Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

Christmas and New Years Eve Balance

It’s that awkward six days between the overeating (and drinking) done on the Christmas weekend and the needing to get into that LBD for New Years Eve.








After weeks of preparing mentally and physically for this gruelling holiday, I made the wonderful mistake of running on Christmas morning in the 30 degree weather, despite already feeling the come-ons of a cold. Note to self: Never again! The cold air completely destroyed me and now I have five days dedicated to rest and recuperate before ringing in the new year.

Now on the other hand, I absolutely hate New Years Eve. Such anticipation. Everyone needs to look good, someone ends up drinking too much, and the 30 seconds leading up to midnight tends to lead up to a letdown.


I realize this entire post has been slightly depressing, but here’s a tip I hope to follow myself: Don’t base your plans on what you hope to happen at the end of the night – make plans on what’s affordable for you and with people who you know you will have fun with! All that matters is that you have a good time and aren’t regretting your choices the next morning – or all of 2012!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year =)


Pumpkin Chocolatey Goodness

I had a half used canned of pumpkin purée in my fridge and was looking for a recipe to use it in when I came across a link linked to a link which was linked to another link! Each recipe was another variation of the other, but I ended up basing my version on a halved Martha Stewart recipe. She was just at Google (my place of employment) on Friday and I felt inspired!


Pumpkin Chocolate Bars
Adapted from Martha Stewart

1 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 Tbsp ginger
1/4 Tbsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
5/8 cups granulated sugar (1/8 + 1/2 C)
1 egg white
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped, toasted nuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line an 8×8 inch baking dish with foil or wax paper. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, spice, baking soda and salt. Stir together and set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined. Mix in the pumpkin puree.
Add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.
Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts

Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs, about 35-40 minutes. (Check at 30 minutes) Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely before cutting.

To serve, lift the cake from the pan using the foil and transfer to a cutting board. Peel off the foil and using a sharp knife, cut into 24 squares.

Even More Spaghetti

After celebrating this national holiday (see previous post), I realized that even though I eat some sort of pasta dish every day, I never eat the same dish twice.

I guess what I should name this dish(es) is Pasta With Everything But The Kitchen Sink.

I usually start by boiling some dried whole wheat spaghetti/rigatoni/penne/etc. while searching the refrigerator and pantry for ingredients. You’d be surprised at the things I’ve realized taste good with pasta. I’ve gone from fava beans, tomatoes, and mozzarella (mediterranean Asian fusion spin?), to black beans, corn, tomatoes, and cheddar cheese (Taco Pasta).

My favorite pasta dish I created the other day because we were out of tomatoes and sauce (what was I do to?!) when I sauteed some onions, leeks, and mushrooms mixed in with the spaghetti, sriracha hot sauce, and Parmesan cheese. It was super simple and did not look like your typical pasta dish and I loved it!

Now it’s time to start writing down the additions to these bowls of deliciousness so I can recreate them!

But for now – the simplest pasta dish that will please meat lovers AND vegetarians =)

** Pasta Size! **

1 cup cooked whole wheat spaghetti


1/2 cup premade pasta sauce


1/2 cup tomato sauce

1/4 tsp oregano

1/8 tsp thyme

1/8 tsp tarragon


1 tsp sriracha hot sauce (or to desired heat)


1 boca burger, cooked as per package instructions


1. Heat pasta sauce on stove, add sriracha sauce

2. Add pasta to sauce

3. Pour pasta and sauce on top of boca burger

4. Top with parmesean cheese if desired

See? Simple yet delicious! Let me know if you like it =)