Back-seat Baking: Adventures in Chocolate

Remember when I said I didn’t bake?  Well, I’ve decided I’ll watch other people do it, and record the process/results.  I’ll call the series Back-seat Baking, and I thank Sarge for the name suggestion.

And so.

Sarge brought home a box of cookie mix and a bag of marshmallows yesterday.

‘Do you mind if I put these together?’

‘Um, no.  Rocky Road!’

I asked if I could take notes on this experiment, and he said to scribble away.

‘OK.  Don’t do anything note-worthy until I go to the bathroom.’  This could be a preface to anything, but that’s another post.

I got back from the bathroom, and he’d heated the oven and was meticulously chopping up a ‘silly amount’ of marshmallows.  Actually 7.  Or 4.

He put the mix in an actual mixing-bowl, adding a teaspoon of cocoa and a ‘liberally measured’ ounce of softened butter.  He mixed in the marshmallows, with a ‘tiny bit’ of water.  And then some more water.  And some more water.  And honey.  And more water.

He mixed and mixed and mixed and flattened four cookie-shaped things on some kitchen-foil.  The kitchen-foil proved to be a bad idea, but they were still tasty.

He shoved them into the oven (190° C/ 374° F) and set our kettle-shaped timer for 7 minutes, after which he turned them over.

I nabbed some actual cookie-dough and he put them in for another 7 minutes.

After checking them and deciding they were ‘squidgy’, they went in for a ‘wee bit longer.’

We then enjoyed them.  With hot chocolate and left-over marshmallows.  And Father Ted.


Photographic Evidence:






They tasted better than they looked.  Perfect with coffee this afternoon!

Let me know if you try them!  Or if you have any recipes I could watch other people try to make!



There Are No Mistakes, Only Discoveries

My second week of Project 365.


The aftermath of the purple polish project.


The consensus on Facebook was Bleedig Slug. It's actually a chocolate croissant.


CJ looking wistful/ready for trouble.



First appeared in yesterday's post.


The story behind this is today's (second) post!


This was a miss-shoot, but I like it. So it wasn't.


Really enjoying this!  Stay tuned for the story behind the mixing bowl!

Life is Good


I’m sitting here in my pajamas and robe writing this in a notebook as Sarge makes us breakfast.  It is 3.30 and life is good.

I’ve been thinking that thought since Thursday.  It’s been going through my head like a mantra.  I’m sitting here on Friday night eating Chinese food and watching The Golden Girls reruns.  And life is good.  We’re trudging through snow tracks on Saturday on the hunt for cake and hot chocolate, and life is good.  We came home last night and finally had those beers and watched Raging Bull, and life is good.

After a lazy morning, we got up and talked to my Dad about plans for Hogmanay.  As I thought about the prospect of spending New Year’s Eve on an island in a cottage, with some of my favourite people,  I actually said, ‘life is good.’  As I listened to Sarge and my Dad talking on the phone, life was great.

OK, I don’t have a job to go to tomorrow, but that just means I haven’t found the right one to go to yet.

I have warm socks on my feet, good books to read, words to write and people to love.

Life is good.

Hot chocolate. Found yesterday.

I hope it’s good for you, too.  Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

You Look Happy, Were You Drunk?

Sarge with his sensitive eyebrows, and me with my eyes closed. I very rarely have my eyes open in photos. It's become one of those inside jokes I'm thankful for!

The American in me wants to have pumpkin pie later on today and cold turkey sandwiches tomorrow.

I am the kind of person who believes thanks aren’t just for Thanksgiving.  But in the spirit of the day, I’m going to share what I am thankful for this year.

My list every year is quite simple.  It doesn’t take much to make me happy, and I’m appreciative of what I have every day of the year.

That being said, these things have made this year extra special to me:

My family:  Thank you for providing me with all the love, support and material you can, any way you can.

My friends:  Thank you for keeping me in cheesecake, laughs, inside jokes and packing boxes.  I owe you a coffee/beer.

Sarge:  Thank you for everything.  Thank you for your love, acceptance, humour and books.  Thank you for putting up with my PMS and letting me sleep diagonally in bed.  Sometimes.  My life before you were in it was a different one that seems a million years ago.  I love you.

The Internet/Facebook:  Thank you for keeping me connected to friends and family and letting me pretend I can be in faraway living rooms sharing laughs and zucchini bread in less than five minutes.

