Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Presents: recieving

I love to talk about great presents I get. (Remember, from my birthday?) So here are some fantastic presents I got this year:

Lululemon pants. Favorite brand of yoga pants ever. Fiance did a great job!
A seriously fantastic ring from the grandparents. Just ask me to show it to you some time.
An embroidery kit from Sublime Stitching. This is not your grandma's embroidery. Get ready for some wicked cool pillow cases being featured within the next several months...
More super cool jewelry from Turkey, Africa (2!) and Bangladesh! I have no reason to not be well accessorized
And as seen above, some personalized popcorn buckets for our new home. You are officially invited to use our "friend #1" bucket.
A really cool plate with our names on it from Turkey (from my future sister and brother in law!)

And several other goodies I'm excited to use! Can't lie...I love good presents.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Today I realized that no matter where you are, or what you do, Christmas is always Christmas. For the first time in 22 years I wasn't with my immediate family on Christmas. It was strange and didn't feel like the Christmas I am used to, but it still was. No matter what Christmas is still the day we celebrate the coming of our Savior in a completely miraculous way. The day we gather with those we love to eat too much food, laugh together and simply be with one another. And there are many more to look forward to which will be celebrated with different people and in different places and will all be about the birth of Jesus and celebrating our blessings.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

From an early age

I have loved egg nog since I was a mere toddler apparently.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Observation Tuesday: Volume 9

First of all..WHAT? It's Tuesday again? I was just going to post some random blog and then I thought to myself, what day is it? and to my shock I realized it was already Tuesday. After a super relaxing holiday weekend filled with family time (family-in-law time?), I worked last night and ran errands all yesterday and then BAM! the week is gone.

So here are my observations:
1. Those cinnamon pita chips must be covered in crack because I am seriously addicted to them. I am not a huge chip eater but I went through this bag in about 12 hours. Seriously, pick a bag up asap. They might also be delicious with a cream cheese dip of some sort. I will try that next time I get some if I don't eat them all before I get home to the kitchen.
2. I love living in my new home. I am the luckiest girl in the world to be marrying into a family I love. And the bonus that they love me enough to let me live with them.
3. I still don't really like Turkey. I prefer ham.
4. Always check the Target dollar bin. I went yesterday and got part of a craft project I'm working on for $1 when the same thing I needed was $5 at Wal-Mart. Beat that!
5. CHRISTMAS E-MAILS START TOMORROW. HOORAY! If you have any questions about Christmas you are dying to know the answer to, and are too lazy to google it yourself leave me a comment and I will answer it in my e-mails!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Guess what??

It's officially the Christmas season! My favorite time of the year. Which means my annual Christmas countdown is starting. Woo Hoo! I send out an e-mail a day countdown with a Christmas tidbit every day.

If you'd like to be a part of it leave me your e-mail address and I will be glad to add you.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Observation Tuesday: Thanksgiving Edition

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. It's Wednesday. But I worked yesterday so this is when I got to it. Today's edition is going to be a list of completely random things I am thankful for.

1. Modern IV Pumps. I am really glad I don't have to calculate drip rates like my mom did when she first started.
2. Ovens. I love baking and it would not be nearly as easy without an oven.
3. My Droid. I feel uber-connected with it and love being able to skype from my phone :)
4. Speaking of Skype. I am incredibly thankful for this wonderful invention that lets me talk to my sister and see my nephew even though they're on the other side of the world.
5. Felt. I used it to make a super cute craft flower. I'll blog about this later.
6. Planes. Especially the one my fiance is on right now!
7. People with positive attitudes. Especially those I'm around all the time, my friends and my patients. Having a positive attitude makes all the difference I think and makes life much more pleasant.
8. Jiffy corn bread mix. Without it corn bake, my favorite Thanksgiving recipe, would not be possible.
9. My straightener. Very superficial, but I love how soft and shiny it makes my hair feel and it's lasted for 4 years now. Very impressive.
10. Friends and family. Obviously.

and finally - I am thankful that I can now let my Christmas spirit enter full swing into my life.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Observation Tuesday: Volume 8

-Prince William is engaged to Kate Middleton. Now, despite minimal previous interest in the British Royal Family, I find myself deeply infatuated with this royal couple. Also, my inner 7 years old is very jealous she gets to become a princess. Anyways, I think she is gorgeous, well-spoken and appreciate that they were poised in front of the camera in their interviews. Extra tidbit I love is that they got engaged in Kenya while on holiday. I will be on wedding watch until their nuptials next spring or summer (maybe we'll even get married on the same day!).

