Friday, October 10, 2008

Skull and Crossbones concert

Come to my concert! It's tonight (Friday) night, 7:30, at the Riverton City building on Redwood Road at 12830. We are playing lots of fun pirate-esque music- some familiar, some less familiar but still wonderful. Tickets are $7.50 or $20 for a family. I have a few 'buy 1 get 1 free' coupons, so let me know if you'd like one of those.

It really should be a good concert and the trombone section will be particularly outstanding, as always. Definitely worth hearing....

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.

I wish I was the genius who wrote this, but I am not that cool. I am, however, just cool enough to think it is fabulous. Original found here.

Literary Rules

Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

And don't start a sentence with a conjunction.

It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.

Avoid clichés like the plague. (They're old hat)

Also, always avoid annoying alliteration.

Be more or less specific.

Remarks in brackets (however relevant) are (usually) (but not always) unnecessary.

Also too, never, ever use repetitive redundancies.

No sentence fragments.

Contractions aren't necessary and shouldn't be used.

Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.

Do not be redundant; do not use more words than necessary; it's highly superfluous.

One should NEVER generalize.

Comparisons are as bad as clichés.

Don't use no double negatives.

Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.

One-word sentences? Eliminate.

Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.

The passive voice is to be ignored.

Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary. Parenthetical words however should be enclosed in commas.

Never use a big word when a diminutive one would suffice.

Kill all exclamation points!!!

Use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.

Understatement is always the absolute best way to put forth earth shaking ideas.

Use the apostrophe in it's proper place and omit it when its not needed.

Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."

If you've heard it once, you've heard it a thousand times: Resist hyperbole; not one writer in a million can use it correctly.

Puns are for children, not groan readers.

Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.

Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.

Who needs rhetorical questions?

Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Apples and more apples

Earlier this week we (me and Tyler + Becca and crew) had the opportunity to pick apples. Yay! We love apples and the many things that you can make with them, and free apples are the tastiest. Unsure of exactly how many we were going to be able to get, we loaded up the cars with buckets and headed to American Fork.

When we pulled up to the house and started unloading buckets I was feeling embarrassed at how presumptuous we looked with all our buckets- there was no way we could possibly fill that many. Umm. I was wrong. No need to be embarrassed. We filled 14 big buckets and 3 boxes in just over an hour. And we left at least that many on the trees. It was pretty incredible. Maybe someday I'll be cool enough to have trees like that. I think it helped that the lady is a beekeeper and had thousands and thousands of little tiny indentured pollinators.

If only we had stopped to think about the ramifications of picking that many apples. Picking them is easy. Canning them is not quite so simple. 2 days into the process and we think that we've hit the halfway point. Yikes. We are out of bottles, which is a problem- an easily rectifiable one. The less easily solved is our distinct lack of energy and enthusiasm.

Although we are totally exhausted, few things are as rewarding as the hours spent canning. The literal fruits of our labor are lined up in row after row of glistening bottles, practically winking at us and telling us that we'll be thankful later on, when we get to enjoy them throughout the year. I love looking at the shelves in my food storage room filling up and knowing that it's because of my hard work.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Enjoy while I work on a real post

I saw this and it made me happy. Crazy cool...

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Maybe summer isn't so awful, afterall?

Summer is probably my least favorite season- I don't handle the heat very well. But if we could do this 4 times a week, I think I could be a very happy girl...

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More pictures here.

Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches
Red onions
Good bread (we use 'Country French Bread' from the Harmon's bakery)
Tomatoes (real ones from your garden- they have to be good!)
Arugula or other bitter greens
Aioli (recipe follows)
Fresh herbs, minced (basil, rosemary, parsley, oregano or anything you happen to have)
good olive oil, for drizzling
fresh mozzarella (optional)

Slice eggplant into 1/2" rounds. Salt them and set them on paper towels for an hour or so to draw out some of the liquid.
Grill red onions until soft-ish. Grill eggplant until tender. Grill bread slices.
Assemble sandwiches- generously slather bread with aioli, layer eggplant, onions, tomatoes, herbs, mozzarella (if using), and arugula. Drizzle with olive oil and add top piece of bread. Enjoy thoroughly!

