this is me now

December 28, 2007

Remember the Alamo?

Filed under: family,football,PennState,travel — by heatherdc @ 5:54 pm

Destination: San Antonio!

We are headed to the southern Texas city tomorrow to watch the Valero Alamo Bowl Game, Penn State vs. Texas A&M. We’ll be greeted with temperatures in the sixties, sunshine, and plenty of things to do! The game starts approximately 2 hours after our plane lands, so the plan is to get off the plane and book it to the Alamodome!

I don’t want to miss any of the pre-game festivities because this will probably be the last Penn State football game I’ll be attending for quite a while. In place of my roommates, I will be joined by my family for the first time! My parents did attend one game in Beaver Stadium during my freshman year, but obviously didn’t join me in the student section. My brother has never been a Penn State game. I brought home everything we need to be “decked out” for the game, so he’ll be sporting a PSU t-shirt and the blue & white beads I purchased just for this!

I’ve never been to an “away” game, so this will definitely be a different experience! As opposed to the usual sea of blue and white, I anticipate being surrounded mostly by maroon. Although, our alumni are all over the place, and they tend to be a little into this whole football thing.

I don’t know where the BlueBand will be, the entire stadium won’t take part in a “We are…Penn State” cheer, and I don’t know if we’ll get to sing “Hey Baby” before the fourth quarter (I hope!!). Either way, I can’t wait to watch our team run out onto the field, followed by Joe Pa in his rolled-up khakis and classy get-up. He holds the record for both bowl game wins and appearances (22 and 34, respectively)!

We are predicted to win the game, so let’s hope our Nittany Lions can pull through. Our last two bowl games haven’t exactly been performances to be proud of, but we did come out on top. Here’s to hoping that this game will give Joe his 23rd bowl game victory!

The rest of our time will be spent shopping, sight-seeing, eating, drinking, etc. I haven’t been to San Antonio since I was about 8 years old, so I don’t remember too much. The parents have already done a little “research” on what to do for New Year’s Eve. My brother decided we are getting “decked out”, otherwise known as Dressing Up! I was pretty excited about this. It gives me another chance to wear my black dress from our Classy Christmas Party and my new black patent leather pumps. Exciting right?!! I can’t wait 🙂

That just reminded me that I have yet to pack. We’re leaving in about four hours. ehhhhhh. I gotta get on that.

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December 26, 2007

3 yr Olds and Monsters

Filed under: Entertainment — by heatherdc @ 5:18 pm

YouTube is a great way to waste a lot of time and find some pretty random stuff.  Somebody sent me this clip from YouTube and I can’t stop watching it 🙂 This is one tough little 3 year old! Watch out for this one, she doesn’t mess around!

Kick his Ask

December 23, 2007

Sunday Afternoon Activities

Filed under: cooking,family,food — by heatherdc @ 5:25 pm

We are in charge of bringing desserts to the Christmas dinner, so guess what we’re doing today?? Baking of course! Today’s lineup includes preparations for a Cranberry Lime Tart, Mississippi Mud Pie, and the classic Pumpkin Pie.

My favorite is the “mud pie”. It was my idea to include this one, only because I feel like there should always be a chocolate option. It’s nothing too fancy, but it’s so good! Chocolate cake topped with marshmellow cream, chocolate frosting, and coconuts. Yummyyyy.

The Cranberry Lime Tart is a little bit more complicated. I’m not participating as much in this production. I’m just sitting here writing about it and snacking on the dough of the crust: flour, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, salt and almonds. Delicious! The tart is cooling in the fridge overnight and tomorrow we will put it all together. This recipe came from the cover of a December 2003 Bon Apetit. More on this later, when I can actually taste it.

