Sunday, November 20, 2011

I came, I pinned, I crafted

Hello friends. Today is a day for the history books. What could this momentous occasion be you ask? Why it's the day I get to see Part I of BREAKING DAWN! I know you're all very excited for me.

I have a lot of posts that need to be written but I'm just going to ignore those for now and amaze you with my craftiness. About 6 (or more) months ago my sister posted about this amazing website call pinterest. I wasn't very interested and even though I asked for a invite I ignored it. Well a few weeks ago my friend started bugging me, saying I just HAD to get on and sent me another invite. Which I promptly ignored again. Finally, a different friend asked if there was a way for me to get HER an invitation  So I resigned myself to signing up and inviting her. Well since then I haven't been able to STOP PINNING. For those of you who don't know what it is, is essential internet crack! It's like a giant bookmark page where you can save all your favorite websites and ideas AND steal other peoples. It's really quite wonderful and addictive. Here's the reality of it:

So what does this have to do with Breaking Dawn? Well normally I'm the type of person who would pin all these cool ideas and crafts and say "Wow, I'd love to make something like that," and then not do it. But ha ha I've fool you all and this time I followed through. I knew I wanted to make something Twilight related for my friends who were going to watch the movie with me and pinterest was the perfect place to find just the right craft! Since it's almost Christmas I decided on two Twilight themed Christmas ornaments. They were both surprisingly easy and fun to do.

The first was super simple, glass ornament, paint pens and feathers:

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The front is a quote from Breaking Dawn, "Why am I covered in feathers?" and the back has today's date so they always remember the awesomeness of when we first saw the movie.

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The second one was a little more work and a lot more pain. As a bookworm and a true nerd I treasure books and it made me physically ill to destroy one, even something like Twilight. But I took a  copy of the book tore it up (twitch) and mod podged it on to a plastic ornament. I let it dry, then picked some favorite quotes from the book and put those on along with a nice coat of glitter! The result was beautiful (although the glitter is coming off, next time I'll use a spray on type).

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My set of three: "So the lion fell in love with the lamb. What a stupid lamb. What a sick masochistic lion."

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One for my sis: "Let me get this straight - I'm the baby seal, right"

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And for my friend: "And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him."

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Happy Breaking Dawn Day everyone! Happy Pinning!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Book Club: The Book Theif and Normandie Cafe

I'm a little behind on my book club reviews so let's just do a quick synopsis before I get to today's:

The Room by Emma Donoghue at Village Inn. This was a solid 3 star book. An interesting yet unbelievable story of a woman who was kidnapped and kept in a shed (Room) for years. The story is told from the perspective of her son, who was born in the room conceived by her kidnapper. Worth reading but not worth bumping to the top of your list. Village Inn was well generic.

Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card at Training Table. Wonderful book one of my favorite in the Ender's series. I HATE sci-fi and yet I loved this book. Card does a wonderful job of moving the story line along while still developing the world around him in an understandable way. Worst book club meeting I've ever been too. Everyone bailed. Training Table was blah - completely overrated I probably wont ever eat there again.

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson at Chicago Pizza. When I first finished the book I HATED it. HATED.IT. It was slow and boring; it could have been so exciting but it just wasn't. However after the meeting and the awesome discussions I bumped my rating from a 2 to a 3.5. It's definitely not my cup of tea but I had to admit that there was a lot of very interesting history embedded into the story. The fact that it's a non-fiction makes it great but also leads to the boringness. If you enjoy American history or like architecture it's must read. Chicago Pizza was surprisingly tasty. A little over priced - but then again I think most pizza places are. I went simple and shared a thin crust prosciutto pizza and the house salad and was quite satisfied.

Today's book was The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

This was one of the first books that I listened to on MP3. It was amazing. I honestly loved it. A non-Nazi family in Nazi Germany. The story its told from the perspective of Death. Really a brilliant tale; it made me laugh out loud and then sob. I really think everyone should read this book and I would love to see it in school curriculum. The discussions about the book were good, we did get off on some tangents but over all it was interesting. A lot of people there were history buff which I am not so it was interesting to listen to their additional knowledge. The restaurant we ate at was Normandie in Holladay. My review? Meh. The food was fine but way over priced for the portion size and quality. Teardra got a mac-n-cheese that she deemed the best she's ever had. I got a steak sandwich and caesar salad and it was fine.

There are a ton of meetings coming up that I'm really looking forward to including The Giver, Tinkers, and The Reader (the last two I haven't read yet but look):

If by chance you are a historical romance or period piece person pick up The Gentleman Poet by Kathryn Johnson. I picked it up on the whim at the library and I was pretty sure I'd hate it and not finish it but I LOVE it. 

Happy Reading

Friday, September 2, 2011

A Story of Stupidity and Something to Make it Better

After running errands today we decided to give ourselves a little treat. My mom and I were craving some delicious (half priced) cherry limeade from Sonics. I appreciate the sock hops at Sonics because they have to figure out your change all by their lonesome selves. They roller skate out to your car give you your food and then make change for you all without the aide of a calculator or cash register. You'd be surprised at how many people can't do that.

