Monday, November 23, 2009

Day off.

Today is my first day off in two weeks! It's been a little crazy trying to make my schedule work between the two jobs, but after this week, everything should be fine. I still have some tweaking to do with this week, but oh well. At least I have today, Wednesday and Thursday off right now. I definitely need to down time to relax. Today, I feel like crap. Either I am getting sick, or I am just exhausted and it's catching up with me. Either of those is very likely.

Working at Borders has been fine so far. There are a few people who are just so inept at life, that working with them is kind of a chore. That's why I prefer to work weekdays there, where it's just me and the supervisor, and maybe one other person. The hardest part is learning to deal with everyone else's style. Everyone does things in a different way and I am constantly having to adapt to each person I work with. They have all been there longer, so even if I am more recently trained (and therefore more up-to-date on certain protocols), I still have to follow their lead. My big thing is people not keeping the place clean. There are certain people who don't do any cleaning. They just ring people up, and make drinks, but there's a lot more to the job than that. It's always frustrating, to come into the cafe and take over for someone who has let the trash cans overflow, the coffee all sit for too long, the condiment bar run out of everything.

But then there are the regulars, who you recognize on sight, who know you by name, who tip every time. They make all the bad stuff go away. Then there's the random people who pay and put all of their change in the tip jar (and I'm not just talking about the 3 cents from their $2.97 sale), which can make your night too. I had a lady tip me and my co-worker $8.33 the other night. It was ridiculous and awesome. Needless to say, when their drinks were ready, we carried them out to their seats, which we don't normally do.

Teavana, on the other hand, has no redeeming characteristics, other than the paycheck. The extra $100ish a week, almost makes up for giving up my days off...but there is so much there that is NOT worth it. Like the co-worker I had the displeasure of working with the other day. I have already twittered about what a worthless human being he is, but needless to say, I hate him. He is everything I hate about salespeople. I heard him blatanly lie to customers to make a sale. His method is to just talk and talk and talk and talk and it's awful. He''s awful at public speaking, so his speech is full of colloquialisms, and "um"s, and just utter bullshit. His response to everything I said (much like how I can often be heard to say "Your mom" or "Your face") was "That's racist". I'm sure he thought that was hilarious, but he then continued to talk about how he hates white people, and lumped everyone who was not as dark as him, into that category. To me, that's a form of racism in and of itself. People like him are the reason that people suck.

Anyway, I wanted to post a quick update. Now I am going to watch TV on my internet. For free.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


So this was my first week back at Teavana! It was kind of nice to just be able to jump into the swing of things. Everything felt pretty familiar and there are only a few basic things that have changed in the 11 months since I worked there last. There is no more free tea for making your sales goals. I was sorely disappointed to hear that, but I can understand. When you have people who make their goals almost every day, it's a little expensive to provide them with 2oz. of free tea every day. It adds up quickly. I'm still bummed about it. Now I will just have to buy my tea like everyone else. *sigh*

While I was working the other day, someone from Banana Republic came in and handed us a family and friends discount coupon. It was for this weekend only, so I managed to make it to Old Navy with Ariana today, to use it. It was a 30% off coupon, so I got a really schnazzy wool pea coat (a long, warm one, just in time for winter!) for $45. It's exactly what I wanted, which was something warm AND stylish. I need to have something that's a little more grown up than a hoodie, and this is it!

Today was my day off, and CJ had the day off to. I got called in to work at Teavana, because someone was a No Call/No Show. That's bad news bears for them, but I got a few extra hours in this week, which is fine by me. I don't know when my next day off will be, which kind of sucks, but is kind of awesome at the same time. I like the work and I like the money. I also happen to like my free time....but I can enjoy that after Christmas.

