Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thursday Things

1.     I don’t know how to get pictures from my phone to my computer.

2.     That’s why there are no pictures on this post (<-- lame sauce, I know).

3.     The food club I am in is having a bake sale tomorrow!

4      The fire alarm went off in my building today.

5.     Numbers 3 and 4 may or may not be connected. (This is why I don’t bake for profit. Bad things happen man, bad things.)

6.     For Halloween this year I have only two words: Paula Deen. With two more words: and butter.

7.    I almost didn't post a Thursday Things (see number 1 and 2) but then I figured Friday Things just doesn't have the same ring to it.

8.    This is the only thing making me happy right now.

9.     And this.

Happy Almost Halloween!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Chai Spiced Apple Cider Cupcakes with Pumpkin Pie Frosting

I have a fear of stopwatches. Severe anxiety might be more accurate. When I see one, my heart starts to pump faster, and faster still. The seconds, as if trying to keep pace with my frantic pulse, seem to tick by at a rapid clip. My hands sweat and my throat dries up.

I felt this way every time I had a cross country race in high school. It made me miserable. I still get anxious thinking about it even. Despite my competitive streak, the idea of trying to beat a clock makes me nauseous.

And that’s how I felt Friday night going into my competition on Saturday. Panicked, freaked, stressed, overwhelmed. I didn’t want to do it anymore. I just didn’t.

But here’s the kicker, I didn’t have to beat the clock on Saturday.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thursday Things

1.     Over the weekend, I decided to give up sweets for this week. Like, Monday through Friday.

2.     Five days have never taken so long.

3.     I really want a cupcake.

Not a cupcake, but pretty and tasty.

4.     No, a cookie. No, a piece of cake. No, something pumpkin spice.

5.     Looking at pictures of this pumpkin spice pull-apart bread I made a few weeks ago 

6.     This weather makes me want thick sweaters, warm blankets, and hot tea.

7.     It makes some girls want thin sweaters, ripped leggings, and giant puffy jackets that aren’t even zipped. (<-- I don’t get it.)

8.     The cupcake competition I entered is this weekend! I’ve been testing and tweaking recipes and hopefully will produce something tasty on Saturday! 

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pop Tarts

I tried to do too much this weekend. That happens sometimes. I spread myself too thin, put too much on my plate, or put too much pressure on myself. I kinda, sorta, maybe did that during my “relaxing” weekend at home

See, I got this idea in my head that I had to make every single recipe that I had bookmarked in the past week. I had to make blondies and pies and cupcakes and caramel and cookies. I was on a mission. 

I spent virtually all of Saturday afternoon in the kitchen. A prospect that normally would have had me tickled as pink as my KitchenAid. But I wasn’t. I was scattered and stressed and sloppy. And baking started to feel like something more akin to a chore. Soon, making the food was something I had to do, it was no longer something I wanted to do. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

This Weekend...

This weekend I...

Drove home on the back roads to appreciate the leaves

Made (and failed at) pumpkin pie for the first time.

My dad still ate it...and liked it.

Burnt my thumb on a cast iron skillet.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday Things

             1. I have been a terrible blogger. It’s been a week since I’ve posted. Seven whole days. That’s beyond not okay in my book. I don’t want to leave my blog for that long again, I like it here. Midterms were a major time suck these past seven days. I wanted to write, so badly, and I wanted to bake even more. Studying won out in the end.

            2. I am done with all my exams (does awkward dance/fist pump combo)! And will be back in the kitchen by tomorrow. I did finally finish the post I started working on last week. Better late than never, right?
            3.I’ve started bookmarking Christmas and holiday recipes. I haven’t even made everything that I want to for fall yet! Damn the internet and its virtual cookie exchanges happening already. I just want to enjoy fall, but I find myself daydreaming about decorating Christmas cookies and sipping hot cocoa. This is a problem. Must.Bake.With.Pumpkin.

