Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Jai Ho

How awesome am I? I just made a Slum Dog Millionaire joke at a call center job interview and got a call back! I also was the only one or one of 2 in the group interview who had never worked at a call center before, woohoo!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Today Was a Fairytale. You Were the Prince.

Haha, ok, so maybe I'm being a little tongue-in-cheek with my title or maybe today really was a fairytale, just a real world fairytale rather than a Disney one. The day itself wasn't anything too great: I did a bit of work online, dishes, two loads of laundry and had a two second chat with my sister, however tonight, tonight is where it got good. At about 7:15 I heard a car pull up in to the driveway and that really freaked me out because I wasn't expecting anyone and MOTH Dude doesn't get home until about 8:45, but there he was walking in our back door an hour and a half early! Dinner wasn't even ready. It was so nice to have him come home at a normal time. To top it off the soup I made was delicious and halfway through it MOTH Dude surprised me with a Cherry Dr. Pepper-score! I'm sure it probably doesn't sound like much to anyone else, but I couldn't think of a better Monday night.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I Hope You Had the Time of Your Life

Just recently Bun's little sister Mini-Bun posted her Prom pictures and gosh did that make me feel really, really old! Mini-Bun was 9, maybe 10, when we graduated from high school so it's surprising how fast the end of her own Senior year has snuck up on us. Mini-Bun looked stunning and like a true California surfer girl on her big day. She looked stylish and effortless and that's due to the fact that I believe she did her own hair and makeup and reused a dress from a previous dance. Who does that?! Who is that cool at 17-18 to say, "Hey Mom, it's cool, I don't need a new dress to the big dance because I've got one that I've already used that will work great again"? Mini-Bun=Awesome!

Seeing her Prom pictures and coupled with the fact that I just saw a friend's Facebook page that is still covered with pics of her and her old high school crew got me thinking about my own Prom night and what a blast it was. I had been to 3 other dances over the 4 years of high school and all of them were awkward/awful. As a freshman I went to the Homecoming dance with a boy I had gone to grade school with. He didn't go to my same high school and I didn't know anyone there and we hadn't seen each other in 6 months so we didn't have a lot to talk about and I can't remember if we danced or not. As a junior I thought I was asking a cute guy I had met once to the dance and my friends were going to ask his friends so we could all go in a group. They never got around to actually asking the friends so there I was again with a guy I didn't really know, but luckily he was friends with my sisters boyfriend at the time so we kindof hung with them for the night. We left as soon as we were allowed to and went back to Bun's house. At this point I kind of liked the guy, but he didn't seem to be paying enough attention for my liking. So I decided to get drunk for the first time in my life off some blue koolaid and vodka concoction that Bun and her cousin had whipped up. I ended up drinking way too much and acting like a complete tool, even saying I was going to jump off the balcony on to Bun's Mom's Navigator (3 feet) below! (What did I think I was going to accomplish, a sprained ankle?? Haha, so dramatic! I still can not talk to Bun's cousin without her bringing up "I'm going to jump on the Navi" without fail, soooooo not fun introducing her to new people, especially new boyfriends who always got to hear the story, too!) (P.S. Sorry Mom for getting drunk at 16 and you not knowing until now. I guess there is a reason for the legal drinking age not to be 16!) So the dance date took off and we never spoke again because he didn't want to deal with that kind of bullshit, rightly so. The next dance I went to was Homecoming my senior year. I thought I was going in a small group of the cool kids, but turns out it was more like the top 100 coolest kids, and me and my date didn't get an invite to their after party...ouch! I also hated my shoes, wasn't a huge fan of my dress, none of my real friends were at the dance, and my date was the Loser ExBoyfriend who didn't go to the school.

