Monday, December 5, 2011

A Roommate Reunion & Cookies

AJ and me at Canopy, Saturday morning. 
This weekend my roommate from seminary, and one of my closest friends, AJ, came to visit. We lived together for almost 4 years, mostly in Fort Worth and for a short time in Houston. AJ moved to Atlanta in 2010 and the transition from living with AJ to not living with AJ was not easy. Especially because we went from living in the same house to living in different states. It's difficult to go from seeing someone everyday to seeing her twice a year. I so wish that we lived in the same city...or even the same that we could meet for coffee dates or get together for a weekend without it involving a plane tickets or a 10+ hour road trip. But this is one of those situations in life where I get to practice acceptance and gratefulness. I accept that this situation is not what I wish it was. And I am grateful for the time that I lived with AJ and for our friendship in its current state. I am also grateful for all the other ways God has so richly blessed me with a great family, friends that I love, a city I love living in, a cute apartment, a job I enjoy going to, good health, and the best dog in the entire world. Contentment in the midst of longing and honesty. I really think that's what the Apostle Paul was talking about when he said he had learned to be content in plenty and in want through the strength of the Lord Jesus. 

While AJ was in town we ate lots of delicious food. We tried Canopy in Montrose for breakfast, I insisted that AJ had a cookie from Tiny Boxwood's because she's heard me talk about it so much in the past few months, we got a snack at Niko Niko's (one of our favorites in Houston), after church on Sunday we had Chuy's (AJ needed real Tex Mex), and Sunday night we shared Pei Wei takeout (they don't have Pei Wei in Atlanta and we ate it obsessively while we were in seminary). Other than eating we spent a lot of time talking, hanging out with my family & Henry, we went to the Taft Art Market at Ecclesia, an art market outside of Antidote coffee, and we stumbled upon a dog adoption event on Heights Boulevard where we fell in love with a little black pit bull mutt named Annie. God help me if I ever have my own home with a backyard, I don't know if I'll be able to stop myself from adopting dogs. And they'll all sleep on my bed. Dogs are possibly my favorite part of life.
Sweet Henry snuggling with his Aunt AJ

Saturday night the department I work in hosted a Christmas party for our students. AJ agreed to go with me and luckily found a quiet room where she could watch the Clemson game on TV. The party was mainly the idea of one student and she and I did most of the planning. I was a little concerned because I haven't planned a lot of parties and I wasn't sure who would show up, what they would bring or if the students would have fun. But it all turned out really well! There was a great turnout of students and professors, lots of food, and the students seemed to have a really good time.
The cookies, on the table, at the party. 

My contribution to the party were 3 different kinds of Cake-Mix Cookies. If you are looking for a quick and easy dessert this Christmas season, cake-mix cookies are pretty great. They're very versatile, so easy, and people love them. Somewhat coincidentally, I first learned about cake mix cookies when I was in seminary and AJ and I would make them with white or yellow cake mix and chocolate chips. A few weeks ago I made pumpkin chocolate chip, cake-mix cookies and brought them to work and the students loved them. So, this time I made more pumpkin chocolate chip, M&M, and chocolate peppermint.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake-Mix Cookies
1 yellow cake mix
3 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 can pumpkin puree
2 cups mini semisweet chocolate chips

M&M Cake-Mix Cookies
1 white cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
1-2 cups M&Ms

Chocolate Peppermint Cake-Mix Cookies
1 chocolate cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
Peppermint Hershey's kisses

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. For each variation, simply mix all the ingredients together (set aside the peppermint Hershey's kisses in the Chocolate Peppermint variety) and drop spoonfuls on a baking sheet. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes. When the chocolate cookies come out of the oven, put a peppermint kiss on each one quickly. Let them cool and they're ready to eat. So easy.

So, that was my fun weekend.

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