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.

I’ve hit blogger’s block.

Do you ever have one of those days where you feel so boring that you’d be genuinely shocked if people told you otherwise? I’ve been having quite a few of those lately. Hence, no blogging. It’s not that I don’t want to blog, it’s more of there’s a whole lot of lack of creativity going on. I wish my creativity was one long, continuous, rippling stream of interesting stories and funny pictures that flowed on forever and glistened in the sun. Instead, my creativity is like a flash flood that lets water leak into your basement and makes the dumpsters behind your house float down the alley. All of that almost made sense to me. I am the Queen of giving examples that are almost intelligent, and honey, you should see me in a crown.

You know that moment right as you’re falling asleep that you either think of all the horrible things you’ve ever done, brilliant ideas, or monsters? That’s when I usually get my bursts of inspiration to cook or blog or basically do anything. For example, the other night I was about to pass out when I thought of the perfect way to break into someone’s house who has a dog: bring a vacuum cleaner and a broom. It doesn’t matter how brave and protective my dog Gemma would feel right as someone was coming in, because the second they turn on that vacuum, she’d probably pee on the floor and run into her crate. And then the bad guys would steal all the bacon we have in the freezer and that’s just not cool. Anyway, the inspirations come and go and by the time I wake up in the morning I’m not thinking, “Wow, I want to go teach myself how to yodel!” I’m thinking, “I. Hate. Mornings.” Not as impressive.

Lately, I’ve been stuck in this rut of blah-ness. I’ve written short stories and all that helped with was figuring out I can’t write short stories. I got 4 or 5 pages into writing one about a grandma who mysteriously doesn’t show up for her weekly bingo game and then reveals that she’s running from the government because she’s a treasonist just to realize that I really can’t write short stories. I went to see a movie, and that didn’t help either. Which movie? Why Lincoln, of course. Only because Joseph Gordon-Levitt was in it. Let me break things down for you: I love that guy. Of course I was going to see a new movie he’s in. So yes, I went into Lincoln not caring at all about the actual movie. I went for Joseph Gordon-Levitt. If that isn’t depressing then I don’t know what is. Turns out I loved Lincoln. LOVED. There were no battles (expect for about 20 seconds at the beginning of the movie) and really not much excitement, but it was funny and very King’s Speech-esque. Daniel Day Lewis did an amazing job at being Lincoln and Sally Field did an amazing job at playing psycho Mary Todd Lincoln. And Joseph Gordon-Levitt? Yeah, he had seriously 3 lines. Maybe 4. And an incredibly cheesy mustache. And he cried. I was borderline unimpressed, but don’t tell him that. It’ll ruin my chances of ever being with a celebrity 14 years older than I am. Shhhh.

I even went running, hoping that I’ll become an athlete who runs every day and feels great because of it. About 20 seconds into the run, my brain went, “You know what you haven’t done for a while? Hurt. Here, let me make your hip kill you to the point of you having to limp home and not being able to move your leg for the next day or 2.” Dear brain, I hate you. Love, Picco.

The short stories didn’t work, the movie didn’t work, the exercise didn’t work. I feel like this is Web MD and I’m trying to find a cure for my lack of creativity. I’m exhausting all the possible treatments for my sickness and still ending up with death. This post is incredibly descriptive, if I may say so. But my attempted dramatic Web MD bit sort of fell flat.

So basically, I’ve been unmotivated to do anything other than watch Fringe. And now that I’ve finished 4 seasons in 3 months, I’ve got nothing to do. I need to join a bookclub or something… or learn how to knit. Or rewatch Fringe. These are all very good options.

Looking back, I realize that this post really has no point other than, outside of doing school, I’m bored and stuck.  Is this what a mid-life crisis feels like? Wait, I’m only 17. I’m going to die when I’m 34? Well. This is just lovely. Luckily, I know some pretty cool people who are willing to do stuff with me like go to the movies or let me help paint their room, and then back me into a freshly-painted wall and make me get paint in my hair, and then decide that we should go to Steak n Shake while I’m covered in paint. Yeah, great friends. So seriously, guys, we should start a bookclub. Or a Fringeclub? Same thing. I’m just trying to make an excuse for my lack of blogging, since I’ve had a few people come up to me lately saying “Uhhh, blog post, please? Reading your posts is like the coolest thing I do each day.” Maybe they don’t say that last part.

Also, molasses smells disgusting.

Gingerbread Men

Adapted from Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise Roberts

1/4 cup vegetable shortening (we were out, so I had my dad get some from the store and he came back with the entire Crisco factory. We have 3 pounds of it, if anyone wants to share.)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons molasses
1 cup gluten-free flour (today, I used King Arthur’s multi-purpose flour)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon salt (also known as just a pinch. who the heck has an 1/8 teaspoon?)

