Happy 30th to Keri; Happy NYE to you!

Wednesday night: Keri’s b-day dinner at my parent’s.
Thursday night: Keri’s b-day dinner at her parent’s.
Tonight: Keri’s b-day Roadhouse (!!) dinner at her Grandma’s.

As her date to all of these events, I’m definitely getting my fill of Wisconsin home cooking. So far we’ve had three cakes! And we haven’t even eaten tonight’s meal!

As for Violet, she’s still in the belly. Keri is holding out hope that she’ll arrive as a birthday gift, but the minutes of 2010 are waning. Hopefully the new year is prepared for the sassiness that she’s about to bring.

Violet’s H&M style from Auntie Kelly!

I love her sooooo much already; sadly I don’t think I’ll get to meet her until March.

Workout yesterday: 15 minute treadmill/20 minute spin
Today: Level 3 and 2 of Jillian’s 30-Day Shred. Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve done that…

I think Keri and I are going to walk around Ripon this afternoon… it’s super warm here… feels like Portland 🙂

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Jamie and Jesse

Two more of the most wonderful people I know! Let’s hope they like biscotti, because yesterday we made a new recipe with pistachio and chocolate chips… J and J scored a nice little variety pack. Here are the treats:

Our best batch yet! Recipe here at Eat, Live, Run

And then Jamie and Jesse made FIVE pizzas while I supervised and made a relatively tasty salad. Here they are being irresistibly cute:

Red pepper, spinach, basil, ricotta:

And then I impressed all of us with my mad bowling skills! I definitely beat this guy… twice:

Love you love you love you!!!

Keri and Kate

Ahh, I’m currently drinking spiked egg nog while my mom checks the oven on a batch of chocolate-espresso biscotti we just made. (Recipe from April.) We’re sort of on a kick right now… just wait until tomorrow’s concoction!

The good news regarding the past few days: I’ve been getting lots of cardio in at the gym. And I’ve had some serious quality time with people I love.

Last night in Madison with Kate:

Thank you sooo much, darlin’, for dinner at one of my fave MadTown spots, the Weary Traveler!

Yesterday’s preggo photo-shoot and homemade sushi with Keri Rae:

I brought the nori, rice, wasabi and ginger from Portland… my Madre picked up the rest. The idea was to feed Keri spicy food and encourage Violet’s arrival. Didn’t work… Come out Baby V!!!

HA!

The bad news: I’m seriously eating non-stop these days. Wish me luck in regaining control by 2011!

Merry Christmas!

Prime rib for lunch… that’s something really only allowed on Christmas day. Apparently we’ve been doing this for five years now, making it a true tradition. And of course Molly enjoys the festivities; look at her and my Pa supervise Ma while she carves the meat:

The goods:

Spectacular!

I’m heading to the gym now for 2 miles of running and 30 minutes of elliptical. And maybe Keri and I will go for a walk tonight. No signs of her baby coming out anytime soon! Come on Violet!!!

Almond Biscotti

What a perfect Christmas Eve! It began at noon (when I woke up) when my Ma and I started a double batch of almond biscotti. She is a master baker and let me tag along while I pretended to look professional. Isn’t she sweet?

I handled this mess:



Almond Biscotti

* 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
* 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
* 3 eggs
* 1 teaspoon anise or vanilla extract
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* Dash salt
* 1/2 cup chopped almonds
* 2 teaspoons milk

Directions

1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and 1 cup sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in anise or vanilla. Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture. Stir in almonds. Line a baking sheet with foil and grease foil. Divide dough in half; spread into two 12-in. x 3-in. rectangles on foil. Brush with milk and sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 300 degrees F. Lift rectangles with foil onto wire rack; cool for 15 minutes. Place on a cutting board; slice diagonally 1/2 in. thick. Place slices with cut side down on ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn cookies over; bake 10 minutes more. Turn oven off, leaving cookies in oven with door ajar to cool. Store in airtight container.

For Christmas Eve dinner we had homemade chicken noodle soup with a very robust salad. We really spent most of the night laughing at Molly the puppy, though. I miss being a dog owner!! This one is a total riot:

Auntie and I:

Breezy, you were missed! We love you soooo much (even though this crazy dog is totally your fault :)).

Merry Christmas Eve to all!

(P.S. Workout today: 2 miles on tread -one running- and 30 minutes of intervals on the elliptical… thank you Ripon Medical Center gym!)

spaghetti squash recipe

Sara needed some TLC tonight, so I boogied to St. Johns with a load of healthy groceries (and a bottle of wine and dessert, who are we kidding?). I’ve had a spaghetti squash rolling around in my backseat for two weeks now, so tonight was the perfect excuse to hack it open and bake it.

