Starving Artist: Sour Cream Apple Pie That I Can’t Eat

I bought oodles of gala apples on sale this week because it’s one of three breeds of apple I can safely eat on the IC diet. It was with great sadness that I realized that it would be impossible for Josh and I to finish the bag of apples by the time we left this Thursday morning for his brother Philip’s wedding. Surely they would go bad by the time we returned Monday.
I didn’t worry for long about what to do with the apples. You see, I have a professor with a tremendous sweet tooth who makes her affinity for pastries quite common knowledge in her classes. I whipped her up a pie last night.
This recipe was doubly good because it used up my apples as well as the pint of sour cream I had in the fridge but could not eat on the IC diet.
Sour Cream Apple Pie
1 cup sour cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
dash of cinnamon
dash of cloves
dash of cardamom
3 cups tart apples, peeled and sliced lengthwise (yes, lengthwise makes a difference, lol)
1 9-inch unbaked pie crust
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350.
Thoroughly mix sour cream, sugar, flour, egg, and seasonings. Add apple slices and toss. Place into a single fluted pie crust.
For topping, combine ingredients and thoroughly mix (with hands works best) into coarse crumbs. Distribute over surface of pie.
Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours.

Live Well, Dress Well: Heaps of Heap!

While I’m ashamed to admit that I first discovered Imogen Heap because of Jason Derulo’s ridiculously overplayed song “Whatcha Say” in which the chorus samples Heap’s “Hide and Seek,” she soon became famous to me in her own right and is now one of the most inspiring individuals in my life. I am amazed by the utterly transcendent quality of her tunes. Her lyrics are at once mysterious and relatable. Her voice is pure and unique, and her music meshes a folksy soft jazz with elements of dance and electronica. Not to mention that the simplicity of the “Hide and Seek” music video mixed with the complexity of the song itself almost makes me pass out every time . . .

It’s her fashion sense, though, that really makes me feel right at home. I was forced to admit my strong affinity for her when Josh saw me making this collage for inspiration and peeked over my shoulder to say, “Oh, she’s got your style.” When I gave him a look of quizzical surprise, he corrected himself: “Or you’ve got hers . . . I don’t know . . .”

Well, I don’t think I’m quite that flamboyant, but that’s cute that he noticed the similarities.

I’m amazed that while I initially labelled Imogen as too high fashion and unwearable for my taste, I’ve slowly come to realize that my wardrobe is made up of a lot of similar elements (statement scarves, “ratty” dresses, arm-warmers, and I-didn’t-touch-this-today hair, anyone?).

Imogen’s style is all about bold imperfection. She relies on bright colors, full-bodied fabrics and textures, and unfinished edges created by feathers, fringe, and fur. Of course, the most gorgeously imperfect element of her style is her wild and wonderful hair. Up or down, plain or embellished, Imogen’s hair always makes an all-natural, easy, breezy, statement about how effortlessly chic this fashionista is.

I channelled the “unfinished” look with a gorgeous black fur vest and a frayed navy flower headband (our lady of the hour is big on flowers) as well as with the ruffling of the purple peasant skirt. The skirt glams the outfit up a bit with the smoothness of the sheer fabric, but it stays true to the slight bulkiness of many of Imogen’s outfits with all of the ruffles. These pointed heels with ribbed sock cover-ups are totally something Imogen would wear, and the black sheer tights add a sexiness that is always so subtle with her. Of course, I had to incorporate some arm warmers, and these sweater gauntlets were just the thing. I would wear the vest as a top on it’s own, but you might want to layer a long-sleeved t-shirt under something like this. Also, I would rock a messy updo with this outfit.That’s important if your channeling Heap hair!
Be sure to check out some of Imogen Heap’s music. There is so much more out there besides the notorious “Hide and Seek.” I recommend “Goodnight and Go,” “Speeding Cars,” and “Headlock.”
P.S. Her second outfit in the “Headlock” music video is to die for.

