Archives for category: homemaking

Sharing some random thoughts on this Monday evening with you.

I currently lack any decent level of “wife material”. I don’t know how some women do it – work the 8-5 and still have time to raise a family. Or straight up be a wife. Kudos to all of you who do it and do it well. You amaze me. After working until 7 PM tonight and checking my mail for the first time in almost a week, I collapsed on my couch as soon as I walked in the door. Not before I poured myself a tall glass of chilled white wine and grabbed a few oreos. Even though I star post after post in my Google reader written by women who are capable of pulling pretty much everything off – working, cooking, decorating, laundry and cleaning all while wearing red lipstick and heels  – and my intentions are always good, the couch and oreos are so much easier. I better start getting my act together if I ever expect to catch and keep a husband because I’m pretty sure they expect a dinner that’s more than wine and cookies. I did, however, put in a load of laundry before pouring the glass of wine. Small steps in the world of wifedom.

I used to hate watching TV by myself. Which is odd when you think about it because TV watching is one of most solitary activities there is. Or can be. But lately I’ve found that I’m actually okay with it. And I’ve even been catching myself laughing out load while subjecting myself to mindless TV like The Bachelorette and Keeping Up with the Kardashians. After a long day at the office, these shows are just what the doctor ordered. Last week while watching Ashley schmooze on  date with one of the few lucky Bachelors I caught myself laughing out loud. Sitting in my living room alone. The same happened a few nights later while I was watching the Kardashian sisters fight over some petty (but pretty significant in their lives) ordeal. And it was so nice, to laugh sitting alone in my apartment.

I have an irrational fear of bed bugs, which I credit to this episode of This American Life (don’t even get my started about the cockroach segment. I’ve had more encounters with those disgusting critters since moving to Texas than I can to recall). I can distinctly remember listening to this episode while at my internship senior year of college and it’s haunted me since. This was prior to all the media hype and infestation of bed bugs in New York City. But since then I have been uber paranoid about the little pests making their way into my home. When I moved I was convinced they would somehow make my couch and love seat their new home somewhere between the old apartment and the new one. I hate the thought of sitting on airplane seats because I picture the little suckers catching a free ride on my clothes and then traveling from my clothes onto my bed. They’re all about catching rides and traveling as far as possible, no matter how unwanted they may be. I flew from Minneapolis to Dallas last night. Which is why I’m washing my bed sheets tonight. Twice. I need to let them know who is boss and that they are not welcome here.

I found this recipe to make raspberry thumb prints last week while digging through never ending Christmas cookie recipes. This one stuck out for me – I love raspberry jelly. It’s my jelly of choice for the PB & J. Plus, the recipe looked super easy. And I had almost everything on hand – so no need to add my budding pantry.

So, there I was, on a Sunday afternoon with my cookie recipe and some tea, ready to start baking.

And about half-way though I ended up here.

Hmm… I know the recipe said the dough would be “firm & dry” but this… cannot be right. Naturally, my “awesome” baking skills had to make an appearance for these cookies that were supposed to be a quick whip-up.

Eventually, I figured out where I had gone wrong – and it is for this reason that I did not pursue a career related to math. Somehow in my butter calculations I had left out 1 cup. One whole freakin’ cup of butter. Just a little mistake…

I was not going to let these cookies beat me. Cookie round 2 required a trip to the grocery store to purchase the 1 egg required in the recipe. And for round 2 I made sure my butter measurement was accurate. Seriously, do not ask me how I miscalculated the butter, especially because they label the measurements on the sticks of butter. I guess I got too far ahead of myself.

Anyway, round 2 was a success, and I ended up with these delicious lovelies.

If at first you don’t succeed, try again.

A few weeks ago (ok, maybe a few months ago) my little cousin drew a picture and sent it to me in the mail. She’s in 1st grade so naturally she drew butterflies, hearts and stick-figure representations of her and I. And a school picture of her and her sister and brother were include. I hung the picture on my fridge – it was so cute I couldn’t resist.

This weekend I decided to draw a picture for her in return (a little late, I know). So when I was at Target I picked up a box of crayons. I cannot believe I have been living for over a year without a box of crayons. I got home and straight away and dug up some white paper and got to coloring. Let me just say – I love coloring. It is, in my opinion, one of the most relaxing things to do. I don’t care if it’s from a coloring book or I’m doing my own thing, all coloring is equal in my mind. So I doodled a little picture of Santa and Rudolph to send via snail-mail to my cousin. And a little note. But no school picture. Snail mail is totally the bomb.

And, last night, I did one of the things most bakers probably consider the most horrendous act on earth. I baked brownies from a box. I couldn’t help it! I was on my way to check out at the grocery store and there they were, pleading to go home with me – Ghiarardelli Double Chocolate brownies. How can a girl say no?

christmas tree

It was 40 degrees in Dallas today. Brisky for those of us down South.

