Saturday, July 31, 2010

Weekend Ways

We have had such a relaxing weekend but I just keep thinking about how I only have a week and a half left of summer vacation. I am determined to make the best of it. I have been busy these past few weeks with lots of fun project but I left my camera at work and so those posts will have to wait till next week.
As for this weekend.
Coby got a copy of Kitchen Confidential from a friend that we have been watching.

It was a series that ran in 2005 and was based on the novel Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain. The cover describes it as the Sex and the City of the restaurant kitchen. In this household that is the best of both worlds. It only ran for one season but has been pretty good so far. Wikipedia says you can get it on Hulu. Bonus: it stars Bradley Cooper.
This morning we got up and went to the farmers market then ran some errands and got my dad a present for his birthday on the 2nd. We are going to lunch with them tomorrow after church. Then we came home, may have taken a little nap, and made homemade pizza for dinner. Down to the crust. Mozzarella, prosciutto, and arugula. Yum.

After dinner we went to Orange Leaf yogurt. It's one of those places where you choose from lots of flavors and topping and pay by the ounce. I got a mix of coffee and coconut. The place was super busy but very good.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Here's what I've been doing...

I've made some ciabatta bread. It's pretty good. Not quite as airy as it was supposed to be. Not sure way but I'm learning that this bread making thing is a lot of trial and error.

I made this yummy vegetable polenta bake and chocolate chip peanut butter bars courtesy of the Pioneer Woman. Both were super yummy.

I also made this shadow box for Coby's office. I used the menu and other things we got a The French Laundry.

I did a deep clean on the house yesterday and we're planning on going to the lake tonight. Hopefully we will have a nice relaxing weekend.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Here she is!

So my package from Compassion came in the mail today! I'm not so sure that it's the best idea to post her picture but I assure you she is the cutest little girl. She is 8 years old and her name is Rani. She lives in Bangladesh with her mother, father, and 6 siblings. Her father is sometimes employed as a seller in the market and her mother maintains the home. Rani likes playing with dolls.
Rani lives on the plains of Boalmara where typical houses are constructed of dirt floors, bamboo walls, and tin roofs. Common health problems of the area include malnutrition, skin diseases, and asthma. Average monthly income for a family is equivalent to $29 per month.
This is where she and her family live.

I found the great website on Bangladesh if you would like more information. Remember, Compassion has sponsorships available in 25 different countries.
Compassion lets you send letters as well as pages of a book to your child. Tomorrow I plan on writing a letter to Rani and sending her a few pages of a children's bible, a few coloring sheets, and a bookmark. The plan is to send her the whole children's bible a few pages at a time. I might also see if I can find her some paper dolls.
They sent me an informational DVD. If you are interested let me know and I will mail it to you.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I say Sherbert you say Sorbet

Actually they are two different things. After juicing the watermelon yesterday I put it in the fridge to cool. Hindsight twenty-twenty. I should have added the sugar yesterday then put it in the fridge so it would dissolve better. I could have used powdered sugar but didn't have any so I put the sugar in the microwave with a little water to dissolve it then added it to the cold watermelon juice. You want the juice going into the ice cream maker to be cold so it freezes faster. So for the sorbet you combine ~1 cup of sugar, and 4 cups of watermelon juice. You can also add a teaspoon or two of lemon juice for good measure.

Put all this in the ice cream maker, mix for about 30 minutes then put in the freezer to continue setting up. It's a little sweet. Maybe because the watermelon was so sweet. But other than that I it really good.

For the sherbert I used 4 cups of watermelon and disolved 1/3 cup of sugar in it. Added 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk, 2 cups of skim milk, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla. Put it all in the mixer for ~30 min then to the freezer. It hasn't quite set up and the mixture has funny taste to it. I can't put my finger on it and I am hoping it's because it's not cold enough yet.

This afternoon after church and sorbet making I started sewing. I started this project a few weeks ago and got really frustrated in the middle of it. The project is for a girl I work with. She is having her 3rd boy. She had said she wanted matching big bro/lil bro shirts for them. I offered to do it for her. I had finished all the front of the shirts and decided it would be a good idea to embroider their names on the back. Half way through the last shirt I realized I was embroidering through the back and front of the shirt and it ripped a hole in it when I tried to undo it!!! I was so mad! I stooped working on it until this afternoon. Looking at the work that been done I decided I didn't like the backs and redid it all. I had to take the embroidery out of the back. (I didn't want to start a whole new shirt because I had already finished the front.)

Then I had the imprints of the stitching on the back so I had to get creative.

This is what I can out with.

I have learned that my machine embroiders much better on cotton knit rather that on the t-shirts. The t-shirted aren't woven as tight and tend to pull and get holes easier.
Here is the final project.

Sewing is definitely one of those activities in which you learn something new every time you do it.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Much to do about nothing.

I guess all that organizing did me in because today has been a big day of nuthin'! Coby seems to have injured his back and really hasn't felt like doing to much. The fact that I have had macaroni and cheese for lunch and dinner today, and that I spent the entire day in this, shows that I obviously had no objection.

It's a maxi night gown. Or like I like to call it, a modern day moo-moo. Check out Urban Dictionary's definition.
(Audrey, these are synonymous with Aunt Shir in my mind;)

Anyway. I love my modern day moo-moo. So comfortable and cool for the summer time.
Back to my day. We lazed about. Watched John Cusack's movie 2012. Horrible. I would have been really mad if I would have had something better to be doing. I read a few chapter of The Horse Boy. It's really good and an easy read. They are in the works to make it a movie too.

I made bread yesterday and it turned out really well. Will definitely be doing this more often. It is SO much better than store bought. I even read some of the book Bread Maker's Apprentice today and am excited about trying out a few other types of bread.

