Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Blueberry Muffins!

While at the market in my neighborhood the other day I saw lots of beautiful blueberries on sale, so I decided to make blueberry muffins!

I've finally figured out the best thing about being a "grown up" and making your own muffins... there's no one to yell at you for picking off the sugar topping! Yum :)

I copied the recipe below. It claims that it makes 8 muffins, but I'd go for 10-12 instead. I made 10, and they still ended up huge. Huge but DELICIOUS! Enjoy :)


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
  3. To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Today I decided to make meringues because, well, why not? I've always loved these sweet, crunchy, and relatively low-calorie treats but have never made them before. As it was my first attempt, I followed the recipe pretty much verbatim from here except I used superfine sugar instead of granulated. It was really, really simple and a lot of fun! What is really great about this recipe is that it required only four ingredients: Egg whites, cream of tartar, vanilla extract, and sugar. So though I had to go to Giant this time to pick up some parchment paper, now that I have some, I can make this again at a moment's notice (though admittedly it does take 90 minutes to bake). 

I loved watching the egg white mixture turn into marshmallow fluff! 

I don't have a piping bag, so, as the recipe suggested, I just used a gallon sized ziplock which worked surprisingly well. 

They kind of look like marshmallow peeps. Lined up and ready to be baked!

The recipe made more than 100 meringues of various sizes. They tasted great! The texture was perfect. They are airy and brittle as you bite into them and then simply melt away in your mouth. Next time I might use a little less sugar though because they are a bit sweet, but overall, I think it was a success.

My head is buzzing from a MASSIVE sugar overload.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Just a Dash of Salt and Pepper

A few weeks ago, Esther, Tracy and I went to the Amazing art studio to paint ceramic figurines. I decided not to make yet another mug, so I made some salt and pepper shakers. 

At first glance they are pretty plain. . . 

Until . . . they turn around! Meet Mr. Salty McSalt and Miss Delilah Pepper.

Poor Salty looks guilty about something.... perhaps he regrets contributing to our high blood pressure?

Or maybe he's just blue because the spicy Miss Delilah Pepper has been ignoring him.

They've since made up.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Poo Cookies

This week I decided to try to make the Vanilla Bean Melting Moments with Caramel Filling that my friend Dani made last week. The recipe calls for a piping bag to pipe the cookies onto the cookie sheet. This was my first time using a piping bag and while it was oddly satisfying to pipe the cookies, after making a couple I realized that this would not work.

Because it looked like poo. Not intentional!! So I quickly added a couple more drops of cookie dough and then it looked like this

Now the poo has ears! I crossed my fingers and sent these cookies into the oven.

BUT something was missing....

No more poo cookies, teddy cookies!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fated To Pretend: MGMT Cover

The song that came on the radio that almost made me late to work today: A piano cover of MGMT's "Time to Pretend." It's covered by Jonzi, the singer of Sigur Ros. If I could have someone orchestrate my dreams, Sigur Ros' music would be my pick. [Especially Glosoli and Svefn-g-englar before bed]

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bus Stop Jungle!

I had a really happy surprise this morning! When I got to my bus stop, someone had decorated it with giant flowers for absolutely no discernible reason! Everyone stood out in the middle of the street taking pictures while we waited for the bus to arrive :)

It was the only stop decorated on the whole route. Yay for random acts of whimsy :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Lemon Butter Cookies!

I made lemon butter cookies last week. It's quickly become one of my standby recipes because it only requires a few ingredients, most of which I probably already have lying around. Best of all, it makes 4 dozen little cookies, which is the perfect amount to share!

Lemon Button Cookies
adapted from Food and Wine
makes 4 dozen

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
Zest of 1 lemon plus a few squeezes of lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a food processor, pulse the butter with 1/2 cup of the confectioners’ sugar until combined. Add the cornstarch, lemon zest and juice, vanilla and flour and process until a soft dough forms. Transfer the dough to a work surface and divide it into 4 equal pieces.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll each piece of dough into a 12-inch rope. Cut each rope into 12 pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Transfer the balls to the baking sheet; they won’t spread much. Bake the cookies on the center rack of the oven for about 22 minutes, until the bottoms are golden but the tops are still pale.

Sift the remaining 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar into a bowl. Add 12 warm cookies to the bowl at a time and toss to coat. Transfer the cookies to a clean baking sheet. While the cookies are still warm, poke 4 shallow holes into each one with a toothpick or skewer to make a buttonhole pattern. Let the cookies cool completely before serving or storing.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Vernal Equinox Drinking Game

Friday, March 19, 2010

daylight savings time

Before daylight savings time I always saw the sun rise during my morning runs. Now it doesn't rise until after I finish, which is sad. So today after work I decided to go for the next best thing, and grabbed a book, a bag of chocolate chips, and my yoga mat, and headed for my roof to enjoy all the extra sun :)

there's the bay

and the palace of fine arts and the golden gate bridge!

and me, except I forgot that I had zoomed in so now my face is huge

I definitely prefer sun rises, but the sunset was good too. I just wish I had a better camera so you could tell how pretty it was.

