Friday, December 31, 2010
Thursday, December 30, 2010
- Eggnog lattes!
- 2,300 lights! That is how many were on the tree this year and it was glorious!
- Lots of time in the kitchen to create fabulous holiday meals and treats.
- Celebrating with friends!
- Eggnog Pie!
- Being spoiled with gifts of things that I'd never buy for myself but absolutely adore including one of a kind handmade jewelry, a cashmere sweater and a Pashmina.
- Waving, yelling "Hi John!" and making faces at my nephew and sister-in-law every time they spun around the carousel at Westlake Center.
- Being able to give my Mom a relaxing holiday where she didn't have to cook, clean or be the hostess.
- Teaching my nephew to say, "I am not your father" with his new Darth Vader helmet on and then encouraging him to repeat it to everyone in the room. He is like a human puppet, it is awesome!
- Laughing to the point of tears with my Mom (thanks to the "human puppet" antics of my nephew) and then being told by my nephew, "You girls need to stop it NOW!" which just caused an eruption of more laugher and tears.
- The look on Don's face when he opened his gift.
- Discovering a bunch of new Christmas music which I adore.
- The best turkey we have ever made.
- Christmas shopping at 6:00 a.m. on Christmas Eve and have the parking lots, stores and roads all to myself.
Hope you had a merry and memorable one! Happy New Year!
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Sunday, December 05, 2010
It has been another amazing year filled with lots of laughter and fun and you still remind me to act like a child and be silly from time to time.
Thank you for all you bring into my life. On your birthday I wish you love, laughter, happiness and cheer not only for today but throughout the coming year.
Thursday, December 02, 2010
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
You Are Hanging Christmas Lights
You are a hardworking and happy person during the holidays.
It's important to you to make Christmas as big and bold as possible for your family.
The holidays may not seem like much of a vacation for you, but that's totally fine.
As long as you can bring some cheer to those around you, all the work is worth it.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Sometimes people don't appreciate you as much as they should. You are really quite special.
You are deep, thoughtful, and get better with time. You are subtle but powerful.
You are very traditional, and that's a good thing. You remind people of simpler and happier times.
Take the quiz: Are you Cake or Pie?
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
| You Should Be Elected Mayor|
You're the type of person who will never forget where you came from. Roots are important to you.
When it comes to what's important, friends and family always come first. You believe charity starts at home.
You tend to know what's going on with everyone in your neighborhood. You aren't a gossip, but you are involved.
You are proud of where you come from, and you're dedicated to making your hometown a better place.
Monday, November 01, 2010
My favorite thing about voting at the polls was proudly wearing my "I Voted" sticker for the remainder of election day. Since King County votes entirely by mail now, there are no more visits to the polls and no more stickers. :-(
Imagine my delight when I discovered that the fun folks down at King County elections created a virtual sticker so I can still declare that I've voted! :-) Yay!
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
|You Are Orange|
You are quirky, hyper, and very enthusiastic. You are a total optimist, and you're always finding something new to be happy about.
You love to be around other people. You're a very social person, and more than anything else, you are a truly playful creature.
You're always off to another adventure, and you love it when others join you in your fun. The more the merrier!
You're too busy following your dreams to let yourself get down. There's so much to celebrate in life. You like to focus on what makes you happy.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
No matter what side you choose, you are always adventurous and dramatic. You take life by the horns. You are up for fun of all kinds, and it's hard for you to say no. You tend to go until you drop.
Take the quiz: What Flavor Pudding Are You?
Thursday, October 07, 2010
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
It's likely that you're going through some sort of "midlife crisis" right now where you're examining your life carefully. If you are able to figure out what you want from your life, the years to come will be much more enjoyable.
Take the quiz: What Stage of Development Are You In?
Saturday, October 02, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
This is it! I'm finally caught up with my BBA posts. I know that Jimmy and Neil will be pleased because they have both been tortured by these posts this week.
I have made the french bread recipe in the Kitchen Aid cookbook that came with my mixer several times and although it is good, this bread was AMAZING. It had that true "french bread" taste and the texture was perfect.
