Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat!

So! In the interest of doing something fun, slightly crafty, reasonably cheap, and rather cute by way of generic-type, "Hey! You're friends with me, so here's a little something to show you I care" gifts, I had an idea. Some would call it brilliant, but you don't have to if you don't want to. Those awesome layered brownie-mix-in-a-jar things have always called to me, so this year I decided to try it!

I took the recipe from and tweaked it a little bit.

1 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2/3 c. brown sugar
2/3 c. white sugar
2/3 c. cocoa powder
chopped pecans

From here it should be fairly self-explanatory. You mix together the first three ingredients, then put them in a one-quart mason jar. Then layer each new ingredient on top, so it's all pretty in the jar, and fill it to the top with the pecans (or whatever you want to use, really. I imagine chocolate chips would work, or walnuts or whatever else sounds good to you). Then attach a tag that includes the instructions for baking. Mine says, "Instructions: 1) Add 2/3 cup vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 3 eggs. 2)Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes in a lightly greased 9x9 pan." Or it will when I print them out. We were going to include something along the lines of, "if you need more instructions than that, you're too dumb to be our friend," but we have friends who are nicer than we are and we worried that would hurt their feelings.

Now, I have to warn you, if you try this recipe, I haven't actually made it yet. It'll be a grand adventure, finding out if it's any good or not. But doesn't the jar look so pretty??

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Further Domesticity

My house is not the aspect of my life in which I take the most pride, just now. It needs to be organized, dusted, swept, mopped, vacuumed, scrubbed, AND decorated. I'm thinking of taking a detour home from work today by way of IKEA (from which I conveniently work right across the street) and dropping some of my paycheck there. We'll see how that goes.

Let's talk about bedrooms. I'm trying to think of ways to make mine more pleasant, because even though Hotty's argument that it's too small to do anything in there but sleep is certainly cogent, I still want it to look nice. Looking at IKEA's Bedrooms Inspiration page on the website, the two items I like the most are the wall shelves and the wall-mounted reading lights.

Don't they look useful? I have a corner in my room where nothing currently resides, but where things like my journal and my scriptures could go, if there were shelves on which to put them. And I've always liked reading in bed, as a nice pre-sleeping ritual. It would be nice to have a light right there so I could again. It's such a relief to be in a house where I can actually put holes in the walls; not having to think of a way to do this sans holes makes my life so much easier.

My other ambition is to paint the room. Hotty's parents remodeled their house last summer, and they still have a lot of paint left from the process. They used some awesome colors, which I would love to have in my own house. I just need to find out from the landlord if we can; no permission = sad me.

Mostly, what I need is to clean it first. That's what I want to do when I go home today; I need to pull out odious things like the mop and the vacuum. Hopefully the ambition and drive I feel right now, at 11 am, can carry through to when I get home. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


It's been a while since my last update. I'm bad at blogging, I suppose.

The other day I made some rice bags. I had three things that lent themselves to the project: an unmatched sock, a shirt with only one sleeve, and a couple sewing kits. So I guess it's pretty obvious what happened. I cut the extra sleeve off my t-shirt (the other one got donated to the cleaning rag cause a number of months ago), sewed up one end, filled it with rice, and sewed up the other end. The sock got filled and sewed, as well. They live in the freezer right now, for cold-compress purposes. The great thing about using rice instead of ice is twofold. I don't need to use a towel between the bag and my skin, like I would with a plastic bag of ice, because the bag is made of fabric. And if I need to apply heat, I can throw it in the microwave. Hooray!

We're moving soon. We have an apartment all picked out and ready to be lived in, and we're moving up to it by the end of the month. Right now this translates into trying to tidy our place right now and get rid of as much junk as possible. I know we could do a massive bout of streamlining; it's gathering the energy and stamina to do it that's hard. The other project currently going on is packing. This is my least favorite part of the moving process, but right now it's ok because I have so much time. I feel very lesiurely about it all, although that might change next week. Hotty is really good at packing, though, for which I am OH SO GRATEFUL. I'm A OK with carrying boxes and with unpacking them, and if he can help with the packing process, it will all be just fine.
The boxes aren't even going to be the hard part, though. What's going to be a real beast will be the furniture, including the bed, desk, and (ugh) the piano. Yes, I have a piano. A real, upright, 500-pound piano (I'm actually not sure how heavy it is; the only precision I have is 'very'). I think we might rent a U-Haul for the furniture. :/

Some time in the future comes the decorating of the apartment, which I have to admit to being completely clueless about.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sew here's what happened...

