Easter 2011

“9” Things I Loved About This Year’s Easter

1. Nicole’s creativity, dispersed into the cutest place settings that I have ever seen.

(Nicole is the up and coming Martha Stewart, in case you didn’t know.)

2. Quiet time spent with family and friends.

3. The food.  (of course!)

Nicole made a large batch of sweet potato and rosemary soup.  For a moment, I completely lost my senses and found myself wishing that I was one of mom’s homemade butter rolls being dunked into the rich, orange broth.

Did I just say that out loud?

Heavenly.

I honestly could have made a meal out of the bread and soup, but the main meal was pretty scrumptious too.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Summer Squash w/ Dill Saute

Ham and Turkey

Broccoli Casserole

Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots

Green Beans

I hated the meal.  All of it.  Obviously. 😉

4. Seeing my bestie: Nicole @ Loving Simple Moments

5. Dessert. (because this is a completely different reason than the #3!)

Nicole went all out with the entirety of the meal.  And then she ended it with a loud, lemony, coconut bang.

Kelsey brought a trio of yummy vegan desserts for the table to share as well.

Delish!

6. End of meal conversations.

This is always my favorite part of every holiday.  Empty plates.  Quiet chatter.  Candles glowing.  People laughing.  Bellies feeling full and content.

7. Goodie bags! :mrgreen:

Thanks, Nicole!

8. Cuddling with a cat named Stitch.

Because he never ceases to make me laugh.

9. Remembering all of the good things in life.

Sometimes I forget to thank God for the simple moments.  Which is funny, because these are the moments that I continue to remember, long after the day has passed.  The moments that mean the most.  I love that Easter reminds me of all these things. 

Happy Easter!!!

QUESTION: What is your favorite part of Easter?

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let it…snow?

Well.  I tried to be mature about this.  But waking up to snow this morning was not at all my cup of tea.

In fact, I felt like doing nothing more (or less) than griping and complaining.  And I definitely let out a loud groan as I turned the coffee maker on, which probably (most definitely) woke my parents up.  Yep.  Real mature.

But a girl can change her mind, right?

I slipped on my flats (because I absolutely refuse to wear Uggs in April!) and stood on the porch, overlooking the magic around me.  It was beautiful.  Everything.  Beautiful.  The snowflakes were large and melted on my face as I grinned up at the sky.  The world was asleep and I was completely alone.  Watching the snowflakes.  Life is so beautiful.

Dad walked into the kitchen and ate some breakfast with a mug of coffee.  And then we decided to head out for our morning run.  In the snow.  I felt like a little kid on my day off from school, running and splashing through puddles.  Fingers feeling numb from the cold.  Face feeling frozen.  This is what contentment feels like.

Happy Easter, everyone!  I hope that you are able to enjoy the day with the ones you love the most.  😀

QUESTION: How are you celebrating Easter this year?

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Sarah’s “Official” Half Marathon Training Plan

Week 1: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 2: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—5 miles

Week 3: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—2.5 miles

Week 4: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—6.5 miles (YIPPEE!)

Week 5: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—3 miles

Week 6: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—8 miles (We. Did. It! :D )

Week 7: 
Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—3 miles

Week 8: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—9.5 miles (Feelin’ Good!!)

Week 9: 
Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 10: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—11 miles

Week 11: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 12: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—12.5 miles

Week 13: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—4 miles

Week 14: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—14 miles

Week 15: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—5 miles

Week 16: Tues—3 miles   Thurs—3 miles   Saturday—HALF MARATHON RACE DAY


Merry Christmas Eve!

There’s a nine pound beef roast sizzling in the oven.

All of the presents are wrapped.

And I’ve been knee deep (elbow deep?) in butter, chocolate and sugar all day.

Espresso Brownies

Pb and J Bars

And on that sweet note, I am now going to go for a walk before the Christmas Eve party officially begins. 

A Merry, Merry Christmas to everyone!  I hope you all have fun celebrating with the ones you love.  Make room for good food, games, family and friends.  Then come back and tell me all about the highlights of your holiday. 😀

a success story

Amidst all of the chocolate, butter, and cream, I hope you find the time to bake yourself a batch of granola.

