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Falling in love during the annual office party

December 16, 2010 - Taste Buds
THE Taste Buds love, love, love this time of the year. We start our love affair in mid-November when we get to judge the annual Holiday Traditions Cook-off. It continues into Thanksgiving and soars right into Christmas because, well, we love to eat. Really! Think about it. This is the time when everybody becomes a chef. Even the little ones can drag out their Easy Bake Ovens and whip up a cookie or cake that will delight even the most discriminating palettes. (If that is pushing the envelope a little to far for you then we apologize. But The Buds love to see the smiles on the faces of "budding" little cooks when you make their light-bulb cookie treats. So just humor us and add your agreement to taste testing the creations from the Easy Bake Oven crowd.) With Christmas fast approaching, The Times Leader held its annual bash yesterday with everyone bringing in a covered dish to share with the entire staff. Talk about a spread made for those who like to graze! The food was tremendous. We had meats, pasta, appetizers, fruits, vegetables, salads, rolls, and the desserts were out of this world. This Bud and an office "bud," on the advice of a top-notch caterer, did what any food connoisseurs worth their salt would do ... we headed to the dessert table first while everyone else rushed to fill their plates with "regular" food. For the two of us, the motto is: Always have dessert first! You never know what may happen once you fill that plate. As we munched on some delicious peanut butter fudge we discussed the other desserts on the table and soon found ourselves filling up as we taste-tested each dish. We did this, not with our own taste buds in mind, but for the welfare of our fellow employees. After all, we didn't want anyone falling ill due to a bad bit of pumpkin pie or a failed batch of chocolate chip cookies. The other half of The Buds, who shall remain nameless, fell in love during the party. The new apple of her eye wasn't a man, but was the almond cookies he brought to share during the party. With one tiny little nibble of this nectar of the gods, this gal was in love. But before she heaped her love upon a mere mortal, she decided to find out if these sweet treats were made at home by him or if he was trying to pull the wool over her eyes by purchasing the cookies at a local bakery. Although slightly disappointed when she learned her office affair was non-existent, this love-struck bud did learn she could purchase the cookies at a local in-store bakery. She immediately threw on her coat, grabbed her keys and headed out to purchase her very own box of cookies. She is apparently going to make her new memories at home because we have yet to see even a tiny crumb of the cookies she purchased. We know everyone has their own holiday favorites and our wish is that you get to enjoy them with those you love during this most wonderful time of the year. We are including a recipe for a little something special for you to try as you too create a 2010 holiday memory. Merry Christmas and enjoy!

Gingersnap Crumble Pumpkin Parfaits 30 minutes prep time Freeze: 4 hours, 20 minutes   Ingredients 1  recipe  Gingersnap Crumble (recipe follows) 1  quart  vanilla ice cream 1  15-oz. can  pumpkin 2  tablespoon packed brown sugar 1-1/2  teaspoon  pumpkin pie spice 1/2  teaspoon salt 1  cup  whipping cream, whipped Pumpkin pie spice (optional) Directions 1. Prepare Gingersnap Crumble. Set aside. 2. Place ice cream in refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes or just until softened. In a large bowl combine pumpkin, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Stir ice cream to soften; fold into pumpkin mixture. Cover and freeze 20 minutes or until pumpkin mixture holds its shape when heaped with a spoon. 3. Spoon ice cream into parfait glasses; sprinkle with Gingersnap Crumble. Cover and freeze until firm (4 hours to 48 hours). 4. Before serving, top with whipped cream and a leaf pastry cutout. Sprinkle with additional pumpkin pie spice. Makes 10 servings. GINGERSNAP CRUMBLE: In a small bowl stir together 1-1/2 cups crushed gingersnaps (about 30 gingersnaps) and 1/4 cup melted butter. Stir just until crumbs are coated.


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