A Conundrum of Contradictions

The musings of one born in the wrong decade

>Happy Stuff February 23, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — summerv @ 5:13 pm

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I talked to my car insurance agent back home this morning. She was shocked we’d packed up and moved to Oregon, pretty much like everyone else. Good news though: Oregon has cheaper insurance rates – probably by half.

I like half. In fact, I love half. On top of that it costs only $100 to register any car, regardless of value, for two years. I could have a welded together Nissan/Ford or a Rolls Royce – $100. I like it here more everyday.

I’ve also located a local yarn shop so I can get better equipped for knitting, The Yarn Garden. There’s a kit with interlocking needle pieces that’ll make 10 different needle sizes plus corded ones for knitting in the round. I don’t think I ever went to an actual yarn shop in Vegas – Joann Fabrics and Wal-Mart don’t count – so all I’ve ever worked with is basic acrylic in limited colors. So as corny as it sounds to you non-knitters, this is exciting stuff. Alpaca is on the same level as chocolate as far as I’m concerned and a scarf made from it sounds simply divine, because here, every day is a scarf day. Oh yeah, and I’m dreaming about knitting projects. I saw a sample piece of a Mohawk hat yesterday online – I want the pattern for that so stay tuned for punk rock pictures at some point in the future – and a scarf I dreamed up using a knitted tube of insanely long proportions with the ends cinched closed and decorated with …I don’t know what. I woke up at that point. Anyway, knitting is better than therapy for me, and if you’re like me – someone who can’t turn their blasted brain OFF no matter how hard you try – I highly recommend it. A nice level of clarity and calm surfaces once all the jabbering is out of the way. I’m even thinking of joining a knitting club here – I’m not really the club type as far as I know, but it would be nice to have people to ask questions and who feel the same way I do about knitting, which would make me less freakish. Good stuff. Besides, once I get the hang of more difficult stuff, Christmas will be a snap.

Also, having been inspired by the Queen of Cake (a new blog I’m deliciously following) I’ve decided to share my Bad Ass Brownie recipe with the world. It’s stupid-simple and yummy beyond comparison. My honey, who doesn’t really like chocolate, eats them 5 at a time and gets rather panicky when I attempt to share some with the office or neighbors. He tells me to make them their own batch, this one is his. Without further ado:

Bad Ass Brownies

Preheat oven to 350°F and hit edges and bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan with non-stick spray.
Ingredients:
1 box Devil’s Food cake mix
1 small box instant chocolate pudding
1 bag semi-sweet choco chips
Enough milk to follow pudding box directions

Mix milk and pudding. Add cake mix and combine (beware it gets pretty thick about now). Stir in choco chips with wooden spoon (yes, the whole bag). Pour (or scrape) into baking pan, smooth out. Place on middle rack and bake for 30 minutes. If your oven doesn’t have issues holding temp, 30 mins is all you need. The toothpick-in-center method isn’t effective because inevitably you hit a melted chip, but trust me they’re done. Let cool in pan. They’ll sink a little in the middle. Cut to desired size and try to share. Cold milk recommended.

I have used Ghiradelli chips while staying with someone else – I prefer the regular semi-sweets though. There’s a happy balance there and when you mess with it…it sorta becomes overkill if there is such a thing. This is my easy last minute potluck dish, house-warming for new neighbors and friends, and absolute necessity on girl’s night. Vanilla ice cream optional.

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