Tonight I have a date with the family, Dinner and a Movie. The movie of choice tonight is “National Treasure 2”. I’m not big on the “sequel” movies, so we’ll see how this goes. Then we’re going to our favorite local Mexican restaurant, Si Senor. It’s one of those places you just have to go to when you’re home. The chips & salsa come with their special dip, we called it the “white stuff”. We have yet to decide what’s actually in it, but it’s some sort of sour cream/ranch/green chile mixture. I think? Who knows, but it’s spicy and it’s gooood. They make their own tortillas, so if you order fajitas they come fresh from the kitchen. Still warm, soft, and amazing. I can’t wait to get my New-Mexican-food fix!

December 21, 2007

Mi Casa para Los….Holidays

Filed under: cooking,family,food,holidays,Lauren — by heatherdc @ 11:04 pm

(Anyone who knows how to say “holidays” en Espanol??)

Finals are over, and the semester is done.
I’ve traveled afar, to a place that sees sun.
Back in the Southwest with my family and friends,
to celebrate the holidays and bring the New year in.

It feels wonderful to finally be back in New Mexico for a nice loooong break from school! With no homework or tests to think about I can actually relax. Since arriving last night I have unpacked, finished Christmas shopping, and baked S’mores brownies. My sister is always baking something, so these were the first of many delicious desserts that I’m sure will be made over the next three weeks. She is a freshman in college this year, but already plans on getting a degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, and then going on to Culinary School to specialize in Pastry Arts. Basically, we always have good desserts on hand. We love to go through magazines like Cooking Light (be weary of the cookies, but everything else is usually So good!), Kraft (of course!), and Bon Apetit. The recipes in Bon Apetit are usually a little more complex, but she’s learning and every time I’m home she is making something more and more complicated. Yummyyyy.

Today we went with something simple, the S’mores Brownies. This recipe can be found on the side of the box of Brownie Mix. As usual, we added a little “twist”. Obviously if you love s’mores, it doesn’t get any better than this! Except for the fireside golden-brown marshmellow melting the chocolate on the graham cracker. BUT, since most of us are spending out time inside during the winter, these make a perfect match!

S’mores Brownies

1 box Brownie Mix
3 cups Mini-Marshmellows
5 Honey Graham Crackers (crushed)
1 cup Peanut Butter Chips

Prepare the brownies as directed on the box. Bake for the time designated in the recipe (Or, if you prefer your brownies a little “soft” like we do…bake for about 3 minutes less). After they have baked and are still warm from the oven, add the marshmellows and peanut butter chips on the top. Place the browneis back in the oven for 2 minutes. Top with the crushed graham crackers.

Eat & Enjoy!!! 🙂

December 14, 2007

Almost there…ready to Celebrate!

Filed under: college,Entertainment,roommates,weekends — by heatherdc @ 1:51 pm

It’s the last day of classes, my last Fall semester at PennState, and the last time I’ll host a “Classy Christmas Party” with my roommates. One class and three finals to go before flying back West for a Break!

Tonight we are having our “Second Annual Classy Christmas Party”, for the second and last time.  Last year, it was our first experience “hosting” a party in our apartment. Needless to say, many lessons were learned!  Some things we wish we would have known before last year’s extravaganza:

-Unless you anticipate 100+ very drunk people, do NOT buy a Keg. It is completely unnecessary. A few cases of Lion’s Head? YES, that will work.

-People appreciate it when snacks are provided…however, the Floor does not.

-If you have a small kitchen, put the drinks somewhere where they are more accessible. That way, you don’t have sticky floors and crowded people.

-Remember to buy Mistletoe from Wal-mart early! And by “early”, I mean before the party. Drawing it on a piece of paper and hanging it above a doorway doesn’t have quite the same effect….

-If you play “Catchphrase” (great game, by the way!), be prepared. Drunk people cheat!
( Larisa: “Puerto Rico!” Mike: “Yup!” ehhhhh??)

-Putting bus times on the wall does not mean people will remember that they have to take the bus to get home. If somebody misses the last bus, call a Taxi for them before 2:30 a.m.

That sums up the important things. 🙂 Don’t get me wrong, the party was a success! People were dressed up, Christmas music was playing, it was Classy.

I can’t wait for tonight!

