ATK: brownies test 1


i gave the america’s test kitchen brownies a go, since my sister liz asked for all the recipes they had on the matter (she’s on a brownie kick, i think). weirdly enough, the brownies are at the end of the cookie section, so we’ll say this is a part of the original cookie test.

the recipe had no weird things, i’m happy to say. it did call for two kinds of chocolate, but i was ok with that. the only adjustment i made was it called for 1-1/4 cups of sugar, but i stopped at 1 cup because i used semi-sweet chocolate instead of bittersweet (the recipe called for either).

ATK has three kinds of brownies (ok, 4, but the fourth is a low-fat version, and who wants that??): classic, chewy, and fudgy. i made the fudgy. they turned out dense and delicious, but i’m going to try the chewy version next in hopes that it will be even better.

ok, ATK did call for one weird thing. you made the brownies in an 8″ square pan, but you got SIXTY-FOUR brownies out of it???? come on, ATK. no way on earth people are cutting up 1″ brownies. i had a difficult time getting 16 brownies out of the pan.

point: up in the air. it was good, but i think the recipe i had previously was a little better. however, mine are more chewy. i’ve got to compare apples to apples i think.


last night i was nice and comfily asleep, lost in land of zzz’s when out of the corner of my dream-state hearing i note a weird cat noise.

eh, nothing of it. back to zzz land. nate, however, gets up and investigates. suddenly:

“KATE” – i look at the clock. it’s 3:30 a.m.

he runs into the bedroom, throws on the light. “the front door is wide open! that black stray cat was inside and i nearly pooped* my pants! ralf’s missing!”

i jumped out of bed, threw on sweatpants and sweatshirt, and hurried outside. chasey was patrolling the entryway like a cat sargeant, and i thought i saw sophie out of the corner of my eye.

grabbed flashlights on the way out and started calling for ralf. it wasn’t a long search – nate found him halfway to the intersection and hauled him inside. his tail was poofy but still curled up like a pig’s tail; it made for a weird combination.

no sign of sophie, so we did a house search for her, and she was under the bed, hiding.

so, i tried to get back asleep but was all keyed up, and i probably didn’t get back to actual sleep until probably 4:30-5.

i woke up for the morning groggy and headachey, but hauled myself out of bed. sophie, who normally is all up in my grill in the mornings, was nowhere to be seen (still under the bed).


today, i came home, and the first thing nate yelled when i walked in the door was HOME INVASION. chasey had puked on the bed twice during the day and was making attempts to puke all day. ralf was back to his usual dopey self. sophie was out from under the bed, and she hopped up in my lap. i started petting her, when i noticed a clot of something above her left eye. she had a gouge above her eye and a scratch below her eye: that stray cat almost took sophie’s eyeball out.

i see who the real hero is here.**


*he didn’t say “pooped”

**it’s not ralf.

title goes here

today my dad came over and dropped off some rhubarb clippings and chives he got from his friend chris callahan. rhubarb was something i always wanted while i was in st. joe, and something that i could have always gotten from my grandma, but never did. i don’t know what it is, but i am putting in plants like a demon this year. i love peonies, so i bought peonies and stuck them in the ground this spring. if i’d moved in earlier, they would’ve gone in last fall. (except the tree. haven’t gotten a tree yet. but i dont’ feel too badly about it since i have that line of trees at the back.)

maybe because i know what i would be missing out on? i know if i had the money, a deck would surely be on the table this summer. i waited so long to do certain things in st. joe that i feel like anytime i spend waiting is just time wasted at this point.

so, in goes the rhubarb. this fall, in goes some more peonies as well as a metric ton of tulips. because why wait for stuff that makes a person happy.


nate and i have only been on one real trip since we’ve been together – in 2010 to go to branden’s wedding in utah.

so, i deemed it necessary that on our 10th anniversary year we should actually do something and go somewhere. naturally, i requested a south dakota travel guide. i just flipped through it tonight and got all excited. it would happen next year, but i want to go now! the only thing we really need to decide on is what time of summer we should go. i’d rather not go when it’s going to be uber busy, but i don’t want to miss anything. (last time we were there together it was september, and a lot of the places were closed for the season.) while i wouldn’t mind camping, i think i’m going to look into some of the custer state park cabin type things. oooh ooh oooh!! shouldnt think about this too much!

