Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Friendly Reminder...CLEAN!

10 Cleaning kits will be available in the lounge tonight at 8pm, first come, first serve!  

Please note that in the cleaning kit, there is a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.  Do NOT use this to get marks off your wall, you will strip the paint.  Only use this in your bathroom on tile!!!  Let's leave Gramercy clean, not damaged!

Monday, April 23, 2012

It is coming!

Ladies... School ends in one week!  Good luck with your finals!!  Finish strong!!!  Just like this cat!

Knock them out!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Spring Is Here...Time To Clean!

You may not like it, be we all have to do it!  Now is a good time to start thinking about dedicating a few days to spring cleaning!  Having a clean workspace for these last couple weeks of school will be great for finishing up final projects.  You'll also make you RA's very happy, as they will be popping in to remind you about Gramercy Move-Out.  So, here to help you, are a few tips for cleaning up your apartment!

Reduce Clutter: You know all of those clothes you have all over your floor?  Yeah, maybe you should wash them and stick them back in your drawers/closets.  It's amazing how much space will free up if you just put things back in their spot!  This might even be a good time to go through your clothes and see what you don't want anymore.  Gramercy has a clothing drive every year, so you won't even have to go far to donate them!

Organize: Take the time to go through your desk and figure out what you need or don't need.  When you organize, there will be so much more space for your things!  Not to mention, they will be a lot easier to pack at the end of the month.  If you really don't need something, don't be afraid to THROW IT OUT. We could all use a little less crap in our lives, yeah?

Dusting: I know what you're thinking.  "Like I'm gonna dust something."  But really, it helps!  Just take a rag and wipe down your computer and television screens.  You'd be surprised how much dust and dirt rests on those things!  Check out your windows and give them a wipe down.  Everything will look so much cleaner after a little dusting and it barely takes any time at all!

Clean Out Your Computer:  All those cat images have REALLY piled up.  Clearing old pictures or documents out of your computer will certainly help clear your mind!  While your at it, take your phone and your iPod and clear those up to!  Take a tip from RA Kerin and give yourself a new summer playlist.  It might not be a bad idea to spruce up your online image as well.  As we look for summer jobs and internships, potential employers will look you up online.  Might need to untag yourself from some of those facebook photos!

These tips are basic, I know.  But I promise if you do them over the next few weeks, you will make your life a lot easier, especially when it comes to moving out.  Take a little time, put on some music, and show your apartment who's boss!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Celebratory Chocolate Overdose Cake

When something amazing happens, we all know that the best way to celebrate is by baking something delicious, decorating the heck out of it with colorful sprinkles and icing and giving them to a friend...or stuffing our own faces. So, as the end of the year draws nearer, I'm sure we all have plenty to rejoice and be thankful for. The end of finals, for one thing. Maybe the end of college for others, or the start of a summer internship. Whatever it is that you're celebrating, you can be sure that this cake will taste every bit as good your victory feels.

This cake is a bit of work, but it's worth every bite...

Broken down, you'll have three recipes. One of the chocolate cake, one for the chocolate ganache filling, and one for the chocolate buttercream icing. It's a triple threat, so get your aprons on, and get ready for...


Ingredients for the cake:
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup boiling water
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sifted cake flour (regular flour is acceptable)
1/2 cup butter
2 cups white sugar
3 egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a small bowl, mix together the cocoa and the water, set aside. In another small bowl, dissolve the baking soda in the sour cream by stirring them together. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar, gradually mixing the sour cream and cocoa mixtures in alternatively as well as the dry ingredients. Beat until fluffy. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold them into batter with the vanilla extract. Grease a large 9 x 13 pan or two small rounds and pour the batter in. For the large pan, bake at 300 F for 50 minutes, or for the rounds, around 30 minutes.
*You can check the cake's status by sticking a toothpick in it while it's still in the oven. If the toothpick comes out with sticky batter on the end, the cake's not done. If the toothpick looks clean, the cake is done baking!