2/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup peanut or canola oil
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 egg yolks
4 tsp. lemon juice
kosher salt
Mix both oils together in a bowl with a spout.
Put garlic, egg yolks, and lemon juice in a food processor and pulse until it's fairly smooth
With the machine running, add the oil in a very slow, thin, steady stream. The mixture should be the consistency of mayonnaise (as that's exactly what we're making). Season with salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to let the flavors meld.

Spicy Sweet Potato Fries
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 lbs sweet potatoes
Olive oil
Grind all spices together with a mortar and pestle or an electric spice grinder.
Scrub sweet potatoes and slice into fry size pieces.
Toss potatoes with olive oil and spice mixture.
Roast at 425 for 20 minutes then turn them over and keep cooking until they are as crisp as you'd like, (but be warned that they will never be totally crisp- they have a lot more moisture than regular fries).

If you don't want spicy fries, just toss potatoes with olive oil and salt and roast.

These are awesome dipped in the aioli!

This meal is best enjoyed on a warm summer evening with the people you love the most.


Stephy and I walked out of the store with our books at 12:30 last night. I read for 5 hours, begrudgingly slept for a few hours, then woke up and read for another 1 1/2 hours. Good times. Good book...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

THE Party

A few weeks ago, on a lovely afternoon spent with the in-laws, two very important things were decided. 1) The new village in Daybreak is not nearly as charming as the first two, but that everybody needs to move here (the house across the street from me is for sale- come be my neighbor!). And, 2) There ought to be some sort of large celebration when Tyler's siblings come to town.
Hrmmm. Let me think on that one.. Celebration=party. Party=Andrea's favorite thing
ever. Andrea's favorite thing to do+5 birthdays within a month+a mother-in-law kind enough to turn over control and let me go crazy= Bliss! I think I needed something like this to get me out of my funk and back into my groove. (Beware the groove!)
So, once I got done with my niece Chloe's 5th birthday paper doll party (see Becca's blog, since I forgot my camera), it was full steam ahead on THE Party planning-as opposed to 'the party'. A much needed distinction when you are planning more than one party at a time.
I had a pretty good idea of what I was going for with THE Party, so I was able to start making things early-ish. I made pinwheels and sprouted wheatgrass for centerpieces and decor. I made my first cake balls (inspired by Bakerella's cupcake pops), made paper umbrellas (which I totally forgot to take and can't seem to find anywhere?!?!) with Becca and Steve's help, and did all sorts of other crazy things..
I think my in-laws thought I was totally crazy when we started bringing things inside, but I hope that they still like me enough to not have me committed...

I had to borrow my mom's car to transport everything to the party. Hazel, Chloe and Calvin were pretty impressed...

The party favors, all lined up in a row. The containers were filled with chocolate raisins to anchor the cake balls.

The dining room set up, with favors and wheatgrass and pinwheels, oh my!

One of the birthday cakes- I don't know if this was the lemon or the chocolate, but it doesn't really matter... They both looked pretty cute, I thought. Tyler was a saint and baked and rolled fondant like a champ.


The lemonade bar. Lavender, mango, plain, mint and blueberry.

Mango lemonade. Very tasty stuff.

Mint lemonade. Also very tasty stuff.

Uncle David playing the clothespin drop game. By the end of the night Megan, Tyler and I were all tied for the high score- 7 out of 10 clothespins.

Ian attacking the pinata.

Randy wearing the pinata.

I love Bingo. I love it WAY more than I ought to.

And so, THE Party was a success. I had so much fun putting everything together and it seemed like people were enjoying themselves. Thanks, Barbara, for letting me do this one! Happy birthday to all of us!

I'll leave you with just one last picture. This is Scotty, rockin' it mandolin style...