Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Resolution Rescinded - Quit the Classics!!!

Ah geez. Because it's midnight and I am experiencing one of my many nights of insomnia I turn to the blahg and offer a confession of my sins. There is nothing I hate more than trying to drive a car that has no gas. That basically describes my first quarter year of my goal of reading the classic books. That's right folks, I have finally joined the millions of similar people that give up on their New Years resolutions. At least I have some dignitity in knowing that I gave it the good ole college try. But if you know me, that statement is pure irony as I didn't even really give college the good ole try, at least academically. As far as the social scene, I think I tried a little too good, on the college level of course. There goes my midnight rambling . . . back to the subject at hand. As of last night, I made the decision that I was done with reading the classic books. I'm just going to come out and say it, I think classic books are some of the most boring books I have ever read. There I said it . . . I know what you are thinking . . . how can I utter such blasphemy? Now, I LOVE to read. I love it more than watching television, even Gossip Girl. Reading the classics was a chore I was beginning to hate. You know the kind of chores that at first you are excited about, like painting a room. But after reading one after the other it begins to make you long for the days of when you just read the books you wanted to not the books you felt you HAD to read. After a coat of primer, and doing the walls, why would you want to start painting baseboards? So that's it. I'm over it. I frequently get on daily and I realized there are so many talented writers out there that are relavent now that I can be reading. So who cares if my favorite book isn't Paradise Lost? After last night's decision to quit the classics (sounds like a good campaign slogan) I think I have realized Paradise Found.

12:10 . . . still not sleepy.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Dinner and Dessert

As I mentioned two weeks ago, I had a little Aunt and Niece date. This is my niece Paige. She is as fun as it gets. We did a little shopping at TJ Maxx and we bought her a scarf that was black with peace signs on it. My latest fashion fad is wearing scarves with my t-shirts, over my denim jacket, or with any shirt really. Then we baked a yummy cake, ate pizza, watched Penelope and finished with a few rounds of mexican train. The recipes we did are below.

Smoked Beef Brisket - got this recipe from Jared's sister Kathleen

1 5-6 lb brisket
1 bottle of liquid smoke
celery salt
onion salt
garlic salt
salt and pepper
worcestershire sauce
your favorite bbq sauce

In a large baking pan, place brisket and cover both sides with liquid smoke.  Sprinkle both sides heavily with celery, onion, and garlic salt.  Cover and soak overnight.  Drain off liquid smoke and season with salt and pepper. Cover both sides with worcestershire sauce.  Cover and bake at 275 for 5 hours.  Uncover and top it off with 1 cup of your favorite bbq sauce.  Bake another hour uncovered. Shred and then serve. Yummy!

Strawberry and White Chocolate Buttercream Cake

1 3/4 cup Betty Crocker SuperMoist butter recipe yellow cake mix
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 eggs

4 oz white chocolate baking bars, chopped
2 Tbs butter, softened
1 cup whipping cream
1 Tbs almond extract
2 cups fresh chopped strawberries

1. Heat oven to 350. 325 for dark or nonstick pan. Generously spray bottom and side of 8 or 9 inch round cake pan with baking spray with flour.
2. In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, 1/4 cup butter, almond extract and egg with electric mixer on low speed until moistened.  Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.  Pour into pan.
3. Bake as directed on box for 8 or 9 inch rounds.  Cool in pan 10 minutes.  Remove from pan to cooling rack.  Cool completely about 1 hour.
4. Meanwhile, place white chocolate and 2 tablespoons of butter in small bowl.  In 2 quart saucepan, heat 1/2 cup of the whipping cream just to boiling.  Pour hot cream over white chocolate and butter; let stand until mixture is melted and smooth with stirred.  Refrigerate chocolate mixture 1 hour, stir it occasionally, until cold.
5. In large bowl, beat remaining 1/2 cup whipping cream, the cold chocolate, and almond extract on high speed until stiff peaks form.  Refrigerate until ready to use.
6. Cut cake horizontally in half, using long sharp knife.  On serving plate, place 1 layer, cut side up. Spread with 1/2 of the filling; top with 1/2 of strawberries.  Add remaining cake layer, cute side down. Spread remaining filing over top of cake; top with remaining strawberries. Store covered in refrigerator.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Cause You're My Number One

