What is this sensation???

My hands…they’re icy.  My skin…it’s goosebumpy.  What is this mess?

Winter.  The internets declares it’s 53 degrees outside.  I need to move to a warmer climate or something.  Usually those come with sand and palm trees.  No coat required. 

How, how do people live in North Dakota?  I would light my house on fire and use it to stay warm while waiting for a taxi to take me to the airport, where I would be on the next plane southbound.


Christmas ambition

I confess, for years I’ve made fun of people and stores that begin rolling out Christmas stuff in November.  And now, Bertha help me, I’m one of ’em.  I have one undecorated Christmas tree in my living room, waiting for Blane and I to decorate today, one week before Thanksgiving.  I can’t help it – I am so psyched about the holidays this year.  I’m doing my Thanksgiving shopping today and I’m getting antsy waiting to start the cooking.

I’m famous at work for “the box.”  Every year I buy one Christmas themed box for each employee and then fill it with a variety of baked stuff.  I love coming in to work on Christmas Eve morning (or the day before) before everyone else arrives, and leaving a box at each person’s desk.  This year begins the box overhaul.  I’ve been baking some of the same stuff for years, and while they’re delicious, I’m ready to mix it up a bit.  I’ve got some really great ideas; I’ll let you know how it turns out.

No joke, I’m done shopping for both Blane and Lee for Christmas.  I can’t wait for family to get together and enjoy company, good food, and flying wrapping paper as the children lay waste to the tree.

So yes, go ahead, make fun of me…Santa hat and all.

The lazy way to pumpkin pie bliss

I swear people, this isn’t a food blog.  But maybe now it is.  Seems that I’m baking and creating and thinking of food pretty darn frequently.  I’m ok with that. 

Anyhow, pumpkin pie is one of my favorite flavors.  I love that stuff – the warm spices are always reminiscent of chai tea.  It’s a comforting, soothing type of flavor, full of cinnamon, ginger, clove….and other yumminess.  Off topic (sorta) – why do we only eat pumpkin pie in the fall???  This seems kooky.  It tastes just as good in April as it does on turkey day. 

Whatever, so I found this great recipe online for pumpkin pie pudding, made in a crock pot.  It’s craziness.  Imagine, if you will, a nice vessel filled with nothing but pumpkin pie innards.  Yeah, I’d smack my momma for some of that, too.  And how easy – no crust, no stirring, no thought involved.   Yummy food made lazy.  

Click on the following link for the recipe, although I made a couple of changes:  I don’t do canned stuff (if you want to be bored with me ranting about the evils of canned stuff, just give me a call, but for now, I’ll spare you the details), so instead of evaporated milk, I used the same quantity of skim milk and added a few tablespoons of milk powder.  Also, no canned pumpkin, but I just make my own, so there.  Last but not least, no pumpkin pie spice, since it’s just a mix of spices I already had.  I made a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, clove, nutmeg and allspice and threw that in.  Also, you don’t have to cook it nearly as long as the recipe states.  Mine was perfect after about 3 hours. 

I recommend serving this good stuff warm, with a dollop of whipped cream spiked with dark rum.  Still tastes good cold, but the texture is more firm and the flavors just don’t sing quite so loud.  Do as I say and you’ll thank me later.