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It's me!


squid
Age. 29
Gender. Female
Ethnicity. Caucasian
Location Cape Coral Centr, FL
School.
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Curiosity killed the cat! But I... am not a cat.
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It's been awhile
Friday. 10.15.10 12:55 pm
It's been awhile since I've posted on here, and part of that is because I haven't really had much to post, but most of it is that I've been super busy. My friend Matt is helping me with my book. No one else has finished it, and I'm lucky he has, cause he's giving super-awesome feedback. It absolutely made my day when he said he "got hooked on it" and had to finish it. I'm basically going to have to dedicate it to him or something. Classes start on Tuesday. I'm basically an unmarried housewife, except that the kids aren't my own. I've gotten into (if you haven't noticed) a HUGE cooking kick. I've noticed it's kind of making me snobby about using pre-cooked ingredients.

"Oh, that chicken broth *wasn't* made by me over the course of 12 hours? Of course I wouldn't DREAM of using it! *upturned nose*" and "I can't use a store-bought spaghetti sauce! At the very least, I need to use tomato paste, though I'd rather just get the tomatoes, some onions and garlic, and some good quality sea salt."

And the baking is so much fun. Cakes, cookies, breads, muffins, etc. every Wednesday. Baking is literally on my weekly to-do list. But it's all generally going over well. In fact, I've now been told at least 12 times that I should go to culinary school.

I only had four small tomatoes to make my pizza sauce yesterday, so I had to add a bunch of paste and beef broth, and I didn't particularly care for it (though I was the only one who didn't.), so I think I'll change it up next time.

So, I guess what I'm saying here is, don't hate me too much if this blog goes through a mostly-food phase. It'll probably stop soon. Or...as soon as I get sick of watching cooking shows. On the bright side, I've lost like 3 pounds just from making everything from scratch, because there aren't all those preservatives, etc. in my food. Though the baking doesn't really help.

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Dark Chocolate Cake with Chocolate and Vanilla Whipped Cream
Wednesday. 10.13.10 3:43 pm
So, after posting pictures of this cake to facebook, I've had some requests for the recipe. Here it is.



INGREDIENTS - While the cake ingredients are very precise, the filling and topping were made mostly on my own intuition. My suggestion would be to experiment to find the ingredients you like. That is, make a small amount and taste it before making more.

Cake:
2 c. boiling water
1 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 c. softened butter
2 1/4 c. white cane sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 t. vanilla

Filling:
Eh, about 1 c. heavy whipping cream
About 2 T. confectioner's sugar
About 1 1/2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
About a cup of crushed chocolate candy of your choice (I used butterfingers)
A handful of chocolate chips

Topping:

Eh, about 1 c. heavy whipping cream
About 2 T. confectioner's sugar
Like 1/2 t. vanilla extract
Your choice of topping. (e.g. raspberries, more of the crushed candy, chocolate chips, etc.)


DIRECTIONS


Preheat oven to 350F and grease two or three 9-inch round cake pans.
Pour boiling water over cocoa and whisk until smooth.
In a separate bowl, sift or whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In another bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy.
Beat in the eggs one at a time (I put them in a bowl beforehand to make this a little easier, and to make sure all the eggs are good).
Stir in vanilla.
Alternately add the flour mixture and the cocoa mixture to the butter mixture.
Spread evenly in pans and bake for 25 - 30 minutes. (If you put them in two pans instead of three, as I did, it'll take about 40-45 minutes. Just until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean).
Let cool in pans for about 20 minutes and turn over onto a baking sheet (covered with a dishtowel or foil for easy clean-up) and put in fridge to finish cooling.

In the meantime, or while the cakes are in the oven, you can make the topping and filling. I made the topping first so I didn't dirty another bowl, and because the filling had chocolate. To do that, pour the whipped cream into a bowl (you can really just eye it), and whisk (or beat) until it's almost to soft peaks. Then add in the sugar and vanilla and whisk (or beat) to firm peaks. Put it in a baggy (I used a gallon-sized resealable bag.), trim just the corner (be sure not to trim too much), and set aside. Repeat the process, replacing cocoa powder for vanilla.

Crush your candy, put in a bowl, and set aside.

When the cakes are cooled, set them on a stand of some kind. Make sure they're sturdy, so they won't slip everywhere. In the end, I turned a pot upside down and supported it. Take a length of dental floss, wrap it around your fingers, and slide it levelly through the cake to cut off the rounded tops. To assemble, take one cake, set it on a plate or cake stand. Grab the chocolate whipped cream, and pipe it in a spiral pattern, starting at the outside. Cover with as much crushed candy and chocolate chips as you like. Place the second cake on top, and repeat the process with the vanilla whipped cream. It's...amazing.

