Friday Five

Five Desserts– When Jeff came to me with the idea for the 10 foods and drinks lists, I couldn’t fit the sinful desserts onto my food list. Enter Friday Five.

Ooey, Gooey Brownies
A favorite Sunday activity in my family is to make a box mix (judge away) of brownies after church for an afternoon treat. Both my Mom and I like a mushy brownie, so they’re always just a little bit undercooked. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and an English movie on a cold Autumn day with the fire going… sounds like paradise after two years in the tropics.

Grammy’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie
I know the exact steps of how she does it, but I swear, there is magic Grandmother dust when she makes this pie because it seems like an out-of-body experience. Over the holidays my family will go to arms via forks who gets the last piece of this mixture of chocolate pudding, gobs of peanut butter, graham crust and a tub of Cool Whip.

Cheesecake
Cheesecake and I only started our relationship the Autumn before I left for Thailand. It was hot and heavy at first, but after two years of deprivation, cheesecake and I are ready to begin again. I can not wait to go to Cheesecake Factory for Saturday brunch to skip the real food and just order three slices of different kinds of dessert.

Family Recipe Sugar Cookies
Thailand doesn’t do cookies very well. My Aunt Renee does. Every year for Thanksgiving in Christmas she would make me my own dozen of inch thick sugar cookies for me to keep all for myself. I hope to spend a week at their house in rural Pennsylvania in the summer following my return to the U.S. and fingers crossed I can get a dose of homemade family deliciousness.

Apple Pie
Oddly enough, my first (adult) slice of this American classic was in Thailand. I was never a fan before, but this taste of home while here really opened my mind to apple pie. I’m looking forward to trying it still warm, homemade, and some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream to accompany it.

*If you are ever in Thailand and hankering for a phenomenal dessert fix, the best I’ve come across here is Love at First Bite in Chiang Mai. Volcano Explosion. You’re welcome.

Tuesday Travel Photo

I posted a picture of Oktoberfest (held in September) in Munich, Germany last year the first week of October. With thoughts leaning towards Autumn and cold weather, I thought it would be nice to sample some delights in Germany and take a trip back there for the TTP, this time with a night shot.

Not going to lie, the crowds look gross… maybe a nice countryside celebration instead?                                                                                                                               Photo From: http://www.muenchen-tipp.com/travel-advice-bavaria-munich.html

Friday Five

Five Things I look forward to in my first Autumn in the non-tropics

Crisp Air/Weather
Does this go without saying? After nearly two years in a country which the seasons can be titled ‘hot, hotter, and hot and wet,’ I crave the husky, dry air of Fall. It’s a different kind of air than spring, what I’ll be diving into when I first get home and don’t care for as much. All that yay renewal stuff means nothing to someone that’s been in a technicolor green haven for an extended period of time. I want the dead smell of leaves falling and air not quite cold enough that my ass cheeks have turned pink after a day outdoors. Mmm, hoodies.

Fashion
Layers! Cardigans! Scarfs! Boots! I’ve spent a significant portion of the past year learning about fashion and hair things that I am so excited to try out in a place that will not require heavy sweating while accomplishing those looks. Sometimes I wear long sleeves or pants around the house on days that don’t really necessitate it, but because I can. In the next Autumn, not only will I want/need to, but I’ll have options as well.

Leaves
I feel like leaves own its own category because I’m just so sick of seeing green, Green, GREEN everywhere I look. I know once I leave, I’ll miss seeing palm trees everyday, but I’ll gladly change that in for a nice oak or maple with red, orange, and yellow leaves, hopefully put into a pile so I can jump and roll around in them.

Holidays
Autumn has a nice line-up of fun that Thais generally don’t recognize and/or decorate for. I want to drive through neighborhoods with jack-o-lanterns and ghost decorations. And then see stalks of corn next to kids dressed up as pilgrims and indians, despite how wrong that story is. These are of course leading up to the big shebang also known as Christmas. One thing I’ve realized during my time in Peace Corps is when the people surrounding you don’t celebrate something it both helps and depresses you. No one reminds you of it, but then at the same time, no one else reminds you of it. I’m so looking forward to getting swept up in the holiday spirit and soaking it all in to make up for two years worth.

Desserts
A tie in to the holidays is of course the temptations that appear alongside them. And what dessert doesn’t taste better on a Fall Sunday afternoon wrapped up in a blanket with the fire going watching a movie with people you like to grace your presence with? A few I’m looking forward to: my Mom’s 3/4 baked brownies with vanilla ice cream melting on top, my aunt’s inch thick sugar cookies, eating raw chocolate chip cookie dough, my grandmother’s peanut butter and chocolate pie, and apple pie (something that I’ve acquired a taste for in Thailand oddly enough). I think I’ll be taking pictures of a lot of food when I get back to America… and not just in Autumn.

Tuesday Travel Photo

Japan is not usually a place that comes to mind when I think of beautiful Autumn colors on the trees. It came to my attention through facebook and you can’t deny the beauty of the season, even more in an unexpected place. I can’t wait for my next crisp air, chilly breeze with an obligatory coat and scarf, and various colored plant life (that is decidedly non-tropical). Enjoy the change in climate!

I chose this photo because you could still tell it’s Japan rather than some nameless place with pretty leaves reflecting off the water.
Photo from: http://files.myopera.com/sukekomashi-gaijin/albums/914939/ws_Garden_Staircase_Japan_1152x864.jpg

Tuesday Travel Photo

Montmatre is my favorite piece in a little town known as Paris, France. I’ve been there exactly once, but that was more than enough time for me to fall properly in love with it. Trade secret:  I never liked Paris much until I took the time to visit the area that used to host the Moulin Rouge and Monet, Dali, Picasso, and van Gogh once frequented. Its bohemian attitude still lives on today despite that none of those artists could probably afford to live in this now fairly touristy area. With the return to my fashionista side though (details to follow), I can’t help but imagine myself strolling along the briskly chilly cafe riddled streets of Paris, doing a little people-watching, instead of being stared at chopped liver, and in a delectably autumn outfit. Sixteen more months, until then, c’est la vie!

Sacre Coeur lays at the peak of Montmatre and is quite worth the hike

Tuesday Travel Photo

Guess who’s backkkkkk? Haven’t cranked out any vacation blogs yet, but I’ll tide you over with a Tuesday Travel Photo for some kicks and giggles. Can you tell the theme for the month is some sort of autumnfest? I think it’ll be beach next month with the photos I took from vacation, but until then…

There’s something magical about fall in New York city. Not like I’ve experienced it yet or anything, but I will. I don’t know if it’s fashion week, fashion in general, or the beautiful leaves, but really, October, New York, and I were meant to be. Big Apple, get ready for me.

Central Park, my favorite part of NYC

Tuesday Travel Photo

Hello October! I never realized how much I’d miss this month until I wrote the date down the other day. While never really my favorite holiday, Halloween decorations and movies mark the true piece of autumn that I am craving more than anything right now. This week’s Tuesday Travel photo is in honor of October and one of my favorite ‘spooky’ movies growing up. Remember the 1998 smash Disney movie hit Halloween Town? It might not be an actual place (or is it?), but I think I would enjoy a few weeks in a place that hosts Halloween every night of the year. At least until the cold season arrives, then I might move back to rural Thailand. I’m sure they’ll show it at least once this month or the sequel…it’s October, get in the spirit!

Get over yourselves, I was ten, Disney channel was at the top of my list.