Crud.

Hey y’all!

I am sorry to say that I will not be able to keep my other blog (the one all about happiness) going for personal reasons. Mainly concerning time and school — I thought I could manage it but turns out, the project is bigger and more time consuming than expected; but, it will back one day, I promise!

I am sorry my dear readers! But do not fret, this one will still be going full throttle!

Here’s a recipe for a yummy dessert to cheer y’all up!

Toasted Almond-Butter Cake

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, separated
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted and chopped
Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted (optional)
Directions:

Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Beat in egg yolks, 1 at a time.
Combine flour and baking soda; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in flavorings, coconut, and chopped almonds.
Beat egg whites at high speed with electric mixer until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Pour into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cakepans.
Bake at 350° for 20 to 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool on wire racks.
Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup slivered almonds, if desired.

Enjoy!

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My happiness Project

Hey’all…

Let me just start off by saying I am so glad this week is over. I could really use this weekend for homework/assignments…I’ve been swamped with school work! Secondly, I am excited to say that I have registered for my next semester! I am on my way to my goal 🙂 one step at a time.

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This week was also a time for learning a lot about the friends and people who surround me. I think this is a time of change and re-evaluation of many things, of those being the people who are in my life. It’s tough to cut good people out, but sometimes no matter how good of a person or friend they are, you can’t keep them in your life because you two aren’t a good friendship match. It’s sad; but, there are several stages of growing up: one is making a bundle of friends, two is pruning them, and three is you finally have a solid group of close/true people.

Why tip-toe through life to end up at the same place as those who go full force and get the most out of their years? Who want’s to sit and watch their young years pass them by? I sure as hell am not going to. For the rest of my life I am going to work toward enjoying every day to it’s fullest potential.

I heard about the book titled The happiness project and decided to read about it. The story is quite similar to what happened to me (basically an epiphany sparked a project/change/movement), and I decided to start my own happiness project (not in collaboration with the book and that movement, just a personal project to better my life). I created a second blog that is focused on this personal happiness plan (don’t worry I’ll still post recipes and rants on this one). So, I hope you’ll all join me on my journey!

Follow my happiness adventure here:  http://affairwithhappiness.wordpress.com/

Pet peeves and sugary-crack!

Hey y’all!

As promised, I have some yummy recipes to share with you! They are super simple: one is a cinnamon-sugar pecan snack and the second is a recipe to make your own creme fraiche. Followed by my usual grinding gears rant.

First recipe is one perfect for beers with friends, a hot cup of tea or just as a delicious snack while watching your favorite flick. My friends call this sugared-crack, because they are so addicting! Make lots–they will go fast!

Cinnamon-Sugar Pecans:

Cinnamon Sugar Pecans

1/2 cup butter, melted
3 large egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups raw pecan halves
1/4 teaspoon finely granulated salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a large baking sheet with sides with aluminum foil.

Pour the butter onto the lined sheet. In a large bowl, mix the egg whites, salt, sugar and cinnamon.

Add the pecan halves and toss until they are fully coated with the sugary goodness. Spread the pecans onto the baking sheet.

Bake for about 30 minutes, stirring the pecans every 10 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

*If you aren’t serving/eating the nuts right away, put them in an air-tight container and store in a cool dry place*

I love making desserts that use creme fraiche; but, honestly…it’s almost impossible to find and when I do, it’s quite pricey! A few months ago, my mom found a way to make this delicious cream herself. I tried it, loved it, and am now passing it off to you guys.

Creme Fraiche:

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1 cup pasturized whipping cream
2 tablespoons buttermilk

Combine 1 cup whipping cream and 2 tablespoons buttermilk in a glass container.

Cover and let stand at room temperature (about 70°F) from 8 to 24 hours, or until very thick.

Stir well before covering and refrigerate for up to 10 days.

Now, on to a rant of things that tick me off!

What really grinds my gears:

People who stare with a very slight smirk on their face. I get it, sometimes you sort of drift off into your own world and don’t realize it…but there are people out there that just stare with this almost sadistic looking smirk. It’s frickin eerie! I can’t tell if you are hiding bodies in your basement or just finished a taxidermy project. Either way I am creeped the F out.

People that interrupt. You see…it’s not like people are unaware of this, most people are, and when they do interrupt (due to excitement or grand idea..etc) they apologize. But then you have people who just assume its their right to talk and pretend they don’t notice you were in the middle of a sentence. Same goes for those wonderful individuals who talk endlessly and forget you also have something to say…then as soon as you open your mouth they’re on to another story. Makes me want to scream.

Not cleaning up after yourself. We aren’t 5, no one is forcing us to clean up our toys; but, please clean up after yourself when you come to my house! I hate when someone doesn’t even bother to ask “do you need a hand” after a dinner party (I will usually say I don’t but still, just be polite) or if you have someone over and they know you well enough to be able to simply get up and bring their cup to the kitchen when they finish their coffee or to put their plate in the sink…or fuck, even just clean up the crumbs on the side of the table they were sitting on. I don’t want to clean up your tissues either, we’re friends but…c’mon!