i quit again

i tried to read “infinite jest”. i got 150 pages or so in. i couldn’t do it. sorry to john green. sorry to all those philosophical types. it was just so dang boring. on to HP. happy, boring slate author?

ice creeeeaaaammm

i ordered an ice cream maker.


for father’s day, i made homemade vanilla ice cream. once again, i followed america’s test kitchen’s recipe, and boy did they deliver (i know i’m deviating from the cookie script, but you’ll have to deal with it). that might’ve been the tastiest ice cream i’ve ever had.

icrecipethe weird thing in this? a couple. first, it calls for DEVIL’S SYRUP. ugh. not impressed, ATK. so i replaced it with lyle’s golden syrup, which i found at hy-vee! then, after you cook your cream, sugar, and eggs all up, you freeze one cup of the mixture and just put the rest in the fridge, which apparently helps with keeping the ice cream smooth.

custardthis morning i woke up and churned the ice cream. what a drag. i grabbed my parents’ ice cream churner, which i think they used once. concocted a bit on the drill to churn it for me, but it still took forever. plus, i used up all my ice and half a box of salt.

(that alone would get me to buy an ice cream maker.)

BUT the result was FANTASTIC. five stars – would make again. point ATK!

next i’m going to try chocolate ice cream, and i’m hoping to make some less calorie-laden desserts, like maybe some sorbet, sherbert, or ice milk?? not sure. we’ll have to see.

but, considering that the grocery in town only carries two little pints of ben and jerry’s for its devil’s-syrup-free ice cream, i’d say an ice cream maker might be an investment.

in other news, i’m going to have to start running more often.



straight, white, female

ran across this list of 100 things straight white females “love”. i thought i’d do a line-by-line analysis.

