Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Have a cupcake

I said I'd share favorite recipes with y'all and here's the first. I recommend these cupcakes I baked to celebrate the American Idol finale. They come from the cookbook Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. They are super easy to make, and my parents, who are skeptical of my new vegetarian self, admitted that these were the best cupcakes they've had in a long time. Seriously, they are delicious!

Basic chocolate cupcake (makes 12 cupcakes)
1 C soy milk
1 t apple cider vinegar
3/4 C granulated sugar
1/3 C canola oil
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t almond extract, chocolate extract, or more vanilla extract
1 C flour
1/3 C cocoa powder
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt

Preheat oven to 350, line muffin tins with liners.

Whisk together the soy milk and venegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add the sugar, oil, and vanilla extract, and other extract, if using, to the soy milk mixture and beat till foamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients and beat till no large lumps remain.

Pour into liners, filling three-quarters of the way. Bake 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to cooling rack and let cool completely.

And because it was the easiest thing to do, I topped the completely cooled cupcakes with a chocolate ganache.

1/4 C soy milk
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 T pure maple syrup

Bring the soy milk to a gentle boil in a small sauce pan. Immediately remove from heat and add the chocolate and maple syrup. Use a rubber heatproof spatula to mix the chocolate until it is fully melted and smooth. Set aside at room temperature till ready to use.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Why I know I'm better than most American Idol viewers.

They voted STUPID TAYLOR HICKS as last year's American Idol.
They did not vote for Melinda Doolittle who is CLEARLY the best one on there this year.

Dear Most American Idol Viewers,

You are dumb! And I now go outside to puke on the ground in symbolic disgust and protest of you.

Sincerely,

Kiki

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Kiki and FFF's Hotlanta Funtastic Music Fest

Lately, I have been sad that my only LDS Mormon friend who is MY AGE and who lives near (2 hours away from) me, FFF, is moving home to LDS Mormon saturated Utah near the end of academic Summer. Sad, indeed, and more determined than ever to get out of this single, 20-something (okay...30-something), LDS Mormon-forsaken land.

Anyway...that is not the point of this post. The point is that FFF is on a concert-going kick right now, which kick I am ALWAYS on. So this morning we hashed out a super, wonderful, awesome weekend in the middle of June. We're going to Hotlanta (I had to say it) for at least 3 nights, and on those specific nights, we are going to see three shows. FFF has this thing for the emo bands, like Fall Out Boy. They're emo, right? Whatever. So I will go to that one. BUT THEN!!! We are going to spend the other two nights watching Feist and then Mika, two people I have recently fallen in love with, Mika because he's so fun and peppy and hot, and Feist because I like the way she handles a guitar. Needless to say, we are going to be having our own funtastic music fest! Jealous much?

Monday, May 14, 2007

I COULDA DIED! For real!

"As a regular Burger King patron, I don't think I could make it any more clear that I don't give a flying **** what I put into my body."

So...Friday night I was hanging out at my parents' house playing an intense game of Tetris when I suddenly felt really weird...dizzy, blurry eyes, heavy arms. I could feel my heart rapidly trying to burst out of my chest, and I thought, "I better go tell my parents right now while I'm alive to do so."

Long story short, my dad took me to the ER, they ran a bunch of tests on me, everything looked/sounded normal, I have a big ugly bruise on my arm from where an IV was (it's actually in the shape of the Mac Apple), and they told me to go see my doctor, which I just returned from. Diagnosis: idiopathic, probably stress and exhaustion. Stress. And exhaustion. I'LL say! I'd just finished my toughest semester ever, and I barely scraped by. Anyway, the whole thing scared the crap out of me, enough to REALLY effect a lifestyle change. I'm not playing around anymore, and I mean it! I mean it so much, that I'm going to eat a vegetarian diet. It's an extreme change, but maybe extreme is what I need. I COULD'VE DIED!!! WHILE PLAYING TETRIS!!! BECAUSE I'M UNHEALTHY!!! AND I HAVEN'T EVER HAD SEX!!! I DON'T KNOW HOW DAY 6 OF 24 ENDS!!! I HAVEN'T SEEN THE FINAL CHAPTER OF HEROES!!! AM I ON THE LIST?! ARE JIM AND PAM GOING TO GET BACK TOGETHER?! WILL MELINDA BE THE NEXT AMERICAN IDOL?! I DON'T KNOW!!! AND I ALMOST DIDN'T FIND OUT!!!

I'm actually pretty excited about this change. My family kids me about not knowing how to cook, which is completely untrue. I just don't make time to cook. Plus, I like to be creative when I cook, and frankly, I might as well live with backwoods farmers who belong to the KKK because creative in cooking is not their thing. (KKK because they don't like to eat foreign food, and Mexican here DOES NOT COUNT!...or Chinese.) So cooking normal, unexciting stuff does not appeal to me. Any idiot can cook a steak! I'm ready for adventure, for hits and misses, for surprises, for education, for health. And while I know that meat can be healthy, I think I have to do it like this. If I allow myself to eat meat, I'll allow myself to be lazy, to stop at Wendy's, Sonic, Taco Bell, etc. when I want food NOW! I'm going to learn to be patient, to eat good things, and to love good things. I've had a couple of really tasty experiences already, and my sister has surprisingly enjoyed them as well.

