Sunday, December 6, 2009

Busy Busy Busy

I've finally got some pictures off of the camera and ready to post of all of our crazy Thanksgiving fun.

This is the first year that I haven't hosted dinner in quite a while. As a result, I found myself oddly relaxed on Thanksgiving Eve, as opposed to my usual maniacal prep frenzy. So Carlie and I hosted a little Craftapalooza gathering. The goal was to make gifts for friends, and our three crafts were to be polymer clay charms, Scrabble tile necklaces and glass magnets.

The polymer clay charms were a HUGE success, and no one was interested a bit in my Scrabble tiles or glass magnets. Here's a small sampling of the charms that Carlie made. And sadly, I don't think I got any pictures of the charms made by the other kiddoes.

We've got a peeled banana, lollipop, two slices of watermelon and a cupcake on a zipper pull.
Slices of pumpkin pie, a couple of cupcakes and a few of Carlie's "freestyle" creations that I could not possibly name if I tried. I think I see a couple of bananas in there, too.
When Erinna came home and saw how cute the charms were, she wanted to make some too. But she put hers on key chains. Here we've got an ice cream cone, cupcake and cinnamon roll.
We made a fall necklace for our Thanksgiving hostess with a slice of pumpkin pie and a fall leaves Scrabble tile on a rust-colored silk cord.
A cupcake necklace made by friend Katie.

On Thanksgiving Day, I made a butternut squash chipotle bisque and cupcakes. Easy peasy! I also brought to the dinner rosemary potato rolls from a new bakery that opened up two days before Thanksgiving three blocks from my house. So delicious.

We made 48 mini cupcakes and the girls decorated them with various fallish stuff. Some of these are supposed to be turkeys. Good luck figuring out which ones they are.
In the girls' defense, they didn't have much to work with, because when they asked Tim to pick up Candy Corn at the store (for tail feathers), he brought home Mike & Ike candies instead. ???

The bisque was delicious and is a pretty easy recipe. I highly recommend it. I'm pasting it in at the bottom of the post. Unfortunately, because I don't really *think* things through, I didn't realize that I needed a stick blender. And I don't have one. So after making this giant vat of soup, I then had to dirty up every bowl in my house moving the bisque out of the stock pot, and blending it in the pitcher blender, pitcher, by pitcher. I wouldn't recommend that.

With so few Thanksgiving dinner duties, and with a late supper planned, I had time to put together a little brunch for me, Tim and the girls. It was tasty. Deviled eggs are kind of a Thanksgiving tradition around here. I make them as an appetizer for the big dinner, but my kids eat them before people arrive. I freak out and eventually someone cries. Fun! I am a barrel of laughs during the holidays. Seriously.

We all shared what we were thankful for this year:
Me: Being Healthy.
Erinna: Technology.
Carlie: Salami.
Tim: Lady GaGa.
As you can see, I am surrounded by weirdos.

A few days after Thanksgiving, we had Tim's birthday to celebrate. I ordered a cake with frosting on the side from the bakery, and the girls decorated it. Semi-homemade. Yay!

I can promise you, the bakery did not give us this Tiffany blue icing. That is a Carlie creation. And do you like the tealight in the cake? Ghetto who?

It was a busy week. And I haven't even gotten to the photos or videos of Carlie at her dance graduation ball, which was tonight. She came home from school Friday not feeling well. She's been lethargic all weekend and I am pretty sure she has a sinus infection. But we paid $150 for three tickets to the ball and she had a new dress, so off to the ball we went. She dozed in the car and whined the entire way there (30 minute drive), then danced her two dances flawlessly, then sat in my lap, crying, begging to go home. Stage mother who? Details to come.


Recipe from Marcela Valladolid, "Fresh Mexico"

Prep time: 50 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Serves 6 to 8

Notes: The prep time does not include the cool time for the squash after it's roasted. The cook time for the onion and carrot overlaps the cook time for the squash. The cook time for the bisque overlaps the cook time for the seeds.


1 medium butternut squash

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided use

1 1/2 cups chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped carrot

2 garlic cloves, minced

4-6 cups chicken broth

3 teaspoons minced, canned chipotle in adobo, divided use

1/2 cup Mexican crema or sour cream

Salt, fresh ground pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds, discarding the stringy pulp. Put the seeds in a sieve and rinse. Set aside.

Grease a glass baking dish with 1 tablespoon oil, then place the squash in the dish, cut side down. Pierce all over with a fork and roast 45 minutes or until tender. Let cool.

Heat remaining oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Sauté onion, celery and carrot for 10 minutes. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes more.

Scoop the flesh of the squash into the pot and stir. Add 4 cups broth and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are very tender.

Meanwhile, toast the reserved squash seeds in a small pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until crunchy, about 30 minutes. Season heavily with salt and set aside.

Purée the soup in batches in a blender, adding more broth to get the desired consistency.

In a separate bowl, stir 1 teaspoon of the minced chipotle into the crema. Season with salt and pepper.

Stir the remaining 2 teaspoons chipotle into bisque and ladle into soup bowls. Top each with a dollop of cream and a sprinkling of seeds.

Per serving using 5 cups of low-sodium chicken broth: 177 cal.; 4 g pro.; 23 g carb.; 9 g fat (3 sat., 5 monounsat., 1 polyunsat.); 9 mg chol.; 633 mg sod.; 5 g fiber; 7 g sugar; 44 percent calories from fat.


Anna See said...

Wow, girl, you make me want to go take a NAP. What a lot of awesome things you did.. the food, the crafts, the celebrating. I would be overwhelmed by any / each of those.

Keetha said...

How cool are you? Next year, I'm coming because I want one of those necklaces.

I want to see the Scrabble tiles jewelry!

You're so impressive with your crafty self.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

I would kill for a polymer pumpkin pie (or two). They would make perfect earrings for Laura. She loves earrings. She loves pumpkin pie. I want two. I do. Help me! :-D