Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Tribute... irresistibly cute children at weddings!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's All Greek To Me...

I'm attending a International Celebration this weekend and I signed up to bring an international dish to share. Well, at first I thought, "Crepes: easy and delicious," but the simplicity of crepes did not satisfy my ambition to cook a masterpiece. So my next thought was, "German Chocolate Brownies!" Sounds dangerously delicious enough right? Not for me. No, I needed to stretch beyond my comfort zone into the world of the unknown ingredients and unfathomable preparatory procedures, I needed to make...BAKLAVA!

And thus, Heather and I embarked on this time-consuming and labor-intensive dish.
Here we see Heather sparsely painting each layer of phyllo with butter.

After 7 layers of butter-phyllo-butter-phyllo-butter-phyllo (you get the picture) we added a layer of our cinnamon walnut mixture. Yum! And thus the process continued till we used up every sheet of phyllo. Oh how the heart hurts and the mouth waters at the thought!

And here is the lovely, diagonally cut Baklava - ready to bake!

I was so giddy when I took this out of the oven. You could hear the flaky layers crackling with joy as they cooled. You simply cannot beat the smell of a freshly-baked, honey-smothered pastry wafting through the house.

And, only because I'm slightly obsessed with the
Food Network as of late, I fancied it up a bit. Look how gorgeous it is! I give myself 10 points for presentation!
But oh, it tastes like heaven...
...of course, there are no calories in heaven.

I'd like to thank Feathy Lou, my "sous chef", for helping me super much AND my friend,
Emeril Laggasse, for this wonderful recipe! Try it out and let me know what you think. Here's a tip, try substituting nutmeg for the cardamom and be as sparse as you can on the butter to avoid the guilt that inevitably comes with tasting your masterpiece!

If you don't feel like being ambitious, just head on over to my place.
Honestly, we've got a whole pan of Baklava in a house of dieting people! :)

Happy Baklavaing!

Tea Party anyone?

Last weekend Heather and I enjoyed a day of sisterly bonding. We went to a cute little paint-your-own-pottery studio called, Color Me Mine. Heather chose a spoon rest that she painted in the 50's retro fashion, to match her red kitchen appliances (I'll get a picture to add).
I chose this giant teacup and saucer cause they remind me of the Mad Hatter's Tea Party ride at Disneyland. Yes, I realize that you can tell that I painted it, but I think I prefer it that way. Where's the fun in perfection? :) If I could do it over, however, I'd probably paint it exactly like one of the teacups from the ride. Who knows, maybe even paint them all and have a tea (hot cocoa) party. Heather and I thought it'd make a cute candy dish though.

Anyway, go to Color Me Mine, it's a blast! And another tip, choose a fun design beforehand so you can use your time for painting it, rather than planning it out.

Happy painting!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Bear Lake & Banana Bread

This weekend I went to our lovely Bear Lake cabin to do some yard work with my parents and my brother Pete's cute family. His son Johnny rode up with us. We had a blast, as you can see.

Johnny practiced his typing

And wrote me a sweet note

The lawn was COVERED in these

So we made bouquets

Among other things

And here is the beautiful new addition to one of my favorite places in the world, the Bear Lake cabin

In other news, I found this really intriguing
blog a couple of weeks ago and finally brought myself to try one of the recipes from it. Say hello to fat-free banana bread. Yum! Don't let the "fat-free" title fool you, it's delicious!

And I finished Princess Academy by Shannon Hale, which I would highly recommend to anyone! It's very well written and such a cute story! Read the summary here!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Counting Quirks

quirk [kwurk]
A peculiarity of action, behavior, or personality; mannerism:
She is full of strange quirks.

1. I always turn the volume up or down in increments of 5.
2. I always check the inside of my cup before I fill it with a beverage.
3. I make up words on a regular basis.
4. I also make sound effects while doing certain activities...usually driving.
5. I don't open the blinds until my bed is made.
6. I eat one food item at a time and move onto the next.
7. I always proof-read my texts before I send them.
8. I never buy the same brand of mascara twice in a row.
9. I hog all the black jelly beans and purple lifesavers.
10. I always brush my teeth before I exercise.
11. I wear my retainer every night, without fail.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Mother of the Year

Here is a follow-up to the snippet I posted a couple of weeks ago. My mom won the Mother of the Year award for our city for 2009. Below is the article from the Clipper and the nomination essay my sister submitted. She's the most amazing mom I know! ...of course, I could be a little biased.
Love you, Madre!

Click the article to the left to take a closer gander

The nomination essay Heather sent to the Clipper:
"My Mom is an extremely selfless person with 9 children, 7 children-in-law and 23 grand kids. She and Dad, side by side, have reared a close and loving family, which seems to be getting harder to do. As a stay at home mother, some may not see her job as “the ideal”. However, with the outcome of 7 (current) college graduates, 6 (current) wonderful parents, and 9 great people it has been so much greater than any other vocation she could have chosen. After 38+ years of taking care of us (neighbors, friends, extended family, and dozens of pets) I would love for her to receive this tribute. She deserves it more than she'll ever know."

Sunday, May 17, 2009

here's to happiness

inspired by rockstar diaries and jalene

10 things that make me terribly happy:
1. Singing at the top of my lungs with Kelly, Jennifer, or Whitney
2. Sitting around the campfire with my family at the Bear Lake cabin
3. Every romantic, delicious, & artistic thing about Europe
4. Watching
Food Network and trying out new recipes
5. Laughing so hard my sides ache
6. Escaping into this
book or these books for hours on end
7. Walking around Gateway with friends and taking random pictures
8. Reading old journal entries and seeing how immature I used to be (and still am)
9. Cheesecake, cheesecake and more
10. Feeling invincible after a good, hard workout (in contrast to #9)

Life is beautiful! If you ever forget it count your blessings and post it :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Endorphins + Sunshine

Let's do some math shall we?
Several Days of Avoiding Doing Hair & Makeup
Buying Some Cute Clothes at Ross
Counting Calories & Exercising
Losing 5 Pounds
I'm Not Vain, I'm Celebrating

So I gave myself a "makeover" (entailing that I actually got ready for once) and took advantage of the awesome afternoon lighting in the living room.

Feelin' good!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

If you weren't smiling before... are now! Aren't my n&ns CUTE?! These are only 4 of the 23, I didn't want to overwhelm you with adorable-ness! Look at their beautiful eyes!




Ky Ky

Speaking of CUTE, check out the new kicks! Ain't nuthin' like a new pair of snow white shoes!