Sunday, May 31, 2009

When Roommates Let Their Bananas Die...

... I make banana bread!

It's inevitable.

I hate watching bananas go to waste. Especially when they are at their full banana bread status potential. ESPECIALLY when I can make it in just one bowl!

Banana Bread
by Elise on Simply Recipes


3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar (easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 F.

With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla.Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4x8 loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Coll on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

Mine turned out looking kinda like a muffin. This is because it is easier for me (lazy college student) to grab and eat. Slicing takes way too much effort, I dirty a knife, and end up making a mess of crumbs on the counter.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My Weekend in Mostly Pictures

Here I am the day after the accident. My birthday wasn't until Friday but BF can never wait to give me presents because he's adorable :)

Here is my birthday drink of choice. My favorite: the Gin and Tonic.

We did presents at my place when my parents got into town on Friday. My aunts got me pork and beef charts :)

My parents got BF beer pong gear for graduation.

I wanted cake on my birthday so we walked/I crutched down to Upper Crust for a mini carrot cake. It was awesome.

Saturday at 7am for the traditional pre-grad ceremony drink. Me, BF, Bloody Mary, and the ever present Gin and Tonic.

My parents are all sorts of awesome for joining me that early to drink.

Then it was off to Christian Michaels...

Ramos Fizz. Makes me feel like I've gone back in time. The first of the bartender's suggestions and an amazing drink.

My very first Gin Martini. He said it was served old fashioned with a little more vermouth than the original Martini. It was love at first sip.

My cap. US Bank was wonderful enough to give me a loan to fund my education. Without them I wouldn't have been able to finish school. And I wouldn't have made it to class without drinking Rockstar everyday :)

Then it was off to Johnnie's for drinks and dinner.

Muscovy Duck Skewer. Can you say AMAZING?!

The filet. Mostly gone :)

The bright red velvet cupcakes I made.

Sunday morning pre-grad bar. I had my first Bloody Mary. Solidified my dislike for vodka, but had a good peppery flavor.

To end the weekend of festivities we went to 5th Street Steakhouse. It's too bad they pair lobster with mashed potatoes. This restaurant bugs me.

PS: I might have drank my body weight in alcohol (on Saturday alone) which is why there's not more food. Sorry.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Two Days Before My Birthday

Two days...
Two stinkin days!

Two days before my birthday I would've had my last final and I would've sold my textbooks back for cold hard cash, and I would've been able to buy my BFD ticket.

Well today was the day that was two days before my birthday.
Today was the day I got hit by a car while riding my bike to campus.

Campus was just a block away and my final was just 10 minutes away from starting. I was carrying with me the five books I was going to sell back. Now my mind keeps replaying my books flying above my head and lying face down in the middle of the road.

I just remember breathing and blinking.

Breathing in the cement that I have walked on and ridden my bike on for nearly five years. Blinking in disbelief. I will never forget what I felt at that moment.

Luckily I hobbled out of the emergency room with a scraped up arm, sprained ankle, and bruises all over my body.

Two days before my birthday I won a raffle for taking a survey to help out a sociology class.

Two days before my birthday I got the job I interviewed for four days before my birthday.

Tomorrow I will for sure wake up feeling like I was hit by a car.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Rollin Rollin Rollin

BF and I made eggrolls and chow mein noodles for dinner today.

After having bought sriracha on a whim, BF was wondering what to put it on. He sauteed Kansas City Steaks ( YUM!), red onion, green onions, garlic and soy sauce and then we started stuffin and rollin!

... and then frying.
Because he loves fried everything.

And they were awesome!

I see more eggrolls and chow mein stir fry in our future.


Friday, May 15, 2009

My Beer-venture

Sierra Nevada Brewery.

There are so many things I can say about how awesome they are. They provide feed for the cows on my university's farm, they have tons of solar panels on top of the parking lot that power the brewery, and they are nearly completely sustainable. Super cool.

But ...

My favorite part is the beer and the food. I've never had a meal there that was anything less than amazing. Today's lunch and beer sampler was the best ever (like always). A spread of 3oz pours of their regulars, seasonals, and one extra special beer made just for bike to work week.

Oh, and an amazing chicken sandwich and pesto pasta salad.

And then I had to leave... and that meant finishing the beer.

