31 March 2011

Versatile Blogger Award!

My fellow blogger Aki gave me this super awesome Versatile Blogger Award!
I think these awards are such a great idea, because not only do they make you feel super duper special when you get one, they require you to pay the special-ness forward and give the award out to fifteen other recently discovered bloggers.

This was actually an extremely hard thing to do, because I wanted to find brand new blogs, not just give the awards out to people I already follow who have like 2000 followers and such. Also, I wanted to make sure the people I give this award to actually have versatile blogs! So I used the little "next blog" button on the blogger navbar, repeatedly, and found that hot damn there are a lot of blogs out there that I have no interest in. There are blogs about dentistry. About textiles. About christianity. And of course there are about 4732984732 million family/baby blogs, which are essentially families that created a blog to let the rest of the family see what they're up to. Finding my market of blogs- young, college-age girls interested in a variety of things with a few hobbies that show up on their blogs- was incredibly difficult! I ended up not being able to fill all 15 spots with time constraints... but i did find a few gems. I definitely think everyone I gave the award to is worthy :)

anyways, here are the official rules for accepting this award:
1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post.
2. Tell us 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 15 recently discovered new bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers and let them know they've received their award.

7 things you don't already know about me? I'll give it a shot :)

1. I haven't washed my hair in oh, about 3 months. More on that in a later post!
2. Sometimes I get a craving for kraft boxed mac n cheese- even though it's not very good and definitely not good for me!
3. On career day in Kindergarten (you had to dress up like what you wanted to be when you grew up) I wanted to be a Mom.
4. I own all 10 seasons of Friends and have watched them all many times
5. I am catering a 5 day youth retreat this summer... the day after I fly home from greece.
6. I wear three rings on my fingers- one from my grandma on my mom's side, one from my grandma on my dad's side, and one that is one of 3 that my mom, sister, and I all wear.
7. I think american cheese is an abomination. and so, SO disgusting. pretty sure it's just soft yellow plastic.

and here are the ten bloggers I chose for this award!
In the Pines
Porch Stories
Echoes of My Footsteps
akawest
Just a Girl in Philly
Bella-Fleur
It's a Dog's Life
Dressing For Dinner
Smiles Awake You
Carly Ann

10 Things I've Learned in My Teens P.1

Before we get started, here are a bunch of pics of me as a wee teenager:
In Venice, during a month long vacation that started immediately after my last day of middle school. Age: 14
 About to leave for the winter dance in freshman year- my friend nicole and I didn't know that all dances besides homecoming and prom weren't cool yet. If I remember right, we arrived, danced to one song, and then went to starbucks and hung out with some random boys that were there. Age: 14
 Going to Bull Pen for Easter is a tradition in my family. I think we are going again this year! Age: 14
My first (of three) proms- I went with what I'd consider to be my high school sweetheart, even though I dated 4 other boys in high school (one of them stewie!). I dated this guy for the longest time while actually in high school though, so he wins the title. he was a junior and I was a sophomore, which was how I got to go to prom. Age: 15
 At the river in the Mendo Woodlands during the youth retreat, summer after sophomore year. Age: 16
 16th birthday I think?
 
 Me being my UBERCOOL self, dressing up with some friends to go TPing. Age: 17
All dressed up for the pirates vs. ninjas party summer 09. Age: 18


In less than a month and a half, I will be turning the ripe old age of 20. 20 itself doesn't seem like a huge step, but when you think about it it really is. I will be saying goodbye to my teenage self- and those teenage years were a doozy! I feel like as a child you are growing into a person, and as a teenager you are growing into yourself, if that makes sense. So many decisions are made as a teenager- what you like, what you don't like, what you want out of life, what you're afraid of, what is most important to you, who you are. Not that anyone has all the answers coming out of being a teenager, but I'd definitely say we're all a bit wiser for the wear.

20 is also the beginning of what's bound to be a crazy important decade. Sure, I'll turn 21, but that's not even the start of it. In my 20s I will get my bachelors and possibly even a masters degree. I will start a career. I will move places, maybe even a few. I might get married and I might even have a child. Eek! I'm not saying that will definitely happen in my 20s, but it sure does for a lot of people.

