Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
John and I also did pictures for a family and I'm sure I'll be posting those pics soon, it started out as quite the adventure... going out into the worst storm we've seen all year. I was pessimistic, due to the weather conditions and if we could get any good shots, and of course John was nothing but optimistic - as usual, he was right. (Hate that.)
I actually got called for a second interview at a job I'd be interested in, however, I'm not getting my hopes up. I've had second interviews before...
Today we're dodging our responsibilities and cuddling up in the house. It's too cold out there!
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Well on the way home from that game John texted Reed to say thanks for the tickets and he asked if we wanted to go to Basketball that night. We had nothing else going on, so we did. Now, basketball is usually much more satisfying that football....in that they have a good team most years. But this game was just ridiculous. Cal Poly went down.... hard.
Yes, you're seeing that correctly and it's the final score of the game. 97-57 for the Aggies. It definitely was the kind of day where I was proud to say I am an Aggie Grad - And it was a lot of fun!
Monday, November 24, 2008
It was an Italian Creme Wedding Cake,
from this book. A goodie.
It was my little sister Emily's birthday on Saturday! Now I hated turning...(27)... but something about the fact that my 'baby' sister was turning 20 was harsh. In fact, I was picking up balloons and the sales girl said, "so who are these for?" And I said, "my little sister". Then I thought about it for a second and said, "and by little, I mean twenty."
So on the big day my sister and I were commenting about the fact that while EVERYONE complains about holiday weight gain, or at least holiday diet destruction, they have no room to complain. Check out this schedule: Halloween, two weeks later - my birthday, one week later - my little sister's birthday, then one week later Thanksgiving, one week later - my brother's birthday. And by that time we're in the full swing of the Christmas season. Pity me! I deserve your pity, because you see it's not really my FAULT, it's just a series of unfortunate events, not my lack of self control.
And finally, in what has turned out to be kind of a random post...
For all of you readers out there that might want me to make you a cake, I WILL! Just one thing, buy me either this or this book, and then name the cake you want and when you want it. :)
Friday, November 21, 2008
This chili is a bit on the spicy side, for those that bothers. My recommendation, if you can't tolerate heat is to carefully remove the ribbing and seeds from your jalapeño before you chop and add it, and perhaps just buy a smaller one from the store. Ours was medium in size and since I LOVE heat I put the whole thing in, ribs, seeds and all. Even with that, I would only classify it as 'pretty spicy' though, not really spicy.
(Especially if you wanna cool it down a degree or two!)
So enough blabbing, here you go...
Steak and Black Bean Chili
1. Trim fat from steak. Cut steak into 1/2-inch cubes. Heat oil in large nonstick saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add steak, onion and garlic; cook and stir 5 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Add beans, diced tomatoes with juice, bell peppers, jalapeño pepper, bouillon, chili powder and sugar. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, 30 to 45 minutes.
|Serving Size: about 1 cup chili|
|Saturated Fat||1 g|
|Total Fat||7 g|
|Calories from Fat||18 %|
Monday, November 17, 2008
I asked for this camera for my birthday:
There is some method to my madness however. The thing is that the big camera is fantastic, but you don't just carry it around any old time. I wanted to get a camera I could just have in my purse for those unexpected snapshots that are so great.
My great hubby obviously decided I wasn't nuts, cuz he bought it for me. (Thank you Johnny!) Or if he thought I was nuts he didn't care, he was just glad he knew what to buy!
Friday, November 14, 2008
...You visit your friend you haven't seen in a million years, but it's really cold outside and she's desperate to find the box labeled 'winter clothes' in her storage unit.
...You leave your son in the care of his grandma while his Aunt is around and bored.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
So John & I slept forever this morning, got up, wandered around, slept some more. When I did hear the gentle rumblings of my niece and nephew (oh yes, your suspicions are probably correct, it was about noon) I wandered outside to see my dad mowing up the leaves on the lawn, and Caden helping. It was so super cute that my mom had out the camcorder, and I had out my camera.
Well the little dinner we were planning kept getting larger as we invited people and as we thought up new ideas. Finally it ended up as a fairly large dinner.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Answer the questions with one word (or a little more) and then tag three people.
