Joyful

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I’ve been working quite a bit recently and although it’s a bit sad to miss out on holiday festivities, I don’t mind it too much either.  It may seem weird to some, but overall I’m just grateful to have a job that I love and be able to work (especially since I wasn’t last year).  Working 12+ hours a day 6 days a week doesn’t leave much time for anything, but last Saturday we did carve out a day for holiday things – tree shopping, time with family, a dinner out on the town.  Joy to you & yours.

And, a few things of note (because I don’t have any new recipes to share):

– Some good evidence to keep snacking on nuts.

– I love picking out our holiday cards each year.

– A batch of these quinoa patties will cover lunch for at least a couple days (I added spinach + feta this time and dipped in greek yogurt – yum).

– I usually check out books at the library, but decided this one was worth buying.

– Do you have a favorite holiday movie?  I hope to find time to watch this one.

A lovely poem, makes me want to grow paper whites.

– On my Christmas wish-list: new pair of slippers.

– If I have time, will be trying out some new cookies.

A dish I plan to make soon.

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hosting easter brunch

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A few weekends ago, I was lucky enough to host brunch for a few of my family members on Easter Sunday.  I love the idea of a dinner party, but hosting brunch has to be one of my very favorite things to do.  Usually when we host brunch, it’s a last minute thing.  But this time, since it was a holiday and there were out of town guests, I made it a little more special.

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I have no doubt that the five of us could have easily found an appropriate place to sit, but because I’m me, these placecards needed to happen.  I simply cut small squares out of cardstock, folded them in half and wrote each person’s name on them in fancy cursive with a fancy pen.

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The menu was pretty simple – mostly low maintenance things I could either prepare ahead or took little preparation the day of.  Plus, I had some help from guests.  All together, it took about an hour to get everything to the table.  We enjoyed:

– Fruit Salad/Granola/Yogurt Parfaits
– Asparagus & Gruyère Frittata
– Home Fries
– Bacon
– Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Scones

All the fruit for the fruit salad was prepped the day before.  About an hour before everyone arrived, I mixed all the fruit together and sprinkled a little sugar/mint mixture over the top and left it.  The yogurt was simple plain vanilla yogurt.  The granola was made earlier in the week.  The frittata ingredients were prepped earlier in the morning. The potatoes were cut up by mom (thanks!).  They were the earliest thing I started actual cooking (about 45 minutes beforehand) but since there’s a lot of hands-off time, I was able to get do everything else at the same time.  The bacon was baked in the oven (see link, but be sure to line your pan with aluminum foil for much easier clean up!).  The scones were made the previous weekend, frozen and baked earlier in the morning before the bacon went in.

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But of course, while the food was all good, the company was the most enjoyable part.  Thanks to all for joining our little Easter brunch 🙂

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how to host brunch, elsewhere:
how to host brunch (and still sleep in) by smitten kitchen
A Book Club Brunch Party from thekitchn
Easter Brunch Ideas on everyday occasions by Jenny Steffens Hobick

happy new year

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happy new year, friends!

We’re ringing in the new year with a quiet day at home and a delicious dinner later tonight.  I don’t have any new recipes to share today, but here’s what we’ll be enjoying later tonight.

appetizers:
Shrimp Cocktail
Assortment of Fruit & Cheeses

main course:
Filet Mignon

sides:
Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms
Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary
Sauteed Spinach with Lemon & Red Pepper Flakes

dessert:
Chocolate Souffle

wishing you all a happy, healthy & delicious 2013.

xo