Pepperoni pizza puffs

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pepperoni pizza puffs
photo source

Tonight for dinner I made pepperoni pizza puffs. They’re basically muffins, but little pizzas. It’s a Rachael Ray recipe I found out about last year thanks to my friend Laurie.

They’re pretty simple, it takes around 20 minutes to prep them and another 20-25 for them to bake.


  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 ounces cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
  • 4 ounces pepperoni, cut into small cubes (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup store-bought pizza sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 24-cup mini-muffin pan, or a 12-cup normal sized muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder; whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in the mozzarella and pepperoni; let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Stir the batter and divide among the muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, microwave the pizza sauce until warmed through. Serve the puffs with the pizza sauce for dipping or pour a little over each one.

Adapted from this recipe.

1996 wasn’t THAT long ago, you little twerp.

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Overheard at Taco Bell. Two teenage boys were standing in line behind me, one asked his friend what his shirt was about. Apparently he was wearing a Nirvana shirt, and his friend had never heard of the band.

Teen #1: “They’re pretty old. From the 90s, like 1996 or something. Honestly they’re kind of lame but the shirt’s comfortable.”

Thanks for making me feel ancient, kid.

nirvana smiley face logo

Health and compassion.

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Two years ago I decided I wanted to get all my blood tests taken care of before my birthday, so I could start a “new year” knowing whether I had any health issues I needed to know about (besides my weight, of course). I’m not afraid of needles at all, but I really hate having blood drawn, my arm usually hurts for a week afterward. I don’t know if I always get stuck with a nurse who jabs me too hard or what, but even when I ask them to use the smaller needle they normally use for children, it’s just a lousy experience. But it’s a small price to pay for making sure everything’s okay, right?

I brought my mom with me for company and to help keep me calm in the waiting room. It’s already kind of awful being at the hospital, but you have to go to the basement to have blood drawn and I really don’t like going down there. It’s just another floor, it’s not like it’s built from mildewy stone walls with minimal lighting or anything like that, but the lack of windows freaks me out, so it helps me if my mom’s there with me. So we’re sitting there waiting for my number to be called, and suddenly a flood of people got in line, including this adorable elderly black woman who looked like she should’ve been using a walker or at least a cane. She kept shifting her weight to each foot every few seconds and just really looked like she couldn’t (and shouldn’t) be standing for long. A couple of minutes passed and enough of the line had been taken care of so she was standing right in front of me, so I quickly finished my conversation with Mom and gently tapped the lady on the arm, and asked if she’d like to take my seat while I stand in line for her. She raised her eyebrows in surprise and smiled shyly, and nodded. I got up and spent the next 10 minutes in line for her until I was finally in the #2 spot before the next person was called, and caught Mom’s eye to signal for her to have the woman come up. She thanked me, and I went back to my seat.

I didn’t really think of how nice I’d just been until I sat back down and saw the look of pride on my mother’s face, then it sank in. The thought just came so naturally to me, “That woman looks like she’ll have a lot of trouble waiting in line, I should offer her my seat so I can wait in her place.” It’s like offering someone your seat on the bus, but a little different. But I have to remind myself that unfortunately, not everyone is that compassionate to those who aren’t as healthy or capable, and it’s something I should be proud of.

Nobody retweeted my toothache puns, so I’ll blog about them.

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Back in February, I blogged about my first cavity. In July I started experiencing another toothache and thought maybe I had another cavity. It was the exact same pain, so I just assumed it was the exact same problem. Apparently teeth are jerks and will hurt the same way no matter what’s wrong. I went back to the dentist who took another x-ray, and told me the cavity is fine, but the wisdom tooth next to it (that he’d shown me at my last visit) had turned even more and the pain was from that impacted tooth attempting to grow sideways. Just freaking wonderful. I’m 30 years old and now my teeth are deciding to be total buttfaces. This couldn’t have happened 15 years ago when I was part of my father’s dental plan, right? Of course not.

