Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"Being single is pretty good. It's a nice sense of irresponsibility"

What's up with all the engagements/marriages as of recently?
I'm overwhelmed with wedding invitations and pictures of engagement rings.  I mean, I'm genuinely stoked that so many of my dear friends have found love and are choosing to be married in the temple for time and all eternity, but it's a huge wave of them!  I feel like there was a big "let's fall in love" party and somehow I missed it.

But it's chill.  I've been making plans and making pies.

My best wishes to all you engaged/newly wed couples!  

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

“There is no sincerer love than the love of food"

I don't know if it's just the stunning pictures my sister took or the fact that I actually pulled off all those recipes, but I am so proud of what I made for my graduation party.  I am a chef.  This is reality.

Edit:: I know sincerer isn't a word.  It's a direct quote from George Bernard Shaw.  

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

“A compliment is verbal sunshine”

Everyone enjoys being complimented.  It something that brightens your day, especially when you receive one when you least expect it.  I don't remember the last time I was overwhelmed with compliments.  It seems that we, as people interacting with other people every day, don't hand out compliments enough.

Today was an awesome day at work.   There were so many happy customers, I almost didn't know what to do.  It's the holiday season and something about the holidays makes people grouchy.  They come in, they grab what they want and then they stomp over to the register, fuss about return policies, and interrogate about gift receipts. I think that's mostly why I dread going to work during the holiday season.  So today was a little bit of a surprise. People were so nice to me!  I was complimented on my smile, my knowledge of the products, my skill with the helicopters, and my overall attitude towards work and customers.  Each compliment came from a different customer.  People addressed me by name and one man even asked to speak to my manager so he could tell him to give me a raise.  It was awesome.

Compliments are the start of a domino effect.  Someone pays you a compliment, your day brightens, you feel better about things so you smile more and are more polite and may end up complimenting someone else.  And then it continues on to make someone else's day that much better.

I issue this challenge: Compliment someone tomorrow.  Compliment three people tomorrow.  Compliment the checker at the grocery store or the man who holds the elevator for you.  Compliment your coworkers and your family.  Compliment everyone you come in contact with!

I promise you that if you make the effort to make as many compliments as you can, your day will be brighter and you will be happier.

Spread the sunshine.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

“A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone's feelings unintentionally"

I believe that every relationship we may encounter in life is something we can learn from.  We can learn to be better friends, more compassionate, less judgmental, more humble, more kind.  Some people are shining examples of what not to be, others are reminders that there are still wholly good people in the world.

Quentin is proof that there are still spiritual, smart, gentlemen around.  He's the kind of guy who holds the door open and wraps his coat around you when you're cold.  He's gentle, but manly.  Spiritual, but light hearted and fun.  He's a great reminder to me that good guys do exist, they're just few and far between.

I'm refreshed and relieved.  The world needs more guys like Quentin in it.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"Men may come and men may go.....but Pie goes on for ever."

The pie wars have started.  And ended.

Last night I prepared three different pie crust recipes in order to try them side by side and judge which was best.

First was the original crust recipe that my mother has been using for ages.  It's simple and easy, just flour, salt, water, and shortening.  Only problem is sometimes it's almost too dry, resulting in dough crumbling everywhere while you're trying to roll it out and press it into the pie pan.  This one I baked into a cherry pie.  My mom and I used this neat little cookie cutter things to create a bunch of leaves to cover the top instead of the traditional cover over it.  The filling didn't quite fill it as much as I anticipated, so it looked a little funny, but the leaf top turned out great.

Second was one recipe dubbed as foolproof by Cooks Illustrated.  This one has flour, sugar, salt, butter and shortening, water, and vodka.  The vodka is the secret ingredient that enables the dough to be pliable enough to be easy to roll out and prepare, but then bakes off and leaves a dry, flaky crust.  This one I baked into two pumpkin pies.  Now, this dough is really wet.  Almost too wet.  I had a lot of trouble rolling it out and putting it in the pans.  It might have made a difference if I had chosen to roll out the dough the way most people do, but I follow my mother's method.  I put the dough in a 2.5 gallon ziplock and roll it out in the bag.  With a dough that's less sticky, the bag is easy to cut off it.  This one just stuck to the bag and came all apart in a big doughy mess.  One pie I ended up pressing the dough into the pan, the other I practically froze solid.  Before putting the warm filling in them, I put the crusts in the oven for a blind bake.  When I took them out of the oven and removed the pie weights, I saw that the dough had slid down the sides of the pan and was sticking to the base of my pie.  There was no winning with this dough, so I did my best to press it back up the sides and get it in the oven.  Only one pie turned out pretty looking.


Third is the supposedly Perfect Pie Crust recipe that The Pioneer Woman raved about. This one is comprised of flour, salt, water, vinegar, and an egg.  It took a little more time than the other two and it smelled a little funny because of the vinegar, but it's apparently awesome.  I let this dough chill in the fridge over night and it's a good thing because even after about 3 hours of chilling, it was still soft.  This one ended up sticking to the ziplock bag, but not as much as the previous (this time I floured the bags lightly, so that might have been the reason.  I baked it up into a gorgeous apple pie.  On top of the crust I gave it a nice light egg wash (using the whole egg, beaten with a little water) then topped it with turbinado sugar.  This pie is a contender for the prettiest pie I've ever baked award.  The only picture I got, however, has poor lighting and has the pumpkin pie in the background.

So which pie crust was the best?  Simple, foolproof, or perfect?  The first was the best tasting with the right amount of flake.  This goes to show that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.  Mom's recipe is the best recipe.

And, as a special sign off, here's the lemon tart I made in addition to the pies.  This is a fabulous recipe.  I love tarts.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"Things will get better if you just hold my hand"

First of all, if you haven't heard this Akon and MJ song, you should.  I'm a fan.

