coley_merrin: (Chef in ze Kitchen)
Every once in a while I get a need for shepherd's pie. I've written about it here every so often.

So I took a few pics.

And decided I needed cake. So I made that right after. Cake and pie. (not together. :P) And this was most of my yesterday afternoon.

Cake 'n' pie )
coley_merrin: (Chef in ze Kitchen)
The weekend's cooking accomplishments, sigh.  lol~

Read more... )
coley_merrin: (Chef in ze Kitchen)
Let me tell you of the times in which kitchen experiences are greatly impacted by good equipment.

(I am in love with my new knife.)

(My tiny, decrepit food processor makes life difficult.)

(My stand mixer is my right hand...I also need a new wire whip attachment because I accidentally bent mine to smithereens on fridge-hard butter. *puts on dunce hat*)

...Right. Brownies. Where was I.

Beans? In what? )
coley_merrin: (Chef in ze Kitchen)
My baking adventure...SUCCESS.

For ze food )
coley_merrin: (Allen- ...right)
Seriously, there are hits and misses in baking.  The first person who went "Oh, I shall make a cake!" or did so by accident, probably didn't hit a home run every single time.

I have really bad luck with cake.

Not cake out of a box, mind you.  Cake that you put flour and various things together in a bowl, mix and voila!  I read somewhere once that doing homemade cakes is sort of ridiculous because home cooks just don't have the same ingredients to give that lovely tall, tender, soft and (tasty!) cake that one can get out of a box (or professional kitchen).  Of course, this is a taunt to me.  I want to try!  I want to master, and do, and, etc.  The first totally from scratch chocolate cake I made ended up as a 1/2 inch floppy Failure.  Failure, capital F.  It wasn't even edible.  Then, there was the cherry cornmeal upside down cake, which I have done once (gorgeous!) and then twice (similiarly gorgeous and delicious and I'd eat it all day long!).  And there was the Boston Cream Pie which was, ehhhh....could have been so much better.  And.  Then.  Tonight I tried a chocolate cake with chocolate ganache "frosting."  Well, the frosting which was basically chocolate and heavy cream was divine.  The cakes, which rose fine, and etc, sort of settled out into flat little plains of mostly tasteless, decidedly non-chocolate-tasting non-delight.  I'm going to go back to my How To Cook/Bake book to settle this, because, see here, world.  Cake cannot possibly be this hard.

In which I prove that there are good times and bad times )
coley_merrin: (Historian - remain calm)
I need to purchase a non-metal citrus juicer.  All that hard work eking 3/4 of a cup of lemon juice from 4 (!) lemons, only to think about it later, and then have that bad feeling come true when that dessert tasted like you're sucking on a coin.  :| :|  It looks pretty, though.  XD  Might post pictures.  "Here is the dessert that looked good but that I never ate."  But I have another recipe in mind, one that requires a pound and a half of chocolate for the frosting.  (!!)  Biggest fear right at this moment:  The chocolate breaking on me.  It will be :||| forever.

Also, if you have a question for me..... XD  Go ask here!  Anyone!  Everyone!  About anything!  ...Almost anything!  Fic or fandom or random.  Or.  Yeah, anything!  More than one!  I don't promise coherency.  But it's a long weekend and there's no one online to talk to, so please, for my sanity, people.  (Who said you all could sleep or have lives?  ;___;)

No really.  Go ask!  Do not be shy.  It can be anonymous!  I cannot promise you cookies, but there will be love, okay?