Since we were off this morning, we made plans to head into Baltimore and go to Bookthing. Bookthing is like the greatest thing ever. Basically, this guy takes all book donations, sorts them, and makes them available to the public, FOR FREE! It's all donation and volunteer based and you just walk in and take all the books you want. I picked up The Last of the Mochicans, The Subtl Knife by Philip Pullman (sequel to the Golden Compass, which I LOVE), Cell by Stephen King, Eye of the World by Robert Jordan (I plan to re-read the series once it's all out, so I might as well collect them now), among other things. Mike and Tiffany came with us, and they met us at our place at 9. I had scones waiting for them, so we could all have a quick breakfast before venturing into the city. Not just any scones bacon maple glazed scones. They were pretty yummy, but not stellar. I feel like, with a little tweaking, they could be really awesome. Clearly, there just wasn't enough BACON!

Anyway, I am in the process of making beef stroganoff and then CJ and I are going to relax and watch a movie before bed, so I better get back to it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Today is my first day off in almost a week. I'm actually working full time at the cafe this week. I'm not sure if this will continue, as I was told I wouldn't get full time until Thanksgiving, but we did lose a staff member indefinitely. Plus, this past week, a co-worker's grandmother passed away unexpectedly, so they were out too.

I feel pretty comfortable working in the cafe. I really enjoy being in a cafe/bookstore. The clientele are pretty chill, and are a fairly intelligent bunch. The major complaint I have about my job is being pulled away from the cafe. I don't mind working the registers downstairs, but it's kind of a pain. People are a lot less friendly (apparently they are in need of some caffeine or some happy pills!), and there's a lot more to remember. Plus, I am constantly having to call a manager for this or for that. I'd much rather just be in my own little world in the cafe.

The cafe tends to be pretty slow during the week. We get rushes at certain times, and then it's a little crazy, but I like that kind of crazy. As long as there is someone else there to help me through the rush, it's no big deal. A rush on the register down stairs is a different story. People get pissy, and then when they get to the register, they want to take 20 minutes. Blah.

I've also checked in with Teavana about working there part time. This was before I was working full time hours at the cafe, so things could be a little crazy in the coming weeks. I am not really sure how to balance my schedule between the two, so it'll be a work in progress. I have yet to hear for sure, but I was told I'd be on the schedule for next week.

I'm excited about the tea. Actually, I am kind of excited in general, to be going back to Teavana. As much as commission sales sucked, that store was kind of home to me. I spent a lot of time there, and was quite comfortable. Plus, I LOVE the tea. And they just got a bunch of NEW teas, which is really exciting. is a complete listing of all their teas. Mmmm tea.

Halloween passed pretty uneventfully. We went to an impromptu party at Ariana and Nick's, which was fun. CJ and I both worked that night, and the next morning, so it was a pretty low-key evening for us. We watched other people drink.

That's pretty much about it. We are trying to figure out Christmas plans. My family will be visiting grandparents in up-state New York, so CJ and I are trying to figure out when a good time to get up there and see them would be. Working retail, we probably won't be there Christmas day.

Oh, and as a Border's employee now (even though I technically work for Seattle's Best, I am a Border's employee), I get to peruse all the advanced copy books and take them home for free. I just finished one that I really liked. It's called "Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes". It was about an America woman who was living in London doing a Masters program. She met a frenchman who lived in Paris and they eventually married. It talked about her transition from American woman to ex-pat and all the trials and tribulations of living in a different society. It also talks a lot about food and how that was a major part of her learning to accept her new life. At the end of each chapter are fabulous recipes. I'm a fan. The book is by Elizabeth Bard and it comes out in February.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Summer is really over...

Sunday night, CJ and I had dinner at his parent's house. I like to go because my family is now very far away, so I'll take whatever family time I can get. They really are wonderful people and I enjoy the big family vibe they give off. CJ managed to mention that we are pretty much furniture-less, so they opened their basement storage to us. Our apartment now has two chairs, as they had an extra computer chair. They also had an old drafting table/desk. It's probably a children's desk, and the surface is like soft sandpaper, but it's better than the floor.

I've been home all day while CJ has been at work. Most of that day has been spent in front of the computer, and my back started to complain eventually. So I turned the computer off and moved everything to the desk. My back is much happier now.

Today, I have been thinking about how weird it is to not be in school right now. Maybe if I had a real job and felt like I was getting somewhere in life, it would feel less odd....but working part time as a barista is something I would have done in college. And I am not in college. I actually graduated!

