Monday, January 31, 2011

And ponies...!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

C'est Belge

A couple weeks ago, I joined a few friends in partaking of the 'liege' waffles at a place in town called Bruges. The Belgian fries were very tasty with lemon pepper dill mayonnaise, and the waffles were pretty good. I would have to say, though, that the waffles, while sweet and crunchy, were kind of heavy, and you could taste the yeast. I covered it up with the chocolate (de-lish!) for most of the waffle, but my ultimate conclusion was that I could probably create something similar that tasted better and for much cheaper. (I must be pretty full of myself, I realize.)

So I did what any woman with an important mission would do...I googled. What I found was this recipe. And I don't just have pearl sugar laying around my house, so I had to purchase some online. Done.

Last night was the debut of my very own gauffres liege.

Ta da!

I was nervous, but they turned out fantastically and were entirely scrumptious. My waffle iron is covered in melted sugar, but it was worth it.

Because the one online was in metric weights and most people don't own a food scale the weighs things in grams, here's the recipe:

Belgian Sugar Waffles
3 1/2 cups flour
1 packet dry yeast
3/4 cup lukewarm milk
8 oz softened butter (2 sticks)
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
8 oz pearl sugar (I bought Lars Imported Belgian Pearl Sugar)

Dissolve the yeast in lukewarm milk. Gradually add all ingredients to the flour, except the pearl sugar. Mix dough for 1o minutes and then let rise for 30 minutes (until double in size). Add the pearl sugar and let rest for 5 minutes. Drop by 1/4 cup portions onto a hot, well-greased waffle iron and bake.

Note: The melted sugar will be really hot, so be careful when handling the finished waffles.

Serving suggestions: Serve with melted chocolate, powdered sugar, fruit, nutella, caramel, or whipped cream. These are also great plain.

As leftovers: I froze the unused waffles and warmed one up on the waffle iron this morning. It was still quite delicious, but definitely not the same as the fresh ones. Moral of the story: invite enough people over to eat all of these when they're hot off the presses!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Frankly, my dear...

Whenever we give my dad a choice between things, he usually says, "Frankly, my dear..." and then trails off. I always knew it was a famous line from the movie Gone With the Wind, but I had never seen it. Until today. I sat through the 3 hours and 53 minutes, Scarlett's three husbands, the whole of the Civil War, and way too much death this morning.

My initial thoughts include:
a) Why is Scarlett such a conniving, manipulative ninny? I thought she was supposed to be the heroine...
b) Where is the ending to this movie? I just sat through four hours of Tara and soldiers and mourning, and we still don't know if she ended up with the guy?!
c) Why do all of the women look the same? I kept mixing up Melly and India. Maybe I just wasn't as invested as I should have been, so I missed a few things...oops.

My favorite character was Rhett Butler. He stuck to his guns, and nobody pushed him around. My favorite quote from him: "No, I don't think I will kiss you, although you need kissing, badly. That's what's wrong with you. You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how." <-- This may become my mantra. At least the being kissed often and by someone who's got an idea of what he's doing.

Friday, January 14, 2011

But I was having a really good dream...!

Last night during a discussion with people from my ward that ultimately turned to talk of how young some LDS girls get hitched, I had an epiphany.

It wasn't bitter. Or sad. I don't quite even know where it came from.

Just a thought that popped out of my mouth...

Man 1: "When I was bishop of the marrieds ward, most of those kids were younger than all of you!"

Man 2: "I guess some people's biological clocks go off at the age of 18..."

Me: "I keep hitting snooze on mine."

Monday, January 3, 2011

Cabin fever

I have this strange urge to plan something. Anything. Lately, I've been thinking about the following:

1) A fancy dinner party. The kind where you serve appetizers and sparkling conversation on silver platters. Problems with this include: a) I don't have china; b) I don't drink wine; c) My house is on the tiny side--I could probably invite one maybe two people. But I'm an excellent cook and a brilliant organizer. Points for those...

2) A movie marathon. You know, where you hunker down and watch straight through all of the Back to the Future movies or delve deep into a season of Psych. I've been told I have very comfortable couches, but my DVD player is on the fritz.

3) A road trip. But nowhere too far. I just watched a documentary on the origins and makings of Las Vegas, and that's only a five-hour drive. While I've been there a dozen times, I still crave the excitement. I somehow forget the cigarette smoke and the crowds and all that and just remember the pretty lights and the fun shopping and food. Who's in?

4) A Rock Band night. I know, that's just so two years ago, right? Ok, I'll make this a little more about a Just Dance night or a karaoke night (as we all know that karaoke is timeless...)? I'd definitely have to rustle up some more friends than I would be inviting to the dinner party brought up in number one up there. But they could sit on the couches I mentioned in number two...

