Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

I can't believe not only that they're already playing Christmas commercials on TV, but that they've been playing them for two weeks.

Well, I guess I can believe it since it happens every year. And every year it makes me angry.

Really, they should wait until after Thanksgiving, but can't they wait until at least November 1st? My goodness.

Anyways, back to Halloween. We actually dressed up on Sunday while we had a Hurricane Party in my apartment (said party involved hot chocolate, monstrous amounts of candy, and a viewing of Young Frankenstein).

I was a hipster. Sam had me model in various hipster poses. But first I had to do my usual thumbs up!

Oh, and I dyed my hair. Thanks for helping Sarah!

Sam was a good director.

Eating broccoli out of a jar with chopsticks

Sam and Sarah dressed up as Hallie and Annie from The Parent Trap. They actually did look like twins.

Oreos dipped in peanut butter!

And Michelle dressed up as Liz Lemon from 30 Rock.

A good time was had by all.

Until I had to get the dye out of my hair...

My brush is still bright purple.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Cookie

Yesterday I sent my mommy a biscotti recipe because it looked good and she is the Queen of Biscotti (in other words, I wanted her to make it so I could eat it).

In fact, the email actually did prompt her to make cookies--just not the ones I sent. She chose to make regular chocolate chip cookies, but she livened them up a bit by using three different kinds of chips: chocolate, butterscotch, and peanut butter, I believe. And she called them Storm Cookies.

Over here in DC I decided to make my own cookie in honor of Sandy so that we could also enjoy some sugary goodness (not that we've been snacking on ten bags of Halloween candy for the past couple of weeks...).

I decided to make a skillet cookie. I love these because I can make it all in one pan. Also because it makes a massive cookie. And who doesn't like a massive cookie? (Sam has been calling it the "face cookie" because it's as big as your face).

Oh, and for some reason, whenever I make a skillet cookie I feel the need to eat it straight out of the skillet with a spoon. Classy, I know.

To mimic my mommy, I used a ton of ingredients to substitute the chocolate chunks.

I used chocolate chips to keep it somewhat familiar.

Then I added mini peanut butter cups, chopped chocolate malt balls, and chopped sea salt caramels.


After it was done baking, I let it cool about 15 minutes and then melted Nutella to drizzle over the top.

Yum Yum.

If only hurricanes delivered giant face cookies instead of massive destruction. Life would be so much better.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Why You Should Be Watching Nashville

Nashville is a new show that premiered two weeks ago, and I am completely in love with
it. My favorite Entertainment Weekly writer, Annie Barrett, loves it. Meredith’s sister loves it.
But no one in my life loves it, and I’m not entirely sure why. So, in a last-ditch attempt to get my
friends to watch it, I’ve compiled a list of reasons why everyone should be watching Nashville:

1) Connie Britton: Her performance is perfect. And her hair is so wonderful, it has a
Tumblr page dedicated to it:

2) You don’t have to like country music to watch it! People who aren’t into Broadway
watched Smash (but let’s not talk about that show…), people who aren’t into politics
watched West Wing (I am living proof!), and Nashville provides enough substance
that the country music takes a backseat to the great plotlines.

3) The chemistry between Rayna James and Charles Clayborne: One of the greatest,
most heart-breaking couples to root for currently on television (and it has only been
two episodes)…

4) Maddie and Daphne Conrad: The daughters of Rayna James, played by
YouTube sensations Lennon and Maisy Stella:

5) The show manages to make fun of “fake country” singers, like Taylor Swift, which,
as an actual country music fan, is pretty great to watch.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Conquering Really Small Endeavors

There are certain culinary undertakings that I am really skeptical of trying. And, it seems as though I am most skeptical of the easiest ventures.

It doesn't matter how many times I see a super-simple recipe for a food product. For some reason, in my head, the process will be extremely hard and laborious.

Culinary endeavor #1: Nut butter.

It's all over the place these days. Every blog has a post about how easy it is to make your own nut butter. What's the point of spending 7 dollars on a jar of almond butter when it's so easy to make your own while saving a few dollars at the same time?

I can't tell you the point. But I can tell you that it's taken me about a year to overcome my strange fear of making my own nut butter. Yesterday, however, I managed to contribute to the modern nut butter-making world of 2012.

I made walnut butter.

And, despite sounding like a broken record at this point--it was SO easy.

All I did was roast the walnuts at 350 degrees for five to seven minutes, let them cool, threw them in the food processor with some kosher salt and let it go. Literally two minutes later I had walnut butter.

It is super yummy. I've been enjoying it spread on pieces of toast. And by the spoonful, of course.

Culinary endeavor #2: Applesauce.

When I went to Sam's house for Easter this past spring, her mommy made homemade applesauce. I was even able to watch the process myself and see how easy it was.

Yet it took me until now to finally try it for myself. Just like the nut butter, it was easy and satisfying.

Just simmer the apples down with sweeteners and spices and blend it up.

Next time you feel intimidated by a recipe, take the time to try it out. It might just surprise you. Or it might just reinforce what everyone has been telling you for twelve consecutive months.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I Did It!!!

Yes. It's been a while. But I've been busy with school (ew), the equestrian team (yay ponies!), hanging out with my friends (woohoo!), and going home to help out at the restaurant I work at.

This past weekend, I was given the task of making pumpkin rolls (in addition to pierogies, ravioli, cannoli, etc.). I've never made anything like a pumpkin roll before.

The basic gist is that you make a sponge cake on a sheet pan, flip it out while it's still hot, and roll it up while it's still hot. I was supposed to be stuffing mine with a spiced cream cheese frosting as well.

And that's where I went wrong.

I put the filling in immediately and rolled the cake up. It left me with a horrific--yet delicious--pile of caked shards laying in a pool of melted frosting. It was so bad the sous-chef walked into the room and promptly turned around, not wanting to deal with the mess I made.

I unfortunately forgot to take a picture.

Then I talked to my mommy. Apparently, she's an expert when it comes to pumpkin rolls!

So here's the trick: you roll up the cake with a towel and let it cool while steaming simultaneously in the towel, keeping the cake moist. Then you unroll the cake, fill it, and re-roll it. It worked!

Turns out it's not so hard when you actually know what you're doing.

I won't lie though. I jumped up and down in joy a few times after my success.

Look at how beautiful it is!