Sunday, September 30, 2007

Last weekend...

...something pretty significant happened. We actually got rid of my first paid for and owned all by myself, car. A while ago we took it to get the emissions checked since it was time to do so. They gave us a list of what needed to be fixed so one morning we took in to a place, gave them a list and they told us our best bet was to cut ties with the car. I was a little taken off guard. This car has had it quirks from the moment I (my dad actually, but I paid him back in full) purchased it. But it still ran and by all means didn't seem like it should head for the junk yard. The idea really annoyed me at that moment. Going from finally taking your car to get fixed, to knowing it will never be. We could have done the work required but it was going to cost about as much as what I paid for the car 4 years ago. So the more I got used to the idea to more I was happy at the prospect of a new car and not dealing with the annoyances of the good one. It has taken me so many places not to mention driving me all the way from Utah to good old Maryland. I drove it to DC 5 days a week for a year, and other places in between. It has been a good car while it has lasted. We weren't sure to scrap it or try to sell it for parts since anyone who wanted to buy it to drive would get ripped off with us knowing they'd have to fork over a lot of money to actually drive it legally. Not to mention the dent in the drivers side door, making it impossible to open the back door unless it is open, and the passengers side back door, unable to be opened at all because of this: During the time we were deciding what to do with it, I got in a mini accident a while ago that actually gave us more money than we had anticipated it selling more, so we were content with just scraping it. And that is exactly what we did. All those memories were exchanged for $125.00 cash. It's nice to finally have it out of our way. I think the relief overcomes any sadness. Temporal things come and go. We must get on with our lives. We eventually found a replacement and are very happy with it. There's just something about my first owned car that will remain with me.This picture was taken the moment my dad and I drove up to Cami's house in Maryland. So much has changed since then.

Monday, September 24, 2007


Marie Osmond is on Dancing with the Stars. That should be interesting.

We won, we won!

Last Saturday was the road show. We, and four other wards participated. The theme was "Something funny happened on the way to the...". Ours was "... MTC". I was Judy, the main girl who can't decide if she wants to get married to Clifford (KC) or go on a mission. She decides to go, which upsets Clifford, and then bumps into the love of her life, Donald (also KC with a wig and glasses on) who she saw in a dream, and decides he is her mission. There will be a video posted soon so you can all make sense of this plot I tried to write. Molly did a great job writing the script, making props, choreographing all the dances, and, her husband put all the music together. Did I mention she is 8 1/2 months pregnant? I think she worked on something everyday for at least a month to get this together. She was the girl for the job too. I have found out where she likes to put her creativity to work. She also somehow managed to get a full cast together, even if she had to pull teeth to do so. We have been practicing every Saturday morning from 9-12 for a little over a month. It was all worth it in the end when we WON! All the wards got some sort of award. We got best choreography, BUT, we also got judges choice. Yep, we were pretty excited. It's funny how many times people told us how good they thought it was. I mean, this is a road show, right? I guess it was just a relative comment. When you compared it to the others, it was a little more put together. I think it's funny that it was still a hot topic at church yesterday. I mean, people couldn't stop talking about it. I, Frankly, am finished. It was fun, and now, done. Here are some pictures to give you a hint until the video comes. This is mostly for those involved, but look if you must.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Sentimental value

I find that I have a story about everything in my life. All the items I own have some significant meaning behind them. Even if it's just that I had never done something before and I wanted to give it a try. That's a story to me. Any time anyone comments on a picture on the wall, the earrings I'm wearing, or a piece of furniture, I feel like I need to give the whole story on why we bought it, what we were going to do otherwise, where I got it, or who I got it from. I love reliving the times that made me happy I guess. When KC and I bought our first couch together. I love telling that. Or that my landlord bought me these earrings that I always wear and they happen to be my birthstone and she didn't even know. She gave them to me for dog sitting. Or the periodic table of desserts I have on my wall. I saw it the first time I toured my culinary school and I had to have it. People don't usually care about these stories, yet I insist on giving all these details about normal everyday things. I think this is all coming to the surface as I sort through my pictures. I love looking at picture of things I've made, mostly because of the occasion and memories they represent. I think it's good for everything in your life to be valuable. That means you are spending your money and time doing the right things.

Friday, September 21, 2007

New blog

I have created a new blog to post the food sidebar entries so I have a record. Look if you like. I am catching up on all the past entries and other things I've made before the blog. You'll probably see a lot of repeats from this blog, but it's mostly for me, so sorry. I am not paying much attention to typos since I only care that I have it posted and not that it is all correct. I have a lot more to catch up on, but eventually it will be where I transfer the " Something we've eaten lately" posts. Here is it.

Eggless banana bread

So I went to the store specifically (well I needed to get them anyway) to buy eggs to make this bread. I was making dinner for a friend with a new baby and this is always a comfort food it seems. So I realized well after the bread was baked and cooling, that not one egg was used from the carton. Oops. I guess if you were a vegan you could eat this. Or not. I'm not sure of those rules. It probably just lost a little height. It actually is quite tasty and I guess a little less fat minus the yolks. Who am I kidding. It's practically cake.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

One more thing...

