Wednesday, January 19, 2011

CookieMania: Caramel-Filled Chocolate Cookies

Today I made like ten thousand chocolate chip cookies because I wanted to make some for director interviews tonight (with CAITLIN NOSAL HI!), but I also may have told my floor neighbors that I was making cookies while I was at the bar last night, so I made a bajillion because men eat a lot.

Now I have five left.  Therefore, I was right in my above statement.  This is probably better for mine and Andrea's waistlines in the end.  But right now, I just want a neverending supply of cookies.  Good thing I have my KitchenAid mixer!

In honor of my many cookies, I decided to finish this post about some other delicious cookies I made last week.  I wanted to make some of them today, but I couldn't find any Rollos in the BX.

These are Caramel-filled Chocolate Cookies, and I got the recipe once upon a time from somewhere online.  I don't know where and I don't have time to look, so if this is your recipe, I'm sorry.  I know I didn't make this up.  And your cookies are really good.

(I'll post the recipe here when I get it from the recipe box at home)

This is a Rollo.  It is a chewy caramel-filled candy that you can find at the store.  It is delicious.

You can also find Rollos on the show The Biggest Loser, when the doctor guy is trying to tell one of the fat police officers what will kill him.  In case you were wondering, the doctor says that these Rollos will kill the fat guy.  But only if you eat a million of them.

I just thought it was a little ironic.

Unwrap a lot of Rollos and get them ready for your cookiefest.  It's a lot of unwrapping, but it's worth it, I swear.

I didn't take pictures of when I was making the chocolate cookie dough, but I'll post the recipe.  Take a piece of the cookie dough and roll it into a ball.

Flatten out the cookie dough.  SMASH!

Press the Rollo into the middle of the cookie dough...

...and begin to form the dough around the candy.  Roll it into a ball again until... can't see the candy!

Then put all of the cookie dough balls onto a baking sheet and bake it at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  I forgot to take the picture before I put the cookies in the oven.  Oops.

NOM cookie mountain!  It looks so good.

They all look SO good!

And THIS is the absolute.  Best.  Freaking.  Part.  I like the cookies even when they aren't melting in the middle anymore, but you can microwave them to make them warm if you want.

So there you have it.  Cookies.  Well, sort of.  You have pictures of cookies.  And the ability to make cookies.  And stuff like that.  So you are closer to cookies then you were before.

And if you want some chocolate chip cookies, you should get over to my apartment pretty quickly because there are only five left.  But our door isn't bolted anymore, at least!

Tomorrow I have an interview, I'm hopefully getting free art supplies, and I am going to Trader Joe's.  Happy day!

Love and cookies,

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Too Personal

I'm watching the Golden Globes and Facebook stalking/updating and Facebook asked me this...

I want to say that this is too personal for Facebook to ask me, but I probably spend more time with my Facebook than anyone else, so I guess I can't really say that.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Black Swan

Today was my fourth last day at Travelers because I've thought I was leaving Travs for good three times prior to this and somehow always find myself coming back.  I really think this is the last time, though... unless I can't get a job when I graduate.  I'm not ruling anything out at this point.

I went out to Japanese hibachi with my fam for dinner, emptied my entire closet onto my bed, and then left to meet Amy and see Black Swan in Manchester.  What a phenomenal movie.  Granted, it was highly disturbing, but everything about it was put together very well... although I did have to look away when Natalie Portman started peeling her skin off.  But that's only because I'm squeamish and a baby.

Speaking of Natalie Portman, I was so impressed with her performance.  The movie was highly dependent on the character of Nina, so Portman's dedication and believability was crucial to the success of the film.  On top of her acting, her dancing was very impressive as well.  Amy had fits of longing for her ballet days and even gave Portman her stamp of approval on not faking the dancing.

Mila Kunis = girl crush.  After Keira Knightly.  I'm so glad that you're not just Jackie from That 70's Show.

