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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

cross your fingers for him

I just came back from the vet. Nikko has been making weird choking noises every once and a while the past few days, so we figured he'd swallowed something. Today I brought him to the Cat Clinic of Seattle. They think he has some sort of grass caught up behind his soft palate. Some cats have that problem when eating grass.

It's my fault. We have a yard out back of our new place, and I have taken him for walks there and let him eat the grass. He really seemed to enjoy it. *sigh* Now he has to be in the hospital and go under anesthetics tomorrow so they can try to get it out. Hopefully, it will all be ok.

Cross your fingers everything goes smoothly for him folks!

They're hot, sweet, and sticky...

They're cinnamon rolls!

I was stressing Monday when I was going through my human subjects application. I've always found that baking really helps me destress. Plus, I've been wanting to make these suckers for a while now.

I found this recipe on
I made the full recipe of dough, and rolled them all up into rolls and made the 'slices' with dental floss. I ended up letting one batch rise as usual, and the other half I froze for cinnamon rolls at a later date.

These were best out of the oven, steaming and nutty. What I liked best about these is that the dough was not overly saturated with stickiness. Of course the frosting was sweet and sticky, but the actual rolls still had that nice pastry/breadiness. And the chopped walnuts REALLY stood out in a delicious way against the browned dough. I would definitely do this again.

Cinnamon Rolls

for dough
* 1 cup milk
* 1 cup water
* 1/4 cup butter
* 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
* 6 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 2 eggs

for filling:
* 1/3 cup butter, softened
* 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 3/4 cup white sugar
* 3/4 cup raisins (optional)
* 3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

for icing:
* 2 cups confectioners' sugar
* 3 tablespoons butter, melted
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 3 tablespoons milk


1. heat 1 cup milk, water, and 1/4 cup butter until very warm (butter doesn't need to be completely melted). (I microwaved it all for 40-50 sec). Place milk mixture, salt, flour, yeast, sugar, and eggs in the pan of the bread machine in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select the Dough cycle. Press Start. (or use your kitchen aid with the dough hook attachment).

2. Once Dough cycle is complete, remove the dough from the bread machine. Punch down, and divide into 2 parts. On a floured surface, roll each part into a large rectangle. (I think I rolled until it was about 1/2" thick, but it certainly doesn't have to be precise). Smear each rectangle with the softened butter. Combine the cinnamon and 3/4 cup sugar. Sprinkle over the rectangles. Generously sprinkle the raisins and/or chopped nuts over the top.

3. Roll the dough up into two logs starting at the long side. Cut each log into 12 slices. (here is where you can use dental floss or thread to make the slices. Slide the thread under the log, wrap around the log, and pull ends past each other). Place the rolls cut side down into two 9x13 inch greased baking pans (or silicone sheet). Cover, and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled (about 30 minutes).

4. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Combine the confectioners' sugar, 3 tablespoons melted butter, vanilla, and 3 tablespoons milk. Frosting should be thick. Spread over baked rolls and enjoy.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Back from the dead, now coming to you live from Seattle!

Yup. I've now been in Seattle about 3 weeks! The first 2 weeks were spent with me madly unpacking. Since then, it's me throwing myself into research. See look, I'm throwing myselft at it...WHEEEeeeee!

*note to self, don't blog while in the middle of writing up research proposals*

I want to send out a BIG thank you to my colorswap partners for July and August.

My July partner, Cecily, sent me a fabulous purple package! Look at all the goodies. My favorite thing has to be the purple silicone spatula. Awesome. And the yarn is seriously scrumptious--the kind that makes you want to rub your face in it (er, not that I did that or anything). I actually received this package the day before I left California. I took a quick happy peek at it, and then sealed it up and didn't open it again until this week. It was like a new gift all over again. And I'm super excited about the purple nail polish. I'm definitely going to start the fall quarter with purpley toe nails.

Thanks Cecily!

My August colorswap partner is the lovely Erin of The Bookish Knitter. She also recently moved, so both of us had a nice "I'm changing my address!" moment. She also just got a new puppy and you can see cute pics of it on her bloggy. Erin sent me some yummy ginger and peach black tea that I'm drinking as I type. The tea and the pretty new mug she sent me are going to definitely go with me to my office at school. That way I can stress/destress in style while I'm analyzing data or meeting with RAs. Erin, you are a girl after my own heart. I love that you sent me food goodies. Mmm... cookies, caramel corn and nuts! Man, I'm going to be snacking up a storm :) Thanks Erin!


I love Seattle.

Don't get me wrong. I miss California. I keep referring to how things are 'back home' which makes me feel a little bit country. But seriously, the Seattle summer weather can be gorgeous. And all the water is just breathtaking. I took a walk around Green Lake (near my house!), and it's seriously an enjoyable view. Plus, Greenlake has BUNNIES. There are like 40 of them! People feed them and picnic among them. It's very odd--like someone let their pets loose there and they just multiplied and stayed tame and oh-so-cute.

Everyone has a dog here. Some neighbors told me it was standard issue once you move into the neighborhood. Nikko has now met two doggies, 1) at the place he stayed while we moved (btw, I highly recommend Tenny Bug Pet Sitting if you're looking for pet sitters in the Seattle Area) and 2) our next door neighbor's big boxer, Bella.

Anyway, I'm learning the bus lines, making friends on Yelp (the Seattle yelp community is smaller, but seems closer knit than SF's Yelp). I better get back to work. Here's a preview for my next post:

hmm... what could those be?