So, I failed my driving test

Spoiler alert: The title of this post is somewhat misleading. I passed my driving test yesterday,  but the terrifying story of me failing the first time I took it will haunt me forever… ever… ever…

orange-raisin scones

Driving scares me. No, terrifies. Like on a scale of 1 to Amy Winehouse’s teeth, me operating a car ranks pretty high up there. That poor woman was such a mess. An off-duty cop named Glen has been giving me driving lessons. I feel much more comfortable driving with him, and every time I look at the huge scar on his arm from when he was knifed when arresting someone I silently thank my mom for not letting me be a cop. But then I get sad again because I’ve always wanted to go on a high speed chase and taze someone. Okay so maybe those aren’t the best reasons for wanting to be a cop.

orange zest

I’ve done about 10 hours of driving with Glen and not only have we become best friends when he’s not yelling brake brake brake SLAM ON THE BRAKES, but I’ve gotten to the point where I felt ready to take the test. The other day we were driving and without telling me, he lead me to the DMV. Yeah, thanks Glen. I practiced parallel parking a few times (aced it every time), and then walked into one of the most depressing places on the planet. Are all DMV’s required to have off-white walls and floors and smell like sadness? I got assigned the grumpiest lady I’d encountered in a while and she told me to show her to my car. I gave Glen a quick thumbs up and got ready to get my license. We got in the car and I successfully operated my hazards and windshield wipers. Check. We were merrily rolling along and I pulled over to the right side of the road and backed up too without a hitch. And then I met my now arch-nemesis Evil Dr. T-Intersection.

scone dough

I came to the stop sign and sadly didn’t read the sign beneath it that said “cross traffic doesn’t stop.” There were train tracks that crossed the intersecting road and there was a car driving up to the tracks, so I just decided to go ahead since they still had to cross the tracks. Apparently that wasn’t a good idea. Commence freak out from the angry government worker. She flipped out at me and yelled for me to stop the car… in the middle of the intersection. I didn’t and just kept driving since the car was now crossing the tracks and would have hit me. I knew right then I failed because I could feel her burning a hole in my soul and I wasn’t even looking at her. We drove back to the DMV and she hardly waited for me to stop the car before getting out. I walked into the DMV behind her and not only did she not hold the door for me, but she actually pulled it closed. But I vowed I would not eat, I would not rest for a moment until I passed my test. And then I ate and rested a lot and tried taking the test again a few days later. The good news is that I put on my lucky shirt yesterday and passed with an 83. The bad news is that my lucky shirt is a Jonas Brothers shirt. I’m pretty sure I’m the only 17 year old who still wears one of those.

unbaked scones

Not only did I pass my driving test yesterday, but I also shadowed a nurse at a pediatric hospital. Was it awesome? Yes. Was it what I was expecting? No. The actual nursing part of it (putting medicine in IVs, taking blood pressure, checking incisions) was so cool, but I don’t always look my age and everyone asked me what high school I was going to and then was shocked that I was going to college. I was babied by the nurses which was aggravating, but I enjoyed the day for the most part. It’s not something I’ll do again, but I’m excited for nursing school. Thank goodness I still want to go because one of the nurses told me how much she hated it and how horrible it was. Um, what? Aren’t you supposed to be fostering my love of nursing here? Guess not. Thank goodness you didn’t annoy me too much or else I’d have to resort to RUNNING YOU OVER WITH MY CAR. Except I don’t actually have a car yet. And I don’t have my license yet either… but I passed the test, so that’s all that matters.

Oh, and the disembodied hand up there belongs to Future Chef. He made almost all of this by himself, which I think is pretty impressive for a 5th grader. He made the scones, I took the pictures, and I also ate 3 scones. He and I make a great team.

scones with jelly

Orange-Raisin Scones

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
1 orange, unpeeled
1/2 cup buttermilk (if you don’t have a stock of buttermilk in your fridge like most normal humans, you can make it yourself using milk and lemon juice. Google exactly how to do it, but that’s usually what I do and none of my food has yet to spontaneously combust)
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 raisins
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons sugar

1 Preheat the oven to 425 F.

2. In a medium size mixing bowl, measure 1 3/4 cups of flour, 3 tablespoons of sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt and mix until combined. Set aside.