So in honor of the end of one very exciting, crazy, amusing, hormone-saturated decade and the beginning of a hopefully equally fun but a little less angsty one, I've constructed a list of 10 things that I have learned in my teens. They might not be the same things you got out of your teenage years, and you might not even agree with them, but for me they have proven to be extremely useful bits of knowledge that help me to live a life full of love, happiness, freedom, and fulfillment. If you've got anything that you learned in your teens that isn't on my list, feel free to leave a comment- I'd love to read about it! Also, if you decide to make a post like this, put the link in the comments so I can check it out!

1. Don't Change Yourself for Anyone. There are always going to be people- possibly friends, family, a boyfriend- who will want you to fit an image that they have of you, or an image of what they would like you to be. Maybe they won't even be pushing this image on you, but you will feel like you should act/talk/dress/think differently in order to make them happy. Don't! I was an actress in high school and sometimes I felt like I was constantly on stage, just switching masks for whoever I was with. Some of my friends were really girly and straight-edge, so I found myself acting more feminine around them. Other friends were more counterculture, so when I was around them so was I. And then there were the boyfriends. There were a few times I went to church (even though I'm not a christian), partly because my friends were going and I wanted to, but also partly because I thought it would appease a boy that I liked. In retrospect, this all seems so stupid! I should have just been me, instead of tailoring myself to fit each person I was with- because really, what's the point of being friends with someone when they're not actually friends with the real you? Be yourself- ALL of yourself. You will be so much happier letting yourself be free than you would be if you cage up the bits of you that you don't think fit. As the saying goes, those who matter won't mind, and those that mind don't matter. 

2. Your Body is a Temple. I know this is a very cliche saying, but it's so, so true. Your body should be your most prized possession. You can ruin your car, your home, your stuff- but you will still survive. If you ruin your body, you probably won't. Not to mention, this is the only body you get! Like it or not, you are stuck with it for the rest of your life. It's pretty darn important, isn't it? Which is why you should treat it as if it's that important. Eat wholesome, nutritious food- preferably stuff that doesn't come wrapped in plastic or cardboard. If an ingredient listed on a package sounds more like it came from your chemistry textbook than from a farm, it probably isn't very good for your body. Develop a fitness routine and stick with it! Not only will it help you stay strong, slim, and healthy, it will keep your heart in healthy working condition and probably lead to a longer, livelier overall life. If you start eating healthy food regularly, you will start to realize that the saying "you are what you eat" really is true. Fresh fruits and veggies, nuts, and whole grains make you feel full of energy, happy, and full. Crappy food like preservative-rich "dinner" mixes/starters, fatty chips, candy, and -at least for me- dairy and meat make you feel sluggish, achy, tired, and grumpy. Think of your body as a machine that is detrimental to your survival- maintain it so that it can work efficiently by exercising, and give it only the best, most nourishing fuel. Give your body the love and attention it deserves!

3. People Think About You Far Less Than You Think They Do. In my junior year, there was a girl who hated me for no discernible reason other than an ex-friend of mine had told her I'd said some things about her (which for the record, I absolutely did not). Anyways, one day the girl confronted me in an effort to "bitch me out" (as was the phrase used in high school) and force me to confess. She accused me of thinking she was a slut, and I found myself saying, "[girl's name], I have way more important things to do and think about in my day than to worry about whether or not you're a slut." which was probably a little rude, but it was true- I didn't think about that girl at all, whether in positive or negative terms, but she was so worked up thinking that I did! Some people (myself included at times) spend so much time thinking about what other people are thinking. You walk into a room and people look at you and you find yourself wondering to yourself, "do they like my outfit? do they not like it? were they just talking about me? blah blah blah blah blah". You're walking down the street and you trip and you wonder if anyone saw you. You say something in class and you wonder if the other students are judging you for it. You put on something to wear in the morning in hopes that other people will be impressed. It's all so tiresome and pointless! Especially when the fact is, everyone else is probably NOT thinking about you, they're probably too busy second-guessing themselves and wondering what YOU are thinking of THEM. Sure, there are one or two sad souls out there who get their kicks from judging people and talking about them behind their backs, but they're not worth the time of day. I don't spend very much time thinking about what other people are doing/saying/wearing, so I figure everyone else is probably not too concerned about what I'm doing/saying/wearing. So why worry about it? Think about yourself, and let everyone else do the worrying.

