Days of Missy Passed

I’ve spent two hours tonight going through a big box that my parents and I filled with various pieces of my personal history. What a treasure trove. I remember some of it, but some of these envelopes I’ve never opened.

It’s an amazing box full of report cards, school photos, any correspondence that my parents got from the schools … even weird stuff like year-recap score sheets from the bowling league I was in from age 7-18. Programs from the plays I was in. Certificates, greeting cards, class trip mementos (Disneyland park map and Magic Music Days schedule from 1990, anyone?) and a ton of other awesome crap.

A lot of the report cards and progress reports have comments written in, and they’re just lovely. There are even a couple of letters that teachers wrote to my parents. I’m so delighted to read this stuff, and actually got a little tear in my eye a couple of times.

A few tidbits:

Kindergarten report card: “Missy has a great sense of humor. We thoroughly enjoy her ventriloquism.” (WHAT?) “Knows all tables except 9×4.” (Curse you, 36!)

6th grade report card: “Missy should concentrate on improving her penmanship.” If you’ve seen my penmanship, you’d know why I find this hilarious. But I never enjoyed cursive, and this teacher was a fiend for cursive.

11th grade progress report: Phsyics 1&2:
“Student needs to speak more in the foreign language during class.”
“Private instruction would be beneficial.”
(The responses were those standardized choices, and Mr. Smith was both hilarious and a lech.)

Fizzy Bath Bombs

A little craft project that works great, and saves a ton of money.

ingredients

1 cup baking soda (ordinary, store-bought variety)
1/2 cup citric acid (powdered)*
1/2 cup Epsom salts (health and beauty section)
1/4 cup cornstarch **

2 Tbsp oil (vegetable, olive, walnut, almond — whatever you want)
1/2 to 1 tsp essential or fragrance oil
10 drops food coloring

witch hazel in a misting spray bottle

* Citric acid can be found in some stores — if your local grocery has a pickling/canning section, you might find it as “sour salt”. You can also find it in winemaking shops. I got mine online from a soap goods retailer.
** Cornstarch is optional. It makes the balls float better, but some people apparently have … “lady problems” with cornstarch in a bath.

dry goods

Whisk dry ingredients (baking soda, citric acid, salts, cornstarch) together until well blended. You may need to sift your powdered ingredients to get rid of clumps.

wet goods

Mix wet ingredients (oil, fragrance oil, food coloring). Add slowly in little bits (maybe one teaspoon at a time) to the dry stuff. Smoosh it around well with your hand, or whisk it, until the color and liquids are evenly distributed. If you add too much liquid at once, you may start the fizzing reaction prematurely. You can listen to the mix to see if it’s fully blended.

wet sand

Hopefully, you’ll have the consistency of wet sand, and it will stick together when you press a clump in your hand. If not, then spritz lightly with witch hazel, three spritzes or so and then mix again, until it’ll hold together.

fill molds

Use a two-part plastic Xmas ornament (I got mine at Michael’s Crafts for 89 cents). Pack the mix into each side, then pile extra on top. Press firmly together. Wipe the excess off the seam, then gently remove the mold.
Your ornament halves should come off easily and cleanly. If not, your mixture might not be quite damp enough. Spritz a couple more times, mix, and try to mold up again.

squeeze molds tight

Your ornament halves should come off easily and cleanly. If not, your mixture might not be quite damp enough. Spritz a couple more times, mix, and try to mold up again.

Put the balls on a cookie sheet (I covered mine with foil, for easy cleanup) to dry. Don’t put them on a paper towel — they’ll stick. Lesson learned the hard way. You can dry them a bit faster if you put them in a warm oven — just turn the oven on to “warm” for a couple of minutes, then turn the oven off. Put in your tray of bombs — with the door closed, the oven will stay warm for quite a while.

24 hours later, you have fizzy bombs ready for a bath!

finished bombs

Low-Carb Coconut Cheesecake

We’re back doing Atkins again (and doing very well, I might add) but the baking urge is heavy this time of year. So here’s some tasty low-carb coconut cheesecake, made in muffin tins for easy portion control!

ingredients

16 oz. cream cheese (2 boxes)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
½ cup coconut milk
¾ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
12 packets Splenda

½ cup almond flour
¾ cup ground nuts (pecans & macadamias)
3 Tbsp. melted butter
3 packets Splenda

Preheat oven to 350°F

mixing

The shredded coconut I bought is really dry, unlike the gooey sweetened kind. So put the coconut milk and shredded coconut in a bowl together first, so the coconut can hydrate.

Mix the almond flour, ground nuts, melted butter, and 3 packets of Splenda.

muffin pan

Press the nut mix down into 12 muffin cups. Put the whole tray into the fridge to let the butter firm up.

baked

Mix together the coconut, coconut milk, eggs, vanilla, cream cheese, and 12 packets of Splenda. Mix well, and don’t worry about overmixing. No gluten to worry about!

Divide the cheese/coconut mix between the 12 muffin cups. They’ll fill up pretty much to the tops.

Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes, until they’ve puffed way up and are getting golden brown on top.

settled

Let the cups cool on the countertop for an hour (they will settle down in size), then put in the fridge for another hour. I put them on paper towels (the bottoms will be buttery) in chilled pie pans, to get them cooler faster.

chilling

Serves 12

For each cheesecake:

Calories 265
Fat 25 g
Carbs 4.5 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Protein 5.5 g

delicious