Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thankful for...the Weekend!

Man, now that I'm working again, can I just say how much I love the weekends?  Seriously.

Holiday spirit and thoughts of yummy food are in the air.  I love this time of year.  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and I love all the cozy sweaters, pumpkin spice lattes, and delicious meals we all enjoy around this time.  And by the way, I still haven't given in and put on my winter way! :)  But that reminds me that either this week or next I'll have to make a switch-er-oo and bring up my winter clothing from the basement.  Booo!  But at least I'll be like, "Oh, yeah!  This shirt!" etc.

Yesterday I went to hot powerful flow with Claire and I sweated my face off!  Seriously, wow, it was great.  I like this class because it's very fast-paced.  It's not traditional Bikram, but rather, just a challenging vinyasa class in a heated room.  It was great for the (slight) hangover I had yesterday morning!  Washed it right out! :)

Derek and I walked over to Loop in the afternoon, had a cup of coffee and hung out with Rob and Claire, who just happened to be there too!  (Funny; I've never lived in a "small town" neighborhood like this where you could feasibly run into people you know all the time.)  Then I spent most of the day cooking.  Like I mentioned, we were invited to this party called "Drunken Thanksgiving" last night, hosted by our friends R and R.  I was going to do these pureed sweet potatoes with caramelized onions and then beets on the side, but then I decided to look up recipes featuring both ingredients, and found this one:

Roasted Beets 'n' Sweets


  • 6 medium beets, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

  1. In a bowl, toss the beets with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to coat. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  2. Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and sugar in a large resealable plastic bag. Place the sweet potatoes and onion in the bag. Seal bag, and shake to coat vegetables with the oil mixture.
  3. Bake beets 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Mix sweet potato mixture with the beets on the baking sheet. Continue baking 45 minutes, stirring after 20 minutes, until all vegetables are tender.

I did a few things differently.  First of all, I had to double the recipe, because there were going to be a lot of people at R and R's, and I didn't know how much food they were going to have.  Secondly, I have only ever roasted beets with the skin on, because it seals in the nutrients and keeps the color--plus, they're so much easier to peel when cooked; you just rub the skin and it pretty much falls off (wearing kitchen gloves of course!)  I also used fresh chopped garlic instead of powder.  Last of all, I needed to roast these veggies FAR longer than the recipe said.  After the beets cooled, I peeled and sliced them and then mixed them with the sweet potatoes & onions at the very end. This is how it turned out:

To be honest, I was pretty disappointed with the results.  I don't know why, but it just didn't seem seasoned enough despite the proper doubling of all the spices.  I had to keep adding more kosher salt and pepper.  Derek even suggested adding maple syrup at one point, but I didn't want to chance making it too sweet.  The one thing I didn't double were the onions, because I am not a huge fan of things with overwhelming amount of onions--but maybe there was something to that, like they might caramelize and give off more flavor?  I don't know.  Plus the colors freaked me out.  Maybe that's why the recipe said to roast everything together and to peel the beets beforehand?  Oh well. 

The other thing was that we got to R and R's kinda after everyone else, so the food was already out and people had mostly eaten, so it really got untouched.  I know it wasn't because it was gross, but I felt bad.  I guess the upside is that it was fairly healthy.  But I will probably never make this again!

The rest of the party was really fun.  R's home-brewed beer was a big hit--especially the wheat one!  I also tried an Irish red.  We ended up playing Rock Band for about three hours and it was awesome!

Today, Claire and I met up for a longer run...about 6.5 miles!  Yay!  I feel back in the groove.  This was our route -- two bridges connecting Tremont to downtown.  I wore my Nike arm warmers for the first time and I was EXTREMELY pleased. 

They kept my arms warm but not too hot.  I could have rolled them down but they were fine the entire time, and that's saying a lot because I usually get really hot.

Now I'm sitting down with a cup of coffee relaxing.  Even though that darn ice pack is back on my foot, I would have never been able to do 6.5 miles a week ago!  Yay!  Tomorrow's off though.  Maybe I'll get the chance to catch up on all my dumb reality shows on DVR.

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