mia and muffins

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

Ack! It’s almost been two weeks since I’ve made a single post. Bad, bad me. So much has happened in the last two weeks and I just went to download pictures off of my camera today, so there will be a few posts in quick succession. First of all, the reason why last week was so busy was … wait for it … I GOT A JOB! Okay, it was a temporary job that ended on Sunday, but still! And it was with Mamma Mia! I sold programs and CDs before and after the show and during intermission, so the rest of the time I was free to do homework or watch the show – which was amazing. Bass Concert Hall is a beautiful space. The renovation a few years back made it really modern and simple, just my style. Although now I can’t seem to stop humming ABBA songs.

090630 01 work

But in the mail I received a silicone muffin pan from an online offer thing.

090630 02 silicone

So … because I had these spiffy new silicone pans, I had never used silicone before, and I was craving chocolate, I decided to make some oatmeal chocolate chip muffins. I love these things and they’re sort of my go-to recipe for yumminess. And the oatmeal makes me feel healthy despite all the chocolate. I’m not quite sure where I got the recipe from since I’ve had it for a while, but I’ve made it a few times (great each time). The recipe follows below.

090630 03 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup (+/-) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Process:

  • combine the oats and milk and let the mixture stand for 15 minutes – let the oats hydrate, otherwise the muffins won’t be soft
  • stir in the egg, oil, 1/2 cup of the brown sugar, and vanilla
  • stir the chocolate chips into the mix
  • in a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt
  • once you have the two mixtures ready, add the oatmeal mixture into the flour mixture until just moist
  • fill the muffin pans about 2/3 full
  • sprinkle the tops with the remaining 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • bake at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes

So what do I think of silicone? Eh, works okay. It’s kind of annoying because since the pans themselves are pretty flexible, you have to put them on a cookie sheet when baking so they don’t flop all around. Also, they don’t brown as nicely so the edges of my muffins looked uncooked and kind of weird. On the other hand, they did clean pretty nicely and they are blue …. They might grow on me, but for now I think I still prefer metal muffin pans and glass for everything else. But for just a dollar, could you find a better muffin pan?

from the oven

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

On Sunday I went grocery shopping with the roommate. I tried not to buy much because I still have a lot of food that needs to get eaten. Therefore, I decided to get to work in the kitchen. I made three things, all mostly oven-based, totaling maybe three or four hours. There’s rosemary bread, rosemary potatoes, and chicken parmesan. Ingredients and instructions are below. I’m still trying to work out the kinks in the layouting … I’m not fond of the way the lists look.

090617 01 food

First up was the rosemary bread. I followed this recipe from AllRecipes.com, which is a great site to procrastinate with. Sometimes I find myself browsing recipes for hours. The ingredients are as they were listed originally, but I used fresh rosemary from the apartment complex across the street (so convenient, I love it!). It was designed for use with a bread machine, but since I don’t have one, I sort of made it up as I went.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary

Process:

  • warm up the water and add the yeast to it
  • wait about 10 minutes until the yeast blossoms
  • add olive oil, sugar, salt, and flour to the mix – knead
  • add in the seasoning, pepper, and rosemary – knead
  • place the dough in an oiled bowl covered with a towel
  • put the bowl in a warm place and let rise for an hour
  • punch the dough down and let it rise for another hour
  • bake in oven at 375F for 30-ish minutes until browned on top

So during the hours while waiting for the dough to rise and such, I prepared the potatoes and chicken. First went the potatoes. They weren’t looking too good but I figured they still looked okay enough to eat.

Ingredients:

  • red potatoes (I used 5 small ones)
  • rosemary sprigs (wash them first)
  • French or Italian seasonings
  • olive oil

Process:

  • cut up the potatoes into equal-sized portions
  • in a bowl mix the potatoes with some olive oil and seasonings
  • stick it all in a shallow pan (I used a pie pan)
  • tuck in the rosemary sprigs
  • bake in oven at 350F for about hour and a half, checking every half hour and mixing around the potatoes to make sure they’re even

While the potatoes were in the oven and the bread was still rising, I went ahead and prepared the chicken that I had set out to defrost before we left to the grocery store.