Now, on to the filling.

Ingredients for chocolate ganache:
8 ounces semisweet or bitter chocolate chopped into pieces
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Heat the cream and butter in a medium size saucepan over medium heat. Bring just barely to a boil, do not over-heat! The cream will get scorched and burnt. Place a damp towel on your counter, place the pan of hot cream on the towel, and then add the chopped chocolate to the cream. Let it stand for five minutes, then stir with a whisk until smooth.

*When you take your cake out, you can simply use the ganache as the topping, pouring it on the top, or you can get fancy and get the cake in half and pour it into the middle, replacing the top half of the cake after, and making it the filling. If you prefer the later, continue on for the icing!

Ingredients for chocolate buttercream icing:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons milk
cocoa (optional-how much you use depends on how chocolate-y you want your icing. Plain buttercream tastes delicious too!)
*if you're making plain buttercream icing, you can add food coloring!

Cream room temperature butter with a hand mixer, or by hand with a spoon until smooth and fluffy. Gradually beat in confectioners sugar until fully incorporated. Beat in vanilla extract. (If you want chocolate flavor, add your cocoa now) Pour in milk and beat an additional 3-4 minutes. Add food coloring if you're using it, and beat an additional thirty seconds. Ice cake and enjoy!

Enjoy...and feel free to overdose on the cake (;

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Friday, April 6, 2012

It's coming....

Summer is almost here!  Get excited, ladies!  It's nearly time to break out the short shorts and sandals.  Sadly, that also means it's nearly time to start packing and leave Gramercy :(  Friendly reminder: Don't leave everything to the last minute! 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

RA Kerin's Essential Kick Ass/Celebratory Playlist

It's that time of year, ladies. Whether we're counting down the days 'til the end of class or bittersweet graduation, the school year is coming to an end and summer is just around the corner. That means I'm already making that special playlist that is going to bump from my speakers the second I get home and back in my car for the first joy ride of the season. Here are some of my favorites, old and new:

RA Kerin's Playlist of Five Kick Ass Songs for Good Times:

1. "Kick Ass" - Mika. I may or may not have named this playlist after this song. It's just so feel-good and every time I play it I want to jump up and down to a montage or Friends-esque sitcom intro. I put this one on for an energy boost or to psych myself up. And it sounds great on my sound system.

2. "Ocean Avenue" - Yellowcard. Y'all remember this one. I actually have a huge soft spot for Yellowcard. 'Ocean Avenue', the album, was the first album that I obsessed over and listened to so many times that I wore it out in the summer of the eighth grade. It was before I owned an iPod so I dragged my huge white boom box around the house everywhere I went. This one always reminds me of those days.

3. "We Are Young" - Fun. (.) Just getting into these guys now and this song has been all over the place, but rightfully so. It's such a good melody that makes you and all your friends want to sing along. I think what I love about it most is that it's not an upbeat song by nature, but it gets you feeling great anyway.

4. "Living After Midnight" - Judas Priest. This song makes me feel like a total bad ass. Period. This song is best played on the highway with your windows down, but I've substituted a good strut down the street with my headphones on for those days where I want the wind in my hair any way I can.

5. "Neighbors" - The Academy Is... Essential house party song. Surprisingly these guys have a lot of songs that I almost included on this playlist and if you were ever a fan of them back in 06 when they were hitting it big in pop punk, you should bust out your old copy of 'Almost Here', or even their newer album, 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High', and celebrate. Bump some Fall Out Boy while you're at it.


That's it for a year of music on Gramercy Gals that I hope you enjoyed, maybe found some new stuff, and jammed out. Have a kick ass summer! RA Kerin, signing off~

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

TONIGHT: Coffee and Donuts! (The Lounge 9:30pm)

Don't these look good?!  Mmm... How about some coffee to go with that?  Well you can have both!  Come down to the lounge tonight at 9:30!  And don't forget to bring any extra coins for our change drive!