Finally, finally, for senior Prom everything came together. We partied with the football boys every weekend and I sat next to one of the team captains in Math that year and we really hit it off. We had made out one weekend (sorry, again, Mom, and it was just making out), but really only because Bun had left us alone downstairs at her house and I was too young and dumb to say "No" to a popular boy. I mean, he didn't force me or anything, that's not what I'm saying, but I would've been happy not to make out with him that night, too. Anyway, so all of us decide we should go as a group and hire a limo, do pictures together, then have an after party at someone's house. The Team Captain asked me by bringing me two different bouquets at lunch one day and I was excited to be going with him because we were really good friends by then and the Loser ExBF was out of the picture for the moment.

The night of Prom I was running late because Nae wanted to follow us over to where we were going to be taking pictures beforehand to have her pictures done there, too, but her friend was running late and I finally just had to go. I got there and the Team Captain was pretty pissed because picture time was over and we had to leave and he and I only got a snap or two before jumping in the limo, but as we were taking those few quick snaps he said something really nice- "that I looked so beautiful, I was worth the wait"...awwww!

On the ride over to the Long Beach Convention Center, we laughed and talked and had a good time and then one of the boy's pulled out a bong, nicknamed Snoop Bong, and started taking huge rips off of it. Me, Bun, and Candie (another old friend whom I've only briefly wrote about to chronicle the demise of our friendship) just thought it was hilarious, but the other girls in the group who we weren't really close to were spazzing out and saying we were all going to get contact highs or wreak of pot smoke and not be allowed in to the dance (and they were the types of girls who had those huge, poofy princess dresses so smoke probably could've hid up under one of their layers or something) so the guy put the bong away. As we walked in to the dance, we took our couples photo and group photo. The picture of me and the Team Captain is a great one- I am standing with my back to his chest and just as they were taking the picture the Team Captain whispered something really naughty in to my ear that made me laugh and that is our picture- him with a big smile and me mid-laugh. I also got a great picture with Nae- we are both in our fancy black dresses and I had her jump up in to my arms like I was a groom carrying her across the threshold.

The rest of the dance I had a great time running around and chatting with people and taking pictures with friends I was only going to see for two more weeks of school. The Team Captain was in fine form, having mixed some Shrooms in with his Mac n Cheese when we got to the dance and he was super funny to hang with. We had one dance that night and not being a dancer that was enough for me and the Team Captain being the charmer he is danced with tons of girls the whole night and it was nice to not be with a boyfriend where I'd have to care or be jealous if he spent the night dancing with other girls.

Prior to the dance, the Team Captain and I told people if they couldn't think of anyone to write for Prom King and Queen, vote us. I thought it was a bit of a joke because I was pretty anti school spirit. A lot of people in my homeroom thought it was funny so they put us down. Well, a friend of my sister's was on the dance committee or student council had come up to her a few days before the dance and told her that we had enough votes to make it on to the court, but I guess with school politics we somehow didn't make it on the ballot. Didn't matter in the end, the two nicest kids from our class won it and I thought that was pretty great.

At the end of the night we piled back in to the limo and headed out to a ritzy community in the hills above Newport Beach to spend the night at the Co-Captain's (and Bun's date) house. I must have been pretty tired because I don't remember much from the night. I got upstairs early to claim a couch because Princess D doesn't really do well sleeping on floors. After I had gotten in my pajamas, the Team Captain came upstairs and asked me if we were going to hook up that night. I said "No" and he, ever the gentleman, asked if it was okay if he went and hooked up with someone else! I said "Sure, go for it, good luck!" or something to that effect and then the Team Captain proceeded to whip out his guitar and serenade me with this reggae song that I loved how he sung before going off to fulfill all of his stereotypical Prom night fantasies. It was really, really nice and honestly, I thought it was a perfect night and a perfect Prom. I had fun, I looked good, there was no stress, and I got to spend it with all the people who meant the most to me at that point in my life.

So, did reading this bring back any fun or funny dance memories for any of you? Did anyone lose their virginity in the back of a limo or the back of a Ford Fiesta that night? Did you love what you wore? Hate what you wore? Go with someone your regretted or your future spouse? What was the highlight or lowlight for you that night?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Time Has Come for Colds and Overcoats

This is the Father's Day Card Boyfriend sent to my Dad, saying it reminded him of me!

