Tuesday, December 15, 2009

ice skating

For Alyx's 21st birthday we went to the Gallivan Center in Salt Lake to ice skate. We had a lot of fun and very few falls. In fact, I think Justin was the only one who fell (although it should be noted that he was the best skater in the group. He just happened to want to try a lot of tricks, which led to falls)


They have a Goblet of Fire at the Gallivan Center, so we all threw our names in. I think we even had a champion or two.


This picture may look like we were just standing there, but we were actually doing some synchronized skating.

Happy Birthday Alyx!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmasland

Last week we decided we wanted to go look at some Christmas lights. When Marissa googled "Christmas lights" and "Utah" the first website that came up was for the Holdman house. We didn't think one house could really be that impressive, but it as free so we decided to check it out. We ended up having so much fun watching the show. I took videos but they aren't that good (you can watch all of their displays on their website anyway).

After the Holdman house we drove around the neighborhood looking at all the houses and lights. On our way down the hill back to Orem we noticed a huge area of colorful lights. We decided to try to find it and when we did we were amazed to realize it was only one house (that took up at least two blocks!).


Every tree was covered in lights, and the lights were in every color imaginable.



The pictures don't really do it justice. It was just so big that I could not capture it all in one picture.

All in all, we had a very fun (and cold!) night.

welcome to winter

                               Somehow this...

                                  ...became this overnight

Thursday, November 26, 2009

things to be thankful for

before...

...after


I am thankful that my first Thanksgiving dinner cooking experience was not a total disaster.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fall and a Halloween Sneak Peek

Provo is full of color right now (I need to get some better pictures of all the reds and oranges)
I also found a tree that has heart shaped leaves near my house.


Can you figure out what I'm going to be for Halloween from these two clues?
wings made from some wire hangers and white tightsshoes I already had with pompoms made from the leftover tights.

UPDATE:
I just realized I never posted pictures of our completed costumes


Sometimes I go hiking

Stewart Falls
I really liked this hike because it was relatively easy, it was pretty, and it wasn't too long or too short. The weather was perfect when we went, so that also influenced my opinion.


Bridal Veil Falls
This was a failed hiking attempt. We were never quite sure we were on a real trail, and then there were a bunch of rock slides across the path... so we turned back even though we were really close to the top.


Mount Timpanogos
It should be noted that we started this hike at 2 in the morning and didn't finish until sunrise (and by "finish," I mean we reached the lake near the top. Then I gave up and we sat by a fire until sunrise)I hated this hike the whole way up, but it was cool once we got to the top. The way down was much more enjoyable.
In conclusion: Utah can actually be a cool place to live.

Happy Birthday to me

This post is a little belated, but I thought I should briefly pay tribute to my 22nd birthday (which was over a month ago...)
Thank you to my family for all the letters and presents

Thank you to Bryan for getting me my favorite movie and chocolate
(celebrating 3 birthdays in St. George)
It was a good birthday.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Butternut Squash: a new favorite

I absolutely love reading food blogs. Recently I've become obsessed with smitten kitchen and it's author, Deb. I want to try every recipe she posts. When I saw her recipe for Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette, I knew I needed to try it out as soon as possible. I've only cooked butternut squash one other time so I kind of expected this recipe to turn into a disaster (and it almost did when I rolled out the dough). Luckily, it all turned out fine in the end. It was the perfect meal to get me in the mood for fall. I'm pretty sure I need to make this again. Soon.

Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette

For the pastry:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into
pieces
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup ice water

For the filling:
1 small butternut squash (about one pound)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons butter (if you have only non-stick, the smaller amount will do)
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced in half-moons
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of sugar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
3/4 cup fontina cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces), grated or cut into small bits (I used Havarti because my grocery store was out of Fontina. The joys of living in Utah...)
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves (I used dried sage because I was too cheap to buy a whole package of fresh sage.)

