Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Wrapped up in you.

I've always had this weird dream of being a white girl rapper, that will never happen. But I can be an amazing Christmas gift wrapper, and that is my plan for this year. I really wanted to get crafty with Christmas this year, in two ways. First, I'm hoping to bake my heart out and make goodie baskets for friends and family, but that sweetness will have to wait until I'm done school and back home. Second, I wanted to be unique in my gift wrapping. After browsing Pinterest for hours, I kept coming across great and unique ways to wrap gifts, I loved them so much I even have a wrapping board. Yes, I'm that obsessed with Pinterest, it's great. 
So these are some of the ideas I've found! I'm not quite sure exactly how I'm going to put it all together, but I'll figure that out later and let you know how it goes. To start I went to my new favorite store, Michaels and grabbed some brown "butcher paper" as I like to call it. On a side note, if you're wondering what to get me for Christmas I would gladly accept a Michaels gift card... so many neat things!! Back to wrapping, I grabbed some silver ribbon but am now wishing I would have grabbed some twine or raffia... or black ribbon, too many ideas. I'll have to take a stroll and steal some evergreen pieces, or I think the neighbours tree hangs over our yard a little bit...
Anywho, I'll be sure to update you when the wrapping begins because I currently have nothing to wrap... But, Here's my Pinsperation for this project! 







New Design?


I get bored of things sometimes, madness ensues and I create new things. 
Hope you like it!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Time to Grow Up.


Well, I've been super MIA in the blogging world lately, I have exams and teacher's college applications to blame for that one!! You should know, exams don't end until december 14th so I'll probably be too busy pulling my hair out to blog. Actually, I would never pull my hair out, but I'll probably be cooking feasts to procrastinate. 

TEACHER'S COLLEGE, HOLY MOLY. The time has come, I seriously can't believe that I'm half way done my 4th year, and therefore one step closer to being done my undergraduate degree... FOREVER. Although I'm clearly excited to be getting to the next step of my life I'm also extremely sad to see this stage of my life go! I've learned so many things over the last 4 years and feel like I've also grown a lot as a person, not physically unfortunately (well there was the freshmen 15... let's not go there). Here's a shout out to all my Dreds that helped me get this far, even if I try I don't think I could forget you all! 
Now, we play the waiting game... until April 2nd to see if I actually get in to any of my teacher's college choices. But, before then my brain must return to French mode while I have to interview and write a written language test to get into Laurentienne and UOttawa.
 Did I mention I'm scared? terrified. I've gone to french school all my life before university, this is true. I've also worked for the French school board. Now ask me if I have any confidence in my French writing skills.... very little. I still remember in grade school finding friends to copy the grammaire answers from... Kids, don't copy from your friends you'll screw yourself later in life. Did you know, that in french objects are male or female? I don't know who gets to decide what deserves to be masculin or feminin, but I have to remember the things gender, don't want to offend the toaster by calling it a girl, how rude. As with most things in life, I'll get through it! 

Other than that I couldn't be more thrilled to take the steps towards becoming known as Mme Carey.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

My life as a Capricorn


Although I don't really believe in Zodiac being a Christian, it's really funny to look at how much I am like my zodiac sign of Capricorn. If you know me, things might start making a little more sense! So if you want to make me happy or know how to deal with me, treat me like a Capricorn and things should work out pretty well. 
I've found a few little quotes to give you a better idea...
















Thursday, 15 November 2012


Finally, the second addition of Renee's Recipe Box! This next recipe is super sweet and butterscotchy. So if you don't love butterscotch then I wouldn't recommend it. But if you do then you're in for a real treat with this chocolatey gooey square. 

CHOCOLATE BUTTERSCOTCH RIPPLE SQUARES


Prep Time:
20 minutes
Baking Time:
30-35 minutes
Serves:
~16 squares


Ingredients

1 – 300g package Butterscotch chips
1 – 300ml can sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbsp. butter
2 ¼ cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup butter (melted)
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
1 ½ cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup oatmeal
1/3 cup cocoa
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans or almonds


Instructions 

  • Heat butterscotch chips, sweetened condensed milk and 2 tbsp. butter over low heat, stirring constantly until smoothly melted. Set aside.
  •  In a separate bowl, mix in sugar, eggs, melted butter and vanilla. Stir in remaining ingredients.
  • Spread ½ dough in greased 13” x 9” pan. Spread butterscotch mixture evenly over dough. Dot spoonful of remaining dough on top. Spread lightly w/ knife to cover filling.
  • Bake 350°F (180°C) for 30-35 minutes. 