Today was a good day... Good food, good beer, and a good bike ride.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thoughts On A Thursday

  • It's almost my birthday. I can't think of one person that would show up to my birthday party. Because of this I don't think I'm going to have a birthday party. I'm going to make lots of cupcakes anyway because it will make me happy.
  • Still haven't gotten a job. If my bank accounts could be opened like doors to rooms you would hear crickets.
  • I wish I didn't have a late class on Thursdays so I wouldn't miss the farmer's market downtown. I miss fresh strawberries.
  • I've been working out like you wouldn't believe and cutting my calories waaay back and haven't lost a pound. My best friend starts having sex regularly and has lost 3 pounds in a week. I don't get it.
  • I went to a fishing/hunting sports store today to buy worms for a compost box. Animal heads on walls weird me out.
  • I've been under a lot of stress lately. I don't like that I'm extremely prone to stressing out over everything. I think this is why I need to be a baker. Baking mellows me out and makes me quite happy.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Power Of Baking Soda

While I sit here listening to Whimsy-Girl's blog music (which is an awesome mix of music by the way and I'm kinda jealous my taste in music is so all over the place and hers is so together) I am pondering the awesomenessity of baking soda.

Today BF and I encountered a funny smell and we bought Target out of Arm & Hammer products (to the extent that the poor cashier girl even made a comment). But let me tell you, as a college student who encounters many odd, stale, decomposing type smells, I am an expert on air freshener products of all sorts! Not such a cool thing to know but it could come in handy some day. Hey, like today!


Just a sprinkle of the baking soda smelly powder stuff on the carpet and weird funky odor is gone! And I thought the only thing baking soda was good for was baking!

Along with the massive quantities of baking soda, we bought those Renuzit adjustable air freshener things in some citrus scent.

Who knew a bunch of college boys could have such a lovely smelling house.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My Experience With Coffee

For the past week or so I've really been craving coffee. Iced coffee to be exact. My class got out a little early tonight so instead of walking to my car and going home I wandered over to the student union. Luckily the coffee shop was still open (for some reason they close super early even though students like to study there at night). So I whipped out my student planner (there's a page where you get stamps for free drinks) and got a free coffee. Now I dont know how to make a proper cup of coffee. So i just poured it over ice (sadly, the ice melted and watered down my coffee), added some non fat milk and a packet of sugar, and had my first cup of coffee (in college).

About an hour later and I'm still drinking it trying to figure out if I like it.

Pros: It was FREE!
It's cold
Roughly no calories

Cons: Not as yummy as a no sugar rockstar
It will not be free if I have to go buy a coffee maker and coffee
Coffee breath
Coffee stains

Jury is still out...


Monday, May 11, 2009

It's Crunch Time

The week before finals week.

"Dead Week"

Yeah.. Anything but.

I, for some reason, can't ever think of anything to write on Mondays. And all I can think about are the cupcakes I'm making for my birthday next week. I should be studying but I've got cupcakes on the brain!

I should've gone to culinary school...


Sunday, May 10, 2009

I Stress, Therefore I Have Lots Of Baked Goods

Baking makes me happy. Everything fades away when I bake. It is just me and my ingredients. There is something oddly therapeutic about baking. So when I found myself having a completely rotten night I climbed onto the counter top, pulled open the cabinet doors, and reached for my baking stuff. I toyed with the idea of orange poppy seed cookies (which me and BF love love love) but it was midnight and I didn't want to have to worry about batter sitting out overnight. Then I saw the peanut butter and knew exactly what I wanted.

Peanut Butter Cookies
by Simply Recipes

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Cream the butter for 2 minutes. Add the sugars, cream for 2 more minutes. Mix in the peanut butter and egg. Mix together the dry ingredients - flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir into the sugar butter mixture.

2. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate at least 3 hours.

3. Preheat oven to 375°F. Shape dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Place about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten in crisscross pattern with a fork. Bake until light brown, 9 to 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for a minute; transfer to rack to cool completely.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

For chewier cookies, bake at 300°F for 15 minutes.

I'd have to agree with BF and his friends; they are delicious.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Better Part Of My Saturday

I had to wake up before the sun for a particular event put on by my department. It took place on campus in a rather dreary looking study room. From roughly 9am until 4pm I was scheduled to perform various catering duties such as cooking, chopping, maybe a little decorating, etc. What I ended up doing was walking around the farmer's market, buying flowers, then wandering around said study room for 4+ hours.

After walking around the farmer's market for quite some time, I found myself $30 in flowers (6 bouquets of wild flowers) and headed back to campus. By the time I got back, all the posters and displays that corresponded to said posters were up and ready. My poster, which I'm rather proud of looked a lot like the following poster (background photo taken by moi at our university's farm)...

The food (when it became available) wasn't too bad. I don't think any amount of practice would've prepared a class of roughly 55 to cater such an event. Needless to say, several food items were missing ingredients (ie: parfaits missing yogurt), but overall it was somewhat of a hit. I would've loved to take pictures of the crowd, but my camera was focused on the food.