The technique was easy, the biggest challenge for me was shaping the loaves and preserving the air trapped inside. As I mentioned in my previous post I am getting better and handling the dough which is evidenced here with the lovely texture. Yum!
Reinhart states in the introduction to this recipe that he is surprised that Focaccia is as popular in the U.S. as it is because most of it is horrible. I didn't know what he meant until I finished this bread and tasted it. Wow!
Putting it together was actually quite easy and I'm please to say that I'm getting better and better at handling dough to ensure that the right texture is achieved in the end.
The end result was beautiful, the texture was perfect and the flavor was amazing (likely thanks to the absurd about of herb infused olive oil that I coated on top). I can't wait to make this one again! I think it will be perfect with a bowl of homemade minestrone this winter.
I'm all caught up with the backlog of posts from bread baked months ago and now am ready to talk about my projects from last weekend. There were 3 in all, which many find a bit crazy but when I jump back in I jump in with both feet.
I felt a bit about English Muffins as I did about bagels, is that really something that should be made at home? The process was pretty straight forward but the cooking process was a bit intimidating as you cook them in a skillet prior to putting them in the oven. Reinhart is very cautious about not not flipping them too soon so mine were a bit darker than I planned. I stood over the pan and watched them the whole time but how exactly can you tell how dark they are until you flip them over or lift them up and take a peek?
The flavor and texture were perfect and I was very please with the end result.
And because it is a sin to have homemade English Muffins in the house and not make Eggs Benedict that is exactly what I did!
You may not feel like you could write a book, but you actually have a lot to say. Just let it flow!
You already live in your own little world. You may as well introduce everyone else to it.
It's likely that you feel like you have a lot of baggage you'd like to unload, and writing can be cathartic.
By writing a book, you would feel a huge sense of accomplishment. And you'd have a legacy to leave behind.
Take the quiz: What Should Be On Your Bucket List?
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Cranberry-Walnut Celebration Bread: BBA Challenge #11, originally uploaded by JewellsinSEA.
It tasted amazing and one of my colleagues proclaimed that it was his favorite by far. This is one that I could see myself making during the holidays or giving as gifts at Christmastime. It is so festive and the final product is really beautiful.
Cranberry-Walnut Celebration Bread: BBA Challenge #11, originally uploaded by JewellsinSEA.
Still catching up on posts for bread that I baked months and months ago.
I had never made corn bread and was excited to try this. When I read the recipe and realized that it was corn bread topped with bacon I was hooked, after all everything is better with bacon.
It took a bit longer to cook than predicted which I think was a result of the corn kernels being cold. Next time I will warm them before adding them.
I can't wait to make this again on a cold and rainy winter weekend.
Monday, September 27, 2010
This was a fun bread to make and the results were a big hit at the office. It is much denser than the raisin bread of my youth but had more flavor. This was a huge hit at the office back in January and only lasted a few hours.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
This recipe is sure to become a tradition for years to come!
I got really busy with the BBA Challenge again this weekend, but as I went to post the latest breads, I realized that I am several posts behind for breads that I've already baked. I'll be catching those up over the next few days and will also create posts for the breads I made over the weekend..
I mad the Poolish version of Ciabatta and enjoyed making it. When I sliced into the loaves I was disappointed that I didn't have the large holes and texture that is so classic of good Ciabatta. The crust was nice and crispy and prepping the oven for heart baking was fun. I enjoyed the taste and want to make the Wild Mushroom version of the recipe sometime soon.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
|You Are Pomegranates|
You are exotic, well traveled, and well learned. You are also something of a foodie.
You know how to whip up an amazing meal, and you never shy away from incorporating some seasonal ingredients.
You believe in eating healthy foods, but you don't go too overboard with it. You know that you have a leg up by doing a lot of your own cooking.
So there is room in your diet for plenty of fall indulgences... you just balance them out with fresh fruits and vegetables.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
|You Are Assertive and Adventurous|
You approach life boldly. You believe the world is your oyster, and you're very self-assured.