Showing up empty handed. I don’t expect expensive wine and a bundle of roses. However, I believe it’s common courtesy to bring something when you are invited to someone’s house for a gathering. It’s not polite to show up empty handed when the host has put so much effort into making a wonderful meal, setting up the house and later cleaning up after everyone. It’s just thoughtful to bring some sort of dessert, a bottle of something, a small bunch of field flowers, or perhaps even a gag gift. As long as you show you aren’t just there to eat the food and leave. I would never show up to someone’s place completely empty handed unless I am coming straight from school/work…even then I rather be 15 minutes late, but bring at least something to the table.

People who habitually need favors. I am in no shape or form refusing to help friends in need…but not when the person is your friend because they need something and they know you are nice enough to always come through. I had a friend like this once; she would always contact me for a favor and in between she would be gone doing her own thing. Then on a random day expect me to be available to “do her a favor” and if I wasn’t available at her whim she would get mad at me and call me a terrible friend.

People who act like they’re in their own living room. Hey, I’m all for feeling comfortable..but if you take your shoes off, lean back and start burping with your hand down your pants while at a ballet performance I automatically label you as an uncultured prick. Or if that is too extreme for you, how about those people who attend events and act totally out of whack with the atmosphere: stuffing their faces, talking loudly, getting too drunk…etc. I sure we’ve all seen one example of living-room-John and living-room-Nancy.

People who think that they are the only one with correct background for understanding an issue. God is this one ever irritating! I don’t know how to explain this one, but I think everyone can tell what I mean. I am almost certain that each person has had the pleasure of knowing someone like this.

The “yes but” people.

When people refuse to be the decision maker about something trivial (place to eat, which movie to see, where to go for a walk…etc). If I asked you what you would like to do, don’t say “up to you” because, clearly I haven’t make a decision…otherwise I would of asked “do you want to accompany me to…” instead of asking what you want to do. Gr!

When people ask for advice but then don’t bother to follow through or do the exact opposite of the suggestion. Why in the fuck did you ask me then!?

People who no matter what relate to something you have done and try to “one up” you. And in the same group, the people who always have to be right and have the last word. Why…just why!?

People who once were nobody and then became someone and forgot you exist. I absolutely despise when someone does this. It’s so awful! I have had this happen with several people I knew. Someone is bored, doesn’t have many friends, is just starting to find their way in life and acts as though you are their very best friend. Then after a while you hear form them less and less and less, until one day you call to invite them to your birthday and they are “busy” that night and every other night you ask about.

People who talk down to you. This one really gets my blood boiling. I loathe when someone you were friends with starts feeling like they are better than you because of whatever reason they conjure up for themselves and after a few weeks of not seeing them, the next time you hang out, their tone is as if you are talking to your aunt Margaret who lives in a gated community in the heart of LA with a gold toilet and diamond studded cutlery. So completely terrible. I had someone I know give me a gift and say “here, it’s a gift card so you can now go buy some clothes you’ve wanted!”. I was shocked! I was even about to leave that card on the table and leave. Who are you to say that to me?! Just because I mentioned some items and didn’t buy them, doesn’t mean I can’t. I dress very well, thank you — at high end stores…without your help.

I could go on! But there needs to be some left for other posts hehe!

Have a good weekend/week everyone! See you next Thursday/Friday!

Leave me a comment with some of your pet peeves or any feedback in general! I would love to hear from my wonderful readers!

A Rant and Grinding Gears

Hey y’all!

Sorry for missing the usual post days, as you all know it was my birthday on Thursday and after that I got swarmed with family and events of sorts so I didn’t have much time. To add to that when I did have a couple spare hours I spent them studying for my psychology exam (which was yesterday). Now I have a couple of weeks to breathe before the next round haha! Moving on with things, I was actually canceled on by quite a few of my friends for a night out which was planned well in advance, so I don’t know what happened there. In fact it kind of ticks me off because I planned this entire event and made sure people were all ready and able to come a week prior and then checked in a couple days before…and last minute people flaked. God I really hate that. Anyway, the plan was to go out for a nice time at the night market with several friends as a birthday “party” type of deal. However, my best friend and I went for a nice dinner and drink at the bar–met some friendly people, followed by a limo ride around town. So over-all my birthday turned out pretty great, regardless of people canceling and plans changing. I also went on a bit of a shopping spree…got some Clique toner and Origins eye cream. I also got new headphones from Tweaked Audio (super excited for them to come!) …I also purchased 4 different teas from David’s Tea!! If you guys don’t already know this…I am kookoo for tea; if you ever met someone who knows cars like the back of their hand…I am the equivalent of that but with teas. It’s part of my 22 going on 100 thing haha.

