Cookie Dough Bites

Made these little little guys last night. They are very delicious except that I'm pretty sure you can feel your thighs expanding every time you pop one in your mouth. I'm planning on bringing some to the Christmas Tea tomorrow held by the alumnae association of my sorority. Actually, I'm really supposed to make brownies, so guess I'll be bringing two things. Whatever, who doesn't like cookie dough? The answer is, unless it will kill you, everyone likes it. And this recipe won't make you sick because no raw eggs. I guess it could make you sick because of the amount of butter and sugar but if we try not to OD then I think it'll be OK.

Cookies Dough Bites

Hands-On Time:
20 minutes
Ready In: 1 hour
Yield: 2 dozen cookies


    1 cup salted butter, softened
    1½ cups packed light brown sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 cups flour
    6 ounces miniature chocolate chips


  1. Cream butter and sugar together.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and mix well -- use your hands to get it together the best.
  3. Roll into 1-inch balls.
  4. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Dip in chocolate, drizzle with chocolate or eat as is -- equally delicious no matter what!
  5. Let stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving.
  6. Store in the refrigerator.


Things that suck about living alone: Can't watch scary movies

I once tweeted a whole post series about the drawbacks to living alone.

One of the things that bothers me the most that I can't do is watch scary movies. There's no way in hell I can enjoy the hit show Walking Dead because I would keep thinking a zombie is hiding under my air mattress. As a result I spent my "weekend" watching Up, Beauty and the Beast and Toy Story. Which, I love, I'm a Disney fanatic (please don't try to tell me all of the issues with the movies, I know they're there, but I can politely ignore them if I want.) Still, it would be nice to branch out.

I did, however, watch The Lovely Bones. I read the book when I was in middle school and decided I'd give the movie a try. For the record, scary movies aren't the only ones you shouldn't watch. Ones about murderers are also bad news. Not to ruin anything, but come on, a little girl gets killed in the first 30 minutes. So, that is terrifying. Things that talk about death, not so great. You'd think I would've thought of that. For future reference, just keep that in mind. Now I'm going to have dreams about dying.

Only watch happy movies when you're alone. Children's movies work the best honestly, because even romantic comedies can make you wallow all night.


Brie-stuffed Latkes

So, excited, now I have leftover brie to eat with crackers! Brie is my favorite cheese. I bet if you really think hard about it you have a favorite cheese, too. That'd be a pretty good ice breaker question instead of what's your favorite color I think. Anyway, these took FOREVER to make, as do most things.

They are good though, but I almost lit my apartment on fire...again. I was holding a paper towel that was on fire, staring at it trying to figure out the best course of action. I ended up throwing it into a pot and pouring water on it.

Also, Happy Hanukkah from your Catholic friend. I know it doesn't start until the 20th, but I'll be surrounded by Christmas time festivities then, so I figured I'd make these early.

Brie-Stuffed Latkes

4 large potatoes, parboiled and peeled
2 large eggs, scrambled
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
2/3 pound Brie, rind on
Handful of all-puropse flour
1 tsp baking powder
Dash of milk, soymilk, cream, or water
Salt and pepper, to taste

Vegetable oil, to shallow-fry

We're following this technique almost totally - the only difference is the stuffing part, which happens in the pan, so procede as decribed - parboiling, peeling and shredding your taters - shredding the onion over the same disc, adding your minced garlic, salt and pepper, then mix. Add your eggs, flour, baking powder, mix, and then a tiny pour of milk, until you see batter thinly coating each shred of tater.

Heat about 1/2 inch of oil in a heavy iron skillet to medium. Have your cheese at the ready. We're keeping the heat a little lower than usual to give us time to make and stuff three latkes at a time.

Fork about a tablespoon of batter into the pan and flatten it with the back of a spoon. Quickly press a piece of brie into the batter, leaving a border of pancake free from cheese all the way around it. Fold it to fit if need be. Fork an equal portion of batter over the cheese, making sure to enclose it completely. Procede to make 2 more latkes in this way - by time you finish the third, it'll be time to flip the first.

When you flip these babies, press down slightly to compress, but be gentle. You don't want to squash your cheese out of its pocket.

Continue making latkes until the batter is gone. You'll have 10-12 large pancakes.


The most wonderful time of the year...

You know that seasonal depression stuff, this is about the time it strikes. In college I came down with this every year. The holidays are both the warmest and coldest period on the calendar. A time to see family which can be as stressful as it is comforting, and a time to be with those you love or to see others with people they love. Overall, it can add to a lot of anxiety with gifts to buy, travel, parties and decorating. I love all of this stuff more than I can say, but being away from home like I am, it's a little isolating no matter how many gifts I wrap or cookies I bake.

So here are some things that are cheering me up now while my SAD is kicking in. First, a cartoon a coworker showed me that is completely unrelated to the holidays. It's kind of a feel-good thing for when you are depressed.

My list of feel-good Christmas movies (along with some of my favorite clips from each):

A list of Christmas songs:
All I Want For Christmas Is You-Mariah Carey (NOT Justin Beiber, that never should've been a thing)

I hope all of this helps you get through the season in some way. Remember, 2012 is a fresh start.


Red Velvet Cookies

For this recipe I kind of cheated a little by using a box of cake mix. I found a recipe from scratch on a blog, but all of the reviews said it was lacking, and since I had a box of red velvet cake mix in my cabinet already, I figured I'd try to use it.

They really are delicious and a pretty dark red color, observe.

I obviously put Christmas colored sprinkles on the white half of the cookies so they look pretty festive. The one thing I would say about them, is that I waited the hour after I rolled the dough into a log and put it into the refrigerator. It didn't set as well as I think it should have. I'm sure it would've been fine if I had left it in over night, but I'm impatient. So, I ended up just cutting the log and then rolling it "slice" into a ball and pressing it down into a round shape. So the edges were a little ragged and some of the cookies are different sizes, but that doesn't really bother me.