December 10, 2007

Bus Etiquette, 101

Filed under: buses,college,travel — by heatherdc @ 12:59 pm

There is a long list of things to do and to avoid while riding public transportation. Riding on a bus, packed with people, early in the morning is not exactly the perfect way to start your day. However, it beats using gas and having to walk from the “Commuter Lot” out by the football stadium.

The past year and a half of frequently using the bus service from our apartment complex to downtown or just to campus, we have accumulated some pretty interesting stories. Anything can happen, and trust me…it does! Aside from the late night adventures on the weekends, most people follow the standard bus procedure: get on, sit/stand, and ride quietly to your destination.

But of course, as with anything, there are those people who like to shake things up a little bit. These include, but are definitely not limited to, the following “people”:

1) The Cell-Phoner You think you are talking quietly, and that nobody around you is listening. You’re wrong. Since you are (usually) the only person talking, everybody is listening. You’re not quiet and you’re not discrete. Plus, since we can only hear one side of the conversation, you seem a little crazy sometimes.

2) The Multiple-Seat Taker I admit: when the bus isn’t full, I use the seat next to me to place my “stuff”. However, when the bus is packed, and there is a line of people still getting on…Move Your Stuff! This is just rude. Nobody likes to stand, and some people can’t reach that over-head bar. Even if you can, it really doesn’t help that much. Especially not with some of the crazy bus-drivers loose on these streets.

3) The Stinker This one is self-explanatory. There will always be those people who just don’t smell good. They may not be aware of this, but whew…body odor is pretty potent. There are preventative measures that can be taken though! Please look into this before riding public transportation. You will be doing us all a favor. And yourself, because it’s not fun to be the Stinker. You don’t want to be “the stinker”.

4) The Shopper Around here, the buses are frequently used by students traveling from campus/downtown to Wal-Mart, Target, Wegmans, etc. I think it’s great that we have a bus service that allows students to do this! With so many students crammed into a small space, it is somewhat of a nuisance to have a car due to limited parking. So kudos to you taking the bus, saving gas money, not polluting, etc. One little tip though; remember that you have to get back on that bus, with all of your purchases! If you have to load them onto the bus in multiple trips, you’ve probably exceeded a limit. Then you get to ride the whole way back to campus surrounded by plastic bags, and people who might be slightly annoyed that you are taking up the space equivalent of about 5 people. Just a heads up.

And now, due to my bus experience this morning, I have a special addition to this list of things NOT to do…..

5) The Gum-Chewing Over-the-Shoulder-Reader

As I am riding to campus in my seat, I am reading an article in the newspaper I had just picked up at the bus stop. The bus is packed so there are people standing in the aisle next to me, and apparently the space behind my seat. A few minutes into the ride, I hear a constant “smacking” of gum. By smacking, I mean loud, open-mouthed chewing of the gum. You know, the kind of chewing that everybody around you can hear. Chomp. Chomp. Chomp. Gross. Gross. Gross.

Luckily for me, the gum-chewer is standing right behind me. And leaning down towards me, reading over my shoulder! Chomp-chompin’ right in my ear as he reads the paper from behind me.

I’m not a fan of the reading-over-the-shoulder tactic. Let alone when it is somebody I don’t know, and they are chewing gum in my ear. So to bring a stop to this nonsense, I looked up. Not enough to catch the gum-chewer’s eye, just enough to notify him that I’m aware of his presence. I gave him “the look”. Ugh. I put my newspaper away, and spent the remainder of the ride to campus listening to his chomping.

Future advice to all who use public transportation; Be courteous to the riders around you. Try to avoid all of the above, and we will all be grateful!

Larisa has also documented some interesting bus stories. Check it out. Also, feel free to add to this list with your stories, because I know there are many floating around out there!

December 4, 2007

Just for laughs

Filed under: Entertainment — by heatherdc @ 11:00 pm

If you are in need of a laugh, or simply a break/distraction from the work you’re doing, check these out. They get me every time!

