Really I CAN bake, really

Since graduating from nursing school I’ve had some time on my hands. It’s been weird. I’ve slowly been going back to old hobbies….and watching an obscene amount of Netflix. (On a side note, I just love “The Flash.”)

Image result for the flash cw quotes

That being said, one afternoon I decided to make cookies. I went rummaging through my cupboard to see what I had on hand. I decided to make oatmeal butterscotch cookies from the bag of the butterscotch chip bag. It was a cookie fail. They were crumbly and either undercooked or overcooked. The flavor was good but the cookies just kinda fell apart.

The thing is, I really can bake! I swear! I have photographic and blog proof! There was this cheesecake, these balls, this other cheesecake, and I just made a beautiful fruit tart and scones. Here’s proof!

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I used a Paula Dean recipe for this. It was amazing! Like really amazing- with butter, sugar and fruit how could you go wrong?!

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These were also quite tasty. I just googled an English scone recipe. 

See, I can bake! And usually things turn out. I don’t even know what I messed up with the cookies but now I’m feeling the urge to redeem myself. I sent the lacking oatmeal butterscotch cookies to work with my boyfriend. A bunch of guys will eat almost anything! (and they did taste good, they were just a mess)

Dessert on the Brain

Clearly around here we’ve had food on the brain, especially dessert. I guess that’s what happens when we have a little time on our hands. I’ve been enjoying Pinterest and ran across a recipe for Pecan Pie Cheesecake. I HAD to make it. I mean who can resist that!?! I hadn’t baked in quite some time and had plans to see a bunch of my family over the weekend. Perfect plan bake cheesecake and force-feed everyone around me so I don’t eat the whole thing myself.

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The crust is made of Nilla wafers. Then a sticky delightful pecan pie layer is added.

 

 

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A well baked cheesecake layer.

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Topped with pecans and a tasty cinnamon, sugar, butter and pecan mix. It was a sicky tasty cheesecake. I think it may be one of my favorites. It was an involved process but not exceptionally difficult. I recommend giving it a shot.

On a side note progress is actually being made onthe guest room!! Walls are painted. The closet and trim still needs to be completed. Less than a week until school starts again so wish me luck!

A Sweet and Simple Distraction

There’s just over a week until I take the dental admissions test. It’s a big deal and I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t stressed about it. I’ve been trying to study but it just doesn’t seem like enough. In fact, I looked at a practice test today which confirmed that there really hasn’t been enough studying yet. Yikes! So what have I been doing about this? Avoiding the issue of course. This time I’ve gone with one of my favorite forms of avoidance, baking. Specifically cookies.

oatrmeal cookies B&A

Before and After 

I have a lot of legitimate things distracting me from spending time prepping for this test but baking is like comfort food to me. I mean, the results of it actually are comfort food but over the years I’ve baked when I’m bored or need to take a break from something or even to cheer myself up.  It’s more than the food that’s comforting to me, it’s the familiar action and the feeling of purpose that comes from feeding people. Because there was a random stockpile of oatmeal in my cupboards, I went with oatmeal cookies this time.

The recipe came straight off the canister of Kroger brand Quick Oats. Of course there were a few modifications; I completely lack the ability to follow directions  a recipe as written. It called for a cup of butter which, one, I did not have and, two, just seemed like a lot of butter. (as if you can ever really have too much butter???) Instead I used most of one stick of butter (1/2 cup) and a visual approximation of a 1/2 cup of coconut oil. I also used gluten free flour (again because I had some that had been sitting around a while) and added butterscotch chips. No one in my family likes raisins and my kids complain about nuts. I wasn’t sure how well the butterscotch and cinnamon would go together so I reduced the amount of cinnamon a little too.

 

mountain o cookies

Mountain O’Cookies. This only exists when no one else is home.

Fresh out of the oven these things were amazing. I may or may not have eaten more than five of them immediately. After a couple hours they were a bit crunchier than is ideal but still delicious. I’m not sure if that’s an oatmeal cookie thing or if I should bake them a little less next time. I’ve only made oatmeal cookies a couple times so there might be some things I don’t know about doing so. While these won’t replace classic chocolate chip cookies as top cookie, they’re definitely something I’d make again. But not until after I spend the next ten days cramming as much biology, general chemistry, and organic chemistry content into my head as humanly possible and then topping it off with some math and perceptual ability strategies…

go study

Yes sir!

 

 

Summer stuff & cheesecake

I am fully enjoying my time not in school. It’s awesome. 1 still have Project ADD but it’s gotten better. Mainly because I’ve been reading and not projecting. Here’s what I’ve done.