Red and White Velvet Cookies from Duncanhines.com
IngredientsBaking Instructions


White Chocolate Dip:

  • 2 bars (6 oz. each) white chocolate premium baking bars, broken into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  1. Melt butter; set aside to cool. Place cake mix, egg, cooled butter and vanilla in large mixing bowl. Mix by hand until well blended and dough is formed.
  2. Form dough into a smooth 12-inch log on wax paper or parchment making sure it is even in thickness end to end. Wrap in wax paper; seal in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease baking sheets. Unwrap dough log and set on wax paper. Using a sharp knife, cut into 48 slices about 1/4-inch thick. Place on cool baking sheets about 2 inches apart.
  4. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, in center of oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until set. Cool 1 minute. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Make dip by placing pieces of baking bar in small, DRY, microwave-safe bowl along with shortening. Microwave on 50% power for 30 seconds. Stir to blend. If needed, continue to microwave in 30-second intervals. Blend each time. Avoid overheating.
  6. Dip each cookie into chocolate to coat half of cookie. Place on wax paper or parchment-lined sheets and refrigerate about 15 minutes or until dip is set. Store in airtight container with wax paper or parchment separating layers.
  7. Tips:

  8. For best results, bake only one sheet of cookies at a time. If two are baked at time, rotate sheets midway through baking.
  9. For variation, top white chocolate with chopped pistachios or pecans, crushed peppermint candies, crushed pretzels, praline crunch, colored sugar or other cookie decorations before it is set.
  10. Do NOT thin white chocolate with butter, margarine or water. Moisture will cause the chocolate to seize or tighten.
  11. Place melted white chocolate in a freezer-weight zippered plastic bag. Snip a very small hole from bottom corner and drizzle white chocolate over top of cookie in place of dipping half of cookie.


Buffalo Chicken Rolls

This recipe comes from the blog Can You Stay for Dinner? I totally don't like blue cheese so I just used mozzarella, I'm sure you could use any kind you want. This recipe made a ton of rolls. They're good but I needed to use more sauce, I feel like I couldn't taste it after I baked them. Also, I feel as though I have no future working at a Chinese restaurant. I was a complete failure at rolling these things. I started getting better towards the end, but it was just never quite right. O well, they're easy to store and to put in a container to take for lunches at work, so that's nice. I dipped mine in ranch instead of blue cheese dressing.

Buffalo Chicken Rolls

12 egg roll wrappers (roughly 4 square inches)

1 cup cooked and shredded chicken (6 ounces)

1/2- 2/3 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

1 cup crumbled blue cheese (4 ounces)

1 cup broccoli slaw or cole slaw (dry)

Small bowl of water

Nonstick cooking spray

Blue cheese dressing, for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lay egg roll wrappers on a clean work surface. In a small bowl, stir chicken* (see note below) and hot sauce until well coated, using more or less sauce depending on your spice preference. The meat should be moist with sauce.

Begin by placing one tablespoon of the broccoli slaw on the diagonal of the bottom right corner of one of the wrappers. Next, place 2 tablespoons of shredded spicy chicken evenly on top of the slaw. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the blue cheese crumbles over the chicken. Do not overfill.

To fold: Fold the bottom right corner over the stuffing mixture so that it covers it completely, with the tip of the corner now pointing to the center of the egg roll wrapper. Fold in the bottom left corner, followed by the right, so that you now have formed an envelope. Roll the wrap upward one time, leaving the top left corner open. Wet your index finger in the small bowl of water and press to moisten the top left corner. Now fold that down on top of the filled roll, sealing it like you would an envelope.

Repeat with remaining rolls.

Place the rolls on a wire rack set on top of a cookie sheet (or just on a greased cookie sheet) coated with nonstick cooking spray. Spritz each roll evenly with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the rolls crisp and turn a light golden brown.

*Note: To make the chicken, place 1/2 lb of uncooked chicken breast in a small pot and fill with enough water just to cover it. Bring to a boil on your stovetop, reduce the heat slightly, then simmer for about 12 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain and let cool before shredding with two forks, pulling against the grain of the meat.

Here's my finished product.



I was sick earlier this week, figures because I was on four different airplanes the week before. I knew I had to pick something up. You know when you have a fever and you just feel cold and all around not good? That's exactly how I felt. I got a flu shot for the first time this year at work, it was one of the worst decisions of my life. I felt like I was dying that night. Sometimes if your body isn't used to the shot you actually have flu symptom. It was literally the worst...and that same feeling happened this week.

There are drawbacks to living alone and being sick is one of them. What if I pass out or die or something and no one knows for days or weeks? That's paranoia talking but it could happen. So, I have this little guide to being sick.

Here is a Broke-Ass Guide To Being Sick from a blog I found. It actually has relatively decent tips. Personally, I don't do anything fancy.
  1. Take a shower, unless you feel like you might pass out or are dizzy. I had a friend in college once pass out from a fever because he got to dehydrated. He was fine, don't worry. Which reminds me...
  2. Drink a massive amount of water and/or Gatorade. You really need to stay hydrated. Orange juice only works before you get sick, fyi.
  3. Take Tylenol or Tylenol Cold or something. This may or may not help, but if it does, it will be totally worth it. Not that I'm trying to push meds on you, but I hate when people complain about how they feel but won't take steps to fix it.
  4. If you can, try to eat a small something, like chicken noodles soup. If you can't, make tea. It'll warm you up and tea is supposed to be great for you.
  5. Either curl up in bed or on the couch (I camped out on the couch in my Snuggy, that's right I said it) and watch TV or a movie. This is important because reading while your sick actually uses unnecessary energy. Disney movies are fantastic to watch when you're ill. It's kind of like comfort food for your eyes.
I hope these help. Better yet, wash your hands with the fervor of someone with OCD and drink your orange juice. Maybe you can fend off the sneezy season's advances. Good luck. Oh, and if someone by you is sneezing, go take a shower immediately. They are diseased and are probably splashing their germs on everything that walks - that includes you. Take the necessary precautions to avoid contracting whatever they so graciously doused you with.


