Merry Christmas!

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I hope everyone had a great Christmas (if  you celebrate) and a nice long weekend if you don’t!  This was the first Christmas I was without my grandparents and it was bitter sweet.  I was able to spend the holiday with Nick for the first time, but they were surely missed.IMG_0620

Christmas Eve we had Nick’s dad over for dinner.

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We made roasted yams, butternut squash, green beans with mushroom and almonds, onions and pork roast.

For dessert we had local peppermint stick ice cream, gingerbread cookies and Rugge rum balls.

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We all headed out after dinner to find some tacky lights and we were successful!

Christmas morning we opened stockings and presents.

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Sissy enjoyed a head piece as well, but more as a play toy.

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After presents, Nick went to his Dad’s and my mom and I went to church and then to Nick’s mom’s house for dinner.

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Overall it was a great Christmas with new traditions.  I am glad my mom could come and join us and meet more of Nick’s family.  Is new years really only 5 days away??! Time to clean up wrapping paper and anxiously wait for the “snow storm” that is supposedly coming.

Happy Holidays!


Twofer

Today I did something I haven’t done since October 10, I ran.  I didn’t think I was going run until this spring but wanting to run is like an itch that needs to be scratched.  I wasn’t going to go hard or far, I just wanted to test out my foot and IT band to see how they felt.

I wore my squishy shoes that I got for my foot this summer to see how they worked when I ran (forever a scientist!)

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My IT band was tight at first but after the first 10min it had warmed up.  My foot did the same thing, but after the IT band stopped or I didn’t notice it until then.  Once I stopped neither one hurt but I got out the foam roller and just pressed it against my IT.

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Hurts so good.  Like a deep tissue message.

So, how far did I go?

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Mile 1: 8:31

Mile 2: 8:13

I am not going run more than once a week and I am starting to strength train, which is more important in being able to run that I am giving it credit.

The upcoming year will involve – swimming, strength, yoga and a small amount of running.

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Sissy says Hi! from under the Christmas tree!


Christmas In The Country

Yesterday we spent some time at Boordy Vinyard with friends.

They have events throughout the year like chili and wine pairings, fondue in Feb, and this weekend was Christmas in the Country.

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They were out of my favorite variety, but it was still fun to spend some time with friends over a few bottles of wine.

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We were able to taste a bunch of wine and go on a tour for only $5.  A great way to spend an afternoon when outdoor activity requires many layers.

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The group agreed we would be back in February for fondue!

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In The News

Two things  I saw on the news that I thought were interesting and worth posting about:

1) Group Dannon can no longer claim that eating Activia will help make you regular

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There is an *, but now they cannot claim that their yogurt can make you regular over others.  It is kind of the same issues that was had with Cheerios claiming to lower blood pressure when it is actually the whole grains not the brand that is shown to lower cholesterol and bp.  I am just happy that someone is standing up to companies who play into our personal esteem issues or give us an excuse to eat anything else as long and we are eating their “fix all food”.  Now if we can only get fun cartoons off of sugary cereals and microwave dinners, we would be all set.

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Personally I think we should be sell the food to the people who are actually buying it but parents seem to be losing all backbones and letting their child pick what they eat for dinner.  When I was growing up I had to try whatever my mom made and I was only allowed a sugar cereal once in awhile.  Once I was a teen I was able to pic my food more often, but I had to grown to like normal foods for dinner…we won’t talk about my ding-dongs in my lunch.

I got a little off topic there, but what do you think?  Do you think kids are getting to much of a choice in what they eat?

2) Michael Vick wants to get another dog…I think that is like giving a crack pipe to and addict and tell him not to smoke it…just be happy you are out of jail man!

Thoughts?


Just Beet It

Holy Moly it is freezing outside!  If you live from Chicago east you know what I am talking about.  The news says it is 30% cooler than the normal temps for this time of the year and I worry about the FL citrus crops.  Global Warming?  I don’t really believe in the whole thing, but that is another topic.

