Please watch this. I hope it gives you as much joy as it has me
Monthly Archives: December 2010
Ok, maybe not exactly fries.
After reading Beth’s post earlier this morning about sweet potatoes, I knew exactly what I wanted for lunch today. I also have a TON of these orange fellas in my kitchen, just waiting to be sliced and diced and baked.
I set the oven on about 375, sprayed a pan lined with foil, and lined these guys up for a trip to the oven. I turned them after several minutes. After I initially plated them, I noticed they were a little soft, so I left the rest of them in the hot oven as it was cooling down and just took them to work. They were a little crispy and totally delicious!
While they were baking, though, I got to work on the rest of my lunch. I bought some pumpernickel bread at Publix these week, and I have been dying to make a grilled cheese with it. So I did!
Winnie the Pooh and a grilled cheese, too! I used half a slice of Muenster cheese, and I drizzled honey on top. Sounds weird, but it was amazing! I love this bread. It reminds me of pickles. Maybe it’s the word pumpernickel? Maybe it’s salty? Who knows.
Fun Fact: In college, my roommate and I once bought a loaf of bread labeled, “PUMPERNICKEL PARTY LOAF.” Ever since then, I’ve always thought of pumpernickel as the shelf life of the party.
I grilled this in about a teaspoon of real butter. I considered eating it with some preserves (also a good combination) but decided against it.
My lunch was boss.
What’s one of the oddest combinations you’ve eaten? Does the word pumpernickel make you smile?
Oh, only when it’s legit. Like in Dirty Santa! Or more specifically, Ornament Swap Time!
For the past three years, Stephanie has invited me to her ornament swap (since I was an intern at the magazine). And I’ve not been able to make it But on this, the 10th anniversary party, I knew I had to be there. And whenever someone tells me Dirty Santa is involved, I usually get the wrong idea and agree to be there with jingle bells on.
When I first arrived, Steph put me to work in the kitchen—making me feel right at home! And even better, she set me up mixing mimosas. Now we’re talking. On the menu: breakfast for dinner. There was breakfast casserole (crescent rolls, sausage, cheese and eggs, I think? Need to get a recipe), pimiento cheese and biscuits, chocolate mint cookies, fruit salad, mimosas and cider. It was all awesome!
I had a little bit of it all.
Stephanie’s condo is so cute. I love these wall hangings:
For my ornaments, I chose something I thought others might want. (Hey! I wanted to incite a jealous rage.) I almost thought about buying one of these big-ass ornamental balls and showing up with it, acting all confused.
Instead, I went with these cuties from Cracker Barrel.
I almost ended up with these sweet little guy:
We ended the party the only way we knew how.
Steph knows how to work it.
As does Jen.
This all reminded me of the SNL Shake Weight “commercial.”
Have you ever attended an ornament swap? How dirty are you when it comes to dirty Santa? And spill it—have you tried out the shake weight? Did you feel as nasty as I did shaking it out??
Me? Not so much. I’m partied out, yo. It started back with Jonathan’s parents’ Christmas party, then there was the 4th Annual Tacky Christmas Sweater Party. Then there was the Greater B’ham Young Republicans affair at Rogue Tavern.
I know, I know.
What is this brite blue dot doing in a sea of red? On her own accord? Well, I thought I’d support my wonderful boyfriend.
That’s pork quesadillas, fried zucchini and pickles, and some sort of lettuce wrap. It was pretty good.
I represented my blue.
It may be hard to see, but that is, indeed, Dale Peterson. If you haven’t already viewed the commercial for his campaign for the position of Alabama Ag Commissioner, please do so now.
Yeah, you can see why I was excited. I got just tipsy enough to get my picture made with him when he left the building. Sad day.
When we left, we were still hungry from the lack of real food at the event. Enter Formaggio’s.
$5 pitchers??? How could I say no? This blog ought to be called “That’s What Summer Drank.”
I don’t even really like ranch, but these were really great.
The next week, the food parade continued. There was the Citadel party, which I look forward to all year.
I tried to fill up my plate with lots of veggies and fruit, but I can’t resist the awesome cheese platters they always have. So good. That meat on the right was so tender I cut it with a fork. Also—I didn’t eat everything on both plates
Later on, I joined J for another work luncheon (separate job) that I actually forgot about until the last minute. I’d come to work wearing an Auburn sweatshirt (dated Sugar Bowl 1987) and tennis shoes, so needless to say, I wasn’t exactly presentable. I hightailed it home and then up to the Summit. Holiday traffic took its toll, and a drive that normally would have taken me 10 minutes took 25. I felt so rushed.
My meal, however, was great. We ate at the Macaroni Grill, and I tried to order something from the lighter menu. I had the Rosemary Chicken Spiedini with roasted veggies.
How do you try to practice moderation while indulging in all the eating activities that come along with Christmas?