The Rainbow Connection

It was a rough Monday and one of the only things that got me through it completely was The Muppets. I have been talking about them a lot, but they just are so positive, it's hard to not rely on them for a little pick me up...once a week. I mean it's better than drugs right?

Funny story about the Muppets, Fox News thinks they are communists. How could anyone think such a thing of Kermit? I mean, it's not easy being green, I guess. The point they are making is that the bad guy in the new movie is an oil baron. Fox News sees this as an attack on corporations and the oil industry. I think this is a completely ridiculous idea. The Muppets don't even talk about the oil or environment, they just want to save their old studio. Who could attack the sweet little Muppets? My inner child is offended she's throwing a hissy fit in the Muppets' honor.

I LOVE this clip with the composer of the new Muppets movie, Bret McKenzie of Flight of the Conchords fame, and the ever adorable Kermit. This is the cutest. "Life's a Happy Song when there's someone by your side to sing along," and them singing it together is a big, juicy, fuzzy feeling that I want to hug and squeeze and never let go. Thinking about this song makes me want to smile and tap dance my way through even the gloomiest days. "Life's a taco!"

More fun Muppet stuff. Here's the Muppets performing Bohemian Rhapsody. Seriously, this is the best thing I've ever seen. Totally worth a watch.

Another news story about childhood shows is that Herman Caine actually used a Pokemon song in some of his speeches. He always cited the references as "a poet." Apparently, the song comes from the movie Pokemon 2000 and when Caine heard the song during the Olympics he fell in love with it. Then he learned it was "The Power of One" from Pokemon, but he felt really moved by the lyrics. That's hilarious! I loved Pokemon, but this guy was running for president quoting a show about anime monsters from Japan that was popular in the 90s. What? Tell me if that makes sense. You can't make that stuff up.


Gifts for Parents

When I'm at home or around my family I tend to stop blogging for some reason. I'm not sure if it's because I never get to see them or if it's because they think it's rude if I'm around them and messing with my phone or computer. Either way, I usually don't mess with Tweeting and blogging. But this post is dedicated to family members.

Giving gifts to parents and relatives might as well be impossible. They always tell me to never get them anything, but I always want to, because let's be honest, even if we aren't living under their roof and they aren't paying for our schooling anymore, we have cost them a fortune. So, although they tell me to not waste my money, I feel like it's my duty to show some gratitude.

One year I got all three of us tickets to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. That was by far the most expensive present I've purchased for them, and the most awesome. With very little money to spare this year I decided to put together a little basket of ethnic southern foods. You know, Louisiana hot sauce, grits, Moon Pies (in Mobile, AL they drop a Moon Pie on New Years, dead serious) Cajun spices, and an ornament that says "Merry Christmas, y'all." Adorable, I know. This would work for where ever you are living, assuming it isn't the same city as your parents or extended family. Just put together things that are native or common in your area that might not be for them. This whole idea is pretty cheap.

Another cheap idea is making them a CD. I know that sounds weird to make a mix tape for your parents, but I did it when I first moved to the South for my job. I mailed a CD to them and I could tell they really loved it. Here are a few songs you can put on it. Oh, and they're country songs but my parents hate country and they still liked these songs because of the lyrics.

This year I also made them something. I bought one of those square frames that are shadow boxes. That means you can put 3-D things in them without them touching the glass. So I printed out three different pictures of me with my parents, bought some scrapbook paper and some pearls that stick in scrapbooks, I already owned these little black square tiles that look like they could almost be scrabble pieces but they're black and not wooden. So I cut the scrapbook paper into a square, used another piece of scrapbook paper that was in the same color scheme (I was going with gold) to add kind of an accent. I glued the pictures onto the paper, clued the tiles to say family across the bottom of the paper, used the pearls to accent and then pained the word "Love" in cursive in the free space. Sounds like it took lots of time but it really didn't I gave them something they can put in the house that doesn't just look like I threw it together. So there's another idea.

Happy gift hunting. You could always go with the tie or robe idea. I mean, everyone needs those things. Not ties of course but you get my drift.


I fly tomorrow

I already had a post about fears, and honestly, I'm not actually afraid of flying, I'm really not. I've flown many times, not many in recent years but when I was a kid I did. After my ears stopped hurting when I flew it hasn't been too bad. Here's the deal, now that I am a journalist I read about horrific events all day long or I see them on the news that we always have on the multiple TVs in the newsroom. Some of these stories include plane crashes. Now, I am scared of flying.

I'm flying out of the tiny regional airport here which I've never done before and it didn't help that a co-worker told me today that some of planes are like "golf carts with wings." Yea, how is that comforting? Needless to say, I'm freaking out.

So, I've looked up good ways to calm down. These seem like relatively obvious ways to not lose it on an aircraft. I'm not saying I'd go crazy and open the emergency exit or something, but I also don't want to hyperventilate in turbulence. Here are some of their guidelines:
  • The plane is strong, stable, reliable, and well maintained. (But in bad weather that doesn't matter.)
  • Trust the well trained and experienced crew. (It isn't the crew I'm worried about)
  • Trust the airline industry. (I mean, isn't America Airlines in Chapter 11?)
  • Turbulence may feel uncomfortable, but it is normal. (How can I tell when the bumpy isn't normal anymore?)

