Tuesday, August 24, 2010

If people never did anything silly, nothing intelligent would ever get done. - ludwig wittgenstein

I really like Joy the Baker (www.joythebaker.com) for two main reasons:
1. Pretty much everything she makes gets starred in my google reader. (Starred means "I want to try this.")
2. She wears a headlamp to read in bed. And she admitted it on her blog. One of my pastors also admitted to wearing a headlamp, and I think it is one of the best ideas and misused products out there.

That said, these chocolate chip cookie dough balls have been starred since June 29. I made them yesterday - kind of.

I tried to make them yesterday.

Please, oh college athlete in me, recall the annoying adages about "do or do not, there is no try."

I restate: I tried to make them yesterday.

This was some of the most delicious cookie dough that I've ever tasted. Greek yogurt instead of eggs equals pure deliciousness. But I think I used too much yogurt, or too little flour, because these balls sprawled on the pan like they were ready to get a nice little tan and cookie-skin-cancer in the oven. I had assumed that the balls would be firm like the peanut butter part of Buckeyes, but these were not. I then assumed that cookie dough freezes into a peanut-butter-part-of-the-Buckeye-consistency, but, alas, it does not. Note to self: the single serving size of Greek yogurt should be measured to see if it is more the 2/3 cup. Next note to self: Flour should actually be measured with the knife evening out the top rather than assuming the little mound on the top adds a quarter cup.


I let them freeze overnight, as per directions, and then the next morning began my task of melting chocolate and dipping it in. I believe I've mentioned my ineptitude at melting chocolate. To be honest, my ability is not simply inept, it is more antagonistic: melted chocolate is my cooking enemy. The last time I made Buckeyes, I went through three bags of chocolate chips, began crying, and told my housemates that we would no longer have Buckeyes at the wedding shower and instead would have peanut butter balls. Yes, that was my senior year of college. Why do you ask? A housemate bought a bag of chocolate chips and melted them for me. It worked.

So instead of melting chocolate, I used Nestle's pre-melted baking chocolate packets! Super good idea! Oh, except that they were unsweetened. Okay, let's add some powdered sugar! Super good idea - er, good idea? Oops, too thick. Add another packet of chocolate. Good idea - er, this is (no exaggeration) beginning to look like burned chocolate. How is it possible that I can burn pre-melted chocolate simply by stirring in powdered sugar? (The college athlete in me says, "If you can dream it, you can achieve it!")

Then I tried to dip some cookie dough balls in the chocolate-powdered sugar mix. Didn't work. Idea! I spread some of it on top of the ball. That lasted for about three balls. And then they went back to the freezer.

In other news... I have a freezer full of cookie dough that can't be baked. But they are frozen enough to be stab-able now, so I've been using lollipop sticks to pick them up off the cookie sheet.

Creativity. It's just not as appreciated in the kitchen.

p.s. We have some decorations in our house! And a couch! Come visit!
p.p.s. I leave for Peru on Saturday!

Friday, August 13, 2010

this post is like a post-script to about 3 other posts...

Remember when we used to sign our letters, then write "p.s." and then add another line with "p.p.s" and so on? I think my letters ended up having more p.s.'s than actual lines above the signature.

p.s. I got a grill for our back patio! And grilled vegetables and hot dogs, and all were delicious.

p.p.s. Anonymous requested that I put up a picture of my battle wound, so all of you are going to have to see it. Perhaps that's why it was requested by anonymous? Below, you can see most of the length of the bruise (which never got very dark, actually) and then also a little different shape in my ankles. I didn't notice that until Monday at the Reds/ Cardinals game.

p.p.p.s. I went to the Reds/ Cardinals game on Monday! Got to sit in the 13th row, which is close enough to watch the field easier than the screen - it's like a whole different game down there! Got to see a grand slam (by the Cardinals)... good thing I was just wearing red. I was supposed to be Switzerland but the Reds didn't offer that much to cheer for. I was, unfortunately, one day early for the big fight. Youtube it. It's awesome. Read Carpenter's quotes about the fighting skills of the Reds. No one (either team) was ever a hockey player. That much is obvious.

p.p.p.p.s. I was actually worried about the swelling because I was afraid it happened while running, rather than the swelling from the shin just dripping down into my ankle (sorry to my doctor friends who wince at my medical explanations)... but today (one week later) it's finally bruised and blackened, so I believe it is from the fall and not from running. Which means I can continue training for marathon number two!

