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Instead of hosting a meal this year, we were instead treated to five different Thanksgiving celebrations, each one full of excellent company and food! 

Somehow we’re still feeling a bit of the post-holiday fatigue… :)

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We had a bout of pre-holiday entertaining that didn’t make it onto the blog, thanks to an unplanned cholecystectomy. Writing about a Halloween party post-Thanksgiving seems somewhat sacrilegious, so I’ll leave that one to your imagination (though I will say it was pretty surreal to have a conversation with Bruce Springsteen, Willy Wonka, the Tin Man, and the Travelocity gnome simultaneously.)
I did want to mark the occasion of my first batch of cupcakes, however. Does this make me crafty? (If so, it can join this adventure with mod podge as one of the few times I’ve managed to be somewhat crafty in my adult life.) 

I used several recipes from Annie’s Eats for the baby shower I co-hosted in honor of my sister-in-law and new niece-to-be, including this cupcake recipe. While I’m not a huge cupcake fan myself, I loved this recipe! The cake was perfectly chocolate-y without being too sweet or oily, and the whipped cream frosting was light and delicious. (I left out the Oreos in the frosting and added a candy topping instead.)  I also loved this honey yogurt dip recipe – delicious, easy, and made with all-natural ingredients.
Now that the holidays are here and my health has returned, we’re back in the entertaining spirit and looking forward to the upcoming good times with friends and family!
~Sonja

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When we decided to drastically alter our diets to align with our convictions, we started using the word “vegetarian” to convey the scarcity of meat in our diet. So just how does roast chicken count as dinner?
It’s actually made entirely of tofu.

OK, it’s not.
The vegetarian label is more a matter of social convenience. I mean, it’s much easier to say “vegetarian” than to explain that we:

-don’t eat meat on a regular basis
…because of the reduced environmental footprint of eating plants and the health benefits of eating a larger percentage of plant matter
-don’t eat factory-farmed (CAFO) meat
because of the devaluation of the animals, harm to the environment, and compromised nutrition of the product
We also try to:
-eat local foods
to support small business and reduce the environmental impact of transportation
-avoid processed foods
…to gain the nutritional benefits of a natural diet
Phew. Are you still reading?
All that was to say that since this chicken lived a happy, healthy life under the care of Alex’s mother, consumed minimal environmental resources, was slaughtered ethically by a small-town butcher, and was consumed to mark the occasion of the Colts eminent demise of the Patriots, he was kosher.
Does that count as vegetarian? :)
(Wikipedia says we are actually “flexitarian” -- maybe we’ll try that term if it ever becomes part of the common lexicon…)
~Sonja
Ethical eating is a hot topic these days, and there is a wealth of source information on the subject. If you’re interested, we’ve been inspired by the following:
Documentaries
Food, Inc.
King Corn
Books
Food Matters (Mark Bittman)
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (Barbara Kingsolver)

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There’s nothing like an emergency surgery to teach you about the intricacies of the human anatomy. Unfortunately I now happen to be an expert on the gallbladder.
I’m back in action after an unexpected week in the hospital. What was supposed to be a date to a Swell Season concert ended up in a trip to the emergency room. Little did I know that the pain attacks I had been experiencing for the past couple months were due to my gallbladder making gallstones.
Sadly, the gallbladder and I had to part ways. Which is okay, because apparently he is non-essential anyway.
According to my surgeon, the gallbladder concentrates the bile that comes from the liver and then releases it into the stomach to help digest fat. However, when it is removed (see above), the liver just sends a comparable amount of bile anyway.
So, no need for a replacement – I’m good to go! While I’ll miss him, he was becoming a bit too high maintenance for my taste.
I’m so grateful to everyone at the hospital for their care, as well as friends and family for their support! I’m hoping for at least another six months until I’m forced to refresh my anatomy knowledge again :)
~Sonja

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I feel like the Internet needs one more blog about the greatest regular season football game of all time. I mean, it’s not like our friends, local food blogs, local media, or national economics blogs have already covered it to death.
We were lucky enough to be invited to the game with my Dad and stepmom – so we got to experience the emotional rollercoaster in person. It was awesome. I had so much adrenaline in my system I could barely sleep that night.
The last 5 minutes of the game has to rank near the top of my favorite sports moments: Reggie’s 3-ball over Jordan in the ‘98 playoffs, AJ Moye’s block of Carlos Boozer in the ‘02 tournament, and me beating Ross Schnepp in a ‘95 barnball game.
Watch the highlights here. Relive the magic. GO COLTS!

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My favorite NPR Music feature is Exclusive First Listen. They stream an entire album for a limited amount of time just prior to its release. Right now, you can listen to Norah Jones’ newest CD. Enjoy!
norah main

Photo by Autumn de Wilde stolen from NPR.org