Hair dyeee

Last week was my graduation. Hurray! I’m official a Master of Science. And I celebrated with champagne and family get-togethers. Of course, with my luck I managed to come down with a hell of a cold for that day. And the 5 am wake up time did not make it better. It still turned out to be a great day, and I managed to get a job offer! I’m no longer a homemaker… my housewifey duties lasted for only 2 months. Oh how I shall likely miss the free time and opportunities for crafts and baking.

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The other week I received my free BzzKit from http://www.bzzagent.com. I have decided to colour my hair. I’m naturally a dark brown, but was hoping that the shift to golden medium brown would be subtle and warming. 002073075

I’m apparently a mess. I’m surprised I didn’t dye my entire bathroom in the process. Though the entire endeavour was relatively fool-proof. And the conditioner that came in the box smelled like coconuts (mmmm!).076 079

Ultimately, I anticipated a much more drastic colour change. I can see more red tones in my hair, but it truly looks dark brown still. Oh well, at least I smell like coconuts.

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Fall dessert

Autumn is by far the most delicious season. I had intended on making my traditional pumpkin cheesecake for Thanksgiving dinner the other weekend, but apparently my springform pan went missing during my move. When I found out that I’d be attending another turkey dinner this weekend, I jumped at the chance to make it now that I bought a new pan. This recipe is pretty fail proof… I’ve made it many times, in many different kitchens and it has always been a hit.

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The crust gets baked twice; once separately to set the crust and once with the filling.

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It is done when firm to the touch.

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Serve with whipping cream or whatever delicious toppings you desire! And enjoy!!

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For the Crust:

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 and ¼ cups crushed ginger snaps

Melt butter in a saucepan and stir in the crumbs.

Press into ungreased 9″ x 9″ springform pan.

Bake at 350oC for 10 minutes, on the middle rack in the oven.

For the Filling:

Ingredients:

  • 2 x 250g softened cream cheese
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 398 mL pure pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger

Beat cream cheese and sugar together well.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.

Mix in the pumpkin and spices.

Pour mixture over the crust.

Bake at 350oC for about 50-60 minutes, or until firm.

Chill and serve with whipping cream and chocolate curls.

Lazy Sunday

I like to be lazy on Sundays, as I imagine most people do. And I also like to bake and have delicious food to snack on while I’m being lazy. For the past few weeks, I have imagined making and eating homemade cinnamon buns… and yesterday I finally made them a reality.

With the help of my handsome sous chef (Tyler), we were able to quickly make ourselves a yummy treat.

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Now, I think that these cinnamon buns could have used frosting. But I served mine with heavy cream and jam. Yum!

For the pastry:

3 cups flour

2 tbsp white sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

a dash of salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

2/3 cups of cubed, cold salted butter

1-1/4 cups buttermilk

1 egg

For the Filling:

3 tbsp butter, softened

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a 12 inch pizza pan with parchment paper or lightly sprinkle it with flour, and set aside.

2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda, then using a pastry blender cut butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.

3. Using a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk and egg together, then pour it over the dry ingredients. Stir with a fork to make soft dough.

4. Press the dough into a ball using floured hands, and knead gently on a floured surface. Roll the pastry into a 16 by 11 inch rectangle.

5. In a small bowl, combine chopped pecans, brown sugar and cinnamon; set aside.

6. Spread butter over the pastry, leaving a small 1/2 inch border along one of the lengthwise edges, then sprinkle butter with the pecan mixture.

7. Roll up the pastry towards the bordered edge evenly into log ,and pinch the seam to seal.

8. Using a serrated knife, cut the pastry into 1 inch thick slices. Arrange the slices onto the pizza pan and bake in center of the oven at 400°F (200°C) for approximately 15 minutes or until golden.

Trying to sew

So, I am not crafty. I am a science geek. A clean freak. I am probably more sporty than crafty. But I have delusions of grandeur… and imagine myself as somehow being successful at every little project I want to take on. My most recent endeavor has been trying to sew a purse. I was of course inspired by my hours of pinning onto my Crafts & Projects board on Pinterest. More specifically, I came across this lovely wool purse by Nap Time Creations (http://nap-timecreations.com/2012/10/winter-wool-purse-tutorial.html).