I'm definitely going to be the girl holding up the security line, too. I just know it. And who knows who's going to be sitting next to me. It could be someone even more freaked out than I am. Or, if I attempt to make myself calm, with like...you know...drinks or Tylenol PM I might turn out like THIS. I don't want that. I don't need to get kicked off of a plane.

Wish me luck flying to the North. I'll need the luck. I have to change planes and I have this feeling that's going to be an epic experience.


Things To Brighten Your Week

"Happiness is a warm puppy." - Charles Schultz

It's Tuesday, nearly hump day, and for me, with my amazing schedule, today is actually my Thursday. That makes it, on average, Wednesday. Don't question it, it's science. I need a pick-me-up today, and who doesn't like things that make them happy?

Here are pictures of Betty White with animals.
I know that sounds stupid, but think about how cute! Betty White is an adorable old woman and then you add zoo animals. I don't see how this could get any better.

The Muppets are out!! Here's the review on Rotten Tomatoes if you are skeptical. It is such a good movie and so made for both children and adults. There are 80s jokes the new generation just won't get, but I was laughing my ass off, and so was my mom. So much so that it was actually embarrassing and uncomfortable for me and my dad. That's a different story. I'd go see it again, that's how much I loved it.

This is a corgi going up the stairs. You know Welsh corgis? The little dogs with stubby legs and pointed snouts? I love those, they're my favorite. Please watch, it will make you squeel with the adorableness it's emitting.

Blondies, the opposite of brownies and even more delicious. A co-worker brought them in today, which I am very thankful for because I didn't bring lunch. They are yummy and he put sprinkles in them so they are extra cute. Here's a recipe, they'll pick you up when you're feeling low.

Oh Oh, The New Girl is on tonight! So excited for some twee television. Twee = sickeningly adorable, I just learned that yesterday.

As a Mizzou fan, it warms my heart to know kU's (I did that on purpose, they don't deserve to have the "K" capitalized in proper fashion) coach was recently fired after we beat them in our last border war game for a while.

I hope this helps. Power through it, the 25 days of Christmas start this week.


Holiday Crafts

Because I have pretty much nothing to do except go to work and cook (which is taken care of for me right now because of all the leftovers) I have started crafting. Not just a little, I've been doing a lot of crafting. I have a cute little 4 ft. Christmas tree decorated with ornaments from the Dollar Store, a beautiful canvas with a print of a Saturday Evening Post cover by Norman Rockwell that is to the right and some tiny button trees. Those are the extent of my Christmas decorations but I plan on changing this with crafts.

So, the button trees ended up looking like this. I got the idea off of Pinterest, surprise. It comes from the blog Two Peas In a Bucket but I didn't really go with a color scheme like they did. I just went out and bought some pins, a mix of cheap and pearl head pins. The pearl head ones look really pretty sticking out. Make sure to get the pins with balls at the head of some sort, otherwise they'll slip through the holes and won't stick to the styrofoam. I had this problem because I was trying to be cheap. The styrofoam cones are near the fake flowers at craft stores, fyi. I love how vintag-y and eclectic they turned out, although they were a little tedious to actually make.

Next on the agenda is this ridiculously cute wreaths. I think it can be used all year around personally. Under the Table and Dreaming has the how-to on making a Faux Curled Rosewood Wreath made from recycled paper. I went to Good Will today to pick up some books to craft with ( I have so many ideas that have book pages in them) and I picked up some classics for 50 cents. Unfortunately, now I'm hesitating actually tearing them apart. It feels like sacrilege or something. But I didn't feel right buying a Harlequin romance-type novel to rip apart either, even though they are less than classics. Those wouldn't mean as much. So now I have 1984, War of the Worlds and Frankenstein just hanging out in my apartment waiting for me to decide what to do. I'll tweet a picture when I'm done with this one.

Happy start of the holidays! I am already listening to the all Christmas music station since it came on after Thanksgiving. So excited!


Thanksgiving and other nonsense

My parents came to visit me for the first time in 4 months and I got one huge early Christmas. To make a long story short my apartment finally looks like a real apartment. It kind of looks like someone lives here now. Still sleeping on an air mattress though.

Here are some interesting Thanksgiving traditions from all over the country. It's a story I wrote for the holidays and could help you come up with some good ideas to spice up your next Thanksgiving because I know you're dreaming about the pumpkin pie and turkey already.

In cooking news, I love Stove Top stuffing. Just a little fyi, that stuff is great. We were too lazy to actually cook a dinner so we just pre-bought sweet potatoes, rice casserole, green bean casserole, turkey, and gravy from Sam's Club. It was all fantastic albeit totally not traditional. Also, my kitchen is tiny, so that's part of my excuse.

I've even started decorating for Christmas, currently I'm working on making this craft right now to decorate. I'm not doing one whole color scheme I'm doing multi. It seems to work better with my vintag-y eclectic style that has been more and more becoming the theme of my apartment. I'll tweet and link the finished products.

Happy start to the holiday season!


Crispy Cheddar Chicken & Red Lobster-stlye Biscuits

First off, these both sounded delicious on paper. It's possible the chicken would have been more delicious if I hadn't tried to crust it. The recipe is from Jamie Cooks It Up! and is really easy. I just don't understand what went wrong though. I followed the instructions but the cheese and crumbs just wouldn't stick. I had to kind of hold it together and drop it in the pan then push more on when it was in the pan. I had to use two round cake pans again, too. I need to invest in better bakeware. It was still good but...whatever, here's the recipe.

