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Showing posts from December, 2011

Potato, Potatoh

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The final appetizer at the grad student Christmas partay was Twice-Baked Potatoes. For the first time in my life, I made baked potatoes in the oven instead of the microwave. While I can't say that I'll be heating up the oven whenever I want a baked potato, I did like the fact that the potato skins were nice and crunchy. Apparently oven baking preserves more nutrients than microwaving. Whouda thunk...

Twice-Baked Potatoes 4 large unpeeled potatoes
1/4 to 1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. butter or margarine, softened
1/4 tsp. salt
Dash of pepper
1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz.)
1 T. chopped fresh chives (didn't add these)

Heat oven to 375*F. Gently scrub potatoes, but do not peel. (Cut out any icky spots though.) Pierce potatoes several times with a fork to allow steam to escape while they bake.

Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender when pierced in center with a fork. (I just stuck them in for the full 75 minutes.)

When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut l…

I can do classy!

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I threw a kind of adultish Christmas party the weekend before Christmas. I say 'kind of adultish' because we watched 'Frosty the Snowman' and 'Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer', but we had classy appetizers for food gosh darn it! This was a recipe I really really really wanted to try. It's definitely going into my party food rotation. Or just my quick and easy dinners rotation. Yum!

Crostini (oh Betty, I'd be so lost and hungry without you)
12 slices Italian bread, 1/2" thick (I picked up a 'manager's special' loaf at WallyWorld...it worked great!)
1/4 c. olive or vegetable oil (I used extra-virgin olive oil, hereafter referred to at EVOO)
1 large tomato chopped (1 c.)
3 T. chopped fresh basil leaves (I used spinach leaves instead, like the bagged salad kind)
1 T. large capers or chopped ripe olives (tiny can o' chopped ripe olives)
1/2 tsp. salt, pepper
12 slices (1 oz. each) mozzarella cheese

Heat oven to 375*F.

On ungreased cookie sh…

Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas from Sharona and Manwich!
(I promise that this is his happy face)

I am my mother's daughter

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So. One year for New Year's, my mom decided to make a cheese ball. My mother usually doesn't try crazy stuff like this (if you have time and know my family well, ask me about The Onion Tart Disaster) BUT cheese balls apparently fell into safe territory.

So. This cheese ball. It was like a new baby or something. My mom was SO PROUD of it! I'm figuring, hey, it's a ball. Of cheese. Not that hard. Right? Meh, yeah, mostly. I made one for my Christmas party this year. Aside from almost burning out the motor on my hand mixer (KitchenAid stand mixer to the rescue!) and having terrible reading-ahead skills (which lead to 'not enough time...can I freeze this?' lines of thought), it wasn't bad. And it was tasty. Double win!

Cheese Ball (thanks Betty Crocker!)
2 8 oz. packages cream cheese
3/4 c. (4 oz.) crumbled blue cheese
1 c. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (4 oz.)
1 small onion, finely chopped (I didn't add this)
1 T. Worcestershire sauce (I forgot to add this)

The best way to spread Christmas cheer....

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...is baking cookies for friends so dear!

Anyone who's known me for at least one holiday season (doesn't matter if it's Christmas, Halloween, Easter, etc.) knows that I have this thing for baking cutout sugar cookies. Since my final this year (don't ask me about it or imma hurt you) was on Thursday, I had tons of time to procrastinate studying. How did I procrastinate, you ask? By BAKING!

The weekend before my final, I decided that gingerfolk sounded fun. To make it even better, I got to mix dough with my hands, try out a new frosting/icing recipe, AND eat too many tasty, tasty soulless cookies :)

Gingerbread Cookies (from the Betty Crocker Cookbook, since I don't own her Cooky Book)
1 c. packed brown sugar (go dark instead of light for extra flavor!)
1/3 c. shortening
1 1/2 c. dark molasses
2/3 c. cold water
7 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt

In large bowl, beat brown s…

Oh finals week...

Dear Santa,

I really want tickets to the Coldplay tour this summer. I'd also like an A in ME 581, but I know you're not a miracle worker, so I'll just stick with the tickets.

Love,
Me

Crunch time!

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Since it's Dead Week here at Purdue, I give you this.

This morning, I spent the better part of 4 hours in my pajamas working on Math area exam review problems.

Purdue's Graduate Student Government is hosting a grad student lock in this Thursday. They're offering an hour of yoga at some point. There's probably free food and coffee involved as well. I won't be attending. Why, you ask? Why would you skip free food and yoga?!?!

Because, knowing grad students, only a few people would actually get anything accomplished. The rest of us would just sit around and complain about classes/research/professors and try to one-up each other with 'my life/advisor/research sucks more!' stories.

One day, when I get hooded and have a fancy title in front of my name and watch undergrads think through whether they should call me 'doctor' or 'professor', it will all be worth it :)

To end things on a positive note, I give you a Cat Covered in Stuff:

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree....

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...Manwich loves to chew on thee.

The first year I put up the tree, he didn't touch it. Last year, I found out that my cat has a thing for (in addition to cardboard) chewing on fake plastic pine needles. Neither myself nor the tree (pictured right left) were impressed with this knowledge. This year, in a feeble attempt to keep King Kong Kitty out of the tree, I didn't put in the bottom row of branches. (You can see a row of empty holes drilled into the wood.) He still messed with the tree.

I headed back to Limaland this weekend for the ONU Holiday Spectacular. I was worried for the safety of the tree and Mannie's digestive tract. Solution? The vacuum. Manwich is terrified of it, plugged in and working or not. So I put the vacuum on guard duty. I'm proud to announce that this seems to *mostly* work :)

Completely unrelated to Christmas, I found this recipe archived in my written-but-not-yet-published blog post folder. I promise that you'll have a more seasonal recipe up…