Friday, December 28

Pinterest's Significance


This morning, I came across a post from a sweet lady I know only in the virtual sense. We are worlds apart, even though she lives just 45 minutes from me. She is a sweet, kind, Kindergarten teacher with a toddler and husband. She writes today about not letting Pinterest be a compass of sorts. Not letting Pinterest define you as a mother. Not letting Pinterest define you as a failure because you can’t cook like Paula Deen and someone somewhere pinned it to some food board. Though the post is aimed at mothers, it is so true for us twentysomething girls too, to an extent.

Here are a few of my issues with Pinterest:
 It’s no new phenomenon. My Momma has been doing it for decades. In fact, she’s an active pinner, but still refers to magazine rip outs from 2001.
It causes anxiety. Everyone’s got to have a wedding board…yet, most of us aren’t engaged. Everyone’s got to have a baking board…yet, when was the last time you made 4 dozen from scratch 7 layer bars for yourself? Everyone’s got to have a fitness inspiration board…yet, when was the last time you actually did one of those workouts? Maybe anxiety isn’t the right word, but it leaves me feeling like I lack something. I lack the ring. I lack the cute kid. I lack the fabulous fashion. I lack the metabolism to make chocolate wasted cupcakes and eat them without feeling like I have to bitch about it because it’s a few hundred calories my ass just doesn’t need. But I still pin. I still hold out the hope that next week I’ll get around to that healthy smoothie.

 I don’t have the cash to decorate my ~1100 sq. ft. apartment like Nate Berkus and frankly, I don’t want to. But yet, I used to pin all sorts of “dream home” stuff. Yes, I would love to have pink shutters on stacked stone. But in reality, I doubt I ever will. I know that sounds negative, but it’s time us twentysomethings embrace what we have. Lusting after things is always important. Hell, I’m saving up for a trip of a lifetime. But, I am also aware that my furniture doesn’t match; some of it is rescued from Goodwill that I’ve either painted/refinished/modgepodged for around $35. Surviving this part of life means when you can have the next Nate Berkus decorate your house, you enjoy every minute of it.
 I like to bake. I like to cook. I’m very crafty. I’m what you would call a creative person. I’ve been doing stuff like that my whole life. But even I can’t decorate a cake like the one’s some of these stay at home moms, or girls still in undergrad, have pinned (and possibly created.) Because you know what? I’m 24. I have a full time job. I throw parties where the main component is alcohol. Mind you they are damn good parties, but it’s like college with a better (or worse depending on who you are) bank account. I’m fine with that. Because at these parties, I make glittered cupcakes and from scratch macaroni and cheese that gets eaten at 4am. But for lunch today I’m probably going to have a frozen dinner and that’s okay too.

Part of this is a pep talk to myself: I am constantly in a state of moodiness. Some days nothing but contentment washes over me. Some days all I want to do is brood and/or cry about what I lack. Part of that is because of social media: the twentysomethings best friend and biggest adversary. XYZ friend from high school just got engaged in Bora Bora and posted 3546 pictures on Facebook, OF COURSE you HAVE to spend an hour looking at every single one. Which is about as productive as looking at the wall.

This is my life. Not someone else’s. Nothing is wrong with the girls that have 12456 pins about crap they will never use. But it’s time I start getting real with myself. I’ve, for the most part, stopped pinning. I’m going to slowly make my way through every pin I have. If it’s nothing but a link to a pretty picture of cookies? Delete. Recipes I try that fail? Delete. Recipes I try that I love? Stay.

I’ll pin to “Hair/Makeup/Nails” but I’m about as inept at doing my hair as I am with trigonometry. It’s high time I recognize I’ll never be a whiz with certain things. I’ll never be anyone besides me: a whiz at baking, bartending and crafting. The rest? It’ll sort itself out. Our mothers became excellent people without Pinterest and other social media sites. I bet we will too.

Thursday, December 20

Homemade Bread: Another Pinterest Fail

So Pinterest failed me again. Though, unlike last time, this was a complete and total failure at all angles. This bread was completely inedible. Honestly, I have no idea why. It never rose properly at any of the steps, so that might be was probably the problem. But again, I followed the steps exactly. I’m literally at a loss.

When it first came out of the oven the crust was good but some of the inside was mushy. It stated like baked salted sugar. It was really weird.

Then it caved in on itself.

I was really excited to have some fresh homemade bread. I guess I might be adding “bread machine” to my birthday list if I want that dream to come true.

Am I the only one that Pinterest keeps failing? I thought I was doing so well actually making the things I was pinning! Apparently not! 

Thursday, December 6

Pinterest Fail

People never really talk about disasters. I mean when was the last time you saw a blog that was like, “I dyed my hair black at home and I was little inebriated and now it’s KINDA streaky…” (guilty.) No, instead you see, “I dyed my hair at home and it looks so perfect, better than the salon version!” or “my family absolutely loved this quinoa and asparagus tofu health bar thing!” Not, “this bar tasted like cardboard with shit smears.” (guilty again.) Well, this morning I got up at 6am to make “Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes” for the HB 12 Days of Eating Party. Mexican was the Editorial department’s theme as it required minimal effort. I mean how hard is it to buy chips and salsa Bossman? Not very and he came through with three bags.

It’s well known that I am the baker of the bunch. So when I found these on Pinterest, I knew it would be a perfect dessert to our rotel cheese dip, salsa and chili lunch spread. Apparently I was right: only two went uneaten. However, I had one and thought it tasted like absolute dog doo. I LOVE dark chocolate so, I thought adding a little heat might be a fun addition. I was wrong. I think next time I need to up the ante on the cinnamon or cut down on the chili powder. Or I might just say screw it and not make them again.
I'm steps away from my $3,000 work camera and instead use the iPhone. Whoops.

I pretty much followed this recipe exactly, though because of a time crunch I used canned frosting and slapped those puppies down with a butter knife instead of using a piping bag. In way of decorations I dusted them with the remainder of my cinnamon and hit the road. I feel like my Momma would not be proud of me, but I’m on the beginning leg of a cold and frankly I was late.

(She claims they make 18-20. I got about 14 sizable cupcakes.)
Bake at 325 for a little under/about 20 minutes

1 stick of butter, softened slightly
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp chili powder

1. Cream together butter and both sugars. Once well mixed add egg and vanilla.
2. In a separate bowl, mix together cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, salt, cayenne, cinnamon, and chili powder. Alternate adding dry ingredients and buttermilk to wet ingredients until just combined.  I did about half and half each time.
3. Scoop into your lined cupcake pan and bake for 18-20 minutes. Mine were in for about 19 minutes. The toothpick, when inserted in the middle, should come out clean with a few moist crumbs—that gives it a “chocolate bomb” flavored center a coworker described

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