They are no longer “nacho cheesier.” Either by lack of the dumb marketing or a recipe change, Doritos are more delicious than ever. Sometimes I can’t stop eating them and it makes me want to cry a little because I have no control over it.

I have been baking and cooking (new recipes anyway). I made chocolate loaf bread (from Nigella’s How to Be A Domestic Goddess) for Nichole’s graduation luncheon. It was very dense (as the recipe said it should be) and looked funny (ditto the recipe) but it was really good and used up the bittersweet chocolate that I had to buy the other week. I made chocolate chip oatmeal cookies and lemon cheese cookies for work. I wasn’t too crazy about the oatmeal, but the lemon cookies were amazing. The recipe was for a cookie press, and I don’t have one because it’s not 30 years ago, so I just dropped the cookies on the sheet. I also made a pear ginger cheesecake for Thanksgiving and a class party. That was also really good (a Real Simple magazine recipe). However I forgot all about it because at the class party someone brought parmesean artichoke dip for crackers and it’s all I’ve been able to think about since. I’m definitely going to make it for the big New Year’s Eve party. Finally I made gingerbread muffins (also a Nigella recipe) for work. They were simple to make and went over well. I brought cream cheese to spread on them and that was okay. My mom said I get to make the turkey this year. Huzzah. It’ll be like Christmas III!

Also I bought a bamboo steamer. It cooks chicken in 15 minutes. It’s incredible. I’ve only successfully made one recipe, Thai steamed chicken. The steam is supposed to lock in the flavor and since it’s only steam it’s healthier than the deep fryer we keep on the back porch.

Thara and I ran around the James Center on our way back from trying various winter ales. They decorate each year with the reindeer and such. There’ s a grand illumination ceremony that usually has vendors and small rides for the kids, but other than that one night it’s just a bunch of fake deer. I wish there was at least some skee ball on the sidewalk to give us a reason to go when we’re not drunk and holding a camera.

I wish there was skee ball everywhere. That is my hope for you on the holidays.