It probably feels that way, but this blog isn't turning in to a recipe blog, I promise. It's just for now, while the weather sways between sunny and kindof warmish and freezing and overcast/rainy there aren't a whole lot of adventures going on in my life. Plus, I'm really trying to focus on finding on job so that doesn't make for very exciting days, either.

Boyfriend's name has been resolved, sortof. I'd prefer to call him Beau because it means both handsome and someone's sweetheart which Boyfriend is and it's also a guy's name so it'd be easy just to start referring to him as that, but after reading everyone's suggestions in the comments he would like to be called MOTH Dude, like some sort of super hero! He has been thinking up a MOTH Dude theme song, contemplating what sort of outfit MOTH Dude should wear, and even referring to himself (in public!) as MOTH Dude to drive me crazy!

Friday night MOTH Dude and I headed out to an uncelebratory dinner for me not getting the job. There is a SsS BBQ Barn not far from us and we've been wanting to try it because they serve ribs. It wasn't that great and we won't be going back. I ordered a margarita and it tasted like a frozen lemonade, I don't think there was any tequila in it at all. The ribs fell of the bone, but there was less than you'd get at Tony Roma's in Sydney and they needed more sauce. MOTH Dude was starving so he ordered a damper roll that was $5 and the size of a bread roll! We were full when we left, but not satisfied and for $87 you want to leave a place satisfied!

After that, we went over to the Soccer Player and the Hairdresser's place and hung out with them and the baby and it was just a fun, relaxed night sitting around talking and watching the football game on in the background.

Saturday morning we got up and went to the Farmer's Market at The Entrance with MOTH's parents. It was a beautiful day and although the market was super crowded and more expensive and had less produce than I am used to, it was nice that after we were done shopping that we could sit on the walkway with our feet hanging over the water and look for schools of fish swimming by. Saturday night, we went over to the Farmer and Tinkerbell's house and it was another fun, relaxed night of sitting around and talking with friends.

Sunday morning, I slept in super later, while MOTH actually got up early and was productive. He went out for a dive at one of the local beaches and it was so cute to see him when he got home because he was bursting with excitement and happiness over all that he had seen. He told me all about it then proceeded to pass out for 3 hours, while I baked up a storm for our weekly dinner at his grandparents' house.

And that was our weekend! Now it's Monday, nearly noon my time and I'm waiting for my family to get back from dinner so I can call my Dad for Father's Day. I'm also working on finishing up my contracting job for the University my Mom is working for and I've got soup started in the Crocpot. So yeah, it's not a recipe blog, but I do have another recipe for you all today. Now a) I claim to not eat pork, but I ate ribs the other day and there is ham in this soup, so I guess I go through phases and b) Yes, I know ham and lentil soup sounds kind of yuck/boring, but it's actually really, really good! One of our family friends threw this together with stuff she found in our fridge the day after Easter and I was skeptical at first, but after having a taste I was hooked and had been craving it ever since! It's really cheap and easy to make, which is a bonus, too! MOTH and I both agreed that the soup kind of tastes like smokey Mexican beans.

You Will Need
1. Crocpot
2. 2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3. 1 Medium Brown Onion
4. 1 Heading Tablespoon of Minced Garlic
5. 1 Large or 2 Medium Ham Hocks
6. 1.5 Liters of Chicken Broth (I use a brand called Massel)
7. 1 Bag of Green Lentils, I think the bag is about 300 grams? or maybe 1.5 cups worth, dried
8. Blender