-I may be spending a lot of money at Michaels over the next several months. My next knitting goal is socks and I've found so many crafting ideas I want to make, including these earrings.

-Thanksgiving is next week! This makes me happy not only because I get to see my future husband, but because then I can justify my Christmas music and snowflake socks. And I have a lot to be thankful for. (Also, Thanksgiving means my annual e-mail Christmas countdown will be starting soon after! Spread the word! hooray!)

-I am a firm believer in the fact that TV shows that end with "to be continued..." should be banned. I'm all for intense plots and such but isn't the idea of a tv show is that the sub-plot is wrapped up in that episode? I watched two versions of NCIS tonight and BOTH were not concluded. It was kind of upsetting.

-Finally, for your information, I have a dentist appointment tomorrow and forgot to bring my floss with me to the grandparents. Isn't that ironic?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Trying to stay up

I got put on call at work. Which means you have to stay up until 1 a.m. in case they call you in. It's 12:05 now. Normally at work I don't usually get tired until 3 or 4, when I load up on a cup of coffee and am fine until I come home and crash at around 8. For some reason being home, within walking distance of my bed, in a pair of sweats makes me that much more tired.

To keep myself awake I have watched The Office, Community, Glee and an episode of America's Next Top Model. Don't judge me. My Netflix is currently non-functioning or I'm sure I'd be watching that too. I also currently have this going with some Christmas music. And yes, I know, it's not Thanksgiving, but sometimes Christmas just calls. Maybe Veteran's Day will be my new cut off :) (that link also pertains to the picture - you'll have to do it to find out how great it is)

I wish I could update you on my latest knitting projects but they're all Christmas gifts, so they'll have to wait for another month and a half. And finally in this random assortment of information I'll tell you I made my first batch of my Grandma's Homemade Buns all by myself. This is a big deal. I got so wrapped up in the process I forgot to take pictures. Next time.

P.S. I'm moving again. Yes, I know I just moved into my apartment, but living alone is...lonely. So I decided to move to Tahoka (30 min south of Lubbock) and live with my fiance's grandparents. They are so generous to offer and I could not be more excited about having someone to live with again. Now I get to re-pack everything I own and move out there in a week or so! Get ready for more exciting updates about my life in the country.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


"There's nothing half as so pleasant as coming home again."
~Margaret Elizaeth Sangster

After this past weekend I couldn't agree more.

Friday, November 5, 2010

For my sister

I made scones. Bowman's mom made scones and then requested I make some and tell her how they were, so I did. As you can see, I had an abundance of apples from the apple picking adventure so I went with these Oatmeal Apple Scones from Mr. Breakfast.com.

First I mixed all these:
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup uncooked rolled oats (quick or old-fashioned)
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Then I cut in:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter -
until the mixture looked like wet sand, or just kind of chunky. Then I whisked together:
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 Tablespoons molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
And added it to the sand-like mixture. Then I added the
  • 3/4 cup diced apple
and BAM! The dough:

The hard part was that you had to just plop it down on a greased pan and cut it into wedges. It was very inexact.

And voila! Scones! This sounds weird but they were a little too moist for my liking. Usually when I eat scones I like it to be a little dry so I'm not sure how I would tweak the recipe, but maybe next time I'll try a different one.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Apple Picking

Yesterday a few girls from work and I went apple picking at Apple Country Orchards in Idalou. It was slightly less glamarous than I had hoped it would be. And most of the apples were like this:

on the ground. Which made me think "happy birthday to the GROUND" the whole time (that's a SNL reference just so ya know). After a bit of wandering around not knowing what we were doing we finally tried and apple from a tree, decided it was good and picked a bunch. I ended up with 7 lbs of apples, which means I'm going to be making apple crisp next week.