We then drove down the street to get the naughties some ice cream from Burger King. I was delighted to see that they offered their soft serve in either a "cone or a cup". It said so right on the board. And as all mommies know cones and young children equal a big fat mess. So I pulled up and said "I'd like two soft serve ice creams in a cup." And so begins my story of stupidity:

BK Girl: You mean a cone.
Me: Ummm no I mean a cup.
BK Girl: You want a sundae? 
Me: No it says right here "soft serve ice cream in a cone or a cup" and I want mine in a cup.
BK Girl: (silence) So what if I put it in the cone and then put it into a cup."


Double pause...

My brain doesn't process stupidity too well and so I was a bit perplexed and well dumbfounded at her response so I said sure and drove up to the window. And sure enough I watched as she filled two cones with ice cream then turn the cones upside down in to cups to hand to me. I really REALLY wanted to take the cones off and hand them back to her but my mom taught me not to be rude and so I didn't. But WOW... Wouldn't you just put the ice cream into the cup and skip the whole cone business all together?

Now that you're mind has been numbed by that story I'll give you some happier news. My garden. We harvested the plants two days ago and got this:

That's only a portion of the tomatoes. We've been picking them regularly and we still have a ton that aren't red yet. We pulled up the onions a while ago but I can't find a picture. As for the zucchini? Their still growing strong. In fact we have a weird new type that just randomly showed up:

My mom and I both shredded up different batches of zucchini and squash to store in my new deep freezer (yeah!!!).

We also peeled and pack up the tomatoes for future use in tomato sauces and salsas! No more canned tomatoes for us:

I made up a big batch of almond pesto! I can't WAIT to throw that on some pizza dough with some fresh tomato slices and mozzarella! Yum!

But really what I wanted to share with you is my new FAVORITE way to eat zucchini.... Deep fried zucchini strings! So simple. Just shred the zucchini going along the whole length of the zuc. Then chop up thin rings of onions. Throw everything in some buttermilk and let it sit, turning it occasionally to make sure every piece gets it's buttermilk bath. Mix some salt, pepper and garlic powder into some flour. Shake off the excess buttermilk, coat with the flour mixture, then fry until golden. I promise you it's heavenly!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

An Ode to The Pioneer Woman - Maple Bacon Cinnamon Rolls

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Today Ree Drummond better known as the Pioneer Woman aired her first TV show on the Food Network. I hope you caught it cause it was pretty cute. I've been a huge fan of her website, particularly her recipes, for quite a while know.

My absolute favorite of her recipes is the sticky bun or cinnamon roll recipe. I've made a ton of different variations of the recipe such as chocolate chip cinnamon rolls, caramel apple cinnamon rolls, cinnamon chip rolls, and even a pumpkin cinnamon rolls. But today's was inspired by my recent trip to - I made the ultimate in breakfast cinnamon rolls - the Maple Bacon! And let me tell you it was everything I expected and more. I took Ree's original Maple Cinnamon Roll recipe and tweaked it based various maple bacon cupcake and cinnamon roll recipes on the internet - what did people do before Google?!

Before I get to the recipe I need to share my stellar example of parenting. While I was in the middle of making the cinnamon rolls Naughty 1 came into the kitchen and asked for an apple. I told her I didn't think we had any but she should check. She looked in the fruit basket and said no we didn't have any apples "but look how about I have this instead" holding up a bag of veggie chips. I promptly said "No you can't have chips for breakfast because their not healthy" as I crumble bits of bacon on to dough that has been doused in sugar, butter and bacon fat. That's a parenting win if I've ever heard of one.

Maple Bacon Cinnamon Rolls

1 recipe of The Pioneer Woman's Sticky Buns dough (note the recipe I linked to make TWO pans so halve it)
1/2 package of bacon cooked well done, SAVE THE GREASE
2 tablespoons butter melted
1/3 cup sugar
A generous sprinkle of cinnamon

3/4 - 1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 drops of maple extract
2-3 tablespoons of bacon grease
A splash of left over coffee
A splash of milk

Make the dough the night before so it can firm up in the refrigerator over night.
The next morning while the bacon is cooking roll out the dough into a large rectangle. Be sure to use enough flour on your surface or you'll have trouble rolling up the dough.
Once the bacon is cooked mix 2-3 tablespoons of bacon grease with the melted butter, reserve another 2-3 tablespoons of grease for the icing. Add 1/8th of a teaspoon of maple extract to the butter grease mixture, then pour and spread evenly over the rolled out dough. Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon evenly over the dough. Then crumble 2/3rds of the cooked bacon on to the dough.

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Roll up the dough being sure to make a tight roll. Cut and place into a pan cut side down, not too tightly packed.

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Allow the rolls to rise at least 30 minutes but longer if you can wait (we went to the park for 2 hours while they rose.) The picture is post rising! See the bacon pieces!!!

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Bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

While the rolls are baking mix all the ingredients for the icing together. Use your judgement - add more milk if it's too thick, more powdered sugar if it's too thin.

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When the rolls are done baking, pour on the icing and topped with the left over bacon. Send Tanya a thank you note.

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These beauties are a perfect blend of sweet and salty and bacon-y goodness.

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