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Stuffed bell peppers are apparently awesome
Sunday. 9.5.10 9:52 am
So, last night, I decided to make up my own recipe, rather than following one I'd found on-line, which was risky, as I've never done any variation of the recipe before, but whatever, cause it worked. Sort of. I took a green bell pepper, cored and seeded it, and stuffed it with a mixture of like a 1/2 - 3/4 cup of brown rice, two teaspoons tomato paste, and about a handful each of fresh parmesan and garlic and herb breadcrumbs. Then I drizzled olive oil over it, mixed some tomato paste with beef broth, and poured that at the bottom of the pan. The baking is where I made a little mistake. 350 was too low, 450 was about right, but I took it out too soon, so it was still crunchy. Mama said she thought it should cook more, but I thought it was great cause you could pick it up and bite it.

You should try it.

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I was supposed to clean today
Thursday. 9.2.10 6:48 pm
...and I actually had every intention of doing it. And then I started alphabetizing the DVDs. I spent all day doing that, and I'm only up to L. Now the house has to be cleaned by tomorrow at 6, and I have to somehow finish the DVDs. Well, I'll handle it.

Also, there's a line from Carrie Underwood's "Undo It" that's getting to me: "I'm starting to see everything you lack." I don't want to put more details just yet, but I will eventually. I have to talk to someone before I go spilling about it.

And my admissions advisor at UoP is a good advisor. He responds to all my e-mails, and fixes things quickly, and is generally awesome.

My friend (and sometimes mentor) Nino told me that she thinks I'm continuously living out a cycle where I play the role of a victim, and subconsciously seek out situations/people that will perpetuate that cycle, and I think she's probably right. I have to stop that.

That is all.

No it's not.

In the past week, I have watched all of the following films/sagas:
Jurassic Park
Die Hard
Mission Impossible
Basic
SWAT

Now it is all.

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Two in one day! What the piggies!
Wednesday. 8.25.10 2:26 pm
My friend Anthony is on the verge of no longer being my friend Anthony. I mean, he'll still be Anthony, but whatever.

The first time he told me he's in love with me, I told him I don't feel that way, but I would be willing to give it one shot if we ever met in person. The next time, I said I still didn't feel that way. Then he started getting really creepy. Saying things that made me feel like he was thinking of locking me in his basement and throwing out the key. So I told him it wasn't going to happen because his temper frightens me. Then he got pissed off (understandably; rejection isn't easy to take) and called me an "emotional hypocrite" (whatever) and went through a whole list of things and got even angrier when it didn't upset me that he was mad at me. I understand that, too, because he feels like I don't care enough to get upset...which is true at this point. Like...you can only bug me so much before I give up and stop reaching for the fly swatter. So, I'm pretty sure he thinks I'm a bitch because I was (I stress this next word) tactfully honest about things. (For instance, I never told him how creepy he is. I tried to be polite about it.) And I...honestly... don't care. I'm over it.

Does that make me a bitch? Maybe. But I feel like I needed to be one in this situation. "No" wasn't clear enough. He needed "Fuck no."

It is literally like this:
"I love you."
"I don't feel that way."
"I love you."
"No."
"I love you."
"No."
"I don't understand why you won't love me."
"Because you creep me out and you have a temper that explodes faster than a stick of dynamite in a bonfire"
"It makes me mad that you feel that way."
"OK. I'm sorry, but I'm being honest."
"I love you."
"No."

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Bad News/Good News
Wednesday. 8.25.10 11:04 am
You ever have that situation where you think you're over someone, and then you talk to him/her, and realize that you're DEFINITELY not? Yeah... It's all kinds of complicated.

Also, I cannot find a job. I have applied to at least 30, only got two interviews, and didn't get either of them. One, at least, was nice to me about it. They hired someone else because she had more experience. That makes sense. The other...the guy shut down in the middle of the interview and kept looking for a way to just end it, then told me he'd call me the next day to give me his final answer, and I never heard from him, which is probably just as well. I wouldn't enjoy a job where my employer was an asshole. *shrug*

I'm working on my book, too. I want to get it published.

And switching to University of Phoenix, cause they have an English program and my advisor at Edison won't even return my e-mails or phone calls to tell me whether Edison will be getting one when they expand. Whatever.

Now, to better news:
I have, in the past two days, made two awesome and healthy meals. Yay!
I have health insurance. (But with no job, no money to pay for co-pays or the premium. Ha!)
Also, I feel pretty today. That's always good news.

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