Food tasted good, and with proper marketing I think it will be the event it deserves to be (in a few years).


Friday, May 8, 2009

It's Dinner Time



I love mussels and fries. They remind me of Ile de Re. But sometimes you have one of those days where you need an extra push to do anything. Today was one of those days.

And that is why everything on my dinner plate was previously frozen. It's so much easier. And yummy!


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thoughts On A Thursday

  • Dishwashers really can spew foam and water all over the kitchen. This is not just a thing in the movies.
  • I drive past a fire station everyday. Everyday I see fire guys driving around in their fire trucks. Are they allowed to drive their cars around? Where do they keep their cars when they are driving the fire truck?
  • Do I want to make a cake, cupcakes, or cake pops for my birthday? What flavor?
  • One Rockstar just doesn't do it anymore. I need more caffeine in my life.
  • Watching Nanny 911 and Wife Swap/ Trading Spouses makes me feel like my family was relatively normal or at least normal in comparison.
  • Hey Cook Yourself Thin! You're a good concept for a TV show, but you used bananas to replace the fat in a muffin.... but then you added oil and butter cream! Why bother trying to take fat out just to add it in later?!?!


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cinco de Mayo

Oh Cinco de Mayo... you're not a national holiday (in this country any way) but you are a college holiday; a day where cheap tequila, margaritas in all their glorious flavors, and cerveza flow freely.

It's a day the BF doesn't need an excuse to consume his favorite type of ethnic food. It's a day where I actually consume one form or another of "Mexican" food. (Didn't Anthony Bourdain squash the nachos being Mexican thing on "No Reservations"?)

Observe the wonderful Today's Taco Leftover Nachos. Tortilla chips covered in cheese (yum) and ground beef with spicy taco seasonings. Just pop them in the oven and *insert Spanish word for voila* you have nachos! We used sour cream, refried beans, and salsa as nacho condiments.

And since I had some gin handy (never a bad idea having gin handy) (no I'm not a senior citizen, I just have a thing for gin and tonics) and BF had grapefruit juice handy, he whipped me up a wonderfully refreshing cocktail (bc he is AWESOME at whipping up cocktails). Alas, it was not his own creation, as we found out later.

What it turned out to be was a Reynold's Special. Try it. You'll love it.


Monday, May 4, 2009

In Over My Head

I finally made up my mind.
I signed up for NaBloPoMo.

I'm probably going to go crazy.

What a time to start a blog... end of the semester is not a good time to start a blog and participate/even think about participating in NaBloPoMo!

What did I get myself into...


Sunday, May 3, 2009

On A Rainy Saturday...

Any guesses as to how I spent my rainy Saturday!?!?


I got 1 strike. We played 2 games. I never said I was good at bowling...
I had a good time, despite bowling a 67 (which is my all time high score) with a 7 pound ball and rolling it granny style down the lane.

BF did a whole lot better than me. We still had fun.


Friday, May 1, 2009

what a fine way to spend a rainy friday

After such a hard school week, I figured my spirits needed a pick me up and my stomach needed some cookies so I baked some! I made the bf some yummy oatmeal cookies and I made some delicious chocolate chip cookies. I don't have my own recipes but I do have some pretty failure-proof ones i use.

For a delicious chewy oatmeal cookie...

Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
From Quaker Oats

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt (optional) (but I added it)
3 cups Quaker Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1 cup raisins

1. Heat oven to 350F.
2. Beat together butter and sugars until creamy.
3. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.
4. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; mix well.
5. Stir in oats and raisins; mix well.
6. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
7. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
8. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack.

Makes about 4 dozen

And they all look gorgeous....

For a classic chocolate chip cookie...

Chocolate Chip Cookies
From Food Network Kitchens How To Boil Water, Meredith, 2006

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 (12 oz) bag semisweet chocolate chips, or chunks (why not both...)
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp fine salt

Evenly position 2 packs in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone sheets (if you only have 1 baking sheet, let it cool completely between batches).

Put the butter in a microwave safe bowl, cover and microwave on medium power until melted (alternatively melt in a small saucepan). Cool slightly. Whisk the sugars, eggs, butter, and vanilla in a large bowl until smooth.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt in another bowl. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingedients with a wooden spoon; take care not to over mix. Stir in the chocolate chips or chunks.

Scoop heaping tablespoons of the dough onto the prepared pans. Wet hands slightly and roll the dough into balls. Space the cookies about 2-inches apart on the pans. Bake until golden, but still soft in the center, 12 to 16 minutes, depending on how chewy or crunchy you liked your cookies. Transfer hot cookies with a spatula to a rack to cool. Serve.

Don't they look scrumptious...

Enjoy both on a rainy Friday curled up on the couch...