Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer Skin by Sara

This would be my 3rd week back home and here's a little rundown on what I've accomplished: 
-baked banana muffins and biscotti
-went to a classy party
-made a thousand trips to Trader Joes (perk of free coffee and soy creamer!)
-Starbucks (I have yet to try the Captain Crunch, German chocolate, and smores flavors that they have exclusively at the one near my house but when I do I shall report back!)
-currently watching the Hills, Psych and the O.C. on Netflix (seriously how did I not notice that Mischa Barton can't act?!)
-Scarsdale diet (no bread, whatever, I just miss my peanut butter puffins and granola and almond milk. and Menchies)
-lots of driving (new car holllaaa)
So all in all, a pretty chilll summer thus far. Today, my mom dragged me downtown to a Robert Rodriguez sample sale and I got a tank top and jacket (even though it's like 90 degrees right now). I hate sample sales; honestly I'd rather pay full price and not deal with the crazy racks and women, but my mom likes them and she is the one paying so I just go along. Afterwards I decided to use up the piece of ginger in our refrigerator and made some ginger cookies which are actually really good! They have a ton of spice in them and don't have any butter at all, so aside from the egg, are vegan too!
these are some pretty berries that I had for lunch earlier in the week, maybe I'll make some turnovers in the spirit of 4th of July next week!
this dough is delicious
I only used a little bit of lemon zest, so I think I'll try adding more next time

Ultimate Ginger Cookies - recipe by Barefoot Contessa, slightly modified by me
2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. ground clove
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
1 egg, room temp
1 tbsp. fresh grated ginger
zest of half a lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ground ginger, and salt. In a separate bowl/electric mixer, beat brown sugar, oil, molasses, grated ginger, lemon zest on medium speed for 5 minutes. Turn mixer to low and add egg and then beat for 1 minute. Scrape bowl and beat for another minute. While mixer is still on low, gradually add in the dry ingredients and then mix on medium for 2 minutes. Roll small balls with your hands (about 1 3/4 inches) and put on baking sheet lined with parchment paper and flatten lightly with your hands. Bake for exactly 13 minutes. The cookies will be cracked on top and soft inside. Let cool on sheets for 1-2 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Home: California Edition

Hello, reader(s)! I (Sara) managed to get all of my stuff out of my room, into the car, down to Olympia (where I repacked everything into 8 suitcases and 3 boxes), to the airport and finally home without anything exploding, breaking, or being searched by TSA. Ok fine, one box got searched. But the most important thing is that I'm home! We've been experiencing some June gloom but it is still nonetheless warmer than Seattle which is a nice change.
Although I attempted to unpack (2 suitcases and all of the boxes are empty!) I still feel like I've left a mess of my space and am trying to figure out how all of my things are going to fit in my house. I decided to take a break in between by baking (duh). My family informed me that I should use up the 3 black bananas that have been sitting in our fridge since spring break (way to go guys).
My first recipe was banana biscotti. I didn't add the chocolate chips (because we didn't have any) nor did I drizzle/dip them in chocolate despite the request of my sister only because I was feeling lazy (I hate melting chocolate for some weird reason). Also, I don't think I baked them long enough because they were on the softer side but they are still delicious!
Next I made banana muffins. My family really likes these; they're super moist and have a good banana-y flavor. Unfortunately I didn't have any almond extract or amaretto so I just added a good dose of vanilla and they turned out fine. 
Last night some friends of mine had a "classy" themed party at their house and somehow managed to throw together an outfit despite the fact that almost all of my clothes are still in suitcases. 
Throwback to Prom 2009

I'm sure more baking will occur within the next few days because of Father's Day so I may be posting again soon!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Because Katey Simply Has to Have the Last Word

A Blog Post to Commemorate and Highlight the Best Adventures of Sara & Katey
The original adventures

Ahh the cheese festival, many delicious cheeses. Or in Sara’s case, just goat cheese.
The original Diet Coke bottle.
 Perfect for wine.

Some of you may not know that on Sara and Katey’s original Greenlake trip last year they drove. Katey had her car in town for a bit, and they had many adventures. But due to Katey’s Oregonianness, Sara had to pump the gas.

We found a fondness for Greenlake and an example for our future baking entrepreneurship after buying some lemonade from a small child.

In Ballard we shopped around and picked up some Free Wood for a Golden Gardens fire that never took place.

Go Dinosaurs.

We even made it to Kent and took a trip to the “Great Wall Mall!” The actual mall was kind of a let down, but the memories were exceptional :)
(the two Asian girls in the group outside the “Great Wall Mall”)

IKEA is the perfect place to play house!

Sara’s adventures in Seattle wouldn’t have been complete without Dick’s, although for some reason she’s kind of bummed in this picture - fries too greasy?

This year would most definitely not have been the same without my Sara adventure time. Here’s a look back at some good times from earlier in the year:

Sometimes the simplest things - like trying new coffee - make some of the best memories!

