Saturday, March 31, 2007
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
A lot has happened since and I am proud to say that I would never take back the decision I made 3 years ago to come here. I love the life I've developed here. I've met so many amazing people in my professional and personal lives. I graduated from L'Academie de Cuisine in the Pastry Arts Program and with it came great opportunities and unforgettable memories. I met my crazy awesome husband who constantly makes me happier to have made this decision. I've learned countless things about myself through trials and times of joy. I've become closer to the family I do have here. (Cami can take some of the credit for my position if she wants. She helped my find the school and opened her home to me for as long as I needed.) And great things continue to happen. It has had it's share of difficulties. Being so far from my the rest of my family has been tricky. Especially from Melody. We always thought we go through everything together. I guess we still are, just with a couple thousand miles between us. Our cell phones have served us well.
I'm not sure how much longer well be here before life takes us somewhere else, but I'll always carry the fond memories I've created. I really found out who I was here, and I'm sure there is still a lot to learn. I can't wait to see what happens next.
BTW, pic above was taken about 2 years ago and lots of you have seen it before, but it's one of few blossom pictures I have. That will change this year.
Monday, March 26, 2007
The scenario: KC and Emily desire a little something sweet after a garlicy dinner not wanting to overdue it since they are planning to get ice cream later. KC swiped a few chocolate kisses from Matt and Cortnie's candy dish last time he and Emily were there and put them in their candy dish which has just become empty--3 coconut (new and very delicious), and one original. They each had a coconut. Now they both want another kiss.
Emily: Oh there's only one coconut, you can have it.
(She starts to unwrap the red foil as KC dashes to her side.)
KC: Yoink! You can have the coconut one.
Emily: Honey!...Oh...okay. (she smiles) Thanks. (she likes the original just fine, but it tickled that KC knows she loves coconut and really wanted that one. It's all very dramatic.)
Sunday, March 25, 2007
On Saturday I made Egg Drop soup and egg rolls with sweet and sour sauce to dip. I am really enjoying using tofu more in our meals. I don't use it that often, but enough to appreciate it. There was some in the egg rolls. I remember my mom used to hide tofu in some of the dinners she made and I would get so mad. Now I use it willingly. I was also excited to use my set of dishes I bought a while ago. I've been waiting for an occasion and this was it. Otherwise they are just a decoration in my apartment.
And to finish off this ethnic weekend, I made the very popular Asia cabbage chicken salad or whatever you want to call it, complete with ramen noodles and everything. I think they are just a replacement for real wontons, which I could've made with the leftover egg roll wrappers, but I thought the traditional recipe would suffice it being fast Sunday and all. It was much quicker this way. Really authentic I know. But, we had leftover egg rolls anyway. I like them too much I think. KC put his finger in the picture of the salad because he said I needed to spruce up the pictures a little besides just the food. Does that look spruced to you? I have taken many pictures of food over the years as a reminder of what I liked or want to make again. Sometimes I forget. I tried to get one of him with the food, but he kept making weird faces (on purpose) so he didn't make the cut. Oh, and when I was re-heating the egg rolls in the oven, they got a little dark as you can see. Whenever I make something a little darker than planned, KC just says "that's not burned, that's flavor." He's sweet. I'm sure there's a point where that flavor is a little overpowering. Luckily these egg rolls didn't get to that point.
Anyhow, I think I've been wanting this type of cuisine because we have yet to find good Chinese food around our house. Not just the regular hunan whatever I see on every ghetto strip mall, but a great Chinese restaurant that I wouldn't be embarrassed to refer people to if they asked us. I really want to know more about this type of food. I would like to make it in its original form, how they would be made in their homeland. I made the simplest and most well know recipes out there, so I have a long way to go. But it's a start, and we got our Chinese fix for a while. I hope it's for a while because I could eat egg rolls for breakfast lunch and dinner if I allowed myself to. I know I always blog about food, but I can't really help it. One of these days I'll find another hobby I like just as much as cooking, but until then, I'll continue to blog about my culinary adventures.
