Don’t create what you think the people will like, create what you know you will like. Like cookie dough brownies.

I made up a recipe today. I’m pretty much Martha Stewart…minus the whole convicted felon part.

One of the many blogs I am subscribed to is Bakerella and yesterday she posted a recipe for chocolate chip cookie dough truffles. Once I was done crying tears of utter joy, I decided I had to make them. So this morning I was going about my cooking ways, dum dee dum dum dum, I made the cookie dough, formed them into balls, and was about to go find some popsicle sticks, since they are truffles-on-a-stick, when I realized, duh. I don’t have any almond bark to coat them with. After I finished up crying over that (today has been an emotional roller coaster for me), I searched the other blogs I follow and thought, hey, I can just make chocolate chip cookie dough peanut butter cups from How Sweet It Is. Things were looking up for me until I looked in our cabinets for more chocolate chips to coat the cookie dough with when I discovered WE HAVE NO CHOCOLATE CHIPS. What household doesn’t have chocolate chips?! Exactly. And then I got really sad.

So I improvised (this is where it gets really impressive). Luckily, we had brownie mix so I made the batter, poured it into liners in a cupcake tin, and basically made brownie cupcakes. After they were done, I made them into bowls, then flattened the cookie dough globs and smushed them into the brownie. Very descriptive, I know. I’d say that these are beyond wonderful but 1) I don’t want to brag about how great of a cook I am, 2) ok, I lied, I totally want to brag how how great of a cook I am. They’re wonderful, and 3) there are certain things in this world that can’t be explained. Like Skandar Keynes, for example.

The other day I went to the gym at 6am…ok, I haven’t been to the gym in forever, so actually it probably was a few weeks ago. But I know it was six in the morning because this dumb story will be forever etched in my head. Anyway, I made the mistake of wearing a shirt I made that says “It’s a Skandar thing, you wouldn’t understand.” Some old weird guy, as he was weirdly eating his banana (who eats a banana at six in the morning? Actually, who eats a banana at all?), told me he didn’t understand what a “Skandar thing” was. So, I told him Skandar Keynes was an actor. When he told me he had never heard of him, I wanted to say GO BACK TO YOUR BANANA, OLD MAN, but I didn’t. I then attempted to explain, while I was still half asleep, how he is a British actor who isn’t really in a bunch of movies and blah blah blah. I can’t really remember what I said because it was kind of early. Worst day of my life. More or less.

If you’re looking for an excuse to make these, you could always hypothetically make them on the off chance you told me a while back that today is your birthday or something. Or I could make them for you in spirit, since you’re a broke graduate student and stuff. You know, hypothetically.

Cookie Dough Brownies

Cookie dough recipe is from Bakerella. The rest is from my imagination. Whacha.

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt (leave out if you are using salted butter)

1 box of brownie mix
1 egg
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil

For the brownies, preheat oven to 350 ºF. Place paper cupcake liners cups in muffin pans. If possible, get the really fun looking ones that have tiger print or Disney princesses or something on them. Ok maybe not the princesses, but those cupcake things kick the excitement factor up to 11. If that makes sense.

Combine brownie mix, eggs, water and oil in a large bowl. Place 2 tablespoons of batter in each paper liner.

Bake for 10-13 minutes, or until edges are done and brownie tops crack. Take out of oven and set aside.

For the cookie dough, beat butter and sugars with an electric mixer until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Mix in milk and vanilla. Add flour and salt and mix on low until combined. Then stir in chocolate chips, if you are fortunate enough to have chocolate chips in your house. If so, I envy you.

Chill dough in refrigerator for about 30 minutes until firm enough to roll into 1-inch balls. Wrap a shot glass (make sure to use the random one that says Florida on it) in plastic wrap and use it to make a dent in the brownies. Flatten the cookie dough balls and press into brownie cups. Try not to eat all of them at once.

Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much. Or you could just chuck your alarm clock at them.

Are you tired (no pun intended) of continuously hitting the snooze button in the mornings, just to realize that you’ve overslept and now have approximately 4 minutes to get ready for school/work? I have the solution. Get the song Circle of Life from the movie The Lion King, set it as your alarm on your phone, and then, when the guy sings in African at the beginning of the song, I guarantee that you’ll be awakened to sound of the onset of Atrial Fibrillation.