1. Beat shortening and sugar in a large bowl of an electric mixer until and creamy. Beat in egg yolk and molasses and mix until smooth. Don’t sniff the molasses. It’s awful. I know first-hand.

2. Add flour, baking soda, xanthan gum, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Mix until a soft dough forms. Roll dough between two sheets of wax paper to about 1/4 inch thick. Refrigerate until well chilled (I chilled it for about 2 hours).

3. Preheat oven to 350F. Position rack in center of oven. Lightly grease a cookie sheet with cooking spray or Crisco. We have plenty, if you need some.

4. Use cookie cutters that may or may not have to do with Christmas to cut out cookies. Hey, we have cool shamrock ones that I wanted to use… Place on cookie sheet 1/2 inch apart. The cookbook said to chill the cutout cookies on the cookie sheet until very cold before baking them, but I skipped that part. Because I live on the edge.

5. Bake 6-8 minutes. Check at 6 because they burn quickly. Not that I know this. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Decorate to your heart’s content.

6. Try not to eat all of them at once.

Just an introvert girl living in a loud world.

You know what’s wrong with the world? People don’t think before they speak.

The other day Sister Celiac was talking to a girl about my new brother. The girl asked, “So, how’s your baby brother?” When my sister said that he’s great, the girl said, “Oh cool. Is there anything wrong with him?”

I’m sorry, what? What if he was born with three arms and we were going to have one surgically removed but didn’t want anyone to know about it? My sister isn’t even KIND OF friends with this girl, so why should she tell her, “Well, we’re not really telling anyone, but he’s actually a monkey.” Oh great, now you guys know our secret. This is awkward.

I know quite a few people that I simply can’t have a normal conversation with. Now granted, most of them are teenagers, but I’m not sure how good of an excuse that is. A good conversation consists of asking questions and telling stories, right? If I’m ever talking to one of those people, the conversation is just them talking over me and bragging or making stupid comments. They always feel the need to one-up me in everything. I once had a guy ask me how long I’ve played violin. When I told him 14 years, he immediately told me how he’s played for 6 years and had already learned Mozart’s hardest concerto. Dear Child Prodigy, as my dad always says, “If you have to tell me how great you are, you’re not.” Also, I heard you play and I’m not going to comment on it because I have nothing nice to say.

Better yet is when people don’t just say rude things, but actually do rude things. I can ignore the girl who told me my legs were so big she had no idea how I could fit them into my skinny jeans (When I’m around that girl I have to use every nice molecule in my body to restrain myself from kicking her in the shins. I’ve been successful so far…), but when you forcefully take a drink out of my hand telling me how bad it is for me, then we have a problem.

I’ll admit that I’m very quiet. I’m not as shy as I used to be, but I’m definitely an introvert, and apparently there’s something wrong with that. There’s nothing I hate more than being told I’m quiet. Ok, maybe I hate it second to running my hip into the corner of a table. You do not know pain until you do that. When people tell me I’m quiet I just want to be like, “NO. WAY. I seriously had no idea. Thank you so much for enlightening me,” but I don’t because, hello, introvert. Don’t really talk much. I actually used to get really upset over it. Sometimes to the point of tears. I’m not sure exactly what made (and still sort of makes) me so upset. What I’ve sort of figured out is that since our world is so loud and no one can sit still, I’m the outcast because I’m not dominating a conversation or wanting to party every Friday night or constantly flirting with guys. Because, you know, as if I don’t have a hard enough time fitting in as is. One of the many pros of being introverted is that I think before I speak. Actually, I over-think and run through what I’m going to say 5 times in my head and by the time I’m comfortable to say it, the topic has already changed. Oh well. Better to be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt, right?

Not to go all psychology on you guys, but what do you think causes people to feel like they can say whatever they want? Is it a lack of manners? Class? Or just insecurity? Or maybe the world just needs more introverts. I’d be totally chill with that.

Also, I used to collect those white pieces of paper at the bottom of Reece’s peanut butter cups. I was a weird kid.

Halloween Candy Cookies

(This recipe is from the back of the box. More or less. I added the candy bit because we have so much Halloween candy left over.)

1 package King Arthur gluten free cookie mix

1/2 cup soft butter

1 large egg

2 tablespoons water

8 frozen Reece’s peanut butter cups, chopped

1/2 cup M&Ms

1.Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Put about half the cookie mix in a bowl, and beat in the butter. It’s especially fun to beat the butter with the arm you got a flu shot in. Yeah.

