Month: February 2015

Dog or No Dog?

This week I temporarily adopted a dog. By that I mean I’m dog-sitting, and by that I mean I get all the benefits of having a dog for one week, and then when the responsibilities start to add up I am relieved of my dog care duties. This is what’s happened so far: Ginger (the dog) alternated between jumping on my bed and scratching at the door to go outside at 3:00am until I finally let her outside. The next day Ginger and I tried to go for a walk. I say tried because we walked to the next door neighbor’s and Ginger turned around. Then there are the times when I’m sitting on the couch working and Ginger drops a toy at my feet, lays her head on my leg, and looks longingly at me until I play with her (which doesn’t take long because puppy eyes are irresistible).

Evidence of a failed walk

Evidence of a failed walk

Then I remember why I enjoy being home with Ginger. For example, she sits by me whenever I sit down on the couch, and I can always be sure to find her ready for a snuggle. She is intent on keeping me safe from visiting friends and geese alike. It never gets old that simply my entrance into the house makes Ginger’s tail wag. I have yet to find any person whose giddiness at seeing me emanates throughout his/her body. And I don’t expect to, for the record!

Though the temporary nature of dog-sitting sounds ideal, I already feel sad about leaving Ginger. My parents declared they will absolutely not gift me a dog for graduation, so this note is for everyone else… If you buy me a dog I will love you and be forever thankful for you! Just saying.


How to Survive the Cold

It is so freaking cold. More accurately, we’ve been spoiled with a mild winter this year, so a slight temperature drop feels severe. Still, I say yesterday was cold.

Valentine’s Day is possibly the worst holiday to bring negative temperatures. Think about it, all those flowers that just can’t make it in the cold. I bet a fair share of well-intentioned men set out to buy flowers for loved ones only to find the gifts frozen and in decline upon arrival at home. It’s the thought that counts? I hope so anyway!

I happen to be with my family this weekend, and we share an understanding of a favored cold weather coping mechanism. When it’s too cold to go out, we might as well stay in and mix drinks. Up this weekend: the Moscow mule. The classic vodka, ginger beer, and lime concoction dates to the 1930s. The drink began humbly when a vodka sales rep and a ginger beer manufacturer met in a bar, where they wallowed in their struggling businesses. Suddenly an idea hit the businessmen, and they decided to create a cocktail. And there you have it, the Moscow mule. Whatever the story, the drink lives on in this Minnesota home.

I wish I could say more, but my only advice to survive in this terrible climate is to find a way to take your mind off it. It always (well usually) does the trick.

The Cheesecake Challenge

Yesterday took me on a new baking adventure: cheesecake. I volunteered to bring dessert for Bible study, and I vowed to try something new. Here enters cheesecake. I needed a treat high school students were sure to eat, so I started brainstorming cheesecake flavors. I ruled out plain early on, considered chocolate, and ended on Reese’s. I am embarrassed to admit, but this is a Pinterest dessert if I’ve ever seen one.

The cheesecake preparation process was simpler than I expected. I’m not sure what I expected exactly, but apparently not that. I followed Taste and Tell’s recipe for the cheesecake and everything worked well. I made the cheesecake the night before and chilled it still in the springform pan with the sides on. Then, about two hours before serving I removed the sides and added chocolate topping from Oh My God Chocolate Desserts. I then put the cheesecake back in the fridge until serving it. I recommend doing this method because everything held together well.

Upon serving, the cheesecake was gone in under five minutes, so I guess it was hit! Many friends also saw the baking process and have requested I make it for them soon. All good signs. It did look pretty delicious. Let’s start with the Oreo crust, move to the chunks of Reese’s in the cheesecake and on top, and end with the dark chocolately topping. So… yum. Now I have cheesecake under my belt, and it’s on to the next challenge.