baked goods rock! i love cookies. no, wait, i lurve cookies. in fact, when i get married, i'm going to find a way to have a 5-tiered cookie or brownie cake to slice into. too much? well, cake doesn't rock as hard.

i found this recipe a while ago, but made the dough when i was snowed in the other day. i froze it and sliced off a few rounds last night, along with some scratch made whipped cream. i orgasmed. and then proceeded to find random things in my tiny kitchen to dip in the leftover whipped cream. shameful. sometimes, cookies can come out dry and hard. not to mention they don't keep well. so, i modified this recipe for 9 servings, instead of 36, because it's just little ole me. i've mastered the art of Cooking for the Single Gal. i divided all of the ingredients by four, but used one whole egg. my only regret is that i didn't modify the recipe by half instead. they were soft as heck. ah well, on to the basics.

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies


2 sticks/1c/250 grams of soft unsalted butter
1c brown sugar (light or dark)
1c grandulated white sugar
2 large eggs
2t of vanilla extract
3c quick cooking oats
2c all-purpose flour
½t salt
1t baking soda
1 ½t cinammon
1c chocolate chips


1. Cream the butter and sugars together in a large bowl (It is suggested that you use a stand mixer or even hand held mixer since the dough is so thick but there is absolutely nothing wrong with the wooden spoon method).

2. Add the eggs one at a time. Then the vanilla.

3. In another bowl combine the oats, flour, soda, salt and cinammon.

4. Gradually add this mixture to the creamed butter and sugars. Then add the chocolate chips.

5. Leave the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes to and hour so that it won't be so sticky when forming dough balls.

6. After the dough has sat in the fridge a while, preheat your oven to 375 F/190 C. from dough into ping pong sized balls leave in  the oven for 10 minutes, I like to turn the pans at the half way mark.

Serves: 36
so, it's been snowing here on the east coast. i can't say it's on the level as last year's Snowmageddon, but i did get snowed in for a day. the only thing that i wanna do when i get cooped up in the house, besides watching old movies, is burn in the kitchen.

last year, right before the snow storm hit, and i'm talking mere hours, i went to Wegman's and had a field day. i spend a substantial amount of my stipend on quality meats, such as steak, lamb chops, ground turkey, pork chops, chicken thighs, and sausages, fresh seafood, like salmon, shrimp, catfish, and tilapia, and i burned through the produce section, stocking up on colorful and fresh looking veggies and fruits. i was in heaven. i love the grocery store and can spend hours meandering through the aisles. because of my passion for grocery store aerobics, it's a must that the grocery store be a haven of quality and variety. this is why i generally choose stores like Wegman's, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, or Harris Teeter.

*i also buy a lot of staple and name brand products from Target. as a smart shopper, it pays to know when to save and when to splurge.

during Snowmageddon, i was stuck in the house for about 5 days straight. with my DVR starting to run low on 1950's musicals, i got in the kitchen and just attacked, making enough food for an army, even though i was just feeding myself. i had meals and dessert for days, but it was fun and half-satisfying, since no one else was there to enjoy the fruits of my labor.

tomato & mushroom whole wheat linguine
basil, tomato, & pancetta farfalle
steak & grits
chicken, tomato, & mango spinach salad with walnuts
my love of food started young. as i've mention before, my earlier birthdays were really just big family dinners at a restaurant of my choosing. each year, i tried to expand my base of restaurants, trying to outdo the year before. my most memorable was my 10th birthday. we went to Red Lobster (tee hee) and i got a lobster tail. it was at this time that i developed a discernable palette. the much hyped lobster did nothing for me, but to it's credit... it was from Red Lobster, which i can't bear to step foot in these days. based on the restaurants i chose, my family would really start to look to me for the that type of experience and i would live to hear from them, "Good choice, Sarah!"
my tenth birthday
from there, i started to get into cooking shows and making meals, learning from some of my family members. i come from a Pot Luck Family. most families i know would, during the holidays, go to one house and that person would host the meal, making almost everything. my family is too large for that. the meals would be hosted at a one house, which would rotate from my grandmother's cozy apartment one year, to my mother's house the next, then my aunt's, and so on... and the host would make the meat, but everyone else would bring their signature dish. my mother makes really good smothered pork chops, one of my aunt makes killer greens and mac & cheese, another aunt can't come unless she brings the ham, and it's not a party until my uncle brings the meatloaf. i have four aunts, one uncle, and a crazy amount of cousins and this is just one side of the family! Christmastime is my favorite. we used to do themes like seafood and Italian.