I’ve been in the process of overcoming a lot of my fears, these past few days and weeks.  Public speaking.  Grocery shopping during rush hour.  Eating things with jalapenos. 

So—I decided—why not bake granola? 

But with a past history of burnt-to-the-crisp “granola” and smoky ovens too, I wasn’t really sure what to expect this time around. 

With a fresh new bag of coconut flakes and a determined attitude, I got right to work.  Granola is supposed to be easy, after all.  I can do this! 

All of the ingredients were tossed into a big bowl, stirred together, and spread out onto a rimmed cookie sheet.  So far so good.

Thirty minutes later:

The house smelled like heaven.  Heaven!  The sweet smells of toasted coconut, mixing and mingling with roasted pistachios.  Heaven.  And best of all, my oven wasn’t smoking, the granola wasn’t charred, and everything went as planned.

Although I have to warn you against taking that first, delicious bite of warm granola straight from the oven.  It’s hard, I know.  But trust me, you don’t want to give in to the temptation until it’s had at least 5 minutes or so to cool! 

You do, after all, want to be able to taste that snack which you have planned for later in the afternoon.

Homemade granola makes for the perfect party gift.  Simply tie a ribbon around a clean, emptied peanut butter jar, top with a bow, include the recipe on the tag, and bring along with you to your next holiday gathering. 

Or you could just keep it tucked away in your pantry and not tell anyone.  Nobody’s judging. 😉

Olive Oil Granola—as seen in “In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite,” with some minor tweaking.

This is by far is my favorite granola recipe that I have ever tasted.  The original recipe (<—seen here) called for dried apricots, pumpkin seeds and coconut chips.  I improvised, based on what I had on hand.  I also cut the original recipe in half, which still gave me a full 4 cups worth of granola.

The granola is super crunchy, sweet, and addictingly salty (think kettle corn.)  It’s delicious eaten by the handful, sprinkled over greek yogurt, or served with warm milk.  ENJOY! 😀

  • 1-1/2 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 c. raw pistachios, hulled
  • 1/2 c. walnuts
  • 1/2 c. sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4-1/3 c. pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/3 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 c. dried cranberries
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats through ginger.  Spread mixture on a large rimmed baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden brown and well toasted.
  3. Transfer granola to a large bowl and add the cranberries, tossing to combine.  Let cool completely and place in airtight container to store.

Question: What are your favorite granola mix-ins?

the feeling of Christmas

On more than one occasion, I’ve woken up on the morning of December 26th, only to ask myself, “Was yesterday really Christmas?”

Everything about Christmas is magical when you’re small.  The lights.  The parties.  The hot cocoa.  The rushing of parents, aunts, uncles to “please, please, please finish drinking your coffee so we can please open the presents.”  The food (well, some things obviously never change.) 😉

But then when you’re older, you suddenly realize that there’s a lot of shopping to do in the middle of a busy work week.  Plans need to be made.  A schedule must be followed.  Rush, rush, rush.

I’d like to say I’m immune to all of the madness that sometimes revolves around one of my favorite holidays, but that would be a lie.  These past couple of weeks, I was that girl frantically shopping at the mall for those last minute gifts.  I was very thankful for leftovers.  And I didn’t stop to notice that the neighbors down the street put up a 6 ft. snowman.

But tonight was deliciously different.  I served the family warm bowls of leftover ratatouille with a couple of lightly buttered toasts to drink up any extra sauce (tasty serving option!)  I popped on some old country style Pandora Christmas music.  I danced around the kitchen. 

And then we all bundled up and took a drive to look at Christmas lights. 

I think I found it.  That feeling of Christmas.

Because if dancing to Bing Crosby’s Christmas music in the kitchen and looking at Christmas lights doesn’t put you in the Christmas spirit, I honestly don’t know what will.

Well.  Maybe gingerbread biscotti?

I was starting to grow slightly jealous of all the cookies that I’ve been seeing around blogland.  Homemade chocolate dipped oreos.  Blondies.  Pecan bars.  You name it.  They’re all there.

