my family, friends … my ability to run, write, cook, see, hear, smell … I could go on and on.  Thank you to everyone that has touched my life.  I wouldn’t be who I am without you! 

I am also very grateful to have such wonderful blog friends … fellow bloggers, readers, all of you – thank you for stopping by each and every day!

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving, spending time with some very wonderful people … my family.  The day could have only been better if my parents could have traveled the miles to celebrate this day of thanks with us.

There was six of us total – a small gathering, but it was nice to not have the hustle and bustle of a large group.  We were all able to sit down together and catch up on each others lives.

Here’s a glance at some of the wonderful things we encountered throughout the day …

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I started the day with a six mile run and then a bowl of warm cold cereal mush – not so surprising, huh?!  That held me over fabulously until our afternoon feast.

This week’s Craving Ellie in My Belly recipe was Macaroni and Four Cheeses, page 168, chosen by Supplicious

Of course, I made a couple of changes to the original recipe, which included the following …

 

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Freshly roasted butternut squash, instead of frozen pureed squash

I added a pinch of NUTMEG, along with the other spices listed in the recipe

I added a pinch of NUTMEG, along with the other spices listed in the recipe

Before the oven and PANKO bread crumb topping

Before the oven and PANKO bread crumb topping

The finished product - DELICIOUS!!

The finished product - DELICIOUS!!

This recipe is super creamy without the use of a lot of cheese … the squash is the trick!  I asked my family if they knew what the secret ingredient was and they were all surprised to hear it was the butternut squash.  If you don’t know, you really can’t tell.  It’s uber delish!

Here are additional shots from our day …

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RM's Cabernet Sauvignon

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Elegance

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Tres chic

My FIL - hard at work!!

My FIL - hard at work!!

Chilled Beet Soup

Chilled Beet Soup

 
My plate

My plate

My plate included all the traditional Thanksgiving fare … turkey with cranberries, honey-roasted sweet potatoes (my bring-along), steamed green beans, pea salad, CEiMB mac and cheese and a small spoon of jalapeno bacon stuffing.

I was ready to go back up for seconds, but I stopped myself … only because I knew that I would be over-the-top miserable if I did. 

Instead, I dug right into this –

Roasted Pumpkin Pie

Roasted Pumpkin Pie

I planned on making two pies, but when I really thought about it, knowing there were only six of us, I decided against it and just went with the one classic pie.  I didn’t really want leftover pie hanging around the house for days and days.  One day was good enough for me.  Just needed my fix …

MacDuff, over at Lonely Sidecar, sent me the recipe for this fabulous pie when I had asked for pie recommendations.  It’s a Martha Stewart recipe, found here

What made it so unique is that you actually roast a sugar pumpkin to be used in the pie versus canned pumpkin.  Wow.  It makes all the difference in the world … MacDuff said it best … you just can’t go back once you’ve had the real deal.  It was so light and fluffy.  The taste was so pure and fresh.  It was FABULOUS!  Thanks MacDuff!

We spent the remainder of our day in a food coma … digesting, looking over the paper, watching the ‘Boys and stringing lights on the Christmas tree … such a great day!  It’s really hard to believe that Christmas is now right around the corner … eek!!  It will surely be a whirlwind month for us.  We already have so many things down on the calendar!

Our bellies started rumbling once again around 8:00, so we settled in for a quick plate, including a cold turkey/cranberry sammie (the best!) and leftover sides –

 

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I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving, full of great eats and special moments with family and friends!  Thank you for reading and sharing in your day.  Enjoy!

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Hi everyone!  Happy Thanksgiving!!  I wanted to post a quick recap of yesterday’s eats before I get into all the turkey day pictures later on.  I spent a good portion of the afternoon in the kitchen … ok, fine … all of the afternoon.  It’s probably a good thing I wasn’t hosting this year – I would have been stuck in there for days!!! 

I really don’t know what took me so long … maybe it was my lingering glances at the tube while All My Children was on.  No, I don’t normally watch the show, but so many beauties in one place catches one’s attention.  I can remember being a young girl and having to take a break from play time with Grandma, so she could watch “her program.”