Enjoy!! 




Sunday, 11 November 2012

My weekend with the high school besties

What a great weekend, does it really have to be monday tomorrow? Not impressed, but as usual, I will deal. 


This weekend was really spent among friends and family, doesn't get much better than that. On Friday my sister came down for the UWindsor open house, it looks like we might have another Lancer in the family! In fact, if my sister does decide to come to the dirty dubs my entire family will be Windsor Alumni... There should probably be a scholarship for that. We did a tour of the campus, which I supplemented with fun facts that I've learned over my 4 years here, I hope the little sister enjoyed it. I know she enjoyed me falling UP the stairs and eating concrete, it was pretty funny if I say so myself. Later that night with celebrated my boyfriend's friend's (get it?) birthday by heading stateside to Mexican Town in good old Detroit. I live in the shadow of the Ambassador Bridge so trips to the states are simple, other than the fact that I'm still a baby and can't drink in the states so also had the task of designated driver. If you're from Windsor and have a valid passport, get your butt over to Mexican Town and try the flaming fajitas with a pitcher of blue frozen margarita, you will not be disappointed. The food was followed by more drinks and a trip to downtown Windsor. When I say more drinks I mean my new favourite drink! It's simple, delicious and you don't have to feel guilty or bloated after drinking it, Cake vodka + water w/ Crystal Light = skinny drink heaven. It's also great because the water keeps you hydrated, less chance of a hangover!

The awkward family photo
Team Chicken Dinner
Woke up the next morning as excited as a kid given a chocolate bar, I was finally going to see my best friends from highschool! We're usually pretty good about trying to see each other when we're all home for the holidays, but this was my first "trip" to go see ma friends. I scooped up Alyssa from Windsor and Julie from Chatham and we headed out, only an hour late and we even survived a detour. After 3 hours of driving we'd finally made it!! My friends forgot to tell me they lived in a mansion so I thought we were at the wrong place, in the end we weren't, they just have a really gorgeous (not so student) home. I'm still jealous. Another friend, Taylor was coming from Toronto, she met us there and we went to East Side Mario's for supper where we were joined by another highschool buddy Matt and the shenanigans began. The plan was to go downtown Guelph, but first we needed to prepare. Faces we're painted on,  hair was damaged and doused in hairspray and boy, did we look good... we could have really torn up Pain Court back in the day! We sipped drinks and me and Taylor formed a beer pong team called the "Chicken Dinners", mostly so we could yell "Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!" followed by clucking noises when we won a match, it was great. Are you starting to see why these girls are my friends? We're the weirdest bunch I know, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Oh downtown Guelph, the song "A Whole New World" from Aladdin comes to mind right about now, you were great and different from my native Windsor.  First of all there's a drunk bus. What's a drunk bus you ask? Well It's a city bus that runs late so drunk students can get home safely, it's the best thing I've heard of in a while! Even better, it's free with your UGuelph student card... or a quick flash of your green health card for us Windsor ladies. The downside of downtown Guelph? Expensive cover, or maybe I'm just cheap. The bars we're great and we danced like fools. Finally at the end of the night we went home to devour our East Side leftovers. 

The girls! Alex, Alyssa, Julie, Taylor, Emily, Lo and Carley
It was a short visit, but it was so worth it. It's exciting to see where all of us have ended up over the last four years. We're all in universities with thousands of students, much different from our 300 student highschool! We've all switched to learning in English, but still have fun trying to remember notre fran├žais. Most of all I like to think of where we'll all be next year, some still in school I'm sure, and others off to be grown ups... scary thought. But for now I'd much rather look back and take a trip down memory lane. Thank God for the invention of facebook so I could creep myself and find these gems! 

Oldest one I could find, grade 9 semi? 

