Have you entered the Giveaway yet?

Today is the last day! Can you tell I've scheduled posts? :)

I should be somewhere between Cheyenne, WY and Provo, UT right about... now.

Tonight at midnight I close the giveaway so if you haven't gotten the chance to post your brilliant ideas for my food blog name go here and do it... now? :)


Utah Fun

I have just begun my trip out to Utah and I already have fun summer plans out there.

"Well, what are your fun plans in Utah?" - you might ask.

We are going to Stadium of Fire, for one. Sam says I need to go to the Freedom Festival events too - so that's a weekend of events.

I am hoping to have a car by then and maybe I'll get to travel down to Vegas for the 4th of July.

Tickets were purchased this morning for the midnight showing of Harry Potter - Part 2 on July 14th, and plans are being made to buy our season passes for BYU Football and Basketball.

It sounds like I'll have quite the social life - lets cross our fingers for a job too!


Music Monday - COVER The Edge of Glory

I'm getting geared up for a summer of fun (wait until tomorrow's post to find out more) and in preparation for the epic music scene that is the Utah Valley I youtube'd some Provo acts.

Now here is where I say that I don't particularly love Lady Gaga. I like Glee's cover of Poker Face and I love this cover of Edge of Glory by The Whits. This girl has some lungs. Whoa.

So, enjoy, look up more of their stuff on youtube, or take a cross country trip to Utah.

Oh, wait, that's what I'm doing. Scratch that.


Dear Blogger Friends, re: Giveaway

This post has gotten the most views of any post I have ever written.

Ever. In the history of this blog.

More than my On the Soap Box - Single LDS Women post, which had a lot, and has a lot of great comments.

What I am asking is pretty, pretty please will you leave a comment here with some random idea of what I could name my food blog and if I pick your idea I will give you ...something.

Maybe the word something is not enticing enough of a giveaway? Sorry. I'm working on packing and moving my life across country :( I love you all, really, and promise it will be something good. I make headbands and fabric flower hair clips so in all honesty, it will probably be one of those (or maybe two).

I am extending the giveaway until 12:00pm on June 29th, 2011 - So when I get in to good ol' Provo I will have something to do other than unpack. :)

And now for your entertainment, and because it is his birthday, and he doesn't read the blog... maybe... Happy Birthday Scott.


Music Monday - Party Rock Anthem

Does this song make everyone else feel like dancing too? Or is it just me. This is probably the most appropriate song for this Music Monday because I am home, still unpacked, and I need to do that so for inspiration on this hum-drum Monday I give you Party Rock Anthem :)


Giveaway & New Blog

Okay ladies & gents - After much thought I have decided to start a cooking blog.

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a passion for cooking. It's something that started for me long ago - before I could really cook on my own. I knew when mom was using that mixer thing that we would get to lick the yummy stuff off of the metal things (catchin' my drift? I loved when mom made cakes!) and I loved to help my grandma open cans and watch her cook because I knew afterward I was going to get a de-lish dinner.

When I was 12 my Mom went to Nursing School and got her RN. It was something that required long hours outside of the home keeping her in class, and at work. It was then that I, being the only daughter and the only one who picked up on cooking of any kind, began to make dinners. I only knew how to make a few meals and understood that most things I could just use a box to make. Velveeta Mac N Cheese and Shake N Bake saved my bum a few times when I just didn't know what to do.

I learned quickly how to use Bisquick to make pancakes, and make spaghetti. Next was making hamburgers, learning how to properly cook chicken (which took a really long time), making moms special pork tenderloin and roasted veggies.

Then I got into it. These last four years I have been cooking up a storm. I don't really like following recipes exactly, but more as a reference and then tailor them to how I or whoever is eating it will like it. I now make pancakes from scratch, homemade salsa, cacciatore from my own recipe, lemon curd and scones, and more.

I love to cook. I think of it as I think of life, It's an adventure.

