Friday, August 31, 2012

What I wore: Girls night

Floral Jeans: Ruche Chambray Top: Nordstrom Shoes: JMR Watch and Bracelet: Fossil

I love to shop. Cook and shop that's what I do. This is not a fashion blog, but it is a blog about my life and fashion is a part of my life, hence this post. Now onto the outfit. I love patterned jeans I'm a big, big fan. And am so glad that they're in style right now they add an extra "umpf" to an otherwise plain outfit. The big floral pattern is fun and I am hoping that I can get away with wearing it into the fall.

Those times

It was sort of an awkward week, let us count the ways:
  • That time I was diligently flossing my teeth at my desk in the lobby when a large group of suit clad gentlemen walked through the sliding doors. Me in plain view.

  • That time a nice young fellow sat down at my table for lunch (obviously assuming I was single and ready to mingle) only for me to talk his ear off about Adam. ("Oh yeah my HUSBAND likes that band, my HUSBAND graduated from that department...etc, etc")

  • That time (or should I say those times...all those many times) I meant to say have a good/great day and it came out "have a grood one."

  • That time I was belting Adele in my car at a red light only to look over to find at a mesmerized group of young ladies. Five sets of judgemental eyes locked on me.

  • That time I nodded intently though an entire class.  

  • That time I legit cried at my desk when reading various birth stories on blogs this week (like this one are you kidding me? how sweet are they?) 

  • That time I yelled at the FASFA lady, via instant message. All caps folks, all caps.

Wish me better luck next week.

Culinary School: Week 1

After the first week of culinary school I can honestly say that I'm in the right place. The first few days were filled mostly with lecture and course overview. Which was as boring as it sounds, but yesterday, my last day for the week, was my first day in the kitchen. It was like a dream. The Chef (aka Professor) explained rules for the kitchen equipment for about an hour and then asked us to prepare our stations and retrieve two carrots from the walk in (aka fridge). As I entered the cool storage room I felt myself begin to get excited at the thought of cooking. I was actually doing it. Actually handling food in a formal education setting. It was about to happen. My leap into the culinary arts. Most of my class mates were not grinning from ear to ear for the four hours that we worked on different knife skills. But I was. We chopped onions and julienned carrots and tourned potatoes (which is the most absurd cut ever, and so wasteful and stupid, but also in a strange way wonderful.) The smile only left my face for intense concentration. A furrowed brown and pursed lips, occasionally crept onto my face, as I was constantly reminding myself the proper way to hold my blade. Trying suppress the desire to allow my old habits to cause my fingers to straighten out. Or not to over chop my onion. After I would get something right, the smile quickly found its way home on my lips. Anytime the Chef demonstrated a technique I felt my head bobbing quickly up and down in agreeance to his method, at times I would even let out a soft "oooh" or an "awww". No one else did that. I'm sure I looked like an idiot. But I couldn't help it. It's the first time I've ever been in a class where I actually cared about what the professor had to say. The 4 hour class flew by and I couldn't believe the most mundane part of cooking known as "prep work" could make me as giddy as I was. That's how I knew I was in the right place.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Chocolate Studded Blondies

Doesn't the name of these bad boys sound like a rock and roll song? No? Ok fine. Anyway when making a batch of individually scooped out chocolate chip cookies seems like too big a chore this is the recipe for you. In fact even if it doesn't seem like too big a chore this is still the recipe for you. These chewy buttery bars are to die for delicious. And so quick to whip up too. I love them warm with a scoop of ice cream but I think they're ever better the day after, when they're cool. The recipe is very versatile too. I've made these with half butterscotch chips, half semisweet which was fabulous but they're great with just plain milk chocolate too. You could even throw in a handful of toffee bits along side chocolate chunks (yummmm), ooh or even peanut butter chips...but don't blame me when you can't stop eating. Enjoy!
Chocolate Studded Blondies 
2 1/8 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
12 Tbsp. butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted and cooled slightly
1 c. light brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. chocolate chips 

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Adjust the oven rack to lower-middle position. Line a 9X13-inch baking pan with foil, letting the excess hang over the edges of the pan by about 1 inch so you can grab those edges and pull the blondies from the pan after they have baked. Spray the foil-lined pan with nonstick cooking spray. Mix the flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside. Whisk the melted butter and sugars in a large bowl until combined. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture until just combined; do not over mix. Fold in the chocolate chips and turn the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the spatula. Bake until the top of the bars is light golden brown, slightly firm to the touch, and edges start pulling away from sides of pan, 24-28 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Remove the bars from the pan by lifting the foil overhang and transfer them to a cutting board. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Cavatappi in Pesto Cream Sauce with Italian Herb Chicken

