A Coincidence? Three Times? I Think Not.

How far in advance do the songs for each episode of Glee get chosen? Certainly not a year and a half in advance. With that assumption, I believe we have ourselves a Celtic Thunder fan in a high and powerful position (at least in the tv world). It has to be. This is the third time a song that Celtic Thunder has covered has been later sung on Glee (with PLENTY of time having passed since CT released their versions). First “Hello Again” in the season one back nine premiere (George in CT, Schue in Glee), then “Baby It’s Cold Outside” on the Christmas CD (Ryan/Charley Bird, Kurt/Blaine), and now “Sway” will be in the eighth episode this season (Paul, Schue again). These aren’t exactly the most mainstream of all songs that have been done on Glee or that CT has performed, so there’s no doubt about it. Murphy’s TOTALLY a Thunderhead! However, he’s truly testing my loyalties with these songs, because while I absolutely LOVE CT’s versions of them and the lads who sing them, Murphy’s totally playing dirty with his choice of performers and placement within the show (at least for “Home Again”‘s context, which is all I’ve seen so far). All I know is there’s no possible way Schue can top my swanky tenor’s live “Sway” performances. No. Way. So he shouldn’t even try. It’s not gonna happen.

It Had to Happen Eventually

It was only a matter of time. I failed. That’s the only way to put it. I tried making apple turnovers, and I failed. Miserably. I should have known something bad would happen when the filling was running all over the puff pastry and also when the pastry wouldn’t stick together without LOTS of squeezing and manipulating from turnovers to purses. All I can say is thank goodness I didn’t leave the kitchen after I put them in to bake, or the aftermath would have been much worse than a few filling dribbles in the oven. I was so looking forward to breakfast pastries for the next couple of days, but it looks like that’s not going to be happening and I’ll have to find something else for breakfast tomorrow and Monday. I don’t even know if I want to photograph that poor baking sheet and the sad things upon it.

OH. I just had an idea. Maybe I can still salvage this by transferring everything to one of my glass dishes and baking it that way. Instead it’ll be a sticky, caramelly, appley, desserty thing, rather than a nice clean morning apple turnover. I’m going to see what can be made of the situation.

So, it looks like I’m going to need to clean the oven a bit, because I smell burning sugar. Wonderful.

AH SUCCESS! I can’t believe I salvaged that huge mess. It smells so yummy and I can’t wait to dig in.

Yay!

Edit: Oh, wow, I’m REALLY glad I didn’t toss these after the first attempt mishap. SO GOOD! I don’t want to stop eating them now that I’ve already had one. They’re the new Lay’s potato chip in my life.

I’ve Been Waiting So Long For This Morning

I’ve been dying to make cinnamon rolls ever since August, but my sad kitchen situation has prevented me from doing so. My lack of counter space makes it hard to roll out dough, and I’m not about to roll it out on my disgusting, porous wooden tables. I wouldn’t do that in my own home, let alone in a college dorm. . . . Who knows what has been put on those tables before, and I certainly don’t want to know. My only option for dough-rolling was to clear off the small counter and scrub it like I’ve never scrubbed before. I was suitably satisfied with my scrubbing abilities afterward, so I felt fine doing it there. All I can say is why did it take me until today to clean the counter? I LOVE my cinnamon roll recipe, and if it wasn’t so unhealthy, I would love to make it more often. As it is, I haven’t made them since July, and I probably won’t make them again until Thanksgiving or Christmas when I’m home with my family. At least then I won’t be required to eat them all by myself. Because that’s such a hard job ;).

They turned out so wonderfully. I took some reviewers’ advice and turned them out into another pan so that all the filling could seep from the bottom of the pan and back into the rolls. Usually it all collects in the bottom and some goes to waste, but this way it can all be consumed, which makes for a very happy me. I also made a cream cheese glaze/frosting to top them off, and I must say it is delicious. Slightly tangy from the cream cheese, but not too tangy, and just runny enough that it can soak into the rolls and go down the sides. My last attempt at it was really frosting-y and thick, but I think this time resulted in the perfect glaze.

Yummy perfection in gooey roll form.

In addition to cinnamon rolls this morning, the quiet and solitude in my suite last night resulted in a delicious home made chocolate pudding. I tried making pudding from scratch before, but it just didn’t turn out as well as I anticipated. Since no one was home, I was able to take my time and slowly bring the pudding mixture to a boil to thicken it. Most recipes generally call for corn starch to be used as a thickener, but I had to substitute in flour, and I was pleased with the results. I also added some chocolate chips in order to give it a deeper chocolate taste, since I don’t like to rely on cocoa powder as the sole chocolate source. I’m definitely going to make this recipe again, keeping my alterations of course. I just wish I had some cool whip or something to make it into a mousse. It’s a very rich pudding, which is surprising, since I made it with skim milk. Goodness knows how it would have turned out with whole milk. It would most certainly be a glorious chocolate death.

“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Au-tumn”

Okay, so Fall started a while ago, but I’m just now getting around to making my famous apple pie. It seems like during the past couple of years I’ve been slacking in the apple-y creations department, and I guess a part of that is that I haven’t gone apple picking and come home with apples go leor (“a lot”). I guess that’s one downside to college life in NYC. I remember only making one pie at Thanksgiving and then another at Christmas last year, and nothing else apple related. I want that to change this year, though. I’m thinking about making an apple crisp sometime soon, as well. Maybe apple turnovers and something else, too. I just need to get my hand on more apples, so it looks like a trip to Trader Joe’s will be in order; if only those little buggers weren’t so heavy once you have more than a couple of them. But I suppose the end results will be yummy enough and worth the hassle of lugging them down here from Union Square.

I’m getting super impatient in waiting for my pie to be ready to take out of the oven. . . . Come on apple pie, bake up faster, le do thoil (“please”), I want to eat youuuuu.

FINALLY. May I present, total deliciousness in a 9-inch pan.

And now on a CT-related note: HAPPY 32ND BIRTHDAY TO MY DARK DESTROYER!! A Ryan, Breithlá Shona Duit!

Involuntary Thoreau Break

Uh, yeah . . . okay. . . . I really think certain features of my dorm suite need to be altered, for instance, thicker walls would be nice, or even having the gaps between certain “walls” and the ceiling being filled in. Please, I’m begging you! I’ll pay for it to happen, just make it happen! I DON’T need to be hearing these conversations in the middle of my Thoreau reading; it’s hard enough to concentrate in complete silence, so the addition of these “conversations” is just not working for me. I really wish I could find earplugs that actually worked.

Okay, well, on to happier news. I made a really yummy macaroni and cheese tonight. Well, actually, it was rotini and cheese because I don’t have any macaroni at the moment. I like using rotini just fine though, so I might not even bother getting macaroni in the future. I don’t have the slightest clue how much cheese I put in this thing . . . but it was a lot. There was shredded cheddar cheese, shredded mozzarella cheese, small curd cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, plus some sour cream and a small amount of butter/flour roux with milk. I basically tried to use up all my cheeses from my last mac and cheese attempt, and I mostly did. I also had ground beef defrosted in the fridge that I needed to use, so I browned that up and tossed it in to add something else to the mix. A dash of salt and pepper completed the gooey mix, and a sprinkle of Parmesan completed the pan.

I baked it in the oven at 375 for a little over half an hour, and when I went out to check on it, it was sizzling . . . perhaps I should have drained the ground beef better, since the leftover grease was reacting with the insane amounts of gooey cheese. I took it out and let it rest on top of the stove, where it continued to sizzle. . . .

Since this wasn’t my actual dinner for the night, I only sampled a couple bites, but from what I tasted I’m a fan of this “throw random amounts in a bowl all willy nilly” approach. I don’t think it would always work, but in this instance it was a big success. There is a greater cheese to rotini ratio than my previous attempt, which is very important to me as a mac and cheese fan. I just hope I can replicate this result when I next try my hand at it.

In other baking news, my spooky ghosty cake was a hit at Folk Group on Monday night. We managed to eat most of it, which was good, since I hadn’t even cut into it yet (even though I made it Friday night) and I didn’t want it to just sit and become stale. All that remains of the little ghosty is a small bit of his little ghosty head, which was supposed to be eaten by my roommate and her boyfriend, but for some reason wasn’t.

In crafting news, I NEED to finish knitting up a scarf I started this summer. It’s starting to get really cold here, and this scarf is promising to be super warm and comfy once it’s finished. I just need to dig up that pattern to remember how to do it.