So here is where you come in. You know me (at least some of you), you know my history with cooking, and you know of my intent to start a cooking blog sharing recipes I've come up with or recipes I have tried and loved so this is your part - I am looking for ideas for a blog name. Check out the previous post for photos of things I have made - I kind of love food photos, if you can't tell.

I have one that I kind of love but I don't want to limit myself. So I am asking for your help - What could I name my blog?

Enter: Giveaway
To the person whose cooking blog name I choose I will give you a handmade ...something. I do promise it will be a sweet gift, and very worth the time you spend thinking up blog names.

You may enter up to 3 different blog name ideas but please check them on blogger first to make sure they are not already taken (it'd be crazy lame if I found a really good one and it was taken already, aka no I will not name my blog Pioneer Woman haha)
**If I get to 40 comments on this blog then I will use a random number generator and do a 2nd giveaway 

Contest will close Wednesday June 29th, 2011

In the wise words of my advisor, and professor, Todd Brotherson -
"Good Luck, Good Skill"

((Hey you, feel like you don't know me well enough? Check out the About Me section and if you have questions, ask them!))

Food Photos

This is to give you an idea of things I have cooked and would share recipes for over on my food blog. 
All photos are my own.
Curry Chicken & Broccoli

Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake

Easy Empanadas

Love Pie

White Chicken Chili

Pulled Pork

Creme Brulee


Monkey Bread

Turkey & Spinach Manicotti

Italian Chicken & Veggies - Quick Fix Meal!

My favorite whipped cream

Would turn it if I knew how! But these are the only two chefs I let cook with me :)

Grandma's Meatball Recipe, Spaghetti & Garlic Rolls

Chicken Cacciatore

How to make 68cent blueberry muffin mix taste... way better

Easy Stir Fry




Spinach Carbonara & Being home

for those of you who are my facebook friend and just saw me post a status about this, skip down to the recipe...

I forgot how many good things I have at home. Family, of course. Friends like Mike (except he's in Caz working and I probably won't get to see him before I move to Utah) and Laura (who I do get to see, ha ha Mike). And friends like Sam, Tommy, Brandon and Mal(hulio) are home too - that's fun because I just left VA where Mal and I have been for four years and I am about to move to Provo where I'll get to have my Sam, Tommy and Brandon time... well, my Sam time at least. (Tommy y Brandon tienen novias.. eh)

Besides friends and family, you may be wondering what else is good about being home. I'll make a list for you:
- Driving back roads to get everywhere

- Why? Because I remember them, and I think that's pretty cool

- My brother is graduating (it's been a long, hard road so I'm pretty proud)

- Holy Cow. It's a staple in Red Hook living, and the best ice cream place ever. I like ice cream, and I've eaten ice cream in a lot of places and I still crave a good Strawberry Shake every time I come home. I've already had one. I think I'll get another, maybe a chocolate shake too, or a twist with rainbow sprinkles. yum.

- My bed. It is hands down the most comfortable thing, ever. I knew it too, every time I laid my head down at night in my bed down there I remembered my beautifully firm yet comfortable Sealy mattress awaiting my arrival back in NY. 

- Cable, because I can now watch CNBC. Yes, this morning I woke up and watched them talk about stock analysis on different companies and how the NASDAQ was doing. **Business Nerd, much?**

- Food Network

Oh, how I have missed the Food Network. Other than watching CNBC and some crappy TV show called Teen Wolf that MTV has come out with (promise, I watched one episode and then called it quits), I have been watching Food Network. Sometimes I'm not even watching it, it's more like background noise which I occasionally pay attention to and sometimes I'll jot down the recipe name so I can try it later.

While watching 5 Ingredient Fix yesterday the host, Claire, made Spinach Carbonara. It seemed so easy and with it being a 5 ingredient recipe (Spinach, Bacon, Pasta, Eggs, Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese) it was something I could remember while shopping with Sam.

