Happy 2012!

Happy New Year! I hope your year is the best one yet!

I brought in 2012 old person style: I was at home before 7:45 pm, watching movies and TV (Horrible Bosses – so funny!), and I fell asleep before the ball dropped. I woke back up to see it, but then promptly fell back asleep.  I’m such a party animal. 😉
How did you celebrate?

For New Year’s Eve dinner, we went to a restaurant downtown Grand Rapids called Mangiamo’s.  I’ve been there twice before (once with Sarah and once with Dan), and have wanted my family to go for ages. It’s in an old Victorian house, and in the summer you can sit outside on their huge lawn.  Since it was cold, we obviously sat inside, but the decor is still gorgeous!

(I took this picture two summers ago.)

For a drink, I had a Blood Orange Spritzer, which was blood orange juice, lime juice, and some carbonated drink – maybe Sprite? It was this really pretty pink color, but because of the lighting you can’t really tell.  Yum!

There was bread, of course:
And for dinner I had the Brown Sugar Glazed Pork Loin, which came with Bitter Greens, Pumpkin Coulis, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and a Traverse Pear-Cherry Chutney. It was very delicious, but the pork was kind of rubbery.
 For dessert I had a skinny chocolate frappuccino from Starbucks 🙂

We didn’t do much for New Year’s Day, either.  I cooked Pork Tenderloin with potatoes, broccoli, and black-eyed peas (for good luck).  Contrary to my goal of taking a picture of everything I make this year, I totally forgot to take a picture of that dinner.

Yesterday I made Quinoa Balls, taken from a recipe I found on a blog (I forgot which one, though).  Since I had to make some substitutions for the nuts, it wasn’t exactly the same recipe.  They were just ok.  I’ll still add the recipe, though, just in case one of you is curious enough to try them! They’re great if you’re looking for something to pop in your mouth, and they’re surprisingly filling!

Chocolate Cherry Quinoa Balls
makes 12 balls
(E, N)

– 1/3 cup quinoa
– 3/4 cup water
– 3 tbsp. dried cherries
– 1/8 cup pretzels (here the recipe called for almonds)
– 2 tbsp. dark chocolate chips
– 1 tbsp. honey (the recipe called for maple syrup)
– 1 tbsp. sunflower seed butter (the recipe called for almond butter)


  1. Preheat oven to 375*F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Rinse quinoa. Put in a saucepan with the water, and bring up to a boil.  Lower the heat to a simmer, and cook until water is completely absorbed (about 15 minutes).  Once cooked, put on a plate and place the plate in the fridge to cool quinoa down quickly.
  3. Put cherries and pretzels in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.  Put in a small bowl.
  4. Add chocolate chips, honey, and sunflower butter to the cherry and pretzel mixture.  Add cooled quinoa.
  5. Shape into ping-pong sized balls, and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Store in an airtight container.

– This recipe could easily be dairy free if you used that type of chocolate chips!
– My batch burned slightly on the top – watch them carefully toward the end of their baking!
– I used mini chocolate chips for more even distribution, but regular would work great as well 🙂


New Year’s Resolutions:

Eat less, work out more.
Try Meat Free Mondays.
(That being said) Appreciate my body as it is.
Try not to take things for granted.
Live in the present, not the past or future.
Become better at updating my blog 🙂

What are your resolutions?

Have a great night!


  1. All of this food looks so delicious and that home looks gorgeous! I bet it is a lot of fun to eat there!

    1. It really is! And, as a bonus, the staff are really nice and the food is decently priced! 🙂

  2. […] of my 2012 New Year’s Resolutions was to try and make all Mondays “Meat Free Mondays“. (<– Click for a link to […]

  3. […] restaurants around where we live is Mangiamo’s. It has been featured before on this blog (we went there for New Year’s this past year!), and I love the atmosphere and bread food so much, I decided to go there for my birthday […]

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