Archive | April, 2012

Photoset Challenge – No. 41

30 Apr

Day 41

Today is Day 43, actually.  The pictures are from Saturday when I worked the Boring Store and went to the Loop with Haley.

It’s grey out, as t has been for the past three days now.  I tried to check the weather on Dashboard, but of the five cities I have weather widgets for, only Paris is loading.  The weather is shitty there, but it always is.

I have a midterm in a little over an hour on ethics, and it should be easy enough to put me asleep.  I won’t sleep through it though, in case you were worried.  I’ll probably just write unnecessarily elaborate answers with lots of Batman references.

I hate whenever I have to say this, but yesterday was so uneventful it hurts.  I biked to the Loop for some books for my Firefly paper and was too exhausted to bike back, so I took the train.  Yes, really.  How sad is that?  I ran into a guy from my Latin class on the platform, which was weird… And that is the most eventful thing that happened.  I went back to campus and to the school library to write the rough draft of my Asian Foreign Policy paper.

And now it’s grey out, and I have a midterm, and I don’t expect to do much today, either, except study, study, study…  I feel like I did a lot more the past two quarters I was in Chicago.  Definitely last quarter around finals and into spring break.

But I’m going to Milwaukee soon, so that’s cool.

The Chicago River. When it rains, this street smells so, so nasty.

Doing inventory at the Boring Store.  Not pictured: the large costume fedora on my head.  I wear a different hat (we have so many hats!) every time I work there, and sometimes the nose-mustache glasses, too.

This was the highlight of our day – What our week had been leading up to – Wow Bao! It’s just a cheap Asian bun chain, but it’s awesome.  We hadn’t been, so we decided that the day would be Saturday.

Also, when I was waiting for this picture to upload, I checked Tumblr and found out Lisa Hannigan is doing a US tour.

Yes!  I will likely cross state lines and go to improbably lengths to make one of the shows!

How much, though.  How much do you want to bet she’ll play New York when I’m here, and here when I’m in New York.  How.  Much.

D:

Spicy Mongolian Beef Bao.

Ha, what.  Apparently this is a local thing?  As in, people seriously do this here?

I mean.

Okay, sure.

Ahahaha, what is a pokie.  What.  What is going on here.

We went into a gourmet grocery store in Water Tower Place (which was like Dean and Deluca) and admired/were puzzled by the chocolate display.

Lego store!  Imagining being the person who got to build the displays!  What a cool job!

I miss my Legos.  I had to leave them at home, but this summer I will build more things.  Things other than cubist bacon and the logos of major operating systems, which is what I did last summer.

This person is Haley and this painting is made of Legos.

(It just started raining.  Man, even if I wasn’t wearing very tall heels, there’s no way I could skateboard…)

See, Legos!

When we were walking back down Michigan Ave., I saw an Avengers display in the Disney store across the street and ran to it.  We looked in the window before deciding, yeah we should probably go in.  And that is where we found these masks.

How cool are these?

So cool!

That’s how cool.

Some art I had never seen before.

I got a Snickers Ice Box Pie from Magnolia.  And let me tell, this pie was almost the end of me.  It’s not that big of a slice, but damn that thing was rich.

The last bite!  It took forever to eat the last three bites.  Haley was also almost defeated by her peanut butter and jelly cupcake, and we pressured each other into finishing.  I suppose it wasn’t quite fair, because she really didn’t want the last bite (it was only a sliver!), and neither did I, but she’s seen me eat pancakes.

I refuse to be defeated by good food, okay.  And yes, I hate myself for a little bit afterwards, but the ultimate triumph of demolishing a stack of pancakes, a pie, or a cake, is SO WORTH IT.

And then there was this dude, who spent such a long time meticulously photographing all the food on his table.  He picked up that cupcake and took some pictures, put his phone down, and peeled the wrapper off the side.  Ostensibly to eat it, right?

But then he picked up the phone again and posed the cupcake just so…

I do the same thing, so I’m certainly not judging him, but it’s really funny to see this kind of thing from an outsider’s perspective.  Because whenever I get food, no matter where I am, I start prodding it into just the right light, crouching almost under the table to get the angle I want, and after a few minutes of this, finally start to actually eat.

