Tag Archives: family

Easter Dinner Success!

Living in NYC and away from our family can be tough sometimes when it comes to planning for holidays. We understandably can’t make it home for every holiday. We try to go upstate as much as possible, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. When Hubby and I started signing up for 2012 NYRR races this year, we completely forgot to check what weekend Easter was going to on. So, we signed up for the Scotland run and didn’t realize it was on Easter weekend until a few weeks before it. We decided that maybe this year we would spend Easter weekend in NYC. Sometimes it’s also nice not to have travel on a holiday weekend with all the masses and crazy drivers.

This meant that the domestic and traditional side of me decided I needed to plan a nice holiday dinner. Yes, it was only the two of us. Yes, there was no particular need to go all out. But my inner Betty Crocker had some plans of her own.

After church and some spring cleaning on Sunday, I set to work to make a respectable Easter dinner. I decided earlier in the week to make ham – note that I’d never made it before. If you’ve made ham then clearly you know this was the easiest part of my meal. I don’t know what I was expecting or why I had built up in my head that this was going to be an undertaking, but it was not. I bought a ham at the store, took the plastic wrapping off, added 1/2 cup of water to a pan, put the ham on the pan, covered it with foil, and cooked it in the oven for an hour. Boom – ham done. Simple as that. I even bought a pre-cut ham, which made the whole process even easier.  

Next up on my list was scalloped potatoes. This was kind of a process. I would say my prep time took about 30 minutes for all the slicing and dicing of the potatoes and onions. Here is the recipe:

Au Gratin Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 4 russet potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 onion, sliced into rings
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Butter a 1 quart casserole dish.
Layer 1/2 of the potatoes into bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Top with the onion slices, and add the remaining potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a medium-size saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Mix in the flour and salt, and stir constantly with a whisk for one minute. Stir in milk. Cook until mixture has thickened. Stir in cheese all at once, and continue stirring until melted, about 30 to 60 seconds. Pour cheese over the potatoes, and cover the dish with aluminum foil.  Bake 1 1/2 hours in the preheated oven.

The end result? A total success! This recipe made a LOT of potatoes. We’ve pretty much been eating them all week. Along with the potatoes, I baked some asparagus. I placed the asparagus in glass pan, covered it with butter, parmesan cheese, garlic powder and onion powder, then put some foil over the pan and popped it in the over for about 30 mins. And here’s my plate:

I also threw together a tossed salad for us and enjoyed some wine. And we even used our diningroom and ate at a proper table. I know that probably sounds weird to a lot of people, but I feel like most NYCers will get it. I think that a lot of city people, with small spaces, tend to eat in their livingroom areas for the most part. A lot of NYC apts don’t even have a diningroom. And although we have one, we RARELY use it and I don’t really know why. I mean, it looks really nice and inviting, right….

So we had a very proper Easter dinner in the diningroom and everything. How fancy. And lastly we had some delicious oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

How was your Easter? Did you travel to visit family? Stay at home? Host a dinner?

And now we’re into the next week already, which is Week 12 of marathon training. This is a cut back week for me and I’m really liking it so far. I ran 6 miles on Monday night and then managed to drag myself out of bed on Tuesday morning for a quick 4 miles. I’m hoping the rainy drizzle will end by later today so I can squeeze in 7 miles after work.

It’s so strange for me to think that last year at this time I was getting ready for the Boston Marathon. It does NOT feel like it was a full year ago. What an amazing race. Of course, with the new, ridiculously hard standards, I’ll never make it back there again. So I will just relish the memories!

Who out there is running the Boston Marathon this year? Good luck to all you runners!!

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Fabulous Weekend and Superbowl Win!

So yes, I know it’s already mid-week and this post is pretty late, but I’ve been a busy woman the past few days. How it is already the END of Wednesday is truly beyond me.

But anyway, last weekend after my long-ish run, the Hubby and I met up with some of this family who were in town. We checked out their fabulous room at the Waldorf Astoria, then walked to Central Park to check out the iceskating, and finally headed to P.J. Clarke’s for a relaxed quick bite to eat. I had a very delicious turkey burger and the tater tots. If you are ever at P.J. Clarke’s, the tater tots are a must. So good.

