Class and Coffee moves to DaisyGirl

Monday, March 7


I've really missed hanging out here and posting content, but over the last year-ish I've done a horrible job of just that. I'd like to get back into the blog world, but I've decided not to restart that adventure here. Due to some new phases in my life, the "class and coffee" title just didn't fit anymore. So, I've moved over to DaisyGirl Blog at Please feel free to stop by soon!

Your sad-to-be-leaving,
not-going-far, thankful-for-everything,
New Girl Blogger.


Happy Summer! (almost summer? mine starts when school ends!)

Thursday, June 10

Hello, hello, little blog!

I’m sorry to have left you alone, but I just finished my semester, started my summer internships, blah, blah and—if you’ll forgive me—I would love to share.

The busiest semester of my life went well, and I’m glad because I think the final year of my master's program is going to be at about the same speed, if not a little faster. But that’s okay!

Normally, this is the part where I would tell you about the projects I’ve been working on (hoping that you’d forgive me for my absence with understanding), BUT I won’t do that today. Work is everywhere; why would you want to hear about work?

INSTEAD, how about I share the strictly non-work projects?

  1. The herb garden: So I mentioned in the last post that Matt and I were moving. Well, we did! We love our new place. It’s a very… cozy apartment, and by that I of course mean that it’s too small. But it’s better priced, everything in it is newer, the community is better, the gym is cooler, the pool is nicer—it’s a winner, so the space thing is no biggie. Unfortunately, the smaller-scaled apartment comes with a smaller-scale porch. But no worries! There is a porch, and so I decided we needed herbs to “spice” up our life (ha! ‘lil parsley pun for ya). I don’t remember to water like I should but I’m getting better, so hopefully the little guys will last the summer. I mean, to call it a garden is a grand overstatement for sure... but I’ve got parsley, oregano, and sweet basil. Recipe ideas for fresh garden herbs, anyone? 
  2. my herbs!
  3. Kitchen Adventures: I’ve really been trying lately, and a year of screwing up food is really starting to pay off. This week I made a really good beef stew, all month I’ve been experimenting with scones (sooo good for those summer strawberries), I’m trying to perfect the chicken salad (I’m finding lemon juice can really lighten the mayonnaise, scallions and crushed red pepper add subtle taste differences, and walnuts really add a lot of fun texture to the dish. Any other ideas?), and I am determined to bake more pies. I made my stepmom a Key Lime Pie for Mother’s Day and she swears it was a winner. So I’m going to keep on with that and then maybe graduate to a couple others… with Joy of Cooking's help, of course.
  4. Bowling: We have officially joined a bowling league, and now make up half of the “Raleigh Cannonballers” team. Every Tuesday, I amaze Matt by slowly improving my 72 average… luckily, the league is based on handicap scores, so as long as I continuously improve, our team isn’t held back by my serious lack of bowling skill. Just last week I FINALLY broke 100 for the first time EVER… and we’ve got like 10 weeks or something left in the league, so don’t give up on me yet!
  5. I broke 100!
  6. Golf: We’ve been going to the driving range at least once a week, and last month I even participated in the IBM Team Building Golf Tournament! The best part of my golf game is still my “great attitude” (and when people tell me that, they’re basically saying—it’s amazing that you can stay so positive when you suck so bad! I’m taking it as a compliment). I’m having a LOT of fun and I think I will ask for a set of clubs for Christmas/Birthday. But, the real golf fun is Matt's game.  He is getting really into it, and-- even better-- he's really pretty good! Since his boss is golf obsessed and most financial professionals are kinda expected to be little Phils and Tigers, I'm okay with him being better than me for now (that's right--for now! I said it! Guess I'll have to keep practicing...). He’s great about helping to teach me to play and is really encouraging.
So there's a small update on my life... I wish I could make grand promises about updating the blog more and checking out what some of my blog friends are doing (I wonder if Google Reader can explode...), but with a busy schedule ahead I don't think I'll make any of those promises.  But I will post when I can and keep looking at your recipes / craft ideas / life adventures.

Also, in the comments of my last post, asked about how I develop video tutorials.  You may remember that I mentioned how I was developing them for school and work projects? That's actually a really fun and useful tool for everyone to learn how to do (we've ALL shown someone how to do something on the comptuer!), so I'm thinking about a long post for that this summer. Stay tuned!

