Pumpkin Train

Yes. I know it is December, which means that all of the hype over pumpkin-flavored food, desserts, and drinks is now over.

However, I just jumped on the pumpkin train only a few short weeks ago, and I’m not ready for this ride to be over quite yet. That’s right, until this year I never ate anything pumpkin. Not even the pie. But this year I have become just a little bit braver when it comes to food…I’ve eaten jalapenos (and loved them), onions (and loved them), mushrooms (and, oddly enough, loved them), and now pumpkin-y things and yes, I also fell in love with them. That picture of pumpkin pie…I ate it in December.

A couple of weeks ago I was assigned to bring the dessert for dinner club’s Thanksgiving gathering. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend (tear!), but I still wanted to make sure my family of friends had something sweet to eat after all their ham and casseroles.

Of course, I reached for my handy-dandy phone to open up my AllRecipes app for this recipe. It’s always my go-go cooking source. I know that all of you are over the pumpkin thing, so I’m not going to bore you with the recipe, but if you are interested in these pumpkin pie chocolate chip cookies, click here!)

I was baking away when the husband got home from basketball practice, and with a very concerned look on his face he asked me, “What are you doing, honey?” When I explained to him that I was baking cookies for dinner club he asked even more concerned now, “From scratch?”

Yes. I made these from scratch, and if I do say so myself they were pretty darn tasty. The term “myself” might actually be completely correct, because even though all my dinner club friends texted me telling me my cookies were delicious, I can’t be for sure they weren’t just trying to make me feel good. I did have to force my husband to eat one…and the word “force” is not an exaggeration…and I’m pretty sure my sister never ate one.

I can’t be for sure if anyone actually ate any at dinner club, but I guess I’ll take their word for it. They must not be too afraid of my dessert-making skills because I volunteered to make dessert for next weekend’s Christmas dinner club and nobody tried to stop me.

I promise, though, I’ll jump off this pumpkin train soon (probably when my pumpkin spice coffee creamer runs out) and I’ll be jumping on a new one soon. I’m expecting some very delicious peppermint and chocolate combinations in my very near future. Maybe this one from Miss Julie!

I mean, it is December after all.

ang

Sometimes Thing Don’t Go As Planned

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving last week. While you know I’m not the biggest fan of turkey, stuffing, especially not deviled eggs, and just Thanksgiving food in general, I have to admit that I had a magnificent time with family. Any day that gives me the excuse to see my family is a good day to me.

This year my mother (and her hubs and mother-in-law) provided us with turkey, ham, green bean casserole (the one Thanksgiving food I truly love), corn casserole, mashed potatoes, rolls, homemade noodles, stuffing, sweet potatoes, two kinds of jello creations, chocolate pie, and of course pumpkin pie with the option of whipped cream. And I’m sure that I am forgetting something here. What did she ask me to contribute to this feast?

Pickles and olives.

Aside from the green beans, pickles and olives are probably my second and third favorite things to eat on Thanksgiving. I do appreciate the fact that my mom didn’t assign me a food that I’d have to spend hours preparing and cooking. That was very considerate of her. But I think that little fact might also have something to do with the fact that she didn’t want me or the guests to have to endure some sort of Angela creation, a.k.a. disaster.

It’s no secret that I’m not Mrs. Betty Crocker. In fact, I actually wanted to cook yesterday, and while I did end up with some very tasty soup and a delicious fruit pizza, I spent approximately five hours in the kitchen dirtying about seventeen different knives (all steak in style), boiling over pots (yes, plural) of water, spraying powder sugar everywhere, and I can’t forget, breaking the garbage disposal.

Sorry. No Rachel Ray here.

However, there is one place in life where I usually feel right at place and truly confident in my abilities. That would be in my art studio…which happens to be the living room floor at the moment.

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I’d say that November has been a pretty darn creative month for me…in the craft category, not food. I love creating things. No matter how busy I become as a wife, as a student, as a nurse (someday), and mom (someday), I will always find some time to be creative. It may not be very often. My families’ grumbling bellies may have to suffer, but it will be worth it.

Because being creative makes me whole.

I love finding paint dried up and hidden on the side of my hand a day later (and on Tia’s tail). I don’t mind cleaning up tiny scraps of paper, and I don’t mind when my fingertips are numb from being burned with hot glue.

