Archive for November, 2010

Giggles and Squeaks

Good morning!

I have just a few more pics to share from the Thanksgiving fun and then we’ll be back on track.

Friday I did tryyy to do a bit of shopping and although there were lots of very good Black Friday deals there were just too. many. people.  I ended up leaving the mall a few hours later with NOTHING! Unheard of.

My high school friendies came over for a mini reunion Friday night, but before they did I enjoyed some leftovers with my family.

We didn’t actually have any leftover duck, so instead my dad cooked up some filet mignon. I am not much of a red meat person but do enjoy a good steak once in a while. These ones were so tender and just fabulous! And of course I never say no to mushrooms :).

The rest of Friday night was spent with my darling friends. We went to all-girls school so every time we see each other there is a whole lot of giggles and squeaks. At least now we’re old enough to calm ourselves down with a bit of wine :).

Or a lot of wine, as the case may be. I had a bit of a major headache Saturday morning! Luckily I had a bloggie meet-up brunch to cure myself with :).

Allison, Heather, Alicia and I met at Market in Rocky River. I’d never been before but have been completely won over by this delicious breakfast burrito!

Scrambled Eggs, Black Beans, Chorizo, Peppers, Onions, Monteray Jack cheese Wrapped in a Warm Tortilla. Served with Market Potatoes

Deeelish. Of course I totally adore Allison and Heather already and was very happy to fiiinally meet Alicia. We’re FitBloggin roomies in 2011 so it was nice to all see each other before May!

Saturday evening I did even more eating and boozing with my old friends from Borders (I worked there during my college breaks) so by Sunday I was more than ready to hit the road back home and lay off all of the holiday indulging!

Home time was a lovely time, as always. Great to see my family and friends and excited to see them again so soon for Christmas. Aren’t the holidays the best?? I’ll see you with a “normal” post tomorrow my friends!



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Little Thanksgiving

Welcome back from the Holiday Weekend!

I hope you all enjoyed some time off. I had a great time in Cleveland and appreciated some quality time AWAY from the computer! Now let’s catch up :).

Starting with…Thanksgiving Dinner of course!

It was only me, my mum and dad for this Thanksgiving din. My brother and sis were working and we don’t have any other family in America. Since we’re British, Thanksgiving is not much of a holiday for us any way, but of course you must take advantage of any excuse to eat a lot of delicious food. And oh boy, did we!

The menu was a group effort, which led to 3 cooks in the kitchen at once. Of course, a bit of champagne was necessary to calm our nerves after all that crowding :).

Last year we floated cranberries in our champagne and they were so pretty! We didn’t have cranberries on the menu this year so we opted for blueberries in our bubbly instead. The bonus to that idea (over cranberries) is that then you can eat champagne soaked berries at the end :). Delish!

Once we were done cooking, here’s our little spread:

Of course, not as impressive as a much larger Thanksgiving feast but I enjoyed our little mini one very much! We’ve never done duck over turkey before and it was a very welcome change.

My plate!

And of course seconds on the stuffing because it’s the best in the WORLD :).

After dinner came dessert (of course)! Jamie Oliver’s Maple Syrup and Pecan Tart.

I LOVED the crust on this tart. It’s from scratch and tastes just like a shortbread biscuit. However, we all agreed the filling tasted very orangey – due to the zest of two oranges – and perhaps would have been more pecany with a little less zest (up to you of course).

So there it is! Our delightful Thanksgiving din for three. I did have to sit next to a cooler full of duck the whole way back to DC yesterday, because you know that just because Louisa had to stay in town didn’t mean she was missing out on the meal :D.

I’ll be back tomorrow with even more fun from the weekend.

Question: What were you most thankful for this year?

 – Beth

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Home Again, Home Again…

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I missed you yesterday as I was travelling so let’s catch up. We had a fun slumber party Tuesday night in preparation for our early Wednesday departure. We went to Dogfish Head for some drinks and dinner and enjoyed some very delicious beer over the course of our evening.

I finally got to try the much raved about Midas Touch (“the white wine of beers”) and it was delicious! I enjoy most all of the Dogfish Head brews so this little sampler was fun to share. The beers are strong though!! We were feeling quite chatty by the end of the meal :).

Wednesday morning we had some breakfast and hit the road. 6 hours later I arrived safe and sound in Cleveland. Traffic wasn’t bad at all – I think leaving Wed. morning instead of afternoon makes a big difference. My dad also arrived from out of town last night as he was travelling for work, so it was nice for us to have a home cooked meal together.

Salmon and roasted veg was on the menu.


Nothing like a nice dinner at home!

This morning my mum requested oatmeal, so I whipped up a Thanksgiving batch for the three of us. My brother and sis aren’t able to join us for the holiday this year due to their work schedules, which makes me quite sad! Hopefully next year I’ll be able to make oats for all five :).

This was a special batch of oats indeed because I cooked them with a whole vanilla bean! What a difference that addition made. I just split the bean in half, scraped out the vanilla, and added it to the pot along with the bean (which I pulled out before serving). It smelled amazing and tasted even better. If only vanilla beans weren’t so pricey!

With a sprinkle of brown sugar, blueberries, walnuts and a peanut butter spoon.

So there you have it! The highlights since I left you. We’re having orange duck with port reduction today instead of turkey and I’m looking forward to something a little different.

 Happy Thanksgiving all! I hope everyone has a great meal and a great day. See you with our meal re-cap soon :).


