Thursday, July 17, 2014

Peanut butter oatmeal breakfast bars

I got home from work last Friday without any plans, and when I saw this recipe by Emily from Sweet to the Soul, baking sounded like the perfect thing to do with my Friday evening.

I've now made these breakfast bars twice, and both times they were great!  I didn't have any dark chocolate chunks either time, so I used semi-sweet chocolate chips instead.

The second time I made this recipe, I decided to try a mashed banana instead of the applesauce to add some banana-y flavor to the already great combination of peanut butter and chocolate.  The blending of the three flavors is awesome.  And if you haven't had a peanut butter and Nutella sandwich with slices of banana in between, you should go try that right now.  It's great, as are these cookies, I mean, breakfast bars!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Yogurt or Cream Cheese Frosting Filled Strawberries

The other day ChocolateCoveredKatie posted a very simple recipe for Yogurt Filled Strawberries that would be great for a dorm room!  This recipe only requires a few ingredients and tools and is very quick to make.

plastic bag

First, I set out all of my ingredients.  I decided to try both yogurt and some leftover cream cheese frosting as fillings and cocoa powder and cinnamon as toppings.

Then I washed the strawberries.  I like doing this by soaking them in a bowl of water, but you can just as easily rinse them under running water.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A new pasta recipe!

I have now finished my junior year!  This past semester was difficult for me (for non-school related reasons), and I have to say I'm glad it's over.  School-wise I'm doing well and am so happy that I find myself in a major that is great for me!  One of my personal goals for this past semester was to make more of my own food / try new recipes.  That didn't happen as much as I had hoped.  (Nor did posting on this blog.)  Now that summer is here once again, I am going to try to post and make new recipes more often!

Here is one recipe that I made up this past semester that turned out great!  I love pasta, so I searched online for some new recipes, and then combined some of the ideas I found.  I was still living in a dorm, so my requirements for a recipe reflect that.  It must only contain spices I have or would use often enough that I will buy them, only require simply ingredients and preparation, and only require ingredients that I can buy in quantities small enough that I can use all of what I buy in the dish or in something else easy before it goes bad.  For example, when I bought spinach for this recipe, I used the leftovers on sandwiches or in salads along with the tomatoes and feta cheese.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Save Money When Buying Textbooks

Before every semester starts, I and many other college students need to buy textbooks for their new classes.  There are many options for how to obtain your textbooks and these vary some by school.  Below are some methods to help you save money and/or time finding your textbooks along with what I have found to work best for me.

1.  See if your school has a program through which you can rent your textbooks.  One of my friends pays a small fee along with her tuition in order to be able to borrow every textbook she needs for each semester.  They are guaranteed to have the necessary textbooks and she can write in them as much as she wants as long as the books are still intact and legible when she returns them.  She even has  found that sometimes past users of the books have highlighted the most important parts.

2.  Check out the textbooks your on campus bookstore has.  At my school as a freshman you can sign up for a program to receive all of the books you need for the upcoming semester.  No matter how many times you swap classes, when you go to pick up your box, they will have the books you need.  You can also select whether you have a preference for new or used books.  After your freshman year, you can still buy books from the store and have them gathered together for you, but you must pick out the specific books that you are buying.  At any time in the first few weeks you can return some of your books if you have dropped the class for which they were needed.  In my case buying books from the campus bookstore is a time and stress saver, but is far from the most frugal choice.

Friday, December 6, 2013

LDOC and Explosions

Happy LDOC!  LDOC = Last Day Of Classes (for the semester), in case you were curious.  Actually, LDOC was a few days ago, but with college schedules differing so much, perhaps it is someone's LDOC.

And now it's time for a story.  Let's set the stage.  My roommate and I have bunked our beds together and the ladder that I use is next to our mini-fridge.  We use the space (about 2.5 ft high) under my roommate's bed for storage.  The floor is cleared in the space in front of the mini-fridge except for my roommate's bag containing holiday gift bags, etc. and some expired orange juice and an expired individual serving of chocolate milk that had been removed to make more space in the fridge.

I was studying for finals and reclining on the couch, facing the fridge.  I could not see the floor due to the armrest.  So there I was, minding my own business, and something explodes.  My first thought was that it was a party popper or something that my roommate had that just went off randomly.  It even threw things, maybe confetti, in the air!  And that's kind of cool and exciting.  

But the truth was neither cool nor exciting.  I stood up to find the once full chocolate milk bottle leaning on its side above a puddle of soured milk.  The souring milk had released enough gas to build up enough pressure in the plastic bottle for the bottom to pop outwards and the cap to fly off.  The "confetti" had been drops and chunks of milk.  Yuck!

So instead of continuing to study, I rushed to move things out from under the bed, where a significant amount of the milk was.  Then I was faced with cleaning up the rest of the mess.  While spilled milk might not be something to cry over, exploded soured milk might be.  Phew, the smell of it!  Even after soaking it all up and taking everything to the dumpster outside, the whole room smelled awful.  So I wiped the area down with some lemon scented wipes, which masked the smell some, but left our floor very sticky.  After about a day I wiped down the area again with just water to remove the stickiness and any remaining weird combination of smells.  Overall, wouldn't it have been much better to just take the expired milk to the dumpster in the first place?  Oh yes, a thousand times yes.