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Pumpkin Muffins

So it seems as though I was infected with some sort of domestic gene yesterday.  Perhaps it was in effort to redeem myself from the ridiculousness that was Saturday night.  You know it’s bad if you got home at 9 pm and can still call your night ridiculous.

the ladies of the football team

The reason truth or dare was played at the bar

I’m pretty sure we were minutes from being kicked out of the bar when we decided to change locations.  Apparently patrons who hadn’t been there since 3 pm did not appreciate our rowdy game of truth or dare.  Psh, whatever.  Prior to joining our football team in their post win celebrations at the bar, Dani and I actually partook in some culture downtown.

Dani’s youngest sister, Brooke, is a 14 year-old ballet superstar studying at the Kirov Academy in DC, and on Saturday her and a few other girls were part of an exhibit in tribute to Degas at the Phillips Collection.  They were emulating Degas’s Dancers at the Barre, and for 2 hours moved in different poses and stretches for observers.

Pretty amazing huh? Brooke lives at Kirov and studies dance and her regular 9th grade classes.  I barely made it through regular high school, haha.  It was a really fun afternoon and a cool exhibit to check out.

So yeah, then yesterday I was struck with some weird productivity and domesticity and tackled a lot for a Sunday.  First up was cleaning out the refrigerator to make room for a 21 lb frozen turkey.  We’re having “friends” Thanksgiving on Saturday and as usual I am in charge of providing the bird.  We had a lot of expired condiments in our fridge, and now we have a lot of room.  It’s nice.

After making room for all the food I needed to buy, I turned down an invite from the roommates to go out and watch football and instead headed over to Harris Teeter.  $104 later I was set, with not only Saturday’s turkey, but my groceries for the week, talk about an over budget trip.  Ugh.  Once home, I chopped up some onions, peppers, and chicken sausage, threw them in the crock pot with some wine, and dinner got to work cooking itself.  Then I was hit with the urge to bake, luckily I foresaw this urge and had happened to pick up a box of Spice Cake mix while at the store.  The simple box mix, combined with one can of pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves, wielded these awesome muffins.

At the last minute I decided to throw in some chocolate chips, and it was a wonderful decision on my part.  These are phenomenal, and I froze a few immediately to keep myself from eating all 12 in one week.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins (Makes 12)
1 Box Spice Cake Mix (I used Dunkin Hines)
1 Can (15 oz) Pumpkin
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Cloves
1/4 tsp Ginger
Chocolate Chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease your muffin tin (or line with papers).  In a large bowl combine all the ingredients and mix until smooth.  I just used a metal whisk, since muffin batter shouldn’t be too thin.  Spoon even amounts into the muffin tin and bake for 20-25 minutes.  Enjoy!

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend!

Our Weekend of Celebrations

Thank you all for the well wishes on Friday!  Darren and I had an awesome long weekend celebrating our anniversary together, and it was over way too quickly.  His flight arrived right on time Thursday evening, and with only a slight delay in baggage claim (boyfriend is worse at overpacking than I am) we were on our way home for my delicious homemade lasagna.  The slow cooker sauce was a huge hit, and Dar ate about half of the lasagna by himself.  The rest of the night was spent sitting around on the couch enjoying some drinks and hanging out with my roommate Dani and her guy friend.

Friday morning I once again set out to prove my cooking skills and made Dar and myself a breakfast of eggs in a basket and bacon.  Nothing fancy, but enough sustenance to get Darren through a day of shopping withe me.  The two of us headed out to Tysons Corner to pick up some things he needs for our vacation in December and things I didn’t need, but definitely wanted.  J. Crew was our first stop where we both took advantage of the addition 30% off of sale items, him with some khaki pants and me with a pencil skirt, sweater, and long sleeve shirt.  Dar bought me the sweater because he was proud of me for realizing I couldn’t afford to buy everything I wanted, haha :).

Friday night a group of 8 of us headed up to Poolesville, MD to experience Markoff’s Haunted Forest, and by the time we got there my nerves were shot.  I’m not a big fan of being scared or surprised, and the waiver we had to sign before going through was especially troubling.  I made it through without peeing my pants or crying, and may have only broken a small bone in Darren’s hand with my death grip.  I did get my head grabbed at one point, which wasn’t cool, but that was probably the worst of it.  A few of us headed out for some drinks once back in Arlington, and Dar and I called it a night around midnight and came home.