watching my family members really get into that one dish that they make, you can see the real need to please everyone, making sure everyone gets enough to eat. my older cousin Charlie was probably my biggest inspiration though. he, a trained chef, would bring the culinary to family functions. i would sit and watch and ask questions, so much so that he pulled me into the kitchen and taught me most of what i know about cooking, like flavor balancing and deglazing. whenever he comes over, we get right into the kitchen so he can brag to his latest lady friend about my sous chef skills.

in high school, i really got into Food Network. to this day, i spend my Saturday and Sunday mornings with Ina Garten, Giada, Sunny Anderson, and Guy Fieri. it really inspires me to get in the kitchen and cook, even if it's only for myself. but, i miss cooking for other people. i cooked for my ex a few times, and it was really satisfying when he told me i should quit chemistry for cooking. but, there is also the side of me that is really nervous people won't like my food. contributing to potlucks brings out my insecurities. but, i have to remind myself that it's not about the praise, it's about the passion. i have to cook for pleasure, not for praise.
salmon & rice with roasted brocollini 
cinnamon rubbed lamb chops with
roasted sweet potatoes and mustard green beans
i can't wait for the road trip... it's going to be a 14 day food fest. i have a embarrassingly long list of restaurants to visit in each city, but could use some recommendations, too. Tiffany is all about the sights; i'm all about the food, as usual. but, i plan to use this space to share and swap recipies and restaurant recommendations, so don't be shy about it. i hope you enjoyed the porn quality grainy pictures of food :)
Ask me anything

no one. i think the best thing about being in love is falling in of your own cognition. i don't think i could be with a person if they didn't love me of their own free will.

Ask me anything

I think hair typing gets a bad rap.

When I started my natural journey, I knew very little about what it meant or what my hair would even look like. It wasn’t as though I started getting my hair straightened really young, but ponytails (two in the front, one in the back) ruled my life back then. In terms of relaxers, I was a stretcher and would notice some curls near my ear right before touch up time, but I never really knew my hair.

When I made the decision to stop straightening my hair, I adopted hair idols and perused hair mag sites for pictures, but it wasn’t until after my BC that I really started to do my research (and if I had, I never would have gotten highlights). It took about 2-3 weeks of being lost and shampooing my hair everyday until I stumbled upon Curly Nikki, Naturally Curly, and the hair typing system. I had found the Mecca. I learned about the CG/no-poo method, wash & goes vs. twist & braid outs, and that I was 3c/4a.
Even though I knew my hair was different,
Tracee Ellis Ross was my hair idol

I also learned that many naturals identified themselves as 3c/4a. But what did that really mean? And why was it that some recommendations from people with beautiful heads of hair of my same “hair type” fail horribly for me?
Enter the controversy. Attribute it to hair snobbery or insecurity, but some would have you believe that there is a world of difference between 3c and 4a and that being in the world of 3s means something totally different about yourself than being in the 4s. That 3 = beautiful, silky curls and 4 = dry, damage-prone coils. And there are other deep-seeded issues at hand. The old light-skinned with good hair debate is an old one, so I’ll leave that to Mixed Chicks to solve (side eye). But we all know this isn’t the truth, for the most beautiful head of hair I know belongs to Naptural85, who has the shiniest (4a) curls I’ve ever seen! So, there had to be more to it… even looking at my own hair, it had to be something more to my hair, or else it should have looked like every other head of hair I’ve seen.

Here is where I learned there was a difference between curl pattern and hair type. Don’t get it twisted… there is a difference! Curl pattern is only an attribute to one’s entire hair type. So, learning my curl pattern was only the first step, but I really started to make strides with my hair when I figured out its density, the strand thickness, and its porosity. It was wayyyy more important to know that my 3c/4a hair is a very dense mass of medium to thick strands with low porosity. Because, at the end of the day, thick hair is thick hair and dry hair is dry hair, whether the curl pattern is 3a or 4a.
My hair twins

Apparently there are some who get with the hair typing system and some who don’t. But really, no matter what you call you hair, whether it be by numberletter (slash another numberletter) or highly textured and coily, no matter what you call it, it is what it is!

