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So maybe “soon” was optimistic back in January.  But I like to think of me as an optimistic kind of person; at least on the good days, which can tend to be ephemeral in my life.

Thankfully today is one of those good days, & it is also my father’s birthday:D  Since my current obsession is Pinterest, I tried out a few things I found on there.  Per Pinterest Etiquette for craft bloggers I will be linking to the original blog & not the Pin, just a handy FYI.

First, I roasted a pumpkin.  The idea originally came from elsewhere, but I lost it, so I just searched Pinterest for “roast pumpkin” & went from there.  I didn’t really follow any of the recipes, but here are the main three I took inspiration from:

Here is what I ended up with:

Roasted Pie Pumpkin

I don’t know much about pumpkins as far as varieties go.  Usually my pumpkin comes from a can.  I use Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin where the only ingredient is: pumpkin.  So I don’t know kind of pumpkin I’m usually eating, but it’s more orange than that one was when I cut it open.  The pumpkin was only labeled “Pie Pumpkin” when I bought it, but according to All About Pumpkins, that seems to be more of a generic term than an actual variety.

Since I’m not much of a cook, I didn’t have most of the things those other recipes used.  I had a pumpkin though, & some olive oil, so I went from there.  I cut the top off the pumpkin, & scooped the seeds & guts into a bowl for later (I’m going to roast the seeds).  Then cut the pumpkin in half & laid them flesh up on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil.  I drizzled olive oil & pancake syrup over the halves.  (I usually pair honey with my pumpkin, but I discovered at the last minute I was out & pancake syrup was what I had.  It was maple-ish flavored.  I did mention I don’t cook much, didn’t I?)  Then liberally sprinkled them with ground cinnamon & ground ginger.  Then, thinking pumpkin is sweet, I wanted a little savory balance, plus they were there on the counter with the other spices, I dashed them ever so lightly with onion powder, garlic powder, & just a splish-splash of black pepper.  Don’t do that.  I think it was the onion powder that was the real bad guy, with garlic powder as the runner-up.  After it baked in my toaster oven for an hour at 400F, we got to eat it & discovered the pumpkin itself was tasteless.  What I could taste was the aforementioned powders.  I tried to fix it with more cinnamon & ginger, & some butter, but it was hopeless.

I would like to try this again, but with a better pumpkin or other type of squash.  With another pumpkin, or other sweet squash, I would use butter instead of OO, &, as suggested previously, not use onion or garlic powder on it.  Yeah.

I also steamed rice, which came out toothy but I like that; steamed brussel sprouts, which I forgot to put lemon in when I cooked them so they were on the bland side; &, Hillshire Farms Apple Chicken Sausages with Gouda.  Those I only had to heat up, so they came out fantastic!  They are from their Gourmet Creations line.

For dessert I made some orange cinnamon rolls.  Taking another cue from something I saw on Pinster, from A Hen’s Nest, I cooked them in the waffle iron.  We just have the cheap waffle iron from the dollar store, unlike the Hen above who has a big fancy waffle maker, so I put one roll in each side, shut it in, & waited 2-3mins.  Or longer, I forgot the first batch for 5mins, so they burned a little.  Still good though.  I nuked the icing cup (sans metal lid of course) for a few seconds & poured the icing over the waffles.  (I also poured some of it over my thumb getting it out of the microwave, but I wouldn’t recommend that.)  they come out waffled & crisper than if you just bake them in the oven.  It’s a nice change of pace.

As you can see they got better (aka less burnt) as I went along.  I tend to burn things because it’s the only way I know how to tell when they’re done.

Cinnamon Roll Waffles

This would be especially good for one or two people just wanting a snack.  No need to heat up the whole oven for a roll or two, & no having a dozen freshly baked cinnamon rolls sitting around being temptatious (& yes, that’s a real word).

For his gift, mostly my gift to him was the dinner & my presence (you’re welcome), I decided to utilize another idea I had pinned: How to make gift bags from newspaper.

I had intended to use the sports page, but when I reached into my newspaper box I pulled out an old Shop-Rite circular.  Since that’s the local grocery store, so where I bought the makings for dinner, I took it as kismet & used it.  I decided not to waste my time actually measuring & cutting, so I just left the single page folded in half & went for it.  I did measure the folds when it came to shaping the sides, & guess what?  They were just the right size for the bag she was making.  Kismet!  Since it was last minute & I just had a few light items for it, I skipped all the cardboard inserts.  For the handles I took strips from an old t-shirt I had ripped up earlier.  They worked great.  I wrote my message on the front & added a heart-shaped scrap booking brad I happened to have on hand.

Mah bag:

Newspaper Gift Bag

I was pleased with the way it turned out.  I will definitely be making more of these. In the future I’m going to try nicer paper though, probably some gift wrap or tiny ones out of magazine ad pages.

Well, that was it!  Hope you enjoyed it:)  I have some other things I’m finishing up I’ll be posting about, as well as some free patterns to add.  Hoping to actually get something in my Etsy shop soon so I can hurry up & get rich.  What?  That’s not how that works??  Damn.

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