Cheers to 2012!

There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” 

I like that.  It’s true. And in 2012, I had my fair share of question marks.  I’m hoping that 2013 has more answers.  I’m not the only one…

Joseph McClendon said on a recent FB post:

“Most people I talk to are saying that last year was a difficult year and that they can’t wait until it’s over. Remember, adversity MUST exist for growth to happen. It’s a universal law. I say… celebrate 2012 and grow from it’s lessons…I Can’t wait for 2013 to start! Can You feel it?!?!? Can ya Smell it?!?!… CAN YOU TASTE IT?!?!”

So cheers to 2012!!!  Thanks for the lessons!!!  And here’s to 2013 – I can’t wait to get a taste!!!

courtesy of:

courtesy of:

If it’s the End of the World…What Would You Eat?

12/21/12….the end is near!

Actually I don’t think the world is going to end.  But if it did, and you were to have one last meal – your all-time favorite meal – what would it be??

Back in the day (a year or so ago) I would’ve said pizza…or pasta…even old school Pasta Jay’s. Those were the days.  Days filled with bloat and a sick feeling after every meal.  No thanks.

I have to say my hands-down favorite meal of all time is a perfectly grilled filet – (new favorite: Whit’s Amuse Bouche’s restaurant style filet – love the blogger and the steak.  It was seriously the most perfect filet I’ve ever cooked indoors.  I used my regular old non-stick pan – just remember to wrap the handle of your pan with foil!), a loaded baked potato, and grilled romaine.  And a big ol glass of wine (or 3).

Where?  Not in some fancy restaurant, but on our deck, in the summer…which kinda conflicts with the Mayan’s prediction for Friday, but whatevs.

For dessert…I’d totally eat a dozen or so of those pumpkin cheesecake truffles I mentioned a couple posts back.  Hey, it’s the end of the world, who cares about gluten?

What’s your favorite meal of all time?

Chicken & Sweet Potato Stew

Baby it’s cold outside…. And that calls for crockpot time!

Not the prettiest of pics but what did you expect stew to look like?  It's orange & it's yummy.

Not the prettiest of pics but what did you expect stew to look like? It’s orange & it’s yummy.

Chicken & Sweet Potato Stew (adapted from the cookbook that came with my crockpot)


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed
  • 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled & cubed
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled & cut into ½ “ pieces
  • 1 – 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp celery
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup chicken broth


  1. Put all ingredients in the crockpot and cook on high for 3-4 hours.
  2. Dinner is done.

Tis The Season

You’ve heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  Well this is the first year I heard about Giving Tuesday.  And here in Colorado there’s Colorado Gives, which is tomorrow! What a great idea!  Instead of buy, buy, buy…these sites are all about give, give, give.

In addition to all the gifts and fun this season, I encourage you to give as well.  Give what you can.  I don’t have any set charities I give to, but around this time of year I make a conscientious effort to give when I can.  To me, that means a dollar to every Salvation Army bell-ringer.  And if I run out of dollars, then whatever spare change I have.  Before Thanksgiving, my local grocery store had a food drive as well, so I donated a bag of canned goods.  And I always round-up if there is an opportunity at the grocery store to do so or even donate $5 for a meal for a family in need, if that is offered. I may not have hundreds or thousands of dollars to donate, but I feel like this is the least I can do to help make this holiday season a little brighter for others in my community.

What are some other ideas you do to give to your community during the holiday season?

Thanksgiving Recap & a Recipe Roundup

Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that I love to love.  I enjoyed every single bite.  No guilt, just indulgence.  We go to my boyfriend’s parents house every year.  They have allllll the fixins and everyone brings something.  And knowing I was going to indulge, I wanted to make sure I had a big side of veggies to put on my plate.  I also wanted to make sure I had something to snack on before the big meal.  And I wanted a sweet treat at the end of the meal but knew I wouldn’t be able to stuff a whole slice of pie down my gullet after all that yummy food.

So here’s what I brought:

spinach artichoke dip (adapted from my vitamix cookbook)


  • ½ cup mayo
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 slice lemon, peeled & seeded
  • 1 large package of fresh spinach
  • a pinch of salt & pepper
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan
  • ½ cup canned artichokes, drained


  1. Place all ingredients except artichoke hearts in vita-mix
  2. Turn it on (variable 1, increase to 4)
  3. Blend, blend, blend (took me a while to get all that spinach in there and blended up)
  4. Add artichokes and blend a little more
  5. Usually I put it in the oven on 350* for 20-25 min, but this year I brought a cute little mini warmer.  Poured that in there and gave it about 20 min to warm up, stirring every now and then.
  6. Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan on top and tortilla chips to dip.
  7. Enjoy!

No pic – it was green and not very photo-worthy.

guacamole – my boyfriend’s special secret recipe😉  also green and not very photo-worthy.

roasted veg – the great thing about this recipe is that I cooked it in the morning and dumped it all in the crockpot to take over.  Plugged that bad boy in and set it on warm.  When it was time to put it on the table, I just took porcelain container over to the table and drizzled some balsamic on top and sprinkled it with shredded parmesan.  Voila!  Easiest dish to bring for Thanksgiving ever.

pumpkin cheesecake truffles – totally not primal or paleo or even gluten-free but VERY tasty

My plate was full of spinach salad and roasted veg, a big serving of turkey (mmm…dark meat), and a little bit of mashed potatoes, stuffing, and gravy.  And a dreamy buttered roll.  I didn’t finish it all (my plate that is, you can be damn sure I ate every bite of anything I describe as “dreamy“).  And I enjoyed every bite.  And most of all I was grateful to have a wonderful family to celebrate with.

What did you have for Thanksgiving?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here’s something to be grateful for and very useful for all that holiday cooking you might be doing this week and in the coming month:

How to peel garlic in less than 10 seconds – seriously!


In addition to not smelling like garlic this long holiday weekend, I’m super grateful for all the likes and comments on this blog.

Thanks for reading and happy Thanksgiving!!!

Banana “Ice Cream”

Here’s a quick, easy treat that is ice-cold and dairy-free.  I know it has been posted up and down on pinterest, but here it is all the same – Banana “Ice Cream”


  • Banana
  • Nutella or almond butter or strawberries or whatever your heart desires


  1. Blend
  2. Freeze
  3. Enjoy your guilt-free dairy-free “ice cream”!

I like to keep some bananas frozen on standby to blend whenever I feel like a treat.   And apparently there’s a device out there called a yonanas that does exactly this.  I’m not really sure how it differs from my vitamix other than taking up precious storage space.  Still want one.

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