In celebration of culinary school starting TODAY (squeal!) I made my favorite for dinner last night. This is my favorite meal. There. I said it. For whatever reason, I'm insecure about it. I feel like it's not significant enough to be my favorite because it's so easy. But oh gosh, it is. And if I'm being honest (and I am) I have rationed the left overs for myself and myself only so that I can eat them for lunch everyday this week. It's so simple and so good. It's sort of a knock off of the pesto cavatapppi from Noodles and Company. Only better. Being a pesto loving girl it's no suprise that when mixing pesto with butter and cream I'm on board. This is a really easy (really yummy) way to use up that pesto in your fridge. Don't worry about using only cavatappi pasta any sauce catching pasta will do the trick, bow ties with this sauce work great. However I am partial to the twistie cavatappi noodles, they're just fun. Serve with crusty garlic bread and plenty of extra parmesan for sprinkling. Try this easy pasta dish and people will love you (or just share with me and I will love you). 
Cavatappi in Pesto Cream Sauce

16 ounces of Cavatappi pasta noodles (or any other short cut type pasta you like)
1 cup heavy cream
4 tbsp butter
1/2 cup fresh or jarred pesto
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a large pot boil pasta in salted water till al dente. Drain and set aside. While the pasta is cooking, in a small sauce pan over medium low heat warm cream and butter until butter is melted, stirring to combine. Once butter is melted turn heat up to medium and add pesto to cream and butter, stir. Allow the mixture to bubble around the edges and thicken up, about 2 minutes, do not let the sauce boil, just gently simmer and bubble. Once the sauce is thick turn the heat off and sprinkle in the Parmesan cheese stir until it's melted. Add the drained pasta back into the big pot and pour the sauce over, toss to coat. Add the chicken and serve, immediately while its hot with a final sprinkle of Parmesan.
Italian Herb Chicken:
4 chicken breasts
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar

In a small mixing bowl whisk to combine all ingredients. Pour into a zip lock bag over chicken and allow to marinate at least 30 minutes. When the chicken has absorbed the flavor of the marinade grill on both sides for about 6 minutes (you could also cook it in a saute pan, whichever you prefer). When the chicken is cooked through place it on a cutting board and rest the meat, about 3 minutes. Cut with a serrated blade on an angle and toss with pasta, or throw on a salad. Options people, Options! 

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Husband nightly routine, cleaned out my purse, Granny B's aren't as good as I remember (and I might be diabetic now too, holy sugar overload), polka dots and red shoes for a date, my favorite food, tennis match for charity,  lacy wedding dress, veggie lo mein on a street corner with my love. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

New Pad

Crazy that we've been in our new place for over a month now, and I still haven't told the blog world about it! We are loving our new apartment and our new furniture (oh, hey we are adults - new furniture!!). These are the only pictures we have of our new casa but hopefully in the near future I'll share more. I love our bed spread from target and our attempt at a collage wall but can I just say was more or less a big hilarious joke. Seriously, Ikea why do your frames suck so bad? Collage wall = most frustrated I've ever been in my life. I also love our flatware patterned throw pillows (that Adam picked out, he has such good taste) and our cool antique globe. We are settling in nicely, and are so comfortable in our new home.

You should come for a visit!  

Chef in the Making

What if you go to culinary school? The only books you read are cookbooks. The only things you look at online are food blogs. In your free time you bake, or do research on cool restaurants. I think you should go to culinary school. 
-Adam Anderson Summer 2010

I start culinary arts school on Monday. It's sort of surreal. Really who would have though a casual conversation one afternoon two years ago would have led to this? Me following this obsession passion to a program that I love. I've worked hard and waited patiently while I got all my "ducks in a row" and finally my time is here. I get to learn to be a chef. I don't know where this program is going to take me ultimately. But I do know that the road to figuring that out is exciting and will make me happy. Doubts have relentlessly crept into my mind. Is it worth the money? Do I really want to dedicate the next two years to this? Do I even need it? etc. I still don't know all the answers but I do know that I am being true to myself and this program is going to help me to become a better version of me. That feels good.

