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01 July 2020 @ 08:12 pm

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Like Mulder said, it's not paranoia if you are right.

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Current Mood: contentcontent
31 December 2014 @ 07:19 pm

1. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien ★★★
2. The Thirteenth Child (Frontier Magic #1) by Patricia C. Wrede ★★★
3. Across the Great Barrier (Frontier Magic #2) by Patricia C. Wrede ★★★
4. The Far West (Frontier Magic #3) by Patricia C. Wrede ★★★
31 December 2014 @ 07:04 pm

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29 September 2014 @ 04:42 pm
Header: Dora Winifred @TDA
layout: minty_peach
Mood: kohler 
FO Banner: Dora Winifred @TDA
Current Mood: sleepysleepy
24 February 2014 @ 06:40 pm
For the March selection for pick_for_me

Physical Copy
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Flame of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon
A Little Princess by Frances Burnett
The Wild Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
Villette by Charlotte Bronte
White Oleander by Janet Fitch
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Kindle Copy
Secret Letters by Leah Scheier
The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long
Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza
Starglass by Phoebe North
She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth by Helen Castor
The Unbound by Victoria Schwab
Wander Dust by Michelle Warren
The Passion of the Purple Plumeria by Lauren Willig
The Observations by Jane Harris
The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling
Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger
Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky
Ink is Thicker Than Water by Amy Spalding
Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead
Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan
The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
Vicious by Victoria Schwab
20 January 2014 @ 08:37 pm
59. Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe here

I absolutely love oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and these were pretty good. Browning the butter, while an extra step, really gives a nice flavor. My little adventure was that I couldn't find the electric mixer, but I found non-electric hand mixer so I used that instead which made me feel very oldschool. Other than that, pretty simple. I didn't add the pecans or the coconut since I didn't have them, but I might have to try them next time!

60. Spinach, Mushroom, and Feta Mushroom Quiche
Recipe here

This was really delicious. A bit watery, but that was my fault since I didn't drain the spinach enough. My only adjustment was that I didn't add Parmesan cheese, as I thought the feta and the mozzarella plenty.

61. Green Beans with Pecans, Red Peppers, and Onions
Recipe here

I adjusted this recipe a little bit to make it healthier. I used oil instead of butter to saute the peppers and the onions, and I skipped the white sugar. I liked it, and it went very well with the quiche.
12 December 2013 @ 08:10 pm

holiday love meme 2013
my thread here

And link me to yours, of course!
11 December 2013 @ 10:26 am
It's been a while since I've posted this and I have quite a few to post. So I will be doing several!

54. Baked Spaghetti Squash with Spinach and Cheese

recipe here

A bunch of friends came over and made dinner with me. This was a rich dish, like most dishes with spaghetti squash are. Unfortunately my friends didn't mix everything together once it was in the pan, but it was still really delicious and easy to make. In fact, cutting the spaghetti squash was really the hardest part. It is a bit time consuming as the squash has to cook for an hour before you can shred it, so that plus preparation plus baking the actual dish probably took about 2 hours.

55. Skinny Chicken Enchiladas
recipe here

So, I say I used that recipe but I kind of didn't. What happened was that I realized that I had bought EVERYTHING for the enchiladas except the tomato sauce to make the actual enchilada sauce with. None of my friends had tomato sauce, but I found a recipe that was like, Italian style enchiladas that used spaghetti sauce instead. But because I used spaghetti sauce, I had to chance the recipe quite a bit. Like, I couldn't use a lot of the spices because the flavors would clash. And then for some reason the oven wouldn't melt the cheese, so it was a bit of a disastrous experience all around. Next time, I will definitely make it like the recipe says AND remember the tomato sauce.

56. Spiced Pumpkin Muffins
recipe here
Delicious and easy. I did the option that used extra pumpkin which made it a pretty rich muffin. I didn't have pumpkin pie spice or nutmeg/ginger/clove/allspice so I just used cinnamon and sugar for the topping.