 

The eats …

 

Warm Cold Cereal Mush with Pumpkin, Pumpkin Seeds, Flax, PB and Vanilla Soy

Breakfast - Warm Cold Cereal Mush with Pumpkin, Pumpkin Seeds, Flax, PB and Vanilla Soy

 

Leftover Spaghetti Squash with Chopped Roma, Sweet Potato and Spinach plus Carrot Sticks and 1/2 PB/Banana Pita

Leftover Spaghetti Squash with Chopped Roma, Sweet Potato and Spinach plus Carrot Sticks and 1/2 Toasted PB/Banana Pita

Cute Lil' Clem

Cute Lil' Clem

 

Black Bean, Rice and "Sausage" Soup

Black Bean, Rice and "Sausage" Soup

 

I just have to share this quick and easy recipe with you … I got the idea from Jessica, over at Johnstone’s Vin Blanc (again!  Two great recipes in one week!!)

When it came down to making it, I didn’t have much time since we had plans to meet friends out.  I didn’t get a chance to look over her recipe again, so I just sort of winged it.  Luckily, it turned out great!.  I’m pretty sure it is very similar to the recipe she has posted on her site.

Black Bean, Rice and “Sausage” Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chicken (or veggie) broth
  • 2 cans black beans, liquid reserved
  • 1/2 cup jarred salsa
  • 1 sliced carrot stick
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 Boca Meatless Italian Sausages, thawed and sliced
  • 1 cup cooked rice (we used the microwaveable short grain brown rice since I burned the wild rice I had cooking while I was in the shower! Grrr!!  So, any rice will do here.)

Preparation:

In food processor, lightly puree one can of black beans.  Set aside.  In small skillet, with a small amount of oil, saute carrot and onion until slightly tender.  Add sliced “sausage” and allow to lightly brown. 

In a large soup pot, combine pureed black beans, broth, additional can of black beans, salsa, carrots, onions and “sausages”; bring up to a near boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes (I allowed it to simmer while I was getting ready, which was longer than 20 minutes, so that’s ok too!)  Add rice, stir well, cover and allow to simmer 5 minutes before serving! 

There you have it … a warm, comforting bowl of soup in no time at all!  One thing about making certain types of soup is that it can become rather time-consuming if you have a lot of veggies to chop, slice or dice.  This soup didn’t need that prep work, so it’s perfect in a pinch!

 

I’m off to run a little and eat a lot!  Enjoy this fabulous day!!

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Because It’s Orange

Hi all!  It’s gonna be a quick post tonight … I’m trying to organize my to-do list for tomorrow, that keeps getting longer by the minute. 

We are not hosting Thanksgiving at our house this year, but instead traveling the short distance (30 minutes) to Devin’s parents house.  I have offered to bring two side dishes, plus the pies, so I have a lot of prep cooking to get done tomorrow.  All the recipes that I am following are new, so it should make for an interesting day.  I have a bottle of wine ready and waiting in the case of an emergency. 

Following a recipe is so much more difficult for me.  You know how it goes … you have to pause mid-pour to double-check that the recipe said 1 tablespoon of salt and not 1 teaspoon.  Yea, that would make a big difference.

As I was checking out the lovely Jessica‘s blog (Johnstone’s Vin Blanc) last week, I saw a dinner she had made that really look superb.  Actually, ALL her meals look superb!  Thanks Jessica for sharing a great meal idea!  Of course, I made a few modifications to suit our tastes and our pantry …

 

Five-Spice Scallops over Pumpkin Grits

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Ingredients:

  • Bay scallops
  • 1/2 cup stone-ground grits
  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 chicken flavored bouillon
  • Heaping 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • S&P
  • 1 tbsp. Chinese Five Spice seasoning
  • EVOO
  • Cranberry sauce, optional (I whipped this together earlier today with fresh cranberries and agave nectar)

Preparation:

Combine milk, water and bouillon in large pot; bring to a boil.  Add grits, stir well to combine, reduce heat and cook according to package directions. 

Meanwhile, pat scallops dry with paper towels.  Dip each scallop into Five Spice Seasoning; set aside.  Heat a small amount of oil in skillet.  When heated, add scallops and cook until done. 

Stir pumpkin into grits, plus salt and pepper to taste.  Spoon grits onto plate, topping with sauteed scallops.  Garnish as desired – I used sliced scallions and cranberry sauce on ours. 

We also enjoyed a side of roasted brussel sprouts and our usual spinach salad.

 

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If I were to make this again, I would use less of the Five Spice seasoning since it overpowered the taste of the scallops.  I would also add red pepper flakes.  This dish was missing that little bit of heat that we always enjoy.  Other than those two minor things, it was great!  A fabulous combination!

Sorry to cut this so short, but I GOTTA GO!!  Have a fab evening!! 😀

 

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