I forgot to mention a huge, gorgeous, wonderful kitchen to put all of those things in. That is to come, eventually.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

My kitchen essentials

We all have them, and with that party I catered fresh in my kind, there are some things I couldn't have lived with out for the preparation of that, or everyday baking for that matter. Here is my list:

Bench scraper--great for cutting bar cookies, portioning dough, scraping counters, and many other countless uses.Blow torch--the smaller more domestic versions of this great tool are most commonly sold for creme brulee, but I'm a fan of the big one. I have used it for meringue/baked Alaska, heating a knife to make a smooth cut, or caramelizing fruit garnishes, etc. I am very happy about this new purchase I've made. It has been an essential part of the kitchens I've worked in, and now it's in mine.
Cardboard cake circles--not only are these perfect for decorating desserts on before you transfer them to the final platter, but they make it easy to stack things to conserve space in the fridge. I need to always have these on hand.Parchment paper--we all love the function this have of making clean-up a breeze, but there are also many uses to it.Silicone baking mat--Man, I love this thing. Hardly anything sticks to it. I use it for everything from baking cookies, to caramelized sugar work.KitchenAid stand mixer--Of course!Off set spatula--This makes decorating and icing cakes so simple. It helps you stay in control.Apple peeler, corer, slicer--I don't use this very often, but when I want it, I'm glad I have it. Thanks to my mother-in-law giving me a Pampered Chef wedding shower, I got a ton of great kitchen gadgets.Cake turn table--It makes icing, cutting, and decorating a piece of cake. Ha!
Bowl scarper--a clean bowl in one fell swoop. Everyone should have one of these.
Many Silicone Spatulas--I hate running out of these, so I keep several with in an arms reach.
Powdered sugar shaker--A dusting of powdered sugar adds elegance to any dessert. Also great for cocoa powder dusting.Oh I better stop now. I could go on all day. And all these are revolved mostly around desserts. If I were talking about cooking, the list would be completely different. And I'm sure the list will grow over the years.

Small catering gig

A friend here in Cheverly asked if I do any catering. Her husband has been in Iraq for six months and she wanted to have a dessert party to celebrate his homecoming. She told me what she wanted and it sounded like something I could handle. I made up a menu of many desserts and their prices. Her choices included: Chocolate raspberry truffle cake, Chocolate dipped macaroons, raspberry almond shortbread bars, a fruit platter with Lemon curd dip, caramel cheesecake with an almond crust and cooked sugar decor, Coconut bundt cake with roasted pineapple, and a mango frangipane tart. I was able to do a lot of things ahead of time so I wasn't going crazy the day of the party. It was quite an adventure being as it was just me against these seven desserts, but with KC's help doing dishes and transporting the food, we pulled it off. They told us to stay and meet their friends. I knew a few people that were coming, but I didn't really want to stand around telling people I was the one who brought the food, so we just dropped off the food and left. Then, not wanting to deal with the sink and counters covered in chocolate and dishes, we headed for Mexican food and picked up some friends on the way to go with us. It was nice to not have to cook dinner after all that. It was fun to catch up on a few techniques I haven't used in a while. I have missed having chocolate under my fingernails. But I am happy to have my fridge and freezer back. I took a lot of pictures of the process since it really was my first solo gig and I probably won't say yes to a lot of things like this. It may seem like there are a lot of repeats, but I like a lot of different angles. Bon appetit!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Oh, what to do!

My doctor finally gave me the okay to get my tonsils out. It is to be scheduled at my earliest convenience. I thought this would be a day to be glad about, to finally get these ever-loving disgusting, infecting tonsils out of my throat. In the past couple of years I have had several bouts of strep throat and tonsillitis. My tonsils are now all mangled and are usually hurting on a daily basis. Not to the point of a soar throat all the time, but enough for me to notice and pray that it doesn't turn into something worse. I hate hate hate have throat infections. I know no one does, but the things that occur... I won't even gross you out with the details of my lovely times with tonsillitis. Let's just say it's not pretty. Anyhow, I have been putting off seeing an ENT for a while, but I thought now it was time to break down and live up to my word. That I want them out and will beg to get this done. I actually didn't have to beg. In fact, the doc said it was the best thing to do. I had been told earlier that this procedure was not done as commonly as it has in the past and you have to have more frequent and consistent infections for them to consider you for this surgery. It was almost too easy and now I'm second guessing. I feel like I'm signing my life away, like I'm deciding to go through all the pain when I can just decide not to do it. And I heard it is painful and the recovery is no picnic! Anywhere else but my throat, I could live without for two weeks, but the thing that allows you to talk, eat, even swallow and breath. I just don't know. Whenever I have strep I just can't wait for the day that I can swallow without bracing myself before I do so. This is something I have to walk right into. Wow, I'm sounding really wimpy right now, but I feel like I have a big decision to make. Yeah, people do this everyday so I shouldn't really complain and just be grateful to have the opportunity to improve my health. Anybody that had gone through this, words or encouragement, not horrific pain stories, are appreciated.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Weekend happenings

Well, KC is still working pretty long hours so I am keeping myself occupied one way or another. On Saturday I put up this cool new home for the little fishy we adopted. I bought it online the other day and I am so glad he if off the counter. The poor guy freaked out every time we did anything in the kitchen. He hated the garbage disposal the worst. This gives him room to really explore.

