I’m Wafflein’

Tonight’s Southern Living Sunday recipe is Oatmeal-Honey Waffles!! Although I really have to stop making waffles because my mom’s are just too good and I’m left feeling disappointed.  Sadly, it was the same story tonight.  The waffles were fairly easy to make, although they did require some heavy machinery like a food processor for the oats and an electric mixer to beat up some eggs. Side note: Another bright side of my parents living overseas, besides the great travel opportunities, is I received some great stuff to ‘babysit’ while they’re in Italy.  Take, for example, this mother of all waffle makers:

I feel spoiled 0:)

I feel spoiled 🙂

The only time I ran into problems was when I tried to add the 2 tablespoons of honey.  I hadn’t used this particular honey in a while and so, as honey is wont to do, it had crystallized quite nicely.  I tried poppin’ it in the microwave to break it up but that wasn’t too much of a success and my egg/butter/milk/honey mixture ended up a little lumpy.  And by a little I mean the crystallized honey decided it would crystallize some egg/butter/milk too. I skimmed the lumps off the top and added in a little more milk to make up for the moisture I had removed and the consistency of the final waffle didn’t seem to suffer too much from this adjustment.

I still have yet to master the allotment of batter.

I still have yet to master the allotment of batter.

I had a weird hankering for peanut butter on my waffle, so I topped one with crunchy PB and did a classic butter and maple syrup combo for my second. mmm mmm good!

I’m going to briefly talk about yesterday because it was so much fun! Every year my rugby team hosts a prom dress game which is a round robin tournament just for fun at the end of the season. Also, everyone wears prom dresses.  It’s hilarious and my favorite weekend out of the year.  This year, the other teams invited couldn’t make it so we scrimmaged ourselves and I think it was better that way because it made it that much more fun.  Usually we take a trip to Goodwill and pick out fun dresses, but this year I decided I’d wear the prom dress I wore in high school.  It must’ve been good luck because I scored!

I dedicated this one to you, Mom and Dad!

I dedicated this one to you, Mom and Dad!

It was a little sad because none of my family members could make it (thanks for answering my invite, big bro) but I still had a magnificent time with my rugby family.  Now it’s off to do more homework, 27 days until summer!!

Chewbacca or bear?

This weekend was, yet again, off the chain.  Let’s start with Blaine’s birthday night!

Friday:

Once we got to his sister’s apartment, it was pretty much go-go-go in order to get dinner and cake ready before it was midnight. Blaine worked on his famous pizza while I discovered just how messy I could be while decorating a cake. Here’s Chewie himself!

His lazy eye is due to the stress of flying with Han Solo.

His lazy eye is due to the stress of flying with Han Solo.

Obviously incredibly amateur and I blame his mouth on how hard it was to use the icing-in-a-tube precisely. But it was delicious! The icing is mocha icing, made by adding cocoa powder and instant coffee to a typical icing recipe.

Another complaint: there is a sad lack of Star Wars birthday goods on the market. I was forced to buy Finding Nemo party hats instead of Star Wars hats, but since Blaine loves Finding Nemo he didn’t mind that I didn’t keep with a theme.

Birthday Boy!

Birthday Boy!

He also got these awesome lego-shaped candles that I thought were awesome.  They melted surprisingly quickly…IMG_3144

Saturday: 

Blaine and I surprised ourselves by waking up at 11 on Saturday. That is waayyyy later than either of us usually wake up and it had us feeling kind of sluggish for the rest of the day. We ended up heading to a Starbucks to do some homework outside while his sister did some things for work. REI is located conveniently next to the Starbucks, so when chemistry started getting dull we walked over to check out the goods.  Blaine was ready to buy everything but I especially like this shirt by Brooks

On sale for $23! But I’m too stingy.

We ate a super early dinner because Blaine’s cousin had a violin recital at 6:30 and we wanted it to be an early night.  We ended up going to an Italian restaurant called Mia Francesca where I had some delicious Eggplant Siciliana, which was made with penne, roasted eggplant, and ricotta. I loved it but it could’ve served 3! Our waiter was from Capri and when I told him my family lives in Naples, he gave me the names of two restaurants he highly recommended and I cannot wait to go home and try them.

After the awesome recital we headed home and watched The Lion King.  Today Blaine told me how much he loves Disney movies and their songs.  I have successfully converted him MWUAHAHA!

Sunday:

The day of the big race! It started off rough when Blaine’s alarm didn’t go off (why would I set one of my own with Mr. Responsibility offering to wake me up?) and his sister woke us up half an hour after we were supposed to leave.  We had forgotten to pick up our bibs and everything on Saturday since it was such a lazy day and I was stressed about getting to the start, picking up our packets, and getting comfy before the race started.  Luckily it all worked out and we were fine on time, but I was very nervous this morning!

We ran the RunRaleigh half marathon and overall I really enjoyed my first half! It was fairly scenic and I loved running on the Greenway listening to all the birds sing in the perfect weather.  There was one stretch where we just ran on an overpass and I have to admit I got a little bored then. My goal was 2:30 since I hadn’t trained and I wanted my first half to just be fun, but I shattered it and came in at 2:18! whoo hoo! Next goal is 2:00 even. Blaine knocked it out of the frickin’ park with a time of 1:30, coming second in his age group and 18th overall.  The man is a running machine.  And he was worried because he hadn’t trained either, pshhh.

We did it!!!!

