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 ♥

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S’more Bites

Before you say anything, I know I’m a slacker. I ended up getting sick this week, and then of course it was homecoming and I was very tied up with lots of wholesome, school sanctioned events.

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Don’t worry, there will be a bonus post right after this to make up for my absence last Sunday. I know you’re all terribly angry and missed me deeply. Another reason that I’m posting a second thing though, is that this one is going to be pretty short. Seriously, I picked a recipe that was so easy that there isn’t much to say about it.

This week’s recipe was S’more Bites. If you’d like to see the original pin, feel free to visit my board just for this blog! 🙂 It has all of the pins I’ve posted about, and also some ideas for new ones that I might do. If you’re the curious type that liked to try to find their Christmas presents before Christmas, then you might also be the type who might be interested in this link:

http://www.pinterest.com/paranormal627/for-the-blog/

Mostly I’m just desperate for new followers…ANYWAY S’mores Bites. Super cute and super easy. Here’s a picture of all of my ingredients. I made the mistake of buying semisweet chocolate chips instead of milk chocolate, and that was the downfall of these guys. There’s always a downfall when I do something, I think. Also, don’t worry if you don’t have a scruffy, marshmallow-loving dog. You can still do the recipe without one. Actually, you might be better off -____-

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So as you can see, you only really need three ingredients. First, you melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, and then you crush your graham crackers. Side note: have a better method than me. I had this really clever video of me pounding graham crackers in a little plastic baggie with my fists but I would have to post it separately and it’s not worth it. Just use some sort of utensil or meet an unfortunate fate. After you have your melted chocolate and your safely crushed crackers, here’s a pictorial description of what you do. ImageImageImage

And that’s it for me today, guys! Last but not least, I’ll post my top five pins for this week, and be on my way 🙂 Don’t forget to come back in a little while for your bonus post. It’s not autumn-themed, but I think you’ll like it!

Stay Wonderful♥

~Nicole

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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