Well, I think the rain has stopped.  I’ll bring an umbrella anyway.  And definitely my pens, because I never remember to bring pens with me anywhere these days.

Some of my Latin translations are in colored pencil.  Sad but true.

Photoset Challenge – 38 & 39

28 Apr

Welcome to midterms weeks!  I have three papers!  One of them has ridiculously high standards!  Did I mention the presentation and the three exams!  Thirty-five lines of Latin (shut up, that’s more than that sounds like)!  Life is awesome!

It’s really not that bad.  It’s all manageable.  Finals on the other hand.  Finals.

Let’s not speak of these things.

Days 38 & 39

Combined set because they’re pretty uneventful.

Our quad.  It’s pretty nice.  Especially in when it’s green.  Really, only when it’s green.  And snowy!  Man, our campus is quite lovely in the snow.

These are my friends.  (This is turning into show and tell.  Whatever.)  Haley was riding Paulina’s skateboard while I was on the phone with my dad.  We were about to get dinner, but I had to talk about study abroad with my dad.  Had to.  Couldn’t wait.  Because I am so excited, and I had new information, and I HAD to keep trying to convince him to let me go.

It’s a war of attrition.

(My advisor said that, and it is accurate.)

I really want to take more portraits.  I see a lot of them that I love online, and they’re something I’ve never really done.  I’m pretty shy about it, since it means asking someone to just stand there and stare at you.  I feel a little awkward shooting my friends all the time in candid shots as it is.  But it’s worth it.  Because check out that lighting.  Also, Haley lurking in the backgrounds.  The sunglasses really add to her expression right there.

Whenever Paulina falls off her skateboard, she does a crazy dance until she gets back on to take away from the awkwardness and potential embarrassment.  She fell off twice in the space of a minute right before I took this, near the front of the doors to the building that you can’t see on the left.  So she rocked out for a bit, shuffling back to the board, jumping on, and kicking off again.  The people standing by the doors were greatly amused.

I’m only wearing one shoe because when I wear heels (almost always) I take off the left one so I have a better center of balance.  Hence the toeless tights thing going on here.

I feel like I should come with a disclaimer that people have to sign that says they’re okay with their picture being taken and showing up on the internet.

I had to brake kind of suddenly on my bike, and I kind of jammed my thumb against the handle.  It hurts.  This bike is very harmful, unfortunately, because I tend to jam my ankles against the peddles, which are made of metal…  I have a scrape on the top of my foot, oddly, from one of the peddles, and this raw spot near my hip from hitting the handlebars when I dismounted today.

:(

Lard Nhar for one of the eight hour library sessions.  Yes, one of. Because they happened every day from Sunday to Thursday.  The library is open until 2 am during midterms and 24 hours during finals.

Finals

Will be great.

I unfortunately don’t have a sleeping bag here, but I do have a fleece Spiderman blanket.

One of the group study rooms at the library.

Eraser?  What?

If you haven’t seen The Social Network, you should probably do that.  I need to re-watch it, seriously, because that movie is one of my favorites.  I love origin stories of tech companies. I don’t know why. It’s probably my favorite genre.

I’ve been listening to the score a lot when I work because it’s really beautiful and instrumental, and it’s very good music to focus to.  I guess the movie is kind of sad/inspiring, since Facebook really rose up out of nothing, just the sheer brilliance of its creators, and so much was lost in the process.

I don’t know why I started thinking about that.  Someday I’m going to do a post of my favorite movies.  Someday…

These are my notes for my Asian Foreign Policy research paper.  I started outlining things like this last quarter, and I really like it.  It’s usually way neater…  Yesterday I appropriated a classroom in the new Arts and Letters Hall and used the wall-length whiteboard to outline my ethical analysis paper on Firefly.

I will remember to keep posting things soon probably.

Photoset Challenge – Day 36

24 Apr

I have work to do, as usual, but I also have Things to Say, so here I am.

I haven’t taken any pictures today.  I haven’t done anything today except read about the Vietnam War and go to class and acquire a faculty advisor in Political Science.

Yesterday, though, I started working on a little project, the nature of which I am unsure still.  I went down to the lake and stood in the cold and took pictures of the city until I got mauled by the lake and almost permanently froze my hands.

