7.05.2012

snickerdoodle blondies

Also known as, "Dammit woman! Why have we never made these before??" And by 'we' he meant 'me'

Snickerdoodle blondies are like the secret love child of a snickerdoodle and a coffee cake raised in sin by a pan of brownies. For serious, go make these. You will not regret it.

Made with stuff I already had in my house, not having to go to the store was just a bonus. Bonus number two? These come together in about 10 minutes (maybe less) and are ready to eat from conception to fork in the pan in under 90 minutes. Unless of course YOU don't eat baked goods straight from the pan with your fingers a fork before they are perfectly cooled. In which case you'll have to wait a bit longer prude friend.

What you'll need:
Oven to 350ºF
8x8 inch pan (I used glass), lightly greased.

Ingredients:



  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, gently rounded
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
  • egg, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla (I used imitation)


  • Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon



  • 1) Combine flour, baking powder, rounded teaspoon of cinnamon, pie spice and salt in a small bowl, stir to mix them together.
    2) Put softened butter and brown sugar in a mixer, or use a hand mixer (or you own super arm strength and a spoon, you rebel) and mix at low/medium speed for 3 minutes. Mixture should be well combined and slightly fluffy

    3) To this fluffy mixture add your egg and beat for about 10 seconds then add the vanilla. Beat until smooth (30 seconds?) I used imitation vanilla, if you are using real vanilla decrease the amount to 1 teaspoon.
    4) Next add the flour mixture in 1/4 cup at a time or so. Make sure the flour is mostly blended in before the next addition. I let my mixer run on low the whole time I was adding the flour with a giant serving spoon. 1/4 cup measures aren't necessary, just don't dump it all in at once okay? That is way more hassle than is needed!

    5) Once everything is all nice and blended, pour/scrape/dump the batter (which will look VERY cookie doughish) into your prepared pan.
    6)You're going to need to spread the dough out, rather like brownie batter dough but slightly more recalcitrant. You can use an oiled spoon/spatula, your hands, or an ungreased rubber spatula if you like to lick have children/husbands who like to like tools afterward.

    7) Combine the remaining cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over batter, like so. You'll probably end up using half or so.......

    Unless you're me, and use it all. I highly recommend using it all. Plus some.
    8) Bake for 30 minutes at 350ºF. Sides will rise slightly and blondies are done when toothpick in center comes out almost clean. Cool for about an hour.

    I somehow didn't manage to take an after picture. Hm. It looks almost exactly the same though.
    After about 45 minutes we started eating this with forks. I'm not sure what kind of shelf like it has, as it rarely lasts more than a few days! Once cooled, store tightly covered or in a sealed bag.

    Enjoy!






    6.19.2012

    egads! what fresh horror is this?

    This new blogger layout sucks. When I came in here today to poke around a bit I was slapped in the face with  introduced to the new layout. "The old layout will be disappearing soon. So try the new layout now!" Stop being such passive aggressive asshats so enthusiastic Google. Some of us Don't! Like! Change! Especially when those changes are suckish confusing. Who do you think you are? Facebook? Congress? Change for the sake of justifying your jobs change isn't productive, it's obnoxious.
    *I reserve the right to change this opinion on the basis of justifying my theories of temporal anomalies, girl scout cookie racketeering, and the theoretical physics behind Cat Space.*

    6.12.2012

    ...and I'm going to be hiiigh as a kite by then

    If you just read that in William Shatner's voice then I congratulate you, you are awesome.

