Friday Things

Christmas bliss

1. Truth: The Christmas decorations are still up at my house, and I’ve been turning them on every single day. Tree lit, banister garland lit, nativity lit, mini ceramic tree in bathroom lit, outside lights lit… they’re all on! I like to milk the holidays for as long as possible. So far, so good, but I have a feeling they’ll be coming down this weekend. It was fun while it lasted!

2. Today I was slated to serve jury duty. I was totally prepared to rant about how receiving THREE jury summons in five years seems a tad bit excessive (seriously, it is). As instructed, I logged into the county website yesterday after 4pm, entered my juror number and date to appear, and… BAM! It said I was “hereby NOT REQUIRED to appear”. I got up and did a little dance. It totally felt like being in grade school, sitting with your pajamas on, watching the snow fall outside, and then seeing a school cancellation along the bottom of the television before you go to bed. Sheer delight!

3. I could totally live on Lindt truffles. Turns out, quite a few people in my life know this about me. Between Christmas, Valentine’s Day, my birthday and Easter, I haven’t run out truffles in like two years.

4. I get a lot of questions from readers about what I do with all of the food that I make. The answer is, it depends. Sometimes it gets eaten for dinner (leftovers for lunches!), dessert, frozen, shared with company, made for a get-together, sent with my mom to work, etc. I did want to let you in on one new way that I’ve found to share extra goodies that I have. My grandma volunteers once a month for the local food bank, so she gives me a call a few days before to remind me which day she’s going, and I package up any goodies that I’ve made and drop them off to her she she can give them out when she passes out food. I just thought I’d share, since so many people ask, and I know many of you bake a lot as well – it’s a great way to get some extra goodies out of the house and to make someone’s day in the process! :)

5. I mentioned on the BEB Facebook page that I’m overhauling my magazine subscriptions. I currently receive Real Simple, Cook’s Illustrated, Cook’s Country and Everyday Food, after paring down last year. I’m thinking of adding something along the lines of Women’s Health/Self/Shape and maybe a news magazine. What do you receive? Any good recommendations?

6. Hockey is back! I think it was the fact that my mom bought me the “All I Want for Christmas is Hockey” t-shirt after seeing me mention here (she’s such a cool mom)… good karma :)  I’m excited for the schedule to be announced and for tickets to go on sale… my bank account, not as excited. So much for, “well, at least I didn’t spend a ton of money on tickets this year”. Oh wait. Nevermind.

7. Confession: I feel like the whole food-centered Internet universe has gone crazy for quinoa. I’m totally the goofy-looking girl standing on the other side of the playground watching everyone else play games and not having a clue. I’ve had quinoa before, but… I just don’t get it. Is it because it’s healthy? What am I missing?

8. I finally got around to seeing the Jack Reacher movie, which I was totally pumped about since it was filmed in Pittsburgh. All of the views of the city were amazing, and the movie wasn’t bad. It didn’t quite live up to the other movies we’ve seen in the last few months (Lincoln, Argo and Skyfall), but it was decent… I gave it a B-.

9. Things I’m currently craving: Five Guys. New episodes of Homeland. A really good brownie. A fresh bagel with cream cheese. A new Sherlock Holmes movie.

10. TGIF! Have a roar of a weekend! (If I dressed Einstein up for Halloween, this would totally be his costume! On a related note, how funny was this story?)

dog-lion

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68 Responses to “Friday Things”

  1. Kristen on January 11, 2013 at 1:38 am

    Mmmm Five Guys – love that place! Had it for dinner tonight. And I’m super excited for hockey. Hope my Yotes do even better than last year (it’ll be tough to top for sure)

    Reply

  2. Ellen on January 11, 2013 at 3:16 am

    Dude! I so feel you on the quinoa thing. I could leave it or take it…then again I feel similarly about kale which I’d eschew for Swiss chard any old day.
    As for interesting magazines, it’s the total opposite of self or shape, but the smithsonian magazine in FASCINATING. Pricier, but much more interesting..,,

    Reply

  3. LJ Dubois on January 11, 2013 at 3:41 am

    We are with you on the holiday decorations.*_* We did pack away all the colored light decos last Sunday. (didn’t want them to be frozen in the ground again !) but still have all the clear lights up everywhere (candles, window icicles, etc) inside and out! Sort of eases us into the January blahs. Glad to hear that you do it too! Have a great weekend…when do the Pens resume play??