While I have all of my plans made for what I’ll be making come Christmas, I needed a little tease to hold me over until then.  I desperately wanted to whisk something.

I decided to experiment a little with a standard biscotti recipe that I have on hand. 

First, I wanted to use graham flour, for its nuttiness and crunch.  I also wanted spiciness.  Think ‘gingerbread cookie meets a regular, standard ol’ tea biscotti.’  They should really get together, I thought to myself.  I bet they’d fall in love.

The best part of making biscotti?  Turning a big round rectangular sort of thing… 

Into a dainty little biscotti.  Perfect for that afternoon cup of tea or paired with a hot cup of cocoa. 

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.

Gingerbread Biscotti

If you love biscotti and enjoy the spiciness that belongs to a gingerbread man, then it’s time to put the two together!  This recipe is incredibly simple to make, and could easily be tweaked according to what you like.  Raisins?  Walnuts?  Dark chocolate chips?  A drizzle of sweet maple glaze?  They make a great pairing to your cookie platter at Christmas, and they make a nice break from all of the more chocolatey things.  Enjoy! 😀

  • 2-1/4 c. graham flour (may use whole wheat flour instead, or a mixture of all purpose and whole wheat)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 c. molasses
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Combine flour through baking soda.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and egg whites lightly.  Add brown sugar, molasses and vanilla, stirring until smooth.
  3. Stir the wet and dry ingredients together, stirring just until smooth.
  4. Divide dough in half; shape each into a 14 inch x 1-1/2 inch rectangle on a cookie sheet coated in nonstick cooking spray. 
  5. Bake for 25-27 minutes or until firm to touch.  Remove, let rest for 5 minutes and reduce oven to 300 degrees.
  6. Cut diagonally with a serrated knife, 1/2 inch slices.  Place cut side down on baking sheet; bake for 10 minutes.  Turn biscotti.  Continue cooking another 7-10 minutes or until lightly browned. 
  7. Let cool on wire rack.
  8. ENJOY! 😀

Question: Are you doing a lot of cooking this year for Christmas?  What is the one thing you look forward most to baking (or eating!)

putting up the Christmas tree

For as long as I can remember—on some random day during those last couple of weeks before Christmas—my dad would announce to the family that it was about time “we take down the Christmas decorations from the attic.”  

I don’t know if it was the smell of leftover pine from the Christmas before.  Or the warm, cozy mugs of Swiss Miss hot chocolates (with those fluffy white marshmallows!) that my mom handed us.  Or the rolling sounds of Bing Crosby looming over the radio.  Whatever it was, this day—this unpacking, sorting and decorating—was almost as exciting as Christmas morning itself. 

I’m not that little girl anymore.  But I can still feel that same excitement and curiousity, just as I did on those nights of helping my dad take down all of our Christmas memories and decorations from the attic.  Peeling back an oversized Toys “r” Us bag to reveal an array of collected ornaments.  Putting garland around the stairways.  Laughing and giggling and just having fun.  

I love Christmas.  I love big bags of unique ornaments.  I love laughing and being silly and listening to Bing Crosby.  

(I love Charlie Brown and funny looking snowmen!)

Know what else I love?

Eating breakfast in front of the Christmas tree.  To be continued…

Question: What is one of your favorite holiday memories?

pumped with pumpkin

Pumpkin seems to be floating around blog land these days.

Some of us continue to eat it in everything.  Some of us are screaming “enough already!” 

And then there are those of us who still have a good dozen cans waiting in our pantry.  Just sitting there.  Lost, confused, alone.  Desparately looking for some way to be used and appreciated.

Now, I’ve always been one to err on the side of sweetness when it comes to pumpkin, which is why I always pair it with warm, creamy oatmeal.  Or yogurt topped with crunchy granola.  But now—with November being over and all—I felt that I needed a change.  A bite of something completely new.

With that in mind, my lunch evolved.

Thursdays require me to pack a lunch the night before.

