H-A-L-L-O-W-E-E-N

Mummy Cupcake

Mummy Cupcake

It is officially the holiday season.  As I write, I want to fall over from exhaustion, already.  This cappuccino should help me survive.

Does this mean I am the Scrooge of Halloween.  Well, no.  Just the actual day is exhausting.  I have had a lot of fun up to this day decorating and making tricky treats.  I guess the fun is just catching up- I want to rest, if just for a moment.

What!?!?  There is no time to rest this time of year!  It is time to go full speed ahead.  It is time to do lots of tricking and treating, and cooking, eating, and celebrating, to buying out the stores for Christmas, and then doing more cooking eating and celebrating…  Grits and Honey can make it easier for you this season!  I did a dinner party last weekend for a birthday party and the client couldn’t believe what a different person she was with out having all the stress of the party.  You too can have a simpler life.

For another pumpkin carving party, I made yellow cupcakes.  Children and adults love these.  This recipe is a staple all year round for birthdays, holidays, graduations, or just to put a smile on someone’s face.

Get a stick of butter and and 3 eggs and leave out to become room temperature.  Mix your butter and 2 cups sugar together until your mixture is pale in color and fluffy.  Next, mix in your eggs one at a time.  In one separate bowls mix 3 cups flour and one tablespoon baking powder, in another bowl add 1.5 cups half and half and 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract.  Add 1/2 flour mixture to your sugar mixture then all of the milk mixture, and finish with the rest of your flour.  Mix this well and then pour into your favorite cupcake liners.  If your making cake, just make sure to prepare pans so the cake doesn’t stick!  Bake your cupcakes for around 20 minutes but check them around 18 minutes.

Here’s to not just making it through the holidays but actually enjoying them too.  And, their is nothing wrong with taking a little power nap!  Happy Halloween!

Through Thick and Thin

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Pasta with Pesto and Chicken

My girlfriend called me early Saturday morning.  I knew something was up because she doesn’t usually call on the weekend.  She was crying.  I had never heard her like this.  My heart sank- what was wrong?

Her son had a melt down about doing a Saturday activity.  He didn’t want to go.  The whole family was rushing around to get the son to his boy scout commitment and the daughter to her soccer game.    The temper tantrum had affected the whole family, negatively.

As my friend continued talking and crying, she said “I lost it, I cursed at him”.  I couldn’t help it and I started laughing.  She is one of the best mom’s I know.

She began laughing too.  We as Mothers carry the weight of the world on our shoulders to be perfect even when our little angles are not.  I do not have enough fingers and toes to count the countless mistakes I have made as a mother.  I sometimes feel like I have won the worst mom award.  But, I haven’t.  I make a mistakes, apologize, and my daughters and I learn a good lesson.  We make mistakes, recognize them and move on, trying really hard not to make the same mistakes again.  We are human, with human emotions.

That was the beautiful lesson in this.  They did go to the boy scouts event and they both apologized for their behavior.  The mother to the son and the son to the family.  We are not perfect with our emotions.  And that is the perfect lesson to ourselves and those we love.  We will act certain ways in life.  People may not like it but those that truly love us will continue to love us unconditionally.  I believe, and I know not everyone does, that yelling and getting angry when someone has hurt you is healthy.  What is not healthy is a continual hurt and a continual yell.  I know there is a huge difference.  There is that word again that comes up in my life a lot…balance.

So, for dinner with my family, I decided to throw some pasta on the stove.  The greatest comfort food in the fall, if you ask me.  I didn’t have a lot in the fridge so, I used what I had – some grape tomatoes, some capers in a jar, some kalamata olives in a jar, left over pesto, and frozen chicken breasts.

I thawed the chicken and sautéed them.  I then added all the other ingredients minus the pesto to the pan and put a lid on it while all the flavors cooked together.  I added cooked penne pasta and the pesto and mixed it all up.

Viola!  Our dinner was served and, we sat at the table this particular night-  all of us, talking about our day, eating our meal, and living one day at a time through thick and thin, loving each other, unconditionally.

Saturday Calm Before the Holiday Storm

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Deviled Eggs with Kalamata Olive Spiders

This morning is one of those sweet mornings of rain hitting the roof, a fall chill in the air, and it is Saturday so I can lay in bed for a few extra moments.  It really is one of my favorite things.  The girls aren’t with me on this particular Saturday, so it is a different type of joy.  It’s a joy of solitude and peace instead of the joy of little feet pitter pattering through the house and a snuggle in the bed to wake me up because they are hungry.  Both moments give a different joy and it gives balance to my life.  As I am alone this morning, I can reflect on my gratitude for them.  Sometimes, when their little hands and sassy mouths are moving at lighting speed, I can’t see the gratitude so clearly.

With this chill in the air, it also brings business, a lot of business.  Any caterer would tell you this is the busiest time of year.  It is time to crack the whip.  I think most caterers would tell you that is the most difficult time as well.  We are the ones planning and throwing the party while everyone else is enjoying the party.  That is what makes a good caterer because we love it.  We thrive off of seeing that enjoyment that everyone else experiences with the hard work we do.  It is exciting.  I know I am thrilled for some of the parties coming up.

Halloween is one such party.  There are so many fun recipes out there, just check out Martha Stewart’s ideas.  There is no doubt that she will get your creative juices flowing.  Some of them are pretty intense and you may need pay $1000 or more to a  professional artist to help out but some of them can be done by the average person.

For one Halloween party, I am making deviled eggs with spider olives.  This recipe is from Williams-Sonoma and is super easy.  I don’t make my deviled eggs like Williams-Sonoma but I like the spider addition.  My eggs are a little more simple.  My mom didn’t pass down the cooking gene but she does make a good deviled egg when she doesn’t over cook her eggs.  She does have one of the most beautiful green thumbs I have ever seen. 🙂

The most important part is a perfectly boiled egg.  How I get my perfect egg is by covering the eggs in cold water in a deep sauce pan.  Bring the water to a rolling boil and then put a lid on it and let it sit for 10 minutes or so. Afterwards, drop the eggs in an ice bath.  With this method, there really is no way to over cook them.  I personally would rather have a soft egg more than an overcooked egg any day.  It is fool proof but you have to be patient and give it the time to let the inner yellow yolk to cook.

After the eggs are cooked, peel and slice in half.  Take out the yolks and put them in a bowl.  Add a little Hellmann’s mayo, dijon mustard, salt and pepper.  Nothing more!  If you would like to add a little kick, sprinkle some old bay, cayenne,  or paprika on the top.  Use your taste buds to decide how much of each ingredient you like in your center.  Yum- and so simple.  I will add- be careful with the salt because the olives add salt too.

Here’s to celebrating with peaceful moments and scary busy one’s!  Happy Halloween!