3. Melt the butter and place in a medium bowl.

4. Wash the orange to get off all of the pesticides so you don’t die. Using a grater, grate about 1/2 teaspoon of zest off the orange and place into the bowl with the butter. Add the buttermilk, egg, vanilla, and raisins. Stir until combined.

5. Slowly add the flour mixture to the buttermilk mixture, stirring constantly until mixture gathers into a bowl (about 30 seconds).

6. Sprinkle about 3 tablespoons of flour on a cutting board. Knead the dough on the cutting board about 8 times. For some reason whenever I knead dough I think of that scene in Cinderella when she’s scrubbing the floor. True story. Shape the dough into a ball and roll out into an 8-9″ circle.

7. Place the kneaded dough on an ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of sugar on top of the dough.

8. With a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 8 wedges. Slightly separate the dough wedges so they don’t spread out during cooking and form one delicious blob of scone. If that happens, lick it after it’s cooked and call dibs. That’s what you have to do around here since there are 7 of us kids. We take our food very seriously.

9. Bake scones for about 15 minutes and cool on wire rack.

10. Enjoy with your afternoon tea. Why don’t Americans have tea time? That’s messed up.

Advertisements

I’m trying to make money by not making money. Genius.

It’s only day 2 of Easter break and everyone’s already bored out of their skulls. Yesterday, Corrupted Brother was walking in circles in the kitchen, licking a Triscuit, and humming Fur Elise for a good five minutes. Yeah, it’s that bad.

sour cream coffee cake batter

I’m not taking a break this week because I’m a bit behind in school and I just need to finish. I’m so unmotivated to do school, so I’ve decided to plan things to look forward to this summer. Brilliant plan, no? I work well for incentives. Mainly Rolos. My siblings got a bunch of those for Easter and I’ve been living off of them. I’m pretending that they’re fruits and vegetables so I actually have a balanced diet. And starches. And meats. Hey, I have a weakness for candy. Don’t be a hater.

brown sugar and cinnamon

This summer is going to be insane, though. All I want to do is make money so I actually have money to spend on food in college. So far, I’m only volunteering. Logic at its finest. Earlier today, I filled out an application so I can volunteer at a local children’s hospital. I’m hoping to volunteer a few days a week this summer so that I can get a feel for the pediatric hospital environment, since that’s where I’m thinking of working after I graduate from nursing school. Anyway, it’s volunteer, so no payment there. I’m also hoping to volunteer in a lab where a friend of my grandpa’s works. I guess I’ll continue teaching piano, but that only pays so much. Basically I’m just going to have a humungous graduation party where you’ll all shower me with gifts and money because I’m broke.

sour cream coffee cake batter and topping

I had a productive day applying for stuff that will make me absolutely no money. Know what else I did today? I looked at the return policy for a pair of running shoes I bought last week. They’re the barefoot trail shoes, which I was hoping would help me not be so incredibly sore when I run. But guess what? I opened the box yesterday to try on the shoes, AND MY DANG FEET ARE TOO WIDE. I think God sort of fell asleep at the wheel when he was designing me. He accidentally gave me bricks for feet. So I’m returning them. Speaking of running, I’m running a 5K on Saturday! And guess what! I totally hurt my knee yesterday! I’m pretty much an invalid right now. I feel like Crutchy from Newsies, minus the fact that I’m not a dude with a bad fake Brooklyn accent. That movie is so horrible, it’s good. I’m hoping whatever I did to my knee heals up before Saturday. I AM running/walking/limping the race. I dropped 40 bucks on this race, and last time I checked, I was still a poor, struggling student.

sour cream coffee cake

But you know what fixes all of life’s ills? Sour cream coffee cake. This stuff is the bomb… and I didn’t even get to eat it. We gave it to my mom’s friend who just had a baby. I absolutely hate giving away food I made. Not only do I not get to eat it, but I’m never sure if it’s cooked all the way through or it tastes good. First world chef problems for real, but I hate it. Anyway, here’s the coffee cake that I didn’t actually get to enjoy. It’s one of my favorite foods, so I’d strongly recommend making it. Or you can just go lick a Triscuit. That’s what all the cool kids do.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Cake:

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt

1 cup sour cream

Topping:

2/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Beat the butter and granulated sugar together. Beat in two eggs, mixing thoroughly after each one. Add vanilla.