You are apt to take risks, but you don't see them as risks... because they usually pay off.
You are a helpful and heroic person. You like to take charge of situations and make them better.
People should avoid getting in a contest of wills with you. You'll always win - and it's not pretty.
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
You love spending time outside, and it's likely you've crafted your lifestyle to maximum outdoor activities.
You probably live in an excellent climate (or intend to). And you are also probably physically fit.
Of all the types, you are the most likely to be the happiest. Being outdoors really raises people's spirits.
So go ahead and spend as much time outside as you'd like. Just remember to protect yourself from the sun!
Take the quiz: Are you an Indoor or Outdoor Person?
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
With that being said you have to know that the following is really special if I'm sharing it on my blog. I loved the story below. It was sweet and I loved the sentiment, but I really loved the rule about "no left turns" as that has been one of my Mother's rules for over 20 years.
In 1988 or 1989, neither of us can remember exactly, Mom was on her way home from work in downtown Salt Lake City to our home in Holladay. She took the same route that she had taken for years but unbeknowns to her a change had been made to the timing of one of the stoplights on her way. She made her left turn at the time when she thought the light had changed and was hit by oncoming traffic. Thankfully the only things injured were her pride and the car.
A few months I was in the passengers seat of her car while running errands and she made a right turn from a business that we visited frequently. She had always turned left when leaving before, our home was left, I was confused so I asked her what she was doing. She calmly declared that she had given up left turns. To this day she will play her errands so that she can avoid making left turns and not end up too far out the way.
Now onto the story....
This is a wonderful piece by Michael Gartner, editor of newspapers large and small and former president of NBC News. In 1997, he won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. It is well worth reading, and a few good chuckles are guaranteed.
My father never drove a car. Well, that's not quite right. I should say I never saw him drive a car.
He quit driving in 1927, when he was 25 years old, and the last car he drove was a 1926 Whippet.
"In those days," he told me when he was in his 90s, "to drive a car you had to do things with your hands, and do things with your feet, and look every which way, and I decided you could walk through life and enjoy it or drive through life and miss it."
At which point my mother, a sometimes salty Irishwoman, chimed in: "Oh, bull----! she said. "He hit a horse."
"Well," my father said, "there was that, too."
So my brother and I grew up in a household without a car. The neighbors all had cars -- the Kollingses next door had a green 1941Dodge, the VanLaninghams across the street a gray 1936 Plymouth, the Hopsons two doors down a black 1941 Ford -- but we had none.
My father, a newspaperman in Des Moines, would take the streetcar to work and, often as not, walk the 3 miles home. If he took the streetcar home, my mother and brother and I would walk the three blocks to the streetcar stop, meet him and walk home together.
My brother, David, was born in 1935, and I was born in 1938, and sometimes, at dinner, we'd ask how come all the neighbors had cars but we had none. "No one in the family drives," my mother would explain, and that was that.
But, sometimes, my father would say, "But as soon as one of you boys turns 16, we'll get one." It was as if he wasn't sure which one of us would turn 16 first.
But, sure enough, my brother turned 16 before I did, so in 1951 my parents bought a used 1950 Chevrolet from a friend who ran the parts department at a Chevy dealership downtown.
It was a four-door, white model, stick shift, fender skirts, loaded with everything, and, since my parents didn't drive, it more or less became my brother's car. Having a car but not being able to drive didn't bother my father, but it didn't make sense to my mother.
So in 1952, when she was 43 years old, she asked a friend to teach her to drive. She learned in a nearby cemetery, the place where I learned to drive the following year and where, a generation later, I took my two sons to practice driving. The cemetery probably was my father's idea. "Who can your mother hurt in the cemetery?" I remember him saying more than once.
For the next 45 years or so, until she was 90, my mother was the driver in the family. Neither she nor my father had any sense of direction, but he loaded up on maps -- though they seldom left the city limits -- and appointed himself navigator. It seemed to work.
