Friday, December 31, 2010

Black Bean Brownies

Wish I had a picture to post... ate these all up!


Ingredients:
  • 15oz can of black beans
  • Brownie Mix (Any kind will do, but if you can find the No Pudge mix it's low fat)

Directions:

  • Open can of beans
  • Rinse, drain
  • Put beans back in can
  • Add enough water in can to just cover beans
  • Put in blender or food processor and puree
  • Add puree to brownie mix
  • Bake according to brownie mix instructions
  • No need to add oil or eggs, just the beans!

Personal Note:

I couldn't taste the beans at all in this recipe. I did think they were a little stickier than normal brownies, but knowing I was getting the good stuff from black beans while getting my chocolate fix made it worth it. I made mine in a muffin pan, and filled them nearly all the way to the top. They came out great!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Not Just One...

Why just make one New Year's Resoultion when I can try for a handful?

Maybe If I do that, there will be hope, right?

Alright... Here goes:

1) Floss Daily.
I think this makes it on the list yearly.

2) Get Married.
I mean, come on. If nothing else, this will be the one. (Maybe I secretly put this it would work out that way.)

3) Have Thicker Skin at Work.
People suck sometimes. But I have to remember it's because of their own issues and not just me.
4) Stop spending useless cash, when I can be SAVING IT.
There's a concept.

5) Get back on track, and stick to my new healthy-eating, healthy-living lifestyle.
The holidays sucked. Why stop eating once I'm full, when there's food everywhere!? Ugh. My pants were working hard during the holidays.

6) Be better at keeping in touch with friends.
Too many old friends are falling through the cracks. I guess it's just life. People change, surroundings change. But at least I can try.

7) Start thinking about the future.
There's a fine line between living for today, and planning for tomorrow. I need to learn how to do both... equally.

I'm excited about 2011.

I'm getting married...
Then a month later I turn 30...
At least two of my friends are having babies...
So much is happening!

I welcome this wonderful year, and my next decade of life.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Flicks For Me

I adore holiday movies. Ahhh-DORE.

And I make it a personal goal to get them all in before the Christmas gets here.

I started watching in November, but there's a few I didn't get to this year... although you wouldn't know it by this list.

While decorating the tree in very late November, we watched A Christmas Carol (The new animated one, with Jim Carrey) It was quite good.

I also got in...

Elf. Of course I had to watch this one at least three times.

I TiVo'd It's a Wonderful Life during it's annual run on NBC. I watched it at least two-and-a half times. I grew up watching black and white movies courtesy of Mom, and still Netflix them to this day. There's a slew of them I still need to see that are considered classics. I recently watched Shop Around the Corner, which is the inspiration for one of my favorite movies You've Got Mail.

AMC alternated White Christmas and the orginal Miracle on 34th Street on Christmas Eve. So as we put the last minute touches on the tables, and set the cookies out on the platters and cleaned like crazy people, we watched these two classics.

The weekend after Thanksgiving, while helping mom decorate her tree, we watched How the Grinch Stold Christmas. The movie. I also TiVo'd the original on TV.

Other little Christmas specials I recorded on TV and am not ashamed to admit I did:

Disney's Prep and Landing
Charlie Brown Christmas
Shrek the Halls
Frosty the Snowman
A Year Without Christmas (I haven't seen this one before this year, but was always told I needed to watch it.)
Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer

I know, I need a kid.

I'd better not forget A Christmas Story. I look foward to this TBS marathon almost as much as Christmas itself. I've never actually wanted to purchase this move, because I fear it would take away from the 8pm time period that I get excited for every December the 24th.

I of course bought Fred Claus when it came out. Love it.

Not sure if Love Actually is considered a Christmas flick, but I watch it only this time of year. And did this year, twice.

I actually purchased National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation this year because I was scared I'd miss it on TV. It barely made it here before Christmas, which gave me anxiety. But we watched it. Phew...

Christmas Day, AMC marathoned Scrooged. I think I was too full and distracted to watch the whole thing... but got enough in.

I didn't get to see Polar Express this year, and was sad about it. Our local cultural theater was showing it for cheap, but Jimmy says it's depressing and I couldn't get him to go. I secretly think he stopped believing at an early age... maybe it hits a little too close to home.

I also wanted to watch Family Stone, which is Christmas-esque. Maybe I'll watch that as I get ready for New Years fun, to squeeze it in.

It was a good Christmas movie year.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Serious Lack

I'm noticing a serious lack of Christmas spirit this year, and it's depressing the hell out of me.


I've gotten a fraction of the Christmas cards I usually do. Where's the papery-love?

I understand that times are tough for a lot of people, and Christmas cards and mass postage could be where they're chosing to cut back. But, usually Christmas is that time of year when you hear from those folks in hard print -- you don't normally hear from any other time.


There are less well-wishes and happy new year notes from the higher ups at work, which makes work feel like... well, work at Christmastime. And who wants that? I'd prefer a slightly merrier atmosphere for a few days out of the year.


I gave someone a gift today who seemed... not excited to get a gift. It was pushed to the side and not opened. I don't give gifts to gain brownie points, but I live for those reactions.


My vacation starts today, and I'm hoping my 3.5 hour long ride home with Christmas music will help pump that holiday adrenaline through my veins.


When I walk into the front door of Mom and Dad's house and see TWO Christmas trees with presents spilling from beneath... I'm guessing THEN I will fill the Christmas spirit.

Mom's little holiday figurines and Dad's Griswold-ish outdoor lights should ignite that flame.


When Dad puts on the Santa hat to pass out presents... then I'll feel the Christmas present.


When the family gathers for a supremely-fattening Italian Christmas Eve dinner... I'll certainly be feeling the spirit. So will my pants... as they slowly tighten.

It's just right now... right this very moment... I don't feel it.

I'm officially off the clock at work, and so the journey home for the holidays begins.

Santa, get here quick!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Here Comes the Bride

Soon.

As in six months TO THE DAY, soon.

What an exciting feeling. There's still a lot that needs to be done, but I'm ready. I'm so ready for it to just be here.

I can't believe I originally set out to get married in 2012. I'd be going nuts!

There is still a lot more money to be saved, decisions to be made, and cake to be tasted.

Is six months a lot? It doesn't feel like it. I guess to some it's a half of a year. To me... a very quick 180 days. Everyone keeps telling me it's going to fly by.

It actually already has, so far.

So mixed feelings: Nauseau... panic... anxiety.
With eagerness... happiness... and excitment.

My stomach and brain is a mixed bag of emotions.

I could puke or laugh at any given moment.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Oldie But A Goodie


Just LOOK at the layers of hair.
So cute.
Makes me smile.