Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I want to shout it from the rooftops!

I LOVE biking! Brian (my boyfriend) and I recently discovered we can bike to CSCC, Downtown, Short North, Arena District, Coopers Stadium, etc. really easily from our house using the 670 bike trail. It is amazing and has really expanded our horizons. The best part besides exercise and scenery is not having to worry about parking anymore. So, in 25 minutes with a little effort we can be downtown having fun.

That being said I am SUPER EXCITED for the Grand Opening of The Scioto Mile down town. I think everyone needs the heads up on this amazing city scape. The grand opening is July 7th, but what I am really looking forward to is July 8th. The Average White Band will be performing and admission is FREE!! Not to mentions there's a million other cool things going on there in the coming months. They say the Scioto Mile will work in coordination with Columbus Commons to utilize both spaces offerings, but from what i can tell, Scioto is trumping the Commons in the awesomeness category.

You MUST check it out! We'll surely be biking over! http://www.sciotomile.com/
Click the link, pick an event and make it happen!

Monday, June 27, 2011

It's been way too long!!

So, I went on a blog hiatus. To be honest, I was acting like a hoarder. I was collecting all this data and materials, trying new recipies, taking pictures, checking out new stuff and then I just held on to it and let it pile up and did nothing with it. Don't worry; I am not going to put all that stuff into one blog post. I just wanted to say that I am back and I am ready to blog again!

So where to start? Well, instead of going back to where I first started hoarding, I am going to start with the present and most relevant thing going on in my life since two weeks ago. DOGS!

I have gone from not liking dogs at all to having two that I love. Well, I love them 92% of the time. I love them when they just want to cuddle and have treats, but not when they make a mess or annoy me. Get it. Like, I love them when they look like this....
but not when they poop or pee on the carpet. BTW, that's Rocky in his sock monkey sweater! Too Cute!
So, anyway, then we took in a stray Puggle, who I named Chester, because you can't take a dog in and not call him a name. I thought we'd find his home in a day, but no one claimed him and he was the cutest best pup ever!Unfortunately, cranky old man Brutus, didn't like him too much. So, we finally find a home for him two weeks ago! They are some really great people and I know Chester will have a great life with them. So, now, everything is back to normal and my life is back on track! It feels good. 

So good, in fact, that I am determined to start my own business. I am not sure just when and it'll definitely start small and 'on the side', but Brian and I are going to make it happen. Bryant has urged me to blog about it so, it's coming up. Get excited!! 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Discovery: Travel Agents!

So, I recently discovered I had been brainwashed by commercials with William Shatner and garden gnomes that I could find a great deal on travel with just a few clicks of the mouse. Recently deciding to plan a trip to Vegas for July 4th weekend, I was discouraged by the high prices I was finding on every site I came across. Some as high as $700 per person at cheap ass hotels for just 3 nights and only one a weekend night. One way on Southwest for $219. WTF!?!? Why so much?? Talking to my mom, she had a brilliant idea: To call her travel agent in Cleveland that helped her and my dad book their trip to meet us in Veags this past Christmas.

She had been really pleased with using Canary Travel and said, "Just call. See what they have." At first I was thinking my best bet would be to fly out of CLE. Well, the prices were good! $100-50 less per person. But, the fllights were not ideal as we'd have to drive all the way to CLE from CBUS. It just wasn't working. Karen could hear in my voice that I wasn't sure I could make it work. She took a cue from my area code and thought to check CMH and BAM! I got a deal. $100 less than the online offering for a Southwest Vacation package and overall $300 less than the 'deal' I had originally considered.

Now, I am not even going to check online until I get prices from Karen first. Then, of course, I'll check online against her quote. (How could I not??) So, my advise post discovery is, get a travel agent before you you get pummelled by the Price Negotiator with a less than great 'deal'.

I am not sure the travel agent can win everytime, but they seem to be fighting the good fight :)

Here's my agent's info if you're interested: Karen Abbott @ Canary Travel http://www.canarytravel.com/. There seems to be a lack of travel agents in CMH. In CLE there's tons of advertised specials all the time in the paper from a lot of different agencies specializing in different types of travel and here, nothing. I am not sure why. The only place I know of around here is Grandview Travel.

Discovery: Take my mom's advice. "Just call. See what they have."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Discovering Baking: A constant learning experience!

So last night I wanted some dessert. I scower my cupboards and fridge and think upon what I can make with the minuscule ingredients I have. I have the basics, but none of the fluff. Then I dawns on me! Gooey Butter Cake! Here's the link to the recipe: http://www.pauladeen.com/recipes/recipe_view/gooey_butter_cake

Of course (if you know me well), I have a box of funfetti cake mix in the cupboard. So that's what I used. I preheat the oven and dive in to creating yumminess. I follow all the instructions to the letter because I have learned that, in baking, you can't make your own rules. It's science! I substitute almond for vanilla extract because it's more sophisticated in my funfetti cake. HAHA! So anyway, I put it all together, pop it in the oven, and set it for 40 minutes (the bottom of the baking time frame).

Whole Gooey Butter Cake

With 55 seconds to go I really start smelling the cake. I know it's done. It comes out and here's what I have...
Looks perfect! Well, it's not!
What I discover is that the bottom of the cake is much too brown :o( At first I thought maybe it was the sprinkles from the funfetti mix. But then I thought further into the science of baking and realized something! I should have reduced the oven temp to 325 from 350 to compensate for my glass 9x13 pan. Stupid Stupid!

So you believe me, here's the proof:
As you can see, the bottom of the cake is very brown. I do believe the top layer is cooked correctly, but it is not oozing like the photograph in the recipe (see link).

Piece of Gooey Butter Cake

I have no idea if the oozing effect would be accomplished by reducing the oven temp or if that's some food designer trick. I am not sure the texture of ooze would even be to my liking. All in all the cake is VERY sweet and I am thinking it would taste better with something more savory, like peanut butter OR more acidic like lemon.

Bottom Line: I discovered I need to think BEFORE I bake: about how my bake ware will effect the process as much as one would think upon the ingredients. Also, I should probably invest in proper bake ware and stay away from the glass pryex I use for everything! Goal: Think and buy some nice bake ware when I have money (Goal time frame: infinity, maybe never, maybe if my mom lets me inherit hers someday).

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My Inaugural Blog!

My first Discovery upon beginning this blog is that I actually knew how to spell inaugural. I surprise myself sometimes!

This blog will be an exploration of all things that are new to me! Like: Hey, I didn't know that you could make a cake with mayonnaise. Then, I will try making said cake (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/gale-gand/chocolate-mayonnaise-cake-recipe/index.html) and blog about it. OR Like: Hey, I just heard COSI has an evening happy hour called COSI After Dark ( http://www.cosi.org/visitors/after-dark/)! So, I'll check out said event and then blog about it. Sounds cool, huh!? I'll also talk about and chronicle new recipes I develop, give the scoop on new restaurants, and blab about new things I discover about places I love. Etc. Etc.

I hope to help myself try more new things and stay in tune to being in the present and recognizing the special in the ordinary. I also hope to help clue people in on some cool stuff!