Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Welcome October!

missjunebug loves fall in SoCali!  The fall of blazing orange pumpkins, cool, crisp weather (almost here!), clear dark-sky nights (rain by Thanksgiving), sweater warmth (cashmere, please!), and plenty of practice baking going on so that missjunebug can be ready for pie duty on Thanksgiving day. So how has missjunebug been preparing herself for all that’s fall?

First, she headed to her fave pumpkin patch at Underwood Farms 3370 Sunset Valley Road in Moorpark and picked some perfect pumpkins for her porch! (Whew! So alliterative!) Take a look:

A Wheelbarrow Full of Pumpkin Fun! Photo by mjb2013
A Wheelbarrow Full of Pumpkin Fun! Photo by mjb2013

 

Ghost pumpkins! So spooky the orange ones cower! Photo by mjb2013
Ghost pumpkins! So spooky the orange ones cower! Photo by mjb2013

 

Pumpkins almost as far as the eye can see! Photo by mjb2013
Pumpkins almost as far as the eye can see! Photo by mjb2013

 

missjunebug worked up a serious appetite and decided it was time to make one of her fave cookie recipes: Monster Cookies! So appropriate for the Halloween month of October. Are they scary? Not really. Just big and fun and delicious. The secret: No flour! Just some healthy oats, some (maybe not so healthy) sugars, peanut butter and voilà! Monster Cookies! Easy to make. Easy to eat. Easy to freeze for later!

Here’s are the recipes for a ton o’ cookies (the first one) and a half ton o’ cookies (the second one):

missjunebug’s Not-So-Scary Monster Cookies

Full Recipe

1 dozen eggs

2 lbs brown sugar

4 cups granulated sugar

1 T. vanilla

2 T. Karo syrup

8 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 lb. butter

3 lbs. peanut butter

18 cups Quaker Old-Fashioned Oats

1 lb. M&Ms

12 0z. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Beat the room temperature butter until nice and creamy. Add the sugars, vanilla, syrup, and baking soda. Add the eggs and beat in a few at a time. Next, blend in the peanut butter until the mixture is thick and semi-gooey! Throw in the oats, M&Ms, and chocolate chips and you are good to go. Scoop a large size cookie onto Silpat-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 13 to 18 minutes, depending upon how crispy you want the cookie to be. missjunebug likes hers super crispy, but it’s up to your taste!

Remember what missjunebug says: “De gustibus non est disputandum!” There’s no accounting for taste (so each to his/her own!)

Too many cookies? Yeah, this Full Recipe makes about 12-14 dozen depending upon the individual size of the cookie. That’s a lot o’ cookies!!!

Try this instead:

Half Recipe

6 eggs

1 lb. brown sugar (= 2 cups)

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 T. vanilla

1 T. Karo syrup

4 tsp. soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 lb. butter

1 1/2 lbs. peanut butter

9 cups Quaker Old-Fashioned Oatmeal

1/2 lb. M&Ms

6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Throw in a bowl and beat the heck out of the ingredients. (Not really. Just read above Full Recipe for how to combine the ingredients!)

These cookies should be stored in an airtight tin or container. You can also Ziploc them into freezer bags and save some for later!

Throw all the ingredients in a big bowl! Photo by mjb2013
Throw all the ingredients in a big bowl! Photo by mjb2013

 

Form a big cookie using a couple of tablespoons. Photo by mjb2013
Form a big cookie using a couple of tablespoons. Photo by mjb2013

 

Cook until crisp and cool! Delicious! Photo by mjb2013
Cook until crisp and cool! Delicious! Photo by mjb2013

 

mjbTip: Go out and have some fall fun! Welcome October indeed!

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My oh my missjunebug LOVES pie!

Pumpkin pie, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki...
Pumpkin pie, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Pumpkin_Pie.jpg Scrumptious and good for you! Pumpkin pie is loaded with a healthful phytonutrient called beta-carotene. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

missjunebug got back into the country from the Land Down Under just in time to start baking pies for Thanksgiving! She’s sticking with the traditional tried and true Libby’s Pumpkin Pie and Karo Syrup Pecan Pie. You can’t go wrong with the classics! She throws in a Harvest Pie for good measure that provides a mouthwatering mouthful of Granny Smith apples and Ocean Spray cranberries. She’ll share that recipe as soon as she makes her trip to the market to gather the necessary ingredients…absolutely the hardest part of the whole process!

Speaking of desserts, please God don’t let Hostess go out of business! That’s just wrong! Life without the occasional Twinkie or handful of Donettes–powdered sugared or chocolate iced–is not worth living!

English: Hostess Twinkies. Yellow snack cake w...
English: Hostess Twinkies. Yellow snack cake with cream filling. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

missjunebug wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving! It is far and away the best holiday of the year. The focus of Thanksgiving remains where it should: on friends, family, feasting, and fun. What more could a holiday merrymaker ask for except maybe another slice of pie, please! My oh my missjunebug loves pie!

