Category Archives: Homemaking

Loving Me Some Food Blogs

My newest obsession is cooking blogs. I can’t get enough of ’em. I keep finding new ones, reading through them, falling in love and getting really hungry. I’ve taken to copying all the tasty (easier) recipes onto blank Word documents with the intent of printing them when I get to Norman.

It started out innocently enough. My first love was Pioneer Woman, though I loved her more for her wit and entertaining stories than for her cooking. But I did try a few of her recipes (one of which I have now cooked three times over the break for different people) and I love them.

After Pioneer Woman came The Menu Mama, who is actually an old friend of the family’s. Heather has two little kids and focuses her blog on helping people plan for the week ahead, including a grocery list for the beginning of every week (which I think is brilliant). She’s also great because her meals rely on ingredients that I could easily find in my own pantry — no fancy-schmancy spices and impossible-to-pronounce cheeses.

These blogs I admired passively, browsing through and appreciating but not needing.

Then I went to Montana for part of Christmas break and took it upon myself to help my dad find some easy new recipes that he can make on Sundays (and in turn, find some good recipes for myself). And of course, where would you go for recipes except online?

So with that challenge in mind, I went through the links on Ree and Heather’s blogs and found Bakerella, Smitten Kitchen, and a plethera of other awesome, delicious, super cool cooking (and baking) blogs.

With all these blogs to browse through, I don’t think I’ll ever purchase an actual cookbook now. What’s the point? It’s all online.

Kinda makes me feel bad for the poor publishing industry.

Until I google how to make the perfect brown rice and I immediately get a good fifty or sixty recipes.

From now on, I think I’ll just grab my favorite recipes from all these great blogs and combine them in a binder or something. It’s better that way anyway, because then it’s personalized.

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Filed under College Gourmet, Homemaking, Loving Right Now

Some Interesting Food Preparation Techniques

Since coming to college, I have discovered that there are a few things I learned growing up under the guidance of my mother that are not the … er… typical way of doing things. Most of these discoveries have come from the area of food preparation and storage. 

For example, most people don’t keep their peanut butter in the fridge. It’s usually in a less petrified consistency, making it easier to spread, when it lives in the pantry. Also, expirations dates exist for a reason. They are not negotiable.
Today, I learned that most people think storing hotdogs in the freezer is weird. I guess hotdogs usually stay in the fridge? This was news to me. Mom always froze our hotdogs, and they would thaw as they boiled. Also — you can microwave them. Crazy, right?!
However, today my roommate kindly pointed out to me that this freezing business was unnecessary. After all, “hot dogs are 20% meat and 80% preservatives.” Too true.

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Filed under College Gourmet, Homemaking, Senior Year

A Beautiful Weekend

I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to live in a house with my four best friends this year. Nothing compares to living with people you love. It’s comfortable and comforting.

In the mornings, we’ll brew coffee for each other and call out, “Have a good day, dear!” as we leave, just like good fifties housewives. We cook for each other once a week-ish, so that we’ll all have at least one real meal a week (with plenty of leftovers for later). On Friday afternoons we clean together, as our kitchen is always a disaster after a long week of piling the dishes high (since we’re too busy to pick up after ourselves in the midst of classes), and on weekends we lounge around together, like a real family on Sunday mornings.

Yesterday morning was one of those mornings. Good for your soul. I woke up early (as did the rest of the house), and we lounged around all morning in the living room, each of us doing something pleasant, like reading or chatting (a.ka. anything unrelated to school). The weather has been glorious, so we opened both doors to the house and let the cross breeze cool the room, to the soundtrack of birds chirping in a nearby tree. 
My leisure activity was setting up my easel by one of the doors and painting for a few hours. I am trying this new art technique called impasto, where you spread paint on the canvas really thick with a palette knife, and I love it. Probably because it combines two of my favorite things — creating pretty things and playing with textured goop. Seriously. Playing with paint (or flour or icing or whatever) is one of my favorite parts of painting (and baking and everything else). So. much. fun.

So far I’m pretty happy with the way the painting looks. It needs just one afternoon or morning more and it should be done. And then it’s on to my next painting…

My plan is to paint tons and tons more paintings and fill the house with them. I want to paint a three-panel spread for my bathroom, a three-panel spread for over the living room couch, and a few more paintings to spice up my bedroom. After that, I’m taking requests.

And since I can work quickly with impasto, there’s a chance that I’ll at least finish both three-panel pictures by the end of this semester– if I complete at least one painting every two weeks. I think I can do it, since Saturday mornings have already been designated as my painting days and so far I’ve done a pretty good job sticking with it. I’m excited to have a house full of paintings again– just one more reason getting a house is one of the best decisions my friends and I have ever made.