What To Do
1. Turn your Crocpot on to high and add Olive Oil.
2. Chop up the Onion and add that and the Garlic to the Oil. Let sit for a few minutes, I don't know if this really sautes them or not since Crocpots cook at such a low heat, but I like to pretend it does anyway.
3. Throw in your Ham Hock(s).
4. Add .5-1 Liter of the Chicken Broth.
5. Let the Ham Hock(s) simmer away on low for 6 hours. Meanwhile, soak your Lentils in water for 6-7 hours (can also be done before hand and soaked the night before).
6. Add Lentils to Broth and turn up to high for 2-3 hours, until Lentils are soft and all meat is falling off the bones.
7. Fish out the bone and fat.
8. Scoop half of the Lentils, Ham, and Broth out and into a blender and blend on a medium setting for about 15 seconds.
9. Pour the blended stuff back in with the Broth and other Lentils and mix the two batches together.
10. Serve with hot bread.

We got 6 HUGE servings out of this.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I Can Tell You Buy at Costco

Look at me, I'm a delicious heart attack on a plate!

Have you ever been at least 500 miles from the nearest Costco and found yourself craving a Chicken Bake? No?? It's only us?

From the first time he came to California, Boyfriend was hooked on Costco's Chicken Bakes. I think they are probably about 25% of the reason he now makes the trip out to visit my family every year!

After his second trip to the States, Boyfriend asked if I could try and find out how to make the Chicken Bakes at home so I found a copy-cat recipe and he has been happy ever since.

What You Will Need

1. Enough pizza dough for one pizza. (I used one of the Aldi pizza kits with the pre-made, but uncooked dough)
2. Mozzarella cheese
3. Parmesan Cheese
4. Green Onions
5. 2 Slices of cooked Bacon
6. 1 Cooked Chicken Breast
7. Cesar Salad Dressing (Don't make the mistake I did this last time and get the Aussie stuff because it's cheaper-it was kinda sweet and really gross! Stick with Paul Newman or Cardini's)

What To Do

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2.Roll out pizza dough in to a rectangle (Aldi's is already in this shape). If you'd like to make 2 chicken bakes, rather than one large one, then cut your rectangle in half so you are left with 2 long, skinny pieces.
3. Cut up 2 green onions, using the majority of the white end from both of them and the green end from 1 of them.
4. Spread between 1-2 tablespoons of the Cesar dressing on to the pizza dough (dough should have a thin layer of dressing across all of it).
5. Sprinkle mozzarella over the dressing, again you want a thin layer across all of the dough.
6. Spread chicken pieces, bacon pieces, and green onion slices across the mozzarella using as much of each ingredient as you like.

7. Sprinkle more mozzarella over the top of the chicken, bacon, and green onion so that ingredients are lightly covered.
8. Sprinkle a small amount of parmesan cheese over the mozzarella.
9. Roll dough in to a burrito like shape and tuck in ends of dough so that fillings don't spill out.
10. Spread a handful of parmesan cheese over the top of the Chicken Bake and make sure you press it in to the dough a bit so it doesn't fall off.

11. Bake on an oiled or baking paper lined cookie sheet in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Just Around the Corner There's Heartache.

Grrrrrr, f*ing grrrrr!

I just got a rejection letter from the university. I'm really upset. After having no luck finding a job last year here I thought coming across a job ad for an International Student Support Officer at my old university was serendipitous. I thought who better to help other international students than someone who has been one? Who better to help people work through their frustrations at being a foreigner in Australia than someone who still gets frustrated being a foreigner themselves? I guess the university didn't see that.

I'm embarrassed that I told everyone that I was going for this job because now they are all waiting to hear that I have gotten it and I haven't. What if Boyfriend's parents are right- "What if she never finds a job here?" My hope is feeling a little worn and I'm missing home right now and have visions of myself in some awesome job right now if only we were living there and not here.