3. Beat in the remaining cookie mix, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the Reece’s peanut butter cups and M&Ms.

4. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet, leaving about 2″ between cookies. Gently squish cookies 1/2″ thick. Ok, it said flatten on the box, but I definitely squished the cookies.

5. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

6. Devour. Om nom nom.

This post is in no way sponsored by King Arthur, but I wish it was. Please. I’m not asking for much. Maybe just a few boxes of your cookie mixes or some money. I’d definitely enjoy money.

And not ONCE did anyone ever say, “Socrates, muffins without sugar taste like poison.”

I’m a little awkward. And that’s an understatement.

I’m the kind of girl who doesn’t know how to take compliments like a normal person. For example:

You: Hey Picco, your blog post last night was cool.

You think I’m joking. The only reason I sound somewhat sane on my blog is because I can edit what I write. Sometimes (all the time?) when I look at my writing I think Well. I have no idea what my point is. I think my life needs a backspace button so I can erase all the dumb things I blurt out. I also need a theme song and someone who will tell me to go running in the morning instead of downing multiple bowls of Apple Jacks. Although I think that thing’s called a conscience.

I’m not exactly the coolest 17 year old in the world. Cool 17 year olds would probably go to cool concerts, like Ed Sheeran or Train. They’re actually both coming to St. Louis soon, but I’m not going to see them. Who am I going to see instead? Justin Bieber. Before you judge me and start throwing small inanimate objects at your computer screen (because isn’t that what we all do when we judge something?), let me explain. No, I’m not a “Belieber.” At all. I prefer to be fans of people like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Helena Bonham-Carter, and Robert Downey Jr. You have to have three names to win my admiration, obviously. The only reason I’m going is because my dad was able to get free tickets. A few weeks ago Sister Celiac and I were talking about how hilarious it would be if we could go to his concert as a joke. My dad was like well, I might be able to get free tickets… and he did. I think if I close my eyes really hard and drown out the music by singing a Demi Lovato song, I can pretend I’m at her concert. I’ll let you know how that goes. I’m predicting not well.

You know what else is awkward? Cupcakes. How do you eat those things? If you just bite into them you get frosting all over your face and up your nose. Gross, I know, but you can relate. Apparently the “hipster” way to eat a cupcake is to take off the top, turn that upside down, and make a cupcake sandwich. Like this. I tried that once and guess what? The stupid frosting spilled out over the sides and I had frosting all over my hands and a very depressing looking cupcake. Talk about a let down. Also I’m really awful at making frosting. So basically I’m not good at making or eating cupcakes at all. I prefer to stick with muffins.

Aside from being awkward, I also obviously suck at following recipes. Sometimes when a recipe calls for 6 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder and 3/4 cups of sugar, you should add the sugar. Guess what I didn’t do? Just to give you a general idea of how disgusting these muffins were, after eating one it made me want to go into the depths of our basement, pull out a U-Hall box, and start gnawing on it just to get the taste out of my mouth. I tried to make them better by drowning them in chocolate syrup, but no such luck. They were in the trash before they had even cooled down.

The good news is that Corrupted Brother helped me make these and it was a nice bonding experience for us. We sang If I Had You by Adam Lambert together. Halfway through I stopped and wondered how the heck he knew the words to it. I’m so sorry, mom. I gave him 5 chocolate chips and he managed to get chocolate ALL over his face. That’s talent right there. He also decided it would be a good idea to eat the cocoa that had spilled on the counter. He regretted that in about 1.7 seconds.

Even though we made a huge mess, I had to change the Pandora station from Peter Fox to One Direction to Fun. to the Inception film score in order to make Corrupted Brother happy, and we used stale marshmallows and…uhhh…no sugar, I had fun baking with my lovely brother. True story.

I’m 100% positive these are delicious, but just remember to add all the ingredients. If you end up making them, let me know how they turn out, ok? Ok. Lovely.

Chocolate Marshmallow Muffins

From What’s Gaby Cooking

1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 cups flour (I used King Arthur’s all purpose gluten-free flour)
6 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup marshmallows
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 cup skim milk

Line a cupcake tray with cupcakes liners and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a bowl combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, SUGAR, chocolate chips and marshmallows. In a large mixer whisk the egg, milk and melted butter. Slowly add the flour mixture until completely mixed. If you’ve forgotten the sugar, I’d recommend adding it right about now. The batter will be stiff and hopefully not sugar-less.

Divide the batter evenly into the 12 cupcake liners.

Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack.

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.


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.