Crispy Cheddar Chicken

4 large chicken breasts
2 sleeves Ritz crackers
1/4 t salt
1/8 t pepper
1/2 C milk
3 C cheddar cheese, grated
1 t dried parsley

1 14 ounce can cream of chicken soup
2 T sour cream
2 T butter

1. Cut each chicken breast into 3 large chunks.
2. In a small food processor grind up the ritz crackers.
3. Pour the milk, cheese and cracker crumbs into 3 separate small pans. Toss the 1/4 t salt and 1/8 t pepper into the cracker crumbs and stir the mixture around to combine.
4. Dip each piece of chicken into the milk...then the cheese....and finally the cracker crumbs.
5. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and lay the chicken inside the pan.
6. Sprinkle the dried parsley over the chicken.
7. Cover the pan with tin foil and bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove the tin foil, bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the edges of the chicken are golden brown and crispy.
8. Into a medium sized sauce pan combine the cream of chicken soup, sour cream and butter with a whisk. Stir it over medium high heat until the sauce is nice and hot. Serve over the chicken.

Why wouldn't the cheese and crumbs stick!? It turned out good and looks great, I just wish it would've looked like the pictures. Mine looked like this. So, not bad at all, but come on!

The biscuits on the other hand were absolutely perfect. They taste exactly like Red Lobster biscuits, and if you've never had those, you are so missing out. The recipe comes from The Girl Who Ate Everything and is super easy to do. They are so so good, I can't stress enough.

Cheddar Bay Biscuits

2 1/2 cups Bisquick
4 Tbsp cold butter
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
3/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Butter Glaze:
3 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp dried parsley flakes

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease or line one cookie sheet with parchment; set aside.

Combine Bisquick with cold butter in a medium bowl using a pastry cutter (I just used 2 forks). Don't worry about mixing too thoroughly; there will be small chunks of butter in the mix about the size of peas. Add cheddar cheese, milk, and garlic powder. Mix by hand until combined, but don't over mix.

Drop 1/4 cup portions of the dough onto the lightly greased or parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 13-15 minutes in preheated oven until the tops of the biscuits begin to turn light brown.

While the biscuits are baking, melt butter is a small bowl in the microwave. Stir in garlic powder and dried parsley flakes. Use a brush to spread the garlic butter over the tops of all the biscuits. Sprinkle a little kosher salt on the freshly coated biscuits. Makes one dozen.

Mine turned out looking like this, which is needless to say, perfection. Try these instead of the typical Pillsbury biscuits. They're a nice flavorful change.


Journalist Fails

I don't even care how old these YouTube videos are, they are hilarious. As a journalist myself I find these absolutely awesome. Nothing better than seeing your brethren out there making fools of themselves in front of thousands of people. Some of my friends are doing broadcast around the country right now, and don't get me wrong, I don't want that to be them. But it would be kind of hilarious and I probably still laugh as I let them cry it out.

Disclaimer: Some of these anchors and such seem to be really cold about certain stories. This comes from every journalist hearing about a bunch of terrible things everyday. I'm guilty of this as well. So, they might be terrible human beings, but there are reasons why they aren't reacting like the common person would.

This in field reporter says, on TV, he just had a beer before doing his stand-up. Reminds me of Ron Burgandy, "I love scotch, scotchy scotch, scotch."

This reporter laughs as she is reading a story about a guy who chopped up his wife. She actually is losing it.

This is an awesome compilation of just ridiculous things anchors do, from misspeaking (Osama and Obama are the same right?) to April Fool's Jokes on air. Watch, it is priceless. Especially the Dalai Lama part.

An oldy but a goody. The worst sports caster ever.

Here's the reporter that goes ghetto in a split second during one of the takes.

I mean, there's always the stupendous Bed Intruder story and the Leprechaun news story both out of Alabama. I'd be surprised if you haven't seen them already. This witness' interview is actually out of my hometown of Kansas City. These stories make me embarrassed for my profession.


How To Destroy a Grilled Cheese Sandwich

I know, it seems almost impossible to mess up a grilled cheese sandwich. Let me tell you though, it is very, very easy when you start messing with the traditional construction of a grilled cheese sandwich. I did it this afternoon and am incredibly embarrassed about it.

Grilled cheese is delicious, unless you are allergic to dairy or such things. It is incredibly easy to make, too. Slap some butter on two slices of bread, put that delicious processed cheese in the middle and put in a pan. Flip until both sides are slightly brownish. You can even burn grilled cheese slightly and it's still fine.

Today, I thought I'd try to be a little fancy with my grilled cheese. I put some Ranch inside. Which I think sounds amazing, but somehow I must have put too much in. The results were this kind of creamy light yellow center of a sandwich. In other words, it was way too Ranch-y. So much so that it was a bad thing. I find this difficult to understand because I think Ranch is good in any facet. Somehow the overload made me not want Ranch for a long while though.

In honor of my terrible mistake I am including good recipes that are variations on the grilled cheese.

Also, try your grilled cheese with tomato soup or bisque. I prefer bisque. It has a lovely velvety consistency with a lot more flavor.


Cleaning Day

It's really only Cleaning Day for me because my parents are coming to see me for the first time in 4 months on Monday. Therefore, my apartment can't look like a disaster area. Honestly, it isn't too bad, but that probably comes from the fact that I have no furniture in my living room area and I sleep on an air mattress. Still, the mirrors need to be cleaned (Mom will notice) the bathroom definitely needs to be worked on a bit (Dad will notice) and the random mail I have had hanging around for 3 months should probably be tossed.

So, here are my few simple rules for cleaning.

  • Dust and do the mirrors first - This makes sense because then the dust is flying around and settling on the carpet and such.
  • Then vacuum/sweep/mop - Do what you gotta' do. I mean, I have all carpet basically. And in the kitchen I just use Clorox wipes to wipe the floor because the area is so small.
  • If you don't need a magazine or random newspapers throw them away - Are you really going to read it again or are you going to buy a newer one? If there's something there you want to save cut it out and throw the rest of it out.
  • Old food has to go - I mean old like a month passed its expiration or is growing its own colony
  • Wash the dishes - I know everyone hates it, but dishes attract flies and they get gross to look at
Do some laundry, too. I did mine last week, so I still have some time left. I let it get pretty bad this past time, like down to my last pair of underwear bad. It sucks, but think about that favorite shirt at the bottom of the basket, you could wear it again.

