Monday, April 26, 2010

Bet you won't guess what this is!


..........Baked pineapple!

Another Tastespotting adventure. Perfect for the bridal shower I attended yesterday.

Baked Pineapple

20 oz. crushed pineapple
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs, beaten

Mix all ingredients and spread in 1.5 quart dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350° for 1 hour.

The only change I would make is a dash of cinnamon in the mix itself. Maybe a little more on top. I mean really, how can you go wrong with cinnamon flavor?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Gym Etiquette

So I'm running on the track today, minding my own business, and suddenly I am overtaken with this aroma. What IS that?!, I think. Then, that runs up beside me. Homeboy has drenched himself in cheap cologne before coming to the gym. Some of us like to breathe, dude. Especially when we're running.

Which brings me to another no-no I've noticed/almost had to slap some people over at the gym lately - If you want to sit and daydream, find a chair. Get off the only tricep press machine. Do you really need a 5 minute break after each rep to pump yourself up for the next?

But, on to other more pleasant (?) fitness matters. Mom and I went up to the mountains for a 6k (me) and 15k (my hardcore mom) trail race this past weekend. I question the pleasantness of this because of the straight uphill portion of the race and the most extreme soreness of my life in the days following. But the downhill definitely made it worthwhile. Seriously, running down a mountain is fun.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ta da!

I have a reputation when it comes to layer cakes. And it's not a good one. So when I stepped into the kitchen to tackle mom's birthday cake yesterday, I was a little apprehensive.

I had my taste buds set on the Pioneer Woman's "Coffee Cake. Literally." As the title indicates, this is literally a coffee-flavored cake (not one of those coffee cakes you pass off as appropriate for breakfast).

Well, the layers didn't exactly slide out of the pans, and the stovetop did blaze up in flames once, but overall, the cake was a success!

Look at those perfectly aligned layers. Seriously, I was amazed - truly one of my proudest moments as a human being.

Oh yeah, it was also completely delicious. Definitely for coffee lovers (though my aunt who never touches a cup of coffee wasn't opposed to seconds).

I only made a few very minor changes...

Coffee Lovers Cake
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 2 sticks Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons Instant Coffee Crystals
  • ½ cups Buttermilk
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla
  • _____
  • 1-½ stick Butter
  • 1 pound Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Instant Coffee Crystals
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • Milk
Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two round baking pans.

In a large bowl, mix sugar, flour, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside.

Melt 2 sticks of butter in a pot over medium-low heat. While that’s melting, add 3 tablespoons instant coffee to 1 cup boiling water. Set aside.

Once butter has melted, add coffee mixture to the butter in the pot. Let it come to a boil for about ten seconds, then turn off the heat. Set aside for just a minute.

In a separate bowl, add buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Mix until well combined.

Pour the butter/coffee mixture into the flour mixture. Stir the mixture together gently. The purpose here isn’t to mix it together perfectly, but to cool down the heat before adding the egg mixture.

Add in the egg mixture and stir gently until well combined. Then pour into pans. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until set.

Allow to cool completely.

Combine all icing ingredients, adding milk a tablespoon at a time until you reach desired consistency. Then ice the cake. Chill for an hour before serving.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Girls Gone Wild

Well, my spring break has been craaaaazy. So far I have gone to the science museum with four of my younger cousins, attended an eight-year old's Spongebob-themed birthday party, saw The Blind Side (finally! It was as good as I had anticipated.), and visited my old office where I interned this summer (and somehow ended up sitting through a meeting with the Chamber).

It's pretty much been like Panama City. Without the beer. Or half-naked college students. (Ok, there has been a few beers. I did make it out to a country/western nightclub this past weekend. Yehawww!)

The wildness continued today as I babysat my eight-year old cousin. While playing house (yes, he's in touch with his feminine side), he suddenly looked up at me and asked, "Rebecca, if you had a husband and your husband died, and you had a baby, and then you had to go to jail, would they let you take the baby with you?"

Hmmm. I'm just hoping this isn't some kind of prophecy.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Good Reads

I was absolutely giddy in the library today.

Last week I was perusing the library's catalog for my next read, and saw that the status on the latest book by my one of my fav authors was "in progress." In progress, hmmm? Well when I checked today, it seems the progressing was complete and it was AVAILABLE. I raced up six flights of stairs (ok, raced up three and panted up three more) - just in case anyone was vying me for this book. But when I got to the wasn't there. Greatly saddened, but not defeated, I thought to check the restocking cart. And there (I know the suspense is killing you) was this beauty...

Barbara Kingsolver's The Lacuna. I am so excited to start this one. But first, I really should finish my current read, The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman. It's been interesting, but nearly 500 pages on economics is about all I need for a while (thus, the complete neglect of the required reading assignments for the economics class I am currently taking).

A few (depressing) snippets I've extracted from The World is Flat relating to the job market I am entering include...

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up.
It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed.
Every morning a lion wakes up.
It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death.
It doesn't matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle.
When the sun comes up, you better start running.

(Maybe I'll just be a monkey or something. Is that an option?)


"Girls, when I was growing up, my parents used to say to me, 'Tom, finish your dinner - people in China and India are starving.' My advice to you is: Girls, finish your homework - people in China and India are starving for your jobs."

