Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pre-Thanksgiving Day

These are pictures from our walk this morning. It's the second time we've all ventured out together. It isn't exactly a great work out for me and not much at all for Dana, but Angelo really gets some exercise! And we all get outside and get to walk next to the creek. Today, we even saw a flock of turkeys in the woods! Over the weekend, Dana and I were able to get out for a couple walks and covered twice the area in about half the time, so I got a good work out and Dana a decent one. I may need to get out the roller blades! She's a very fast doggie and is a great trainer! :) I've also done more yoga lately and even taught a private lesson last week. This weekend, I'll be going to the Jill Parker workshop and show in Pittsburgh!!!

I thought I'd share my Thanksgiving menu. It is set up to maximize efficiency since I'll be the only one cooking (I suggested to my husband that he shop today and I cook tomorrow while he plays with Angelo. Really didn't want to deal with those crowds since we have had so much on our mind and waited until today to finalize our plans.) Normally, I avoid the microwave and the last time I bought a frozen pie was last Thanksgiving. Not that I've ever made one from scratch or bought a fresh one either, but it's Thanksgiving. And, of course, it suits my gluten-free, non-goitrogenic vegetarian diet. I won't be eating the pumpkin pie, so I'm taking the easiest way out possible with the frozen version. So, here it is!

Thanksgiving menu:

1. Mashed Potatoes:


1 1/2 lbs potatoes (Yukon Gold are arguably the best potatoes for making mashed potatoes, Russtes are also good)
5 Tbsp milk
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
Salt and Pepper

So we can really call this recipe healthy, we kicked out the cream and replaced it with milk. Cream has more fat which is bad for you (if you eat to much of it of course). It is also nice to hold back on the salt if you want to avoid some of the problems that to much salt brings (like high blood pressure).

Let’s get started – peel the potatoes and cut them into big pieces. Big pieces absorb less water than small potato pieces. More water – watery potatoes with less taste. Cover them with cold water, add salt, and bring them to boil and then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. How do you know potatoes are cooked? They must be soft if you sick a knife or a fork in the fattest potato in the pan.

Done? Now you need to drain the potatoes and then put them back on low heat. This will make all the water evaporate (be carefull not to burn them) and potatoes will taste better – less water – more taste. Heat the milk (don’t add cold milk) and add it together with butter. Also add some salt and pepper. Now all there is left is to use a wire masher and mash the potatoes and this healthy mashed potatoes recipe is finished.

2. Roasted vegetables:

4-5 medium carrots

1 acorn squash

1 butternut squash

1 sugar/pie pumpkin

olive oil

fresh parsley


Cut up all veggies and parsley, drizzle with olive oil and mix well. Put all on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt.

Put in oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

3. Turkey substitute: follow directions on package.

4. Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free corn bread: follow directions on package.

5. Sage butter:

1 stick {1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage plus whole sage leaves for garnish if desired

In a bowl combine well the butter, the chopped sage, and salt and pepper to taste and chill the sage butter, covered, for at least 1 hour or overnight.

The sage butter may be made 4 days in advance and kept covered and chilled.

Garnish the sage butter with the sage leaves.

6. Frozen pumpkin pie: follow directions on package.

7. Baked sweet potatoes: poke holes with fork and microwave on high for about 5 minutes, covered. Let sit at least 1 minute.

I hope your Thanksgiving is full of comfort and family warmth!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Random Report

Well, I won't go into all that I've been up to for the last couple weeks, but I thought I'd tell you some of what I did before breakfast today:
1. Let doggie out
2. Got doggie water
3. Got myself water
4. Got Angelo food
5. Built a castle (out of blocks)
6. Repaired a train track (made of wood)
7. Looked for "James" (who is still eluding us)
8. Did some yoga while Angelo climbed on me and asked me to read to him, look for wheels to a train, etc.
9. Read "Go Dog Go" to Angelo
10. Read instructions for Dr. Levine's Ultimate Weight Loss Formula online since I asked they not send me the printed version.
11. Opened said formula to find printed directions.
12. Started coffee.
13.Posted to Blog.

This is a fairly typical morning for me, though lately, you can sadly reduce or eliminate the amount of yoga I do and it's one of many reasons for Dr. Levine making an appearance in my life. (Another is so I can find jeans that fit in _any_ size. My current shape is just not working for that as far as I can tell and I don't want to torture myself trying to find any anymore.) So, I'm glad I got some yoga in today and I think I'm going to try to do some Belly Dance DVD's/ drills/free weights at the gym once Eric gets back from Charleston Friday. Most days, the classes are over in the aerobics room by 6:30. Was killing myself to get to Zumba, but 5:30 when nap goes late and the gym is 20 minutes away with no traffic (and fighting traffic at 5:00 is ridiculous) is so stressful. Does the hour of Zumba make up for the stress getting there and the time it takes out of my evening that is so short anyway? Lately, I guess not. :P Would be nice if it weren't so distracting to exercise here in the morning (or evening for that matter), but such is life with a toddler. I'd also like to figure out a way to work in a tricycle ride/doggie and Mommy walk in when the weather isn't terrible. Now, to make it all happen...

I've started on some projects for the Puppy: a super cute and sweet doggie travel bag for Christmas and a scrapbook because my sister got me a super cute album that goes so well with the super cute paper I got recently. I figure I buy the supplies often enough that I might actually want to complete an album. I've made a complete one for my step daughter years ago, one that was mostly complete for my husband for our 2nd anniversary (we just celebrated our 10th) and a handful of pages for Angelo, the pups and our beach trip we took recently. I'm trying to marry some art techniques and scrap booking because while I enjoy the idea of creating something that celebrates and records the memories of my family, I kind of look at it as another task I have to complete. :( I'm trying to make it more fun and less of a struggle for myself. I'll admit that saying that makes me feel like a bad mom and that I have to get over it.

OK, this is going long. Will post some Halloween art another time. :)