Monday, November 21, 2011

Friends, family, rosemary sweet potatoes, and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies!

The title of my last blog post goes to show just how long it's been since I've written. Inspired by an amazing weekend with friends and family, I decided now is as good of a time as any to get back to the blog-o-sphere.

After a fabulous Friday night on the town with my boyfriend Sean, friend Maureen, and cousin Greg, I headed to NJ where my friends Lauren and Johnny hosted us for dinner. I must say, Lauren is a true domestic diva! From her pear and ricotta tartines, to her homemade apple pie, it was quite an impressive feast! Not a detail spared, their lovely home dazzled with candles, flowers, and beautiful place settings!

For dinner, Lauren made butternut squash ravioli, a fig and beat salad with a homemade cranberry dressing, and for our main course, roasted chicken with roasted veggies. Delish! Johnny did a fabulous job carving the chicken, and I made my favorite sweet potato dish. (see recipe below)

Although I suppose this makes me somewhat of a hyprocrite, I must admit that I also brought cupcakes from Crumbs. [tail between legs.]

I'm SORRY, but who doesn't love a good red velvet with cream-cheese frosting from time to time? I had originally planned on making organic pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (recipe also below), but the day got away from me, and Crumbs it was!

The following morning, we celebrated my beautiful baby nephew's christening. It was a truly special day -- one that I'll certainly cherish forever. My sister and brother-in-law were glowing, my mom was emotional as per usual (ok, so was I) and the rest of us were quick to celebrate with vino at the after party.

As I said goodbye to my family and headed back to Manhattan, I felt truly blessed.
And although I indulged in a few "sinful treats" over the weekend, I felt healthier than ever. From great friends, to wonderful family - to christening Lauren's china set, to christening my God-son, from tears of joy to tears of laughter - it was an amazing weekend! And as we approach Thanksgiving, I hope you will each take a moment out of your busy routines, to reflect on all that you have to be grateful for too!

Now, without further ado, the recipes!!!

Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potatoes

2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 2 large), peeled and cut into small chunks
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary (more, if you like)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with the oil, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper. Place in a single layer on a large non-stick baking sheet.

Bake until the potatoes are cooked through and golden, about 30 minutes. Season to taste.

Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

2 sticks organic butter, softened
1 cup Sucanat
2 organic eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 bag organic dark chocolate chips
parchment paper

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine butter and Sucanat. Add all wet ingredients and blend. Stir in flours and other dry ingredients until well mixed. Scoop heaping tablespoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets and bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

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