This Grand Adventure: Chelsa-Bea: November 2013

November 25, 2013

Mashed Potato Beer Cheese Soup

Thanksgiving Leftovers | Vegetarian Mashed Potato Beer Cheese Soup Recipe

Since we celebrated Thanksgiving so early this year, we had loads of leftovers that we were lucky to enjoy throughout November. While I tried not to make too much food for our Thanksgiving feast, I might have been a bit aggressive in my meal planning. Even though we all had first and second helpings, plus sent everyone home with Tupperware full of dinner, we ended up having a fridge full of Thanksgiving leftovers.

In the days following our feast we made good use of our leftovers with numerous paninis, turkey curry salad, turkey and stuffing hand pies (or what I like to call Thanksgiving hot pockets) and this year, I decided to experiment and came up with this Thanksgiving leftover mashed potato beer cheese soup.

November 21, 2013

Happy Birthday, Little Brother!

Tomorrow my little brother (although he’s not that little as he’s 6’3”) turns 27! I mean, I know that I’m 29 but it baffles me that he's be in late 20’s, too. In my mind, my brother is possibly turning 23, at the oldest 25 but I cannot believe that tomorrow he will be 27!

My little brother is one of my favorite people in the world. He’s passionate, dedicated and committed to whatever he puts his mind to. He accepts each challenge whether he wants to or not, and keeps on pushing forward until he has triumphed. Life hasn’t always dealt him the easiest of hands but he’s determined and even when he’s taken a fall, well, he gets up and keeps fighting.

The photos above are from when I was living in Switzerland (holy, Throwback Thursday, we look like such babies) and he came over to visit me. Together, we took the trip of a lifetime over Christmas and traveled all over Switzerland, Germany and Austria. It was truly magnificent. There’s really nothing like Europe during the holidays. If I had the means, I’d trek over there every year. Our trip was so special. It was the first time we’d really spent any alone time together since I graduated college. My brother was the best travel partner anyone could ask for. We explored museums, markets, and waltzed in Vienna at midnight on New Year’s. It was just The. Best. This time of year it always makes me heart smile to think back on that great adventure we had together.

My brother lives in Idaho with the rest of my family so I don’t get to see him as much as I’d like. And, we don’t talk on the phone as much as we should but I know if I need him, he'll always be there for me. I couldn’t be prouder of the man he has become. He’s a special one and I feel so lucky to call him family.

Happy Birthday, Bobby! Here’s to another fabulous year, may this one be the best yet.

November 18, 2013

Recipes Around the Web - Nantucket Cranberry Pie

Thanksgiving, Cranberry Pie, Cranberry Pie Recipe, NPR, cranberry recipe

One of my husband’s all time favorite desserts is Nantucket Cranberry Pie. We first tried it a few years ago when we  lived with my parents. Ever since, he’s been hooked. So around early November when cranberries begin appearing in stores, he’s always asking that we make this delicious cake.

As I’ve mentioned, I’m very picky when it comes to the types of desserts I enjoy, but this would probably make my top ten. The tart berries are the perfect compliment to the sweet almond cake and the walnuts give you just the right texture that draws you in for another bite. This recipe is so simple, and it creates such a wonderful moist and buttery fall dessert.

November 15, 2013

Sage and Sausage Stuffing

Thanksgiving Recipe, sausage stuffing recipe, stuffing recipe, stuffing with sausage

This sage and sausage stuffing created by my mother makes Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving to me. The buttery stuffing morsels, the zip of Italian sausage, the crunch of the water chestnuts and the earthy flavor of sage, it all smells and tastes just like Thanksgiving should in my mind.

Growing up, my mom would make the stuffing first thing in the morning before she started on any other dishes. She always made at least two large dishes. I remember sitting next to her on a stool, in the kitchen helping her carefully add each ingredient. More than likely, my job would be to cut the onions and, like clockwork, every year I would happily oblige until half way through when my eyes would start burning and watering as I so carefully tried to finish the onion. Once I was through the pain, and all the other ingredients were chopped, we would carefully combine them in a giant silver-mixing bowl.

November 12, 2013

Green Bean Casserole with Morel Mushrooms

Green Been Casserole Recipe, Fancy Green Bean Casserole, Morel Mushrooms, Thanksgiving, Vegetarian

As I’ve mentioned before, our work schedules are a little funky around here. So funky, in fact, that this year our calendars required us to celebrate Thanksgiving a few weeks early. Despite the somewhat unusual timing, we commemorated this holiday last Wednesday. We observed what I like to call “Chels-Giving”. Ha!

This isn’t the first Thanksgiving we’ve had away from home. Actually, this is the 5th Thanksgiving, we've made on our own. Even though we’ve gotten used to celebrating the holidays with just the two of us, we make our families traditional recipes so that despite the distance, we feel close to them.

November 8, 2013

Keep Moving Forward

Keep Moving Forward Quote

I was talking to one of my West Coast girlfriends earlier this week about how wild 2013 has been. We’ve had similar paths this year. We both quit one job and started another, moved to different states, had to start making new friends and recreate our networks and tried to keep smiling the whole way through. There has been a lot of learning days and a lot of bumps in the road. A lot of new challenges, and a lot of things I don’t think either of us expected.

It’s hard not to doubt, question or feel insecure when things are constantly changing. Moving to a new city is so crazy. Moving in general is crazy, but moving to a new city where you recreate your life again, well, it’s hard. Most days are good, but some are just tougher than others.

That being said, I've never been one to give up. This saying, featured above, has become my mantra these last few months when I feel the loneliness or insecurity setting in. When I’m feeling uncomfortable or homesick or stuck. I remind myself that I must just keep moving forward. Keep moving forward and good things will come. Keep moving forward and someday soon it won't feel so difficult anymore. Just. Keep. Moving. Forward.

So, here’s to a fabulous Friday full of lots of love and joy! And remember, when in doubt, just keep moving forward.

On a side note, I’ve started to teach myself the basics of Photoshop. Along the way, I’m taking some of my favorite sayings and quotes and making them into pretty prints. If you’d like a copy, just let me know, and I’ll send you a printable file until I can figure out how to share the link on my website. I’ve got this print in 2-3 different colors and would love to to send it to you, if you’d like.

November 5, 2013

Spaghetti Squash with Brown Butter

spaghetti squash, brown butter, paleo, vegetarian, recipes, fall

A few weeks ago on Facebook I posted a photo of some spaghetti squash that I had quickly whipped up for dinner. We’ve been eating a lot of spaghetti squash this fall because it’s simple to make and typically we can get more than one meal out of it. I like things that are versatile, and since spaghetti squash has such a cool texture, it compliments a lot of dishes. I’ve been experimenting with it as a base for lasagna and frying it up into fritters. But, my favorite way to make it has been the simplest recipe I’ve tried, with brown butter and a bit of sage.

November 1, 2013

Welcome, November

Welcome November

November, I welcome you with open arms and an open heart. May you bring me lots of Thanksgiving goodies, time spent with friends and family, excuses for holiday themed drinks and a gateway to the Christmas season!