I think the other thing is that, since I was 5 years old, I have associated FALL with SCHOOL. Maybe it's only an SAT comparison to you, but for the last 19 years, I have gone to school every fall. Last year was slightly different, as all my classes were online, but still. I took classes. I read books and took tests. There were textbooks involved. There are no textbooks now, nor tests. And it just feels...strange. Like I'm missing something. It's disquieting.

It's also frustrating to realize that I have spent the last 19 years of my life doing very little other than school. I am not casting any doubt on the value of a good education, but does it really have to take that LONG? Seriously. Yes, learning is a life long endeavor, but we really don't live to be that old. If I am in school for a quarter (or more!) of my life, is it really worthwhile? I mean, as far as being a functioning member of society? Like, it takes 20 years of prep for me to get to the point where I can be a member of the working class, but then you only get another 40 years out of me. Is that enough of a payback?

I'm not saying I would have done it any differently. As you can tell by my nostalgia for tests, I LIKE school. I'm just saying, as far as efficiency goes, is it really worth it?

Anywho, I've just been a bit too bored lately. A lot of tv watching and not much else. I am just really bored right now. I spent several hours this morning looking for jobs online and ended up applying to a bunch of random stuff. Nothing really all that interesting. Some clinical research stuff at John Hopkins and Georgetown, a part time position at a Nature Center. I feel I have kind of exhausted the potential jobs that I am eligible for through so I have had to move on to other search engines. It takes more time tracking down a job that I am qualified for, than anything else.

I just want to have a way to spend my time. That pretty much means a job, a real one. And a car for CJ. Neither of those things has come to fruition yet. Part time barista work is only going to go so far. It won't pay all the bills....and I'd like to actually be saving money since there is a wedding in my future. If I had a two-year plan, it'd be on it.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cross Country Recap

So, I know I didn't really mention the cross country trip at all in my last post. That might be because it wasn't a super exciting trip. We mostly just drove. I stopped briefly in Reno the day we left Oregon, but found a lot of casinos had closed in the downtown area. After that disappointment, we hoped back in the car and continued to drive to Winnemucca, NV. The next night was spent in Laramie, WY which was actually a pretty cute town. After that it was a night in Nebraska, a night in Iowa and then two nights in Columbus and on to Maryland.

As you can see from the pictures, the most exciting thing we did was drive.









Maybe driving wasn't the most exciting part...maybe it was the tire blowout in Nebraska. Or not.

That's our trip in a nutshell. I recommend driving !-80 to anyone in a hurry to get cross country. If you want to actually see exciting things, I recommend taking another route. Cornfields are not that exciting.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


So here it is. My first Maryland blog. Today was the day we finally got internet at our new apartment. We've actually been here for two weeks. I can't believe it's been four weeks since we left Oregon. A whole month has gone by.

What do I have to show for it?

Well... here are some pictures!

At a park we visited in Columbus, OH. I was really amused by the sign. It may just be that it's never really cold enough to warrant a sign like this back home....

My wonderful fiance in front of the pond that the sign was referring to.

The bedroom in the new place, before the bed was set up. It's a huge bedroom with lots of closet space. I love it!

We are on the first floor so we've got these great sliding glass doors that lead out to the back yard of the apartment complex.

A view of our living room under construction. It doesn't look all that different now...but that's mostly because we don't really have any furniture yet.

So, what exactly have I been doing with myself?? How about a few more pictures?

Me at the Maryland Renaissance Festival this past weekend. Ariana loaned me her 'garb' so I was properly dressed for the occasion.

Ariana astride a toy horse on a COSTCO adventure. I love this picture.

Aside from that, I've mostly been spending my time at home, watching the various tv shows I have downloaded on my computer. Getting the internet today was awesome because I got to catch up on all the shows I have been missing out on without internet or cable for the last four weeks!

