It’s CANON that we’re in love.  <3  Too bad I can’t take a beautiful self-portrait (of Mr. Canon, I mean, hehe).  Here’s another pic-heavy post coming your way, although I love that you guys care for the words, too.  :]

When were unshelled sunflower seeds so beautiful?

When Canon took them.  My mom was amazed… looks like she got her money’s worth :]

Christmas dinner was like Thanksgiving dinner without mashed potatoes.  We had turkey, because apparently, my aunt has never had a real turkey before.  O_o  Sounds pretty crazy to me, but I guess they just have Chinese food (for the Canadian Thanksgiving)?


Turkey, salad, corn, and canned cranberry sauce.  Stuffing came later. :]

Let me reiterate how much better this is than my old camera, as seen by their performances in low-light settings (looking at the kabocha pie pics should give you a valid comparison).  Let me reiterate how much I freaking adore this camera.  Let me reiterate how much I freaking adore this camera.

I’m in the process of clearing out my memory card, because the SLR pics take up a LOT more space.  Around 3 MB per photo! Maybe I should ask for an 8GB memory card for my birthday… kidding, of course.  :P  How weird would that be?  “I want a memory card for my birthday, Mom/Dad.”  Then again, this is coming from the girl who asked (and received) for a blender for Christmas.  o__o  A creative solution to this problem would be to change the image size on the camera.

Oh, and those cookies I said I was going to bake?  We ended up not baking them :/  We had just finished watching It’s a Wonderful Life on TV (damn commercial breaks…), and then we opened presents, and then soon enough, it turned out to be 1 AM!  O_O  And we. were. pooped.  Pooped, but happy.  :D  I’ll think up something else to make with those ingredients… somehow…

Oh, and since the raindeer came, it was icky outside today.  :D  I basically stayed inside all day, watching movies, playing video games, and of course, practicing with my new camera :]

And now for a side of funnies…

I’m less inappropriate than my mother thinks, honest.

Yesterday was my first time making a real, traditional snowman—as in, packing together snowballs and rolling them around in the snow, stacking them atop one another and decorating with hats, scarves, carrots, and apples (eyes… they were small apples!).  We went a little un-traditional with the mouth (though I really have no idea what you’re supposed to use) and used a banana for a big smile.  At least, that was the plan. My cousin went in to get the banana and you know what my mom and my aunt (her younger sister) thought it was going to be for?!?!…

… Yes, you’re right.  Three kids building a snowman.  Can anything in life be more innocent?!


Anyway, I hope you all are having a lovely, holly jolly Christmas :]


… onto my walls, my floor, my clothes, etc.  D:

Ahem, before I get into all that, let’s start with Thanksgiving morning.  Thanksgiving morning greeted me like so:

Hello, I am impending doom.

Yes, that is a super thick, impenetrable layer of fog out my window.  Good morning indeed…

It was a bad omen.

The crust was the good part.  I actually got a little creative with that—I can say that I have a recipe for it.  :D  My first ever, haha!  I was too lazy to make actual dough, so I resorted to using a “press in pan” crust.  It turned out pretty good.  :)

On the other hand, the pie filling was MESSY.  o_o  I screwed up a thousand times during the process of making it!  Actually, everything was going great… until the mixer. *shudder*  Electric whisks are dangerous.  When your squash ain’t fully blended.

-___- *facepalm*  How could I forget to purée the squash when the recipe calls for squash purée?!?!  Because I’m a nerd with no common sense, that’s why!  I ended up having the take out all the random hunks of squash in the mixture, along with any leftover seeds that were not scooped out initially… yeah, I’m fabulous at preparing squash purée.

Bleh.  It was a bleh experience, that’s what it was.  Cleanup was a pain in the (_|_).   However, I refuse to let my first go at pie-making bring me down for eternity!  I’m going to keep destroying my kitchen until I can make pie like someone’s grandma!  Yesss!  Who’s with me?!

puffin-pepita pie crust
makes 1 10-inch crust

– 2 + 1/2 cups Barbara’s Bakery Original Puffins
– 1/4 cup Barbara’s Bakery Peanut Butter Puffins
– 3 large handfuls pepitas
– 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
– pinch of sea salt
– handful of granola

Throw all ingredients into a blender and pulse until fully combined.  The mixture should have a slightly sticky texture when it’s done.  In all honesty, I eyeballed all of these measurements (except the butter), so this is just a guestimation of what I actually used, but you should end up with 2 1/4 cups of cereal “flour” to combine with the other ingredients.

And the results, after divvying up among the family—

Yes, I topped it with black sesame seeds.  Yes I did.

My piece, with ahem, whipped topping:

Eat me, good friends.

The verdict? My family loved it.  :)  Granted, it was just three people… four, if you include myself, but it was pretty tasty for my first pie!  I was really quite scared that they would hate it, and we’d have to resort to the store-bought pumpkin cheese chocolate ganache pie.  Uh, that sounds better than lame “kabocha pie” by a long shot.  But anyway, I’m pretty happy with the results, even though the steps that it took to get there were partial agony.  ;)

Our turkey this year happened to be incredibly juicy.  OMG.  Succulent, tender white meat… no gravy even needed.  The trick was to flip the turkey upside down to bake and fill the dish with water (something like that), according to my brilliant mom.  The best turkey I’ve ever had, period.  I don’t think I’ll get sick of the leftovers this year :)

I was also responsible for mashed potatoes this year.  Although I’d much prefer to eat mashed squash or sweet ‘taters (mmmmmm), my family is just… one potato.  :/  I did put a little spin on the more “traditional” butter-and-milk recipe though.  Anyone care to try it out?

miso-olive oil mashed potatoes with oregano, garlic, sea salt
serves 4

– 6 yukon gold potatoes
– 1 tsp red miso
– 2-3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
– splash of milk
– sprinkle of dried oregano
– sprinkle of garlic powder
– sprinkle of coarse sea salt

Boil potatoes until fork-tender.  Mash with your trusty potato masher until well-mashed.  Add a splash of milk and continue mashing—if the texture of the mash is still too dry, add another splash.  Continue adding milk until the potatoes reach the desired consistency.  Add olive oil (as much as you want—measurements are just an estimation of what I used), oregano, garlic powder, and sea salt to taste.  Mashmashmash.  The resulting mash has the slightest tint of red due to the miso, which I love, but of course, you could substitute any type of miso you happen to have on hand.

… I know, I know—I’m a terrible recipe-writer.  But I can’t help it—when I’m in the kitchen, I don’t think about measurements or anything (unless it’s extremely precise, like… oats).  I just do everything to taste and eyeball all the ingredients (which is why my crust recipe measurements may not be entirely accurate…).

I’m thankful for my sort of stellar Thanksgiving, the chance of reconciliation, and overall positivity for living in our new house.  Thanks for reading.  :)