57. Sour Cream Apple Pie with Streusel Topping
recipe here
I got invited to some people's house for Thanksgiving, so I decided to do a test run with some friends of apple pie before making it for guests as I have never made a pie before.

First, we got the kind of dough that you have to roll, which ended up being kind of hard. Fortunately there was enough dough for TWO crusts and this pie doesn't require a crust on top. The first one we baked too long and it burned a bit, so we ended up using the second one, which wasn't quite high enough on the pan but worked well enough.

The filling itself was pretty easy to make. The topping was sprinkled on a bit unevenly. Due to it being our first attempt, very ugly pie but VERY delicious. Would definitely make again, but maybe with dough already on the pie pan that has been frozen to avoid the complications of rolling it and putting it on the pan just right.

58. Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies
recipe here
A pretty straightforward cookie to make! It needed a bit longer of a chill time for me. Used every ingredient except for the ginger, the house I was making it at did not have any.

The pumpkin made this cookie very soft, almost more of a bread texture than a cookie. It did solidify a bit more when I left the cookies in the fridge overnight, but still not really a cookie texture. Either way, it was good!
13 October 2013 @ 06:34 pm
recipe here

It's starting to cool down here, which means I start to really look forward to eating soup. I've never made soup though, at least not intentionally. There was that one time when I added too much liquid to a lentil stew and turned it into a lentil soup.

I got diced tomatoes instead of crushed (will try crushed next time, I don't mind chunky but I also really like smoother tomato soups) and wow, for some reason my can opener was really not behaving tonight. I ended up having to turn off the stove so that the onions/garlic/olive oil wouldn't cook too long since it took several minutes to get the cans open. Not really sure what was going on there! I also got non frozen cheese and garlic tortellini. At first I was really worried I wouldn't have enough tortellini, but I had 3 tortellini in my bowl that I ended up cutting into quarters and was definitely enough.

This was really flavorful and good! And definitely a good dish for a night where you don't want to do much preparation or work in the kitchen. I served with some garlic toast (using the garlic salt I purchased yesterday!) and a small salad. It was a great dinner.
28 September 2013 @ 09:50 pm
Apple pie muffins here

So, a bit of back story. I used to be ABSOLUTELY terrified of peeling and cutting apples. The way my stepmom showed me how to didn't help at all, where we used a knife to peel. One of my housemates gave me her apples and I'm also not really a fan of just eating them, I need to cut and peel them first. This time I cut and cored the apples first, then used a vegetable peeler. This housemate then asked if I'd make some apple muffins, so I looked up recipes which ended up being a bit complicated as I currently have no mixer and also not some of the ingredients a lot of them asked for. Then I found these!

Basically I just had to make the buttermilk, which I did by putting some lemon juice in milk and letting it sit for a couple minutes. Other than that, had everything! I was distracted to I accidentally put the dry ingredients directly in the wet ones instead of stirring them separately and then combining, but I figured it was no big deal. I also didn't have a sifter, so couldn't sift the flour etc. I also added a bit of baking powder as well as baking soda. Also, the topping wasn't coming out crumbly, more kind of like batter, so I ended up just spooning some on top. BUT THESE CAME OUT REALLY GOOD. My housemate even had 3 when they were just from the oven :D

And yay, I know I can use apples now! My fear of cutting them is over ;)
26 September 2013 @ 01:57 pm

Originally I was planning to make pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, but I had a lemon around for a recipe that I didn't end up making and wanted to use it up before it went bad. I had this lemon recipe saved on pinterest and figured I'd try it.

glazed lemon muffins recipe

I didn't have a lemon zester, however, so I ended up having to use a vegetable peeler to get the lemon zest, then chop up the pieces using a knife. A bit more time consuming than the zester would have been but it worked out fine.

Other than that, this recipe was pretty easy to put together. I picked it because I don't currently have things like a beater. I used 1 cup of all-purpose flour since I didn't have whole wheat to do half-and-half. The batter seemed really thin compared to most of the muffin batter I use so I was a bit worried that it wasn't thicker, but it ended up being fine. The glaze was also super easy to put together.

