Category Archives: Thanksgiving


For the past few years we’ve celebrated Thanksgiving early with our family who lives in Awesometown (aka Valencia aka false advertising). Awesometown is not, in fact, awesome, but it’s always wonderful to spend time with the relatives.
My uncle got a Big Green Egg for his birthday and we all get to reap the results. This turkey was smoked with apples, onions, white wine and thyme and was out of this world!

Unfortunately, pictures of my full plate were forgotten while I was consuming said full plate. I gorged. I loved. It was amazing. Allie and I, being the geniuses that we are, decided that doing some TRX after dinner and champagne was a good idea.
Hint: It wasn’t.
Allie taught me some “simple” moves. I woke up in the middle of the night with massive muscle spasms thanks to those “simple” moves.
In case you were unaware: It’s a lot harder to do pushups when your feet are hanging in the slings of a TRX and you’re laughing like crazy.

All of the other pictures will have to wait until Allie sends them over from her camera. These few sum up the night pretty well though, I must say. Today I hung out with my pops who I haven’t seen in three weeks thanks to our crazy travel schedules. We bonded over the important things in life.
The first and last time I went to Anacapa Brewing was years ago, before I really understood or liked beer. I thought that there was something wrong with Anacapa’s beers because they were all bitter. Bitter = bad??? Who was I???
Turns out their beers are only 25-35 IBU. Definitely not too bitter. HOWEVER, they’re still not very good… My favorite of the sampler platter was the Off Kilter Scotch but it wasn’t distinct enough to make a lasting impression. The pumpkin was nicely spiced on the flavor, but since it’s only a seasonal it won’t be a go-to.

In other news, I’ll be going down to San Diego tomorrey to pick up a keg washer and visit a few breweries, so I felt it necessary to bake some  foods that would sustain the brewer and myself on the long trip that may take up to three whole hours.
Chocolate/Peanut Butter Chip cookies (courtesy of Nestle Tollhouse – I’m lazy tonight). I had to test one to make sure it was edible and decided to pair it with a glass of my Vanilla Porter. PAIRING cookies with beer, unlike exercising after pre-Thanksgiving, was a brilliant idea.


Filed under Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Recap!

     Good morning!!! Why so good, you ask? I think it’s because I got a full night of sleep after the longest day of my life.

     Yesterday was absolutely INSANE. As a lowly retail worker, I was forced awake after four measly hours of sleep so I could head off to my job and prepare to receive all the Black Friday shoppers at 3:50am. A-M!!! And so, armed with a gigantic to-go mug of coffee (which, by the way, does NOTHING at three in the morning), I stood at my counter to face the onslaught.
     I could not believe how many people actually showed up! The store had lines by 4:10am. If I offend you here, get over it: ALL YOU BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPERS ARE INSANE!!! Why anyone would want to subject themselves to such an ordeal is beyond me. I was barraged by swarms of teenagers chugging Red Bull, adults wearing onesies (seriously), and elderly people who are normally up at this time, but now have an excuse to be at the mall speed-walking even earlier.

     I worked until noon, then went home and crashed for an hour, waking up in order to eat more leftovers and stare in a daze at the television while my mind feebly attempted to comprehend the images that flashed before me. Needless to say, it was a long day.

     THANKSGIVING! Let’s have a recap!

I made the most AMAZING cranberry sauce I’ve ever tasted!
Big thanks to Angela for posting it!
I doubled the recipe. I used 3 and a half cups of fresh cranberries, 1 cup of pure, real maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and  2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar. DO NOT SKIP THE BALSAMIC VINEGAR! This makes the sauce EPIC!
     I also made Itty Bitty Herbed Pumpkin Knots. It was a Glow-y kind of day!
Post-kneading, pre-rising.
IT ROSE! That has never happened to my dough before!!!
Punched, spread out and sliced!
Wrapped into cute little packages. Lovely!
     We had to set up the table in a fancy fashion to fully appreciate the feast that was set before us!
Quaint and festive – just the way I like it 🙂
My one (and only) plate. Clockwise from the top: homemade whole wheat stuffing, a pumpkin knot, turkey with the most amazing cranberry sauce in the world, green bean casserole made with fresh green beans and homemade vegan cream of mushroom soup and caramelized onions, and mashed potatoes with gravy. 
     I was left comfortable full after my plate, and retired to the couch with a glass of Brochelle to have some quality time with the parental unit. The things I do for family, eh? 
     I hope your Thanksgiving was as wonderful as mine! I also hope that you spent Black Friday at home on the couch in your pajamas like everyone is supposed to. If you were out shopping, be warned that I have a little bit of anger towards you. I’d say it’s not personal, but that would be a complete lie.
Have an amazing weekend! Time for some more recuperation for myself!


