Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Clothing Swap Side Effects

Let me start by saying I'm aware that I need to iron occasionally. For better or worse, my car wouldn't start on the day I wrote this, so no one saw the outfit in person anyway.

I snagged this skirt from a good friend at a small clothing swap last weekend. Apparently I had told her at some point that if she ever got rid of it, I wanted it. I'm glad she remembered!

In preparation for the swap, I cleaned my closet of some items that still fit and that I might even like, but just don't ever wear. As a result, I can flip through the things I do wear and really like more easily before work in the morning. The t-shirt above is an example of one. I've had it since college and used to wear it all the time. I still love it, but it had gotten buried in the back of the closet. I liked the way it paired with this skirt. I also decided to break out my nicer heeled brown boots.

Do you like mixing up new outfits, or sticking with pairings you know work?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Nutella-Laced Mini Banana Bread Loaves

At first, I was just going to make banana bread for coworkers. Not even special banana bread; just the kind I can make from memory that my husband really loves. If you try this, use whatever banana bread you like best.

These pans are like 4"x2" and turned out adorable little mini loaves. They're big enough to share with a friend, but small enough that I ate an entire one for breakfast.

Then I had this brilliant idea to put Nutella in the middle. I've done this with strawberry muffins and vegan banana muffins, and I know I've seen similar recipes on the Interwebs. Nutella doesn't really want to spread on batter, so I had to shape kind of a poo-log and spread it from there.

Then cover it with some more banana bread batter. The Nutella kind of floated to the top in baking, but at least it doesn't harden on the very top this way.

Lookie how cute they bake up! This is the next morning (this morning, actually), sitting on my desk.

I sprayed the tins before filling them, so the loaf popped right out.

Nutella surprise!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Baby Apple Pies

So, I don't really love pie. Often, I'll turn it down if it's offered to me. In the last couple years, I have found that I'm becoming increasingly fond of pie and less so of cake, but mostly I want cookies and ice cream. But while I'm not a pie lover, what I am is am highly suggestible. If I see a Pizza Hut commercial, I want stuffed crust veggie pizza in my face ABSOLUTELYASSOONASPOSSIBLE.

I'm also a tween at heart. The hubby and I have been watching Supernatural. Now I'm all:

Feel free to just stare that on loop for a while. I won't judge you.

The last time I made pie, I wasn't even married yet. I also didn't know that my now-husband doesn't like cooked fruit. So I made an apple pie on a snow day, ate a single piece, and then watched neither him nor his roommates eat the rest of that giant pie it took me a long time to make.

EFF THAT. No more pie.

Enter Pie Craving of 2013. I wanted Chinese food. But it's bout week, so I'm doing my damnedest to eat as healthy as possible until Saturday evening. When I started to get hungry for dinner, I made vegetarian breakfast burritos on whole-wheat tortillas. Take that, brain!

My reward for making and eating a healthy dinner: making baby pies. There is half an apple per tiny pie, and I only put crust on the top instead of top and bottom. I wish I could pretend this is health food, but at least it's not as high-calorie as the things I've been wanting.

This was also a good excuse to try out the ramekins I bought at Crate and Barrel the day before. I've been wanting ramekins for years, but never got around to buying any. Also, that weird texture on the outside of most ramekins? I do not like. I'm so picky.

Crust recipe adapted from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/best-ever-pie-crust/

Filling recipe adapted from http://mapetitemaisonverte.com/2011/07/30/apple-ramekin-mini-pies/

Baby Apple Pies
(makes four tiny pies)

Two apples, diced
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp flour
Ground cloves
Lime juice

1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup butter-flavored shortening
Pinch salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter or spray ramekins.
2. Mix all filling ingredients in a bowl. Distribute evenly among ramekins.
3. Combine crust ingredients. Knead a couple times by hand. Divide into four balls. Flatten balls to the size of the ramekins. Top filling with crust.
4. Bake 30-45 minutes, or until crust is done.

I kind of wanted to eat the filling raw.

Instead, I put it in my adorable ramekins.

I mixed up the crust ingredients in a bowl. I think you're supposed to refrigerate it for a few hours after this. I did not. No patience.

There is little enough crust that I just floured the cutting board I used to dice the apples.

This looks like sugar cookie dough. It is not sugar cookie dough. But now I want to make this again with sugar cookies topping the pies instead of crust. How awesome would that be?

These smashed with my palms into the perfect size and shape.

They fit so cute!

Do this four times.

Unevenly dump some sugar on the top if you like. How are you supposed to cut these? I ended up with a peanut butter cookie fork pattern more than anything.

Hello, my baby.

I probably could have cooked these just a tiny bit longer, but I was impatient. And hungry. Mostly I was hungry for pie.

Get in my mouth, baby pie!

Flaky crust. Gooey apples. Happiness.

Seriously, get in my mouth, baby pie!