Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas Lights, Gifts, Music -- and Ghetto Pizza?





With a title like that for a blog post, you can't go wrong! So yesterday, I had a day off and I finally got motivated to finish the Christmas decorating in the apartment. It's our first Christmas in the apartment and we all want it to be special. Angel had so far been able to do about half of the decorating, some of it with the kids help/input (both of the kids wanted to be involved with the decorating this year). I had been wanting to help for about a week but had been waiting for some time and inspiration.

Yesterday morning, the inspiration hit me and I had the time. I looked at the apartment and was able to visualize a pattern to decorate with the set of multi-color/multi-fuction lights. I turned on Pandora.com and set up a new music playlist based on a Christmas song ("Silent Night"). A few seconds later, Pandora started playing some pretty nice Christmas music for me to hang lights by.

It was some work putting those lights up, because the set of lights is long enough to go around the entire living room, the hallway to the kids' room and the entire dining area! Still, looking at it afterwards, in combination with the existing decorations, was really pretty, very Christmas-like. I was pleased! And I had the satisfaction of surprising Angel and the kids with it, since I did it on the spur of the moment while noone was there.

Angel's been ill with the flu off and on this week but she did make the effort to go into work yesterday for a half-day. I got to surprise her when I brought her back home at lunchtime. The kids got the surprise when they got home from school.

Last night, the kids and I went to church while Angel stayed home to recover. There was a brief service then a rehearsal for this Sunday's Christmas program at the church. We're also gearing up for First Light performing at the Operation Christmas Gift (OCG) program next Thursday evening here in Austin. OCG is sponsored by our church as a way to provide uplifting Christmas music and free gifts to underprivileged kids in Austin (and around the world) as well as a Christmas message of hope from our pastor. First Light has been performing at these events for the last several years, since it started actually, and this year, we were chosen to be the official entertainment for the event from now on (we're excited about that)!

This morning, I got munchy hungry before going to work but I didn't really feel like eating pasta so soon after breakfast, so I decided to try Ghetto Pizza! I made angelhair spaghetti yesterday with a doctored up version of Emilio's Mushroom and Onions spaghetti sauce (I don't recommend it, his Roasted Red Pepper spaghetti sauce is much better). I tend to add a lot of paprika and extra pepper to "my" sauces. I also add a pound of either ground beef or ground turkey, often cooked with onions and garlic (or this time, with sauteed onions and mushrooms) to the sauce (after draining the meat, of course). I used wheat bread, put a couple of tablespoons of sauce on each slice and topped each slice with 3 pepperoni pieces and toasted it on medium. The pepperoni was a very nice addition to the sauce, added some missing spice and distracted from the extreme tomato taste the original sauce has. It was also filling as promised (the meat may have had a little something to do with that, being loaded with seasoned ground turkey and pepperoni slices).

Well, I think I've said more than enough for now. Tomorrow's a new NITNF. I'll have to start looking for Christmas and holiday trivia! Should be fun...

Best Wishes,
Allen

2 comments:

TimofSuburbia said...

Expand your Pandora experience at...

http://pandorastations.crispynews.com

Thanks!

Tim

Allen said...

Thanks, Tim, those are some pretty cool-looking Pandora stations!