Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy Beltane!

Last night I stayed up late to learn how to make paper flowers. It took me an hour, but I learned how to make them! I made a bunch of them and brought them to school. I gave them to my friends and told them "Happy May Day!" The sucky part was that hardly anyone else wanted them. What's happened to people? So I have tons of leftover origami paper flowers and I don't know what to do with them. Probably decorate my room. Or maybe I'll try to give them to people when we go grocery shopping tonight.

It's been a beautiful spring day. A little damp, but the temperature is perfect. Maybe if it's warm tonight we'll have a little campfire. I hope everyone is having a great day, and that they dance along with Jamie! I'm dancing, just not willing to record myself doing it. xD

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cookie Tips

I hoped I'd just be able to share an amazing chocolate chip cookie recipe with you, but instead I've got some good tips to share. I'll share the recipe, too, but just keep in mind that I haven't made it correctly yet.

Lats night I got the craving for home made chocolate chip cookies. (And it cooled down enough for me to make them) There's no better kind of cookie than a home made one. I remembered that I had a recipe from my Great Grandmother's cook book. I just had to try it out! This is the kind of recipe where the only thing included is a list of the ingredients. I've made cookies before so I know that it only takes 7 steps, as Suzie illustrates here.

The easiest way for me to explain the things I learned last night is to give you the ingredients listed and go from there.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 well beaten egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon hot water
1 six ounce package chocolate chips
1/2 cup nuts

Obviously margarine is cheaper, and was used much more often back then than it is now. I used butter, though, because I prefer it.

The fact that there is only 1/4 cup of brown sugar in the recipe means the cookies aren't as dark as some chocolate chip cookies I've made. My mom had to ask me if I put any in at all.

We didn't have any vanilla. I could have just left it out, but instead I decided to experiment. I added a few drops of almond extract, and a dash of cinnamon. They gave the cookies a different flavor that we all really like.

The flour needs to be sifted if a recipe calls for it. This is one of the first things I learned when I began cooking. We don't own a sifter, so I put 1/2 cup unsifted flour in a bowl and whisked it for a minute or two. It came out exactly as if I'd bought and used a sifter. Always start out with about half the amount it says you'll need. When flour is sifted you end up with a lot more of it than you start with. The 1/2 unsifted flour gave me the 1 cup + 2 tablespoons needed.

Even though the recipe calls for 6 ounces of chocolate chips I only put in what we had left in one bag, which was about 4 ounces. It seems like that was a good amount.

I do not like nuts in my cookies, so I never put them in. This turned out to me my biggest mistake last night. When a recipe calls for nuts, and you don't add them in, sometimes you need to add a little extra flour to make up for it. I didn't do this last night and I ended up with very flat cookies.

That is not how a chocolate chip cookie is supposed to look. They taste fine, but I still feel dumb for messing up. Especially because I made the same mistake with a different batch of cookies last month. I guess I needed to make it again in order to learn from it.

It doesn't say a cooking time or temperature, but I used the universal baking temp., 350 degrees. I just watched to make sure they didn't burn. The time it takes depends on how big you make the cookies.

The recipe took a little bit longer because I had to beat the egg and sift the flour, and I only got a dozen cookies from it. The dough tasted amazing, though! I do plan to make them again, even if it's just to prove that I can. I'll show you how they look when I decide to make them. I hope they turn out a little less flat.

By the way, I'm back from the dentist. The whole right side of my mouth is numb. They did work on the top and bottom. I ended up with 3 shots of novocain, because I needed two shots on the top. I don't know why the top of my mouth doesn't numb well, they had to do the same thing last time. I hope it wears off before I get hungry for lunch, I don't want to eat with a half numb mouth.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Technically... My Week's Getting Better!

Yesterday, I must put out there, was a remarkably good day. I woke up in a good mood, and it went on from there. I should have come home and done a lot more homework than I ended up doing. Technically I had a paper due today about M. Butterfly. I slacked off and watched a movie with my sister instead. Thank the gods for lax teachers! Lol. I needed that break last night. No more of that, though! I know if I don't watch myself I could end up slacking off too much. Senioritis can be crippling if the student decides to ignore it.

Tomorrow I have a dentist appointment in the morning. I'm getting more cavities taken care of. There is that fear of going because of the discomfort from getting my teeth drilled, but at the same time I want to make my teeth healthier. I know I can't live with teeth that hurt. Anyway, I won't be going back to school after the appointment. Last time I was there they gave me so much novocain the whole left side of my mouth was numb for hours. I plan to use this time to write the entire M. Butterfly paper, and get a good chunk of my Personal Finance paper done, too.

I'll also be preparing for Friday- Beltane! I never know what to do for a sabbat until the day before. Is anyone doing anything for it?

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Monday After Vacation Is Always The Worst

What a Monday! They're bad enough on their own- right? Well the Monday after a week off is worse. Whose idea was having a vacation in April anyway? I like having time off, but when we get back no one wants to do anything. It's too close to the end of the school year. I graduate in about 36 school days! The graduation date is set for June 20th. I. Cannot. Wait.

Senioritis is taking over the 12th grade. Everyone is slacking off, getting distracted, and getting really, really, frustrated. Apparently the teachers believe that the cure for a case of senioritis is giving us more work to do. I had work to do in every single class, which is uncommon. Luckily some of it isn't due until Wednesday.

Blah. It was in the high 80's today. Tomorrow it's supposed to be in the 90's! The weather is supposed to change back to April soon, though. We shouldn't have 80 and 90 degree days in April. It's not right.

More shirt pictures! Lol. This is what I wore today. The tank top is not school appropriate, so I need to wear a shirt over it. This shirt is a long sleeve collar shirt that I got at a second hand store just for this purpose.

In colder weather I wear this sweater over the tank top. There was no way I was going to put it on for a picture tonight. It's 85 in my bedroom. It looks very frumpy just sitting there; But take my word for it, it looks awesome on. It's the one I'm wearing in my profile picture, in fact.

After my too-hot-too-much-work-day I was looking forward to sitting and watching the new episode of House tonight. Too late! It started half an hour ago. xD I'll watch it tomorrow, it's being recorded. I was working on homework right up until it started. So, instead, I got to enjoy watching people dance, read about amazing gardens, experiences, cookies, homes, and amazing people dealing with and finding solutions to their problems.

And here I am complaining about my day. I'm going to shower, do yoga, and fall into bed. With any luck I'll be asleep before my head hits the pillow. Here's looking for a better week ahead!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

It's Getting Warm!

You can tell it's hot out when the cats are laying on their backs to cool down. I managed to get a picture of Onna before she ran off. She might usually be a pain in the butt, but she's cute.

You asked to see the shirt- here it is! I love it, especially the color. I don't like wearing it without something over it, though. The holes aren't very visible. I'm not sure what I want to do about them. Thanks for the suggestions the other day!

Yesterday's visit to NECI answered a lot of questions. It also raised new problems. The school just found out this week that they are basically eliminating one of their campuses. The one I was going to go to. Now everyone will be going to one campus. The two were very close to each other so that is no big deal. I don't really like the campus, and my living arrangements are going to be different. I would have been living in apartment housing with other people before, now I'm going to live in dorms.

It sucks, but it doesn't change what I want to do. I'm still going there. This is just a bump in the road.