Internet Travel Guide: 4/11/2014

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”
– Jack Canfield

This week was weird. Were the planets out of alignment, or was the moon in a weird phase, or was it just me? Monday – Wednesday felt like an eternity, but then somehow I woke up this morning 100% sure that today was Thursday. I have no idea what happened to that extra day, but apparently I went to work and gave a passable impression of doing my job? So that was a fun surprise. Yay Friday!

I’ve been brainstorming a small flying familiar for my girl wizard, so today was Bat Day. Turns out bats are really hard. Like, their little faces are pretty cute, but I would probably be a little crazy to try drawing those weird, stretchy, semi-transparent wings on a regular basis. Then again, I have been known to be a little crazy.

Remember The Velveteen Rabbit? The heartwarming tale about a humble toy rabbit, full of only sawdust, who dreamed of becoming Real? I… I didn’t remember it being quite so dark, but somehow… somehow this version feels right. Real, even. Yes… This is the Real Velveteen Rabbit. (Yeah, I’m obsessively in love with The Toast. Yeah, I retweet Toast articles pretty much constantly. WHAT OF IT.)*

Do you know the difference between Chekhov’s Gun and a MacGuffin? Here are 5 common movie terms explained. You’re already discussing movies and TV shows in obsessive, completely unnecessary depth; might as well use authentic vocabulary. (Just me, again?)

I found this recipe for a microwave mug brownie on Pinterest today:

Mug Brownie | Pinterest

Now you are about to have a very unique experience, because I whipped up my very own mug brownie, which is in the microwave RIGHT NOW AS I TYPE THIS. That’s right, folks – I am live-blogging my microwave mug brownie attempt. *the sound of gasps and pearl-clutching is heard*

Okay hold that thought, it has been 1 minute and 40 seconds. FINALLY. Looks pretty good (see photographic evidence below). I’mma put this in my mouth real quick.

photo

 

The verdict? Definitely has a different texture than a normal brownie, but it’s tasty. I think I’ll keep this on my Pinterest board to satisfy the odd emergency chocolate craving without making an entire batch of brownies… because when you do that, you have to eat that entire batch of brownies. And I do not need to do that. Also, my picture above shows ALL OF THE DIRTY DISHES that resulted from this 3-minute experiment. Mug brownie = definitely worthy of the Layabout’s Guide.

*Note: I’m not saying this story is an account of true events, but I personally own a pet rabbit. Her claws are sharp, and her eyes are full of hate, and I would totally believe that she stole the living soul from a child. Just saying.

Internet Travel Guide: 3-28-2014

The thing I remember best about successful people I’ve met all through the years is their obvious delight in what they’re doing and it seems to have very little to do with worldly success. They just love what they’re doing, and they love it in front of others.
Fred Rogers, The World According to Mister Rogers

Hat tip to my mom for this week’s quote; I love Mister Rogers. She and I went to DFW Fiber Fest to see Stephanie Pearl McPhee (the “Yarn Harlot“) speak. It was great! This lady has a super successful blog, has published 8 books – 2 of which were NYT best-sellers – and is now pretty famous (in very specific circles)… and this is all based on the fact that she is a very good knitter and is also Funny About Yarn. The world is a magical place, people.

Speaking of the world being magical and amazing… In the 1850’s, paleontologists found half of a giant sea turtle’s humerus. It was the only known fossil evidence of this species for 160 years, until an amateur fossil hunter recently found another partial humerus that appeared to be of the same species. Lo and behold, the new piece was not only from the same species of giant turtle… It was from the exact same giant turtle.

I think he looks like a Roscoe.

“Giant” is not an exaggeration, by the way. At least one 10-foot-long turtle existed at some point.

Giant turtles used to exist and sometimes their fossilized bones turn up centuries apart in perfect puzzle-piece segments and life is beautiful.

