Tuesday, November 29, 2011

1 Minute Peanut Butter Cake

It could be the many hours I've spent holding a hand mixer while I mix up batters for baking. It could be the solid 45 minutes I spent holding a hair dryer at a 90-degree angle creating this melted crayon masterpiece over the week:

It could also be my total and complete refusal to do any kind of weight lifting or muscle-building push-ups. Whatever the cause, the result is undeniable: my right shoulder, neck, and back hurt. I’m talking chronic nagging pain that won’t go away with a simple stretch or rub. I figured I should take it easy for a few days until my body healed itself, which unfortunately means no heavy lifting and no baking. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Not Your Typical College Football Party...

Michigan 40, Ohio State 34.

I am SO PROUD to be a Michigan Wolverine right now!

Yesterday was a momentous day for Michigan Football:
  • We beat Ohio State for the first time since 2003! (2,926 days since our last victory against Ohio State!)
  • For the first time since I started following Michigan football as a lowly freshman in 2007, Michigan finished the season with 10 wins!
  • For the first time in program history, Michigan won all 8 of their home games!
  • After the big win, everyone rushed the field– something that NEVER happened while I was a student!

Why, oh why did I have to graduate on time? 

I SOOOO wish I could have been there!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Friendsgiving Giant Maize and Blue Cookie

Last year, the weekend before Thanksgiving featured a "family" feast shared between my house and our sister house across the street where some of our best friends lived. We divided up the cooking and joined together on my living room floor for Thanksgiving dinner, complete with all our favorite dishes, many bottles of wine, and a turkey costume.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Movember Manly Cupcake Contest — Mos of the Movies

It is estimated that 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime. Compare this to 1 in 8 women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and the disparity between how much publicity, fundraising, and research is dedicated to each seems obscene — breast cancer receives far more on each of these counts and as of 2010, breast cancer research received double the funding as prostate cancer research.

Given that I participated in Frosting for the Cause — an online organization designed to raise awareness and funding of women’s cancer research — last month, it seems only fair that I do something for the leading male cancer.

Enter the 2011 Manly Movember Cupcake Contest — an online competition to create the tastiest and manliest cupcakes that fit the theme "Mos in Movies," while raising awareness of prostate cancer. I’m so there!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Blueberry Pomegranate Ginger Cupcakes Painted Purple

This week’s GO BLUE post is dedicated to a color bigger than blue — Purple!
…Because it’s made from a combination of blue and red …
…Twice the color …
…Get it?

Earlier in the season, I pledged to bake something Michigan themed every week. While plotting out all of the possible Michigan themed baked goodies I could create, blueberry served well as a go-to ingredient — in theory anyway. As it turns out, blueberries are not blue at all once you bake them into something, and if you heat them on their own, the purple REALLY comes out.

Yesterday, as I browsed the web for recipes (an activity that is fast becoming my Saturday morning ritual), I stumbled upon Paint it Purple, an annual global campaign created in 2010 by The Pixel Project to raise the profile of the USA’s National Domestic Violence Awareness Month worldwide (description copied verbatim from the website). The campaign has since been extended into November to account for November 24: the International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women and the 16 Days Against Gender-based Violence.

The project and the message — it's time to stop violence against women together — really touched me, and I knew immediately I needed to become involved. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day Very Berry Crostata

Weeks ago I made a rustic free-form berry tart, but never shared the recipe because it was ugly. Delicious, but a visionary disaster.

Still, because it tasted so great, I haven't been able to accept the idea of keeping it off this blog just because it didn't present a nice photo-op. I'm still working on (drastically) improving my food photography skills, so why not share the good, the bad, and the really @#%$ ugly during this learning period?

With all the buzz about Veteran's day going on in my office this week, I thought now would be as a good a time as ever to share the ugly and tasty Berry Crostata I've been withholding.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies Gone Bananas

One of the perks of living with my aunt and uncle is the abundance of ready-to-eat foods. K-cups for instant coffee, frozen meals from Trader Joes, take out meals from Whole Foods, and plenty of fruits and veggies for snacking. I've gotten into the habit of eating a banana for breakfast every morning, and accordingly, have not seen a single banana in the house turn brown... until now.

TWO very spotted bananas sat on the counter staring at me yesterday, quietly chanting: "Bake Me. Bake Me."

Naturally, I couldn't resist the temptation. At first impulse, I thought banana bread or banana muffins, but then I decided to be a bit more creative and make banana cookies. Totally original right?

Wrong - the Internet is filled with banana-based cookie recipes. So, I picked one, adapted it slightly, and set to work baking these Banana Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies - a cakey and semi-nutritious delight!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

GO BLUE-berry Pancake Breakfast

After we moved out of the dorms and into our first apartments, houses, or sorority houses sophomore year, my freshman friends and I started a tradition that would continue throughout college of getting together one Game Day Saturday a year for a pancake breakfast. I was thinking of them this morning (noon) as I made these Lemon-Scented GO BLUE-berry Pancakes.

After perusing ALL my old photos for a worthy one to post, I have to ask my freshman friend buddies: Why are there NO photos from any pancake breakfast!?!

I've been forced to resort to a select few embarrassing photos from freshman year - consider it punishment for lack of more recent photos, and a few photos of our second favorite activity after eating pancakes - partying.

And, as an apology for posting these images, here's a montage from my pancake breakfast this morning... OK, it was after noon.