Monday, September 17, 2012

Do I Have Something On My Face?

"Congratulations! You graduated college! So what about getting married? When is that going to happen?"  was a question frequently asked the second I graduated college.  It is the natural progression of events right? It's that cultural, ok-you-are-now-of-age-and-there-should-be-a man-putting-a-ring-on-that-finger thing.  A friend of mine posted this my friends are married tumblr on my wall which sheds light on this situation in a pathetically connectable and comical way the other day.  I loved to hate it. Yes. I am 26 and so far God's plan has not entailed any bling attachment to ring finger.  I could throw a pity party, but I have decided that it will be worth the wait because the man of my dreams will eat my cupcakes with such enjoyment that they will look like my mini friend, Ryan.  She. loved. my. cupcake.
See? Love smeared all over that cute face. So, my new plan is to have a ready pack of cupcakes.  If a man asks for my digits, I will hand him a cupcake, watch him eat it, and if the end result is similar to this picture then I will give my number to them.  If they cannot enjoy my baked goods in such fashion, they are not the man for me.  (Okay, addendum, if they call me my lil croissant like in the Mad TV Can I Have Your Number sketch, it might sway my opinion and I will let them off easy for only enjoying my cupcake rather than smearing it all over their face while devouring every morsel, but otherwise? I am sticking to my guns.) Chocolate+alloverface=youcanhavemynumber. 

This cupcake was just one of those down home kinda cupcakes.  I have the frosting guns and fancy things, but sometimes, a homegrown cupcake just needs a slab of frosting and some love.  Perfection was in the consumption.  The moist light and pure taste of the carrot zucchini chocolate cupcake topped with fudge was a little bit of heaven. I had mine with some frozen yogurt and sweet momma! I died a little.  I was honestly questioning its potential for goodness, because my recent try-to-make-it-healthy-since-my-friends-are-always-yelling-at-me-for-baking-treats-with-a-million-things-that-could-make-you-fat has resulted in a lot of desserts that have N-O-T NOT made me all melty on the inside and more sad than anything.  These however? Not so much.  So. Good. 
I mean, I can do the health thing, like the vegan apple breakfast crisp that I made for my friends for breakfast this morning, but sometimes life needs butter and one or five scoops of ice cream on top of it. And these recipes compel you to avoid that.  I get sad.  Especially since I have a second stomach reserved specifically for ice cream.

As I go about my rabbit eating ways, there has never been an off-limits rules for sweets.  Every day ends will a little sugar in my world and I have no shame in that.  Every spinach leaf and celery stick comes with the promise of future decadence and so I nibble away with glee.  Somehow knowing that pleasure will soon be experienced makes the more laborious tasks bearable (and believe me, if you have ever timed me eating my morning breakfast of carrots and peanut butter it does count as a laborious task).  Today, as a result of this idea of mine, I am challenging the great Forest Gump.  I don't think life is like a box of chocolates.  The sweetness of chocolate doesn't get to be experienced here on Earth.  We are in the rabbit food part of our existence.  Chomping our way through the dating game, our jobs, our kids, our families, our stresses and our small celebrations that don't even surmount to a tenth of the decadence to come.  The world doesn't lend itself to contentment anymore a salad when you are really really really hungry and in search of something more.  The world is also full of temptation to stray and you had better believe that there is a whole bunch of fried chicken and gravy smothered mashed potatoes standing in your way.  But I cling to the promise that heaven will be the 25-step-cheesecake-that-took-3-days-to-make and you had better believe it will be worth every sacrifice made here on Earth.  C.S. Lewis says it well when he says, "Aim at heaven and you will get Earth thrown in, aim at Earth and you will get neither." I can dig that.
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize." 1 Corinthians 9:24

Monday, September 3, 2012

Where do zucchinis come from? The zucchini stork of course!

Did you know that some people have enacted a National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day?  It's August 8th.  I would like you to know that if you need a neighbor's porch, you can borrow mine.  I stinkin love zucchini.  This week alone I have gone through approximately 11 cups of zucchini as a result of friend's belated celebration of this holiday.  I am most certainly not complaining.  I have made zucchini brownies, my zucchini flax seed muffins, a palealasgna (fed that one to small children, which I forgot don't eat adulty things like goat cheese... oops) and of course stir fries.  If you were a carnivore and tried to eat me, that is probably what I would taste like.  I'm sure I have little mini zucchinis growing in my stomach an all that jazz too. 
As the zucchinis begin pouring into my kitchen (which I hope they continue to do because I am a very good neighbor) I am starting to enjoy the creative side of zucchini.  There is so much more to a zucchini then meets the eye.  When I came across a recipe for whole wheat zucchini cookies, I said to myself, "Duh, these soooo need to be in your mouth."  Around that same time, I purchased a vanilla gelato. The next step was an obvious one.  What does one do with a whole wheat zucchini cookie recipe and vanilla gelato? Um, make an Italian ice cream sandwich the size of your face.  Hellooooooo.  So I did.  Then I had friends over for dinner and they helped me eat the monster ice cream sandwich.

It was a truly glorious thing.

Being that it was the size of my face and covered the whole platter, it would have been an Olympic event trying to consume it all myself.  Not saying I couldn't do it, but I am saying that my pants may or may not have buttoned the next day.  A slice was a better life choice. 
Are you wondering how it was?  Well, one of the kiddos said as she was chowing down on her slice that I was going to be famous for this.  It was yummy but I would have to argue that I think I am more likely to be famous for one of my so-much-chocolate-it-blows-your-mind kinda recipes. We'll see...
I've never even really desired to be famous but today as we were walking around the Taste of Colorado and I was oogling over the food trucks I thought an awful lot about that.  To be famous for the best ___ in town, with everybody curling around the block just to have a plate of your no-body-makes-them-this-good-except-my-mama food.  That would be the life.  Some day? After kids decide I am no longer hip enough to make their brains explode with knowledge, I believe I will open up one.  Now comes the task of picking what I want to be known for...  Not an easy task. Food truck legacy is not a matter to be taken likely. Brownies? Cheesecake? Veggie fare?
In all reality though, any legacy left behind is not a flippant choice.  How we make our mark matters.  Having the best brownies in town does not even begin to offer depth to the legacy I wish to leave behind.  From a top secret recipe sold from a food truck, to the Zumba certification training I am having on Friday (*gulp*) I choose to walk with purpose.  Each action writing the legacy I get to leave behind.  So yes, fame can come, but may the fame acquired in my life be solely to point to the Famous One as I seek His heart with great intention. THAT'S what I'm living for. (Although I don't mind that you find my brownies to be the bombdiggity.  I'll bake them for you always and forever.)
"Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD; His going out is sure as the dawn; He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth." Hosea 6:3