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Monthly Archives: November 2015

Lemon Cream Puffs

There was some sacrilege in the Bryant house on Thanksgiving Day.

I mean, for the most part, we followed Thanksgiving tradition and expectations as we should.

Matty B and I “turkey trotted” (sans J Man because it was 27 degrees outside.)

Matty B made his classic pumpkin pie (isn’t it perfect?)

I even attempted the cornucopia veggie tray we talked about last week.

Isn’t it beautiful?

But then I mixed things up a little bit.

See, I’ve been obsessed with lemon recently. Most other old people are as well and ever since my birthday, I’ve completely bought into the stereotype. 

And I typically make apple pie, but we’ve already had apple pie a couple of times this season and it’s a pretty heavy dessert and after a plate like this…

…something light was in order.

So I made lemon cream puffs. They were amazing.

I made the lemon curd the day before so that it would have plenty of time to chill. Then, while everyone else was in a food coma, watching the Packers get beat down (sorry, Papa), I made the puffs and whipped the cream into the curd.

After a meal of carbs, these were light and delicious. 

Initially, when I planned to play hooky on the apple pie, I felt a little guilty. Apple pie was grandma’s thing and now it’s my thing. We can’t forget grandma!

Good news: cream puffs were also grandma’s thing. All is well.


White trash Thanksgiving and pumpkin dip

You might call me a Thanksgiving snob.

At Thanksgiving, I want china and real glasses and silverware and yes, I know, someone has to wash those dishes but that’s what Matty B is for.

After all, if we don’t pull out the fancy at Thanksgiving, when do we pull it out? 

But this year, I might as well throw some paper plates on the card table and start deep frying a turkey in a garbage can in the backyard.

Does it get more white trash than Cool Whip and Nilla wafers?

I found a recipe for easy pumpkin dip on Pinterest. Anytime something is labeled “easy” I immediately think of Sandra Lee. It should have been obvious, then, that this recipe wasn’t gourmet.

And I read the ingredients. Only three, really. And in a state of hunger/laziness/I had stockpiled pumpkin in the pantry, I bought Cool Whip and instant pudding mix.

It’s not pretty, but it’s goooooood.

You could dip lots of good things in this. Apples, graham crackers, etc. I used Nilla wafers and I wasn’t mad about it.

The shame that I feel over this white trash recipe is outweighed by the deliciousness in my mouth.

In some feeble attempt to class the dip up, I will be serving it in this crystal dish. Will that help?

Five on Friday

1. Today was the first cold day in a long time. You’ll notice that yesterday’s post showed Miss Rae jumping in the leaves with bare legs. I wasn’t being an irresponsible mommy. It just wasn’t cold.

Today it was cold. Not too cold to jump on the trampoline, but chilly nonetheless.

2. Pinterest keeps trying to boss me around. They sent this suggestion to me:

Do they really think I have the time to create a cornucopia out of bread?

 Well, you know I’m going to try. I’ll let you know how it goes.

3. J Man went to a live production of Charlotte’s Web. I realized yet again that technology has overtaken this generation when he asked, in total earnestness, “So, does Charlotte have a website?”

4. It’s going to be a small Thanksgiving this year, (much of our family is out of state or traveling) but that doesn’t seem to factor into our menu quantity.

You can see that the text is cut off, so there’s more. And this is for seven people. Two of whom will exclusively eat rolls.


5. Flashback Friday

This is one of my favorite pics ever ever ever.

So much FALL!

Have I mentioned before that fall is my favorite season?

It’s this bittersweet experience because I love love everyday that brings us closer to Thanksgiving, but I also dread everyday that brings us closer to Thanksgiving because then it’s over and then I’m just cold.

So I’m making apple pies. Because it’s what I do. We had 6 adults and 9 kids for ultimate taco night last week and these were demolished. Also, under peer pressure, Miss Rae now eats apple pie.

Another fall joy used to be pumpkin spice lattes which I’ve traded for salted caramel mochas. Also, I don’t care about red cups. Also, my fitbit does a better job charged, which might explain the poor choice in beverage. Fyi: 330 calories in a tall salted caramel mocha.

Leaf jumping is a must. Made all the sweeter when followed up by pumpkin cinnamon rolls.

These were topped with a caramel glaze and were the absolute epitome of fall.


I already miss leaf piles.

I’m already dreading cold.


But there’s one reason that I’m thrilled for fall to be over:

Matt B shaves the beard. Can’t come soon enough.


All about Miss Rae

You won’t find a girl with a sweeter disposition.

Her brother is older, yet she is frequently the one to smooth things over, to give up what she wants to keep J Man (and others) happy.

She has the most hilarious vocabulary. She’ll spout off words like “furious” and “ridiculous” that you might not expect a four year-old to use. Very frequently, at the wrong time.

She’s very confident in who she is. She proclaimed the other day, “Jackson and I have different talents. He is athletic and I am creative.”

And if by creative, she means really excited about singing and dancing to Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off then yes, she is extraordinarily creative.

She’s a fashionista, this one. I’ve actually given up making requests or even offering suggestions when it comes to her wardrobe. What I know to be true:

1. Skirts or dresses ALWAYS.

2. Leggings or tights underneath are tolerable. Bonus points if there are pockets.

3. Nothing needs to match. However, preference will always be given to the colors pink and “Elsa” blue.

She had oral surgery today. This means, of course, general anesthetic. I’m not sure that I can properly explain the terror I experienced between 8:30 and 10 a.m. this morning as my baby girl was out of my care and out of my control.

On that same note, I can’t properly explain the relief I felt when they carried her groggy little self into the waiting room and she snuggled into my neck.

Peace at last.

She got two silver crowns on her tiny little toothies. I told her they were princess crowns and she was sold.

That’s the fashionista in her.

J Man’s First 5k

I’ve passed on some questionable habits to my kids. These include perfectionistic tendencies and a desire for daily dessert (although I blame the latter on Matty B).

But every once in awhile they pick up something good from me.

Like running!

 A few weeks ago the university sponsored a 5k to raise money for breast cancer awareness. I’ve run by myself every year since we’ve lived in Walla Walla (remember two years ago when I rolled my ankle?) and this year I thought I might like a buddy. 

J Man ran/walked 7 miles in his school’s annual jog-a-thon so I knew that he was capable.

And he rocked it. Of course he rocked it. 

As it turns out, he was the youngest runner and even got a “shout out” in a news release on the university website.

He told me he wanted to run it in 28 minutes and we did it in 35.

He wants to run again next year so we can try for 28. 

That’s the perfectionist coming out.

The Photo Shoot

Hey moms! Here’s a great idea for a fun Sunday morning!

Take one first grade boy who is desperate to watch the football game and give him a perfectly steamed white shirt and a trendy skinny black tie. Ask him to be compliant.

Add one preschool girl who on Friday loooooved the sparkly red sweater dress and today hates the sparkly red sweater dress and try to curl her baby fine hair with a curling iron. Insist that she may not wear her Seattle Seahawks hair bow.

Put them both in the car with promises of fruit snacks and YouTube if only…

If only…

Here are the outtakes. We survived, but just barely.