3. In a separate bowl (you gotta keep it separated…), combine the flour, baking powder and soda, and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture, stirring until combined. Wallop in the sour cream. Is wallop a word? I know dollop is. I’m too lazy to look it up and there isn’t a red squiggly line under it, so it must be a word. Duh.

4. In yet another separate bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Um, that’s it.

5. Grease a bundt ban (well, it’s actually more of a pan used for angel food cake, but I’m not sure what to call it), and layer 1/2 of the batter in it. Sprinkle 2/3 of the topping (didn’t think you’d have a math lesson, huh?), then the rest of the batter, and the rest of the topping. Let’s review: batter, topping, batter, topping. Right then.

6. Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes.

7. Yum.

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.

10 things I hate about you, 12th grade

There’s no amusing introduction to this post. I’m getting straight to the point.

1. No naps. And I don’t mean I wish I could go back in time and take all the naps I refused to take when I was little. I mean more along the lines of why do little kids get naps and we don’t? It’s like “Golly gee am I tired from playing with all those blocks for 20 minutes straight. And don’t even get me started about how exhausted I am from all the hand-eye coordination I had to do when I was finger painting.” So toddlers get naps after doing absolutely nothing and we’re expected to go, “Well, I don’t know about you, but all that trigonometry and AP French and filling out college applications has sure rejuvenated me! Oh and luckily I love every single person in my class, so I get to have fun classes AND be around fun people! Who needs naps?” Um, seniors need naps. We also need to have a pass that allows us to punch one person in the face every day and not get in trouble. Figuratively punch? And maybe literally too. Oh and speaking of not taking naps, when I was in Kindergarden at “real school” (not homeschool), I didn’t take one nap. Ever. Why? Because I had convinced myself that if all the kids fell asleep, the teachers would set the building on fire and we’d all die. Yeah, those were the things 5 year old me thought about. Dear everyone in my Kindergarden class, I deprived myself from sleep just to save your life. You’re welcome.

2. Speaking of college applications, well, college applications. Especially the essay part. “Write about a topic of your choice.” Well, that’s not vague.

3. Senioritis. The worst part is I’ve only been doing school for a week. This is going to be a long year.

4. Being homeschooled as a senior. Because now the “Wait, are you gonna like homeschool for college and stuff?” questions are in full force. NO. NO ONE DOES. Now stop asking.

5. Having this be my daily schedule: Wake up, get ready, eat breakfast, do 1 1/2-2 hours of anatomy, 1 hour of history, eat lunch, 1 1/2 hours of advanced math, 1 hour of logic, 1 hour of an introduction to college writing course, 1 hour of Latin, 45 minutes of piano, dinner, take a breather, read, fall asleep/pass out. Rinse and repeat every day. I like to shake things up a bit sometimes, just to keep it interesting. For example, I volunteer at a daycare Monday nights and last week a 4 year old spit in my face. Then yesterday my little brother decided that potty doesn’t always need to go IN the potty, and I got to scrub the bathroom floor with Mr. Clean within an inch of its life. Ugh.

6. Having my best friends be either at college far away, or at college close by but super busy with work, or close by and doing an online college but being super busy with life and thinking about rum cake 24/7. You know who you are. Or they’re online friends that I’ve never actually met and they live in Florida or Arizona. So I’m just sitting here like, Crap. This is kinda lonely.

7. Realizing that since I’m homeschooled and I don’t have a “set” reading list, I really haven’t read most of the books other highschoolers have read. So I’m kind of frantically reading right now. I’m currently working on Cancer Ward, Woman in White, and Lord of the Flies. Only problem with reading so many books at the same time is sometimes I’m confusing the plots and characters. No really, yesterday I was replacing Pavel with Piggy when I was reading Cancer Ward. I need a nap. See #1.