*update: this post was featured on Curly Nikki's website!*

so, it's been a minute, but lots of things have happened. the continuance of notebook-gate in my research lab, the "changing" of the zodiac, and my 27th birthday. per my January 4th post, in which i described how shitty my birthdays usually are, this one went decidedly different.
my friend Khadijah threw party for me at her lovely Belvedere apartment. but, i still didn't really want to invite people. i was still stuck in the notion that if i invited people, they would not show up, so the only way to get around that, in my mind, was to not invite them from the start. the initial guest list was only about 7 people... people i KNEW would show up. but, it still wasn't feeling like a party. after talking to a few of my friends, they, in so many words, told me to suck it up, put my big girl panties on, and take control of the situation. "Tell those fools you're having a party... if they show up, cool. if not, fuck them." eloquent words, spoken by my friend Ari. my friend Sika held my hand as we added many names to the evite list. even though Dij wanted to restrict the party to 15 people (i guess she was also underestimating something, namely the size of her apartment), but the list soon swelled past 25. i knew that not everyone was going to be able to make it, but extending the courtesy of the invitation was something i began to enjoy. it became much more than a party for my birthday, but also an acknowledgement to other that people that they are that important to me that i would want them to be there.

Dij, Sika, and i prepared a menu. yes, i cooked for my own party, but mostly because i wanted to. i love to cook. and since birthday-gate 2007, i made my own cake to avoid and store bought bakery disaster. i generally don't like cake, so if i am going to have one for my birthday, i'll make it myself and it will be amazing.
then came my actual birthday. i woke up and felt rested. my mind was clear and at ease. i was in a legitimately good mood. i sat around and watched my morning round of Food Network, then i headed out for the day’s errands. i went hair shopping, grocery shopping, and clothes shopping. i also got yelled at my best friend rachel, whose birthday is the day after mine, for eating at McDonald’s! even though clothes shopping was a bust, i found everything for my recipes for the day. although slightly tired, i headed back home and started preparing for the party.

usually, when i cook, i have a little trouble with timing and small details. but, as if a gift from God, everything just worked and flowed that day. i baked the cake, made the mac & cheese and the salad, and even got dressed and did my hair concurrently. granted, i was 30 minutes late to my own party, but i’m allowed that.

Dij's Lasagna, Sika's Famous Wings, and my Mac & Cheese and Simple Salad

everyone arrived around the same time. even though there a few stragglers, we managed to get the food served to everyone before it got cold. it went off without a hitch really. the food was good and all three groups of my friends (lab mates, black grads, soRhors) mingled together quite well. that was something i was worried about too. i initially only wanted to invite one or two groups for fear that people might not mix well, but it went very smoothly, considering that Dij, originally from Pittsburgh, wore her jersey to the party, right after they beat the Raven's in a game that day. my sorority sisters were kinda hurt behind that :) 


soRhors and an AKA

black grads


cake! with a big, ignorant candle.

after food, we played a round of Taboo, which was so hectic and loud that most people went hoarse! so, we quit after that and dove into the cake. THE cake. i used Ina Garten’s recipe. it was dark, unctuous, chocolatey, sensuous… all the things i want my ideal man to be, but in cake form. a hush fell over the room as everyone quickly grabbed and devoured their piece of velvety, buttery goodness. even better than that, i got gifts! (i haven't received a proper birthday gift since my 21st, and even before then, my family took advantage of the proximity of my birthday to Christmas and usually only gave me a gift for one or the other, now known as the Birthmas Gift.)

once the food coma took hold, people trickled out. i didn’t make it home until after 2a. the next day, i felt hungover and tired, even though i didn’t drink, but that just gave me a chance to sleep in, stay in bed and enjoy all of the messages, texts, and Facebook birthday wishes i received the day before.

whether you want to believe it or not, or maybe you’re just tired of beating a dead horse, the internet has changed everything. so much has changed; it seems as if nothing is the same. everything we do has been altered by the internet. not just in the way we communicate, although that plays a huge part, but the way we date, shop, read, all of it is different. our world has become so small. large parts of the economy have been affected.

it all started with this article by Yahoo Finance, “Things Babies Born in 2011 Will Never Know”. and it’s quite scary. i remember reading a report a couple of years back that polled high school seniors and they learned that most of the kids didn’t know the holocaust ever happened. but, this goes deeper. it shows the world is at an apex, a shift where nothing will be the same again. it seems trivial when you think of how much more convenient netflix is compared to blockbuster. and i remember getting into a serious argument with my mother when i told her buying me a house phone was a real waste of money. but, some points of the article tug at my heartstrings to think that babies born this year won’t know the authentic touch and small of a paperback book, they won’t have the patience that could only be taught by waiting for a dial-up connection or learning to read a paper map, and they will never know the romanticism and distinction that comes with receiving a handwritten note. how sad, indeed.

