Giant Cupcake!

So.  There's been this giant cupcake pan sitting in my kitchen for close to a year now.  It was a Christmas gift from PLS and GWS last year.  And I just never got around to using it.  Mostly because the cakes I were making were a little more involved than your average layer cake, and it didn't look like it'd hold a whole cake.

All that changed this past weekend.  JLG, CW, MA and JA came for dinner, and I happened to have a box of red velvet cake mix (sans one cup from muddy buddy adventures) just waiting to be baked.  I was just ready for it to be out of my pantry.

And thus, came the giant cupcake.  I just scaled back the ingredients for about 3/4 of a box of cake mix.

The best part about these shaped cakes is that you need them to be flat so they fit together well.  So, what does that mean?  That means a snack for NES and me!

You have to understand: this was the ultimate cheat cake.  I used cake mix.  And the frosting was even frozen.  I had a little Oreo cream cheese frosting leftover from a few months ago, so all I had to do was beat it for a couple minutes to fluff it up.  And though it still tasted like cookies and cream, it kind of turned a bland grey color.  The cookies disintegrated in the freezer.  Oops.  At least I could pipe it this time!

We had a great time catching up over some baked potato soup, salad and rolls!  It was so good to see them all!

The other perfect thing about the giant cupcake pan?  It was just about enough for 8 servings.  Maybe that's normal, but it seems like most cakes go much further than that!

And now my semester is finally winding down!  There was a time when I wasn't sure it ever would.  But sure enough, it is.  There's lots of grading, a final to give, one more class, lots of review sessions and some projects that no longer respect semester boundaries to come, but it's almost over.

As my Christmas decorating has started, I had to get rid of my pumpkins.  And it just happened that the big one I had was a sugar pumpkin!  So I cut it in half, seeded it and roasted it for an hour and a half at 350 degrees.  I scooped it out, and froze it!  Yay fresh pumpkin!

Yesterday at school started with an opossum walking along a narrow ledge on the side of a building.  It was odd.  Then we spent "class" talking about golf pencils and whistling.  And then class ended about as soon as it began.  Yeah.  It was an odd day.  Only to be continued this morning with the curious case of the rotting onion in a cup of old tea.  I think we're all going a little crazy.

As a first little celebration of the end of the semester, NES and I went to get our Christmas tree today!

We have a great little tree farm we found last year, and after a scare that it would be closed by now, it was open!

Look at that guy.  Isn't he great?

In honor of tree decorating night, I also made pizza.  Because it just felt like a pizza night!

And I had this image of watching the new live Sound of Music while decorating the tree.  We were done long before it started, but that's ok.  It's possible the Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer classic will come out before this is over.

What can I say?  I grew up with that one, and it's one of my all time favorite movies.  Ever.  I will still never forget the time I watched it and understood the historical significance for this first time.
Anyway, enough about me and my Sound of Music obsession.  Time to enjoy some tea and a movie in front of the Christmas tree!


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