Saturday, September 24, 2011

Never Leave Out The Eggs.

I have said before that I am not the most experienced cook in the world. However, I grew up making baked goods from boxed mixes. Brownies, cupcakes, and cakes became the one thing I actually knew how to make. So when my roommate and I decided to make brownies one night, who would have thought anything would go wrong?
Well, my roommate is obsessed with eggs and she eats them basically every day. We had just made dinner, hers being two egg salad sandwiches, when we decided on our dessert of choice.
“Uh, I actually hardboiled the last of our eggs,” my roommate said as she looked down at her dinner.
“Will hardboiled eggs not work in brownie mix?” I asked, knowing this was a stupid question but desperate for a resolution to our egg problem.
“I’ll just look up substitutes online!” my roommate exclaimed as she jumped from the table to fetch her laptop. She stumbled upon a seemingly trustworthy site. The site had several egg substitutes listed, including the combination we picked: baking soda and warm water.
“What does ‘leavened” mean?” I inquired, reading the word in parentheses next to the instructions. Neither of us knew so we decided to just give the substitute a shot, ignoring whatever “leavened” meant.
We mixed the ingredients in as usual and then put in two teaspoons of baking soda and two tablespoons of warm water. We mixed the batter and then dumped it into a pan. The consistency was noticeably different than a normal mix but we figured it would cook the same.
After popping the pan in the oven, we decided to lick the bowl. Something about the batter tasted a little funny as well, but we figured the heat would kill off the aftertaste.
Well it didn’t. It got worse. We opened the oven after the timer rang to be greeted by one of the worst sights we had seen.
Our disgusting creation.

The brownies looked like we had just took a shovel to a tar pit and plopped it into a pan. For whatever reason, we even tried tasting this disasterous confection with awful results. It did not even taste like chocolate and one bite was plenty.

We obviously had to dump the mush pile because it was not at all edible. So the moral of the story? Never leave out the eggs.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Roasting Marshmallows Over An Open Fire... Sort Of.

I have only been camping three times in my life. However, each time I would roast marshmallows over the fire and make delicious s’mores. The combination of crunch graham cracker, gooey marshmallow, and rich chocolate always drove my taste buds crazy. Unfortunately, living in an apartment, I can’t just make a fire in the backyard. Nor can I just make a fire in the fireplace and roast them because I don’t have a fireplace. So my roommate and I thought of the next best thing: make s’mores in the kitchen!
The first few times we tried to make s’mores we popped them in the microwave. I had made s’mores in the microwave with my boyfriend before so I thought that this couldn’t be any different.  Well, when I made them with my boyfriend, we used the marshmallow puff crème instead of real marshmallows. I forgot that we made this substitution because marshmallows blow up to twenty times their natural size and then just taste weird.
So, my roommate and I put the s’more together with marshmallows and all and put in the microwave. The marshmallows blew up and knocked off the graham cracker. After they were done, we tried to taste them and they were just weird. It took a minute just to chew the marshmallow because the microwave had morphed it so badly.
My roommate and I decided that this would not work. So, she pointed out the fact that we had a gas oven and could roast the marshmallows over the burners. I had no idea what gas oven meant, I thought she was saying our oven ran on gasoline but I later found out that just means that stuff burns if you let it hover over the burners. So that’s exactly what we did!
We stuck our marshmallows onto forks and watched the marshmallows toast over the burner. The first time it was done, our marshmallows did catch on fire but we’re still learning!

Roasting marshmallows over our oven burner! Medal forks were probably not the best idea with the heat..

The marshmallows turned out toasted to perfection! We put them over chocolate and graham crackers and it tasted (almost) as good as if it were over a real campfire! 

The finished product! So delicious and the chocolate actually ended up melting!

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Crickets have invaded my apartment. I thought my midnight cricket incident would be a onetime occurrence, but this has proven to be false. Here is how the cricket crisis has escalated.
Apparently at the beginning of every month, the apartment complex sprays for bugs. This would be all fine and dandy but of course when this happens, all the bugs retreat down to the first floor to die or to hide. Unfortunately these lucky bugs decided to retreat and take refuge in the apartment.
During the evenings, my roommate and I began hearing loud cricket noises and for a while we just figured they were outside.  We then noticed that these cricket noises continued throughout the day and would get even louder at night.
We quickly began finding crickets everywhere in the apartment. In the hallway, under chairs, under the couch, in the shower, these bugs began popping up everywhere until our cricket tally went up to nine. Nine live crickets, it’s insane!
My roommate and I have come to the conclusion that they are probably living in our vents, so we’ve had to seal off our vents. These crickets are also getting smarter as they come out of hiding, one by one. They’re hiding against the wall so we can’t catch them in our Tupperware containers and one could even fly (that one was terrifying).
Unfortunately, not all of the crickets have been released alive. We’ve lost some legs in the process and the cricket hiding out in the shower had a cricket heart attack when we slammed the Tupperware down on the tile.
According to the maintenance workers, this problem should diminish once the weather cools down. But it looks as for the rest of September, my roommate and I must stake out the place and win our apartment back from the cricket invaders!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Lucky Cricket? Not at Midnight..

It was close to midnight and my roommate and I were just about ready to go to bed. I was in my room and she was in the bathroom brushing her teeth when she yelled to me to come in the bathroom.
“Do you hear that?” she asked me as we both went silent. The sound of little legs came from above the bathroom mirror but went away shortly after. We looked at each other, and then up above the mirror again. A minute or two went by and still nothing, so we thought that maybe it was nothing.
I picked up my toothbrush and looked down at it to put on the toothpaste on it when my roommate screamed. I nearly dropped my toothbrush when I looked up and saw a huge cricket dangling from the top of the mirror.  
We both screamed and started running around, closing doors so it couldn’t get into our rooms. We then ran to the kitchen, grabbed flyswatters and returned to meet our foe.
The cricket had made it down onto the floor. With every hop it made, we let out another shriek.
“We can’t kill it, it’s too big!” I exclaimed to my roommate. She agreed and tried throwing a laundry basket on top of it to trap it. Quickly realizing that he could escape through, we had to think smaller.
Retreating back to the kitchen, we grabbed a small Tupperware container. After circling him, we threw the container on top of him, trapping him in mid-hop.
Now we had to figure out what to do with this bug. We didn’t have the hearts to kill him, but there was no way we would touch him.
“Let’s scoot him out!” my roommate yelled as the cricket continuously knocked on the top of the container, trying to jump away. We agreed this would be best and gingerly scooted the cricket across our entire apartment to the front door.
I got up to open the front door as my roommate held the Tupperware container down. We kept the flyswatters at the ready so we could bat the cricket out if he tried to hop back in through the door.
On the count of three, I opened the door and my roommate flung him out of the container. We quickly slammed the door and had a bit of a celebration after our triumphant victory.