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Thankful for Things Software

Gi?y ghi vi?c in s?n-Preprinted Post it notes
Image via Wikipedia

missjunebug has been thinking about writing things down lately. She’s started her usual lists for this time of year–Thanksgiving pie ingredients, Christmas presents for her side of the family and Mr.JB’s side of the family, seasonal chores to do–you get the idea. She’s been especially taken by a program on her fab little MacPro called Things that keeps her on task and productive. It contains EVERYTHING a person needs to succeed in, to borrow a phrase from David Allen, getting things done!

If you know D.A. you’ll readily see the way in which Things meshes perfectly with the Getting Things Done precepts. And it’s fun!

If you find yourself in search of some order in your goal setting and a way of tracking your progress, missjunebug assures you that you can’t go wrong with Things. She wants to give a shout out to ElderJB who got her started using Things! Thanks, ElderJB! Good on you!

Of course, you can always set your default to The Paper List when your computer isn’t handy! It’s small, simple, portable, and check-off-able! missjunebug is a big proponent of all things Occam’s Razor -y!

Another fun internet site to set your sights on for list making is www.43things.com. You can make your own goal list or be inspired by others! Think of this as good preparation for those New Year’s Resolutions which are just a blink away!

 

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missjunebug’s 2010: Put that one in the Rearview!

missjunebug's P.I.C. prepares last year's Rockin' New Year's Fun! Photo by mjb2009

missjunebug can’t get waited for 2010 to end (She thanks her JBDad-may he rest in peace-for that little expression!). O what a year it’s been!

Here’s her mixed bag of medical mishaps, mayhem, and monumental events:

Diagnosis: The Big C with the Big O! Hysterectomy followed! Then chemo, then pelvic radiation, then follow-up. And did she mention springing a leak in her poor little belly button post surgery! You cannot make this stuff up! Ree Diculous. missjunebug has officially entered her post-patient C-survivor status and would most definitely like to keep it that way.

An outrageous trip to Africa by way of Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo was squeezed in between moments of medical mayhem! Now missjunebug understands firsthand why ElderJB loves it there!

JBDad’s passing filled with grief, regret, sadness, celebration, and so much more. Life for JBDad was circumscribed by a mind that no longer supplied the “I” of identity. But missjunebug and her JBbro remember the real JBDad with love and appreciation.

ElderJB makes an unexpected trip home to offer some TLC to his JBMom! What a nice break from thinking about yes, you guessed it: medical mayhem!

TinyJB graduates with pomp, circumstance, and a temporary job! Go Irish! Easily one of the best weekends of missjunebug’s life and she’s got the pictures to prove it. Now if the economy can just cooperate and cut her TinyJB some slack for securing his next gig!

Eclipse chasing never felt so good: Tahiti rocked! Hao Atoll rolled! And all the pictures Mr.JB took were prizeworthy. missjunebug and Mr.JB look forward to 2012 for the next total solar eclipse in Australia!

The last blast of Irish football occurred ND-Michigan weekend, where, alas, the Irish went down to defeat due to QB1 difficulties. But things still hopped all weekend long at the Backer, the tailgate parties, and the post-loss non-celebration dinner in downtown South Bend! Woo-hoo!

Onto Wisconsin Thanksgiving reunion where all Mr.JB clan minus ElderJB gathered in Whitefish Bay for freezing temperatures(!) and steaming hot Thanksgiving fare! What fun! What family! And the Lakeside Brewery Tour and Polka-Fest rounded out the holiday weekend perfectly!

All missjunebug’s Christmas dreams came true with the best tree ever and the most fun family gathering of the JBclan! The junebugs ate too much! partyied too much! spent too much! but wouldn’t change a thing!

O what a year it’s been! One more celebration beckons thanks to her dear p.i.c. (pictured above!) who will host this year’s (and last year’s! and the year before’s!!?) New Year’s Eve Rockin’ Blow-out in the Burbs! Mr.JB and missjunebug are off to BevMo to score some champagne and Godiva White Chocolate Liquer as their contribution to the fete!

Fun times ahead as they ring out this outta control 2010 and look forward to a better, heathier, happier 2011! May it be so with you and yours!

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An Easy Way to Eat Healthy

A Tower O' Healthy Eats! Photo by mjb2010
A Tower O' Healthy Eats! Photo by mjb2010

missjunebug is on mission to reform her diet, especially after the tasty Thanksgiving detour she recently took. With Mr.JB out of town and Christmas trappings to joyfully distribute around the Hacienda, she didn’t want to waste time cooking for one. What to do? What to do?

Her answer: Deli Salads!!! Oh. my. yes. After her monthly appointment to flush her cath-port (another story, another time), she swung by Gelson’s to pick up food for the week in those handy little #1 containers. Such variety. Such deliciousness. And simple, simple, simple.

missjunebug had a tough time deciding but she finally settled on Wild Wheatberry Salad, Jessica’s Super Antioxidant Chopped Salad, Jessica’s Chopped Vegetable Barley Salad, Homemade Potato Salad, and Vegetable Greek Salad with Feta! And guess what? missjunebug bought enough little salads to get a #2-sized container of Fresh Fruit Salad for FREE!! Truly, life is good.

