Saturday, October 29, 2011

a ghostly beginning to halloween

you know you are addicted to the internet when it goes down and you have no idea what to do with your spare time...
oh yeah.
i had like a pile of books that i was supposed to be reading.
and a cowl i was crocheting.
and food that needs to be made...
a blog to write!
it was definitely tough.
but we are oh so glad to be back online!
(it's even sadder when you are trying to think of something to make for dinner... 
"oh wait let me check... ah crap! i forgot i can't get on the internet. again. for like the 3rd time."

listening to music is one of my favorite things in the whole world.
(sometimes i wonder if it is because i wish i was more creative, so i live vicariously through those who actually have some musical talent...)
but we saw this "rock opera" open in rexburg back in april, and loved it.
so we went back tonight.
they were actually playing in idaho falls, so definitely moving up in the world...
tonight's was definitely better than the first time.


i was up late (not doing homework apparently) and was flipping through channels, when i stopped at the history channel. i hadn't watched it in, like years, so i thought i'd see what they had for me. zombies. yeah. the history channel??? yeah, i thought so too. but i did learn several good things about surviving the zombie apocalypse.
now i won't tell you all of my secrets, because if there is a zombie apocalypse, i need to have the heads-up on you to make sure that the zombies eat you first.
just kidding.
find what you need to make your own zombie survival kit here.
the best part was finding out that the CDC actually put out a statement about emergency preparedness in case of a zombie apocalypse. suffice it to say, i was impressed. 
(don't judge, i wrote my senior research paper in high school on monsters. why do some lame research on drugs, sports and energy drinks when you can talk about vampires, werewolves and zombies??? and i wrote this paper before twilight. thank you very much.) the sad thing is that i am finding all of this cool stuff now, after i've already written the paper and done all of the research.

a quote from the CDC's website:
"if zombies did start roaming the streets, CDC would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak. CDC would provide technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie infestation. this assistance might include consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine). it’s likely that an investigation of this scenario would seek to accomplish several goals: determine the cause of the illness, the source of the infection/virus/toxin, learn how it is transmitted and how readily it is spread, how to break the cycle of transmission and thus prevent further cases, and how patients can best be treated..."
i can sleep peacefully tonight knowing that the government is watching out for a zombie attack.
it's been keeping me up lately.


oh, and i'm going to try this.

Monday, October 24, 2011

it's rubbing off on me...

i have to try this.

amid all of the "other productive stuff" i was doing today... i found this blog
me likey.
pretty much everything about the blog. her clothes, style, diy projects. they're going to keep me fairly entertained and busy for the next little while. 
(unfortunately we don't get a newspaper... so i have to go and find me a garfield comic. stat.)

is anyone else excited for halloween?
i know i am.
(i have this problem of getting really excited about the next holiday... and especially about forgetting poor thanksgiving.)
not this year!!!
i saw a christmas commercial yesterday. and my resolve just about wavered.
but i stayed strong!
but my sister and i made a new resolve that it's going to be party central at our apartment.

bubbly toes

do you ever have a day when you don't know why, but you just wake up and feel glum?
i have a solution for you:
(just try it one time and tell me that it doesn't make your whole entire day that much better!)

last night, the sis and i decided that we needed to use the massive amount of food that we had just received from the parents... and grandpa.. and winco...
(i think my roommates hate us. we take up at least half of the refrigerator.)
but we got squash.
buttercup squash.
and a lot of buttercup squash.
and guess who got a box of apples from grandpa's tree yesterday?
it was meant to be.

my version of buttercup squash & apple soup
kind like this one. and this one. but mostly different.

chicken stock (mom got us some rotisserie chickens from costco... so we de-boned them and then used the carcass to make stock)
2 buttercup squashes
3 onions - roughly chopped
2-4 apples cut into large chunks(depends on the size... and how much you want your soup to taste like apples)

cut the squashes in half and throw them, the roughly chopped onions, and chunked apples on a cookie sheet that has a little bit of water on the bottom
bake in oven until you can easily scoop the squash out of the shell (we left ours in about a half hour at 400)
throw the squash, apples and onion in stock, let simmer and cook together for a few minutes (you can season it with salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, chicken bouillon... i don't ever really measure when i'm making soup. i go purely by taste)
throw it into a blender - and voila!

yummy soup and a very happy tummy.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

one proud nerd.

call me a nerd, but i love science. 
call me an even bigger nerd that i watch youtube videos about science. 

