Thursday, January 1, 2015

Cheers to a New Year!


Last night we had a couple of friends over to ring in the new year (we anticipated a couple more, but a case of strep throat sidelined them).
We snacked on way too many finger foods and drank beer and bourbon while playing a new board game I got for Christmas.
I'm really excited about the prospect for a fresh start with this new year, and I started the year off with some major de-cluttering in our guest room/office/craft room. There's plenty more to be done, so I hope my current "GET RID OF ALL THE THINGS!!" mood sticks with me at least through the weekend. We spent time yesterday organizing kitchen gadgets, too, so all this progress feels really good!
I've got a few goals for myself this year. My biggest is probably to be more present and purposeful. All too often I feel like I'm just drifting along. I have a hard time focusing on events and conversations and have a hard time listening, internalizing, and remembering things. It feels as though I'm just half-assing a lot of things, thereby missing out on a lot of rich experiences. I'd like to pay closer attention to things and people, to engage more fully in events and activities. I want to live life more fully and stop phoning it in as I feel I have been. I have a lot to be thankful for, and a lot of amazing people in my life, and I feel like I take a lot for granted, at least through my actions and behaviors. One small change at a time, I'd like to get away from that. Along with that overarching resolution come smaller goals I'd like to flesh out over the coming days and weeks.
What are your resolutions for 2015?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Post-Halloween Damage Control

We had a few friends over for Halloween and enjoyed some naughty treats.  I made Candy Corn Jell-o Shots:

Layered Jell-O Shots

Dirt cake with gummy snakes:

Dirt Cake

Mummy dogs (I left out the cheese, and I should’ve cut their poor little arms a little longer):

 Mummy Crescent Dogs

Pumpkin seed brittle:

Pumpkin Seed Brittle

made from these guys’ innards:

Her Pumpkin His Pumpkin

Pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese icing:

 Pumpkin Cupcake with Cream Cheese Icing

And of course we played Cards Against Humanity, as we do at all our social gatherings.

Cards Against Humanity

So after the debauchery of this weekend, we’re getting back to basics with our cooking.  I was a bottomless pit yesterday, and I know it’s because my body was so out of whack from the crap I fed it Friday (and some leftovers Saturday).  It’s insane how “hungover” I feel after eating the wrong things (carby, salty, sugary, gluteny things).  Today I was achy, puffy, depressed, and irritable among a host of other unsavory characteristics.  I wish I could bottle up that feeling and take a small shot of it when faced with making poor eating decisions.  I might make wiser choices if I could more clearly remember the impact these foods have on me even several days after consuming them.

Dinner tonight was a couple of tuna steaks marinated in Soy Vay Hoisin Garlic sauce alongside some zucchini I spiralized and briefly cooked in a skillet with some onions, olive oil, and a couple spoonfuls of Trader Joe’s Many Cloves garlic sauce:

DSC_2114

We also went to the gym tonight for the first time in FOREVER.  I updated my Facebook status earlier that I’d be going to the gym for the first time in over a month – I thought for certain we hadn’t been in about 6-8 weeks.  Well, as we left, we asked the desk clerk to look up the last time we had been there.  JULY 13TH.  WOW.  Wedding stuff really consumed my life for the last couple of months of our engagement, and I’m SO glad to try to get a handle on all the stuff I let fall by the wayside.

If I keep up the clean eating and gym-going, before too long I’ll be feeling a little less Piggy!

DSC_2108

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sausage and Kale with Butternut Sauce and Spaghetti Squash

Mom came over for dinner earlier this week and I made a variation of this pasta dish from A Skinny Taste, but I also added some cannellini beans – it was to die for!  I had some butternut squash sauce left over, so I used it for a pasta-free version tonight.  I started by browning some sausage and adding onions, sage, and mushrooms in a big sauté pan we got as a wedding shower gift!

sausage, kale, baby bella mushrooms

Once the onions and mushrooms had cooked down a bit, I added some chopped kale and let it cook down.  Then I added the remainder of my butternut squash sauce (I wish I had written down everything I put in – it was a butternut squash I cooked in boiling water, plus about 3-4 oz cream cheese, maybe a splash of chicken stock, salt, and pepper).

adding butternut squash sauce

I added some fresh nutmeg with my Microplane – also a wedding present (we got so many wonderful gadgets!)

nutmeg all ingredients ready for spaghetti squash

Meanwhile I had roasted some spaghetti squash in the oven and sprinkled it with salt, pepper, and ground sage, so I scraped out the squash fibers once it was done…

spaghetti squash

We could’ve served the sausage/butternut mixture on top of individual portions of the squash, but we elected to just mix it all together in the pan before portioning out and topping with parmesan cheese.

DSC_2081

It was perfect – a little spicy, a little sweet, and chock-full of veggies!  We’ll definitely do this again over the fall and winter months.

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