Thanksgiving dinner for one

IMG_0089It so happens that I will be working Thanksgiving (as is the majority of my family) and therefore I will be a Party of One for Thanksgiving Dinner.
I also plan to continue my NaNoWriMo efforts and so will have very little time for cooking and such. I do, however, love food. And, you know, eating.
So, here’s my plan for a traditional-ish Thanksgiving Dinner for one:
MENU:
  1. Rotisserie turkey breast. Okay, full disclosure: I am buying it (precooked) on Wednesday (they are cheaper if you get them cold vs hot at Hannaford’s). It takes 6 minutes in the microwave but if you have a crock pot you can stick it in there on low 2 or more hours ahead of time and it will be ready (and moist! NOT DRIED OUT AT ALL!) when you want to eat it.
  2. Instant mashed potatoes: the Idahoan brand Buttery Homestyle is the best! Very fast: 3 minutes and 30 seconds in the microwave. Hint: put 1 3/4 cup of water rather than 2. You’re welcome.
  3. Quick turkey gravy: I think the McCormick Turkey Gravy packets are pretty darn good. You can pour the drippings from your turkey breast container (if there are any) into gravy. Ready in 5 minutes or less.
  4. Stove Top Turkey Stuffing. I forget how long this takes. I might make it the day before.
Now, everyone has their one thing that they must have on the table or it’s not Thanksgiving-Butternut Squash is mine. This will need to be made ahead of time: roast or boil a small squash (I always get it prepeeled and also precubed if I am really feeling lazy) until soft, mash with a potato masher, add 1-2 tablespoons each of butter and brown sugar, sea salt to taste.
Interesting Trivia: I’ve heard (I think it was from Clinton Kelly on The Chew last week) that the general rule of thumb for the number of Thanksgiving side dishes is this: you must have one side dish for every person coming to dinner. Right. So. That would be one. And done. :)
I made bread dough (recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Herzberg and Zoe Francois) today and put it in the fridge so now I just have to bake  it off that morning. I can make a roll or two or a whole loaf and-OH! I almost forgot the cranberry sauce!!!
Which reminds me of and is a nice segueway to that song Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses:
“I’m spending this one alone,” he said
“Need a break, this year’s been crazy”
I said, “Me too, but why are you?
You mean you forgot cranberries too?
ENJOY!!!!

 

 

Mental health break

IMG_0012I took a two-day break from Nano writing and went away overnight to celebrate my husband’s birthday (and, you know, to take a break from sitting! At the computer! Writing! OMG! I haven’t been able to feel two of the fingers on my left hand for a week!).  We had supper at Nolita,  a new-ish Italian restaurant in York that we like.

I felt a little bad that he hadn’t had a cake on his birthday and gotten to hear the sweet strains of the “Happy Birthday to You” song wafting toward his ears on his day, but so be it. We wanted to have the cake with the entire family, and that couldn’t happen until the following day.

When we arrived at the restaurant, my husband had to run back to the car to get his reading glasses (he is so not into my rendition of “This is what’s on the menu” that he’d rather run back out into the 27 degree cold dark night that to listen to it).

That’s when the waitress came over and I mentioned it was my husband’s birthday. She said, “Does he like tiramisu?  We give a free tiramisu for someone’s birthday.”

Now, Bill does not like tiramisu, but oh my God! I love it!  But, it was his birthday after all, so I asked if there were other dessert options and she said they have gelato. As (my) luck would have it, I’m pretty sure the only thing he dislikes more than tiramisu is gelato.

“Yes, he does like tiramisu! Bring that!” I said, conscience clear.

What I hadn’t realized (and in fairness to me, I was halfway through my Italia Margarita at the time) was that said tiramisu would be accompanied by, um, fanfare. And I’m pretty sure that if there is one thing Bill dislikes more than gelato and tiramisu, it’s fanfare. In our 26 or more (we can’t agree on this) years together, he has never, ever seen a cake coming toward him with a gaggle of servers singing the birthday song to him.

And yet, I lived to tell the tale, so it’s all good.

Also, that tiramisu rocked!

