my birthday is tomorrow!!

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I turn 29 tomorrow. How exciting. I feel like a real adult.

I just tried to write a blog entry about my day yesterday – a trip to the grocery store, a new dinner making experience, and an awesome new gift from my honey! – but my computer effed everything up and I’m about to lose my cool.

So in the interest of maintaining my sanity, and so that I can go for a walk and get some baking done, instead of staring at this computer screen all afternoon, I’m going to post photos of yesterday and be done with it.

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I used this How To Cook Spaghetti Squash guide, and this brown sugar-glazed carrots recipe. Both dishes turned out pretty good – although I’m not sure I baked the squash for long enough. Still, a yummy, filling supper.

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Kev got home from his overnight business trip to Miami carrying this huge box!! I let myself pretend it was a puppy for a few minutes. Then I unwrapped the very next best thing: a new, fancy standing mixeraaaAAAAAAHHHH! YES. This is going to change my life.

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It’s a really nice one too. He did his research.

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I stayed up late making two red velvet cakes, which were much more enjoyable to make with my new mixer. And Kevin crashed into bed, exhausted from his whirlwind trip, and hoping to get some sleep in preparation for the TWENTY-FOUR HOURS OF IMPROV he’s about to do.

That’s right. He and his improv team, Tomahawk, are hosting a 24-hour improv festival that begins tonight and ends tomorrow at 8pm. I’m hoping to catch a show late tonight, and then maybe something tomorrow afternoon after they’ve all been awake for almost 36 hours and are probably going to be sub-humans. How could I miss out on that? As I said in an email to my good friend Keith, who is a member of Tomahawk, coming to see them in the last leg of this insanity will be Schadenfreude at its finest.

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I came to bed late last night, around 3am, which has become my usual bedtime recently. Who knows. Maybe it’s a phase, maybe I’m my grandmother’s granddaughter. But that’s where my body clock is resting right now. And who am I to argue.

When I tried to climb into bed, though, I discovered there was no room!

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The rest of the family had taken over.

Now if we could just add a dog to this bed.

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daily dessert

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Okay so maybe these look a bit odd close up, but they’re amazing. I promise.

I had a long day outside the apartment today – missed a yoga class because of a slow midday train, grocery shopped and had lunch in the city instead, babysat for an awesome 4-year-old kid for a couple hours, went to Harvard Sailing Team practice, and then to Biggest Loser Club to watch the show with my friendies – certainly nothing to complain about, and another good day, but a long one.

I’m finally home now and it’s late, but before I go to bed, I wanted to tell you about a super easy, yummy sweet treat I made earlier this week: No Bake Cookies.

When I was a kid, my mom used to make these, and I absolutely love them. I still remember the blue and white ceramic plate she’d sit them on in the fridge. They’re a family favorite. And they’re incredibly easy to make.

There are many varieties of No Bake Cookies out there, so if you like the one you know, stick with that. But if you want to try something new (or if you love peanut butter like I do), give these a whirl. You won’t be disappointed.

Best of all! It’s another Grandma Rose recipe!

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Grandma Rose’s No Bake Cookies

1 stick regular oleo (or butter)
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/2 cup milk
1 cup chunky peanut butter (creamy is fine too)
3 cups quick oats
1 tsp vanilla

Bring the oleo/butter, sugar, cocoa and milk to a boil over MEDIUM heat. Continue boiling for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add peanut butter, oatmeal and vanilla. Stir quickly. Drop by spoonful onto wax paper.

If they don’t harden immediately, you can put them in the refrigerator to firm up.

I’d like to note that in addition to the butter substitution, I also used vanilla soy milk instead of regular milk, because that’s all we had. And I used regular oats instead of quick oats, also because that’s what we had. The quick oats are probably better for this recipe – the regular oats were still pretty “raw” once they were mixed into the rest of the ingredients, but I didn’t really mind. They changed the consistency, but not the flavor. So I say, use quick oats if you can, but if not, you’ll survive.

My favorite part of my grandmother’s recipe is that she’s written, “Eat yourself,” which you can see if you look closely at the bottom of the notecard, meaning I should eat them all myself. Haha. I genetically inherited my love for peanut butter from this woman.

Oh and I ate about ninety spoonfuls of this batter before I even let them harden into cookies. It’s that good. PEANUT BUTTER, PEOPLE!