I was sitting in a coffee shop with my husband and a new friend (of mine... old friend of his) and I looked at the sleeve of my jacket-thing (it has long sleeves, but is short and ends at about where an empire waistline is). There's a hole in the seam, so that it looks like one sleeve has a thumb-hole, where my thumb is supposed to go. Except, I'm always leery about using it as such because I don't want to make the hole worse. And I'm always meaning to sew it up and make it... better. But I had rifled through my purse and found my sewing kit for a reason that currently escapes me... so I decided to fix up my sleeve. It was the most random thing, but there I was in the middle of a coffee shop, sewing on the jacket I was wearing... I'm amazed I didn't stab myself. The other thing I've been intending to do to that jacket is rip the seam on the other side and make a matching hole... I didn't do that last night because a)due to my recent airport visits, I don't have a pocketknife on my keychain anymore... nothing to cut with b)it would have meant sewing on my right sleeve, and I'm right-handed.
It was pretty funny when my new friend finally acknowledged what I was doing verbally. Suddenly she's all, "So... you're sewing your jacket." It was pretty random, I admit. I think it's a good thing, though, to do upon a first acquaintance; it gets her used to my personality. It's a fairly typical thing for me to do, don't you think?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Discovery that I'm pretty sure anyone could have told me

Last week, Hotty was out of town all week. Because I'm lactose intolerant and he's not, he made sure all the milk was gone before he left, like a good husband. Unfortunately, that meant that when I went to make Hamburger Helper on Tuesday, there was no milk to be found. I've already discovered the hard way that Soymilk is NOT an acceptable substitute, but I remembered reading (or hearing?) somewhere that evaporated milk would work. Lo and behold, it tasted exactly the same! Hooray!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Aebleskiver Update

Today I mixed the jam with cream cheese for the filling. A-MAY-zing. XD

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Hotty and I got an aebleskiver pan for our wedding, and I've never really thought to use it. But a few weeks ago we picked up some pancake mix at the store, and today I thought, dang. I should give it a whirl.
Turns out it's pretty darn easy. On a scale from "trained monkeys (without the training) could make it" to "people who have gone to school for ten years to learn to make it still ruin it every time" it lands at a very solid "it's insanely simple, if you're not lazy." I looked online for a couple of recipes, and none of them really called for pancake mix. This made me sad, for I had been told it was possible. So I persevered and found a way to make it delicious. :D
For your pleasure:

Before you do anything, put the aebleskiver pan on the stove and turn the burner onto medium heat. This way you don't have to concern yourself with waiting for the pan to heat up later. Make up the pancake mix according to the directions, except leave out the egg(s). The mix I used called for one cup mix, half a cup milk, one tablespoon oil (if you're imagining me reading this aloud, you might want to pronounce "oil" southern-style; it sounds kind of like "ol'" as in "good ol' boys") and one egg. Instead of putting the egg(s) in, take one or two more than you need and beat the whites with a hand mixer until it looks delicious and fluffy like marshmallows and it holds its shape when you take out the beaters (you know, until peaks form). I used two egg whites. *tip: It helps if you have an egg separator, or if you just happen to find separating whites from yolks easy. Like I do.* Then you fold the whites into the pancake batter, to make it nice and fluffy. Now is the fun part. Spray each cup with cooking spray, then put a little batter in the cup. Spoon a little jam or jelly (or whatever; there are lots of possibilities) onto the batter, then put a little more on top. If you go one cup at a time, by the time you're done with the last cup, the first aebleskiver should be ready to flip. You flip them using something long and skinny, preferably pointy. I used a metal chopstick, and others have used metal kebab skewers or toothpicks. You cook it a minute to a minute and a half on each side. Then you take them out and enjoy.

I found it was easier when: 1) the jam didn't touch the pan 2) I didn't put in too much batter; too much made it overflow and look silly when I tried to flip it.

The jam I used is a kind Hotty and I were given for Christmas; we went over to our friends' house on New Years and forgot to take it home. We finally got it back when we went back over the other day, so today I decided to use it. It's called Anne Made: Golden Trio, and it's AMAZING.

The only drawback I see to these delicious pastry-like breakfast confections is that they're a little time-consuming to make and take practically no time to eat. Only a drawback if you're trying to feed a lot of people with them, I suppose.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Easy Chicken Bake

From 101 Things To Do With A Slow Cooker

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) cream of mushroom soup, condensed
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup parsley, fresh chopped, optional

Place chicken in greased 4 to 6-quart slow cooker. Mix together soup, milk, and seasonings. Pour mixture over chicken. Cover and cook on high heat 4 hours or on low heat 8-10 hours. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley, if desired. Makes 6 servings.