Pictures are not doing adequate "pity-me" justice, but I hope they are discolored enough that you think, "Whoa, Julie is one tough girl." Or a slight awe and admiration that I still managed to stop his head from hitting. Or at least, "At least she likes bruises."

Friday, August 6, 2010

be jubilee!

I moved! Yay! This was Kristi's birthday present to me, and it's hanging in our stairwell at the moment. Tomorrow's plan? A Wii party. We have no furniture in the downstairs - well, there's one bookcase - but that leaves plenty of room to canoe without smacking anyone or anything. Come visit! If you continue reading this post... you'll see that's a definite plus for me.

I also bought new rain shoes in Texas that are super-dute cute (but I can stand it). Last year, it was pink heels (which I still wear) and this year, it was blue plaid rain shoes. Much more grown up than my pink rain boots, and much easier to carry around if I need to bring a second pair of shoes with me, like when I'm pretending to be old.

Peru update - fundraising has gone splendidly. Thank you all for helping me out and praying for me and my team. I'll remind you before I leave (August 28) but all looks well. They increased our expected trip cost by $200, but you guys covered above what I asked and thus my savings will cover the increased cost. Thank you, thank you! On August 15 at 1:00, Veritas (my church) is having a Missions Lunch - I'll be giving a little 5 minute talk about my upcoming trip and a few other missionaries at Veritas will be talking too. This serves as your official invitation. No, I won't make you eat guinea pig.

I made this: Pesto Meatballs and Orzo Recipes - Pasta Main Dish Recipes - Meatball Recipes and it was tasty. I haven't made anything else spectacular in a while. I am craving some intricately-decorated something though. I'll let you know what I come up with.

Lastly, the reason that I just want to wrap myself up in protective gear/ bubble wrap/ why my 9-months-pregnant friend pitied me and suggested that I get a day to just recuperate... I have had a week of minor injuries. All of them fun to talk about, and none of them terribly painful (until today's.)
1. Last Thursday - I got stung by a bee. Or a horsefly. The last time that happened, Molly took me home from Kristi's soccer game - which means I was probably less than seven.
2. A week ago Friday - I walked to DQ for a Nerds blizzard (Calah, I thought of you) without socks. My shoes have over 500 miles on them - they should be broken in, right? No. The walk ended with a blister and me bleeding through my shoe. But the Nerds Blizzard made it home.
3. Later that day - I stepped on a teeny-tiny piece of glass. It came out, but I had to hop on one foot out of the crawl space, up the stairs, through the kitchen, and into the bathroom so that I didn't drip blood on the white carpet.
4. Today: I promised (emphatically) that I would catch my little swimmers' heads as they swam backstroke.
"DO NOT turn around," I said. "I will get your head if your head is going to hit the wall."
Swimmers 1 and 2: turn around about halfway down the pool.
Me: "What are you doing? I said not to turn around!"
Swimmers 1 and 2: giggle giggle. Oh, hey! Look at Swimmer 3!
Swimmer 3, in a dramatic change of events, is SPRINTING across the pool, head-first, aimed right at the wall with no shot of having an arm hit first, about three giant steps from me. I then SPRINT two of the three giant steps - slip on step 3, wonder in the air if I'm going to need mouth-to-mouth, land somehow on the corner of the pool, with my leg on something painful (the corner of the pool, I'm guessing), one hand blocking Swimmer 3's head from hitting (successfully, I might add) and my other arm sprawled on the other wall of the pool. If it hadn't been the corner, I would've been in the pool. 
I'm pretty sure I bruised my shin bone. The actual bone. Swimmers 1 and 2 immediately said "that's why WE turned around!" to which I grimaced a smile out and pretended not to care that my leg was stunned. It hurts to walk on it... but the swelling went down after I iced it. It currently has about a 6-inch red bruise line running the length of my shin, accompanied by small swelling (just iced) and hopefully, a deep blue bruise as of tomorrow. As much as it hurts, it would hurt me much more inside if it were this painful and showed no outward signs of it.
I don't think that will be too much of an issue.