Second, you should go camping on the beach.  Not only is being that close to the water all night awesome (though windy), the stars are incredible.  You can find brilliant stars elsewhere, but for some reason I really enjoy being able to lay in the tent looking up at the sky (no rain fly; too windy) while listening to the waves.  It's so peaceful.  A beautiful escape from the hustle and bustle of every day life.

Some friends and I decided to go for an overnight campout at Point Mugu last weekend.  We packed everything up and met out there just in time to witness the most gorgeous sunset while we set up the tents.  It was like any typical campout, littered with roasted hot dogs, smores, and telling stories around the fire.  We played games all night in the tent and couldn't sleep in because of the sunshine.  It was glorious.

I like being able to decide I want to get away for a day or a night or an afternoon.  I like being old enough to rent out a campsite and organize everything for myself.  I like being in nature and remembering just how small I am in this vast world.  I like holding hands, and I like the card game Scum.

I like life.


"Though pleas'd to see the dolphins play, I mind my compass and my way."

I baked a cake for my friend Brock's birthday.  He turned 26 and requested a nautical themed cake.  Somehow this is what he ended up with...

Chocolate butter cake with vanilla buttercream frosting.  

Designed by me, decorated by me.  I was pretty pleased.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion"

It's no secret that I love Halloween.  I've got a closet full of costumes to prove it.  This year I went all out.  Four costumes.

First I wore my new Princess Lolly (candyland character) costume to the institute halloween party.  I made it in about three days and it turned out alright.  It wasn't what I envisioned, but it was pretty darn cute.  Except when the lollipops on the dress stabbed me in the leg whenever I sat down.  Still, it was legit.

Second was the regional Halloween party.  I went as some form of jester, I don't really know.  It's a recycled costume.  At one point it was my sisters when she was of trick-or-treating age and then I snagged it to use for whatever shindigs I could.  Really, I just like the idea of getting dressed up and then going to be with people.  I think halloween gives me an opportunity to carry my childhood dress up games into my adult life without feeling too foolish.  Which is why I wanted to wear a different costume to every event.

Two nights before halloween I went to a church dance in Santa Monica.  Now, I've been to some pretty large dances, but this one put them all to shame.  Over 2000 people showed up.  The gym where the dance was was packed from wall too wall.  I had trouble moving around in there because I was dressed as a zombie grandma and my walker wouldn't fit through the crowd easily.  Plus the blood on my costume was pretty sticky and I didn't want to get it all over people.  Even though I spent the majority of the time out in the courtyard chasing Rick around trying to take a bite out of his arm, I learned that walkers make excellent dance props.  Tons of fun.

Fourth costume was footie pajamas and a blanket.  I wore this out to take my niece and nephew trick-or-treating.  Ava asked me what I was going to wear that night, so I felt obligated to bust out another costume.

I love halloween.   I love dressing up.  I love seeing little kids being excited to dress up.  I made my brother James an Aladdin costume and he loved it.  It's a silly holiday, but it's so much fun.

Jonny and myself as zombie grandparents

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

“You be careful. People in masks cannot be trusted"

There's something really satisfying about creating something delicious then having people consume it.  I think that satisfaction is part of the reason I'm drawn to cooking.  Eating is something everyone in the world does, so to be able to deliver something delicious is awesome.  I love it.

I cannot tell you how excited I was last week to get started on all the food I planned on for m graduation party.  I spent a lot of time working on it, but it was worth it. I enjoyed every minute of standing around in the kitchen doing things like kneading cracker dough and rolling chocolate truffles.   It was glorious.  Plus, I got some good use of my kitchenaid in.

Friday was a blur, I had so much to do.  I was a bit stressed, but everything fell into place.  The kitchen looked spectacular, my sister came over and took wonderful pictures of the food and me in my chef's coat.  I felt a little bad for the people who showed up on time (or within the first hour and a half) because it was slow going and I was still putting things together.  But everyone showed up in masks, looking fabulous.  It was awesome.

Some of us fabulous masked ladies.  And Keith, creeping in the background

Masks all around

Chelsea's mask is legit, from Italy.

The Phantom made an appearance

Getting ready to play Mafia

It was a great night

Thursday, October 14, 2010

"No party is any fun unless seasoned with folly"

This is a prologue for a post that is bound to be posted this weekend.

I've been preparing for my graduation party this Friday.  I've planned this fantastic masquerade party at my house for the sole purpose of being able to make as many desserts and hors d'ouevres as I want.  Well, also because I like parties and I like dressing up and I like Halloween.  But graduation gave me the perfect reason to throw a party.  For myself.

I'm so excited.  I haven't done much planning other than the food, but the rest of it will fall into place.  I have no fear of this bombing out.  People know there's going to be food, people will come.

I'm excited.   Prepping takes a lot of work, but it's enjoyable.  And rewarding.

Can't wait for Friday night.

p.s. I'm back at Brookstone and I'm rocking it.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Holy Grail of Kitchen Gadgets

I bought a Kitchenaid Professional 600 as a graduation present to myself.  The thing is massive and it just barely fits under the cabinets in the kitchen, which is good because then it doesn't have to hide out in the pantry, it gets to sit proudly where all may view it.

I feel a sense of accomplishment, and not just because I finished culinary school.  I feel like a grown up.  Instead of saving my money for the newest Holiday Celebration collectors Barbie, I'm spending my money on things like mixers and knives.  I obsessed over this mixer.  I've been thinking about it for months.  I've been looking online at all the different prices, debating between the Artisan mixer and the Pro 600.  I really wanted the apple green (or maybe the pistachio) artisan, but the pro just made more sense.  I succumbed to the irresistible power of he Pro 600 and bought it, with the help of a 20% off coupon for Bed Bath and Beyond.