...Now back to "finishing" chapter 5 of the HenHae for like, the fourth time.  :|
coley_merrin: (Siwon snowflake)
Siwon is exceedingly proud of himself... He just won himself back his spot as default icon. XD

I had to literally hide the bread on top of the microwave to keep someone from cutting into it while piping hot. I explain to him again and again that cutting into the bread is releasing all the moisture, fweee, into the air, but someone can't resist the smell of hot yeasty bread. Sigh. ...And of course then I have to go get a piece, because it's required. Haha. I really like the crumb I'm getting on this bread. It's very lovely and slice-able despite the fact that I'm using all whole white wheat flour. I think I want to do a mix of 2/3 whole white with 1/3 regular whole wheat next time, just to see what kind of flavor it gives it. And you can make sandwiches with it without feeling like your teeth are trying to saw through slabs of petrified cardboard. _-_ Finally got pics up below~

Cut for writing blather, pictures... food, swag, and... Batduck~ )
coley_merrin: (Chef in ze Kitchen)


What food did I make with those dirty hands?

Oh wait. No. That was just from the brakes I helped change today.

Drum brakes are from the devil.
Food is food is food is food is... )
coley_merrin: (Mac)
Today was a good day at work... I am very pleased. <3 People who should be talking to me, are, and that's so exciting. I'm not sitting here like a big question mark. Here's hoping for a good day tomorrow as well.

Baked bread from the dough from last night, and it was good~

I discovered why I hadn't been on MSN since the end of the earth, and fixed that. ...Adium, I love you.

I need to make a picture post. _-_

I finished watching all six episodes of SyFy's new show "Warehouse 13" since... last night. It's a good watch... The female lead is believable in her role, more so than some federal agent women are. It will entertain me now and again, anyway. :) Never watched a show that featured secret service type agents. *_*

...Which reminds me I need to catch up on Supernatural, though I'll probably wait till the dvds come out in a couple weeks.

SiHan animal!verse is now 11.5k, and chapter two is done at 3,300 words. Chapter three is about 2/3 done at 2,200. I'll probably start posting when I figure out how many chapters it'll be. I'd guess five or six, right now, unless I get some brain wave I don't see coming. XD;;

..........and that's all she wrote
coley_merrin: (Historian - remain calm)
Work will drive me crazy. :D We will not focus on that. But did finally have the chance to be productive for the first time in a few days, which was nice.

Not a lot of writing over the weekend. :\ But did get a chance to expand on a few stories, and more over the past couple days. I keep posting things, and feeling like I'm posting way too often, but the bank of screaming stories waiting to be finished never seems to drop in number. Should I be concerned by that? Disenchanted? I need a magic wand. XD; But any progress is progress. Progress is good. <3

I am slooooooooooooooooowly attempting to push myself out of my nest. As in. Make a comment, reply to a thread, something... Something more than once a year. I feel it should not be this hard to do this. I have absolutely no desire to be a social butterfly, and couldn't even if I did, hah. But somehow dragging me away from my "nooo, someone will see me D:" mentality which has melded with my bone deep gratuitous laziness can, with hope, only end well...

I just made mac and cheese from scratch. Hm. The recipe was probably fine, but I think it heated too long, because it came out a little more texture-y than one would care for. Win some, lose some. I really should have halved the recipe. XD;;;;;; Better than that cake mix out of the box that turned out... ...*shudder*
coley_merrin: (Rainbows)
I think I had a point to this post beyond going "behold, cake" but I can't decide what it was. I am eating cake with my chai latte remnants, vegetating, banging a metal pipe on the HenHae and getting lovely echoes... But better echoes than me moaning about how terrible smutty scenes are to write and that it will only make me dislike this other fic more than I do because... because they always do. Not moaning any more than I just did, anyway.

On the job front... I got up 30 minutes too early this morning, and it didn't matter. Not happening again. It's so... frustrating. I just want to get started and no one wants to get going. I'm working and it's not going anywhere.

So anyway. Have some terribly fuzzy pictures. Apparently I am fail at wielding the camera.

Cake? )
coley_merrin: (Hana-Kimi - MV Happy Smile)
Work was uneventful. What can you do. It doesn't look as bad as it could've been, though! Hoping for another good day...

...Zhou Mi is the cutest thing. There may need to be an icon. And a picture on my wall. _-_ Gah. I keep sneaking a peek and going "AHHH, cute."

Also, achoo. Black pepper. x.x Good going, me.

