Thank goodness it is Friday! There were many firsts this week that caused some stress (all good), but, thankfully, everything worked out. Today is my day to play since I have my yoga teacher training all weekend.
The luncheon was a success yesterday! As with most things that I am nervous about trying for the first time, I just needed to rip off the Band-Aid to see that entertaining is actually quite fun!
I prepared everything on Wednesday. There is nothing like a pot of soup on the stove and bread baking in the oven on a cold and dreary day. The sweetness of the cornbread was the perfect accompaniment to the oregano, basil, cumin, and rosemary brewing in the soup. I also tidied up the apartment for my guests. We are not messy (if you know my husband you know what I mean), so clean-up was minimal. Tyler is one of the most organized and tidy people around. I definitely lucked out!
It was hard for me to fall asleep on Wednesday night because my mind was racing with the things that needed to get done before the girls came over at 11:30. The alarm went off too soon. Didn’t I just fall asleep? Oh well! I trained my client early then went to Bodypump before racing home to get things ready. Sarah came over around 11:00 for a quick blog meeting before the ladies came over. It is important to be on the same “page” when there are two people blogging for one blog.
It was fun to get ready for the luncheon because I was able to use some wedding gifts for the first time like this pitcher. Love it!
Doesn’t the water look refreshing?
It was very exciting to have plenty of matching bowls, plates, and spoons for everyone!
I was going to put the appetizers in our normal everyday bowls, but I remembered
in the middle of the night that we have 3 red snowflake bowls thanks to a Christmas gift from my brother and sister-in-law years ago. My new mother-in-law gave us the napkins. If you ask me, you can’t go wrong with red and white during the holidays. I am definitely a snowflake kind of girl.
Two of the ladies brought their babies, and they both did so well. Actually, they were both dressed in adorable adorable jammies. Mariah Carey and other artists were playing on Pandora in the background, the babies were fed and happy, and the adults were hungry!
Lunch is served…
White Chicken Chili
by Tosca Reno (The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook)
Prep Time: 13 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
3 med Pablano chiles, stemmed, seeded and chopped
2 med Jalapeno chili peppers, seeded and deveined, chopped
2 Vidalia onions, peeled and chopped
2 ribs celery, trimmed and chopped
1 large leek, white only, well rinsed and chopped
6 cloves garlic, passed through a garlic press
2 Tbsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp crumbled dried oregano
2 Tbsp crumbled dried basil
1 tsp fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 cups water or low-sodium chicken stock
2 x 15 can oz navy beans, cannellini beans or other small white bean or combination, drained and rinsed
3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed (about 3 double breasts)
Juice from 2 fresh limes
Juice from 2 fresh lemons
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
4 green onions, trimmed and chopped for garnish
Note: I added one Poblano and Jalapeno chili. I was nervous that the soup would be too hot, but the lemon and lime juice helped to cut the hotness (I did not know this until I did some research yesterday). Next time, I will follow the recipe exactly.
1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, place all chiles, onions, celery, leeks, garlic cloves, cumin, oregano, basil, rosemary, olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. Cook over medium heat until onions become translucent – about 10 minutes.
2. Add 8 cups cooking liquid, beans and cubed chicken and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and let mixture simmer for 40 minutes. Add lime and lemon juices, cilantro and green onions. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
Optional: Serve over brown rice with a dollop of plain greek yogurt.
After lunch, the ladies could not wait to try Sarah’s apple cake. It was beautiful! Right out of a magazine. Watch out Martha Stewart!
Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Mint Espresso Beans had to make an appearance. Not to be redundant, but I love to share all things mint and dark chocolate.
And then there were two…
As it turns out, Sarah and I are both going to our husband’s holiday office party this weekend. Sarah wanted to find some fun earrings to go with her dress, so I suggested she go to Festivity since I just bought some earrings from there for Tyler’s holiday party. In the same breath, I commented on how badly I needed a manicure. The dry air is killing my cuticles. It was not hard to twist Sarah’s arm because she also wanted to get a manicure for the party.
It was settled…so off we went on our merry way. As we were walking down Highland Avenue, a complete stranger commented on how nice it was to see us smiling . We were smiling because of weather. The sun was shining, and we were not wearing our big North Face jackets. We are used to piles of snow and wind so cold you can’t feel your face.
We went to Highland Nails Inc. to get our nails done. They always do a nice job for a nice price ($10). Sarah chose red and I chose gold. Our outfits are complete.
Time to shut down the computer. I have a few errands to run before going to Seth’s class at Peachtree Yoga. Even though I am a yoga instructor, I will never stop being a yoga student.
What does “TGIF” mean to you?
Do you prefer white or red chili?