Friends, Life

weekend recap.

Reunion-Weekend2012

This weekend brought me my five year college reunion. On Friday, I wasn’t that excited about it but I guess that could be because I never really left.

But it was an awesome time filled with parties, bbqs (dear Georgetown University Grilling Society…I miss you) and friends. Most importantly of course was the fact that the University wanted to remind us of what we’ve been missing for the past five years. The education, the community, the beer pong…strike that last one, oh wait, never mind they did in fact roll out three beer pong tables for the Saturday night party. Keeping it classy, Georgetown, keeping it classy.

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Friends, Life, Thoughts

a piece of my heart.

Kathleen.

We got to know each other because a lot of things: our shared connection to undergrad, mutual friends, the love of certain restaurants, etc. She was the person who would sit in line with me for hours, just waiting with me, so that I could meet the Pioneer Women. She was the person, that when I needed to drive home (2 hours each way) to vote, came along as long as lunch was involved. She was the person that I could call on whim to go on a random drive, meet at the farmers market, eat an unplanned meal, or get coffee with me after physical therapy. All in all, she was, and will always remain, an amazing friend.

What kept us together however, especially most recently, was a bit of a different bond. Both of us bonded over caring about boys that we, in fact, aren’t dating and the neverending prodding of people with the question “so why aren’t you dating?” In the beginning, we would laugh over how much people tried to get involved with something that clearly wasn’t their business. By the end, our long talks were about everything under the sun, but a reoccuring one was if it was okay for her to love someone, who well, probably didn’t care in the same way. But in what some people would deem the ubber serious, we found laughter because, well, that is who she was. We laughed over our own absurdities, poked fun at ourselves. We were always there to provide a listening ear and a bit of encouragement and to point-blank tell each other when they had crossed into a crazy line of thought. I will never forget those moments. The constant support. The unceasing laughter. That joy.

I love you and miss you my dear, dear friend. You take with you a piece of my heart.

Kathleen Benz
aka the British Friend
September 22, 1984 – May 29, 2010

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Friends, Life

epic college fail.

Tonight my roommate and I ventured out of our area of DC and went across town to my alma mater for the 37th annual Cherry Tree Massacre. And it was there that we realized my biggest college failure…

…I didn’t snag myself an acapella guy.

This is a serious problem. One that I am going to need to figure out how to remedy fairly quickly. Hmm, we’ll see how this goes.

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Food, Friends, Life, Photography

blueberry crumb bars = heaven in a bar

There are days were you are all sunshine and roses. And then there are days when every sentence ends with self-censoring and you have taken so many pills of ibprofen that you wonder if it’s healthy.

I’m just going to let you guess what day today is.

But instead of a lament, let me instead present, the blueberry crumb bar, otherwise known as “the dessert that will totally get me a spouse, maybe,”:

So this may not be the best picture of the beautiful photo of them. It may be because it’s a grainy photo, or because of the flash/lack of flash. or it could just be my horrific point-and-shoot camera. Can we tell I feel disdain for it?

But back to the beauty of these little beauties. So, it was March and I was going out of town. To be completely honest, I was running away from a lot of things: repeated fights with people, my dwindling bank account, the need to move, and my health throwing week long migraines at me. When a friend gave me the opportunity to escape the city for the weekend, you can bet that I did a little cheer, a dance, a squeal and then promptly had a panic attack (never should be said that I am a simple girl). I had just committed myself to go out of town with a coed group, and I really only knew one of the other seven well, and one other moderately well…pretty much, I have just committed to running away for a weekend with a group or almost strangers. Begin, panic attack.

The Thursday before we left, the world of my mother came to me in a dream sequence (actually, that is totally a lie). But I did kind of channel her, cause she always said that if I wanted people to like me I should bake for them, and you bet your socks that’s what I did (you can also bet I went overboard, which I did). On a Thursday night, in between cleaning, showering and a new episode of 30 Rock, I made margarita cookies, hamantaschen and blueberry bars. Those last ones were an impulse cause I had blueberries going bad, and oh what a tasty impulse it was. And friday morning, running on very little sleep, I packed up these gems (and enough goodies to add a second tote bag to my stack of bags) and was on my way to work, and then to the lovliness of Western Maryland. And oh, were they loved.

Needless to say, I became the bane of several waistlines, and one of my favorite comments of the weekend ensued on Saturday when after getting up from a nap I couldn’t find the hamantaschen container. When I finally vocalized this outloud, I’m pretty sure the response came, “the what?” folllowed by, “oh the jam cookies…we took them downstairs when we watched the movie.” Pretty much, they, like there blueberry crumb bar siblings, were enjoyed.

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Food, Friends

20 mins before the end of the day

I hate my boss.

