Thursday, October 28, 2010

Trimming the fat

I was going to write a post yesterday entitled “what’s it going to take?” after weighing in and discovering I had gained yet another pound, but c’mon…it’s a pound.  And do I really need to wallow in self-pity when I’ve brought it on myself and am not surprised in the least little bit?  I’ve been at a plateau for awhile and it’s no shocker – I’ve been eating whatever the hell I want whenever I want over the past month or two, so I’m amazed I’ve only gone up a few pounds overall.  I’m tired of being tired, tired of being scared to go back to the gym and to running, tired of feeling gross all the time, tired of being ashamed of what I eat. So boostraps, I pull myself up by ye.  Pumpkin bread has been put in the freezer, cookies have been given away, and I made a relatively “clean eating” dinner last night…

I tried a recipe I found in the book The Pastry Queen Christmas: Big-Hearted Entertaining, Texas-Stylepork tenderloin marinated in Sam Adams double bock beer, worcestershire, honey, lime juice, and salt, and then rubbed with chili powder, some chipotle powder, salt, and pepper before roasting.

pork tenderloin

As a garnish, I made some more apple and pear chutney like the stuff I put in the baked brie for Lofton’s wedding.  I peeled and diced two pears and two apples and cooked them on the stove with honey, brown sugar, dried cranberries, dried apricots, walnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

apple and pear chutney

On the side, I made spaghetti squash with sage and pine nuts (I’ve been looking for where I saw this originally and can’t find it – I’d totally give them credit if I did!), and I added some queso fresco I had left over from my pumpkin enchiladas.  Leftover steamed asparagus rounded out one of the best meals I’ve made in a long time!

asparagus, pork tenderloin, spaghetti squash

We’re getting a new oven today – everything baked or roasted has been done in our little microwave/convection oven, so I’ll be SUPER-grateful to have a regular-sized oven again.  I’m trying to think of what to make for the inaugural meal!  Any suggestions?  As badly as I want to make cookies, I’ll try to hold off for awhile…

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Impromptu Tailgate

When I got home from Lofton’s wedding on Friday night, Mom surprised me with some last-minute Clemson vs. Georgia Tech tickets she scored from a friend.  It’s about 2 hours from home, and I found out we were going at about 11pm the night before…holy last minute, Batman!  I planned a small tailgate for us – curry chicken salad from the latest Food Network Magazine…

curry chicken salad

(made with Greek yogurt and chock-full of veggies, it’s healthier than the chicken salad you’d find in your grocer’s deli section).  We also brought a veggie tray


…and some less-healthy treats, too.

brownie bites

(two-bite brownies with Halloween icing – AMAZING)

Harvest Moon Beer

(Blue Moon’s seasonal offering – frosty cold and best enjoyed while walking around campus!)  I brought my big lens for some “pretend to know what you’re doing” shots:

 Clemson Clemson


Clemson Tigers crowdsurfing  Memorial Stadium

PS – I lived in that dorm below for 2 years in undergrad – home sweet Holmes, where all the nerds honors students live!

 Holmes Hall overlooking the stadium

If you tailgate, do you make a big production out of it?  Bring a grill/smoker?  Or do you bring easy finger foods?  When I was in school, we had BIG tailgates…I was the Martha Stewart of tailgating back in my day (geez I sound old).

My OTHER Best Friend’s Wedding

The two IRL friends I refer to most often, Catherine and Lofton, both got married a week apart.  Both are my very dearest friends, and my head is spinning in the aftermath of their weddings (and one of my other closest friends just revealed she and her husband are expecting their first baby – my mind has been blown).  Catherine had a yearlong engagement and a big affair which I’ve already recapped, but Lofton had a very short engagement and a small backyard ceremony on Friday night (no, she’s not knocked up).

Married with beer

Because it was a small event, a few of us friends brought appetizers, and family members provided the dinner.  My friends brought pigs-in-a-blanket and “meat-wrapped meat” (bacon-wrapped weenies with brown sugar glaze)…

 pigs in blankets and meat-wrapped meat

Greek dip: hummus topped with feta, olives, and roasted red peppers…

Greek dip and pretty plates

…and I made baked brie with a quick compote.  I diced an apple and a pear and cooked them in a saucepan with about 3Tbls brown sugar, 1.5Tbls honey, a few diced dried apricots, about 1/3c dried cranberries, and about 1/3c chopped walnuts.  I *think* I added some cinnamon, but I was in such a hurry, I honestly can’t remember.  I probably did.  Anywho, I placed a wheel of brie on a sheet of puff pastry, topped with the compote, and wrapped the dough around the cheese before baking.  I served it with some assorted crackers and baguette slices.  I wish I had gotten a shot of all the cheese oozing out when I cut it open.  smile_sad

Baked brie

Dinner was an amalgamation of different homemade comfort foods – I had mac ‘n’ cheese, chicken and broccoli casserole, curried chicken over saffron rice, peas, layered salad, and a croissant.


And don’t forget the cake!  Our friend Kaycee’s mom made some AMAZING pound cake with buttercream icing and marshmallow fondant.

Cutting the cake


Of course there was beer and wine to be had, and I took a picture of this red blend that made me think of you guys:

"Blends have more fun"

“Blends have more fun!”

Though at Lofton’s wedding, us IRL friends had a lot of fun, too.

Lofton bites Kate's shoulder Admiring Lofton's rings us gals 


gals gals

Congrats, kids!

Lofton and Chris 

Did you have/do you want to have a big wedding or a small wedding? Lofton’s backyard ceremony had such an amazing feel to it – the awkward pomp and circumstance weren’t there, and we were all able to just be ourselves and have fun.  I wouldn’t mind something similarly low-key!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The dos and don’ts of pumpkin enchiladas


pumpkin enchiladas

  • DO use this recipe by Cheeky Kitchen.  It’s amazing.
  • DON’T get distracted add the chicken + onion TO the pumpkin cream sauce.  Chicken goes inside.  Sauce goes on top.
  • DO use flour tortillas instead of corn (or at least warm the corn tortillas up).  Cold corn tortillas break when folded and you will cry.
  • DON’T get all smart and add pickled jalapenos to the mix, even though you’re currently obsessed with them.  If you DO decide to add some, start with a couple, then add more as a garnish.  Your tongue will thank you.
  • DO add something green on the side, so you don’t feel like such a heifer for eating such a creamy, carby, cheesy dish.

pumpkin enchiladas

  • DON’T try to eat half a recipe, even though it tastes amazing.  You’ll fail and be miserable.

pumpkin enchiladas

  • DO take notes and attempt it again in the near future.

Find any new fun pumpkin dishes lately?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Best Friend’s Wedding

Well, Catherine done went and got herself hitched.

Catherine and Scotty

It was a long few days of apple-dipping…

Catherine and apples

…doing girly things…

bridal luncheon

my hair

…eating and drinking…

bridal luncheon - chicken salad, shrimp salad, fruit, mimosas, tea bridal luncheon - cannoli, brownie

rehearsal dinner - wine, spinach dip rehearsal dinner - salad, paella

rehearsal dinner - key lime pie wedding day lunch - hawaiian turkey wrap

…shaking and crying and speech-ing…

MOH speech

…smiling and laughing and hugging…

Mom and Catherine hugging

Lofton, Catherine, Me, Rachel

Jamie, Lofton, Ben

…keeping up traditions…

first dance cutting the cake

champagne retrieving the garter

decorating the car

…and being silly…

Lofton and Me

group jump

I can’t believe these two crazy kids are married.

Catherine and Scotty

My best friend is a wife!