I also just started a new job. It's nothing too fancy, but it gets me out of the house....I was so bored for awhile. I am working at the Border's cafe in the Annapolis Mall. This is mostly just a temporary, seasonal position. I figured it is going to take awhile to get a 'real' job, so I might as well do something in the meantime. Since I have mostly been looking at government jobs, it may take several months to find something. Frankly, I don't want to lack a paycheck for that long. So I have a temporary job, while I continue to look. The cafe isn't too bad. I've started the training process, which involved sampling every drink they make. I was all kinds of coffeed out yesterday after work. It was kind of awesome.

We also went to yet another wedding, here in Maryland. So many weddings! It's crazy, but I think of it as research. It's a great way to see first-hand what I like and what I don't like. CJ and I still don't have a date yet, but we are still waiting to find out his graduation date and we'll go from there.

Anywho, it's about time for bed. I have work tomorrow!!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Cupcake Cake!

This weekend, I took a few days off of work and headed over to Bend to visit Annie. Saturday was her engagement party, so I helped her do some cleaning in order to prepare for the party. I also spent most of Friday baking, as I was making her cake for the party. Well, actually, cupcake cake. I had made my design based on her color scheme and we came up with the idea for a series of cupcakes made to look like a bouquet of flowers.


As there were several people there who were a specific type of vegetarian who don't eat eggs, I also had to make separate began cupcakes. The cupcakes with leaves on them, were the vegan ones, while the rest were just regular cupcakes. They were all spice cake, with cream cheese frosting. The flowers were all molded (by hand, I might add!) white chocolate.


All in all, it was a lot of work, but a fun party. I definitely didn't work that hard for my graduation party, but that was a daytime BBQ. Night time events are traditionally more fancy...but still. CJ and I aren't even planning on having an engagement party, so...

Now that it's Monday, it's back to work. I have this week and next week and then I am done at PISCO. I am glad to be able to work through mid-September. This way I actually get almost a full paycheck at the end of September. My goal is to have a job by the beginning of October, but I am not sure that will happen.

I have been doing a lot of on-line applications for jobs, but I don't know how effective they will really be. As a recent graduate, I don't feel like I am very hire-able for most of the positions I am finding in scientific fields. Honestly, the point of not going to school for the next year or so is to gain real world experience IN MY FIELD. Getting a mall job is not the job experience I am looking for. I've pretty much given up on normal job search websites for my particular field, or any scientific field in general. I've been mostly focusing on looking at individual organization's websites, and the government job page,

It doesn't feel like things are coming to a close here in Corvallis, but they are. CJ and I are leaving Oregon in exactly two weeks. Ugh. That makes me feel like I should go get more things done, like packing and putting up furniture on Craigslist, and working and oh god....

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Summer Pie

CJ had Tuesday off, so I managed to cut out of lab a bit early. We ran some errands and got some u-pick blueberries. I had been wanting to get some blackberries, as it is the season for them, but I am not sure where to pick them here in Corvallis. There's some down by the park we live near, but I have no idea if they spray them or not. Even if they don't, there's plenty of dogs and homeless people to make you wary of the healthiness of that fruit.

Even so, you can't help but walk into the clouds of fruity perfume those vines let off and not be tempted to eat a berry or two...


But I had to settle for frozen blackberries and fresh blueberries instead. Oh well.

Beth, my co-worker for the summer, had mentioned awhile back that she wanted to learn how to make pie. I offered to let her come watch when I made some, so I finally called her over and set to work. I ended up making a blackberry peach and a blueberry peach pie.


The blackberry pie, as you can see, is going quickly. I only made these Thursday night!


That's the blueberry pie, which has yet to be touched. It's only CJ and I right now though. Ben is coming home from Philly tonight, and his sister Liz will be here sometime before he gets back. I imagine we'll all be eating pie tonight.

I've been working on finishing up my last few art pieces for my independent study. I am working on beadwork projects, done onto a screen printed background.


The first one I finished is a daffodil. I'm mildly pleased with it.


This one is the original design, which is a camas flower. I'm not super happy with it, as the coloring seems more sporadic than I intended it to be. I actually like the photo of it better than I like the actual piece. Since I decided I didn't like the attempt at shading in this one, I've started another. I simply need to finish that one, finish the original sketches for the design work, write an artist statement and I'm done. I should have a degree or two shortly!