    LindaD

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 11th, 2013 at 4:01 pm

      Hi Linda, Word is that the NHL season is going to start next Saturday, the 19th. They haven’t released the schedule yet, but it sounds like we’re going to be playing in Philly in an afternoon game.

      Reply

  4. Katharine on January 11, 2013 at 4:42 am

    1) I LOVE Lindt truffles, but I think I love the bars more :) I actually ordered their 13-bar sampler set for a Valentine’s Day gift for my husband…it was 50% off! Super excited to get it!
    2) I have tried to enjoy quinoa, but I find the only way either my husband and I will eat it is if it’s LOADED with cheese, which kind of negates the healthy part of it. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one not super obsessed with it!

    Reply

  5. Nat on January 11, 2013 at 4:53 am

    An Australian cooking magazine I’m very obsessed with at the moment is Gormet Traveler. I’m not sure if there is an American version or if they ship to the US, but man. Check it out. The recipes are amazing, they review chefs and restaurants, display tons of different new cutlery and stoneware and the best bit – they are always doing articles on various countries and their cuisine. Fantastic combination of cooking and culture!

    Reply

    • Nat on January 11th, 2013 at 4:54 am

      *Gourmet Traveler. I’m ashamed I spelled that wrong!! lol!

      Reply

  6. Andrea Jones on January 11, 2013 at 6:00 am

    My favorite magazine and the one I will always subscribe to is Southern Living. It has a great mix of travel and food.

    Reply

  7. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on January 11, 2013 at 6:50 am

    The dog is cute!! For magazine subscriptions I love Health, Fitness and Cooking Light magazine! However I also get Woman’s’ Health and Self. I need to scale back a little. I don’t even get to read them all.
    I think that is wonderful that you donate food you make!!!
    Have a great weekend!!

    Reply

  8. Shaina on January 11, 2013 at 7:19 am

    I usually take my baked goods to work and give some extras to my family that lives close by, too. I like your idea about giving to the local food banks, though! Something to consider. Thanks!

    Women’s Health and Shape are two really great fitness magazines, they are always packed with good info, work outs, recipes, etc.. Right now the only subscription I have is to Food Network, surprise surprise haha, but I’m thinking about subscribing to one of the above again too

    Reply

  9. Maria in NJ on January 11, 2013 at 7:32 am

    I have a ceramic tree in the bathroom s well, took down the decorations yesterday, I love CHRISTmas too! Is that a basket of money on the ground, were they begging with the dog as their pawn??? Some people never cease to amaze me, that is pathetic!

    Reply

    • Marla on January 11th, 2013 at 10:18 am

      Maybe they’re using the money as a fund raiser for some worthy cause.

      Reply

    • Michelle on January 11th, 2013 at 4:01 pm

      Oh! I never even noticed that!

      Reply

  10. Kristin on January 11, 2013 at 7:50 am

    Epiphany just passed (january 6) so, you’re not far off on the Christmas decorations! After all, the 12 days of Christmas represent the 25th until Epiphany, not earlier in December :) As for magazines, I too loved Everyday Food and was incredibly bummed to receive their message this fall that it was being discontinued and “folded in” to Martha Stewart Living a few times a year. It was a perfect size for taking along with me in my purse, plus I used the recipes constantly! I do really like the Food Network Magazine and I agree with another reader that Southern Living is a very nice magazine with good recipes. My mom ordered it for me after discovering she liked it too. We’re not Southern. We live in Michigan! Fitness is a good women’s health magazine too!

    Reply

    • Karl Anderson on January 11th, 2013 at 11:10 am

      That’s one of the good things about being Catholic, Christmas keeps on going into the new year!!!