This is what the water was like yesterday.  How crazy-awesome is that?  Also, this was about the size of the wave that hit me.  It’s okay, I was totally asking for it.

It was amazing because I was standing right on the edge there, looking at the city and the water, and I saw the giant crests churning against the concrete, and knew, I knew that one was going to break soon, and break high and hard.  And when it did, this arc of water was suspended over me, like when you go to lay out a blanket on the floor and it floats above the ground for a few second after you snap it open.  And then suddenly it was hitting me in the face–this awesome cascade, slapping me upside the head before falling down and rushing back into the lake.

This is where my relationship with the city becomes problematic.  Because look at this picture.  How could you not fall in love with this place?  How could you live here and not have your heart stolen a little bit by the graceful, modest skyline; by the lakeside parks; by the lakeshore itself–all 18.5 miles of it.

After eight months, I have such fond memories of this place.  Biking in the Loop, racing down Wells or meandering along Dearborn.  Pre-dawn biking in Lincoln Park and the Belmont Marina, watching the sun melt across the broken ice laying across the lake.

Biking to Evanston that time.  Biking down Milwaukee to get to the Loop, watching the neighborhoods change and the light kiss the edges of buildings so that they shine when you go streaming past.  Biking to class in the mornings, listening to something quiet and happy and passing the still-sleepy streets.  Yes, a lot of these are about biking.  It’s how I get around.  The El is nice, too.  The Brown Line in the snow, in particular, watching the city slide past, covered in white and reverently hushed with winter.

Would I miss it if I left?  Yes, of course I would.  I would miss studying for fall midterms on the beach, trying to read Kenneth Waltz through the sand and the sun.  I would miss finding new neighborhoods that I never new existed, or suddenly seeing the architectural detail on the corner of a building.

I woud miss running errands here.  Because on a given day I might go up into Boystown for the bookstore, down to the Loop for the library, and around the Magnificent Mile to develop film, and the variety of buildings, plants, streets, and light would be amazing.

I would miss walking around or biking at night, going around and around and around the little streets of Lincoln Park.  I would miss spontaneous walks to the Loop.  I would miss sitting under trains, shouting in joy as they go past, pressing the button of my camera for long stretches to capture the racing light overhead.

I would miss the Loop at night; how quiet it is when it’s such a “large” city.  How deserted the place gets for a metropolis.

But then, I’m not going anywhere.  So I wouldn’t miss anything, because it will all still be here, and I will still be here.  And that’s the problem.

I don’t care how young I am, so shut up if that’s what you were going to say.  You are never too young to be helplessly restless and eternally dissatisfied with where you are.  You are never too young to feel a powerful urge to escape to Somewhere Else.  And I had the great fortune of travelling Europe for a month, so I have tasted blood, so to speak.

Of course, what does that mean?  Do I want to leave?  Do I want to transfer?  Do I wish I hadn’t come here?

No…  No, I don’t think so.  I wish I had gone to a different school, maybe.  But I don’t wish I had never met Chicago.  So travel?  Yes.  Because travel means you can return somewhere, and I can’t think of a greater homecoming than flying into ORD and taking the long, slow journey back along the Blue line into the Loop.  I want to leave, but I want to return.  I want to go to China and come back to Lincoln Park with my roommate and our classes and our friends and swing dancing, and people I quite like.

In the meantime, before China, before Southeast Asia or Istanbul or Budapest or Paris or Ireland or Japan or Chile, I’ll be here, biking around and around this city, further and further each time.  I’ll go to our neighboring cities on weekends and the suburbs just to see.

And before that, I will sit here and I will get back to my homework, since that it is what I’m here for.

Shoes do not deserve this treatment.  Least of all my lovely brogues.  I am sorry, brogues.  It was the lake.  It came at me.

Anyway, this has been a post indeed, with a lot of unnecessary melancholy.  I don’t know what triggered it this time.  It, like the lake, comes seemingly out of nowhere, and is always inevitable somehow.

All right, that’s enough wanderlust (not to be confused with ruinenlust) for one day, don’t you think?