So I started researching oral surgeons online, and I guess my other two impacted wisdom teeth had a heart-to-heart with the painful one because all of a sudden the pain stopped. Just stopped dead for a full week. I was able to eat fine, I was no longer being woken up every four hours by the pain, it was just gone. I was naive and full of hope, thinking maybe the tooth was done trying to grow, it knew that was as far as it’d go and it’d just leave me alone from now on. Oh, if only I were that lucky.

I’m sitting here eating dinner, bit down a little too hard, and now everything is pain. I tweeted about it and what had started as me whining about my tooth turned into coming up with toothache puns for shitty titles for movie sequels.

So at least I can still make myself laugh, but I’ll be calling that oral surgeon tomorrow. I sure hope they have a payment plan or something. Maybe I can pay part of the bill with toothache puns.

“In the jungle you must wait, until the dice read 5 or 8.”

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Robin Williams died yesterday, an apparent suicide after dealing with severe depression. One of the funniest men in the world was fighting horrible inner demons a lot of us weren’t even aware of. He gave us the gift of laughter, a gift that will live on forever through all his movies, shows, and standups.

Something I read yesterday that made me chuckle a bit was a reference to the movie Jumanji: “I refuse to believe Robin Williams is dead, he’s just stuck in the jungle waiting for someone to roll a 5 or an 8.”

But this morning I was thinking about that and realized, technically he’d already been stuck in a jungle, living with severe depression left him trapped in his own mind. He’s rolled himself a 5 or 8, and hopefully he’s found the freedom he so desperately craved. Rest in peace, Mr. Williams.

"Genie, you're free."

“Genie, you’re free.”

Pancake muffins!

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I came across a recipe idea by Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, for pancake mini muffins. Instead of making regular pancakes, you pour the pancake batter in a muffin tin and bake it in the oven. I was intrigued at the idea. Pancakes are one of my favorite foods but I hate hovering around a hot stove, even for pancakes. The idea of just pouring the batter into a greased tin and walking away for a few minutes sounded worth giving a shot.

photo source

I don’t have a mini muffin tin, so I Googled “pancakes in muffin tins” and found a post on Pinterest which says to cook them at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Ree recommends cooking mini muffins at 425 degrees for 8-9 minutes. I mixed the two posts up and cooked mine at 425 for about 12 minutes. They were completely cooked but could’ve used a couple of more minutes. Still, for my first attempt they were pretty tasty, and at least I didn’t burn them!

I used a boxed mix (lazy!) which worked fine, you can use a mix or make the batter from scratch. Ree has a recipe on her post if you don’t have one you usually follow.

Fun fact: Blueberry pancakes are the only way I’ll eat blueberries, I actually really hate blueberries.

UPDATE: I made a second batch, this time at 350 degrees for 12 minutes, they came out perfect! I added food coloring this time, so they also came out purple!


The plugin popup — A new trend that should really stop.

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Info blurred for privacy.

Info blurred for privacy.

This is a new thing I’ve noticed lately. Either I’ll come across a new-to-me blog I’m interested in checking out, or I’m trying to read something I found on Pinterest, and suddenly this little window pops up. The Facebook plugin asking me to go Like the site’s Facebook page. I even mentioned this on Twitter a couple of weeks ago:

Bloggers, do not do this. Do not add nonsense like this to your blog. Why? Because I’m a brand new reader, and I do not want to be asked to follow you on social networking sites before I’ve even read anything you’ve written. Why should I already Like your page if I don’t even know whether I actually like your site? Posting the social buttons in your header or sidebar is one thing, that’s completely acceptable, I can see them and I’ll know to come back to them if I end up enjoying your blog. But if I get a popup asking me to Like you on Facebook before I’ve had the chance to finish the single blog entry I was trying to read, I’m not even going to bother finishing, I’m just going to leave. I could have been a new fan, and your plugin popup ruined my interest. Please, just don’t do this.

My current favorite free Android apps.