    Ever od on caffeine? Even slightly? Your heart pounds, your breathing is suppressed, your mind feels like it is going at hyper speed but slightly out of your control? Like you could quite literally climb the walls, upper body strength and laws of physics be damned?
    Minus the heart pounding and respiratory distress that has been me for the last 17 days. Why so specific? My doctor put me on a new medicine that basically equates to synthetic amphetamines. I cannot even begin to tell you how awesome these things are as mood stabilizers. I'm not sure I've had an inclination toward strangling strangers in more than 2 weeks! It's usually several times daily! To say I have an annoyance/anger problem is generally an understatement. This feeling of non-homicide is so foreign I'm having trouble adequately describing it.
    Enter the problem: This medicine is only approved for use by the FDA for 12 weeks at a time. Why? Because it can kill you.
    Apparently.
    Everyday after it kicks in (1 hour after taking or so) I start to feel...floaty. I feel slightly lightheaded and like I could not, say, operate a crane or a bulldozer.

    So, for now,
    Me: 1
    Unsuspecting strangers who unwittingly piss me off: Elevnty billion

    I still think that's pretty fair.

    5.24.2012

    stop messing with my liquor and calling it macaroni

    dear rest of the world,

    I don't ask for much.

    If you are giving me gin and it isn't bombay sapphire, then I thank you, but politely decline.

    If I'm about to drink beer I prefer it dark. By dark I do not mean brown ale (Newcastle, I'm looking at you). I do not mean any sort of ale. I mean porters or stouts. If I can see through it, I will not drink it. Period.

    This has been a public service announcement that no one cares about but me. Now, if you will please excuse me while I go dump the rest of this Newcastle Brown Ale in the sink. Because, gross.

    Sincerely,
    your resident (almost) alcohol snob

    5.22.2012

    like setting fire to my skin whilst partaking in an exercise in futility.

    Back from camping!
    Sunburned!

    As predicted, the weather in Carpinteria was beautiful. I'm generally more of a cold/cloudy/windy kind of girl and temperate, central coast weather is completely wasted on me. BUT that being said, the gorgeousness that is the Carpinteria coast is hard to deny. Now, to just remember my western european heritage and pack the damn sunscreen. Lobster Girl, for serious, even the part in my hair is sunburned.

    So much SUN! And SAND! And STUPID!

    You know how you know something for certain, 100%, and have proof of your knowledge but someone else refuses to listen, even when you are adamant? And right? Oh for the love of all that's holy, you are RIGHT? That happened to me while camping. I had told someone the week before that the dog my in-laws were bringing camping had not been properly socialized and did NOT like other dogs. Under any circumstances. Did they listen? NO THEY DID NOT.

    "Lets introduce the dogs."
    NOT A GOOD IDEA.
    "It will be fine."
    IT WILL NOT BE FINE.
    "But our dog is so friendly!"
    THIS WILL NOT GO WELL.
    "Let's just get them together."
    YOUR DOG WILL GET EATEN.
    "But she's such a good girl!"
    AND TASTY. DON"T FORGET TASTY

    So, not listening to me, or my husband, they introduced the dogs. The great big freaking baby that is my in-laws great dane proceeded to growl and snarl at the other dog, all while contemplating eating her.
    Did they listen to me? NO THEY DID NOT.

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Charlie, the worlds biggest baby, who also happens to eat small dogs.


    And so the dogs had to be kept separate the entire trip. Then, after 4 days, the worlds most annoying accountant "forgot" that there was a 130 pound dog tied up in the campsite and walked her tasty, tasty dog through. Chaos ensued. It was at this point that I am glad I was on the beach during the "incident". My husband...not so much. He pulled her away before she could do any damage and had words with his dad. It's a damn good thing I wasn't there. I would have had words for the worlds most annoying accountant also.

    It wasn't all bad. Though I was never really able to entirely shake the feeling of annoyance, it had less to do with the vacation and more to do with the fact that my tolerance level for people in general is only about 2 degrees above absolute zero.
    We got at least mildly sauced every night, we played Cards Against Humanity (if you've never played, you're missing out, seriously.)We walked on the beach a LOT, where I suffered a mildly sprained ankle on the first day. I WENT IN THE OCEAN. This is huge for me. I didn't panic or drown or anything. I didn't yell at a single person, it was a close thing. We watched the solar eclipse. You know what works way better than a cardboard box with a hole in it for viewing? 4 pairs of sunglasses stacked on top of each other (and not looking through my sweater and counting on that to not blind me). Watched my father in-law pole dance, sort of. Was both hilarious and slightly traumatizing.

