Friday, December 31, 2010

2010: A Year That Didn’t Suck

It’s been a good year. A really good year, in fact. One of the BEST things that happened this year was I started this blog and have “met” some awesome people and learned a lot of things. Outside of the blogworld,

  • I moved. And it was a GREAT move. Our new place is better for both me and the pup (and I don’t hate not having to climb 6-flights of stairs many times every day). Don’t even tell me about the fitness benefits, when you are carrying groceries or doing laundry it SUCKS.
  • I started my graduate program in Speech-Language Pathology and I LOVE it. I don’t talk about my 8-4 gig on here, but let’s just say it’s relevant and inspired me to pursue this profession and I’m thrilled about that. Full-time working and grad school ain’t easy but it’ll be rewarding in the end.
  • I was inspired by many people in my life… people who are tremendously supportive and remind me to always remind myself what I’m truly passionate about despite set-backs.
  • I met one of my long-time friend’s baby! And held him, oh how time flies!
  • I travelled to NYC with the girls to celebrate our friend’s Bachelorette! We had a booty-droppin, rockin’ good time. Yes, I really did type that. Then in September, my friend got married!!!
  • I ran my first race EVER, a 5K on Thanksgiving morning (with my dad and one of my best friends) and had a blast despite the freezing temperatures!
  • I saw not one, not two, but all three of my longest, nearest, dearest friends at Christmas time. This has been very rare due to living abroad, travelling for the holiday and just general business.
  • One of my best friends got ENGAGED! She’ll be getting married to her love, a Brit, in October and I get to be a bridesmaid for the FIRST TIME EVER.

Wishing Everyone a Healthy, Safe, Happy New Year and Fantastic 2011!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Eats


I’m very happy to report that Santa did indeed bring me a new laptop. So far, I’m loving it!!! Now onto the food…

Christmas dinner included:

  • Scalloped Sweet Potato Casserole with Bacon
  • Pearl Onions in a Cream Sauce
  • Ham (the MOST delicious e v e r)
  • Butternut Squash
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Biscuits
  • Jello/Yogurt Salad
  • Peas

And for dessert:

  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Lemon Meringue Pie
  • 7-Layer Bars
  • Dough Balls

I really had to rally for dessert after dinner but I enjoyed a good size square of 7-Layer Bar. After that, I couched it for the remainder of the evening.

DSC06241 The pup was really worn out too. It must be all the fresh Maine air and playtime he’s been having with my parents.

I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday and enjoyed some tasty eats!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Merry

DSC06202DSC06203 DSC06221DSC06205DSC06216 DSC06226DSC06229DSC06218 Merry Christmas to ALL!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Brussels Fiesta


If you asked me 15 years ago what I thought of Brussels sprouts I would have made a disgusted face accompanied with a gagging sound. Truth be told, if you asked me not too long ago, I probably would have responded which much the same reaction.  It wasn’t until recently when I started to re-introduce foods I used to dislike into my diet that I found out I didn’t hate Brussels sprouts.

I’ve seen different dishes using Brussels sprouts crop up around the blog world lately, so when I saw a good deal on them at Whole Foods the other day, I decided to give them a shot. One of the ways I had seen them prepared was chopped in the food processor and then sautéed. I decided to do something similar with mine but at the same time, using them to create a “slaw” of sorts. Enter one cup of plain Greek yogurt (Chobani is my fave) and 1/2 a packet of…

DSC06169 Hidden Valley Fiesta Ranch Dip Mix! This stuff is SO good. I can’t tell you how many sleepovers this dip mix was a part of. Typically we’d mix it with sour cream and dip tortilla chips in it. Y-U-M!

I mixed about 1/2 the package in with the CHO and mixed the “dip” with the chopped Brussels sprouts (and grated carrots). Right before that, I had lightly sautéed the Brussels sprouts with a TBSP of butter to soften them up. After they cooled and were mixed with the Fiesta Ranch Dip, I squeezed in about a TBSP of lemon juice. I added a good size helping of my “slaw” on top of a bed of baby Romaine and cherry tomatoes.

DSC06172 I grated some pepper-jack on top and sprinkled on a bit of smoked Paprika and went to town. It was SO good! There was still great crunch and the slaw was nice and light yet had a great tang from the yogurt and a bit of spice from the Fiesta Ranch Dip Mix. WANT MORE NOW!

***On a side note, I apologize for my infrequent posts as of late. I am still having SERIOUS computer issues. Just about every time I turn my lap-top on, something else has gone caput on me. Let’s just cross our fingers there’s something under the tree on Saturday that can remedy this issue Winking.