Monday, August 10, 2009


On Friday, when we returned from the Coastal Transect, after 11 hours of work, someone had left some GINORMOUS squash on the conference table in the lab. I snagged the world's largest zucchini with thoughts of zucchini bread flitting through my head.

3 loaves later and I've still got more zucchini. It's turned out pretty fabulous too and there's only a little of the last loaf left.

With Ben off in Philly, Brian down in Southern Oregon for the weekend, and CJ at work for 8 hours Saturday, I headed over to Newport to visit Mandy and John. John is a friend from Erik's crew o' pals, and Mandy is a good friend of Will's. I spent a fair amount of time with them and Mandy had asked me to be a bridesmaid at their wedding, when they got engaged about 2 years ago. Well, the wedding is in September, so with a little over a month away, I went to go figure out the details of the wedding and my role in. Also, I got to pick up my dress for the affair. It'll be a beach wedding, so barefoot is a footwear option. The dress is "platinum", but it's more of a steel grey. I actually quite like it. Also, it's a two piece set, so it's a top and skirt, not really a dress.

I'm excited for the wedding because lots of the ol' crew will be there. Plus, CJ and I will be leaving shortly in like the next day possibly, for Maryland. I am not sure how far in to September my current job will go, so as soon as it's done, and as soon as the wedding is over, I'm ready to head out.

We've been working on our itinerary, which includes a day at Lake Tahoe, a possible stop in Columbus, OH to visit friends of CJ's, and then Maryland!

Anyway, I should probably be doing something productive...but it probably wont' happen.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Friday, CJ and I headed up to Crater Lake. I figured that we could take some time off from our respective jobs to go explore. Since, CJ is from Maryland he hasn't experienced the wonders of Oregon yet.

We took a hike, climbed a big ass hill, and at the top, CJ asked me to marry him.


The view.


CJ and I on the way to Crater Lake, at the Rogue River Gorge in Union Creek.


After Crater Lake Friday, we floated the Rogue River Saturday and then headed to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival that night to watch Equivocation. It was pretty fabulous, as all OSF productions are.

A fun-filled weekend was had by all, including the parentals and sismiester. Even the hot tub frogs had a good time! parents hottub has been out of use for awhile and it has apparently turned into froggie playland. The frogs were relocated to the creek and the villagers rejoiced.

Sunday was back to Corvallis and with work looming over all our heads, we made merry with the wine.

Work came and woke me out of my summer vacation dreams and wishes, and I have spent most of the last two days looking through a microscope at microscopic floatsam, with the eventual mussel thrown in for good measure. Ooo, check out those eyespots!

Tomorrow, I am up at 3:20am to make the 4:00am departure. Off to Boiler Bay I go, to check out the high zone and the mid zone. Oh goodie, more mussels! Thursday, we are heading out with a different lab group to help them out, as this minus tide is not so good for what I do. Friday, is our Coastal Transect, which means water samples! I will be heading down to 3 of the more Southern sites. This means a 3 hour drive, first thing in the morning. Hey, I get paid for all 6 hours of that drive time, plus the work we do in between, so I can't complain too much. That will be the day I drink 8 cups of coffee. Hooray for caffeine! I suppose I could just drink some mate, but it doesn't give the same kick that coffee does.

Anywho, enjoy the pics and I am off!

Monday, July 27, 2009

I <3 Blogging

In fact, I think I love blogging too much. Honestly, when everyone was all on the myspace blog kick, I LOVED it. Seriously, I would wake up every morning and read the new blogs over a bowl of delicious cereal. I love cereal, by the way. I also love breakfast. And lunch. And dinner. I should weight like 5000 pounds, but I try to eat healthy, so I don't feel so bad about overeating. And sometimes I run.

CJ and I just got back from a walk. I love this time of year, when the night is actually warm. It makes me want to go outside and play! Suddenly, the dark isn't scary, it's all warm and inviting and the air smells alive! It makes me happy. It's amazing how much more happy I am, now that I don't have school to worry about. I am practically stress-free and it's fantabulous! The job I am doing now is super flexible, which is awesome. I can work when I want and take time off whenever I want, so long as it's not during a tide series. I will say though, the lab work gets pretty boring, so it's rather tempting to not work a full 8 hours a day...

