CFP News, Baby Blanket and TWINS update!

Tuesday, September 22

Listening to "Extraordinary Girl," Green Day.

What a great morning... I have a new coffee mug, the window open to the rain, and my books spread out just waiting to be read.

But! I wanted to put my homework on hold, in order to tell you a couple things...

First, MATT passed his CFP EXAM!

You might remember me talking about his ridiculous course load, or all the studying he was doing over the year, and how he was a complete study zombie before the exam last July... well, we finally heard and he passed his FIRST time around.

There was only a 50% pass rate, and the rate was MUCH lower for first-time test takers... but he still passed. Because he's amazing.

We actually found out about a week ago, but I've been spending time thinking of something special to do for him to help us celebrate...

I have one idea, but can't really tell you yet because he's been known to poke around here some... but it's pretty silly, so if I end up doing it I'll let you know :)

But congratulations, Matt! I knew you could do it! I'm so very, very proud of you and feel very lucky to be your girlfriend, because I know I'm going to get to see you do more amazing things in the future!!



I promised :)

I am currently knitting a cuuute little baby blanket, pattern on ravelry: Savannah's blankie by Amy-lynne Mitchell.

Below: Amy-lynne's picture of the blanket:

And then my progress so far...

I'm using the Mission Falls %100 cotton, which is so soft and nice to knit with! Small skeins... but makes it easier to carry the project around :)

Color: Lemongrass.

I know what you're thinking... my step-mom is pregnant with TWINS. Shouldn't I be making two of these?

Yes, Yes... but this one isn't for Maranna, it's for my friend and former co-worker Lori, whose fiancie's sister-in-law is preggers as well.

So here's a preview, Lori! Hope you like it so far!


As for the twins...

My step-mom and the babies are doing great, aaaaannnnnddd her BABY SHOWER is this Saturday!

So I'll be back with lots of fun pictures of baby things that make us all go "awwwww."

Plus, I got her the CUTEST baby shower gifts... but can't share just yet. Promise to show, though!

Also... I'm going to try and bake something new and yummy in the loaf pan that Peggy gifted me to celebrate our first day back in school. Can't wait to show you that, either!!!

But for now, back to coffee and homework...

Your about-to-scarf-down-some-cheerios,
New Girl Blogger

Do you Like Me? Check Yes, No... or Maybe.

Tuesday, September 15

Listening to "Starfish," Sister Hazel.

When we were little, my best friend Allie and I were dorks.

No, like DORKS. Seriously.

We had a lot of fun and managed fine, but we definitely had our shares of the "awkward stage." Messy hair, crooked teeth, huge braces, funny glasses... you name it, we had it.

Well, when we were in the 5th grade, I decided to have a crush on the cool, skateboard dude on our bus. His name was... Brandon. ...I think. (and it was so important then, haha...)

So, in classic Elementary-school-dating style, I passed Brandon a note. "Do you like me?"

Underneath the question were two answers: Yes or No. Next to them I put checkboxes (usability first, people).

When I got the note back, I was really nervous. I knew there was no way skateboard guy would like me... but maybe he would...

and "maybe" is what I got. Underneath my "yes" and "no" options, Brandon had written in a "Maybe" option, drawn a box next to it, and checked that one.

There was hope for skater dude and I! Maybe I wasn't such a dork after all!!!!

Well, later, I found out that my bestie Allie, after delivering the note, convinced Brandon to put "Maybe" so he wouldn't hurt my feelings :)

That's what best friends are for!

So... what's the point of that story?

Right! Well, yesterday I got a great MAYBE...

Dear Sarah:

Thank you for your submission to EXPLORATIONS: The Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity for the State of North Carolina.

[Cue the drumroll...]

...your submission has also been reviewed by three members of the Explorations Editorial Board and me. Based on these reviews, I am requesting that you revise and resubmit your paper, “Composition 2.0 in the Classroom: Studying the Integration of New Media and Multimodal Composition”, still for consideration in the 4th edition of Explorations to be published in November 2009.


it's a maybe!!!


I posted a while back about how I submitted my honors thesis from undergrad to a research journal. I've finally heard back! Even though I'm in grad school now this would be a great publication line for my resume/cv...

Even though in the rest of the e-mail, they basically said... your research is great! Just write better, it's still great news.


I can do it! I got a maybe! And this time, I don't think Allie put them up to it... although maybe I should call her and check...

Great news for a Monday! :) Now to find time to do those revisions...


In other news...

my next post will be about knitting.


because I haven't been knitting.

And if I force myself into a promise of it for next post, I'll be more likely to do it. I missss knitting. But haven't made the time! So now I will make time.