Over the next few weeks, I decided I would spotlight some important people that bring so much fun and excitement to my life and they deserve some recognition. Meet The BFF aka Sarah Dawn Homer Maughan aka Homer. Sarah and I were instant friends the day we met on March 7, 2001 in the call center at Snell & Wilmer Law Office. On a fluke, the original girl who was supposed to train me called in sick and Sarah trained me to be a fierce receptionist. Sarah took me under her wing immediately and let me house all my belongings in her parent’s basement within 3 days of knowing me. After we shared a delicious Chick-Fil-A lunch we knew it was meant to be and we started our ‘journey’ together as BFFs. I say the word journey because Sarah hates that word.

Top 10 things I LOVE about the Homer:

10. Her infectious laugh – man could your teeth be any more perfect or whiter

9. She knows what’s important in life, not a superficial bone in her

8. she drives with her hand hovering over the horn of the car all the time because you never know when you might need to honk at someone

7. She has her own vocabulary with words such as notarepublic, and kelacentury (keyless entry)

6. loves fashion – too many clothes = cluttered closet . . . sorry Mark . . . I tried to help her when we were roommates

5. she always take my side no matter what side of the argument I am on – and vice versa – we’re a package deal

4. voice of an angel – literally – she’ll sing at my funeral even if she’s 98 she’ll be singing

3. always calls me on Tuesday after Gossip Girl to gossip about the show – we both have a healthy obsession

2. Makes me feel like I’m the best thing on this earth since the Twilight books. Twilight books took over sliced bread a few years ago.

Number 1 thing I LOVE – her, just her. She’s the best friend I never imagined I could ever have.

Sarah, thanks for being such an integral part of my life. Thanks for the bajillions of laughs we have and continue to have. Thanks for loving me for me no matter what I do or where we live. There are not enough blogs in the web universe to tell you how much I love US!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I Heart British Miniseries

So I finished my first classic book of March last week. I read and read as fast as I could because I was so excited to watch the miniseries. The book was North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell. This is not the North South of the civil war. This is England. The book was very good and I found myself totally into the characters. I bought the DVD off of Amazon because I just knew I was going to love it. I also have a very bad habit of getting over excited and just buying things like this off Amazon. But the DVD did not disappoint and I watched it in 2 days and I already want to watch it again. It followed very closely to book. And speaking of the book, why is it that the guy and girl never get together until the very last page and you don't get to enjoy them being together?? Well here's a little pic of John Thornton. Not bad huh?

I'm already onto my second classic for the month, Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway. This is my first Hemingway book.

This weekend my niece Paige is coming over for a little play date. She's almost 13 but we have a great time together and we are planning on doing some cooking lessons, makeup, and playing a few games. I'll take some pictures of us having some fun.

Jared's birthday is next Tuesday, I never forget his birthday because it falls on St. Patrick's Day. He'll be the big 2-9. His favorite cake is angel food. I wanted to take him to Five Guys because I have heard they have some super yummy hamburgers and for some reason I have been eating burgers like crazy. But I was really hoping the location in Bountiful would be open but I don't think it is yet.

Oh yeah . . . still working on getting the makeup site up. I did a makeup lesson this past Saturday and I really need to share my tips. Here's a little preview of the types of things that could be on it. Want to know the BEST mascara? Well guess what? The best mascara is Max Factor 2000 Calorie. It's not the expensive stuff and it sells at Smith's Marketplace for about $6. It's seriously a great mascara, no smudging, or clumping and I've been using it for the past 10 years and it's still amazing stuff. Now go out and buy yourself some new mascara.