I didn't have chicken breasts; I have chicken tenders. Using a very scientific substitution method (1 chicken breast is about 3 tenders, right?) I simply used what I have. My nifty book says that if you're using frozen meat to add some time to the cook time; I think they over-estimated, though. I probably should have just thawed the chicken before putting it in the croc pot. Cooking it for too long made the sauce a little lumpy, but it was ok once I stirred it.
I also didn't have garlic salt and used regular salt instead. It still tasted delicious.
I served it over white rice, and it was good. Hotty said so.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Creamsicle Shake

This evening I needed some motivation to do homework. And I said, Hey. There's still some ice cream in the freezer.
Don't look at me like that... I needed a reward for doing the dishes. And I didn't use too much ice cream... there wasn't that much left. ^_^

2 scoops ice cream
a little mandarin orange juice

combine; stir until delicious.

Hotty and I went to the Asian food market the other day and picked up some mandarin orange juice, among other things. I'd never had it, and upon trying it I discovered it to be like regular orange juice, except that it tastes good. :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


I used a recipe I found in a blog; to avoid getting anyone mad at me (hopefully) I'll just post the link, as opposed to the recipe.

It went... ok. I was hindered by the fact that I didn't have any wax paper, as well as the fact that there's apparently an art to "dipping" that I just haven't mastered. In the end, I just spread the chocolate on top, like frosting. It seemed to work, although I ended up not having enough chocolate. There were a few naked ones.

Were I to try again, I think I'd melt the chocolate in the microwave (I used a double boiler; didn't really do it for me) and be sure to buy wax paper before I start. It probably makes a difference in how easy it feels, if nothing else.

Happy note: I got to use my KitchenAide while making these cookies. That always makes me happy, especially as this one appears not to be broken.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Cola Roast

Taken from 101 Things To Do With A Slow Cooker, by Stephanie Ashcraft and Janet Eyring.

3-pound beef roast
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
2 cans (12 ounces each) cola (Diet soda cannot be substituted)

Place roast in greased 4 to 5-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle with soup mix. Pour soda over all. Cover and cook on low heat 7-8 hours. Makes 4-6 servings.

It worked out pretty well. The recipe is easy enough. I felt like my meat was a trifle dry, but that might be because we left the slow cooker on for too long (closer to 8 hours than 7) or because I didn't put any of the juice on it.
The coke gave it an interesting sweet flavor. I rather liked it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Stir-Fry Deliciousness

10 frozen chicken tenders (which I figure is about a pound)
Sweet Ginger Marinade
1 bag frozen Broccoli and Cauliflower

Place the tenders in a bowl and marinade them for two days. (I planned on one, but he brought home Cafe Rio on Tuesday. That's something you don't turn down, especially if you're me.) Slice the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Throw (or toss, or place; whatever) them into a skillet, along with the extra marinade and the frozen vegetables. Cook over medium heat until heated through. Serve over rice.

I pretty much made this one up. It's simple enough that I don't want to take full credit for it, but I didn't consult any recipes or anything. Just memories from childhood. I think the marinade process would have worked if I'd only marinaded the chicken for one day, but I do wish I'd thrown the veggies in with them for an hour or so. At least. It would have made them that much more tasty.

If I try it again, I'll alter the veggies. It would look more colorful with carrots in it, and it would taste better if they were marinated.

Monday, January 19, 2009


I was watching The Dark Knight, (still in the process, really; I'm gonna go finish directly) trying not to fall asleep, when I thought, "Hey, I have a blender. I need to make something liquid, sweet, and cold to keep me awake." Thus was born a delicious use for the coffee creamer I doubt I would use otherwise. I made this one up, after consulting a couple of websites.

1 c. Soymilk
3/4 c. Coffee Creamer, Creme Brulee flavored
6 cubes of ice

Blend in a blender until delicious.

The amount of creamer might prove to be too much; 1/4 c was definitely too little, I'll tell you that. The amounts work if you keep the ice from separating too much from the liquid part.

In the Beginning...

Well, friends, here I am. A newlywed here to navigate the realms of cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, doing dishes, holding down a job, and keeping my grades up. All at the same time. Thank goodness I don't have kids.

This blog is here to document my time spent figuring it all out. Mostly I'm here to post recipes and exploits (and trust me, there will be some) regarding the application thereof. Some recipes will be homemade, some will be borrowed, some will be borrowed and doctored. But due credit will be given at all times, never fear.

Also included may be adventures in the aforementioned cleaning, washing clothes, and doing dishes. All in a day's work, friends.