Ingredients:

  • chicken breasts (2 large pieces)
  • 1 cup or so of bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • parmesan cheese
  • Italian seasoning
  • spaghetti sauce
  • olive oil

Process:

  • cut chicken into desired size and smush flat or slice them to no more than 1/2″ thick
  • crack the egg into a bowl and beat it
  • get out a plate and spread out the bread crumbs with some parmesan and Italian seasoning mixed in
  • dip the chicken into the egg and press both sides into the bread crumbs (the egg helps the crumbs to stick)
  • put some olive oil into a frying pan and put the stove on medium
  • cook the chicken on each side until just browned
  • put the cooked chicken into a shallow pan (I used the pie pan again)
  • pour spaghetti sauce on top and sprinkle parmesan cheese over that
  • bake in oven at 350F for about 15 minutes

That’s what I’ve been eating for the last few days. And that’s what I’ll be eating for the next few days as well. Everything turned out okay, but nothing was fantastic. Next time I’ll probably go back to making white bread and just work on perfecting that. I think in conjunction with the rosemary potatoes and chicken parmesan, the rosemary in the bread was just too much. Oh, and if you look closely at the picture, you’ll see the fine use of my crocheted trivets. The purple rectangular one actually turned out to be a great size for the loaf pan. Go figure.

little improvement

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

My sister had mailed me this picture frame in the fall as one of her random little care packages (this is why I love her). It’s a pretty glass frame with a translucent image of lavender and a square (square!) 3″x3″ frame. The quote from John D. Rockefeller says “I can think of nothing less pleasurable than a life devoted to pleasure.” So it sat on our kitchen counter for a long time, just a cute little homey touch. But there was one thing that bugged me about it – the craft was slightly off. As you can see in the before photo, when you look at it from an angle, you can see the image of the flower just peeking within the frame … annoying for a detail-minded person like me.

So I finally got around to detailing it a bit. With the help of some 1/4″ black ribbon and good ol’ Elmer’s glue, I vamped up my picture frame. Nothing drastic, just a touch of class that happens to oh so conveniently hide its flaws. Just glued the ribbon straight to the glass, tucking it in some under the silver frame. Now I think it looks pretty darn spiffy. So spiffy that it is no longer relegated to the kitchen; it belongs with me!

shopping trip

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

090613 01 table

I bought a new table! It’s originally from Ikea, but I bought it off CraigsList for a mere $13. Superb. So, from now on my pictures are probably going to look a lot prettier with the white tabletop as the background instead of my nasty carpet. And I’ll have a dedicated workspace for crafting (no more floor, yay!) Hopefully now my back and neck won’t hurt so much.

This morning I woke up early (around 10 AM) and went garage sale-ing. There were a few things that caught my eye, but nothing enough to tempt me to buy. Since I was in the area I stopped by Dollar Tree (a different one than last weekend) and picked up some cheap dollar goodness. I’m lucky, right? I have two Dollar Trees to choose from, and though they have a lot of the same stuff, they do have some unique things. Afterwards I drove a few streets over to Goodwill and picked up a few more things. I took two pictures (the second after I had cleaned things up and added some mood lighting … lol). Oh, and my memory card reader worked again! What a fickle thing.

from Dollar Tree:

  • green car wash mitt ($1)
  • woven basket ($1)
  • orange votive candle holders ($1)

from Goodwill:

  • wooden square frame ($1)
  • green square glass container ($2)

090613 04 basket

The basket went to the kitchen to hold my potatoes. Hm … those potatoes don’t look so great, I wonder how long I’ve had them. Guess I’m going to be cooking potatoes tomorrow. Today was so productive! I got home around 2 PM and then I did laundry, vacuumed the apartment, and took out the trash. Tonight I’m going to start my homework due Monday and prepare for my interview on Monday (my second official interview – wish me luck) and tomorrow morning my roommate S and I are going grocery shopping. Whew, what a weekend!

shopping trip

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

090608 01 dollar store

Who loves the Dollar Tree? Uh, that would be me and any other sane person in the world. It’s so much fun to just browse around there. All the stuff in the picture other than the magnets and ribbon were from there. So cheap! So wonderful!

On Saturday I was all a-fluster. I drove all the way down to the Re-Store since I had heard some wonderful things about it, but nope – complete bust. I was looking for tiles, door numbers, and cabinet knobs, and couldn’t really find any that suited my needs. They do great work, but because their stuff is donated, their selection is limited. Their stock is always changing though, so I’ll have to stop by later. Well then I went to Wal-Mart to look for fabric to make pillowcases, and I was shocked, SHOCKED, to find out that Wal-Mart no longer sells fabric. In my opinion, this is a great loss to humanity. They always had such cheap fabric … I guess next weekend I’ll have to go to either Hancock Fabrics or Hobby Lobby.

