life of a carrot cake

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

One of my roommates (roomie I) had her birthday a few days ago so the rest of us decided to make a carrot cake for her. Fun times in our apartment! We used this recipe that I had used before except without pecans, and currants instead of raisins. After some carpal-tunnel-inducing carrot grating (thanks to roomie J and myself), we got the batter together.

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It baked up pretty nice, but the darned thing wouldn’t come out of the bundt cake pan even after I banged on it for forever.

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However, it eventually did come out thanks to roomie D and a knife, and roomie D then whipped up the icing and sprinkled it all nicely with Halloween sprinkles. Cute, eh?

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It was yummy. It got devoured pretty fast, leaving only a little bit for the fridge.

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After the above picture was taken, roomie J opened the fridge (which isn’t very organized) and the cake came tumbling out. Sad. So yep, the rest of it basically ended up in the trash.

Thus ends the story of this carrot cake’s life. We still have extra carrots left, so carrot cake #2 might be on its way soon. Because it was yummy.

shanghai in new york apples

Today (or rather yesterday) I took a bit of a walk around town. While walking down Broadway, I hit 79th and I saw it. Were my eyes playing tricks on me? Was that really what I thought it was? Yes. Oh yes. It was a sculpture. Of a bird. On a stack of apples. Oh wow. I’m sure I must’ve looked like a complete idiot standing on the street corner staring at the sculpture and smiling from ear to ear.

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Are you confused? Okay then, let me explain. The above picture was taken on October 23, 2011, at the intersection of Broadway and 79th, Manhattan, New York, United States. The below picture was taken on April 17, 2011, at the Jing’an Sculpture Park on Shimen Er Lu, Jing’an District, Shanghai, China. Notice the similarities!?!?

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I finally looked it up because seriously, what a coincidence! The artist is named Peter Woytuk. The one in New York is called “Raven on Three Great Apples” and the one in Shanghai is called “The Colour of Happiness.” Very cool, eh?

the magic of costco

On Sunday, I took my first-ever trip to Costco. And it was ridiculous. I had heard of Costco before, but it always seemed silly to pay in order to shop. Now, I kind of understand why people do. Although how many people really need that many sausages? Or a gigantic slab of cheese? Or enough dish soap to last you a lifetime? Since I live with three other people, buying some things in bulk made sense. The food samples totally made it all worth it. But yeah … it was still pretty ridiculous. We were originally planning on taking the bus back home, but with the amount of stuff we ended up with, we had to go with a taxi. All in all, it was quite an entertaining adventure!

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glass jar + paint = jar-o’-lantern

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

A while ago I had seen this Martha Stewart project for Jar-o’-Lanterns and I thought, I got jars and I could easily get paint. So voila.

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I decided to make my little jar-o’-lantern be a happy little guy, so I just freehand drew his face on with a permanent marker and let it sit so the marker would dry. Then I headed down to Michael’s to buy orange paint. I probably should’ve gone with the recommended oil-based enamel paint … but the orange acrylic was cheaper. And whatever, it looks fine. Oh, and the wire was just some normal silver 16-guage I picked up at the local hardware store. Simple and cheap – why does Martha have to make it seem so much more complicated?

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Right now I’ve got him on our table in the living room, hanging out with our plastic pumpkin (filled with chocolate) and our real pumpkin (which is waiting anxiously to get carved). Now if only I can find some green ribbon to tie onto the silver wire, I’d be completely satisfied with it. In total, I only spent about $4 for the project since I only had to buy paint and wire. Yay!

“let us have peace”

Yesterday I was walking around Riverside Park in Morningside Heights when I came across this building. It’s the memorial/tomb of General Ulysses S. Grant and on it is inscribed “Let us have peace.” Unfortunately the memorial was blocked off, I think I was there too late. Anyway, it was interesting to see.

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civic duty – done! and you?

Have you registered to vote yet? Have you requested your absentee voter ballot? Election Day is in exactly one month on November 08, 2011. That means that if you haven’t registered, you’d better get on it!

Every state has different regulations, but for Texas, this Tuesday (October 11th) is the last day to register to vote. I’ve already filled my ballot, sealed it in an envelope, sealed that envelope in an envelope, and stuck a stamp on it. Now it’s just waiting to get mailed. The ballot was kind of boring this time, just some constitutional amendments that weren’t too interesting. Oh well. I like voting. It’s kind of like giving blood – I’m bit by bit checking things off my “good citizen” list.

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cinnamon swirl bread success

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

Woot! I finally got around to making bread in the bread machine AND remembering to take pictures. I got a Cuisinart bread machine when I first moved to New York and I’ve been making the cinnamon swirl bread that’s in their recipe book. Pretty yummy.

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I’ve been making the 1.5-pound loaves, and it basically fills up the entire thing, so I don’t know how this thing is supposed to make a 2-pound loaf (although it’s an option). It’s just so easy, I love it. Back in Texas when I made bread by hand I always had trouble getting it to rise correctly, but never once had a problem here. I have a jar of yeast and a whole thing of vital wheat gluten, but goodness gracious flour goes fast.

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This time the swirls came out better than the last time, but since we don’t have a rolling pin, it’s not too perfect. Plus, more cinnamon sugar would be better because … there should always be more cinnamon sugar.

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I made the bread as a procrastination tool while writing a paper. And whaddaya know? It makes a great breakfast paired with coffee after an all-nighter! Woot! This slice was further down into the loaf so the swirls are way different. Must had “rolling pin” to the list of stuff to buy.

More bread needs to be made though, because two days after getting baked, it’s almost gone. Sadness. On the other hand, the paper got done and even though it wasn’t the best, it got done. Now I just need to get going and start all my other assignments.

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

I’ve been procrastinating again … just a bit. I still need to do readings for class, I still need to go through and print photos from last year, and I still need to do laundry. On the other hand, I’ve gotten back into line drawing and short story writing. Yeah … it’s productive in a not-very-productive sort of way.

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I did some shopping for craft supplies today, so I have a few things in the works for Halloween coming up which will be quite fun. I’ve also been working with my bread machine and it’s making some yummy stuff, which is also good. Now if only I could get to be as excited about reading architectural theory, I’d be set.

chinese day in chinatown

Today is October 1st, which in China is National Day, or Guo Qing Jie (国庆节). It’s a pretty major holiday over there because it celebrates the founding of the People’s Republic of China and you get a few days of vacation. Since I’m in New York, I thought I’d be a good little Chinese girl and head down to Chinatown, where I quickly realized that many of the people in Chinatown were probably not the kind of people who would be celebrating the founding of the PRC. I felt like an outsider speaking Mandarin because virtually everyone was speaking Cantonese.

I did see a lion dance on Bayard Street, and I’m not sure if it was done for the National Day or not. Anyway, it was kind of fun. I walked around a bit and picked up some frozen dumplings and good instant noodles (as opposed to Maruchan Ramen)! I also picked up some tofu skin rolls for dinner, which were pretty good, but wow there was a lot of oil in those things. They were the veggie kind with vermicelli, carrots, mushrooms, et cetera wrapped in tofu skins and then fried. Yum.

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