The Hurricane That Wasn’t . . . At Least in NYC

In preparation for what was supposed to be a natural disaster of epic proportions in New York, I froze many many ice cubes, poured many pitchers of water, bought a couple snack-y foods, and baked. With the limited amount of ingredients I had, I managed to make dough balls from Peas and Thank You and blueberry muffins from All Recipes. I figured these treats would last me the duration of the storm, and they certainly did.

The dough balls turned out more like cookies, and probably for a couple of reasons now that I’m looking back at it. While the recipe and  the blog are vegan, I used butter because I didn’t have any Earth Balance. That might have had an effect on the dough and the finished product. I also may or may not have over-baked them–not even close to the point of burning, but just enough that they didn’t retain their doughy consistency. However, I’m blaming this part on the new stove that I’m still getting used to. Gotta love changing dorm rooms and kitchens as often as I do.

Overall the dough balls were still a hit and I would love to try them again, this time with Earth Balance and a hawk-like eye on oven. If I take them out too soon, so be it. I didn’t mind eating the dough straight out of the bowl, so I doubt I’d mind an undercooked dough ball.

My blueberry muffins came together quickly and baked with no issue. Yay! They also came out of the pan without even one sticking. Amazing! I’ve been waiting forever for that to happen with anything coming out of a muffin man. There always seems to be one muffin/cupcake that doesn’t want to leave the safety of its little baking cup.

I know, I know. Why don’t I just use liners? I love the texture of the muffin/cake that it baked against the pan. The combination of the two textures is wonderful. Besides, why spend money on something that is taking away from how much you can eat? I only use them when absolutely necessary, and that’s usually only when I’m not making something for myself. Not everyone is as in love with muffin/cupcake outsides as I am. Just ask my brownie-loving friend who willingly gives me the brownie “crusts” from when she makes them because that’s the one part she doesn’t  like. The same principle applies here.

Anyway, I love these muffins. They definitely got me through those few days without real groceries. I’ll probably be making them for breakfasts during the week once classes start, but I might sub in some whole wheat flour to make them more filling. We’ll see how that goes.

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So Much Has Happened

This past month (heck, these past two weeks) has been one giant roller coaster of emotion. And that’s just in relation to Celtic Thunder.

Back in May I wished all the happiness in the world to Ryan Kelly when he left the group, and earlier this month some crazy/insane/unbelievable/horrible things were done to him by another party that worried Thunderheads around the country/world. While curious me wants to know the details about what happened, I’m just glad Ryan is safe and happy and returning to what he loves–performing. I’m also pretty sure if Thunderheads found out about all that transpired there would be an angry mob wielding pitchforks and torches storming the culprit’s home à la Beauty and the Beast. That’s how much we care about protecting these lads. As it is, the only thing we can do is continue to support Ryan and show him how much we missed him during his absence. There will definitely be a lot more cheering for our beloved “Dark Destroyer” at the shows I’m going to next month (NEXT MONTH!!).

(Photo from here.)

While we got one lad back, another one is off to pursue bigger and better things in L.A. Wee Damian went and won himself  a 7-episode arc on GLEE! Over the summer I watched him compete for this prize on The Glee Project, and I can’t even express how proud of him I am (as are so many others). But then there’s that other part of me that can’t believe I won’t hear him sing “Buachaill ón Éirne” live this fall. I’ve watched him grow up these past few years and it’s hard to believe he’s the next to leave. If anything, I thought it would be Keith next, not Damo.

(Photo from Damian’s Official Facebook page.)

There have been so many changes in the CT lineup since the beginning of the last tour, and I’m coming to terms with the fact that the group I fell in love with in March 2008 won’t exist in the same way for much longer. I’m sure I will continue to love everyone that is a part of it, but I think this will be my last year of going to multiple shows. I’ll definitely go to an NYC show, but I don’t think I will travel to Boston or New Jersey again.  Change is a part of life, but you can’t fault me for not loving and supporting the changes in the same way as the original.

(Photo from here.)