Am really making that boston cream pie soon... Just got more cream for the homemade pudding (!). It wanted me to make it with vanilla beans, which, you know, don't really pop up on the shelves here. However, on the travels I found one, so I have to try it... I've never made anything with a real vanilla bean. XD Exciting.

Given that I just cried all over myself the other day while I was reading over what I have of the anniversary fic, it's either not quite as big a pile of stinking poo as I'd led myself to believe a week ago, or I'm a little emotional right now. I'll settle for somewhere in between. My opinion on it is like a roller coaster. Too many long slides down...

Sleep now. x.x
coley_merrin: (Mac)
OH, the things you never anticipate learning about your computer.

I am a computer voice speaking Korean names...Ki-bum? )

Making shepherd's pie tomorrow... Mmm.

Also, cake! )
coley_merrin: (Hangeng - hoodie)
My epic KyuMi is lacking the Kyu and the Mi, as secondary couple Get-Together SiHan suddenly decided they wanted to dribble adorableness around in buckets and rivers. Most of that was written in the wee hours of the morning, as I watched the clock roll from 1 to 2, and decided my muses hated me in general, and that I never really liked them to start with.

The arguably KyuMi story word count stands with a shocking two day total of 6,125, but split:

SiHan focus: 5,207
KyuMi focus: 918

So it is the KyuMi fic, but we haven't actually gotten the KyuMi in focus. That's okay. It'll happen.

The Epic ShiHan proper word count is 12,462 with at least one long scene untyped.

And the Epic HanKyu has peaked at 11,451 with several scenes needing to be typed.

One of those four characters is winning the race of coupledom. Where did that come from?

Also, I just answered the door in an old Mariner's t-shirt, slightly too short pink fuzzy pajama pants with white evergreens on them, and purple fuzzy socks. And hair that hasn't seen a brush. Good times. And I did this after I had wrote someone answering the door in ratty clothes today. Life imitating art. -_-

And now I am going to go make fabulously fabulous peanut butter cookies, because they sounded good, and no one told me no.
coley_merrin: (Elisa claw marks)
How simple a measuring cup is. The recipe I was using, I was halving it... It called for 3/4 cup of butter. Which is, of course, a stick and a half of butter. No problem there. But I'm staring at this as though it is the world's highest math problem. Half of 3/4... Not possible. But gee, 1/4 of a cup is half the stick, and half of that is an 1/8 of a cup, and voila. Half of 3/4 cup of butter is 3/4 of a stick. Wow! Jen can do math, too! Except I totally didn't figure it out on my own. >.> Yes, I did graduate school, why?

I think I burned a hole in my stomach with all the garlic I added to the Parmesan and bread crumb encrusted chicken I made tonight. Gracious. So good. ;_; I bought Parmesan that did not come in a can, and all was well in the universe. The oven is now heating up for the molten chocolate lava cakes, which are done, and good! I had no idea there was so little flour in them. Just all chocolate and egg holding it up. I think I might try a different recipe next time... They were really good, but I want to try for mind blowing. I used semi-sweet instead of bittersweet, since I'm not a big dark chocolate fan. I imagine they'd reach for stunning with milk chocolate, though... My 8 oz ramekins were too big, but lo! The grocery store had 6 oz custard cups! My soul for Pyrex.

In about an hour I’ll be making the dough for the brioche and the pecan honey sticky buns that I’ll be baking tomorrow, since it needs to refrigerate. *sigh* I came home tonight with a pecan pie..? But I still can’t help myself. I should try making pecan pie one day, but making pie dough is not high on my list of funsies things to do. I’m going to come bouncing out of this vacation like a meatball. But for now, my eggs are warming, and things could be worse.
coley_merrin: (Cat and balloon)
Anecdotal… I am such a spaz about organization… clutter clutter, piles of things, pretty singers and horses and gracious knows what all. *pauses to make my eyes cease burning from the onion I just cut up* Ahem. But the kitchen is oddly different… There have been… talkings-to to people when someone puts away the spatulas in the spoon drawer, or, kitchen forbid, putting the can opener in the wrong spot. I am surrounded by piles of books and papers and empty plates, and am frowny-attentive about kitchen organization. Fabulous.

