You might have noticed that October was a post-free month, and that November is quickly shaping up to be the same, and maybe you are wondering what happened to me, but more likely you aren’t because no one reads this and I am actually just talking to myself right now.
So why the sudden drop-off in posts? (warning: this will likely continue into December.)
It wasn’t out of lack of interest or lack of interesting things to say, it was just that I have been sucked into a vortex of puppy.
This is Betsy, aged 9 weeks, 4 days on October the 6th, 2013. The day we brought her home, after an adorable and terrifying car ride where she snuggled her head under my armpit and puked in my lap.
It was cute. It was so cute. My heart melted into a million pieces on that car ride, and I still haven’t managed to smush it back together again. I fall apart every time I think about her.
This is Betsy at 12 & a half weeks on October 27th (please ignore the anti-perspirant, which I apparently keep on a bookshelf in the living room, like a truly refined Lady…) I can’t believe how much she grows. She’s gained about 15lbs since we first brought her home; it’s insanity.
The Summer of 2013 ended pretty unceremoniously. It was a hot summer, but also a very busy summer and we honestly didn’t do very much for any of it.
Tonight feels like a good blogging night, because it is super stormy – our first big storm in our new place! – and Ben and I are all cozy in the living room and the wind is howling in the chimney and the lights are flickering and when you look out the window the whole city is in front of you, getting rained on and trees are blowing around and it’s all very nice and yes. Cozy. (Ben just looked at me and ruined my train of thought by laughing because he thinks I look comically self-satisfied when I blog.)
People who ask about how my wedding planning is going: Blah. Meh, shmeh, don’t want to talk about it. I am the worst and I have done nothing. I have a calendar of phone calls to make that I have re-scheduled like five times.
Actually, one thing I have been working on is buying china for the dinnerware but even that is sort of smooshing along very very slowly and I could definitely be doing more.
I did looked at freeze-dried rose petals online but I chickened out before buying them because after shipping it was $250, which seemed insane for something so trivial.
I’ve also been looking at vintage mirrors for hanging on the fence along the yard, which was my mom’s idea, and it’s a great idea, but I haven’t actually bought any yet. Nor have I ordered flowers, music, food, or invitations. People keep emailing me about the guest list with people they want to invite, so not even THAT is finalized!
By the way, if you have any good cheap decor ideas for a champagne and dusty rose themed wedding, leave ‘em in the comments. Here’s what we have planned so far:
White twinkle lights in the trees
Vintage mirrors along the fence
I really don’t know what to do about a guest book; every possibility that comes to mind seems overdone or silly. So I’m open to suggestions for that too!
Ben has started school, just part time for now.
We have a tenant! He lives in our spare bedroom and he’s here for a few months while he finishes off his degree.
I’m taking the week of Oct 7th off work, which is the first serious chunk of time off work I have taken since 2010, when we went to Mexico. This time we’re not going anywhere – we’re just going to chill at home and pretend to be rich bums who live a life of leisure.
I had something like this at a coffee shop recently and I loved it. So I tried to re-create, and it turned out super tasty! Different from the coffee shop muffin, but still good.
I’d also read recently about the idea of using an entire lemon in lemon bars instead of just the lemon juice, and I loved that idea so much that I decided to try it in the muffins with an entire orange. I was a little nervous, but there was no need to be. Pureed orange in muffin batter = the most delicious smell ever. And orange rinds are totally good for you.
1 stick (1/2 cup) margarine or butter, melted in microwave for 25 seconds or so
1 large orange
1 cup plain unsweetened yogurt
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 cups cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 & 1/2 cups frozen cranberries
Preheat oven to 350°
Cut orange into quarters and put in a food processor with a few tablespoons of hot water
Grind up orange into a puree, skin and all
Mix wet ingredients (including pureed orange)
Mix in dry ingredients once wet ingredients are completely combined
Pour batter into muffin tin
Bake for 18-20 minutes
Total Muffins Made About 19 Total calories per muffin About 108 Total grams of sugar per muffin About 8
My neighbourhood is having a block party (So exciting!) and there were instructions to bring food to share. I would have liked to have brought something savoury instead of sweet, but I had this huge surplus of cream cheese that needed to be used up and I was afraid of using it in a recipe without having anyone to share it with because – ah! Unhealthy!
(We don’t normally buy cream cheese but my mom’s birthday was last weekend and I made this peanut butter chocolate cake. It called for a cream cheese icing and I bought an ENORMOUS tub of cream cheese, much larger than I actually needed.)
I’ve always wanted to make cream cheese swirled brownies.
I’ve also been wanting to make raspberry brownies for awhile now.
So I decided to combine them into one super brownie.
These brownies are:
1 & 1/2 cups frozen raspberries (some will be blended, some will be sprinkled)
3/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (again, some will be blended, some will be sprinkled)
1 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup white sugar
1 brownie mix & ingredients required to make the brownies (In my case this meant 1 egg and 1/4 cup vegetable oil)
You could also make your own brownie batter from scratch of course!
To make the filling
Using a hand mixer, blend together cream cheese, sugar, and egg
Blend in 1 cup of the frozen raspberries
Blend in 1/2 cup of the semi-sweet chocolate chips (Optional: I broke the chips up into smaller chunks with the food processor beforehand)
Pour brownie mix onto pan
Pour cream cheese mix over top. Using a spoon, swirl the brownie mix and the cream cheese mix so that you can see the chocolate brownie mix swirling through in parts.
Sprinkle top with 1/2 cup frozen raspberries, crushed by hand so that they’re in slightly smaller pieces, and 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Bake at 325° for about 35 minutes.
Brownies taste amazing warm but are messy and prone to falling apart if you try to eat them too soon after taking them out of the oven! This is usually no big deal but since I was cutting them into squares and serving them to strangers who might be put off by a brown gobby mess, I put them in the fridge to firm up a bit faster.