It was a busy weekend working at The Chopping Block.  We are in full season holiday mode, and Saturday was our Taste of Thanksgiving.  We had FOURTEEN dishes for everyone to sample, we had Chef demos going on and complimentary wine tastings.  Sadly, I was on wine sampling and I didn’t actually help cook any of the food, but it smelled amazing by the time I got there because they had already started roasting turkeys and making gravy and stuffing to sample as soon as guests arrived.

First, can I just show you my dream stove?!

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Since The Chopping Block is at the Merchandise Mart, there are dozens of showrooms to look at on my way to work.  I am not a fan of the raised countertop on the island, but I love the backsplash.  And if anyone wants to put that Wolf stove on their Christmas list, it only costs $15,000. Open-mouthed smile

It takes a lot of people to pull off this event.  It all went smoothly though and I know all the guests raved about the food.

PicMonkey Collage - turkey day

Since this was an open house event, everyone could eat as much as they wanted, but no one could take home any leftovers.  So I was thrilled when we got to have a staff Thanksgiving with the leftovers.  That turkey roulade up there was amazing – a spicy herb rub was on the inside.  And I loved the Brussels sprouts too!  But the best side dish I ate was made by Chef Lisa.  Here she’s eating a carb dinner roll #carbsoncarbsoncarbs

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She made a sweet potato and gruyere cheese gratin.  I’ve only recently (like in the last five years) started to like sweet potatoes, but this was a perfect combo of sweet and savory.  I didn’t see the recipe until after I ate it, and no wonder it’s so delicious – lots of heavy cream, roasted garlic and THREE cups of gruyere cheese!  

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When we had our Weight Watcher meeting last week, we started talking about the food on Thanksgiving, writing down the points for the usual things that end up on a typical Thanksgiving table, i.e. mashed potatoes, stuffing, etc.  The leader had a good point that she normally just takes tastes of stuff she will only eat on Thanksgiving.  For her family, she never makes stuffing other than at Thanksgiving, so she’ll skip the mashed potatoes all together.

And that is how this dish could be your yearly indulgence.   Thanks Chef Lisa!

Hannah was out to dinner with a friend on Saturday night, so it was just Jacob and I for dinner.   We will almost always have steak when Hannah is not home.  I did a quick seared steak using the Hardcore Carnivore rub, some sauteed mushrooms, lemon pepper green beans, and 1/2 cup of the sweet potato gratin.

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I counted that portion as six smart points, but it’s probably a lot more than that because of the heavy cream.  Um, just so you know, a cup of heavy cream has 821 calories and 88 grams of fat.  No wonder it was so good!  But I am planning on substituting unsweetened almond milk for the heavy cream, which is only 30 calories a cup and will be a nice nutty compliment to the gruyere cheese.  I’ll also be cutting back on that as well and using some 50% reduced fat Cabot cheese.  Once I redo the recipe, I’ll calculate the smart points for that.

Hannah and Jacob are now working together at the coffee shop.  They opened so on my way to work Sunday, I stopped in to pick up something for breakfast.  I was assisting in a Knife Skills class, which doesn’t produce any food at all, so I wanted something I could eat half for breakfast and half for lunch.  Um, this everything bagel was absolutely delicious – I counted it as 15 smart points because of the bagel, full fat cheese and well, the bacon.

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That worked perfectly and kept me full through the whole day.  When I got to the Merchandise Mart, they already have all the holiday decorations out – look at how big this Christmas tree is!

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My 90 days is almost up at The Chopping Block so my 40% discount will kick in right before Christmas.  It’s funny, I mentioned to someone that I am just about to be there long enough to get the discount, and her reply was “I would have guessed you’d been here almost a year already!”   I know I need another snowman item like I need a hole in my head, but look at how fricken cute these spatulas are?!  Only $8.95 before my discount for two.

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I am really looking forward to this week though.  I am off work both jobs on Thursday and Friday, and will be working Saturday and Sunday at the Lincoln Square location.  I’ve worked every day this month since November 3, although I can’t complain, I had lots of days off this summer when not working the farmers markets, so it’s all good.

Tomorrow I’ll be sharing the recipe for these amazeball dinner rolls!  These are hands down the best homemade dinner rolls I’ve ever had.  Light, buttery, flakey, salty – let’s just not talk about the point count though, shall we?!

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Well, time to get my stuff ready for work.  Winter is definitely upon us – last week we had temps in the low 70s, and yesterday I don’t think we got about 45 degrees for the high.  It was bound to happen sooner or later, but I kind of missed the 50s and 60s weather.  I just checked the weather and right now it is 20 degrees.  Time to bundle up!

Make it a great day!

UPDATE:  My next blog post on The Chopping Block just posted – I’d love to have some comment love over there if you could stop by – hugs and thanks!