After dinner we walked just a few blocks downtown to O’Neill’s, an Irish pub that was having live Irish music playing. I enjoyed a Blue Moon and a Smithwicks, and we all had a really good time.

Here we are, I’m in the pink…

And suddenly it was Sunday and it was the Superbowl! Hubby and I decided we wanted to stay home this year and just have some appetizers and snacks while we watched the game.

We started with a fruit and veggie platter – yum!

And we also snacked on crackers and cheese with pepperoni.

And then for the main event – homemade nachos! I have a serious nacho obsession…

At first I had shrimp cocktail on our menu as well, but the store Hubby went to was all out of shrimp, so we scrapped that plan and we were both worried about having enough food. It was MORE than enough. We feasted.

And then just as suddenly it was Monday (don’t you hate how that happens) and it was back to the grind. And back to training. I was able to squeeze in 3.3 miles on Monday night outside, 5 miles last night outside, and 3 miles on the treadmill tonight at the gym. Somehow, I need to get in 5 miles tomorrow morning, which pretty much means I need to plan a very early morning run – it’s going to be painful. But, knock on wood, I’ve stuck to the training plan almost to the “T” this time around.

What about you – do you TRY to stick to your marathon training plans or really just use them for overall weekly mileage?

I like being able to log my numbers and see them match what was planned…or even exceed it…which is rare. And then again, it feels like every training session is different. Things one is feeling particularly hard – even though I’m managing to stick with it.

One new twist is that I’m going to start adding in Yoga! I got a LivingSocial deal at the Yoga place right down the block, so I hope to take two classes this weekend. I think I’ve taken only one yoga class in my life (more a Pilates gal), so it should be interesting. I will be that girl in the back who is completely lost and falls all over the place. At least I’ll be entertaining. 🙂

What about you? Yoga, pilates, hot yoga – do you take any of these classes? What’s your favorite?

Happy hump day!

Guess Who Got a Garmin?!!

Happy Day After Christmas! I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas yesterday. I completely logged off and just focused on spending time with my family.

We were up by about 8 a.m. yesterday and opening presents. We’ve tried to scale back Christmas, since the Hubby and I are older and we really don’t need or want lots of gifts. But I have to say that I did get a few cools things, including:

A GARMIN!! Woohoo. My mom had asked a while back what I wanted and I said that was really the only thing I could think of. The funny thing was that the hubby got me one as well! (Love you Hubby!) He didn’t know I had told my mom about wanting one and he read on my blog about my Garmin dreams and bought me one too! So I technically got two Garmins this Christmas!

Then my parents also got me a water bottle for work. I’ve been needing one desperately.

Kleen Kanteen is all stainless steel – so BPA-free (no inner liner that could potentially be problematic) and it’s dishwasher safe. Mine is 40 oz. – I’ll probably drink 2-3 of these a day. 🙂

After we opened our presents, my mom whipped up a quick breakfast of mini cheese, egg and spinach baby Quiche, with sides of bacon and English muffins.

My  plate:

After breakfast the Hubby and I headed to the 11:30 a.m. mass. We took a quick photo before we left.

The 11:30 a.m. mass is the way to go. It wasn’t crowded at all!

After mass, we headed back home and relaxed a bit before some more family came over for dinner. My mom made Murphy a nice little red sweater for Christmas, but I think she underestimated how big he is. It ended up being pretty tight and Murph didn’t like it.

See how he bulges at the bottom? Poor Mr. Murph.

Our family came over around 3:00 p.m. and we ate dinner around 4-4:30. It was delicious, this was my plate.

Two pieces of beef tenderloin, mashed potatoes, green beans, cabbage salad (which is like coleslaw), and broccoli and cauliflower casserole. It was all yummy.

After dinner we played a few games: LCR and Screw Your Neighbor.

Has anyone else played these games?

They are a ton of fun. I lost badly at LCR, but won twice at Screw Your Neighbor. They are really easy for everyone to learn and quick to play.

