thursday things

pumpkins dark

It’s Thursday!  And Halloween was here!!!

Yes, I realize it was like a week ago, but how can I tell you about my Halloween if it hasn’t happened yet? HOW!?!?  Sheesh, I’m not psychic people, what do you want from me?!

We carved our first pumpkins ever!   Which one do you think I did?  🙂


Well, “ever” since i moved to arizona.  I was actually pretty convinced people out here didn’t even carve pumpkins… or celebrate Halloween.  Our first year here i don’t think we got a single trick or treater…

Sam was guarding the door for us, to protect us from any trick-ers…

sam door

She’s such a good guard cat… except that instead of actually protecting us she would just bolt into the other room whenever someone approached the door.

Don’t quit your day job, Sam.

Five whole groups of trick-or-treaters made it through Sam’s invisible force field, FIVE!!!  Including the most adorable tiny Thor I’ve ever seen.  I wanted to take a picture of him, but then I realized that it might not be appropriate for a complete stranger to take a picture of someone’s child… even if they are dressed up like Thor.

I was so excited to have any trick-or-treaters at all that I was dumping candy into their bags like “Just take it! Please! Take it all!”

Since I was a dinosaur, I told people that I was going to chase any kids I saw down the street roaring and throwing candy at them…


A lot of people mistook me for a dragon though. I guess they do kinda look alike.  Dinos… dragons… whatever.  I’ll have to try harder on the costume I make next year, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to be wearing my dino hoodie all winter long.

dino 1

Maybe I’ll skip the tail, though… seems a bit much for everyday wear….

Or does it?


So anyway, we’ve got like five pounds of candy leftover still.  A whole bag isn’t even opened yet.  So obviously I need to find a recipe to fill with mini candy bars.  Luckily I did some research on this same topic last year…

Maybe I could donate it to these poor kids.

Actually, most of the kids in that video don’t deserve candy.  I feel like if my kid acted like that I might just have to eat all of their candy on principle just to punish them.  Maybe even make them watch while I do it…

Sorry, was that a bit harsh?

I guest I could always feed them lots of this instead.

But seriously, doesn’t that just look delightful?  Damn you, Food52 for making me want all the things! 🙁

But there are some things I can have…

Like the Some Kitchen Stories November desktop calendar

Are you drooling?

Movita posted this article a couple days back on her facebook and it basically changed my (blog) life.  You know how you post on a blog occasionally, and then someone replies but then you NEVER SEE IT because WHO GOES BACK TO LOOK FOR REPLIES?? WHO?!?! (hint: not this girl)  How are you supposed to actually remember 1. THAT you commented, 2. WHERE you commented, 3. WHEN you commented.

Well, you don’t have to!

Because this makes it so that you get an alert when someone replies, and not that annoying “SOMEONE COMMENTED ON THE SAME THING THAT YOU COMMENTED ON SO NOW I’M GOING TO SPAM YOU” way… but in a totally convenient and low-key, “Hey this person actually replied directly to you” way… so … if I reply and you don’t get an alert, please let me know (if you happen to be one of those people who actually checks back).  There was a minor issue in the beginning where I forgot to actually set it up had some technical difficulties.  Seriously, remember to actually set it up if you download it.

Shannon had an awesome feature on juniper berries in the latest issue of Feast Magazine.  Be sure to pop over and check it out, not only is it super interesting, but she’s got a lovely chili recipe to go with it!

In Trader Joe’s News…







Kringle – it’s filled with delicious almond and only $6.99.  It retails ON THEIR OWN WEBSITE for almost $20 (plus shipping!) and it’s seasonal so it won’t be around for long.  I’m considering stockpiling enough of it in my freezer to last to next year.

Pumpkin bread pudding – I was skeptical at first, but…. just trust me.  It’s like biting into creamy, delicious pumpkin pie, in bread pudding form.

Skip on – Pumpkin granola(?) bars.  Not want.  They taste like they are filled with a reduced pumpkin pie paste and way too heavy on the “pumpkin spice” flavor.

Other stuff

This awesome book makes your brain feel dyslexic… it’d be a great coffee table read… or… not read… whatever.  You can check out its kickstarter page here.

This a cappella group who shows that autotoune (and instruments) is completely unnecessary to make an awesome-sounding song.

This video of skydivers narrowly escaping death.  I know it sounds gory but you should watch it.  Here, I made it easier to watch by putting it right here:

Christmas is rapidly approaching (I even bought my first Christmas gift of the season this week!).  I really feel like this might finally be the year for Natalie to conquer (or at least to attempt) royal icing!  Or at least cut out cookies

Finally, this cat…


Thursday Things


It rained for 5 days straight here.  No joke.  Nonstop rain.  In Phoenix.

THEN, when I got into my car today there was ice on the windshield.  ICE!!!  I live in the desert, WHY IS THERE ICE ON MY WINDSHIELD!?

At least it finally stopped raining…

Despite the ice, I got all warm and fuzzy when I got to the office and saw that Serious Eats featured my picture on their game day treats lineup!  You can check out their game day treats slide show or go straight to my recipe for M&M-stuffed cookies – For game day, fill them with your favorite team’s colors.

Or, fill them with the opposing team’s colors and pretend that you are crushing them with every bite! ( Insert evil laugh )

game day sweets

If you’re still looking for other game-day recipes, hopefully you caught my round-up of stress-free Super Bowl recipes.

In case you were concerned that my obsession with hilarious cats was waning, don’t worry, it’s still going strong.  In fact, I just realized I never told you about my newest instagram cat obsession: Colonel Meow.


Majestic, right?


Get that poor cat a brush!!! You can follow him on instagram or check out his facebook page!

And poor Sophie is still trying to catch that rascally mouse.  She likes to try to outsmart him by sticking her hand under the iPad or looking around behind it.  Poor thing just can’t resist.  Look at how sad she is.


In other, non-cat-related news (if there is such a thing), I learned that I’m not crazy.  Well, at least not for always googling terms like “perfect temperature for white bread” when I’m baking.  According to this article on the Kitchn, checking your breads temperature is the secret to perfect bread and rolls!

COINCIDENTALLY, that thermometer is identical to mine!

Oh, and the BF got me the best erasers ever.  This is actually old news (they were a stocking stuffer) but I finally remembered to bring them to work and show them off.  Too bad I will never be able to use them because they’re too cute.


Oh, and Trader Joe’s has a new candy bar.  It’s called PB&J bar, but it actually tastes like a PB&J Sandwich.

No, like ACTUALLY.

pbj bar

I know what you’re thinking, “Duh, Natalie.  It’s called PB&J Bar” but NO!  It’s weird.  Good, but super weird.  It doesn’t taste like a chocolate bar filled with peanut butter and jelly, IT TASTES LIKE A PB&J SANDWICH!  You’ll have to try it for yourself to understand.

Last, but certainly not least, did you know that there is A WHOLE SUBREDDIT ABOUT RED PANDAS??  The BF showed it to me last night and I can’t stop looking at it.


red panda

So if you feel like you need to overdose on cuteness today (which I will need to do to make myself stop crying after the VERY LAST EPISODE OF 30 ROCK EVER airs tonight), please do check it out.  Freaking red pandas… WHY ARE YOU SO CUTE???