August 26, 2009

on the home front

Yesterday I went to town on our kitchen. Took everything off the counters, took the microwave and the stove apart, swept, mopped, the whole shebang. I find it strangely comforting to walk into the house and smell the aroma of Pine-Sol. I also got to work on our corner unit. We bought (what we thought) was going to be a temporary solution for our storage problems; it turned out to be one of the sturdiest little pieces we've bought--and it was from Target! It's very simple, which I like because it blends in with everything around it, but it really needed another paint job!

Notice the original orange color peeking through the worn espresso paint here.

I think this was the first piece of furniture I ever painted, hence the huge thick drip marks.

I painted it black to match our coffee and end table that we have in the living room (and the color our wall unit will eventually become). I'll get some pictures of it once it's finished.

I also tried my hand at brownies from scratch. They turned out so freaking amazing! I have to admit I have a nice scorch mark on my tongue because I had to have one right out of the oven (who could wait two hours for them to cool?!). I like my brownies on the gooey side and these turned out perfect.

Ooey-gooey Chocolate Brownies

2/3 cup butter or margarine
5 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, cut into pieces
1 ¾ cups sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla {I did 3 because I love vanilla}
3 large eggs1 cup all-purpose flour (not self-rising flour)
{The recipe says you can add walnuts, but I’m allergic, so I always omit them}

1. Heat oven to 350-degrees F. Grease bottoms and sides of 9-inch pan with shorting. {I used Pam}
2. In 1-quart sauce pan, melt butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly. Cool 5 minutes.
3. In medium bowl, beat sugar, eggs, vanilla, and flour with electric mixer on high for 5 minutes. {I think at about 2 minutes mine was nice and smooth, so I stopped. 5 minutes seemed like overkill} Beat in chocolate mixture on low speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour in pan.
4. Bake 40 to 45 minutes.*

*This is wear the gooey-ness comes from. You can cook the brownies until they’re cooked through in the middle (pierce with a knife to test), or you can stop before hand. Our oven is a bit on the lame side, so at 40 minutes, they were just about perfect. They may be a little jiggley, but they will firm up upon cooling.

The past two mornings I've also kept up with my stretching that I borrowed from Jitterbug. It's no wonder that girl is dropping weight left and right! These little stretches can really kick your behind! I'm only doing one set of each stretches to acclimate myself with them, but my body feels the way it did when I'd work out at the gym lifting heavy weights. The backs of my legs are extremely sore from the toe touches I did (um, wake-up call! I can barely touch the floor!). I need to get my walking in, but I've been wearing a knee brace since we were in San Diego and just walking around the house is kind of tiring (my knee cap was slipping; a very odd and disturbing feeling, not to mention painful).

I have a new project coming up that I'm ridiculously excited about--simple minds have simple pleasures--but I'll save it for another post. I think I've rambled enough for today! ;)

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