But as I sit enjoying a piece of bread I wore my hands out kneading last night with my chai latte, I can’t really complain about the complexities of my cleaning abilities. :P

While we’re on the topic, I particularly hate the sound of the vacuum cleaner, and always have.

And to segue from doodad to another… I’m not a particularly fail gamer… excepting anything that requires guns or first person anything… but Eternal Sonata is kicking my behind. I’ve had two game over screens. I’m not fighting bosses. *taps fingers* Are you supposed to have to start heavy-duty leveling up less than two hours into a game? Apparently I’m going to, anyway. I’m getting a little tired of seeing half my party die off while I flail.

…Yesung and Sungmin are singing a song for a charity album for abandoned dogs? You all suck in such a fantastic way. ;_;

And because I had nothing better to do, I was watching music videos this morning and a few of things struck me… I’m always amused by the total ninja appearances of Hankyung in “You Are the One” vid…. They must seriously have included all of his ninja appearances from the whole ep for it to feature him as much as it does. Hankyung falls on his behind? Check. Hankyung’s head materializes over group shot? Check. Hankyung waves, snowboard in hand? Check. Hankyung and Sunglasses? Check. I’m tempted now to go watch the ep to see if he appears more than I thought. *_* (We’ll ignore the part where I teared up.) Also, struck again by how much Yesung looks like he just stepped out of the pages of D.Gray-man in his jacket. -_-

And in M’s “U”… in the same scene that tickled me with Boy Wonder’s “I have my hands on two of them and ain’t nothing you can do about it” part (and apparently the only person I had watched before today in that scene :P) I was taking note of people’s hands, which are pretty uniformly on hips or each other or just hanging, and then Kyuhyun is like *thighs* which is an image a month or two ago that would’ve made me run away screaming “Not the baaaaby” (and in the interest of full disclosure, I admit that I still do the cute-and-vocal “Oh, baby <3” at him sometimes… not sure what that says about me.)… Until I sort of gave up fighting the tide, especially after having watched 2700 hours of M interviews and shows, and then I actually watched Henry during that scene in “U,” and I’ll be exiting from under the couch in about a decade. Thank you.

And, AFI is starting to ramp up for new album release if they're preparing to bring in people for the studio by asking for videos. Yeeeeees. I wish I were not totally insane, as I'd be tempted to send in a video myself (Smith comes to get you? Are they serious? lol. Just for that alone.), but I am, so I will not. (Because this would totally how my video would go: "Hi, I'm a Jen. I'm a fan. I'd like to molest your guitarist. I sit on my couch all day. I like Korean boys. Pick me!")

Accidental computer consultant who is still angsting about scarves, over and out. -____-
coley_merrin: (Default)
Absolutely the best part of the Monk holiday episode was the "Monk, p.i." commercial set to the "Magnum, P.I." theme. I had a few lol moments... I miss having more tv shows that give me an anticipatory feeling. :( Right now, I have "House" and that's it... The rest are kind of "And I watch because I have nothing better to do..." I never watched any of the new shows this year... After both my picks bombed last year, I was a little wary. :( Someday... Oh, no I guess I have "Bones" too...

It's 10 degrees and snowing here. Brr. What's a healthy foot or two? :|

...I just realized I'm supposed to be on vacation for the next two days. Excited Jen is excited! Except... I think my boss expects me to work tomorrow. I think she forgot I was on vacation. Sad Jen is sad. I'll probably juggle the vacation day to the day before or after Christmas or something.

...I need to finish these scarf fics before they become irrelevant. My goal in life! Go me, go.