Oh, and if you have gnats like me, you might want to try to get rid of them. There's this little trick that I thought was really clever (has other cleaning tips, the fruit gnat thing is at the bottom of the page), but in reality, I don't want to know how many are in my apartment. For the record, it isn't my fault, it must be the climate and the area. I swear I don't leave food lying around.

Light some candles (be careful) to start making the place smell nice. You can always spray some Febreze for a quick fix.

Blast some music while your going, because I assume you are doing this in the middle of the day when your neighbors are gone, or else you are violating neighbor code by vacuuming way too early or way too late.

Cleaning Playlist


The Perfect Gift

Whether you're buying Christmas presents, Hanukkah presents, birthday or Valentine's gifting can be difficult. There's always that thought that maybe they already have it, it won't fit, or they just straight-up won't like it. Well, I have some advice on starting your holiday shopping excursions now. I mean, you can wait until Black Friday, but with all the stores opening at midnight (cough, Target) or even 10 p.m. (cough, Wal-Mart) you might be out of luck depending on what you're planning on Thanksgiving night.

Esquire has a decent guide of what to get basically everyone on your shopping list. The items they suggest are basically just easy go-tos. I mean, a watch is always a nice gift. Just make sure it's in a style he or she will like. I know, that's the tricky part. But that comes from knowing the person. Scarves and gloves are always nice and useful gestures that people will most likely actually wear. You don't have to go as high end as these, but they are good ideas to have in case you really can't think of anything more unique.

For something really interesting you could always look at products that are attached to a cause.At Filanthropist.com they have a ton of products that benefit a certain charity. If the person is a do-gooder, has strong feelings about a particular cause, or if you just want to feel warm and fuzzy about giving a gift and donating at the same time, try the website. Also, the recipient will probably be very impressed.

New York Magazine offers this great manifesto for gift-giving in 2011. Read this then go shopping. You won't regret it.

Personally, when I shop I like to go to places that other people aren't always going to. For example, everyone shops at Target, therefore, the recipient probably goes there too. I try to find items the person I'm buying for hasn't seen. It's kind of fun. Stores like World MarketorUrban Outfitters can be fun to look through for interesting ideas. Urban has great weird house ware type of objects or trinkets. World Market has house wares, interesting little trinkets, baskets for gifts, beautiful boxes to put presents in and an incredible assortment of interesting alcohol. In case thats what you're looking for. It could come in handy when hosting holiday festivities as well.

DIY gifts are always heartfelt and definitely appreciated, if not cheaper than store bought presents for the buyer. Here's one for any beer or root beer lovers from Life of a Modern Mom. Our Unexpected Journey, has the cutest wreath you can make for yourself or others. Here are some great gifts to give people in jars from Texas Cottage. You know, like dry cookie ingredients in a jar, and that sort of thing.

When you have actually narrowed down your gift, presentation is important. Granted, the present is the star, and really the only thing that matters, but what it looks like before they see it, that can really make a person's day. Wrapping a gift and tying a ribbon around it really changes the whole mood when you give that person the present. I mean, compare:

To this:

I'm totally being unfair I know. And I realize bags are reusable. But if you are going to use them, please be classy about it. Some other good ideas for wrapping: Wrap in a natural brown color then just add a colored ribbon, instant classy. Ornaments or candy canes on the ribbon on boxes or bags is always cute, especially if it matches the color scheme you have going.

I just learned that sometimes even when you think you nailed a present, it might not always turn out like you planned. For example, my boyfriend's birthday was earlier this month. I sent him a shirt, this shirt, for multiple reasons. We both grew up in the Midwest, met there, went to college there, it's different, and I thought he'd look attractive in it. I guess he was confused about whether it was a guys shirt. Well, great. He does like it for the record, but my advice is think about what they really are into first.

Good luck.


Eggplant Fries

I found this little recipe on Pinterest as well. Let's just assume most of the interesting recipes I'm trying out are from Pinterest unless I say otherwise. The original recipe is from the blog Use Real Butter. They got the recipe from this blog called The Hungry Mouse (check that blog for tips.) I'm not sure why I try these random recipes, but I really enjoy eggplants, so I guess that's what drew me to this one.

First off, I don't own a drying rack, which is a necessity if you are frying things. If you don't own one of these then the fries basically just sit in the oil after you fry them and they are incredibly soggy. That's kind of what happened to me.

Also, I started a mini grease fire, which was terrifying. The stove top actually had a flame sitting on it so I freaked out and took the pot off of it and just stood there watching it. Thank God it just went out because I had no idea what to do, I'm not even sure I have a fire extinguisher in my apartment, and if I do (which I think I have one because I'm pretty sure would be illegal if I didn't) I don't really know how to use it or if that's the proper thing to do. A coworker told me you are supposed to pour salt on it to smother the flame. So, just a little tip, but if your house explodes then after trying that trick, don't sue me.

Eggplant Fries

3/4 cup flour
2 tsps garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp fresh parsley, minced
1 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper, fresh ground
oil for frying
3 baby eggplants or 2 medium eggplants
salt for seasoning

In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, garlic powder, dried oregano, parsley, salt, and pepper until thoroughly mixed. In a heavy-bottom medium saucepan, heat at least two inches of oil to about 350F. Peel the eggplants and slice into 3/4-inch thick fingers. Toss the eggplant slices a few at a time in the seasoned flour until well coated. When the oil is ready, drop a few sticks of eggplant into the oil – they should begin sizzling immediately. Be sure not to overcrowd the pan or have the oil temperature drop too much. When they begin to brown (about a minute) flip them over and cook for another 30 seconds to a minute. Remove the eggplant fries from the oil and let drain on a cooling rack. Serve hot with a shake of salt and a drizzle of honey. A great snacking appetizer for 4 people.

