Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lingonberry Cupcakes

A good friend of mine celebrated her birthday a week ago. In the spirit of celebration and my love of cooking, I decided to make her some cupcakes. I found this recipe for "Hidden Surprise Valentine Cupcakes" at the blog "Greg's Kitchen." Since I know she was a fan of the Elvis cupcake from Dozen Bake Shop, which has a chocolate ganache surprise in the center, I thought she might like these. However, I wanted to add my own twist to the recipe, and I had recently bought some lingonberry preserves from IKEA. So, I decided to substitute the lingonberry preserves in place of the strawberry jam. I'm also not a fan of making my own frosting since the store-bought stuff is usually just as good, so I just bought some cream cheese frosting and whipped it together with some lingonberry preserves to make lingonberry frosting too!

Un-fried French Fries

A couple weeks ago, I made these "Un-fried French Fries" using a recipe from the blog "Confessions of a Bake-aholic."

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Smoothie Adventures

I’ve been on a smoothie kick the last week or two. Here’s a couple of my favorites.

The first is from the blog “Joy the Baker.” It’s a kale, spinach and pear smoothie. You can find the recipe at:
I found that the kale didn’t blend very well when I tried to make it, but I think that was because I didn’t blend it at a high enough speed. Despite that, It tasted quite good. The texture was a bit funny due to my lack of blending skills, but I thought it was an excellent and way to add more leafy greens into my daily routine.

A little guinea pig

I wouldn't be a proper guinea pig owner if I didn't share some pictures of my adorable little critters with you. I took some pictures with the Hipstamatic app on my iPhone because I was trying to be artistic. It's pretty hard to take a bad picture of a guinea pig. They're just so cute!

This is Cuddy (named after Dr. Lisa Cuddy on House)

and this is Ginny (named after Director Jennifer Shepard on NCIS)

Hope you enjoy my guinea pigs as much as I do.

Friday, January 21, 2011

First Assignment in Science Writing

Turned in my first draft of my first article for Science Writing this week. We had to pick an item from our purses or book-bags and write an article explaining how it works. I found a bottle of 5 Hour Energy in my purse, so I decided to write about that. Here’s the first draft:

Energy drinks and dietary supplements have been becoming increasingly popular in the United States since the introduction of 5 Hour Energy by Living Essentials in 2004. Seven years later, 5 Hour Energy still makes up approximately 75% of the energy supplement sales in the U.S. Unlike many other energy drinks such as Red Bull or Monster which contain sugar, 5 Hour Energy is artificially sweetened with sucralose, the main sweetening agent in Splenda. This allows the consumer to get the same energy increase as from energy drinks, but without the added calories; 5 Hour Energy only contains 4 calories in a 2 ounce serving versus Redbull which contains 100 calories in an 8 ounce serving. Since 5 Hour Energy does not contain any sugar, this means that there will not be a spike in your blood glucose levels and you will not experience a sugar crash as your body process this rapid sugar increase.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What is Science Writing?

I started taking a course this semester on Science Writing. It's made me realize how many different types of writing there are out there and how different a scientific article published in a magazine or newspaper is drastically different from a scientific article published in a scientific journal. Perhaps a bit naively, I never realized that there was a whole field of "technical writing" for writing software instructions and the like. I'm hoping this course will help me improve my writing skills since I have a mostly scientific background and don't have much experience writing anything other than lab reports, grant proposals and that sort of academic writing. Maybe I'll even take another writing course next semester if this goes well. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Popping the Cherry

I don't have any experience writing a blog, but I thought I'd give it a try. We'll see how this experiment goes. I don't expect anyone to read my blog but I've been reading a lot of blogs lately and have the itch to start one of my own. I plan to talk about my work (and struggles at work), my current training for the Pittsburgh Marathon in 2011 (my charity is the American Cancer Society) and I'm trying to start cooking at home so I'll try to share my attempts at cooking here as well. I enjoy writing and am trying to start writing more often hopefully this blog will help me write more. Guess this is a pretty lame first blog post, but cut me some slack. I haven't posted anything like this since my attempt at a live journal in college which was mostly just quiz results reposted from friends posts. Well, welcome to my blog :)