    A little sorry to be home again. But WOW, did I miss my bed.

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .sunset in Carpinteria
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .the hubs and one of the many trains that roll through here
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .lagoon bridge and california poppies
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . train bridge

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .dusk

    5.20.2012

    we're sorry, this space has reached it's capacity

    You can't hear me, but I'm screaming. No one can hear me, but I'm screaming. I'm screaming so loudly that I can barely hear myself. I am screaming so loudly that it is thunderously silent. Silent.
    For the past few months I feel like I have been gradually filling up. With what I'm not even sure. Anger? Annoyance? Nonsense? I don't know what it is but I'm full. FULL I tell you. Or nearly so. I feel like I am full of crazy, barely leashed, crazy. It seems that recently every tiny thing has been setting me off. I've never been very patient but I've always been able to tamp it down and move past what ever it was. I'm a seether, not a snapper. I feel like there is no more room to tamp. No matter how much the tiny people in my head jump up and down on whatever crap is cluttering it up in there, it isn't working anymore.
    What happens when I'm full? What do you do?

    It's a damn good thing there aren't any bell towers around here.

    And now I'm on the FBI's watch list for domestic terrorists.

    Like I wasn't before. BWAhahahHAHAhaha!!!

    Uranium.
    {just for good measure}

    5.17.2012

    temporal anomaly

    Time is the indefinite continued progress of existence and events that occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future.

    Apparently

    *snort*

    I snort at this bit temporal constant because I have, indeed, proven it wrong.

    I am posting this from the past (oooOOOOooooo). Right now, as this posts, I am sitting on the beach in Carpinteria, California. Far away from my computer. I'm camping with my in-laws, honorary uncles, and friends. I am soaking up the beautiful and usually quite temperate, central coast sunshine. I am enjoying the silence. Jealous? At this very moment I am looking at this view:
    How am I so certain? Because I am not only posting this from the past, but I am predicting the future TO THE MINUTE.
    Take that Time Space Continuum.
    Anyhow, enjoy your weekends. I know I'll be enjoying mine.

    5.10.2012

    why I enjoy sleep

    Okay me, enough with the dreaming about men you're not married to.

    I had a dream last night.
    Oh, that it could have gone on.
    About a man who isn't even real.
    Two men morphed into a new creation.
    Who then turned into my rescuing hero.

    Yeah.

    I dreamed about a man who was the perfect combination of Gerard Butler and Chris O'Dowd, complete with perfect Irish brogue, sexy laughing eyes, the perfect amount of scruff.


    I guess as far as dreams go, it could have been a LOT worse.

    5.07.2012

    at the oviatt

    A few weeks ago the hubs and I went to the Oviatt Penthouse in downtown Los Angeles with a good friend and her daughter.
    The Oviatt Building was opened in 1928 as an upscale haberdashery. I just love that word, haberdashery. The building itself is gorgeous and needs to be seen to be believed. The penthouse, on the 13th floor, was owned and lived in by James Oviatt and his wife Mary. Parquet floors, marble walls, Lalique glass and ghosts. Oh, did I forget to mention that the building is haunted? hehe, haberdashery

    Our private tour started at about 9pm, ending around midnight and was conducted almost entirely in the dark. Cold spots, flashes of light, odd smells and moving shadows galore. Aside from the physical beauty of the place (and OMG like being in a museum but I could TOUCH STUFF) there is a definite sense of spiritual presence.

    Throughout the evening my husband and I picked up on the names Sarah and Louise. We found out later that Sarah was the name of both James Oviatts mother and eldest sister, who had raised him after his mothers death. Louise (which was mine) was the middle name of Sarah the sister and Mary the wife. Coincidence? Possibly. Likely? Not.

