bake.sweat.create.

Adventures in the kitchen, in fitness and with glitter!


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Big Things in 2015!

What a holiday season it was for me! I spent over a week at home in MT for Christmas. There was a total of ten people staying at my parents’ home and it was a fun, full house. We ate, drank and celebrated, but more on that later.

Out for a long exploration around town on our action packed Christmas Eve!

Out for a long exploration around town on our action packed Christmas Eve!

We enjoyed our traditional fondue dinner on Christmas Eve and I found an awesome fondue recipe that wasn’t too “swiss-y”, my family isn’t a huge fan of the overly strong cheese. Well Plated had a delicious recipe!

Winter delivered with a beautiful white Christmas and we spent much of the day in our PJs, opening presents, of course eating and drinking mimosas!

Beautiful Christmas view of the backyard!

Beautiful Christmas view of the backyard!

The best part of the week was spending quality time with my family, siblings and their significant others and it was very special to celebrate with my future in-laws. That’s right – the BF is now my fiancé! Christmas Eve will forever be my favorite day of the year (until my wedding I suppose). We are ecstatic and so excited to start this wonderful new part of our relationship. Having our families there was so special and made for quite a memorable week!

We rounded out our holiday season celebrating with close friends at a lake house we rented at a near by lake back in Virginia. A two-night stay celebrating the new year and our new engagement was a perfect close to 2015!

Closing out 2014!

Closing out 2014!

I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings! Hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday season! Best wishes in 2015, I’m back in action now with lots of DIY projects on the horizon!

MtChristmas_InstaCollage

The most memorable Christmas celebration yet!


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Carbo-Loading

And so it begins! I conquered my last set of intervals yesterday and am now in full rest mode. I had a nice swim this morning and this evening took it easy, doing some stretching and icing. I also had lasagna! The BF and I met at home over lunch and whipped up a couple pans of his homemade lasagna. He has a great recipe that he loves from him mom. We were conveniently making a to-go meal for his co-worker who’s wife recently had a baby and then also a pan for my own enjoyment.

If you know his mother at all, this recipe is fairly healthy. Lean meat, cottage cheese, spinach, mozzarella cheese and I whipped up some homemade sauce to replace store-bought sauce. It came together pretty quickly, we stored the pans in the fridge, and we were back from lunch just a few minutes late.

On the way home I made a special stop at the Market Street Market in downtown Charlottesville. They have the best baguettes in town! They are baked fresh daily and the BF swears they ship the dough down special from NYC. I thought it would be a nice treat for the two of us.

After I got home, I added the last layer of the lasagna and topped it with some cheese – a nice layer of mozzarella and fresh grated parmesan. I popped it in the oven for about 45 minutes, until it was bubbling and the cheese was just browned. I sealed up the second pan, without baking it, and the BF will deliver it to his co-worker tomorrow.

The finished product was awesome and we made some nice garlic bread and salad on the side, our normal staples. We have tons of leftovers, so this may also now be my pre-race meal.

I love racing when it allows me to indulge like this!

I love racing when it allows me to indulge like this!

I’m off to Richmond tomorrow after work to pick-up my race packet and check out the course. A cold front is moving in so my clothing strategy will begin tomorrow as well. Saturday will be here before I know it. Finish out the week strong, y’all!


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Spaghetti Squash – A Fall Favorite

Growing up I remember eating a lot of spaghetti squash. That could be why in my adult life I rarely make it for myself. But I changed it up this week after impulse buying a great looking squash at the Farmers’ Market and decided to roast it up this week. I went for simple in the preparation, I started by slicing it in half, then removed all the guts and seeds, brushed on some olive oil, cracked some black pepper and garlic salt over the flesh and laid them flat on a baking sheet in the oven at 375 degrees.

Used some tinfoil on the baking sheet for less mess.

Used some tinfoil on the baking sheet for a little less mess.

While the squash was roasting, I whipped up some tomato sauce. I combined some crushed tomatoes along with a can of tomato paste and diced garlic tomatoes, and used my emersion blender to mix it all up, adding in fresh garlic, oregano, basil, black pepper, crushed red pepper and a sprinkle of sugar along the way.

