• ‘Twas The Day After Christmas

    December 26, 2010

    We’re supposed to get 20 inches of snow between now and tomorrow afternoon, so Mal and I woke up bright and early to prepare ourselves to be snowed in!



    For breakfast, I had an Oatmeal Pancake with maple syrup, candied pecans, dried apricots, and a glass of iced coffee.

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    Instant Oatmeal Pancake

    Makes 1 pancake


    • 1 packet of instant oatmeal (I used Quaker Lower Sugar Maple & Brown Sugar )
    • 1/3 cup liquid egg whites
    • 1 tsp baking powder


    1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
    2. Divide batter in half and create a pancake on greased fry pan.
    3. Cook each side of pancake until lightly browned; repeat for second half.
    4. Top with maple syrup, nuts, chia seeds or your other favorite toppings.

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    After breakfast, Mal and I headed to Whole Foods to stock-up our kitchen.

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    Not surprisingly, everyone else had the exact same idea. It was crazy in there!

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    I had a huge stack of coupons that will expire at the end of the year, so I finally cashed them in today.

    The cashier was really annoyed with all of the coupons for ‘free’ items that she had to enter manually, but I saved $45!! That’s no chump change, people! It was totally worth dealing with a disgruntled employee.

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    Once we unpacked and put away the groceries, Mal and I started on our next project of the day: de-Christmas-fying our house.

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    We usually keep the Christmas decorations up until the New Year, but our Christmas tree was so dry, we figured we should just take it down. So, along with the tree came the rest of the decorations.

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    Until next year…

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    Around 1:30, I took a break for lunch. I made a big salad with lots of veggies, a hard-boiled egg, and the best balsamic vinegar drizzled on top.

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    The other day, our new neighbor, Bill, gave us a housewarming/holiday gift from Gustare Oils & Vinegars, which included a really nice bottle of gourmet 18-Year Traditional Balsamic Vinegar. My gosh, it is delicious!

    I don’t think I’ve ever tasted balsamic vinegar like it! It’s dark and dense, yet smooth and subtly sweet—much different than the stuff that I buy at the grocery store. I don’t think I will be able to go back to the ‘cheap’ stuff ever again!

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    On the side, I had a few leftover butternut squash ravioli from the Rustic Kitchen.

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    After lunch, I satisfied my sweet tooth with ONE piece of homemade chocolate-covered toffee from my Grammie.

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    Telling myself (before I opened the package) that I was only going to enjoy one piece really helped me from going back for a second or third piece. It was definitely a small victory for me!

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    { 49 comments… read them below or add one }

    Allison @ PickyEatingRD December 26, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    20 inches of snow!!! Wow!!!!! We didn’t get that much in Chicago. Though I wouldn’t mind if it happened tonight..maybe the snow would extend my holiday weekend 1 more day =)


    Lynn (The Actors Diet) December 26, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    wow – good luck! i always feel kinda bad with all my free blogger coupons too but whatever…ya gotta do what ya gotta do!


    Nancy @ The Wife of a Dairyman December 26, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    We need to take our tree down too….ours is really dry as well. Grammie’s homemade toffee looks delisious! Good luck with the huge storm on the way to your area…..batton down!


    Katie December 26, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    It’s coming down hard here in Jersey! I’m interested to see how much we truly get today and tomorrow. It’s going to be a mess either way. Good luck cooking and stay warm!


    Mari December 26, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    wow you saved a lot by using those coupons!! I’m surprised that the Whole Foods employee showed their annoyance at your use of all those coupons. They’re usually so friendly even during super busy times at the store!! Maybe they’re just stressed out about the impending storm. Stay warm and safe!!


    grocery goddess jen December 26, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Wow, I can’t believe how much snow you guys are getting up north! The storm hit us down here, first, but we only got 8 inches or so – I think it picked up moisture over the Atlantic. Enjoy being snowed in!


    Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine December 26, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Awww I HATE taking down the tree- when I was a kid I insisted we leave it up until my birthday on Jan 27!! Stay warm in this blizzard- it’s snowing like nuts here too!


    Christin@purplebirdblog December 26, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Crazy snow!! I am sending you warm wishes! And should you decide to eat another chocolate covered toffee, you can say you ate it for me. 😉


    Heather December 26, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Holy crap! I heard that the East Coast was bracing for snow, but I didn’t realize it was going to be that much. Stay safe!