    A few photos:

    there appears to be someone sitting on the bed in this photo, there was no shape there in the frame before or after this one and when the lights were turned on the bed was mussed and there was a butt print on the fabric. Ghost or trick of the light?The hubs asked me to take this picture in that moment. He said it felt like someone was touching his head from above. In the larger version of this picture you can see the shadow of what appears to be a person, arm extended over the hubs head. The shadow is not his. His can be clearly seen on the pillar he is leaning against.Up on the roof (the VIEWS!!) I was alone on the upper level and thought I saw a woman standing behind this curtain. As I walked away I pointed the camera over my shoulder and snapped a picture. See the rounded shadow?>
    The front of the Oviatt building which now houses the Cicada restaurant on the bottom floor.
    We couldn't quite figure out what this was. Turns out it was the incinerator chimney. Still pretty though.
    The people that lease the Penthouse are beginning to do ghost tours and midnight martinis. $45 plus tax per person, 21 and over only. Worth it. GO THERE. The first is June 2nd, 2012. Proceeds go to restore the clock tower/penthouse.

    5.03.2012

    can't stop giggling

    I saw this posted on facebook today. I'm not sure where this originally came from but kudos the programmer at Google Maps that is responsible for this. You are awesome my friend.

    So. Go to google maps and click Get Directions. Select Walking. Start place The Shire, destination Mordor. Click Get Directions.



    I still can't stop laughing.

    4.27.2012

    let's pretend this never happened

    Sounds like a good motto to live by for those of us whose plans don't always play out quite the way we'd hoped.

    Also, a phenomenally successful book by Jenny Lawson, aka thebloggess.
    Jenny's humor is described as both irreverent and offensive. I would have to agree that her site, thebloggess, is both of these. If you have never visited, you are missing out. I've been following Jenny for years, peeking into her life. She has made me laugh so hard I've cried. But she's more than that. She is fundamentally flawed beneath her humor. Occasionally she shares her troubles which go far far beyond the mundane, through bouts of depression, death, anxiety and fear. She has pulled us along with her, and as a result I have not only laughed with her, but cried and hurt and found someone who understands what so many of us are afraid to say. She IS flawed. We all are. But she is also courageous and generous and beautiful in so many ways.

    I admit it. I haven't read her book yet. I am afraid to. She has ingrained me (not just ME) so deeply into her life that I am afraid to read her book and then have it be over. Like getting to the end of Harry Potter. You know there is more, but it feels so...final. At least with Jenny there is always one more laugh, one more tear, and one more night sitting up for hours watching her youtube video that tells us, "You are important. The people who are in your life, they want you there. Even if you are completely broken, no matter what they want you. I want you there. Don't leave."

    Thank you. THANK YOU.

    And now I am crying like a baby.

    So for now my book sits on the shelf next to my bed. Hand signed bookplate in place. Waiting for me.


    The inside leaf of my copy of Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

    Complete with Bloggess stickers sent to me by the Bloggess herself.

    Haven't read it? GO BUY IT. I have never wholeheartedly recommended a book I haven't yet read. I am now. Go. Buy. Laugh.

    3.02.2012

    queen mary highland games

    February 18th and 19th was spent in Long Beach at the Queen Mary Highland Games. What are the Highland Games? Here in California they are celebrated with mens and womens heavy athletics, attendance of clans, bagpipers, scottish food and drink, much shopping, new friends and laughter. And in my case, a sunburn.
    This particular gathering was on the gounds of the famous Queen Mary oceanliner. I had never seen a cruise ship up close and personal before. She is magnificent!

