Already Thinking Thanksgiving Menus

photo from Food Network

Looking for something easy to make for Thanksgiving that will make people say, “Wow ______, this is delicious!”? We are going to the Outer Banks for Turkey Day and I am going to bring this side dish.

Sweet Potato Puree with Honey and Basil

Usually I do the classic sweet potato casserole. You know, semi smashed with brown sugar and marshmallows (my mouth is watering already). But a great recipe I picked up this summer has them pureed with honey, butter, basil, salt and pepper. Easy right? And much healthier without all that sugar.

1. Bake or boil the sweet potatoes until they are very tender (leave the skin on, when they are done you should be able to scoop out the flesh easily)
2. Smash/smush/mash them completely. You can use a food processor or blender if you find that they aren’t smoothing out well.
3. Add honey, salt and pepper to taste and about 6 tablespoons of butter.
4. Chop up and sprinkle in some fresh basil for color and flavor.

P.S. Did you know that sweet potatoes are from the morning glory family? They are flowers!

Good conversational facts for the table: “The sweet potato is a member of the morning glory family and except in name only, is not related to the white potato. It helps prevent cancer and heart disease. It is rich in complex carbohydrates and low in calories – there are only 117 calories in a 4-oz. serving.

Sweet potatoes are used in controlling weight and conditions like diabetes. They are an easy way to get the heart healthy and to get cancer- fighting benefits into your diet. This information comes from the spokesperson for the American Diabetes Association, Pamela Savage-Marr, R.D.” 

(Hey Heather, remember our menu last year?)

Every Girl Needs Red Shoes

Check out my new suede red pumps! Hat tip to Kendi Lea at Kendi Everyday for her awesome blog and style. She wears these shoes frequently and they are so cute. The only thing is they are more of an orange color than red. It really depends on the light. I still love them. I think I am going to get the nude color as well.

Here are some oufits Kendi wore them with that I love: Lazy, Plain and Simple, Ebb and Flow, and last but not least this sassy outfit.

Thanks again Kendi.

Urban Outfiters UO Suede Pump $48.00 

The Great Pumpkin 5k

I finished this one in 29 minutes. For me personally this is my best time yet! I didn’t have to walk at all. This was my first run in Reston. I hope the town does more through out the season. Sometimes fall weather can be too hot but it was perfecto.

Goodbye Bikram

I have decided that Bikram is not for me. While I think it is awesome exercise, and I loved the idea that I was sweating out all of the toxins in my body (while clearing my skin as well) in the long run I don’t think that my body would ever adjust. My claustrophobia along with my already hot body temperature made the classes excruciating. I was always dizzy and nauseated even after two weeks of practicing (6 classes). Id have to only eat fresh, organic food and drink tons and tons of water and never EVER any alcohol and then MAYBE the classes would be less painful — but I’m not ready make that kind of a sacrifice. I don’t need to be that extreme.  This was hard for me because I don’t like failing or giving up but…while exercise is never easy or as fun as eating cake and candy, it shouldn’t be miserable either. If I am going to drop $150 a month I’d better like it a little.

I am going to try out another yoga place in the area. They still offer only hot yoga during the times I can go but it is not “Bikram.” The temp is closer to 90 degrees rather than 105-110, and it is Vinyasa or Flow yoga instead of the 26 postures of Bikram. I really missed the calming yoga music too. Maybe they will play some there.

I am in a particularly crappy mood today. It’s Monday and early on I had a banking transaction DISASTER that could ruin the rest of my month or if I’m lucky just ruin the rest of my week. Deep breaths. I am on an island far away with a tropical drink in hand, 10 lbs thinner and getting a golden tan.

Attempting Filipeno Food (Pancit)

Since Nick is half Filipeno he talks frequently about the food that is served at family dinners for holidays or special occasions. We went to a friends birthday party who is also Filipeno and for the first time I had some real home cooked Filipeno food. My favorite was the pancit and lumpia.

Last night I tried to make it on my own just for the hell of it. I knew it would be a long shot to capture the flavors that these women create after cooking the same dish for decades in their family.

I was right. My pancit didn’t taste nearly as good as theirs. It didn’t taste bad but when you are expecting steak and you get chicken — well you know what I mean. I used rice noodles (just from the international isle in Harris Teeter) soy sauce, chicken broth, salt and pepper, chicken, two cups shredded cabbage, one cup carrots, 3 cloves garlic, and half of an onion finely chopped.

Next time I will use the fish sauce and add in some pork. I will eat it again hopefully at a family function and get a better taste in my mouth for the precise ingredients.

* this image is not the pancit I made. It is from someone’s cooking blog that is much cooler than mine. I will try to get more detailed with recipes and images next time