1. Make pastry: In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Place the butter in another bowl. Place both bowls in the freezer for 1 hour. Remove the bowls from the freezer and make a well in the center of the flour. Add the butter to the well and, using a pastry blender, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Make another well in the center. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add half of this mixture to the well. With your fingertips, mix in the liquid until large lumps form. Remove the large lumps and repeat with the remaining liquid and flour-butter mixture. (this part was kind of tricky. In the future I would just mix it all together in one bowl) Pat the lumps into a ball; do not overwork the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. Prepare squash: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Peel squash, then halve and scoop out seeds. Cut into a 1/2-inch dice. Toss pieces with olive oil and a half-teaspoon of the salt and roast on foil lined (for neatness sake) sheet for 30 minutes or until pieces are tender, turning it midway if your oven bakes unevenly. Set aside to cool slightly.

3. Caramelize onions: While squash is roasting, melt butter in a heavy skillet and cook onion over low heat with the remaining half-teaspoon of salt and pinch of sugar, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly golden brown, about 20 minutes. Stir in cayenne.

4. Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Mix squash, caramelized onions, cheese and herbs together in a bowl.

5. Assemble galette: On a floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch round. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet. Spread squash, onions, cheese and herb mixture over the dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Fold the border over the squash, onion and cheese mixture, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open.

6. Bake until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, let stand for 5 minutes, then slide the galette onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature. Serves 6.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

I already miss spring

and here's why:Also, we don't have air conditioning and it looks like it's going to be a hot summer. I could use some rain right about now.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Welcome to Summer

Yesterday was sunny and beautiful, so Brittney and I went to the park.

We sat under a tree and let our legs get some sun. Later on we checked out an antique store on Center Street that Sandi told me about. I found a necklace I'm in love with and I might need to go back for it.

Bryan and I picked cherries from his Grandpa's cherry tree which is completely loaded with fruit. We picked two big bags and I even climbed the tree to get some of the high up ones. They taste amazing and I'm excited to try out some cherry-related recipes.
breakfast

Sunday, June 14, 2009

the most important meal of the day

When you don't have church until 1:00 pm, it leaves a lot of free time in the morning. This usually results in me sleeping in late, but this particular Sunday morning Brittney and I decided to make breakfast together. I had recently discovered an amazing recipe for French Toast, and Brittney had her Grandmother's recipe for homemade maple syrup, so it was a great collaboration.

Even though the two of us typically photo-document everything we do, we somehow forgot to take pictures of the whole cooking process, so
unfortunately I only have pictures of the end result.


French Toast
Ingredients

1 cup half-and-half (we used milk)
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons honey, warmed in the microwave for 20 seconds
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 (1/2-inch) slices day-old or stale bread
4 tables spoons butter

Directions

In medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, honey, and salt. Pour custard mixture into a pie pan and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Dip bread into mixture, allow to soak for 30 seconds on each side, and then remove to a cooling rack that is sitting in a sheet pan, and allow to sit for 1 to 2 minutes.

Over medium-low heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a 10-inch nonstick saute pan. Place 2 slices of bread at a time into the pan and cook until golden brown, approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and place on rack in oven for 5 minutes (we put it back on the cooling rack and sheet pan to avoid getting the oven dirty). Repeat with all 8 slices. Serve immediately with maple syrup, whipped cream, or fruit.


Homemade maple syrup and orange juice completed our perfect meal. It was a great way to start the day.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Take-Out Photo Monthly Special: Foreground

My French professor, Marc Olivier, has a photography blog that dedicates each month to a different aspect of photography. This month was all about foreground, so I found a few pictures from my Paris trip that fit the bill

Friday, February 27, 2009

Andrew Bird comes to Salt Lake

Andrew Bird is a classically-trained-violinist-turned-folk-singer who I started listening to this year. When I found out he was coming to Salt Lake, I was worried I wouldn't be able to find anyone who would want to go with me... meaning I was worried I wouldn't have a ride to Salt Lake. But randomly enough I found out Leilani likes him too and she wanted to come with me. So Wednesday night we trekked over to Salt Lake.
I was so impressed by his versatility: he sang, whistled, and played the violin, guitar, and glockenspiel (sometimes all in the same song.)
this is the best picture I got of Andrew playing the glockenspiel

Martin Dosh. His drum kit was really sparkly

We got pretty close to the stage (maybe three people back) so we had a really good view (once this giant guy with a fro moved out of our way). I took tons of videos, so here's a little sample of the concert:
video
Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left
video
Oh No
video
I loved when Andrew would just talk to the audience and joke around. I'm still amazed by how good he is live.