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

Amy and I sat at the movie theater bar (oxymoron?) afterward partially because we wanted to chat about the movie, partly because we didn't want to drive home alone in the dark after that freaky of a movie right away, and partly because we're highly co-dependent.  Amy the psychologist in training immediately diagnosed Portman's character as being a paranoid schizophrenic, which sounded good to me because I've only taken one high school psych class. 

Although Amy sides more with the train of thought that Lily is completely made up, I think that Lily was, in fact, a real person but Nina used her as the manifestation of her other self/delusions.  Why?  Perhaps Lily represented some quality that the "black swan" embodied for Nina; it's not really answered.  Therefore, I do believe that when other characters acknowledged Lily, she was the actual character Lily - but when Nina is alone with "Lily," it is likely the delusion.  The club scene?  It seems as if it transitions from the character to the delusion somewhere along the way to me, but I haven't quite figured out where that is.

The whole situation reminded me of another movie in which the main character has delusions that incorporate another minor character, but I can't remember the movie.  Like, the main character meets minor character at the beginning of the movie, and the plot-line continues so that main/minor character seemingly get close and know each other well, but in actuality, the relationship never progresses past that initial meeting - it is all in the main character's head.  I know that this happens in Vanilla Sky, but I feel like I'm thinking of a different movie too.  Man, Vanilla Sky is just a mindfuck.

I feel like there's a lot more I want to say about the movie, but I can't quite articulate each piece of it right now.  Overall, I just felt like the storyline was written very well; I appreciated that there were no extraneous plot twists or character incorporation/developments.  The filming was excellent, and of course, the acting and dancing was superb.  It was a great movie... I'm just not sure how soon I could see it again.  It was pretty fucked up.  But in an excellent, excellent way.

Tomorrow we are going down to Foxwoods for a late birthday celebration... I'm sure I will be real time status updating/Tweeting and I will have lots of pictures to post here soon!  Man, where has my winter break gone??


Thursday, January 13, 2011


You don't know me, fortune cookie. You don't know me.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snowmageddon 2011

Guess what??  The weatherman was right this time.  It snowed.

It snowed a lot.

Like, a lot a lot.

So much snow that Travs had a snow day!  I was notified by TravAlert early this morning.

TravAlert.  Cute.

Lucky did not like the snow.  He was very confused.

"But why??  Why is there so much snow??  Please make it go away."

"Sorry, cat.  I can't do that while I sit in bed watching the Biggest Loser in my pajamas all day."

"Whatever.  I'm outta here."

"Ahhhhh.  Now that's more like it."

Love from my heating blanket,

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I Need A Hobby: Courtney Learns Guitar, Day 1

I have decided I need a hobby that does not include watching a lot of Grey's Anatomy, going on Facebook, the Mimes and Mummers, alcohol, blogging, Googling, shopping, or spending money.  Also, I am realizing that being creative, in turn, makes me happy, and in my quest to find happiness that is not contingent on the actions of other people, I think that seeking out creative means of expression is going to be important.

Plus, sometimes I just get ideas in my head and fixate on them obsessively until I attempt them.  Like this one time, I was really determined to play with my karaoke machine (I was nine, okay?) on my front porch, but in order to play any CD's to karaoke to, I also needed to bring out my CD boom box.  But the problem was that there was only one cord to share for both the karaoke machine and the boom box because I had lost one of the cords, so here I was, dragging two machines with one cord, one microphone, and a stack of CD's out onto my front porch because I just really was stuck on this idea.

I don't remember how I solved this dilemma, but I'm pretty sure I only played one verse of "Backstreet's Back" before getting embarassed, giving up, and going inside to read The Babysitter's Club.

So anyways, I decided that, among other things, I am going to learn how to play the guitar.  The geeee-tar.  I used to play the piano (I suppose I still can) in high school, but pianos are much less portable, so it made it a little difficult to continue playing.  Or that was my excuse, anyways.  Yesterday was Day 1 of my project.