1. Where is your cellphone? pocket
2. Your significant other? sexy
3. Your hair? brown
4. Your mother? absentminded
5. Your Father? unintentionally funny
6. Your favorite thing? love
7. Your dream last night? violent
8. Your favorite drink? the dr.
9. Your dream goal? house
10. The room you’re in? Reed's
11. Your hobby? lots
12. Your fear? fear
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? finishing something
14. What you’re not? outgoing
15. Muffins? almond poppyseed
16. One of your wishlist item? mini camera
17. Where you grew up? North Logan
18. Last thing you did? eat
19. What are you wearing? jacket
20. Favorite gadget? camera
21. Your pets? scratch u
22. Your computer? which one?
23. Your mood? anxious
24. Missing someone? no
25. Your Car? rocks
26. Something you’re not wearing? shorts
27. Favorite store? depends on what i'm buying
28. Like someone? Yes
29. Favorite color? changes
30. When was the last time you laughed? one second ago
31.When was the last time you cried? can't remember
I tag Nikki, Stephanie, & Cara.
Monday, October 6, 2008
This is what my good sense drove me to make on Sunday for a little 'conference treat'. This cheesecake recipe was jam-packed with chocolate (white and semi-sweet), caramel, and pecan buddies. And what I really loved about it, the crust is soft brownies, not some hard, flavorless crust. It's called, 'Chocolate Eruption Cheesecake', and the description says, "Sounds like an X-rated dessert? Well if you're counting calories, it is." Perfect.
In the past I've been wary of cheesecake, seems like I've had some large disasters where that particular dessert was concerned, but I decided I like cheesecake too much to avoid it forever. This turned out well all in all, although the recipe made about twice as much batter as I needed.
So now in case any of you see me around town, or wherever, you won't have to gasp and think to yourself, 'wow, I wonder if she's pregnant, or just fat.' I'm not pregnant, just fat... come to find out you can't lose the weight when you bake this much.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Next time you see me look for a knit sweater-vest with a pumpkin and a black cat on it.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
So now that I see my mom all the time, and cook a little around here she had been bugging me a lot to make that coconut cake. I kept saying, "Mom, that cake is a lot of work and takes a lot of time for just any old day of the week. I'm not making it unless there's a good reason." Well, my mom is nothing if not resourceful, a couple of weeks ago my mom returns from an outing with her sisters to plan my Grandpa's 90th birthday party and she says, "I told everyone that you would be willing to make a cake for grandpa's birthday. I was thinking you could make that coconut one." Devious, no?! What am I going to do? Say 'no, I don't really care about grandpa and his birthday'.
So alas, I was committed. But armed with my knowledge I made the cake once more. And this time I have to toot my own horn and say... perfect. I definitely had an advantage having made it before and learning a few tricks. The cake was super soft and delicate. The pastry cream tasted amazing and was much smoother and creamier than the last time, and the frosting/cake ratio was much better! I took special pride in my cousin Stacey (who lived in Manhattan for a few years) coming over to me and telling me it was the best cake she'd ever had. So here is a cake in brief:
sits mostly there whilst the coconut cake has been completely devoured.
Like my dad says, 'Nothing left but the crying'.
(Don't ask what it means, I really don't know.)
Cream Puff’s Very Favourite Coconut Cream Cake
From Caprial’s Desserts by Caprial Pence and Melissa Carey.
Note: It’s best to make the pastry cream and the cakes the day before assembling the cake. I usually make them the night before. I make the buttercream just before I’m ready to begin assembling the cake. Once I begin assembling, I like to refrigerate the cake after each step. To frost the cake, I find that a cake stand is invaluable. If you want to read an amazing post about what it takes to bake and decorate cakes, read Anita’s post all about it on her blog Dessert First. This cake will easily serve 12 people.
For the coconut cake:
1 cup butter (2 sticks), cold and cut into small cubes
1-3/4 cups sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. baking powder
3 cups sifted cake flour
1-1/2 cups coconut milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and grease two 9-inch pans. Line the bottoms of the pan with parchment paper and then grease the parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar at high speed. Mix until the butter is light and fluffy (3 to 5 minutes).
Turn the mixer to low speed and add the eggs one at a time, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
Add the vanilla extract and mix well.
Combine the dry ingredients (salt, baking powder and flour) and add to the butter/egg mixture in two additions, alternating with the coconut milk. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for 25 minutes to 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted in the centre of the cake.
Let the cakes cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes before unmolding them and peeling off the parchment paper. Let the cakes cool completely before filling them. If you make the cakes the day before assembling the cake, wrap them in plastic wrap and store at room temperature.
For the coconut pastry cream:
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
1-1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
2 cups heavy cream
In a saucepan, combine the half-and-half and the coconut milk and heat on high until the mixture is just about to boil. Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks, the cornstarch and the sugar. Whisk until well combined and the eggs are pale yellow (about 3 or 4 minutes).
Dribble in a few drops of the milk mixture and whisk. Continue dribbling in a bit of milk (don’t add it all at once or you may cook the egg yolks) and whisking. Once you’ve added about half of the milk, you can then add the rest in a steady stream, whisking all the time.
