It’s Christian Bale’s birthday! Also, for some reason Pandora thinks that Nickelback is music. Huh.

To quote Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus, “Everybody makes mistakes, everybody has those days, everybody knows what, what, I’m talking ’bout, everybody gets that way.” I’m definitely having one of those days. Also, apparently Miley and Hannah are both the same person. Honestly I couldn’t tell their identical faces and voices apart, but luckily I wasn’t alone because it took everyone on the show 4 seasons to figure it out too. I feel much better about myself.

Anyway, I’ve been a grump for the past few days. I totally lost it today when I was listening to my The Offspring station on Pandora when Nickelback decided to come on. I politely tried to skip the song, but I was out of skips for the day. THE DAY. And it was If Everyone Cared. How did Pandora know that of all of their songs, that’s the one I honestly can’t stand? I was so mad. So I decided to bake cupcakes.

chocolate cupcakes

If any of you are feeling pretty down too, I leave you with these three things:

1. This old post of mine.

2. This video which the lovely Marie showed me.

3. Christian Bale turned 39 today. How can someone possibly be sad on Batman’s birthday? Happy birthday, dude. You are definitely not as attractive now as you were in Newsies. Thanks…

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Spoiler alert: I got into nursing school

Ok kids, it’s story time with Grandma Picco, which is awkward since I’m pretty sure I’m younger than a majority of you. No matter. Here’s a story of how yesterday was one of the best days of my life. I remember it like it was yesterday…

shaved cucumber

Things were going pretty dandily around here. I was home with Sister Celiac and Spiderbaby while my mom was out with the other 4 Italiana children at swimming lessons. I was taking a break from science because my cranium about exploded from writing about the Medulla oblongata. See what I did there? Anyway. I picked up my phone and started looking through my emails. My train of thought went a bit like this: “Hmmm, Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest, Mara… ooo… I haven’t read this post. Ugh, she has such amazing clothes. I’ll come back to that. More Pinterest. Maybe I should set it up so I don’t get emails from them every 30 seconds? Nah, it makes me feel popular. Uhhh, Pinterest. Nursing school from the college that I got accepted into. Wait. Nursing school from the college that I got accepted into? What does this say. Dear Picco… so many words… I GOT ACCEPTED.”

chicken

Yes, folks, I got accepted into nursing school. Can we please take a moment for a quick round of applause? It still hasn’t really sunk in yet. I never really doubted that I wouldn’t get in because, heh heh, I wrote killer essays for both the college and the nursing school, but I was still a bit nervous. I was so relieved yesterday, though. Remember how I reacted when I got into the college? Yeah, multiply that by about a bazillion. After I read the email about 5 times, I ran downstairs and almost totally wiped out because my happy dance was so spastic. Then, I read/shouted the email to Sister Celiac and shoved the phone in her face and made her read it. Her face was similar to that of a squirrel in the middle of the road that just sort of stands there until you get close, and then it runs back the way it came from. Squirrels are scary creatures.

pita bread

Speaking of iPhones (we were talking about them, right?), I’ve been pushing for one lately since the battery of my current phone lasts barely longer than Kim Kardashian’s marriage. Basically it dies in 4 hours. I’ve also worked out a nice speech every time I bring up me wanting one. Today I presented it to my mom and said, “So, when I leave, I still want to blog and take pictures. If I get an iPhone, I can take great pictures and you won’t have to buy me a digital camera!” She was unfazed. The problem is that I also need a new laptop since the bottom of mine is currently being attached to the computer by pink Hello Kitty duct tape. Another problem is I’m a die hard Mac lover and need a MacBook. I’m such a loving, hard working daughter who would be eternally grateful if I got a new computer as a graduation present… Was that subtle enough?

shredded chicken

And I shall end with a random story. I’m all about stories today, huh? I requested that we get sushi tonight as a celebratory yay-the-last-14-years-of-schooling-have-not-been-all-for-naught-since-you-got-into-college dinner. I was eating it and I don’t even remember what I was saying because I was focusing too much on how I haven’t had sushi in forever and really loved it, and apparently I just kept talking. At the end of my rambling, Sister Celiac turned to me and bluntly said, “Ergo, shut up.” I would have been annoyed, but how many other 13 year olds can use the word ergo correctly? I come from an awesome family.

chicken gyros

I am absolutely exhausted right now from all the sushi and from reading my acceptance letter too many times (today I got a hard copy in the mail. YAY!). I think I’m going to go read over the list of dorms again even though I submitted the housing application less than an hour after I received it. Can you tell I’m excited? So here’s the recipe. Sorry I’m not typing it up…

Chicken Gyros from Annie’s Eats. I love that woman.

Also, these are 100% gluten free, minus the pita part obviously. Sister Celiac should stop making snarky comments if she wants me to ever make these for her again.

Pie and my brothers. Right there you can tell it’s going to be a great blog post.