I seriously cannot believe it's almost August already. How did this happen? The last 6 weeks have gone by incredibly quickly. Work pretty much has taken over my life, but I have had a lot more time for which I mean sitting in front of my computer watching reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Veronica Mars. Hey, the WB just posted the 3rd season of Veronica Mars on their website, so now I can watch it for free!!! And here I was, thinking about actually paying for it. It's amazing that you can watch most tv shows for free, on the internet. The only shows I have trouble watching are HBO and Showtime. The one site I found for Trueblood had their hosting site shut I am WAY behind on season 2 and CJ didn't get to finish watching the first season to catch up.

I am FINALLY enrolled in my final art class of my undergraduate career. It only took 6 weeks. Whew. And $950. Awesome. I am trying to find out if I can petition to not pay at least half of the student fees, since I didn't get to use any of the services they are supposed to provide for the last 6 weeks. Still waiting to hear from the Business Office on that. I also got an e-mail saying that I am all good on my Bachelor of Science, so this art class should be it. I am super excited to actually have degrees!

As far as the cooking and whatnot goes...I think I will be making a second blog for food related posts....but I am too lazy to bother with it now... But I do plan to make potato leek soup for lunch tomorrow and tonight's dinner consisted of several glasses of Benton-Lane Pinot Gris with Midnight Moon Goat Cheese with bread and grapes. It reminds me of dinners in European hostels with my favorite lady!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Heading Down South

I will be out of town for work for the next week. Beth, my co-worker, and I are heading down to Charleston, OR for the tide series. I leave in a few hours and get back on Saturday. It kind of sucks to not be at home, but we get paid for a full 8 hours a day while down there (even if we're only in the field for 4 hours) and we get paid a per diem as well, so it's not a bad deal. I just feel bad leaving CJ at home for so long, but he'll be closing every night this week, so it's not so bad.

Brian and I just had a joint birthday party last night. His birthday is next Saturday and mine was about a week and a half ago(and during a tide series), so we decided to split the difference and have a joint party. Most of the people there were Brian's biochem buddies, but it was still fun. Brian definitely puked in the sink, which was probably the ultimate goal of most of the people at the party. The getting him to puke part, not the in the sink part. I am surprised I feel as good as I do, but as drinking is nowhere near a weekly event for me anymore, it doesn't take much to get me drunk so I don't get as hungover these days. Unless I drink 3 bottles of wine. Now that's trouble.

Anyway, I'm off to eat breakfast and pack. Charleston happens to be a pretty laid back really laid back....because no one lives there.... I will be bringing the 10th Kingdom with me, and the Clive Barker book (it's ginormous!) that I borrowed from CJ, and my bead work for my independent study along....I hope it's enough!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Gluten free is the way to be!

So I found out a couple of weeks ago that my little sister is a Celiac. If you read my myspace, I know I already blogged about it, but you'll just have to deal with a recap. Basically, it's a severe allergy to gluten. If people with Celiac's Disease eat gluten, their body has a reaction where it begins to attack the small intestine. Sometimes, people don't know they have it because their symptoms are mild or nonexistant. About 1 in 122 people in the US have it and you are more likely to have it if a direct blood relative has it. As I am not currently enrolled at OSU, I don't really have any medical coverage. Once I finally get signed up for an art class, I can hopefully get the blood test to figure it out.

Either way, I'm definitely into figuring out how to make gluten free foods. It's a pretty big lifestyle change because it can mean no more going out to eat. For some people, even a small amount of gluten (like contamination from being on the same cutting board as flour) can upset their bodies. Thus, with even mild contamination being a problem, it seems a better bet to mostly eat home cooking...but how does one bake without gluten? Good question.

I've found a couple of sites to be pretty helpful... is really great for info about it and what is ok to eat and what is not. There was a baking one I found and sent the link to my mom. I thought I had bookmarked it, but I apparently did not. Fail.