Okay, missjunebug knows what you’re thinking: Any indulgences? Well, yes, as a matter of fact, there was one. She also got a #1 container of Cornbread Stuffing. Since she suffers from a dearth, actually an entire absence of Thanksgiving leftovers, having enjoyed Thanksgiving at Mr.JB’s sister’s in Wisconsin, she had a leftover craving for Cornbread Stuffing. Yum. She ate that in place of the meat course! Brilliant!

The moral to this little food story? When you find yourself on your own, have a healthy food party for one with delicious deli salads! This is the kind of indulgence you can absolutely afford!

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Gratitude Attitude a Hallmark of Happiness

Thanks ElderJB for This Delightful Turkey! mjb2010
Thanks ElderJB for This Delightful Turkey! mjb2010

Happy Thanksgiving! missjunebug loves this holiday and hopes you do, too! Savory food and family and all that pie! And so much to be thankful for!

Turns out that’s a really good thing to be: thankful. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Grateful people are happier, healthier long after the leftovers are gobbled up.”

The benefits of gratitude are legion: more of all the good things we want as human beings: optimism, energy, social connections, money (!), exercise, sleep, and even resistance to viral infections!!

missjunebug encourages you to cultivate gratitude daily in a gratitude journal, in daily prayer, in meditation, or in your own special way. missjunebug writes her thanks on those little iPhone post-it notes and in her Moleskines and she concludes each evening with her Dear Lord, thank you for this day prayer. Keep it simple. Make it grateful. Amen to that!

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missjunebug says, “Good-bye to All That!”

Pencil in Some Not-So-Fun Events, missjunebug! Photo by mjb2010
Pencil in Some Not-So-Fun Events, missjunebug! Photo by mjb2010

missjunebug is happy to report that she is glowing with good news: Rad Treatments are Complete! She once had high hopes for 2010 when she bid a not-so-fond farewell to 2009. Alas, a sweet 2010 was not to be. Surgeries, a super-sad funeral, more surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation have comprised and compromised the year so far. But has that discouraged this little glowing bug? Not at all.

Because in between the medical interventions, missjunebug and her bug fam have had some fun. A trip to Africa to see ElderJB, the graduation of TinyJB from university, a solar eclipse in lovely Tahiti, a football weekend extraordinaire where the JBs bonded with ND Nation, and an upcoming Thanksgiving Reunion in Wisconsin with MrJB’s clan. Can it get better than that? Well, yes it can: ElderJB will return from Africa to the states at Christmas time and TinyJB will make the trip from his digs in South Bend. missjunebug is excited BIG TIME for the second junebug family reunion of the year.

All these wonderful family times are perfectly complemented by the fab fun missjunebug has had with super-supportive friends. Yall know who you are! missjunebug wants to make a BIG SHOUT OUT to her friends for being with her through a 2010 that’s been a little thin on good news.

Except to say the good news that she’s officially saying to her heinous cancer: Good-bye to All That!

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Thanksgiving: A Holiday to Savor

"The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth"...
Image via Wikipedia

So missjunebug is gearing up for the big pie bake that will be taking place starting really early Thanksgiving morning. This year all the heavy lifting of turkey baking and stuffing stirring and potato mashing will be handled by her dear neighbors. (Whew! missjunebug and Mr.JB went all out last year with a houseful of friends and family so they are happy to pass the baton back to the neighbors near and dear to them!)

While missjunebug began making her grocery list to supply the ingredients necessary to pull off two pumpkin pies, one pecan pie, one apple-cranberry Harvest Pie, and the not-to-be-missed sugar cookies that look suspiciously like Christmas cookies disguised in the shape of Thanksgiving turkeys, she couldn’t help jotting down a few things she’s grateful for as well:

1. Family and friends near and far missjunebug holds in her heart especially at this time of year. She has been blessed in countless ways with a supportive family and wonderful friends. Sappy but true.

2. A home with a kitchen counter island large enough to make perfect homemade pie crusts or room to roll out the Pillsbury crusts if missjunebug’s homemade ones fall apart.

3. Excellent results on her colonoscopy screening! Okay, missjunebug knows that is t.m.i. X 10, but in a year that has been tricky medically speaking, she’s ecstatic!

4. Speaking of health care matters, she grateful that Congress wrangled the 60 votes necessary to begin the healthcare debate in earnest, dodging a bullet on a Republican filibuster. missjunebug hopes more Americans can get their healthcare needs met without having to show up at the emergency room. Like most Americans missjunebug would like to see some real reform.

5.  In advance of Black Friday, missjunebug wants to thank all the retailers for the super-deep discounts they will be offering this Christmas season. missjunebug tip: inventories are down, so if you see the perfect gift, scoop it up! You might not see another one again, especially those cute little fake hamster pets for ten bucks.

6 to Infinity. So many other things missjunebug could name. Just know she is one grateful little junebug and she takes nothing for granted.

Happy Pie Baking! Happy Turkey Stuffing! Happy Bargain Hunting!

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