I also bought a gallon of apple cider that is in my freezer waiting for Christmastime!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Observation Tuesday: Volume 7

I decided Observation Tuesday this week would be Thankful Tuesday, so here are things I've observed that I'm thankful for today:

1. Love. That I can love my fiance, that he loves me, that I have a loving family, that I have friends that love me. That I have a God that always loves me too. Pretty cool.
2. Texting. I can connect with someone I love in just a few seconds. It's perfect for those little moments when something reminds you of someone and you just want to let them know.
3. Cost Plus World Market. It's my favorite store. And yesterday I got 15% off my next Southwest flight for shopping there. good deal.
4. Presents. A good friend of mine got me a shirt from a concert he had been too the other day of one of our mutual favorite bands. Totally made my day and makes me smile every time I see it in my closet.
5. Pictures in my house. Living alone is a lonely affair. But being surrounded my pictures of my parents from when they were 20, my adorable nephew and my roommates is the next best thing.

This is the picture I just framed and put up of my parents :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fall inspiration

Fall is upon us. Kind of. Here in Lubbock it's still a little too warm to bust out the jackets and scarfs, but Halloween is in a week, which means it's practically Thanksgiving. Therefore to help myself embrace fall I spent a little time searching for things that inspire me to be cozy and think of leaves changing color.

I have been knitting more - definitely a fall activity it feels since I'm using thick wool and such. I'm working on a couple projects to give as gifts so they can't be shared on the blog just yet. But I am excited. And as soon as I get better this coffee cup cozy is on my list of things to make!

I also made this pumpkin cake recipe this last week and brought it to work to share. Everyone loved it. I spent a bit of time on Food Gawker today and found these tasty bits of inspiration too.

Pumpkin Steel Cut Oatmeal
Old Fashioned Gingerbread
Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate

I have a a few baking projects lined up for this week as well! If it wasn't midnight I would start one now...

Finally, I am going apple picking this week! I'll try and remember to document the experience and share it with you.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Banana Cream...Pudding?

We all know not all baking and cooking endeavors will be successful. It still hurts a little when one isn't though...

I've been wanting to make Banana Cream Pie from Park Cafe in Glacier National Park ever since I had my first piece this summer. Before this, I had always been kind of against it only because I imagined it tasted like fake banana. Thankfully, I had my taste buds exposed to the glory that is this pie. My sister's sister-in-law found the recipe and was kind enough to pass it along so I could try it.

However, I realized that the recipe involves a custard. Lets just say custards are not my strong suit. The other time I tried to make one I curdled the mixture faster than you can imagine. I thought I'd try again being a little bit more cautious with the heat this time. I did okay until the end of the pie (i.e. after cooling it overnight) and I realized that I hadn't let it thicken enough. I ended up serving Nana and Granddaddy banana cream pudding...

At least it still tasted good...

The graham cracker crust was delish.

Challenge: Day 3

I've got pumpkin bars in the oven, a pumpkin spice candle burning and had to wear a sweater out of my house this morning. I'm feeling the love of fall. Now on to day 3.

Day 03 - Your views on drugs and alcohol

Well, as far as drugs are concerned in the medical sense I am a proponent of them. I give them to people every day at work, after all. However, I'm guessing this is not what the question is asking. In the recreational sense I am against them. Plain and simple I don't like the idea of a mind altering substance entering my body. On the other hand, I think drinking alcohol within moderation is perfectly okay as long as it's not something you take to an extreme or are tempted by. However, I think enjoying a beverage while out with friends on the weekend is totally okay.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Why my life is good.

Here are a few of the things I'm thankful for today:

  • Thai for dinner with a new friend
  • Nestle Caramel Hot Chocolate - it has officially brightened my winter
  • New house decor (which will probably be blogged about later)
  • Cool fall weather
  • This cup that reminds me of living with my bffs in the TEAS.

  • That I get to see my fiance in 2 day!
  • Friends that will stay up late talking to my on skype :)
  • My new coffee pot :)
  • Grace, mercy, and a God who always loves me.

Challenge: Day 2

Where you'd like to be in ten years.

Given birth to 2 children.
Adopted 1 (or 2) children.
Have my masters.
Be working on my PhD.
In community.
Near family.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Challenge: Day 1

Day 1: A picture of yourself and 5 interesting facts. I'm choosing to write facts about myself.

1. My dream job would be an organizer. A professional life organizer. That or a nurse who got to go around and just make people feel better by doing massages, yoga, aromatherapy or guided relaxation.

2. At some point in my life I want to work as a barista just so I can legitimately become a coffee snob.

3. A girl I babysat once told me my moles make me look like a pepperoni pizza.

4. I keep 3 calendars up to date all the time. one in my purse, one on my desk, and one in gmail. overkill? yes. do I care? no.