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A friend just bought an Android and asked me to recommend some of my favorite apps, so I figured I might as well blog about it. I’m new to smartphones myself, but I’ve had mine for a year, so there are definitely a few apps I feel I can recommend to someone who might not already know about them.

apps 1. Out of Milk – I only just started using this a few months ago, but it’s become my go-to app for shopping lists. I have a list for groceries, a list for non-food items to buy (such as gardening supplies and movies), and I use the Pantry List to keep track of my sushi supplies so I know when to buy more rice and because I can never remember if I need more seaweed. I love being able to divide everything by store or product or whatever I need them divided by since you can customize the category names. It’s also available on the iPhone, so I linked to the site instead of the app page.

2. HabitRPG – This is the mobile app for the to-do RPG I recommended in this entry.

3. MyChain – I use this app to help create daily/weekly goals, and to keep track of when I last did something. For example, I have a chain to keep track of flossing at least three times a week, and a chain for a particular task I need to do every two weeks.

4. ColorNote – I don’t use this one as much anymore but it’s perfect if you need to add a quick reminder to your homepage, like putting color coordinated Post-Its on your phone.

apps3 5. Garden Manager: Plant Alarm – I needed an app to keep track of when to water my plants, I’d mostly just been watering all my plants every other day. Some needed more than that, some needed less, and some needed a lot less. I constantly lost track of when I’d watered my favorite cactus and almost drowned the poor thing, luckily it didn’t drown but now I might’ve accidentally scorched it. Whoops. But this app has helped me a lot, I don’t actually use the alarms because I check it every day anyway, but my favorite feature is the ability to add more pictures of your plants as they bloom and change. I keep notes about my plants in a composition notebook but I hadn’t been taking pictures till now. Gardening is unfortunately something I’ve discovered I’m not a natural at, but at least I’ve finally stopped overwatering my plants.

6. Photo Grid – This is the app I use to make photo collages for Instagram such as this and this.

7. VSCO Cam – If you want to do any editing to your photos, this is the app to use.

8. Pixlr Express – This was the app I’d used before VSCO, it’s how I got the hang of what I wanted to do to my Instagram photos when I’d need to fiddle with coloring or something. I still occasionally use it for the Auto Fix setting.

apps2 9. SwiftKey – I stuck with the free keyboards included in my phone, not really having any interest in installing yet another keyboard until I learned about SwiftKey. There was an article on both Facebook and Twitter mentioning the app becoming free, and I realized a lot of my friends use it, either because they had something to say or because I can see they +1′d it or reviewed it on the app page. You used to have to pay, but it’s now free (with more features you can purchase, of course) and it even has a bunch of emoji. That was honestly the main reason I decided to check this app out and there’s just no going back. You have to change some of the settings so you won’t lose your mind, such as changing the spacebar to always create a space instead of acting as an Enter key for the autocorrect suggestions, but I’m very happy with this keyboard. Plus, I could make it purple! Another bonus is the keys are larger, so I downloaded this app on my mom’s phone too so she can type without needing to wear reading glasses since she’s far-sighted.

10. Tip N Split Calculator – Crucial if you’re bad at math and don’t want to stiff your server or need to split your check amongst multiple people.

Turning your to-do list into a game with HabitRPG.

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At the beginning of the year, I found out about HabitRPG, a website that turns your to-do list into an RPG game. You get a little avatar and can make tasks and goals for yourself, divided into three sections: Habits, Dailies, and To-Dos. You can check out this video for an explanation on how most of the site works, but here’s a breakdown of each section:

Habits: This is stuff you want to accomplish on a regular basis, maybe a regular habit you’re trying to start or things you need to do and can easily forget about. Exercising, watering plants, journalling, quitting smoking, etc. You can click the plus sign when you do well or when you accomplish something, and the minus sign when you don’t.

Dailies: This is where you list things you want to do anywhere from every day to at least once a week. Instead of the plus/minus in the Habits section, you just click the checkmark. Maybe you want to make sure you eat breakfast everyday, or do the dishes every other day, or vacuum once a week. Also unlike the Habits section, you can add checklists to your tasks in this section.