Here's the thing, though- everyday is a choice. Today I'm going to choose to be sad and have a good cry about not getting the job I really wanted, but tomorrow crying and being sad isn't going to help me. Tomorrow I have to choose to move on, to put on my happy and determined face and start the search again. (Jesus, Allah, Buddha, and the Rainbow Serpent give me the strength to put on that happy face tomorrow, I'm gonna need it!)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Walkin in a Winter Wonderland

Image from Kevin and Amanda

Well....that's what I should be doing! I've been slacking this week on my walks. I'm really nervous about getting this job and it's all I can think of. So instead of walking, I've been watching old episodes of Australia's Next Top Model and eating things that taste really, really good but probably aren't the healthiest for me.

If you're looking for comfort food, tonight's recipe will hit the spot! I know it doesn't look like much in the pictures, but it is heavenly. Boyfriend isn't home yet and after trying the sauce, I had to have a little bowl to hold me over til he gets here.

Grilled Chicken Pasta in a Tomato Cream Sauce

Recipe from Kevin and Amanda via the Pioneer Woman (They also have really nice step-by-step pictures on their blog you should check out for more details.)

Here's What You'll Need

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Montreal Steak seasoning (I didn't have this so I used some other chicken seasoning we had)

1/2 pound penne pasta

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup chicken broth

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce (I didn't know what this meant so I used some really plain, organic pasta sauce)

1 cup heavy cream (I used 300 ml of whipping cream)

1/2 to 1 tsp salt & pepper (to taste)

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped (Didn't have)

6-8 fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded (Boyfriend was supposed to bring this home from his parents' bush but he forgot)


Rinse chicken breasts in cold water. (Oops!)

Layer between sheets of wax paper and pound to even thickness. (I just cut my chicken in to really thin strips)

Season both sides with Montreal Steak seasoning.

Preheat grill for medium high heat, lightly oil grate, and grill chicken breasts on medium high heat for 6-8 mins each side. OR heat 2 tbsp butter & 2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Once the butter and olive oil is nice and hot, add chicken breasts and cook 5 mins each side. Set chicken aside to cool.

In a large pot, boil water with 1 tbsp salt. Add 1/2 lb penne pasta noodles and boil according to package directions.

Heat 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is tender, but do not let the garlic turn brown (about 3-5 mins).

Add the chicken broth to the pan and allow to reduce by half.

Meanwhile, slice chicken.

Once the broth has reduced, stir in tomato sauce. Add the heavy cream and stir well to combine.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat to low. (Mine didn't need any salt so taste before adding)

Chop the parsley and basil, add to sauce and mix well. Drain pasta and add to sauce. Stir well to coat. (I also tossed the chicken in to the mix.)

Serve pasta on plates, top with sliced chicken.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Gold Guns Girls

Nae got me in to this Metric song right before she left for South Africa and now it is my happy song. She says it would make a good, brisk walking song...a song she would've listen to running between classes on campus at UCSC. Anyway, it's different than "Help, I'm Alive" so whether you loved or hated that song (and even if you started out liking it you probably hate it now because it is played on the radio every 5 minutes) you should check this one out anyway, in my opinion.

You Can Have the Best of Me

I got up with Boyfriend at 5:15 this morning...man, I had forgotten how early 5:15 is! Only a couple of weeks ago I was getting up on my own at that time while I was adjusting to being back in the time zone, but this morning it was a definite struggle and man, oh man, was it cold! I took a train and then a bus out to my old university and had over an hour to kill so I did some wandering around. I also went to check in at the graduation office to ask them how I go about getting my diploma (a year late, but minor details). Apparently it had been mailed over last May to my parents' new address, but we never received it so they are looking in to it for me.

Soon enough it was time to head to the HR Department and do the interview. It was held on the Aussie 1st floor (but what I would call the 2nd floor) and it was sweltering in the waiting room. I thought maybe it was just me, sweating bullets, nervous about the task at hand, but then I overheard a few ladies walking by commenting on the heat, as well, and felt better. Luckily, when the main interviewer came to get me she assured me the interview room was much cooler and it was, though when I stood up after the interview I was sweaty behind my knees from being nervous!

