Scenes from a NH Christmas

I’m clearly not over the fact that Christmas is over. While I had a busy five days off, they were full of good food, gifts, and trees. Something about Christmas didn’t feel as Christmas-y as it did in the past. Maybe it was the lack of snow on the ground. Or may it was the fact I use to be on break from school and now I study through the holidays to try and pass my CPA exams. Regardless, pictures prove that my house was in fact Christmas. In fact, it looked like Christmas threw up all over it.

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We have an artificial tree. We have floor heating and animals. This way we avoid a house fire and a sick dog.

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For some reason in my house, having a variety of wrapping paper is important. There is everything from tractors to owls. We cover all grounds and colors. All things glittery and shiny included.

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The red with bows was my favorite this year. It got glitter everywhere. It was awesome.

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Christmas morning breakfast took place in the middle of opening gifts. Cinnamon rolls, fruit and Pannukaku (Finnish pancake). The spelling on that is entirely questionable, google even told me five different ways. It’s pretty much an egg, milk, and flour based dish that has an eggy pancake texture and you bake it until it puffs up. We serve ours with maple syrups or powdered sugar. Custard. It has a custard texture, that’s it.

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Oh my yum.

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Between breakfast and lunch I took my new shoes out for an adventure. It was unusually warm for Christmas in New Hampshire and it felt good to get outside. We had had rain and clouds for almost a week so the sun was a Christmas miracle.

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Our family’s dinner contribution was green beans that are cooked with sesame oil, soy sauce, onions, garlic, and topped with sesame seeds. It has crunchy green beans and can be served warm or cold.

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Since we’re in New Hampshire, a flannel shirt was extremely appropriate for this holiday. I glommed mine up with a little sparkle.

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I found this tank online. I died. I do not lift weights. I think Santa only saw that I run.

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Christmas wouldn’t be complete without the best chocolate cake ever. Chocolate cake. Chocolate frosting, Chocolate shavings. Chocolate win. Nap.

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And another tree. This one more festive than the first. Here, disney paper was important.

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So now looking back, my Christmas was actually pretty Christmas-y. Just the way I like it 🙂

 

Monday Motivation

Happy Monday? Thank goodness I have another short week at work! If it was a full week after Christmas… I don’t think I would make it…

Here’s some motivation to get you through the week:

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And here’s some things that made me smile big 🙂

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Have a great week and enjoy the final moments of 2014!

Savoring Vacation and Quesadillas

And on the 5th day off in a row… I actually felt like I had a day off! I can’t believe tomorrow is already another Monday, but I also can’t believe how much I have done in the past five days. There have been so many holiday parties, runs, baking and shopping.

This morning I forced myself to get out of bed at a reasonable time so I won’t be hating myself tomorrow morning at 6:30 am. After a leisurely morning of coffee and nisu (a Finnish coffee bread) french toast, I waited for the rain to stop and headed out on a run. I was expecting it to be chilly after a cold rain and a harsh wind, but it felt a lot like spring. I was way over prepared in my cold weather gear and had to walk a little toward the end just to cool off before I got back inside (the last portion was also up a hill… coincidence that I stopped?).

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I did manage to make it through four miles. It felt great to get out for the second day in a row. It felt a little too great, actually. My second mile ended up being around 7 minutes and 18 seconds… way too fast for me on the off season. However, it did bring my average mile time for the run down which was good for my leisurely last two miles.

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I got to rock my new Bose SoundSport headphones that I wrote about wanting here. It was a Christmas wish come true! I was lucky enough to get one item off that list. So far they are working out great! I don’t have to worry about them falling out getting to change songs right from the cord is a great feature! I also ordered myself some Pro Compression socks that were featured on my wish list because they are having a deal right now where you get a grab bag of marathon socks for $60. From that $60, you can take 42% off site wide bringing the three pairs of socks ($150 value!!) for almost $30. Unreal.

After a leisurely day of watching football napping, I ended the day making some steak fajita quesadillas.

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Peppers and onions were prepped.

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Steak was salted, cooked on the grill and sliced. My boyfriend got this cutting board for Christmas from Boston HandyWorks. It a nonprofit based out of Boston that takes in homeless men and women and provides temporary employment and training. Besides making these amazing cutting boards, they offer repair and maintenance services. Once someone graduates the program, they have improved self confidence along with a marketable skill. Since 2009, 52% of program graduates were employed or working a paid internship.

