Wednesday, April 15, 2009

April Updates (lame title, I know, I couldn't come up with anything else)

It's been a little while since my last post. Here's the latest tid-bits. And while I was typing this I just remembered I'm supposed to go grab some mo-delicious cake at Sabrina's. Dang! Hold please, I need to call one of my favorite neighbors because you never underestimate the power of some delicious chocolate cake. I will just have to see if it compares to Caroline Bellefleurs cake. That's for you DH.  Calling . . . ring ring . .  .Bina isn't home. She's been working a ton of hours lately but there is lots of cake according to Tad. So she will call me when she gets home. 

Ok, now that's resolved. Easter was good. Jared's parents came over for dinner. Can I just say that boys make terrible secretaries? Jared told me 3. I was read to go at 3. 3:20 came, no Evans. 3:30, still no Evans and my patience is started to warm up, 3:45 still no Evans, ok I'm starting to simmer. They don't get out of church until 3:30, where did Jared get 3? I've told him before, albeit very kindly and with love in my voice, if he were my secretary, he would be fired. But I love you Jared. We had a delicious meal of honey baked ham, rosemary garlic roasted new potatoes, roasted asparagus gratin (recipe below), homemade parker house rolls and then I made delicious trifle. I was prepping Saturday and then cooking Sunday mid morning.

Roasted Asparagus Gratin

2 lbs. large asparagus, ends removed and peeled from halfway down
3 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs butter
1 clove garlic minced
1 Tbs minced shallot
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3/4 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese (preferably parmigiano-reggiano)
2 Tbs shaved parmesan
2 Tbs dried bread crumbs

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 450. In shallow baking dish, toss asparagus with oil, a little salt and pepper and the lemon juice until the spears are evenly coated.

Roast the asparagus until the spears are just beginning to brown yet are still crisp and tender, about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and drain off the excess oil.

Meanwhile, in 2 quart saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add the garlic and shallot and saute, stirring constantly until the shallot is translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the cream and simmer, uncovered, until reduced by one third, about 6 minutes. Stir in grated parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Arrange the asparagus in an ovenproof serving dish and spoon the parmesan cream sauce over the spears, allowing the tips and bases to remain uncovered.  Scatter the shaved parmesan over the top and sprinkle with the bread crumbs. Bake until nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Lastly, I'm on book 3 for the month of April. I really liked Grave Sight and I plan on reading the next book in that series. I actually picked it up at the library tonight and it's called Grave Suprise. I'm currently reading P&P&Z. I blahged about that about a month or two ago. Last night though, I finished Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. Sad, sad book. Sarah and I read it together. It's about 2 girls in 19th century China who are assigned to be laotongs (best friends) for life and they suffer through the chinese tradition of foot binding. A photo is posted below because I was so curious about what this was. They essentially tie your small toes to your heels as a young girl, make you walk on them so that they break from carrying your wait and then they mold the foot to where your weight is supported on the big toe. Ultimately you wanted your feet to be 7 centimeters. I almost can't fathom that. If you are looking for a book that will make you sad, read this. My feelings about it are so conflicted so I can't really tell you whether I loved it or hated it because it's a little of both.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Yea!! All hope is not lost! Book found!!

Ok so Adoration of Jenna Fox didn't work either. Found one that has caught on and I'm interested to see how it ends. It's a mystery about a 24 year old girl who was struck by lightening at 15 and since then she can find dead bodies and tell how the death happened but not 'whodonit'. I was getting worried that nothing was going to strike a cord with me.

Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris

Got Pride and Prejudice and Zombies yesterday and read the first page and it sounds like it's going to be pretty ridiculous and funny. But starting Saturday, I'm reading Snow Flower and the Secret Fan with the BFF. Can't wait!!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

1st Book of April Already Gone to the Dogs

Dang!!! First book of April turned out to be such a time waster!! It had such good potential. I read a super good historical romance last Spring, The Other Boleyn Girl. Super juicy and I could not put that thing down. I haven't read a book like that since so I picked up another historical romance from the library. I read about it on amazon and it sounded like it could be just as amazing. Nope .. . . 200 pages in I found myself not caring about any of the characters and super annoyed by the main girl. Yuck!!! I invested quite a bit of time since Wednesday on this book and if you are not going anywhere by page 200 then you get my vote at tribal counsel. 

