Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dinner with cool people!

On Monday night James and I drove down to Salt Lake for dinner with a wonderful couple he met on his mission. Atilla and Yvonne Erarslans took care of James while he was working with their daughter-in-law and son. I had heard so much about them and I was very excited to finally meet them! We ate at PF Changs and although the pictures only show six people, times that by itself and you'll get the real amount. It was funny that James only knew a few of the people. The rest were connected to the Erarslans through Switzerland, Turkey and Facebook (seriously!) It was wonderful to finally meet James' "Swiss Mommy" (Yvonne's words, not James'!)
Melanie, Brent and Atilla.

Melanie, Brent, Yvonne, James, me and Atilla.

Oh, and, my sister is PREGNANT! We were sworn to secrecy back in August. Hilary and Josh told us via Avery's "Big Sister" shirt. It was very cute even though not everyone got it at first. I'm excited to be an aunt again!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Crack cookies AKA Macaroons AKA Macarons

During the summer I received a gift certificate to a fantastic local place called Kitchen Kneads. I was mulling over how to spend it when I came upon these: For those of you who don't know they are macaroons/macarons (I've seen them spelled both ways.) I was intrigued by the apparent complexity of the recipes and the ratios of almonds, egg whites and powdered sugar. I did some research and decided to make some. The only problem was that I wasn't sure where I could acquire ground almonds or almond flour. This is where Kitchen Kneads comes in. But, before I continue my story, here is another shot of the super cute cookies:

So, James and I went to Kitchen Kneads to purchase the afore mentioned almond flour. We couldn't find a price tag for the 1 lb bag of flour nor could we find anything else that we really wanted for our kitchen. It's probably a good thing because my change for the almond flour was $2.50.

Did I mention that the gift certificate was for $20? Yep. It was $17.50 A POUND! James asked if it was sold in kilos and then he asked what the street value could be. Funny.

Anywho, fast forward a week and I finally made the cookies. I think I could make three batches with the bag. (I don't want to figure out what it would equal out to per cookie.) I followed Martha Stewart's recipe and I thought they were mostly successful. Before I post my finished product I'll include more pictures of macaroons, this time of a more robust variety:
Here are mine!
I filled them with an almond buttercream frosting. I'll admit they look like double ended snails but that is because I got too excited when I piped the cookies on to the parchment paper. I was very pleased that most of the cookies had "feet" which is macaroon fancy speak for the pulling apart near the bottom.

Final thoughts? I will make them again, for sure. I am going to prepare my baking sheets and parchment papers before hand and trace out circles so I have better guide lines. I also will not make them so tall. That sort of kills the idea of popping them in your mouth.

In personal news, school continues to march on, trampling those who don't keep up. I think I got trampled this past week but I feel like I have caught up. My designs are coming together for "A Midsummer Night's Dream." James says, "Meh" when asked about school.

Two more years, two more years.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Photos of Ouray

The view of Box Canyon from the back door of our room.
Next up are views of the town, Box Canyon Falls park, Cascade Falls, Ouray, Museum (can you guess which picture it is?) Views from the 55, Ouray Main Street and pictures from our jeep tour.

We had a great time!



Now that James has an early class I find that I have a lot more free time. I would go back to bed like an normal person but for some reason I can't fall back asleep after I wake up in the morning.

What did I do?

Watched the first five episodes of the first season of 30 Rock.

Netflix is so cool.

I'll update with something more worth-while later.