I also snacked on some Christmas cookies and had some banana cream pie, but completely forgot to take any photos. I sipped on red wine throughout the night as well. It was so much fun and such a wonderful holiday.

This was a pretty short post, but I have to run some errands today with my mom, start laundry and get some stuff together for the party tonight. I really wanted to take my Garmin for a run, but it’s pretty gross here. Snow, sleet and freezing rain would make for a very dangerous run. Maybe tomorrow it will be cleared up a bit and I can go for a quick run before we head back to the city.

But, I’m soo excited to see a bunch of our friends tonight! One of my best friends (Lauren) will be there. I ran the marathon with her and my mom framed one of our “finish” photos for both of us. I’ll have to give her hers tonight.

How cute were we? We held hands as we crossed the finish and we were both pretty much about ready to cry.

So that was my Christmas upstate. I hope everyone else had a wonderful day yesterday!

Callahan Christmas Weekend Recap

Happy Monday everyone – happy short week! I’m super excited to have some time off coming up. I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! I hope all the fellow NYC bloggers/readers managed okay in the almost foot of snow. How crazy. We came back last night around 6:15 and things were looking pretty decent. We managed to find a parking spot right out front and we climbed our way across the huge mounds of snow.

How did you like the snow this weekend?

Coming from upstate New York, snow has never really bothered me all that much. Upstate I used to have to drive in it, but down here I don’t have to worry about that. So I throw on my tall boots and stomp out in the slush without a problem.

So this weekend up in Utica was a ton of fun! We drove up on Friday night after work and I was exhausted and still recovering from my Thursday night debauchery, so I slept for a lot of the ride. We got to Bill’s parent’s house pretty late and I went right to bed.

Saturday morning I got up and had breakfast with Bill’s mom – a bowl of raisin bran, which was camera shy. Much of my food this weekend was shy and I was lazy. Then I set to wrapping the nieces and nephews’ Christmas presents. The party started around 3:00 and this was the food spread:

Lots of yumminess. I had some pasta, meatballs, shrimp, crackers and cheese, and fruit salad. It was a perfect mixture of all good things.

But dessert was my very favorite:

Bill’s sister Christine made a Hazelnut Chocolate Cake and a Cranberry Cobbler Cake (I made up the names – that’s what I called them). I loved them both. The hazelnut was my favorite at Thanksgiving, but I think the cranberry won my heart this time around. Bill’s mom and I devoured it. YUM! Plus, when there’s fruit, I don’t feel too bad.

What is one of your favorite holiday desserts?

There were tons of nieces and nephews at the party – do you know that I’m a Great Aunt!?! Isn’t that funny? Bill’s sister’s first son has a little girl that’s about 2 1/2 and a 1-month old. I went from having no nieces and nephews (I’m an only child) to have about a zillion when I married Bill. It’s great! Here are a bunch of the kids attacking Bill’s brother-in-law Kevin.

And Bill had fun playing with his best friend Dino and his wife Jen’s son Nathan. How cute is he?

Later on Saturday night we watched “The Hangover” and I laughed until I almost cried. Thank goodness my hangover was nothing like that.

The Hubby and I started heading back to NYC on Sunday afternoon around 2:30. I had a bunch of stuff that I needed to do that evening in preparation for our department’s holiday lunch today.

After we managed to find parking and lug everything over the giant snowbanks and upstairs I had some dinner. Leftovers from the party – pasta with meatballs.

I then set to work frosting some sugar cookies I had previously made for today’s lunch.  

I also wrapped my secret santa gift (lotions from Sephora) and put together little gifts for my immediate co-workers (homemade fudge, homemade cookies, a candy cane and scratch-off ticket).

By the time I was done with all that, it was time for bed! I read for a little before I fell asleep. I’m about 200 pages into Ahab’s Wife and I’m really enjoying it so far. Just when I think I know what’s going to happen, something completely different happens. It’s keeping me on my toes.

Ok – that’s all for today. I have our work holiday lunch today, so I will definitely be taking photos there and trying to stay as healthy as possible (which may be difficult). And I’m going to try to hit the gym after work today, but I’m feeling pretty exhausted. The holidays are tiring!