Now, the last time I came in contact with a sewing machine was approx. 3 years ago. I made a crazy colourful set of curtains for my then-brand new apartment. It probably took me an entire summer to complete those curtains. So I’m not exactly sure why I keep thinking that this will be a good idea. I clearly needed an actual pattern to use, or something I could slightly modify. I ended up combining my ideas of the Nap Time Creations purse with a pattern I found on Pattern Pile (http://patternpile.com/sewing-patterns/hobo-bag-sewing-pattern-fabric-pellon-pdf).

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The material I bought is a blue/purple/yellow plaid cotton flannel. And I bought purple satin for the lining. Also, the yellow and black material you can see in the photos is actually what ultimately inspired this poorly conceived plan… it’s a skirt from Ghana that my grandmother gave me. She bought it years ago, and I always thought it would make great material for a tote bag. So that project will be some other lifetime from now…

Anyways, I washed and ironed (how matronly) the materials… but called in for reinforcements. My mother, who is somehow the ultimate artsy craft-happy person, came over to help me set-up my sewing machine. This machine is ancient and I have never used this particular model before. It is probably from the fifties, and is built into a little table. I thought it was cool, until I tried to open it up and get it ready for some actual sewing. The thing weighs a ton and I’m surprised I didn’t break it (or myself) trying to move it around.

Once we actually tried sewing something (some of Tyler’s work sweaters), I managed to break a sewing needle. One quick trip to Walmart, and I was trying again… and breaking more needles. I’m not so sure I’m cut out for this work, but I will try again another day. In all likelihood, this will be exactly like the curtain scenario. I expect that by Canada Day next year, I will have a lovely plaid purse.

Graduation

Here we go again….

In 2 weeks, I will be attending convocation for my Master’s degree. Undergraduate graduation doesn’t seem that long ago, but it was also another lifetime. Let’s put this into some perspective. I’m 26 years old. I completed a 4.5 year degree in Biomedical Toxicology, then took a couple years off to explore the “vast world” of employment. That world seemed a little unimpressive. This fact primarily surprised me, as I worked a series of jobs throughout my Bachelor’s degree as part of my co-op requirement. Not all of these jobs were the most exciting, however they gave me a pretty great variety of tasks to try and allowed me to meet some really amazing people. So when I went off into the big wide world and got a job all on my own, why did I find that I hated it so much? I was bored. The job was in a doctor’s office. It was not challenging. I had a hard time connecting with my coworkers. I cut loose my loser boyfriend at the time. I fell into a serious depression. I felt extremely alone and lost, as my two best friends at the time also moved out of town during that period of my life. Then came 2012… I decided to turn my misery into something not necessarily productive, but hopefully into something that would drag my soul out of the deep pit it was in and let me reconnect with people.

I did what any then-23 year old would do: I started partying hard. I made probably the most ridiculous New Year’s resolution of all time. I aimed to have at least one solid “party night” a week. This strategy was to force me out of my strongly formed shell, and maybe get me back into the world of the living. Where people felt alive. I started online dating (of course, only using the sketchy free websites)… and I got tons of crazy stories out of those experiences. When I finally quit the online exploration, and decided I wasn’t ready to start dating or didn’t want anything serious, that’s when I met my now-boyfriend – Tyler. He was/is amazing. I’m not going to spill all the minute details of our meeting and awkward start but I will say that he played along with my New Year’s resolution… and I successfully completed 52 weeks of debauchery. My liver is still recovering. During that time, I also started school again. Nothing seems more “light and breezy” than graduate school, right? How about a Master’s of Science in chemistry?

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I defended my Master’s thesis this past September 2nd (my birthday). Since then, I moved to a small town and got an apartment with Tyler. Our first month living together has been great… except that I’m unemployed and once again separated from my home base of friends. I don’t think my experience will be the same as my post-undergrad roller-coaster. This time I feel more mature and have someone who I truly believe has my back. I certainly won’t be binge-drinking every week like before.

Anyways, now my life is that of a homemaker until I find employment or inevitably go back to school.

unintentional homemaker