Happy 2012!  I hope you had a fun (and most importantly – safe!) New Year’s Eve.  We had a really good time, although this year was much more low-key than previous celebrations.  It was all about three things:  food, friends, and family.


First, we stopped by our friends Kelly and Brad’s house for a party.  There was an incredible spread of food!  Kelly is a very good hostess.  We hung out for a bit and chatted with our friends.


Then, we headed home to host a small potluck dinner party with Nicole and Isaac and our other friends, Heather and Sean. 


Everyone drank lots of delicious wine, but Heather and I stuck to a non-alcoholic concoction.


Sparkling apple cider + frozen raspberries:


Oh yeah.  Livin’ it up!


Dinner was excellent.  Potlucks can be awkward if everyone brings the same type of dish, but miraculously, our dishes coordinated quite nicely.


Twice baked goat cheese potatoes, a salad, roasted Brussel sprouts, and a cheesy quinoa and tofu dish.  There was also challah bread and homemade black bean soup.  I went back for seconds of everyyyything.  So delicious.


I have to say – my Twice Baked Goat Cheese Potatoes were a hit!  I made up this recipe on the fly yesterday (perhaps I was feeling inspired by the Stuffed {Potato Skin} Shells).  The recipe was really easy and so comforting.


Twice Baked Goat Cheese Potatoes


Ingredients (serves 6 – 8)


  • 10 small to medium Russet potatoes
  • 1 8-ounce package of herb and garlic goat cheese (if only regular is available, add 1 tablespoon garlic and 2 tablespoons dried Italian herb blend to the recipe).
  • 2 cups loosely packed raw spinach
  • 6 carrots
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt, plus more for sprinkling




  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees (alternatively, you can microwave the potatoes; do 3 – 4 potatoes at a time, individually wrapped in a wet paper towel, for 6 – 9 minutes)
  • Rinse potatoes, stab with a fork, and rub with olive oil. 
  • Bake potatoes for 1 hour 10 minutes or until soft.
  • Remove from oven and slice lengthwise.  Allow 5 minutes to cool off a bit.
  • Carefully remove the insides of the potatoes using a small spoon.  Set potato insides in bowl; lay out skins on a greased casserole dish (or two).
  • In a food processor, combine the carrots and spinach until blended.  Remove half and set aside.
  • Add goat cheese to remaining carrots and spinach and blend.  Add half of potato mixture and blend.  Add last half of potato mixture and blend some more.  Add in salt.  Add leftover spinach and carrots and blend yet again.  It will take a while to get everything smooth and creamy. 
  • Carefully scoop back cheese and potato mixture into potato skins.  Sprinkle tops with a generous amount of salt.
  • Bake stuffed potato skins for an additional 20 minutes at 350 degrees. 
  • Serve and enjoy!


You could easily reduce this recipe to serve less people, too.


So – after we ate, our friends left for a party, and the Husband and I sat on the couch by ourselves and watched the ball drop.  It was private and wonderful; a moment for us to just be alone and reflect on the past year and the upcoming year.  We stayed up for another 30 minutes or so and then went to bed.  Not a bad way to ring in 2012, I think!


First breakfast of the New Year!


Just a simple mix of raw oats, Greek yogurt, and a banana.


Well, my friends, I’m going to back to bed.  Wahoo!  Nothing sounds better right now.


New Year’s Thought of the Day:


“Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident, and more and more successful.” – Mark Victor Hansen



  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey January 1, 2012, 10:00 am

    Happy New Year Caitlin! I hope 2012 brings you nothing but good things!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat January 1, 2012, 10:00 am

    That is such a great quote!! Sounds like you had a great night with your friends, and with plenty of delicious food too. Happy 2012 Caitlin!! 🙂

  • Angie January 1, 2012, 10:04 am

    I love the combination of raw oats, banana, and yogurt. Love it.
    I’ve heard, however, that oats can be much better for your digestion if they are soaked the night before, so I might have to give that a try (I have a sensitive stomach and its not as iron-clad as it once was).

    • CaitlinHTP January 1, 2012, 2:36 pm

      Yes! I’ve heard that’s tasty too. Or you can mix it with the yogurt overnight.

  • katie @ KatieDid January 1, 2012, 10:19 am

    Sounds like you wound up getting a little bit of both worlds- going out and seeing friends but also staying in and relaxing. Pretty ideal!
    Awesome recipe, I also made a good goat cheese based app. for my party last night that was a big hit. Everyone loves the goat cheese!

