Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Brad Paisley

I saw Brad Paisley in concert recently. Went with a group of friends from my ward, including my roommate, sister, and her roommate. I love the outdoor concert atmosphere, where you can dance and sing along to the music all you want and the people around you don't care...they join in!! And you get to enjoy enjoy the summer night air. Oh, and it is totally acceptable to dress the part when it's a country concert :) My favorite song of his has to be "She's Everything", with "Little Moments" as a close second. Even though he's more known for the funny songs, I'm a sucker for the romantic ones... Thanks for a great night with you girls! I feel really close to you after the 2 hr traffic jam bonding afterwards.

Ok then

Thanks for the supportive comments, followers. An especial shout out to MOM, who has figured out for the first time how to comment on my blog. Thanks! I love commentaries. All you bloggers out there know how encouraging it is that people are actually reading these... So, you are going to continue to get a variety of posts on here: cooking, travel, poems, stories, events, thoughts...and now introducing "Phone photo of the week"!!! This being in response to the suggestions of my followers to take more phone pictures since that is usually with me. I actually stole this idea from my friend Larrie's blog-thanks girl! (well, she has kind of stopped doing it so I thought I would take over)

Here's how it works: I will take a random picture with my phone each week and then we have a caption contest until the next week when I announce the winner. I know I have some creative family and friends...so really any weird picture could be turned into something very entertaining with the right caption.

Here's the first installment; I'm ready for the captions...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Help for the pictureless fool

It's not that I have been any less busy with exciting things in life, lately. I just feel like blog posts really aren't all that fun without pictures. I can barely get people to read my blog, even when I do have pictures. I also love having pictures. I love looking at all my wonderful photographer friends' blogs, albeit with some envy. I even use pictures for more than just blogging.

Sometimes, it is not my fault...I have other people take pictures for me and then I never get them, because their computer literally dies or their connecting cord gets lost or memory card gets mutilated, etc. But, I'll admit, most of the time, it IS my fault. I just don't remember my camera or feel like stopping the fun (and a stranger) to document the event. I try to go for the candid, unposed thing but that only turns out awkward and uninteresting.

HELP! How do I get over this???

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Chocolate Crème Brûlée

Here I shall divulge the secret to winning over the hearts of dinner guests: creme brulee. A fancy, rich, but surprisingly simple dessert that is sure to impress and please the taste buds of almost anyone. Despite it's high caloric ingredients, portion size is limited by individual servings so it's alright to have on special occasions (you can tell them that a dietitian told you that). Many people have never had it, let alone made it at home so they don't know how easy it can be. The trick is in having the right tools. Ramekins and a small cooking butane torch are a must. (You must believe me on this point...I've tried to make it work every other way possible, since my first torch was very tempermental and left me in the lurch at inopportune moments. So don't go listening to people that say it works with lighters or under the broiler or else you will end up disappointed but good friends with the firemen down the street).

I recently tried a new spin on this favorite dessert of mine--chocolate creme brulee. It got rave reviews from all who partook, including declarations of being "totally worth every calorie" and "If I had to choose between being fat and eating something like this, I would have a really hard time not choosing this".

Here's my secret recipe:

Chocolate Creme Brulee
3 cups whipping cream
6 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
4 oz semisweet chocolate
1 vanilla bean (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
pinch of salt
8 TBSP white granulated sugar

Scrape seeds from inside vanilla bean. Heat cream, vanilla, and cinnamon in saucepan to a simmer. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in bowl until thick. Melt chocolate and whisk into egg mixture slowly. Then drizzle cream into egg mixture while whisking. Strain and divide into custard cups or ramekins.

Arrange ramekins or cups in a glass baking dish filled with enough water to come halfway up the sides of the cups. Bake at 325 degrees for about 55 min. or until center is set. Remove from water bath and chill for at least 2 hrs but up to 48 hrs (hooray, something you can make ahead of time). Sprinkle 1 TBSP or so sugar on top of each dessert and use small torch to melt and carmelize the sugar (don't do this ahead of time because it will lose it's crunch). Garnish and serve! Makes 8 servings.

*my apologies that the garnished version is not pictured here (imagine a couple berries and chocolate curls atop that wonderful crunch layer.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I'm Flying!!

My daddy builds airplanes... the real kind that
you can fly inside. Sometimes he is so kind to take me on a flight. Saturday was one of those days. I LOVE flying! I like high places in general, but this is awesome. Little planes can feel air currents fairly easy but I quickly got used to the minor turbulence (I don't get motion sick very easy-thank goodness, too or I might never have survived the backseat during all the long road trips we took in the family van when I was young). We flew all around the beautiful cache valley and I enjoyed every minute of it. I would love to learn to fly a plane myself someday...