The Cheesecake

I often feel very good about my cooking skills. I feel one of the things that makes me a good cook is my ability to go beyond a recipe. I’m pretty good at whipping things up on the fly, adjusting recipes to suit my needs, and in general just improvising.
Anyway, it’s all well and good for me to brag about my mad kitchen skills. Until I make something great, and want to make it twice.
Then I suck, and have terrible kitchen skills because, where is the recipe? Oh, right IT DOESN’T EXIST! You, Bethany, with your tinkering with things and not having any time to write down what you did because you’re too creative, by which I mean, you’re terrible at following instructions and have just learned to hide it from everybody. And now you can never eat those cookies again. Or, in this specific instance, cheesecake.
Last year for Thanksgiving I made a cheesecake. It was good, and it had a shortbread crust and a delicious caramel sauce to go with it. But I don’t have a recipe for cheesecake in my recipe box. I DO have a recipe for cheesecake in the dessert cookbook that also has the delicious caramel sauce, and the page was bookmarked with a handwritten recipe for…um…something. Cupcakes, possibly? I have no system.Actually, there are two recipes for cheesecake. One on each page, but I’m pretty sure it’s not the first one. I think last year’s cheesecake might be at least related to the second recipe, but I’m also pretty sure I merged it with a recipe from Food Network’s website. Which I did not pin or bookmark or save in any way.So I guess what I’m saying is, maybe I should learn to follow a recipe.

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So close…

I’m hoping we can get Zooey potty-trained (during the daytime, at least) before Newbie is here. She’s interested in potty-related things, and seems, at least sometimes, to be aware of when she has to go potty. Last night, she told me she had to go potty, and I took off her diaper so she could sit on the little potty we have downstairs.

Except she didn’t want to sit on it. She immediately wanted to move on to washing her hands. So I sat on the big potty to demonstrate how “big girls go pee-pee.” And she did go pee-pee.

On the floor, by the sink.

And then she wanted to wipe herself and wash her hands. So really, I should be proud, because she’s got almost the whole routine down. Except, you know, the important part.

Halloween (after the fact)

So, Halloween.

It’s pretty much my favorite holiday. I don’t know if you know that, but it is. You know why? Because it’s awesome. Christmas has a lot of expectations. I’ve got hundreds of dollars of presents to buy for dozens of people and WHAT IF I GIVE SUCKY PRESENTS EVERYONE WILL HATE ME!  And it goes on forever!!! It’s almost two months away and everyone is already trying to get me to celebrate it. Bah, humbug.

Thanksgiving is fine, and there’s stuffing, but it’s still a lot of running around trying to see everyone and not as much relaxing with my belt off as I’d really like. And my team never plays during the football game.

Halloween is really the good stuff. It’s a celebration of chocolate and pretending to be someone else all night. Also The Nightmare Before Christmas. No one expects me to buy anything more than a giant bag of fun size Snickers, and maybe a couple pumpkins. I also like making costumes and carving pumpkins. Wheeee! Low expectations/high reward. That is the holiday for me.

This year I was really excited to make a costume for Zooey. I’ve been planning to make her Boo from Monsters Inc. basically since I could put little pigtails in her baby hair. I made a costume that I’m pretty proud of:

boo costumeThough, you may notice, there’s not little Boo in the costume. She would not wear it. Or pigtails. But it’s cool. I had a backup:

owl_costume1

owl_costume2

4-hour owl! And she actually let me put it on (kind of, there was some freaking out when I attached the wings, but she got used to them). And, I carved a pumpkin to match:

owl_pumpkin

the new kid

Hey, guess what y’all?

big_sister1 Someone’s going to be a big sister! She’s as excited about it as a 16-month-old can be, inasmuch as we now spend more time talking about babies, and even though she doesn’t understand exactly what we’re trying to tell her, she likes to talk about babies, or at least say “Baby!” very excitedly. The new kid should be here at the end of April (I’m 15 weeks right now, if you were interested) and we should know next month if we get the boy or girl variety.

Everyone is very happy about it, including me, when I’m not barfing. Which can stop any time now, please.