It's beautiful.  I'm in love.  I feel guilty sitting in front of my computer blogging, not sitting with my mixer, touching it as much as I can.  I plan on making muffins tonight, but I think I'm going to have to make something sooner.  I can't wait to get that baby into action.

It's just so very lovely...

Friday, October 8, 2010

"I've never been so alone. And I've never been so alive"

There's something about the Third Eye Blind song Motorcycle Drive By that gets me.  It makes me feel sort of sad, but also sort of relieved.  It's kind of hard to explain what emotion it stirs up.  All I know is I heard it on my way home tonight and I fell in love all over again.  If I had to pick a song for my life at this exact moment, it would be this one.
It's beautiful.

Motorcycle Drive By
Summer time and the wind is blowing outside 
In lower Chelsea and I don't know 
What I'm doing in this city
The sun is always in my eyes
It crashes through the windows 
And I'm sleeping on the couch 
When I came to visit you 
That's when I knew
That I could never have you
I knew that before you did 
Still I'm the one who's stupid

And there's this burning
Like there's always been
I've never been so alone
And I've never been so alive

Visions of you on a motorcycle drive by 
The cigarette ash flies in your eyes 
And you don't mind, you smile.
And say the world, it doesn't fit with you 
I don't believe you, you're so serene 
Careening through the universe 
Your axis on a tilt, you're guiltless and free 
I hope you take a piece of me with you

And there's things I would like to do
That you don't believe in
I would like to build something
But you'll never see it happen

And there's this burning 
Like there's always been 
I've never been so alone 
And I've, I've never been so alive

And there's this burning, aaa-oh
There is this burning, yeah yeah yeah

Where's the soul I want to know
New York City is evil
The surface is everything
But I could never do that
Someone would see through that

And this is our last time
We'll be friends again
I'll get over you, you'll wonder who I am

And there's this burning
Just like there's always been
I've never been so alone, alone
And I, and I, I've never been so alive
So alive

I go home to the coast
It starts to rain I paddle out on the water, alone
Taste the salt and taste the pain
I'm not thinking of you again

Summer dies and swells rise
The sun goes down in my eyes
See this rolling wave
Darkly coming to take me home

And I've never been so alone
And I've never been so alive 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"Dating requires a lot of energy and focus"

I've done a lot of dating in my lifetime. Before I was of the dating age I had my head filled with the whole grandeur of dating and I just longed to be sixteen so I could go to Golf 'n Stuff or make gingerbread houses with the many boys I had crushes on. For the most part, dating hasn't been all that spectacular. It's pretty seldom that I return home from a date all starry eyed and twitterpated. But it's almost equally as seldom when I experience a date that leaves me wishing I had stayed home to knit a sweater for my mother's antisocial cat instead. That being said, let's go over some highlights and lowlights of my dating history. We'll start with the less than impressive dates...

  •        I dated this kid the summer after I graduated very briefly.  We went on a few dates, went to some parties, over all, didn't do all that much together.  I'd say it was a filler relationship.  Anyway, we went on a double date with a good friend of mine and her boyfriend.  We went out to dinner and ended up just splitting a dessert because he "just wasn't hungry."   When it came time to pay the bill, this guy literally did a pat down of his pants followed by a shrug and "Whoops.  I forgot my wallet."  We didn't date much longer after that.
  •        Another time I went on a fail of a date with an old friend of mine.  We went to the movies and he ended up only having $7 on him.  I paid for the rest of his ticket and my own.  After the movie I drove him back to his house, which was about twenty minutes from the theater, in the opposite direction of his house.  I wasn't all that impressed.
  •         I don't know if you know this, but I'm really into baseball.  My boyfriend who lived across the country came to visit me in California, so I took him to a Dodger game.  It was a spectacular game.  The Dodgers won 11-2, with some pretty awesome plays.  I was constantly jumping off the outfield bench to shout and clap and do all those things a baseball fanatic does.  The kid didn't stand up once.  I don't think he even clapped once.  He just wanted to sit on the bench and sulk.  I understand that baseball isn't the most fun sport to watch, but really?  We scored 11 runs!  It was a really eventful game!  I was pretty peeved.  Baseball is something I love.
  •        Now, this isn't one specific date, but I just want to say that I think the worst situation is being on a date with someone who is obviously into you, but you're simply not into him.  Maybe it's just me, but I feel bad in those kinds of situation.  I feel bad for the guy who's trying so hard to be smooth and have a kiss at the end of the date.  I feel bad for myself for having to do my best to let the guy down easy.  It's just uncomfortable all around.  
You know, now that I'm trying to think of awful dates I've been on, I'm completely blanking.  I know there are more, probably some horrific ones, but I can't remember them.  Either I'm suppressing the scarring memories, or I'm more into happy memories.  Oh, the happy memories...

  •           I dated this one guy up in Idaho who took me on the cheapest date I've ever been on, but easily one of the most fun.  We went to the art building at BYU-Idaho (The Spori) and went to the top floor.  We made paper airplanes and named them outrageous things and then we flew them from the top floor all the way down to the bottom.  Stealth was key, though, because we had to avoid being caught by anyone because I'm fairly certain flying paper airplanes in the Spori is looked down on.  Eventually that ended when we got an airplane lodged on a windowsill on the second story with it's potentially offensive name (not my doing, it was the boy) stuck against the glass for any passersby on the second floor to see.  
  •           I went to Mormon Prom my senior year with a really good friend of mine and it was the best dance I've ever been to.  We danced like maniacs and sung Pearl Jam's Last Kiss to each other across the dining room.  No other Prom had a chance of coming close to being as awesome as that one.
  • Another awesome date was this one.  I already wrote it all out in great detail, so knock yourself out.  It involves a truck, the rain, a shotgun, and some kids.  
  •           Okay, I've been to some great dances.  I went to a Famous Couples dance in Idaho with a kid from my dance class.  Not only were we two of the best dancers there, I'm quite partial to our costumes
There you have it, ladies and gentlemen.  A peek into the best and worst of my dating history.  There are more stories for either side so perhaps one day I'll post a part 2.

