Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Newly Dead Tank Tops

For the upcoming season, Newly Dead (also called Fresh Meat in other leagues) girls need a blank tank top and a white tank top, each with real names or established skater names on them. There's no way to explain how excited I am to finally write "Mel Breakdown" on my things.

I started with $8 Target tank tops. I hear Walmart has cheaper ones, but my experience with Target clothes has been better. I may be a snob.

I grabbed an old shoebox to stretch out the fabric and give me a surface to write on.

Short strokes going with the grain of the fabric worked best for me.

I'd recommend sketching this out first so everything fits. I didn't do that, though.

Because I'm not rostered, I tried to stay team-neutral with colors.

Also, I sketched a logo idea for the front but didn't do it just yet. Maybe soon.

With the extra space, I added my number.

I used a bleach pen for the black shirt because I couldn't find my silver pen.

Good idea, right? Several people suggested it.

Here are some tools of the trade.

Fact: I am unable to take photos of my own back.

Second fact: the bleach pen did not work for me. Not at all. So I re-did it the next day in silver Sharpie. Much better!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

There's One In Every Family

Friends Don't Let Friends Eat Jiffy Muffins.

But if you must, make them frickin' adorable. Tinier = Adorabler (Yes, I have a degree in journalism and happen to edit for a living. Why do you ask?)

Every family has one (or more) person who doesn't want any of the tasty things you offer. My hubby is sometimes of them. Because I love my hubby, I made him Jiffy muffins while my Vegan Banana Muffins with Nutella were baking.

There's one in every family, sire. Two in mine, actually.
--Zazu, The Lion King

Pretty little muffin liners add to adorability.

Sorry, but I'm claiming the word adorability. I mean, how adorable is that word? Very.

Turns out that although the box says 5-12 muffins depending on size, 12 muffins should be bigger than mini-muffins.


Monday, August 29, 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011

Vegan Banana Muffins with Nutella

Inspired by Strawberry Nutella Muffins, my mission was to make banana muffins with Nutella and keep it vegan. When I looked up "is Nutella vegan?" I find out that it's not. Well, good thing I'm not vegan. This veggie girl ain't givin' up her Nutella.

Oh no, I just said "ain't" on my blog. Please don't leave me.

In any case, instead I made vegan banana muffins (with Nutella). If you're vegan, you'll have to leave the Nutella out. Of course, you could use regular banana muffins if you do include Nutella because it's all a wash at that point.

Do I make sense? No? Okay, great.

For the record, I also looked up various recipes for vegan muffins and banana-Nutella muffins but didn't like any of them, so I bastardized them all into my own.

Muffin liners seem silly to me, but my hubby does dishes and I love him. Therefore, I line my muffin tins.

Use old bananas! Not like "oh, there's a tiny spot and I don't like soft bananas." Wait until they're really gross and bruised, maybe even molding a little. Then wait another day. Then you can bake with them.

Mash bananas and mix in oil. I don't love cooking with oil over butter, but I refuse to buy vegan margarine. As a non-vegan, I believe in butter. All hail butter.

Add sugar and brown sugar. Something about this mix just feels right. If it works for chocolate chip cookies, it's good enough for you. And me. And muffins.

Add the dry ingredients and mix it all up. This looks thick and I thought of add almond milk, but then I remembered that banana bread batter always looks too thick. I'm glad I resisted.

One tablespoon of batter in each liner. Then half a teaspoon of Nutella. Then another tablespoon of batter. I don't usually cook this precisely, but I thought this might be helpful for those of you who do.

Bake until pokeable. (That is, a fork or knife or something comes out cleanish.) The muffins in question are the front seven. The back five are Mr. CookingOnSkates' Jiffy muffins. More about those next week.

Run-of-the-mill-looking muffin, right?

Bam! Nutella leakage.

Oh glorious Nutella leakage.

I had a hunch that these would be so good that I got out wedding china to photograph them on. For real.

There's something almost suggestively naughty about this and I don't care who knows it.

There may have never been a happier muffin. If you think I'm crazy, I dare you to make these and prove me wrong.

Vegan Banana Muffins with Nutella
(makes 7 muffins)

2 very ripe bananas
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup flour
2/3 cup wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp Nutella

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line or spray muffin pan.
3. Mix all wet ingredients but Nutella. Then add all dry ingredients and mix wel.
4. Fill muffin tins halfway with batter.
5. Add a little Nutella to each muffin.
6. Top with more batter.
7. Bake until starting to brown.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Favorite Place to Spend All My $

My friend Angela just started up the most amazing store, Stripped Gears Roller Derby Boutique. I'm a little jealous of her awesomeness.

Here are a few of the nifty things I've gotten there already.

Cute free stickers to adorn my helmet:

I especially like this one:

Adorable over-the-knee socks that fit my huge calves:

A new padding to replace worn-out ones for the inside of my helmet:

No one asked me to do this and it isn't a paid advertisement. I just really love this store, so check it out!

Also, if anyone ever needs or wants to buy me a gift for anything, just walk in and get pretty much anything in here.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Upcoming Season Thoughts

I love this post from Edith MyRant on lessons she learned during her rookie season of Dead Girl Derby.

While I've certainly learned a lot myself over the last year of coming back from knee surgery, skating practices and reffing games, as of today I'm officially looking forward to the 2012 season. In an attempt to keep myself accountable by making my goals public, here are some things I want to do:

1. Train like an athlete. I've been skating five days a week, walking my dog on off-days and doing yoga a couple times a month, but I want to add some cross-training like more jogging or weightlifting.
2. Fuel my body (aka eat) like an athlete. Too often I excuse indulgences in cupcakes or beer because I've been skating a lot and "deserve" it. To get my body ready for next season, I need to more consistently feed it good things. I wouldn't put old cooking oil in a sports car, even though it could run on that for a while.
3. Learn T-stops on the left side. My right-side stops are decent, but I want to even out. So while some people are learning T-stops for the first time, I'm going to try to join in on the opposite leg.
4. Participate in most fundraisers. For the 2011 season, I wasn't sure how I fit into the league as an injured skater, ref or Horde. Now I have no excuse not to give it my all. I don't know yet if I'll skate one season or many, but I know I can do my best this year.
5. Say yes to social events. Whenever someone asks me if I want to go out for a beer or sushi after practice, I say no. I always intend to attend after-parties but wimp out at the last moment. Occasionally, I need to say yes and get to know people off the track.
6. Learn hockey stops. These look so cool. I want to do them.
7. Jam or pivot by midseason. I want my skating and other skills to be strong enough that I can be the one scoring for my team.
8. Learn all the MADE rules really well. As a ref, I felt shaky on my rule knowledge and I never liked that. This is something I should have done sooner for OSDA, but better late than never, right?
9. Keep focusing on my non-derby life. Sadly, derby can't last forever. I need to make sure not to neglect my other family or friends now.
10. Know when to say no. For some people, "sorry" is the hardest word. For me, that's "no." While I do want to say "yes" to things I'm unsure about sometimes, I'm still learning to listen to my own body and know when I need to step back and take some time off, whether mentally or physically.

What are your goals for the next year, either in derby or life?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Final Game of the Season

Photos courtesy Steve Yates, Community Faces.

Sunday was the final game of Dead Girl Derby's second season. Thanks to my zombie mother-in-law for coming out to support me!

And also my niece, Ali. What an adorable zombie.

The game also marked the return of the ref corset Stabby Doo made me.

Tomorrow I'll be a Dead Girl recruit skater, aka Newly Dead!