The recipe is really tasty, with a peculiar use of cinnamon paired with salty feta and olives and sweet tomato and basil. And since it’s almost entirely made of veggies, you can eat a crazy amount and not feel too poorly about your addictive habit of over consumption. Yes! My kind of meal!

Cut squash in half, clean out seeds and bake in oven dish (with about 1/2 inch of water), cut side up, for 20-30 minutes and 350 degrees.

Saute two average chopped yellow onions.

Add 4 chopped garlic cloves and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon after the onions are pretty soft.

Add a big can of diced tomatoes.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Scrape out squash and plate desire amount. Top with sauce, chopped olives, chopped basil and feta. Toss it up!

Workout today: 3 miles (one of running) on the treadmill
Yesterday: 60 minute lift class, 2 miles on tread (one of running)

Keeping it together! Woop!

SmartPhone and PoachedEggs

Just 48 hours ago I was a low-tech gal, cursing my highly vulnerable old-school slide phone. Sure it drove me crazy, but texting was easy and it always turned back on when I’d drop it. Today, though, things have become increasingly more complicated. My Smartphone is here, proving to be much smarter than I. Thanks to Trevor for yesterday’s lesson on the photo apps. Here’s my lunch, two poached eggs, two tortillas, hot sauce and feta:

I’m going to use my long day of travel on Thursday to really master this thing. And if you happen to get a senseless text or phone call from me before then, please disregard my ignorance.

As for the healthy living, things have definitely been healthier (isn’t that how it goes in December?). The celebrations have been joyful, and my heart is constantly exploding with love for every single person who make up my abundant life. We’ve been cooking and eating and drinking and toasting all over the place. Life is just too good right now.

To clear my head and remain somewhat in control, I’ve been trying to keep up with the gym. Yesterday I ran for two miles without stopping and today I’m going to try for three. I’ll let you know how it goes…

Burrito party at Anna’s tonight! I think my filling-to-share will be roasted sweet potatoes with raisins and sunflower seeds.

Weigh-in Wednesday on Thursday and meatballs

Sorry I’m a day late here… got preoccupied with meatballs and Scrabble last night.

I stayed the same this week (actually down a tenth, but who really cares…) Fingers crossed that I can maintain through the rest of the holiday season. Tonight kicks off another string of parties… aka, FOOD and drink for four straight days. Maybe I should just pitch a tent at the gym.

Speaking of, yesterday’s break was really, really great. I’m heading back today, though, for 45 minutes on the elliptical and a mile run. Steak for dinner tonight.

Ok, not sure if I posted the meatball recipe last time or not, but here it is again, just because it’s so, so good. The best I’ve had maybe…

*Pics below the recipe

From Bon Appetit:

Meatballs

* 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs made from crustless French or country-style bread
* 1/3 cup whole milk
* 8 ounces ground beef (15% fat)
* 8 ounces ground pork
* 1 cup finely ground (not grated) Parmesan cheese
* 1/3 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 2 large eggs
* 2 large garlic cloves, pressed
* 1 pound spaghetti
* Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (for serving)

Combine breadcrumbs and milk in small bowl; stir until breadcrumbs are evenly moistened. Let stand 10 minutes.

Place beef and pork in large bowl and break up into small chunks. Add 1 cup ground Parmesan, parsley, salt, and pepper.

Whisk eggs to blend in small bowl; whisk in garlic. Add to meat mixture.

Using hands, squeeze milk from breadcrumbs, reserving milk. Add breadcrumbs to meat mixture. Using hands, quickly and gently mix meat mixture just until all ingredients are evenly combined (do not overmix). Chill mixture at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Moisten hands with some of reserved milk from breadcrumbs, then roll meat mixture between palms into golf-ball-size balls, occasionally moistening hands with milk as needed and arranging meatballs in single layer in sauce in pot. Bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until meatballs are cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Cool slightly. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Rewarm before continuing.

Before pan-frying:

My plate had about 1/3 of this portion… it’s really not fair that dudes can eat this much:

Tuesday

Whoa, this is the lamest blog in the blogosphere. Sorry about that!

Today was my 8th or 9th day in a row at the gym. My body is so sore (two Chrisanthi classes yesterday!) that I think tomorrow is the perfect time for some rest. We’re making meatballs tomorrow night, so stay tuned for some food fun!

WW points for the day…

cereal/milk: 3
granola bar: 3
cheese: 3
soup: 4

12 pts
-2 for 3 mile run/walk

10 pts, lots leftover for dinner! Eating light tonight in preparation for Wednesday Weigh-in. Stir fry, I think…