then this happened. when i first saw this video on facebook (of course, because the internet rules our lives) i had an off reaction to it. personally, i don’t have anything against spankings and the like, but this displays a level of embarrassment that i believe doesn’t benefit anyone. mortifying your child is not a disciplinary action and should never be used. but, then i go back to the previous article.

as my best friend Adam put it, “thugs are online!” everyone has internet access these days and almost everyone has a social networking account. so, it would seem natural that certain behaviors that were once cloak and dagger would find their way onto the internet. especially since social networking feeds into such narcissistic and voyeuristic behaviors. everyone is their own celebrity and would love for everyone else to tune in to their show/lives. e-thugging and bullying is nothing new, so posting allusions to gang activity, especially amongst young (and dumb) individuals should not be a surprise. however, if my brother ever alluded to being in a gang, my father would go off! and it seems as if this guy’s father (or uncle??) did too. he just took it to the next level.

i won’t debate whether the father-uncle was right or wrong, because that is personally something i an undecided on, but what he did was try to exhibit his message in the same manner his nephew tried to debase himself. he is just keeping up with the times, right? all we know is, the internet is changing the game and, unless you want to go the way of encyclopedias and cds, you better be ready with a modern approach.

if you knew me, you would know that i love the Jersey Shore. if you really knew me, you would know that this makes no sense. i tend to be a nonconformist, not to mention, Jersey Shore seems to be the most trifling piece of television since Flavor of Love. yeah, i’m that chick. never seen an episode and will never waste a second in telling you exactly why television shows like that are the very scourge of modern civilization. these things in my mind preempt the fruition of Idiocracy. but, i digress.

for some reason or other, i lurve the Jersey Shore series. you could call it escapism but maybe it’s because it pokes fun at a completely different demographic. Italian-Americans, it’s your turn. more than that, i find some of the characters likeable (and others not so much). but i wear my love for Jersey Shore proud. some of the people in my lab have even gone so far to suggest watching parties, replete with drinking games every time we hear the words “smush” or “gorilla juicehead.”

the season 3 premiere was last night. true to form, Sammi and Ronnie were annoying as hell, Pauly D and Vinny were still inexplicably hot, and i am still Team Snooki, JWOWW, and The Situation. Deena, we shall see but the kid might’ve earned her stripes after her tête-à-tête with Sammi.

enjoy this hilarious recap from Gawker.
The start of the third season of this little experiment wasn't like viewing our subjects for the first time, where everything was about discovery. No, this was like watching the beginning of the third act of a Greek tragedy. It started off in a time of peace and happiness and all the trouble was from the outside world. In Act 2, the guido's perfect paradise began to crumble, and the first victim—the walking embodiment of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch known as Trash Bags—was the first to fall. But Act 3 is the saddest of all. All our subjects arrive like it's Act 1, but so much is different. So much has changed, and you can see that tragedy is coming. You can see the sparks that—with a mixture of alcohol, hot tub water, and hatred—will ignite into a giant mushroom cloud. You know that by the time the curtain falls, everyone will be a corpse in a bloody pile to stage left, and only one guido will remain, and all he will be able to do is fall to his knees, raise his hands to heaven and shout to their angry household god, the Duck Phone, "Why! WHY!"
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i feel you're pain
 so, my birthday is in approximately 10 days. i have the honor of being born on the same day as Martin Luther King, Jr. i take pleasure in telling people that they are getting a day off of work/school thanks to me and my main man MLK. it’s a joke we share.

but, the uncool thing about being born in January and a (somewhat) national holiday is that no one remembers! everyone is chillin on my birthday. i can’t tell you how many belated birthday wishes or birthmas gifts i have received, not to mention the half-hearted “i got you next year” affirmations.

it really sucks because, year after year, going to all of my friends and family’s birthday functions really twists the knife. my cousin, who had the good fortune of being born 5.5 months earlier than me, had really cool birthday parties. i’m talking pool parties, amusement park parties, parties where a ton of people show up because it’s July and it’s hot. no one has anything to do, but they are looking to do something fun because it’s summer vacation. my birthday, on the other hand, is in the coldest month of the year when everyone is in hibernation mode and doesn’t want to leave their house.