Friday, March 23, 2007
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
On Monday a few of us got to do some sightseeing in DC. It's funny that I live about 2 miles outside the border of Washington, yet the only sightseeing we do is with out-of-towners. It's nice to get a little push to remind me of the great things I'm so close to and should visit more often. We started with a the Bureau of Engravings that was out of tickets for the day. We had a similar situation with KC's parents and his dad ended up staying in line for over and hour to make sure we made it in. This time we weren't so lucky. So we headed toward the Washington Monument, which was also out of tickets. What were we thinking getting there after 10:00 am. We still took our pictures, and were on our way to the Lincoln Memorial. It ended up to be a little bit of an experience besides the usual awe that comes with the massiveness, and inevitable humility you feel when you read the Gettysburg Address and think of what happened in our country. As we started up the numerous steps, the security guard began somewhat forcibly telling everyone to head out of the monument, down the steps, and onto the street. As the people were filing out, I noticed an officer with a dog sniffing the garbage can and other place on the monument. Dad found out there was a unattended sleeping bag somewhere so they were taking all precautions. It wasn't 10 minutes before they let us back in, so we ran up the steps like little kids trying to be the first in line, just to get pictures without anyone else in them. It was kind of fun. Then we were going to go to the Museum of American History, which was closed for renovations until 2008, so we went next door to the Museum of Natural History. I have only been to the one in New York, and I remember really liking it. This is probably my favorite museum in DC. We even saw an IMAX about Lions. It was so cool. I really would love to have see the one on Sharks that they played right before and after the Lions, but it will give us an excuse to go back. They also play Night at the Museum there on the weekends that I really want to see get a group together to see. We then had an appointment to tour the Capitol Building, which was guided by a Utah State University intern. I took a picture of this painting on the ceiling of the Rotunda. She told us a lot about it and I wish I could remember it all. You can read about it if you'd like. The art was so amazing in there.
Even though I have done most of these things many times before, it is aways a new experience with the different people that are with me and the different thoughts that come into my mind as I visit the amazing sites. I don't know that much about politics, and I embarrassingly don't know as much as I should about our nations history either. Living here has really helped me to know where I stand of these things and to strive to learn more. I hope I can take more advantage of this opportunity while I still can. We can't live in the tiny apartment forever. By the way, the last picture was only added because as we were taking the overdone pose of holding a building that was far away in your hand, I said loudly, "look, I'm holding up the White House", which should not be said around tourists or anywhere in DC. We chuckled for a few minutes about that.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
I'm always amazed at how giving of their time and talents the woman of the church are. I know so many women who have so much going on in their lives and could easily rationalize a little church gathering as unimportant. They put so much thought detail into this tiny party that was over in about two hours. The women would've been just as happy with much less, yet they went above and beyond anyway. I find that a lot of my friends and family are the same way. I am always inspired to put more energy and love into the things I do, by watching those around me. It's nice to get a little push to be more giving and more creative with my time.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
I know this post might sound superficial writing so much about silly clothes, but I think that by freshening up something you see everyday, whether it's clothes, rearranging the furniture, or making all new recipes for a week, it can really add a little bounce to everyday life. Changes are good.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Irish Beef Stew
1 1/4 pounds stew beef, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 large garlic cloves, minced
8 cups beef stock or canned beef broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 7 cups)
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled carrots
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Makes 4 to 6 servings.(The recipes says it makes this many servings but I think those people may have big appetites since we made half this recipe and it would easily serve 4 people.)
Irish Soda Bread
2 cups all purpose flour
5 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons butter, chilled, cut into cubes
1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 8-inch-diameter cake pan with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, 4 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in large bowl to blend. Add butter. Using fingertips, rub in until coarse meal forms. Make well in center of flour mixture. Add buttermilk. Gradually stir dry ingredients into milk to blend. Mix in raisins.
Using floured hands, shape dough into ball. Transfer to prepared pan and flatten slightly (dough will not come to edges of pan). Sprinkle dough with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.Bake bread until brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool bread in pan 10 minutes. Transfer to rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Of course there are numerous ways to make both of these dishes, as with all culinary creations. I usually search through several recipes of something for me to finally decide that the one I've chosen suits me best, but I took a leap with these. They were the fist viewed and I'm pleased. They are from the Epicurious website and they have a lot more fun Irish recipes I want to try. Enjoy.
