Farewell 2011

I sat down to write a post about a quick and healthy recipe from the archives (with improved pictures this time!) and then it hit me. This is my last post of 2011!! The recipe will have to wait. I can’t help but reflect over the past 12 months.

I set goals for the year. I achieved some of them. And then I did something bigger – I QUIT MY DAY JOB! I still can’t believe that I did it. That I took this leap into the unknown. That I quit a well-paying job without a plan, without a dream to pursue. I knew that there was more out there for me. I knew that it was going to be scary and exciting, rewarding, and confusing. And now that my vision is clear, I am certain that I made the right move. My little future business will likely not make me rich. But it will make me happy. And happiness is my only goal. It should be yours too! Open-mouthed smile 

So the whole quitting my job thing was definitely the most defining event this year. But I’m proud of a few more things. Let’s see what the top 11 posts were on Healthy and Sane! [11 for 2011… yes, I’m a dork!]

#1. Ultimate healthified buffalo chicken dip

best-buffalo-chicken-dip

#2. New and old favorite recipes (this post includes amazing zucchini bread, pork chops, a wheatberry salad and chocolate chip cookies) Smile

ultimate-chocolate-chip-cookies

#3. My restaurant reviews page is still one of my top viewed pages. May I also direct you to my brand new favorite recipes page? I’m pretty in love with it!

tofu-tacos-with-lime-cream-sauce

#4. In February of this year, I swore off dieting for good. You were amazingly supportive (I think this is the post with the highest number of comments of all time, except for giveaway posts… and what a post to come out of the woodwork for. I really appreciate it!!). I am still 100% behind this decision, despite the ups and downs! [A lot of the diet free living posts have been very popular… I’m lumping them all together here in 1 since that’s where it started.]

#5. I reviewed Rocco Dispirito’s Now Eat This! cookbook and you found it helpful. I’m trying the baked mozzarella sticks recipe again tomorrow and the general gao’s chicken is on the menu again next week. It was a good one! Smile

healthy general gao's chicken

#6. The apple cider rumtini made you thirsty. Me too!

apple-cider-martini

#7. I did a vegan cheese vs. dairy cheese tasting. How do you feel about vegan cheese?

daiya cheese vs dairy cheese-2

#8. Pizza monkey bread. Need I say more? [It was requested for tomorrow’s New Year’s eve gathering… again!]

pizza-monkey-bread

#9. I forgot about these cute banana blueberry spinach muffins. Thanks for the reminder! Smile 

banana blueberry spinach muffins

#10. In early 2011, I tried making weight loss into a game. We have a different variation on this going right now (I’m tracking my exercise, Adam his weight… for some prize $$). What can I say, we are financially motivated Winking smile

#11. A pretty recent post with pictures of me over the past 10 years, through ups and downs of yo-yo dieting. I honestly wrote it just for myself (and printed all those photos – I look at them for inspiration on a daily basis!) but apparently a lot of you could relate too. I hope we can all move on from dieting and start living healthy and happy lives!

This is my only goal for 2012 – continue to live a happy and healthy life (and launch a successful business. Oh yeah, that too! :lol: ) Have you made any new year resolutions?

Thank you all for the amazing year here on Healthy and Sane. I know there is a lot of content on the internet and I am truly thankful for you taking some time out of your day to come here and share a little piece of your story with me or just say hi and give me with support. Thank you!

And Happy New Year!!!

30 by 30: making spaetzle

Hi friends! How were your Christmas/Hanukkah holidays? I’m half Jewish so I get to celebrate both which is really fun! On Friday, I picked up my parents from the airport (they were coming back from Barcelona… are they lucky or what?!) and treated them to a home cooked Hanukkah dinner complete with latkes and sufganiyot (jelly-filled donuts) which were my first recipe from the pastry book. Everything came out really delicious! On Saturday we headed to West Newbury to spend Christmas with Adam’s family. I took 151 pictures of the nephews opening gifts… and then it was time to open my own. I got so many awesome foodie gifts, including chocolate (duh), somenewcookbooksand even a cute blog shirt (you’ll see what I mean when I take a photo of myself Smile ).

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Christmas day was definitely lazy (the kids got up at 5am so once the Christmas morning excitement wore off, we were pretty much like zombies for the rest of the day). And I even took Monday “off” together with Adam (aka my computer was pretty much closed all day and my kitchen looks like a bomb went off in it so there was no cleaning). I did find a few peppers and carrots in the fridge, a few sausages in the freezer and decided to make spaetzle for dinner (it was time to get another thing crossed off my 30 by 30 list!).

making-spaetzle

Have you ever had spaetzle? In case you haven’t, spaetzle is basically little German egg noodles which are boiled then pan fried in butter (mmm). I’ve only had them once before last night but recall my first time vividly. It was from a restaurant in New York called Little Giant. It was served as a side to a dish that intrigued me and I was so surprised to bite into these buttery plump little noodles. They totally stole the show! Of course I assumed they would be a huge challenge so I added to them to my list. Little did I know they were a cinch to make! A spaetzle makerwill come in very handy here but it’s less than $10 on Amazon.

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I started with this recipe for spaetzle but decided to use half whole wheat flour/half all purpose. Making the dough was pretty much like making pancakes but with less ingredients! Mix the dry ingredients, then combine with wet. And you’re done!

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The dough was so much runnier than I was expecting. I added another 1/2 cup of flour to it hoping it would firm up (I think I had pasta dough in mind)… and then decided to just try it out as is. See how it’s pourable? If pourable is a word… Winking smile

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While this was happening I brought salted water to a simmer… and we were off! The dough drips through the spaetzle maker holes and forms little noodles that set in the water.

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OMG, it’s working!

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We’ve got spaetzle!

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A quick stir-fry of peppers, carrots and sausage in a bit of EVOO, then the spaetzle in 1 tablespoon of butter (which was plenty!), parsley and garlic…

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… and we have one fantastic meal! [serves 4]

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This was so incredibly satisfying. The spaetzle was seriously SO EASY to make and Adam and I loved the buttery noodles with lots of veggies and sausage (I was going for a German theme here). Now that I know how fast the whole thing comes together, I will definitely be adding spaetzle to our usual rotation of carbs.

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Have you made anything fun lately? Do share! Open-mouthed smile

I got it!

SO, you know that post that I wrote less than a week ago? This is crazy ironic but literally just a few hours later, ideas starting flowing into my head and they haven’t stopped. I figured out what I want to do!!!! I’ve never been so clear about my vision and I am beyond excited. It’s a pretty incredible feeling. I can’t believe it’s actually happening to me. Party smile (<—because I couldn’t find a happy dance smiley)

I have many details to iron out so I don’t want to share the exact plan with you just yet. But I will say that while I’m working on my business plan, a website, my client list, etc. I will also be turning my kitchen into a culinary school to train myself. Smile

The Professional Pastry Chef arrived at my doorstep yesterday and I lost 3 hours of my life just browsing through it and dreaming of all the things I’ll be learning to make.

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This bookwill be my instructor on the savory side. I hope I can keep up with all the dishes Winking smile

So excited to share this good news with you! Thank you all for your amazing support. See you soon and Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas!!

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