Fall Break- Part 3

Wait, didn’t I just write about Thanksgiving? Why yes, yes I did. But, I promised you a post on Fall Break part 3 the Leavenworth and Cabin addition. I am not one to intentionally break promises, at one some point in time I will take steps to ensure that I fulfill my promise.

Without further ado….Fall Break Part 3!

The drive to the cabin was fueled by Venti Starbuck’s Drinks, Pike Place Market Doughnut Holes, and Delightful Conversation. [Brace yourselves: I’m off on a tangent.] These are in all capital letters because I believe that they are proper nouns, at least for today. Delightful Conversation is something that is of the utmost importance and should occur frequently in life for our mental well being.  Recent example: The place: Nordstrom’s Rack. The time: 2:00pm Black Friday. The person: Frazzled Male Cashier. I simply asked him how his day was and if he was lucky enough to be near the end of his shift (his energy levels appeared low), surprisingly he was just beginning his shift. His mood took a 360, it was as if no one had ever spoken to him before; his autopilot shut off and the brief two minute interaction brought him back to life. This was not a deep philosophical conversation by any means, I simply asked a question which didn’t have a memorized social script. The attempt at Delightful Conversation simply allowed him to be his own person while working his uniform job. I wish that you all have Delightful Conversation this week. It will make your day and the other person’s day. [End tangent.]

Venti- Rooibos and Vanilla Tea. Mmmm, yes, it IS the size of my head.
REST STOP! Free goodies and place to REFILL my Venti cup. Yeah, I had 1.5 cups, no big deal.
Posing in the most refined manner with our goodies.
The dock at the cabin, the view gave us the chills, it was that beautiful. Or maybe it was the icy wind and water?
Relaxing on thewater. Mmhmm, I took the picture lying down, my legs are in the way.
Kodak Moment.
Leavenworth- Bratwurst! Pre-mustard disaster 2011.

Story: You think “Oh, it only happens in the movies.” False. Ketchup squirts out in a perfect zig and zag, I then reach for the mustard. Squeeze. Nothing but air escapes the bottle. Shake, shake, squeeze. Nada. I then proceed to look into the eye  of the bottle and lightly squeeze the bottle. A yellow stream of mustard FLYS from the spout! My cheek, nose, and eyebrow are covered in a fluorescent gooey condiment, not too mention my purple sweater. There is no disguising this mishap. Leavenworth 2011, Some Regrets.

The rest of the table went for the French Dip and Au Jus. No condiment mishaps for them.
Action shot in town.
Leavworth felt like the Germany portion of Epcot. Surreal is completely accurate.
Fifty Niner Diner. I never thought the words pit stop and cute could be used in same sentence until this place. Cutest pit stop.

We played card games, swam, hot tubbed, cooked and vegged. Adventuring around a pond, searching for salmon in said pond, and swaying like a tree in the wind were only a few events that occupied our time. The drive is gorgeous, the town is cute, cell phone reception is sparse, and the vacation aspect is alive. Visit Leavenworth. Do it.

Chase birds, eat bratwurst, but most importantly go with companions that that will provide Delightful Conversation.

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Thanksgiving Break [Maple Granola and Oatmeal Cookies]

WHAT?! Break is already over??

I was home for less than ten hours before the pantry was opened, the oven preheated, and the mixing bowls located. My mission: stress relief baking. To be more precise, Maple Granola and Ultimate Oatmeal Cookie were the end goal for this baking expedition.

The night before my early morning departure home I caught the baking bug, my housemate had leftover pumpkin and I more than willingly helped her use the surplus. Thanks to the Dashing Dish, I created a delicious Pumpkin Granola for breakfast to enjoy on the train ride with my Skinny Peppermint Mocha ala Starbucks (The red cups are too difficult to pass up!) and peanut butter. This was the beginning of my granola kick and the next night all I craved was granola, but, this time a more substantial mix.

(No pictures, everything was eaten too quickly! Kick start your creative juices and use your imagination. Golden brown rolled oats, with crispy nuts in clusters. Each bite provides a satisfying crunch that leaves you yearning for more…that’s your starting point, now it’s your turn!)

