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Archive for November, 2010

It’s almost Thanksgiving, and I am so excited to be hosting this year (and equally excited that I am not teetering on the edge of illness like last year).  I wish everyone from both families could join us at our home for the holiday, but we will be thinking of California and Florida and New York and Chicago all day.  We are very lucky, however, to get to spend the day with Grandma, Michael, and Wayne, and I have been busy getting ready.

I’m trying several new recipes this year, only two of which concern me slightly. I am making those two today just in case they are busts — I still have time to buy new ingredients and start again. So today is cranberry sauce (with everything from Gran Marnier to orange and lemon juice to cinnamon and nutmeg) as well as sweet potato balls with marshmallows in the center and rolled in either pecans or coconut.  (I’m modifying that recipe quite a bit from the online recipe, which gives me a little extra heart burn.)

Either way, my ingredients are ready to go for today’s cooking:

And my dishes are clean and standing ready for service tomorrow (with my handy dandy labels so I — or, yanno, G — don’t put the wrong food item in the wrong dish):

My table is set and in addition to the beautiful table runner Mom made a couple years ago, she sent gorgeous place cards to finish the table this year:

My Petsmart gift card finally arrived this week, so I wasted no time finding my way to Bowie to spend it.  My first attempt through the store ended in $155, so I made one last trip to the treat/bone aisle to spend the last $45.  Totally worth buying the El. 🙂  Ever wonder what $200 of large dog bones and treats looks like? (minus the dog food bag — that definitely was not part of this purchase)

Lastly, I am very excited to show of my foyer display which needs a few last touches (such as Christmas wreath on the closet door and stockings going up the stairs — holiday stuff that can’t quite come out yet), but it is pretty close to exactly what I had in mind.  No white birch logs.  They’re impossible to find.  Regular, old firewood will have to do.  I’ll take a better picture without the sunlight streaming through (kind of kills the winter mood, no?), but I wanted to show it off!

Time to get cooking!

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puppies and portobellos

G is at work tonight. 😦  All night. 😦

So it is just the four of us.  They have rubber bones with chewy rings on the outside and I have…well…my laptop.  And wine, of course.

So I made up a new recipe tonight. My delicious beef stroganoff recipe, with eggplant and mushrooms instead of beef and mushrooms. (And without the dill.  It seemed silly to buy dill for one.)  And instead of noodles, on top of wilted spinach.

As it turns out: delicious.

My Ballbuster wine from Tait didn’t hurt. (I actually bought a second bottle because, after opening this one on Monday, I realized I should have saved the screw top for the weekend. Screw top wine is SO much easier in the Pocs.)

Even though I’m not at all ready for Thanksgiving or the idea of Thanksgiving, I’ve shamefully begun watching Christmas movies. Love Actually on Saturday when G was at work, and Elf tonight.  I know, I know.

But I heart these movies.

Speaking of Christmas, the Christmas cards I made were delivered today. AND I LOVE THEM!!!! 

No hints. Except one: Santa is in them. 🙂

I had a meeting in Georgetown today which was awesome for two reasons: delicious lunch(!) and proximity to Barnes and Noble. It is so hard living in a county without a bookstore. I bought two new books for the weekend:

Between Summer’s Longing and Winter’s End by Leif GW Persson. (The next Stieg Larsson? I HOPE SO!)

And an oldie but goodie that I never actually read: The Bourne Identity. As it turns out, in my massive book rewrite (i.e., writing an entirely new book), I am writing a chase scene that takes place on top of a building in Thailand.  And I think I suck at it. So it occurred to me to read how others write chase scenes. And who wrote more rooftop chase scenes than Robert Ludlum?  I’m pretty stoked to spot-read this book.

About that writing… it’s moving slowly.  Sigh.

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Nashville

I heart Nashville.  I want to wear cowboy boots and listen to country music all the time.  I would prefer Nashville with green vegetables, but you can’t have everything.

Highlights: Monday night Country Strong movie premiere with the folks from People Country. Faith Hill, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw, Leighton Meester.  Movie was a bit heavy, but otherwise, great night.

Getting a little Rippy’s BBQ while they set up the GMA concert.  Then checking out Dierks Bentley during his sound check. So glad he was in Nashville this year for the CMAs!

Tuesday night we had dinner at The Palm followed by the songwriters concert followed by drinks and music around town.

(That’s Chris Young up there singing for those non-country blog readers.  I was very jazzed to see him perform.)

On Wednesday, we got some BBQ, got our hair done, and hit the show! (I also got to show off my fabulous new boots. Don’t I look positively country? Ignore the fluffy hair.  Again.  My hair hadn’t exactly ‘settled’ yet.)

The show! Our seats (front row on the side), Keith Urban, and Dierks. Swoon!

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Halifax

It was cold, it was windy, it snowed at one point, and the codel had to stop over in Bangor, Maine for a night, but everyone made it eventually and I didn’t get food poisoning.  So, good conference. Ignore my fluffy hair.

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home.

It’s been two long weeks. I barely remember the last time I was home.  And the puppies — they’re so cute!  This was my first night home for dinner and we rushed to Donnie and Laura’s for a party.  So I’m a bit too tired to post, but I wanted to send one pic out there…

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