Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bunches of Fun

What? You've never heard of "Bunches of Fun"? Oh, you, my friend are missing out. Picture this- you have just stuffed yourself full of turkey and mashed potatoes and you're not quite ready for dessert. You love to play games, but there is simply not enough time, space, or energy to pull out Monopoly or Pictionary. Enter "Bunches of Fun". Nobody really knows the origins of this game but it made its way into our Thanksgiving celebration about 8 years ago or so. How do you play, you ask? It's simple. Everyone contributes "bunches" of fun things to guess. You write them on little scraps of paper and then put them into a bowl. These could be anything from movies, to pop culture icons, to objects lying around the house. The object is to guess as many things as you can from your partner's clues in one minute. The team that ends up with the most overall points when there are no more clues is the winner. Oh yeah, it's a bunch of fun. Just take a look:

(I must warn you , however, if you are overly competitive as I am, you may need to watch it. Ever since the infamous "how did you not get that, are you stupid?!" slip of '01, Gabe refuses to take part in the fun.)

So thankful

It was yet another fabulous feast on Underhill Lane. It seems that with each passing year I take these celebrations more to heart and truly reflect on what it means to be part of such an amazing family. You see, some things go without saying; the food will be exceptional, the house will be chaotic and over crowded (over 20), Mom will go above and beyond by not only making two pumpkin pies from scratch, but also a boysenberry cobbler, Dad and I will wash way too many dishes, the kids will be screaming, someone will be crying, and "Bunches of Fun" will be played. But what changes each year is the ever growing feeling of attachment I have to this holiday. This is the one holiday that I can say has remained the same for my entire life. When my grandmother passed away, my mom picked up where she left off. It is simply perfect every year. Sure, different family members and friends may come each year and this year we knocked the famous fruit salad off the menu, but the familiar feeling is one of comfort and stability. Spending this time with my family makes my year complete and I am thankful.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Lovely Ladies' Night

I am typically not a real "girls' girl". I also am not a huge fan of hanging around women I don't know very well (I am teal, remember?!). I'm weird, I know. So when Erin asked me to go out this weekend for a bachelorette evening, my first instinct was to decline. Oh, am I happy I didn't. Thank you, Erin, it was a great time and I was glad to have been a part of it. Thirteen days and counting!

Monday, November 12, 2007

A little of this, a little of that.

When the temperature drops, it's time for soup. Only one little flaw with this plan-today it was 80 degrees. Never mind that. Gabe has been rambling on about vegetable soup for days now and this seemed as good a night as any.
I love soup, I really do. I even love to make it. The problem is that when you are a carnivore married to a vegetarian, it is often difficult to find recipes that please both palettes. So I made up this pleasingly simple, quite hearty and rather quick-cooking recipe.

a satisfied customer - hope he'll be as satisfied tomorrow night, and the next- this makes a lot of soup!

Simple Vegetarian Vegetable Soup

1 medium onion, thickly sliced
2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 can whole, peeled tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 ribs of celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1/2 head of cabbage, chopped
2 small gold or red potatoes, chopped
3/4 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
2 small zucchini
1 yellow squash
any other veggies you like
1.5 t dried thyme
a pinch of red pepper flakes
2 T balsamic vinegar
a few dashes of Tabasco
1 32 oz carton, plus 1 14 oz. can of organic vegetable broth (of course you could make this yourself!)
sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Saute the onions in olive oil over medium heat for about 7 minutes, until soft and a bit caramelized. Add the garlic and saute about 1-2 minutes more. Add the tomatoes and carrots and raise the flame to medium-high. Add the thyme, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook for about 4 minutes just to give the carrots a head start. Add the rest of the vegetables and the broth and simmer at a lower heat until the potatoes and carrots are cooked through. Add the vinegar and adjust seasonings as necessary. Serve with a few dashes of Tabasco. Mmmm.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

But I HATE teal!

I was on How About Orange's blog and saw one of these color personality tests. Why do I always indulge in these? Do I really need to know what color I would be if I were, in fact, a color? What does this test even mean? Should I run out and buy something teal in hopes that good fortune awaits? Whatever. It was a fun 2 minutes. But seriously, teal? Yuck. I am going to take the test again tomorrow and see if I can be tangerine or chartreuse.

Oh, and Gabe, be sure to re-read and commit to memory that line that says if I'm doing it, "it'll be done right". Uh-huh, that's right.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Witchy Woman

Gabe: You need to color your front tooth black.
Me: But I don't want to be an ugly witch, I want to be a cute witch.
Gabe: Witches always have their front tooth black.
Me: Yes, UGLY witches do.
Gabe: You should color your front tooth black.