Next book I'm attempting . . . The Adoration of Jenna Fox. More of a teen read but sounded like it could be good. I guess the main character is this teenage girl who has been in a coma for year and there are so many secrets as to why. Let's keep our fingers crossed that this one will be a ringer.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Earning Extra Cash to the 80s

So you are thinking, what in the world does making extra cash to the 80s mean? Well I will tell you. Actually that title is more like a letter puzzle on Wheel of Fortune that I haven't watched for 10+ years. In fact, I can't believe that show is still on. Ha!!!! There's another show that been on longer than ER!! Never watched ER. Sayonara ER tonight, I could care less that you are going to die out on a 3 hour finale. I'd rather watch Survivor anyway, or better yet, keep hitting my 972 page historical romance. Ate 47 pages last night . . . still hungry, that's a good sign.

Earning Extra Cash - here's a thought for those of you that want some extra greens in your pocket. Last year on the day after Thanksgiving I listed about 15 items on like used books, CDs and DVDs. I sold those 15 items in less than a day so I got thinking . . . what else could I sell. At the end of it all I sold over 65 items and made around $575 dollars and that was after amazon took it's cut. Paid for my Christmas. Not bad. So save up those items you think you could sell. You could make some extra cash. I think the key to it was the day after Christmas timing. Brilliant!!

Ok 80s - I've been needing some new tunes lately and those that know me know that my music taste is not what is on the radio. I HATE radio. So I bought M83 Sundays = Youth . . . funny CD but good. It's like the 80s revitalized in 2008. If you have an open mind you could give it a try. Think old Molly Ringwald movies.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fools Goals

What's the first thing you think of when it comes to April 1? Jokes of the fooling sort right? Well today I kept thinking I was going to re-commit to a few things and try an idea that I had. Ultimately, these new goals could perhaps make me the fool for trying but I'm all for giving it the good ole college try, right?

Goal 1 - I need to recommit back to really giving new books a try. After my New Years resolution came crashing down last week I kind of got myself in this funk. Everything I tried to pick up and read was just not mixing with me. Well today since it's the beginning of a new month I'm re-committing to my reading habit. I only read 5 books and listened to 1 audio book in March and I was quite disappointed with that because I've done better. Stupid huh? Because I hit 7-8 books the previous months I felt like I slacking. I have to keep reminding myself that I read more books than some people do in a lifetime. Relax Brittany . . . don't be ridiculous.

So with Goal 1 what do I do? I head straight for the library after work today and pick up literary beauty in the form of 972 pages of historical romance. I mean if we're recommitting let's just go BIG!! If I finish this book it will by far be the largest book I have ever read. Anna K was only 884. But it could be longer than this book becuase the words were almost invisible they were so small. But from the reviews I read of this new book it could be super good. If I make it to the finish line and I love it, you'll hear about it.

On an off note . . . just thought of this . . . one of my favorite books of all time is Memoirs of a Geisha. Read it if you haven't. Left me contemplating it for days. Note . . . get through the first 200 pages and I promise it will pay off.

Goal 2 - Ok this goal could very well make me the fool of my own April fools joke, because that's what this goal is, a complete joke I admit but I'm determined to try it. Ok here it goes . . . starting next Monday the 6th, I want to try to not eat out at all for 2 whole weeks. Yeah, go ahead laugh . . . I am. You know how some people go without sugar for 2 weeks to try and get the craving out of their system? Well I thought why not try that with eating out? Lately it's all I've been wanting to do when I get home from work. Cafe Rio, Rumbi's, Five Guys, it's starting to get out of control. So I thought if I really planned out some menus for two weeks and I didn't eat out at all during my experiment maybe I could 'quit the habit'. I know I couldn't give it up completely but maybe curb it. I know, I'm pretty skeptical myself as to whether I can pull this off but a girl can try. Guess I better go binge this weekend and get everything in!!!

Finally, learned a new word yesterday. Exsanguinate . . . had no idea what it meant. Funny . . . lately I've been wanting to get a Word of the Day calendar. That's for you D.