I’ve learned to embrace this time spent alone in the kitchen at night, trying to think up what it is that I want to eat the following day.  I flick on some Christmas music, pull my comfiest of wool socks on, and dance around the kitchen while preparing my meal.  Speaking of which, whoever said cooking is serious business, obviously did not know what they were talking about.  The less serious you are, the better things will turn out.  Having fun and enjoying the creation of a meal is the key to success! 😀

First, I tossed a couple handfuls of baby romaine leaves with a tsp of olive oil and sea salt.  This is a simple way to up your veggie intake.  It also creates a nice bed for whatever foods are tickling your fancy at the moment. 

With pumpkin on the brain and a bag of leftover whole wheat pasta sitting in the fridge, I created what I now call “pasta with pumpkin and sage.”

I didn’t take any exact measurements, but I did taste a little as I went, just to be sure that the seasonings were exactly where I wanted them to be.  Remember, when you are cooking solely for yourself, there is no need to primp and ponder whether everything tastes exactly like it should.  If you love it, that is all that matters. 😉

The rest of my snacks and lunch itmes included a mini whole wheat bagel smeared with roasted red pepper hummus… 

…a handful of almonds…

…a mini luna white chocolate macadamia bar just for fun…

…and a container of pineapple and red pears.

I received this Luna bar at the recent nutrition expo that I went to.

My thoughts were that it was just “okay.”  Honestly, I don’t think I would actually ever buy one for myself, as all the flavors seem to blend and taste the same to me after awhile!  But it did make for a nice mini-sized snack, and I can see how it would come in handy for an “emergency snack.”  They’re small enough to stash in a purse or to have on hand before or after a visit to the gym.  Still.  I think I’d rather have a handful of almonds or a fruit instead.  Much more satisfying. 😀

Pasta with Pumpkin and Sage

 If you’re looking for a new way to use your canned pumpkin, give this simple, savory dish a try!  I never thought I’d live to see the day, but I can honestly say that I much prefer savory pumpkin to sweet!  There’s something wonderful about sage and pasta mixing and mingling with creamy pumpkin.  These three simple ingredients really do go very well together. 

The addition of lemon juice is a must in this dish!  It (along with the garlic!) gives the dish such a lovely bite, pulling it all together.  Feel free to change things up as you go!  I’m pretty sure nutmeg and/or thyme would be two interesting ingredients to play with as well.  

  • 1 c. cooked whole wheat pasta
  • 1/2 c. canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 c. canned white beans, drained and rinsed
  • a few dashes of sage
  • one or two sprinkles of cinnamon
  • garlic powder to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • sea salt to taste
  • a few splashes of lemon juice (be semi-generous with this!  It offers a wonderful flavor)
  • lettuce, olive oil, sea salt (optional)
  • toppings (optional): walnuts, cranberries, pepitas, etc.
  1. Combine all ingredients from pasta to lemon juice together in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Toss together lettuce, oil and sea salt.
  3. Top the lettuce mixture with the pasta mixture.  Place in fridge for following morning’s lunch or eat right away.
  4. ENJOY! 😀

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My room is officially filled with Christmas cheer! :mrgreen:

This little tree stands a meer 2 feet tall, but it’s sending such a warm glow throughout my room.  I love it!  I can’t wait until the official tree is put up next week. 😀

Question: When do you usually put up your Christmas tree?

snickety snack

Thank you so much to everyone for taking the time to comment on the previous post that made it on to Freshly Pressed!!  What a fun surprise, and I appreciate all of your kind words as well as the stories that were shared.  Thank you! 😀

I’ve noticed that I never—hardly ever—talk about snacks.  Which is a shame, considering how much I (a) enjoy them, (b) preach of their benefits in regards to a healthy diet, and (c) eat them. 

And so I figured it was due time that I share with you a few (or four) of my most recent favorites.  They’re simple—nothing fancy.  But that’s the way I like them.

“Sweet and Salty Banana Crunch”

Sweet and salty meets smooth and crunchy.  It’s a beautiful thing. 

Step one: peel and halve a banana.

Step two: smear with peanut butter.