I love my new city :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

the best and worst thing ever

I almost cried I laughed so hard

Yay for Sunshine!

I got a craving for cinnamon toast crunch cereal, so I made Sunshine bread instead, in honor of this awesome weather we've been getting lately. :)

Here's the bread.

Here's a link to the recipe: Sunlight Gyre Bread. The recipe is actually attached to a fanfic for one of my favorite books ever, Sunshine by Robin McKinley. It's a vampire story but the heroine, Rae, is the furthest thing from Bella ever. And she's a baker. :D

We also stopped by a garden center to pick up some plants . We ended up with lavendar, GREEK oregano, thyme, rosemary, and strawberries. Hopefully, we'll be making some awesome pesto and pasta later this summer.

Currently listening to

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

tale of the dancing fish

This past Friday I met a dancing fish. I got off the commuter bus and there, right in front of me, was an 8 inch, silvery fish leaping up and down in the cross walk!

And here's the weird part... NO ONE ELSE NOTICED!

Six people got off the bus with me, and none of them gave him a second glance, they just walked right by the still-leaping fish as they hurried to work. Now, for a few seconds this made me ridiculously happy. My own little bubble of ridiculous-ness to brighten an otherwise gray and tiring morning. Then my brain kicked in and I remembered that there are reasons that more fish don't get up in the morning and decide to dance in the street. That whole breathing out of the water thing.

And then the dancing fish stopped dancing.

Since he was still flopping around a little and attempting to breath, I started running through possible rescue scenarios. If I kicked him into the sewer would he be able to flop down far enough to get to something liquid-like? If I sprinted to my office would I be able to find a bucket fast enough to come back, get him, and take him to the bay?

In the end, I decided to just wait with him since there didn't seem to be enough time to do anything more helpful. Another bus arrived and more people crossed the street in front of us, just as oblivious as the people on my bus had been a few long seconds before. And that was the end of the dancing fish.

I'd like to think that he was a local fish with big dreams of street performing, and decided that that morning he was going to go for it, gills be damned. In his memory, please enjoy the kiwi video. I think that he would have completely understood.

In the words of my sister Christine, if my life was a movie, this totally would have been symbolic of something.

Make Crafts and Eat Sno Cones Day!

Today, instead of working, E-dawg and i decided to craft in the sun!And then blog about it. It was awesome sauce!

Iris: Esther had all this pretty paper to make pom flowers!
 which she did with amazing success! Aren't they cute!
 What a difference from Tracy and my pom disaster. I think it's because she actually measured....
Though she didn't use such care when folding the paper back up! This is her "screw fold lines! I'm going to fold this how I wanna" face. You show 'em! What a maverick!

Iris was awesome today. She quilled, she paper mached, and she also helped Katie through a very tough time. Very tough. Here is a beautiful, sassy, gal that Iris made by twirling paper around an eensy weensy baton thingy.

Then Iris modeled some of HER paper for the entire street. :)

And here is a cheap-o frame from the Dollar Store that Iris managed to paper mache. Which is pretty darn impressive when you realize she did it with Elmer's glue that looked more like a milky broth.

Iris and Esther (Reunited!): During our crafting, Iris heard a (very calm) little girl's voice saying "Help Katie! Anyone help Katie!" So of course we just sat there and waited to hear it again, which is a good thing because there WAS NO Katie. It was a sno cone fundraiser for HAITI.

And who can pass that up? So we went to get us some sno cones. (We realize that we only got up when there was food involved and not hurt little children.--but she was calm! and there were like five kids on bikes we thought they were playing... rescue mission or something)

The kids were adorable! First they "blended" the MASSIVE chunk of ice...
... then covered it in syrup! We'd be a little worried about hygiene with the two dogs right there...

BUT luckily the family-sized jug of hand sanitizer was right there!
The blender did it's best, but was totally owned by the ice.
Nevertheless, it was a good day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bloggity Blog

Hey you guys,

No crafts yet, but I have got a sample blog header for you. Iris mentioned some header details, so whipped something up with the help of Flickr and Pixlr. Tell me what you think.

Sample Header

Too busy, not the right colors, gross toes?

Anyways, crafts a-coming. Right now, I think I might take Iris' advice and start digging up the soil to get ready for spring planting! :)

Spring has come!

Today's weather is a warming mug of happy! The snow is finally gone and spring has come! This may be the kind of weather a certain Californian encounters every day (you know who you are) but in Maryland it's a nice sunny change! In celebration, I went on a jog through my neighborhood. I lost my mp3 player at the gym a few weeks ago, so I borrowed my mom's which is full of exclusively Beatles and Carpenters songs. :-) I didn't mind.

Stepping out the door, I was greeted with crocuses nestled in our otherwise dreary garden...
. . . and randomly dotting our front yard. My dad planted these last year, aren't they pretty? They remind me of pastel Easter eggs hidden in the lawn.

The best part was seeing the blue, blue sky!

Go outside today!