Day 10: Reindeer Peanut Butter Cookies! (Kind Of)

So, you can really only wait so long for the perfect conditions to make things. I thought I had enough crafts and recipes prepared to get me through the end of the semester, but I was wrong due to several factors. Some were my own poor planning, and some were the fault of the weather and my university.

First of all, I checked off materials that I didn’t actually have, so I thought I had the right supplies to make a bunch of things but I actually didn’t. Second of all, it was finals week and I fried my brain by accident so that was another problem. THEN on top of that, classes were cancelled on Tuesday, which was supposed to be the first day of finals. My school has been running since 1871 and somehow they seemed to have never experienced snow during finals week, because they did not have any backup plan in place at all.

Gee, snow in the middle of December? How odd.

They decided to just push all of those Tuesday exams to SATURDAY, which screwed everyone over. Now that that nightmare is over for me (my professor didn’t want to be there on a Saturday either, so she found a way to hold it on Thursday) I can look back and laugh at the hysteria it caused. So, even though today is the 13th, I’ll be doing day 10. Hopefully I’ll be able to catch up in a day or two. Don’t worry, even if I don’t post every single day, there will still be 25 crafts and recipes by Christmas!

Anyway, since we had a snow day Tuesday, my friend Lindsay and I decided to bake peanut butter cookies. I’d had the mix sitting in my room for weeks, hoping to be able to do this recipe:

Reindeer cookies! So cute. Gotta get the kiddo to help me with these :)

However, I couldn’t seem to get a hold of a freaking bag of M&Ms. So, we just made a regular batch instead of these cute little Rudolphs. If you’d like to make those though, you’ll need

A bag of peanut butter cookie mix (unless you know how to bake, then by all means make better ones than the ones Betty Crocker can make for you)

If you get the Betty Crocker mix I used, you’ll also need water, vegetable oil and one egg. I was informed that I could get a small little package of eggs at Walgreens instead of having to buy a dozen, but that was proven to be false. I bought a dozen eggs just to use one. I also bought like, a quart of vegetable oil to use like, 1/3 of a cup. AND OF COURSE, when Lindsay and I got to the kitchen, THERE WERE ALREADY EGGS AND OIL IN THERE. I can’t get over this kitchen. It’s a new surprise every time.

You’ll also need chocolate covered pretzels. You can choose to make them yourself, but I strongly suggest taking the easy way out and buying Flipz, these ridiculously addicting little bitches.

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Finally, you’ll need M&Ms for the eyes and nose.

The first step is to preheat your oven, and you should probably make sure there’s nothing in it, because if there is something in it, you’ll probably come close to setting your dorm building on fire, which Lindsay and I now know from experience. We were forming the dough and all of a sudden she goes “it smells really weird in here,” and I was just like: “it’s probably just some leftover crumbs burning at the bottom of the oven or something.” So I opened the oven and there was a giant empty pot in there that definitely was not supposed to ever go in an oven. And of course, there are no oven mitts in this kitchen, but there is a little box labelled “dirty towels.” Guess how many options we had?

I was very lucky to have Lindsay with me 🙂 She took charge. She said to me: “Don’t you do this like, every week?” And I said “umm yeah but people don’t read my blog because I’m good at cooking. They read it to laugh at how bad I am at cooking.”

Anyway, then we started making the cookies. I was using a whisk (actually I was pretending that one of those electric mixer insert thingies was a whisk) and Lindsay was looking at me with this pained look on her face. I said, “do you wanna do it?” and she goes “This is how we make cookies in my house,” and proceeded to show me this, which worked a lot better.

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When the dough was completely mixed, and we’d gotten out as many little balls of dry dough as possible, we started forming the cookies on a nonstick pan. If you’re doing the reindeer version, you’ll want to make them sort of egg shaped, like in the picture. If you choose to make regular ones like we did, make little balls and flatten them with a fork so you get that cute criss-crossy thing. In the end, they only had to go in the oven for about 8 minutes. Somehow though, when we took them out, they were burnt! And they pretty much tasted like the pan we baked them on, so that’s not good. Maybe we should have put something on the pan instead of just putting the cookies right on it, but I don’t really know. I can’t even make cookies out of a box, how pathetic. I shouldn’t be trusted in a kitchen. But, practice makes perfect I guess, and as long as I keep doing this, I’ll be getting plenty of practice!