Fashion DIY: The Death of the Skinny White Cargos

When it comes to DIYing my own fashion from largely unfashionable pieces I currently own, I am a total fail at taking “before” pictures. Of course, this is the case with the super low-rise skinny cargo pants I made last semester that just saw their last day today.
The crotch exploded. Fortunately, I was about to go home anyway, so I discreetly shuffled back to my apartment and changed. I was wearing a long shirt. Hopefull nobody got flashed.
Anyway, I suppose you’ll just have to take my word for it that the pants used to look like this:
Yes, I purchased a pair of men’s white Aeropostale cargo pants at Salvo, and I actually wore them back when I attended a high school where jeans were not a widely accepted part of the dress code. However, apparently I realized at some point that not only did they not fit, but they looked like–well, men’s cargo pants. For this reason the pants had not seen the light of day for years by the time I retrieved them from my bottom drawer after stumbling upon this WikiHow post.
I’ve long been a fan of the skinny cargo trend, so I wanted my quick fix to be a bit more permanent than what is recommended in the above tutorial. Of course, this made the remodel a bit less quick as well, and as you can guess from today’s mishap, not as permanent as I would have hoped.
Nevertheless, after a weekend of sewing by hand, this was the delicious result:

The pics are from back when I made them,
not from today’s exhibitionist escapade.
RIP skinny white cargos. I suppose I actually have to pay money for a pair of white pants now . . .

Reblog: Deadly Post Processing Sins

Photographer and blogger Natalie Norton has written a satire piece for the Digital Photography School website about the major no-nos of photo processing. I could not find a date on the post, so it could be ancient, but I just discovered it for the first time, so I thought I’d share.

Keep in mind, she is exaggerating. Please do not be offended if she has trashed some of your favorite post effects. What Norton is preaching is moderation. She provides an excellent reminder to resist the temptation of compensating for a poorly taken photograph with special effects. This is never a good idea! (And I’m speaking to myself, as well. I need reminding, too.)

Also, that’s her in the photos!

Follow this link: 10 Deadly Post Processing Sins

What I Wore: Concrete Jungle

Thrifted blazer and tank top, AE jeans, sneakers stolen from my costume for one of my college plays
It’s a jungle out here!

 These pictures were taken by my super sweet sister Rachel in the decorative foliage outside of the local Target. I’m sure that if I hadn’t mentioned that, you would all be complimenting me on my chic and artistic photo shoot atmosphere. You never would have been able to tell, right? That’s what I thought ;-).

The images also preceded a planking adventure which I will not detail at the moment because I have actually been commissioned to write a planking article for the campus newspaper. I think the pictures should wait until I post about the article. They are truly astounding. (Much more impressive than this one of me. I’m an amateur.)

Are You Not Entertained: Concept Art for "The Monkey King"

My World Literature II class has just finished working our way through a massive text entitled Monkey: A Folk Novel of China. Other translations of this Chinese tale are called The Money and the Monk or Journey to the West. The original story is by Wu Cheng-En (pronounced Woo Chung Un) and takes up exactly 100 chapters. The class read through 30 of them, leaving out a major portion of the monotonous traveling in the middle of the book.
The main character of the book is Monkey (who later has his name changed to Aware of Nothingness), an intelligent and ambitious creature who pursues the Buddhist religion until he becomes an all-powerful immortal. While he is invincible, Monkey is not necessarily a model character. He is selfish, curious, and trouble-making, which makes for a fascinating romp through Asia. He is ultimately joined on a journey for the holy Buddhist scriptures by Tripitaka, a legendary Buddhist monk, and two monsters named Pigsy and Sandy.
Iam by no means a Buddhist, but he mysticism of the Orient and of Eastern religions make this novel one of the most colorful and fascinating that I have read, even if the sheer volume of it was a bit exhausting. Oh well, soon I’ll be reading Anna Karenina and only wishing for a mere thirty chapter book. Anyway, it slightly embarrasses me to admit this as an English major, but I had never before read any oriental literature. I really appreciated the snapshot of Chinese culture and history.
The most exciting thing about this book is that a Hong Kong production company is making it into a feature film! Featured in this post is some of the epic concept art for the film The Monkey King which began filming last October. I have heard predictions that it is expected to be the Asian response to Avatar. Depending on what you thought of Avatar, this could be a good or bad thing, but I am excited for sure!

Chow Yun Fat as the Jade Emperor