4. Life is the Most Important Thing. More important than school. More important than jobs. More important than money, pretty things, essays, dentist appointments. In my opinion, the purpose of life is to live it. Enjoy it. Not to go to school, get a degree, get a job, become a decent and successful member of society before you die. Where's the fun in that? I'm not saying you shouldn't do those things- I definitely wanted to do well in highschool and now I want to do well in college and become successful- just don't let those things stand in the way of the joy of life. It's ok to play hookie every once in a while in order to take advantage of a beautiful day. It's ok to take a year off of school and work and just backpack around, living off of cash you make doing odd jobs. Nothing should stand in the way of you living your life. You might only get one shot at this thing, so don't do something you hate because you feel like you have to, and don't give up something you really want because you feel like you can't have it. In my life, I try to only do things that will make me happy. Sometimes I do things that aren't fun and I don't enjoy, but I do them because I know the end result will make me happy. I don't always want to go to class, but I know at the end of 4 years I'll have a degree. I don't like going to the dentist, but I sure like having clean, pain-free teeth. Just remember that everything you do should be something you WANT to do, for one reason or another, not just something you think you HAVE to do.

5. Everything is Constantly Changing. So don't try to hold on to the present. People change, a lot. You've changed. The earth changes. You don't get to press pause and keep things the way they are, and you don't get to turn back time and try to get it back. You just get to float along and enjoy they good things that come at you and work through the bad. I've gained a lot of friends over my life, and I've lost a whole lot too- most of the time not through any action or fight or anything, just because life moved on and we drifted apart one way or another. It's just the way things are. On the upside, you can always be confident that no matter how terrible things seem to be, they are guaranteed to change, and most likely get better. There is always something new and wonderful lurking around the corner, you just have to let life take you there. Don't get stuck, let yourself go and make peace with the fact that nothing can stay the same for too long. Change is inevitable, and it's not always as scary as we think it is.

I'll have part 2 of my 10 things I've learned in my teens list up in the next few weeks. Enjoy your weekend!

30 March 2011

Vlogging Vednesday- my first!

Hey guys, I just did my very first vlog EVER for vlogging vednesday! You can learn more about vlogging vednesday here and here as well as check out a whole lot of other people's vlogs for today's prompt.

So, you can totally tell i'm uber nervous- turns out typing out your life in the safety of your quiet little room is much easier than turning on a camera and filming yourself in said room for the world to see. I'm excited about this whole vlogging vednesday thing and hopefully I will do more in the future! I don't have a ton of time so editing is minimal- i mean, the song doesn't even fit haha. Also, sorry about the noise from my roommate showering in the next room. oh well!

anyways, enjoy my silly little vlog :)

video

thanks for watching! hopefully i'll only get better with time!

Oh, and just in case the video is unlcear and you are super into accomplishing this hairstyle (lol), here are some typed instructions:

1. Give yourself a dramatic side part
2. Tease the top portion of your hair on all sides- I usually do two sections of hair on the side with the most hair, one on the other side, and one in the back
3. Comb the very top layer of the teased hair to make it look smooth
4. Gather the teased hair behind your hair and pin it so it's nice and poofy, kind of like a beehive. For girls with less hair this will probably only take 2 bobby pins, I usually use four.
5. Gather your hair at the nape of your neck and use a small band to tie it. push it up to give your hair some extra oomph
6. Use your fingers to backcomb the ponytail, giving it a messy look.
7. If you have bangs like mine, use your comb to tease them just a little, then comb them to one side of your face. You can pin them, like I did, or just let them be free :)

<3
Em

today is a very special day

because today is the day that Stewie gets his license/car back! Hooray! I won't go into all the nitty gritty details, but basically almost 3 years ago stewart was wrongfully convicted of driving under the influence (if you're wondering how that could happen, consider az's 30 day law), was convinced by his crappy though expensive lawyer to plead guilty for an alcohol-related DUI, and ever since has been jumping through all kinds of hoops such as paying a 2000 dollar fine, attending drug counseling classes (at 30 bucks a week), spending a night in jail (which again, had to be paid for), and losing his license- which for me has meant carting him around everywhere! But today, after 2 years of suspended license, he is finally getting it back. I've been excited for this day FOREVER because I always complain to stewie about how I give him rides to his school all the time but I have to bike myself to the university and back at least once or twice a day. Now I can finally wear skirts to school without leggings underneath and not be afraid that something will fly up while I zip down the street on my bicycle :)

There are still a few more hoops for stewie to jump through, like a super expensive insurance that they failed to mention in the original punishment and having to have a (again very expensive) breathalyzer in his car for the next year or two. but the important thing is that stewie can finally drive again and he is finally getting his beloved ragged old maroon vw golf back. Hooray for today!