We’ve had some great times just walking to fun neighborhoods and trying new places. Some winners were definitely Homegrown, 14 Karat CafĂ©, Zoe Yogurt, and many more. 

The long-awaited trip to the pumpkin patch! 
We brought the whole crew along for this one, and purchased a lovely pumpkin courtesy of Dr. Maze.

Ke$ha and Britney. Infamous pop stars = fantastic choices in Halloween costumes.

Have we ever told you how much we LOVE the holidays?
Bellevue has extensive shopping, Starbucks, and delicious matzo-ball soup to make you feel warm and festive!

 Speaking of warm, snow is not. It’s cold.
A trip to the Nutcracker was the perfect birthday gift for an amazing birthday girl.
Michela and I wouldn’t have celebrated with Sara any other way :)

I was lucky enough to have Sara take a trip down to Portland with me this year. We saw lots of fun things and had some really good times. It’s a fun city that’s even more fun with great friends!

These are some of the best memories but nowhere near all of them. We had incredible adventures, and I’m very lucky to have had a friend like Sara with whom to share the last two years. For those of you (one) readers who may be concerned about the future of “Meow or Never,” we will continue to blog as a way of maintaining our adventures and  of keeping in touch with each other. “Meow or Never” will become a place where we share adventures from Seattle and LA with each other. Also, be ready for some good stories when we meet up again for visits!
As is typical of a Katey & Sara post, I’d like to include a recipe. Bear with me, I’ve tried to make this as original and non-cheesy as possible.

A recipe for the best kind of friendship (with specifications to emulate the Katey & Sara model):
Shared values 
(shopping, Starbucks, an affinity for yoga - but not such that you need to talk about it, especially not to strangers)
Or another common method of communication.
Equal wit 
(also possibly considered sass)
Common activities to enjoy together 
(yoga, shopping, Starbucks, exploring, watching Audrey Hepburn movies, trying new things and visiting new places)
An appreciation for one another 
(I have greater respect for Sara than many people I know. She is one of the most honest, down-to-earth, intelligent, savvy people I have ever met. She’s not just a friend; she’s someone I admire and have learned from. She’s someone I am lucky to know and spend time with. She’s someone I’ll miss very much, but am confident I will stay in touch with. Because to lose track of a friend like that is just dumb.)
Thank you, Sara, for having been such an amazing friend to me the past two years.
I wish you nothing but joy, love, happiness, and exciting times back in LA, and I know you will do amazing things. Good luck, and I look forward to our future adventures.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Parting is such sweet sorrow

We're done! Summer vacation is finally here! (but of course, the weather is still sub-par) We've been incredibly busy this week writing papers so we forgot to update on last weekend's activities. On Friday we got together at Cedar's Indian restaurant for Sara's Farewell Dinner. No tears ensued but lots of reminiscing and smiling. On Saturday it got hot enough for us to wear tank tops and skirts and we celebrated the warmth with a trip to U Village, with a good chunk of time spent in QFC choosing cookies. We were fortunate enough to have the good weather carry over to Sunday, which was also Sara's last Sunday yoga :[ However, we still enjoyed class; esp. our teachers who played Shakira. Instead of going straight to Starbucks in UVill (as is our normal routine), we trekked up to Greenlake with our laptops, course packets, and sunglasses in tow to utilize the rooftop seating at the Greenlake Starbucks. It was verrrrry hot (Sara has an attractive tan line to prove it) and there were about 300 pigeons but we got a substantial amount of work done! After a while, Sara got hungry + her battery was dying, which was a good excuse to be done with paper writing and go across the street to get frozen yogurt. Obviously, we got an array of flavors and toppings (how can you not sample them all?!) with the honey lavender flavor standing out as a top pick. We then walked back to the U District, sweaty but filled with the pride of a job well done.
This week we spent our time watching copious amounts of The Hills (and psychoanalyzing Spencer), getting lattes (extra free shot of espresso at the cafes on campus!) and soaking up as much time with each other as humanly possible. Oh, and we got very good at making candy leis for a graduation for Dream Project. Last night we went to Eastlake Bar and Grill for a Dream Project event and for $5 steak night. Or so we thought. Apparently they moved the price up to $6.99, which is still a bargain. Sara opted for Diet Coke and got countless refills, which is a blessing and a curse, as she is trying to drink less diet soda.
Today we spent our remaining hours getting a free latte, talking about toys we had or wanted when we were little kids (specifically Barbie Jeeps, American Girl Dolls and Littlest Pet Shop board game) and very much wishing that we wouldn't have to be separated. Katey headed to Portland while Sara continued to pack up her room (SO MUCH DUST). It was a sad goodbye but we are both excited for summer and the end of finals. And we're hoping to reuinte at some point via road trip to California or random visit to Seattle next year on Sara's part.
We hope that our adventures were enjoyable to read about and that we could inspire you and your best friend to take some adventures of your own! We also hope that everyone's finals went well (or your 2nd month of summer if you go to a semester school). We'll try and update on our own with more baking and fun!