Friday, September 04, 2009

Eat, Breathe, Bead, Repeat

What a fun day! It started off with a breakfast smoothie.

- container 0% Fage
- 5 whole strawberries
- 1/2 of a frozen banana
- handful raw oats
- tablespoon ground flax
- ice
- splash of 1% milk

I had a busy day today working and squeezing in an afternoon run (5k in 29 minutes in the blazing afternoon heat and humidity) before my friends arrived for an evening of eating, breathing and beading!

I ran a few errands around 4pm and picked up an unphotographed iced latte to perk me up. I also ate a bread sample at Panera while picking up some baguettes.

The party started swinging around 7pm with this fantastic bottle of wine! Since breathing was a theme tonight, it was only appropriate that this bottle needed an hour to breathe for optimum drinkability.

And I'm saving these bottles for my next get together. Thanks ladies!

Here's the spread.

Cheese! From left to right -- Beecher's Flagship (straight from Pike Place Market), Brie, and Parrano. They were all divine.

Fruit and veggies with dip!

Bread! I picked up fresh baked whole grain and french baguettes from Panera. Chewy and delicious.

Now don't be scared by how awful this looks. I forgot to take a photo when it was fresh and bubbly straight out of the oven. It's cold and crusty here, but let me tell you, this was awesome artichoke dip. I love baked artichoke dip but don't like the sky high fat content or calorie count. I searched for a healthy alternative and found this fantastic recipe. The only modification I made was reserving one can of the artichoke hearts from the puree. I roughly chopped one can and stirred it back into the puree. I like a chunkier dip.

After we ate we all did a breathing exercise together (the ego eradicator with fire breath!) and then beaded some bracelets. I should have taken photos of everybody's creations. They were gorgeous!

Once the bracelets were complete Christina guided us through a few more breathing exercises, which helped us work up an appetite for dessert. Peanut Butter Blondies! Pie! I got the blondie recipe years ago from a co-worker. Warning: these are NOT guilt free!

Peanut Butter Blondies

1 package yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, melted
2 eggs
1 cup chunky peanut butter
1 bag peanut butter chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Combine the cake mix, melted butter, eggs and peanut butter. Press
1/2 of the mixture into a lightly greased 9X13 pan. Bake at 350 for 10
minutes & remove from oven. Sprinkle the entire bag of peanut butter
chips on top and then drizzle the can of sweetened condensed milk
evenly over the pan. Cover with the remaining half of the cake
mixture. I take small pinches of the dough and flatten it in my hand
and lay them down like a patchwork quilt, but you don't have to do it
that way -- you can crumble it. Bake at 350 for another 25 to 30
minutes or until golden brown.

And PIE! I'm not ashamed to admit that I helped myself to dessert #2 once I was all alone with my pie.

Not much in this world can top an apple pie crust with ooey gooey apple pie filling clinging to the edges. My husband will be in pie HEAVEN tomorrow. Thanks Eileen!

Jenni was so sweet and brought my bunny Tango a treat. I forgot to give him one while she was here so I spoiled him with a midnight snack.

Here he is snatching the stick out of my hand.

Munch, munch, munch...

Whenever there's food involved you know that Bella's not far behind. Here she is trying to figure out how to steal Tango's treat.

Her plan was foiled by a quick munching bunny -- the stick was gone in a flash!

All of the socializing tuckered her out and she very quickly fell asleep on the couch. It's hard work being the hostess with the fastest tongue in the west.

Now it's past my bedtime. Good night!


fato said...

Wow Julie: I really missed out on a wonderful evening. Everything looked great!!! How cute are your bunny and kitty. Let me know if anyone is getting together this long Labor Day weekend, but of course I'm working on Monday holiday. "Everyday's a holiday and every meal a banquet."