      Reply

  11. Jodi Pavlik on January 11, 2013 at 8:08 am

    I LOVE Lindt truffles too! I only got one little bag this year, and it’s gone! That’s a good thing since I started Weight Watchers this week! I am craving 5 Guys too! I think I always crave that place…probably not a good combo with weight watchers;)

    Reply

  12. Holly on January 11, 2013 at 8:35 am

    I just had to share that our Christmas decorations are still up and being lit/enjoyed on a daily basis. I have no plans of taking them down until MLK weekend! I also was summoned for Jury Duty this week – went in on Tuesday, got placed on a Jury around 3:45 Tuesday afternoon, and had to return for the entire day on Wednesday for the trail! Annoying at the time yes, but pretty good to be apart of the process :-)

    Reply

  13. Marcia Drake on January 11, 2013 at 8:45 am

    I work with several men who don’t get home baked anything so extras are always appreciated here at work. Adding the local food kitchen is a wonderful idea.
    I used to get Self and I enjoyed it, but I barely get through my Real Simple every month to add any.
    Good luck getting those decorations down and put away.

    Reply

  14. Stephanie on January 11, 2013 at 9:09 am

    Mmm, a burger and bag of fries from Five Guys sounds awesome right now. At 9:00 in the morning. I get Shape, Self, Fitness, and Women’s Health and my favorite is Women’s Health and Shape is next. I think WH just has a nice variety of articles that don’t feel like filler, and I feel like I actually learn something from the magazine. Plus the articles will often span just two pages so you don’t have to flip to the back to read one more column of text.

    Reply

  15. Ashley on January 11, 2013 at 9:15 am

    Totally agree with you on the quinoa thing… I don’t get it either. I’m just not a fan of it. Every time I try a new recipe, we end up barely eating it!

    Reply

  16. Mimi on January 11, 2013 at 9:19 am

    I’m not much of a kale fan, either. Or quinoa.

    Reply

  17. Diane W. on January 11, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Lindt’s extra dark truffles are my absolute favorite truffle! They come in a black bag. I have no idea what the hype is about quinoa except there are a lot of gluten free people out there now and it’s a good option for them. I’m not fan. CANNOT wait for the Pens to start playing again! I’ve been jonesing for hockey in the WORST way! And finally, I’m getting around to taking down my Christmas decorations today (sadly). The house always looks so empty without them. Maybe I need to go buy some winter or Valentine’s Day decor to perk it up a little. Happy Weekend, Michelle!

    Reply

  18. Jess on January 11, 2013 at 9:37 am

    2 questions:
    1. Fav lindt truffle?
    2. Have you ever had Betsy Ann Truffles? May actually be better amazingly…

    ~Jess (transplanted Pittsburgher and fellow Duquesne grad!)

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 11th, 2013 at 4:02 pm

      Hi Jess! Oooh, so hard to pick a favorite truffle, it all depends on my mood. I do love the dark chocolate, peanut butter, and milk chocolate. I’ve never had Betsy Ann truffles, although I’ve had more than my fair share of other Betsy Ann chocolates! I’ll have to try their truffles!

      Reply

  19. Joan on January 11, 2013 at 9:45 am

    I get your blog by email. I had to chuckle today at the real difference between the email version, and the version on the blog. The section on issues from readers (well, questions on the blog) was hilarious in email and made me wonder if you originally wrote it in some language other than English and the translators got hold of it. This sentence gave me a headache trying to figure it out. ..”My grandma ounce volontaires month for the local food bank, so she call me Gives A Few days before to remind me she’s going Which day, and I package up goodies that I’ve made Any and drop ‘em off to her “

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 11th, 2013 at 4:03 pm

      Hi Joan, I just checked my email (I also have the email version sent to myself in case there are any issues), but it looks perfectly normal. It reads exactly the same way it appears here on the site, albeit formatted for email. If you can send me the type of email service you use, I can check to see if there is an issue of any kind.

