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Show Meeee the Buttahhhh!

 

Sometimes when you’re jonesing for a specific kind of food, you drive forty-five minutes to make that food happen.

 

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As today is the last day of hubby’s two-weeks off of work and the end of Alyssa’s Christmas break, Texas Roadhouse was our “one last hurrah” this afternoon. 

The honey-cinnamon butter (all melty-amazing on warm yeast rolls) was more than worth the longish journey to Kenosha. 

On the way home, we stopped at the Pleasant Prairie outlet mall. 

 

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Look what we found!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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The best scent on the planet that is technically “discontinued” so I thought I’d never see it again as long as I live but we walked into the Yankee Candle outlet store and THERE THEY WERE!  Loads and loads of them!  We bought three!  Judging from how quickly I burned through five of these puppies last time (four weeks) I might be making another trip north very soon.

Have you seen this magazine?

 

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Wanna check it out?  What a perfect way to kick off the new year – with loads of delicious, healthy recipe ideas!  You will be blown away by how easy and cost effective it is to eat clean. 

I would love to send this most recent issue to one of my dear blog readers.  Just comment on this post with your answer to these questions:

What is your greatest health goal for 2011?  What are some specific things you’re going to do to reach that goal?

Monday evening I will randomly select the reader who will receive this fantabulous magazine!

It’s time to make the weekly grocery list.  Thanks for reading!

When you toss root vegetables with sweet dried cherries and sprinkle on some butter, sugar and cinnamon – well, you can’t really go wrong. 

 

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SWEET ROASTED ROOT VEGGIES AND CHERRIES

olive oil spray

6-8 c cubed root veggies of choice (I used sweet potatoes, rutabaga, parsnips and turnips)

1-1/2 c dried cherries

1/3 c Earth Balance, melted

1/3 c sucanat

2 Tbs pure ground cinnamon

  • Coat roasting pan with olive oil spray.
  • In roasting pan, toss veggies and cherries.
  • Pour melted Earth Balance over top of veggie mixture.  Sprinkle on sucanat and toss again to combine. 
  • Sprinkle cinnamon over top.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 1-1/2 hours, stirring after first 45 minutes.

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When I roast veggies like this again, I will probably use sweet potatoes, butternut squash and regular potatoes – because, unfortunately, the three of us aren’t crazy about parsnips and turnips.  That’s the beauty of this recipe: You can use whatever root veggies you and your family love!  The dried cherries provide a lovely little burst of tartness with each bite.

This makes a wonderful side dish for just about any entree.  Tonight we had it with lemon-garlic grilled chicken breasts.  Deeeelicious!

Enjoy!

 

New Year, New Blog

I love blogging. 

So much.

And I love healthy food.

So much.

 

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That’s why I’ve been brainstorming ways to make my blog different.  Maybe better.  But very definitely different. 

As I sit relaxing in my cozy home, preparing to usher in a brand new sparkly year, I am filled with excitement and optimism… because I’m officially introducing you to my fresh, redesigned blog that has one purpose and one purpose only:  to make it possible for you and I to be our healthiest best

As you may have noticed, I also changed the name.  Welcome to Sassy Cafe!

Did you know that 80% of your body composition will be determined by your diet?   Yes, exercise is also important to health and to speed up fat-burning and muscle-building, but most of your results will come from how you eat.

With this hugely important statistic in mind, I strive to test, create and share recipes on my blog that will hopefully inspire and help YOU to be your healthiest best.

I am passionate about clean eating.

If you haven’t heard this term before, let me offer you a brief explanation:

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Eating Clean is treating your body right.

It is eating the way nature intended. You eat the foods our bodies evolved to function best on, and that makes you feel – and look – fantastic. When you Eat Clean you eat more often. You will eat lean protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats. These practices keep your blood-sugar levels stable and keep you satisfied. The best part is that if you need to lose weight it will happen almost without you having to try. And yes, you can have a treat now and again.  Best of all, Eating Clean keeps you feeling great and full of energy. In fact, you can forget all about the days when “dieting” meant feelings of hunger, lethargy or deprivation.  Eating Clean is not a fad; it’s a way of life. When you Eat Clean your body will react by losing weight if you need to lose, maintaining a healthy weight if that’s where you are, and even gaining weight if you are too skinny. But regardless of whether you want to lose, maintain or gain, you will feel better than you ever have before."

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….I’ve been eating this way (well, mostly!) for a few months now and let me just say – EVERYBODY needs to eat this way.  Trust me on that.

I hope to share new, delicious recipes with you here every 2-3 days so please come back often.  Some of the ingredients might look a bit strange to you at first, but you will soon discover that using these wonderful clean-eating ingredients in your kitchen is MORE than worth it.  You and your family deserve the purest, most natural ingredients in the foods that you put into your bodies.