    We visited every booth and vendor at least 4 times. This adventure was shared with two of our dearest friends, which made it all the more fun. While the festival itself was wonderful, I think we had more fun on board ship, where we stayed the night.
    Around 8pm we headed to the Observation Bar, where we spent an obscene amount of money an drinks, enjoyed the live music and had a bit of show as the place filled up with 1940's era reenactors who had migrated over from a Liberty Ship that is also an inport museum. It was like stepping back in time! Unfortunately, I only got one sort of blurry picture, didn't want to offend anyone by taking photos or blind anyone with a flash:
    After our copious alcohol cunsumption, the silliness ensued:One of my favorite photos from the whole trip:My other favorite shots:


    3.01.2012

    book(s) review: the hunger games trilogy by suzanne collins

    I hadn't made my way to reading these books yet, even though it seemed that the rest of the free world already had. Then, a few weeks ago, my husband and I saw a movie trailer for The Hunger Games on a redboxed dvd. He looks at me and asks why we don't have them yet? Gee, because I didn't know know you were even in the least bit interested *perhaps*? Sigh. So I bought the trilogy on Amazon.

    I won't review the books one at time because in my estimation they are really more of one long story broken up into 3 parts than 3 individual stories with the same theme.
    Overall I would say that I really enjoyed them. Nicely descriptive and well narrated. Very few lags in the story line too. A bit of the classic 'Which boy does this girl really want' dilemma, but it was thankfully not the main focus. Hardship, pain, betrayal, love, determination, war, loss. I really liked how broken yet determined the heroine Katniss was, it gave me the impression that it is ok to be broken, that you will survive.
    Without going into detail and ruining it for the three of you out there who haven't read them yet I will say:

    My favorite character? Finnick

    Least favorite? Gale

    Character I think we could have done without? Johanna Mason

    Remaining questions after reading? Why do they call them the Hunger Games? Did I miss the connection? What where those kids names?!?

    Would I read them again? Yes

    Read time? Unknown. I did all three in 6 days.

    Biggest peeve? HATED the ending. Cried through 2 chapters. HATED HATED the ending.

    Would I recommend them? Yes, but perhaps not to the under 12 crowd.

    1.13.2012

    mobile

    I'm sitting in bed typing this on my new kindle fire, which I have named Angus, much to my husbands chagrin. Angus persists in auto correcting half of what I type even though it is either already correct or the way I prefer to spell things, read: rarely correct. Screw you Angus, you work for me!
    Sorry, there is no real point to this post. Just to see how unpleasing it might be to do it this way I guess? Not too bad.

    Ideas for forthcoming posts that are more entertaining:
    Queen Mary Scottish Highland Games coming in february
    Oh my! My husband is wearing a kilt!
    Books for 2012
    Other first world and probably snarky problems.

    I'll try to be funnier, promise.

    1.09.2012

    christmas redux

    Now that is January I thought it was time for a Christmas wrap up. My cat decided it was time to get up at 5:45am. I was less than pleased with this, but got up anyway. Speaking of less than pleased.... behold! demonic christmas kitty.

    Back to the main event! I got everything on my list! I am currently wearing my adorable snarky owl, courtesy of my mother. My wonderful husband got me the new hiking boots, a slew of books, a communist flag and a plush Domo Kun (which I love a ridiculous amount) among other things. We also got a Kindle Fire. Which I also love. It is so responsive, I swear if you look at too hard you could probably use it! The only complaint I may have is that it comes pre-installed with facebook mobile, which I loathe. And you can't uninstall it and use regular web based facebook. I think there is a newer software version but I am hesitant to upgrade. Oh, and it doesn't come with the usb cable to plug it into your computer? Wth kindle?

    I got my husband the very (very) much wanted Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword. He is kind of hard to surprise but I shocked the crap out of him christmas morning when he opened his brand new shiny blowgun. They aren't exactly legal for purchase where we live, so lets just say there was some finagling, and leave it at that. Among other things I got him the niftiest ring ever. It is made from a Kennedy half dollar! The independant seller who made it was awesome. He made me the ring in a whopping size 14 from a 2003 coin (our wedding year) and had it in the mail in less than 24 hours. Have you ever seen how those things are made? It's like astro-physics to me. His shop is here and I HIGHLY recommend him.

    All in all a great christmas which we spent mostly in our jammies in a nest of blankets.