    Sarah December 26, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    We are in the process of moving to Boston from Texas. We haven’t watched much TV in the past few weeks so we were surprised when we heard that we were in for a huge storm! We, too, hit up Whole Foods this morning to stock up on a few things to get us through the next couple of days. I hope you guys stay warm & cozy in your new house!!


    Katherine: Unemployed December 26, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    I think I’m speechless after all these photos! They are amazing. You had some beautiful sights


    heidi @ runaroundaroo December 26, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Good luck with the snow!

    We got hit with 22 inches two weeks ago…is started Friday night and my car didn’t leave the driveway until Sunday night. Not because I didn’t want to leave, but because I couldn’t if I wanted to!

    Even with all the shoveling and such we had a lot of fun in the snow! Besides…it is pretty!


    Emily Eats and Exercises December 26, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    I love fancy balsalmic – in my family we call it “liquid gold.” It’s so sweet and delicious that you can really use it as a dressing all on its own.
    I’m counting on the grocery store in walking distance tomorrow – I decided to skip the pre-storm chaos today.


    Elise December 26, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    i really hate how much sh!t i get from emlpoyees when i use coupons. its always the same story, and i refuse to give in or back down. still, they should be less angry about it. it is money after all, and what do they care?


    Blog is the New Black December 26, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Ugh, this snow is brutal! We keep going outside to dust off the cars and do some shoveling…


    Erika @ FoodFitnessFun December 26, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    That instant oatmeal pancake sounds delicious! I have so many packets of oatmeal that I need to use up! 😛


    Stephanie @ The Travelling Tastebuds December 26, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Oh my gosh… 20″ of snow! So so lucky… I love the snow!!! Ugh… I need to leave California pronto!


    Kate@andwhenshesays December 26, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    Sending good vibes as you batten down the hatches! And congrats on the ONE piece of toffee…it is indeed a victory! I find making those promises to myself – and then getting distracted – is a good way to go when you’re dealing with a raging sweet tooth.


    Clare @ Fitting It All In December 26, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Wanted to let you know I’m totally with you on the “less sugar” campaign. Say zero is just not reasonable, but my extra pounds and breakouts are definitely calling for some reduction. You’ll be my motivation and inspiration!


    Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga) December 26, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    homemade chocolate-covered toffee from your Grammie looks outta this world! I would kill for a piece of that :)

    So glad you had a great weekend!


    Evan Thomas December 26, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    I am SO excited for the storm! We got some groceries this morning and then went to start exchanging Christmas presents while the weather wasn’t too bad. Now we’re just home watching it fall.


    Katie December 26, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    WOW ! Hope you guys stay safe and warm during the blizzard you are getting, or maybe it will not be as bad!

    I am sure Murphy will not be too excited with all that snow ; p

    Christmas went by so fast! We have to take our decorations down too, but I think im going to wait til after the new year !


    Tina @ The Shakespearean Tomato December 26, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    You guys are getting the storm that has been down here for the past 2 days! I am still sitting here watching it snow out my window…and snow…and snow…and snow. I’m really glad I stocked up before it started! Although I always find it funny when you go to a grocery store before a storm and ALL of the milk and bread is gone. People must eat a lot of cereal and toast during storms or something because those are the things that are ALWAYS wiped out before everything else :-)


    chelsey @ clean eating chelsey December 26, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    45 dollars?!?!?!? Holy cow! Lucky you!


    Justeen @ Blissful Baking December 26, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    mm i definitely want to try some of that balsamic vinegar!
    great job just limiting yourself to one piece of dessert!


    Erika December 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    I LOVE butternut squash ravioli. I might have to whip some up now :)
    I’m right below ya in CT and we are getting hit hard with this blizzard…stay warm!


    Meagan December 26, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    I love using coupons, but I find it hard to find them for natural and organic products. Where did you get all yours?!?!?

    Good luck with the blizzard!


    Allie (Live Laugh Eat) December 26, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    I went to WFs to redeem my coupons the other day and the lady was THRILLED! She was like “I’m loving this!!! I need to start a blog too”


    Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun December 26, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    Wow! 20 inches? I don’t think I have ever seen that much snow.


    Lauren December 26, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    It is crazy! I can’t believe that it hasn’t stopped since 11am. BTW-Please post your beef stew recipe. I search of a good one…..Enjoy your snow day!