Maple Granola

1 C Rolled Oats
1/4 C Sliced Almonds
1/4 C Pecan Halves
1/4 Raisins
1/4 Craisins
1.5 t Maple Syrup
1 t Canola Oil ( or another oil)
1-2 t Brown Sugar

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Mix oats,oil, syrup, and brown sugar in a large bowl. If oats are still too dry add more syrup or oil. (or add all ingreidients at once to bowl and skip step 3 &4)
3. Spread oats evenly on a baking sheet. Bake oats for five minutes. Stir oats and bake for 5 additional minutes.
4. Add almonds, pecans, craisins, and raisins to oats and continue to bake for 15 minutes.
5. Turn oven off and leave pan in oven to ensure crunchy granola. (Be on the lookout for exploding raisins if you baked everything at once!)
6. After granola has cooled store in an airtight container for up to one week.
7. Enjoy granola as is, with yogurt, with milk, or however you desire.

This granola became my breakfast for three days straight and I am still craving the stuff. It is safe to say this is addictive. If you prefer different nuts or dried fruits mix it up and give the granola your own unique touch!

 

I lied. You get one picture! Tantalizing, eh?

Ultimate Oatmeal Cookie

1 Stick Butter
1/2 C Brown Sugar
1/4 C White Sugar
1 t Maple Syrup
1 Egg
3 T Shredded Coconut3/4 C Flour
1 1/2 C Rolled Oats
1/2 t Baking Soda
1/4 t Salt
1 Shake Apple Pie Spice
1/2 t Cinnamon
1/4 t Ground Ginger
1/4 C Chocolate Chips
1/4 C Raisin

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Cream sugar, egg, butter, maple,  and coconut together.
3. Add all additional ingredients, except chocolate chips and raisins.
4. When all is well combined then fold in the chocolate chips and raisins.
5. On an un-greased pan drop small spoonfuls of dough.
6. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

These cookies are perfectly chewy. Now snuggle up on the couch this Sunday morning with your vanilla yogurt and fresh granola with a festive movie. I personally recommend The Holiday! I attempted two movie nights with friends this weekend and both times the chattiness got the best of us. Really, that’s much more important than a movie. 3 months of catch up needed to happen, gossip is not the same on the phone or skype as it is in person!

After you finish eating your granola at breakfast I know you’ll be craving some more oats later in the day! If it’s raining or snowing (where is it not that this time of year?! Oh yeah, warm places…) Pour yourself a glass of milk (almond, soy, dairy; your preference!) and grab TWO cookies and contemplate the day with this brain boosting snack! Oats=Carbs=Clarity and Clearer Focus.

This week marks the final three weeks of class and finals! I know I will be uppping my carb intake if that means greater concentration for paper writing and flashcard sessions. Bring on the oatmeal cookies! Imma kick this season of finals to the curb like it never saw me coming! #CarbLovingNinja

What’s your study snack when things get serious?
Have you started decorating for the Holidays yet?

Almost Home!

Just thought I’d pop in and take a break from the various essays, projects, readings, and articles I’m writing for a breather. School is in the final chute, we can now see the finish line and due dates are coming at us at full speed. The past couple of weeks, or month in general has been crazy at school. In between my computer crashing, losing various house/car/room keys, in addition to everyday homework I have found myself more stressed than any other semester (and I’m not even in a math class!) I blame most of this on the two weeks without a laptop.
Prior to losing my laptop I never realized how extremely dependent on technology we have become as a society. Teachers rarely print out assignments, everything is posted online, meetings are scheduled via e-mail which we are expected to check at least twice a day to stay informed, and nothing handwritten is ever allowed to be turned in as a final; my handwriting, reminiscent of chicken scratch at times the typed only rule is an understandable rule. If you have a computer and printer at home and time to be at home these are not difficult expectations, but once a computer dies getting work done becomes an excruciating task. I am not one to sit in the library past 11:00 on evenings, I would rather continue my work in my room once it becomes late and  enjoying the convenience of shutting my laptop and curling up in bed within seconds of finishing. (EDIT: This was written a week ago)

After a few hundred dollars of repair my laptop has returned and here I am laying in bed listening to the Glee version of Jar of Hearts, able to relax and curl up in a moment. Here are a few pictures from various events that have happened recently.

3 Blind Mice!
Before the sorority Winter Dance
Sassy Jazz costumes for our campus performance

 I’m so excited for Thanksgiving and the chance to go home! Only one exam and some mini papers between me and my train departure! I can already taste the cranberry sauce…yum!