Monday, October 4, 2010

"Hot Behind"

I'm sure I'll eventually get around to posting something about the whole graduation experience, but right now I only have the energy to do this.

I graduated!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile"

I know I might talk a lot about how much I love Summer and the hot weather it brings (or doesn't bring, in this year's case), but I love Fall.

Today it was cold and overcast and it looked a bit stormy, even. I can't remember the last time it rained. I can't remember the last time I wore a coat but still thought it was cold. I can't remember the last time I wished so badly for cooler weather so I can bust out scarves and cardigans and cute hats! Fall! Where have you been? I have missed you and I didn't even know it!

I love Fall. I'm so excited for it. It's going to be great because not only are fall fashions awesome, but the Holidays are awesome. Halloween is a big favorite, followed closely by Thanksgiving (Christmas comes in as a very very close third, but I'm a foodie. The food holiday wins.) There's just something sort of magical about the way the leaves turn and slowly fall away. The crispness of the cold breezes are chilling, but exciting. For some reason, the air always smells so good.

It's going to be a good season, I can feel it. All the downturns that have taken place recently are going to right themselves and I'm going to barrel through the next set of obstacles life has to put in my path. I'm going to hear more live music (just went to a Danger Friends USA show tonight) and I'm going to spend more time with people I enjoy. I'm going to plan more to start my own business.

Can you feel the excitement? Are you ready?

Let's go.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

"Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional"

I don't know if you know this, but long distance relationships are hard. It's hard because when there's someone you're attracted to enough to make them the one and only romance in your life, you only have communication to lean on. There's no date night, there's no snuggling up and watching a movie, there's no holding hands while walking around town. The ability to talk and hold conversation for hours on end becomes crucial.

I don't know where I'm going with this. I feel as though I'm just writing to calm the storm in my mind.

Five months of long distance is a long time. Five months with only four days of actually being together. It's impressive and depressing at the same time. How can a relationship survive five months with only four days of being together? I'm not sure. Maybe it was just a really awesome friendship. Maybe it was something really good, really rare. Whatever it was, it was pretty rad.

Most good things come to an end, as did this one. At least a break. Who knows. It's a bummer, but there's nothing we can do. Greg's boss is a jerk who is determined to plan his life and course in the Coast Guard for him and I have a few nasty things to say to that man. But I won't because I'm determined to see what the outcome of this all will be. Months away, but it won't be intolerable.

2010 has been full of ups and downs.
I've braced myself for what comes next.
Bring it.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Oh that Ozark Princess

I had this dream last night in which I wanted to move in with some girls into an apartment in Salt Lake City. It was pretty big, with a nice balcony outside and a big open kitchen. I was stoked. But then one of the girls told me about the Ozark Princess.

Apparently there was some curse that had been put on my friend and she was being haunted by this ghostly princess. The creepy looking ghost was able to open any sliding or swinging door at random. She'd swoop right out at you, stick her face in yours, and let out this terrifying scream. You were't allowed to open your mouth fully, you had to keep your teeth clenched while addressing her, otherwise she's rush into your body through your mouth and torture you. It was actually pretty vivid and frightening to watch. I remember thinking, "But doesn't your mouth end up hurting if you clench your teeth all day, every day?" But it's okay, the ghost didn't like oranges.

If you ate anything orange flavored, you'd be able to open your mouth and not worry about having your soul invaded. Together the roommates and I stuffed the freezer full of orange Popsicles and hunted down all the recipes for orange rolls and bunt cakes and muffins we could find. Then I went in my room and made sure A) I had a healthy supply of orange skittles and orange mike&ikes on every surface available, and B) That my doors were not sliding or if they swung, that they had good, strong locks. Then I lived in the apartment and had to face the Ozark Princess with clenched teeth daily. It was terrifying.

But, in reality the Ozark Princess came from a short independent film I was in. I got an email yesterday saying they want to send me a copy of the finished product. I'm not sure how that all translated into evil ghost who invades your soul, but doesn't like orange popsicles...but it made for an interesting dream, that's for sure.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Case of the Ex

Ex boyfriend is a funny term. Funny in the sense that the whole relationship you have with this person has, often times, pulls a complete 180 going from being intimate and adoring each other to, more than likely, a catty disdain for one another.

When I think about all the guys I've dated and where I stand with them now, I'm almost overwhelmed with how many of them I'm on good terms with. Not just I-Don't-Mind-That-You-Exist good terms, I'm talking Let's-Chill-This-Weekend kind of good terms. I can safely say that I would have no qualms with hanging out with pretty much every guy I used to date. Except two, but that's a different story.

Last night I was going to a party at a friends house and I knew it would be a pretty relaxed thing, complete with food, pool, and video games. Before leaving the house I happed to have a conversation with a guy I dated briefly in high school. I haven't really seen him since, save for a few super awkward drug store run-ins. On a whim I invited him to this party, thinking he'd decline, but I felt bad that he was staying home on a Friday night. Of course he didn't decline. Even better, the party consisted of the host and his girlfriend when we got there. I was a little uneasy, since this was one of those ex boyfriends where it had potential to be super awkward but it could also be just fine and I wasn't sure which way it would go.

It was fine, it was fun, it was relaxed.

I don't know why I seem to get along so well with the majority of my ex boyfriends, but there's something relieving about that. It's nice to not have that animosity towards people and to know they don't feel it for you.

After all these years, it's nice to know that's not there.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A list.

I don't know how many times I've sat down to try and write a blog post about something relatively interesting. I think I'm failing at it.