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l killed those ants… I’m still killing ants. It’s a battle.

l also baked. Cheesecake!

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Also a pie → strawberry rubarb.

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Yum. l gotta get running frequently if I keep this up.

There’ll be a post about all the reading I’ve been up to soon.

He Said Whaaaa???

This past dip in the pond of online dating, though it was a very short one, yielded some of my most interesting interactions of my online dating expedition thus far. There’s the good, the bad, and the funny and more than once I found myself shaking my head thinking “Did he really  just say that?” Spoiler alert:Yes he did.

Now there's a pick-up line that would actually work on me!

Now there’s a pick-up line that would actually work on me!

The Good Gone Bad

“You and I are probably apples and oranges but you’re adorable.”

Good opening line, right? Unfortunately after a little surface level banter he busted out this line: “Some friendly advice, try not to be so complicated. Guys don’t like that shit.” Ummm, what? I’m not even sure where this idea that I’m complicated came from…we hadn’t even started to get into the actual nitty gritty of my life. The five kids and crazy schedule with very little free time, you know, that stuff. Jeez! And I’m pretty sure the goal is to find a guy who likes me, not to change to get guys to like me. I told him as much.

You know how they say people will tell you who they really are so you should believe them? So true! After that this dude told me he could be sarcastic and that he had a nice way of insulting people to their faces and they’d just laugh it off (paraphrasing here). Is that supposed to be appealaing to me? He mixed lines like that in with things like “You really are very cute.” and “So how is someone like you still single?” (to which I responded: because I don’t date assholes.) Then after faux apologizing, the dude unloads this crazy story about how he had been an Olympic swimmer but got burned out on the training, he was with this woman who’s seven years younger than him for a long time and she suddenly told him she didn’t love him anymore and up & left, that his dad had died, and he’d been single for five months now because no one he had dated was “right”.

News flash, buddy, No one is going to be “right” until YOU are right. Take some time to get over that girl…and yourself. You think you can insult me and I won’t notice because you say something nice two sentences later?

Nope. I’ve already had that relationship and , Spoiler, it ended in divorce.

This one also had a great opener. “You are absolutely gorgeous. If you’re half as kind, as you are pretty, I’d probably end up being crazy about you. Are you attracted to scruffy musician types?”

It didn’t get too bad and he seemed pretty decent. We actually exchanged phone numbers and were talking about meeting but (surprise) our schedules weren’t meshing that week due to my kids’ spring break. We texted a little though and at one point, when I was driving back from Ohio, he made the comment that he would just be sitting home alone watching tv when I drove by. *hint hint*

Wanna know why he would just be sitting home watching tv? Because his kids would be in bed sleeping. Does he not realize that I could be a crazy psycho killer or worse, a stage 5 clinger or something?!?

And this one, this one just made me say “What is wrong with you people???” Like the others it started out okay: “I like your name. Well you may not believe this, but I also like Pina coladas and getting caught in the rain…and Batman. I like to boat and fish and be outdoors in the sun. I work at an industrial gas plant as a foreman. I love trying new beers…and retrying old ones! 🙂 I greatly dislike flying in planes but I will if I have to. Your turn for now!”

This wasn’t his opening message. He lead with the classic  lame “Tell me more about yourself.” To which I responded “I have more personal information in my profile than you do, why don’t you tell me about yourself?”

It lead to a few more messages one of which ended with this: “The picture of you in the short skirt and high boots kind of gets me going. 😉 I’m not a perv….just have a high drive for it.” Umm, okay. I didn’t really acknowledge that comment but responded to the rest of what he had said. Then there was this at the end of his next message: “So, I hope this isn’t poorly received, but how would one get to see more pictures like the short skirt picture? Or find out what’s under there? ;)”

A vagina. What do you expect to be under my skirt? And, no, you can’t see it. Adios.

Then there was the guy I talked to for over  a week. He seemed okay and, honestly, I wasn’t super interested but was giving him a one or two meeting chance as part of my “try something different” approach to dating. I was a little concerned because he lived about an hour away (sounds familiar right?). I expressed this concern to him but it did not dampen his enthusiasm. He assured me that he liked driving and would gladly come out my way regularly if I wanted.

After some consistent back and forth texting, mostly initiated by him…on an almost daily basis, (which had me wary of a certain unwarranted level of attachment on his end) we were making plans to meet the next day. And then this: “I should also tell you, I won’t have a car for like two more weeks, mine was totalled by a drunk driver and I still have a few weeks of saving to do before I buy my new one.” He went on to apologize for not saying something sooner and all that. Blah, blah, blah.