These actually made me 12 muffins, but they were a bit on the smaller side since I thought they would rise more than they actually did. They were great! A lot lighter than most muffins, almost tasted like a lemon pancake. The first reaction is LEMON SURPRISE LEMON before it like, the bread part comes in and you can taste it. Would make again!
15 September 2013 @ 12:46 am
Soft Snickerdoodle Cookies recipe

I'm moving into a new apartment in a few days with 3 other girls. One I know pretty well, one I've only met once, and one I've never met before. I decided to bake some cookies as a welcome gift with some extras to give to old friends as they return. I decided on snickerdoodles, since I have all the ingredients.

These were an adventure, considering how easy they were. I think the butter was too soft because first of all it was hard to form them into balls (and at that point I should have realized and stuck them in the fridge or freezer or something but I didn't think of it) and then the cookies ended up being pretty flat and all clumped together even though the amount I used was TINY and they were far apart. I experimented with size and cooking time for the batches and ended up taking pictures. Since each batch had fewer than I normally would for regular dough, it took more batches. Improvement each time, though, so it was worth it!

They were soft and delicious, but I would like to try them again sometime with the dough being a lot better. I'm curious how it would be if not quite as thin. The butter was my fault, as I had skipped over the egg part so when I creamed the butter and sugar, it was hard to do. I heated the butter up a bit more before realizing that ooops, no eggs which I then added. If I had added them originally, I think it would have been the right texture and I wouldn't have decided to melt the butter further.
pictures of each batchCollapse )
13 September 2013 @ 08:27 pm
Caramelized chicken with mushrooms

This was REALLY good. Reminded me of an easier version of the brown butter parmesan chicken linguine I made last year, only without the pasta. But the mushroom/onion/wine/chicken combination tasted much like the one used there. The chicken wasn't quite cooked through even when I doubled the time, so I ended up heating it up in the microwave for a minute. After that, it was cooked perfectly.

I used less better than it said and didn't do the toasted herb bread. All in all I'd say this took about 30-40 minutes to make. I served with green beans and salad.
12 September 2013 @ 05:45 pm
Chicken piccata recipe

My sister cooked a chicken stir-fry a couple nights ago and didn't cook all the chicken, so there was still one piece left in the freezer that I decided to do something with. I spent a lot of time looking at recipes, but unfortunately most either used the oven (which I'd prefer not to do for a one-person dish during the summer) or used ingredients that I didn't have. So it was nice when I found this recipe, which was cooked using the stove, had simple ingredients that I had around, and didn't require too much adjustment to change portions.

This was good. Easy to put together and cook. Unfortunately for once we didn't have freshly grated Parmesan, so I had to use the store-bought kind. Next time I will have to try the other way! I used the white wine option, and it took me slightly longer than it said for it to cook the whole way through. She said 3 minutes for each side, I probably did about 6 or 7.

It was also my first time doing (and hearing about) the butterfly cut, but once I found the right knife to use it was pretty easy to do. All in all, her estimate of 20-30 minutes was actually accurate in my case. I'm used to being much slower than they say but this was simple enough.
06 September 2013 @ 04:47 pm
I seem to recall a website where it was like a writing sprint, but you had to write a certain amount in a time limit or it would start threatening you (or something!) and you picked a level.

Does anyone know what I'm talking about?
05 September 2013 @ 06:57 pm
I offered to make dinner tonight and wanted to make something with zucchini in it.I got a request to make something with white fish in it, so I decided to make fish and zucchini tacos.

The recipe.

I'm not a huge fan of white fish but since it was his request figured I'd try it anyway. These were really easy to make. Most of the prep time was just cutting up the zucchini. The directions for how to cut the zucchini were phrased a bit oddly but I figured it out. I cooked the fish for 10 minutes as instructed but it was a bit undercooked so I had to do it for a few more minutes.