Anyway, I created my first gluten-free dessert the other day. As the family was heading back from the coast, they stopped by my place for lunch. I wanted to have something yummy for Liz to try to show that gluten-free dessert from scratch was do-able.

As I mostly shop at Win-co, my gluten-free flour choices were limited. Turns out all they had was soy flour. I bought some for my experimental dessert figuring it couldn't be too bad. WRONG-O! Soy flour tastes like snow peas. It's like eating leaves in flour form. To say the least, it was not what I wanted cupcakes to taste like.

I have been doing a fair bit of baking and lately, it's been cupcakes more often than not. They're so much better than a whole cake! They've got serving sizes built in!

I decided to turn to my old stand-by, my fabulous Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, pink edition. Now, the pink edition is extra special, but I never use the extra recipes, so the regular red and white checkered cookbook works just fine. I chose to make the one bowl chocolate cake recipe. I had made it a few weeks ago for a co-worker's birthday, with penuche frosting, and they were quite yummy. Also, I figured the best way to cover up any unpleasant gluten-freeness, was chocolate.

I ended up tripling the cocoa powder in the recipe because I continued to taste snowpeas, as I mixed the batter. Also, I had never heard anything about xantham gum at this point, so it was simply a direct conversion of white flour to soy flour.


1 cup soy flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup cooking oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350F.Combine dry ingredients. Add milk, oil and vanilla. Stir until mixed, use an electric mixer if you want, but I used mine for the frosting, so mixing the cupcakes by hand works just fine. Add egg and continue mixing. Put cupcake liners in a muffin pan and pour in batter to 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 20 minutes.

Now, since I knew the soy flour was so awful and I had extra truffle chocoate sitting in the fridge, just begging to be used, I added some of that. I just re-heated the chocolate and put a glob on top of each cupcake before it went in the oven.

Now, since my cupcakes were chocolate (and I hate chocolate cake with chocolate frosting unless it's PURE chocolate and I mean no grocery store frosting, no box cake mixes and all that rubbish, just hardcore cake with hardcore chocolate) I needed to do something other than chocolate frosting. I bought some white chocolate chips and some whipping cream and went to town. Basically, I used about 3/4 cup heavy cream, which I beat with the mixer until I had soft peaks. Add a little sugar to this and you have homemade whipped cream. If, instead, you want delicious white chocolate frosting, add 3/4 cup melted white chocolate. Let the chocolate cool a bit before adding it, but it still needs to be liquidy. Blend with the mixer some more and let cool. Be aware that this frosting is very temperature don't put it on hot cupcakes or it melts right off.

I topped my cupcakes with a blog of this frosting and then another dollop of the truffle chocolate. Overkill on the chocolate? Maybe. Taste like snow peas? Nope. The moral of this story is that enough chocolate covers up any taste.

My sis was ok with the cupcakes. Not a huge fan as they were a little overpoweringly chocolaty....but I figured that was better than snowpeas. My roommate had a guest over to help him plant some pinot noir grapes in the backyard and she approved of the cupcakes. At least, I think she did. She ate two for breakfast one day, so I think that's a good sign. Most everyone liked them and couldn't really tell they were gluten-free. In the end, that was my ultimate goal....the secondary goal was making something my sister would like. She ended up taking home the leftover frosting because she liked it so much. Hey, it was gluten-free too, so Goal 1 and 2 met!

Sorry I don't have any pictures....I'll try to work on that in the future.

Getting Started

Here it is. My very own BLOG. No more myspace blogs for me...well, maybe I'll still blog there, but now I am a real blogger!

Basically, with my impending move to Maryland, I wanted to start a blog that everyone could access, without a myspace/facebook/whatever account. This way, everyone can be as up to date on the goings-on in my life as they want to be.

Also, I really want to start getting in to blogging about baking. Maybe get a few pictures up on (, which is my current blog addiction.

I hope to have some stuff going on here in the near future. Maybe a blog about the work I am doing this summer and a separate blog about baking. We shall see just how blogivated I am.