E85 Border Battle

Tonight will be a quick post.

I have to write about the E85 Border Battle before I fall asleep (I can’t get it off my mind!). The results of the battle have yet to be revealed to me (I am waiting to make a phone call to the Minnesota branch of the American Lung Association to discover the results). Goldie the Gopher kept the customers entertained before I could arrive on the Border Battle scene. During my appearance at the Lake Elmo Holiday, a steady stream of cars filtered into the gas station parking lot, surely to see me. The lot was so busy, the manager of the gas station had to cut people off of the 85 cents off deal–and trust me, there was a disappointed line.

Several young admirers, drawn to the station by the large E85 sail banners, asked to take pictures with me. Each of the photos taken presented an opportunity to talk about ethanol. There were many people who were die-hard fans; which lead me to find some new best friends. My favorite people of the day were two young girls and one fatherly looking van driver.

The two young girls walked over to me, arm and arm, with a camera already fired up. The first thing they told me was “I really like your shoes” while the other admired my pearls. Clearly these two have a good taste in fashion and an even better taste in fuel. These two became my first besties of the day.

The fatherly looking van driver spoke in detail as to why he loved corn ethanol so much. He explained how he first bought a flex-fuel vehicle for his son, and then realized how much money his son was saving and bought one for himself. After the money-saving initial draw, he explained how he learned about how environmentally friendly corn ethanol was (believe me, he knew his facts, from the amount of water used to the number of CO2 s ethanol releases).

Although I do not know the results of the Border Battle, the Minnesota side was surely more enthusiastic than the Wisconsin side. The results will reveal the true winner of the E85 Border Battle (. . . to be continued).

Amazing Corn Cake

In honor of my very first corn-based food item, I thought it would be more than appropriate to make a cake to celebrate the occasion. I made Amazing Corn Cake also to celebrate the first week of school back at St. Thomas. Amazing Corn Cake has a delightful taste similar to corn bread and a muffin blended into one. Butter is a wonderful complement to this piece, although not a requirement.

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 30 min

Ready in: 50 min

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F (or 175 degrees C)

Ingredients:

  • 1 (14.75 ounce) can cream-style corn
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

All Ingredients for Amazing Corn Cake

Note: I am still a college student, and had to get a little creative with my ingredient containers.

Directions

In a medium size bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

2 1/4 cups flour (I used whole wheat flour to be a wee bit healthier)

Flour for Amazing Corn Cake

1 tablespoon baking powder,

Baking Poweder for Amazing Corn Cake

1 teaspoon baking soda,

Baking Powder for Amazing Corn Cake

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cinnamon for Amazing Corn Cake

and 1 teaspoon salt

Dry Mix for Amazing Corn Cake

I chose not to add salt, but always bake to your liking. Be sure mix dry ingredients first (except the sugar) to prevent lumps in the mixture.

In a mixing bowl, combine corn and sugars

1 (14.75 ounce) can cream-style corn

Cream and Corn for Amazing Corn Cake

My grocery store did not have the creamed corn the recipe calls for, so I made my own cream-style corn with a small carton of heavy whipping cream and a can of corn (how easy is that?)

1/2 cup packed brown sugar and

3/4 cup white sugar

Sugars for Amazing Corn Cake

Another advantage of being a college student is that I have no mixer, automatic or hand-held, so I am forced to whisk my ingredients together by hand.

Whisked Sugars and Corn for Amazing Corn Cake

Beat in eggs and oil till well blended. I like to beat my eggs before adding them to anything else so that the yoke doesn’t cause any trouble while mixing.

3 eggs

Eggs for Amazing Corn Cake

1 cup vegetable oil

Oil and Eggs in Amazing Corn Cake

The Oil is a little hard to see, but it’s there!

Mix flour mixture into batter.

Wet and Dry Ingredients Combined in Amazing Corn Cake

Now we’re starting to get a the perfect consistency of cake!

Stir in raisins and nuts.