I got a lot of compliments for these! I wasn't thrilled due to the white fish, but if I had to cook it this was probably one of the better ways to eat it. And it's certainly healthier than frying it.
23 August 2013 @ 10:51 pm
Cinnamon Sugar Muffins
I've been in the mood for muffins lately and was planning to make some glazed lemon muffins using lemons from the back yard. Only, the lemon tree had another idea as there were none ready to pick! So I decided to make these instead.

I'd made these muffins before, but that was back when I was first learning how to bake. In fact, I'm pretty sure this was the first thing I had ever baked by myself. So I decided to try it again now that I have a bit more experience. The mix was SUPER easy to make, only took me about 7 minutes to put together. In all it took about 25 minutes from start to finish.

So, some changes: I used vanilla yogurt instead of plain yogurt, as it was what I had and I figured it wouldn't make too much of a difference.
I added some cinnamon to the batter which was an AMAZING CHOICE!
I also accidentally messed up on the topping. I wasn't paying too much attention when melting the butter and, instead of putting the cinnamon and sugar in a separate bowl, I mixed them in with the butter. I tried one without the topping and then put it on the rest, sprinkling a bit of extra cinnamon-sugar on top after. I found without a bit better than with but both were good. Without I could taste the cinnamon in the batter a bit better, with it was much sweeter and the cinnamon was a bit more subtle.

Definitely a keeper recipe!
02 August 2013 @ 01:25 pm
Wednesday night was my turn to cook dinner. As I am still a fairly new cook it took me a long time to make these two dishes (yay for being slow and having to double check everything/look up what steps mean!) but it was worth it. The dinner turned out really delicious.

My idea was to make one thing that was a bit more complicated and one thing that was easier to make than the first. This worked out nicely.

lentil and chickpea salad with feta and tahini
This dish took a while to make, mostly because of having to cook the lentils and waiting for them to cool. The actual recipe wasn't that hard, but there were a lot of steps. There was no sage in the house so I had to do without, and we had coriander and cumin in spice form so I did that instead of using seeds. Since I wasn't using those seeds I accidentally skipped the step with the sesame seeds, but even missing/changing those steps the dish turned out fantastic. The lemons were fresh lemons from our garden.  Also, finally learned how to cut an onion into half moon slices. I thought I knew how but it turned out to be wrong so I ended up having to look that up online. When I served the dish the lentils were still warm, so I can vouch for the fact that this dish tastes good both warm and cold.

lemon-ginger chicken thighs
This was a lot simpler to make. Actually cooking the chicken was the part that took the longest. MAKE SURE TO GET CHICKEN THIGHS WITH SKIN ON IT! Part of the process is to rub the ginger/lemon peel mixture under the skin, and I'm glad that I made sure to get ones with skin. I followed the steps exactly but when I cut into the chicken to make sure that it was fully cooked it was still pretty pink. This could be in part because I used a saute pan rather than a pan that would have been more useful for this dish but I just put it in the microwave for a couple minutes and then stuck it back on the pan for a few more minutes. The chicken ended up being nice and tender and cooked perfectly. There is honey in it too so it's a bit on the sweeter side, which suited me perfectly. Next time I make this I will probably add more ginger.
29 June 2013 @ 06:37 pm
I made green beans last night. No recipe, just sort of made it up! But here's what I did:

First I put the green beans (after cutting off the ends, of course) into a plastic bowl, put a little bit of water in it and covered it with plastic wrap. I heated it up in the microwave for a minute and 30 seconds.

Then I got out a pan to saute it, put some olive oil and minced garlic and added the beans. I put a little bit of soy sauce (very little! Didn't want it to be too salty), some sesame seeds, sesame oil, and red wine. I sauteed it for about 5 minutes.

It was very good! I was planning to put some onions in it but unfortunately forgot to chop some so that will have to wait. Next time I might also try to experiment with spices a bit.
A friend of mine came over today to bake with me and she wanted to make these sugar cookie bars.