Still, they both continued to walk a lot. My mother was a devout Catholic, and my father an equally devout agnostic, an arrangement that didn't seem to bother either of them through their 75 years of marriage.
(Yes, 75 years, and they were deeply in love the entire time.)
He retired when he was 70, and nearly every morning for the next 20 years or so, he would walk with her the mile to St. Augustin's Church. She would walk down and sit in the front pew, and he would wait in the back until he saw which of the parish's two priests was on duty that morning. If it was the pastor, my father then would go out and take a 2-mile walk, meeting my mother at the end of the service and walking her home.
If it was the assistant pastor, he'd take just a 1-mile walk and then head back to the church. He called the priests "Father Fast" and "Father Slow."
After he retired, my father almost always accompanied my mother whenever she drove anywhere, even if he had no reason to go along. If she were going to the beauty parlor, he'd sit in the car and read, or go take a stroll or, if it was summer, have her keep the engine running so he could listen to the Cubs game on the radio. In the evening, then, when I'd stop by, he'd explain: "The Cubs lost again. The millionaire on second base made a bad throw to the millionaire on first base, so the multimillionaire on third base scored."
If she were going to the grocery store, he would go along to carry the bags out -- and to make sure she loaded up on ice cream. As I said, he was always the navigator, and once, when he was 95 and she was 88 and still driving, he said to me, "Do you want to know the secret of a long life?"
"I guess so," I said, knowing it probably would be something bizarre.
"No left turns," he said.
"What?" I asked.
"No left turns," he repeated. "Several years ago, your mother and I read an article that said most accidents that old people are in happen when they turn left in front of oncoming traffic.
As you get older, your eyesight worsens, and you can lose your depth perception, it said. So your mother and I decided never again to make a left turn."
"What?" I said again.
"No left turns," he said. "Think about it. Three rights are the same as a left, and that's a lot safer. So we always make three rights."
"You're kidding!" I said, and I turned to my mother for support. "No," she said, "your father is right. We make three rights. It works." But then she added: "Except when your father loses count."
I was driving at the time, and I almost drove off the road as I started laughing.
"Loses count?" I asked.
"Yes," my father admitted, "that sometimes happens. But it's not a problem. You just make seven rights, and you're okay again."
I couldn't resist. "Do you ever go for 11?" I asked.
"No," he said " If we miss it at seven, we just come home and call it a bad day. Besides, nothing in life is so important it can't be put off another day or another week." My mother was never in an accident, but one evening she handed me her car keys and said she had decided to quit driving. That was in 1999, when she was 90.
She lived four more years, until 2003. My father died the next year, at 102.
They both died in the bungalow they had moved into in 1937 and bought a few years later for $3,000. (Sixty years later, my brother and I paid $8,000 to have a shower put in the tiny bathroom -- the house had never had one. My father would have died then and there if he knew the shower cost nearly three times what he paid for the house.)
He continued to walk daily -- he had me get him a treadmill when he was 101 because he was afraid he'd fall on the icy sidewalks but wanted to keep exercising -- and he was of sound mind and sound body until the moment he died.
One September afternoon in 2004, he and my son went with me when I had to give a talk in a neighboring town, and it was clear to all three of us that he was wearing out, though we had the usual wide-ranging conversation about politics and newspapers and things in the news.
A few weeks earlier, he had told my son, "You know, Mike, the first hundred years are a lot easier than the second hundred." At one point in our drive that Saturday, he said, "You know, I'm probably not going to live much longer."
"You're probably right," I said.
"Why would you say that?" He countered, somewhat irritated.
"Because you're 102 years old," I said..
"Yes," he said, "you're right." He stayed in bed all the next day.
That night, I suggested to my son and daughter that we sit up with him through the night.
He appreciated it, he said, though at one point, apparently seeing us look gloomy, he said: "I would like to make an announcement. No one in this room is dead yet"
An hour or so later, he spoke his last words: "I want you to know," he said, clearly and lucidly, "that I am in no pain. I am very comfortable. And I have had as happy a life as anyone on this earth could ever have."