(Oh, we went to Wal-Mart. Her dad thought it was funny because when I get out there we get to have Wal-Mart trips whenever we want but it was so fun to have one in NY)

So I bought the goods to make it, came home all excited because I wanted to make it for Father's Day and I heard, from Dad, - "Why don't you make Cacciatore for Sunday?"

this is common because almost two years ago i made up
my own recipe for cacciatore basing it off of others i had seen
online and now everytime i come home, dad requests that i make
that famous cacciatore.  

"Well, sure, I can but I have stuff for Carbonara"

"I don't like bacon" said Dad

"I don't like spinach" said Joey

"I don't like anything other than butter on my pasta" George would have said if he were around

Oi! But it sounds so good!! 

Never fear, I will make Spinach Carbonara while I am home if I 
have to do it at a friends house, I will make it.
Well, for your enjoyment here is the Carbonara recipe. If you make it first, tell me how it works out. Or, do you have another recipe for Carbonara or other yummy Italian dishes?


  • Salt
  • 1/2 pound slab bacon, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 pound fresh or dried spinach fettuccine
  • 1 whole large egg, plus 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves


Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium heat and salt generously. 

Put the bacon in a large high-sided skillet and cook over medium-high heat until crisp, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and reserve bacon in the pan.

When the bacon is about halfway cooked, drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook about 4 minutes for fresh or according to the package instructions if using dried.

Meanwhile, whisk the egg and yolks, 1 cup cheese and pepper together in a small bowl.

When the pasta is ready, return the skillet with the bacon to medium heat. Using a ladle, slowly whisk about 1/2 cup pasta cooking water into the egg and cheese mixture until loosened. Reserve some additional cooking water. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet.

While tossing continually, slowly drizzle the egg mixture over the pasta until it is completely coated. Add more cooking water if pasta seems dry. Add the spinach leaves to the pan and toss until combined. Transfer the carbonara to a serving bowl and serve immediately with more cheese sprinkled over the top.

Cook's Note: The key to perfect carbonara


Back to normal...

Things are at least a little back to normal...

In the "we-had-civil-dinner-conversation-including-old-jokes-talking-about-good-new-music-and-I-hate-black-olives-so-he-ate-them" kind of way

and it was a good note to end on.

We were supposed to be friends. Neither one of us knew that "friends" was all that meant. I'm glad to have my friend back, even if it was just for a dinner.

A Lesson in Patience...

Either I am not ready to leave yet, or my friends aren't ready but I am here for another day. We packed my car early this morning, to the brim, cleaned the apartment and then... there were things that still wouldn't fit in my car.

At this point I have had a yard sale, I have filled three very large garbage containers with papers and junk, I have donated a large box of items to Goodwill, I have shipped 7 boxes to UT (and when I said $100 I was close, $93! Is it just us business majors that like to play that game? Guess the final amount? :) ) and now I am down to things that I need to take home to leave there and clothing and shoes I need to go through and ship out.


I am really excited for one final night with my friends here though. I have grown closer a few people just in the last year and I am grateful to have one more night with them. I just wish it didn't look like I was flaky, I promise I've been trying to leave.


Dear U.S.P.S.,

I'll probably pay at least $100 in shipping costs tomorrow as I send off 6 boxes en route to Provo BUT I feel so much better when I put stuff in those silly (read: amazing, wonderful, what did we do before them!?) flat rate boxes. I have things all over my apartment. Everywhere. Occasionally I stop and look around making mental checklists (yes, I can make more than one in my head... Type A much?) about what is going home and staying there, what is going to go with Mother and I out to Utah, and what is left and where I want it to go. I get frustrated because I have more things I want to have in Utah but I don't know how it will fit in her car.

Walk to the front door. Pick up another large flat rate box (which isn't very large). Tape it. Fill it. Tape the top. Address it. Add it to the pile. Take another bite of a cinnamon roll.

Yeah, I made cinnamon rolls at 10:30pm for motivation. It's working.

I promise I am leaving Buena Vista tomorrow. Promise.

