April 28, 2010

I'm a Gleek

Gleek: not just a fan, but a super-fan of Glee the best show on FOX.

And I don't even particularly like FOX. Nor do I have a tv.

Except they did have that show by Morgan Spurlock 30 Days which I also loved.

But, I digress...

I auditioned for Glee. It's true. Please disregard any glaring vocal mistakes, the karaoke was hard! Please disregard the fact that I'm 27 and am about to celebrate my 10-year high school reunion and I'm auditioning for a show set in high school. Luckily most people think I'm about 20...or 16 like this guy.  Please also disregard the fact that I look a bit psychotic in my introduction video at the original URL. I'm special sometimes.

Please just vote for me.

I'll even take a pity vote. Because I guess I need gold stars for something...I'm not sure how this all works. That might be another reason why I'm old. 

( :

Here's the original URL: http://www.myspace.com/gleeauditions?link=532668245
(And if you want to tell your friends I wouldn't hate you for it!)

Thank you!

April 24, 2010

Chocolate-Banana Chocolate-Chip Cupcakes

Oooh. These are yummy.
The name needs some work though...any suggestions?

We let our bananas get ripe and then when they peak and are too brown to just eat, we pop those bad boys in the freezer (peel and all) and save them until I'm ready to get down to bid-ness. (That's business, for those of you who don't listen to pop radio.) Then you just let them thaw, mash 'em up and go forth and conquer your next recipe. Like this one. Or maybe these cookies.

...the tang of cream cheese frosting (everything is better with cream cheese)...
...and a garnish of a chocolate dipped banana chip...
...mmwah! *kisses fingertips*

These should be enjoyed with friends. Or by yourself. Or in the dark of the night when a cupcake is calling your name.


No, really, they literally called my name.
Until I ate them. 

Kidding! I only ate a couple, I gave the rest of them away! ( :

Chocolate-Banana Chocolate-Chip Cupcakes
  • 1 stick (8 Tbsp) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup Oil
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 3/4 cup Milk (Buttermilk would be awesome, but I used Whole)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • 3 ripe Bananas (approximately 1 1/2 cups), mashed
  • 2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Tbsp Vinegar
  • 2 3/4 cups Flour
  • 1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Put butter, oil and sugar in large mixing bowl. Beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, combining after each addition.  Mix in milk and vanilla before adding bananas.

3. Combine vinegar and baking soda, then add to wet ingredients.

4. Sift flour, cocoa powder and salt together. Add dry ingredients to wet until combined.

5. Fill muffin liners 1/2-3/4 full with batter, bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.

6. Allow to cool and then frost with your favorite cream cheese frosting. (This time I used: 8 oz cream cheese, 3 Tbsp butter, 1 tsp vanilla, 4ish cups powdered sugar.)

    April 22, 2010

    Self-Empowerment Day

    Oh, happy day!

    This picture was taken on an evening when I wasn't going any where special, I just thought I looked super cute and decided to take a picture of myself.  I told someone that once and they laughed at me....so I'm glad to have this Self-Empowerment Day as an outlet to talk about it. :)  This picture has become one of my favorites of myself.  My hair was just beginning to get longer (I'm actually thinking of cutting it back to this length just because of the awesomeness of this picture) and I was at a point in my life when I was truly happy with most aspects of my life (body image, work, social life, spiritual life).  I think that is written all over my face....I really like my smile....not just in this picture, but in general.  I think it's one of my best features.  The scarf....I LOVE scarves!  I also love the color of the scarf and how it is a great complimentary color to the green shirt.  I feel like I just got the outfit coordinating right on with this one. :)  One last thing...I really like the happiness in my eyes in this picture.  I never noticed ever in my life before I took this picture that one of my eyes is a different shape than the other one.  Life lesson: Examining myself is SO important to me because what I sometimes see as a flaw at first (i.e. differently shaped eyes) often becomes something I lovingly embrace about myself.
    I love the shape of my face, the shape of my nose, the color of my eyes that are a myriad of colors, the length of my eyelashes, the curve of my hips, the fact that I can't stop giggling once I get started.

