If you have never been to the Indianapolis Symphony’s annual Yuletide show, add it to your bucket list and go! They have a full month of Yuletide shows and sadly, I had never been. My friend Ali asked if I wanted to go for a girls night out and I of course said yes. The show changes slightly every year, but the classic Christmas songs are included along with a new rendition of Disney’s Frozen. The little girl next to me had her eyes glued to the stage during the Frozen set.
Expect an abundance of glitter, amazing outfits, incredible talent, and high kicking Santas. While there is only one real Santa (wink, wink), there are several fill in Santas around the world as a result of the Santa-tizer (get it?). Santas had to be duplicated to fulfill the duties of visiting every house in the world on Christmas Eve. My Frozen friend next to me was not buying it, but I appreciated the Symphony’s attempt to resolve the ‘How come the mall Santa never looks the same?’ question.
Ali is a former show choir rockstar, so there is no one I would rather go to Yuletide with – her commentary was priceless and it was the perfect girls night out. We went to Napolese first for pizza (the Meridian Kessler mushroom/sausage is the way to go), the double chopped salad, and a little vino. The Michigan/Iowa game was downtown that night too, so we were seated amongst a room full of people clad in Spartan green.
On Sunday, I went to the IMA with my friend Carrie after church. I have a membership to the IMA so I make a point to visit when there are new exhibits and since the Lilly house is all dressed up for Christmas, we decided to go. Oldfields–Lilly House is a 26-acre historic house located on the IMA grounds. It has 22 rooms and was once the home of J.K. Lilly Jr., the Indianapolis businessman (think Eli Lilly pharmaceuticals). After J.K.’s death, Oldfields was given to the Art Association of Indianapolis by their children to serve as the new site for the museum. In 1970, the Indianapolis Museum of Art opened to the public at its current location.
The Christmas decorations were beautiful, but did not blow us away. The exhibit upstairs is Tiffany and Gorham silver, which was interesting, but we went through it quickly. I attempted to buy an ornament that I found in the gift shop in the basement of the home. I say attempted because when I paid for it, the museum staffer accidentally broke it when the cash register drawer flew open. The little glass macaroon ornament went flying and shattered into pieces. It was the only one they had and she was devastated. I only mention this because she really, truly felt horrible. I told her it was not a big deal and not to worry about it! I hope I made her feel better, but it was a little comforting to meet someone with such a big heart. I ended up buying a sheep ornament (Winston was convinced it was for him when I brought it home) and a plaid hat ornament from the greenhouse gift shop. The greenhouse sells plants and it is one of my favorite parts of the IMA grounds!
The quirky tree made out of kids toys
The installation of books in the front lobby of the IMA
Update: the sheep is no longer with us. Winston liked him a little too much and we had a casualty this morning.
I had my friend Franz over to bake last night. She requested puppy chow and I decided to make something a little healthier to counteract the chow. I created this recipe based on other muffins I have made and I think they turned out well! The banana makes them moist without adding too much oil or butter. I chose a mix of white/whole wheat flour and I used blackberries because it was what I had, but you can use raspberries or blueberries. These would even be good with dried cranberries and orange zest.
HEALTHY BLACKBERRY MUFFINS
2 cups wholemeal flour
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 banana, mashed
3 tbsps olive oil
1 egg, lightly whisked
3/4 cup low fat milk or almond milk
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
2 tbsp honey (maple syrup would work too)
1/4 cup fresh or frozen blackberries, blueberries, or raspberries
- Preheat the oven to 350 and line a muffin tin with paper liners.
- Combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and cinnamon in a large bowl.
- In another bowl, mix together the banana, oil, egg, milk, yogurt and honey.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and carefully add the berries.
- Spoon the mixture evenly among the muffin tin – I use an ice cream scoop. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
The easiest recipe ever and my first puppy chow experience was in college, at the sorority, when we realized we only had a microwave.
1 box of Chex cereal
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
In a microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter uncovered for 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla.
Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag.Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.
How Winston feels about the holidays