      Reply

      • Joan on January 11th, 2013 at 4:15 pm

        I use Yahoo for my email. I just retrieved the original email from my trash bin. Everything was as you wrote it on the web site. However, the sentence I had in quotes was taken from the email.
        I don’t pretend to understand what is going on, but thanks for looking into it.
        Joan

        Reply

  20. Robyn on January 11, 2013 at 9:52 am

    everyday food was discontinued as of december 2012. they’re doing it as a quarterly supplement only for martha stewart living subscribers.

    Reply

  21. Stephanie on January 11, 2013 at 9:54 am

    I am with you on the quinoa – don’t know why everyone feels like they have to use it in everything! I’ve had it in soup, it’s nice, but I don’t feel like I need to make quinoa cookies anytime soon.

    Reply

  22. Rachel @ The Avid Appetite on January 11, 2013 at 10:08 am

    What a fantastic idea to get rid of leftover goodies! I will need to look into doing the same. Did you see Django Unchained? I saw it on New Year’s and really enjoyed it so I recommend :) I think this weekend we are going to try for Argo (hopefully it will be back out in theaters!) and Silver Linings Playbook! Happy Friday!

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 11th, 2013 at 4:03 pm

      Hi Rachel, I haven’t seen Django Unchained, but have heard great things about it. Argo is absolutely fantastic – enjoy! :)

      Reply

  23. MaryJo on January 11, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Lindt truffle balls are my favorite. Melty creamy yum! About an hour from where we live, there is a lindt factory outlet (in Kittery, Me). We go a few times a year to stock up. I’m feeling like a trip soon….

    Reply

  24. MaryJo on January 11, 2013 at 11:00 am

    I also don’t get the quinoa.

    Reply

  25. Di on January 11, 2013 at 11:04 am

    I love your blog but really enjoyed todays post. we always leave our decorations up until Epiphany. Your jury post had me laughing (I too get more than my share but that’s another story) and brought back memories of snowy school mornings. We had a telephone network to notify us of school cancellations so it was great when the phone rang early in the morning. On snowy day our elementary school principal would have kids go outside with a ruler and when the depth hit the magic number he would begin the process of closing school for at least that day. In high school (we were bussed to another town) we loved to hear the announcment that we were to board our bus. Of course the ones that stayed behind weren’t too happy.

    Reply

  26. Kristen Johnson on January 11, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Yes, quinoa is good for you, but I’ve never been able to eat something purely because it is good for me. I highly recommend trying Heidi Swanson’s quinoa patties. They are so delicious and adaptable to whatever veggie/cheese/herb you have on hand. Not only do I make them often but they are really one of my favorite things to eat for dinner.

    Reply

  27. lachiah on January 11, 2013 at 11:19 am

    So happy to hear that there are others who don’t get the hype around quinoa! I tried it for the first time on Tuesday and I was not impressed. The texture is gross and it doesn’t taste like anything. On top of that, you have to rinse it and if you spill some, the little seeds get everywhere. I was still finding seeds the next day!

    Reply

  28. Bren (@BG_garden) on January 11, 2013 at 11:40 am

    not impressed with quinoa – but love the lion pup! Happy Friday!

    Reply

  29. Cheryl E. on January 11, 2013 at 11:50 am

    I always love reading your Friday things!

    Reply

  30. Kelsi on January 11, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    My mother has that EXACT same Nativity scene! I remember playing with it as a kid. The handing angel in your photo was my favorite. There’s a curve in her robe that was just the perfect size for my finger, almost like an imprint. I can see it in the image; it’s the indentation in the robe by her left knee. So many memories right there!

    Reply

  31. Kelsi on January 11, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    *hanging

    Reply

  32. heb on January 11, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    i got whole living mag for christmas and so far (ok, 1 issue in) i really like it. i also like cooking light, but don’t subscribe.

    Reply

  33. Bee at Love Bake Renovate on January 11, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Quinoa is healthy and bland so you can do anything to it, but I have yet to find a recipe that I get really excited about. I’ve made several, but none make me happy enought to put them in the make again pile. So if you find one let us know.