I don’t like pie. I won’t restrain myself from eating an entire pie if it was placed in front of me, but I won’t go out of my way to make/eat one. Since we had a pie crust in the fridge that was best by Tuesday, I figured I had to make a pie. And make one I did.

peach pie

I’m not sure about you, but I live in the Midwest. (Silently in your head) Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure we don’t grow any fruit here. Ok, I know we do, but we don’t have oranges like Florida or…uhhh… basically, I have no idea what I’m talking about here. The point of all of this is we had 2 bananas and 3 apples in our fruit basket and you can’t make a pie with those. Side note: I refuse to eat bananas because their edible shelf life is like 30 seconds. You get them and they’re like GREENGREENGREENGREENGREENyellowBROWNBROWNBROWN. They’re mean and therefore I boycott them. So I used canned peaches. I wrote an entire paragraph about I don’t even know what just to say that I used canned peaches to make a pie. And the best part is that I’m not going to rewrite it because I’m lazy.

pie crust

This pie was hit and miss among my siblings. I ate two slices with Moose Tracks ice cream and it was quite delicious. There’s still half a pie left so I guess I’m going to have to eat that too. I know it would be much better with fresh peaches and not 3 cans of Costco peaches.

peaches and cinnamon

That’s really all I’ve got on the subject of pie. Because I have nothing else to say, here’s a story from the Italiana household.

My brothers were playing Monopoly earlier today and Future Chef Brother got a hotel. Evil Scientist Brother got really mad and said, “Fine. Now you have to go kiss a hobo.” Future Chef said, “But I don’t want to!” and Evil Scientist responded, “Oh, I see. You want to wait until AFTER you’re married to kiss him.”

peach pie filling

There’s never a dull moment in this house. Also, I just hit 350 Pinterest followers. I love being loved by people I’ll never actually meet.

Peach pie

From I’mastinkingliar.com

1 8-inch pie plate

1 unbaked pie crust
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (Or not. Legumes don’t belong in pies, unless we’re talking about pecan pie, in which I approve.)
1/2 cup unbleached flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 white sugar plus 1 tsp. reserved
3 cans of sliced peaches in light syrup, drained
6 tsp. white sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tbsp. organic butter, chilled (I left in the organic part from the original recipe because it made me laugh. We’re a family of 9. There’s no way we’re spending the extra money to buy organic butter.)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Combine the chopped walnuts, brown and white sugars, and flour in a small bowl. Set aside for the topping.

3. Place the pie crust into your pie pan and crimp the edges as beautifully as I crimped mine. Oof. Sprinkle the bottom of the crust with 1 tsp. of reserved white sugar.

4. Pour the canned peaches into a colander, rinse with fresh water, drain and gently pat dry.

5. Combine the peaches, cinnamon, nutmeg and 6 tsp. of sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Mix gently with your hands or a wooden spoon to blend. I recommend a spoon because that just sounds nasty.

6. Put half of the sliced peaches into the pie crust. Sprinkle half of the walnut (I can’t be friends with you if you added walnuts), flour and sugar topping over the peaches and top with the remaining fruit.

7. Sprinkle the second half of the topping over the peaches and dot with pea-sized crumbles of the organic butter. Stir to combine because I had flour on top of mine that didn’t soak in while it was baking. Mmm, nothing like the taste of dry flour with your canned peaches.

8. Bake the pie on the middle rack of the oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 325 Fahrenheit and bake for an additional 25 minutes.

9. Om nom nom.

Happy 2 year anniversary, Spoonlighting! Oh, and I’ve also become super hip and joined Facebook.

In case you were wondering where I’ve been, I’ve been spending 6+ hours a day working the lights and sound for the rehearsals for the play that my homeschool group is putting on. And if you haven’t been wondering, then ok. I won’t get too sad that you don’t care about me… I’ve never been in a single play that they’ve put on because 1. My casting as Elf #3 in my 5th grade production of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe made me reconsider my acting abilities, 2. I’m more of a behind the scenes gal. I definitely prefer being behind the camera than being in front of it, and 3. I get to blind people when I turn up the stage lights really quickly. Anyway, the purpose of that incredibly boring story was to say that I’ve hardly been at home and thus (thus?) haven’t had any time to cook or blog. I totally forgot that I started my blog two years ago on January 9th. I was going to put up a blog post with links to all of my favorite posts, but then I decided to just make an album on my Facebook page that contained all of them. Wait, what? Picco has a Facebook? Uh huh.

I am officially a cool teenager. I made a fan page for my blog, and if that isn’t the epitome of cool then I don’t know what is. Feel free to like it and spread the good Spoonlighting word. The little doobaleedoo Facebook like box is here on my blog on the very right, in case you hadn’t noticed it before. I’ll put some more recipes in the album when I’m not spending my entire life pushing the button that plays a school bell sound and turning up the lights on stage left. I feel like there are child labor laws against working this much. Can I protest? Although apparently we’re getting pizza tonight, so I can’t complain too much.