We did it!!!!

To celebrate our respective victories we headed over to Zoes Kitchen for some yummy food (I got the chicken salad sandwich with fresh fruit and it really hit the spot) and then back to Elon to relax and watch my friend Jeff’s lacrosse game.  Fun day!!

Perfect!

Perfect!

Birthdays Are My Favorite

My birthday policy is go big or go home.  And for Blaine’s birthday today, we’re going big.

First off, let me send a big shout out to my mom for (1) not only throwing me and my brother the greatest birthday parties complete with amazing cakes but also for (2) keeping an amazingly well stocked kitchen, in terms of both food and equipment.  I never realized how many really cool, helpful tools my mom has until I came to school and tried to cook and bake.  Take Blaine’s birthday cake for example.

When I set out to make the cake, I didn’t know that my apartment only has one brownie-sized pan, hidden in the very belly of the kitchen. So in order to make Blaine his round, 2 layer cake I’m going to have to bake one layer and then the other, and then cut them into circles. But I am not phased! Completely… We’ll see how it goes.

I baked the cake layers last night and the rest of the cake will (hopefully) come together at Blaine’s sister’s this afternoon when we get ready to throw him a big 2-0 birthday  bash! The cake was incredibly easy to make, thanks to my friend Duncan Hines

It really is moist

It really is moist

I’m usually opposed to baking things out of boxes, but Duncan Hines makes the best cake mixes, plus I was a little short on time to make something from scratch.  The icing is a different story! That’s going to be handmade mocha icing folks, and I am too pumped to lick the beaters after I make that food of the gods. I’ll post again soon showing the final setup for the big bash!

Cravings

The past 15 hours or so have been full of cravings for me. When the weather starts getting warm (86 yesterday, 82 today wahoo!!!!) my imagination goes crazy and I always set out a million new plans for myself. Last night Blaine and I went to Dick’s Sporting Goods to look at some casual tennis shoes for Blaine.  Looking at work out gear never ends cheaply for me, but with the warm weather and the impending half marathon, I found myself lusting after more merchandise than normal. Like these Pilates bands! 

I’ve never really been into any exercise classes like that, but all the sudden it really struck my fancy. Anybody out there a Pilates fan? I think I might try a class at my university’s gym and see how that goes.

After grocery shopping for cake supplies (Blaine’s birthday is tomorrow and I am way too excited.  I love birthdays!) we came home to make a quick dinner. Blaine whipped a Trader Joe’s ‘mixed grain with garden vegetable’ frozen dinner.  We usually prefer to cook from scratch, but we’d heard good things about this dinner so we gave it a whirl.  Blaine also added some basil pesto sausage which was killer good.

Stole this image from simplyshaka.wordpress.com

I really enjoyed the dinner, but it would not have been the same without that sausage.  mmm mmm good!

Finished product

Finished product

All those grains last night really had me in the mood for oatmeal this morning.  Since I didn’t have any of the classic Quaker, I pulled out my McCann’s Irish Oats to see how much work that would involve. In hindsight I probably should’ve made an overnight oat recipe like this one, which I’ve been dying to try out. Since I missed the overnight oat boat, I decided to make classic Irish oatmeal and add some walnuts and honey to the bowl.

Waking up early pays off!

Waking up early pays off!

This bowl was made extra special because my mom sent me some fancy Italian honey, which I was very gracious with 🙂

Fancy honey!

Fancy honey!

Off to conquer the rest of the day!

Gold Member

This weekend was great! We didn’t do very well in the tournament but we played some great games, plus hanging out with some of your best friends isn’t a shabby way to spend a weekend. I was given player of the game for our game against Pitt, which made the whole tournament that much better.

For dad :)

For dad 🙂 Sorry it’s small!

There was one small hiccup though. On the drive back home, we stopped to eat lunch and stretch our legs. I was driving and reaaally had to use the restroom so when we got out of the van I didn’t want to wait for everyone to get out in order to lock it.  I asked one of my teammates to lock it for me when she was done and left the keys on the seat for her.  You know where this is going. When we finished lunch we realized the keys were locked inside the van, charmingly sitting right on the driver’s seat.  Luckily one of the girls was a ‘gold card carrier’ with AAA and a very nice man came out and unlocked the van for us. Thank goodness we were in a shopping center so we could kill time!

When I finally  got back on Sunday afternoon Blaine–once again–came to my rescue. Not only did he buy delicious dark chocolate peanut butter filled cupcakes from Trader Joe’s, he also picked out a Southern Living recipe he thought sounded good, bought all the groceries, and made the whole meal!

So. Stinkin. Good.

I asked Blaine if he wanted to do a guest post to talk about the Pasta with Sausage and Kale he made, but he declined. You can tell from the following pictures that he is definitely more of a photographer than I am! The whole meal came together pretty quickly and Blaine said everything was basic, although he suggests adding in the pasta at the very end, otherwise it can get to0 soft.

We're a fan of TJ's

We’re a fan of TJ’s

I think the feta combined with the spicy sausage made this pasta super flavorful and the extra crunch provided by the pine nuts brought it all together.  I loved the pasta and ate it for lunch both yesterday and today (the recipe makes a ton!). Kale is one of my favorite veggies and I love finding recipes that incorporate it in any way.

Finished product. Yummmm

Finished product. Yummmm

I highly recommend this dish, especially if you’re looking for something fairly quick yet absolutely delicious and filling.