5. I can tie a cherry stem in a knot in my mouth and I also consistently win Starburst unwrapping competitions.


So I stole this idea from my friend. Its a 30 day blog challenge. Here are the topics.

Day 01 - A picture of you and 5 interesting facts.
Day 02 - Where you’d like to be in 10 years.
Day 03 - Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 04 - Your views on religion.
Day 05 - A time you thought about ending your own life.
Day 06 - Your personal style.
Day 07 - Your zodiac sign and if you think it fits your personality.
Day 08 - A moment you felt the most satisfied with your life.
Day 09 - How you hope your future will be like.
Day 10 - Discuss your first love and first kiss.
Day 11 - Put your ipod on shuffle and write 10 songs that pop up.
Day 12 - Bullet your whole day.
Day 13 - Somewhere you’d like to move or visit.
Day 14 - Your earliest memory.
Day 15 - Your favorite tumblrs.
Day 16 - Your views on mainstream music.
Day 17 - Your highs and lows of this past year.
Day 18 - Your beliefs.
Day 19 - Disrespecting your parents.
Day 20 - How important you think education is.
Day 21 - One of your favorite shows.
Day 22 - How have you changed in the past 2 years?
Day 23 - Give pictures of 5 girls who are famous who you find attractive.
Day 24 - Your favorite movie and what it’s about.
Day 25 - Someone who fascinates you and why.
Day 26 - What kind of person attracts you.
Day 27 - A problem that you have had.
Day 28 - Something that you miss.
Day 29 - Goals for the next 30 days.
Day 30 - Your highs and lows of this moment.

In all reality I will not do this in 30 days, but I will do my best to.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Observation Tuesday: Volume 6

1. I am in love with my new room. (see post below). the color is phenomenal. very cooling and lovely. Can't wait to decorate more. I've got big ideas.

2. I wish I could get a job being a professional life organizer. That's what I spent the last 2 days doing for myself and I feel so refreshed with an organized house, calendar, to-do lists, wishlists and plans. I love doing it and therefore wish I could get paid to do it for someone else.

3. Target is a dangerous place for my wallet. I went to get a birthday present for someone else and walked out with a bottle of wine, new shoes, and a lampshade....

4. I really wish I had a bigger habit of starting up conversations with random people. Other people are so interesting and have such great stories to share and I think it would be wonderful to glean that knowledge from them. Now I need to learn to hone that skill and make myself socially appropriate when doing so.

5. Observation Tuesday has turned into random facts about my life. Not sure if that's what it was meant for, but for this week I'm going with it.

6. I haven't taken pictures in awhile so I'm hoping to do that this weekend and maybe next week I'll have some stuff for you guys to actually look at because I really believe all posts are better with a pictures.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Grey vs. Gray

I think grey is the English spelling. And gray is well, the American, way.

But anyways. That's beside the point. Although I admit the title is misleading here because it would seem as though that is the whole point of the post. I lied. It's not.

This is the point:I painted my bedroom concrete gray. Thanks, Martha Stewart, for the color! I'm pretty spastic when it comes to deciding colors. I originally had bought samples and painted swatches of 2 different shades of gray. This morning I went to home depot and bought this sample. I went back 2 hours later and bough 2 gallons, taped off my room and went to town! 5 hours later this is what I got & I'm completely smitten. I'm going to end up decorating with whites, blacks and splashes of blues/greens. I'll keep you guys updated as that happens :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Observation Tuesday: Volume 5

Observation 1: It is Wednesday. but I worked yesterday. so you all are getting Tuesday's dose on Wednesday.

#2: Working a full-time job takes a lot of time. I know. Obviously. But to someone who has never done it before it can be a real mind-blowing fact.

#3: I tried a thai restaurant here in Lubbock. Pretty delicious. And it's owned by a Thai family so it's actually legit food.

#4: Getting to know/be comfortable with your neighbors is challenging. I've brought cookies to some of them and said hi multiple times but it's still kind of awkward when we see each other randomly. It was easier when you were little - you could just ask them if they wanted to ride bikes and you'd be friends for life. Guess it takes more time when you reach adulthood.