Mine ended up being good, but since I didn't drain them properly they were super oily. I used vegetable oil, but the original recipe says they used olive oil, which would probably healthier and more delicious. I know the honey thing sounds really weird, but it is so good. If you make them, try them with honey. It has this sweet with salty goodness like when you dip chicken McNuggets into honey. Other people do that right? It can't just be me. I also got tired of making wedges, and I cottage fries so some of mine I made as round slices, which I found to be scrumptious. I didn't use multiple tiny eggplants, although apparently those are sweeter than the enormous one I got from Wal-Mart, but the enormous one worked fine I thought, and I only needed one.

Here's a picture of my finished product.


Buffalo Chicken & Potato Casserole

I found my latest recipe on Pinterest, but originally it came from this blog, Holy Cannoli Recipes This was an incredibly easy recipe, and if you like buffalo chicken and ranch then you'll probably like this. Basically all it is, is chicken in buffalo sauce (you can use any kind, I just used Frank's because they recommended it) frozen hashbrowns, ranch, cheese and then bread crumbs sprinkled on top (I used Panko because I wanted to try it, honestly it's really good. It's crunchier than bread crumbs.) Also, I don't own a 13x9-inch pan, so I just made due with two round cake pans.

Buffalo Chicken and Potato Casserole
  • 1 1/4 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1/3 c. Franks buffalo sauce
  • 6 c. potatoes, grated w/ box grater
  • 1 c. light ranch dressing
  • 1/2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
  • (10 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 c. panko
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In medium bowl, stir together chicken strips and buffalo sauce. Spoon into baking dish in a single layer.
  3. In the same bowl, stir together potatoes, dressing, cheese and soup. Spread over chicken. Sprinkle panko evenly over the top.
  4. Cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes; uncover and bake 20 to 25 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender and juice of chicken is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut.
Try it out. I can only assume that this recipe would be good for a football type of get together or something like that. I have this weird thing about letting my meat cook in a recipe, I always think I'm going to get Salmonella so I usually cook mine before putting in the recipe, but that's just me. Just in case.

Here's a picture of the final product in one of the cake pans.


The Love Cynic

I've mentioned before that I can be a little bit of a cynic when it comes to happily ever after or true love. It isn't that I don't believe it exists. I do believe it exists, I've just seen a lot of examples where it doesn't work out. When I say I've seen a lot, I mean a lot.

I'm in a relationship right now and my boyfriend is actually in the Navy so it has been a few months since we've seen each other. The distance has been difficult but since he got out of basic and we can text and talk on the phone again things have been looking up. Despite our struggles, and we have had many, I believe we are finally at a good place in our lives together. I think we've reached this happy place finally from growing up. It's difficult to know what you want when you are confined by high school, college or are stuck in a holding pattern after graduation. What I'm saying is, I'm very happy right now.

I wrote this post, not to spew about my happiness, because honestly no one wants to read about that, but because every time I hear a song on the radio, yes we're talking about country again, that tells a love story I always kind of laugh about it. I used to snap every time I heard the ones that tell an adorable story about how two people met. They're like love at first sight kinds of tales where things just somehow fell into place for these people. I don't think this really ever happens to people so it used to make me mad, and almost jealous.

I've started to get over this. Some people are lucky enough to actually have good stories about how they met. Others just met on blind dates, online or through friends. Those aren't interesting stories though. But why was I so upset by hearing these stories? Because I think everyone should be happy like the people in the songs. I want lyrics to come true for every one and I know this is never going to be the case. You might be like me, absolutely hating the cutesy love stories because of jealousy or just because you are too much of a realist. In that case, I feel you. It's OK to be that person. But at the same time, take in the story and learn to see it as you would a Disney fairy tale. Unattainable, totally unrealistic, but nonetheless sweet and inspiring.

If you only listen to one, listen to Austin. It's sad at first, but always gives me chills because of how devoted the man is. And if you watch the video, forgive Blake's hair, he looks ridiculous. Don't let that distract you from the beauty of the story.

Three of the best love story songs

Austin - Blake Shelton
Good Directions - Billy Currington
She Said Yes - Brad Paisley

PS. Sorry I didn't include the appropriately named song Love Story by T Swift. It's Romeo and Juliet without the dying. I don't find this to be inspirational in any way. Not that you need to die for that story to mean something but, you know what I mean.



I don't know anyone who thinks they are fearless. In fact, if you asked most people they'd give you multiple things they are afraid of. Common fears are: death, spiders, ghosts, and failure. Personally, I am afraid of spiders, death and failure, also sharks. I'm terrified of them although I used to live in the Midwest and we have no oceans anywhere near us.

Here's a list of 2011's top 10 phobias. I know people that are afraid of these things, but fear of vomiting and fear of blushing? I don't know anyone with those problems. Although, I guess if you hate throwing up that could be considered a fear of it, possibly. I'm not judging, those just confuse me. Is the fear of blushing thing a fear of being embarrassed in reality? Someone explain that one to me.

Something fun to do is to look at a list of phobias. As totally wrong as it is to laugh at someone else's fears some of them do come off a little silly. I mean there's a fear of garlic and unless you're a vampire I don't get that one. There's a fear of gold, to me that just sounds inconvenient.

Yesterday, I went to the doctor. I'm not afraid of the doctor, but you know you are always expecting them to tell you you have some sort of incurable disease. That's why I'm afraid to go. I'd rather not know if I'm dying although once you find out you can delay it or start medication to possibly cure it. I'm fine, by the way, but it was a battle getting to take myself to the check-up.