P.S. Did I mention that when I get home Sam will be in NY? With Brandon, and Tommy soon to follow. Mallory too at one point, maybe. I get to be with my best friends in NY and then we all go back to UT around the same time. Perfect.

Music Monday - Young Blood

I'm going to kill two birds with one stone this Music Monday. I thought about doing this for Music Monday earlier today and then I got a comment from Sam of Sam and Chas aka Young People in Love on my Progress post and here we are.

Let's just get this out in the open -
I've kind of got a thing for following the blogs of young, trendy, life-loving, thrifty, LDS housewives.

Taza? Yup.

Nienie? You bet. 

Her sister, C. Jane? Right here.

Hue (of Hue and Hum aka Caitlin and Robbie aka her husband is in Fictionist!!! Geek out)? Uh, yes.

Chelsea of Knit Cookies Knits? Oh? You havent heard of her? Chelsea was in my stake back in NY and my counselor at girls camp at least once and now she knits and sells her cute crafts and decorates her home all cute. It's all just cute. So here you go, here's my plug for a lesser known Mormon, Blogging, Crafty Housewife.

Well today I was reading Young People in Love and Sam posted the video below. I love the song, Young Blood by The Naked and Famous. Their music video is okay, it's more the song I like and I had planned on using it for an upcoming Music Monday but seeing the video of the Young People in Oregon I decided I'd use this instead.

Hope that's kosher...? :)



Update -

I have two boxes packed and taped up to be shipped to Utah.

I have a large garbage can full of... garbage.

There is a large U-Haul box full of things to be taken to Goodwill.

My cupboards are empty. Never mind that their contents are on the counters, stove and kitchen table.

Sheets, blankets, pillow cases and most of my clothing is freshly washed.

I'm happy that my roommate is gone for all of this because I'm pretty sure we would never talk again if she saw what our apartment looks like right now.

I really love my friends for coming to hang out and keep my company as I go through all of my stuff I've accumulated.

Dad called me today wondering if I was really even coming home before moving to Utah. Hardy, har, har. I'll be there.... soon... ish.

The things that are getting me through all of this packing? Friends. Cathy's speakers that make the music sound oh so good and the walls shake. Flat Rate Shipping Boxes. Edy's Fruit Bars ('cept they were out of the Acai ones tonight :-[ ) and Netflix.

This photo has absolutely nothing to do with this post but I felt like throwing a picture in  here. This is my oldest brother, Jimmy, on his always coveted 9/11 memorial Harley- Davidson. I'm kind of in love with his bike. Not sure why he is dressed like Santa but it makes this picture all the better.


More Change...

Well, I am still in Buena Vista.

What the what!?

Dude, it takes forever to pack up a full apartment by yourself. I have a bajillion (yes, it's a word) piles in the living room of our apartment. 1 is Goodwill, another is Garbage, one for Shipping to Utah, and another for Leaving with Sister Dransfield because I am definitely bringing this to Utah, and then the Free to Roommates or whoever wants it pile, the I wish I could sell this because I dont want to give it away for nothing but I dont know where I'll put it otherwise pile and last the Taking this junk to NY to sort through it pile.

Add in the fact that my friends are still here, free at night, and by then I usually need a break so we do fun things, and I'm never going to leave. I hope to make a lot of progress today though. 

But you wanted a post on change, didn't ya. Here it goes -

I got my hair cut probably 3 weeks ago now. Love. Anyone looking for a hair cut in BV (SVU Girls, I'm talking to you) go to Expressions (right next to Originals) and ask for Sara. Poor girl is gonna get crazy busy now that I've put that out in the blogosphere but it is so true, she did good! 

