Monthly Archives: November 2012

Holiday Decor

My family has always set up our Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving.  This year was a little bit different though, because I had TWO houses to decorate.  That morning we helped to deck the halls of my parents house and we finished up the evening by picking out our first tree together (choosing one in a parking lot is a lot more anticlimactic than cutting one down…. but something to look forward to in years to come 🙂 Our tiny house is much easier to decorate than my mom and dad’s but it’s been so fun making tweaks to our house with each season.  Check out some of our updates so far…

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The Holidays

The Holidays are here!!!

First up… Thanksgiving!  We had it at my parents house but I was in charge of the centerpieces.  Thanks to Pintrest and all the fabulously, creative bloggers in the world I was able to put together something I’m pretty proud of.  I tried to make it both interesting and creative and used everything from fruit/vegetables, mercury glass, to organic flowers, mint julep glasses to a giant silver wishbone and artwork.

Dinner was epic (as usual)… we sipped Bullit Bourbon with a lemon twist and indulged in all of our favorites – sweet potatoes with pecans, green beans with a shallot vinaigrette, ham with a meyer lemon glaze, pecan/sausage/leek stuffing, mashed potatoes… ahh I’m counting down to next year already!!

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CVR

I’ve spent the last 2 weekends at Carmel Valley Ranch (1 for pleasure, 1 for business… kind of).  Due to the nature of the trips, I had a lot of alone time… and I couldn’t think of a better place to reflect, renew and refuel.  Here are some of the highlights:  a 3 hour solo lunch at (my favorite) corkscrew cafe (who said 3 courses at 2 in the afternoon isn’t acceptable?!), reading the “Happiness Project” in a 2 hour long bathtub session, room service (enough said), day hikes, exploring a new city, hot tubing with my mom and J, working out sessions with THAT view, exploring Carmel-by-the-Sea, talking to strangers and meeting new friends…

It was a rejuvenating couple of weekends but I’m ready to be home and enjoy the Christmas season at home…

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Weekly Menu #3

In my efforts to create menus for those working 9-5’s (or in my case 9-7’s) I am trying to break away from elaborate recipes that are probably more suitable for weekend cooking.  I’m also working on eating EVERYTHING I buy at the store on a given week, while eating at least one vegetarian dish a week (Taylor I’m sure you’re smiling at this point).

Here was what I ate this week:

Sunday: Cowboys football was on tonight so I tried to be a good wife and fed my husband unhealthy man food.  I made homemade buffalo wings (actually tenders… no one likes dealing the bones anyway) and homemade ranch dressing.  Then we finished off the heart attack delight with homemade copycat In n’ Out burgers (grilled onions, special sauce, American cheese, the works – except I couldn’t do the iceburg… gotta draw the line somewhere) paired with sweet potato fries and a Siracha-Lime dipping sauce.

Monday: I had bought this per-marinated garlic peppercorn pork tenderloin from TJs last week as a back up if my halloween dinner didn’t pan out.  It did… so voila I had an entree prepared for this week already!  I just had to brown and bake it while i made homemade mashed potatoes and roasted root vegetables as sides.  Note:  I cut up the vegetables before work and put in a ziplock bag in the fridge for the day.  I also peeled and cut up the potatoes which i then put in heavily salted water in the fridge for the day.  I just had to boil them when i got home (they do become tender much faster then).  The whole dinner took 30 minutes to throw together once i got home that night and it was SO good… like thanksgiving worthy.

Tuesday: JB had a work dinner so I use these nights to eat things that I like that I know he hates – ie tofu.  I found this killer pan seared tofu with ginger lime glaze that i made and paired with brown rice and broccoli.

Wednesday: Date night – I was off the hook for dinner and we finally made it to The Table… a fab new restaurant walking distance from our house… score!

Thursday:  I made eggplant parmigiana with crispy lemon brussel sprouts. I cut the recipe in half to avoid the last time i made a lasagna-type dish that resulted in leftovers for weeks thus turning me off to it for the next 5 years.  The only problem is that Jeremy heard “chicken parmigiana” was for dinner and then had a hissy fit when he saw me preparing something that definitely was not chicken.  ultimately i thought it turned out pretty good (i’m not an eggplant fan so i was a little hesitant) but cover anything in mozzarella and i’m pretty much sold. We’re still working on Jeremy…

Last night Jeremy’s brother John did a surprise appearance at his benefit concert and it was awesome to see him get to play with everything going on (the 2am bedtime on a “school” night is a different story 🙂 Tonight we’re going out with Erin and Craig to see Skyfall and grab dinner… going to see a British actor with a British friend… hopefully i can restrict my accent impersonation attempts this weekend.

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