Remember:  Clean eating is not a fad diet.  It is a lifestyle.  All the more reason to ditch the processed junk in your kitchen and replace it with real food.

There will be special posts once in awhile that may not be food-related at all, and I will talk about my workouts here and there.  But mostly, I’ll be sharing amazing healthy recipes (and plenty of photos, of course!).  I hope you’ll give some of them a try and let me know what you think. 

Here’s to a very happy, very healthy new year!  Cheers! *clink*

 

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….with their treasures….

 

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Had a great time shopping (and eating and drinking) with my little family today! 

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Please humor me.  I have to post a few more yarn photos. 

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Also picked up a few new goodies to use on my cup cozies.  :-)  Ohhhhh, the ideas that are running back and forth in my crochet-crazed mind right now….!

Shopping makes you hungry.

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And thirsty.

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Can I just say – on one of the busiest coffee shop days of the year, we snagged the couch by the fireplace in Caribou, babyyyyy! 

Sometimes it really is the little things.  🙂

On the way home we stopped in at TJ’s to food shop for the week. 

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I could NOT agree more, Doc.

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Next time you go to TJ’s, take a quick lookie at the back of your receipt.  Pretty entertaining.

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The checkout lines weaved around the aisles today.  Not surprising!

Now it’s time for some crocheting (working on an impossibly cute pair of toddler legwarmers) and a leisurely dinner (leftovers, leftovers, rah-rah-RAH!).

Tomorrow between 11am and 3pm you will find my face plastered against the front window like a puppy dog waiting for his owner to get home.  Tongue will be hanging out and everything. 

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Because tomorrow between 11am and 3pm, this will arrive.

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hearts !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FIVE more days til Christmas, yo!  Are you ready???

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading!

Christmas

 

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Busy busy busy….!!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for…. looking!

Holly Jolly!

 

Are you weary of the Christmas season yet?  Are you tired of Christmas music and shopping and wrapping and baking? 

ME EITHER!

Okay, I’ll admit that I do not enjoy wrapping gifts.  On the bright side, though, I’m thankful for gift bags and tissue paper!

The last two days have been full of festivity and celebration.

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Today was Timmy’s birthday party and you know the camera was clicking away the whole time!

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Such a nice time with great friends!!!  Thanks Ally!

I even received some beautiful gifts from Ally – which was totally unnecessary but INCREDIBLY sweet!!

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Is that the cutest apron you’ve ever seen or what?!

OOOOH, and guess what?  The new treadmill will be here on TUESDAYYYYY!!!!!

Hope you’re continuing to enjoy your December and I’ll be back soon.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading! ❤

***** QUESTION FOR YOU:  Have you done any holiday celebrating yet? 

Snowmallows

 

Really, that’s what they should be called.  They look a LOT more like snow than a marsh.

This was the first time I’ve ever made homemade marshmallows.  Well, but I had a lot of help.

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My friend Amy and I stirred and boiled and whisked Martha-style in her kitchen today (Amy’s kitchen, not Martha’s)!

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Ingredients

Makes about 16

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 3 (1/4-ounce) packages unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, plus 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • Confectioners’ sugar, sifted, for coating

Directions

  1. Lightly spray a 9-by-9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Line pan with plastic wrap, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water; let stand for 10 minutes. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water. Place saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil; boil rapidly for 1 minute. Remove from heat, and, with the mixer on high, slowly pour the boiling syrup down the side of the mixer bowl into gelatin mixture. Add salt and continue mixing for 12 minutes.
  3. Add vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds; mix until well combined. Spray a rubber spatula or your hands with cooking spray. Spread gelatin mixture evenly into pan using prepared spatula or your hands. Spray a sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray and place, spray side down, on top of marshmallows. Let stand for 2 hours.
  4. Carefully remove marshmallows from pan. Remove all plastic wrap and discard. Cut marshmallows into 2-inch squares using a sprayed sharp knife. Place confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl. Working in batches, add marshmallows to bowl and toss to coat. Marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Read more at Marthastewart.com: Vanilla Marshmallows – Martha Stewart Recipes

 

But before I get to the snowmallow photos…. Amy’s diner-themed kitchen is so COOL! 

 

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Okay, let the ‘mallow making begin.

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Aren’t they prettyful?!  So WHITE and SNOWY!  And they taste unbelievable. 

Liss and Ava did some heavy-duty cookie decorating, too.

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And there may have been some whisk licking going on, too.  Maybe. 

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Such a fun afternoon!!!

In other news….. the treadmill’s not here yet.  If it came VERY VERY SOON, I would be pretty okay with that.  And I’ve still been crocheting my buns off.  Right now I’m working on ear warmers and scarves!

I hope you’ve been enjoying December and staying warm.  Can you BELIEVE Christmas is 11 days away?!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading!

***** QUESTION FOR YOU:  What’s the yummiest thing you’ve made from scratch this holiday season so far?