Thursday, August 27, 2009

Like Butta...

When I was around this age.....
I would eat sticks of butter like they were candy. Gross right? They were delicious. My affinity for butter continued grossing out friends and roommates well after college. Then of course, when I decided to be healthy I abandoned my buttery ways for healthier options. Possibly that is why I forgot to include it when baking this weekend?

So I found some recipes for brownies and blueberry muffins on the stonyfield website for cooking with Yogurt (i.e. as a substituting for oil). I was WAY excited because I had all the ingredients on hand (pro of baking versus cooking, more shelf stable items) ....... Too bad that 'ol 'room temperature' butter thing meant that I microwaved the butter...... which is where it sat forgotten UNTIL I had already divided the muffins into the pan. A few expletives later I thought, well......what the hell, and swirled the melted butter into the already-mixed-already-in-the-pan muffins. Guess what? No bueno. That coupled with the addition of whole wheat (i went half and half as opposed to all white flour per the recipe) and probably too much oven time = hard and grainy muffins. They were decent when eaten immediately (but obviously i was full from batter), but the next morning they probably couldn't chipped a tooth. YIKES.

And THAT ladies and gentelman..... is why lauren can't bake. Muffin.... FAIL.

The brownies weren't horrible.... and by that I mean I ate most of the batter and was pretty indifferent about the actual baked goods themselves. MEH.
In an effort to show a picture of something I was successful at.... here was my lunch yesterday. I successfully had multiple food groups (protein of the animal and plant variety, grains, veggies.... that's hummus in there and WW pretzelsl, FYI) .... so let's redirect our attention to that, shall we?
This last weekend I got together with some friends for a slumber party and the hannah montana movie. What's that you say? Well, our respective ages were 24, 26, and 28......................... going on 12. It was so much fun, just being goofy and ridiculous at the sorority house. It was pretty much my everything :)
TGIthursday homies :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mullet City

Hands down, the highlight of my week was when this beauty popped up on my car after running home for lunch one day.
I mean can you believe it? He used to text me all the time during the campaign (you know, telling me where to register, volunteer, reminding me when Joey B was coming into town for a rally, etc.), he's even still in my phone as 'Barack'...... *sigh* it was lovely. In totally unrelated news, after discovering this note I spied Emily's car 10 feet away from mine in the parking Garage. Hmmmmmm.....

It was a pretty political week for the parking garage, what with O'Reilly, Bob Dole, Ann Coulter and even Bill Clinton stopping by (dear emily, you're the hottest thing since my wife in a pantsuit) to leave sweet nothings on Emily and I's cars.

(dramatization below)

Much further down on the excitement-o-meter for the week was food I'd assembled. I was particularly impressed with this combo... Even if i did steal it from graduate meghann.

WW toast with ricotta on top and grilled eggplant and yellow squash (marinated in balsamic) YUM.
And this salad was pretty so I took a picture.

You know what else was pretty? the shoes I was wearing while I ate. Hello lovelies!
John and I also went to a free Blues Traveler concert a few blocks away. Too bad word was out. It was the MOST packed I have ever seen that place.

This was us unhappy we could not move.

It's okay, we burned out a bit early and I came home and BAKED! Since I was going to be living on the interstate all weekend, I decided to make my friend Kelly cupcakes in honor of her Bday I would miss. I WANTED to make a super healthy kind... but I realized a) it's her birthday give the lady what she wants and b) there was a pretty good chance they might not turn out anyway, so let's opt for the best tasting kind possible.

The result? Barefoot Contessa to the rescue! Pounds of sugar and butter later (the cupcakes were made with sour cream and the frosting with cream cheese!) ................................ I over baked the cakes. Mo**er F*****************!! I was WATCHING them the whole time and they were just in the oven a minute too long. They weren't burnt exactly, but they weren't close to being moist and delicious. AW SNAP.

It's okay, Kelly said she liked them anyway (i told her just to eat the tops like they were muffins)

After work Friday Emily and I VAMOOSED to get to the center of the state (world) to the STATE FAIR! We had some sweet concert tickets.

Let me zoom in for you:

Come on now... everybody sing, "HOW DO I GET YOU ALONE....... ALOOOOOOOOOOOOOONE!" you can bet your bottom dollar (the state fair always brings out the 'folksy' language a la Palin, no?) we were belting that out at the top of our lungs when it came on.... thank goodness for EVERYONE we were sitting near a loud speaker to drown ourselves out)

Emily and I went with John's sister, her fiance and his fam. We all had a little cowboy flair.

Including my SWEET Frye cowboy boots that I thrifted in San Francisco this Spring! (hello my lovelies)

We also saw my sister, made a visit to the beer garden, ran into college peeps (only at the fair, I tell you) and saw some pretty sweet tats and mullets.

Then it was once again time to hit the road!

We were en route to the STL to visit our friend Jessica for HER birthday celebration. Jessica, the lone adult-acting friend I have, had a baby in March and was SO ready for a rowdy night out (we were happy to oblige).

The road trip fun-level took a nose dive when we had to pull over (twice!) because there was a MONSOON on the interstate. BOO.In my still-in-PJs glory, sad face.
We got to the STL just in time to decorate the hotel room. Beauteous no?

We were staying in the Casino hotel, so OBVIOUSLY yummy restaurants, cheesy bars and losing money until the wee hours of the night were in order. How LUCKY were we when we found a funk band playing in one of the bars.... I'm not kidding you, not a single person there wasn't moving/grooving/being friendly and/or hilarious.

