Wow. I haven’t updated in more than a month! Things have been pretty rough for me here in LA because I hadn’t found a job even after submitting 10-20 applications a day and 3 interviews. To make matters worse, I will have to move out of my girlfriend’s house very soon because she is allowed to have only 3 people in her rental home. I will have to live in my car if I don’t start earning money soon! After having worked so hard in school for so many years, the thought of living in my car is a terrible one. Fortunately, I just landed a job teaching Spanish online for Oklahoma public schools (if you knew my family background (most of them live in OK), you would understand the irony in all of this). I will be teaching 7 hours a day as a substitute until I get my emergency certification to teach in Oklahoma while still residing in California (ah, the power of the internet and Skype). Anyway, I just hope you all can keep me in your thoughts and prayers while I go through this difficult time.
ONLINE LANGUAGE TUTOR: I thought that I’d inform you all that I started an online business called Online Language Tutor! For months, I have been thinking about starting this business but was afraid it would fall through. I still have that fear, but I have decided to keep moving forward, start small, and unofficially advertise it to you all first. I first shared this idea of online tutoring with my mother, and she was excited about it and agreed to be my (very) silent partner. I allowed the idea to marinate a little and almost gave up on it. However, a few weeks later, Marly from NamelyMarly emailed me and asked me to help her out with some Spanish grammar questions her personal tutor was unable to answer. After happily helping her out, she suggested I start an online tutoring business without even knowing I had already formulated the same idea. Anyway, because I enjoy and miss teaching Spanish on a one-to-one or two-to-one level, I thought that I would provide a tutoring service for anyone interested in learning or retaining Spanish, English, or a beginner’s level of Brazilian Portuguese.
I plan to offer online tutoring via Skype to anyone around the world and in-person tutoring to those in the Los Angeles area. The website I created is extremely rudimentary due to lack of funds. However, I hope to buy a true domain for it and all that jazz once my business improves. I’m also still working on the business registration and all the other stuff to make my business legit. My mom, a PhD-holding English professor, plans to help with editing and proofreading papers for anyone interested as well (as you can tell, she didn’t proofread this post LOL). Please check out my website, and provide any suggestions via email. Also, if you know anyone who would be interested in my tutoring services, please let them know about Online Language Tutor. I have also added a link to my site on this blog.
BAKING/COOKING IN MY NEW LOCATION: I have been cooking and baking a little here in LA, but I never get around to taking photos because 1) the lighting in this house is bad, and 2) my girlfriend and 2 daughters (along with many other guests) are pretty impatient and unaccustomed to people taking photos of food for long periods of time. Now that I’m with my girlfriend, I’ve realized why I was so addicted to blogging. The act of blogging and cooking was a filler of the void I felt without my girlfriend. Even though we are still adjusting to each other, I don’t feel as empty anymore and many times, I forget to blog or even look at Google Reader. I’m sure that will change once I find my own place.
MUFFINS. FINALLY!: Anyway, I made these muffins before moving to California. The original recipe called for regular chocolate chips, but I only had white chocolate leftover from Guittard’s generous package, so I used those. The muffins were good on the first day and improved in taste the next. The interior was very soft, and the white chocolate had a very subtle taste. I liked the crumb on top of the muffins. Next time I make these, though, I will use regular chocolate. If you’re considering making these muffins, I suggest you do the same and just follow the recipe.
1/2 c powdered or icing sugar
1/2 c AP flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt (I used kosher)
1/4 c unsalted butter, melted
2 c AP flour
3/4 c semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used white chocolate but would’ve preferred chocolate)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt (I used kosher)
3/4 c granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 c milk (I used buttermilk)
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
ground cinnamon (for the top of the muffins)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C)
ASSEMBLE TOPPING: In a medium bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. Then, whisk in the melted butter until crumbly. Set topping aside while you prepare the batter.
BATTER: In another medium bowl, combine the flour, chocolate chips, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl or mixer bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla extract. Stir in the dry ingredients just until combined. DO NOT OVERMIX!!
Spoon batter (or use a small ice-cream scoop) into prepared muffin tins/cups. Sprinkle the topping over the batter and add extra ground cinnamon.
Bake for 22-24 minutes or until puffed and golden. You may also use a toothpick or knife to test its doneness. Allow muffins to cool for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.