Monday, March 12, 2007
In light of St Patrick's Day coming up, I made the Irish Stew that mom always made for us. Not that she only made it on this particular occasion (it is delicious year round), but I remember this as the traditional Sunday clostest to St. Patrick's Day dinner, or something. Anyway, maybe that will be our tradition. I always like a food based tradition to help me think of something to make. I always like suggestions. My favorite part is the Irish Soda Bread that is a perfect pair with the stew--sweet enough alone, but good dipped in soup as well. I suppose next week is closer to the actual holiday, but I was in the mood this week. Thanks for the suggestion mom. We will be enoying the leftovers for the next few days.
I think it tasted even better today since the bay leaf has had more time to mellow. If any of you need recipes, I'm happy to share. I guess one of the main attractions to this holiday is green beer, which I had no idea existed until I moved here and heard about all hype and how many cops are on guard that night. Well, while other are getting drunk, we are enjoying stew.
Friday, March 09, 2007
Saturday, March 03, 2007
So we decided to take a little getaway for a night to a little town called St. Michaels, MD. We had looked around at other places, but this town really stuck out. We stayed at the Harbour Inn in a jacuzzi suite. We had a cute balcony overlooking a doc and numerous boats. It was perfect. Better than we thought when we booked it. I tried to forget about my newly developed sore throat, and my continuing sinus problems. My throat drops and Day/NyQuil have been my constant companions these past couple weeks. I still had a good time despite this inconvenience.
St. Michaels is one of those towns that has antique stores all over the place that look like cute houses. I'm not into antiques, but it's fun to go to these small towns anyway. I like finding funny restaurants to eat it, and maybe stumble across some shopping along the way. I think someday, we'll retire in a town like that. I was quite jealous of the gorgeous houses I'd see across the water whenever I'd look. There are all a picture perfect with their own docks, and trees surrounding the other side. What a life.
After our breakfast at a cute little restaurant, we checked out of the inn and went to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. It was interesting and fun to see how boats are built and how the bay has evolved over the decades. It couldn't have been more perfect weather, and it was the grand opening for a new exhibit. They sold soup and bread in a grassy area and we partook. The cream of broccoli felt good to the throat. This is a picture of a lighthouse we walked through. It was so picturesque.
We had a great times, and the best part was that we celebrated a year of such happiness, and so many changes. We've learned a lot and still consider ourselves newlyweds since we know we still have a lot to learn. The traditional gift for the first year of marriage is paper, if any of you didn't know. I got KC and origami kit and I think that should keep him occupied until next year. A friend at the hospital printed me a list of all the traditional gifts for each significant year. Next year is cotton. It's silly, really. I think I've decided that ice cream should be added to every year as well. Sound good?
All I can say is that I'm a lucky girl to have a guy like mine. Sometimes, when I'm acting a certain way, or we're in a particularly difficult situation, I think of what it would be like if I didn't have someone as understanding, and exceptionally kind as he is. Not only to me, but to everyone he meets. Sometimes, even when we're watching TV or a movie, fictional or non, and someone is sad or something bad happens to them (as often happens in the media) he'll let out a little, sympathetic "oohhh". It makes me smile that he feels even for people he doesn't know, or might even not be real. I just know he'll always take very good care of me and our future family. There's much much more to say, of course, but the continuation might drag to all of you. I'm just happy to know that I can say countless good things about my husband after only one year. I can't wait to see how the list grows over the years.
Friday, March 02, 2007
Well, I told you I would let you know what we made next. I know pizza twice in one week is not the best health choice, but my sick self wanted easy dinners. Since I couldn't taste it anyway due to my relentless sinus pressure, any food is fine, really. We made cauliflower, mushroom, and pepper pizza this time. I hope my sinuses clear up in time to taste the leftovers. Anybody else have favorite topping for us to try sometime? I usually use whatever we have on hand. Thankfully KC is not picky.