39. sugar cookie bars

We followed the recipe as is. The bars themselves came out pretty OK but the frosting made WAY too much (we probably used only 1/3 of the amount that the recipe made) and way too sweet. In fact, they were so sweet that we both said that we wished we had made another recipe instead. If I ever made the recipe again I would use a different frosting recipe. We also didn't have any food dye so the frosting was just white.

We put parchment paper inside of the pan to put the batter on top of which made it so that there was no mess on the pan. This made the cleanup SO easy.

40. chocolate chip cookies
I made this a couple months ago (I guess I forgot to post about it) as a thank you present for some girls in my hall. They came out extremely soft and chewy and extremely delicious. One of the girls even asked me if I had some secret ingredient that I used. I think that using both white and brown sugar adds a nice flavor to it.

The only real change was that the dough as directed didn't seem quite right so I had to add a bit more milk. Here's what it looked like at first:

They also looked a bit undercooked fresh from the oven so I had to cook them a bit extra:
27 March 2013 @ 08:31 pm
I have a gift card (actually, I think I have two lol) from Barnes & Noble and I want to buy some books. Any recommendations?
05 January 2013 @ 05:18 pm
rolled sugar cookies

These turned out really great! My friend and I made a much smaller batch than listed, 14 cookies. We also pretty much just checked to make sure I had all the ingredients and didn't read all of the steps, so it turned out that we had to let the dough chill overnight. But in my opinion one major thing about cooking and baking is being able to improvise a bit because I tend to make minor mistakes. We put it in the freezer for about half an hour which seemed to work well. We also made our own frosting using confectioners sugar and water and just stirring until it thickened. No food coloring, so it was just white frosting. These were so good, we both agreed that we thought it was like something we'd get at a bakery.

hot cocoa cookies

I made these with another friend! We pretty much managed to follow as is without any major mistakes until the end, when we had put the dough balls on the first pan and realized that we forgot to mix in the chocolate chips and decided to put extra mallow bits on top along with the ones mixed in. After that we mixed in dark chocolate chips and forgot to put the extra mallow bits on top, though they were still pretty marshmallowy. I tried one of each and surprisingly liked the ones without better. The ones with were slightly harder and the chips made it so that it was hard to taste the flavor of the actual cookie. The one without was really nice and soft and fluffy and had a really nice flavor. Definitely making these again WITHOUT chocolate chips.
Current Mood: hungryhungry
28 December 2012 @ 08:16 pm
I've been at college for several months now and I did manage to make a few things before I left and then I baked quite a bit during this vacation so I do have a lot to post today! And possibly more after this weekend as a few of my friends want to bake with me.

32. pumpkin nut muffins
Last week I went to San Francisco for a few days and wanted to make some muffins to eat for easy breakfasts while there. We also didn't have any butter so I wanted a muffin recipe that used oil instead. These were a success! At first I thought they were a bit bland when I tried one after it had cooled for half an hour or so, but I changed my mind after that. I might add a few more spices next time but it was fine. And I added walnuts instead of pecans, as we had no pecans in the house. But the walnuts were great, too.

33. oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

I LOVE oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, so this recipe looked great for me and I decided to make it before heading off to college. Unfortunately, I discovered that I do not like applesauce as a big substitute. I thought it tasted strong of apples and gave it sort of an odd texture. I also did not have dark chocolate chips so I used milk chocolate instead.

34. zucchini and feta balls
I love zucchini and I love feta, and these were delicious! I'd never really fried anything before so that was an interesting experience. I used fresh mint from my garden and dried dill for the spices suggested. I also thought the peanut oil was quite strong in the flavor it gave the balls. I might have to experiment with different kinds of oils. Definitely eat this fast! An hour and a half later I had a few left and they had gotten a bit soggy by then, though they were still very good.

