Quick & Easy Dinner Rolls

(Linking up with my Blogelina group today to talk about fall foods!)

I don’t bake yeast breads. I know how to, I just never do. But now that I have an apartment and I’m no longer in the presence of Sheila the Domestic Goddess, I’ve decided to bit the bullet and bake, because if I can get a loaf of bread done on the weekend it saves a load of time and money during the week.

In New York, land of $8 salads, time and money are everything.

IMG_0137 To be honest, these aren’t the best rolls I’ve ever tasted. But they were easy, not very time-consuming, and the smell of fresh bread makes your apartment a thousand times classier.

I got the recipe from Cooks.com–click through for the full version. It takes a package of yeast, a cup of water, a package of Sweet N Low (which is terrible for you so I used sugar), an egg, 2T vegetable oil, 1/2t salt, and flour.

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Of Hostels and Strangers

Today I got retweeted and favorited by the New York Times Travel section. Eeek!

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That whole hostel business actually happened, and it looked a little like a bloodbath after he finished dying his hair. I was in Wales, traveling solo and broke and sharing a 12-bed room with various strangers.

The hostel dynamic is interesting. You get to know a lot of different people. This particular man was from Australia by way of Asia, I think the Philippines.

Wales is my favorite

Wales is my favorite

He collected rocks and gems.

His job had to do with the gem mining industry.

He was in Wales on a 30-year-old identity crisis sort of round the world trip.

He liked science more than he liked art.

I know this because I am not good enough at saying no, so when he uncomfortably and unavoidably invited himself on my museum excursion I just went along with it. I soon learned that I really dislike going through museums with other people…especially slightly odd strangers who don’t talk much or answer questions very well and you don’t want to answer too many personal questions yourself, because WHAT IF THIS TURNS OUT LIKE THE MOVIE “HOSTEL,” which they unwisely showed on the flight to Europe?!?

Thus spake my inner monologue, and we spent three excruciatingly long hours walking through the entire national museum, from children’s science all the way to “the largest collection of Impressionist paintings outside of France,” whereupon I absolutely had to leave and do homework.

The one and only photo I took

The one photo I took inside the museum

The only other thing I know is that his dye job didn’t come out as red as he would’ve liked.

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The Varsity VoxBox

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There’s this neat company I recently discovered called Influenster.

The ten-second version is that it’s a social network where your influence allows you to earn boxes, which are full of cool little products to try and review. The more products you review, the more samples you get.

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This is the second box I’ve gotten. It’s the Varsity VoxBox, and it was aimed at college students. Look at that little sneak peek!

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The first thing I pulled out was a sample packet of Tide Pods. I always do laundry on Friday night with one of my friends. No one else in our building does laundry on Friday nights because they know it’s our night (well, also probably because they have better things to do…). I usually use this super cheap homemade detergent that Sheila the Domestic Goddess makes for me, which is really cool and eco-friendly and whatnot but has also subjected me to a little bit of ridicule. Let’s just say that living an alternative lifestyle in Pennsylvania apparently makes comparisons to the Amish very easy. I haven’t gotten a chance to try this yet, but thanks Influenster for making me look less weird!

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Then there were these Kiss Nail Dress stickers. You put ’em on your nails and they looks like polish. I got a pattern that I would never ordinarily wear, but I was avoiding some homework so I tried them.

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Pretty cute, right?

I got a ton of compliments and they were really easy to use. I probably won’t buy them again because I’m pretty broke at the moment, but if this is your thing and you want some convenience, go for it.

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There was a full-size NYC lip gloss!

I absolutely hate paying money for makeup, so this is great. It’s really nice and not sticky at all, which is usually my pet peeve with lip gloss.

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Last, there was a bag of Airheads Xtreme bites. They were good, but not as sour as I expected them to be.

Overall, this was a great VoxBox. And I would definitely recommend Influenster if you’re in the market for reviewing products in exchange for them! It’s easy and fun. I used to use BzzAgent, but I like this program much better.

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Photograph Sunday

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A squirrel in Battery Park

New Yorkers spotting a squirrel in Battery Park

New Yorkers spotting a squirrel in Battery Park

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All the news…

…in fits of blogging inspiration.

My ultimate summer roundup is COMING SOON. The short version is, I worked a kajillion hours at the taco palace (but remember how I had that goal of how much money I needed to earn? I surpassed it by just $30!), I spent as much time as possible with the Boyfriend, he left for engineering school, I had a week of family/packing/no tacos, and then it was time to go. I moved in early for a career program I was accepted into and campus is very deserted.

I moved into this lovely apartment, which unlike most campus housing is a place I would actually pay money for:

There are seven of us; the next few move in tomorrow.

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I have not yet kicked my cappuccino habit. In fact, I seem to just become more addicted.

It is the feast of St. Augustine, and I wanted to share a photo of our library, which has my favorite Augustine quote: “Tolle, lege” (“take up and read.”) This quote is a close second to his other great prayer, “Lord, grant me continence and chastity…but not yet.”

Unfortunately the photo will not rotate so I’ll share it another time.

I’m loving cooking for myself. At home, the Boyfriend and I are kind of gourmands; right now, I’m enjoying that college-apartment-using-one-pot-and-no-silverware style of cuisine that I learned at the Historic Mansion and perfected in Rome. Fortunately, my domestic goddess mother canned me up some home-cooked meals.

Exciting things on my agenda:

  • Unpacking
  • Getting ready for classes
  • Updating my resume and LinkedIn, etc. quite extensively since a. it’s mostly outdated and b. I now work/intern in career services so that might get embarrassing.
  • Taking four journalism classes, theology, and Italian
  • Trying to remember anything in Italian besides “va bene,” which means “it’s good.”
  • Taking on NYC with Allie and Elise
  • Transitioning to a content manager at Positive Energy and making it better than evaaah!
  • Sharing with you all, especially my much-anticipated Lessons From The Drive Through Window, featuring a summer’s worth of experience at the taco palace.
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