Your remembering-the-sunscreen,
scone-chompin, Tuesday-bowlin
New Girl Blogger

March Madness: A Post of Excuses

Friday, March 12

I know.

All that talk about coming back strong for 2010, and I barely lasted a full two months.

But don't worry! I've come armed with excuses. 

1. Matt got a new job! He was on the job hunt for a bit, meeting and interviewing and all kinds of stuff, and now he's a financial planner for Lifetime Asset Management here in Raleigh. Go Matt!

2. We moved!... Kinda.See... our apartment lease was up, but Matt was still in the middle of the job search.  He had two possibilities- one in Cary, and one in Raleigh.  So... we really didn't know where to move.  So, instead of moving to one area only to hear that Matt got a job somewhere else, we moved in with my parents.  That's right-- me, my boyfriend, and our two-bedroom-apartment's-worth of stuff moved into my parents house. We've been there for the last three weeks! My poor parents had to store everything in their garage, and we've been crashing with them ever since... hectic, sometimes hilarious, but overall we were just glad to have somewhere to stay while we figured everything out.

We're moving moving into our new apartment today and tomorrow. We signed a lease last week after Matt got a job, and now we're Raleigh residents once again! <3 this city :)

3. I got into a research conference!I was one of 150 graduate students who presented at the 5th Annual Graduate Research Symposium on Wednesday. I had to turn a paper I wrote into a research poster presentation, which was a BLAST. A lot of work. but a BLAST :)
Me Presenting :)

4. Internship, anyone?
I've spent a significant portion of many weekends working on an internship application for this summer position with the NC Domestic Violence Commission.  After a main application, 5 individual applications, three phone interviews and six cover letter/resume packets-- I got it! So this summer, I'll be in downtown Raleigh with a grownup job :)  Guess I'll have to trade in my pink, polka-dot lunch box...

5. Teaching! ...AlmostSo I just found out that next semester I'll be teaching not one but TWO classes!! I'll have two sections of ENG 332: Communication for Business and Management.  I'm beyond excited, but I'm also busy planning the syllabus and rubrics for everything.  My materials are due NEXT WEEK! Don't even ask me how much I have left to do...

6. Teaching the TeachersSo I've been working a lot on internet-based tutorials... you know, videos that teach people how to do stuff.  Well, some professors in the professional writing department that I TA for FLIPPED when they found out how easy it is to do, and they want me to hold a workshop! I'm going to be teaching all the teachers how to integrate video tutorials into their lesson plans. I can't WAIT!!

7. SIGDOC @ NCSUA group of students got together to form the first SIGDOC Student Chapter at NCSU (my school). SIGDOC is the Special Interest Group on Design of Communication.  Membership is only $35, and once you're a member you can listen in on all the awesome conference proceedings and learn about the up-and-coming technologies in the design of communication. Cool! So I've been working with them to get the chapter started... yesterday we hosted our "Launch Party" and we actually had a great turnout! We had the one thing that makes any student organization successful-- free pizza.

8. Part-Time What?Babysitting, Web Design, and refereeing... I've been working in a lot of part-time or contract work. It's been going really great, because it's so very helpful to have a little bit of extra cash when you're moving. And I love all the jobs I've been doing! But I definitely need some time this Spring Break to get caught up...

Anyway, those are all the excuses I have... 

Unfortunately, I haven't been knitting, cooking, blogging... which is sad, because those lovely hobbies are so fun and relaxing.  But, like I said, we're moving into our new apartment today and tomorrow (as long as the weather cooperates!!), and I have a feeling my life will be on track again here soon.

Then again... that's what I said in January.

Hope you all are having a GREAT March so far! Don't forget to let your clocks spring forward this Sunday :)

Your running-around,
kinda-hate-moving, kinda-love-moving, 
New Girl Blogger

Recipe Blogroll Review: Pot Sticker Pillows; Cooking+Homework = Disaster

Tuesday, February 2

Currently Listening to "Yellow," Coldplay: Live 2003

Happy February, Everyone!!

I'm still in whirlwind mode; Matt and I spent last weekend in Wilmington, NC (the beach!) for Alumni Weekend-- some of you may remember that we met as undergrads attending UNC-W--  and had a blast!

Matt, Leah and I at the Alumni Banquet
Matt with two dates-- me and my
beautiful friend Leah at the Alumni
Awards Banquet. We didn't win any
awards or anything but there was
good food and open bar!