I also cut up a huge watermelon and juiced it in our Jack Lalanne juicer. It made the HUGEST mess. I think because the watermelon is mostly liquid. Other fruits and vegetables have more pulp so the juice doesn't come out so quick. At any rate it should make some good sorbet. I'll let you know how it turns out.

We have also been watching Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factor. Totally not a show I would have ever thought about watching but Coby convinced me one night and I watched begrudgingly. It is HILARIOUS! You much watch to believe.

Gosh, that was a lot to say about nothing! I have to work the little kids Sunday School tomorrow morning and this post is about the most energy I have exerted today. I guess I'll lay on the couch then head to bed.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Spring Cleaning (a season to late)

Coby came home the other day to find me in the mood. The mood to clean, and purge, and organize;) It's been on my to-do list since school got out but I just hadn't been motivated. I am definitely one of those people who has to be in the mind set to organize and purge things. And once I am it all has to be done right then. If I put it aside it might take me another month or so before the mood strikes me again. I have never really been one to hang on to a lot of stuff or one for disorganization, but it had recently gotten to that point. You know the point where every time you open a closet or drawer you think "I have GOT to clean this stuff out". And it's just that, stuff. Stuff that is trash, stuff that we don't use, stuff that is in the wrong place.
So, Wednesday I started with one drawer and it snowballed into a 10 hour project spread over 3 days. Of course I couldn't pause to take any before and after pictures, but I did throw out about 5 bags of trash and I am having The Arc come pick up the rest of this stuff!

I feel like a weight has been lifted. And come Wednesday when all this gets picked up I might have to stake the house to keep it from floating off!

Monday, July 12, 2010


When we were in San Francisco we were stopped in the street by a young guy who was working with Children International. He talked to us about sponsoring a child. Something I had always thought about doing but had never followed through with. The catch was that we had to decide right then, on the street, in the middle of our vacation. I have never been a spur of the moment person, especially with something like this. I promised the guy that when I got home I would do some research, but I just didn't feel right about signing the papers right then on a street corner. When we got home I had a tugging at my heart to follow through with my promise. I looked up Children International and found out that they have programs all over the world and have their only US program right here in LR. I keep reading but something just wasn't sitting right with me. Then I remembered Compassion. I had heard of Compassion from Kelly at Kelly's Korner. I went to their site and did a little more reading. Something that stood out to me about Compassion was reading this...
Why does it cost more to sponsor a child through Compassion than similar child sponsorship organizations?
Compassion is a holistic child development ministry that focuses on the full development of the child. Because of that, we release children from poverty, not merely sustain them through it. Many organizations focus on only one aspect of poverty

Releasing children from poverty, not merely sustain them through it! This was it. I signed up.

There are TONS of kids needing sponsorship and you can browse and search for certain criteria. I, of course, couldn't make a decision so I'm letting Compassion choose for me and send one the the kids most in need. I got an e-mail right after signing up. I will be receiving the sponsorship packet in the mail within the next 15 days! I am so excited to see who, boy/girl/age/country, I will be paired with. I'll keep you posted.

After reading nearly all of Compassion website I can truly say that I am proud to be one of their sponsors. They are very creditable and child/Christ oriented. I encourage you to at least go take a look. There many ways to give. Even if it is a one time gift or your prayers.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

San Francisco Day #5

Wednesday was our last day in San Francisco. During the morning we walked around Union Square. Went into a few shops and stores. We found a great little sushi place for lunch. Then we hopped on the bus and headed to Haight & Ashbury.

Lots of hippies, vintage shops, and restaurants.

We went the The Greatful Dead's house where they lived in the late 60's.

Here is Jerry Garcia spray painted on the side walk in front of the house.

There was also TONS of colorful graffiti. I loved it!

The park had some beautiful trees.

We rode the bus back to the hotel and got ready for dinner. We ate our last meal in San Francisco as Fleur de Lys. Hubert Keller is the chef and also owns The Burger Bar.

The manager who was also the sommelier noticed our accent and ask where we were from. Turns out his father lives in Russelville! Small world. We talked a little and he ended up giving us some wine pairings for our first course. For dinner I had Dungeness crab, coffee rubbed buffalo, and a chocolate souffle. The souffle was not my favorite. Coby loved it but I didn't realize it would be so eggy. Coby had foie gras, sunflower seeded seabass, veal, and a twist on hamburger and banana milkshake for dessert. The hamburger was chocolate ganache in between beignets. YUM!
Well, that's it. We had such a great time and made lots of memories. Can't wait to see where we will go next!

San Francisco Day #4

Tuesday we woke up to this outside our window. Big city livin'

Once we got up and got going we found the bus to take us down to the Ferry Building. It is one of SF outdoors farmers' markets as well as an indoor shopping area full of foodie type things. Shops with olive oils, meats, mushrooms,pastas, salts, and kitchen gear. Not suprisingly we spent most of the morning here.

Aren't these beautiful? I promise I did not photoshop the color!

Here are some pictures of the buildings, bridges, and sights of this area.

These guys were doing all sorts of tricks on their bikes in front of the bus stop.

After spending the morning around the Ferry Building we headed back to Union Square and ate a The Burger Bar. They seated us by the window about 9 stories up in the Macy's building. It was little too much for my fear of heights. We ended up moving a table over to enjoy our burgers. I would have taken a picture but again, a little high up.
After a late lunch we went back to the hotel and decided to go an Oakland A's game. They were playing the Yankees. I love baseball and had only been to one professional game many years ago. We got the tickets and then headed down to the stadium on the BART, Bay Area Rapid Transit, their subway. This was the first time for us to ever be on a subway. It was a fun experience. The A's lost but A. Rod hit a grand slam and a home run which made for an exciting game.

Santa was even there! Can you spot him?

Final day in San Fran coming up.