However, as in the kitchen, sometimes things just don’t go the way I expect. Remember that cute fabric that I was excited about a couple of weeks ago? Well, sadly, that didn’t go as I expected.

It was supposed to be a Christmas ornament for my most recent Dinner Club get-together’s ornament exchange. I stayed up really really late the night before and made it while my husband played his video game. At one point he stated that it didn’t look like an ornament. I gave him a dirty look, told him he was mean, and insulted his own creativity…all the while I should have listened to him. Seventy-five percent through I looked at the thing myself and thought it was ugly, but decided that it’d be better when I was finished. When I was finished, the husband’s statement was confirmed.

I went to the store the next day before the party and bought a real ornament.

My creation did not look like an ornament, and there was no way in the world that I was going to give that to someone, let alone a friend. It did have some nice elements to it. I loved the colors and the combination of patterns. I adored the raw edges of the fabric and how it was rolled up into little flowers. I couldn’t let the thing go to waste…so I gave it to Tia to use a play toy.

She still needs some convincing.

Now these pieces of wood? I’m not even going to get into that. Aside from the five hours spent in the kitchen, part of which I was cleaning up to grossness that was supposed to be in the garbage disposal, I spent several more hours trying to salvage these babies.

I’m starting over tomorrow.

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Sometimes things aren’t going to go as planned. Sometimes you’ll have to scrap certain things and start all over.

And it will all be okay.

ang

Thanksgiving Scrooge

Yesterday something awesome happened that put me in an instantly amazing mood.

I heard Christmas music.

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Then I remembered that I have dinner club coming up in a couple weekends, and that can only mean one thing in my mind. Christmas ornament exchange. Yes please.

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And, because of Pinterest, all my dinner club friends should be expecting a homemade Christmas ornament from the Mrs. side of this couple.

I know what some of you, er, most of you are thinking. It’s not even Thanksgiving yet. And yes, at dinner club we are exchanging our Christmas ornaments, but we are having a Thanksgiving themed dinner (duh).

By the way…I’m pretty sure I brought bruschetta to this event last year. You can probably expect me to bring another italian (i.e. not Thanksgiving) themed dish.

I actually am aware of this, however, I’d rather skip right over Thanksgiving and sprint toward the Christmas season. You can call me the scrooge of Thanksgiving. I’m not a fan of turkey, or stuffing, or mashed potatoes, or casseroles that, because of their color, I’m sure are made with mayonnaise (even if they are not). In fact, on Thanksgiving you can find me carrying a plate heaping of green bean casserole (not to be confused with cheesy green beans that the in-laws make), three to four rolls, and a black olive stuck on each finger of my free hand.

Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate the fact that we’re celebrating the pilgrims and the native americans and friendship and family and being thankful. I’m not an unthankful person, I promise. I am thankful for many things. Many. Many. Many. Things. I’m thankful for an unbelievably loving husband. I’m thankful for my princess Tia who puts a smile on my face seven thousand, three hundred and eleven times a day. I’m thankful for my family, most of which I don’t get to see enough, but all of whom I know love me dearly. I’m thankful for a second chance at a new degree. I’m thankful for all of my friends. I’m thankful for glue guns, colored markers (preferably Sharpies!), and coffee. I’m thankful for my health and my families’ health and my friends’ health. I’m thankful for Ali’s blog, which on Thursdays always reminds me of more things to be thankful for. I’m thankful for blog readers who motivate me to keep writing. I’m thankful for sweatpants, furry boots, jeans that fit well, and hot pink running apparel.

I’m thankful for pumpkin spice coffee creamer. I definitely jumped on that bandwagon. Why yes, and I’m thankful for it.

See, I’m thankful.

But I’m also thankful for Christmas songs, Christmas lights, the thought of a white Christmas, peppermint scented things, peppermint flavored things (bring on the peppermint mocha coffee creamer please!), red and green doggie sweaters (sorry Ti-Ti), wreaths, sparkly things, and of course, Barbara Streisand’s “Jingle Bells” and the memory of my cousin and I dancing to it when we were toddlers..

I mean, it’s only forty-seven days away. Definitely not too early for Christmas music.

ang