I think the interview went fairly well. All three of the interviewers were really nice and gave reassuring smiles and head nods as I spoke so that made me feel more comfortable, too. I don't know if all of my answers dazzled them, but I did my best and answered truthfully and tried to dazzle them with my personality because I figure in a customer support role like that, that will be a deciding factor. As you always do after an interview, I analyzed every thing I had said and realized there were a few things I had wished I had added, but hadn't so when I sent my thank you email to them this afternoon I added those two clarifications. I've never sent a thank you note after an interview, but I have read a lot recently about what a good idea they are. If nothing else, if they hadn't seen my enthusiasm in the interview, they could see it in my follow through. They ended the meeting by saying they had a bunch of candidates to interview today (yikes!) and that tomorrow they would check our references and that I could expect to hear back later in the week or more likely, early next week. I'll be anxiously waiting it out and trying to think positively until I know. This job would do a lot to help me finally, finally feel settled here- I've got the family unit, I've got a little house we're settled in to, now all I need is a job like every other person my age has and I'll feel normal. Keep those fingers and toes crossed for me!

After I left Newcastle, L.C. and Lo came and picked me up from the train station since I can't get a car until I have a job (and getting a job would be easier I think if I had a car to easily get me wherever I needed to go, but oh well, that's how it goes I guess) and we went out to lunch at our local club. Getting to catch up with L.C. over good food and seeing little Lo's cheeky, smiling face was the perfect way to destress after the interview so thanks girls! And I seriously don't know how Boyfriend functions-getting up at 5am, not getting home til after 8pm- because after I got dropped off, I checked emails, sent the thank you email and then was out cold for about 2 hours! Haha, I'm in for a rude awakening when I get a job and can't sleep off my early mornings in the middle of the day anymore!

Friday, June 4, 2010

And I Won't Tell 'Em Your Name

We've been engaged for exactly 4 months now and I still don't know what to call Boyfriend, at least as far as the blog goes. Calling him Fiance as a pseudonym seems lame. Referring to him as my Fiance in general still seems strange. I read this online Cosmo article the other day that said something about getting engaged is so cool because "you no longer have to refer to him as your boyfriend, which sounds so childish, now you can be an adult and call him your Fiance." I just think the word sounds so posh and uppity and even if that is what Boyfriend now is, I feel dumb saying it, unless I can use it to my advantage -like sometimes if I enter an online giveaway for a cooking appliance or something, I'll make sure to mention the fact that I'm newly engaged and my Fiance and I need stuff for the house (which is true) but I don't go saying to other people "Oh my Fiance this and that..." So the search is on for a new blog name for the man in my life; maybe he'll just let me use his real name already? It would make writing about him easier because there have been plenty of times where I have slipped and just written in his name only to notice it a little while later and have had to come back and change it.

I made it a point to keep this blog semi-anonymous because no one else in my life signed up to be apart of it when I decided to do it, but now that they do know about it, some people don't care whether you know who they are or not, like Nae, and how she agreed to let me share photos of her on here. I also started out thinking I'd keep myself anonymous, but I don't mind that people know I'm Dana and not Little D. This blog is just an unlocked journal that whoever wants to can read; it's a positive thing so I don't need to hide behind anonymity, plus it's hard to stay anonymous when I link to the blog in my Yanks Down Under profile or to some of my posts on Facebook! I will still keep up the pseudonyms for our friends, though, because I think they prefer it that way and without knowing who they are in real life, I don't think it makes a difference to the stories I tell calling her M******, as opposed to the Hairdresser, for example.

Anyway, to wrap it up, if my main man does not let me use his name on the blog, does anyone have any suggestions on what I could start calling him?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Well You'll Never Gain Weight From a Doughnut Hole

ETA: Well I certainly have great timing as June 4th is National Doughnut Day, too funny!

Who knew Tori Amos sung a song about doughnuts??