This year, I decided I want to make some tasty Christmas treats to give away as gifts (as long as I didn’t fall into the whole trap where Monica from Friends makes all the candy, and—never mind, enough sitcoms for one blog!). I knew I wanted to make peppermint bark, since it’s both A) delicious, and B) cheap (and easy).
Ghirardelli chocolate chips and almond bark were both on sale at Publix, so I decided to make both a dark (ish) and white chocolate recipe of peppermint bark. I started by unwrapping just short of a million starlight mints.
I put all the unwrapped mints in a Ziploc and pounded it like there was no tomorrow (TWSS).
I just love these Ghirardelli chocolates. They taste awesome, and don’t they look cute?
Don’t really follow my example when it comes to melting chocolate. It’s best to either melt it on a double-boiler (a pot on top of a pot of boiling water) or melt it gradually in the microwave to avoid burning it.
Once it’s good and melted, add about a half to one teaspoon of peppermint extract or oil. Add some of the crushed peppermint to the pot of chocolate. Spread the melted goodness onto a pan that’s been lined with wax paper or foil (and sprayed). Pop it into the fridge to cool. I left mine in overnight.
I broke this up into chunks and put some in some cello bags tied up with some string and paired them with a few other treats. I think they were received fairly well.
Do you like to cook/bake/melt over the holidays? What’s your favorite thing you made this season?
Hello all! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas. If you’re like me, Monday meant back to work I’ve been enjoying some yummy holiday eats and spending time with my family, so I was none too ready today. Luckily, we’re off for New Year’s Eve (since New Year’s Day falls on a Saturday), so it’s going to be a short week.
With the new year just around the corner, I’m hoping to get my priorities in order this week. That means getting my eating back in check, cleaning up around the apartment, and of course—blogging! Tonight I took a soothing visit to the grocery store to re-stock my kitchen. I tried a recipe out of a book I got shortly before the holiday—The Carb Lover’s Diet. The recipe:
I first read about the book on The Jen West Quest. She had a lot of success, and I’m anxious to see what I think of it all. I feel like sometimes I color too much out of the lines to be able to stick to any sort of plan (though I did well on Weight Watchers), but this book included not just valuable information re: nutrition but also recipes. Granted, there’s the normal cheesy diet book copy, but there’s still some good stuff.
Any way, the recipe. I was in the mood to hit the grocery store anyway, so I flipped around until I landed on this. You can find the exact recipe here.
I started out by cooking up a serving of brown rice (I scaled this down from 2 servings to 1). Then I put my shrimp under some running cold water to thaw.
I measured out about 2 cups worth of frozen stir fry veggies, which I supplemented with some shredded carrots that need to be eaten. They’ve been hanging out in my fridge, making friends with all the other aging contents.
Once the rice was done, I combined the ginger, soy sauce, honey and garlic to make the sauce. I added the veggies after about a minute, along with the rice and shrimp. This was awesome! I didn’t have the scallion that the recipe called for, but I still give it an A+. It was super filling, and it made a lot. (I think I may have used a little too much rice, but not by much.)
Ok, so maybe it didn’t look quite like the picture.
I’ll recap later, but here’s a quick sneak-peek at my two favorite Christmas presents:
And then there’s my personal favorite:
What was your favorite thing about this holiday (it doesn’t have to be a gift, of course)? Have you ever bought/read/used a diet book?
That’s what she said.
Every year at my work, we typically have a Christmas luncheon. They shook things up a bit this time by taking us out for a delicious, fancy meal and then out to see a movie at the beautiful Alabama Theatre for the Christmas series. Film of choice?
I’ll give you two guesses.
In fact, I’ll skip the first guess and go right for the throat—I triple-dog dare you!
None other than A Christmas Story!
But first things first.
We left work and headed straight to DoDiYos, a Greek restaurant. (The owner, George Sarris, is also responsible for another well-known Bham jaunt, the Fish Market.) The story behind the name is pretty interesting; you can read more on the linked site, but it basically reflects his memories of his mother (do), his father (di), and his grandfather (yos).
Jonathan and I had the pleasure of visiting DoDiYos earlier this year, and I really enjoyed the food and also the service. For our group party, the menu was narrowed down to a few choices of entrees, which actually made my choice a little easier. However, we all got started with fresh bread and feta spread.
The meal got started with a salad.
While it looked lovely and I’m sure it tasted just dandy, I don’t much care for this sort of lettuce. I don’t usually care for salad at all, but if I do eat it, I’m super picky about what greens I’ll eat. The salad I had the last time here was awesome: radishes, carrots, feta, and spring mix salad. I picked around this little guy, but I didn’t do much damage.
For dinner, I went with the catch of the day (mahi) served “plaki” style with onions, tomatoes and garlic.
The fish was very firm and flavorful. The “sauce” (as they called it) wasn’t too heavy and the tomatoes tasted awesome. The green beans were good, but nothing too special.
