October 23, 2012

Gluten-free Pumpkin Bundt Cake

As a student I have a massive procrastinating habit.  I've come to terms with it, and still getting everything in on time, so it doesn't bother me in the slightest.  When I'm in group projects, it's a whole different story- especially when my group members are friends.  So for this assignment everyone else spent 2-3 weeks on, I obviously devoted two solid days to, and got it in a whopping two hours before it was due. I felt bad about everyone else spending hours dutifully hunting down data that I just used without having to yell at the internet so I solved this problem with baking! As one of our members has the very sad condition of Celiac Disease (I would mourn the loss of bread/bagels daily), this baking project is gluten-free.  She also LOVES pumpkin- so this is right up her alley.

That said, I want to be clear that I RARELY bake without gluten and am not in any way an expert on this matter.  According to the World Wide Web, some people can't even have their food cooked with utensils that used flour in a previous life, so check with your food recipients on the seriousness of their condition before you give them a bad case of bowel grumpiness.

October 20, 2012

The first.

Well there's a first for everything, right?

Once upon a time I moved all the way from my home in a little known place in New York state to just outside the big city of Chicago.  I moved in with my very-long-time boyfriend, and soon together we got a dog. His name's Oy and he's some kind of pit mutt and about the most adorable thing in the world.  I started up nursing school, and that's where about 70% of my time and sanity goes.  My version of self care involves knitting, crocheting, sewing, do-it-yourself projects, baking, and whatever else I pick.  In looking for projects I kept coming across these blogs of everyday people making wonderful things and posting them online to give others like me inspiration.  And that's when I started thinking why not me?  I love to make up/ modify patterns, and people seem to like my ideas (or they are very kind liars), so why not start one of my own?!

So that's where Charm Hour came from.  What is charm hour, you ask?  Charm Hour has been around in my household longer than I've been alive, and it wasn't until my senior year of college that I realized not everyone did this.  It's that time when everyone is back from work/school, and you gather in the kitchen for a glass of wine (or drink of choice), some food, and good conversation.  It's actually such a staple in my house that we as kids used to be called away from impending homework deadlines and other daunting projects just because it was Charm Hour.  What it took me a long time to realize is that Charm Hour is actually the most important time of day.  It's when everyone comes together and sets everything else aside, has a sip of something lovely to take the edge off, and just sits down to talk.  Talk about your day, the weather, your friends- anything but politics (my mother's guideline).

There is only one rule:  you must be charming.

So welcome to Charm Hour!  Just stop by, or stay for a while, but either way I hope you enjoy.

(For historical accuracy, I must mention that long before our family picked up Charm Hour, it was actually brought to us by our good friend Pinky, who got it from her grandmother if my memory serves me well-  thank you Pinky for your wonderful tradition!)