Jim Gaffigan, Beyond the Pale.
This DVD is hilarious!! His delivery is genius, his jokes are funny, and his awkwardness is endearing.  These are some of the “best” clips from the show, but honestly, if you watch it you’ll be laughing for the entire 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Hot Pockets

Christmas & Easter

 

If you are just looking for something to give you the “giggles”, this one should do the trick…..

 ….Baby….

 

Okay, these next two….I don’t really know how to describe. There is no logical explanation for why I think they’re funny. They are totally random, horribly animated, and yet so damn funny.

My Spoon is Too Big

Counting to…. Schfifty-five

 

I hope you found those as entertaining as I do! I also hope that either way, it was a welcomed distraction from the work you may have been doing (or avoiding, in my case). 🙂

December 2, 2007

This is me, Cooking. Part 1

Filed under: cooking,food,nutrition — by heatherdc @ 2:32 am

This post will be the first of many, reviewing recipes from my beloved Cooking Light and Kraft magazines. Today’s will feature a delicious dinner and a decadent desert. Enjoy!

Creamy Basil & Red Pepper Pasta

Straight from my Recipe Box, on KraftFoods.com, this recipe is so simple and requires basically no preparation. Perfect for a night where you are a little crunched for time, but craving a tasty homecooked meal.  The total cooking time is only 25 minutes!

Incase I haven’t convinced you yet, this is also a Healthy Living Recipe. It’s a great source of Protein, Calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C,  and Iron!

Makes 4 servings (1 1/2 cup each)

Ingredients:
2 cups Penne  pasta, uncooked (feel free to substitute the pasta of your choice)
4 oz Fat-free Cream Cheese, softened (1/2 of an 8 oz package)
1/4 cup Fat-free Milk
1 jar (7 oz) Roasted Red Peppers, Drained!
1/2 cup FRESH Basil leaves
2 tbsp grated Parmesan Cheese
1 lb Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

Cook pasta as directed. Meanwhile, place peppers, cream cheese, milk, basil and Parmesan cheese in blender; cover. Blend until smooth; set aside.

Spray a large skillet with cooking spray. Add chicken; cook on medium-high heat 3 min., stirring frequently. Stir in pepper mixture. Reduce heat to medium; cook 5 min. or until heated through, stirring frequently.

Drain the pasta. Add it to your chicken mixture; stir until well blended.

Done! Eat and enjoy!

Time for dessert??

Butterscotch Blondies

These delicious treats can be found in December 2007 edition of Cooking Light magazine.  This recipe only consists of 6 ingredients, and yields 24 servings.  The end result is a moist, sweet and “light” butterscotch brownie!

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose Flour
2 1/2 cups firmly packed Light brown sugar
2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Salt
10 tbsp Unsalted butter
3/4 Egg substitute (i.e. Egg Beaters)

 ((I decided to throw in a little “personal touch” to my blondies; add 1 cup butterscotch chips to the final mixture.))

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lighly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.  Combine flour, firmly pakced light brown sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. 
Place butter in small skillet over medium (4-5) heat.  Cook 6 minutes, or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.* Pour into a small bowl and let cool for 10 minutes.
Combine butter and egg substitute, stirring with a whisk.   Pour the butter mixture over flour mixture; stir just until moistened.  Spoon batter into a 13 x 9 inch pan coated with cooking spray; smooth the top with a spatula.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
Cut into 24 squares. (Yield=24 servings, 1 square each)

*Butter will begin to “bubble” and may brown sooner. Mine only took about 4-5 minutes.

At a mere 170 calories per square, this dessert packs less than 5 grams of fat per serving! Perfect for a light after-dinner treat!

While I was home for Thanksgiving my sister decided to bake these, and I was amazed at how great they turned out.  Healthier desserts can be tricky and sometimes turn out dry and tasteless, but these little blondies defy the odds!  I baked a batch today for me and my roommates.

So get cookin’ and bakin’ and let me know what you think!

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