Oh and to add to my fantastical few days…I had to take my cat to the vet’s office yesterday. She swallowed something and it got lodged in her throat, she couldn’t puke or cough it out so she was pretty pissed off and crying for help. I loaded her into the car and off we went! Doctor took an X-ray…said he can see a shadow of something but can’t make out what it is, said it wasn’t big enough to cause harm, massaged it down her throat somehow…anyway long story short: I got her home after the visit and gave her some special food that the doctor gave me, which is extra moist and wouldn’t irritate her esophagus/help push the item down into her stomach where it will be digested and passed through. Anyways…she’s fine! Haha so I am happy, was really worried there for a little while.

Onward!

What really grinds my gears:

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1. Making yourself the victim when you are at fault. Not at all effective and just angers the person you are fighting or arguing with even more. If you are wrong …just admit it! Clearly the other person already knows, there really is no reason to fight it by making the other person the villain while you pretend to be the victim. Just suck it up and apologize or admit wrong.
2. Making someone feel awkward for liking/disliking something. Why should someone have to conform to another’s interests, likes, or dislikes. I frankly rather meet someone who thinks differently about something than I do; it makes for interesting conversations. As long as the individuals are respectful of the each other’s opinion(s) and don’t poke and prod faults in things the other person enjoys or make the person feel inferior.

3. Patting yourself on the back. I don’t mean literally. I understand if someone is introducing themselves and they have a PhD and say “Hi, my name is Dr. Wilson” or making a point; the type of patting on the back I am talking about is the people who tend to re-state their achievements, shove their success in other’s faces, or constantly hint at their status/job. It just bothers me. You know the saying “the loudest in the room is the weakest”…yeah it serves really true. Someone who has to validate themselves to the same group of people by constantly talking themselves up is clearly a sad individual; how low of self-esteem do you have? My sympathy goes out to you self–back-patters.

4. Subtle guilt trips. I think you all know what I’m talking about! Those situations where someone tries to convince you into feeling like an ass by implying little hints here and there of how lonely they are, how unfair something you did/didn’t do was, and etc. Blunt guilt trips are less annoying because that just means that someone is blatantly expecting sympathy or care or attention from you, or an apology–fine, whatever. But when someone is being sly about it is when it really ticks me off. I know what you’re doing, just stop trying to hide the fact that it’s a guilt trip.

5. Deciding things for me. This is by far one of my biggest pet peeves. Believe me…I can decide on my own. I am a grown woman who can make her own choices. So, please…save your decision making for yourself. Especially if you decide my meal at a restaurant (without prior agreement)…I will just up and leave.

6. Saying “I’m fine” when you aren’t. Honestly, I am not a baby sitter or a shrink…I don’t get paid to deal with people who don’t want to cooperate or talk. If you are clearly not okay don’t try to be the hero of the day by “not troubling” me and just say the truth when I ask you — it’s a lot worse to sit quietly and clearly sigh and have a sour expression than to just say it and move on. No gold stars involved. Believe me I won’t waste my time pulling words out of your mouth, either don’t show you’re upset or talk! That’s what adults do.

7. Manipulation. This is at the top of my list. I don’t care what your motives are or how good of an intention it is. I also don’t buy the whole “I didn’t realize it” game…people who manipulate and also claim they don’t are the worst snakes in the bush. Some jackasses out there are fantastic at it too! You can hardly figure it out until you see a pattern or some sort of clue behind what they say or do. Steer clear of these hidden “gems”.

8. Privacy invasion. Everyone has different boundaries and that’s understandable. I for one, love to keep my privacy…and I hate when people knowingly cross that boundary. That includes asking “who’s that?” every time my phone buzzes, going through my stuff if I happen to leave my phone/notebook on the table…etc. Just a big no-no. Trust me and let me know I can trust you too!

9. Assuming your opinion was asked. Friends and family have a tendency to do this, with good intention which is why I let it go most of the time. It really rubs me the wrong way when someone dictates how I should do something or just adds their thoughts to my already made plan (unless it concerns them)…that kind of stuff just ticks me off. I will ask your opinion if it’s important to me to hear it and if it’s needed. I don’t barge into your house and dictate when you should put your kid to sleep, what kind of bread is better for making bread pudding, or how to properly clean a sink; so, don’t “suggest” anything for me unless I ask you. It’s just rude to assume it’s your business. (mothers and fathers are the only exception)

10. And finally…it really grinds my gears when people have a doubt in my honesty. Even after years of friendship or knowing me…some people just tend to not trust others, regardless of being proven that you are trustworthy. I wouldn’t blame you if something I say doesn’t match my previous story or if I accidentally mislead you and now said or did something different (which would never happen). But constant doubt in my actions or words is a really big piss-off…it makes me wonder if the reason you are so suspicious is because you are lying to me; you know in Russia there’s a saying: people often judge others by what they do/think. So…yep!

Well that concludes my grinding gears passage for tonight!

Hope y’all have a lovely week and I will be back on Thursday/Friday (for sure this time) for more fun stuff, next post will include an awesome recipe and will most likely involve some reviews of products…so be sure to come back and take a look!!

P.s. Going to dentist tomorrow (well today, it’s already past midnight here haha). Yikes! I hate it with a passion, but needs to be done. The picture bellow describes my exact emotional state about this said dentist trip:

sad-kid