Archive for December, 2010

Early gift… to myself!

December 22nd, 2010

Last week, I saw that there was a PS3 deal where you get $100 back in Amazon credit. I was on the fence. Part of me felt we have too much gaming stuff already. Part of me has been wanting one, and that’s a good deal.

So… I brought it up to my fiance, thinking he’d persuade me not to get it and the decision would be over with. Instead, he was tempted too, and… we ended up buying it. Apparently, we are a horrible influence on each other.

It arrived today! Unfortunately, it came at an inconvenient time. Due to the holidays, my fiance is out of town at his parents’, and I’m spending most of the time at my parents’. We probably won’t play it til January. I just set it up next to the Xbox 360 for now.

And so, we welcome the PS3 to our family of gaming systems.
Downstairs: Xbox 360, PS3, his Wii
Upstairs: my Wii, PS2, my PC, his PC

In other news, I’ve started taking days off of work and won’t be back until January. My brother goes to grad school out of state, so he’s back in town to visit. I plan on just spending time with him and my parents. It’ll be nice to relax and keep things simple. Incase I don’t post again in the next few days, I hope everyone has a happy holiday!

Baking goodness: gluten free

December 13th, 2010

I wanted to bake some sugar cookies for work, but there are a few co-workers that are gluten intolerance, and I didn’t want them to be left out. Thus, I tried gluten free baking. I asked them about how to do it and looked up recipes online.

It seemed like there were 2 main things that were different.
1. Gluten free flour – I bought a mix of rice, tapioca, and potato starch flour
2. Guar or xanthan gum – to replace the gluten

So… these are the ingredients I used! (To go with this recipe.)

The cookies came out great! I really liked how they tasted, and the texture was pretty similar to gluten cookies. I don’t think you could tell they were gluten free.

I also worried about the frosting until I realized the recipe I had could be gluten free. It was just shortening, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and milk. I found out that all Crisco products are gluten free (like their shortening). So, I used the same frosting for both gluten free and normal (gluten) cookies. I mixed, baked, and frosted the gluten free cookies first though, and then set them away to prevent contamination.

Sure, I could have saved myself trouble by making gluten free cookies for everyone, but unfortunately, the gluten free ingredients were more expensive, so it wasn’t really cost effective to make a big batch.

(^ My frosting skills are clearly lacking when it’s late at night.)

I’m glad my first try at a gluten free baking recipe turned out well though. My co-workers definitely appreciated it. I hope to try it again with something else later XD

Hello December

December 1st, 2010

I had a 4 day weekend for Thanksgiving, which was nice and relaxing. But, that’s over now, and I’m back at work, even staying late tonight for a release. I already want another break!

I was so stuffed with food last week. On Tuesday, my work had a Thanksgiving lunch catered for us. Then on Wednesday, I had an early Thanksgiving dinner with my parents. They don’t like turkey though, so they prepared chicken, sausage, and ribs instead. The next day, my fiance and I drove out of town to have another Thanksgiving dinner with his family. They cooked the traditional foods like turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, etc. I was happy to have so much good food, but after all of that (plus all the pies for dessert), I really need to work it off XD;;

And… now it’s December! I actually have some of my Christmas shopping done already. I followed Amazon’s Black Friday deals and grabbed some of the gifts I needed. The reason I’m not completely done is… some people are really hard to shop for! I don’t know what to get them yet. I’m trying to do all of my shopping online though. I find that the older I get, the more I dislike malls. I liked them when I was a teenager, but now I avoid them as much as possible, even outside of the holiday season. Online shopping is often cheaper and without the crowds.

Anyway, I think this is our last work release of the year (not counting patches), so I’m hoping it’ll be less busy the rest of this month. I also need to figure out which days I want to take off. I’m not going anywhere special. Just spending time with my family, especially since my younger brother is visiting (he goes to grad school out of state). I don’t mind just staying put though. I like being lazy XD