5) A board game extravaganza! We used to play board games a lot more in my family before we added the niece and nephews, but now it's a little tricky with the little tykes either wanting to play or getting into mischief while we are concentrated on whodunnit in Clue or who has the most cherry orchards in The Farming Game. And I live alone, so it's not like I can play board games on my do the math...

6) Snowshoeing to a cabin in the woods where there's a fire crackling in the fireplace and a gorgeous man waiting to give me a foot massage. Hey, a girl can dream!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Countdown FROM 2010...

Usually you count down to a New Year. I'd like to try a little something different here, so I'm counting down ten important events that occurred in 2010.

$10 spent on my new phone. I've only had it for a little while, but I don't think I'll ever be able to go back to pre-smartphone days. Weather. Email. Notes. Scriptures. Camera. Calendar. Flashlight(!). I don't play Angry Birds, but people seem to like it...

* * *
9 months of pregnancy for Natalie, my sister. Which resulted in a bouncing baby Jared! I tell her this about every time I see the wee tyke, but if I were guaranteed a kid as cute and well-behaved as that one, I'd be excited about having kids one day instead of hesitant and scared. Here's my favorite picture of the boy thus far; we were eating sushi and fed him a little bit of the rice with sauce on it...he hated it.

* * *
8-day Ireland vacation with three lovely ladies! I want to lay in a field there and just soak in the ocean breeze and Irish air. I would eat the brown bread and fish & chips and flirt with the guy in the silversmith shop in Kilkenny. I'm still a little skeptical that the Blarney Stone actually helped in the eloquence department...

* * *
7 months to lose 25 lb. And now I'm at my goal weight! (Well, just a titch more now after the holidays...)

* * *
Panel 6 at work. I'd be lying if I said it's been a walk in the park, but it has been good to help train some new board members in order to take care of some of the huge workload we've been undertaking lately. I mean, go research!

* * *
5 biopsy needles. IN. THE. NECK! So glad I a) did not have cancer; and b) don't have to have another neck biopsy anytime soon. Yikes!

* * *
4 new tenants at my condo in Provo. Argh to the turnover!! Here's hoping 2011 brings more stability in the renting environment. If not, I've given serious consideration to selling the place...

* * *
3 different church callings. I started out the year as the Relief Society 2nd counselor, made a detour to the FHE committee for a couple months, and have now settled in nicely as a ward organist. Multi-talented? Um...yeeeeeees. Or just willing to accept. :)

* * *
2 eyes to see the following:
  • Sundance - Frozen and It's A Wonderful Afterlife
  • Hale Center Theater - The Importance of Being Earnest, Fiddler on the Roof, Three Musketeers, Pirates of Penzance
  • Tournament of Kings at Excalibur in Las Vegas
  • Rachel's SLC Women's Choir singing Beatles and 70s tribute music
  • Utah Symphony - Mahler's Titan, Oz with Orchestra, and Bruckner's Symphony No. 9
  • Cake Wrecks on tour
  • SLC Bees game
  • Lord of the Rings marathon...straight through...until 3am...
  • Disneyland!
  • California Adventure (first time)
  • Old Town in San Diego
  • Shakespeare Festival - Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, Great Expectations: The Musical, Pride and Prejudice
  • Murder mystery dinner with Poison Ivy Mysteries
  • Capitol Theatre - Lion King (broadway musical), La Boheme (opera), Carmina Burana (ballet)
  • Utah State Fair
  • Springville Museum of Art quilt show
  • Real Salt Lake game
  • Jack Johnson concert
  • Half of Oliver at the Grand Theater and half of Dracula at Kingsbury Hall... (when shopping or sleeping sounds like a better idea than knowing how a play ends, you gotta leave...)
  • Phoenix concert (the band, not the city)
  • San Diego Zoo
  • Mormon Tabernacle Choir with David Archuleta and Michael York in their Christmas concert spectacular
  • Tons of other movies, television, documentaries...

Thanks to the people who have taken me to these shows (*cough* Lacy *cough*) and put up with my silly comments and sometimes ridiculous tears...I love me some theater and film and all other sort of visual stimulation.

* * *

...and the number one thing I did this year? I made one big decision: TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL! GRE, check (halle-freakin'-lujah)! Applications, started! Meeting with the MPA department, done! By this time next year, I will be one semester into a Master's. I'm freaked out. And excited. And entirely nervous...

So, 2011...let's do this thing. Goals/resolutions/awesome changes I'm supposed to make: TBD.