I bought this book when I returned my New York City calendar at Barnes & Noble.  I figured it was sort of pointless to look at pictures of New York City when I was probably going to be living there in a few months.  I don't know if the book is any good but it had pictures and that's what I like.

This is my guitar, which has been sitting in our living room for many years.  It was my grandfather's, and he probably gave it to me once upon a time when I likely up and decided that I wanted to learn how to play.  But this time will not be like that.  I am older.  And wiser.  I think.

First, I tuned my guitar using an online guitar tuner because that's what Joe always used to do with his guitars.  Plus, the internet has everything, basically.  The guitar is kind of old, so the 6th string went out of tune really fast, but I figure I will cross that bridge when I can actually play.  Which may not be for awhile, judging by how last night went.

LOOK!  I can play a chord!  An E major chord, to be exact.  Well, that is when I hold the strings tight enough and don't make the string buzz and actually make it sound like something other than a thud.  This guitar thing is difficult, man.

Do you know what makes guitar playing more difficult?  Trying to take pictures of your guitar playing.

I can also play an E minor chord (see conditions above).  I actually learned these in reverse but the pictures imported into my blog backwards and I was too lazy to switch them.  But I wanted you to get the full experience, so I'm being honest.

But after a half-hour/forty-five minutes of practicing the two chords I kinda-sorta learned, I was in pain.

A lot of freaking pain!  Fingers are not supposed to look like that.  I probably should have just re-learned how to play piano because piano keys don't make marks in your fingers or cause them to feel numb the next day when all you're trying to do is type on the keyboard for your blog.

Day 1 Summary: 

Thought #1: Learning how to play the guitar is hard and I am not naturally good at it.  I don't do well when things are difficult for me.  I tend to just give up when it's not a task that is essential to my life.  This is why I quit tap dance after 3 months in the sixth grade.  Then I spent eight years wondering why I had quit tap dance.  Then I tried to learn how to tap dance again for Anything Goes in college.  Then I remembered.

Thought #2: Learning how to play the guitar is painful.  I don't do well with things that are painful, which is why I freak out about giving blood.  This is also why I quit dirt biking after I fell off my first dirt bike when I was seven.  Uncoordinated kids don't dirt bike, anyways.

...but they potentially ride street bikes, right?  Because I saw Tron and now I want a motorcycle really badly.

What?  Did someone say that's a bad idea?  Nah, I don't think so.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Lazy Monday

I need to learn to wear more practical shoes when planning on standing up for 4 hours at a time after a full day at work.  Also, I think that my pajamas, scented socks, and heating blanket in my bed are contributing to the fact that I may fall asleep while writing this blog entry.  I currently want to bake, paint a picture, and learn to play the guitar, but I'm too tired to get out of this very comfy pillow top bed.  Such is my life.

I think that the Northeast needs to stop snowing right now because if it uses all of its snow up this week, there will be no snow left to give me a snow day when I get back to school.  This logic is sound, in case you were wondering.  And I need to have snow days this semester because when there are snow days, we watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer because it is cold and we have nothing better to do.  Andrea, Heather and I are trying to watch all seven seasons before we graduate.  Currently, we are on season six, after three and a half years at Fordham.  We really need some snow days.

Speaking of Buffy, I read this article on MSNBC saying that apparently a bunch of religious groups believe that the second coming of Christ will be on May 21, 2011.  The first thing I have to say to these people is, did you even see the movie 2012??  Obviously, that movie is an accurate depiction of the end of the world, and it is not happening until December of 2012.  Get with it.

I realize that the previous sentence had nothing to do with Buffy.  Just wait a second.

Second of all, do you know what is actually occurring on May 21, 2011?  Graduation day.  Aka, the real apocalypse.  The end of the world.  Done.  Over.  Forever.  However, despite the nervous tic I have developed thinking about that awful day, I am laughing because I just have visions of graduation day looking like this (go to minute mark 3:11):

If Mayor Bloomberg is scheduled to be our commencement speaker, I'm hiding a crossbow under my cap and gown.