Halloween Dance 

Winter semi grade 11 I think 

Dressed up for animal house

School uniforms... ouch  
Girls night at Emilys

Dressed up as old school rockstars for animal house

Some of us who played on the soccer team 


Nigh out in Tilbury 

All of us with Matt's mom (Mama Shelley) at grad

Being the goofs that we are at prom
More recent summer hangout 
Christmas break last year 


As I sit here icing my foot for my soccer game tonight I can't help but smile and remember that I've got some great friends, tu me manques toujours. 


Thursday, 8 November 2012

Salad Jars!


Lunch on the run? Need to plan ahead? Eating healthy? Meet salad jars, also known as your new best friend! While browsing Pinterest I saw a few recipes for salads in jars and thought these people had to be nuts. But, being a little crazy myself I needed to try them.


The final verdict? These things are amazing. You can put almost anything in them, I followed this simple diagram (to the right) and chose the ingredients that I like to eat. Be creative and try something new! Most of the posts I looked at said the jars last up to a week. I kept one for 7 days to test the theory and although it was edible, it wasn't as delicious as the one I ate the day after making it. Some people said you could eat it right out of the jar but I'm messy and clumsy so it didn't work for me. Besides, when flipped into a bowl your ingredients come out in perfect order with the dressing on top.
I chose to do a fruity spinach salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette, and a veggie spinach salad with balsamic dressing. You can see exactly what I put into my two jars down below. 

So next time you have a busy week, call your meme for some old mason jars and grab your favourite salad ingredients, make yourself a salad in a jar and impress all your friends. 

Monday, 5 November 2012

Renee's Recipe Box: Double Chocolate Cheesecake

Well folks, this is the first feature section on my blog! You heard me, get ready for a new regular. I hope you'll enjoy it, actually I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
Allow me to explain... For christmas this year I wanted to do something a little more personal, and that was easy on the pocket being a student and all. This "gift" in particular will be going to my boyfriend's mom aka the biggest domestic diva I know. You'd be stupid to ever turn down food at their house, and you bet there's dessert after every meal. But when you cook and bake like this woman how could you not indulge a little?! The gift I'll be giving this year is the gift of an organized and typed recipe box (or binder, or something). So I figured why not share some of the delicious recipes I'll be transcribing? And hey, let's even go a step further and try to actually make some of them. 
So, whenever I make a recipe, or whenever I feel like sharing they'll be a new addition to the online version of Renee's Recipe Box.

And the best part is,
All the recipes from Renee's Recipe Box will have an index card (5x8) copy of the recipe that you can download and print for yourself!

And, the first will be...........


Double Chocolate Cheesecake

Prep Time: 20 minutes      Baking Time: 45 minutes      Servings: 10-12



Crust
1 cup crushed chocolate wafers (I used Oreo crumbs)
3 tbsp margarine or butter, melted 

Filling
3 pkgs Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese, softened 
3/4 cup sugar 
3 large eggs 
1 tbsp vanilla 
3 squares Baker's White Chocolate, melted
3 squares Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted
2 tbsp raspberry schnapps liqueur (optional, I opted out... what I didn't have that flavour of schnapps!)

Glaze 
3/4 cup whipping cream 
6 squares Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate, chopped


.  .  .  

Crust: - Combine crumbs and margarine, press onto bottom of 9 inch (23 cm) springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees F (180C) for 10 minutes. 

Filling: - Beat cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla. 
- Remove 1/2 of the batter to another bowl. Stir melted white chocolate and liqueur into this portion.  
- To remaining batter, blend in melted chocolate. Pour chocolate batter in crumb-lined pan; spread evenly. 
- Bake at 425F (220C) for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 250F (120C). Bake for 30-45 minutes longer or until center of cake is just barely firm. 
- Remove from oven and run knife around sides; let cool completely before removing sides. 

Glaze: - In small heavy saucepan, bring cream to a simmer over low heat. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Spoon over cake. With metal spatula, spread to cover top, allowing some to run over edge to cover sides. Garnish as desired. 
... I'm just going to be honest with you and tell you that I screwed up the glaze, I think I burnt it, or maybe it was because I tried to cheat and use one square of white chocolate... so don't do that.

Overall, I definitely approve this recipe! It was the first cheesecake I've ever made and it turned out great. It was a lot more work in the kitchen than I'm used to, but it was definitely worth it. It's also roommate approved! Try it out some time, and look for more additions to Renee's Recipe Box soon.