There have been a few things that have absolutely rocked these past couple weeks, but nothing that makes me want to run around in circles then gush on the internet. So, for the sake of keeping the blog life alive, here are five things I love:

1. My short hair. I was pretty hesitant to cut all my hair off into an a-line bob, but I decided on a whim back in January that it was something I wanted to do. So I did it. I love it. Sometimes I feel like a little girl again, since I grew up with short hair, but for the most part I feel sophisticated. It's refreshing to have short hair. Easy to take care of.

2. Music. I went to a Something Corporate concert for their reunion tour about a week ago and it was fantastic. I love how into the music the band was and how into it everyone else was. Something about knowing every word to a song and singing it out loud, whether it's at a concert or in the car, is so much fun. Music makes me feel alive.

3. Dancing. I haven't done much dance lately, but I love it whenever I get the opportunity to do it. I recently went out to a live show at The Viper Room on the sunset strip in LA. I was disappointed by the lack of movement in the room. Granted, it wasn't much of a dance concert, but it was still groovy music. I need to get out to a salsa club or something.

4. Fall. There aren't words for how excited I am for the weather to cool down and the leaves to start changing. Something about seeing halloween decorations popping up all over the place makes me giddy. I love the scent of apples and cinnamon. I love wearing sweaters and trendy scarves and all the muted fall colors. So stoked for Fall right now.

5. Pajamas. There is nothing better than chilling in my room with sweats and a tank top. Love it.

Monday, August 16, 2010

"Getting fired is nature's way to telling you that you had the wrong job in the first place"

I was fired from The Bread Basket last Saturday.

I was shocked. I didn't see it coming at all. My old manager said some stuff about my not being a team player and not having the speed to open in the mornings, which was all news to me. I had been feeling really confident in the work I was doing there and I felt like I was getting better and more comfortable every single day. Apparently not.

It's unfortunate and I'm majorly bummed, but I think I had already learned everything I was going to learn from working at the Bread Basket. I'd spent a good amount of time observing the technique behind making basic cakes and fondant cakes. I've already successfully recreated some of their cakes with my own spin on it. So while I'm upset that I didn't see it coming and I was dropped just like that at the end of my Saturday shift, there are some benefits.

I'm almost done with school and that opens a world of possibilities for me. I can find an apprenticeship or a mentor-ship with someone who does cakes independently. I can work for a different bakery, maybe actually doing some decorating. I can start doing some stuff on my own. This unexpected jolt in my life is going to turn out to be something good. Not only will I have new job opportunities, but I also won't have to continue to look longingly at all the cookies and chocolate chip croissants only to turn them down on account of my waistline.

Getting fired is a blessing in disguise. It's the Lord's way of removing me from a situation where I wasn't growing and I wasn't leaving on my own. I'm going to get out there and take on the world, one cake at a time.

Peace out, Bread Basket.

Friday, July 30, 2010

There are no good quotes about spiders

I feel like my fear of spiders is completely over the top. For awhile there I was doing really well with them and I could bring myself to smash them with a shoe or even do the cup and piece of paper deal and dump them in the toilet. But did that last? No.

I've gone back to screaming, at the very least gasping with vigor, whenever a spider is found. The spiders that I find in my room aren't even all that impressive. They're these small sized spiders than seem to live in the grout in my shower (and won't go away no matter how many times I caulk the grout) that always appear full grown. They lurk under the ledge of my counter, the corner by the bathroom, and under my shampoo bottle. Once I found one hiding in my loofah. Worst shower surprise ever.

Tonight I went out with some friends after going to the temple and I drank about fifty glasses of water. By the time I got home I had to go to the bathroom like none other, so I raced straight there. Then I glanced to my left and there was this HUGE SPIDER just chillin on the wall RIGHT next to me. Just chillin! Like, "Oh hey, you're peeing? Drink a lot of water, did you? Awesome. I'M A SPIDER!"

I screamed. It ran away. I've since barricaded my bathroom door with towels so there's no way that perverted thing can creep into my bed tonight.

Spiders are disgusting little creature bug things that have way too many legs and way too many eyes and the way they move is outrageously creepy. I've had too many awful runins with spiders for my fear of them to be ever done away with.

Arachnophobic I am, arachnophobic I shall stay.

Monday, July 26, 2010

"Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces"

I made an hors d'oeuvre today. Well, in reality I mashed together two of my favorite recipes, but it worked! It worked so well that I'm going to do it again this week and take them to class and have everyone salivating at the thought of my rosemary and shallot chicken ebelskivers! And then I will win the hearts of my fellow culinary adventurers! I will be made the hors d'oeuvre QUEEN!

I feel like an evil (ebel?) genius.

Hors d'oeuvres aside, I'm hungry for babies. I got to hold the 21 day old son of my cousin Isabel. His name is Andres and I fell in love. Those tiny, dark eyes just looking up at me and his tiny, tiny nose! I can hardly stand it. I'm lucky there will be a baby in my immediate family this coming year that I'm sure will be making frequent visits to my house, otherwise I'd go crazy. I can't help but be overwhelmed by those still developing maternal feelings inside me.

I was born to be a mother. And a baker. And maybe a candlestick maker.

Friday, July 23, 2010

"Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability"

Having not spent a summer at home since I graduated from high school, I seem to have forgotten the wonderful joys of summer in California. I've gotten used to the hustle and bustle of classes in the summer, going to the freezing and disgusting Rigby lake for refreshment, and not having air conditioning (in my apartment or my car.)

Being home is so different. This week instead of stressing about finals and clean checks and moving home, I went swimming and to a BBQ with my family, and I played at the park with my niece and nephew. I made meals with tons of fresh fruits and vegetables and I stayed out late at the movies with my friends. It's a wonderful feeling. It hasn't been excruciatingly hot and the pool is always in the backyard.

