Hello fiber, my old friend

Happy New Year's Eve! I really love this holiday for legitimate grown-up reasons of reflection and renewal, but also because it represents the last chance to eat and drink like a late Roman emperor before 2014 which will obviously be a shining beacon of perfect, locally-sourced nutrition and proper hydration. That means NUTS AND CHEESE AND BACON-WRAPPED STUFF FOR DINNER. Hooray!

I did't want to re-approach actual, non-chocolate-based foods too recklessly, so I thought I would try a warm-up meal that consists of vegetables but also a tremendous amount of butter: Creamy Rosemary Polenta with Maple Sea Salt Roasted Winter Vegetables. I'm generally a little wary of sponsored posts, but when the sponsor is maple sea salt butter, I'm willing to let it slide. Also, both of my children ate this and my four-year-old asked for more Brussels sprouts, so I guess I'm going to go broke buying maple sea salt butter now.

Liquid goooooooooold. (Or soft squishy gooooooooold, depending on temperature.)

It did take her a while to remember how to approach a plate full of vegetables, though.


Not pictured: me, wearing my Planning Hat

We're right in the middle of Christmas Number Three at the moment, which means I have just finished stuffing myself with quiche and bacon (having spent the previous day stuffing myself with tacos, tamales, brownies, gingerbread, chips and queso, ham, sweet potatoes, green beans, an entire baguette, and cherry pie). Things are going really well for me, is what I'm saying. I'm also hip-deep in figuring out 2014's blog project. Have I mentioned that the Christmas-to-New-Year's week is my favorite time of year, tied with the end of summer? IT'S PLANNING SEASON and my list-making brain is so very happy. My can't-turn-around-without-falling-into-a-pile-of-fat-and-sugar mouth is also very happy. I want to share this warm and fuzzy feeling with all of you, so go consume three pieces of pie and a large amount of coffee and then look at the following pictures of my children wearing hats. I think that should get you there.


Christmas Bonus

Merry Christmas, my internet darlings. I am bestowing unto you the experience of watching Anna endure the seven attempts it took to make her science rocket launch correctly.

Don't worry. It's up there.


Mooooo-rry Christmas

Okay, let's do it, let's get this holiday started!

Oooof, okay, I think the creme brûlée put me over the edge. Guess it's time to continue our Christmas travels. You kids hanging in there?

Hmm, yeah, as it turns out, it's completely impossible to drive through Waco, TX on I-35 without losing about three years of your life right now. But Erica! you are saying, I really wanted to drive through Waco, TX as part of my holiday festivities! NO. Impossible. Instead you can look at a small sampling of the pictures that Dan took of our very, very long detour. There are cows! Trains! Grass! I know the girls really enjoyed it.

P.S. I have stopped accepting giveaway entries as randomly as I began. Good news, contestants! There are plenty of cookbooks to go around! That means YOU get a cookbook and YOU get a cookbook, etc., etc., Oprah voice. Send me your addresses! Or don't, whatever. I will find you. Just stay alive and I will find you.


I bring you good tidings of terrible photo staging

Tonight we're headed out to our first of THREE CHRISTMASES WHEEEEE.

We're almost ready.

That means I'm currently packing for a quick trip to a highly accommodating environment complete with things like sippy cups and contact lens solution and people to distract my children and yet it is, obviously, an exercise in laundry and fretting and self-discovery as always. But I did want to let you know that's it's not too late to make a grab for your very own piece of Unemployed Lawyer Mom history. When will it be too late? I don't know! Soonish, probably! Think how much regret you will feel if you miss your chance to invite this friendly fella into your home.

Being stressed out makes me want to give you guys nightmares for some reason. Season's greetings!


Hey hey hey it's a GIVEAWAY!

Hey guys!

I hope you didn't have important plans today, because it's time to drop everything and celebrate THE END OF OUR COOKING PROJECT, WE DID IT EVERYONE!!! We did it. As a team. A blog team. Not only did my week involve:

A macaroni and cheese bar!  AND

A cookie exchange!

It also involved Cookbook #ONE HUNDRED THAT'S RIGHT: The Colossal Cookie Cookbook (Elizabeth Wolf-Cohen, 1999.) It's a giant book full of cookies! Look, here are some right here! They taste of orange frosting!

Way to finish strong, cookie book.

Anyway, yeah. I did it. I barely tapped some available resources and then made you read about it. With seconds to spare! The world is definitely a better place now and I don't understand why people keep insisting that blogging is dead.

We're done, kids!

So much relief, right??

Hey, remember when I finished my Bon Appétit project and I linked to every single recipe with a quick summary and a letter grade? Hilarious. Anyway! Here's what I'm going to do for you this time around: there are a handful of cookbooks that I can say with some confidence that I am never going to use again. DO YOU WANT ONE? Leave me a comment and I will use some capricious method to determine what I'm sending and to whom. It's an adventure! And look at it this way: I average about two to three comments per post, so your chance of becoming the proud owner of Southern But Lite is really freaking high

UPDATE: Obviously I mean that I will send you one sometime in 2014. 2015 latest.

EXTRA UPDATE: The contest is over! Thank you for your entries! I hope you enjoy the really excellent perks that come with reading this blog!


Not a Sponsored Post

Man, my Gingery Pear and Pecan Muffins look so nice and festive here. Way to go, Cookbook #99: The Baker's Bible (Deborah Gray, 1998)!

Dirty table, for context.

It almost appears as though the chilly air and the twinkling lights and the peace on earth/goodwill toward men inspired me to whip these up, but actually they were an assignment from Anna's preschool. Probably because they somehow caught wind that I might have the sort of free time that could accommodate such a task. That's also why they are actually Gingery Pear and Nothing Muffins, since my guidelines were no nuts/no chocolate (allergies/hippies). They were still good enough that Ivy ate about a dozen of them, so that's a win. I wish I could generate more enthusiasm for all this, but the fact is I'm at the point in the season when I suffer a little bit of baking burnout. It's like when you play too much Tetris Candy Crush and start seeing the game when you close your eyes, except I see butter softening on the counter. I mean, our kitchen is basically just one big Hershey's ad right now.

Hershey's: On the Go!

Hershey's: Here, Take Some

Hershey's: Show Your Disapproving Sister What's What

Hershey's: When You Need a Beard, Or Pants