Maybe one day you won’t be able to laugh at me and my cooking/crafting skills. But then you’ll probably stop reading so I guess this is kind of a lose-lose for me. Oh well. Here’s the final product. They look pretty good, but they tasted kind of like burnt metal.

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Stay tuned for a Day 11 post! Hopefully it’ll come out tonight, but it might be tomorrow. Since I’m home for break now, it should be easier to post! See you soon 🙂

Love,

Nicole♥

Baked Apple Bowls

Hi guys!

So the idea was this: Baked apple bowls filled with ice cream. Here’s the pin

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Looks cute, right? Well it’s a lie. Those apples in that picture are most definitely not baked, because if they were, they’d look like mine, wrinkly and gross.

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The instructions simply say: “hollow out apples, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, bake at 350 for 20 minutes.” So that’s what I did, and I got this. And after I spent like 20 minutes hollowing out apples for zero reason and then waited another 20 minutes for them to be done baking, I went to the freezer for my ice cream and saw that it looked like this:

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Soooo yeah. Lets just hope I do better next week. Honestly, I just threw everything in the garbage. If I were to try this atrocity again, I would really just keep the apples raw. They look raw in the original pin anyway, and if the apples were refrigerated it would keep the ice cream cold for a little bit instead of making it melt. So there’s what I got out of this project. Baking apples makes them soft and un-bowl-like. And you should probably check to see if the freezer is cold before you put things in it.

Anyway, judging by the fact that you’re back this week, I guess you made it through Halloween relatively disaster free. Natural disasters, that is. If your school is anything like mine I can only imagine what kind of shenanigans went on. The next challenge, for me at least, is getting into the Thanksgiving spirit when I’m SO READY for Christmas. I went to the mall on Halloween, yes, literally October 31st, and this is what I saw:

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Like, are you freaking kidding me? I mean don’t get me wrong, I love it. But holy crap it wasn’t even November yet. No wonder its so hard for Thanksgiving to get any love. But not to worry, I have some ideas for the coming weeks that’ll get you in a turkey and cranberry sauce mood 🙂 And then holy crap, you better look out because there will be so much Christmas you won’t even be able to handle it.

GET EXCITED!!

~Nicole ♥

Strawberry Banana Quinoa Muffins

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These little bitches are Strawberry Banana Quinoa Muffins. Have you ever cooked with quinoa? Do you even know how to SAY quinoa? Because it’s like KEEN-wah which blew my mind a little bit. Everything about cooking with quinoa blew my mind a little bit.

The pin took me to this page: http://www.poorgirleatswell.com/2012/02/recipe-strawberry-banana-quinoa-muffins.html which is where you’ll find the recipe. It’s a really cool website where you can find ways to eat well on a tight budget. Each recipe has a little tag on it that says how much it costs to make per serving. These muffins are $.50, which is pretty awesome when you think about it. If you think about it in real life terms though, it’s not that awesome. Fresh fruit isn’t cheap, and neither is quinoa.  But, I guess if it makes you breakfast for 12 days straight, it’s a good deal.

However, cooking with quinoa was not as easy as I expected.

For those of you who are not familiar with quinoa, it seems to have exploded in popularity lately. According to Wikipedia, it’s a “grain-like crop” with a little over 200 calories per cup when it’s cooked. People put it in everything lately, from salads to chicken to breakfast foods like this. It’s gluten-free, so that’s always a plus for a lot of people, but it’s also regarded as having a striking overall nutrient richness. It has a lot of qualities of grains, but it has much more protein and more of the good fats than wheat, oats, barley, etc. In this particular recipe, the cooked quinoa was meant to add a moist texture.

Okay, so I didn’t worry about using quinoa flour, I just used regular all-purpose flour. The rest of the ingredients are pretty self-explanatory EXCEPT COOKED QUINOA! I horribly misjudged this situation and it was the downfall of these poor muffins.