For dessert, they brought out a sampler tray of Greek pastries: cookies soaked in honey, Baklava, and what looked like a chocolate torte.
The movie was great fun after! I love any chance to visit the beautiful old Alabama Theatre.
Have you had a holiday party at work yet? Do you do catered to-dos or pot-luck parties? And the most important question….what are your feelings on A Christmas Story??!?
It seems like nowadays, you can’t swing your jingle bells without hitting a tacky sweater party. And while I know their numbers are many, back when we started our own tradition, there weren’t a lot of people staging tacky galas. This year marked Tacky Sweater Party IV: When Sweaters Attack. (Side note: I cannot believe this is the 4th Christmas I’ve had in Bham!)
In years gone by, my mom has provided costumes for not only me, but other guests as well. She once said that she wasn’t sure if this should make her feel good or depressed. (I suggested a little of both.) Let’s take a look back, shall we?
The sweater came from the thrift store, and I used rick rack to trim the edges. The tree was made of fluffy green pom poms. The best part?
I’m not sure if you can tell, but it had really working lights. BOO ya. It’d be funnier if it weren’t for the fact that I actually had a sweatshirt like this in elementary. The tree was made of fabric trimmed with pinking shears. Classic.
Then there’s last year. I was really going for, “I’m a mom, but I’m a cool mom. Right honey?”
I think this was at the penultimate moment of “Last Christmas.”
It’s like the Last Tacky Sweater Supper.
This year, in so many ways, December snuck up on me. I didn’t really have time to plan, so…
I added some newness. Who else do you know that can take this:
These fantastic earrings complemented the whole ensemble.
I found Mandy these sweet pants with embroidered trees and candy canes.
Hot performance from both Matt and Jen.
Fun times were had by all.
Have you ever been to a tacky sweater party?
This just in: I RAN SEVEN MILES TONIGHT!
You heard me.
I’m so excited for a few reasons. I’ve only run this distance once, and it’s been a while. Also, I’ve not been running as regularly as I should be, and I wasn’t sure I could do it. But I can, and I did! It was drizzly rain the first half of the run, and we had to fight some traffic. I feel like I can firmly describe myself as both “badass” and “hardcore.”
Jen and I made the decision to tackle this run earlier this week, and I was actually looking forward to it. Towards the end of the day, though, I was getting really tired from being up early and having a long day at work. But I knew I didn’t want to let myself down.
After stopping off at ALDI to pick up a few things (including a fresh pineapple), I headed home to eat dinner, stretch, and relax. Jonathan and I are heading out of town on Saturday, and I’m hoping to take tonight and Friday to pack this up, clean up in the kitchen, and catch up on a few things.
Once I arrived back at the apartment, I got to work on dinner. This morning, I made a really tasty chicken parm pita-type thing with a Publix veggie chicken patty, red sauce, cheese and mushrooms. Verdict: really good! The ingredient list wasn’t the shortest, but there wasn’t much on there that caused a lot of alarm. I decided I would use the other half in my dinner. I give you…Barbecue Fake Chicken Pizza! Sweet, smoky, tangy, crunchy—everything I was looking for.
Also, I have to show you something….strange. I was watching my video post earlier this week, and I noticed two weird things. First, this:
And then there’s the recommended video that comes up after mine is through.
Happy Thursday!! Or, as a former co-worker used to say, Friday Junior!
You know how I do.
Believe it or not, I actually had my tree up and decorated by December 1. (What’s that, I’m a little behind posting? Meh. Don’t you want to see lovely pictures of my tree?) My best friend from high school (and life, in general) came over to have some dinner and help me make things merry and bright. We decided the tree shouldn’t be the only one getting lit, so Matt brought some fun things to sip on.
We had a sampling of a tasty red and a crisp white from World Market. For dinner, I made Potato and Corn Chowder with a fun addition—two large carrots! It was not only yummy, but the orange color made me feel like I was eating something cheesy. Alongside that, we had some Rosemary and Thyme Cornbread with Un-Fried Green Tomatoes.
Ohhhh it was like a party in my mouth. This especially satisfying since the weather has really started to turn chilly. The blustery wind always sends me running for my Dutch oven.
When it came time to actually put up the tree, it was like Double-Entendre City.
“Do I just drop it right in?”
“It curves to left, should we just stick it in and then turn the screws? Is that tight enough?”
“Make sure and spread them wide enough.”
I’m so mature.
Dave wanted to help, too.
Let me just say this: Think long and hard (hehe) about getting a real tree if you have cats. I did that my first year on my own, and it was just a mess. Not a wise decision. This tree is still like an awesome jungle gym to Dave, but it’s not as bad as it would be if I had a real one.
A few glasses of wine and one Mariah Carey album later…
It’s Christmas, it’s Christmas time!