    If I could look any one way for my whole life, I would want to look like this. I love the color and style of my hair. It's like waves of chocolate cascading down my face. I love that smile. It's subtle and sweet. Like I have a secret. I love the shirt I'm wearing. it's one of my favorites, always fits me well. I think, though, that my favorite feature is the shine in my eyes. It looks like something you would photoshop in. Overall, I love the me I see in this picture and I know I have her in me all the time.
    I love to be impulsive. I was too terribly hot on Easter afternoon and instead of turning on the air conditioner, I soaked my hair and tied a wet bandana around my neck. So here in this photo my hair is all tousled and I’m feeling quite cool, thank you very much. I love my smile and my dimples, especially in this photo, (usually I’m too frozen to like my smile).  I love with how I am flirting with the viewer, daring you to be impulsive, too.
    I like this picture.  I think, layered scarfs aside, that it looks natural and relaxed.  I really like my face...I've been told I'm beautiful and now I'm starting to believe it.  I learning to embrace that I am beautiful and powerful and worth loving.  Thanks, Amy, for the opportunity to put that into words.



     I take pleasure in this photo as it represents a transition in life for me.  It is a time of bringing back great happiness to a place where it was lacking.  I enjoy my rounded teeth and slightly crooked smile, a bit imperfect but sincere.  I also love my curly hair and sideburns.  It says you can be fun and yet professional.  I am grateful for my eyes as well, piercing with a blue that seems to phase depending on my surroundings.  It is an authentic picture, without any flash or distractions.  The self-portrait is of me as a fresh person, ready for life’s next leg.  
    Curls curls curls curls curls. They are soft, bouncy, crazy, laid back, happy, fuzzy, comforting and they probably reflect who I am more now than they ever have. I've made good friends with them and I let them be what they are and love them for it. Same goes for myself. I like my crow's feet! And they are getting more prominent all the time. The are my "tattoo" of my smile, which I wear a lot, and I love that about me.I like my eyes. When I don't feel my age and I think that I have not lived or experienced much, my eyes say something different. All the knowledge and life lessons I have acquired can be seen there. They are inviting and comforting and sparkle when I'm feeling sassy. :)
    Emotions. They play across my face: I can't help it, I can't control it, and I don't want it to go away! I love emotions. I've tried to hide them, but then I just end up feeling...ugh. So, I live in them. I can go from laughter to tears, from sorrow to joy, from peaceful to impatient. I get frustrated. I feel homesick. I get excited. I feel silly. I cry watching movies and tv shows (Project Runway, anyone?). I laugh reading books. And I giggle...oh, I giggle. Life is full of different experiences and I want to live them all through my fully-emotive being.


    I like this picture. I always used to think my nose was too big and it curved up too much like snobby girls, but in this picture it looks nice. My eyes are my favorite feature: hazel, although you can't tell it in this picture, and I like that I'm not looking at the camera. I think I look thoughtful, in a silly way, and I like that combination. I also like the way my hair looks here. Plus, I really like how silly Meagan looks contrasted with how serious I am. This photo captures a piece of me. A piece I like.

    In this photo I see everything good about who I have become over a lifetime of experience.  I buzzed my hair a few weeks ago and I have fallen in love with my new, simple, masculine look, complete with the unshaven face that makes me smile when I notice it in the mirror.  What is it about scruff that makes me so happy?  Unknown.  The hint of a smile is a one-gesture summation of nearly every moment of my life—what would it be without a constant hint of happiness, laughter, joy, absurdity, and even impishness?


    Thank you to everyone who contributed to this first (of many?) Self-Empowerment Day! I really appreciate it! We can say kind things to each other, but how incredible is it to say those kind things to ourselves? Take a moment to tell yourself why you're amazing.

    By sharing the beauty we see within ourselves, we
    can inspire others to see beauty within themselves. 
    Embrace your ability to see yourself as 
    the gorgeous human being you are.

    (And if you want to share that here...just shoot me an email and I'll add it to this post!)

    April 21, 2010

    Why Am I Single?

    Ten fantastic skills I have:

    1. I can crack an egg with one hand. And I usually (like, 90% of the time) don't even get any shells in the eggs.
    2. I can fold a fitted sheet. Yes, mad, mad skills.
    3. I can show affection. Just ask Hank.
    4. I can get ready for my day in less than 30 minutes.
    5. I can bake. (I don't know if you knew this about me, but I CAN! I CAN!)
    6. I can bargain hunt like a police dog searching for drugs. (Bad analogy? OK, you're right.)
    7. I can give a bangarang massage.
    8. I can--and do--quote action adventure movies and lame-o comedies.
    9. I can put on my spare tire, if I were to have a flat.
    10. I can knit a scarf and crochet a hat.

    See? I gots skillz. Apparently they're not spelling, nor are they highly-desirable dating qualities.

    I'm sure you know, since you haven't gotten an update that speaks otherwise, that my plan of finding truuuuuuuuuueeee wuv on my blog has failed...so far.

