Wow. December, you're killing me! I can't keep this pace. I've barely slept in the last week or so since we've had two rounds with a chest cold and then Luke came down with croup over the weekend—which meant two nights with a scary barking cough with late night drives and steamy shower room treatments to open up his airways to breath. Poor little bug. The good news is, he's on the mend and with a bit more sleep, we'll be ready for holiday entertaining this weekend. I had one of those time stopping moment earlier today. The kind I used to have as a kid. I sat writing on the couch. Stuck in the middle of a sentence, I got up from the couch where I had been tapping away on my laptop. I stood up and stretched in the middle of the living room. That's when it happened. A dusty wedge of light sparkled in front of the Christmas tree. I watched the dust bounce around. A car with a loose muffler rattled past the house. I lingered there for what seemed like hours but in fact was less than a minute when time actually stopped. I inhaled and exhaled with every cell in my body. I looked around and kapow—time sucker punched me in the jaw and I was hurtled back into the living room. Other than my little trickery with time, I ate the last of the maple walnut wafers (Um, yeah. Let's keep that on the down low since I told David not to eat them—We're saving them for dessert this weekend... I'll be freezing batch #2 later...) dunked in cold coffee, wrote a shopping list on the back of an envelope, and wrapped a few presents. I also made this red pepper and thyme dip earlier. It's been a rather productive day, if you ask me. I should tell you this now, the dip won't last. You can slow it down, but you can't stop it. A few swipes of carrots, celery, and crackers later, the bowl will be empty and you'll be swiping elbows with your loved ones to scoop the last traces of it. You can also spread it on toast or serve it with pasta, but you may have to hide it somewhere it the back of the refrigerator to make this happen. Nutty Red Pepper and Thyme Dip adapted from Whole Foods Market Yield about 3 cups 1 1/2 cups raw, unsalted cashews or macadamia nuts 1/4 cup nutritional yeast 3 garlic cloves 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 2 to 3 sprigs (about 2 teaspoons) fresh thyme leaves 3 tablespoons tahini 1 1/2 cups chopped roasted red pepper 1/2 cup or more water (for a thinner dip or sauce, add water to desired consistency) sea salt (to taste) a splash of tamari (to taste) Place cashews in a medium bowl, cover with cold water, and allow to soak for 4 hours. Drain and transfer to a food processor. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Add more water if you prefer a thinner dip or if you would like to use it as a sauce. Season with a pinch of salt and a splash of tamari to taste.