“So you wouldn’t be able to meet somewhere tomorrow?” I responded. “If it was around here I would. I really don’t have anyone to borrow a vehicle from.” Followed by more apologizing and talking about how he really does want to meet me… So….you think I’m going to drive over an hour to an area of the state that I’m totally unfamiliar with for a first meeting with a guy I found online??? That sounds like the beginning of a horror movie. No thank you! I haven’t heard from him since and it’s been four weeks. It’s okay though, I get the feeling I dodged a bullet on that one. There were a few signs of more clingyness than I can handle.

The Straight Up Bad

I know I mentioned in a post early in my online dating experience about some of the…straightforward messages I’ve received so I won’t go into those type of messages that I do occasionally get but there’s another type of bad that’s been creeping up…The You Owe It To Me guy. If you’ve online dated before you probably know what I’m talking about. The guy who messages you, most likely says nothing except “Hi” or ” how r u today”. You check out his profile and maybe don’t see anything that interests you or even see something that is a major red flag ( or something like this: “if you want to know anything about me ask even though i am sure alot of you ladies think you are better then me and everyone else i have to try this sorry if i am being too honest but thats how i am i speak my mind if you dont like it ohh well get over it. It does not matter what a person looks like really as long as they have a good heart and look for the beauty within a person.”)

So you ignore the message. Then he comes back with something along the lines of “Oh so you think ur to good to talk to me”…Umm, nope. But just because you took all of one second to message me a few words does not mean I am obliged to respond and now I really don’t want to talk to you…let alone entertain the idea of meeting you. Does this approach actually work for anyone???

The Ood  Odd

One guy I was talking to last week seemed pretty normal. He gave me his phone number and we started texting back and forth a bit, mostly about food since we both happened to be preparing dinner at the time. I mentioned I was cooking for my kids. Usually I throw out that I have kids (it is on my profile too but I don’t have pictures of them or mention them in my write up at all so I think people forget) He took the bait and asked “How old are your little ones?” Umm, yeah, some of them are not so little. I told him as much and that there are five of them…there was a notable pause, an increase in response time before he came back with “How many dads?” That one caught me by surprise, I’ve never been asked that but it’s a valid question. At this point I thought for sure he was about to run away. It’s okay, it happens. But then it didn’t…

We talked for a few more days, food came up a lot. That first evening he mentioned that he loves milk but buys 1/2% even though 2% is his favorite…”Less fat obviously.” Then he mentioned that he’s “trying to avoid bread…even tho i luv it” and later that he’s going on a high protein diet. When he commented “i luv chz (cheese). Thinking about giving it up tho.” I just had to laugh. Seriously, from his pictures he looks like a pretty skinny guy too. I just don’t understand. I told him no one should give up cheese…ever!

Shortly after that comment, though I don’t think it was related, he asked if I had a picture I could send him. Crap! I understand wanting to see that the person you’re talking to is who they say they are and that a lot of people use misleading photos on dating websites BUT my phone won’t send picture messages right now. Lame, very lame, I know. And I said as much to him. He seemed a bit miffed by this saying “That is lame…lol…who the hell cant send pics in 2015??? Ha.”  Welll, me. That’s who. I explained how I had just switched phones and a whole bit about SIM cards and stuff. The more I explained the weirder it sounded. Double crap! I thought this was it for this guy…he is surely going to run away now. But he didn’t.

The next day he texted & asked how I was…and what I was making for dinner. I had to chuckle. Isn’t there some saying about the way to a man’s heart being through his stomach? Maybe there’s some truth to that. (I’m fairly certain being able to cook doesn’t hurt with guys…ever). Admittedly this one was a little odd with his food issues but I found it amusing, almost charming. My friend pointed out that he had “fat kid food issues”. Oh, now it made sense. Okay. I can deal with that.  In fact, this guy’s oddness made me more curious to meet him. I really wanted to see how it translated in person. He commented that “we seem to like similar food. I think ud like arabic food…maybe we should try it together sometime. Theres a restaurant near my condo thats good.”  I expressed an interest but there was no asking about an actual time that would work or attempt to make plans quite yet. It was a promising sign though.

And then he upped the oddness ante. “Random question” he asked “what size shoe do u wear?…im assuming small since ur 5’2” Yup, that’s random. Apparently he’s “attracted to small feet”. I told him my shoe size (which is not actually very small). Curiouser and curiouser.