Here's to following dreams and taking risks every once and a while. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tigers Blood Mango Snowie

I had a serious craving for a snowie tonight. Like I wanted one pronto. So sweet Adam and I hopped on the motorbike and went to the busiest snowie shack in all of Utah county. People if you haven't tried Hokulia yet and you live in a 50 mile radius you must go now. You will be sorry if you don't. I'm trying to save you from a summer of regret!
Anyway when you decide to give it a try let us know, we'll meet you there!
We could use an excuse to go back. How about tomorrow? Kidding, Kidding.
But really? Tomorrow?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I've been looking for a good banana chocolate chip muffin recipe to use up brown bananas. After many attempts with marginal results I finally found the recipe I've been searching for. The recipe produces muffins that are moist on the inside and have a nice crunch on the outside. Studded with semisweet chocolate chips and laced with cinnamon these muffins are just so good. A yummy treat to grab for a quick breakfast or for an afternoon snack. Try them out!

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
1/2 c. butter
2/3 c. sugar
1 c. mashed banana, about 2 medium or 1 1/2 large bananas
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla 
1/3 c. milk
1 tsp. cinnamon 
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 c. flour
3/4 c. chocolate chips
1 c. chopped walnuts, pre-toasted in a 350°F oven for 8 minutes, if desired

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 12 to 14 standard muffin cups. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar till smooth. Beat in the mashed banana, then the egg, flavorings, and milk. Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flours, stirring till smooth; if the mixture has a lot of lumps, beat at a higher speed until they've nearly disappeared. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Heap the thick batter into the prepared muffin cups, mounding them quite full. Bake the muffins for 20 to 23 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of one of the middle muffins in the pan comes out clean. Remove the muffins from the oven, and tilt them in the pan to cool a bit; this will prevent their bottoms from becoming soggy. As soon as you can safely handle them, transfer the muffins to a rack to cool completely.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Cilantro Lime Rice

This rice comes together quickly and is a delicious accompaniment to any south of the boarder inspired dish. Neither the cilantro or the lime are over powering, its a subtle flavor combination that works so beautifully together in this tasty side dish.

Cilantro Lime Rice 


1 tbsp. butter
1 1/4 c. rice (long grain white rice works best)
2 1/4 c. low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
juice and zest of 1 large lime
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp cumin

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and add the rice. Stir, letting the rice and butter cook for 1-2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 15-16 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff and serve.

Southwestern Steak Kebabs

I'm not a big beef eater. It's just not my thing I'd rather get my protein just about any other way. So for me to say that I ate beef today and thoroughly enjoyed it is a pretty big deal. I tried a marinade that I hate to limit only to this recipe for steak kebabs. You could use this marinade on a flank steak then grill it and slice it thin for fajitas or you could marinate chunks of top sirloin and skewer them between vegetables and grill. This happens to be the method I chose to use today. And wow. Just wow. The lime and cilantro are two flavors that I happen to love together. Even my cilantro hating husband loved this. We had chicken kebabs too that were also very yummy. They paired well with cilantro lime rice, southwestern black beans and grilled corn. A delicious way to prepare beef, try it you'll be happy you did.

Southwestern Steak Kebabs:

2 Limes Juiced
2 Tbsp of olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro
1 (1 pound) top sirloin steak, cubed 
1 green bell pepper, cubed
1 red bell pepper, cubed
1 yellow onion, cubed

Whisk lime juice and olive oil together. Add garlic cumin and cilantro whisk to combine pour over steak in a zip lock bag seal and place in refrigerator. Allow to marinate 1- 4 hours.

 Remove from refrigerator and skewer on soaked bamboo sticks between cut pieces of red and green bell peppers and onions. Grill on preheated grill about 10 minutes until preferred doneness. 



Saturday date night, an afternoon at B&N in my favorite section, slowly but surely completing our summer bucket list, my new FAVORITE cookie recipe (coconut, pecans, chocolate chunks, die for...),  motorbike rides with my love, me and my twin momma, my favorite pattern, sunset on center street. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Summer Theater at Sundance

 It's no secret that I'm a HUGE fan of musicals (my favorite movie is Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, for crying out loud). On the screen or live I'm never one to turn down a good musical. One of my favorite places to experience my favorite art form is at Sundance in the summer time. Every summer they partner up with UVU's theater department and put on an extraordinary show. This year they put on one of my favorites (Adam's too) 7 Brides for 7 Brothers. And holy cow it was a good show. 

 We grabbed dinner and met up with my family for a good night of country fun. The play was wonderful and the cast was extremely talented. We had a ball,  singing, laughing, crying (mom...apparently "glad that you were born" is a tough song to get through without bawling, if your a mom). Afterwards we went on the moonlight lift ride and husband and I whispered sweet nothings to each other in between kisses. We had a great night.
 This is such a fun tradition. We love #Summertheatre at Sundance! 

Saturday is a special day

 It's been at least 6 months since either of our cars have been washed. Today it finally happened.
 It truly was a special day.
Isn't having a clean car the best?