And appropriate weather to finally put up and decorate my long anticipated Christmas tree.

My sister is considering going vegetarian – for multiple reasons, health being one of them. Between the 2 of us we’re constantly sending each other recipes we find for kale, mushrooms and squash from different blogs. It was her birthday a few weeks ago and since it’s her first year living in an apartment I decided it was time to start her cookbook collection. I did some research online and asked my Twitter friends for any veggie cookbook recommendations. I settled on this one:

It caught my eye when I was browsing the veggie section at Barnes & Noble the other night. A section I’m not too familiar with. I’m not a HUGE meat eater, but I do love the occasional steak. However I will never make a steak for myself – it’s usually something I have my parents make when I make the trip home.

I’m surprisingly and pleasantly impressed with this cookbook. The recipes look super easy and delicious, sans the meat. Instead she uses a lot of tempeh? Not sure if that’s something along the lines of tofu or not (which I CANNOT bring myself to eat. Blech.). But, I’m tempted to get myself a copy. After all, I have turned on to roasted kale and brussel sprouts. Maybe tempeh is something new I could add to my diet?

T– I hope you don’t read this before you open it on Thursday…

Last month I was at the grocery store and saw a huge supply of pumpkin. I had heard rumors that there was going to be a pumpkin shortage this year (am I losing my mind?) so naturally I decided to stock up. Better safe than sorry. At this time I was on my baking high and was convinced I needed at least 4 cans.

However, now that I’m taking a break from baking, I have all these extra cans of pumpkin sitting in my cabinets. And I’m not quiet sure what to do with them. I’ve seen multiple ladies post pumpkin oats on their blogs and it’s remained in the back of my mind to try out sometime.

This morning after catching up on some sleep and sleeping in as late as my body allows these days (which is usually 9. what happened to the days of being able to sleep until 11?) I woke up with my stomach rumbling. My fridge & cabinets are essentially bare. I debated throwing on some sweatpants and rolling to the grocery store. But we all know that shopping on an empty stomach on a Saturday morning is a horrible idea. Instead I threw my moccasin slippers on and stumbled to the kitchen, turned on the coffee machine and was determined to find something to appease my angry, empty stomach.

I opened the fridge. Some shredded cheese, lettuce that’s close to the end of it’s life, condiments and a half can of pumpkin. Although I wasn’t really in the mood for oatmeal this morning, my pickings were pretty slim. I usually have some instant oatmeal on hand – for times such as these.

The verdict on pumpkin oatmeal? Not my thing. Maybe I put too much pumpkin in the oatmeal, maybe it tastes better with real oats, maybe it’s because I also was sipping on pumpkin coffee and it was simply a pumpkin overload.

Either way there are still a few cans of pumpkin in my cabinet and I have no idea what to do with them. I’m beginning to think that my pumpkin addiction is slowing coming to an end – I’m ready to move onto to peppermint and other flavors usually associated with Christmas.

If anyone has any new pumpkin recipes to share, I’m always open to suggestions.

**As a side note, today’s Dallas Groupon is for a pumpkin facial mask. Pumpkin overload.

I’ve been on a baking high lately and I cannot for the life of me figure out why. Last week I baked cookies AND pumpkin bread. Yesterday I stumbled upon these delicious looking pumpkin butterscotch white chocolate cookies and my mouth started salivating instantaneously. I’m on a pumpkin high, if you can’t tell. (Chugging Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin Spice coffee like it’s going off the grocery store shelves tomorrow).

Cookies shouldn’t be that hard, right? Wrong. My lack of baking skills got the best of me last night. I did something wrong, the cookies were a huge flop. Flat and too gooey. Don’t get me wrong, I love a soft, gooey cookie. But these….were too gooey. Getting too far ahead of myself while whipping the fragrant cookie ingredients and spices together, I made the mistake of posting that I was baking cookies on my Facebook page. So when I walked into the office this morning all of my male co-workers were demanding the cookies.

I told them there was no way in hell I was going to bring them in to share. The guys around here are super critical when it comes to baking and they aren’t afraid to be brutally honest about anything you bake/cook. My budding baking ego just couldn’t risk taking the blow.

After this epic cookie failure I think my baking will go on hiatus again for awhile. This is usually what happens after my baking goes horribly wrong. The two baking successes last week (the cookies & pumpkin bread actually did turn out well – confirmed by the guys at work) went to my head. Who am I kidding? I can’t bake fancy things. I’ll just stick to the classic chocolate chip cookie while living vicariously through the baking blogs in my Google reader. After all, chocolate chip cookies are almost IMPOSSIBLE to screw up. Although I’m sure I could find a way.