Monday, December 10, 2007

Big Things!

Per this post, the Big Things are finally happening.

That's right.... I'm moving!!

(Not in real life, don't worry. One cross-country move a year is enough!)

But the blog is moving. To here. Re-set your bookmarks, blog-readers and RSS feeds, folks, because this is my last post here.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

One out of two isn't that bad...

When I wasn't feeling well some weekend a little while ago, I decided that part of taking care of myself is cooking yummy, healthy stuff to eat. So I set out to the store to buy all the ingredients for homemade chicken noodle soup and these ginger-pumpkin muffins. I do really enjoy foodie blogs and thought that it would be fun to take pictures of my food to post up here. (Assuming the pictures -- and the food -- turned out yummy, that is!) I chopped and chopped all the veggies for the chicken noodle soup and once that was simmering on my teeny-tiny, pint-sized stove-top, I started to make the muffins. I even took a cool "before" picture of the muffins before I put them in the oven.

The only problem was.... they looked the exact same when I took them out of the oven.

That's right. I forgot the baking soda. Both my roommate and I still ate a muffin each, but they were kind of like hockey pucks: small, round-ish, and hard. Definitely not fluffy. And because the cans of pumpkin had been on the very tip-top shelf at the grocery store, I did not have an extra can. That one can had been very difficult to get; I had to stand on the bottom shelf and then slightly jump up while lunging my arm as far to the back of the shelf to grab the one can of pumpkin that was relatively closest to the front of the shelf. Going back for another can of pumpkin would've been a sure-fire way to end up with a sprained ankle.

Luckily, the chicken noodle soup turned out delicious! The picture is below. It's definitely not nearly as nice as the incredible ones on all the foodie blogs, but I was pretty happy with it.

*Thanks, Mom, for teaching me how to make soups!! You were right; it's a good thing to know.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Thanksgiving, Part Three

Just in case you're thinking that all we did over Thanksgiving weekend was eat, here's the last of my pictures from that weekend.

We went to a hockey game on Thanksgiving night, and our Team won!! They definitely weren't supposed to, and it was a very fun, exciting game with lots of bad calls by the refs that forced our Team to be playing three-on-five a few times. Crazy. Here we are during one of the breaks between the periods:

T and I also went into downtown to see the city's landmark building that is huge. Here he is, very excited to see the building that you can only see in my hometown's downtown:

And here I am, in front of a column. The building was closed, so we didn't get to see the inside, but the outside was fun enough!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Thanksgiving, Part Two

Since we already had the huge pot of hot oil.... we decided to go ahead and fry up a few other things. We went to the store and got everything we thought would do well when battered and fried. The receipt speaks for itself:

After freezing everything overnight, we prepared the batter...

... and then set everything up by the deep-fryer...

... battered them, fried them... and they started to come out golden crispy and yummy...

... to be cut into bite-sized pieces and then quickly devoured by the entire family!

Yes, they look potentially disgusting, but the fried Twinkies were possibly the most delicious things ever. You really should try them once in your life. Once. Probably not more than that or else you might increase your chance of a heart attack by 587%.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Thanksgiving, Part One

The turkey.

In case you haven't known me for that long, you might not know that I beg my dad every year to fry a turkey for me. If you've never had a fried turkey, you're missing out. It's possibly the most succulent, moist, delicious turkey that you could ever imagine. A regular-sized turkey cooks in about 45 minutes, sealing in all the yummy juices.

All you have to do is take a turkey, inject it with some tasty juices, and spear it like this:

Once the oil is piping hot, carefully drop the turkey into the oil, hoping that you didn't fill the container too full with oil. Ours was a teeny bit too full, but thankfully not too much oil bubbled out over the edges. (Note: please, please do this outside and not in a garage... burning down your house is not a fun thing to do on Thanksgiving day... or any day, really)

Let the turkey cook in the boiling and bubbling oil. In case you're curious what that would look/sound like, here's a video (courtesy of T).

video

And.... voila! Your turkey should come out golden brown like ours:

Carve, eat, eat seconds, and enjoy the fried turkey.

More to come later on other things we fried after the turkey was done...

Advent

ad·vent (dvnt)n.

