October 31, 2014

Warning: Danger Will Robinson, Danger!

by Janie Jones

So here’s your PSA for the day:

When reheating frosted cinnamon rolls, 15 seconds is plenty of time to turn that innocent frosting into death-dealing radioactive molten lava.  Just because you can pick up the roll with your hands does not mean it won’t burn the ever loving snot off the roof of your mouth.

And just so you know, if you were listening to me actually tell you about this incident it would sound like:

“Jussth becauth you can pith up thh thwoll with yoha hanths doth notah meah ith wonth burr thh etha lothing snah ahff thh wooth oth yoha mowth.”

October 31, 2014

The ghost of Janie Jones wishes you a happy Halloween!

by Janie Jones

Spooky Jane with enhancements

October 30, 2014

Thursday Quote Du Jour #16: Stupid is as stupid does

by Janie Jones

Everybody is a genius.  But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.

-Albert Einstein

 

Apparently Mudskippers and Einstein never had a chat….

mudskipper

The Mudskipper, image from Itsnature.org

 

October 29, 2014

Random Weird Fact

by Janie Jones

Did you know that the hardest substance in the human body is the tooth?

October 28, 2014

Tuesday Titters does the holiday joke schtick

by Janie Jones

This was the joke on the Halloween card I sent the spud:

If there are 10 black cats on a fence and one jumps off, how many are left?

None, they were all copycats!

Have a spook-tacular Halloween.

October 27, 2014

Mental Health Monday: Regular programming will be temporarily interrupted by peace and happiness

by Janie Jones

Well, I actually had a very lovely weekend.

Low stress, an easy day at work on Saturday, minimal homework on Sunday (although one particular physics problem did stump me for a good half hour before I gave up on it), and I also actually got out with Leif and the dogs for a lovely fall day at the beach yesterday.

Leif was lonely and bored too, so he came to town and after our walk on the beach we splurged and had gelato and drinks at the Best Italian Restaurant in the World and sat on the balcony overlooking the lake.  A couple of stalwart fall sailors had their boats out and it was very peaceful and enjoyable sitting there like happy, non stressed out people having a relaxing weekend afternoon watching the sailboats cruise across the lake.  Then we came back to my room and I made tacos and we had crock pot cake and tea while we watched the season premier of Grimm.  It felt insanely wonderful.

So, today when when people ask, “did you have a nice weekend,” I can honestly reply, “oh, yes, I did thank you.”

Hope you all had a lovely weekend too.

 

October 25, 2014

Let Jane eat cake!

by Janie Jones

I like dessert.  I crave a little sweet after a savory meal.  And, even though I always like a little bit of dessert with my meals, I am generally truly satisfied with just a little bit.

I used to enjoy baking cakes and pies and other desserts, but as I had no one to share them with, I always seem to have friends who aren’t sweet lovers, usually the goodies would go bad before I could eat them all by myself.  So, for many years I used to enjoy just two store-bought cookies, or one of the bite sized candy bars and be quite content.  And when I felt like baking, somethings I could freeze, but then I got busy with school and didn’t have time for baking anyway.

Now, though, I’m finding it harder and harder to find any store bought goodies or candies which I enjoy and are worth the expense.  Much of the cheap stuff tastes like crap, and even many fancy restaurant desserts aren’t as good as homemade.  Last time I was craving chocolate cake and bought a slice at a restaurant (for $7 no less) I was extremely disappointed.  The cake was dry and flavorless and the frosting so overly sweet and waxy that I couldn’t get through two whole bites.  Last weekend when I visited Leif at the farm I splurged and bought out a frozen cake from the grocery store.  It was okay, but it still didn’t quite hit the spot.

At my room in town I have no real oven to bake in, and my dessert selections have been limited to ice cream and a succession of disappointing cookies, donuts and other store made sweets.  I’ve tried some break-and-bake cookies in my toaster oven, but I’m having trouble getting the timing right, they always seem to go from raw to burned in an instant.  Besides, my taste buds have been wanting brownies or chocolate cake, and not the waxy, sugar over-kill, crappy kind that you spend way too much for at the stores, but real brownies or cake that is moist and rich and not over frosted.

So, I decided to try a crock pot cake.  I still bought a box mix, not having room to store a myriad of baking ingredients in my kitchenette, but I’ve used Pillsbury Devil’s Food cake with pudding in the mix before when in a pinch and found it to be pretty close to my favorite homemade cake recipe.  I looked at a few crock pot cake recipes on the internet, and they all said to cook on low for anywhere from 1 hr 50 min up to 3 hours.

Well, on the down side, I can tell you mixing a cake by hand without a blender was a muscle building exercise.  On the plus side, I probably burned enough calories mixing the cake to off-set the eating of it.  But the problem really was the timing.  I either have a really low power low setting, or my crock was too small for the cake mix.  I lost track of how long it took after the 4th hour of cook time.  I kept going back every 15 or 20 minutes testing and testing.  Finally I took it off the heat because I was afraid the bottom and sides would burn.

In the end the cake didn’t quite cook all the way.  The top quarter inch or so is still pudding-y.  But as the cake is so thick, if you just cut off that upper layer the lower 80-90% is perfect.  And it makes one huge hunk.  I think I’ll end up cutting it into 3 or 4 serving size hunks and freezing them so none goes stale before I can eat it all.

cake 003

So, crock pot cake is delicious, but takes a long time to cook.  And now I know that it might not cook all the way, but that’s okay too.