Boyfriend didn't get home until 10:30 Wednesday night and after a long walk, some work, and being by myself all day I got bored. I was craving a maple bar, but they don't do that here so I thought it would be a perfect time to try and make my own doughnuts (who knows with ideas like this how I've managed to lose 5 pounds since I've gotten back!) and use the maple extract I had brought over to try and recreate them. Well, the maple ones didn't turn out; my glaze was too runny and the flavor was off.

Boyfriend called just as I started to make the doughnuts and he said I sounded busy so I told him "I'm in the middle of making doughnuts" and he nonchalantly, like I make doughnuts everyday and not at all like this was the first time he's heard of me making doughnuts says, "Oh, well can you make me some cinnamon and sugar ones then" so I did and thank goodness for his request because those ones turned out really, really good! I thought these were the best straight out of the oil and still hot, but Boyfriend had a bunch of doughnut holes for a snack at work the next day and he came home raving about how good they were.

Here's the basic doughnut recipe from LoveToKnow.com and then all I did was drop them straight from the oil and in to a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.

Doughnut Recipe

  • 2 1/2 cups flour (plus lots of extra for when you roll the dough out)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 quarts oil for deep frying (I put about half a cup in the bottom of my wok and topped it off with probably another 1/4 of a cup halfway through so don't waste all this oil from the start)

  1. Stir the dry ingredients together.
  2. Mix in the milk, beaten egg, and vanilla.
  3. Heat the butter until melted and beat in to the flour mixture.
  4. Let chill for one hour.
  5. Bring oil to 370 degrees. (I didn't have a thermometer so just get the oil nice and hot and turn it down if your doughnts start to brown to quickly)
  6. Knead and roll out dough, then cut with a thick, round cutter. (My dough was VERY sticky so you'll probably need to add a lot of flour to keep it from sticking. I used an extra large mug for my outside circle and an egg cup for my inside circle.)
  7. Using smaller circle, cut out the middle to create a doughnut shape.
  8. Drop doughnuts into oil until they cooked through and light brown then immediately drop in to your cinnamon and sugar mixture.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Home is Waiting Here for You When You Return

Nae has made it back safe and sound to Santa Cruz. I spoke to her earlier today, after 30 hours of flying and stops in Dakar, Senegal and Washington, D.C. She sounded happy and not at all tired. She said she misses South Africa already and would like to move there. Maybe someday she will find a way to. I was glad to hear her voice again and to hear more details about some of the things she saw and did. The fire has been lit under her bum to pursue grad school so that she can propose a cool project idea and get back down to S.A. to study sharks upclose and personal again.

Anyway, these pictures have nothing to do with Nae's return, but are from walks I've taken over the past few days. I hope you enjoy. (Be warned, you might get bored-there are lots of mushroom pictures! Haha, I don't know why I think they are so neat.)

An area that has become a swamp where there was never water last year.

Kookaburra blending in with the trees and grey sky.

The little flash of color in the top left is one of two rainbow lorikeets that flew past me as I walked close to their nesting spot.

There are tons of ugly termite mounds on trees along the path.

The only bright spot in our backyard.

Looks like we will have a few more bananas this year.

I think this might be garlic. We have a garlic plant in our front yard at home and these flowers look really similar.

Someone thought it would be a good idea to try and build a castle in our neighborhood. They ran out of money and it was never completed.

Isn't this one freaky? I've never seen a mushroom like it. It looks like it should be from a Super Mario Brothers game. There is a little fly on top and I don't know if this mushroom was its home or its deathtrap.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

And You'll Show Up for Work with a Smile You'll be Better and You'll be Smarter and More Grown Up...

Woooooooo! I got a call this morning telling me I had made the shortlist for the University job I really want! I'm going in for an interview on Monday so now I have plenty of time to psyche myself out/up for it ;) I'm obviously very excited and hope that you all will keep your fingers crossed for me.

I also had a phone interview with another company after sending them in my resume earlier in the day and it is nice to have a potential backup option, as well.

I've got some recipes I should post up soon (I might attempt to make donuts this afternoon!) and also some pictures from my walks over the past few days.