Switzerland, 2010

23 Apr

You know that moment when you’re doing something completely mundane  like unscrewing the cap on the laundry detergent or opening your front door for the n-th time, and this one time, for some reason, a powerful memory comes out of nowhere and grabs you by the nose, yanking you hard?

That totally just happened to me.  I was unwrapping my chocolate while sitting in the library (again; I live here) and was punched in the face by Switzerland.

Specifically, unwrapping Swiss chocolate on a bus going through the Alps as we drove across from Italy into Switzerland on a concert tour where I played flute with the most amazing band I’ve ever played with.  We sounded so good.  I was so happy, for a solid five weeks.  I can’t articulate how I feel about that summer even now, two years later.

We took a bus to six countries: Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France, and Luxembourg.  Some day I’ll post all of these pictures.  Some day I will find the France pictures and post those.  Ha.

Ha.

Oh my God I need to find those pictures.

I don’t know what to say about these.  The Alps.  What can you say.  What I remember best is how it was summer, it was July and sweltering in Italy and Austria, but the air was cold in Switzerland.  It’s something I’ve never felt anywhere else.  The climate is warm, but the air is cold.  That’s the closest I can get to describing this.

I can’t think of anytime I was happier than when I was in Europe.  I have never felt more at home, more content, or more excited consistently and on a daily basis.

I’m actually not crazy about these pictures.  My Italy and Germany pictures are great.  I don’t have many of Salzburg mysteriously.  But you know, I don’t know how to photograph mountains.  I never did before this.  I’d been on a few in America, but when I was very young, when I didn’t love them and appreciate them.

Do you know how I got this particular picture?  See down there, where there’s concrete and buildings?  That’s where we were parked.  My friends and I had a picnic right on that lake yonder, which consisted of Nutella and Other Things On Which to Slather Nutella.

After lunch, I was pretty restless, so I went off the little hills by the lake and across parking lot to the foot of the opposing mountain.

Then I ran up.  Like, literally all the way up to where I was standing when I took this.  I just climbed as fast as I could, pulling myself up bump by bump, propelled by years of cross country and an overabundant energetic outpouring of rampant happiness the likes of which I had never felt before.

And then I slide back down like the Alps were my personal slide.  It was.  Magical.

I’d never been so high up, certainly.

This is the chocolate I was reminded of.

In the door of our room leading out to the deck.  I almost walked straight through it.

The view from our room.  I say our.  Not me and my roommate.  We were in a suite-style room, so my roommate and I were paired with another duo.  My roommate and I split into different rooms, so I was with a random girl.

Her name is Corinne, and she’s my best friend.  We see each other bi-annually, trading states.  I go to Rhode Island in the summer and she comes to New York in the winter.  We love telling people how me met in Switzerland.

My best relationships have happened by pure chance.

A cable car riding up the local mountain.

I don’t remember the name of the town where we stayed.  Typical.  But it was in the more German part of Switzerland, before we went to Chateau-aux-Fonds in the French part.  Then on to Dijon, Paris, and Luxembourg…

Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

22 Apr

I wasn’t actually going to write another recipe post so soon, but if I keep trying to translate the Aeneid I will lose my mind, and I’m at the library, so that would be weird.

Seriously, I am like ten lines from the end of this weekend’s passage, having covered 25 already, and I cannot look at that book anymore.  Do you know how long it takes to find a verb sometimes?  So many lines!

So instead, I’m writing this recipe up for cinnamon roll cupcakes, which are essentially cinnamon rolls squashed into cupcake tins.  So the cupcake part is optional… technically.  But this is an excuse to use cute cupcake tins.  Rape occasionem!

That looks like rape, but it means seize, I swear.  Although the translation of  rapere has garnered some controversy over whether the Rape of the Sabines actually meant that the fledgling Roman tribe raped Sabine women, or just seized them and married them forcibly.

Either way, not cool, Romans, but one has revisionist leanings and the other seems more realistic.  Guess which is which.

Anyway.

The recipe is from over here on Pink Parsley, which I found through either Haley or Jennifer, who saw the recipe on… Tumblr probably.

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:

  • 2 1/4 tsp. or 1 packet dry active yeast
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup warm milk (approximately 110 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour

Yes, this recipe requires yeast.  That means there will be dough rising to deal with.  Hurray!  I didn’t know this when I started making it, so it was exciting and stressful, because I have worked with yeast exactly once a couple of years ago.