I wonder if I should unearth my ramekins and try a molten lava cake... We'll have to check ingredients first. Exciting! *does the baking flail*
coley_merrin: (starry night)
Crock pot owns me soul. Just finished extracting creamy chicken and potatoes and it is, lo and behold... good! I finally bought more buttermilk, so will make more soda bread tomorrow.

She cooks, she bakes, she hides under the couch when she posts fic to a new fandom.

...Someone just walked in with three... Three!... boxes of chocolate covered cherries. What do I do with him?

Ugh, did I mention this was good? So good. I could make myself ill on this. (Thank you, recipe makers! Even I can make it!) It wanted me to add peas, and I said "Nahhhh" because peas and I, not so much. And the only thing I had in the freezer was a pea/carrot combo... There were carrots in it already, and while I do love me some carrots... Yeah. The peas thing was a no-go. (And in my defense, I did not buy that pea/carrot blend... That would be the same person who bought THREE boxes of chocolate covered cherries after moaning about needing to drop 10. He has all the impulse control that I do. Impressive.)

Well, I think that takes care of Monday.
coley_merrin: (Butterfly music)
Oh, heaven. How close you are.

I have wanted to try my paw at making a loaf of brioche bread ever since walking into the bakery near my university one bright spring morning, and walking out with a little muffin-shaped piece of buttery glory. This, paired with a Seattle's Best Coffee's Cocoa Trio (*whimper*) and it was really all over for me. I dream about that bread. It's like this far away, unattainable goal. Mere mortals cannot reproduce it? Surely? Every recipe I've ever seen requires a mixer... one says you can do it by hand but it'd take some getting into it. ...I can now see why. Thankfully, now I do have a mixer.

The dough is barely a dough... it's more like a really tough cake batter (due to the gluten in the flour and all). It glopped into the bowl. The first trial loaf just came out of the oven 20 minutes ago, and you're supposed to wait an hour to cut it. HORROR. It cracked a little when I took it out of the pan, and eeeee, it looks good.

Seriously, the bread is basically eggs and butter with a little flour to hold it together.

It's really bad for you, I'm sure. But if it tastes as good, or even close, to the brioche from El Heavenly Bakery? Oh baby.

Plus I have half the dough left... I can either make another loaf... or pecan sticky buns. Oh yes.
coley_merrin: (David the Red)
I am making bread. I am on the final (Thank gracious!) rise. That will make rising time, all together... 3 1/2 hours. Oy. It's a new recipe, so we're seeing if this works out. Honey wheat bread... sounds good on paper, eh?

BUT.

I did not have to work at it. My brandest newest stand mixer came today, and it is shiny and I love it already. Even if the kneading did make the bowl so tight on the base I almost couldn't get it out.

Plus, it was a steal. An Artisan KitchenAid mixer, 5 qt bowl, Empire Red... Less than $200. In fact, it was $70 cheaper than the exact same thing in white... (And $110 dollars cheaper than I can buy it in a store.) My bread nor I care if the mixer is white or red. Might have drawn the line at puce. Plus, it looks spiffy, like a solid little convertible. And if the red offends, I can make a cover for it. But it's a nice spot of color in our otherwise bland kitchen.

What else... Hmmmm...

I finally bought the books, Howl's Moving Castle and Castle in the Air. Castle in the Air amuses me to no end, really. Oh, Howl.

I read a romance novel that had a very... interesting format... last night. It was 2/3 of the time narrated first person by the female lead, and interspersed with the male lead in third person. It took me a good 100 pages to realize that. I don't know why. Clearly she made it seamless, or I was tired, or something. After I clued in, it was a little jarring though. It's an interesting way of doing things though, as an effect. I ponder this.

And I read a second novel, and that was probably yesterday too, and I was wondering why at 170 pages in that it felt like I'd just be rushed into this couple's bedtime relationship... and realized they'd know each other for 36 hours. That's quick work. Yeah. I'll have to see if I own any other of her books and see if I liked that one before deciding on a blacklist. (Yeah, I have one. It's short, but it's there.)

What else? Hmmm. I'm making bread? lol I think that's it for now. :)

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