 

 

 

Yoga for writers

IMG_9998

Are you dying of pain from a week of practically nonstop NaNo typing? I woke up Saturday morning, let the chickens out, fed them, and carried a bag to my car and suddenly was in severe pain in my left shoulder.

Really? Really? I thought, THIS BITES!

It’s like adding insult to injury, right? I mean, shoot, we managed to type our frikkin’ brains out to try to meet our personal word counts and now we are crippled.

As always, we have only ourselves to blame! But we also can help ourselves.

Check this out:

Seated yoga positions that you can do at your desk will help!!**

Here are a couple that you can try at home now (please note disclaimer below!):

  1. Sit or stand. Bring your right arm across your body with the palm facing you and hold it with by bringing your left arm up to make a “T” (see picture above). Hold as long as you want to get a good stretch through your shoulder. Repeat with the left arm, bringing it across your body with the palm facing you and hold it by bringing your right arm up.
  2. Sit in a chair. Place your right palm under the right side of your butt, facing down and pointing to the left. then sit on it. Let your head drop to the left, but DO NOT FORCE IT, just enough to get a good stretch. Repeat on the other side: place left palm under the left side of your butt, facing down and pointing to the right then sit on it. Let your head drop to the right, but again, DO NOT FORCE IT.

I learned these stretches from my friend, yoga teacher, and fellow writer Kristen. Check out her blog here.

**DISCLAIMER:  If you have any existing injuries, illness, or weaknesses in muscles or joints, please discuss these exercises with your doctor to see if they are appropriate for you before trying them.

 

 

Perfect day

IMG_9927My daughter has this interesting project at school. As I understand it, these are the rules:
  • Part 1: They have to write their perfect day, if money was no object, from the time they get up until the time they go to bed.
  • Part 2: They have to write what they think their day would be like if they had a baby while they are in high school.
Wow, right?
So that got me thinking: it might be fun to do the something similar myself. The Part 1 would be fairly easily accomplished, I think. But Part 2 would need to be changed up since, you know, I’ve already had two kids so I know exactly what those days are like…but I digress.
Since I am steeped in NaNos right now, I’m thinking my Part 2 could be writing what my day would be like when I finish NaNoWriMo this year, publish my book, and become a bestselling author.
:)

Get happy

MinionsMaybe you fellow NaNoWriMo-ers  are in need of a break from the endless typing inherent in the race to get 50,ooo words down into a word doc by November 30th.

Option 1: I’m thinking that some laugh therapy sure as hell couldn’t hurt. If you have access to the Disney Channel (34 on Maine Time Warner Cable), Despicable Me (wait for it; this link might take a while to load) is on tomorrow at 10:45AM. You can DVR it and watch it sometime when you are desperate for a break and a laugh.

Option 2: Need something right now? How about a 5 minute Dance Party (for one or more, depending on the tolerance of your family, pets, and/or other housemates). In keeping with the ‘get happy’ theme, you can click on the link to the You Tube video version of Pharell Willams’ Happy Song (from Despicable Me 2). Go ahead. Get jiggy wit’ it.

P.S. I think Option 2 might actually also count as your cardio for the day.

You’re welcome. :)

Does this NaNoWriMo make my butt look fat?

MMAs a NaNoWriMo participant, I keep odd ours. Maybe you can relate? I am writing when and where I find time, or beg, borrow or steal time.  This requires a larger expenditure of energy, ergo, I need to eat more often. Quick sugar foods are often at hand and fill the bill.

So far this month I have been hitting the peanut M+M’s pretty hard. Also Sweet Chili Pistachio nuts have my name all over them (hmmmm….maybe I should rephrase that….). Did I mention that I also have a jar of dark chocolate Hershey’s Kisses on my desk (dark chocolate equals health-ier, right?)?

Well, since I don’t want to be saying, “HEL-lo, five shiny new pounds,” on December 1 (after all, who has time to weigh themselves in November during NaNoWriMo?), I am rethinking my go-to snacks.

I shall keep you posted.

What do you guys eat to keep you going while you’re writing?
NB: A nod must be given here to the book by Peter Walsh that inspired the title of this blog post. :)

 

NaNoWriMo 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014.

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