Obviously, I only set that alarm (which I aptly named: good morning, it’s time for your daily panic attack) when I NEED to be awake the next morning at a certain time. For example, last night I stayed up until past midnight watching a documentary on Lyme disease (don’t judge) and didn’t feel like waking up earliy-ish today. I also watched The Truman Show for the first time. It’s a great movie, but Jim Carrey is awful as a serious actor. Watching him fake cry was about as awkward as Greg Page unretiring from The Wiggles and kicking his replacement Sam out of the group. I mean…uhhh…I don’t know who The Wiggles are and I’ve definitely never seen them live in concert with my family.

You know what’s worse than being awakened to the sound of BAAAAAHHHSOWHENYAHHHHMAMABEATSEBABAAHHHH? When you’re having a dream about your mom’s friend who is about to tell you the reason why a particularly nasty girl you know is so vile, the sound of stupid roofers drilling into the side of your house wakes you up. You heard me right. Our next door neighbors are getting their roof replaced and the guys insist on starting at around 6am every morning. This morning they drilled plywood panels over our windows so they don’t break them when they’re throwing slate around. I don’t want to talk about it.

I need to stop talking about the roofers because now my inner-Sicilian is baring its fangs and I’m going to hold grudges against all of them until forever. So let’s talk about this mac and cheese which I’ve dubbed the mayor of Comfort Food Land. It’s delish. I actually have no words to describe it other than…uhhh, it’s delish. I’m really not good with words. I’m not sure if you can tell but the brand of pasta we use is Tinkyada and it’s great. It doesn’t taste gluten free at all. It gets a bit mushy if you overcook it, but if you smother it in cheese, it’s fine. But what else is new?

Baked Mac and Cheese

Adapted from All Recipes

1 1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups milk
8 ounces American cheese, shredded
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/2 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add macaroni, and cook until not quite done, about 6 minutes. If you’re using gluten free pasta you’ll probably have to cook it for about 13 minutes, because if you eat it after it has cooked for 6 minutes, you might as well eat concrete. Drain the pasta.

In a separate saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Blend in the cornstarch and pepper, stirring like a madman or else the cornstarch will get all lumpy and no one wants a lumpy butter/cornstarch sauce, right? Slowly stir in the milk, beating out any lumps in the mixture, even though I explicitly told you to make sure there weren’t any lumps. Disobedient. Add the cheeses and stir constantly until the sauce is thick and smooth.

Stir the noodles into the cheese sauce. Transfer the mixture to the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle bread crumbs over the top.

Cover the dish, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until sauce is thick and bubbly.

Also, I made the breadcrumbs by toasting two slices of Udi bread, sticking them in the food processor, and adding oregano, salt, pepper, and parsley. Om nom nom.

To be (stung) or not to be. I vote not.

So basically I almost died yesterday. Again.

Remember my run in with lead poisoning a few weeks ago? Ok, well maybe I didn’t get lead poisoning…but something happened to me. Anyway, yesterday I was going for a run and decided it would be a good idea to run up and down a really steep hill by my house. There were some pretty tall weeds on the hill and obviously there was a bee that agreed with me that exercise is dumb and decided to sting me. Can I just point out that I was actually doing something good for me when I was attacked by the bee? I wasn’t rewatching Newsies for the 100th time, I was exercising. EXERCISING. Since I’d never been stung before, I panicked and pulled the stinger out of my leg, which apparently isn’t what you’re supposed to do because it gets more venom in your body. Ew. So then I frantically ran/limped home, stuck some ice on the place I got stung, and then it all went downhill from there. Obviously, I’m allergic to bee stings. Not deathly allergic, but I was feeling really sick and dizzy and anxious and my throat started to feel weird. My slight allergicness combined with my lovely vasovagal qualities makes for a really annoying person to deal with.