Boiled the sauce and let it simmer for about 30 minutes.

Boiled the sauce and let it simmer for about 30 minutes.

After 45 minutes, we were ready to go! I removed the sheet and scooped the flesh out of the spaghetti squash onto plates and topped it with some tomato sauce. I am a huge fan of parmesan cheese, so I sprinkled some on top for some extra flavor. Now it was exactly like real spaghetti, but it was delicious and warm on another cold, rainy day we had in Charlottesville. Happy eating!

Good to go!

Good to go!


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The Celebration

As you know the premise of our trip to the Cape last week was to celebrate the nuptials of  two of our closest friends from Charlottesville. The bride’s family has long had a vacation cottage on the Cape and it was her dream to get married there. The setting and festivities did not disappoint!

The celebration started on Thursday with the rehearsal and then the rehearsal dinner. The dinner was held at the bride’s favorite restaurant on the Cape – Moby Dick’s in Wellfleet. On our last trip to Cape Cod we tried it out on her recommendation and it was delicious, so I was looking forward to going back, the Clam Chowder is exquisite! The bride’s sister, also the MOH, DIY’ed the decorations and they were absolutely adorable. The table names were local towns and looked like replicas of the township roadsigns seen along the highway. The name plates were of a similar design, complete with the glittered emblem – too cute!

My seat for the rehearsal dinner. So charming!

My seat for the rehearsal dinner. So charming!

The next day was the wedding, held at Chatham Bars Inn (CBI) in Chatham. It was the best day weather-wise we’d seen yet, a good omen for the ceremony that was held on the beach. My BF was the best man so he departed early to do whatever it is the groom and groomsmen do before the ceremony (drink beer from what I gathered). CBI was a quick walk from our house, so those of us not involved in the wedding party walked down the beach to the ceremony.

Too picturesque not to capture!

Too picturesque not to capture!

The ceremony was held with the ocean as the backdrop and the bride’s brother-in-law as the officiant. It combined traditional wedding rituals with some Persian customs from the groom’s family. All together, it was fantastic and brought me so much joy and of course tears. The BF’s part in the ceremony also went off without a hitch, even if he did have to untangle the bride’s wedding band from the ribbon in the ring box during the groom’s vows.

Then it was time to party! We caught the bride and groom for our only picture with them of the night early in the cocktail hour, before we broke it down on the dance floor.

With the Bride and Groom!

With the Bride and Groom!

The BF also had a speech to give during the reception. I was too busy being nervous and then crying to take pictures but needless to say he delivered it flawlessly. His sentiment was thoughtful, touching and hardly left a dry eye in the house. Decor-wise, my favorite details were the personalized seashells with our table numbers, what an incredible touch!

Check out that calligraphy!

Check out that calligraphy!

The evening flew by, starting with a delicious dinner. Everyone said it was the best steak they had ever tasted, as a non-red meat eater, I took their word for it. Then drinks, some delicious desserts, and lots of dancing. The Good Old Song from UVa rounded out the memorable evening at CBI. It was such a fun occasion and I was so happy to be there to celebrate with such wonderful friends! #Fashanderman2014

 


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Springtime Grilling

It was 86 degrees in Madison today! We are experiencing a heat-wave of sorts and I think it was a welcome sign of summer for everyone on town. The sunny weather inspired me to break out my mini-grill and cook outside! So, I picked up some fresh asparagus and chicken tenderloins on my way home.

I first marinated the chicken in Italian seasoning for about 90 minutes.

Then I seasoned the asparagus with a little salt, pepper and garlic, tucked them in some tinfoil.

Ready to grill!

Ready to grill!

I threw it all on the grill. The asparagus took about 10 minutes and the chicken closer to 15.

Looking good!

Looking good!

 

A plate of fresh food tasted so good tonight!

Yum!

Yum!

I cooked a lot of food! It should set me up well to repurpose for the next 6 days before I leave for Cape Cod. I hope everyone is enjoying the weather!