I went crazy and ordered 3 cookbooks today, two of which were recommended to me by the fabulous c jane. And I'll try to remember to post recipes that I try and love. And here is the first: Lentil wraps. I used two jalapeƱos because I like heat! I added 2 whole cups of vegetable broth because I ended up cooking the lentils for longer than 30 minutes so they weren't crunchy. I hates the crunchy lentils. And I HEART the little carrot mixture that goes on the wraps. It adds a delightful, yummy crunch to these wraps. Also, buy exciting wraps and not boring tortillas.

I invite you to post your favorite vegetarian recipes, vegetarian recipe links and cookbooks, vegetarian blogs, etc. because I want to stay excited about this.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

FULL. BLOWN. RELAPSE.

It was only a matter of time before I finally posted about MY EXCITEMENT! over the newest TORI AMOS! album, American Doll Posse, and her FORTHCOMING TOUR! I'm doing this now, over a week after the release of the record and well later of song leakage on the internets, because my absolute favorite ever of her guest performances on a TV show was yesterday on Graham Norton's show in the UK. She's playing one of her new songs, Bouncing Off Clouds, a fun, happy, dancey song, and the camera work here is manic as if it's a music video. Maybe that's why I like it so much. (Notice the shoes!)



As some of you know, when it is "Tori Season", I listen almost exclusively to her music mostly because I want to drive everyone, including my mom, crazy. (Whatever. My mom has not attended 3 of her shows because she hates her. She's a closet Toriphile.) I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE American Doll Posse! I wasn't very excited upon first hearing the title of the songs and some of the leaked portions, but after having a week to listen to the record and marinade in it's juices, I adore it.

I can't wait to find out where she'll be going on her U.S. legs of the tour because I want to plan where I'm going to go to watch her, and I have to hit several shows on the tour. This is why: she's taking on 5 different characters, and she will start off each show as one of the Posse. I want to see each one.

For those of you who are not wild about Tori but who like a little somethin'-somethin' now and then, here are my absolute favorite songs (mostly in a preferred order), which I highly recommend:

1. Body and Soul
2. Bouncing Off Clouds
3. Beauty of Speed
4. Code Red
5. Dark Side of the Sun
6. Almost Rosey
7. Girl Disappearing
8. Big Wheel
9. Dragon
6. Roosterspur Bridge
10. Smokey Joe
11. Teenage Hustling

I know you're also thinking that I just listed the whole album, but there are 23 tracks on it. I love it a lot.

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Storytime

I was doing a little drive around town the other night because it felt good outside, and I wasn't quite ready to go home for the evening. There's one street I love to drive down because it borders the bayou and it's beautiful. Since I've been able to drive (nearly 16 years now...GROSS!), I've loved driving down Island Drive (I equally enjoy riding my bike and walking down this street since I live close to it).

When I was in high school, kids would tell stories of the old man who lives in *that* house on Island Drive. These stories included shining a supernova at any passing car, running out into the middle of the road to scare drivers, being really cranky to little girls diligently selling their cookies or other fundraising items, being OLD.

TANGENT. I generally like old people. They're usually nice, they keep candy in the house, and they make delicious chicken salad sandwiches. However, when they have nothing to occupy themselves with, they do crazy things, like memorize your school schedule so they can wake you up or ask you why you aren't at school, or obsess over the spare tire that you put in their backyard because your trunk leaks, or obsess over the piece of litter in the front yard, or obsess over the small limb laying in the backyard, or obsess over the fact that there is a glass missing out of the cupboard, or obsess over that cheese you bought that you haven't finished eating, or obsess over that bread you bought that's still in the freezer, or obsess over the shoes...MY GOODNESS THE SHOES!...on the floor of your room. OBSESSING! THEY OBSESS!

So to bring that tangent into my story, apparently, this old man OBSESSED over DAMN TEENAGERS cruising down his street. (He lived in a HUGE house that was WAY BACK THE HELL OFF of the road.) One night, a friend and I were going to see if there was any credence to these stories of the crazy old man, and we cruised down the road. Nothing happened, so we turned around and went back down. Nothing. We went somewhere else, and later decided to take another trip down Island Drive, and SUDDENLY I SAW A PILLAR OF LIGHT! A beam of light, I mean, shown across the road, and I felt giddy. I slowed down, and deliberately looked toward the source of the light. My friend and I laughed, and I remembered, "HEY! I'm in my dad's truck with my dad's keys and my dad's toolbox of stuff. I KNOW he has a spotlight in there." So we got out my dad's spotlight and plugged it in. A few moments later, we were heading back down the street, and when we were approaching his house, the same beam of light appeared, and this time, we fired back with our own. IT WAS THE MOST HILARIOUS THING EVER AT THAT TIME! We got to the end of the street, and we stopped to laugh hysterically.

Our laughing was cut short when we perceived flashing lights that didn't come from old man's spotlight. A cop had pulled up behind us. He came to the window and asked us what we were doing, and I, being a cheeky person, said, "Laughing." He asked what I was specifically doing on that street. "Do you have any business on this street?" And I being a cheeky person responded, "No. This street is not zoned for business." The cop could have been a total ass, but I suspect he was remembering when he was young and also understanding how ridiculous old man was and said, "Look. Please just leave and stop bothering the old man. He has nothing better to do than call us and tell us he's being harassed by every passer-by, and we have to follow up on those calls. So please help me by leaving him alone." He was so nice and practically begging that my heart sunk for him and I called off my attack on the old man.

At least then I KNEW these stories weren't fabrications. I still wanted to press him, wanted him to run out into the street. Maybe that part was made up.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Why is this baby crying?

Tell me, dear reader; why, do you think, is this kid crying? Make up your answer, and post it in the comments. I'm dying to read what you have to say.