Look closely, you can see my third-favorite mullet from the weekend across the bar. My friend Amy got WAY better pictures once we were inside the casino itself (we're talking Kentucky waterfalls, folks)..... until she almost got kicked out for taking pictures there. What is this, Russia? Who knew you couldn't do that. Totally worth it though.

LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE being with my friends. Shenanigans ensued.

Five seconds before this picture, this guy was crouched on the floor sticking his head up this girl's skirt like he was going to put her on his shoulders (it's okay, they were together.... er.... we think) He did it like three times in a row. It was a sight to behold. We did a lot of clapping.

Then we got back to the hotel room and we learned that when you have a friend with a baby, they carry around Breathalyzers when they breastfeed. ......... = hilarious = a confusing phone call with John where he was NOT amused to be thinking I'd been arrested. Simmer donna.

Once the weekend came to a close (tear!) I decided to use my once again available weeknights (no grad school remember, how great is that?) to use a cookbook that had been neglecting. I made this recipe:

From this cookbook (Eating Well In Season w/ Kaiser Permanente) :

It was called Caramelized Onion Bean Dip Flat bread Pizza. (or something to that effect). Which was basically all of those ingredients. I got to use my rolling pin from outer space (Thanks Anne!!!!!)

Unfortunately the water I used for my dough was apparently WAY too hot and killed the yeast, which means the bread didn't rise. F*****. However mom said I could use it as a flat bread or something instead (BINGO!) which was actually what I WAS going to use it for. Whew, nice recovery.

Instead of sauce, there was a hummus-like paste (that I added WAY too much Oregano to, I might add) that was originally supposed to be brown but I think the red onions turned it a dirt-esque brown.... making it slightly less photogenic.

Jerry's thoughts (things I learned this week):

  • The first time you bake your pizza dough (prior to baking with toppings), check the middle of the crust to make sure it's not too doughy..... so it won't be total mush when it comes out the second time ready to eat.

  • Dough hot water isn't supposed to be hot, it's supposed to be sort of luke warm. Note to self.

  • Under cook cakes/cupcakes. Everybody likes that dough anyway, who are we fooling.

  • I'm not going to be able to wait until I get married in the year 2333 to get a Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I'm going to put myself on a payment plan to get it long before then. And maybe a Juicer too, and an emulsion blender...... yeah, that too.

  • The state fair has more ankle tattoos than the wal-mart by where I work. .... and that's saying something.

  • If you 'love' push the person next to you at a bar in a casino (for making faces at her... yes Amy), and you don't know your own strength and push them out of the booth. Both by that act and the laughing about it *might* get you kicked out.... good thing we're such smooth talkers.

Anything I'm leaving out?...... All in all a productive week, I'd say. Happy Hump day friends :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Doesn't that word just make you think of charlotte's web and the miracle that IS a reading/writing/spelling insect with LONG eyelashes. Speaking of which this weekend I'll be headed to the state fair to watch my sister show her 'some pig' for FFA. (and no, i don't think that's normal)

Let's take a brief photo collage into the past couple of weeks, shall we?

First we scored some sweet suite tickets to a minor league baseball game (Go T-Bones!)
Took a self portrait a la iphone while pretending to watch the game (forgot my glasses.... oh well, there was beer and snacks)Helped my parents pick out (okay not really I met them afterwards) a beauteous new car they traded for their old clunker. Steve Holt! Welcome to the wonderful world of Honda :)
Made an early morning walk to the FANTASTIC farmer's market downtown with my BFF (shout out to Emily in the red who didn't know I was sneaking iphone pics of her haggling)

forgot to pick LIGHT things for the walk home (cantaloupe and potatoes... really) But was stoked to find a purple pepper, a green/yellow/orange tie-dye pepper, and some distant cousin of a cabbage (so can't remember the name) that looks like it's from outer space. awesome.
pretended to buy these shoes.
visited a KC restaurant featured on Diners/Drive-ins/and Dives. Grinders in KC had lots of beer, amazing sculptures and a veggie messy masterpiece for me (John and I also got their cheese tots... obviously)

took unflattering mid-chew pictures of John.

was half of the most charming couple ever.

scored tickets to Mammapalooza (thanks Emily's BF John) where we lost a flip cup tournament (tear) and listened to fun bands all night long.

made my first roux and homemade white/parm cheese sauce for alfredo. It was strong, and cheesey and not so healthy.

went to the hottest royals game on the planet. Over 100 degrees and the thousands of people there were sweaty, sticky, stinky messes (including my sister there). But the Royals won which almost makes up for relish losing the hot dog race....almost.

got called 'vain' by John for making him take this picture of me at the stadium. Even though I told him it was for the blog.

Joined forces with my amazing momma, sister and 28,000 others to Race for the cure (well... technically we were walking). It was a special, meaningful, wonderful day (did i mention that my mom is amazing??) We loved it and are totally doing it again next year.... except we're running it!

made more green monsters, even one without spinach but with:
  • T dark cocoa powder
  • Banana
  • Soymilk
  • Silken Tofu

SUPER chocolaty, and yummy. ------------------>

Shout outs to:
  • Bowler, for giving me FB status shout-outs all the time like the attentive BFF that she is
  • Aunt Anne... the rolling pin is getting some exercise soon.
  • The maintenance guys in my apartment for bringing me a new air conditioner
  • John for bringing me a spare TV he had
  • Dr. Taylor for giving me an A in my class
  • all attending the bloggy convention (that in no way is trekky-ish) in Boston this weekend.
  • the little people..... you know who you are.

HA! Hope everybody's having a fabulous hump day and enjoying summer to the fullest!