Speaking of dumb things and online articles, there was apparently a rumor that Facebook was shutting down on March 15th.  Not only am I shocked that I did not hear this earlier, I am also surprised that, for once, a Facebook charging money/shutting down/etc article made actual news.  Like, CNN.  Which immediately denied the rumors (big surprise) and quieted the fears of obsessive Americans everywhere.  So then I stopped hyperventilating.

But really, why would you not trust news from a reliable source like the Weekly World News??  I mean, they didn't spread a rumor about a half-man, half-bat living in a cave in the Midwest or anything.  And even if they had, it was obviously a true story.  If it wasn't a true story, they wouldn't have made a musical out of it, right?

My wisdom is endless.

To conclude, I would like to leave you with this song.  I am currently obsessed with it.

 Your life is so much better now.

You're welcome,

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Infamous NYE 2011 Post

The fact that it took me nine days to muster up the strength to write this post should indicate what a night New Year's Eve 2011 was.  At it should have been, seeing as I drove down to Fordham last Friday, was entirely creeped out by the state of the empty campus, was entirely more creeped out by the state of my empty apartment, and made it down to Harlem to see my love Kristen for an epic night.  And epic it was.

But first... some current business.

At the moment, I am making PW's spaghetti and meatballs for the simple reason that the meatballs required my mixer.  This is really a problem.  I am also making chili, which I blogged about once in my first blog, so I'll post both of those here soon.  In addition, I am wearing my Christmas apron, which I will probably never take off.  I modeled it for the world in my pizza party post.

Man, that was a lot of links.  My former blogging professor would be proud.

With all of this cooking, I am most certainly proving that I will make an excellent future housewife.  This means that I will definitely have to make sure that my future child with my lover Chris Ingrao isn't fat because s/he is going to be a Broadway star, and Broadway doesn't typically like fat people.  We have decided that s/he will be named Fantasia Dijon because Broadway needs a star like that.

Yes, we have decided that is a multi-gender name.*  Deal with it.

*I have something relatively funny to say regarding names and their pronunciations.  However, I can already sense that this is going to be a long blog entry, so I will save that for another day.  If I remember, that is.  I am currently on my second glass of wine.  And I am forgetful.

Oh, also I have to say...

Oh hey, Chris Ingrao.  I love you.  And our future child.  And our shared love of Broadway, men, and alcohol.  Ziggy's: first Tuesday of 2011????  It's happening.
PS: People only read my blog because I post it on my Facebook status.  I recognize this.  I accept this.  But nevertheless... people read my blog.  I am awesome.

Now back to New Year's....

So I made my way to Harlem, where Kristen lives, anticipating lots of traffic and receiving none.  I much prefer this scenario to the opposite (planning for no traffic and getting a lot), but because of this, I arrived around 3pm... prime talk-show-watching time.  Therefore, we watched some talk-shows and caught up on life.  Dinner was SunChips and cocktails (we're on a budget, man), and then it was time to get ready.

While we were getting ready, we listened to the F You song by Cee Lo approximately seven times in a row.  We listened to it twice more after Sarah trekked all the way over to the west side from her apartment on the east side just to see our pretty faces.

Naturally, we then had a photo shoot (while watching Minute to Win It because Guy Fieri is awesome)...

I went out to buy this dress with Amy after Zumba the Monday before NYE because I had seen it at Express on Black Friday.  But on Black Friday, it was $100... and it was conveniently on sale when we went back.  I love red.

You can't see it because Kristen is being Kristen here, but she took on a pin-up persona for NYE.  I could tell even before she conveyed this to me, which means that it really worked.

Sarah wore her Spring Weekend dress from last year, and it was so festive that I couldn't miss her for the rest of the night.  Also, it has pockets.  Pockets = gold.

Once it got to around 8:30ish, we headed down to the D train to get to Rogue, down on 26th.

The bar was 1) nice, 2) not crowded, 3) didn't have a cover, and 4) not expensive.  I'm pretty sure we found the only gem in the entire city that night.