    Halley(Blunder Construction) December 26, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    I did the same this afternoon – bundled up and headed to Whole Foods to stock up before the storm. If only they had snow days from work!


    Kris December 26, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    Aw, so sad to take the decorations down the day after. I’m no big Christmas decorator, but ours is up from beginning of December until New Years. But it’s hard to do that w/ live trees.


    jassy December 26, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    belated merry christmas! :)


    Laura (Starloz) December 26, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    i love the boxes you keep your decorations in, awesome idea tina


    Cynthia (It All Changes) December 26, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    We’re bracing for that snow too. But it’s nice to be snuggled up with a pug and Mal, right?


    Meghan December 26, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    The snow really is falling hard right now in boston! Yum- I love chocolate covered toffee. I am currently in sugar overload too though!


    Lisa {With Style and Grace} December 26, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Does your Grammie make her toffee with saltine crackers? My Grandma makes this every year, but with saltines and it’s my absolute favorite! Enjoy the snow!


    Tina December 26, 2010 at 8:39 pm
    Tina December 26, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    @Lisa {With Style and Grace}: Nope, just toffee and chocolate.


    Michele @ Healthy Cultivations December 26, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    Hoping you weather the storm well. And looking forward to SNOW photos!!


    MAry @ Bites and Bliss December 26, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    GEEEZZZ 20 inches?!! We had 2 this past weekend and even that kept us indoors for the most part. Although that could be due to the 45*-angled driveway. 😛


    CathyK December 26, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    wow, that’s a lot of snow! stay warm!
    i took down my xmas decorations today, too. a boxing day tradition. i like them up early at the end of november but down the day after christmas!
    $45 in coupons…that’s half a pair of running shoes!


    Hannah December 26, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    Proper balsamic is so insanely much better than the cheap stuff that it’s hard to believe they can even go by the same name! Good luck dealing with the blizzard… I’m quite happy with my sunny Australia summer days right now, thanks all the same 😛


    Lorin December 26, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    I’m in California and we’ve been hearing about the snowstorm that is supposed to hit you guys! I hope it is not too bad. Ugh, the past day and a half I’ve been eating a bunch of sugar. I’m fine with everything in moderation but sometimes I tend to have an all or nothing attitude and it leads to a slippery slope of grabbing cookies and chocolate because I already have eaten crap all day anyway. Tommorow will hopefully be better. I feel like once I start eating too much sugar, I can’t stop. That’s great for your personal triumph though! It always feels good when you can overcome that desire to grab a second or third or fourth piece. I could definitley use that right now. GOod luck with the snow!


    Joanna @drizzleofsunshine December 26, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    Crazy snow! I’m in Southern Cali and we never get snow. We complain about rain and that’s nothing compared to what you guys face!

    So sad, our Christmas tree is SOO dry also. I’m hosting a NYE party so I have to leave it up for another week. It’s so sad looking! Kudos for taking yours down!


    Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin December 26, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    I have a balsamic vinegar like that and I totally agree that it is amazing! The $4 grocery store stuff just doesn’t compare!

    Hope you’re surviving the snow! :)


    Lacey @ Lake Life December 27, 2010 at 9:07 am

    We’ve had blizzard-like conditions here in NY since Christmas night! The winds really make it so much worse.

    I’m so jealous that you have your Christmas decorations put away!


    JessicaEn December 27, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    Hey, its that cashier’s JOB to help customers, accept coupons, and do it all with a pleasant attitude, even on the busiest of days. yes we are all human, but I cannot imagine you were rude about the coupons. Customer Service Fail :( Sooo glad you didn’t let it get to you.


    Rachel January 3, 2011 at 3:37 am

    My husband I recently visited a producer of balsamic vinegar in Modena, Italy. It was fascinating! I will NEVER buy grocery store vinegar again!!! Here is a cool website that gives an overview of the process. http://www.balsamico.it/

    The traditional vinegars have no additives – it is only the cooked must of the grape – and are aged for a variety of years. The vinaigrette at the grocery stores are made in a day and have several things added to attempt the same flavoring (but failing miserably!). The vinegar lasts forever if stored properly, so that is a bonus! We tried it on steak recently. Grill as you normally would (maybe with less rub/spices), and as it “rests”, put a few drops of vinegar on top. YUM. : )


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