I know people scared of the dentist. I guess they had a bad experience, or they too worry about having something wrong with them and they don't want to know. I forgot about clowns. Many people are scared of clowns but I could bet they didn't have a bad experience with them. It's their creepy little faces that you imagine would be smiling as they stab you. Ok, sorry, I think I just had a flashback to a scary clown episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark. You know, the one where they take the clown's nose and he goes after them? That possibly did cause me to fear clowns.

According to this Huff Post article fear is, "thinking vividly about what we don't want to happen in the future or dwelling on an unhappy past event." In fact, that's exactly what fear is when you get right down to it. There's usually something you saw when you were a kid, or even last week or that you experienced that makes you think that will happen to you or will happen again.

The article talks you through letting go of your fears. At least, how in Buddhism one would overcome their fears. I hope this will help some people get over some of their phobias. It's a little dense for me, but has good ideas nonetheless. I'm still going to be terrified of spiders no matter what anyone tells me though, but it did make me a little less afraid of clowns.


Things to brighten your week

In case you weren't aware there is going to be an all new Muppet movie coming out on Thanksgiving. I cannot tell you how excited I am about this. Who doesn't love the Muppets? There's a character for everyone. Jason Segal and Amy Adams are going to be in it, and it just looks like a goofy, adorable-fest.

So, for those of you who have had a rough week already, here's the opening scene and first song titled "Life's A Happy Song."

If you haven't heard of Pinterest, it's the newest social media type of concotion. It's kind of like Tumblr and Twitter had a baby, but so much better. It's a bunch of photos you can click on and get more information, or you can comment on them, or you can just like them. I just started using it, but it has great recipes, DIY ideas, decorating ideas, photos, geeky memorabilia....I could go on. It's just fun to look around. Needless to say, I'm in love. If you need an invite let me know.

That the holidays are coming up fast and furious. I love it. It really is almost Thanksgiving so no complaining that it's too soon. Just think about the food, and the Black Friday sales, oh, and family. This also means we get to watch amazing holiday movies like White Christmas, Love Actually, and A Muppet Christmas Carol. Can you tell I love Muppets?

The new series Once Upon A Time. I've never been able to see it when it actually airs, but I am really loving this show so far. It's modern, and has elements of the stories you loved as a kid with an adult twist. It's just interesting. Snow White is real, Red Riding Hood is real, what's better than that?

So, this looks hilarious. A new show on ABC called GCB, which apparently is based on a book called Good Christian Bitches, but on TV stands for Good Christian Belles. The always talented Kirsten Chenoweth is going to be in it.

Ramen noodles. I have friends who think they're for poors, but they are the cheapest and quickest made comfort food. Also, there are infinite ways to make them. A girl at work actually puts vegetables in her's. She makes a couple bricks, and puts frozen okra, and carrots in it with some chili flakes.

Currently, as in right this minute, the CMAs are making me super happy. If you don't like country you won't know this, but the CMAs are funnier than all the other award shows combined. I've never understood this, at the Oscars the actors all end up looking like awkward untalented middle school children attempting to say their lines without tipping over in their character shoes. I don't get that. You can act like your child just burned up in a fire and you have no insurance and cancer but you can't read a teleprompter? Whatever. The CMAs are more fun, the musicians are relaxed, have a good time, and it's enjoyable to watch.

Smile, hump day is over and you're still standing.

This Week's Most Offensive Stories

Mississippi Personhood Vote

If you haven't heard of the personhood vote, be prepared. It was a vote to ban abortion and to state clearly that life begins at conception. It wasn't only to ban abortion though, it was also a vote that would make certain birth control (such as the morning after pill) illegal, in vitro fertilization would be dangerous (if an embryo didn't survive the doctor could be charged with murder), and those raped or in cases where the pregnancy endangered mother's life they would be forced to carry on with the pregnancy.

The vote failed yesterday,
thank goodness. To me, even if you are pro-life, which is your choice, this legislation was all about imposing your religious beliefs on others. This wasn't even just straight up anti-abortion, it was complicating so many other aspects of a person's choice and life.

Decide for yourself. As a woman I have a different view of this. But just think about all of the under the table abortions that would occur. It would be so much more dangerous to women's health and would really just benefit those with enough money to go somewhere else to have an abortion.

Sandusky Sex Scandal

Jerry Sandusky, 67, allegedly sexually abused eight boys from 1994 to 2009 while he was working as Penn State's defensive coordinator. He started a non-profit to help troubled young boys, called The Second Mile. This is how he apparently met the boys he abused.

Others knew about the abuse. A graduate assistant, head coach Joe Paterno (who did report it to higher officials - but not police), the athletic director, and the list goes on. Paterno, the beloved Penn State coach, will step down at the end of this season.

The story is sickening. A non-profit where he prayed on little boys? Multiple people knew but nothing was done. Sandusky took boys on road trips with the team, he was seen abusing a boy in the football showers by that graduate assistant. The whole thing is disgusting and inexcusable and Paterno's reputation will never be as grand as it could have been had he just gone to police. If some had just gone to the police this could have been stopped instead of letting it go on for 15 years.

Michigan Bullying Legislation

Michigan's new bullying law has to be the most backwards bullying law in the country. It has the ability to protect the one doing the bullying. For example, if someone is devoutly Christian and happens to feel that homosexuality is a sin they could legally bully that person because it is their religious beliefs. Basically it is their religious right to harass someone because they don't agree.

Funny story though, what if a Muslim bullied a Christian because they don't agree? I think that loophole would be changed real quick.

The saddest thing is that I'm Catholic and I can see that these things just don't make sense when you look at them from a different perspective. This hasn't actually passed yet, we'll see if Michigan can realize what they are doing. Where did that old saying, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all" go?