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats January 1, 2012, 10:25 am

    Sounds like a good evening to me! 2012 is going to be a great year, especially for you with baby HTP coming!!!

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen January 1, 2012, 10:25 am

    I love how you turned twice baked/stuffed potatoes into a healthy side with the spinach and carrots. Looks delicious! Happy New Year! 🙂

  • Rebecca @ Naturally Healthy and Gorgeous January 1, 2012, 10:37 am

    Anything with goat cheese sounds good to me!

  • Katie January 1, 2012, 11:17 am

    That cider and raspberry drink sounds delicious!

  • Kate January 1, 2012, 11:48 am

    What a spread! That’s a good non-alcoholic drink combination. I was the DD last night, so I stuck to apple cider, but I would have liked a drink like that.

    • CaitlinHTP January 1, 2012, 2:37 pm

      Thanks for being a DD 🙂

  • Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon January 1, 2012, 12:16 pm

    Looks tasty! I’ve done goat cheese and spinach with sweet potatoes before but never with regular potatoes! I love the idea of using the more plain potatoes and amping up the flavor with the herbed goat cheese!!

  • Sana January 1, 2012, 12:23 pm

    Happy New Year 🙂 I spent mine with my family and facetimed the boy at midnight!

  • Kim @ Spoonful of Sass January 1, 2012, 12:31 pm

    Low key new years eve celebrations are underrated. Time with family and friends is time well spent.

    We played games and made our own pizzas and it was perfect.

  • Lauren January 1, 2012, 12:57 pm

    We had a calm, happy ring-in too, and it was wonderful. And on your recipe, your (serves 6-8) turned into a guy wearing sunglasses, which is adorable. Made my morning 8)

  • CJ @ http://healthy-happy-whole.com/ January 1, 2012, 1:03 pm

    i was in bed by 10:30 and enjoyed a zumbathon with my girl friends since my husband worked. it was actually one of the nicest new years I have had in a while!
    your new years next year is going to be quite different with a little one in the house!!! I am so excited to follow along to see what the next year brings for you.
    Cheers 🙂

  • Angela @ Happy Fit Mama January 1, 2012, 1:12 pm

    We were in bed by 10 pm this year. I know…par-tah! It’s hard to stay up past 10 when you have 2 toddlers. It was a good night, though. My favorite 3 people were with me and that’s all that matters.

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin January 1, 2012, 1:23 pm

    That sounds like a great New Years! That must have been so nice to end it on a more low key note.

    Hope 2012 is off to a great start for you!

  • Deva @ Deva by Definition January 1, 2012, 1:52 pm

    That sounds like a fun New Year’s Eve! We went out last night – downtown to watch some fireworks. It was a blast! Last time we had a potluck for NYE was two years ago and it was okay.

  • Shannon January 1, 2012, 1:55 pm

    I cannot wait to try those twice baked goat cheese potatoes!!!!!! That recipe looks like a winner!

  • Khushboo January 1, 2012, 2:09 pm

    Woo I have all those ingredients at home- love cheesy potatoes!

  • Amber K January 1, 2012, 2:55 pm

    You always find the best quotes. Today’s is definitely a winner. Happy New Year’s!

  • Lindsay @ biking before bed January 1, 2012, 3:35 pm

    Your stuffed potatoes look absolutely delicious. Thanks for sharing that quote. It was just what I needed to hear right now. Have a wonderful new year!

  • Heather January 1, 2012, 3:37 pm

    What a great program! I hope the android version comes soon 🙂

  • Jolene (Homespun Heritage) January 1, 2012, 5:57 pm

    ~Breakfast looks so yummy~

    We love appetizers so much at our house we regularly do it for lunch….I homeschool my brood of 4 and a quick healthy lunch is nice! That first picture has so many yummy looking things to eat!

    Now I’m craving hummus! I think that’s on the menu for lunch tomorrow!

  • Army Amy* January 1, 2012, 6:21 pm

    Sounds like a great NYE! Happy 2012!*

  • Sarah January 1, 2012, 6:24 pm

    I love twice baked potatoes! What a great NYE!

  • Lexi @ A Spoonful of Sunshine January 1, 2012, 9:40 pm

    Happy New Year, Caitlin!

    What a great way to start off the new year 🙂

  • Allison January 2, 2012, 7:38 am

    Twice baked potatoes are delic and so is goat cheese- the combo sounds fabulous!

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