Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Snippets of the past few weeks

I've been busy trying to write a paper, so my poor blog has been ignored, but here are a few snippets over the past few weeks of things we've done, some from my instagram.

We've had a few rainy days here and it's been lovely!

Not the best picture of Rocky (our algea eater), but he was loving the orange I put in there. 

A new joint called Creamistry just opened up near us which serves ice cream with a new twist, liquid nitrogen. It made the ice cream have a wonderful consistency. Super creamy and soft. Definitely a must try. 

 A wedding we went to over the weekend.

 Flowers from the hubby and a new candle I bought with an amazing scent that smells like candy, 'sparkling vanilla plum'. Yum!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Can you read peoples emotions?

Have you ever watched the show "Lie to Me" with Tim Roth. Fabulous show. Check it out on netflix if you haven't. In a nut shell, it was about a doctor who would assist in solving crimes through reading peoples emotions and micro expressions. There is a lot of truth to what he did and here is a quiz to help you test out your emotion reading skills. Take the quiz here!

I got a 29/36. Not bad I suppose. Some were harder to tell than others. Now, if this would actually work in real life for me, that would be great. It's just, I really have to stare at someones face really hard to be able to read them and that is border line awkward and weird.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Fina china that made the earth crack open

I hate Mondays. I really really do. I wish we could outlaw Mondays and make it part of the weekend. It is my most unproductive day of the week and it drags on and on and feels like it never ends. Now, you may be thinking, how does that have anything to do with the title of this post. Well, since it is my most unproductive day, I spend my Monday's goofing other words, today I was looking up fine china patterns :D

Why, because I walked into Bed Bath and Beyond on Sunday to buy a house warming present for a friend and I always walk through their fine china section just to see what's new on the shelves, what new patterns I like, and whether I would still buy the pattern that I have (Lenox Opal Innocence). It's this bad habit that I have, as a way to justify in my head that the money, or gifts more like, were well spent. I love my pattern, and have way too many of them, but things change, so I like to confirm my liking every time I walk in, and walk back out with my head held high, thinking, nope, I got the best pattern. Let's not even mention that this is America's top selling fine china pattern. They all copied me. Come on people. Well, anyways, this was the first Sunday in 5 and half years where the answer was NO.

The earth rumbled and cracked open and I fell through it. I painstakingly picked myself up out of the man made hole, and slowly dragged myself out, trying not to make a scene while I contemplated stealing a plate or two of the new pattern (j/k!). 

What pattern you dare ask broke my heart and has helped me waste my Monday.

The new Garden Grove, by Lenox. And, if you haven't been following me, let me tell you, I have an obsession with blue and white and this new pattern is killing me.

Oh beautiful plate, how you make me want to serenade you...

I also found this beautiful pattern, the Opal Innocence Silver in plain sight for my poor eyes to see, which is similar to the Opal Innocence, except the scrolls are in silver. Why, God, why. Why do they have to keep making beautiful things. Stop!

Now, I really do love the pattern that I have and it really is beautiful, but so are these. And, if I had to pick again, there is a high chance, it would be one of the above :D and that fellow readers is what made the earth crack open yesterday! 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Organized Balcony

I hate a messy house and I hate, even more, a messy outdoor balcony for all to see. For the longest time, I had no better option for all our miscellaneous outdoor gardening tool stuff, than to have it out on an open shelf covered with a table cloth. It looked terrible and was an eye sore, but I just didn't know what else to do. We don't have a garage (arg, student housing).