Return the milk/egg mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium-high heat (whisking constantly) until the mixture becomes very thick. This should take about 5 minutes or so. You’ll know it’s ready when the mixture bubbles and you can see the bottom of the pan as you drag the whisk through it. Remove from the heat and stir in the shredded coconut.
Pour the pastry cream into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap (the plastic wrap should touch the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming). Refrigerate overnight.
When you’re ready to fill the cakes, whip two cups of heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold the cream into the cold pastry cream until combined.
For the buttercream:
2 cups half-and-half
1 egg yolk
3 tbsp. cornstarch
1 pound unsalted butter (2 cups), at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
Combine the half-and-half, the egg yolk and the cornstarch in a saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly to ensure that it’s smooth. When it comes to a boil it will thicken considerably. Remove from the heat and pass it through a sieve. Refrigerate for two hours.
After two hours, combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed for 10 minutes, stopping every once and awhile to scrape down the sides of the bowl. After 10 minutes, the mixture will be almost white in colour and very light and fluffy.
Add the salt and mix.
With the speed on low, add the cold half-and-half mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl to ensure it’s well incorporated.
Add the vanilla extract and mix.
Use the buttercream right away.
To assemble the cake:
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
Split the two 9-inch cakes in half so that you have four layers.
Place one layer, cut side up, on a cake plate or cake cardboard. Spread about half a cup of coconut pastry cream on the cake layer. Leave about half an inch border all the way around to ensure the pastry cream doesn’t leak out.
Top with a second layer of cake, and once again spread about half a cup of pastry cream on the layer.
Top with a third layer and repeat with the pastry cream.
Top with the final layer and press down to ensure that the cake is firmly in place. At this point I like to refrigerate the cake for about half an hour to give the pastry cream a chance to settle and firm up a bit. I usually make the buttercream while the cake is in the refrigerator.
Remove the cake from the refrigerator and begin icing. There are many different opinions on how to ice a cake. The way I like to do it is to spread a thin layer of icing on the top and the sides of the cake. Don’t worry if you pick up cake crumbs. Once you’ve done this, put the cake back into the refrigerator for about half an hour to firm up the buttercream.
Remove the cake from the refrigerator and this time, add a nice thick layer of buttercream all around. Begin by putting a cup or so of icing on the top of the cake. Spread it evenly across pushing the buttercream all the way to the edges. Once it’s even on top, begin pushing the buttercream at the edges down the sides of the cake, adding more buttercream as needed. Once you’re done, smooth the sides of the cake as best you can. Even out the edges of the cake by placing your icing spatula flat on the edge and smoothly sliding it towards the centre of the cake. This should give you a nice edge all the way around.
Place the cake in the refrigerator for about ten minutes. Remove the cake and carefully apply the toasted shredded coconut all around the sides of the cake and on the top of the cake if you wish. If you have any extra buttercream, feel free to pipe a decorative design on the cake.
Refrigerate the cake for at least 3 or 4 hours before serving.
Monday, September 22, 2008
I really love fall. I don't feel I can adequately describe it, but I can in list form give you some things I like:
1. The temperature cooling down.
2. Fall fashion (my fav) appearing in the mall.
3. Orange, Brown, Yellow, Red appearing everywhere, nature, stores, etc.
4. Hot Chocolate w/ assorted add in's.
5. Tacky fake leaves and pumpkins as decor.
6. Real pumpkins turning orange on the vine.
7. Halloween candy , read, Mellowcreme Candy Pumpkins.
8. Leaf lined sidewalks and streets.
9. Spiced cider.
10. Caramel apples.
11. Corn mazes.
12. The furnace turning on for the first time and the smell. (I love the smell, weird, huh?)
13. Trench coats, jackets, hoodies, layers.
14. Apple picking and by that I mean eating apples under the trees while picking an apple or two. Apple buckets full of beautiful apples, etc.
15. The anticipation of those first few flakes of snow.
I'm sure I could continue to go on and on. I'm sure you could too. Leave your favs as comments!
Monday, September 15, 2008
Unlikely as it was I did get a call for a second interview! And they'd narrowed it down to just like 6... (personally, i've hired before, it's ridiculous to call back that many for SECOND interviews, but oh well...) So at my job I put in a request to not work the morning of the second interview. Evidently my boss didn't care I wanted the morning off, and I was scheduled. So I proceeded to call any staff I could find that might be able to switch around shifts with me so I could go to the interview. I was also upset because we'd put in our fall schedule preferences, and not only did I not get my first or second choice of scheduling, but I actually had been scheduled closer to what I wanted BEFORE I put in my 'scheduling preferences' sheet - I actually got MORE evenings and less mornings as I'd had all summer. So that was a big 'haha' from management. So I was annoyed with them for that already. Well long story short, I called and I texted but I received a no answer from about everyone who could work for me or switch with me on the day of my interview.
