(Food) Scenes from a Christmas Weekend

Hi Friends!

Hope you had a lovely holiday… I know that I did, in spite of still having this pesky cough! I didn’t capture a lot of photos…

Here’s a quick recap:

We continued our tradition of Chinese food on Christmas Eve paired with some wine (thanks Uncle Mike & Aunt Terry!)

The Christmas day menu was as follows: delicious leg of lamb, along with spanakopita, tabouleh, a marinated mushroom salad and a roasted root vegetable soup on Christmas Day. Basically, we ate all day long…which is totally fine! Unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling up to baking so we didn’t have any desserts other than a few cookies (thanks Ben & Ashley!) and some chocolate. And that was really okay with us.
 

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Even though I was really missing the family this year, it was really nice to sleep in and just relax—I ended up reading a book and a half (the half a book being really long!) and sipping on hot toddies for the long weekend.

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Other than some major relaxing, we went to see Into the Woods with a couple of friends. Who knew Chris Pine could sing?!

On Saturday, we drove over to Burlington to pick up a few essentials (like siggi’s and coffee) and skipped over to Trader Joe’s… I LOVE that store.

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We also discovered a new pizza place which was delicious…and we may have eaten all but two slices of the pie on the drive back across the lake… Whoops!

I made a batch of almond butter and a chocolate peanut butter (sweetened with stevia) in the ninja. Note to self: Next time either soak or roast the almonds first.

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Sunday was spent doing a lot of running around and church. Not gonna lie, it felt like a long day.

Monday we had small group and wound up at the bowling alley. Have I ever discussed my bowling skills? Yeah, I don’t have any. My friend Ashley tried bowling with her left hand and ended up tossing the ball into the next lane… it was probably the funniest thing I have seen in 2014!

Tuesday, I started my morning at the DMV…after work I went home and went to bed early!

 And here we are on Wednesday…At the moment, we don’t have any plans for New Year’s Eve… which is okay. Ben is working for part of the evening… we will probably pick up some wine and snacks and call it all good! I’m hoping this cough goes away.. It is so last year!

What about you? Any NYE plans? Most embarrassing bowling experience? 

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Dirty Little Secret (Boxed Mac and Cheese)

Hi Friends!

Hope you all had a great weekend! Mine was a win for the most part. Saturday consisted of sleeping in, going shopping and having a giant lunch.

I was pretty excited because I am finally creeping out of “in between sizes” and settling into the smaller size. I also picked up an awesome new t-shirt, along with some work pants and a sports bra. All were much needed!

Sunday was my day off with Farmer Ben…and let me tell you, we both needed it! We started out with church, some napping (okay, I was the only one who napped…but who’s keeping track?) and an amazing lunch.

It was the kind of lunch that you have when you want something hearty but don’t have a lot of time….or just don’t feel like “cooking.”

As you know, I’m not big on boxed foods…but I have a serious weakness for Annie’s Mac and Cheese…especially with greek yogurt. So good!

Sorry for the lack of photos… I was in too much of a hurry to stuff my face. Oops.

Anyway, here is what I call “the Dirty Little Secret.” I justify it by telling the world that everything was local/from the garden except for the mac and cheese mix and olive oil.

Dirty Little Secret (Or Lunch in a Pinch)

Ingredients

  • 1 box Annie’s Mac and Cheese-choose your own adventure on this one.
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 2 Jalapenos, seeds removed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • about a tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • Optional:1 lb ground beef (or chicken sausage, turkey, beans, bacon, etc.-again, choose your own adventure)
  • Optional: shredded cheese

What to do:

Cook your pasta as directed on the box of mac and cheese (to save time, boil water while you are prepping the rest) and set aside. Reserve cheese packet for later.

Roughly chop onion, jalapeno and garlic.

Throw them in a hot pan with some olive oil. Cook until softened, stirring occasionally so they don’t burn/stick.

Add in ground beef (or whatever you decide on)

Cook until your beef is browned, stirring occasionally to break up any big clumps.

If necessary, drain out excess oils/fat (we used a 90/10 grass-fed beef, so there wasn’t really anything to drain).

Add cooked macaroni and seasoning packet, along with some Greek yogurt…or sour cream if you’re feeling naughty. Stir until well combined.

We ate our’s like this, BUT if you want even more crazy goodness, pour your beefy mac into a casserole dish and top with shredded cheese. Cover with foil, removing for the last few minutes of bake time. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 until cheese melts/begins to bubble-maybe 15-20 minutes.

This will serve 4 people (better with a salad) or two extremely hungry people. We ate our’s in two sittings.

Again, this is just a quickly thrown together option, you could add in bell peppers, diced tomatoes, olives, whatever you want!

Enjoy!


Better Late than Never…

So, to continue on my game of catching up…

This weekend was, in a word, phenomenal! For real. I haven’t had that much fun in a long time.

Ben and I ran the Chief Run 5k, benefitting the Wounded Warrior Foundation, with some friends on Saturday morning. It was chilly, but the sun was shining. I was nervous but the elation that came from having Ben do a race with me overshadowed anything else.

Once I got in the zone, I just kept plugging away and felt so in tune with the environment. Our times were …not great, but we ran the whole thing and we finished.

I’ve even talked Ben into doing another race this weekend!

Post Race: “Gross But Necessary” (shoutout to Pato!)

One thing I did learn? I have a lot of hill work to do. Seriously. My hips were screaming the next day, but it was worth it. It’s also time to add in some speed workouts!

After the race, we continued our weekend of fun with Cinco de Mayo celebrations, The Avengers, nachos, brisket smoking and a nice long walk. All in all it was a high-quality couple of days. We also got some good news and soaked up some Vitamin D. Win!

More catching up to come…stay tuned!