    I am, however, KEEPING HOPE ALIVE!

    Thank you.

    I have a strange, strange father.

    Remember my dad?

    I just think you should know some more about him, so I'm going share this facebook conversation we just had.

    Dan hey (Hmm...strange. He usually says "hey turd.")
    Me hello (And in response to "hey turd" I usually say "Turd Ferguson. what's up?" Do you know the Turd Ferguson SNL Jeopardy sketches? HILARIOUS.)
    Dan well its about time (The expectation is that if it says we are on facebook then we will respond immediately to his message.)
    Me sorry, i'm baking
    Dan im watching the office
    Me nice
    you're up kinda late (He normally goes to bed watching a DVD around 9:30 pm.)
    Dan i am up way too late
    took a nap after school
    Me i see
    i'm baking chocolate-banana-chocolate chip cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
    Dan wow - did you want my judgment on them?
    Me sure
    they're mostly banana chocolate chip cupcakes
    did you want to try one?
    Dan got milk? (My dad LOVES milk. As children we would go through several gallons of milk a week, I don't think I really started drinking water until college. He uses one of those freezer cups-probably intended for beer or some other alcoholic beverage, for milk and pop. He likes his milk icy.)
    Me a little, but not much
    Dan too bad
    Me i'm not going to finish them until tomorrow anyways, so i'll have to run to the store
    Dan we had corn dogs for supper and burnt sweet corn
    Me wow that just sounds delicious
    Dan mom was going to throw it away - but i spent a lot of time growing it so i just ate the whole pot
    tasted kind of like popcorn (Best line ever? I think possibly, yes.)
    Me you are so weird.
    Dan yeah - and will probably have the runs tomorrow (I'm not sure that such a thing as TMI exists in my family.)
    Me most likely. (Because who eats an entire pot--probably 8 to 10 ears--of corn?!?)
    Dan time for bed - love you
    Me love you too!

    Yes, that was 10 minutes long.

    We are a little strange. I embrace the strange though. What family is "normal"?

    April 18, 2010

    Sometimes a girl just wants to get away...

    I feel that my emotions right now can best be expressed through song and interpretive dance. Since I'm not making a video because I'm lazy, you can do the interpretive dancing if you like and pretend like I'm with you.

    Go ahead. I won't laugh.
    Far Away
    Ingrid Michaelson

    I will live my life as a lobsterman's wife on an island in the blue bay
    He will take care of me, he will smell like the sea,
    And close to my heart he'll always stay

    I will bear three girls all with strawberry curls, little Ella and Nelly and Faye (side note from Amy: ginger babies? YES PLEASE! I promise to invest in sunscreen.)
    While I'm combing their hair, I will catch his warm stare
    On our island in the blue bay

    Far away far away, I want to go far away
    To a new life on a new shore line
    Where the water is blue and the people are new
    To another island, in another life

    There's a boy next to me and he never will be anything but a boy at the bar
    And I think he's the tops, he's where everything stops
    How I love to love him from afar

    When he walks right pass me then I finally see on this bar stool I can't stay
    So I'm taking my frown to a far distant town
    On an island in the blue bay.

    Far away far away, I want to go far away
    To a new life on a new shore line
    Where the water is blue and the people are new
    To another island, in another life
    I want to go far away
    Away away, I want to go far away, away, away
    I want to go far away, far away

    Where the water is blue and the people are new
    To another life, to another life
    To another shoreline, in another life

    In other news...I have yet to receive one submission from ANYONE! Can you believe it? You must be waiting for some more encouragement to say good things about yourself! Here are some words you might use to tell me about what you love about you: beautiful, brilliant, aesthetically pleasing, radiant, stunning, cute, powerful, strong, curvy, brave, talented, bootylicious, smart, excellent, capable, gifted, luxurious, sexy, creative, empathetic, artistic, friendly, fast, thoughtful....just to name a few. Send me an e-mail! (If you have no idea what I'm talking about please read this post! [The one right below this one!] DO IT! BE BRAVE! BE BOLD!)

    April 15, 2010

    Hear ye, Hear ye!

    Over the course of the next week, I am calling for submissions from you!

    Yes, YOU.

    The person sitting in front of the screen reading this random nonsense. I appreciate that about you, the fact that you stick with me and read my random nonsense.

    On April 22, 2010 I am declaring a Self-Empowerment Day!
    (If this day exists in real life, please let me know, but my declared day on April 22 will also exist.)