Anyway, I was depressed and was already stuck on the highway, so I figured I’d might as well just drive up to Target and pick up the desperately-needed fourth pillow. The fabric’s a bit different, which aggravates me, but at least the shape and size are the same. Which brings me back to the Dollar Tree. I shopped at Target, and discovered to my amazement that there was this wonderful Dollar Tree in the same shopping center! I had only been to Target once before (to get the original three pillows) and had never noticed it. It was meant to be.

I’m working on a bunch of small projects and job-hunting-wise, I’ve decided to lower my standards so tomorrow I’m going to be applying to (THE HORROR!) food-service positions. Beggars can’t be choosers, right? And you know how technology hates me? My mouse won’t click anymore.

need money, need job

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

When I complain about being a poor college student, it is because I am a) poor, and b) a college student. I have been desperately job hunting, and so far NO LUCK. I have e-mailed my resume to nine people and have heard back from three. One said they were no longer hiring, one said they received a lot of applications and would get back to me later, and the third gave me an interview (but it’s only a three-day job). At the suggestion of my sister, I’m looking into volunteering positions, but that doesn’t solve any of my money problems.

Arg … yes, this is a rather pointless rant, but I’m just so frustrated. I did a bit of shopping earlier today (er, Saturday afternoon) and I’ll have pictures and a more in-depth talk about it tomorrow (er, later today) Monday. Sheesh, I need to get back on a normal sleep schedule. Anyway, after my shopping trip I was exhausted since it’s hot out here and traffic was a nightmare, so I stopped by HEB because I have been craving milk. I’m lactose intolerant and haven’t had milk for months, so I picked up some yummy Lactaid milk, which unfortunately set me back about $3.50 for a half-gallon. That price made me sad. And before anyone starts pointing out that I had just been shopping, I’ll have you know that I only spent about $15 before I bought the milk. Yeah, so I’m not destitute, but I’m still decently poor. I NEED A JOB!

crocheted trivets

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

090605 01 two

Ain’t they purty? Hey now, remember I’m new to this crocheting thing. Anyway, as a college student, I get a lot of t-shirts and the thing is … I’m not a big fan of wearing t-shirts. So, I found this website about crocheting with t-shirts and I thought I’d give it a try. But I didn’t have nearly enough for a rug, nor do I have need for a rug, so I decided to make hot plates (trivets) instead.

This one was made using the white material that was in a pouch I had made earlier. Using my 10 millimeter crochet hook, I sort of followed these directions to crochet a circle, but I apparently am no good at counting, so it’s a little wonky. If you’re wondering, those bits of purple in the white were from the image on the t-shirt. I found another t-shirt and decided to try making a simple rectangular one. But unfortunately that t-shirt was smaller so there was less fabric to work with, and thus it’s kind of small. I also had to add extra fabric in order to complete the row (I was double-stitching), so there are some not-so-pretty moments. Actually, there were quite a few wonky moments.It’s actually a really pretty purple that matches the bits of purple in the white one. I think it looks blue in the first picture because of the fluorescent lights in our kitchen.

Now if only I can scavenge up more t-shirts, I can have a whole collection of different shapes! Wouldn’t that be neat? My new roommate will probably think I’m crazy … but whatever, I’m a college student who can be found embroidering or crocheting at 4 AM. I think I’m already crazy.

finally back (sort of)

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

Whew. So first week of class is over, and it’s a doozy. So far it’s pretty easy, but it’s philosophy and there’s just a ton of reading and on and on and on. Eh, not really my kind of thing. I’ve applied to a lot of places, but still no job, but I haven’t given up hope yet. So … I finally went to the computer lab on campus and got some pictures off of my camera.

Ta dah! The embroidery I’ve been working on. It’s currently far more intricate than in these pictures because I just keep working on it. There are a few places were I screwed up (this is what happens when you embroider at 4 AM) so I need to add more swirls to “fix” those areas. It’s kind of losing its clean look and becoming a bit too busy, but all-in-all I’m pretty happy with it. It’s all just chain-stitching. I expect I’ll post later when there’s more completion, when I’m finally happy with it, and when I turn it into a pillow. Hopefully I’ll get to that last stage sometime this summer, but who knows? Oh, and I almost forgot one of my favorite pictures.

090530 03 machine

It’s a sewing machine! My mother bought it for me when I was back at home as an early birthday gift. It’s just a simple beginner’s model, which is fine with me. I’d never actually used one of these things before, so it took some trial and error and I’m still not very good at using it. Anyway, it won’t be making much of an appearance as it’s staying at home for the summer, but no matter, since I have plenty of projects enough for now. In fact, this evening I finished a project which I’ll post tomorrow … if I manage to make it to the computer lab again.