Monday, June 29, 2009

Just 10 days until summer session is over and my projects go into full swing...well after I go to Ocean City...see you in two weeks y'all!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I have had the same school bag for about two years now and it is showing its age. I think Vera Bradley bags are so cute and fun, but the problem is that I keep wearing them out. The foam is popping out of the shoulder straps where they rub against my shoulder and the outside pocket is falling apart from my butt rubbing against my iPod inside. Well, I just so happened to be at the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival with my cousin and she said I should knit my own bag. I found this amazing brilliant turquoise wool that I want to use; I just need a pattern. My cousin even offered to show me how to felt it so it would hold up better to my heavy abuse. The only problem is that I need a pattern. So many patterns are for purses or do not have enough space for all my books. If I am going to knit a bag, it better be practically perfect in every way. Whatever pattern I choose to follow, I will most certainly have to add pockets all around the inside of the bag because that is what I love about Vera Bradley's bags.

Pignoli Bag
Pros: It is big and easy
Cons: No flat bottom, possibly awkward to wear

Toshiko Tote
Pros: It is big and very easy. Knit in the round, which I like :)
Cons: I doubt the handles on this bag will hold up to my abuse

BYOB Mesh Bag
Pros: Big enough for groceries should be big enough for me, pretty
Cons: The handle looks nonexistent

I also really like some of the patterns from Black Sheep Bags, but I would have to track down a store that sells them. The Sophie Bag looks so simple and sophisticated, and only uses one 1 skein. They advertise the Elizabeth Bag as larger and more sophisticated than the Sophie, so how can I go wrong?

I hate how so many pattern samples are in colors like neon yellow and hot pink, or even worse a multicolored yarn with several colors that make me want to scream. It is okay to have a matching hat and scarf in one of those colors, but does anyone really want this bright blue and green pillow in their grown-up living room with matching poofs? I thought this pillow was only lewd by accident, but it was totally on purpose. (See Blog Post) .

As soon as school ends in three weeks, I am going to have to dig up all my knitting needles because I can't wait to try out so many patterns! I can't wait to try my hand at pillows, hats, evening clutches and finally a durable school bag!

Monday, June 22, 2009

I finally got over my fear of cooking meat yesterday! I absolutely cannot resist sausage biscuits and I was craving them, so I faced my fear and cooked some up. It helped that the package had instructions on the back :) Although it said to cook on medium-low heat for 11 minutes, and I had to cook it for like 15 minutes at medium. Maybe that was just my salmonella/e. coli paranoia. I only had time to bake those Pillsbury flaky layers biscuits, and they weren't as amazingly flaky and delicious as I remember. In the end, health guilt got to me and I made a salad on the side, but I'm not sure salad goes with sausage biscuits...

I keep thinking I need to find recipes online or in a book, but some of the tastiest things are simple and can be made with what is already in my kitchen.

Mexican Pizza Bagel

Lender's Bagel
Prego Meat Sauce
Mexican Blend Shredded Cheese
Crushed Red Peppers

Set the oven to 375 degrees, and watch for the cheese to melt.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ingredient of the Day: Zucchini

I just bought zucchini at whole foods when I was home yesterday, so I was eager to cook it. I found a lot of casserole recipes online which took too long to make, so I made up my own zucchini-themed dish - Zucchini with Sundried Tomato Polenta and Grape Tomatoes, seasoned with pepper and basil. I just cooked them all in a thin layer of olive oil, adding first the polenta, then the zucchini and then the tomatoes. The tomatoes were kind of an after thought to add color. The squash turned such a nice brown color when I cooked it, and the crispy texture of the polenta is a good contrast in texture to the softened vegetables.

I still haven't been able to buy groceries and try out a legitimate recipe, but it will happen soon! That is the only real test to find out if I have learned anything about cooking!

My roommate and I were shopping for kitchen appliances online today and we realized that maybe we need more space for all the wonderful appliances that we are planning to buy. So the ambitious girls that we are, we decided to install floating shelves. We want to paint them and install them ourselves. Add another project to the list - we are going to home depot tomorrow!!

=> How to Make Floating Shelves

=> How to Install Floating Shelves

Let's see how long it takes before we have to get boyfriends involved!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

No crafty news to share today. I was busy volunteering until 3 and then I went to dinner with a high school friend. I just thought I would share these food pyramids that I came across when I was writing up a meal plan. I thought they were interesting :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Looking at food network recipes, it seems like they all require like 15 or 20 ingredients. Not very student friendly. But here are some recipes I did find:

- Honey Mustard and Red Onion Barbecued Chicken
- Lemon Pepper Chicken Tenders
- Sweet Potato Risotto
- 3-Cheese Pasta Bake

I'm making blueberry muffins too! Yes, they are the just add water kind, but I just got really excited to make something so I could practice my food photography. I can be like the cereal photographers that use condensed milk instead of regular milk and go through boxes of cereal to find the perfect O's. My Food Science teacher last semester taught me that.

<== Does this look like real milk to you?

Wow I have already written 3 posts! But this is so exciting! It makes me really want to learn how to cook!

I was starving when I came home from class, so I decided to make some angel hair real quick. I had some grape tomatoes that looked really juicy and fresh, so I cut them in half and seasoned them with pepper, basil and garlic powder. I also sauteed yellow peppers with the tomatoes. For sauce, I used some basil pesto sauce, but it wasn't fresh and it didn't really help or hurt the taste. My favorite part was definitely the grape tomatoes. The olive oil and seasonings only made them more delicious than they already were.

For tomorrow, I am definitely going to plan ahead for dinner. Leaving the planning to the last minute made for an unexciting meal. On the other hand, it's healthy, so I can't complain. Now I need to go make up for it with something sweet...I was thinking of making muffins for breakfast...

I didn't want to buy anything extra to make lunch, and I wanted to incorporate healthy veggies and some dairy, so I came up with a mushroom and onion melt. It was pretty tasty except that all I had was a whole wheat hot dog bun for a it is:

I used:
-3 mushrooms (not the white boring kind - portobello mushrooms would probably be good but I used cremini mushrooms)
-Diced onions (just a little bit because onions are awesome!)
-1 slice of provolone cheese
-1 "roll"

I cooked the onions until they began to brown, threw in the mushrooms for a minute or two, took the skillet off the burner and let the cheese melt on top of the veggies before scooping it onto the bun. On an academic scale, I would give it a B or a B-. It tried pretty hard to be good, and it started out with the right things, but it wasn't quite perfect. Mostly it was the hot dog bun that was turning soggy by the end that could have been better - but that's college! It was so much better thyan cafeteria food anyways! Okay, maybe I will be back for dinner if I feel brave.

Darn! Just realized I meant to put marinara sauce on it or use it to dip in...oh time.

Two Weeks In

Hey! Just moved in to my first college apartment 2 weeks ago and I wanted to keep track of everything I have been doing to fix it up. Also, I have a kitchen - finally! So I want to try out easy recipes that are healthy and fast! I have so many projects I want to do this summer...Let's see...
1. Establish a kitchen
2. Make curtains for the living room and my bedroom
3. Build shelves for my room
4. Try new recipes!
5. So much more!
Okay, I'm going to go make lunch, we will see what happens!