Monday, July 28, 2008

Feelin' Domesticated

How weird is this? This will be the second cooking/baking post in a row, from a girl who doesn't do much of either.

The plentiful harvest continues. We have oversized zucchini coming out of our ears, necessitating yummy baked goods. This afternoon I made two lovely loaves of zucchini bread--one with raisins added for my mother and one with mini-chocolate chips for myself. Vegetables mixed with obscene amounts of sugar and chocolate...brilliant!

My mother and I cooked a semi-gourmet dinner (her half was fairly gourmet-mine was more "novice gourmet"). She made her first foray into the risky culinary world of risottos. The result was an incredibly rich four-cheese concoction. My contribution was a platter of thin, crispy, zucchini fritters (courtesy of the Pioneer Woman blog.) My mother has photographic proof of this over on her blog.

The very best part of all of this was that I got to wear my beautiful french apron, which just happened to coordinate perfectly with my clothing. Hey, cool.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Baking 101: Not all dry ingredients are "dry ingredients"

I mixed up some zucchini-cookie dough yesterday (delicious recipe posted on my mother's blog) and I discovered just how little I actually know about baking. I thought I was pretty good. I can make chocolate chip cookies in my sleep and have even been daring enough to play with the consistency of the dough. My cookies have always turned out well.

Unfortunately, the zucchini cookie recipe had NO instructions; there was only a list of ingredients and an oven temperature. I asked my mother what to do, and she told me to sift together the dry ingredients. So I added the flour and sugar.... Apparently, sugar isn't dry. Sugar is wet, like butter and eggs (I don't understand it. Who makes up these rules?) My mother caught my mistake, but only after I had mixed 4 cups of sugar and a cup of flour. Upon figuring out that I had just messed up and potentially wasted a ton of sugar, I did the only reasonable thing: I burst into tears.

After bagging the disastrous sugar-flour mixture (apparently there is a use for it) I started again, this time asking my mother and grandmother about each step.

I ran out of time to bake the cookies yesterday, so the dough was set aside in the fridge until this evening. The actual baking part of the process was much more successful. No silly mistakes. No tears. Just dozens and dozens of really really yummy cookies.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Way to waste time

Tagged by my mother:

What was I doing ten years ago?

Ten years ago, our family had just moved from the Chicago suburbs (for the first time) to Columbus, Indiana. I was attending summer camp at Phantom Ranch in Wisconsin, where the activities included canoing, swimming, horsemanship, leather-work, hiking, rifle range, archery, and altar calls. I injured my knee racing my counselor to chapel after nailing lists of our sins on a cross (fun times) and I still have a nasty scar.

What are 5 things on my to-do list for tomorrow?

1) go to work and make money
2) help straighten the house
3) neaten my room
4) hang out with our visiting relatives
5) work on Latin

Snacks I enjoy:

cheese and crackers, pretzels and cream cheese, Goldfish, fruit

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

I'm just going to copy and paste my mother's list, because mine is pretty much identical....
"Buy a condo on the beach in Florida and open it up to our friends and family
Buy a big lake house and open it up to our friends and family
Build a house in the country with a wonderful gourmet kitchen and room for everyone to come over
Rehab houses and sell them with no interest loans
Give lots to charity"
I would also put my brothers and cousins through whatever college they choose, buy a horse or two to go with that country place, and take an unstructured extended trip overseas

Places I have lived:
West Lafayette, Anderson, Columbus, and Fort Wayne, IN; New Berlin, WI; Vernon Hills, Island Lake, and Spring Grove, IL

Jobs I have had:
house-cleaner (for my grandparents)
Library Page/Shelver

Four people who I would like to know more about:

Goofy Brother #2

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Man, do I love technology

First, if you aren't already listening to the resurrected Issues Etc., you should be. Here it is. Go for it.

Second, I normally love listening to Glenn Beck, but I haven't had a chance to catch his program for a few weeks. Classes and my job saw to that. I signed up for the free e-newsletter to make up for it, and today I received this transcript. Scary, but oh-so-funny.