It’s here. It’s really here. The nights are getting colder, the baked goods are getting more fragrant, and the decorations are coming out. That’s right. It’s the HOLIDAY SEASON.
First of all, I should say – I adore the holidays. I mean, I really love this time of year. I love what it means to me, I love what it looks like, and I love how it feels. And this past weekend, it really got started right. Alex and I attended the first of this year’s holiday gatherings on Saturday night at Lauryn and Jared’s house (she’s here and here). Their “Family Thanksgiving” was the perfect way to kick things off – nothing like tons of good food, a beautiful table, and lots of fellowship (including a staring contest) to spread holiday cheer. :)
I also started burning my birthday candles from Kathy – they made my weekend so much brighter (literally and figuratively)! There’s something warm and holiday-esque about them – this isn’t a great picture, but you get the point. Aren’t they amazing?
And yesterday was the kicker. As in – it rocked. Carrie and I went to early church, and then went on a grocery shopping spree. And when I say spree, I really mean spree. We started at Whole Foods, where I bought ingredients for pot roast, vegetable soup, and sweet potato casserole (that one will debut at Carrie’s Thanksgiving feast this weekend) and Carrie got the goods to make my favorite pumpkin bread recipe. After Whole Foods, we had another stop to make. We went to Martin’s, where Carrie bought a HUGE turkey to cook for the big dinner this week, and then we finally made it back home. That’s right – two grocery stores before noon.
When we got back to my apartment, we started putting together this Ginger Cake. I had pulled the recipe from a Cooking Light magazine ages ago and never had molasses on hand to make it. Luckily for me, Al had some stashed away from some deer jerky he made a couple of months ago, and it was the perfect amount. It’s an awesome dish – and even good for you! (Note flax seed meal and wheat germ.) Even the dry ingredients look pretty:
And you can definitely tell there’s molasses in the wet ingredients bowl:
And then, once everything was mixed together and the smell wafting from the oven had hypnotized Alex to emerge from his studies in the front of the house, we added a little powdered sugar and ta-daaaa! The lovely finished product:
We each ate a piece with a couple of apple slices on top – and it was, as Carrie so eloquently said, divine. It’s unique in that it’s not chocolate-y or sugary sweet, but spicy and rich. The perfect holiday/cold-weather dessert!
Finally, I have to admit – while we were making this cake, I may or may not have turned on a “Holiday” Pandora station. Okay, okay. I definitely did. And it was awesome. I might be maxing out the Pandora account this month! Tis the season, lovelies. And I’m psyched. :)