I also made this little contraption I saw in Real Simple a while ago. It's great, and makes finding my earrings so much easier. They'd get all tangled up together. Annoying!

We went to a Jazz Festvial, suggested by our friend Andrew. It was so so so crowded, but the music sure was good. We at at one of our favorites, Lebanese Taverna ( of course I got an order of grape leaves with our meal), and had mango and strawberry gelato after. It was a beautiful night too. We loved watching a little girl dancing right in front of us. She sure had great moves.

We are going to the DC temple visitors center for a fireside in about and hour. It's about DNA and the Book of Mormon. Should be interesting. Then it's on to another work week.

This is what happens...

...if you live in Maryland and don't refrigerate your baked goods. I usually store our bread in the fridge since we don't eat it so quick with just the two of us. It lasts quite a while that way. I wanted to see if we could just keep it in the cupboard and after less than two weeks, it looked like this. I have another loaf in the freezer and I'll be sure to keep it there until I know we are read to eat it up. It was pretty much unrecognizable.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Dessert gifts

I was looking through my pictures and noticed something. A couple weeks ago I had several occasions to bring gifts to people and so I decided to make everyone desserts. The first was a sugar-free, flourless, chocolate, mixed berry cake. It was for my friend Molly who is pregnant and has to cut down on her sugar, so for her birthday she got to eat a guilt free dessert. She shared with her family even though I told her to eat it all by herself. She reported it was good. I'm glad since I hadn't tried it before and it was sugar free and all.The next was a strawberry, mandarin cheesecake tart for our friends, the Frosts, who were moving. I hope they had time to eat it before they left.
I made some mini cheesecakes from the rest of the batter and brought them with me to see my friend Courtney's new baby at the hospital. I love mini tartlets. They are such a perfect bite after dinner. I've yet to bring them dinner. Oops.And I have actually made this about three times in the last couple weeks. This one was for Corrinne on her birthday. She mentioned before that she loved key lime pie. I remembered this and instead of making many for the whole party, I made one for her to eat all by herself. I wonder how she is doing on that.My landlord has commented that I'm walking out of the house with food every time she sees me.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Tag, we're it!

Amber Cottrell tagged me and 6 others to play this game of sevens. I don't usually do these, but Amber is so nice so I'll oblige:
A. List 7 habits/quirks/facts about yourself.
B. Tag 7 people to do the same.
C. Do not tag the person who tagged you or say that you tag whoever wants to do it.

1. I just bought an elliptical machine from craigslist. I love it. I absolutely hate working out and am terrible at it. I do like swimming, pilates and the elliptical machines at the gym. We have just enough space for it and it folds out of the way when I'm done. Matty helped me load it in his truck . It was pretty cool how he tied it up. We'll see if this pushes me into gear.

2. I love thinking of what to make for dinner. We do have waffles and eggs, or frozen pizza nights on occasion, but looking in my fridge at random food items makes me excited to see what I can make out of them. KC is always interested to see what I come up with. Sometimes it doesn't turn out so good, but he's always a great sport and very appreciative. Here's my latest concoction, stuffed spaghetti squash. It could've been better but was okay.

3. I love turning off all the lights in the middle of the day and watching Lifetime movies. KC knows not to flip the channel there because I get hooked. They are really getting big actors these days.

4. I have a weird habit of holding my breath as someone passes me in a hallway for fear of smelling them as they pass. I noticed this in high school, but I still do it on occasion. I didn't really know I was doing it, I just realized it one day. It's mostly when they are passing very quickly so there is a strong wind and it has their smell in it. Weird I know.

5. I have just remodeled my bedroom which is a big step for me in the decorating department. It's nothing special but I love that it is put together. We've had "your's mine and our's" furniture for a while, and now I feel like it's all just our's. It's helps to keep it tidy too. KC knows not to put any clutter on the new dresser.

6. I love waking up and going places early in the morning. The people at the grocery store are the nicest in the morning. I just like being awake and on the road while no one else. Not too early though, and not every day. Just on special occasions.

7. I have recently had an urge to see what it takes to be a beekeeper. It looks like such a nice calm environment to work in. Besides the bees buzzing around, you always see those people in a nice sunny field. I've actually reasearched this. Maybe it will really get into it during my mid-life crisis.

So this was really an excuse to tell about my elliptical, but it fit in quite well. I tag Melody, Molly, Mom, Matty, Ashley, Amber, and Whitney. That is, if you guys want to.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I blame myself

I have 20+ mosquito bites on my body from a couple hours outside for labor day festivities. Some of which are on my hips and shoulders. You tell me how that happens. The worst part is, I know better. I can't wait for the summer to be over.