    What do I want from YOU? I want two things.

    FIRST: I want your favorite self-portrait. A picture you took of yourself--just you, no one else. Maybe on your computer, in the mirror, by turning your camera around and clicking it, perhaps you're an expert with the timer. Maybe it's a close-up of your favorite part of your face. Do you love your nose? Your fantastic ears? Your smile?

    SECOND: I want a paragraph (not a novel) about what you love about this picture and what you love about yourself. Be real. Be true to yourself. Take a good, long look and tell yourself. Do you have a favorite feature? Personality trait? Skill? Talent? I won't think you're arrogant, unless you tell me that your favorite thing about yourself is that you're rolling in bucket-loads of money. Then I might punch you in the baby maker.

    I'm hoping to have at least 10 different people to put up on April 22. If I have more, I would love, love, LOVE that.

    This is my submission example(I love the self-timer route of self-portrait):


    I'm not fully smiling in this picture. I love my smile, but sometimes I think it's radiance overshadows my eyes. Here, I'm drawn to my eyes. Although I don't look like my brothers, we all have the same eye color, brown in the middle with green at the edges. I like looking in the mirror and seeing that resemblance staring back at me especially since we don't get to see each other enough. My eyes are what allow me to see the world around me. They take in color and light. They compose a picture before I can bring a camera to my face. Eyes show as much joy, sorrow, compassion, pain, warmth, gentleness, welcoming and love as the rest of our bodies. My favorite things to see are sunrise and sunset. Without my eyes, I would miss out on much of my blessed, beautiful life.

    By sharing the beauty we see within ourselves, we can inspire others to see beauty within themselves. 
    Embrace your creativity, embrace your ability to see yourself as the gorgeous human being you are.

    The deets: Please edit your picture (crop it, adjust color, straighten it--all that jazz) however you want it posted. Please keep your paragraph succinct and to the point. Tell us a story, have a conversation with yourself, love yourself. NO QUALIFIERS! Example of a qualifier: I have pretty eyes, but only when I take time to put on eyeshadow and mascara. You know what I have to say to that: try again! Shoot me an email at aehoff@gmail.com with your submission or any questions. Thanks!

    Failed Recipe

    I made another Martha Stewart cupcake.

    Snickerdoodle Cupcakes. They sound good, right? They look good, right?
    They sucked. I would definitely not make them again. Definitely, definitely.

    The cake was dry (despite under-cooking it) and was not high in flavor to make up for the dryness.

    The frosting was yummy. Seven-minute frosting is delicious and sweet and meringue-y. It wasn't heavy enough to balance the dry cake though. Maybe it was my quantity of icing to cake? I like seven-minute frosting on a light, airy cake. Something more like an angel-food.
    They were pretty. The cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top made for a lovely-looking cupcake.

    Did Martha fail or did I fail?

    I choose the former.

    April 11, 2010

    In the Spirit of Ridiculousness

    Which I am.

    Completely ridiculous, that is.

    I will now tell you about my wedding. The one in my head.

    Here's my wedding ring set:
    I mean, if he wants to give me his grandmother's ring or some other lovely family heirloom I'd take that too, but I like these. Simple. Pretty. Personal (the word on the silver band is customized). HOWEVER, I don't hate diamonds. Just putting it out there.

    Here's the dress:
    It's from J. Crew, and I like it's simplicity. I like the empire waist. I like the price-tag. I like the crossover detail over the bust and that it's not guilded to death. I am a little worried about boob-control. Strapless+Large Bosom=Iffy support. I can see this at an outdoor wedding at the lake. That would be Oliver Lake in Indiana, which, as you've heard, is my favorite place on earth. Which is where I'm getting married in the fantasy land residing in my head.

    Here's the jewelry:
    Yeah, I know. It makes my heart go pitter-patter too. Seriously. It's from Tweak (which I read about on PW) and I love it...maybe more than my artificial fiance who is marrying me in my head.

    Have I mentioned that this is all in my head?

    And now it's out on the internet so you can all see how crazy I am.

    I'll either be rockin' these bad boys from Toms or going barefoot. Yeah, they're white glitter. The whole bridal party will be wearin' the Toms. Because I said so. And also because I like to think about kids (and adults) who don't have shoes getting shoes so they can go to school or work to better their lives.

    So, in my imaginary wedding-in my head-everyone (all the guests, not just the bridal par-tay) is wearing creams and taupes and beiges. The bridesmaids are wearing knee-length choose your own dress in beige. (I think beige since I'm the imaginary bride and I would like to stand out in white. Thankyouverymuch.)