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Filed under Homemaking, Senior Year

Dryer Issues

For the last few weeks, our dryer has been terrible. It never dries our clothes completely on the first cycle, and sometimes we have to put our clothes in three or four times before they are dry. We couldn’t figure it out and sorta chalked it up to cheap appliances, like the rest of the house (Lesson for future home purchasing: Thoroughly examine the little things, like weather-stripping and quality of appliances. Be not hypnotized by new carpet and granite countertops).
Last night, Valerie pulled out her still soggy jeans from their third drying cycle.
“What is wrong with this dryer?!” she exclaimed.
But then, like a flash of genius, it hit me– what was the situation with the dryer lint? I was surprised none of us had thought of it before.
So I hopped up to check. And sure enough, out came the most honkin’, epic piece of multi-colored dryer lint I have ever seen. Valerie and I could not stop laughing.
I’ve included a picture for your appreciation. The sticky note says: “Do not throw away until everyone has seen it,” and there is an arrow pointing to it labeled, “epic dryer lint.” I kept my hand in the picture for scale.

It’s a wonder we didn’t burn the house down.

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Filed under Homemaking

Current Happenings

Since getting into town on Wednesday night, things have been busy. I have lots to do in the next few days before school starts. Just hope I can get it all done!
So far my time at home has consisted of:
— an “early morning” run around 10 a.m., during which I decided to jog over to the football stadium and run up and down the stairs. Until I got there and 1) was too tired and 2) couldn’t get in because of football practice. So I stood at one of the gates and admired those boys running around in tight pants for a bit. I scooted before anyone caught me ogling though — I’m not sure they’d believe me if I said I was just checking out their cute butts. Those security guards take spying very seriously around here.
— a two-hour long meeting with the faculty advisor and Vice President of the Student Film Production Club (SFPC). I am really excited (and nervous) about being President this year, and so maybe I went a little overboard with our agenda. It was super long and really thorough. But at least this way, we have now hashed out all our ideas for the upcoming year and we’re ready to start. Can’t wait!

— biking everywhere. Dios mio, was it hot yesterday! I don’t have a car and so my means of transportation to campus is my beautiful little red Shwinn (much like the green Schwinn pictured here, except, well, mine’s red). This means no air conditioning. Lots of sweating. Sticky grossness as I enter buildings and hurriedly try to look presentable.
— “unpacking” my room. I use this term loosely. So far, some things are out of boxes, but nothing has a home. The problem is that I am missing key furniture items (such as a desk and dresser), so I have nowhere to put anything even if I were to unpack it all. This needs to be solved. Dear Universe, please have a beautiful desk and dresser arrive on my doorstep in the next few days. Preferably for free. Thanks a million!
— a massive grocery shopping trip to Walmart. Starting a new kitchen is expensive. Those basic items that are “always” in the refrigerator or pantry, like mustard, basil, and tuna fish, actually need to be purchased at some point. Weird, I know. So that’s what I did last night… I bought most of my basics. Like my roommate MBlock said, “Life without food is no life at all.” Or something like that. (Side note: In order to protect the innocent — or unknowingly-on-my-blog– I think I’m gonna changed the names of my lovely housemates to MBlock, BStidd, TSlapp, and VMill. We’ll see how long this resolution lasts.)
My To Do List (before classes start):
(1.) Purchase books online. Hooray for Amazon, and double hooray for taking a Shakespeare class — the books are fun and cheap.
(2.) Finish unpacking/setting up room. Try not to obsess over the decorating.
(3.) Put some of my old books online so other people can buy them. Yay money!
(4.) CCEW Boot Camp (training for my business internship this fall).
(5.) Stand at a few involvement fair booths for SFPC, pass out mints, and convince people that our club is the answer to their prayers.
(6.) Buy soccer socks. I foolishly agreed to be a part of a community rec soccer team this fall. While I made it abundantly clear to my team captain that I have almost zero knowledge of the rules of soccer (not an exaggeration) and my feet are remarkably uncoordinated when it comes to kicking things, he didn’t seem to think that was an issue. Maybe he thinks I’m just being modest. I’m not. But I’m playing anyway. Should be fun.
(7.) See Inception, which I meant to see when I was in Tucson. Woops. Because while most people just saw this movie for fun, I HAVE to see this movie. Everyone in my classes will be talking about it during the first week of school, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a teacher started lecturing on it. So this is a necessity. I know, it’s a hard life.

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Filed under Homemaking, Senior Year