I nearly called this post “Big OH Weekend”, indicating that I spent a weekend full of Ohio fun. Then I thought that seemed dirty, and quite frankly, misleading. So, I renamed. Carry on…
Friday was happy hour at a relatively new place, Cray Eatery & Drinkery. In the interest of full disclosure, that was the second time I was there last week. Fair to say I was a fan. They make these infused whiskeys and vodkas. They are delicious, and dangerous. The vanilla bean whiskey is quickly becoming my favorite beverage in town. I was home relatively early and after three pretty exhausting weeks, I crashed early and didn’t wake up until about 10:30am the next morning.
Saturday afternoon I went on a tour of the Ohio State House and Court House. One of my new favorite friends in Columbus is a volunteer tour guide there and I wanted to take the opportunity to visit her AND get a Columbus history lesson. I learned a lot about the building and how Columbus was founded. It was a well spent hour. Our capitol building is fine, but our court house is really gorgeous. Some of the most beautiful lighting fixtures, and back in the day it was the first fully electric building in Ohio. People came from hundreds of miles to see the lightbulb in action.
From the outside, the capitol building doesn’t have a Rotunda, exactly. It has a cylinder. From the inside, though, there is a rotunda. And it’s pretty.
One of the great light fixtures from the building.
My favorite light fixture. The hall these were in was magnificent and these light posts were perfect.
I ran a few errands after that, including a visit to a couple consignment stores looking for some holiday decorations. I didn’t find anything. I took some colleagues up on an offer to join them at a sports bar for the OSU game. It was a rowdy group and a great game. OSU wins! Go Bucks!
Sunday I headed up to a local state park to go for a hike/walk. I participated in a trail run at High Banks park last fall and it was the first place that popped into my head when I decided I needed a good long walk. I want to be serious about this mindfulness business and I find myself better suited to clear my head outside than inside. I didn’t bring my ipod, no music – just a walk out in the fresh air.
I took the Overlook Trail (light purple) and added the Wetland Spur for another .8 mile (dark purple). It was a great morning, nice walk, and great for being present and in the moment. Next time I’ll do Dripping Rock Trail.
I took the road less traveled by…
I went from the hike to the grocery store. I’m hosting my consultant friends for a Thanksgiving dinner party this Tuesday. I spent this morning building the menu and making the monster grocery list that goes along with that. On my trip to Des Moines, IA last week I bought three food magazines and wanted to try all new to me Thanksgiving recipes. I warned the team they were a guinea pig group. They have no problem with this. I wanted to do as much prep as possible tonight and tomorrow night so I can make Thanksgiving happen after work. I took a few shortcuts, but not that many. Here’s the menu:
Herb Roasted Turkey Breasts courtesy of Rachel Ray
This is one of the shortcuts I’ll be taking – not doing a full turkey, but doing boneless (but skin on) turkey breasts. They’ll cook faster. I bought a few turkey legs to roast as well. I’ll prep them tomorrow night and have them ready to pop in the oven.
Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes with Kale Pesto courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens magazine
I made these tonight. I didn’t combine them yet. The potatoes are out of this world. I don’t usually peel my potatoes for mashed potatoes. But since I was trying new to me recipes, I followed instructions. I had a test bite (or four). These potatoes are amazing. They’re chilling in the fridge and I’ll just warm them up. I did halve this recipe.
Cornbread Stuffing with Sausage, Cherries and Chestnuts courtesy of Rachel Ray Magazine
Stepping way outside my comfort zone with this recipe. I don’t typically use cornbread in my stuffing. Or sausage, for that matter. In my life I’ve never had a chestnut. I made this tonight and it’s all ready, just needs to be baked. My test bites lead me to believe it is also going to be awesome. My shortcut was buying ready made cornbread stuffing mix. I did not have it in me to bake cornbread, cut it up, dry it out, toast it up… Just no. I mean, I like this group and all, but no.
Stirring in the dried cherries and lots of fresh herbs.
Brown Butter Haricots Vert courtesy of Food Network Magazine
I will do anything to avoid the dreaded green bean casserole at Thanksgiving. I’ll trim these up tomorrow, but do most of the work for these Tuesday.
Pear-Gingersnap Cheesecake courtesy of Food Network Magazine
I’m breaking the pumpkin mold! There are so many delicious pumpkin recipes, and I was tempted to do a pumpkin cheesecake, but I’ve done one of those before. Another ingredient I’ve never bought before is molasses. Aaaaaand… I’m not sure I’d ever need to again. Molasses has a very distinct taste, and I don’t know that I love it. I mean, I think this cheesecake is going to be fine, but I have supplemental dessert planned as well – a S’mores bar. I’ll post more about that Tuesday night. Spoiler Alert… it does mean crossing something off The List!
Bosc pears are so pretty.
Pre-baked cheesecake. My pear placement wasn’t perfect. A few fell off my fork before I was ready for them to be placed.
Post baked. I’ll drizzle on a bit more of the molasses syrup right before serving. Then it will look more like the picture. I like when my food looks like the picture.
My reward for knocking out all that prep work tonight was lighting another fire! Mmmm, Sunday night fires are totally going to become a thing. I should look into chopping down the mostly dead tree in my backyard so I get my own firewood supply. Continuing to buy it is going to get pricey. I’m not the only fan of the fire:
Quinn looks forward to them more than me.
It was wonderful to spend a weekend here. I have a less busy week coming up and I’m happy about that too. The temperature is supposed to drop, so I see more fires in my future! Mmm, so quickly becoming the best part of my house.