It’s that time of the week again. Funny pictures! Gosh, I always make these posts on Sunday night and then I can’t wait until Monday to post them. :B

You have to click on the next one, because it’s an animated gif. XD
Don’t get offended! As a female driver who drives better than her husband, I still found this hilarious.

This is crazy, I don’t even… But that’s why I like it!

Story of my life!
And now for the eye candy portion of this post:
It’s freaking Voldemort. The Dark Lord! What?
Where do I sign up to get my Dark Mark?
Neville Longbottom?!?! Umm…yeah…If he’s over 21, it’s not very creepy if I look, right?

I know! *cries*
Lia and I are going to watch all the movies sometime and do this!
And then see how sore we are the next day.
The following is my Christmas gift to you. It’s not a funny, but it could be if you make it in the middle of the night and hog it all for yourself! Okay, probably not a good idea. A normal-sized piece of this cake is almost too much. Super easy recipe, and so so delicious!

Click the picture to go to the recipe at Life as a Lofthouse Food Blog. 🙂
Merry Christmas, everyone! I’ll probably post once more before I head over to my mom’s in Boise. Go read my post on ANWA’s blog to see the reason it’s an extra special holiday season for my family!

My NaNoWriFail

Well guys, I was all pumped for NaNoWriMo this year, but sadly I’m going to have to cut my word count goal from 2000 to 500. My shoulders have been annoying little buggers lately. They don’t want me to lift anything, exercise, sleep in any position, let a kid lean against me, or – worst of all – write. I got pinched nerves or something in my shoulders near the end of my 5-year stint waitressing at Denny’s (I was a kick-a waitress too! Our Denny’s is on the route to Burning Man, and it was so much fun – although exhausting – serving the burners! I miss it sometimes).

Obviously I can’t give up writing, or any of those other activities, so I need to pace myself. Less online time (boo) to let my shoulders heal, and a saner daily word goal so I don’t get overwhelmed and beat myself up.

There’s a great alternative for authors who want to set some serious writing goals without the hard-to-meet objective of 50,000 words in a month. The writer’s group I belong to, ANWA, puts on writing challenges 4 times a year through the Yahoo group ANWAWrite. Anyone can join, you don’t have to be LDS or a woman. One of the challenges is called BIAM (Book In A Month) and coincides with NaNo. Many participants do both in November. The group’s moderators send out regular emails with inspirational quotes, and cheer everyone on when they turn in their daily word counts. What I love most about the challenges is that you pick your own word count goal. The first time I did BIAM, I learned so much about managing my time and getting my 500 words in without editing while I was writing.

The good news is that I have almost 3000 new words on Cobalt! I’m excited with the direction the story is taking, and pretty soon there’s going to be some real monster & pirate action. (That is, if you don’t consider jumping out of a moving airship into a forest full of mutant creatures and moving, bloodthirsty trees real action, which recently happened. That was a fun scene to write!)

Well, I must wrap this post up. My hungry stomach calleth me to the fridge for some leftover Marriage Proposal Chicken Soup. (I call it that because my daughter Lia took some to her first day at work yesterday and her co-worker, seeing and smelling the home-cooked deliciousness, proposed to her on the spot. Why don’t I ever get marriage proposals for my cooking??)

Oh, and speaking about good recipes, I just remembered this one. It’s freaking amazing, super easy to make, and probably adding inches to my waist since we have a mug of it every night before bed! (Click to see it full-size.)

Pumpkin Pasties

Oh my gosh, it’s my favorite season for baking, fireplaces, and PUMPKIN RECIPES! Although you wouldn’t know it’s fall, it’s still in the high 80’s today. Blargh…

I don’t have the Harry Potter cookbook, (it’s on my wish list) but I found this recipe online. I’ve been experimenting, so if I find one I like better I’ll post it.

2 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 cup sugar
1 1 lb. can pumpkin
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. cloves
1 2/3 cups evaporated milk (1 can)
Pie crust pastry, packaged or homemade (enough for four single standard pie crusts – yeah, this recipe makes a lot!)

Bake the pie filling only (no crust) in a large casserole dish at 425 for 15 minutes. Keep oven door closed and reduce temp to 350 degrees and continue baking for 45 minutes or until butter knife inserted in center of dish comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

Roll pie crusts thin and cut into circles approx 4″ in diameter (I use a bowl about this size to cut out the dough). Put a spoonful of the cool pumpkin mixture toward one side of the center of the circle. Fold over the crust into a half-circle and firmly crimp the edges closed. Slice three small slits in the top for venting, place on a cookie sheet lined with baking parchment, and bake only until crust is a light golden-brown.

I’ve experimented with different bowl sizes and even crimping the edges up to the top so they look like wontons. I didn’t like the wonton shape at all, because they baked weird. I like using a bowl between 4 and 5 inches in diameter, because you can fit more pumpkin into them. I tried a smaller bowl last night and the pasties turned out really cute, but less pumpkin. I brushed some beaten egg over the crusts so they came out a shiny golden color.

This recipe makes about 3 dozen, depending on how much pumpkin you spoon into the crust, and the crust size you cut. I had about a cup of pumpkin left over, and enough crust left over for about 2 or 3 more pasties, but I’d already baked two sheets and was tired out!