29 March 2011

cleaning out my phone gallery

As a blogger, I have a tendency to take pictures of random things- food mostly, but also good hair days, cute outfits, pretty sunsets, and a whole lot of other stuff in an effort to document my life and build up photo content for this site. This inevitably leaves me with a gallery on my phone that consists of a whole bunch of really random pictures that don't exactly form a coherent post... and so I end up making posts like these, where I just unload a few mismatched pics from the last 3 weeks on you guys. Fun, eh? anyways, here are some things that I've been up to/have caught my eye recently:

Don't you just love how vain bloggers are? We just love to take pictures of ourselves. this is me driving to pick stewie up from school before leaving for phoenix/prescott for spring break

One of my favorite things about going home- my parents always have a ton of delicious, healthy food. This is leftover grilled zucchini from dinner the night before and portobello ravioli all sprinkled with crumbled sheeps milk feta. so yummy. I wish I had a grill... I could seriously live off of smoky, grilled veggies.

Another thing I love about going home- lunch with my mom! We always try to set up a lunch date every time I'm back in prescott for a few days, and I just love it. It's a tradition that goes all the way back to when I was 6 or 7 in elementary school and she would pick me and my sister up on alternating wednesdays and take us out to lunch. My fave place to go back then was fazolis (so sad the one in prescott closed!), but now my tastebuds are a bit more mature. We decided to go to pangaea this time, a wonderful little bakery/lunch place. I got a sandwich with fresh mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, and a balsamic reduction on baguette, and my mom got a super yummy brie and fig sandwich on sourdough. so delicious!

This was my super awesome st paddy's day- george killian's irish red beer and sandwiches made from leftover irish soda bread, colcannon, and vegan corned beef and cabbage out in the beautiful forest outside of prescott. Stew and I went car camping and lots of our friends came along to hang out...we took a hike up the hill to look at the amazing view (I didn't take my camera to catch a pic... oops!) and sat around a campfire having a grand ol time.

Speaking of car camping, stewie and I did a fair amount of it over spring break. I know it looks really haphazard, but it was actually very pleasant. My subaru's back seat fold forward, providing a nice long bed, big enough for two people. stewie had a little trouble cause he's taller, but for me it was perfect and very comfortable. love it!

I've got a fave spot in prescott- a couple actually- that is perfectly hidden away so that you wouldn't really even know it's there unless someone showed you. it's up a long, steep driveway between a gas station and a carwash, and at the top there's a wonderful spot to park your car, open your windows, and gaze over much of prescott. I came up here a couple times over spring break, this time because I had time in between plans and the cleaning ladies were at my house so I needed someplace to go.

While I was up there, I read one of my fave magazines, ReadyMade. It still gets delivered to my parent's house, so every once in a while when I come to visit a new one will be sitting on my desk. It's a wonderful DIY magazine full of projects, recipes, and stories about really awesome people. This was the cover this month, and I think it's such an awesome idea! Inside that camper is a stove, a bed, and some other cool things. My friend and stewie's older brother Brian has a white honda civic, and I totally think he should trick his out like this one.

Whew, gallery cleaned. More posts later! I've got a test this afternoon, so wish me luck :)

<3
Em

28 March 2011

unfortunately...

...there will not be a movie monday this week. Guys, I'm going crazy with all this post spring break...um.. craziness! Seriously, it's kicking my butt. Let me tell you about my day: I woke up, got ready, did some errands/cooking/homework before having to bike to school at 1:40, had class from 2-6, biked home, finished some cooking I'd had to cut short earlier (because of the whole class thing), put on my workout clothes, decided to start dinner so I would have less to do later- this resulted in me doing parts of my ab workouts in between going out into the kitchen and checking on things- finished my abs, finished dinner, ate dinner, decided to do some homework before completing my workout at the gym, finished homework but then got caught up in apartment hunting... and now I'm sitting here, about to finally go to the gym, and I still have a hefty amount of homework to do when I get home because I've got a film history test tomorrow. Oh, and stewie's stressing over homework too so I told him I'd make him cookies and we could stay up late together working. gah, my life. I haven't been able to blog at ALL (aside from these sad rants about the fact that i'm too busy to blog... sorry about that) which is uber depressing because i've got a whole slew of great posts I've been cooking up.

blegh. so anyways... with all this crap going on I haven't had time to do anything except zip around trying to complete a never-ending to do list... on which a movie monday sadly does not make the cut this week. I hope to be back in a couple of days (I know, I said that last time...) with some super stellar posts to make up for all this blogger fail. Love you all!