I was freaking out so much I tried to distract myself by watching Spongebob and eating. As I was eating some soggy animal crackers (I’m still not sure why they were soggy) and saltines that I’m sure expired before I was born, all of the sudden I thought “Wait, if I’m dying, this is my last meal.” Then, half delusional, I starting thinking about what I want my last meal to be. The best I could think of was a chocolate malt from Crown Candy, biscuits and honey from KFC, and those little raspberry and blackberry candies. Delusional me obviously doesn’t have a very refined palate.

So I asked my mom why I was feeling so awful and she said, basically, I was poisoned, and then I started to freak out even more. No one ever told me that it was poison. People always said Picco, what is truth. Picco, what is the nature of the good. Picco, what should I order. Picco, what are you having. And not once did anyone ever say Picco, hemlock…errr…bee stings are poison.

Rosebud.

Oreo Triple Layer Chocolate Pie

From here

32 oreo cookies, divided (about 3/4 of 15.5-oz. pkg.). I used the leftover gluten-free overcooked brownie cookies I made the other day…in case you cared.
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 packages (3.9 oz. each) jell-o chocolate Instant Pudding
2 cups cold milk
1 tub (8 oz.) cool whip, thawed, divided
Finely crush 24 cookies; mix with butter. Press onto bottom and up side of 9-inch pie plate.

Beat pudding mixes and milk with whisk 2 min.

Spoon 1-1/2 cups pudding into crust. Stir half the cool whip into remaining pudding; spread over pudding layer in crust. Chop remaining cookies; stir into remaining cool whip. Spread over pie.

Refrigerate for 4 hours, or until set.

Bucket lists are overrated. But if I did have one, it might look something like this…

In case you were wondering, I need this:

But first I need this: a job. Since I don’t see myself getting a job this summer because I’m not about to waste three months of my life being around people who, knowing my luck, will suck the joy out of my summer, I’m not going to get my precious 1969 Camero RS. Maybe next summer…or in 20 years, since I don’t think a summer job working at Journeys shoe store will pay for that car.

So, since I don’t want to be just sitting around all summer watching reruns of Downton Abbey and eating junk food (although that sounds pretty dang awesome), I’ve decided to make a bucket list.

I’d like bucket lists if everyone wasn’t making them. It’s kind of like Damian McGinty. I loved that guy back when he first joined Celtic Thunder when he was 14, and then he went on Glee and my undying love for him plummeted. He’s too popular now and, frankly, isn’t as Damian McGorgeous as he used to be. So that was my comparison between bucket lists and Irish singers. Anyway, I’m hoping to accomplish most of these things:

Get my license, which might involve actually starting to drive. Does someone near by want to volunteer to take me out driving since my mom’s scared to be in the car with me…? Anybody?

Go to six flags and convince Emily to go on the Superman with me. Seriously Emily, it’s pretty much the most fantastic ride ever. And I’m pretty sure you won’t get hurt on it.

Hang out with my friends that are off to college (Dear Emily and Caroline, I never gave you permission to go to college this fall and get educated without me. Seriously. You’re making me sad.)

Go to the midnight premiere of Dark Knight Rises and drag random people along with me.

Have an 80’s themed 17th birthday party. Because the 80’s sounded awesome and I was born 15 years too late…

Finish stupid Great Expectations that I’ve been reading since January. That book will be the death of me. But it’s SO good.

Get these. I’M NOT OBSESSED.

Go to a concert (I’m hoping Honor Society comes back soon so I can talk to the drummer Alexander Noyes and say something more than “you’re awesome” like I did last winter. Awkward? Oh yeah and it’s Alex’s 26th birthday today. Happy birthday, Alexander Crawford Noyes. You’re still the coolest person I’ve ever met, which is saying a lot because I’ve also met Damian Kulash from the band OK Go and a guy who dressed up as superman and was standing outside of Busch stadium.)

Convince my mom to let me dye my hair red again. But not Carrot Top red like it was last summer. My hair last summer was a prime example of why you shouldn’t buy $10 hair dye from walgreens and then color your hair yourself.

Pull an all-nighter and have a movie marathon. And no Marie, I refuse to watch Sweeney Todd at 3am so don’t even suggest it.

