Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Bar Snacks & Festive Food

The last week or so has been hectic whirlwind. After we got back from our relaxing mini vaca to Amish Country last weekend, my work week kicked into full gear. So many of our clients were down for a few weeks due to Hurricane Sandy, so now we're in catch-up mode. One of my biggest projects was writing an entire one week. That was fun! :) I knew I'd be working late every night, so meal planning was top priority early in the week to make sure we had yummy but healthy things on hand to make quickly.

Whole wheat pasta w/ veggies and Laughing Cow came in really handy, as it's quick, low-cal, high in fiber and protein - and it doubles as a lunch the next day.

Luckily I have a husband who likes to get crafty in the kitchen, so although I'd made a list of easy meals to throw together after work, one night I came home to some spinach, black bean and soy chicken enchiladas. He cooked them with some green tomato salsa I made over the summer and canned for just such a day.

These were so delicious - the spinach was such a good addition - and he made them with some great new low carb wraps we found at the grocery store. These babies have only 75 calories, but 7 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber.

And now moving onto the fun stuff. Bar snacks and festive food!

Matt had some of his friends from work over for happy hour one night, and put out quite the spread of goodies. I wasn't able to hang out unfortunately (still holed up in my office busily writing website content), but I did snag a few treats to nibble on while I worked. Like homemade jalapeno poppers. Um, yum.

He made these by cutting jalapeno peppers in half, then stuffing them with low fat cream cheese he'd doctored up with garlic powder and chili powder. Then he coated them in panko breadcrumbs and baked them until crispy. They were spicy and crunchy with a nice coolness from the cream cheese. Perfect!


The weekend zipped by with more work to be done, but thankfully this is a short week and I'm off to Vermont this afternoon to spend the long weekend with family. Although last week was exhausting, it felt really good to get so much work off my plate so this week I could head out for the holiday with a clear head, and also enjoy the last few days of work with my coworkers - we had some festivities planned!

Every year my agency does a potluck Thanksgiving lunch the day before we close the office. The company provides the main courses, and we all bring appetizers, side dishes and desserts. People went all out this year, and everything was delicious.

How cute are those little tent cards our office manager made? For my contribution, I brought an appetizer my sister introduced me to one year during a fall wine tasting we had at our house. Brie with pumpkin butter and roasted nuts.

It's so easy to make, but looks like a showstopper - everyone was raving about it. Just take a wedge of brie (leave it out for a while until it comes to room temperature), and put it on a serving dish. Then take a jar of pumpkin butter and microwave it for 1-2 minutes; pour the warm pumpkin butter over the brie, and top with toasted pecans or walnuts. Serve with crostini or crackers, and you've got a 2-minute app to die for. This time I actually used a medley of fruits & nuts I found at the cheese counter instead of plain nuts since it looked so pretty and festive. 

Great end to the work week!

Now I'm off to finish packing up the car and head up to New England for a few days. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

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