<3
Em

22 March 2011

Eek! So busy!

So what usually happens when I decide to do things like holiday countdowns (especially over vacations) happened again- I was doing so well until it came to the holiday itself and then I got caught up in a whirlwind of st paddy's day fun and camping that lasted all day and into the night and then the next day I was far too exhausted to do anything other than watch multiple episodes of cupcake wars and then the day after that I had to go to breakfast early in the morning and then drive down to apache junction to go to the renaissance festival and then drive to tempe to go to dinner and spend time with stewart's brother and then the next day I had to drive home to tucson and catch up on all the things I hadn't done over spring break and then the next day I had to go to class and then work out and then go grocery shopping at 8pm which led to dinner at 10 and I have just not had a spare minute until now to say sorry, I suck at blogging.

whew. forgive me? Not like the last post of the countdown is ever that important anyway, I wouldve just told you some fun things you can do to celebrate... and usually by the last day it's too late for that!

In other news, Stewie and I had a fantastic spring break. So busy, but tons of fun! We saw almost all our friends while we were there, drank a LOT of tea and coffee, and ate some really yummy food. Coming back to Tucson is bittersweet, but I'm thrilled that only 5 short weeks separate me from being a junior! I'm ready to get off this college train.

Hooray. Well anyways, I should probably go do important stuff like homework and cleaning now... I'll have some new posts up over the next few days- have a great week!

Movie Mondays: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

It's been crazy busy and I've been a blogger failure! more on that next post, but for now here's your movie monday before it gets any later!
Todays movie is so much fun! I love it- probably because I love the idea of a traveling circus. How much fun would it be to be in one of those? Especially if your circus is super magically awesome like it is in this movie.

The film is The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. It's about a traveling circus comprised of the amazing Dr Parnassus, his 15 year old daughter Valentina (who he tries to pass off as 12 in the show- for various reasons), his assistant Antoine (who has a crush on Valentina), and a midget named Percy.

This traveling circus is unlike any other traveling circus though- inside the Imaginarium, dreams become reality. For the most part, they're very fun and enjoyable dreams. However, every once in a while the devil- known as Mr. Nick in this film- gets involved.

So skip back 1000 years ago. Dr. Parnassus is over 1000 years old, but he falls in love with a mortal woman. He agrees to make a deal with the devil (Mr. Nick), trading his immortality for youth. The catch is that once the child Dr. Parnassus and this woman have reaches his or her 16th birthday, the child goes to Mr. Nick. And that's why Dr. Parnassus is trying to make Valentina appear to be 12. However, Mr. Nick can't be fooled by this- he is, however, willing to make another bet. Whoever can seduce 5 souls within the Imaginarium will win Valentina.

Sounds pretty cool by itself, right? But then there's this whole situation with Tony, who is played by Heath Ledger. I mean Johnny Depp. I mean Jude Law. I mean Colin Farrell. Oh wait, it's all of them. You see, every time Tony (who is rescued while nearly hanging to death on a bridge by the traveling circus) enters the Imaginarium, he shifts appearance. Tony becomes an important part of the story, as Dr. Parnassus offers his daughter's hand in marriage to whoever helps him win his bet against the devil. Obviously Tony like Valentina as well, so it becomes quite a little love triangle between her, Antoine, and Tony.

What fun. Semi-confusing, yes. It kind of reminded me of Across the Universe- so many fun colors and awesome use of scenery, animation, etc. It's magical and thrilling and wonderful. And Tom Waits plays Mr. Nick. Need I say more?

Here's a trailer:


sheesh, way to make it look super fricken dramatic- it's quite more lighthearted than they make it appear :) It's on netflix instant, so if you can, check it out!

16 March 2011

St Paddy's Countdown Day 2

Today was SUCH an epic day of cooking. Seriously, like 6 hours of it. But you guys are in for some awesome irish fare! I made some delish vegan corned beef and cabbage as well as 4 rounds of irish soda bread. I also made my fave colcannon, which you can find here- I just now added the pics to that post though! On a whim I also decided to make some old fashioned sugar cookies with green 7 minute frosting. In the end, my fam and I had practically a thanksgiving feast in front of us for dinner- and there is tons left for me to take on our st paddy's camping trip tomorrow! yay.