8. Not having time to cook and blog. I know once I get in the swing of things with school my life will settle down and I’ll have more free time. At the moment I’m just too unorganized to think about cooking AND THEN writing a blog post that won’t bore people to tears. But tonight I forced myself to make snickerdoodles. Mainly because they’re my favorite cookie ever (next to white chocolate macadamia nut cookies) and I needed to unwind a bit. This recipe is so good too.

9. Having to decide on a major. I know I don’t need to pick one out right away, and I can always switch, but I’d like to commit to one. Do I go straight to nursing school, or do I major in Philosophy or Classics and then take a 1 year nursing course? Decisions, decisions. Yay?

10. Growing up. Don’t get me wrong, growing up is awesome. (I now don’t feel guilty about watching Y-7 tv shows like I did when I was little. I remember being 6 years old and watching Pokemon at my friend’s house and thinking I was such a rebel for watching it and not being 7 yet. I was the kind of kid your parents didn’t want you hanging around with. I can’t be tamed.) But growing up is not nearly as magical as it was when I was in 2nd grade and all highschool seniors seemed like gods. Really tall, gorgeous, popular gods. Funny how your perception of things as a kid is totally different than how things really are, huh? Now the “real world” is in the back of my mind. Where do I want to move after college? Where do I want to work? What about having kids? Why are all my celebrity future husbands so much older than me and and why are most of them are married? STUPID CHRISTIAN BALE. I hate you.

Aside from all the things I hate, I know this last year of highschool will be awesome. I really love all the classes I’m taking, I’m keeping in touch with all my friends, and I’m eating snickerdoodles. Um, delicious.

And yes, I kind of got bored while I was waiting for the last batch to be done. I got up to stacking 7 cookies on top of each other before the tower fell. You wish we were friends in real life.

Snickerdoodles

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt (leave out if you’re using salted butter)

2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar, and eggs thoroughly in a large bowl.

Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl.

Blend dry ingredients into butter mixture.

Chill dough and an ungreased cookie sheet for about 10-15 minutes in the fridge. Yes, stick a cookie sheet in the fridge. Cooking is so weird sometimes.

Meanwhile, mix 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a small bowl.

Form dough into 1-inch balls (about the size of a little bouncy ball. That’s the only thing I can think of…), place into the sugar/cinnamon mixture, and roll it around until it’s completely coated.

Place on chilled ungreased cookie sheet, and bake 10 minutes.

Remove from pan immediately.

Attempt to enjoy them while you cry over the fact Christian Bale is only 6 years younger than your dad…awkward.

A superhero cake for my brother who pretends he’s Batman

So, my brother. You know, the one who prays for Megan Fox and confuses the words potato and tornado? Yeah, he’s obsessed with superheroes. And obsessed is an understatement.

Every day his favorite superhero changes. Right now it’s a tie between Green Lantern and Batman, because he doesn’t like ones that fly. Apparently Batman doesn’t fly. Hmmm. I don’t understand that boy.

None of my other brothers have been as fascinated as he is with men who wear capes and most likely have anger issues. They were more into Blue’s Clues and cars, and they certainly didn’t run around the house wearing Batman glasses, a Spiderman shirt, and yelling I’M GOING TO DESTROY YOU. He doesn’t get his craziness from me. I think?

It’s his birthday in a few days and for months now he’s been saying that he wants a superhero cake. Since I enjoy superheros too (Exhibit A: Batman converses.), I’ve been really excited about making one for him. So yesterday I sketched out a design for one that I’m not going to show because it looks like a talented 5 year old drew it. I really need to forget my non-existent dream of going to art school.

I think I also need to forget my non-existent dream of being on Ace of Cakes. It’s not too shabby for someone who really has no attention to detail, right? Just agree with me.

I was going to do a three layer cake and have a layer each for Spiderman, Batman, and Green Lantern, but I would have used three boxes of cake mix and that might have been a little too much cake. Maybe. So I used two boxes which made four 9-inch cakes. I stacked them on top of each other and cut the top layer down to be 7-inches. I forget that when you cut a cake the sides get all crumby. Hence the top layer doesn’t look so hot. The icing and I had a bit of a fight at 11pm yesterday.

So anyway, happy birthday, future Mr. Megan Fox. You’re insane, you know that? But you make me laugh. And I very much approve of your love of Batman.