           4. I am going home this weekend! That means that for 48 hours I will have access to a larger bed, a fully stocked kitchen (including my poor, neglected KitchenAid mixer), and a shower I don’t have to wear flip-flops in! (Does awkward dance/fist pump combo again.)

            5. I got weird looks on campus yesterday while taking pictures of the leaves. Yes, I am that girl. And I love being her.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sarah's Pastries and Candies

I am an extremely competitive person. I will make almost anything a competition. Walking somewhere? I’ll beat you there. Eating ice cream? Bet I can finish mine first (that may not be my competitive streak so much as my love of ice cream). A friendly game of cards? I will cheat to win. 

That’s right. I said it. I have cheated at card games! I am a big, fat cheater. (I said I was competitive, I didn’t say I was always proud of it.) Now, I haven’t done this for a long, long time. When my sisters and I used to play when we were younger I had no qualms about sneaking a peak at their hands to see what I was up against. Thankfully, I risen above my cheating ways.  

But, I still know how to win. Or at the very least, find a way to get what I want out of situations. Take my journalism assignments for example. Last year, I painstakingly twisted, maneuvered, and tailored my ideas so that I got to write about what I wanted to – not necessarily what was originally assigned.

Like food. I found a way to write about, go somewhere, or talk to someone that was “food-centric.” 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thursday Things

  1. I find it so funny when recipes are labeled as “Muffins with Frosting.” Umm…that’s called a cupcake. I totally encourage understand the desire to eat cake for breakfast. I also understand the guilt associated with doing that (except coffee cake, that’s totally healthy breakfast fare), but let’s call a spade a spade. Muffin + frosting = cupcake (<-- and who says I’m bad at math!).
  2. While we’re talking about cupcakes, I am SO excited to say that I am going to enter a cupcake competition later this month! It’s a haunted cupcake competition – how festive and fitting! When I made the decision the other day I was so distracted by thoughts of frosting that I didn’t take the most detailed notes in class.
  3. Clearly I need to start baking and testing recipes if I am going to come up with a winner in the next few weeks!
  4. Can we talk about the weather right now? Ridiculous! I have sweaters and boots going unused in my closet. And one of my favorite summer dresses just broke – most likely from exhaustion. Sadness.
  5. I finally did it. I got a Pinterest account. And now all I want to do is pin! All pinning all the time! But you wouldn’t know that by the looks of my boards. I have a bit of pinning anxiety. I don’t want to show everyone how uncool I am overwhelm people by the sheer magnitude of my pins.
  6. Something that overwhelms me? Working with yeast. It is such a fickle friend. I used it a few times over the summer with success, but I am even more hesitant about trying it out at school. But I desperately want to make pumpkin pull-apart bread. Decisions, decisions.
  7. All this talk about cupcakes makes me want one. Guess a picture will have to do!

Look for a post about this cupcake and others over at the Chicago Chronicles page! I am working on a new post as we speak.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles

I wanted to post these cookies on Saturday. I wanted them to herald in the start of October. To celebrate fall, finally. But my head and my heart just weren’t in it (but my hands were in a bag of Salted Caramel Popcorn). I was busy feeling sorry for myself; thinking that because I was happy doing what everyone else wasn’t I was somehow missing out. I was missing the point.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Bittersweet Salted Caramel Corn

I am not the typical college kid. I go to bed early (before midnight, *gasp*), and wake up even earlier. I get freaked out when I don’t do my homework – and make study schedules every week so that doesn’t happen.

Most peculiarly though, at least at my school, is that I use the kitchen. A lot. Once a day, if not more, I am in there. And not just for making tea or heating up easy mac or rinsing off a disposable fork that came with my takeout (<-- people do that).

When I am stressed, happy, excited, or hungry my first instinct is to head to the kitchen. I want to put my feelings into food. And so, I haul my big box of food and all my pots and pans and utensils into the kitchen and get to work. People come and poke their heads in and say, “What smells so good?” “Wow, you’re baking something, that’s so impressive.” “Hey, can I have some?” Then they get their Ramen, and mosey on their way to do what “real” college kids do.