To-Dos: Self explanatory, this section is where you mention all the other stuff you need to accomplish. For example, I make notes for my blog, such as things I need to tweak/fix in the layout or ideas for entries (which is why some of the stuff in my screenshot is blurred). You can also add checklists to your tasks here.

Rewards: Your rewards can be things like taking a day off from your chores, watching an episode of a tv show you’re catching up on, buying yourself something, or maybe treating yourself to a snack. You set the amount of gold you want each reward to be worth, making it as easy or as difficult to earn each reward as you want.

I used to have at least two to-do lists at all times, even after I finally got a smartphone. I had one list for stuff I did on a regular basis, one list for unimportant stuff I needed to do eventually, and whatever else I might make a list for. Since signing up for HabitRPG, that is my main to-do list now. It’s completely replaced the to-do app I’d been using on my phone, and I’m down to only one pad of paper on my desk. I’ve even stopped bothering to make a to-do list in my daily planner, HabitRPG has completely simplified how I keep track of what I want to accomplish.

If you have trouble finishing tasks or want to stop using multiple lists and apps, give HabitRPG a try.

Reasons why I might not be reading your blog.

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I have a handful of pet peeves when it comes to other people’s blogs and blogging techniques.

  • Lousy layout.
  • Not everyone is a graphic designer, not everyone can have a layout that can be described with words such as “fluid,” “seamless,” “chic,” and other strange words that should be used to describe furniture and not a website. But I feel like some bloggers don’t actually look at their own blog, they don’t realize obvious problems such as the content box being way too thin or banner ads covering half the site because the sidebar is in a weird location.

  • Too many ads.
  • Let’s get real here, the only people who enjoy banner ads are the people making money off of them. I don’t mean links to similar blogs, I mean advertisements leeching information from the sites you visit. I don’t need a reminder of something I looked at on Amazon that I can’t buy because I’m still unemployed, and what little money I earn has to go to actually important things and not “important” things. I can deal with one or two ads but lately, blogs are more advertisements than actual content and sometimes it’s hard to tell where I’m supposed to actually find the content on the page.

  • Busy sidebar with too many links and too much blog info.
  • Multiple banner ads, social media buttons, a column of 200×169 images trying to grab my attention to go look at someone else’s blog, large buttons trying to push me to other sections of the blog I’m already on, a dozen ways to get updates about the blog… I get overwhelmed and annoyed seeing way too much in a sidebar. You want to grab people’s attention but you don’t want to keep it on the sidebar. I used to be guilty of this, I just wasn’t sure how much of it was actually important. Some should go there, the rest can go on a “etc” page.

  • No mini bio in the sidebar, or no About page.
  • You may not realize this, but that mini bio is actually pretty important on a personal blog. If there’s no mini bio (not all blogs have a sidebar) then there needs to be an About page. Readers like knowing who we are, whose blog they’re looking at. There needs to be a face and name to associate with the blog to have a personal connection with the writer. Privacy is important, but too much privacy is off-putting.

  • No contact information, or hard to find/read.
  • Include your email. And don’t make it impossible to read, typing [at] instead of @ and [dot] for every period doesn’t avoid as much spam mail as you’d think. If anything, it might be keeping people from contacting you because they don’t want to have to remove all those brackets. This is something else I used to be guilty of.

  • Multiple CAPTCHA codes to comment.
  • I just want to comment on your entry, I’m not trying to steal a priceless work of art. If I have to enter more than one code just to leave a comment, I won’t bother, and might not even return to your site.

  • Constant hauls and giveaways.
  • I get it, you run a beauty blog and recieve a lot of freebies or just buy way too much, and want to show it off or get rid of it. You don’t have to do one every single week.

  • “Share on these sites” social media buttons underneath each post
  • Unless you have a LOT of readers, I really doubt anyone’s sharing your blog entries. Even then, I doubt many people are actually visiting your site through those shared posts. Those buttons are a complete eyesore.

And one more: If you’re a lousy speller, there is no excuse not to use spellcheck.

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