#5: Finally for this installation, I realized that I really do enjoy getting to plan things to do with new friends. I think it's a blast to invite people to dinner and knit while watching the Office and get to know them at the same time.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I stole this picture from my friend who also just recently moved to Texas. It's a little perspective for you :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Observation Tuesday: Volume 4

After a 2 week hiatus due to moving and general busy-ness, Observation Tuesday is back!
~I'm getting ready for my knitting class I go to at the library. It's me, another girl my age, and several, ahem, older women, and one older man. This made me realize when I'm actually old I'm going to have to find a hobby that is generally reserved for young people. Just to be ironic. Maybe roller derby?
~After 6 hours of orientation class today I came to the conclusion that orientation is always boring, unless a man in English accent is doing it. One of the speakers was from the UK and I decided he should have just done the whole thing. He would have kept my attention more.
~Texas drivers officially do not "drive friendly." Now, I'm admittedly not the best driver, but in AZ I rarely got honked or glared at. Here, it's happened several times. I'm going to have to get more defensive!

[Photo cred: http://www.augengallery.com/Artists/Miyazaki/spy_glass.htm ]

Monday, September 20, 2010

Who needs garage sales?

Especially when you have fantastic future-grandparents-in-law that have super cool stuff like this laying around?
This happens to be something Nana bought when she started school nursing in the early 80s and she really used it for the kids! That means it's vintage and nursing-related. Which means I LOVE it. It's home is currently on my kitchen counter (because that is the only surface that is long enough to fit it right now) but I would like to move it into the living room at some point.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Reasons I am like a 3rd Grader

#1: I have no will-power when it comes to chocolate chip cookies. I will eat them before dinner even though it spoils my appetite.
#2: I love Christmas and my birthday. So much. I still try and look for presents sometimes...
#3: I got a new lunch box and am super excited about it. My dad bought it for me (along with a vacuum. I have the best dad in the world!). It even has a secret compartment (or not secret, seeing as its just on the bottom) with a tupperware that fits perfectly inside. I already packed it in preparation for work tomorrow. Just like I used to do in 3rd grade, except then it was school, not work.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Home Sweet Home

This is where I live now. I've done job paperwork, hung up pictures and bought new furniture (thanks dad!). I even have a Texas license plate. This must be real life...

Monday, September 6, 2010

Moving Day

First of all, HOW DID I GET SO MUCH STUFF?? I've never even lived totally on my own and have very minimal furniture, yet there are a ridiculous amount of boxes in my living room...
If you haven't guessed, tomorrow I move to Texas! My dad and I are loading up my car and a friend's truck and heading east. Thus I will not be posting an observation Tuesday. Not totally devastating for most of you, but just thought I'd at least record why I'm being a delinquent blogger. BUT next time I do post a blog I'll be a resident of the biggest state in the continental US and an employed nurse. Holler!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Observation Tuesday: Volume 3

- If you would like to get someone to use you as a vendor, do not say "tell me about you/your wedding day/your fiance" and proceed to interrupt them every 6 words. Not the best way to win someone over.

- I still possess the talent to get ready in about 9 minutes in the morning. At least that is one skill I haven't lost since graduating college.

- I really think John Mayer is really funny. I follow is tumblr One Forty Plus and honestly laugh out loud often when looking at it.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

How To: Remove Wine Bottle Labels

Well, I mentioned earlier how I destroyed my fingers trying to get wine labels off bottles for my wedding centerpieces. Here are the fruits of my labor.

And here is the process I ended up using:

1)Soaking bottles in hot water and fabric softener. Not sure why the fabric softener, but my mom thought she had heard it somewhere so that's what we did. Then we would rip off as much of the label that would come off.
2)Now we used a combination of baby oil and lighter fluid and a scrubby thing to scrape off the sticky stuff. I read about the baby oil online and I've used lighter fluid before so I just went with it.
This was quite the process. I did, in fact, get the Goo Gone suggest from multiple people but was too lazy/cheap to go to the store to get some. However, I may cave and do that for the next round.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Observation Tuesday: Volume 2

-I just saw this recipe for cinnamon bread and am dying to make it.
-Yesterday I tried to scrape wine bottle labels off wine bottles. Not as easy as it sounds. More to come on that later.
-Best observation of this week: noting the names of products at Ikea. My mom and I went yesterday to get stuff for my future house and I spent the better part of the hour and a half we were there just saying the names of products; "slaak, husvik, karlstad." What's not to love about those words?
-Just read Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. It was excellent. Such an interesting story about a man in the cirucs. The plot is so intriguing and its just about a world that is so foreign and interesting. I recommend it.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

O Empire wide and glorious, you stand supremely blest.

