Saturday, December 15, 2012

Nocturnem Draft Haus

We went to a bar called Nocturnem in downtown Bangor for Christopher’s birthday. The bar was small but had two rooms- one was the actual bar and one contained seating to watch local bands. I liked the mixed crowd. There were a few older people, a few younger people, a few locals, and a few visitors.

The food was also pretty good. Christopher and I both had hamburgers. They had a slightly larger collection of drinks than other places in this area, but still a lot less than California.

Overall I would say if you are looking for somewhere to grab a drink on a Friday night (or Wednesday in our case), Nocturnem is a good place to go.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Life Lately

Life is flying by at the speed of light, so I thought I would take time during the early morning hours and provide everyone with a few updates.

School: School is CRAZY right now. In fact I should be working on a research paper at the moment. I have a research paper and a presentation this coming Thursday and a preliminary presentation for a research paper due the following Wednesday. Essentially I have thirty pages to write, four books to read, and two presentations in one week. I am looking forward to winter break where I will only have to conduct my own personal research.

Christopher has now heard back from all but two of the med schools he applied to! The next step is to submit all the secondary applications and then wait to be interviewed. He applied all over the country, which means a lot of plane rides and day tripping. This is quite exciting though- he made the first cut!

Work: Oh work. There might be a few changes coming soon. I will update everyone when that is official

Birthdays: Today is my little sister’s eighteenth birthday. Happy birthday Kit Kat! Wednesday was Christopher’s 24th birthday. I made him a special French toast breakfast in the morning and we had a mini party. After class and school we went to a bar/restaurant in downtown Bangor call Nocturnem. It was a very low key day.

Food, projects, traveling and more: I have one more project that is still leftover from Thanksgiving break to show you. There is also a little cookie recipe that I would love to share (especially since Christopher practically inhaled all of them). I will also probably give a review of Nocturnem as well as show you our few Christmas decorations.

As you can see the last few weeks have been busy, busy, busy. Christopher and I will be coming home December 24th and will stay until New Year’s Eve! Definitely text, call or message me if you would like to get coffee or dinner. I would love to see everyone over break!

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Verve

Christopher and I ate at The Verve on Friday, a restaurant about five minutes away from my school. The place serves burritos, coffee and smoothies and has a decent bit of seating for college students to study and hang-out.

While I appreciated the vibe of the restaurant the food itself was rather mediocre. The burritos were wrapped in wheat wraps instead of real tortillas- I guess a way of trying to make what could potentially be very unhealthy food, healthy. The burrito fillings were a rather odd texture and kind of flavorless. Not the least bit spicy! Fans of Jamba Juice or Juice It Up! will also be disappointed to hear that their smoothies were not my favorite.  The smoothies were almost chalky and very thin. You could not really taste any of the ingredients. Too boot, the place was pricey! Two burritos and two smoothies should not cost twenty-six bucks. I have to say as a Californian looking forward to a decent burrito and smoothie, I was disappointed. As a grad student on a small budget, I was disappointed. If you are near the University of Maine and are hungry, you should probably choose elsewhere.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Who Likes Doughnuts?

As a special Thanksgiving morning treat, Christopher and I made apple cider doughnuts. I think these are the perfect addition to any breakfast this holiday season. The original recipe came from Hannaford’s Magazine (a free magazine given out at the grocery store we shop at).

Active Time: 45 minutes (not including letting the dough sit)
Yields: 44 small doughnuts or over half a dozen large ones

·         2 eggs
·         ½ cup light brown sugar
·         ¾ cup of sugar (for bother dough and cinnamon sugar)
·         4 to 5 cups of vegetable oil or as needed (for frying)
·         ½ cup of apple cider or apple juice
·         ¼ cup of unsweetened apple sauce
·         ¼ cup of apple butter (if you do not know what this is, it is found in the jam section)
·         1 cup of white whole wheat flour
·         2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour, plus extra for later working the dough
·         1 ½  tsp. of baking powder
·         1 tsp. of baking soda
·         ½ tsp. of salt
·         ¼ tsp. of ground nutmeg
·         2 tsp. of ground cinnamon (for both dough and cinnamon sugar)

  1.  In a large bowl beat eggs, brown sugar and ¼ cup of sugar until light (about 30 seconds to a minute). Blend in 3 Tbsp. of the oil, juice or cider, apple sauce and apple butter
  2. In a separate bowl stir together both flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and 1 tsp cinnamon. Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet ones. 
  3.   On  a work surface, lay out a long sheet of plastic wrap, scoop half the dough into the plastic and pat into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Freeze overnight. (Please do wrap it up! I forgot to do this step and was paying for it later. It really helps to keep the shape
  4. When ready to cook, pour remaining oil into a frying pan or stock pot, about 1 inch. Heat oil on high until it reaches 335 to 340 degrees (do check the heat!)
  5. In a small bowl combine remaining ½ cup of sugar and 1 tsp. of cinnamon and mix well (change proportions depending on whether you want them more sugary or cinnamon-y)
  6. While oil heats, roll out chilled dough on a floured work surface into a rectangle, about 3 to 4 inches wide and just under ½ inch thick. Cut rectangle widthwise into ½-long strips. Lightly roll each into a snake (rattle, python, whatever) and form into a ring (one ring to rule them all!) There should be about twenty two small rings. Transfer rings to a plate and repeat with second batch of dough. 
  7.  Carefully pace doughnuts in hot oil, 4 to 6 at a time. Fry for about a minute, turn and fry for a little less than a minute, until doughnuts are dark golden brown.  Add oil as needed and make sure to maintain temperature (the more bits and pieces that fall into the pot, the more difficult it will be to maintain temperature)
  8. When doughnuts are cooked, roll in cinnamon sugar and mercilessly devour.

Thanksgiving Break Project Number Two: A Home for My Engagement Ring

I absolutely love my engagement ring. It is from the 1920’s and has been in my fiancĂ©’s family for generations. As much as I would love to wear it all the time, there are moments of course when it is just not practical to wear it. (i.e. washing dishes, cleaning with bleach, etc.) I usually put my engagement ring in the jewelry box my fiancĂ© gave to me our first Christmas together. The jewelry box is lovely, however I also put other jewelry in there that is precious to me. I wanted to put my engagement ring somewhere unique and special. One day on Pinterest, inspiration hit. The original idea is from this website

Her version

It was the perfect solution! It was a way to keep my ring safe and show it off! I decided to use the project as inspiration and put my own twist on it. I decided to utilize the template of our house: black, brown, yellow and cream. I first spray-painted a picture frame I found at a thrift store for fifty cents. I then used super glue to attach cork board to the glass. Afterwards I covered the cork board with fabric I found at Joanne’s for about two dollars. After waiting for the project to dry after several hours, I attached a matching push pin. 

My version

Voila! The perfect solution!