‘Til next time folks!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles

I like all things spicy. So it’s no surprise that I liked the sound of a spicy baked-good. In the midst of dessert overdose, you’ll find comfort in these cookies. Why? Because they aren’t super sweet, yet sweet enough and pack a kick (from cayenne pepper!) that will leave your mouth nice and warm (even when the temperature outside is anything but).


You can find the recipe here at The Post Punk Kitchen. I followed the recipe exactly, with the exception of forgetting to add salt. I also took my cookies out after 10 minutes (after reading comments that the cookies got hard if left in longer). They came out perfectly crackled with sweet sugar and cinnamon topping.


Here’s the ingredient list:


  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon


  • 1/2 c. canola oil
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. pure maple syrup
  • 3 T. almond milk
  • 2 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 2/3 c. flour
  • 1/2 unsweetened cocoa powder'
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1/4 t. salt (that I forgot… oops)
  • 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. cayenne

You can follow the directions at The Post Punk Kitchen. Enjoy!

Monday, December 13, 2010

I haven’t jumped ship…

Really. I swear. But I have news. I am DONE for the semester. Which means I won’t be spending [the majority of] my free time doing school work. At least for a little bit now. And I have been cooking. Some exciting stuff, like Mama Pea's African Peanut Soup (which I ate for about 4 days straight…) and some standard fare, i.e. eggs. But for now, I just wanted to give a big,

“Hey I’m back!” shout and tell you something I whipped up the other day.


Pomegranate-Ginger Super-Soft Oatmeal Cookies


  • 1/2 C Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 C AP Flour
  • 1 t. Baking Powder
  • 1 t. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Egg
  • 2/3 C Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1/3 C Apple Sauce (or oil)
  • 1/2 C Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1/3 C Pomegranate Arils
  • 1/3 C Crystallized Ginger (chopped)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together the flours and baking powder.

In another bowl, mix together egg, sugar, apple sauce and egg.

Add dry mixture to wet mixture. Gradually add in oats, Arils and Ginger.

Roll into balls (about 2 T. worth of mixture) and place on parchment paper. Leave about 1 1/2 inches between cookies. Bake for about 15 minutes. Rotate cookie sheet about halfway through cooking time.

Transfer cookies to wire cooling rack and let cool for about 15 minutes.

Makes about a dozen cookies


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sunday Funday

Today was a great day. When I woke up the sun was shining, I had nothing pressing to do, AND I was in great company Winking. I relaxed for the majority of the morning and early afternoon decided I needed a pick-me-up.DSC06119

A hot, frothy Pumpkin Latte did the trick.DSC06121I made some Starbucks Verona coffee, on the strong side. Then warmed up some almond milk, pumpkin puree and a cinnamon/nutmeg/vanilla spice blend. Delish!

DSC06122 Late afternoon, hunger struck. So I whipped up some pumpkin hummus. If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times I AM NOT SICK OF PUMPKIN YET! I know, I know. I have no shame. And this hummus was AWESOME.

Into the food processor went:

  • 1/2 can of drained/rinsed chick peas
  • 1/2 can pumpkin puree
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • about 1/4 c. tahini
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • a good glug of Frank’s Buffalo Sauce

Awesome with pita chips AND carrots. I’m seriously trying to get over my love/hate relationship with raw carrots. I don’t mind them dipped (generously) in hummus. I ate all seven you can see there on my plate.

quotetrees cred

Dinner was a Mama Pea recipe and some super easy, yet delicious, beer bread. But I’ll post more on that later. So I leave you with this, because I like it (both visually and because it’s something to keep in mind).


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Super Slacker

I’ve been super busy this week. And I mean it. The semester is winding down and that means I have projects and loose-ends to tie up. It does appear as though the end’s in sight… It’ll be SO awesome to have a month off (from school stuff… not work). I haven’t spent a ton of time in the kitchen as a result, but have definitely had some good eats.


I picked up some of this prepared pizza crust at the health food store near where I live. It was on sale and it sounded interesting, check out the ingredients:

DSC06107 Since Friday night is typically a low-key, stay in and make pizza night here, we loaded this thing up with lots of goodies like: red peppers, red onion, portabella mushrooms and tomatoes.

DSC06112 I brushed the crust with a bit of balsamic before brushing on a light layer of tomato sauce. Then on went the veggies and a sprinkling of Mediterranean seasoned feta and some shredded mozzarella. So delicious.

DSC06105For dessert, one of these guys. Sam Adam’s Chocolate Bock. I just picked up the winter sampler last night and I’m psyched about the variety in this years box! Well I’m off, I have something yummy in the crock-pot and some stuff to do around the house! Lata.