Simple Pleasures

Lately I have been enjoying simpler things in my day-to-day routine. As a bear prepares for hibernation in the Winter, I feel like I am preparing for the 2-3 long Winter months ahead and have started to cook and bake a lot more.

The recipes I follow are not extravagant, mainly using 5-6 ingredients tops. Last week, I roasted some cubed butternut squash that has been on sale at my local grocery store. I drizzled a TBS of EVOO and sprinkled curry powder and shredded coconut on top. I set my oven on 450 because unfortunately my oven is not the strongest. After about an hour of baking, with some tossing of the squash mid-way through, the squash is finally done and the coconut is crispy!

I added 1/2 cup of chickpeas, a TBS of dried cherries and a pinch of minced garlic to put a spin on it ~ it was delicious!!

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On the baking front, I have definitey gotten into the spirit of Thanksgiving by using Pumpkin as the main ingredient. I baked two 8 x 8 Pumpkin-Banana baked oatmeal dishes for my high school alma mater’s “Holly Spree” last week. I found the recipe here. I made a “trial run”, which turned out okay, but when I went to bake the two that were going to the bizaare, those actually turned out better! I think the turn-key method was mixing the oats and pumpkin mixture together, and then pouring over the bananas, as opposed to pouring the oats and other dry ingredients over the bananas first, followed by the pumpkin mixture – oh my! Baking problems ­čÖé

I don’t have a picture of the baked oatmeal, but I did snap one here of the Pumpkin-Chocolate Chunk Date Bars I whipped up last night.

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These were simple too. Recipe here.

My last simple pleasure that I have been particularly excited about this season are my Thanksgiving wine bags I purchased from the Dollar Bin at Target!! These were hard to resist ­čÖé

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I hope you and your family have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving! Gobble gobble.

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Tell All Tuesday

Good morning!

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend and/or long weekend if you had Veteran’s Day off! I know I personally took a moment to thank all the living and deceased Veterans of our country, especially my grandfather, who served in World War II, and no longer with us.

This past weekend was busy and restful at the same time. I dog sat for my former fourth grade teacher who lives in my parent’s neighborhood. I have been dogsitting for them for a few years now, so the dogs are used to me being there, and I’m used to them and their house, so it’s really kind of like a mini vacation for me!

Saturday I had to work at the store. It was a fun and busy day for us! We completed our “golden” window for Holiday and ended the day with some great sales.

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At the end of the day, I was exhausted!! The night before, I had to babysit, and the parents did not come home until Midnight! I did not get my 8+ hours of sleep to say the least ­čśë

I was able to catch up on my sleep Saturday night and felt pretty rested for Sunday brunch at Stella’s!! I was so excited to have brunch here, because I have only been to Stella’s for dinner once, and from what I remember it was sub-par. BUT the brunch was delicious! I started with two beverages – a bellini and a Frappe or iced coffee. For my meal, I ordered┬áSpanakopita with two poached eggs and potatoes. SO.GOOD.

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Although I wanted to clean my plate, I refrained, and took half of it home. I loved their little “Take Away” boxes!

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Have a happy Tuesday!