Well, I'd had enough. I decided I wanted to buy something that looked nice, had more space and was sturdier than our plastic shelving unit. And, a few weeks of waiting and Craigslist scourring (I was cheap and didn't want to buy a brand new one from Lowes), I found my cabinet :)

When covered, this is what the embarrassment looked like:

 Uncovered was even worse:

 And now, with my awesomely cool cabinet :) Ya, I have all that plastic wrapped stuff up there. It's our small camping tables...I ran out of space...sigh :/ I moved all our camping gear from our tiny closet into this...I don't need a lantern, mattress pump, box of camping tools, snow boots and dusty hiking boots in my closet amongst my clothes thank you very much.  I also have to do something about your snow sled (see that blue UFO disc of an eye sore). It was next to our washing machine inside and I just couldn't stand it being there anymore. Dust catcher!!! I don't want to get rid of it, but it's cracked down the middle, so it's probably no good for sliding down an icy hill. Either way, the balcony looks much better than before. Less embarrassing I must say. And, it locks shut :) With a lock I haven't bought yet...crap, better get a move on now that I am confessing to the world my stuff is open for the taking!

I am also excited to say that I planted my first ever radish seeds and they have started to germinate in no time. I was so excited, you should have seen me. It was as if someone had bought me a brand new car. Oh the little things in life that excite me :o)

This is just 3 days after planting them. Look at those babies :)

A day later, they have grown even more. Sniff, mama's so proud! 

I've also planted two new tomato plants :)  

My Jasmine plant is taking over my balcony. I'm waiting to get the notice that I have to remove all their tendrils from the railing. Till then, take over Jasmine plant, take over! I need privacy.

 Happy Friday Everyone :)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Official - The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

by Shirley Hendrickson, adapted from Leite Torres
I have been searching for the best chocolate chip cookie recipe for a long time. I have made a few meh batches and many many horrible batches, but I have FINALLY FOUND THE recipe. It requires some pre-planning and some ingredients I didn't know existed (j/k!), but I have to say, it was definitely worth it. These cookies were amazing. The hubby could not stop eating them and for someone who hates her baking, these were FABULOUS! Moist on the inside and chewy/crunchy on the outside. Absolutely fabulous...oooh, I hear my cookies singing to me, I'm going to go have another one...weight gain here I come!

Adapted from Kate Miss, by Shirley Hendrickson.

Depending on how big you makes the cookies, this recipe can yield between 25-30. I like my cookies medium sized (~3 inches).

Also note, the cake flour really makes these cookies fluffy and soft.

2 cups minus 2 tbsp cake flour (8 1/2 oz)
1 2/3 cups bread flour (8 1/2 oz)
1 ¼ tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 ½ tsp. coarse salt, such as kosher
2 ½ sticks (1 ¼ cups; 10 oz.) unsalted butter, softened
1 ¼ cups (10 oz.) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. (8 oz.) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ¼ pounds bittersweet chocolate chips, preferably 60% Ghirardelli Cacao chips

  • Combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Whisk well; then set aside.
  • Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until very light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. 
  • Mix in the vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low; then add dry ingredients, and mix until just combined. 
  • Add the chocolate chips, and mix briefly to incorporate. Press plastic wrap against the dough, and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. You can also bake them right away, I made a few immediately after (because I couldn't wait) and also some 24 hours later. The 24 hour batch had an even better texture, but if you can't wait, making them right away is just fine.
  • When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the bowl of dough from the refrigerator, and allow it to soften slightly. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.
  • Using a standard-size ice cream scoop, scoop six mounds of dough onto the baking sheet, making sure to space them evenly. Alternatively, you can roll a small ball of dough in your hands and place it onto the baking sheet. Using the ice cream scoop just makes bigger cookies. 
  • Bake until golden brown but still soft, 15 to 20 minutes, depending on your oven and your taste. Err on the side of less time if you prefer less crunchy cookies on the outside.
  • Transfer the cookies carefully onto a wire rack to cool. 
  • Enjoy :) 
The secret to this recipe is quite a number of things, and that includes cake flour (yes there is such a thing), bread flour, as well as having all the ingredients at room temperature. If you follow this recipe to the dot, your cookies will be fabulous, trust me! See the original post for more great secrets :)

Ghirardelli, it makes all the difference!

Bon Appetit :)


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