Rachel's hairpiece was out of control and amazing.  But I would expect nothing less.

Paula from the Real World was our bartender, and they gave us free party favors, which we gladly accepted.

...maybe we accepted the party favors too gladly, Sarah.

Yeah.  Way too gladly.  But we also regularly accept that Chris will jump into the back of pictures.

Pretty soon, midnight came upon us.  For some reason, we all counted down from 24 until 18, and then the next thing we knew, it was midnight.  Something must have distracted us.

And then after midnight, things got a little out of control.

Evidently, Chris tried to educate Rachel and Sarah on talking and taking pictures.

And Kristen was just being a vixen all night.  PS, she said that she was going to make this her profile picture.  She hasn't.  Liar.

When I am taking pictures, I'm always worried about looking silly when I smile.  So, I just make a silly face, so that there is no expectation to look nice.  Flawed logic?  Perhaps.

But I also got my hands on some party favors, which was crucial.  My horn wouldn't work at first, but then I realized I was just inept at horn-blowing.

Rockin' it.  As always.

And looking lovely together.

This is Chris holding the best $1 pizza ever.  I was really adamant on taking this picture, on the counter.  I think it's because one time sophomore Jake Braithwaite took an awesome emo picture by laying on my floor, putting the camera on the floor, and taking a picture of himself.

But despite drams, randos, and unexpected events, we all had a fun time... and kicked off NYE 2011 in style.

That was kind of cheesy.  Oh well, I'm over it.  I have to check on my chili.

Love and live it up: 2011,

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A-Pizza Party!!!

As I type this, I am falling asleep at my keyboard.  It's 8:01pm.  Why am I like eighty years old?

I agree with Jen in her text message that she just sent me: "This working for a living is exhausting."  We'd better marry rich.  Just kidding.  Sort of.

(It's funny because Jen has had seventeen jobs at a time since birth and I am consistently interning, looking for an internship, stressing about an internship, stressing about my life, or most often, all of the above)

So now for the content of this blog entry.  After I made two batches of pizza dough last week and then subsequently made a third, I invited everyone I know over to my house for homemade pizza.  And, too my great surprise, everyone I invited came, even though I live in the boonies!  I felt loved and important.

Okay I'm sorry but I have to interrupt myself here.  Enrique Iglesias is on Two and a Half Men.  Can someone please explain this to me?  

I can beeee your hero bayyyybayyyyy....

Sorry.  I'm done now.  Back to the pizza.

When everyone arrived, I had rolled out all the dough on pans (which was difficult, actually) and was almost done with making the pizza.  I delegated hosting duties (ie: pouring wine and taking pictures) to Amy, and she began snapping pictures.
My mom was my sous-chef because I'm messy when I cook (and all the rest of the time) so she likes to clean up after me.  Hey, I don't mind!

Also... this is the only picture we have of the actual pizza.  That's the last time I let Amy be the photographer.

It's very important to check your pizza often and always wear a Christmas apron.

But the real star of the party was this guy here.  No, not Jay... I'm not about to help feed his ego.

I mean this guy.  Aiden.  He stole mine and Amy and Rachel's hearts.

And he also had some sweet dance moves while he was waiting for dinner.

Dancin' with myse-elf...

Yeah, I'll probably quote song lyrics again.  I'm not going to fool anyone here.

Aiden also brought his fire truck book and wanted to take a picture of the wheel.


Rachel found a way to pass the time until the pizza came out of the oven.

Oh, hey, Andy and Ben.  You look really thrilled to be at my pizza party.

Poor Jay and Ashley.  Amy just had to take a picture of them eating.

Hey, Aiden, what do you think of my pizza??  Is it delicious??

...Aiden!!  I'm offended!  (But you're still really adorable)

And in the end... all the pizza was consumed and the world was happy.  I think this is all the evidence we need to prove that I'm an excellent chef.

PS.... I have two more batches of pizza dough!!  Pizza when we get back to school!

Love and I'm never trusting Amy with my camera again,