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Steak was assembled with cheese, BBQ sauce, cooked peppers and onions, and more cheese on flour tortillas.

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Tortillas were folded in half (we did it this way for easier flipping.. at least one side this way is a solid wall) and grilled on both sides until nice and crunchy.

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Each quesadilla was cut in half and thoroughly enjoyed alongside a quick black bean soup. Yum, yum! The quesadillas were nice and crunchy on the outside and soft and cheesy on the inside. Perfect for dipping into soup.

After dinner we made milkshakes to use up old candy bars. Maybe were are the last to know about this idea, but a milkshake is a great way to get rid of old candy you are never going to eat. You simply take said candy, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, milk, and blend it right up!

Oh and in case anyone was wondering how my knew knitting hobby is going… it looks a lot like this:

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I do have a more semi-successful scarf in the making, but I wanted to try out one of these 30 minute infinity scarves using your hands instead of knitting needles. All I got out of it was a ball of tangled yarn. I was doing well for a while, but then I realized I needed another ball of yard and decided to destroy my creation. That was a bad idea. Yarn chaos. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow!

Weekend Update

Merry (belated) Christmas! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and were surrounded by lots of friends, family, and food. I think I’m officially holiday partied out and my body needs a cleanse. There has been time between feasts for a few runs and I can totally see why people make it their new years resolutions to get in shape after the holidays. They get you. Prime example: it’s a Saturday night and my body just wanted to stay in and go to bed by ten.

Lots of vacation days over the past week had me doing a lot of fun things.

Current internet obsession: Humans of New York. Ok, I’m probably late to this game, but once I start reading the stories, I can’t stop.

New favorite running accessory: These shoesies. I’ve gone on two runs with them so far. So far so good.

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New mindless activity: Knitting. Can’t stop, won’t stop. I’m not sure how good my “scarf” will even be… but I was in Michael’s the other day and had the urge to take up this new hobby. Maybe next year everyone will get scarves for Christmas?

Current craving: This mac and cheese. All I want for food right now is exactly the opposite of what you would have at your Christmas dining room table. I had this dish the other day and it was very different from what I had had for mac and cheese before. It had an egg in it making it light and fluffy. Putting broil on at the last mite was the best idea ever. It was left with a crunchy top to go with the airy middle.

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Now… it’s time for bed after a wild Saturday night in making a blog post 🙂

Monday Motivation

Happy Monday! More importantly: Happy Christmas Weeeeekkkkk! I only have to work two days this week and I’m almost through the first one! Tonight I need to finish my Christmas shopping and I can’t wait to give everyone the perfect gifts this year. I think I went a little overboard. I know I did. But it’s the season for giving and I would rather give someone something thoughtful than something they will never use or already have. What boggles my mind is that I’m still getting emails telling me I can get things ordered and shipped by Christmas. In my mind I’m like uhhhhhhh are you hand delivering it to my house on Christmas day? The poor postal service. They deserve some cookies. Adding that to my list of things to do this week.

With a few days off comes plenty of time for running! It’s going to be rainy on Christmas Eve and day but I can’t let that stop me! Here’s a little motivation for your Monday:

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And here’s some jokes… because jokes. That’s all.

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Have a great and blessed week! Spread some cheer 🙂

Weekend Recap

Happy Sunday Night! Normally I’d be dreading the Monday that is right around the corner, but knowing I have a short (and busy) week doesn’t make it seem that bad! The next few days are going to fly by! I gave myself last Friday off to get caught up on some Christmas essentials, like baking.

So my Friday morning started off the right way with a little help from Mr. Kitchen.

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Friday’s baking consisted of peanut butter blossoms! these are super simple and delicious! the only problem I have is that the recipe claims it will make 48… and I only ended up with 28… whoopsies!

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Besides baking, the other best part of having Friday off was the fact that I had daylight! I headed out for a very chilly fun on mny favorite three(ish) mile loop. The legs felt good after four days off! I’m always worried that after a few days off my legs will forget how to run. They never do, thank goodness.

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Friday night activities found me at a Celtics game. Before the game there was a quick trip to the mall. Feast your eyes on the best window ever by J.Crew. I died. And then took up the entire walkway trying to get a picture.

