The Holiday Season

Happy Monday and happy December!

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoyed time with you family!

I enjoyed a long weekend and some good food with good company on Thursday. My office closed early on Wednesday, even though I worked from home in order to accommodate an appointment at the dealership to get my tire replaced…since I picked up a screw close to the sidewall earlier in the week (flashback?) and Brad was permitted to leave early as well so we headed down to my in-laws to help prepare food. I made this pumpkin “swirl” cheesecake, it was delicious but the swirls didn’t quite work out and it was more cream/mousse pie than cheesecake. Tasty regardless! The nerve-wracking part was that I didn’t taste my dessert before bringing it to Thanksgiving… I’m very happy that it turned out so well on the first attempt but plan on subjecting all contributed new recipes to quality control processes.

Notice how small the slices are?

A good tip for holiday desserts (whether they’re low-carb like this one or not) is to cut them in very small pieces.

As has become a tradition, the Christmas trees and decorations began to be put up on Friday. I just couldn’t rush Christmas before Thanksgiving. A big thanks to ABC Family for the Harry Potter movie marathon while decorating! Continue reading

Being Thankful

I’ve been frustrated this week. I’ve been busy for the past few weeks. I’ve been just a little bit overwhelmed. But I’m thankful. Not for the frustrations, business or overwhelming things. I didn’t partake in the daily thankful posts on Thanksgiving because I didn’t want to commit to the idea of posting daily. But I’ve been enjoying reading my friends’ daily posts (although I think some of you are stretching it a bit…). It’s wonderful to see so much positive stuff sprinkled through my newsfeed. I wonder why it takes until the month of Thanksgiving for people to count their blessings? Taking a few moments to be thankful though is a great attitude adjuster and mood lifter. I often turn to thankfulness as a way to feel better in many situations. I’m in a pretty good mood today, but today’s post is about thankfulness. I’m thankful for:

  • My loving husband who reaches the things that I can’t, kills bugs, takes out the trash, installs appliances and supports me in everything I do.

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  • My sturdy, comfortable and warm home. I feel settled here, which is a big deal for someone who moved around a lot while growing up.
  • Family. Biological, married into and adopted in some way. Family can stir up drama at times, but at the end of the day they’re your people and it’s nice to have people.
  • My health. I may live with a chronic illness, but I’m thankful for the world-class team of doctors, nurses and CDEs who answer my questions and help me make the best decisions. I have access to the tools I need to manage what my body can’t anymore and I have access to technology that makes that jobs a bit easier.
  • My our jobs. Our employers offer amazing flexibility and benefits beyond what’s listed in our compensation packages.
  • Good timing.
  • Great friends.
  • Wonderful readers.

What are you Thankful for?

Thanksgiving Thoughts

I’ve been traveling and all around pretty busy this week, which is why we’re light on blogs here at probablyrachel.com. I’m thankful to be back in Cleveland safely and that the rest of my travels this week are reasonable “local.”

My mom wrote a blog post this week that I thought I’d share with you all. If you don’t remember my mom from previous posts, she’s a personal trainer and she has a blog (cool right?).

She wrote about holiday preparation workouts and offered some perspective on Thanksgiving. Last year, I had a rough go of it at Thanksgiving. Diabetes reared it’s ugly head last year and I was less than thankful for vampire cannulas, high blood sugars and general frustration. I also still have trouble guessing carbs in foods that other people prepare as well as dealing with different proteins and fats than my regular diet consists of.

My mom’s post covered several Thanksgiving topics, but the two that really stuck out to me can be summed up in the following quotes:

Tasty and healthy can go together!

Think about someone who can’t get out or who would be home alone for the holiday.  Invite them over or pack a plate of delicious food BEFORE you eat and take it to them.

I’m thankful to have grown up in a family that welcomed many to the table on Thanksgiving, including those who were far from their own homes on the holiday. I’m thankful to have joined a family that shares their celebrations with others who would otherwise spend the day alone.

Check out the rest of my mom’s message here.

More Thanks

It’s still November, so I’m still thankful!

1. Family that’s family. Those people with whom you might share DNA but definitely share a warm relationship. They’re the ones who make the holidays enjoyable. The reason Brad and I don’t mind traveling for Thanksgiving is because it’s a day we associate with family.
2. Laughter. Jokes, stories, cute kids or crazy uncles tend to bring it on.
3. Traditions. Brad and I are building our own holiday traditions together, and as my house becomes filled with holiday decorations, the traditions become apparent.
4. Leftovers. Lunches, snacks and a quick bite of good food are great. It also means less cooking.
5. Hand-me-downs. My home is beautifully decorated for Christmas with a mix of new things and lovely things that have been passed on by others.
6. Tea. I’ve been drinking a lot of green tea for comfort and relief while trying to kick the cold that’s slowly going away. It’s calming and enjoyable. Almost as much of an emotional beverage as coffee.
7. Opportunities.

As November is heading toward it’s end, I’m curious: How do you give thanks all year long?

Leftovers

I hope that you had an enjoyable and relaxing Thanksgiving and (hopefully) a long weekend!

Brad and I had two enjoyable Thanksgivings, neither of which we hosted.Some of the highlights included: Brad’s uncle pocket-dialed the non-emergency police department number, so the police called back. My favorite two-year-old spent part of dinner under the table. Families are great.

We ended up with Thanksgiving feast leftovers from both. Although Thanksgiving dinner was delicious, it’s not something we wanted to eat over and over until the leftovers were gone. Black Friday isn’t just a big day for retailers, it’s a big day for pizza places because there are a lot of other people who feel the same way.

What to do with the leftovers though? Some ideas straight out of the K-couple kitchen are:

  • Turkey quesadillas. Leftovers used: Turkey. New ingredients: Tortillas, cheese, seasoning
  • Mashed potato bowls (KFC-style). Leftovers used: Mashed potatoes, corn, gravy. New ingredients: Popcorn chicken, optional cheese
  • Buffalo (turkey) pasta. Leftovers used: Turkey (ours was chicken after having chicken for Thanksgiving #2). New ingredients: Pasta, cheese, hot sauce (some people enjoy cheesy pasta with Thanksgiving so that works as a leftover in some cases)

Those three mostly used up our leftovers. We had a random food meal to use some of the other things, like chestnut stuffing. Some other leftover recipes I’ve seen/used include potato pancakes, stuffed pancakes (with cranberry sauce of course).

A lot of cranberries!

How do you reuse leftovers and avoid throwing out good food? Continue reading