We spend the first part of Saturday lounging around until it was time to head to my football game around 2:30.  Dar is my #1 fan, and just like when he came to my kickball game and I was voted MVP for the day, I had a stealer football performance catching the ball for an extra point and batting down a pass on defense.  We celebrated our 54-6 win over the other team with post game drinks at The Front Page before heading home to get ready for our celebratory dinner.

We had dinner at one of my new favorite Arlington restaurants, American Tap Room, mostly because neither one of us felt like venturing too far away from home.  We started with the Crab and Spinach dip appetizer, amazing, followed by the Chilean Sea bass (him) and the slider trio (me).  The slider trio consisted of a pulled pork slider, jerk chicken slider, and cheddar cheese burger slider, all of which were amazing.  We ended dinner by splitting the cheesecake for dessert, also amazing.  After dinner we came home and watched Horrible Bosses, and I thoroughly enjoyed our date night.

We made the most of Darren’s last day here by venturing a little further West down 50 in search of a pumpkin patch.  We didn’t find one, but we did find a garden center where we picked up some pumpkins for carving.

my boo

looking like a geek

hard at work

slow and steady

Finished products

Shortly after we finished carving our pumpkins it was time for Dar to pack up and for us to head to the airport :(.  His 6 pm flight to Milwaukee was right on time and he made it to security with about 20 minutes until boarding.  We said our goodbyes and then I made the lonely walk back to my car.  Luckily our next visit with each other is in 47 short days, and then we get to spend almost and entire month with one another.  All in all it was a fantastic weekend, and I miss my love already.  I think it’s safe to say I will be spooning with the teddy bear he sprayed with his cologne for quite some time.

Parent’s Party

Holy weekend.  For the first time in quite sometime, I had a very active and busy weekend, and damn am I exhausted today.  It all started Friday after work with a bank breaking $315 grocery shopping trip (thank god that’s split between 3 people) followed by a run to Target, where not only did I buy the cupcake pan I needed but a “leather” jacket and some other crap I didn’t need.  Damn  you Target!  The roommates eventually headed out for the night, and I got around to preparing my desert for Saturday while waiting for my family to arrive.

I figured Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes were the perfect dessert for a crowd of 12 at a fall BBQ, and are personally one of my favorite things.  I finished up with the cheesecakes just as I heard the front gate to my house open, and greeted my family at the door.  They were all in desperate need of a drink after their long drive, so we sat around chatting and having some wine before they left for the night to check into their hotel.

Saturday morning I was up bright and early to meet up with the fam for our 11 am lunch date.  We ended up at Rustico in Ballston, which was amazing, and the perfect pre-football game meal for me.  Yes, the roommates and I are once again involved in a sports league, this time touch football.  Sadly we lost our first game of the season, but I think with some practice, actual play calling, and our real quarterback we’ll be fine.

I parted ways with the family again after football and told them to be at our house at 6 for the BBQ, and then the roommates and I ran one last errand to Home Depot before hitting the showers at home to get gorgeous.  Well, at least slightly less sweaty and dirty than we were after football.

Roommates and siblings during the BBQ (missing: two sisters and one brother).  The BBQ went off without a hitch, our parents all got along wonderfully, I managed to cook the food without destroying it, and we never ran out of booze.  We stuck with a simple menu of burgers, beer brats, side salad, pasta salad, and baked beans.  Desserts were the mini cheesecakes and an apple pie baked by Adrienne’s mom.  Once dinner was over and people began to relax, we lit up the chiminea and sat around it chatting until 2 am.  Well us kids did, my mom and aunt were the last parents standing at 11 pm.

Thanks to all the fun on Saturday night, I woke up with one raging bitch of a hangover yesterday and was pretty much dead until noon.  I managed to drag myself out of bed (and off the bathroom floor) to say goodbye to my family, before crawling back into it until Adrienne and Dani made me get up for roommate fun day.  The Redskin’s game was monopolizing the TV, so we headed into Clarendon for some football watching.  We ended up at a pretty new place, American Tap Room, where we sampled pretty much the entire menu and enjoyed some beers.  We want to go back for dinner, asap.

I was in bed at 9:30 last night watching football, and sound asleep not long after that.  This is why I can only have exciting and eventful weekends every once in a while.  I’m too old, haha.  I hope everyone had a lovely weekend!