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Thanksgiving Potluck Potatoes

Thanksgiving Day requires a lot of eating. It’s best to warm up your stomach a few days prior and give it a good stretch 🙂.

That is why our work Thanksgiving potluck is so exciting!

I have all my want-to-try recipes saved in my “favorites” so that’s the first place I went when deciding what to contribute. Emily’s Portobello Layered Mashed Potatoes are something I’ve been meaning to make for a while and are so very Thanksgiving appropriate!

The original recipe can be found here. It created quite a large dish, so I scaled mine down a little.

Enjoy the pics!

Oh boy it was yummy! I know it’s not classy to bring a dish to a potluck with several spoonfuls missing but we just couldn’t resist having a taste for Sunday supper! I loved it so much, I’ve volunteered to make this for real Thanksgiving day too. Usually potatoes don’t excite me very much as I find them to be quite filling without much flavor. But the addition of mushrooms (my fave!) to this dish make for one very tasty potato combination :).

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I’m headed home to Cleveland for it tomorrow! My friend is giving me a ride back, so tonight we’ll be having a slumber party and tomorrow we’ll be up early and on our way. I haven’t been home since July so of course, I’m excited! 🙂

See you from Ohio!


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Peanut Flour Pancakes

Saturday morning I put Trader Joe’s peanut flour to use in some pancakes of my own creation. They were AWESOME!

I’ve never tried making pancakes off the top of my head before but I really wanted to try the peanut flour in a pancake recipe. I assumed it couldn’t be too difficult to figure out!

Here are the measurements I used (serves 2):

  • 2/3 cup of peanut flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. of baking soda
  • tbsp. of ground flax
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. canola oil
  • 1/2 cup of vanilla soy milk

All into my bowl and given a good stir. Then I ladled out 1/2 of the mixture into 3 little blobs on a hot, greased skillet. While the cakes were cooking away on side 1, I sprinkled on some dried cranberries and chocolate chips. When side 1 was golden brown, I flipped them over and let them go for a few minutes more on side 2.

Plate the cooked pancakes and repeat with the second 1/2 of the batter.

I topped the pancakes with a little drizzle of maple syrup, cinnamon and a few little blobs of peanut butter to really drive the peanut theme home :). Apparently, I also topped them with a piece of my hair as you may notice in the picture. I don’t recommend that step.

Magical! Soft, gooey, peanut butter pancakes. (I like gooey pancakes but if you prefer they are fully cooked though, you may want to add a little more liquid to the batter.) Served with a big mug of TJ’s gingerbread coffee. Hello Christmas!

See you tomorrow!


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Over Before it Began

What a terribly heartbreaking day I had yesterday. I found out my future husband has chosen another woman to be his wife!


Ever since I was a young girl, Prince William has been my one true celebrity love. I had posters of him all over my room and my computer password was “i<3will”. I dreamed all day of becoming the Queen of England. Just think of the fun I could have frolicking around a castle! 🙂 And the jewels I would acquire – oh my…

Although he (shockingly) didn’t choose me, I must say I’m impressed with his actual choice :). I think Kate Middleton is completely gorgeous and such a classy lady. I can’t WAIT to see what their wedding looks like! I will definitely be parked in front of the television that day.

Luckily this broken heart is nothing a healthy dose of vitamins can’t fix :).

I made a green monster this morning, for the first time in a while. I guess I was super dehydrated last night because I kept waking up in the night needing water. A thirst quenching breakfast sounded very appealing this AM.

In the mix: 1 cup of vanilla soy milk, 1 banana, 1/2 cup of frozen mango, 1 tbsp. of flax seed, 1 big handful of spinach.


 I gave Louisa a little cup of my leftovers and she told me it tasted weird. I think she is just prejudice against the color green.

Question: Who is your one true celebrity love??

– Beth

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Bean, Olive and Spinach Mash

Hi Friends!

The following recipe is adapted from Healthy Tipping Point. I’ve made it once before and it was quite yummy, so here it is again – this time with a step-by-step for your information!

I used:

  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 can of kidney beans
  • 1/2 can of black olives
  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • salt and pepper
  • hot sauce

First, mince garlic and place it in a large pan with olive oil.


Once garlic is lightly browned, add spinach and cook until wilted down.

Then add beans and olives. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste.

Once beans and olives have been warmed through, transfer to a bowl and get mashing.

I suppose for the purposes of how I served this, you don’t actually have to mash the ingredients together. But I think it’s nicer that way, because all the flavors kind of meld into one delicious combination. On HTP, this is served as a dip with crackers. I served the mash over brown rice with a dollop of Greek yogurt on top.

I don’t know why nothing ever looks finished to me until it has a dollop on top. Greek yogurt, hummus, peanut butter, salsa…I just need something for a dish to feel complete! Tastes nice too :).

Once you eat this nutritious meal, be sure to follow with something scrummy.

Like a slice of pumpkin roll!

Louisa and I have been talking about how much we need some pumpkin roll in our bellies this fall. She found this at Great Harvest yesterday while shopping for bread and brought it home. It is completely delish and made with a very simple list of wholesome ingredients. So then I sprayed some canned whip cream on the side to balance things out. hehe 🙂

I may or may not have eaten pumpkin roll again for breakfast this morning. If you leave the whip cream off, it’s totally breakfast appropriate, right?? 😀

See you tomorrow…

– Beth

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