Tonight I embarked on my first ever beet adventure.  It wasn’t pretty, there was a lot of red all over my kitchen and my fingers but they taste way better then anything out of can.  They took a long time to cook and the skin gets really brown when baked, but there was no way I was about to peel them.  I treated the skin like a potato or carrot skin.  Obviously I wash them before hand!

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My beets came out way darker than any other I have had, and I am not sure why but that didn’t seem to change the way they tastes.

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Along with my beets I cooked up some lentils with leeks and goat cheese.  Anything tastes good with goat cheese but I love lentils.  I always seem to forget about them.

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I felt like I needed a little grain action so I grabbed a pita and stuffed her full.

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Much better!  Chewy, crunchy, goaty, good.

I have two more beets to eat but I am not sure I would ever make them again…I don’t love them enough wait over an hour and make my hands pink.  I think I will leave the beets to B Bistro!

One thing I don’t think I will ever stop making is… Jenna’s Cranberry Orange Pecan Bread.

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This stuff is amazing.  I know it looks dry and crumbly, but it has amazing flavor and I love fresh cranberries and oranges together!  The batter is really dry and you would think it would not come together, but magically it does!  She also used walnuts but I am allergic so pecans work perfectly!IMG_0591

I had to try 2 pieces for dessert to make sure I made it correctly – hot right out of the oven!

Sissy was really excited!

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OK, not so much.  She is not big on being held but I feel like she has been missing from the blog!

I am off to snuggle with my fur ball and read my book under covers.

Stay warm and wear a hat!


Tapas Fiesta!

I am so sleepy, but for good reason.  Last night Jess had an amazing holiday tapas party in NJ and I was up later than I have been since new years last year.

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I wish I had more pictures of the actual food because Jess did amazing job but this is what I can remember.

  • Marinated carrots (Jess I need that recipe!)
  • olives
  • almonds
  • romesco sauce with grilled bead
  • homemade mozzarella sticks
  • grass fed beef meatballs
  • fried cauliflower
  • sardines! – First time and 100x better than I thought once I got around the bones, thanks Rugs
  • chorizo, roasted red pepper and pearl onion sticks
  • potato frittata with homemade aioli
  • homemade sugar cookies

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Do you see the zebra?

Now for some fun photos of the evening!

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Starting with one of Jess’ cocktails – Cava, cranberry and triple sec with floaters.

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Check out how tall that tree is!  12ft tall!

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The whole group with Jess’ camera flash going off at the same time – bright!

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Sean.

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i-phone fun times.IMG_0571

I tended the fire at one point…

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and danced around until things got blurry.

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As always the Rugges put on a great party!  Thank you!

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Shrooms and Corn

I swam 2000 yards in less than an hour and only stopped every 500 for water!  That may be really slow for some, but given that I was sharing a lane and I not in the best shape I think it is pretty good to swim over a mile in that time.  It went a little like this:

  • 100 warm up kickboard
  • 400 free
  • 200 pulls
  • 200 breast
  • 100 free
  • 100 kickboard
  • 400 free
  • 200 pulls
  • 300 alternating breast and free every 50

When I got home I was starving, but I had a plan to make a dish based on one I had seen in this month’s Cooking Light.

Creamy Polenta with Fancy Mushrooms

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adapted from Cooking Light

  • 1 pint fancy mushrooms – I had a mix of oyster shitake and baby bella
  • 1/2 leek
  • 1 clove garlic
  • oregano
  • thyme
  • 2 servings of polenta (1/2 cup uncooked)
  • 1.5 milk
  • 1 cup veggie broth
  • 1 once tellegio or fontina cheese
  • parm shavings
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • S&P

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Sautee mushrooms in olive oil.  Add leeks, herbs, lemon and garlic – let cook on low.  Boil milk and broth.  Add polenta to liquid mix and stir until it becomes thick.  Add tellegio cheese and blend until melted.  Mix mushrooms and spinach into polenta.  Pour mix into two bowls and grate fresh parm over top.

 

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Finish off with 2 or 3 gingerbread cookies for good measure.

Nick is coming home a day early and I am so excited to have him here an extra night considering I am going to NJ to visit RUGGE this weekend!!!!!

Time to straighten up!