So what to do?! I decided to quit the job. It wasn't a good time for that to happen anyway, as I'd just got my September shedule and as previously mentioned been completely screwed over, and the job had already given me more stress than it had pay by the bossy, know it all staff, and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to at least TRY for this much better, much more lucrative job.
So at the second interview for CAPSA I felt very happy about how it went. I felt like I'd done as well as was possible, was much more articulate than my usual self, and they said they hoped to have made their choice by that evening. They didn't call that day. I was so sad. But the next day, two of my references from my resume called me and said, 'hey I just barely got a call about you today from a lady at CAPSA, I gave you a great reference, I think you got the job!' etc. etc. So I was back to excited! I hadn't been crossed off already! Then later that afternoon I get a call on a 'private number', this is it!...
"Just wanted to let you know we've made a hiring decision. You were an extremely strong candidate, and if we had another position... but we've decided to go another way."
So now here I am again... unemployed and feeling ultra pathetic. I can't even enjoy the free time because I feel too stressed about not having a job! Annoying, eh?! Second guessing my recent choices, and scanning the help wanted ads only to find things like, 'receptionist wanted. will do many things, be our office b#%&$ and we will compensate you hardly at all, $7.50 - $8 per hour'.... riiiight.
So I'm back to taking pictures I guess. Which I like, but so far have not taken hardly any, so i'm still no where.... *le sigh*
So pity party for Christie, and you're all invited. I'll make a cake and pass out "christie sucks" party favors, and we'll watch feel bad movies.
Friday, August 8, 2008
So I got a job. Pretty, almost too quickly, after getting to Logan. It's an okay job, it's as staff at a school much like the one I used to work for, so it's interesting work, always something new, and I like the direct interaction with the girls. But I had already put out a couple resumes before I accepted this job, and I've started getting a few calls. I figure, maybe I'll look around a little still -I'm not getting amazing amounts of money at the current job, the hours are early and I have to work some weekends, and there are some other things I don't absolutely love about the job. So if there is something better, I'm not exactly going to say 'no'...
Yesterday I got called in for an interview at this law office I applied to against my better judgment. Many of you know I got out of law after several years of working as a paralegal for an attorney, because it was so incredibly tedious. But I saw this lisiting for this job, and I just thought, 'Hey, I have experience, it might be different with a different law office, and the good thing about the law...it pays well!' So I figured, I'd go in, ask for a really decent wage, and even though I don't love working in law, if they actually gave it to me maybe I'll have to seriously consider it.
So I went in this morning, we go through a fairly informal interview, he asks just a lot about my resume and different jobs I've had, about my schooling, my future plans, how long I've been married.... It comes to the end, and here it comes, he asks about my 'wage expectation'. So I get brave, this is hard for me to do, but I ask for what I want, (what I really really want). After all, what have I to lose? Now it's a big number, for me, but it's not a big number especially when you start talking about what paralegals are making nationally, or even just in other places in Utah, it's well shy of the average wage for an official paralegal according to utahjobs.com. In fact it's only like $2 more per hour than I was making at my last job in Cedar City. Plus, this guy has been going on for like twenty minutes about how this paralegal he's hiring for is like his right arm, has so much responsibility, is vital to the whole operation, is completely indispensable, is in charge of huge amounts of things and keeps the cases from disaster in general. So you'd think with that type of job description, with that much on the line, they'd be willing to pay the big bucks to get someone who is going to be good, right!?! And they're big time, civil litigation (big money) attorneys, right?!? He then proceeds to tell me, 'well we think we're pretty competitive, we try to stay in the top of the pay scale here in Logan to get good people and keep them. We don't pay as much as like the Ogden/Salt Lake area, but compared to other firms in town...have you been in to any other firms in town?? Well anyway....that's going to be a little over what our pay range is.'
How much over?
Then he tells me what he had in mind, and folks, it's not pretty, he basically gives a range that's about $5 an hour lower than what I asked for. Basically just slightly over what I'm making at a job where I'm not required to get an ulcer and file mountains of briefs. Let's just say, come July of next year it's a wage that's only about a dollar over what the federally mandated minimum wage will be. And let's face it, given the opportunity to work the register at McDonalds, and not have to deal with attorneys, or deal with an attorney and make $1 more per hour --- I for one am going to be out there asking, "would you like fries with that?!?"