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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I wish I had something exciting to write about.

But I do not.

Because I am gone usually for 10-11 hours per day.

Work has taken over my life.

And I love every second of it.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Here's looking at you, Mom.

In honor of Mother's Day, here are 5 reasons why my mom is awesome.

1. She's hilarious. And usually without meaning to be. It's okay, we still love you and understand that not everyone can understand my biting wit right away.
2. She answers my thousand questions every time I'm in the grocery store and can't find the food coloring/laundry detergent/taco sauce/10-pack of hangers/ etc.
3. She deals with my youngest sister and hasn't gone bald from pulling her hair out.
4. She makes a mean chocolate e'clair pie. (Hey, who do you think I learned it from?)
5. And finally, the woman raised me! And I seemed to have turned out alright...right? Right?

And these are just brushing the surface. I'm so lucky she's just a phone call away. Love you Mom!


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sinful.



I just made the most delicious brownies I've ever eaten. Probably because they're not entirely brownies.  The bottom layer is chocolate chip cookie, the middle layer is an Oreo, and the top layer is a brownie. Can you say uh-maze-ing? 

I first had these when my sweet roommate Sarah made them a few months ago. (I guess she's technically my former roommate now. Tears!) They were so rich and delicious I could only eat a bit at a time, but aren't all the best desserts? 


I decided to cheat and use cookie mix and brownie mix from a box.  First, I made the cookie dough and spread it in the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan. Spreading cookie dough is actually really difficult! Or maybe I'm just completely incompetent.  It was so sticky! I guess that's why you roll it instead of pouring it. Semantics. 


Next, put a layer of Oreos on top. I used all but four, and of course you have to eat the broken ones. 


After that, I poured the brownie batter on top to fill in the cracks. Oh man. 

    

Then I baked it at 350 for about 40 minutes, but I could've even gone a little less. The more gooey the better. 


Finally, Voila. Fabulous! 

Disclaimer: These are SUPER RICH. So, eat them with a cup of coffee or milk. 

Oh so bad for you, but oh so good. 


Friday, May 11, 2012

Amanda Goes to Washington

It's official, I'm back from the dead! Or just a brief hiatus after moving out of Clemson and up to Washington, D.C. It'll be my second summer up here, and now that I've got my first week of work under my belt let me just say: It is good to be back. I love this city! I'm rarely bored, and there's always something going on (unlike other towns I've come to be all too familiar with).  Well, I don't actually live in the city. I live just outside, but let's face it- only criminals and congressmen actually live in the city.

And yes, I'm living like a real live grown up! Scary isn't it? It was much scarier last summer when I was on my own for the first time. They say you're on your own when you go to college- No. That is garbage. It is the opposite of being on your own. It's nice to be a fully functioning adult again for the next three-ish months.  And hey, graduation's in a year and I'll get to pretend to be all grown up for real!

Anyway, D.C. has so much exciting stuff going on. I hope to add some Capitol shenanigans to my blog posts. Keep your eyes peeled for the fun stuff to come!

Also: Curious about the title of this post? Watch Mr. Smith Goes to Washington . I haven't actually seen it, but it's on my list of "Movies to Watch to be Considered a Functioning Human Being".

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Easing the pain of exam week, one bite at a time.




I made a cake! A fabulous rainbow cake! 

I got my inspiration from Bird on a Cake again, and trust me- it is harder than it looks. 

Ingredients: 
White cake mix
Liquid food coloring- as many colors as you can get your hands on. 
Gel food coloring- used to dye icing, find it on the same shelf as regular squeeze icing
White icing
2 cake pans
At least 6 small bowls and 1 very large bowl



First, make your cake mix like normal. Then, divide it up into six different bowls. Use the liquid food coloring to dye each bowl of mix a different color. You may have to mix, but don't worry- just add a little at a time, stir, and add more.

Purple food coloring doesn't exist- I made my own. 
 Eventually, your batter bowls will look like this. One thing to note: it was really hard to make sure each bowl had the same amount of batter in it. Really the best you can do is eyeball it, but if they're a little off it doesn't matter. 

Next is the fun part. Pour your first color in one of the cake pans, using about 3/4 of the bowl. It will spread out and cover most of the bottom of the cake pan. Next, pour the next color on top using a little less, so that as you use each color they form concentric circles.  Do the same for your other pan, but going in the opposite order.  


This was one of the hardest parts for me.  The pan with purple on the bottom had waaaay more mix than the one with red on the bottom, so you can see where I tried to add more red to the top to make it a little fuller. It didn't work, so the purple one ended up being a little thicker. In the end it didn't matter much. It mostly just bothered me because they weren't even. 

Next, bake your cakes like normal, and wait for them to cool COMPLETELY. And when I say completely, I really mean completely. I waited for HOURS and they still weren't cool, so I stuck them in the fridge. I know, bad habit. Oh well, it works. 
               

After they had finally cooled, I popped them out of the pans (way easier said than done).  A little bit of the cake was still stuck to the bottom and I had a minor panic attack. But I took a spatula, scraped it up, and put it back on the cake and glued it with icing. Don't forget to put a layer of icing between the cake layers! 

After that, I iced the cake and it took an entire tub of  Betty Crocker Whipped icing. ENTIRE TUB. But that's okay, calories don't count during exam week. (Or during Christmas. It's a rule). 

See? Told you the purple was thicker. Good thing I've got icing!
Eventually I got the whole thing iced. You'd never know that it was so colorful inside would you?  After that, I took the gel icing and drew more circles on top of the cake.


Next, in the Bird on a Cake blog, the lady said to take a paintbrush and drag the icing outwards until you get a tie-dye pattern. Um, no. She lies. That does not work.. I tried that and it ended up pulling all the white icing off! SO- solution: Make tiny, feathering motions going around each circle until the entire cake is covered in a tie-dye-like pattern. This will probably take your entire life. 

So later when you finish and you're 90 years old it will look something like this: 


It looks fairly tie-dye is, but point is, it's colorful and that's what I was going for. 

Cutting into it is the best part because you get this! : 
 
 It's an amazing rainbow of happiness. No, seriously. 


I took it to a cookout with some friends this weekend and it was a big hit! I've got a teensy bit leftover, and am rationing it to myself to help get me through this week. One more exam on Wednesday, then I'm done. DONE!