Guess I should learn all the lyrics to "Texas, our Texas" since on September 8, 2010 that's where I'll be living...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Observation Tuesday: Volume 1

I'm going to start Observation Tuesdays on the blog. This will be a weekly feature in which I publish my observations from the week, or that moment, or anything really. It will be random.

Here are this weeks observations:

- The Las Vegas Airport is the loudest airport I have ever been in. Not surprising, but the slots seriously increase the normal volume level.
-I just observed a guy wearing an outfit I would wear exactly - longish jean shorts, peach colored v neck tee, tan colored toms and a plethora of trendy bracelets. Not sure if this is embarrassing for me or him.
-One highlight from my week - I changed my gmail background this week from "dusk" to "desktop." I wanted to be more professional than "bus stop" or the gameboy theme and desktop fit the bill without being too boring. Yes - these are the details that make my week folks.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A few of my favorite things

Not kittens. Not mittens, although I do love them. But my favorite things right now were thoughtful gifts I've gotten. Like these:

1) This super pretty, homemade plate from my best friend. She didn't make it, but had her friend custom make it for me! So fantastic. It will hold a special place in my new home, perhaps breakfast in bed and holiday meals.
2) Okay - lets be honest. This is the cutest picnic basket ever. And it is filled with colorful plastic utensils, plates and napkins. Some of our dear friends gave it to us as an engagement present and I cannot wait to take it on lots of outings.
3) God gave me this sunset the other day. Or rather he gave the entire Phoenix metropolitain area this sunset. Nothing is as good as natural beauty.
4) I also got a gift card to Chocomize. Um, what isn't to love about custom-made chocolate bars with options like gummy bears, cayene pepper and raisins? Nothing, that's what. My other bestie saw I had posted it on a friend's website and was thoughtful enough to gift it to me! I'm thinking dark chocolate with lavendar and sea salt.

I could go on and on and include the Toms my fantastic fiance got me, or these Etsy prints my mom got me (click here), the amazing picture my fantastic artist of a sister painted for me, or the super cute hot and cold mug from my parents. I'm so blessed to have people in my life that know me enough to get me such fantastic presents. It's not just the things themselves, but the thought that has gone into them.


Shortbread is one of my favorite things in life. Honestly, a latte and a piece of shortbread on a cool morning with a good book and I couldn't be happier. In fact, I used to get a box of Walker's shortbread every Christmas. I once tried to make some when I was 13 and ended up doubling the salt content due to an unsalted vs. salted butter incident. Needless to say it did not end well. This past week, since I had close to nothing to do, I decided to make some.

Below is a step-by-step picture guide of me making Shortbread adapted from this recipe from the food network.

1) Gather ingredients.
2 sticks of butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
2 cups flour1 tsp salt
my secret ingredient (which isn't a secret, just scroll down)
2) In goes the butter to the mixer. I mixed this up first a bit by itself, then added the sugars and mixed until fluffy. As soon as you do this add in the flour and salt. Now, mine looked SUPER crumbly so I added a spoonful of sour cream. Call me crazy, but it worked.

3) Then you smoosh it into a greased pan. I used this adorable tart dish of my moms. Score the dough into sections. I just eyeballed it and failed, but whatever. Put it in the fridge to chill for 1/2 an hour.

4) Go to the gym. Okay - this is just me and not necessary for the recipe. But I did it to balance out the 629 calories I was going to eat in shortbread later.

5) Come home from gym. Preheat oven to 300. Bake for an hour. Shower in the meantime because you may be sweaty if you went to the gym. Take it out, LET IT CHILL (if you don't it will crumble) and cut along the scored lines (which are almost completely baked out, but oh well).
6) Pour yourself a big glass of milk, trust me, and get yourself a piece. Now try not to eat the whole pan in one sitting.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Harvest

This post is about My Dad: The Gardener. He loves to grow things - well, edible things. I'm pretty sure this comes from the face that both my grandma and grandpa were superb gardeners. My grandma grew the most stupendous garden I've ever seen and I have vivid memories of picking corn and raspberries at my grandpa's house. Anyways, one adventure he has been working on for awhile is growing grapes. To be honest, I thought this would fail. The picture above proves I should have more confidence in the man. We harvested the first grapes the other night for dinner. They were about 1/3 the size of regular grapes but tasted exactly the same as store-bought grapes (which, for some reason was quite a shock, but that's beside the point). It was phenom.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Why I love Donald Miller

This book is all about living a good story. It's filled with inspiring bits about families that interview foreign dignitaries and jump into lakes, climbing Machu Pichu, raising money to build a Mexican orphanage. In it he says this,

"What I'm saying is I think life is staggering and we're just used to it."