Step three: sprinkle with your favorite granola (Natures Path Pumpkin Flax Granola is my personal fave!)

Step four: Enjoy.  Each.  Delicious.  Bite.

“Papaya”

As much as I like variety, when it comes to fruit I’m a hopeless bore.  Apples.  Bananas.  Oranges.  Maybe the occasional pomegranate, mango or pineapple. 

And then—this past week—my dad bought me a papaya.  He left the large green fruit on the kitchen table, as a fun surprise for me on the following morning.  And I’ve been addicted ever since.

Papaya is one of those fruits that you’d steer towards in the hot summer months.  It’s refreshing, juicy, and best served chilled.  The flavor is unusual, with an exocit flair like that of mango (without the tart and tangy zing.) 

Simply scoop out the seeds, slice it up, and enjoy!

“Pumpkin Yogurt Crunch”

If you spend enough time traveling through blogland, you’ll see pumpkin pies, pumpkin breads, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin whoopie pies!!, pumpkin souffles, et cetera, et cetera.  Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin.

And why not?  Pumpkin is just one of those things that never gets old.  It’s versatile and goes as well with sweet things as it does with savory.

For a simple snack, I swirl nonfat, plain yogurt into canned pumpkin and top it all off with crunchy granola (hey now, you’ve got to admit that granola makes for a lovely garnish on lots of things!) 

Simply pumpkin.

“Crackers ‘n’ Cheese”

Normally when I’m talking about cheese and crackers, I like to discuss some fancy schmancy cheese.  Like a sharp Robusto that entertains your tastebuds with little crystals that pop as you chew.  Or a slice of mild jarlsberg, turned into a melted grilled cheese and then smeered with a layer of homemade raspberry jam (who needs a cracker there, you know?)

But—in this case—it’s all about the cracker.

My cousin introduced me to these fabulous crackers when she brought them to my sister’s housewarming party.  The cheese was amazing.  Yes, it was.  But the crackers are what stole the show.

Think of a nutty, buttery wheat cracker meeting (and falling in love) with a sweet graham cracker.  This is the result.  Subtle, sweet (but not overly so,) and perfect.  Absolutely perfect.

(p.s. I could eat this for dessert as much as I could eat it as a snack with a slice of cheese.  )

And there you have it.  My top few (or four) favorite snacks.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I’ve been enjoying them over the past week or so. 😀

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Guess what I was up to all afternoon?

The next best thing to putting up a Christmas tree in the living room is decorating the trees outside.

These cheery little bulbs ‘absorb’ the sun by day, thereby turning them into glowing lights by night.  They’re both environmentally friendly and charming. 😀

I give credit to people who have an entire house brimming with lights and things.  I was exhausted after putting the lights up with mom, along with putting up the outdoor wreaths and decorations.  This is what I call a real life workout. 😉

It’s really starting to feel like Christmas.  A little bit of Pandora Christmas singing through the air and a hot cocoa will make it absolutely complete.

Well.  That, and picking up the Christmas tree.  To be continued this week…

Question: What is one of your favorite snacks at the moment?

a bowl of soup

I love cheesecake.

I love rich, creamy, lemon infused frostings.

I love butter.

I love all of these things and more.  Which surprises some people.  You have to admit, it is just a little ironic for a dietetics student to be totally into these sorts of things.  You know?

I guess you could say that I’ve found the common ground between my deep desire to be healthy, strong, and confident, while also indulging in all of the things I love.  Intuitive eating.  It’s a process.  A life long journey.  And, speaking from one friend to the next, let me tell you: it’s completely worth the effort. 

Speaking of indulging in all of the things I love, nothing is more suiting for a post-holiday lunch than a hot vegetable soup. 

I consider most of my vegetable soup recipes to be the beginning step.

A red bell pepper is added here.  A zucchini is added there.  Some extra seasoning, a sprinkle of salt, a dash of pepper.  Most of the time, no two soups are exactly alike.  This is true.  Most of the time.  And yet, whenever I make this particular soup, I pause for a second, carefully considering what I want to add. 

