Thanks to Kellogg’s for sponsoring this post.
Lemon Blueberry Shortbread Cheesecake Dip
We need to talk about Scattergories and Dessert Dip.
First off, Scattergories. I invited some friends over for a board game brunch to try out party food ideas with the bajillion (roughly) new Town House cracker varieties and we played Scattergories, one of my favorite games. You roll a letter and then have to come up with words that start with that letter for each prompt on your list. The prompts are things like sports teams or things you put in the refrigerator. I’m usually great at it, but have you ever rolled an I? I thought J was the hardest letter, but I gave it a run for its money. About a minute into the round, someone paused and announced, “There are no words that start with I.” Perhaps that’s a touch hyperbolic, but at that moment, I was tempted to agree.
Also, don’t think for one second that you’re the only clever cookie writing down ascot for things you wear that start with “A.” Because every single person wrote down ascot. How does that happen? How is ascot still part of our vernacular?
Lemon Blueberry Gooey Butter Cake
Wow, anyone else feel that? That 180-degree instant shift in mood? Kristen’s post about February blues resonated with me. February is so hard, but I also have the more generalized winter blues. I can feel the doom set in as soon as the blue skies change to gray and the rain, wind, and ice roll in. I can hardly enjoy fall anymore just because I know winter is on its way, and with it depression and lack of motivation. Ugh.
But this morning!!
Hot Blueberry Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream
I take hundreds of photos. I don’t think a day passes when I don’t take one or two. This weekend I’ve snapped pictures of my favorite shrimp tacos, my pretty Chipotle salad, Mike’s eyes looking particularly blue, Byrd sleeping with her favorite toy. The other night I was lying in bed thinking about what creates this urge in me and I settled on this: I think we take pictures because we’re afraid of dying.
We don’t think of it like that while we’re standing in front of Cinderella’s castle and squishing a little tighter shoulder to shoulder to fit in the frame. We don’t think, “I’m terrified. Let’s take a few more snaps.” It’s more of a current running through our subconscious: I have to capture this moment. I have to stop the clock for a second. I have to preserve this feeling, this memory. I have to hold on to it somehow.
Giant Skillet Lemon Sugar Cookie
Nothing makes me more hopeful and more determined (and in some ways, more frustrated) than listening to my 13- and 14-year-old students put on their heavy armor at such a young age. The other day I was grading tests with a few girls in my room during lunch. They had a Taylor Swift song playing in the background and we were chatting about the music video when one of them said wistfully, “She’s so pretty.”
I walk a careful line at this juncture. Even after years of reading, thinking, learning, feeling, it’s still a tightrope.
Lemon Cheesecake Kuchen Bars
My 9th graders complete a year-long travel project where they research and plan a trip to three European cities, embark on an in-depth study of travel writing, and then actually take their trip and travel write for themselves. It’s an incredible capstone project for their last year at our school, which currently ends at 9th grade.
This year they’ve chosen to travel to Barcelona, Venice, and Florence. Last year’s group also chose Florence (along with Rome and Paris), so this will be my second time there. I’m tremendously grateful that this year’s group is taking me back, because I have a loose end to tie up: I have to climb Il Duomo.