I’ll probably think of more stuff later, but this is a good place to start. Oh, and I pretty much butchered the cookies I made tonight.

The recipe said to bake them for nine to eleven minutes and to make sure to not overcook them, but they still weren’t done after being in the oven for twenty minutes. Blahhh. So I decided to use them in a trifle-type dessert with strawberries and moose tracks ice cream.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the rest of the cookies…maybe use them as a base of a chocolate crust, kind of like a graham cracker crust? We’ll see. I know they would have worked with regular brownie mix, because I’ve used normal mix and they’ve turned out, but for some reason the dumb gluten free brownies decided to be a real pain in the patella.

As Pacman says, “Only you can prevent overcooked brownie cookies.” Although I might be confusing him with that bear with the really manly voice. Can Pacman actually talk…? Deep questions.

Brownie cookies

From the Food Network website

21 ounces brownie mix
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons canola oil
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons water
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Stir until well blended.

Drop mix from a teaspoon onto a cookie sheet lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes.

Once cookies have lost their gloss, yet still feel soft to the touch, remove from oven. Do NOT overbake them, or you’ll have to use them as hockey pucks.

Let cool 1 minute, then remove to racks to finish cooling. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week.

And in the morning, I’m making raspberry waffles.

“I don’t know why more people don’t want to be friends with me,” she said in the most humble and confused way possible.

Don’t get me wrong, I may not have a huge amount of friends, but I couldn’t ask for better friends than the ones I do have. But why there are only like 10 of them is beyond me. Seriously, I am polite, can usually make people laugh (or at least nervously chuckle), and I can make great raspberry waffles. So what’s wrong with me? I mean sure I’m a little awkward and I take a while to warm up to people and I’m a stereotypical introvert (which you’d never guess by how much I talk on this blog, huh?), but do you think Einstein had social skills and liked unnecessary small talk? I didn’t think so. And yes, I just successfully compared myself to Einstein.

But enough about me and my Einstein-ian inability to behave normally around other people. Let’s talk about raspberry waffles. I thought I invented them until I googled “raspberry waffles” and about a billion pages popped up. As Einstein (back to him) says, “Creativity is knowing how to hide your sources,” so let’s just say I made up the idea of raspberry waffles all on my own, ok? I’ve noticed that I use the creativity is knowing how to hide your sources phrase a lot. Actually the other day I said it as well as “You can never be overdressed or overeducated” and “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt” all on the same person and I succeeded in totally confusing her. I was very happy. I mean, I felt sad for her that she couldn’t handle my impressive knowledge of random quotes, but happy I was able to use them correctly and annoy someone. My day would have been complete if I could have thrown in “Your mom goes to college” too. Oh well.

I strongly don’t recommend going for a half hour run and then coming home and eating two huge waffles. Actually, I really don’t recommend doing a lot of things that I do. For example, do not watch the season 6 finale of Psych and then when you get supermegaultra upset over the depressing cliffhanger ending, don’t go watch House just to find out that *SPOILER ALERT* Dr. Australian left the hospital that Dr. House’s team is at (I have no clue what the name of the hospital is because, again, I just started watching the show in season 8 and I’ve only seen a few episodes. And not once have they diagnosed someone with Lupus. Sad.) and that Dr. Guy who dies in dead poet society is going to die yet again. Seriously that guy must go after crazy roles because he wasn’t too mentally stable in Swing Kids either.

I’ve decided that maybe the reason people stay away from me is because I’m just a little too different. And an example to back up my theory is that the other day I was talking with this hilarious black girl and out of nowhere she was like “Girl, you crazy. But you alright.” That’s comforting…I guess?

Raspberry Waffles

Adapted from AllRecipes

2 eggs, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons white sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 oz fresh or frozen raspberries

Preheat waffle iron.
Beat eggs yolks in large bowl with until fluffy. Beat in flour, milk, vegetable oil, sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla, just until smooth. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites then gently fold in the egg whites and raspberries.
Spray preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray. Pour mix onto hot waffle iron. Cook until golden brown (you can tell if waffles are done if steam stops coming out the sides of the iron). Serve hot. Yum.