And then it hits me.  Nothing.  I don’t want to add a thing.  It’s perfect, just the way it is.  To think I found this simple recipe in a grocery store handout. 😉

On the side, I broke up the last of my quinoa burger, added some freshly chopped spinach and tomatoes, added some hot sauce, and dunked my tortilla chips.  I loved the soft, nutty nexture of the quinoa burgers against the salty crunch of the tortillas.  Yum!

Minestrone Soup

This soup gets better and better with age.  Flavors meld.  The cabbage sweetens.  It’s a beautiful thing. 

In other words—for best results—make this soup at least one day ahead and enjoy it to the fullest on the following day.  This is a lovely soup filled with nutrients and flavor.  Perfect for a cold autumn afternoon. 😀

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 quart low- or reduced sodium broth, chicken or vegetable
  • 2 cups white beans, cooked
  • 2 cups canned tomatoes
  • 1/2 head cabbage, chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Pepper, to taste
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot.  Add onions, celery, and garlic.  Saute until tender but not browned. 
  2. Add basil and oregano.  Stir for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add chopped zucchini and carrots; cook for another few minutes.  Pour in chicken or vegetable broth, cooked beans and tomatoes. 
  4. Cover, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to simmer.  Alow soup to cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add water as needed.
  5. Add chopped cabbage and parsley and cook for about 10 minutes more.  Add pepper to taste.
  6. ENJOY!

 

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Have I ever mentioned how much I love Black Friday??? :mrgreen:

Nicole and I were up at 4 this morning.  Ready by 5.  Shopping by 6. 

Breakfast was taken to go.  Hair was thrown up in a ponytail.  Shopping adrenaline gave us energy.

I.  Love.  Black.  Friday. :mrgreen:

I especially love it when we both walk home having found great deals and wonderful memories. 

Stores were filled, filled, filled with awesome 50% discounts, so of course we went a little crazy on clothes we needed (and loved!)  I even had a little bit of left-over money for some fun accessories! 😀 

And new clothes for presentations and other prefessional things.  😀

The day was long, but we never actually grew tired.  Shopping adrenaline carries far.  And—at the risk of sounding like crazy, hardcore Black Friday shoppers—we’re already planning our trip for next year. 😉

Question: Do your workouts change as the cold weather comes along, or do you stay pretty constant throughout the year?

turkey day

Speaking of traditions…

My Dad and I carried on our Turkey Trot tradition.  It’s been a yearly ritual for at least the past 3 or 4 years.  This morning, we headed out for a breezy 3 miles.  FUN! 😀  And a great way to start the holiday.

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The day before an important holiday always involves a whirlwind of activities.  My house is filled with every warm and comforting smell that you can possibly imagine.  Warm, buttery rolls.  Sweet and tangy cranberry sauce.  Spicy pumpkin pie.  Sweet gingerbread frosting. 

I love it.  All of the smells.  All of the activities.  All of the cooking!! 

When I was a little girl, I used to love watching my Memere and my mom bake bread.  Even more than that, I loved unraveling a hot crescent roll and biting into a warm roll of dough.  French Canadians know how to make bread. 😉

French Canadians also know how to make desserts.  My mom deserves credit for these!

Pumpkin Pie

Cherry Cheesecake

Most of the cooking was done yesterday, which meant today was reserved for last minute cleaning and table setting.

And with that complete, it was time to e-a-t!

The Menu

Turkey
Homemade Stuffing with Fresh Herbs
Broccoli Casserole
Sauteed Green Beans
Smashed Turnips
Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots

 

Everything was amazing.  I’m pretty sure I could have made a meal out of Nicole’s broccoli casserole alone. 😉

But, of course, it’s always necessary to save room for dessert.  I look forward to Mom’s Cherry Cheesecake every year.  Smooth and luscious, with just a hint of fresh lemon.  It’s lovely. 😀 

I love Thanksgiving for all of its simplicity.  A time to see family and to eat good food. 

I also love Black Friday.  And with an early morning in my future (4am!), I think it’s time I say good night. 😉

Hope you all had the most lovely Thanksgiving!

Question: Do you go Black Friday shopping?