Still... as fun as it was to see friends and such, I'm totally exhausted.

There's something about losing your whole weekend... I mean, I'm a routine kind of girl. I need the weekend to cook and blog and knit and basically just wind down, and then Sundays I get started on all the week's homework...

Not this weekend. Spent a glorious weekend in Wilmington, but with all the food (and drink) and friends and festivities, I'm still exhausted.

BUT! Don't you worry; I still decided to undergo a cooking adventure on Sunday. I was exhausted and simultaneously trying to participate in a 5-person conference call for my online class group project-- but I cooked nevertheless.

Of course, it turned out awful, but as always I learned a lot and have a fun story to share :)

Recipe Blogroll graphic

Pot Sticker Pillows:
Posted by Slim Shoppin
Slim Shoppin's Pot Sticker Pillows
(Pic by Slim Shoppin)
Meal: (what did I serve this with?)
Jasmine Rice

Recipe Difficulty: (how hard was this to cook?)
3 / 5

Recipe Quality: (how well was the recipe written?)
5 / 5

Dish Deliciousness: (did it taste great?)
3 / 5
(My fault, though... read on)

Number of cooking mistakes: (how many times did I mess up??)
Too many to admit:
  1. I couldn't find egg roll wrappers at the store
  2. I thought I could make homemade egg roll wrappers
  3. I thought I could make homemade egg roll wrappers and the rest of this meal before my group conference call
  4. I wasn't finished dinner and had to try and teach Matt how to finish the meal while starting the conference call
  5. I served dinner without trying ANY of it because I was on a conference call
  6. The rice was undercooked and my homemade egg roll wrappers SUCKED
Repeat Likelihood: (will I try to make it again?)
5 / 5
SO want to try again!

The Story:
So, like I said, we got home from Wilmington Sunday and even though I was exhausted I decided to try and cook anyway.

I thought I could finish dinner early and still have time for my conference call.

I thought that, even though I (1) had never made this recipe before and (2) was attempting to make homemade eggroll wrappers, which adds an extra step to the recipe, I would have time to make this in under an hour. It would have worked if it hadn't been for what I'm going to call the wrapper disaster.

The eggroll wrapper recipe looked fairly simple (see here), and was, but the dough was too elastic and didn't flatten well to fit over the filling.

I tried, I did. But the stupid dough wasn't cooperating, and I just kept making a bigger and bigger mess...

I didn't have time to finish the pot stickers, so I had to try and sign on to the conference call WHILE teaching Matt how to finish my unfinished cooking job.

(Good thing it was just audio and not video...)

He tried, but I didn't set up the pan to the right temp and they burned; then, we tried to eat and the rice was wayyyyyy undercooked.



I doubled the filling recipe and threw half of it in the jasmine rice.  It wasn't good that night since the rice was undercooked; BUT, I tried it again at lunch the next day over the stovetop and it was SO good.

Adding a little ginger to the ground turkey goes really well with the Jasmine rice!

Mmm.... seriously, best leftover lunch ever!

Now, I'm not giving up on this recipe because it looks like it would be amazing (if you did it right).

But... anyone know where to find eggroll wrappers??


Thank you, Samantha, for this wonderful blog award:

Simply Fabulous Award
I simply love the simply fabulous award!

This award requires me to blog about a woman who I think is fabulous. This woman can be someone I know in real life, a celebrity, or a fictional character. Then, I must pass the award on to five other fabulous bloggers.

Well, I have three sisters (four now, with the twins! (; but more on that later), and I think they're all fabulous for different reasons... and there were 4 girls in Sex and the City, so it's just too perfect :)

Me and my sisters
Courtney, Siobhan, Me and Caitlin at
Siobhan's birthday dinner last summer.

5 bloggers for the Simply Fabulous award:

Enjoy, ladies!

So I don't have a great start to February seeing as I'm still reviewing my January blogroll items-- but don't worry; I've got my eye on some sweeeeet February recipes and I'm almost done with January!

Meanwhile, I haven't knit a stitch in about two weeks. So... I'll go ahead and let you know that I'll give a blanket update next post, that way I have to knit some :)

Your just-finished-first-paper-of-the-semester,
enjoying-snow-on-the-ground!, still-pretty-tired,
New Girl Blogger

Recipe Blogroll Review: Tiramisu Cheesecake Bars are Amazing and Help You Make Friends

Tuesday, January 26

Currently Listening to "Once Was Love," Ingrid Michaelson.

