Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Things I am thankful for this year:
  • Friends and Family that I can always count on to be there :)
  • Acceptance into the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia to do my Masters in Biotechnology!! WHOOP!
  • An amazing last year of college, graduating and learning so much..
  • Being able to be a part of a research group, my office group, the ESL program, and The Health Museum!
  • God - for never failing me.. for always watching over me, and knowing (always!) when the right moments are <3
  • A new year, a new beginning, new adventures, and new stories!

What are you thankful for this year, and what are you excited for the coming year?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Halloween Cookies!

So it has been awhile since I last posted something, but I wanted to share the recipe for these scrumptious chocolate cookies that I made for Halloween.. (I know, I know, 1 month too late!)

I found these among the Woman's Day online magazine article titled, "Chocolate Boo Cookies", and you can get the recipe here!

In case you're not up to clicking things, here's the cut and copy version (I tweaked it some to fit my taste!)
Chocolate Cookies: Good for any Scrumptious Occasion!
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1⁄2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1⁄2 tsp salt
21⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
(Optional: Orange Zest! <--Pei's extra oommphh!)
1. To make Dough: Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. On low speed, beat in cocoa powder and salt until blended. Gradually beat in flour until blended. Add in orange zest and gently incorporate it into the dough. Press dough into a flat disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.
2. Heat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. On a floured surface or silicone baking mat, roll out dough to 1⁄3 in. thick. Use cookie cutter to cut out shapes. Place shapes 1⁄2 in. apart on baking sheets.
3. Bake cookies 15 minutes or until firm. Cool on wire rack 2 minutes, then remove to rack to cool completely. Reroll, cut and bake remaining cookie dough scraps.
Tips on making these cookies:
-Maybe it was just me, but they got soft really quick, so you might think of refrigerating the dough between baking, and only rolling out small amounts at a time..
-The ones I made were crunchy, just the way I like 'em! With a hint of orange zest, but you could also put in orange juice to give it more of a kick!

Monday, November 2, 2009

"Perfect in Every Way Possible"

Dear Readers,
Halloween this year
definitely made up for all those missed Halloweens! Wheee! I had a blast of a time, and the best part of all of it is, my costume was 70% homemade! :D

This year, my friends and I made plans to go to Austin to soak in the Halloween craziness that is 6th Street! I decided, Why not make it a good costume seeing how I haven't made much of an effort for the past years.. so my choices came down to these 3:

a) Sexy Scientist (kitten heels, lab coat dress-like, and test tubes)
b) Chef (wooden spatula, chef's hat, full apron)
c) Sexy 50's Housewife <----------- DING! DING! DING!

So I set about looking for things I could make:
Cutest Cherry print fabric from Joann's
White ruffle fringe (What is it called??!)
Beige fabric to make fabric peony brooch
Pearl necklace + Pearl bracelets
Cute black skirt with pocket (That I had already sewn in the last sewing project!)

It took about half a day sewing my apron, including pockets perfect for keeping my wallet and phone! (And as a 50's wife, I had to have my lipstick at hand! ;D)

I also copied a template for the peony flower brooch from Martha Steward's website! I frayed the edges to give it a more vintage-y look and pinched several petals and sewed it together to give it more depth and texture .. it turned out so well for a first timer! And I sewed on a super cute button to go with it, definitely proud of the finished product :)

I also found a string of craft pearls from Joann's for cheap and strung it onto an elastic chord, and even though it didn't go all the way around, I had a collared shirt to hide the empty space!

Enough talk, here are pictures!

-Things I love about sewing: My jar of threads, my awesome 50's apron, my felt donut pincushion, my jar of slowly accumulating buttons!, and my Peony fabric flower brooch <3>

Fabric Peony Brooch.. Ahhh! I love it so!

And last and not least.. the whole ensemble! I sneaked my brother's SLR camera again to take my pictures tee hee! I'd have to say, my outfit was tastefully classy, and none of that "scantily clad costumes" :P <--- Although, I got a very weird comment from a friend of a friend suggesting I wear that more often when I'm married?? hahah! My friends had some pretty kewl costumes as well! :)

Irene- forest nymph, Melvin- Popeye (we saw 5 of them that night!), Jon- creepy zombie, Benedict- devil, Belinda- hula girl, Nishan- the Apple dude, Emily- Avril Lavigne-esque, Albert- a tree (I thought his was the funniest, and definitely the most unique!), Prabu- beat up guy, Gaya- witch, Andrew- a Spartan, and Jennifer- Rennaissance girl?

Yay for the best Fall weekend!