For the glaze inside the roll (what do you call this stuff?):

  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened

For the frosting:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2-2 cups powdered sugar

Something you will notice about me is that I use cream cheese frosting wherever possible.  I am obsessed.  You will never convince me of a superior frosting, so don’t even try.

So here’s how assemble this stuff:

Dissolve the yeast and 1/4 cup of granulated sugar in the warm milk and let it stand until foamy.  It should take 10 minutes, or approximately forever if you’ve never done this and are afraid that you will somehow mess up the yeast.  You can’t.  Don’t worry about it.

Mix the eggs, butter, salt, and 1/4 sugar into the yeast.  Add flour and mix until the dough becomes a ball.

Knead it 5-10 times and put it in an oiled ball.  Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until it’s doubled in size.  I put mine under a towel under my desk lamp, hoping the towel wouldn’t catch fire because my lamp radiates more heat than I think is really safe or necessary.

In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon for the inside glaze stuff.

My brown sugar was old, but it didn’t really make a difference.  Actually hey.  We had a lot of this stuff left over, and put it in a bag for later use on toast or something.  And I found this bag a couple of weeks ago with cinnamon-y powder in it, but no idea what it was.  This is what it was!

Aha!

I seriously just realized this.  I should make toast tomorrow…

After the dough has risen, leave it on the counter under a cloth and let it rest for 10 minutes.  Don’t ask why.  Dough works in mysterious ways.

Then roll the dough into a 12×22 rectangle, or, you know, until it looks big enough.  I didn’t measure mine.

Spread the dough with some melted butter and dust liberally (very liberally) with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Then roll it up.

Cut into rolls about half an inch-an inch thick.  I used dental floss, which worked very well and was only mildly gross.  You’ll probably have to unroll each spiral and re-roll them more tightly to fit in the tins.  You might even have to tear off a couple of inches from each roll and then synthesize those bits into more rolls. I did.  It’s not a big deal. I have faith that you can make this work.

They should fit like this in the tins:

If they don’t… re-roll!

The  cover them and let them rise for another 30 minutes.

In the meantime, pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees and make the frosting.  Mix the butter and cream cheese together until very well-combined and creamy.  Add in the powdered sugar one cup at a time until you have the consistency you like.  You can really use any frosting you want, but why would you?

Bake the rolls for about 10-12 minutes.

They should look like this when they’re done.  See the tins?  I ran out of my Marvel superhero ones, so I had to get new ones.  These are cool, too.

But the Marvel ones had Iron Man and Captain America, and they’re my favorite, so.

Still, owls.  I love owls.

And this is the whole thing, frosted.  What a derpy looking cupcake.  Trust me, they were delicious.  I want to cry just thinking about them.  Tears of pure sugar, flecked with cinnamon.

Butterbeer Cupcakes

22 Apr

Yes really.  You just read what you think you read.

I’m pretty sure I found this recipe through Tumblr.  It’s from Sunday Sweets, which is totally a blog I should look into more often.  Obviously, because it brought me this:

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for you making these and eating all of them.  You may think that butterscotch is overpowering enough that you won’t be tempted to eat a dozen.  You’re wrong.  Trust me.

I actually didn’t mean to say that originally.  I meant: these pictures are from last summer, and I have vastly improved as a photographer since then. Sorry.

Recipe time!  Algebraic!  Yeah!

Okay.  Here’s what you need to seriously rock your world into next week:

For the cupcakes:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon butter flavoring
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup cream soda
  • Cute cupcake tins.  Seriously, if you’ve got boring ones, you can just leave now.

The recipe calls for a ganache filling, but I don’t use it since I think it’s a bit overkill.  I made it with the ganache filling the first time and it was grossly sweet.  Too much for me, and I have an insane sweet tooth, trust me.

For the frosting:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup butterscotch ganache
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon butter flavoring
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 16-oz. package powdered sugar

Since I don’t make the ganache, I just use butterscotch sauce, like the stuff you get for ice cream sundaes.

So you’ll be baking these at 350 degrees.  Pre-heat accordingly.

Cupcakes: First combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.  Then, cream the butter until fluffy and peaky, and then beat in the sugars until well-combined.

Then beat in the eggs one at a time, the vanilla, and the nasty butter flavoring.  That stuff is repulsive, but necessary.  It looks yellow-green, so just… avert your eyes and throw it in there.  Blergh.

Alternate adding the buttermilk, cream soda, and dry ingredients to this buttery concoction, beating until well-combined after each edition.  Fill the cupcake liners you should have for your cupcake pan and bake for 15-17 minutes.  I tend to keep vigilant watch over things and underbake them by a couple of minutes, but that’s just a personal preference.

See what I mean about the tins?  You need them.  I currently have tins with little owls on them from Sur La Table.  It makes a difference.

Now, I have pictures for the ganache, the recipe to which you can find in the link to the original recipe at the top of this post.  If you really want, you can do the filling, but I’m not going to tell you how.  That’s on you.

The ganache involves melting butterscotch chips, which is interesting.

Now for the frosting.  Oh yes.  This is what you’ve been waiting for, trust me.  This frosting is delicious.  I’m not big on heaps of frosting, but I make an exception for this recipe.

Cream the butter until fluffy.  Add in everything but the powdered sugar and beat until well-combined.  Then add the powdered sugar in one cup at a time until you reach the consistency you like.  You really can’t add too much or too little; it’s all about personal preference.

Now, frost!

These things.  Are delicious.  They changed my life.  I have a very, very fond memory of seeing Captain America this summer with all my friends and smuggling these cupcakes into the theater.  We made so many, and ate so many, my God.

These cupcakes have the potential to ruin people.

I would urge caution, but that’s not even possible, so don’t bother trying.

Considering the many ingredients these take and the seeming excess of butterscotch, they’re not very hard to make, and they’re so, so rewarding.

So you really have no excuse not to make these.  So… go.  What are you waiting for?

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Spices

22 Apr

A while ago, Haley made peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, which were very excellent.  Part of the reason they really transcended the average chocolate -peanut combo recipe was because they were spiced.

Yes.

Spiced.

Amazing.

Mixing the dry ingredients.

Haley doesn’t care about recipes.  She doesn’t pay attention to what order you put things in, or how long you blend things.  And she bakes wonderfully.  It’s amazing, because I usually need to follow recipes to the letter or else I miss some vitally important detail and fuck everything up irreparably.

With the peanut butter.  Look how much peanut butter that is.  It looks promising, doesn’t it?

These cookies were especially welcome because I had just worked two shifts at 826 Chi’s Boring Store.  I worked the morning with Paulina (we were uncharacteristically doubled up) and then took Haley’s afternoon shift so she could get work done.  I was exhausted and achey and cold and tired, and I fell asleep as soon as I got back.  When I woke up, these lovely things were being made.

Mixing.

The dough with chocolate chips.

We’re sitting in our room right now listening to the spolia opima of Record Store Day.  Currently playing: gypsy orchestral music we found for a dollar.  Right now there’s a track on with a clarinet absolutely freaking the fuck out.  It’s great stuff.  Someone just walked by and shot us the weirdest look through the doorway.

Listen, person.

I’m sorry you can’t appreciate the musical subtleties of what’s going on right now.

But don’t hate, okay.

Don’t hate.

The dough rolled into balls and ready for baking.

Haley breaking eggs, I think.

Oh, did I mention she threw in some Nutella?  I’m kind of afraid of improvising too much with baking, although I’ve started to try, but damn, I am inspired now.

I should bake soon.

Hmm…

Anyway.

The remains of the dough, as the four of us scraped our fingers through it.

Out of the oven.  And into my stomach.  Hell yes.

And then, because I am depraved, I put more Nutella on top of the cookies.

So just to some this up in case you’re not fully understanding what’s going on here:

Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, spiced, with Nutella mixed in, and Nutella on top.

This is the part where you sit at your computer and allow your jealousy of my life and my taste buds to quietly simmer until you shoot out of your chair angrily and start pulling down your recipe books and pulling up your bookmarked sites and try to one-up me.

That’s the only recourse, right?

Right.

Procede et face bonum cibum!