Also, I look like this.

Because I'm in the Christmas spirit already?


Because I have a cold.

Honestly, I think I sneezed 10 times in a row yesterday.

My little nose is quite red.

But hey, at least it's not Swine Flu :)

For now, bring on the Kleenex! And lots of ramen... mmm...


Your sniffily,

New Girl Blogger

The Fun Things that September Brings... like homemade applesauce!!

Tuesday, September 8

Listening to "Currently," Keaton Simmons

I'm so glad you enjoyed my pictures from the cooking class; honestly, it was one of the best meals I've ever eaten... so if you have any inkling to try one of the recipes-- DO IT!

About the limoncello-- Jeremyandgirls and Samantha definitely noticed the absence in my review-- I didn't include that recipe because I had NO good pictures. But it was a delicious aperitif... and about as easy to make as moonshine!! (Which... I've never made lol, but I know it's not so bad) So I'll definitely post that recipe soon, whenever I try it here at home, because it would be a GREAT Christmas gift... (always thinking about Christmas!)

Peggy helped me learn a new word-- beurre manié = beurre manie = kneaded butter Pronunciation: BARE mahn-YAY This flour-butter mixture is used as a thickening agent. That's what I was stirring for the cauliflower gratin. Didn't know it had a name! Thanks Peggy!

Cucinista-- SO cool that you were just in Italy!! If only I had posted this sooner!! Luckily I posted before your big trip, green ink! You better take lots of pictures of the food! Mmmm...



You're my favorite. Well, fall is my favorite-- I love all the months in fall pretty equally.

Things I love:
  • School starts (...and school supplies)
  • Football starts!!
  • Fall leaves, pretty colors
  • Crisp weather
  • Pumpkin beers on outside patios with light sweaters
  • Pumpkin lattes on a cool morning with school books and long sleeves
  • Pumpkin pie (notice a trend, anyone??)
  • Warm soup dinners
  • Fall jackets with big buttons
  • Autumn-colored shoes and corduroys
  • Windows-open mornings with a couch blanket and a good book
  • FOOTBALL STARTS!! Hmm... mentioned that...
Basically... I love fall... how about you??

Now, there's a new thing about fall I like as well: Making Applesauce.


Homemade Applesauce

Tom, my step-dad, recently visited his amazing 92-year-old grandmother, who decided to gift him her applesauce maker.

So, he also bought a bunch of apples, and away we went...

Get lots of apples

Cut and cook--

Note: It's easy to peel them when they're hot; just "dip" the skin-side of the apple into cold water and it's easy to tear off! Kinda like when you "shock" tomatoes! Way faster than a peeler, and you waste less apple...

Assemble alien-looking masher over sauce pan

No alien-looking masher? According to Matt's Mom, it's just as easy to warm (NOT BOIL, just a nice heat up) the peeled apples in a sauce pan and mash with fork, potato masher, whatever-- especially if you like them a little chunkier. Don't burn them!

Put peeled apple pieces in masher; mash!

-Add sugar to the mashed, warming-in-saucepan apples (how much depends on how many apples-- just remember, while you can add more sugar, you can't take the sugar away once it's in there!)
-Optional: Add cinnamon (Tom decided to let each applesauce eater decide if they wanted cinnamon or not; I think that was a smart choice)

Make a lot, put in containers, freeze some!

Good all fall!!

Happy September, everyone! Hope you had a GREAT Labor Day Weekend!


Your fall-weather-enjoying,
looking-for-fall-knitting-projects (as if I need more projects...),
New Girl Blogger

Titina's Awesomeness: A Cooking Class Review (with Recipes!)

Tuesday, September 1

Listening to "Keep Your Hands To Yourself," The Georgia Satellites.

Special Edition of Class and Coffee:
Cooking with Titina!

I do apologize for the picture quality; I was using my phone camera
(which actually did a great job! Thanks, Sony Ericsson!) and I was
FAMISHED by the time we finally ate... so pictures were not my
first priority lol.

We got to wear "Cooking with Titina!" aprons!! I liked
mine a little more than Matt liked his...

Titina is such a big deal-- she has her own brand of
canned tomatoes! Seriously!

We started with a champagne drink that mixed some
sparkling wine with fresh peaches (YUM! and simple!
Food process some fresh peaches for a hot second
and then add champagne!), and then bruschetta!

She baked the bread first then added the room-
temperature tomato, basil and olive oil mixture. Her basil
was fresh from her garden and smelled heavenly!


After the bruschetta, she asked me to come help! There
were 12 of us in the class total, and she asked each of us
to come help with something.