1. The coming or arrival, especially of something extremely important: the advent of the computer.
2. The liturgical period preceding Christmas, beginning in Western churches on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and in Eastern churches in mid-November, and observed by many Christians as a season of prayer, fasting, and penitence.

Advent was always one of my favorite things at church when I was growing up. It meant shorter sermons to sit through, watching someone light a candle, singing Christmas carols.... oh, and yeah -- it meant that Christmas was close!

Now that I'm a little bit older (and hopefully a little bit wiser), I've been thinking more about the actual meaning of the Advent season. The desire to prayerfully await the coming of Christmas and the celebration of the birth of Christ. Just recently I stumbled upon a list of daily readings for Advent season on the website of a former church on the other side of the country, and I'm going to try to follow it. In case you're interested and would like to follow along, you can find the list here. Should be some good "grounding" amidst the craziness that is holiday parties and cookies and gift buying, etc.

Friday, November 30, 2007

So random.

What's your Christmas Elf name?





My Christmas Elf Name is




Get your Christmas Elf Name at JokesUnlimited.com



Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Christmas music!

I just realized that I put Christmas music on my work laptop -- yay!

Sleigh bells, here I come.

What is your favorite Christmas CD or song? I'm always looking for more good Christmas music.

Some of my favorites are Amy Grant's "Tennessee Christmas" album, the MW Smith album that has Chris Rice's "Welcome to this World" on it.... and oh! Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas." You can't forget that one. But in my mind, the AG album really should just be on repeat from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

Come on... answer! Broaden my knowledge of good Christmas music =)

Thankful.

Yes, I know that Thanksgiving was last week.

That being said, I wanted to share the rest of my list of things that I was thankful for both last week and today:

1. Family who are not offended when I show up in the Hometown wearing sweatpants, a sweatshirt and a baseball hat after having to get up at 315AM to make a 6AM flight. Yup.

2. Getting to see T over the break -- for twice as long as our previous 2 visit weekends, which was long enough to not feel "long-distance" anymore.

3. Deep-fried Thanksgiving turkeys. More pictures to come later, but it's seriously the yummiest thing ever.

4. Not burning down the house or catching anyone on fire while deep-frying the turkey.

5. A hockey win on Thanksgiving day against the Big Bad team from the Up-North Hockey Crazy place.

6. Deciding to not get up at 4AM on Black Friday to go shopping.

7. Instead decorating the Christmas tree while listening to some quality, old-school Amy Grant Christmas music.

8. Sharing the wonders of the Lake House with T.

9. Friends who will pick you up at the airport!

10. An instrument that works... now I just need to start "doing science" again. Yikes.

11. Friends who come search for me behind the big glass window in the middle of the afternoon to see if I want to go get coffee. (S, I still really miss our walks to SBucks!)

12. Having acquired all but about 5 addresses for mailing out Christmas cards in approximately 24 hours. Now I just need to finish the cards...

13. A microwave that works.... as opposed to the old one that died the day I got back in town. Yay for Walmart.

I'll post the deep-fried turkey pictures ASAP! Happy mid-week "hump" day to all.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thankfulness, day 2.

Things I am thankful for today:

1. Gingko trees. There were a few on my undergrad's college campus, and they were by far my favorite trees on campus. I had never seem them until going to college. They're beautiful when the leaves turn yellow, but they're tricky because all the leaves fall off within 7-10 days after they first turn yellow. So you really have to enjoy the trees when they're showing off all their golden splendor because it doesn't last for long. All that to say, there were 2 gingko trees on my walk to work this morning, and it made me possibly the happiest person in the world to realize that the Big School's campus had them too. Here's a picture from Wikipedia of a gingko tree right when it turned yellow:


2. Friends who will offer to pick you up at the airport. I have been amazed at how friendly my new friends out here are and how supportive they are of each other in terms of airport rides. My coworkers are that way too, which is such a fun thing. Moving to someplace new at the same time as others builds another fun community of those who experienced/survived the move together.

3. California life. It's gorgeous here today. Some days life here feels like a dream. Seriously.

4. Gingerbread lattes.

5. Music. I've been listening to the new Caedmon's Call CD a lot recently. It's incredible. I'm really glad that they brought Derek Webb back for it.

6. Getting to see T tomorrow!!!!