EVERYONE loved these cheesecake bars.

Seriously. EVERYONE.

But wait-- before I get into that-- a quick birthday shoutout.

 Happy Birthday to Tom!
Tom and My Mom
Tom and my Mom

My step-dad's birthday was this weekend. We're having family game night tonight to celebrate. :)


Ok, more about the cheesecake bars. You really need to make them!

It's such an impressive dessert to say. Just imagine:

Me: Anyone feel like dessert?
Friends: Sure, what do you have?
Me: Oh, [wave of hand], just some homemade Tiramisu Cheesecake Bars... you interested?
::cue the droooolllllling::

My boyfriend and I don't eat sweets much, but we were in love. My step-mom isn't a coffee person, but she enjoyed them. And, most importantly, my morning cup of coffee and these cheesecake bars snuggled together nicely... but even those two were no match for this dessert and a late-night glass of red wine... mmm...

they're definitely all gone. lol. only took a couple days.

anyway, on to the review!

Recipe Blogroll graphic

Tiramisu Cheesecake Bars:
Posted by My Tasty Treasures
My Tasty Treasures' Tiramisu Cheesecake Bars
(Pic by My Tasty Treasures)

Meal: (what did I serve this with?)
Best served with a glass of milk, a digestif, or a hot cup of coffee

Recipe Difficulty: (how hard was this to cook?)
2 / 5

Recipe Quality: (how well was the recipe written?)
5 / 5
*LOVE the pictures :)

Dish Deliciousness: (did it taste great?)
5 / 5

Number of cooking mistakes: (how many times did I mess up??)
2 mistakes total (one wasn't really mine!):

  1. I almost forgot the vanilla
  2. Matt put some in a tupperware that touched the top of the bars... no good. Immediately rips the topping off and they look kind of weird. They still taste good, though :)
Repeat Likelihood: (will I try to make it again?)
5 / 5

The Story:

I think that how you choose to make these depends on your schedule.  The cream cheese needs to be room temperature, and my Mom always told me that whenever baking, it's helpful to have most the items around the same temperature.  So I also left the egg on the counter so it would be room temperature as well.

Here's another tip from My Mom:

When whipping ingredients together for a fluffy effect, it helps to use a cold, metal mixing bowl.  Put your metal mixing bowl in the freezer for a little bit before mixing, and you'll be surprised by the difference it makes!
So here's what I did to fit this baking adventure into my schedule...

My method:
  • Bake the crust bottom at night; leave the rest of the ingredients out on the counter to reach room-temp and let the crust cool on the counter
  • In the morning, make the cream cheese filling and when finished, cool in the fridge
  • Come home for lunch and make the whipped topping!
  • YUM by dinnertime!!!
It worked out well and really ended up not taking much time at all.

And I can't stress this enough-- they were so good.



Everyone-- thank you.  Your sweet comments about my embarrassing, gross cooking mistake were really nice.

Healthy Delicious pointed out-- she uses organic chicken, and mine were probably huge in comparison.  I should have realized! But hey, another lesson in cooking :)

And the recipe was still good! I'll just do better next time.

I loved the idea that Stephanie and Jenn@SlimShoppin shared-- a meat timer. Definitely investing :) Thanks again, everyone!


Thanks to Krysten over at After I Do for passing on the fabulous GLOB Award!

GLOB, you say? Yup!

GLOB Award means Gorgeous Ladies of Blogging

I wanted to pass this one on to my blog friend Ace

I've followed Ace's blog since... probably since I started blogging... and I recently read a post of hers that I thought was so inspiring and exciting. It's all about her new outlook on working out and being healthy. Anyway, you can read it here.

and Ace, here's the GLOB award for you!

Thanks again, Krysten!


Also, thanks again for this blog award, Nikolett!

Wanted to pass that one on as well:

Krysten over at After I Do
Iva at Iva Messy
Stephanie at Les Jou Jou
Ali at The Way I See It

Happy Blog Awards, everyone!


Alright, back to homework. Matt, if you're reading this, I swear I read for class before I started this blog post :) (I'm always telling him I have such a busy day, and then he sees an update on my blog. lol)

Your missing-the-cheesecake-bars,
loving-our-sunny-weather, been-23-for-a-month!,
New Girl Blogger