It wasn’t my fault though 😦 I had to separately look up how to cook quinoa, because apparently the girl who writes the Poor Girl Eats Well blog keeps some sort of quinoa stockpile in her house so she doesn’t have to cook it every time. Since I was a first timer, I googled it and here’s what you should do:

 

How to Cook Quinoa

  1. Rinse it: If you’re me, and you don’t have a “fine-mesh sieve,” you’ll try to use a paper towel to catch the bits that fall through the bottom. They’re supposed to be tough when wet, right? Wrong. That paper towel will rip, and your quinoa will go down the drain. And on the counter. And the floor. You need a “fine-mesh sieve” which is just a strainer with super tiny holes.
  2. Cook quinoa in water: The ratio is 2 cups of water for every cup of quinoa. Wait for the water to boil, stir in the quinoa, turn the heat down low, and then wait for the liquid to be absorbed. You’ll know it’s done because it’ll look like it’s “popped.” It should be about 15 minutes, which would’ve been nice to know.
  3. Fluff it: I don’t think you really have to do this, especially since you’re mixing it into a batter. The directions I’m looking at (which are from eatingwell.com, by the way) say “quinoa loves a little pampering.” So you might be okay if you skip that.

 

NOW the most important thing to do here is MEASURE THE QUINOA AGAIN!! A cup of dry quinoa is not the same as a cup of cooked quinoa since it “popped” while it was in the water. This is a dumb thing to have to mention, but I didn’t think of it so I’m hoping there’s someone out there who’s as stupid as me.

Please at least pretend for me.

So, measure out a cup of your cooked quinoa, and just put that in the mixture with the rest of the ingredients. With the extra, start a stockpile like the author of Poor Girl Eats Well. Or feed it to your dog or your bird or the deer in your backyard. Or throw it out.

Long story short, this recipe may have worked pretty well if I was a little bit more experienced or was more aware of what I was doing. I may try this recipe again, but probably not until the quinoa nightmare wears off a bit. My mom is still finding little pieces of it all over the kitchen. I don’t even know how it got to some of the places we’ve seen it.

I hope this helps you if you come across this pin, or even if you’re trying to cook quinoa for some other recipe. And give me some feedback! This is my first real post, aside from my little intro one, so let me know what you think! I’m always going to be looking to know if I’m explaining things clearly, if I’m as funny as I think I am, or if there’s anything in particular you want me to try next. I appreciate any support you’re willing to give me, and I can’t wait to hear from you!

Stay wonderful ♥

~Nicole

Oh Shit, I’m Really Doing This…

Hey guys!

I’m Nicole, and this is my BRAND NEW blog, Pinebriated. I know it’s not much to look at yet, but hopefully with time it will get better!

So, I know you’ve all heard of Pinterest by now. On the off chance that you haven’t, here’s a short description: It’s a magical world of perfect hair, nails and bodies, perfect nutritious dinners, things to wear to the dinner plans you made because you spent all day pinning recipes, and crafts that look store bought. The “pinners,” are people like you and I who have high hopes of becoming the perfect (wealthy) domestic engineer using only a hot glue gun and a trip or two to Goodwill. A pinner will scroll endlessly through her feed, looking for “pins” to “repin” onto her “boards.” You’re supposed to think of it as a virtual bulletin board. So, when a pinner “repins” a “pin” it’s like making a copy of something you saw and loved on someone else’s bulletin board, and putting it on your own. You can have more than one board, and you can categorize them. For example, I have a board for yummy recipes, another for clothes I love, and yet another for funny pictures. I have 35 boards total, and over 7,000 pins! It’s not stopping any time soon 😉

So, what’s the point of Pinebriated? There are so many women out there who sit and stare at their pins thinking: “I’m never going to ACTUALLY do any of these things.” That may be because they don’t have enough time or don’t want to put in the effort to try to cook these recipes or make these crafts or try new workout routines just to have them not come out the way they were expecting. That’s where I come in! I’ll be the test subject that tries everything out, and I’ll let you know how it ended up for me.

Let me tell you right now:

I AM NOT AN EXPERT CHEF

I AM NOT A FITNESS ENTHUSIAST

I AM NOT AN EXPERT SEAMSTRESS OR CRAFTER

I’m literally just a college kid. Everything I take on will be simple enough to do in my dorm room or my building’s main kitchen. I’m never going to throw a recipe at you that’s full of stuff you’ll need to hunt down at your local Bulgarian Organic Market. I don’t have the time or money for that, and I know you don’t either, so no worries! I know you and I are going to become great friends, and you’re going to love what you find on this blog 🙂 

Now, let me close with a quote coming directly from my “Words” board:

“Earth without art is just ‘eh.'”

Stay wonderful ♥

~Nicole