Alright, it's late, so let's dive right in to the good stuff.

First, Irish soda bread!
My dad used to make this from time to time, and my grandma made it when he was a kid (and sometimes for me as well!). They make it with caraway seeds, so I wanted to be sure to do the same. I also found a yummy recipe for soda bread made with browned butter, rosemary, and black pepper, though- so I decided to double the batch and do half with rosemary and half with caraway seeds. They both turned out fantastic! I did figure out a bit too late though that the recipe already made two rounds of bread- so i ended up with four. No big deal though ;)

Start by preheating the oven to 375 and mixing together 3.5 cups of flour, 1 tbsp sugar, 1/2 cup oats, 1 tsp salt, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 3/4 tsp black pepper, and 1 tbsp caraway seeds or fresh, chopped rosemary. as you can see from the pic I didn't add caraway seeds or rosemary at this point, but rather waited until the dough was formed so I could easily halve it.
Next, melt 1/4 cup of butter in a small saucepan and allow it to brown quite a bit. Once melted, pour into the dry ingredients along with 1.75 cups buttermilk (I used milk and a few tbsp vinegar set out at room temp for a few minutes)
Mix well and then turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Divide in half.
At the point I added 1 tbsp caraway seeds to one half and 1 tbsp rosemary another half. I then divided those halves in half.
Form into round loaves and score the top.
Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 45 minutes or until a knife stuck all the way through the middle comes out clean.
yummy! serve hot with butter- whipped with honey or herbs if you like!

Now for the vegan corned beef and cabbage. This is so simple, so delicious, and quite healthy!

Begin by cutting two medium yellow onions into wedges. Sautee in a large pot with 1 tbsp of olive oil for about ten mins, or until just beginning to turn brown.
Then chop up 4 carrots into two inch, quartered pieces. I used about 50 baby carrots instead because walmart didn't have any regular carrots. can you believe that? ridiculous. Also thickly slice two stalks of celery and finely slice half a head of cabbage.
When the onions are slightly brown, add the other veggies to the pot along with four cups of vegetable broth, 1 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp rubbed sage, 1 tsp mustard seeds (or dry mustard), 1 tsp vegan horseradish, 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp black pepper.
Stir to combine and then cover the pot and allow the contents to cook for 15 minutes. Then add one pkg (about 8-9 oz) of beef substitute- I typically use morningstar steak strips, but there are many other yummy brands as well. You can also use seitan. Cover and cook for another 15 minutes or until carrots are tender. Once the 15 minutes are up, use a slotted spoon to remove the veggies and meat from the remaining juices in the pot.

In a small bowl, combine 1 tbsp red wine, 1/4 cup water, and 2 tbsp flour. slowly add this mixture to the remaining juices and  stir well. Cook until the gravy reaches desired consistency, and then pour over the veggies and meat. Serve and enjoy!

yummmm. admittedly not the prettiest dish I've ever seen, but it is very tasty. definitely something every vegetarian should have on their st patrick's day menu!

I also made some cookies, which weren't too exciting, but photographed well.

yikes, total sugar bombs! haha. don't forget to check out last year's colcannon post to see the pretty new pictures that go along with the recipe!

hooray! tomorrow I am driving a few miles out of town with some friends to spend the day out in nature camping and having a blast- but i'll try to get that last blog post up anyhow!

Love,
Em

St Paddy's Countdown Day 3

Just pretend this was posted yesterday, ok? ;)
St Patrick's Day drinks pretty much revolve around three things: beer, whiskey, and irish cream. You could combine all three in an epic curdle-y gross irish car bomb, or you could just stick to one poison... and there's also always the option of going through the mcdonald's drivethrough for a shamrock shake- but the idea of going to mcdonald's is almost as gross as the idea of an irish car bomb.

I wanted to do something different. I'm sure people have made these before, but a quick search on google didn't bring up any results. The drink is called a Green Irish- a twist on the White Russian.

The components are pretty much the same- one shot hard alcohol (vodka in a w.r.), 2 shots liqueur (coffee liqueur in a w.r.) and half and half to fill the glass. My version swapped irish whiskey (jameson is a good option) for the vodka and bailey's irish cream for the kahlua coffee liqueur. The half and half stays the same, but I added a few drops of green food coloring to give the drink a fresh, irish tint.