But I like this less depressing excerpt too...

There is a saying in China that whatever you put in your head and your stomach, no one can take away from you.

Well hey, I'm pretty good at loading stuff into at least one of those.

Monday, March 8, 2010


Ok, so this came up on my yahoo news feed today...

Oldest person in US dies in NH at age 114

So, before I make some potentially inappropriate comments, obviously this woman is awesome and my heart goes out to her family.

But, couldn't the associated press have chosen a photo in which Mrs. Mary Josephine doesn't look like she's shaking her cane and screaming at us? ?

I'm also curious how the newly crowned oldest American reacted to the news.
According to the article, "The oldest living American is now Neva Morris, of Ames, Iowa, at age 114 years, 216 days."
Is she like, "hell yes, the title is mine!"? I mean, these have got to be feisty ladies to stick it out all these years; I'm sure neither would be opposed to some good-natured competition.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Celebrity Sighting!

I don't get sick often, but today I am yucky. I'm pretty sure that our secretary was getting tired of saying "bless you," and that I got a disgusted look while sniffling in the grocery section of Target. Don't you hate when you're in class or at your desk and can't stop sniffling and you start getting self-conscious, knowing everybody around you is grossed out?

Yes, I'm that person.

And I'm also person that starts freaking out in the presence of celebrities (or in this case, reality TV contestants). Apparently.

Ok, not freaking out, but I was really excited when two former Biggest Loser contestants walked into the restaurant I was at the other night. And I just happened to have my camera in my purse!

For the record, they don't live in Biggest Loser attire; they just came from some publicity event.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Could stalking food blogs be considered virtual cooking?

We got a new kitchen faucet today!! (for those of us who have been without hot water in our kitchen for almost a week now, this is very exciting).

I believe our faucet is now the newest renovation to this kitchen in about 20 years. But we've got bigger issues than a circa 1980s refrigerator (my mom was perplexed to find out that some people still use ice trays). Turn your attention to the great expanse (aka complete lack) of (pale green) counter space...

It really does put a damper on attempts to cook/bake. Not to mention, I don't really have anybody to cook for. Yet, I still have a wee obsession with food blogs (I'm kind of in love with Tastespotting). This has led me to a long list of (untested) recipes under my "bookmarks," just waiting for the day I have my own giant kitchen (or...visit my parents' counter-friendly abode).

Until then, these are just asking to be made...

(Roasted Potatoes with Apples & Oranges)

And this...

(I have a freezer full of eggplant and cherry tomatoes from my garden at my parents' house!)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bring on the sun

Time for these to come down...

There's a new season in town. I couldn't help but get excited about all the Easter goodies at Target today. I mean...


Who wouldn't be excited?? Not to mention the 64° weather today (last weekend I was making a snow angel). Not that I didn't enjoy you winter, but the heat bill's high, my hands are chapped, and my hose have runs in them.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday

Lenten Prayer

Fast from judging others; feast on the Christ dwelling within them.
Fast from emphasis on difference; feast on the unity of all life.
Fast from apparent darkness; feast on the reality of light.
Fast from words that pollute; feast on phrases that purify.
Fast from discontent; feast on gratitude.
Fast from anger; feast on patience.
Fast from pessimism; feast on optimism.
Fast from worry; feast on trust.
Fast from complaining; feast on appreciation.
Fast from negatives; feast on affirmatives.
Fast from unrelenting pressures; feast on unceasing prayer.
Fast from hostility; feast on nonviolence.
Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.
Fast from self-concern; feast on compassion for others.
Fast from personal anxiety; feast on eternal truth.
Fast from discouragement, feast on hope.
Fast from facts that depress; feast on truths that uplift.
Fast from lethargy; feast on enthusiasm.
Fast from suspicion; feast on truth.
Fast from thoughts that weaken; feast on promises that uplift.
Fast from idle gossip; feast on purposeful silence.


Does that about cover it?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I'll take what I can get

Who needs a Valentine when you've got these...

(Baked by the little sis and decorated by me)

And speaking of my little sister, check out the Valentine baking/crafting Martha Stewart Jr. was up to this weekend...

I also got these beauties from my daddy...

(Yes, that's my adorable V-day skirt in the background.)

And lastly, I got a dozen roses from Joe*

(Trader Joe...February 15...because they were giving them away for free. Hey, it still made my day.)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I'm still alive...

I've decided to make a reappearance in the blog world. Quick recap of my life since the summer? Finished summer unpaid internships, fall semester of classes, winter break, started spring unpaid internship (I can't get enough of providing free labor), and started my FINAL semester of classes. Whooo, glad we're caught up. It would be exciting with images and sound, I promise. (I'm still working on actually using my camera more often and uploading pics).

So the motivation for my reemergence? Well, I got to write my first blog posts for my internship (in the public relations department of a hospital), and it made me remember my deserted identity out here in blog world. I also need to mess around on here because I still probably know less than the modern-day middle schooler about the layout on this thing. The posts for work were "The iPad's role in health care" and "Heart-healthy tips for Valentine's Day." I know, I know...I'll have to plan something super exciting for my next post here to top those...