i’ve kinda come to terms with it though. usually my birthday was an excuse for my entire family to go out to eat at a place of my choosing, which is where i got my real love of restaurants. i’ve had a couple of sleepovers, one being a surprise. my best birthday was my 21st. not just because i was of age, but because about 25-30 of my closest friends and family went to a nice restaurant, i got really nice presents from my mother and ex-boyfriend, and i didn’t have to plan it or pay a dime.

but i guess i must have peaked at 21. every birthday since then has gotten progressively worse. one year, none of my friends showed at a birthday thrown in joint with a party promoter i went to high school with… my name was on the cake, but no one was there to really wish me happy birthday.

my consolation cake
  so, i don’t want to do it anymore. i just think it should be an occasion where the people who love and know you best really want to celebrate and have a good time. now, there is just so much engineering and a lot less whimsy. i refuse to plan my own birthday party. isn’t that what friends are for? my mother friend’s used to throw her parties. it was effortless and beautiful.

this year i am turning 27. i’ve gotten into the habit of having dinner once a month with some colleagues. it just so happens that this month, the dinner happens on my birthday. but, i was hesitant to say anything because i didn’t want it to be a thing. well i did, and now it is. and, much to my displeasure, i was handed the task of picking the restaurant. and i don’t know what to do, toeing the line of keeping it causal but still special. picking a solid restaurant that won’t disappoint that i’ve never been to before. and, if it sucks, heretofore my birthday sucks.

i know it sounds like i am whining. i know i should get over it. i know i’m a grown ass woman, but it’s my birthday and i’ll cry if i want to.
so, i’d like to think that i used to be hot.

when i started high school, i remember asking a guy friend of mine if he thought i was beautiful. my mother has called me beautiful and so has my father. but, that’s kinda their job. they thought i was beautiful when i was covered in amniotic fluid and mucus. well, my mother did say i had a real awkward period but, at the time, she called me beautiful.

but, it’s different when the guy you’re attracted to calls you beautiful. it makes it more real. i wasn’t interested in my guy friend, but he wasn’t related to me so it was a step in the right direction. or so i thought. he told me no. that son of a bitch. if he had been a girl, he would have said, “totally! if i were a guy, i’d find you attractive for sure! and, you’re beautiful on the inside too.” but, since he lacked ovaries, there wasn’t a cloud of estrogen and lies to cushion the truth.

me on the left
the consolation prize he offered was that i was cute. and definitely sexy. he’d do me. okay. i can work with that. i’m about 5’8” and, in high school, i was about 145-155lbs. i waivered between sizes 8-10, mostly hips. and i fed my effortlessly flat stomach with chili cheese fries and cookies & cream ice cream. but, i still wanted to be beautiful because, in my mind, hot chicks get laid; beautiful girls get married. and i’ve wanted to get married since i was four years old.
as i got older, i guess i grew into my own. i found a guy who found me hot and beautiful. i was sooo happy. we were in love, y’all. then he left. and since i couldn’t let him go, i let me go. so, 45lbs later, i am no longer hot. and i’m barely cute anymore. granted, i still get stares and catcalls and compliments. but, i just figure guys call me cute and beautiful now because it might just land them in my pants with these hips.

when i contemplated going natural and going back to school 1000 miles from home, my mother, and many others, questioned my sanity. what are you running from? why are you cutting all that pretty hair? is something wrong? why you trying to get ugly before you find a husband? thanks for the support guys!

after i lost the weight... which i gained back
so, i lost the weight and the hair. and i went back to school less than an hour away from my home. but the stress and loneliness is palpable. and getting your PhD with unresolved life issues takes its toll. just ask my formerly flat waistline. me at a size 14 is not hot. at least i don’t think so.

so, i’m sitting here watching I Used To Be Fat on MTV. high schoolers vow to reinvent themselves before they head off to college by losing a bunch of weight. and here i thought college was place where mature scholars congregated for the purpose of higher learning… my bad! but, i get it. the freshman fifteen is real (it was ten for me). the first episode was about a homecoming queen who felt unhot at 253lbs. but, it would seem that she has a majority vote who thought she was rad, so why the inner lack of confidence? confidence is key! if you build it, they will come.

homecoming queen -90lbs
but i’m going to make like the homecoming queen and take my hot back. who knows how long it will take. i’m undisciplined and lazy as hell. but i’m just putting it out there. at least i know what my problem is. i generally don’t have an eating problem; i don’t exist on chili cheese fries anymore. i have a moving problem. my emotions are tied in my activity level. when i get sad/depressed/stressed, i literally can’t move. so, i need to find a something to push me past that point. a motivation. and it shall be my formerly hot self.