Tastes just how you would expect- like a white russian with an irish twist! Very yummy and decadent. whip up a few for your st paddy's day party :)

1 oz irish whiskey
2 oz irish cream such as Bailey's
half and half
green food coloring (opt)

mix whiskey and irish cream in a glass. Fill with chilled half and half. add a few drops of food coloring and stir well. serve!

Later today I will be back with some awesome irish eats. So excited! I'm going to start cooking right now :)

14 March 2011

St Paddy's Countdown Day 4

 Welcome to day two of my St Patrick's Day Countdown! Today is a Movie Monday- Irish style! Now, usually when I do themed Movie Mondays I write up a quick list of several movies you could watch for the occasion. This time, however, I'm just going to do one movie that's pretty special to me because I grew up watching it!

The movie is Called Darby O'Gill and the Little People. Heard of it? I wouldn't be surprised if you hadn't- it was made in 1959. It's also one of those few disney movies that features real people, not cartoons. It's so very silly and dripping with irish stereotypes- but that's what makes it so fun to watch!
Darby O'Gill is your typical "old codger" who enjoys telling stories about leprechauns in pubs- in his case, though, they're actually true. Darby is friendly rivals with King Brian, the small and cunning king of the leprechauns. I honestly haven't seen this movie in FOREVER, I just remember loving it, so I only remember small bits of the plot- like that Darby's daughter and the new caretaker- handsome, young Michael- fall in love and sing the only song I can remember from the movie in which they refer to each other as "my dear, my darling one". I'm also pretty sure Darby gets trapped down in the leprechaun world for a while.

here is the plot summary from netflix:
Irishman Darby O'Gill (Albert Sharpe) finds himself face to face with magical little people -- leprechauns -- in this unheralded Disney gem. One of O'Gill's tall tales comes true when he captures the King of the Leprechauns, who must grant him three wishes. But all the wishes ultimately backfire, with comical results. Partly filmed on location, the movie co-stars Sean Connery (in an early role), Janet Munro and Estelle Winwood.

such a cute, fun movie- especially to watch on st patrick's day! Definitely not to be taken seriously at all- it's pretty corny and all- but still a lot of fun to watch. I don't know how easy it would be to find (i've got it on vhs somewhere I think), but if you can get your hands on it, give it a watch!

Since it's so old, there is no trailer available on youtube- but if you look it up you can find some silly and ridiculous clips.

13 March 2011

St Paddy's Countdown Day 5

The countdown has officially begun! Hooray! Today, to start getting everyone in an irish mood, i've compiled a small playlist of some fun irish songs- from traditional to punk rock. Enjoy! Tomorrow I'll be back with an awesome irish-themed movie monday :)



Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

12 March 2011

Happy First Birthday...

  ... to me! Well, to this blog, technically. Yep, one year ago today I sat down at my little dorm room desk and decided to start a blog. Actually, I'm almost surprised it was only a year ago! Even though I didn't start regularly posting until around last October, I still fee like I've been blogging FOREVER.

In honor of this very special day, I decided to bake a cake! And since I'm so very selfless ;) and because today happens to be the day we are celebrating my Grandpa's bday, I decided to give the cake to him! I get to bake a cake, you guys get a recipe, and my grandpa gets a cake. Everyone wins!

Also, here is a list of a few of my favorite posts over the past year. Check them out if you haven't already!

The very first post on this blog- aside from the "i'm starting a blog now!" post- talks about how to stock a good vegan kitchen.

This is one of the few recipes that I made up all by myself. It is seriously SO DELICIOUS.

I think some really awesome things came from my Halloween food post. The savory cheesecake is soooo good and can be made any time of the year!

It was really fun to put together this list of family traditions. If you have a blog, you should do one too! And then send my the link so I can check it out!

I hope you guys are as excited as I am about the new feature I started just a couple weeks ago :)

These are just a few of the 150 posts from the past 365 days :) and now... an uber chocolate cake recipe!

My gpa loves chocolate, and I love chocolate, so I went with a hershey's chocolate cake recipe and chocolate buttercream. yummy!

