If you are anything like me, you’ve been bustin’ a move to Mariah’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” for the past 96 hours. Or maybe you are more of a 98-degree “This Gift” fan? No? SOMEONE TELL ME I’M NOT ALONE! The truth is, the Mister has a VERY firm “do-not-under-any-circumstances-play-xmas-music-before-thanksgiving” mandate. Sure, I’ve broken it a few times (girl’s gotta sleep!), but I try and adhere to it for the most part — being that he has to put up with me acting like an elf who’s had too much eggnog for approximately 30 days out of the year…
Anyway, while he’s a huge trooper (MOST of the time), sometimes he still needs a break from my Christmas cheer.
That’s where Doug Maverick comes in.
My current music obsession (and very close friend — what can I say, I have friends in high places ), Doug’s music will rock your socks off. And I swear I’m not just saying that because he’s my friend.
Doug, like me and most awesome people I know, was born and raised in Cleveland. He started with piano lessons at the age of four and I think it was then that his parents determined they were in for quite a ride. Doug played in a few pop/punk type bands in high school but not too much came from it, so he went to school on a full-ride scholarship (yea, he’s also pretty much a genius) but quickly realized college wasn’t for him. So he said goodbye to the schoolbooks and toured with a small band called Spenser around the east coast. They had a pretty great following (mostly composed of fangirls who probably tattooed the bands’ name on their boobs) and some label interest, but eventually the band split. So Doug moved to Los Angeles to make it big-time. But he must not have specified what area he really wanted to go “big-time” in because he actually became a professional poker player at an LA casino (where he also adopted the name, “Maverick,” which is where “Doug Maverick” comes from! See? You’re learning). While he made a bunch of money, he still didn’t have what he came for. So he returned to the Cleve to invest in his musical career. He then recorded the album “Who Is Doug Maverick?” in the basement by himself. And if this doesn’t impress you, than you obviously haven’t listened to the music yet.
That’s where I come in.
Because I care about you all and refuse to let you fall victim to Beiber Fever, I am here to add something new to your iPods.
Listen to Doug’s music–between your rotation of Mariah and 98 Degrees, of course.
Leave a comment listing the song you like most and you might be one of three lucky readers to receive the full CD.
Want extra entries? Easy!
Simply follow Doug on twitter or friend him on facebook — just let me know you did so by leaving a separate comment.
P.S. Did I mention he’s single?
Just because I didn’t blog during the Thanksgiving weekend doesn’t mean I wasn’t thinkin’ about you all…
as I stuffed my face
Around the plate (clockwise) – sweet potatoes, the best stuffing in the world (recipe to come – it features CORNBREAD!), cranberry relish (from of Williams Sonoma and worth EVERY PENNY), turkey and corn.
Also consumed: lots of bread and butter. and more butter
And I obviously had more than one serving of sweet potatoes and stuffing — I mean, I am eating for two and what the Little asks for, the Little gets (lest I want to be ferociously kicked all day)
The most delicious thing I ate this Thanksgiving was….
my Mama’s sweet bread, mashed sweet potatoes, cornbread/apple/sausage stuffing and of course, Maple Walnut Cake
What was the most delicious thing you ate this Thanksgiving?
Good morning! How was everyone’s Holiday? You may have noticed that I didn’t post much– well, at all. But That was by choice, as I was living my life to the fullest with the Mister, family and friends — just soaking up all the good cheer and blessings in my life. I know that sounds incredibly corny, but UNPLUGGING was the best part of my weekend — it is so important to focus on what makes the holidays special — family, friends, loved ones, laughter, good times — NOT being glued to the computer or smartphone. I hope you all were able to get some time away
But now that we’re back (after all, it is cyber Monday!), I thought I’d share one of the desserts I made this Thanksgiving. This was a huge hit and I’ll definitely be making it again this holiday season. It would make a great addition to your Christmas brunch or dinner spread of desserts. If nothing else, whip it up and keep it in the kitchen for guests to enjoy with coffee or tea. It will certainly help with your superstar status. And it’s so, so easy
Did I mention it’s incredibly healthy? With fresh pitted dates and NO added sugar (except for a bit of maple syrup, which you can opt to choose sugar free), this cake is jam-packed with whole grain goodness and nutty flavor.
Maple Walnut Date Cake with Luscious Glaze
For the cake:
- 1 cup chopped pitted dates — this means it should make a cup WHEN CHOPPED (if it read “1 cup dates, chopped,” you measure the dates whole and THEN chop — see the diff?)
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts (to toast, simply place into a dry skillet on medium heat, stirring constantly for about 2-4 minutes until fragrant)
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup maple syrup (I use sugar free)
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the glaze:
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup gently packed confectioners’ sugar
- 1-2 teaspoons water, if needed (you be the judge based on how thick/thin you want the glaze)
First, preheat oven to 325°F. Then prepare your 10-inch springform pan by coating with cooking spray.
Now place dates in a small bowl. Pour boiling water over them to soak. Let cool to room temperature. Set aside.
Put whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, 2/3 cup walnuts, baking soda and salt in a food processor (or blender) until the walnuts are completely ground. Transfer to a medium bowl, making a well in the center.
Now puree the dates and soaking water in the food processor or blender until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add egg, 3/4 cup syrup, oil, butter, 2 teaspoons vinegar and vanilla and blend/process until smooth. With a spatula, scrape the date mixture into the well in the dry ingredients and stir together until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan.
Bake the cake until a toothpick comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool completely before removing from the pan. Then run a knife around the edges to loosen the cake and remove the sides of the pan.
Now you are ready to glaze – BEST PART! Carefully lift the cake from the pan bottom and place on a cake stand or serving plate and set aside. Meanwhile, whisk maple syrup, vinegar and confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl. Add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, if necessary to make a spreadable consistency. (Licking fingers is encouraged). Spread the glaze evenly over the top of the cake, then decorate with remaining 1/3 cup walnuts.
Since it’s so healthy, make sure you allow yourself seconds
Did you make any desserts this Thanksgiving? Which ones turned out the best?