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So I would say the first day of my three day weekend was a success! After getting home pretty late, I didn’t have much time to slow down and relax (besides sleep) before I was up the next morning for another run before another busy day! The temperature was pretty freakin cold. I had no idea how to dress. I ended up with my Lulu Scuba hoodie. It wasn’t annoying to run in at all, but I did get a little overheated since I was expecting there to be a wind. I did my favorite three mile loop again… it’s quick, easy, convenient, and I know I can do it in less than half an hour.

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Time a matter Saturday morning because late morning I shipped back to Boston to see the Trans Siberian Orchestra. What an interesting show. Not what I would have expected at all. While I’m not going to go out and buy a TSO CD and become their biggest fan, I will say it is worth seeing. The lighting and stage presence of all the performers makes it worth it.

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When I got home from the show, I realized my Halo Headband had arrived!!!! I considered going out and running right then, but decided to wait until the morning like a sane person. I wasn’t expecting to get it so soon since I wasn’t even a paying customer, but there it was in all its’ teal glory.

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For Sunday, I had so many dreams and ambitions, but only got a few things done. First of all, I tackled my wrapping project. It took nearly three times as long as I thought it was going to. I had to get organized before I could even wrap. The one flaw in my plan is I didn’t put name tags on everything so I hope I can go with the shake and remember what was in the box technique I always end up doing.

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i obviously had to go out and try my new headband, I was even ambitious enough to go a little longer today. I know I’m completely capable of running at least 6+ miles, but since I’m not training for anything I don’t see the point. I would rather keep a base where I can run 3-5 with zero effort than risk injuring myself on a longer run. My knees thank me for this logic.

For my entire run today little snow flurries were present. It was actually very peaceful and fun to run in, except for when I would get one in my eye and couldn’t see anything. While the snow was falling, this headband was staying put. Didn’t even budge a little. It’s a headband from the heavens. I can’t believe I didn’t get my hands on one sooner. It’s a nice thick one too, so when I was feeling a little chilly in the ear regain, I just slipped it over my ears a little. The one reason I hate running with actually headbands over my ears is that I feel like they trap the sweat and make me overheated. This one wicks the sweat right away and I didn’t get a little streak going down my face like I usually do. I most definitely need to invest in their winter headband.

The rest of my day was spend trying to figure out what was wrong with my cookie press and fighting with it. I did end up getting it to work, but it wasn’t a smooth operation. I should have just rolled out my cookies instead of trying to make that darn thing work. Oh well, it will be ready for next time!

I guess the one main thing I didn’t get to doing today was studying for my CPA exams…. the holidays and all its activities are just too exciting and distracting! At least there is always next Sunday… right?!

Crab Rangoon Recipe

Crab Rangooooooons! Fun to say. Fun to eat. Now fun to make.

Super Simple.

What you will need:

  • a block of cream cheese (8 oz)
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons powdered sugar
  • 1 chive stack diced
  • 4 oz crab meat
  • garlic powder, ground ginger, and pepper to taste
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • wonton wrappers

First, you take all the ingredients in the first 6 bullets and combine. I microwaved my cream cheese for a few seconds to get it manageable for mixing. Adjust the seasons until you have a filling you are happy with. Chinese restaurant crab rangoons are usually on the sweeter side, but I like mine a little more savory.

Take your filling and drop a little over a teaspoon into the middle of the wonton wrappers.

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Wet your fingers (or be more sanitary and use a brush) and get the edges of the wrappers moist so they will stick together. Fold the wrapper in half and seal the edges. If you want to be fancy you can take the two bottom ends and fold them together like this:

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You can also simply fold them over into little triangles. Fill a pan with about an inch of oil and heat to 375 degrees. Fry the filled wonton wrappers on each side until brown. This can all be fairly controlled. If the rangoon starts to make noise and splatter, it is because the filling is seeping out. This is why you want to have a good seal going on.

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When they are golden and delicious (I like mine on the darker side), take them out of the oil and place on a paper towel lined plate to cool. You can then enjoy them playing or with your favorite dipping sauce!

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This recipe should make about 28 crab rangoons. If you aren’t eating them right away, they can be reheated in the over at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes.