Sunday, April 27, 2008

...How to Cook Eggs in the Microwave

When I taught my friends how to do this, a lot of them turned up their noses in disgust. How the hell can you make an egg in the microwave, and how the hell is it going to taste good? Well, this is something my mom taught me how to do in high school. I took the skill to college with me and enlightened many of my friends. I've passed it along to my single guy friends who wouldn't be able to survive without a microwave. Once you've mastered this skill, you will never forget it, and you'll want to tell all your friends!

Keep in mind, microwave times will vary. The one I'm using is pretty average, a few years old, but still powerful. If you have a really new one, take a few seconds off the time suggested. If yours is old, maybe add a few seconds. It takes some getting used to and a little practice to produce a tasty scrambled egg. So here are my instructions, in photo form!

First, your supplies. A microwave safe bowl, milk (I use skim. I have used soy milk but that never really works out. If you only use soy, omit the milk part!), cooking spray, a fork, and your desired amount of eggs. I used 2 eggs here, you can use more or less, just adjust your cook time accordingly. I also sometimes like to use one whole egg, and one egg white.


Spray the bowl with your cooking spray. Add the eggs, and a drop of milk. I eyeball it, but I'd say its about 2 tablespoons? Maybe a bit more.

Take your fork and scramble them up. Or if you're used to using a wisk, you can use that too of course. The point here is to scramble, people! Rinse the fork when you're done.

Now put it in the mic. I usually start with 30-35 seconds.

After the first cook, the eggs will look partially cooked. And in this photo there's an interesting little formation there, yea it looks gross, but this is only the first cook! Take your fork and scramble it up again.

Put it back in the mic for about 40-45 seconds. WATCH IT, now...don't leave..

It will start to puff up. This is where it takes a little "skill" to tell when it has been puffed too much. If you take it out when its not quite done, put it in for a few more seconds, but watch it again, so it doesn't get over cooked.

Ok, now we're looking like we are just about done. The eggs don't look slimy anymore (aka-not done yet!) and they're puffing themselves almost out of the bowl! When you take them out of the mic, they will deflate.

If they are done perfectly, they will be nice and fluffy, just like eggs cooked on the stove. If they are over done, they will get a lovely grey color and you probably won't want to eat them. Eggs that are over done on the stove get brown and smell icky (in my opinion...ew!!), but eggs that are over done in the microwave get a greyish color and feel rubbery. This is why you need practice!

The egg is usually in one "piece." If you are going to eat it plain, then transfer the eggs to a plate and chop/scramble them up. BUT this "piece" of egg is perfect if you are a lover of the egg sandwich. Here I've got an English muffin with some cheddar cheese. You can also add some ham or bacon! Or whatever suits your taste, it's fun to be inventive.

The cooking spray helps the egg to not stick to the bowl, but usually there is some stickage anyway, so I suggest just soaking the bowl a little with some soap in the sink before you wash it or transfer it to the dishwasher.

So there y0u have it! Really guys, once you perfect this, you will really like it. My friend who never cooks (he didn't even know how to make grilled cheese) made this for me one day to cheer me up and they were perfect. If HE can do it, anyone can!

Let me know what you think in the comments section, give me a "TASTY!" or "EW GROSS I WOULD NEVER TRY THAT HOT MESS!" I want to know! And good luck in your breakfast endeavors!

Monday, April 21, 2008

...Observations at the Gym

Ok wow, I really wanted to write another entry sooner than this! Amazingly, I had something to do every night last week after work, that NEVER happens. Then I had a half day at work Friday so I could head down South to Purdue! I haven't been back in like a year, man I was way over due. I love that place so much. I really grew up there. It was only 4 years, but I really just grew. I became who I am today. It wasn't just stuff I learned at school, I learned about life. Ha, maybe that's why tuition is so high!

So all my things I had to do last week kept me from going to the gym, something I do about 3 nights a week now. I joined in the summer of '07, so it is still fairly new to me. I never really went to a gym. In college I went to the gym sometimes, mostly with my sorority sisters when we were feeling fat! But now I do it for my health, and to help my back problems. (I've got a case of the scoliosis.)

Going to the gym on a regular basis has not only made me become healthier, but it acts as entertainment, too, if you can believe that. How many of you are regulars at a gym? You probably start to notice people's quirks and stuff like that if you go regularly. I think working out is a really personal thing. Think about it, you're trying to improve the condition of your body. Your body is a personal thing, right?? Meanwhile you're sweating, breathing heavy, you probably don't smell very nice...maybe it's because I've never been in sports, but it sort of amazes me how open people become when they visit the gym.

Locker Rooms
I do not use the locker rooms. I did in college, and I saw one too many skinny naked girls walking around. Go ahead, walk around with your skinny nakedness and make me jealous. I'm just not comfortable walking around naked from a public shower to a locker. I go to the gym dressed in my work out clothes, and leave in them, too.

The Noise, Oh the Noise
Aside from the clanking weights from the weight machine things...has anyone ever noticed the noise that men make when they are lifting weights? Heavy breathing, groaning, the random "WOO!", the counting out loud...Only in a gym can a guy lay on a bench lifting a dumbell while another guy literally stands over him and says "Come on, baby, do it!" and not have his sexual orientation questioned! (I know some of my readers are gay, now is your time to chime in and let me know what you think about THAT one! hehe) And I gota say, it's a bit creepy to be on an eliptical and have an old sweaty guy next to me breathe heavy and groan every time his pace increases.

Girls Wearing Short Shorts
Almost as bad as restaurant commercials on the TVs in the cardio area are the skinny athletic girls wearing short shorts. There is a small high school near by, and I think some girls on the volley ball team work out at my gym. There are these little tiny bathing suit material shorts they wear. They are barely shorts, more like that "boy cut" underwear for girls. Then they get on the treadmill and run for hours on end and don't break a sweat. Meanwhile I'm on the treadmill, walking at a fast pace and out of breath, watching the food porn commercials on TV planning what I'm going to treat myself with for dinner when I leave!

Old People
During the week days, if I am lucky enough to have the day off, I go around 10am and I'm surrounded by old people. I love it. They have cliques. They gossip more than the younger crowds do. There's a woman who is probably around 70 who goes around and flirts with all the men. Her hair is always perfect and she wears just the right amount of makeup. It's so cute. I want to be like her when I'm 70. Then there's the man with all the oriental looking tattoos on his arms that you can tell he got when he was in the war. That guy can bench press you under the table.

Things That Make You Cringe
Ahem. White gym shorts with no obviously underwear. T-shirts with cut off sleeves, exposing the most gross thing on a man: [sweaty] underarm hair. Women running on treadmills unsupportive sports bras. People who leave the machines and don't clean them. People who wear the same white t-shirt every time they work out, only it's not white anymore because of how much they have sweat in it. Sweaty hair. There's just something about sweaty hair that makes me cringe. (Do we see a trend in the stuff that makes me cringe? I mean come on, they offer free towels!)

Well that about sums it up. It's like people transform themselves into another species when they are at the gym. I wonder what I look like to other people on the treadmill in my soft pants and old fraternity t-shirts, staring at the french fries on the Steak n' Shake commercial. Something I'm doing must be working, because I tried on a pair of knee-high boots this weekend and they wouldn't zip all the way! Maybe I should cut back!

So tell me about your gym experiences! Whether you are a regular or not, I'm sure you've got something to say. Oh, and a few people have asked me-you don't have to be a member or have a Google account to leave a comment. Just click the "Name/URL" option and type your name, you don't need to put a URL. Hopefully I will write again soon, my week isn't as full this time! Happy weightlifting!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

...Why I Started a Blog

I've always been a little behind on the times. I got my first cell phone in my sophomore year of college, which was only about 4 and a half years ago. I ran Windows 95 on an ancient Packard Bell until my Junior year when it saw its last blue screen of death. And up until Christmas '06, I still used a "real" camera...with film! (I was gifted with a Cannon Power Shot SD600!) So its 2008 and everyone and their mother (except me and my mother) have a blog, so here it goes!

A little about myself...I'm a 25 year old graphic designer living in South Bend, Indiana...for the time being. Someday I hope to move to a city and maybe pursue something a little different than designing. That's all up in the air right now, and honestly, it makes my stomach churn thinking about it, so we're going to skip this subject for now! I was born in Brooklyn, NY. The only child. Then my mom, dad, and I moved to Ohio because my dad's job relocated. And when I turned 12, I wasn't the only child anymore! My little brother, Tyler, was born on December 25, 1994. Then a little down the road, summer of '96 I believe, ('97?) my dad's job relocated again, and we moved here. I would so much rather be in NY! But what can ya do. Here's a photo of the little guy, from a couple years ago (he'll hate me for putting this up here! He's 13 now!):Hmm what else... I graduated from Purdue University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Best four years of my life. Not only was it school, it was a new life. I really learned a lot about myself then. Partied way too much. Met some beautiful people who changed my life forever. Like my friend, Ashley, who is getting married in VEGAS in May! I can't wait for that!! Here's a spot on Purdue's campus where I loved to stop and sit:Most of the readers of this blog are made up of friends, of course, but also some pod casters, and probably a few of their listeners. (Listenturds?) Thank you for taking the time to read about my life and whatever I feel the need to talk about. Feel free to leave comments! Tell me if anything looks weird, or if you can't read the text, or if photos don't show up for you. I want this to be legible and reader-friendly! Plus, I'm a designer, so I'm used to people giving me constructive (and a lot of times, not so constructive) criticism.

The length of the blogs will vary. This is probably a little long. I don't want to bore any of you! If you have a suggestion of a topic, just email or leave a comment. I love to cook and take photos of what I cook, maybe I can do some step-by-step cooking blogs! If I missed your blog or pod cast in my list of links on the sidebar, let me know and I will add it! Thanks for reading, and don't forget to subscribe via the RSS feed! (Which is hope is just automatically added to these things...I don't use the computras!!)

-Lauren

Edit: Since some of my readers may not be familiar with how to post a comment... (ahem, mom and grandma) You don't have to register or anything. Just email me and I'll tell you how. Very simple!