 

Overnight Cookie Dough Oats

Overnight Cookie Dough Oats | Plan to Eat

I’ve tried overnight oats before but was always pretty underwhelmed. I think the problem was previous recipes were using all/mostly yogurt and less sweetener, so it turned out really sour. This one uses mostly milk and includes chia seeds to help thicken it up. I didn’t have butter extract, I used white chocolate chips, and added a little cinnamon, so I can’t really verify if the original recipe tastes like cookie dough or not. Mine didn’t (maybe snickerdoodle cookie dough?) but it was delicious all the same!

Stuff I Ate Recently

I’ve been sick as a dog since Saturday, so let’s do a simple Pin round-up, shall we? Here’s some food I made recently.

Sausage, Pepper & Potato Bake:

Easy + Yummy = Perfection

Sausage, Pepper & Potato Bake | Smartter Each Day

As I said, I’ve been sick… really sick. I stayed home from work Monday and Tuesday and basically slept for 48 hours, and I’m just barely feeling human today. So when I say I made this last night, you know it was EASY. And it just so happened to also be super delicious! I didn’t have any sweet potatoes and it tasted great with just white potatoes, bell peppers, onion, and sausage. I bet you could throw in any kind of roasting vegetable you had on hand. Everything is yummy if you douse it in olive oil and roast it. Everything.

No-Bake Mock Reese’s

I die.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars | Rachel Cooks

These really are very similar to Reese’s… They’ve got Graham cracker crumbs in the PB part to give them that grainy Reese’s texture, which is pretty much spot-on. I think these are a little too indulgent for me, though (never thought I’d see the day). They are super, super rich and I don’t even want to think about how many calories are in a little square-inch piece. Don’t think I’ll be making these again. But we will happily polish off the batch we’ve got!

Beans and Cornbread

Om-nom-nom-nom-nom...

Beans and Cornbread | The Pioneer Woman Cooks

I got an inexplicable craving for that classic meal of Beans and Cornbread recently so I tried out the beans from this version, and they were exactly what the doctor ordered! If’n y’all want some damn fine pork n’ beans alongside yer cornbread what ya cooked up in that thur skillet, then boy-howdy this right ‘ere is how ya do it. *eye twitch* Sorry, I think the Texan side of me took over there, for a minute. The beans really were perfect; I added a few shakes of spices like chili powder, cumin, and I think some turmeric? Anyways, perfect. I didn’t use her cornbread, because I don’t do Crisco. I did this sourdough cornbread instead:

Sourdough Cornbread | The Pocket Farmer

I baked it in my cast iron skillet (which is the only way to bake cornbread), but the skillet was a little too big, so it came out really really flat. But definitely crispy and delicious! Comfort food success. You’ll hear more about the beans & cornbread once I get around to the big post about that time I went insane and baked all day. Good times.

Note: Why the heck is it impossible to embed Pins in WordPress? I tried doing it in the html editor and everything. There are so many tutorials that claim it’s really easy, but nothing’s working for me. Anybody know why mine’s not working?

Internet Travel Guide: 3/21/2014

“You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.”

~Rabindranath Tagore

I made this Greek Chicken Salad last weekend and it is AMAAAAAAZING. I added some shredded cabbage for crunchiness. Delish.

Kitchen Scraps You Can Regrow with Nothing But Water | Lifehacker

This seems like a fun kitchen experiment on Lifehacker – kitchen scraps that you can regrow in water. You certainly can’t do this indefinitely but it might work okay for double-lettuce or whatever. Or I bet you could put these same things in soil for even better results. As you may remember, my love for free/recycled plants has been previously documented! (Every single plant featured in that post is now long dead, by the way. Oops.)

This week in Reverse Psychology News: simply giving yourself the option of doing nothing could make you more likely to achieve your goals. The idea is that people are more dedicated to their commitments if they feel like they were truly free when they made the decision.

You know what I don’t miss about my first job? CONFERENCE CALLS. Conference calls are the actual worst. They’re like meetings, but even less productive. This video imagines – with uncanny accuracy – what it would be like if conference call annoyances happened IRL.