I had her trim my bangs and show me how to cut them but now, I'm feeling like growing them out. The last week has been full of packing, cleaning, swimming, and bonfires so I have been wearing a headband to keep the bangs back. Last night I decided to straighten my hair so I looked like I semi-cared about my appearance and I still felt like pushing them back with a headband. So, I'm growing them out. It's been fun but I think they've run their course, and after years of hairdressers telling me that if I tried to do blunt, straight bangs that my hair would not cooperate and then my hair did - I now feel confident with growing them out and at some future point, chopping them again. Because I can. So there, you doubting hairdressers. Boo.



Let me tell you about my friend....

This is my super cute, other half, voice of reason, best friend, Sam. 

Come this September I will have known her for 17 years. Seventeen. We've been through K-12 together, four years of Seminary, two proms, one Mormon prom, "shared" two boyfriends (dated same guys, different times), dealt with large piles of less-than-ideal situations and circumstances, and so much more. For the past four years we have lived on opposite sides of the country - her in Provo, Utah and I in Buena Vista, Virginia. We have pursued different degrees - hers in Education (correct me if thats wrong dear ha) and mine in Business Management. We have dated different guys (ha) and helped each other through more of life's trials at a distance. We've been able to see each other over Christmas vacations and sometimes during the summer breaks too, but it's always a short visit. I have been telling my favorite half Hawaiian that I was going to visit her at BYU since freshman year. If it wasn't finances holding me back it was bad timing, until this spring break when I finally made it happen. It was the best timing because the boys were finally all home from their missions and I was about to graduate with no idea of what I was doing after. I visited and found a love for Utah, and now I am moving. It is still pretty surreal to both of us but not only will I be living in Provo but Sam and I will be housemates for two months this summer. 

Samantita (Squishface, Tomato-Squash, Tha, Sammi K, etc) and I had a skype date today and it just reminded me of why our friendship is so good. It is not a friendship that either one of us has to baby, we just kind of pick up wherever we left off the previous time we saw/spoke/hung out with each other and it works. 

She even teases me a little when during our Skype Date I paint my nails, twice. (I just hate when the nail polish doesn't dry fast enough and you mess it up. Bad, ain't it?)

I definitely put this on my graduation announcement. I felt the picture was appropriate - a celebratory jump in the air, getting ready to land who knows where.... yup, sounds like graduation from college to me.
I don't remember what this face was in reference too but I still think it is a funny photo.

Boomer doing homework and Sam and I planning my trip to Utah.

I wish I could say what they were making faces about but I don't know if those involved read this blog. I will say that the phrase " are they siblings? he looks like her father " were uttered.

....did I forget to mention, She's single? 

Memorial Day Weekend - Part 4

Okay, dear followers, we've reached the end of the journey. My intuition tells me the only person who will actually read these posts (besides myself) is Sara. I base this on the fact that she is the only one in the group besides me who blogs and who knows I've been updating the blog with Memorial Day Weekend posts, and maybe she will need them to help jog her memory as she writes in her journal about the weekend that was.

Our final day of this trip was Monday, Memorial Day. We had established an OTD (Out the door) time of 8:30am, which didn't happen. We woke up, took our time, got ready, ate breakfast and some of us packed to leave straight from the district. We split up and drove down in to the city. A few ideas were thrown out re: parking. We could have parked at the Barlow again and walked in from Georgetown, or behind the museums (if the darn Thunder Rollers weren't still around and/or parking wasn't limited to 2hrs that day and/or the parade didn't have a need to close down major roads - you know those kinds of things), or where Jesse had found parking the day before. Eventually we wound up in the parking lot along the Potomac (real specific, eh?)

It was 3hr parking but we hoped that due to crowds, parades and speeches going on all over the district that we would be okay for however long our adventure took us. We split up early on because Katrina and Jesse were leaving earlier than the rest of us - they went off to look at some museums and we started towards the Lincoln Memorial. On our way we stopped at WWII to watch a ceremony honoring the veterans of that war. We then went to the Lincoln Memorial. I've been there many times but it never gets old to me. I also always think of this clip whenever I am there.

