Structure binds anxiety.

Sage words from my past life as a corporate trainer.

 

list

Your Grocery List

I love a spreadsheet for this sort of planning. I actually have two. One is the daily to do items. On it the left most column is the menu, the days between today and Thursday across the top. In each cell is the buy/make/prep note that gets the whole shebang done at the right time.

I have a second list/spreadsheet for groceries. It’s so easy to forget if you need 4 eggs for one thing and 8 egg whites for another, you won’t have 6 whole eggs left for the strata on Friday. Placing the menu on the left column, it’s easy to scan and take a quick inventory of all that you need so you don’t over-buy in a grocery shopping daze (8 lbs of butter “just to be safe” will take up precious space in your freezer, trust me on that one).

Your To Do List

Remember yesterday’s advice about delegating? This will help you clarify all the things you want, in a perfect world with 36 hours a day, to be done before next Thursday. And, it will help you let go of all the things that you really can let go of. For example, my late night craft project might suggest a need for a glue gun. This is beyond ridiculous. Off the list! It’s a great feeling to vanquish the demons that threaten to undermine you.

Don’t forget to add actual notes to remind yourself to work out. Take a walk is a nice thought, but it’s much more likely to happen if it is on the plan, in the calendar, staring at you from the list.

Your 2015 List

Why start now? Because you’ll forget on Friday all the little things that worked or didn’t, the mental notes you made to do X the day before, to add more herbs to this, less clove to that, which new dish was raving success or one to never try again. Hat tip to Cheryl Sternman Rule for the excellent advice on this one.

Create a list NOW (yes now) to post on the fridge or somewhere handy, to keep a running tally of reminders for next year. You will thank me later.

Some of my items from last year’s list:

  • Calibrate Thermapen.
  • Alsace Cremant goes well with appetizers, priced well, bright crisp flavors great with tiny rich bites (like the turkey liver marsala mousse) and oysters. (Apparently I made a turkey liver marsala mousse last year, must’ve been a last minute improv because I have no recollection nor recipe!)
  • Shaved fennel, green apple, celery salad better to serve in small dishes than big bowl.

At the bottom of the list:
Place a reminder in calendar for October 1 (or April or May 1 if you’re pitching stories for Thanksgiving) to have the reminder on the calendar gives you a fighting chance at avoiding last minute panic next year. 

 

Next up:

  • Pie tips and recipes.
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Good friends Denise and Lenny AKA ChezUs.com have compiled a gorgeous round up of dishes from across the country. They’ve culled the blogs and compiled a mammoth list of terrific links to recipes for every component of your Givingthanks meal. If you’re looking for a little inspiration grab a mug of tea and click away!

 

black pepper fennel seed biscuits

 

Black pepper – fennel seed biscuits. These are dairyfree, “buttermilk” biscuits.

Pro tip: Biscuits are an easy thing to make ahead and freeze.

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Thanksgiving 2014 – This Year’s Theme: Relax. Recipes, Tips, Ideas to Help you Enjoy GivingThanks

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Fennel is one of my favorite spices. While actually the fruit of the fennel plant (Foeniculum vulgare ) we typically refer to these tiny ridged and fragrant fruits, as seeds. The word “fennel” derives from the Roman for “fragrant hay” and has a lovely scent. I adore the fennel bulb, shaved thin in salads, roasted […]

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Just in time for Halloween – Chocolate Sundrops

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I was thrilled to add PASCHA Chocolates to my roster of clients and delighted to work with them. I learned about their fine chocolates at the Food Allergy Research and Education conference where I was a speaker last June in Chicago. I enjoyed meeting Courtenay Vuchnich and her chocolates so much, I had to tell […]

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Soft-boiled Egg – Instructographic

September 24, 2014
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Crafty Bastards and Oyster Lore at Harpoon Brewery

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Many people do not know just how intertwined the history of oysters and beer are with this country’s early days. It’s fascinating how our beloved beer and bivalves played such prominent roles in Colonial taverns, diets, commerce. 70 lucky guests got the inside scoop on Tuesday – or should I say inside shuck? Those who scored […]

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An Evening of Beer, History, and a Boatload of Oysters

September 9, 2014

  Well I’m on my way shortly here to a terrific event at Harpoon Brewery. Imagine a giant Venn Diagram with Oysters, Beer, History, Culinary Geekdom all intersecting. THAT is where we’ll be tonight!   An Evening of Beer, History, and a Boatload of Oysters… Tickets, Boston – Eventbrite.

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Anything is Possible – Oysters and Out of the Shell Pairings at Urban Grape

September 9, 2014

Kicking off the news season of pop-ups at The Urban Grape, The Oyster Century Club co-hosted an evening of inventive pairings with five oystsers expertly shucked by The Boston Raw Bar Company. Shucking and Slurping TJ Douglas knocked it out of the park with the pairings: Wellfleets (Crassostrea Virginicas) welcomed our guests paired with a sparkling Gruner Veltliner. Urban […]

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