14 November 2009

Gobble Up The Season

"The hardest arithmetic to master
is that which enables us to count our blessings."
~Eric Hoffer

Ugh! I absolutely cannot believe that Christmas is only 35 minutes away! Where did the year go; where did life go? I’m not ready! I’ve only got $10.00 in my Christmas savings plan so far! I’m just kidding; I don’t have a Christmas savings plan. Are you kidding me? I’m still working on my 2009 New Year’s resolution list and still trying to shed last year's turkey and fixing's.

It seems like yesterday when I was joking about the Halloween stuff already being put out at the stores and now the stockings are hung by the chimney with care...in what was once the lawn and garden section. Poor Thanksgiving; cursed with the middle child syndrome. I was absolutely delighted to walk into my hair salon the other evening and see a Thanksgiving tree. How often do you see that? I tried not to make eye contact with the big plastic rat underneath the tree; a leftover Halloween decoration. (See what I mean, hurryin' through the holidays!) You almost have to. "Hurry up and eat, Grandpa...I need that plate for my Christmas dinner!"

I wish we had more time to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday, my jeans are not as flexible, however. Perhaps it's time for Liz Claiborne to come out with a holiday pants line. One size fits all, Halloween through Christmas. It's so sad that you spend a couple of days cooking and preparing and then it's all over with in 30 minutes or less; a culinary orgasm of sorts! Well at least the "big O," that is. We all seem to keep going back for more and more and more! It is really the only day during the year that such a wide variety of foods are prepared causing us to stuff ourselves relentlessly like animals who are hoarding their food for the winter months.

Is it a coincidence that the holiday season is followed by the "new" year or is it a health club scam? No matter, I am thankful for all of it! Any opportunity I have to eat ANYTHING with the word pumpkin in it works for me. And of course it begins with the plastic one filled with treats that I trick my son out of.

As with every year for the past nine, I am thankful for the title of "Mommy" to one of the most amazing children created by my heavenly Father. I am thankful and blessed by those who call me friend. It is an honor to have you in my life and whether you are near or you are far, you are never more than a heartbeat away. And last, but not least, I am thankful for my gift of humor that has not failed me yet. It is my oxygen and you are my regulators. Dive in and enjoy your holiday.

I am sharing one of my most favorite Thanksgiving dishes of all time. Since I have long been the "token orphan," I have been blessed to be invited to many different homes for the holidays and it was at one of those homes that I first tried Artichoke Mary Lou and it has since become my own Thanksgiving tradition. Not only is it a beautiful dish, but it is absolutely delicious and easy! Also, I have thrown in a quickie dessert that follows. Gobble til you wobble!

Happy Thanksgiving from my space to yours,

Sunnie Welsh
The Paper Whisperer

Artichoke Mary Lou

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
3 cloves chopped garlic
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tomato chopped
1 can artichoke hearts w/liquid
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

In large glass pan or casserole dish, place olive oil, onions, green onions, celery parsley and garlic. Mix well. Add bread crumbs, tomato, salt, pepper and artichokes with their liquid. Mix well. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Sprinkle Parmesan (I use the shredded kind) all over top and put back in oven until melted.

The Big "O" Chocolate Cake

1 box of chocolate cake mix (your choice)
1 jar of caramel ice cream topping
1 bag of Heath bar crumbles (in the baking section)
1 tub of Cool Whip

Bake cake as instructed and allow to cool. Take the end of a wooden spoon and poke holes all over the cake. Pour the jar of caramel all over the cake (it will seep down into the holes). Spread tub of cool whip over entire cake. Sprinkle as much of the Heath topping over the top. Cover and chill. It is so easy and folks will NOT stop asking you for the recipe.