    Reply

  34. Marcie @ Flavor The Moments on January 11, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    Quinoa really needs some jazzing up or it’s pretty dull. I posted a Butternut Squash Quinoa salad a while ago with golden raisins, candied walnuts, scallions, and a honey vinaigrette. It’s the best way I’ve found to eat it so far. I also want to try Martha Stewart’s Breakfast Quinoa recipe — sounds kind of interesting!
    You’re lucky you live on the East Coast where Five Guys is fabulous. The ones opening out here on the West Coast are no where near as good as the one I went to twice in one week when I visited Alexandria, VA. YUM.

    Reply

  35. Rachel on January 11, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    I would reccomend Women’s Health magazine for your repetoire, my bf bought me a subscription for my birthday and I love it! Tons of useful information. I love your blog and I’m excited for Pens Hockey! I’m from the Pittsburgh area originally so I especially love your blog. :) I haven’t tried quinoa yet but this weekend I’m making a spinach mac and white cheddar cheese quinoa dish, it looks so tasty!

    Reply

  36. Liz N. on January 11, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Michelle, I, too, am working on paring down my magazine subscriptions. It’s getting out of control. I’ve decided to simply buy the Annual collection of Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country, bound in a book. It’s so much easier to look through recipes when they are bound. The cost is not bad and takes up less space. My favorite women’s fitness magazine is WOMEN’S HEALTH magazine over others like Shape or Fitness Magazine. Less fluff, more facts. I also crave more of “Homeland” but right now, “Downton Abbey” is my obsession. I hate that I have to wait a year to watch my favorite shows like “Homeland”, “Dexter”, “True Blood”. Definitely a pet peeve!

    Reply

  37. Tracey on January 11, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    I am so, so, so excited hockey is coming back!! It’s been way too long :) Hope you have a great weekend!

    Reply

  38. Marcy on January 11, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    I recently have been called for Jury duty as well… and after hearing the judge speak to us during orientation have a completely different view of Jury duty. I was hoping to hear I didn’t have to show or hoping I could go ahead and be delayed because I’m a breastfeeding mother, I soon changed my mind after listening to this Judge talk! At first I was thinking, this judge is sure on a soapbox, but she made a point to talk to us about how it our right and duty as American citizens.. She stated do you think the members of the armed forces want to go overseas and risk their lives for fellow American’s that aren’t excited to get the chance to serve our communities and utilize our right as citizens… She continued with the solider theme and said that many of us, potential jurors feel that jury duty is inconvenient, but isn’t it also inconvenient to those soldiers to be away from the friends and family serving us?? Yes its kind of a pain to do it, it can be uncomfortable, but it is a blessing that we get the opportunity to do so!

    Reply

  39. Brandi @ new 30 something on January 11, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    OMG! Too funny that you mention Jack Reacher. My husband and I finally got around to seeing it on Monday night. He just posted a review about it on my blog. I think you’ll get a kick out of it. We also rated it a B-

    Reply

  40. James on January 11, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    So excited hockey is back, I thought the season was done for. The story about the dog is hilarious! I love the people that said they saw a “baby lion”, maybe I just love nature shows but that is not what a baby lion looks like.

    On the quinoa subject alone it’s pretty blah so I usually cook it in chicken or beef broth. I actually make your stuffed peppers recipe using ground turkey & quinoa instead of rice. It reminds me of cous cous but healthier & more filling.

    Reply

  41. chelsea @ serves two on January 11, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    oh yea my Christmas stuff is still up too :) the house looks so sad when you take it down!

    Reply

  42. Katie @ Blonde Ambition on January 11, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Now I’m craving a bagel with cream cheese too! I think I may just grab one for lunch :)

    Reply

  43. Kristin on January 11, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    I subscribe to Whole Living and Yoga Journal – love both!

    Reply

  44. Patty on January 11, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    I’m with you on the quinoa front. I have no idea what the big deal is about.