(you know you wish you found this first...)

but guess what? today is friiiiiiidayyyyy! :) 
and friday is the day that:
1- i can stop thinking about school for the next 48 hours
2- i can have adventures (and not feel like i should be at home studying)
3- no homework
4- my parents are coming up to visit!
5- did i mention i get to go shopping with my mom???
6- i don't have to wake up at 6. (wait... that really happens any other day of the week???)
7- quality time with me and my book. because i promised myself that i will finish one book every other week. (by the way, this is book #2)
8- i don't have to be any where important. so i can sit on my butt and look up useless things like this:

9- and this
(this just makes me want grilled cheese ohhhhhh so badly! i should stop torturing myself because i don't get to eat lunch for another 2 hours... this is just cruel...) has some of the BEST looking grilled cheese sandwiches i've every seen in my entire life. i mean, this chick has the art of perfectly grilling a cheese-which down to a science. nay, it is art. pure and simple.
if you really want to get down to the science behind the grilled cheese, check out the sporkful.
they are my new favorite when it comes to analyzing the nitty-gritty necessities of good cookin'.  
10- lunch today: leftovers from last night's cooking escapade.

 this is yet another one of those meals that just kinda... happened. we threw in a couple of onions, green onions in the fridge, an eggplant, peppers and jalapenos, leftover hamburger and spinach that was not lookin so hot... (not slimy... just a little wilty...)
toss it all in a skillet with some spices and BAM! 
the most time consuming part of the dinner was finding out how to get the blasted cabbage leaves OFF of the head.
how do you perform this feat you ask?
you toss the head of cabbage into boiling water for a few minutes, and then the leaves just come right off!!!
simple as that.
then we threw those in a casserole dish, covered it in prego or ragu... and then topped it with some cheese right before it was done.
oh heavens.
don't tell anyone... i think i had two.
but it was gone so fast i'm not really sure.

11- friday is just a good day.


now go partyyyy!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

is this the real life? is this just fantasy?

can't you just tell today is going to be a beautiful day?
it's fall, there isn't any snow yet (knock of wood), i slept in, i'm going to ride my bike to d.i. today, and watch football, and make FALAFEL! i don't know if it really can get any better...

we started the weekend yesterday with a date. (yes, i actually did get a date... if it is only the one date that i get of the semester, i will consider my dating life a success!)
here's the crew:
and yes, it was a masquerade.
aren't those guys studly?

can you believe we got those at walmart?
they have reaffirmed my belief that they really do carry everything.

for dinner, we had fajitas - which we absolutely amazing. and that was followed by what we lovingly refer to as a "cookie monster"... which i have seen other places called a "pizookie." 

they were the cutest things that i've ever seen!
we each got out own individual cookie that was in a skillet that was about the size of the top of a mason jar. oh my lanta - i think i died and went to heaven!
(and it even came with the cute little hot pad for the handle!!!)

i want.

and when i do get some... cuz i shall!
this is what i'm going to be making. 
and then it is going to go for a very looooooong swim in an ice cream bath.
right before it all ends up in my tummy.
oh happy day!

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 10″ cast iron skillet lightly with vegetable oil. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
In another medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugars. Beat about 2 minutes.
Add in the egg and vanilla. Beat 2 minutes longer.
Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until well-combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Press the dough into the skillet as evenly as you can.
Bake about 40 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.
Transfer the skillet to a wire rack to cool. When ready to serve, cut into wedges. Add a scoop of your favorite ice cream on top while it’s still warm!

if i might quote my idol, rachel ray...

do you ever feel like your cookie-cutters are under-utilized? 
i mean, the poor things get to shine only once a year when you decide to make sugar cookies!!! it is a sad, sad existence if you ask me. 

so i think it is time to let the cute little cookie cutters out of their stereotypical role as a "cookie" cutter (here and here
i think that would make an interesting movie plot...
"the cookie cutter that wouldn't cut cookies."
i mean, they've got to run out of ideas for movies eventually...

today i love:
sweats after wearing a dress all night long
showers - since i ran out of time yesterday... (and yet my hair doesn't look that bad!)
farmer's markets. i caved and bought a honey bear. (my last one suffered a very horrible death in the microwave.)
writing. stuff. (no you don't get to see it yet!)
food. i'm currently soaking chickpeas for falafel for a picnic this afternoon!
going to school. and not having to worry about real life. yet.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

taking liberties in the kitchen.

