So, with only a few more light switches and trim work to go my kitchen is almost back in tip top condition. I am both relieved to finally have a functioning kitchen again (just in time for the holidays) and kind of saddened by the fact that my house wont be filled with friendly faces early in the morning any more. Funny how these things turn out…

To celebrate my new kitchen, and a morning without people in my house, I made my usual sweet tea and set out on pumpkin cupcakes. I have never been a fan of pumpkin though. I only eat pumpkin pie if it comes with a gallon of whipped cream so that I can’t really taste it. I am not sure if its a flavor or texture thing, but I’m not changing my stance on it. So, I am not really sure what possessed me to tackle Pumpkin Cupcakes with brown sugar cream cheese frosting, but I did.

The savory smells of clove and nutmeg made me think of fall. Not the short lived season that already passed where I am, but of crisp leaves and sweater weather, bonfires and pumpkin picking. Over all, all of the ingredients involved were just lovely to sniff while I was working (not that that doesn’t sound like a personal problem).  I used Williams Sonoma’s cupcake recipe and a secret family recipe for the icing with a few tweaks.

I found, at the end of it all, that I still dislike pumpkin but maybe with these the texture isn’t so bad.

So, I’ve been spending a lot of time out lately. With work, vacations, and drama in my life, I find it more comforting to not spend too much time at home. I really just don’t want to think too hard. So far, 22 has been a roller coaster ride. Ups and downs. I can’t complain. You get what you pay for. But do you? The kicker is, I’m a self defensive, independent, tough as nails, die hard romantic. Como se dice, One of these things is not like the other? And despite my normal pessimistic outlook on the world, I do believe that people can be happy together. Right.

So in my attempt to not think too much, be too stubborn and never back down, I’ve started teaching a friend how to cook.I started with the super easy and amazingly delicious shrimp scampi! Change a few ingredients and you have a stir fry or a great Alfredo meal. Either way, super easy, super yummy, and going to make everyone feel like a champ when the family gathers round. Toss a quick spinach salad on the side for your main veggie and poof! Looks amazing, tastes great, took like 20 minutes!

Shrimp Scampi! My way…

2 tbs Olive Oil

1 stick of butter

White wine to taste ( 1 1/2 cups or so)

4-5 (more if my father is involved) cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup diced red peppers

1 lb shrimp, peeled and cleaned

1 lb large bay scallops (I don’t always put these in but when I’m feeling rich, heck yeah!)

Fresh parsley, finely chopped

Seriously, that’s it. Heat the oil, add the butter, saute the garlic, add some wine, throw in those shrimp, cook til pink and throw in the red pepper and chopped parsley! Serve over rice, rotini, angel hair, whatever you have in the pantry. YUMM!

Yeah, cooking…. It keeps my mind off important things.

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