1/2 cup raisins

Raisins for Amazing Corn Cake

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Chopped Walnuts for Amazing Corn Cake

The corn mixture is complete! Now to turn the batter into cake.

Reminder: Did you already preheat the over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit?

Oven Temperature for Amazing Corn Cake

Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan

Greased Pan for Amazing Corn Bread

Pour batter into greased 9 x 13 inch pan.
Batter in Pan for Amazing Corn Cake

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or till you can insert a tooth pick in the middle of the cake and remove the toothpick without wet batter dripping off. Another way to check if your cake is done is . . .

Baking Amazing Corn Cake

If it looks perfect when cut into like this:

Piece of Cake for Amazing Corn Cake

I hope you enjoy your Amazing Corn Cake. Celebrate corn with this tasty little treat!

Study Monday

Today is Study Monday. The Monday of finals week, St. Thomas gives all the students a day off to study. This day usually consists of everyone looking their worst, a fundraiser or two at Chipotle and Davanni’s, and a feed hosted by the caf late at night. The worst part about study Monday, however, is the idea that every student has the entire day off! This means no tests, quizzes, or papers to be due; which equates to having a lack of motivation to achieve anything. Well, today I have accomplished barely anything that is school and final associated, but I have organized my Twitter account a little more, plus had some time to check out the most amazing person in the entire world, Chad Greenway.


 Greenway grew up on South Dakota and currently plays for the Vikings. For those of you who live under a rock, we (the Vikings) dominated yesterday against the Bengals. He had four solo tackles during that game, no big deal. This was crucial because the first half of the game was primarily a defense game. His contribution to the game was the main reason the Vikings won, I’m sure of it. Chad, if you read this, much love my dear, much love. Thanks for making my Study Monday thoroughly enjoyable.

A Balancing Act

Yes, yes, and yes. Twilight was everything and more that I expected. Four of my girlfriends and I were surrounded by twelve year olds and their families, but we were equally excited about the high and low parts of the movie. I would like to reiterate my support for team Jacob. Props to him for all of his hard work on his physic in the past year, it made me enjoy the movie one hundred times more. Have you seen the Burger King movie that shows various combinations of people who are at odds with each other because of the Team Jacob v. Team Edward dispute? When the old ladies are giving each other the death stare, the lady who has a Team Jacob pin takes out the lady with the Team Edward pin. Rock on little ‘ol lady, rock on.

 

My trip home after the movie made me realize a few differences between where I grew up and where I’m going to college. I made a stop in Willmar, and drove past a corn field in the middle of town. The only corn field in the middle of the twin cities belongs to the University of Minnesota. It’s a whole different world out in rural Minnesota from the cities. A lot of the people from don’t understand why anyone would want to live in the cities. Murder-oplis isn’t exactly the most welcoming nickname for newcomers to move into. The lack of Noodles, Chipoltle, Starbucks and almost every other chain fast food makes my college friends from the cities dread boredom. This balance between country and city is like the Jacob and Edward debate. No one is going to give the other any ground for arguing, and neither side will ever come to agree with the other. More reflections on this later, I have a musical to get ready for, and a football team to watch demolish the Seattle Seahawks.

The First of Many

Today is the first day of my first blog. Today is another first, the first day that the second Twighlight movie is out. After a hell-ish week of classes, an afternoon out with the girls is exactly what the doctor ordered. The hype about this movie has only made me more excited. Last night on “Project Runway,” (it was the season finale for those of you who tend to miss awesome TV such as this) every other commercial was a break to a Twighlight commercial. Apparently Jacob gained 25 pounds of muscle for his role in this movie, yes please.

After the movie, I’m going home for some R & R. I’m sure I’ll end up visiting some of the hometown friends out in the fields. Driving out the fields is the only way to see some of my friends right now, since it’s harvest season. The amount of rain was insane back home. The guys were thinking they would be plowing until Christmas to get the corn in. Hopefully everyone will be able to spare some time in the fields to all get together on Saturday night. I’ll try to write about home, and definitely gush about Twighlight tomorrow.