Highlights of a holiday.

Well, in all honesty, I didn't take many photos. Too busy spending time with others I guess! I did manage to snap a few, shared below. Enjoy!
Magnolias, still alive and well in late November.
Thanksgiving place settings, courtesy my mom.

An interesting start to a scrabble game...
...which proceeded to get a whole lot worse.
Hub, after a 15k trail run.
Hoping you enjoyed your holiday as well!

Home cooked meals.

I'm beyond excited for this week's holiday. Not only will I be surrounded by friends and family, but I'll get to indulge in a delicious home cooked meal. And there's really nothing quite like the classics. It's striking just how much the food you grew up eating defines your tastes later in life. Part of our Thanksgiving tradition at home is the pre-Turkey food. The cheese and crackers. The nuts. The spinach dip (which I'll be making this year!). In my mind, the best part about this holiday isn't actually the food itself though; it's the time spent leisurely enjoying each other's company around the food. Whether that be perched at our kitchen counter top, snacking on nuts while the main dish is being prepared or sitting around our dining room table, bellies full, with empty dishes a'plenty. The real draw is the company. Ok, and yes, there's no denying the fact that the food just so happens to be delicious. Which brings me to my next rambling...

Stuffed Green Peppers. A dish I grew up eating which my husband, by the look on his face when I served it to him, did not. They're so delicious and, more importantly, easy. As of late, I've made it my goal to slowly start stockpiling all of the recipes my mom always made for us growing up. Ours was not a house where all of the daughters gathered around to help her cook. Shamefully. I'm regretting my decision now that pork ever so slightly scares me and I still can't bring myself to bake bone-in chicken in the oven. If only I'd been more observant and helpful when I lived there. And that's not to say that my parents didn't try to encourage us to be more involved. They did. It's never too late to start trying though, right? First up... 

From the source herself:

From: My mom
To: rosyrilli@gmail.com
Date: Mon, Nov 7, 2011 at 10:03 PM
Subject: Re: Hellooooo!

Take top off of pepper and take seeds out of peppers.  Boil in water until they are just a little soft or as soft as you want to eat them when they are stuffed.  Brown 1 lb. ground beef and make 1 or 2 cups of minute rice.  Add to meat and pour 3/4 jar (large) of Prego traditional spaghetti sauce to mixture.  Put peppers in baking pan and add mixture until they are stuffed to top.  Add rest of sauce over top of each one and bake at 350 for 1/2 hour.  Add mozzarella cheese on top and melt.  Enjoy with some nice garlic sticks or bread and small salad and a glass of red wine.  If your meat was not frozen first you can freeze these for enjoyment later!

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you enjoy all of the perks of a friends, family and a home cooked meal tomorrow!

Late to the party.

I finally finished reading the Family Fang which, as expected, turned out to be quite peculiar. This lent itself to the possibility of reading yet another book and so I grabbed the next novel from my stack. Hunger Games. I noticed the series kept popping up on blogger's reading lists everywhere. Needless to say, it was entirely finished within a very short two evenings. I sacrificed sleep and about ten other items on my to-do list in anticipation of what would happen next. It's an understatement to say that I absolutely LOVED this novel. Loved it in a way that I haven't loved a book for a few years in fact. It's a little like The Giver or Brave New World... on steroids. The heroine was reminiscent to Dagny in Atlas Shrugged (my all time favorite): strong, fearless, emotionless. Gone are the days of the beautiful and helpless damsel in distress. This book was so good, in fact, that I convinced my husband to read it, which doesn't sound like a lot except for the fact that he doesn't enjoy reading. I'm ecstatic that there are two more books in this series yet untouched and am thinking I may have to indulge over some turkey this coming holiday. AND, the trailer for the movie was released recently. You know it's going to be good when the movie depicts the book exactly as you imaged it in your head. I'm beyond thrilled.

Traditions and the non-cook dinner.

Mentally, I've been distressed lately about a great many things, none of which are actually under my control. And stress, I've discovered, is wholeheartedly draining. So, in an effort to combat my mental fatigue, I surrounded myself only with the most positive of things. And although it was far from being the perfect weekend, it was the best I could do. We filled it with the absence of alcohol. We did a little shopping because, like it or not, it really does improve my mood. There was R&R. A comedy movie was accompanied by sweet kettle corn popcorn, a love I had forgotten about in recent months. We visited Kelly Drive for a stroll (Teacup and I) and a run (hubby) on a beautiful, bright and chilly November day. It's a Sunday scene which is fast becoming our new tradition. I've never been, and probably never will be, a city girl. I am, however, slowly learning to love what this city has to offer...

And lastly, I ended my weekend with a healthy, no-cooking-required, meal. Because sometimes, just sometimes, it's the simplest ingredients in life, which when combined,  bring the most enjoyment.

Early bird catches the worm.

Hello weekend. This Saturday has been riddled with a few undesirable happenings but I did manage to do one thing right. I woke up and spent the early morning hours snuggled up with my little cuddle bug, pictured below, watching all of my favorite girlie shows. All while we let "Daddy" sleep in.  Here's to hoping the rest of the weekend gets a little brighter...

My Teacup.

High tea.

My mini musing: What ever happened to the customary offering of tea or coffee to house guests upon entry? Somehow this practice has fallen to the way side. But why? Have we lost all sense of manners? Or maybe people never actually performed such acts of kindness in the first place...

A thank you.

Entering my house this evening an hour later than is typical, I felt especially drained and short of patience. Thank you day long intensive training seminar. In actuality, I would like to thank my husband. Not only did he buy me a pot of pretty flowers (which will last so much longer than the cut variety) but he ALSO made me dinner. Yes, you read that correctly. He cooked. There was even cleaning of the table and dishes afterwards. The taco dinner was delicious. I enjoyed it fully... almost as much as kicking my feet up and being able to relax. The timing could not have been more perfect. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a snuggle date on the couch with a certain someone ;)

Evening eats.

No, I have not forgotten. I've been diligently cooking a new recipe weekly, much to the benefit of my husband. In fact, my Sesame Chicken with Spicy Peanut Sauce was such a hit that he boldly proclaimed it the BEST meal he'd ever tasted. And then continued to dip bananas in the sauce once the chicken was devoured. That's a pretty big compliment from a man who likes to eat. A lot. So on tonight's menu? Chicken with Spinach Farfalle. Mmmm...

I'm already concocting more menus. Stuffed peppers, anyone? Oh, or perhaps a little baking? 'Tis the season for some hot apple pie!