Matt was making fun of me because all I was really
doing was stirring... but I was stirring the sauce for
the Cavolfiori al Gratinati, or...

Cauliflower Gratin!

I had to stir really fast...
first a butter (4 Tbsp.) and flour (4 tbsp.) mix,
boiling over the stove top (loved her oven!)
and then after that got really hot we gradually added
milk (1 1/4 cup whole milk). We sprinkled the top
with salt and nutmeg, and I kept stirring till it was
bubbling and thick. It took a while! Then we added eggs
(2 beaten) and poured the sauce over cooked cauliflower
florets, arranged in a baking dish. We topped with
breadcrumbs, Parmesean, salt and pepper, then baked at
350 for 20 minutes!

So. Good. Yummmm yum yum. Creamy delish!


Next Matt was called to help! I was so excited.
He got to do a little more work than me, which
I was totally fine with. He helped with the Bomboloni
Capresi, or the

Friters Filled with Mozzarella and Ham!

For the Dough: Place yeast (1 Tbsp.) in a bowl and add
warm milk (1/2 cup), flour (1 cup) and sugar (1 cup).
Stir in with fork; allow to stand for 5 to 6 minutes.

Next, sprinkle work surface with lots of flour and
add yeast mixture. Kneead, slowly working in
additional flour (2 1/4 cups), butter (6 tbsp.
room temperature), warm milk (1 1/2 cup) and
salt (1 pinch).

Dough should feel soft and smooth. Allow to
rise for 30 minutes.

Once the dough is done its risin', you're gonna
add about a tablespoon of "filling" to a little
ball of dough. Flatten the dough, add the filling
(2 lbs mozarella cheese, chopped, and 1 lb. ham,
chopped), then fold the dough over and seal with
the top of a glass *like Matt's doing!

You've gotta seal them well because you're going
to fry these babies!

Just a few minutes; they cook quick! Careful!

We made a special garlic, chopped tomatoes
and oregano sauce for this-- which was really
good!-- but I think you'd be fine covering these
little guys with some good ol' Ragu.

See the Mozzarella ooooozing out?? MMMMmmmm.
Honestly, it was one of the best things I've ever
tasted! I wanted to eat 12 of them!


(Warning: Worst picture of the night-- coming up!)

Pollo alle Castagne, or-- Chicken in a Chestnut
Sauce! This chicken was amazing.

Unfortunately, my picture is not.

See... I was one of the last people to be served this
dish, and I was so hungry that I literally snapped
and grabbed.

But it was an AMAZING dish. I'll give you the serious
recipe... Pollo alle Castagne:

1 cup shelled chestnuts
4 chicken breasts
1 small green pepper, diced
2 tbsp flour
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 tbsp chicken stock*
(*we used 1/2 bouillon cube instead)
1/2 cup HEAVY cream (like, Italian heavy
cream. It looks like yogurt!)
salt to taste

Season the chicken with salt and dredge in flour.
In a large frying pan, melt the butter over
medium heat. Cut chicken into tenderloin-size
pieces, 1 inch wide and 4-6 inches long. Add the
chicken, cooking until golden, then add the wine.
Lower heat, cover pan, and let simmer for about
20 minutes.

Transfer chicken to platter.

The Chestnut Sauce: Deglaze the cooking
juices with the chicken stock, scraping pan well.
Add the heavy (I'm not kidding-- HEAVY) cream,
chopped chestnuts and green pepper, and simmer
gently for about 5 minutes

Pour (amazing) sauce over chicken.


Now, when dinner time came, we all sat down around
a huge dining room table. Titina's husband came in
to eat with us as well, and they spoke together in quick
Italian while we all served ourselves this amazing food. Most
couples brough their own bottle of wine, and we all DUG IN.
In between the amazing bites of awesomeness, I did get
to ask Titina a couple of questions.

Her and her husband owned three restaurants in Capri,
Italy, in the southern part of Italy, right on the beach.

They lived in Capri, running their restaurants, for most of
their lives, until their sons came to America. They decided
to come too, and they've been running Capri Flavors
for 12 years.

Her and her husband have been married for 49 years.

It was so... lovely to hear them talk about Italy.
Definitely helps make food taste good when you're
enjoying it with good conversation.



Chocolate almond cake with chocolate gelato.
Nothing to write home about, but a great way
to end the meal... and then of course espresso...
I was in heaven.


Definitely one of my favorite presents ever!

Thanks, Matt!

(Notice he still has his apron on. It must have
grown on him...)


Your enjoying-the-rain, still-in-PJs,
excited-for-football, loving-September!!,
New Girl Blogger.