The play is soon, so I’ll no longer be a recluse blog-wise, if that make sense. Thank you so much for all the love and support I’ve gotten these past two years. Blogging has helped me get through the days that I’m feeling down as well as the days where I’m so dang starving and feel the need to show the internet the blueberry muffins or flourless chocolate cake I’ve made (seriously guys, that cake is amazing and so easy. We’ve already made it twice so far.). As of today, I’ve had almost 43,000 views and I can’t wait until a food magazine interviews me. *EHEM* Anyone want to initiate that?

Don’t grow up, kids. It’s a trap.

You know what’s horrible about growing up? It’s no longer socially acceptable to build forts or jump on the living room furniture to avoid landing on the carpet which is unfortunately made of lava. Well, I guess I still could, but people would think there’s something wrong with me. And I’d also probably break the couch and a limb.

a whole lotta chocolate chips

A few days ago I went to the City Museum. For those of you who don’t live in St. Louis and are looking for something to do when you visit (you know you want to), I strongly recommend going to the City Museum. If you’re over the age of 12 you can only go once. Every time after that it just gets boring and depressing. I remember being so scared of it when I was little. There is one dark part called the caves that I was so terrified of, but when I went through them the other day the only thing I was terrified of was throwing up because the whole thing smelled rank. It was really disappointing. My favorite part was the ten story slide, but I had to climb up ten flights of stairs just to get to it, and it wasn’t worth it.

flourless chocolate cake batter

Last night I went to go see Monsters, Inc. with my friend. We were going to go by ourselves until we realized that two 17 year old girls going to see a movie that came out when we were 7 really is a bit lame, so we took Sister Celiac along. Because bringing along a 13 year old definitely makes things better? There were only four other people there, and we were the only ones between the ages of 6 and 30. We all had a lot of fun and I always forget how sad I get at the end of the movie…

making caramel sauce

As if I couldn’t get any older, I opened a checking account yesterday. I had a moment of panic because I was afraid that the woman who helped me with it would have me practice writing a check. All of the sudden I couldn’t remember how to spell forty. I couldn’t remember if there was a u in it or not and I was like OH NO. I’M GOING TO LOOK LIKE A MORON IF SHE ASKS ME TO WRITE A CHECK FOR $40. Luckily she didn’t. I also ordered checks, and no one supported my decision to buy ones with Batman on them. I basically got bullied into getting my second choice which was polka dots. No one appreciates my love of Batman. But the good news is, heh heh, I underestimated the amount of moolah I had in my Ireland Fund. Unfortunately, I think the Ireland Fund is going to turn into the Ramon Noodles Fund. I’ve been thinking about whether or not I want to continue blogging in college, and at first I wasn’t going to since I wouldn’t be able to really cook. But then I looked at my follower count and I’m like hey, I have over 120 followers here that I wouldn’t want to let down. So I’m going to attempt to cook in college… I’m going to spend all of my money on stupid food just to make you guys happy. That’s how much I love you.

homemade caramel sauce

Also, I have two cups of caramel sauce left over. You’re welcome to come over and eat it straight out of the jar with me.

flourless chocolate cake

Gluten Free Flourless Chocolate Cake

From AllRecipies

1 cup butter, cubed (I accidentally only used one stick and it tastes fine)
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (I just used regular chocolate chips because I’m not that fancy)
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
6 eggs

1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter the bottom of a 10 inch springform pan, and line with parchment paper. I recently figured out that if you trace the bottom of the pan and then cut it out, you’ll get a nice even circle that fits in the bottom of it. Yeah.

2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Stir in chocolate, and continue to stir until almost melted. Remove from heat, and stir until melted and smooth. I’m not sure why you have to remove it from the heat before it’s completely melted, but whatever. In a large bowl, stir together 1 1/4 cups sugar and the cocoa powder. Whisk in the eggs until well blended, then whisk in the chocolate and butter. I love being able to whip out my whisk. It’s pretty much my favorite cooking utensil, in case you cared. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

3. Bake for about 45 minutes in the preheated oven. The cake is ready when the edges have nicely puffed and the surface is firm except for a small spot in the center that will jiggle when the pan is gently shaken. Cool cake in the pan over a wire rack. Run a knife around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake, then remove the sides of the pan, and invert onto a serving plate. Remove the parchment paper.

4. In a heavy saucepan, stir together 1 1/2 cups of sugar, water, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and cook without stirring until the syrup is a deep amber color. For an accurate color check, dip a metal spoon into the syrup and lift it out of the pan to check the color. Once the syrup is amber, remove from the heat. Gradually stir in the cream. The mixture will bubble vigorously and freak you out. At least that’s what happened to me. If lumps form, stir gently over low heat to dissolve them. Stir in 2 tablespoons of butter.

5. Cut the cake into wedges while warm, and serve with caramel sauce spooned over it. You can also chill the cake and sauce, then warm again before serving.

5. Mentally thank me for giving you this wonderful recipe.