    Reply

  45. Maria on January 11, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    Self magazine is the absolute best! (At least of the non cooking based ones)

    Reply

  46. Katy on January 11, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Our Christmas lights are still up too… as long as the neighbors are still turning theirs on, I’m leaving ours up and on too! They make me happy when I come home at night. :-) Also, a Five Guys burger and fries sounds delicious right now, and so does a bagel with cream cheese (sesame seed, toasted, please!). YUM. And I’m allergic to quinoa, so even though I’d love to try some of the new recipes floating around Pinterest, I can’t. Sad day.

    Reply

  47. Chelle on January 11, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    I love to bake, but I really don’t eat many sweets. I live across the street from an excellent pub, and the staff there receives the majority of my leftover baking bounty. Not only do I not pay for very many drinks, but they all pitched in and bought me a pasta maker for Christmas.
    On the other hand, it would be a little too easy for me to become an alcoholic.

    Reply

  48. MollyCakes on January 11, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    That dog/lion story is hilarious! I can’t believe they actually thought it was a lion…my question is if it was the size of a retriever, which would be relatively small,as one woman said then why would it already have a full mane? Just my thoughts I guess.
    My dad recently recommended I do the same as you do for your grandma because he said his waistline wasn’t appreciating my baking!

    Reply

  49. Susan on January 11, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    Thank you for making me feel not so alone on the quinoa thing. I’ve tried it, wasn’t a fan, but with all the hoopla, keep thinking maybe I should try it again to get on the bandwagon. Now I know I don’t have to.
    And on the Christmas lights, it’s so much work to put everything up, you have to enjoy them for as long as you can. Mine are still up too but will likely be coming down this weekend as well.

    Reply

  50. Amy L on January 11, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    I agree about quinoa. not a fan. I also get Real Simple, Cook’s Illustrated, and I was getting Everyday Food until they ended it :(
    I really like Saveur and Bon Appetit too.

    Reply

  51. Aly on January 12, 2013 at 1:04 am

    I subscribe to Shape and like it. Some good workout and healthy food ideas.

    Reply

  52. Jess on January 12, 2013 at 7:57 am

    1. I like to leave my decorations up until the 15th, so own it!
    2. I am definitely allergic to quinoa so I don’t get it either. I do eat other whole grains like Farro and Wheat Berries.
    3. I would like to have my poodle cut that way. Awesome!
    4. I love Five Guys
    5. Your Chewy Brownies are the best. I like them with some chocolate icing. That should satisfy the brownie craving

    Reply

    • Katy on January 12th, 2013 at 10:25 pm

      I’m so glad someone else has a quinoa allergy – well, I’m not happy for you, but you know what I mean?? Most people think I’m making it up – ugh!

      Reply

  53. Laura Dembowski on January 12, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Our Christmas decorations are still up too but we haven’t been lighting them. I think I will today. So great you give treats to the food bank. I just wrote about what I do with treats on my blog. Of course my freezer is also stuffed. I’ve never had quinoa and just bought a box to try. I like eating healthy for dinner because it means I don’t have to feel guilty about dessert.

    Reply

  54. Barbara on January 12, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Love Five Guys and skip over all the quinoa recipes.

    Reply

  55. Aikko @ Bake Happy on January 12, 2013 at 11:43 am

    If you decide to dress up Einstein as a lion, do share a pic! We’d all love to see it! :) Have a great weeked, Michelle!

    Reply

  56. Sharon on January 12, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Just to let you know, there is a new television show this year called “Elementary”. It is about a guy named Sherlock Holmes and a female counselor by the name of Watson. It is really quite good and may interest you. I was iffy when I watched the first show, but was totally hooked by the second. You are so right about the Lindt truffles.

    Reply

  57. Elisabeth on January 12, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    I just wanted to let you know that epicurious.com includes recipes from Self magazine and it seems to me they are almost always poorly rated. I have never been tempted to try one for this reason.
    Oh, yeah. My Christmas decorations are still up, too!

    Reply

  58. Nancy P. on January 15, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Just took the decorations down Friday! So we are no so in the norm either. I see so many trees on the side of the road the day after Christmas! Quinoa is starting to intrigue me. I bought some just today to test it out and see what all the hoopla is. So we will see?

    Reply

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