Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bake Therapy

Bake therapy.  The amount of eggs that have flown in and out of this kitchen in the last weeks, insane amounts of butter, flour and sugar: bake therapy has overtaken my life.  I think at this point it might actually be economical to get some chickens and turn hipster.  I already have flannel shirts, it could work for me.  My cousin's chickens lay 4 eggs a day.  Thats enough for two batches of cookies a day or a batch of Shawn Taylor's favorite brownies.

Bake therapy is my go-to in times of stress.  Last Sunday? My friend Danielle invited me to bake and within 3 hours, we had made gooey chocolate cookies, carrot cake cookies, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and banana chocolate chip muffins.  She didn't know what to do with me. Yesterday? 3 hours resulted in caramel apple spice cookies, cranberry salsa, prepping a pumpkin pie baked oatmeal and sweet potato crisps. 

I have been looking for any and every excuse to bake recently.  So I love the fact that it is Thanksgiving and there are lots of willing recipients of delicious fall treats.  So, what do I do? I invite all of my friends over for Friendsgiving on Sunday.  There will definitely be a repeat event next year.  I decided to take a break from my massive baking sessions and spent the last week pouring over recipe books and food blogs to make the perfect meal.  Theme: Southwestern Thanksgiving.  Challenge: Take all of the ingredients of thanksgiving and give them a southwestern twist.

It all started with the one recipe I failed to document, turkey cranberry quesadillas. I can't even tell you about how they tasted but I can tell you that people were delightfully surprised. You all will have left overs.  Make these.

Next? On to the carrots.  Chili Roasted Carrots.  Yeah. They were delish.  Had the leftovers today for lunch.  I still vote delish.

The mashed potatos were by far the hardest recipe to choose.  Turns out people like mashed potatos and adding lots of crazy stuff to them.  I guess it is the land of meat and potato lovers.  And I guess I shouldn't really be shocked since people are even doing things like adding bacon to milkshakes.  Chipotle roasted corn mashed potatos won the recipe battle.  Buuuut I am confessing here that I added sour cream to the recipe.  I also confess that I do not feel guilty because I didn't eat any.  I often make dishes with all the bells, whistles and extra calories when I know it is a recipe I won't eat.  So, sour cream happened. And now you know, for my friends? I don't cut calories.  You are worth every one of them. 

So with all of these trial recipes (which I question now why I didn't throw in an old faithful to make sure I at least had one good thing to eat at my Friendsgiving), this recipe was my favorite.  Squash Stuffed Roasted Poblano Peppers. Oh. Wow. They were delicious.  This will definitely be a repeat recipe.

Green beans are traditional at any Thanksgiving dinner.  Most often they are in the form of a green bean cassarole.  I really dislike green bean cassorole however.  I feel like each poor little green bean is screaming from the cream of mushroom soup saying "Help me! Get me out of this sad excuse of a claimed serving of vegetables."  I need crisp. I need fresh.  This recipe is much more that.  I was a happy girl crunching into one of these beans.

I threw in some turkey buscuits even though they are really just Pillsbury buttermilk biscuits, cut up and made into the shape of a turkey, with some of my pumpkin butter.  They were gobbled up by two little munchkins named Ty and Ryan who came to the feast.

It ended all with a pumpkin parfait. THIS was the recipe I was waiting for.  You see, generally I am content to nibble away in my rabbit food style at fruits and veggies, but then pumpkin happens and my cravings overtake my life.  I. love. pumpkin.  Can I get a witness?  (I don't actually know the appropriate time to use that phrase, it felt appropriate so I typed it.  I apologize for misuse of the English language if it occured.)

So, bake therapy.  Turns out there are some more delicious recipes out there, I need to get me some chickens, I need a sponsor for my baking addiction and most importantly I need to just face my anxieties, rolling pin in hand and take what the Lord is throwing at me.  Uncertainty is overwhelming but it compels me to trust in God and proclaim His sovereignty over my life. Uncertainty makes my heart race, my jaw tighten, my nights sleepless, and my free moments spent baking for the masses but slowly God is letting me release that grip and surrender my plans, my dreams, my desires.   He knows what's up when I don't and for that I am grateful. 

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

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