how to win friends and feed people

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Beef and Bean Chili

Like most things in my life these days, the holidays usually revolve around The Food. What kind will there be? Will there be enough? Who is making it? Can I make it? Can we make sure there is salad? And chocolate? And breakfast? What about Second Breakfast?

You get the idea.

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harry potter party / pumpkin pasties / nerd alert

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My freehand attempt at the Hogwarts Crest, which just so happens to still be in the dining room.

The recent passing of Alan Rickman, may he rest in peace, reminded me that I never blogged about the Harry Potter party we had back in November. It was a small affair, with maybe a dozen like-minded Potter-nerd friends, as many free decorations as I could print off of the Internet, with Pumpkin Pasties, Butterbeer, and a cheese plate with fixin’s (because cheese plates are my favorite and require no cooking or baking). It was one of those fun parties where at the last second before guests arrived I was able to snap some pictures of what we assembled, then promptly lost my phone and forgot to capture any photos of actual humans. We each took a 100+ question sorting quiz (find it here), watched some of the movies, did Harry Potter trivia (to compete for Head Boy or Head Girl of course) and played Quidditch Pong. It was a marvelous time! Also, a fair warning: If you have no interest in Harry Potter, but you are interested in Pumpkin Pasties, skip the middle and read to the end. They were delicious for breakfast the next day. What I’ve included below is some pictures of the sparse decorations we had, a link to an authentic butterbeer recipe, and my recipe for pumpkin pasties.

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focaccia bread / mere mortals can bake bread, too!

freshly baked.

freshly baked.

When I was in college, I was in a ‘sorority’ of sorts. I went to a small, private university that made up their own version of the greek system, probably in an attempt to be more wholesome and sober. Instead of sororities, they were called tribes, and my tribe was called Nenamoosha (nee-na-MOO-sha). During my sophomore (junior?) year, we had some t-shirts made to help further distinguish us from our on campus peers, because what is college if it’s not about wearing the same shirt as 87 other females? This happened every year, but this particular semester they were grey V-necks with a screen-printed picture of two Care Bears on the front and the words “Nenamoosha Sisterhood” on red script across the shoulders. I was instantly in love because: V-neck! and oh, grey, my favorite color! And it was long enough because: tall girl problems.

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