In other words, amazing things (like the simple fact that our bodies keep us alive on a daily basis) are happening all around us every day and we often miss it. Which, when it comes down to it is a simple message and is said a lot, but is good to be reminded of. Donald Miller does just that in his usual train-of-thought style in this book. Refreshing and a good book to read on vacation.

Happy (Belated) Birthday To Me!

Twenty-two. 22. Ventidos. Not the most exciting age no matter how you write it, but it was a good day never the less. Spent a lot of relaxing time with my family and eating Jello Box Cheesecake. Horrifyingly enough, I prefer the Jello Box variety to the real thing and it's been a tradition for awhile now.

21 was a big year - probably the biggest yet. I finished up a life affirming summer in Vancouver, celebrated 2 years with my man, had a pretty rocking Christmas/New Years and learned a lot about myself, got engaged, graduated and got my official nursing license. See, it was big.

I think 22 may be bigger. Some goals:
1) Get married (this will happen in hopefully 325 days)
2) Get a real job

As you can see I haven't really thought many things through, but that is what I'm starting with. Like usual, God will probably surprise me with some pretty crazy things anyways, so I don't want to plan too much. Anywho - cheers to a big next year!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

New Toy

This gorgeous picture taken from Siyeh Pass in Glacier National Park was taken with my new toy. My very expensive new toy. After a lot of saving and some generous graduation gifts I bought a Canon Digital Rebel. 18 megapixels of glory. I've had a blast playing with it and figuring out how to not use manual!

I'm sure you readers, all 2 of you (hi mom!), will enjoy better quality pictures from now on.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Bowman and Blue Cheese

This week I dove headlong into studying for the NCLEX (or nursing boards). Except it wasn't so much of a dive as it was like someone came up and pushed me in a cold pool, clothes, cell phone, and all. That's besides the point today.

Last week I was in Baltimore visiting my sister, brother-in-law and new nephew Bowman (who just started his own blog, you should check it out)! He loves drinking, pooping, sleeping, fussing and U2. And he is, of course, the cutest baby in the world. See exhibit A.

Exhibit A.
See what I mean? Any-who, while I was there I stumbled upon a culinary treat: blue cheese. Now, I am not entirely a blue cheese lover, but in moderation it is superb. We ate at The Dogwood in Hampden. Semi-fancy restaurant, with walls that look like a 5 year old painted. It was local and community focused, which is cool. There I had blue cheese macaroni. The blue cheese was a little overpowering, but I was inspired nevertheless.

Later that week I ventured to make my own version of a blue cheese pasta. I adapted the recipe from the good 'ol Betty Crocker Cookbook. Here's what happened:

1) Gather ingredients: 2 tbs butter, 2 cups milk (I used half cream half milk), garlic, some blue cheese (adapt based on how much you like, I used around 1/2 a cup crumbled up), 1 cup of shredded mozerella cheese, 1/2 a cup of parmesan, pasta (we used whole wheat spaghetti) 2) Cook spaghetti. Once it's a done as you like it (I prefer a little al dente) drain and put back in pot (maybe add a little olive oil to keep it from sticking if you want)

3) Meanwhile (I love when recipes say that because it means you have to be MULTI-TASKING in the kitchen, which is always fun), melt the butter and add the garlic to saute for a little bit. Turn head on med-low and add the milk. Warm milk til it coats the spoon.

3) Now dump the cheese in the milk mixture. Stir the cheese in to melt it.

4) Once it's mostly melted, pour that into the pasta and mix it in real good. Some of the cheese will be goopy (or at least it was for me because I'm impatient). Now cover the pot and let it sit there. For a while. Like ten minutes or so. Or longer depending on what you have to get done.

4) Garnish with some basil. Why basil? It's what we had. Now EAT IT. and enjoy.