Pretty Ugly Food

Thanksgiving was full of beautiful food, flowers, and family. Other than my no-knead sweet potato rolls, this year Mom requested a signature cocktail. I think we really delivered using items she already had on hand.

The Thanksgiving Mimosa

The Thanksgiving Mimosa

The Thanksgiving Mimosa is champagne, pomegranate juice, and frozen cranberries. It couldn’t be easier, but feels super festive. You could make it with sparkling cider, or these cute cranberry skewers from Style Me Pretty.

Thanksgiving 2014

Sweet potato rolls. Acorn squash with pinto beans and chorizo.

These sweet potato dinner rolls are probably my family’s favorite thing I make all year. They are snapped up so fast that in almost 5 years of dating, E had never had one until this weekend. (I made him take the first one.) The recipe was first posted on The Kitchn back in 2008. They’re super easy to make, but do require a bit of time to rise.

The other recipe I brought to dinner a little something new. Did you know there’s a brand of chipotle peppers with adobo sauce that comes in a resealable jar now? I’m so happy. Normally I plan out a bunch of recipes before opening a chipotle can and still can’t work through it all before the peppers turn weird.  I first made this combo to celebrate my new jarred chipotle: Williams-Sonoma Roasted Acorn Squash with Chipotle and Food & Wine Spiced Pinto Beans with Chorizo using chipotle in adobo sauce instead of powder and skipping the pork rind garnish. Both recipes are great alone and they’re even better together. I’ve made is as stuffed squash with rice, as a casserole, and as this version that can be easily pulled apart by any picky eaters. We could also have kept squash separate if we have vegetarians present. This is by far the prettiest version.

And now for the ugly:

Pear Dutch Baby

I thought this was supposed to get crispy?

As my sister said, “That is Martha Stewart level“.

After spending a few days at my parents’ house, we returned to some over ripe pears and I thought I’d try my hand at a Dutch Baby. What better way to use up the remaining flour? I mostly followed the Bon Appetit recipe, adding a little bit of ground ginger and waaaay too much brown sugar on the pears. Cooking the pears and brown sugar made a syrup that the batter cooked in and it couldn’t crisp up like it was supposed to. Luckily it was still delicious, especially for breakfast with some maple sausage. That said, don’t fail like me. Go easy on the brown sugar.

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A Colony of Bats

I want trick-or-treaters this year & it seemed like having a big (& early!) Halloween window might do the trick. The idea & pattern for this Bat Banner came from HenryHappened. I liked the idea since it’s cheap, simple, & almost fancy looking. It reminds me of a beaded necklace.

Bat Banner

Pretty friendly for being a little spooky.

Buying a whole pack of construction paper just for black seemed like a waste. I bought a cheap black gift bag instead. This turned out to be a great idea; the white inside of the bag made it super easy to trace out the bats. I didn’t have a hole punch handy, so the puncture marks were made with a sharp pencil so that the bats could be hung up with twine.

Bat Banner in the making

Bats like to huddle together, right?

Of course I didn’t stop there. In addition to the usual farmers market gourds, I also grabbed a flameless candle on a timer from the drug store. It clicks on every evening before I get home so that I can enjoy it, too. The black cat was leftover from a crazy cat lady costume. The paper lantern moon was just a happy accident.

Getting Halloween ready

Had a few extra, so we stuck them to the window of the front door.

I cut out so many bats that I’m still trying to come up with places to stick them. Having temporary double sided tape has never made so much sense.

Now for some jack-o-lanterns & we’ll be set!

Pretty Thing of the Week: Seattle Center Skating

Seattle Center Skating

Sure there are better rinks and trendier locations, but it is hard to beat the Seattle Center ice rink. $7 per adult covers skates and access to the rink for as long as you like. Almost every one is a true beginner. This makes it a perfect location for re-learning everything I have forgotten over the years.  Strangers look out for one another here, which is a rare thing to find in Seattle. One lady even offered to help me out on to the ice when I looked hesitant.

Seattle Center Skating
Those training walkers have a sign, “you must be under this height to use a walker!” I was definitely jealous.