I've been to the beach this summer more than I have been in the past three years. It's glorious. I love the beach. I love California. I love that I live so close to Los Angeles that I can go do fun things on the weekends just because it sounds like fun at the time. I love that there are endless amounts of Dodger games and bonfires to attend. I love that my swimming suits hardly have enough time to dry before I grab them from the edge of my shower and go out to swim again.

It feels lazy. It feels wonderful.

Summer, I missed you.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

"We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment"

I've been thinking a lot about what I want to do once I finish school in October. Do I go back to Rexburg? Do I stay at home and work and go to Moorpark? Do I move to Utah? Arizona? Chicago? Somewhere other than home? I don't know. There are so many options, I've been avoiding seriously looking into them for awhile.

Recently one possibility has stuck in my mind, though.

Europe. I want to travel Europe. I want to stuff all my travel supplies into a backpack and set off. I want to spend weeks in certain cities only to get on a train and head off to the next country. I want to stay in hostels and buy fruit from the local markets and spend hours in the museums and meet people. I want to go taste the food with these new culinary eyes of mine and bask in the wonderment of European cuisine. I want to be enriched by the history and enamored with the art work. I want to go.

Thus far I haven't anyone to go with (it's hard to find someone to go with me for three months) but I've still got my heart set on going.

Here's hoping...

Santillana Del Mar-Spain 2006

Monday, July 5, 2010


All these changes that have taken place over the past couple months have really been testing me. I've had to really man up and take action and do things that I normally wouldn't be comfortable doing.

My job at the Bread Basket is pretty demanding, especially since I open more than close and that requires me to be there at 6 in the morning. I am not a morning person in the least bit. Getting up at 5 in the morning to go to a highly stressful job where, three months in, I'm still learning how to get everything going isn't my ideal situation. I've been told I do things like a kindergartener and that my writing on the cake looks like crap. Just yesterday a woman called in and yelled at me on the phone, telling me she didn't want fondant or chocolate wrap on her daughters wedding cake, she wanted just frosting! I told her time and again that we don't do that, since it doesn't hold up for that long on display and we've only ever done chocolate wrap or fondant. It went on and on and on and she was really nasty to me. Being a girl who works at BB and simply explaining to her our policy and how we run things doesn't warrant her bad attitude. You don't want chocolate wrap or fondant on the outside? Go to a different bakery and get some nasty cake.

Last night I went out to dinner with the girls from BB for the first time. I was pretty excited because I've felt a little out of place with them. I'm finally making real friends at work and they're pretty chill. Dinner was super fun.

Culinary school is outrageous. I love it and I hate it at the same time. Having been in this program for over three months now (half way!!) I've realized how much I didn't know about cooking. I've learned so much, I don't even know where to begin. About a month ago we had an iron chef type of day where we drew proteins out of a hat and then we had two hours to cook it, add two sides, a sauce, name it, price it, and plate it for chef to taste. I was having anxiety like no other about this day. I even wanted to stay home from the whole day and give up, since it was so intimidating. I was envisioning myself getting shrimp or halibut (both things I know nothing about because I never eat them) but luck was on my side and I ended up with New York strip steak. I pulled it off fairly well, I think, with a cilantro lime rub and oven roasted vegetables.

That challenge is one example of many where this class has pushed my limits. Chef is constantly getting up in my face and making me flustered to the point where I lose my concentration and forget what I'm trying to do. I'm learning as I go and there are many people in the class who're kind of helping me along with the things I don't know about. I've gotten comfortable with not knowing and asking for help. Every time I do, I learn so much.

Whether I'm in class trying my best to follow Chef's fragmented recipes, I'm at work trying to balance ten different things that need to be done at once, or even if I'm keeping a relationship afloat with nearly 4000 miles between us, I'm being pushed. I've stepped up to my limits and shoved back. Every single thing I've learned over these few months has made me become more a woman than a girl. I'm starting to piece together my future and I'm loving every minute.

I am indeed limitless.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Live Well

This week was a hard one.

Last Saturday via facebook I received the news that I girl I know had gone missing. This girl, Kiersten, isn't anyone I know very well. We've only hung out a couple of times together in a group, but we still know who each other are. So you'd think that on Monday when her body was discovered at the bottom of a cliff it wouldn't effect me all that much, but it did. I was at the beach when I found out and suddenly I wasn't enjoying the waves crashing on the sand so much. I felt the gloominess of the grey clouds looming overhead. I was ready to leave.

On my way home I was told that one of my previous boyfriend's father had just passed away from an unexpected heart attack. When I got home, I went into my mother's room and just cried.

As a consequence of these two events, I've found myself thinking a lot about the fragility of life. I've found myself having little bursts of tears at the most random of times. The time we have here is so limited and precious. I have a renewed vigor for life and all the things in it. I've taken the time to appreciate my job and school a little more. I've tried (somewhat unsuccessfully) to be more patient with my brothers. I want to take advantage and do all those things I've dreamed about.

I'm taking the time to live well and enjoy it. You should, too.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


So I've had this big huge week full of class and the new job, but I've neglected blogging. In short, I'm exhausted. I go home and crash every night. Like, I've been going to bed before 2AM. And not just before 2AM, but usually before midnight. WHOA! I know, right? Craziness. I'm a night owl. This whole new food life is changing everything!

It's all good. I love it.
I'll write soon about my week of adventure and all things delicious.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A big sigh of relief

You know, for a while there I wasn't sure what I was doing with my life. Yeah, I was going to school at BYU-Idaho and loving it, but I was majoring in University Studies which really didn't set me up for any career. People would ask me, "What are you going to do with that?" Honestly, I had no idea. I still have no idea. It was just something where I could mix and match and study the things that interest me (spanish, english, and dance.) It was exciting, because I loved it, but the future was this big, looming thing quickly approaching that required so much more than I was preparing. I knew something different needed to happen.

With the emptiness of my bank account last Fall, things changed. I went through the whole stay home and work until summer, Oxnard college, and then Westlake Culinary. And now I've got this job at The Bread Basket. I don't know how it all happened, but somehow all the pieces have fallen into place quite nicely. Better than I had ever dreamed, actually. I've found my niche in baking (or cooking as a whole) and now everything is working out. It's relieving, to say the least. I have money in the bank, two jobs, one soon to be replaced with a job I only ever dreamed of having (serious, I dreamed way back that I had a job at this bakery and I woke up thinking I've never ever ever get it), and I'm able to be home with my family, providing the help that they need.

I'm just so...content. And happy. And giddy.
I can't wait to see what life has to offer. Whatever it is, I'm sure there'll be cake...

Saturday, March 20, 2010


I got the job.
I can't believe it.
I start on the 6th.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Today is the day I'm going to receive a phone call telling me whether I got the job at The Bread Basket or not. The interview went really well, I'm feeling confident. But with every passing minute without the phone ringing, I can feel my confidence slipping. What if they're still debating? What if I have terrible availability? What if I rubbed Linda the wrong way? What if someone else had a more stellar interview than I did?

I can't take it. I baked lemon cupcakes and watched an entire episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to pass the time. While the cupcakes turned out delicious (and I'm very pleased with my decision to make mini ones) and I nearly cried when the Ty told the Stagg family that CVS was paying off their medical bills, I'm still a bundle of nerves.

Please, Bread Basket, call me soon. Hire me. Teach me. Accept me. Love me.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bread Basket

When I first decided to so towards baking, my mother told me I should get a job at this one particular bakery that makes cake to die for. It's a little place called The Bread Basket and it's not too far from my home, though it is a bit of a drive.

A couple weeks ago I was going around to bakeries seeing if they needed help, and The Bread Basket was pretty much the only place to accept my resume and ask me to fill out an application (despite not hiring at that moment.) Last weekend I got a call. They would like to interview me. It's just a job working at the counter, but it's still a job in an awesome bakery.

My interview is bright and early tomorrow morning and I can't wait. Wish me some St. Patrick's Day luck!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

21 days

I've got a countdown on my desktop to when I start Culinary School. I'm kind of excited about this. 21 days! And following day (22 days), I head out to Virginia for Kiersten's wedding. Not only do I get to partake in this wonderful, exciting day with her, but I get to visit both Madison and Randi. I cannot be more stoked for this trip.

In other news, I have been rocking Brookstone lately. Our demos are pillows, right? Yeah, I sold eight (yeah, eight) on Saturday followed by another three today. Both of my managers are impressed. Heck, I'm even impressed with myself! But seriously, these pillows rock. I want one.

I also want a kitten. But that's not news.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Just so we're clear about things, I'm taking a break from BYU-Idaho in order to pursue my love of cooking and baking. I've have several different plans as far as culinary school goes, starting with he desire to attend Le Cordon Blue in Pasadena. Unfortunately, I don't have $50,000 nor do I want to go into debt, so that is absolutely out of the question. Last winter I was told about a program in Scotland at the Edinburgh School of Food and Wine. I looked into it and it was a bit more affordable running around $15,000 including housing (however, that doesn't include any travel costs.) But still, I don't have that kind of money and working two jobs wasn't going to get me that kind of money any time soon. So I settled on going to Oxnard College and doing their two year culinary program. Oxnard is close, I could live at home and still keep my jobs. But first I had to get into the program...and transfer my credits from BYUI (which wouldn't all transfer)...and then I had to pay just about $1000 tuition for one semester because technically I'm not a California resident because I've lived in Idaho for three months out of the past year (who cares is my permanent residence is in CA and that I'm registered to vote in CA and that I was only in Idaho as a temporary resident for fourteen weeks.) All in all, I'd be spending over two years at Oxnard college trying to complete the culinary program as well as my associates degree (which I am just a few credits short of at BYUI) while not getting into the culinary class needed to continue on to any other classes my first semester.

That's when I found Let's Get Cookin': The Westlake Culinary Institute. I'd heard of it before, my mom has thought about taking a couple classes there. I met a guy at the mall who went there and now works at a cafe in the new Nordstrom. So I knew it was there and I knew the price was somewhere around $5000. I researched it and found that it's a six month program that's about $4,500 and, if you pay the deposit, you're guaranteed a spot. I thought about it. I prayed about it. I went to the school and made my deposit. This is the place for me.

Last night I finally got to do something more than sit around in anticipation for school to start. I had orientation at the school and I got to learn a little bit more about how they got started, who is going to be teaching me, and some interesting details about the hospitality business.

Let's Get Cookin' started in 1978 but was bought by it's present owner, Phyllis Vaccarelli, in 1984. Originally Phyllis started only teaching classes for home cooks, just to give them more information about how to work in the kitchen, but in 1988 a professional course was introduced because many students had expressed interest in learning more. Now it's a full six month professional course that gets you certified to work in the hospitality business. The school has been recognized as one of the best part time culinary institutions in this area.

Tim McGrath is the chef who teaches the professional course and I really can't wait to see what he has to offer. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and has since then worked as a chef in France, New York, San Francisco, opened a restaurant in Long Beach, and now he currently runs and owns a catering company he started called Cooks Gathering. He's been featured on a couple television shows and he's been the personal chef of Julie Andrews. Seriously now, I can't waaaait.

But wait I must, because class has been pushed back two weeks and now we don't start until April 7th. However, on March 31st I get to go to the knife skills class required for all the students who take the professional course. At the knife class we will also be fitted for our chef's uniform. So stoked. So stoked.

So that's it in a nutshell. I have about a month until I actually start attending classes and then class will continue all the way until late September. I'm so excited. I found what I want to do, I've looked at different programs and schools. I've decided on one and worked hard to save up the money necessary to pay my own way without relying on my parents. I'm essentially living my dream.

I think this is what carpe diem means.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A tale of iPhones and murder

I bought a new phone last September and I was soooo excited because it was a sweet sliding texting phone. And it was green. Uber cute.

I loved it. Until it started being the worst. phone. ever. But I dealt with it for a looong time because I didn't have enough money for a new phone, even though an iPhone was soooo tempting and I wanted one soooo badly! I got the lame phone replaced THREE TIMES in a week period or so. Still the same problems. It froze all the time when opening and closing, it connected the audio on phone calls maybe 35% of the time, the rest of the time I had to just wait about 15 seconds before I could hear anything. I hated that phone.

So, with the help of my brother's upgrade and a refurbished phone, I bought a 16GB 3G iPhone for $100. Yeah. Amazing. I love it. It's my best friend (sorry girls.)

So last night I went to an institute party (twisted taco night) and we played twister and pool and ping pong and it was all around a blast. Eventually we started playing Werewolf, which is like mafia, and this kid Eric and I totally dominated.
That game lead to about 3+ hours of playing murderer in the dark. If you've never played that game, just know it's played it a completely dark area and you walk around and "kill" people by tapping them on the shoulder and then people find "dead" bodies and the lights come on and you accuse people. It's fantastic. We've broken a lamp at my house playing it before.

WE played until about 2:15 AM. It was epic.

Friday, February 5, 2010


80's Prom Party tonight. It's going to be rad. Stay tuned for more photos

Sunday, January 31, 2010


So I went on a date yesterday with a guy from my ward who recently returned from his mission in Argentina. His family moved into the Newbury Park stake a couple months before he got home, so he didn't know anyone. We met on Monday and went out on Saturday. In short, he's a really fun guy and it was a really fun date. I don't think I'd mind going on another.

Totally unrelated, I'm planning an 80's Prom themed party on Friday and I'm stoked. I don't think there are words for how excited I am. There most definitely will be a post about it!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A few things

It's sunny again in Southern California and things are looking up. So up, in fact, that I have no qualms about my current course of action (not including the state of my bedroom, which I definitely intend to fix very soon.) Anyway, here are a few things I've been thinking about lately...

1. In a group of friends made up of three or more people, there's bound to be drama going on all the time. I've got that awesome group of friends from the singles ward, right? Well, as of late, I don't quite know who's still friends with who, who we shouldn't be inviting to movie nights, and (sad to say) who still considers me part of the group. I've come to a point where I don't quite care where I stand with the group, if they want to invite me places/tell me things/keep me in the loop, great! If not, their loss. When we do hang out, it's fun. When we don't, I find other things to keep me amused. I'm content.

2. Texting is a major social handicap. It's this way of communicating that makes it so we're supposed to be able to reach another person at any time, from anywhere, no matter where they are. No one is unreachable. No one has to actually pick up the phone and actually call someone because texting is so quick and convenient! That, in combination with communication via internet, has caused our ability to interact on a more personal level (face to face, on the phone...) suffer. Getting to know a person doesn't take as much effort. I feel like I should quit texting or something because I know that I'm the kind of person where if you don't text back within five minutes, I start to wonder if you're mad at me, if I did something wrong...it's ridiculous! But really, I'm way too addicted to texting to stop. Sad, but true.

3. Being myself is perfect. I have a date on Saturday. I'm excited.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Raining, it's pouring

I feel like I ought to be better this year about blogging regularly. I often find myself with free time and yet I do nothing interesting with it, so hopefully I use more of that time for blogging. That way you will have something to read.

This week has brought torrential downpours to this area of California. Yesterday I drove to the store, sprinted in and bought what I needed, then sprinted back. I was soaked through my sweatshirt. I was impressed, this rain is awesome. It even flooded an entire road in my neighborhood. It was like driving through a river. When I got home, I made Aaron get in the car with me so we could drive the river street again.

California, I know you need the rain, but please don't get washed away.

Another downpour has been me. I think I've cried every day this week. True, it's mostly because I'm a girl and that's what happens when girls have PMS, but I also attribute it to a dissatisfaction with life. I've got a lot of things going for me right now, like culinary school in march and two steady jobs, but I'm struggling with my friends. They're great, we have a lot of good times together, but everything seems so surface level. I'm a relatively needy person in the sense that I need to have someone I can cling to, someone I can open up to or run to when I'm in tears. I'm not sure who that is right now. I'm very lucky I have my mom and my sister to talk to whenever friends fail to be there. They've been the best.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Ring in the New Year

I've become a pitiful blogger.

However, I did have a momentous week last week as far as culinary school/baking goes. On Tuesday I not only bought knives (!!!!) but I also made my first (fake) fondant cake! I decided to make a fake cake for a couple reasons. 1. I've never worked with fondant before, so I figured it'd be easier to ruin a cake rather than styrofoam on my first try. 2. Fondant is gross. 3. I've been toying with the idea of starting a cake business (in the future) but instead of making complete wedding cakes, making a couple fake tiers with a real one on top. Something like that. So yeah, this was good practice.

It took forever and a day to roll the fondant out the right size, since it kept tearing when I tried covering the bigger block, but I got it right (after I hacked 3 inches of styrofoam off the block...) and I managed to cover it alright. I have some work to do as far as covering a cake and making the sides look smooth without excess fondant, but for a first try, I'm content. I even got some fake flowers to put on the cake! Ribbon, too.

Not bad, eh?

As far as life goes, it's fantastic. I spent New Year's in Las Vegas with twelve awesome friends (in one hotel room) and it was way more fun than I anticipated. For New Year's Eve I spent most of my time with Allen, wandering the strip and soaking in the sights. We even got awesome masks. It was awesome.

My knives.