a thanksgiving recap

Happy holidays! Here’s my list of what made me so thankful for Thanksgiving 2009:

  • learning how to stuff my first turkey with my mom Thursday AM
  • getting a great elliptical workout before the big meal!
  • getting together with my family for food and dominoes (although I completely lost by having the highest score!)
  • making two great dishes for the meal!

When I was a smarter blogger, I would have remembered to take more pictures. However, I was helping my mom & dad with the last minute food work, then it was time to eat, and it all looked too delicious to wait anymore!

For my part of the meal, I was assigned the pasta dish and a veggie dish. I found Michael Symon’s Mac and Cheese with Roasted Chicken, Goat Cheese and Rosemary recipe on Michael Ruhlman’s blog last month after I tasted the dish at a donor event I planned in October. This mac and cheese is SO EASY TO MAKE and is really incredible.  However, once you take a look at the ingredients, you’ll see why it’s not the healthiest choice for every day meals. But for a special occasion, definitely!  Here are the changes I made to the ingredients list:

  • Instead of 1 quart cream, I used one pint of cream and one pint of whole milk
  • I subbed two packages (5 oz each) of garlic & herb Boursin cheese for the 8 ounces goat cheese (was making sure to not scare off  my husband and dad by using a much less “scary” cheese!)
  • I omitted the 2 cups shredded roasted chicken (HELLO there was a 21 pound turkey already there!)

While the recipe doesn’t call for it to go in the oven, we put our serving platter in the oven to keep it warm. It was a big hit! It also tastes pretty fantastic cold out of the fridge when you need a snack – not that I’m talking from experience! 🙂

To balance out the ridiculousness of cream/milk/cheese combo, I found this great recipe for Green Beans with Shallots and Almonds on Whole Foods’ website.

pic from WF's website, but mine looked exactly the same!

I tripled the recipe (just because I bought two huge bags of frozen beans at TJ’s that were 1 pound, 8 oz each) and used dried herbs instead of fresh. It was a great alternative to green bean casserole. Aunt Kathy said she really enjoyed it and she wasn’t a “green bean person”. I’ll take it!

It was a great holiday with my family. By the end of the night, I offered to host Christmas! I’m sure I’ll be regretting it on December 24th! Happy Thanksgiving weekend everyone!



Thanks for your patience while I took the past week to figure out life. We all need to call a “time out” everyone once in awhile. This is a healthy balance blog, isn’t it?! So while I search for that balance, I’ll spend some time having you learn a bit about what makes up me. But stay tuned – slowly but surely, we’ll be back on a semi-normal schedule!

TODAY’S POINT OF BALANCE:  Check out this article on how pets can enhance your life from Self.com!

My brother told me last week while he thought all my food posts looked good, he really was checking out the blog to see more pictures of Grady. In effort to appease my little brother, here’s a formal introduction to my “fuzz”. We recently entered Grady in a contest – here’s the questionnaire that we filled out. He came in second (he lost to a silly poodle) but we still love him!

my fuzz as a puppy in 2006

grady this past summer

Name: Grady

Age: 3

Breed: Golden Retriever

City of residence: Parma

What’s the meaning behind your pet’s name?

Grady’s name was chosen after his owners, Hans and Alicia, created an exhaustive listing of names relating to Cleveland/Ohio sports teams. When Hans vetoed “Buckeye” (too many of them already) and Alicia vetoed “LeBron” (although she would have allowed “Bron Bron”), it became clear their new puppy was a “Grady”.

As a side note: His full legal name is Grady Brady Marie Sizemore Hansen. Marie is a family tradition for middle names – even for male pets.

Does your pet have any unique talents? If so, tell us about it/them?

He can bark along to the “Here We Go Brownies” chant! He can also perform his commands by number: “sit” is also known as “one”, “paw” is “two”, “high five” is “three” and “down” is “four”.

What do you and your pet like to do together?

Grady enjoys golf cart rides up at the Lake Erie islands and watching Cleveland sports with his owners.

If your pet were to have a favorite alcoholic drink, what would it be and why?

Oh he does, and it is wine. He prefers German Rieslings. It’s said that Rieslings are dependable and are unabashedly sweet – practically the definition of a Golden Retriever!

If your pet had a favorite hangout in Cleveland, where would it be and why?

The Cleveland Metroparks trails at Brecksville Reservation: he loves to go swimming along the Chippewa Creek Loop Trail and loves the Deer Lick Cave Loop Trail for a good hike.

What’s your pet’s favorite hobby?

Eating Frosty Paws Ice Cream – he’s a fan of the peanut butter flavor. However, he prefers a banana ice cream cone from Honey Hut on State Road any day.

Does your pet have a favorite movie or TV show? If so, what is it?

Anything on Food Network – he’s a big Michael Symon fan.

Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Cavaliers…which team is your pet’s favorite?

Grady is no fairweather fan – he’s always cheering on all of our teams in “Believeland”. His name was almost LeBron, Bernie or Slider, so he can’t choose just one… but it is easier to fetch a baseball!


This entry was posted in Grady.

blog update

TODAY’S POINT OF BALANCE: I think we all can benefit from this list on How to Manage Stress Over the Holidays from active.com. My way: fro yo cones at home every night! 🙂


Alright faithful readers, I’m here with an update this evening. While I’ve enjoyed sharing my daily eats with you, I’m finding the documentation of every single thing that I eat to be a bit overwhelming and compulsive.  And for this gal, we’re trying to eliminate all compulsive/anxiety related things from daily life.

…so where does that leave this fairly young blog?  I’d like to continue post about healthy balances in daily lifestyle. One day that might mean a fun, healtified recipe. The next day might be about finding piece of mind during your crazy day. The next, might just be a post all about my crazy golden retriever (yes, that is a teaser for tomorrow!!!)

So I beg you to stick with me while I figure things out. I promise it will be worth the read!

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