If I sound extraordinarily happy, do not be surprised. I am.
I have my first student job!
Where? My college’s Commuter Services. To put it in short, I’m going to be the girl giving parking directions at sporting events. You can read that in Natalie language as: my debut in the American working world, flexible weekend hours, and free football tickets!
Promise you won’t laugh at me if I tell you that I’ve never been to a football game even though I’ve already finished my freshman year in college. Yeah I told you already, I’m a college nerd (points to the little chant on my blog header).
So bring out those conic party hats and your biggest smile and celebrate with me. I have this mental pie of college life. At the start of freshman year, it was an empty pie tin. Then I took classes and another slice was added, then I did research and another slice was added, then I made friends and another slice was added, and so on. The most recent slice has been my student job. I hope that by the end of my college years I will have a full pie to eat all by myself. (Why would people use “puzzle pieces” as metaphors when you can use “slices of pie”?)
I think I’ll bake a cake (or a pie) when I get my first paycheck. And then I’ll start saving for things like medical school, housing, and a Vespa.
Funny that you should ask, but I really do want a Vespa. If you’ve ever heard Helmut Fritz’s French song “Ca m’enerve”, you would probably want a Vespa too. In short, he rides around on his little Vespa and rants about French society.
You don’t have to be a Frenchie to appreciate his sarcasm francais.
Okay, well my first employment was only one of the things I wanted to celebrate with you.
I’m also done with summer classes!! It’s a party, uh-huh. It’s like I had summer break for most of June and most of July, pressed the pause button, and now I’m back on summer break until September 29. Fabulous.
Isn’t that just bomb? (I love using the word “bomb” now. “Bomb” trumps “awesome” or “cool” in my colloquial dictionary.)
Today I just celebrate life. I went to a retirement home and wheeled the loveliest ladies around on their wheelchairs into the garden and pulled them closer to flowers so they could smell them. I was so full of happiness, I was afraid I would bubble over with smiles.
And then I got home and found a bag of M&Ms and my sister’s iPod. So I turned on my Ke$ha, Katy Perry, and all of that mainstream upbeat music and started baking like there was no tomorrow.
Brown Butter M&M Brownies (Inspired by Sugar Plum)
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1.3 cup M&Ms
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line an 9×9-inch baking dish with foil; coat foil with cooking spray or butter.
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; continue to cook, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes or until butter browns and starts to foam. Remove pan from heat. (It’s brown butter, yo! More about that later.)
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, using a mixer on high speed, beat egg yolks and sugar for 3 minutes, until light yellow and fluffy. Beat in brown butter and vanilla for 1 additional minute. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in flour mixture until well combined – about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips and 1/3 cup M&M’s until combined. Spread batter evenly into prepared dish.
Bake 15-16 minutes or until well risen and set. Remove dish from oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
Makes 18 brownies
If you read the recipe above, you would have noticed that I did something peculiar with my butter. I browned it. Ohhhh!
Well I was first inspired to brown butter by 17 and Baking’s Sugar High Friday challenge. And then I looked it up and couldn’t find many recipes with brown butter that seemed particularly, umm, tasteful. So I just went along my way until I saw Sugar Plum’s brownie recipe that called for melted butter.
Hold it! I could totally use brown butter instead of melted butter! So I browned my butter. Here’s a not-so-lovely pic of the butter in the midst of browning.
Well isn’t that just something? Believe me. It smells better than it looks (that’s something you don’t hear everyday), but it does. A nutty, warm aroma. Mm-mm! With M&Ms? Oh yeah.
So celebrate, my friends. Because I’m celebrating and I would feel bad if I were celebrating alone.