Filed under Black Friday, Brochelle, cranberry sauce, epic, itty bitty herbed pumpkin knots, pumpkin knots, Red Bull, retail, Thanksgiving, turkey

So Much To Do!

     How’s your Thanksgiving prep going? Mine hasn’t started yet. I’ve been pretty busy with some important, pressing things.

Thai food had to be consumed.
Drives through my neighborhood had to be taken.
The sky had to be gazed at.
Fair-trade beer had to be tasted.
It was good.

Nutcrackers had to be inspected.

It did not pass inspection.

Whole Wheat Cranberry-Walnut Bread had to be made. And consumed.
     I suppose I could claim the cranberry bread as a Thanksgiving dish, but I have so much more to make tomorrow! I think I’ll call it a warm-up training session for Turkey Day. I used Jenna’s recipe but left out the orange zest, used brown sugar instead of granulated, and pressed the batter into three mini-bread pans instead of one big pan.
Awww, baby bread!
You know it’s done when the cranberries on top have burst open in a joyous, tangy display of love.
I highly recommend this bread! Quick, easy and de-freakin-luscious!
     Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Enjoy your days off, relax and appreciate the people you’re able to spend time with. I’ll be spending the day in the kitchen with the parentals, cooking, eating and feeling blessed.
And then I work at 3:45am on Black Friday.
I love my job, I love my job, I…
Ugh, forget it.
Happy Thanksgiving!!!


Filed under beer, Black Friday, cranberry walnut bread, EatLiveRun, fair trade, Jenna Weber, mountain views, nutcracker, peak organic, quick bread, thai food makes me happy, Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving in October!

     I’ve been feeling pretty under the weather lately: I’m sure none of this is attributed to diving into the ocean at 2am on the polluted shores of California. It’s just coincidence.

     In order to take care of myself and try to heal, I had to bring in the full forces. I loaded up on Throat Coat tea, Emergen-C, Green Monstas and Pumpkin Ale. (Pumpkin Ale is helpful to sore throats, isn’t it?)

I tried Shipyard’s Smashed Pumpkin on Monday night. This beer is slightly hoppy and has a fruity sweetness to it. It was a little TOO sweet for me, but had lots of pumpkin spices added and gave off a clove/nutmeg scent.
I tried this one last night – Kennebunkport Pumpkin Ale. I found it at Trader Joe’s and bought a single, and MAN am I glad that’s all I got! It tasted like really cheap Bud Light (I’ve never actually had Bud Light so I’m just guessing here…) with a handful of rancid pumpkin seeds thrown in.
Luckily I’d prepared for such an occasion, and was able to fall back on Stockyard Oatmeal Stout to cleanse my palate of the awful taste of rancid pumpkins. Stockyard is like a refreshing sip of icy mocha and contentment.
     Yesterday I had training for a new job that I’m beginning in November. I’m going to be an artist’s assistant! 
    I was bored and scanning Craigslist one day after grappling with a lot of discontentment in my life and stumbled across an ad. I sent in an e-mail inquiry and she immediately wrote back and asked me to call her. That same day I met with her and had an interview and was offered the job! Basically, I’ll be traveling with her to about thirty art shows a year throughout the western states and helping her set-up, break down, answer client questions, help with sales, experience some amazing road-tripping and discover a bunch of new people and FOODS at art/wine festivals. I’ve been needing an escape recently and after lots of praying, this fell into my lap.
     I spent the training day using a ton of power tools, drilling, putting together displays and benches, lifting incredibly heavy boxes and getting to know the routine. I am going to be so ripped after all the heavy lifting I’ll be doing for this job! I headed home after a few hours of working in the rain (I LOVE RAIN!) and got started on an early Thanksgiving dinner with the roommate.
We cooked a turkey breast, marinated in lemon zest, garlic, herbes de provence, salt and pepper and olive oil, and made mashed potatoes with brown gravy. We were planning on roasting some zucchini and asparagus, but vetoed that idea after the turkey needed an extra hour in the oven to be edible and we were just too ravenous to wait any longer.
     Too early for Thanksgiving foods? NEVER!


Filed under gravy, mashed potatoes, pumpkin ale, rain, Shipyard Brewery, Stockyard Oatmeal Stout, Thanksgiving, turkey