12 April 2014

S'mores Cookies

I've been having a really crazy sweet tooth lately, so I decided to try out one of the many cookie recipes that I've collected from Pinterest. Last time we went grocery shopping I got all the extra things I'd need to make these S'mores Cookies. Mine didn't turn out quite as lovely as the ones from the blog, but they were quite tasty. The original recipe has an option to add cinnamon, which I did, but I think they would be better without it. The cinnamon fights a bit with the rest of the flavors.

S'mores Cookies
11 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt (I used coarse Kosher salt)
(optional) 1 tsp cinnamon [I'd leave this out]
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup mini marshmallows
3 regular sized Hershey's bars, broken into pieces
1-2 packages graham crackers, broken into squares

1) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
2) In a mixer, cream butter with white and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
3) Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and combine on low speed.
4) Fold in the chocolate chips and marshmallows. Chill dough for 1 hour to overnight.
5) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. [I never have parchment paper, so I skipped this. Just make sure to put the sheet high in the oven so you don't burn the bottom.] I used my largest cookie sheet and had just a little bit of dough leftover, which I made into regular type cookies on an air-bake sheet.
6) Lay out graham cracker squares side by side on the pans so they touch and cover the surface. Lay out as many as you need for the amount of dough you have.
7) Place tablespoons of dough on the graham cracker squares about 1 to 1 1/2 inches apart. [You can go to the original post to see how she did this.] Press down the cookie down slightly with your fingertips.
8) Bake for 5 minutes then remove from oven and press one piece of Hershey's bar onto each tablespoon of dough. (Or more or less if you like!)
9) Bake for an additional 5-7 minutes until the edges begin to turn golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Cut apart when the dough is cool. [I attempted to follow the graham cracker squares when cutting.]

As I said, they are quite delicious. I think if I make them again I'll definitely omit the cinnamon, add more marshmallows, and perhaps just a bit more chocolate (either the chips or the Hershey bars).

A few of my favorite things

I took a trip to Target a couple weeks ago and was really excited by some of the things I got. Starting with these face wipes. They are my saving grace. This is the third or fourth pack of them I've bought. I use them at night when I'm too tired or lazy to wash my face properly. They're great though because they do a really great job of removing all the make-up and making my face feel clean. They're even just a tiny bit scrubby to help get rid of those pesky dead skin cells.

You best friend late at night.
I also stumbled on some candles that were on clearance and picked out this one. It's a lovely spring-summer scent. Mike and I love citrus flavored and scented things.

This smells absolutely delightful.
Finally, I found a shirt on clearance that I'm really excited about. I have a similar sheer blouse in teal that I love to wear. (Seriously though, I have to make sure I don't wear in more than once in a week.) When I saw this on in black I snatched it up. Not only is it a great way to make me look more professional, but it's also comfy and a great color given that I have to wear black so much.

Not quite the shirt I got, but pretty close.
I also got a few other things that made it into a box I just packaged up for my family. :)

05 April 2014

Goodbye Neal

I've been busy with opera but was going to try and blog some this weekend, but that plan is somewhat out the window. We lost Neal early in the morning today and I kind of don't feel like doing much. We're going to Mike's mom's tomorrow to bury him. I just don't know what I'm going to do without his cute little beggy face. :,(

23 March 2014

Sweet Meadow Farm Adventure!

My piggies are spoiled. You probably knew that by now, but if not, here is some proof for you. On Friday, I drove an hour out to Sherborn, MA to pick up pellets and hay for the boys. Specifically, I drove to Sweet Meadow Farm. I can get pellets and hay in bulk from them which is so amazing. Not only do they LOVE the pellets and hay from Sweet Meadow (like, really. Neal nearly refuses to eat any other pellets), but it's also so much more economical to buy them in larger quantities. The reason why I drove out there is that it was cheaper to drive the 2 hours round trip than to pay for the exorbitant shipping. Anyways, here is my excursion in photo form.

This is (part of) the view when you drive up to the farm. Lots of paddocks and stables. And of course, a couple horses.

This is the 40lbs of hay in the back seat of the car.

Lovely, soft, green Timothy Hay.

Neal and Mozzie go right in to get a taste.

If you were wondering, this is what 50lbs of pellets looks like.

Hay and pellets all over the floor when I was done putting it in better containers for storage.

Bonus photo of Jack being a shoulder pig since he wasn't in the other photo.

18 March 2014

Yarn! + My Trader Joe's Addiction

Go away, I'm sleeping.
I swear, Mozzie was sleeping like this almost all day today. He was like this when I left this morning to go help Lauria, he was like this when I got home, and he went back to this as soon as he was finished with veg.

Not to be derailed by cute piggies, today we dyed some more yarn for the "Year at the Farm" Sock Club and packaged up all the dry yarn we had died yesterday. This was our dye set-up:

Silly sun ruined the photo.
In the pot on the left was some yarn we died for Julie since we had some extra dye we couldn't use for the sock yarn. Like I mentioned yesterday, dying yarn reminded me a lot of dying eggs. You get your water and add some vinegar to get the pH balance correct. Different colors of dye need different pHs. Lauria said that normally you want to start with cold water and heat it up slowly with the yarn in it for the best result. We wanted something a bit different for the sock club yarn, though, so we actually started with warm water. Before the yarn goes into the dye, you have to soak it. It helps the dye saturate more evenly. We then measured exactly how much dye we put in so that we could make sure each dye lot was fairly consistent. Once the yarn is in, you slowly bring it to almost a boil. Then, depending on the color, you may need to let it cool in order to finish soaking up all the dye. Once it's done, you pull it out and gently squeeze the water out of it. We used the washer to get some more water out before hanging it to dry. All in all, though a process to be sure, it was actually fairly simple. I can't tell you anything specific about how it turned out, but it was LOVELY! I really am proud of both the colors we've done so far. 

When we ran out of yarn to dye and package up, I helped Lauria with some other Juniper Moon Farm related stuff. I got to help her name three of the fall yarn lines. It was really fun but also really hard. There were some colors we just stared at forever and had no idea what to call them. That's usually when we called in Julie to help us.

After playing with yarn (okay, for some of us it was work, but it felt like play) I ran up to Nashua to pick up my new glasses and popped into Trader Joe's. Mike and I may have a teensy weensy Trader Joe's obsession. There's a few things that we really love getting there. One of them is almonds. Specifically, the Dark Chocolate Almond Bits. They are AMAZING. If you have a Trader Joe's by you, then you MUST go out and buy some of these stat!

Food of the gods. Crunchy, chocolaty, and delicious.
Another thing we've been getting a lot of at Trader Joe's is salsa. We go through a lot of salsa. Mostly for nachos, but also on other Mexican food. Today I picked up three different kinds of salsa:

My favorite in the middle :)
On the left is one that Mike really likes, the Double Roasted Salsa. It's very tomato-y, but not chunky, and fairly hot. The middle one, the Corn and Chile Tomato-less Salsa, is my favorite. It's very sweet, but with a nice bite. The one on the right is a new one for us to try. It's supposed to be medium to mild.

I also impulse bought these at the register:

A big wallop of ginger for your taste buds.
Every time I go into Trader Joe's I think about buying these. Today, I finally did. And I'm so glad I did! They're the size and shape of Altoids, but they're not minty at all. They're just delightfully spicy and gingery. I love ginger, which is part of the reason I got them, but I'm also hoping they'll help settle my stomach on the T. I have ginger chews that I usually eat on the train, but it seems silly sometimes to eat them on the T, or they're too hard to get to. So these seem like they might be perfect. Even if they don't work for that, they're really tasty.

17 March 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I must admit, any holiday that features food moves it near the top of my favorites list. The only thing better is when it's food AND make-up (ie Halloween). All that to say, I really love St. Patrick's Day. It is all about food and drinks (well, I mean, not really, but for someone like me, that's basically what it comes down to).

All that St. Patrick's-y goodness ready to pop out.
I got up early this morning to start the corned beef and make Irish Soda Bread for breakfast. I'd already spent a good chunk of time last night prepping all the vegetables for dinner so that Mike would be able to throw them easily when it came time for them to go in. [You can find my recipe for Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage here.] We had such a huge brisket (almost 6 lbs) that everything just barely fit into the crock pot.

The reason why I had to have Mike put all the vegetables in was because I was off helping Lauria dye the next quarter's Year At the Farm Sock Club Yarn. I can't tell you about the colorways we've been working on, but I am loving them all so far. Lauria had me help with the actual process of dying yarn this time which was really fun. It's surprisingly similar to dying eggs. Just, more yarn-y. ;) Depending on how tomorrow goes, I may talk more about the whole dye process, without any spoilers about what colorways we're doing for April, May, and June.

I showed my St. Patrick's Day pride today by wearing my shamrock socks, a green shirt, my shamrock necklace, my green St. Christopher medallion, and green mascara.

Sock! (I forgot to take a picture until they were off and dirty.)
Unfortunately, the green mascara would not show up well in photos. To tell the truth, it doesn't show up a ton in person either, but it's still fun.
More green swag
I had a nice stout with my dinner of corned beef, but I decided to make a special green cocktail for St. Patrick's Day. I saw the recipe online a few days ago and, because I had everything on hand, I figured it was worth a try. The Nest calls it a Captain Nemo; I modified it ever so slightly to make my life easier, but the contents (and result) is the same.

Delicious green cocktail
Captain Nemo
3 parts Triple Sec
1 part Blue Curaco
4 parts Sweet and Sour Mix
1 part Orange Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a glass. I don't have any fancy stemware, so I just poured it into a rocks glass but you could drink it out of whatever you like!

I'll probably drink something with Bailey's in it too before the night is over, because I can't let St. Patrick's Day pass by without drinking some of the Irish cream I have in the house!

12 March 2014

Three Random Beauty Looks

This post has no particular direction, other than the fact it is very broadly about make-up. I found a draft hanging out and because it was from so long ago, I have no idea what I intended to say about these looks. The first two looks were in the post and then I added the third because I found the photos on the computer and, again, have no idea what I was going to say about them.

So, this first look seems to be from sometime before Seminar opened (second week in September) because my hair is still pretty long.

Rocking my straw fedora.
A lovely bronze eye.
This next set appears to be from during Marvelous Wonderettes (in July). I can tell because of the costumes in the background!

Not sure what I was trying to showcase in this photo. But this is the sweater I almost always wear backstage. I got it super on clearance at Old Navy for $3 the summer I went to Williamstown (2012).
And now I'm going to smile at you!
Another bronze eye, but much less warm.
And these photos say there are from mid-December. I have a strong suspicion that I used the Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel Shadow in Tenacious Teal (which I reviewed here). It seemed a shame to let the photos of such a colorful look to got to waste, even if I don't remember anything about it.

Wearing my birthday sweater!
Close-up: eyes open
Close-up: eyes closed

And that's your random hump-day post!