(moving on)

Tonight I made a cake and the British One kept me company…which is why I am taking so long to post on this lovely Thursday evening. We have multiple people who are leaving my office tomorrow. It’s super sad and I kind of doesn’t know what I’m going to do with myself. (Besides contemplating quitting). But in their honor, I pulled out the best recipe from Deb that I have seen in the long while … not that everything doesn’t look great. So behold:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake.

It’s amazing, make it. Recipe right below, not even a jump :)

Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze
Sky High: Irresistable Triple-Layer Cakes

This cake is INTENSE. Serve it in the thinnest slices possible, and keep a glass of milk handy.

Makes an 8-inch triple-layer cake; serves 12 to 16 (the book says, I say a heck of a lot more)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup neutral vegetable oil, such as canola, soybean or vegetable blend
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanut brittle (I skipped this)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cakepans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide among the 3 prepared cake pans.

3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely. (Deb note: These cakes are very, very soft. I found them a lot easier to work with after firming them up in the freezer for 30 minutes. They’ll defrost quickly once assembled. You’ll be glad you did this, trust me.)

4. To frost the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spread 2/3 cup cup of the Peanut Butter Frosting evenly over the top. Repeat with the next layer. Place the last layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. (Deb note 1: Making a crumb coat of frosting–a thin layer that binds the dark crumbs to the cake so they don’t show up in the final outer frosting layer–is a great idea for this cake, or any with a dark cake and lighter-colored frosting. Once you “mask” your cake, let it chill for 15 to 30 minutes until firm, then use the remainder of the frosting to create a smooth final coating. Deb note 2: Once the cake is fully frosting, it helps to chill it again and let it firm up. The cooler and more set the peanut butter frosting is, the better drip effect you’ll get from the Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze.)

5. To decorate with the Chocolate–Peanut Butter Glaze, put the cake plate on a large baking sheet to catch any drips. Simply pour the glaze over the top of the cake, and using an offset spatula, spread it evenly over the top just to the edges so that it runs down the sides of the cake in long drips. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes to allow the glaze and frosting to set completely. Remove about 1 hour before serving. Decorate the top with chopped peanut brittle.

Peanut Butter Frosting
Makes about 5 cups

10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter, preferably a commercial brand (because oil doesn’t separate out)

1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

8 ounces seimsweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half

1. In the top of d double boiler or in a bowl set over simmering water, combine the chocolate, peanut butter, and corn syrup. Cook, whisking often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the half-and-half, beating until smooth. Use while still warm.

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Friends, Life

two great chats + a pretty bauble

So Tiffany and Company is by far one of those things that I love maybe a tad to much, but clearly in the same way I like boys….”you’re pretty, can I take you home…oh wait, I can’t have you.” Only in the case of T&Co, it’s cause I can’t afford it, but in some cases, it cause all I can think is “who in their right mind would wear this cause you’d get mugged walking down the street.”

But today this pretty bauble caught my eye (maybe bauble is the wrong word), and sorry…you’ll actually have to click the link as Tiffany’s won’t let me copy and paste pictures right now. Just be prepared for $90,000 of sheer beautifulness.

So I sent it to Ann who responded back with the best comment of the day: “um…not quite sure why you sent that to me…if that’s what you want as your gift for our commitment ceremony, we’re going to have to wait till I’ve been in practice for a few years”

That was actually what I was going for. If I can’t find a man to buy me a lovely solitaire ring, my future partner can buy me a bracelet that I’d be scared to wear in public.

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Second best conversation of the day:

My dear friend in London had a lovely gchat message about gay pride it Brighton, England. I couldn’t help the following chat.

Me: All I could think of was Pride and Prejudice when I saw Brighton, and then gay pride…
Steven: Gay Pride and Prejudice!
Me: and all of the sudden it was like P&P in drag

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Friends

A conversation with A

A:  I bought movies today
Me:  Ahhh
A:  Juno, Waitress, Charlie Wilson’s War and 27 dresses. Blockbuster was having a sale
Me:  Very nice
A:  Apparently i’m in a pregnancy mood :)
Me:  Wow
A: That could be taken out of context
Me: Yep, and I’m taking there and running with it
A: Are you?
Me: Yeppers
A: Where are you taking it then
Me: Ummmm,  that I’m still wondering
A: The mocking doesn’t work if it’s not speedy

My mocking is never in vain…:)

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Friends

cupcake follow-up

The cupcake tattoo inspriation came from Law School Friend (who is different from Sketchy Law School/Church Friend). The Sketchy One is a boy…and wouldn’t suggest a tattoo…Law School Friend is a girl…and the suggester of the cupcake.

Law School Friend, you wanted credit…continue to float in the basking cloud of “it was me”

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