I think the feet did it though. We chatted a little more that evening but that was the last day I heard from him. I texted a few days later and got no response. After all that, the five kids & not being able to send pics, it seems it was my big feet that finally killed my chances with this one. Not going to lie, I was slightly disappointed. I’ve never met anyone with food issues AND a foot fetish. Plus he had a very normal nine to five, weekends off work schedule. Odd AND available. Huh, too bad.

no Ood or drink

Baking and Crochet – part 1 of the Post-Christmas post

Now that finals and the Christmas rush are over it’s time to share what I’ve been working on. First, one of my co-workers asked me to make a couple scarves for her to give as presents. The pink scarf is a simple v-stitch.

I didn’t get a picture of the finished product of either of these scarves. So you’ll just have to take my word that they turned out pretty cute! For the blue scarf I followed this pattern I found on Ravelry. Simple, nice design – plus it worked up super quick with the chunky yarn.

In return for making the scarves my co-worker, who is known for her baking, made me peanut butter cookies with snickers in the middle. Can I just say, “Wow!!”

Aren’t they pretty?!?!

They tasted as amazing as they look.

I baked too. Actually with my lovely co-blogger.

My co-blogger made these amazing cheesecakes. I just supervised.

7-layer bars. They don’t look like much in the picture but I assure you they taste wonderful.

And last but not least…

Almond shortbread “snowballs”

I did get some Christmas presents done for my people. These were for a couple.

It was a pattern from Elk Studio. Great pattern and super easy to follow. I highly recommend checking them out.

I also just finished this hat for myself. You can find the pattern here.

This had to be made into a flower. It was the most complicated part of the whole hat!

My rim ended up with some ripple. Hmmm.

I think that’s all that I’ve been working on. Next post…pictures of our nerdy kitchen and cats stalking stuff.

Doctor Who, Home Improvement and a Scrap of Knitting

Home Improvements

Let’s start with the home improvement bits. If you remember I bought a house back in March/April. It’s lovely. However now there are, like, house things to be done – some of which I haven’t the faintest idea about. I already mentioned my yard (or lack thereof). So I was looking around and got the bright idea to paint my interior doors. They really do need it. The door on my office was multiple colors and the bathroom door was covered in so many years of hairspray that it just look terrible and is never coming clean. I thought this would be a fairly uncomplicated project. I planned on popping the doors of the hinges, taking them to the garage and slapping some paint on them. Easy, right? Well little did I know they used terrible paint on my office door (the first one I went to paint). As soon as I started washing it off old paint started peeling.

Figure 1 Can you see the different paint colors?? What were they thinking?

Figure 2 The start of trying to get the old paint off

Figure 3 About the point where I gave up

Yeah, I think the pictures show pretty well how it went. Did you know you can get a whole new door for around $50. Apparently you can. So at some point after the last picture I decided I had enough. I just painted over what was left. Before I made that decision I did try some stuff that was suppose to help my peel the paint off. It helped a little but it was still fighting a losing battle. I figure sometime in the future I’ll invest in some new doors. It doesn’t look terrible in fact it looks far better the having two paint colors but it doesn’t exactly look good either. I’m still debating painting a Tardis on it!! Luckily two of the four doors I wanted to paint do not have this problem. They should be much easier to paint. Or so I think right now!! I’ll let you know how it goes.

 

Knitting

At the beginning of summer my co-blogger and I decided to learn to knit. She just finished a really fun hat. I just started learning and my first go around didn’t quite work out.

I was attempting to do a ribbed pattern. Turns out I was not moving the yarn correctly back and forth so I ended up wrapping the yarn around the whole project. Oops. I frogged it. Now I’m starting over with a “sampler scarf.” Basically I’m practicing several different stitches and because it seems like a waste of yarn not to make something I’m going to make it into a scarf. I’ll post some pics when it’s long enough. I think I’ve finally got the idea now! You knitters – hats off – it’s tricky! J

 

And Finally DOCTOR WHO!!!

Yeah buddy! Saturday the new season of Doctor Who premieres on BBCA!

We are super excited around here! If you didn’t pick up on it both my co-blogger and I are fans of the show. Really it’s all her kids’ fault. If you’ve been reading our blog you might remember the Halloween costumes, the Dalek cupcakes, the incident with Scott Ian, the Tardis scarf, the bowties and seeing John Barrowman at ComicCon.

We both also follow, fellow WordPress blogger, Geekritique who is posting quite a lot right now about all things Doctor Who! It’s awesome!!!!

This is especially exciting because this is the first season that I’ll be watching as it’s playing as opposed to on Netflix or Amazon. Plus it’s a new Doctor! Aren’t you so excited?!?! You should be…fun filled geeky weekend is just a few days away!