Start by preheating the over to 350 and greasing and flour-dusting two 9 inch cake pans.
Then mix together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Now add a couple eggs, some milk, oil, and vanilla and beat it at medium speed for two minutes.
Now stir in 1 cup boiling water. Then pour the batter into the two pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a knife comes out clean when stuck in the center. Cool the cakes, remove then from their pans, and then wrap and freeze then until you are ready to frost.

Now for the frosting, which I failed to take pics of while making.

Start by creaming 6 tbsp of butter. Then begin adding powder sugar a cup of a time, pouring in a bit of milk when it gets too dry. Once all the powdered sugar has been added, stir in some vanilla and then remove about 2 tbsp of frosting so that you can pipe on writing later.

Then add the cocoa powder and the last of the milk, if there's any left. you should have a nice, soft, thick buttercream.

I made a mini-cake since my gpa lives alone and probably wouldn't need a whole cake. I used a tupperware to measure a 6 in circle in both cake layers. The rest of the cake can be saved for cake pops/balls :)
Now it's time to frost! Line your serving plate with parchment paper to keep it clean, and then frost away :) frosting cakes is seriously like the bane of my existence- I hate doing it and I suck at it. I also suck at removing cakes from cake pans. Both of these problems can be attributed to the fact that when it comes to baking I'm very impatient. I never let my cakes cool nearly long enough before trying to take them out of their pans, and I hardly ever fully freeze my cakes before frosting them (which would make life so much easier). I also rarely chill cookie dough. It's a problem.

Anyways, because I suck at frosting cakes I'm not going to try and tell you how to do it. It's pretty basic anyhow.
Now decorate! You can do whatever you want, but I decided to just pipe on happy bday and some decorative dots in simple white frosting.
Here's the full recipe:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa or HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • ONE-BOWL BUTTERCREAM FROSTING (recipe follows)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
  2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of electric mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. (Cake may be left in rectangular pan, if desired.) Frost with ONE-BOWL BUTTERCREAM FROSTING. 8 to 10 servings.


    ONE-BOWL BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
    6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
    2-2/3 cups powdered sugar
    1/2 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa or HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Cocoa
    1/3 cup milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Beat butter in medium bowl. Add powdered sugar and cocoa alternately with milk, beating to spreading consistency (additional milk may be needed). Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.
You can find the copy of the recipe here, as well as high altitude conversions.

Happy birthday to Girl of a Thousand Faces! And to my wonderful grandpa! Have a great saturday :)

<3
Em

11 March 2011

pretty new toy!

I got my beautiful sky-blue vintage typewriter yesterday!!! It needs a new ribbon but other than that it is perfect! I'm in love <3 new york times best seller list here I come ;)

10 March 2011

Hello Spring!

So, I was scrolling through foodgawker, as i do probably at least once or twice every day (foodie much?), and I came across a picture of a pretty little bowl of soup. It was golden brown, and creamy, and garnished with walnuts, and had the word cheddar in the title, and I thought to myself:

"What the hell? It's not fall, people, you can't go around posting decadent cold weather soups. Sheesh."

Gasp. I involuntarily dissed on my fave season. But seriously, the time has come and gone for fall food and dare I say winter food as well! March 21st is around the corner and that means springtime baby. Yeah I know it's probably still frickin freezing up north... But down here the weather is glorious. In fact, so glorious today that I convinced stewie to cut class and go swimming in our (non heated!) pool. sunny, breezy, wonderful!
Usually I very much dislike spring, but thats probably because everywhere else I've lived it takes FOREVER for spring to decide to actually exist- it'll be beautiful and 70  degrees on a wednesday and be snowing by the weekend. frustrating! But down here in tucson we had only a very brief (albeit awful- have you ever biked to school at 9 in the morning in 20 degree weather? no fun!) cold spell that quickly dissipated into 60, and then 70, and now 80 degree weather. I know by late April it's going to start getting a bit too hot for comfort, but for right now it feels like the most perfect late-spring early summer weather. I'm all ready for barbecues and pastel flowered dresses and pool parties and camping trips and easter and yay! Haha. I get way too excited about the changing of the seasons.

I posted a list of reasons why autumn is the best season, but I don't see any reason why I can't post a list of reasons spring is still a good season sometime in the next few days. I will be up in prescott which will mean slightly cooler temps... but maybe I can snap some pics of budding deciduous trees and sprouting tulips... both of which Tucson pretty much lacks^^
anyways, hooray! hooray for spring time, the time of growth and rebirth and the end of school and perfect weather! It's going to be a great season :)

<3
Em