    Since they're choosing their dresses, I'm choosing the jewelry. Keeping in theme with my bangin' necklace, they will wear something like this:
    Pretty right?

    These are going to be the flowers decorating the reception area.
    Ranunculus. Mmmmmm...gorgeous. Do you think the flowers and the neclaces are too much? I'm not sure about the bouquets we'd carry...in my head. IN MY HEAD. IN MY HEAD. I am feeling a little like I'm living in crazy-town, but I'm almost done, so want to keep going?

    The reception will be in a tent. WIth a dance floor. Oh, there will be dancing. Lots and lots of dancing. We'll dance among twinkle lights and candle light and it will be beautiful. In my head, at least it's beautiful. And the food. I haven't decided what it will be, but I'm thinking buffet and finger food. I also love the idea of ice cream sundaes. (I stole that from Dennae's wedding.) Something unique for the cake. Maybe an array of different cakes. Or cupcakes. Or cheesecake. Decisions...decisions.

    Of course the groom is still faceless, nameless, and non-existent.

    Wish me luck!

    April 6, 2010


    Could you please explain to me what qualifies you as an adult?

    Because I'm wondering.

    If I don't feel like an adult am I not an adult?

    Please assist.

    Thank you.

    (There will be a real blog-post again someday.)

    April 4, 2010

    Spring has Sprung

    I don't know about your neck of the woods, but out here the flowers are bloomin' the trees are buddin' and the sun is shinin'!

    (OK, I basically love every season, but the transition time is my favorite.)

    New life, new growth, fresh color:


    The best parts (so far) about my spring?
    1. Sitting on the porch.
    2. Wearing dresses.
    3. Sleeping with open windows and waking up to the birds. (Assuming the cats don't wake me up first.)
    4. Blue skies, sunshine, and walking.
    5. Iced lattes.
    6. Driving with the windows down. 

    What about you?
    Happy Easter!

    April 1, 2010

    Martha's Cupcakes

    I'm thinking April might be a cupcake month. Cupcakes and muffins and delicious things that come in a single-serving sized paper wrapper.

    Yes, this just occurred to me, but I'm nothing if not impulsive. So put the cookies on the back burner and get ready for CUPCAKE APRIL! Yay!

    Try not to hide your joy.

    I like that Martha (I actually say Mah-Thah, if you want to get my actual inflection as you read this.) included this recipe in her cupcake book. And by "Martha" I mean "Martha's people." Her people are wicked awesome.

    Wicked awesome.

    You know it.

    I also like to break the rules. However, this time, I went in with the goal of NO RULE BREAKING. Which means that I was going to follow the recipe and dot every "i" and cross every "t." I almost made it. I only tweaked the icing a little. A very little, teeny, tiny, itsy-bitsy bit. Just a touch of cinnamon and vanilla. And you know what? I'm glad I did it. HA! Take that Martha.

    Make these for breakfast, brunch, a snack or even dessert. The dense, moist cake is almost eggy in flavor. Cinnamon, brown sugar, and a sweet icing will remind you of some of the best coffee cake you've ever had. Ever.

    Streusel Muffin-cakes 
    (Does "Muffcakes" sound dirty? Because I really want to call them Muffcakes.)

    Cake Portion
    • 2 1/2 cups Flour
    • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
    • 1 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
    • 1/2 tsp Salt
    • 10 Tbsp Butter, softened
    • 1 cup Sugar
    • 3 Eggs
    • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
    • 1 1/4 cups Sour Cream
    Combine dry ingredients, set aside. Cream butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time combining after each addition.  Mix in vanilla and sour cream by hand. (Martha says so! But if you use your mixer, I won't tell anyone.) Stir in the dry ingredients until just combined. Fill cupcake liners half full and top with streusel topping (Be not afraid, pile the streusel on!) Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.

    • 2 1/4 cups Flour (I actually think I would reduce this to 1 3/4 cups.)
    • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
    • 2 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
    • 3/4 tsp Salt
    • 10 Tbsp Butter, softened
    Mix until just combined with a pastry cutter or your hands. Refrigerate until ready to use. (I made this first and just stuck it in the freezer. Martha wants you to refrigerate it for 30 minutes.)

    • 1 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
    • 2 Tbsp Milk
    • 1 tsp Vanilla
    • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
    Whisk together. Add more milk if necessary to reach desired consistency. Drizzle over cooled cupcakes. 
    Share with friends and ENJOY!