i keep hearing this sound lately.
it sounds a lot like a woooooooosh...! 
and then i realize that it is life. as it goes rushing by. 
i remember when i was a kid, and the school year seemed to go by. soooooo slowly. what happened???
we're already a month into school, and i barely feel like i've even gotten settled in.
it's times like these that i realize that if i don't start DOING something, the whole semester is going to go by and i won't have done any of the things that i wanted to! 
so my list of pre-planned adventures for the rest of the semester:
     go on a hike
     watch a sunrise
     have brunch before church (since it starts at 2!)
     have a very merry unbirthday tea-party! 
     have a pie social, potluck, waffle party... basically any party with food involved. especially fall foods.
     go to the dunes and have a bonfire
     train for a half marathon. (this will be tricky since i barely have time to do my homework... let alone run!)
     keep my room clean. ha.
     read a book a week. (or maybe every other...)
     stop procrastinating. 
that being said... i'll make this short. :)

my sister and i wanted to make these:

and we kinda did. but not really.
i have this problem with following recipes. if i don't have something, i will either leave it out or stick something else in. sometimes this is good... other times not so much. (honey and sugar don't make an adequate brown sugar substitute in cookies. just sayin.) 
we didn't have any brown rice.
did that stop us?

this ended up being more of a throw-whatever-we-have-available-in-the-fridge type of recipe... but we were both HUGE fans. definitely gonna make it again. 

here's the real recipe. 
this is what we did. 
2 large green bell peppers, bottom trimmed, cap end cut off and diced, and seeds removed
1/2 large onion, diced
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 leftover yellow bell pepper in the fridge
2 jalapeno peppers
1 eggplant (it was headed downhill and needed to be used!)
1 tomato
1-2 cups shredded cabbage
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
(i'm pretty sure we threw in some chili powder and red pepper flakes in there somewhere...)
1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
preheat oven to 375F. trim bottom of bell peppers so they have a flat surface to stand on. cut off a fairly generous amount of the stem end of peppers, then remove seeds. (our bell peppers were monsters!) place hollowed-out peppers in a baking dish that you've sprayed with non-stick spray or olive oil.

remove stem part from the pepper caps and trim off any white membrane, then dice pepper caps and the onion into fairly small dice. cook hamburger until done, add whatever spices you suit your fancy, then add in onions (and in our case eggplant) and cook until tender. then add in peppers (i made sure to dice the jalapenos up reallllllllllly tiny... i hate getting a bite of pepper that is a little too big. because my tolerance for heat is basically non-existent.) last of all, add in cabbage - it doesn't take long to cook. remove from heat and add tomatoes. i didn't want them really cooked, and i knew that they would get cooked more in the oven. 

stuff the filling mixture into the hollowed-out peppers, using a spoon to press the mixture down so it's tightly packed into the pepper shell. the recipe we found didn't say that we needed to pre-cook the peppers... i was hungry anyway. and when i'm hungry, the lazy, speedy way is the ONLY way. (we actually saved the extra "stuffing" and had in the next day in an omlette... also a BIG success.) 

bake peppers for 30(ish) minutes, then remove from oven and put a generous pinch of grated mozzarella on top of each pepper. put peppers back into the oven and bake about 10-15 minutes more, until cheese is melted and lightly browned. serve hot.
believe me... this was good. and super healthy! 

a random side-note:
one of my roommates is our cousin - who is currently taking a culinary fundamentals class... i'm sure she comes home every day and is mentally making notes on how not to cook. just take a look at jess, and don't do any of these things. but oh, what fun we have in the kitchen!!!

and just for kicks and giggles.

how i feel today. 
(minus a few of the less-than-honor-code-approved behaviors.) 

i haven't been thankful in a while.
today i am thankful for sweat pants.
after running around in a skirt all day, i love the feeling that you get when you can just sit down in the sweats and not have to sit all prim-and-proper anymore! 
hellllllo unladylike behavior!
(just kidding...)

and belts.
that come to the rescue when:
pants are too big.
shirts are too baggy.
you lose your backpack.

don't tell me you never fantasized about carrying your books to school with a belt.
maybe it was just me...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

the (im)proper way to do things.

"life is pain highness!"
can you guess what movie that's from???

this last week was "one of those weeks" that i probably would care never to think of again. 
like ever.
after 6 tests, 2 projects, trying to find time to squeeze in donating at the plasma center (yeah. i do that.), going to the temple, and trying to stay dry (even though rexburg decides that it is funny to rain for 3 days straight. and then throw a little snow in there for kicks and giggles. i don't appreciate it thanks!) this week was... tough. but, you know what? i feel so good now that it's over! 
and i aced 3 of my tests. (we'll see how the other ones turn out next week...)
so not too shabby for taking every day not just a day at a time... sometimes it really was hour by hour. just to make sure that i would survive until the weekend. 
now enough of that! 

"you gotta put your behind in your past." 
or something like that. (said by a very wise meerkat)

as i was leaving the library late last night, finally being finished with the week-from-you-know-where, i saw a girl with a backpack. and i wanted it. luckily i restrained myself and she lives to wear it another day. 
you wanna know what it looks like?

super cute right?
but i'm too poor to buy them right now. 
maybe i'll get lucky at d.i. one of these days...

i'm one of those people that likes change. 
at home, the layout of my bedroom changes about every 6 months... i move my bed, the desk, and i have to go through and "de-junk". (that's a common term in our household... whether or not it is actually an effective practice has yet to be seen.)
but having a bed on cinderblocks doesn't leave a whole lot of room for change. 
so i have to change other things. 
i'm also a list person.
i have so many goal lists that i sometimes forget what goals i am actually trying to accomplish! then i find them like a year later and go oh yeahhhhhhhhhh. oops. 
so i am making a goal list. but this one has an end date. the end of the semester. 
which is like... december 17. 
this list might be considered a "de-junk-ing" of my life. because i can't move my bed. i guess i could move it into the closet (like harry potter!), but i don't know how roommate allison would take that...

da list:
train for a 10k. run 6.1 miles by the end of the semester.
go to a dance class
do something to my hair. maybe this?
spend less time on the computer. sorry there guys.
meet one new person every day.
read the entire book of mormon. (i'm in 2 nephi right now...)
try a new, healthy recipe every week (that i've never ever tried before!)
have an unbirthday tea party. and here. and here. and here. and here
go to bed earlier (so that i don't sleep through class...)
write more often. and share it with someone.
read a book a week. currently: a single voice
memorize the family: a proclamation to the world

ok. i think that's enough for now...
have an awesome (and hopefully less-rainy!) weekend

and just feel good. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

ready or not... life here i come!

i need some chill music right now.
this is just one of those days when life just seems to press down on you from all sides.
you know?
the feeling that you have to make a decision, but the stress alone threatens to incapacitate you...
i'm feeling that way about grad school right now.
(lame right?)
scared out of my wits.

the future is a scarrrrry place.
do i really have to grow up?

not that i don't have a plan for my life,
i just don't know what to do with the 5 different plans that i have. (i'm the type of person that has the plan, the backup plan, the backup-backup plan... you get the picture. i don't believe in failure.) 
the problem with that is that sometimes i don't make a decision because i'm afraid that it won't work out.

so while sitting in class, plotting out my life (for about the gazillion-th time this semester) i came to a conclusion:
life is gonna happen.
no matter what i decide to do, the rest of the world is going to continue to spin, and everyone else is going to keep going on with their regular day-to-day lives.
so what am i going to do about it?
two words.
imagine me gritting my teeth and attempting very hard to look like a very menacing individual...
you ready mr. future???
{cuz you gotta deal with THIS!}


so no matter what happens, i'm going to give life my 100%.
i know it's cliche, but you miss 100% of the shots you don't take, and the worst thing that can happen is that they say no.
well what do you do when they do say no?
time for plan b.
and then plan c.
plan d?
you keep tryin' stuff until something works!
(and by george something will!)

so here is to all of the plans, and the backup plans...
but never give up!
(that's the only time that i believe that failure exists. when you decide that you aren't going to try anymore.)
so we are making a pact.
right now.
you and me.
to never
give up!
(pinkie swear.)


good luck!

now for some light-hearted kicks and giggles:
(i was in my exercise physiology class, and i got this brainy idea that i wanted to develop my own line of energy bars... so i started doing a little research. and this is what i found.)

(i didn't come up with the name...)

th-th-th-th-th-that's all folks!