35. good morning muffins

I didn't like these at all. It was a bit time consuming to make although not very difficult, but the main problem was that I didn't like it with orange juice and orange marmalade. That was mostly my fault, though. I don't mind orange jelly but I had forgotten that I disliked orange marmalade as I hadn't had it in a while. Fortunately my sister's friend liked it so I was able to give the batch to her.

36. snickerdoodle chocolate chip cookies

These were so good! I love snickerdoodle cookies and I love chocolate chip cookies, so when I got home after months of not baking I thought why not make a recipe that combined both? Again, I did make some very minor changes. The first was that I did not have toffee chips and I don't like them very much, so I just added a few extra chocolate chips. The second is that my oven might not be as strong as hers, so I ended up having to bake them an extra 10 minutes or so. I only made a half batch, too, as I had just enough butter for that. I think I ate all 8 cookies in less than 24 hours! And then I used the extra cinnamon sugar to make cinnamon toast.
Current Mood: hungryhungry
My family is having a pretty busy week, so my sister and I were each asked to cook dinner for one night. I was more than happy to do so. Usually I just make salad to go with the meal, but I was asked to make an actual side dish, so a different veggie it was!

brown butter chicken linguine

This recipe took a little bit longer than I expected. I'm still new to cooking, so I can be a bit on the slow side, especially with preparing and chopping everything. I started an hour and 20 minutes before we were planning to eat (7:20) and we actually sat down to eat closer to 8. The recipe itself is actually pretty simple, it was complicated only in that you have to keep a close eye on the instructions because there is a lot of swapping what cooks on the skillet at a time. I also somehow missed the "cut into pieces" part of the chicken directions, so I ended up heating them up in a microwave for a few minutes and cutting them then, before adding it to everything.

I used red wine instead of white, and didn't have parsley to garnish. But this dish is INCREDIBLE. Really flavorful and rich, but not over the top and still a bit subtle. It's what I call a grower: you put it in your mouth and don't taste much at first and then all the sudden it's "oh my god, this is so flavorful and delicious!"

Definitely making this again.

sugar snap peas with mint and lemon

This was good too! Really simple to make. I used lemons and mint from our garden, which made it a convenient dish. Don't have too much to say about it.

These two worked pretty well together!
Current Mood: happyhappy
11 September 2012 @ 09:52 pm
chocolate chip cookie dough mug cake

Usually when I read a recipe online, I do 2 things. The first is that I read several of the reviews to see what people think or advice they have. The second is that I look at the list of the ingredients and figure out what I want to add, if anything, to make it more suitable to my tastes. For some reason, I did neither of these things this time. I think because I've come to expect that a blog's comments are usually made by people who want to make a recipe but haven't actually tried that, instead of sites like Epicurious where all the comments are reviews. Turns out that for once, most of the comments WERE reviews.  Then, instead of having them all listed out, it was written out in steps that took you to a different page.

This recipe was awful, in my opinion. I took it out of the microwave and it didn't look or smell great, but I just shrugged and figured it might still taste fine. It did not. It was too eggy and rubbery, really dense, a bit flavorless, and dry. I even checked to make sure I followed the recipe exactly, and I did.

Ways I would make it better:
1. Add vanilla and salt.  have NEVER baked anything without vanilla before, especially not something sweet!
2. Cut it down to half an egg if I use an egg at all. I've made a vegan mug cake before and it tasted fine without an egg.
3. Add some milk
4. Cut down the microwave time. I find usually 40 seconds is good, and you can always stick it in for a bit more if needed.

I'm not looking for a gourmet dessert by any means, since it IS a microwave cake that only takes a few minutes to make. But I've made a few others that were delicious, so I don't even think that's a good excuse. If you want a good mug cake, I suggest 5 minute chocolate fudge smore mug cake by how sweet eats

and one minute chocolate cake by chocolate covered katie (vegan) which needs a little bit of extra milk and sugar, but once you add that tastes fine. I'm not even a big fan of her blog anymore, minus a few good recipes which require some changing on my part, but I like this.
Current Mood: disappointeddisappointed