Lots to do...and 5 months to do it in. I know this is what I do for a living, but I'm always open to suggestions...let me know if you have any you'd like to share!
Note: The weather in Washington - the Seattle area specifically - has been completely nutso the past couple days. Defitely the kind of conditions that make a girl crave grilled cheese sandwhiches (with pesto!) and tomato soup. So have at it.
(I didn't take this picture...but its close enough...seen one grilled cheese, you've seen 'em all)
Woke up much earlier than I would have liked to and eventually made it to work...where there were meetings and a couple meetings topped off by more meetings. My tasks for the day weren't exciting. I printed 250 invitations, then stuffed, sealed, stamped and labeled them. Oooooo. Ahhhhhhh.
I was cranky. With no real reason to be.
But, then I made turkey sausage ragu for dinner and got to enjoy a lovely meal with my boy.
I had a glass of red wine.
I talked to a dear, sweet friend who lives much too far away.
I cut hearts out of red felt.
I watched a TiVo'd episode of Oprah.
And I reminded myself that I had a job to go to. I am so fortunate.
I got over myself.
And now, a full hour past my bedtime, I am getting ready to sign off.
Just ignore the faux wood countertop and the clutter you see here. Rest assured that pretty (all be it new) Fiestaware has replaced those sad blue plates.
Please also ignore the fact that the glasses of wine are maybe a little too generous...sheesh.
Just focus on how pretty and yummy this meal looks.
L.o.v.e. this dinner.
I've never been a fan of lentils, but after this dish, I am a convert.
Did I mention I love this dinner?
Because I really do.
The recipe is from the Eat-Clean Diet Cook Book by Tosca Reno and has become a staple around our house. It makes an appearance once every two weeks or so. Unbelieveably good the first night and almost as amazing the next day as leftovers.
Give it a try! I usually serve it with either green beans or a yummy salad ~ a kabob of roasted veggies would also be a fab choice during the summer.
Moroccan Chicken with Lentils
For the lentils:
8 cups water
2 tsp. sea salt
1 lb. dried lentils
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. ground cumin
2 tbsp. chilli powder
2 minced garlic cloves
Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, cumin, chilli powder, 1 tsp. salt and garlic together in a small bowl.
In a large stockpot, combine water, remaining tsp. sea salt and lentils. Bring this to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium, simmer for 20-25 minutes
until lentils are soft. Drain well, rinse under cold water, and set aside in a large bowl to cool.
For the chicken:
1 large onion, chopped
2 lbs. skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon (I usually double this)
1 tbsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. chilli powder
1 tsp. sea salt
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup chopped cilantro (or parsley)
In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Add the chopped onion and saute for 7 minutes.
Add chicken breast and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add sea salt, ground cumin, chilli powder and cinnamon.
Saute for 2 more minutes or until fully cooked.
Puting it together:
Pour the olive oil and vinegar mixture over the now cooled lentils and stir well.
Place 1 cup lentils on each plate and top with chicken and cilantro.
Note: This recipe supposedly makes 12 servings. I have found 8 or so to be more accurate when served with a veggie side dish. If you want the entire 12 servings, I would add an additional pound of chicken to make the portions more substantial.
Historically, the days (ok, really the weeks) following Christmas and New Years have been a time of year I truly dread. I know this is a pretty common feeling and I'm glad to not be alone in my gloomy state. But I'm sorta sick of the emotional-merry-go-round, so this year I'm trying to intentionally snap myself out of the post-holiday funk.
...There may no longer be a 24 hour Christmas music station on my radio, but I will create new playlists on my iPod full of upbeat tunes and sing loudly as I drive to and from work. I will strive to be one of "those people" you see drumming the steering wheel, rocking out with complete abandon.
(I heart my iPod)
...I may have to pack all the Christmas decorations away this weekend, but I will find other was to bring joy and beauty into our house. This will mean several weekends spent painting rather drab walls, repainting all the kitchen cabinets, etc. Consider this fair warning: you will most likely be subjected to many before/during/after photo shoot recaps and a considerable amount of hemming and hawing on my part as I make decisions.
(These are not my ornaments, but I have now made a mental note to buy pink Christmas decor tout de suite.)
...No longer can I justify whipping out the standard excuses for over indulging in sweets during the holidays - "Oh heck, it's Christmas - I'll just have one cookie!", "At least I don't eat like this all year" and my favorite: "I just CAN'T watch White Christmas without eggnog...blasphemy!"
Instead I will dive head first into healthy meal planning, trying new fun recipes and expanding my repertoire in the kitchen. I will take the dog on extra long walks, make good use of the Wii Fit and fall in love with the eliptical.
Still "mmmmmmm" worthy, but in a better-for-me sort of way.
So there you have it. I've got a lot of bucking up to do...but as a self proclaimed "cockeyed optimist" I certainly don't expect it to take too long. I promise to keep you updated!
And now I'm curious...what methods do you use to snap yourself out of post-holiday blues? Or any blues for that matter? Share your secrets!
I'm Katie - event planner, amateur housekeeper, and cockeyed optimist. Simply La Dolce Vita is where I look forward to sharing all my most random thoughts as well as ideas and tricks of the trade that I find inspiring and joyful. Thanks for visiting ~ I hope you enjoy!