I sent my mother some recent photos of Sarge and me.  First thing she said was, ‘You look happy.  Were you drunk?’  In two of them, yes.  She also said I looked peaceful, and that Sarge has ‘sensitive eyebrows.’

I was reminded of an exchange in one of my favourite films, The Truth About Cats and Dogs:

Abby:  I was mesmerised by his eyebrows, they say so much about a person.

Noelle:  Do they say ‘goat-cheese’ on them?!

Sarge does indeed have sensitive eyebrows, but they definitely don’t say goat-cheese on them.  Trust me on that.

I am peaceful, fundamentally happy.  For that, I am thankful.

Thanks for reading.  And Happy Thanksgiving, wherever you are.

Gaviscon and Goth Nails

Ball as Lucy, Vivian Vance as Ethel on the &qu...
Image via Wikipedia

Stress gives me heartburn.  Gulp-Gaviscon-and-belch heartburn.  I have decided I shouldn’t eat crisps and dip for dinner or look for a job after 8.00pm.

I got another rejection yesterday.  I then asked my PA to polish my nails purple to cheer myself up.  It didn’t work.  Sarge came home for lunch and made me life-sucking -zombie coffee.  That worked.  I still cried, though.  And got unspeakably angry at grammatical errors on national websites.   I flapped around a bit saying, ‘People get PAID to make mistakes.  Who knew?’ Sarge went back to work, giving me a kiss and another coffee.

I also got a surprise but very welcome visit from a Glasgow friend.  We went for cake and milkshakes and gossip and the sun had set outside the window by the time we were done.  Before we went back to my flat we decided to buy the offending crisps and dip and call it dinner.  I may have had some wasabi beans for dessert.  Just maybe.

After snack-as-dinner time, my friend left and my boyfriend arrived home.  We are working on IMDb’s Top 250.  Sunday was Chinese food and City of God.  Sarge suggested we open some beers and watch Raging Bull.  I should have listened.  Instead of a nice relaxing evening of alcohol and film-violence (which I admit I needed), I went into the office and continued the hunt for the elusive job.

Several curses and one Gumtree ad later, I went into the kitchen and let out a Lucy Ricardo-sized wail.  ‘I want a job!’ And I actually asked this, ‘is that too much to ask?!’  I really did have my head in my hands on the kitchen table.  And Sarge was rubbing real tension out of my shoulders.

I lifted my head and looked at my nails.  What that morning looked half-heartedly cheerful looked plain garish in the light of evening.

‘I’m useless,’ I said.  ‘I can’t get a job, and I look like a tart.’

‘Don’t be silly,’ he said.  ‘You look like a Goth.’

I laughed and went to bed with Paul Auster’s Invisible and our rather large bottle of Gaviscon.

I may take a break from the job-hunt today.  If only to keep the tears and heartburn away.   After all, I still have to watch Raging Bull.


A Life In My Week

Last week I started Project 365.

This is what my camera found:


A cider in the pub.













Writing that reads: Just for today, I am going to forget my dreams. Because I have living to do.















Store-bought socks on my feet. Sorry, Mom










Beer and curry. Unplanned matching sets.














Sarge reading. Yes, I'm a lucky girl.













Exhibition sticker (sticker on denim on thigh on chrome)

Very inspiring stuff here













Yesterday's thoughts, today. Or, a glimpse of my messy desk.














The small print:  All photos taken with my iphone, which at the moment has better specs than my actual camera.

I wonder what the next seven days will see?

What Does Love Sound Like To You?

This is what it sounds like to me:

1.       The laughter of people I love, especially when I make it happen.

2.       Popcorn popping.

3.       The noises the coffee machine makes while doing its thing.  I happen to think it sounds exactly like a zombie dying.  Not that I’d know exactly what that sounds like.

4.       My new favourite song.  Or old favourite songs.  But my new favourite song is pretty cool. It’s this one.

5.       Instances of friendly sarcasm, and creative swearing.

6.       Well-played bagpipes.

7.       Purposeful foot-steps.  In heels.  In the rain.

Popcorn by me.

8.       ‘Another home-run for the Mets.’

9.       Crickets.  And the sound of a screen door opening to a friend on a summer night.

10.   ‘Hello’. The best beginning there is.

Inspired by:  Top Ten Things I Love To Hear, List It Tuesday, and Art Every Day Month