  1. Greek Yogurt
    depends on the greek yogurt. are you talking about that crap chobani? then absolutely not. greek gods’ nectar OF the gods? then absolutely yes. unfortunately, most people are talking about crappy chobani.
  2. Talking about their feelings
  3. Oatmeal
  4. Christmas
    who doesn’t like christmas??
  5. Wooden boxes
  6. Anthropologie
    the only reason i know what this is is because one of my straight white female friends talk about it. i doubt they make things that fit me. we’ll go wtih no.
  7. Beards
    ok, i’ll give you beards 🙂
  8. Instagram
    i use it for work, but don’t see the appeal.
  9. Farmers’ Markets
    YES bring me to a farmers’ market!!
  10. Talking about helping the poor
    uh, why not help the poor?
  11. Teaching
  12. Renewable Energy
    well, this only makes sense. yes.
  13. Froyo
    just give me ice cream.
  14. Pretending to be interested in sports
    no. i don’t feign interest.
  15. Getting UTIs
    who LIKES this??? yuck.
  16. Boots
    the boots i like are probably not the kind of boots the article is really talking about. so we’ll say no just on that assumption.
  17. Early-morning, weekend yoga classes
    early-morning anything gets the ol’ heave-ho from me.
  18. Their space
    yes please
  19. Chardonnay
    it’s okaay. not my first choice. meh.
  20. Nutella
    yes i’ll take nutella.
  21. Breast cancer awareness
    if it’s soley susan g komen, then no.
  22. Going to the bathroom as a group
    noooo gross
  23. Bravo
    the channel? i don’t get it.
  24. Cake
  25. Weird, fuzzy socks
    i don’t know about weird, but i like fuzzy socks.
  26. Reading celebrity magazines during Sunday football games
    i don’t read celebrity mags and i don’t have sunday football games on any tv near me.
  27. Other people’s baby photos
    NO (unless they’re hannah)
  28. Cheese boards
    just the board? or does the cheese come with it? if it comes with cheese, shove that down my gullet.
  29. Texting
    no necessarily.
  30. Ellipticals
    i was hoping this was going to be ellipsis. alas…
  31. Christmas movies
  32. Homemade jam
    not a huge fan of jam
  33. Risotto
    depends on the risotto! if it’s yummy, then yes!
  34. Crepes
  35. Brunch
    breakfast at 11 a.m.? i’ll take it.
  36. Ryan Gosling
  37. Titanic
  38. Stating the obvious
  39. Toms
    NO NO NO
  40. Cider
    YES YES YES as long as it’s HARD cider. regular cider, no.
  41. Pumpkin-flavored beer
    it’s ok. rather have pumpkin bread.
  42. Kale
  43. Rom-coms
    they’re ok
  44. Puppies
    mmm, slobbery, jumpy, stinky puppies? no. maybe from 10 feet away.
  45. Wine bars
  46. Pictures
  47. Moscow Mules
    i have no idea what this is
  48. Complaining about cold weather
    that’s me!
  49. Mittens
    i wear mittens at 50º, so yes.
  50. Hooking up with multiple dudes in same group of Bros
    that’s kinda weird…
  51. Sweet potato fries
    mmm, these are good. especially with blue cheese dressing.
  52. Reusable grocery bags
    when i remember them!
  53. Dressing on the side
    no, slather that dressing all over that salad.
  54. Financial stability
    what’s that? hahah
  55. Obeying traffic laws
    i speed, but otherwise obey most all other laws. not sure what that makes this.
  56. Human rights
    why is this even on here?
  57. Throw pillows
    they’re ok.
  58. The worst-case scenario
    well, things oculd always be worse, right??
  59. Not being able to sleep at night
    yuck, i HATE that. who would love that?
  60. Credit-card debt
    and who loves CC debt? seriously – this article is messed up.
  61. Occasionally smoking pot
    what’s pot?  (LOL)
  62. Mosaic tile
    not a huge fan.
  63. Complaining about headaches
    no. wish they’d go away.
  64. Umbrellas
    i do carry one. i wouldnt’ say i LOVE it, but who wants to get soaked during a rainstorm?
  65. Diet Coke
  66. Sending other girls pictures of dresses they are thinking about buying
  67. Cake pops
    yummy! yes!
  68. Hefeweisens
    don’t know what this is.
  69. Refilling the ice tray
    ugh, i hated refilling the ice tray when i had one. such an easy thing to make a huge deal out of.
  70. Stemless wine glasses
  71. Cleaning up during parties
    clean up BEFORE the party.
  72. Prosecco
    too sweet for me!
  73. Not taking public transportation
    if i had the option of public transport, i’d probably take it.
  74. Being sick
    once again, who likes being sick?
  75. Claiming they aren’t into sexting
    this is dumb. seriously. who wrote this drivel.
  76. The idea of having a fireplace
    ok, so this is not so dumb.
  77. Funfetti
  78. Organizing shit
    when the muse strikes, i’ll clean/organize, but mostly messes are ok.
  79. Spring
    YESSSSSS sprummer!
  80. Venting
    sometimes. but most times no.
  81. Their birthday
  82. Group photos
    they’re ok.
  83. Pic stitch apps
    i’m assuming this is a panorama app or something. can’t you just use the panorama option on your phone? this seems redundant.
  84. Posting pictures to Facebook of the DC monuments that are on their jogging routes
    what? i don’t jog in DC. i took a pic of the fencepost in front of a field of purple flowers once on my run, but it sure wasn’t a monument.
  85. Starting a new chapter in their life
    change is good! but sometimes the same odl same old is just fine.
  86. Charity events
    they’re ok. they generally want money i don’t have though.
  87. Beyonce
  88. Trying new recipes
  89. Tapas
    i’ve never had tapas. anthony bourdain thinks they’re ok, so i guess i could say yes.
  90. Planning to do stuff outside
    outside is AWESOME!
  91. Changing out of their heels and into flip-flops at weddings
    if you had to stand around in 4″ heels at a wedding, you’d love this too, dudes.
  92. Wineries
  93. Kate Spade sales
    too expensive
  94. Throwback Thursday
    TT is ok…
  95. Koozies
    ….can koozies? then yes?
  96. Seeing deer
    deer are overrated and everywhere. and when you see them bounding across the road right in front of your car, you get a whole different view of them.
  97. Food blogs
    i curate one? so therefore yes?
  98. Half marathons
    not yet!
  99. Maxi dresses
  100. Peonies
    yes. 🙂

business venture?

i’m thinking of selling macarons online. many people do it on etsy and get a pretty penny. the cost of making them is kind of steep, but people sell them for $18/dozen or thereabouts. would you buy macarons for that? i think that’s how much the crappy ones at caribou cost. hmmm.