A short time later, he died.
I miss him a lot, and I think about him a lot. I've wondered now and then how it was that my family and I were so lucky that he lived so long.
I can't figure out if it was because he walked through life, or because he quit taking left turns."
Life is too short to wake up with regrets.
So love the people who treat you right. Forget about the one's who don't. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it and if it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would most likely be worth it."
Saturday, September 04, 2010
Thursday, September 02, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
You are a very personally expressive person, especially outside of work. Your individuality matters to you.
You draw a lot of inspiration and energy from the outside world. You get bored easily if you spend too much time alone.
You are confident and competent. You tend to not make mistakes, and you trust your judgment. You are down to earth and practical. You achieve success one step at a time, by paying attention to details.
Take the quiz: What does you desk say about you?
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
You Are Considerate
You are a truly loving person, and you do your best to love as many people as you can.
Some may call you a social butterfly, but it goes much deeper than that for you.
You tend to be a big influence on other people, but you don't try to be.
You just open your heart, and as a result, people are very receptive to what you have to say.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
|Your Birthday is Teal|
You are the likable type. You find it easy to be popular. You're very charming and attractive.
You may come off as superficial to some, but you can't help but be a little vain. You look good and you know it!
You are a perfectionist, and you hold yourself to high standards. You tend to beat yourself up for mistakes.
Even though you don't fail often, you are afraid of failure. Success is key to your self esteem.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
| You Are Adventurous|
You are quite adventurous and brave, but you are also reasonable about it. You don't have to be on an adventure 24/7.
You have good judgment and balance. You like to try new and exciting things, but you also pay attention to risk.
You're not the type of person who would throw your life away just to go on a new trip or have a new romantic partner.
You like your thrills in small, safe doses. You are gutsy in all aspects of your life from career to relationships.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
| You Are "Thou Shalt Not Kill"|
You are a very peaceful person, and you try to avoid hurting a fly if possible.
You believe every life is sacred, and you wish there was no killing in the world.
You have a kind heart and a passion for social justice. You wish things were more fair.
It breaks your heart to know about hunger, poverty, disease, and violence. You are working towards change!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
|You Crave a Cultural Adventure|
Life has gotten a bit routine for you lately, and you'd like to broaden your perspective.
You want to learn and grow from your adventure. You want to know the place you visit as well as your home town.
You are an open minded and curious traveler. You're all about immersing yourself in local customs, no matter how foreign they are.
Whenever you're in a new place, you try to speak the language, eat the food, and meet the locals. After all, that's what traveling is all about!
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
| You Are the Butterfly|
You are highly skilled and competent. You are a bit of a natural.
And while you were born with many talents, you've also worked hard for what you know. Practice makes perfect!
You make difficult things look effortless. You always carry yourself with grace.
You try to live a life of balance that you can sustain over the years. You don't run your self ragged.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
|You Are Bridge|
You are a thoughtful and conscientious person. In fact, you're a bit of a brainiac.
You get a real thrill from mastering difficult tasks. You get bored if you aren't being challenged.
You are competitive, but you aren't a sore loser. You take a rational approach to competition.
You work hard, and you're persistent. You don't expect to be a natural at anything.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
|You Are a Warm Person|
You are welcoming to everyone you meet. You are friendly and even a little touchy-feely at times.
You are curious about people, and you find a lot of value in friendships. You need lots of human connections.
You are bold and enthusiastic. You like to try new things, and you crave a challenge.
Your energy comes in bursts, and you tend to burn brightly until you burn out.
Monday, June 14, 2010
The first couple of trigger pulls were terrifying. I am after all the girl who is afraid of champagne bottles and Pillsbury dough containers so pulling a trigger to make a big bang was the part I was absolutely dreading. But once I got used to it I got comfortable and towards the end of 50 rounds I was pretty good, if I do say so myself. The target above was the first of three. The target pictured below was the final target.
I have 2 all-time favorites:
And my favorite guilty pleasure books: