Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cookie Marathon 2010

Every christmas my mother and I make around 15 different types of cookies.  We have our tried and true, approximately 13, and then we have a few that we try out each year.  Most of the time the ones we try out get added to our "tried and true" list.  Crazy how that happens huh?

Unfortunately being a Grad student does not allot me a huge amount of time to devote to the making of these cookies.  I made the dough for several of them and then my mom and I had a cookie marathon last Saturday.  This entailed baking cookies from 10 AM until I left at 4 PM, she continued on into the wee hours of the night... we truly could be labeled mentally insane...

Here are some photos for you to drool over
Toffee squares, which got a little over done, and flour.  The kitchen is small(at least when you're making TONS of cookies) and we have to put everything somewhere!

These are chocolate orange cookies, which get dipped in chocolate after baking.  HOLY YUM!

Quite possibly my favorite cookies of all time!  Chocolate Ginger Cookies.  Think molasses meets ginger meets chocolate all in your mouth.
Buried amongst other cookie tools are the finished cookies, chocolate crinkles, russian teacakes, peanut butter nutella sandwiches, chocolate ginger cookies, and peanut butter logs.  

After work tomorrow night I'm heading back over to my parents to frost our sugar cookies in royal icing.  It's a tradition with my mom and myself, which tends to take us almost 2 hours due to our compulsive perfectionist selves :)  But it's fun and it means christmas to me.  I LOVE it.  

More pictures to come.  Happy Holidays!  Off to study for my last exam, that Epidemiology test does not know what's coming ;)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snow Snow Snow

Just when I thought the snow was bad... I saw this

Oh yes this was the mess that I came across this morning when Karen and I went out to shovel.  The stupid snow plow and shoved all this snow/ice mixture into the end of our driveway.  Let's just say it was great fun to shovel this.

The morning started with some homework and a great cup of Starbucks xmas blend coffee.  Then we had to shovel.  I barely was able to squeeze out the door... cuz we were literally snowed in!
There did not even look like there was supposed to be a sidewalk in our yard
Craziness.  Together Karen and I accomplished the driveway in just under an hour.  It was tough but we had to do it so she could get to lacrosse.  Hopefully we don't have to do this for at least a few more days!

In other news the Vikings game had to be rescheduled and moved because the Metrodome Collapsed!!!  This has only happened two other times in the history of the Metrodome, and it was early in it's 'career'.  Who knew a little snow could cause so many problems?

The rest of the day for me is going to be spent making christmas cookies at my parent's house and then going to the Gopher Women's Basketball game with Sam.  That is unless of course Cal Poly does not make it into MN in time for a 7 PM game.  I guess only time will tell!

Happy Sunday :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Snowzilla '10

Today there was a blizzard.  Unfortunately I didn't capture any pictures of the snow today :(  But the great thing about snow is that it'll all be there tomorrow!  IE check back for photos...

In case you didn't hear, we here in MN got over a foot of snow in less than 24 hours.  This lead to the buses shutting down, along with many other businesses.  It even got so bad that the snow plows stopped working!!!  WHAT?!?!  The Vikings game is even rescheduled to Monday night because the Giants couldn't make it in and because they were nervous that the dome might cave in due to the amount of snow on the Metrodome.  WOWSERS!  Who would've thought a little snow could do so much damage!

This snowstorm did provide in quite a productive day for me though!!!  I slept at Sam's last night and I didn't make it back to my house until after 2 PM and then Karen and I had to shovel the driveway to get her car into the garage.  Thanks to help from Lori, one of the girls who lives above me, it only took us about a half hour to shovel!  Then Karen and I decided to finally defrost our fridge.... which we needed to do about a month ago.  Ooops!

After this I started work on some cinnamon raisin bread.  I've been meaning to make some for a while now, but haven't had enough time to devote to bread.  When I found out I got called off of work tonight I knew that I HAD to make bread.  Here's the final product:
I used a recipe from the Joy of cooking, but I modified it a little bit because I didn't have any butter.  Thus I used 2 Tbsp of butter flavored shortening and then 3 Tbsp of vegetable oil.  I am trying to rid my diet of white flour so I substituted whole wheat and whole wheat pastry flour.  I also decided to use agave nectar instead of sugar to sprinkle on the dough before rolling it up.  In retrospect it definitely didn't turn out the same because you didn't get the buttery sugary goodness that you do when you use real butter and sugar.  I will say that it still was REALLY good, but different.  If I made it again I would use more agave nectar and cinnamon before rolling it up.  It would also be interesting to use stevia or truvia.  I wonder if you'd get the same reaction as sugar if I used this?  Perhaps I'll give it a try on the next snow day ;)

I also used my time today to get some homework done.  I finished a paper and an assignment.  On tomorrow's agenda is proof reading the paper and completing my biostats homework.  

OOO  before I forget I wanted to say that last night I went xmas light house viewing with Sam.  All in all it was fun!  But some of the houses were just not as cool as the others.  This one was my favorite
It had EVERYTHING, santa, the grinch, snowmen, reindeer, snowflakes in the trees, etc.  We ended up driving by this one twice because we liked it so much!  Luckily it didn't start snowing until after we had driven around ;)  We did stop for some beer and apps at Park Tavern.  We were there for just over an hour and by the time we got outside it had snowed nearly an inch!!!  

OK well I'll get outside in the morning tomorrow to snap some photos of the snow.  I somehow don't think that the pictures will do the snow justice, but maybe just maybe...

So excited to go to bed so I can wake up and have some Christmas blend Starbucks coffee :)  I LOVE this stuff!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Long time....

  Wow it's been quite some time since I last wrote!  Here are some photos to update you a bit on what I've been up to:

Just realized that photos from Thanksgiving have not yet been uploaded.  I'll get on that and show you all later!

<3 KK

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Late Night Cookies

So last night Sam and I were deciding what to do, right around 9:15.  We had to stay at home and watch the 9 o'clock news because I had been interviewed earlier in the day and wanted to see myself!  Sure enough my friend Jacqui and I were on!!!  I believe I've reached a celebrity status ;)

I was searching on Foodgawker, as soon as Sam saw these chocolate peanut butter cookies he decided we HAD to make them ASAP.  I unfortunately forgot to take any photos :( but they turned out splendidly.  They tasted way better this morning than they did immediately out of the oven.  Be warned they are quite rich.  Oh and we substituted half of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour.

Today's agenda included a run, ice cream, homework and work.  I already ran and it went well.  Sam ran with me today and we managed to do 6 miles in 50:30.  I was pretty impressed though I was definitely getting tired by the end!  After stretching and showering we headed over to Pumphouse Creamery, where I enjoyed Pumpkin and Sea Salted Caramel and Pecan ice cream.  Absolutely delicious, though I think the pumpkin ice cream could have had more pumpkin and less nutmeg in it.

Now I'm sitting here avoiding homework before I have to head to work at 5 PM.  Hope you're all having a great day!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Feelin' good

So I don't think that I've mentioned this yet, but... I am running a half marathon Halloween weekend.  If you're a local it's the Monster Dash Half.  I did it last year and it was extremely fun.  Almost all of the runners are dressed up in costumes, from Ketchup and Mustard Bottles to a bikini and speedo (mind you these people had a nude colored body suit on... it is Minnesota after all :) ).   I mention this because I had a 7 mile run today that went really well.  I've been having problems during my runs lately, mostly just a general tiredness during my runs.  I couldn't put my finger on what the problem was, but after a weekend full of sleep I felt great today!  So more sleep is on the agenda for the next few weeks here!

I had a half busy day today.  Run, class, my rentals house, work and now HOME!  It feels great to just sit down.  Work was busy tonight, or at least I was busy.  It was a gorgeous day and I was serving on the patio, so I had primarily all the tables :)  I made some good money though so it was definitely worth the constant work.  Plus the  time goes by much faster when I'm busy!   I'm working on taking more pictures of my food... and cookies are to come this weekend as it's my brothers birthday on Saturday.  He's not a cake person so he's requested some cookies.  Super excited for this!!!  I need to bake, I just haven't had much time.  

Hope everyone had a happy Monday!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My brain hurts

Today was a surprisingly LONG day.

It all started when I woke up at 7:42 this morning, my bus leaves at 7:24.  Whoops!  Thankfully I have a great roommate who drove me down to campus.  I was only 5 minutes late to my class and still looked somewhat decent today.  Unbelievable when you wake up almost an hour late!

After my first class several of my cohorts and I worked on our Epidemiology homework, which took us forever to complete.  This weeks assignment was the kind that involved a lot of discussion, which ended up lasting over 2 hours.  After that I still have a lab, and two looooonngg lectures to get through.  Somehow I survived and now I'm sitting at home, beer in hand with dinner in the oven.  Only thing left on the agenda tonight is beer pong with the boy :)

Monday, September 20, 2010


So I haven't written in a while, but I want to start writing every day.  With school just starting, work and trying to still have a social life I have been MORE than busy!!!  It seems like I haven't, and probably won't have, a free day in a few weeks.   Since last writing I have made a few cakes, one in particular was for Kalyn and Pat's Wedding.

It wasn't a huge cake, mostly because the wedding was up by Brainerd and thus required a 3 hour long car transport.  Needless to say the cake melted a little bit and 'shifted'.  All I can say is thank god for RIBBON!!!

On running notes I've started training for the Monster Dash 1/2 Marathon!  So far training hasn't gone too well.  I have only had about 2 days that I actually felt good about running.  I have a 7 mile run today so I'll let you know how it goes!  I ate a HUGE balanced breakfast this morning.  Some eggs, with peppers, chorizo, ham, yuca fritas and black beans.  NUMMY!  Karen and I went to Victor's 1959 Cafe.  It's a little whole in the wall restaurant a few blocks away from our house.  I had a test this morning so we both decided that a treat was necessary :)

Have a great rest of your day!

Monday, August 16, 2010

First Post

Well hello :)
Since this is my first post I'll give everyone a little background information.

I graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2008 with a B.S. in Biology as well as a Chemistry and Art minor.  The question upon graduating was "What to do now?"  I played club lacrosse during school, which took up a large portion of my time.  I hadn't done any work within my field and found it extremely difficult to find anything other than a lab position as far as a job went.  I was blessed with an extremely short attention span and working in a lab for 9 hours a day was not appealing to me.  Baking, lacrosse and friends were what appealed to me most and so I decided to just do that for the past 2 years.  To fund these endevors I continued to work at Doolittle's Woodfire Grill, which was perfect since I had great friends who worked here also.  Going to work never really felt like work, except when you get those few "special" customers ;)   I worked, and currently still work, as an assistant coach and Director of Fundraising for Winning For Life.  This is an organization created by my high school and college lacrosse coach which strives to create personal leaders out of female athletes.  This past spring I was also hired by the Academy of Holy Angels to coach their high school girls lacrosse team. 

Throughout all of this I also bake on a weekly basis, cookies and cakes are my specialty.  The biggest baking endeavor that I have undertaken thus far was making the wedding cakes for my roommate, Karen's sister's wedding.  With the help of Karen, her sister and uncle we pumped out 30 almond raspberry cakes to sit as the center peice for each table.  It was a LOT of time but so much FUN!  Baking is one of the most enjoyable activities I can do.  It brings people together both during the baking process and when you're sitting around a table enjoying the wonderful fruits of your labor.

My other love in life is running.  As I already said I played lacrosse during college, so upon graduation I needed to find a new form of exercise to keep myself in shape.  That fall I ran, mostly between 3-5 miles a few days a week.  However anyone who lives in Minnesota knows that it is difficult to continue a running schedule once it hits 20 degrees and I was at a loss of what to do.  Pilates videos bored me and I was too cheap to join a gym.  Plus those things SUCK you in and try to take all of your MONEY!  To get my butt in gear for the spring I signed up for a half-marathon.  As soon as I crossed that finish line I knew I was hooked on distance running.  There is almost no high better than the one you get from finishing a big race.  Since that half I have completed 2 others, for a total of 3 and I am currently signed up to run another one in October.  I decided that I would participate in 2 a year so as not to over work my body, especially my joints.

Food is constantly on my mind. I am always reading recipes and thinking of new things to come up with.  I hope that you find my life interesting ;)