On our journey back towards the National Mall we saw the Vietnam Memorial, Korean War Memorial, and a few others I don't know the names of. We took a break at the Washington Monument (probably one of my top 3 favorites) and tried to plan the rest of the day. Tyler went to this place last time he was in DC in Chinatown that he said had really good Chinese food. We began walking and realizing it was going to be a bit farther of a walk we voted: walk the rest of the way or metro one way. I think everyone gave in because I kept whining about how we weren't using the metro, sorry, I've kind of got a love/hate thing going with it. Mostly I love it on days it got me to work on time and when the escalators worked (and when the Dr. Pepper truck was outside Foggy Bottom tossing out cold cans of that sweet stuff), and the hate came in when I had to walk up the escalator at Dupont or FB or L'Enfant (oh, long, horrid things) or when it made me late, or when tourists would link arms and run on to the train and therefore I couldn't make it on - enough about the metro.

We went from Fed Triangle to Gallery Place/Chinatown with a transfer at L'Enfant. We couldn't locate the same place Tyler had been to so after a few minutes he said this one place looked good and we could go there. Sara ordered fried rice thinking her celiac self would be safe - but it was loaded with soy sauce, no bueno. I can't remember what everyone else had but I know Mari had some tofu dish and I had some of the best beef and broccoli ever (though, Bro Webster's is a very close competitor). I was pretty pleased that I was able to use the chopsticks for my whole meal, it only became tricky when trying to eat rice. Food was good though. We grabbed some Rita's (yum!) and began our walk to the National Archives, which would put us along the parade route. We found a nice shaded spot and then realized we were only 6 blocks from Sara's parents so we went and joined them and Sara's sister.

The parade itself was a cool experience. The only other Memorial Day parades I've seen are the ones I marched in for band in  6th, 7th, and 8th grade. There were a lot of people honoring the victims and families of the 9/11 victims. That hit home for me. As a quick background story my mom, at that time, worked for IBM in Manhattan. I don't remember how close her office building was to the towers but it was too close for comfort. They were on lock down that day after the 1st tower was hit and it took her a very long time to get home. I heard about it at first from my 7th grade Spanish teacher who got a call from her son while she was in class with us. She was talking about moving money into an account for him so he could get out, from where we didn't know at the time, and she hung up and told us all that something went very wrong. I don't remember anything from the rest of the day from after the time I got home but I do remember not knowing when Mom was coming home. That is a scary feeling for a 7th grader. Especially for one who is the oldest, with two younger brothers that I knew I had to keep a strong cover for. The memorials for 9/11 were beautiful, and reminded me how lucky I am that my mom was safe on that day.

The rest of the parade was full of marching bands from all over, re-enactors, and military groups. Oh, and Pat Sajak. After the parade we headed back to Sara's sisters' place and re-fueled on some great food, we packed and then we began our drive home. The drive wasn't bad and only in the last ten minutes did I start to get tired. We arrived home and I crashed in bed, thinking maybe this great weekend was a dream. Then I woke up to all the photos and realized nope, it was just one of the best trips I've taken with some of my favorite people.

Somewhere in this story we went to the National History Museum and the National Museum of Art... photos are included but I don't remember when we went to them in the timeline of the post... oh well.

Presenting of the colors at the WWII Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

Tori, myself and Abe :)

The reflecting pool was drained, and ugly.

I don't remember which monument this is

Tori looking at the Vietnam Memorial Wall

Korean War Memorial

From the Washington Monument looking towards the White House

A sleepy Sara and my shirt stained by her bag. I'd complain but that bag was so good that day, and if anyone knows where I can find myself a cloth, open top, cross-body bag - I'll love you.

It's not that I have a thing for the Muppets, its just Kermie :) I like frogs.

In the Lincoln exhibit

Abe vs. Tyler - Abe Wins

Tyler: "Gosh I wish I could find that Chinese restaurant" , Sara: "I don't know it but I'm about to eat a plate full of GLUTEN!", Tori: "Storm coming?? BRING IT!!"   

This was about the time some guy on the other side of the street screamed "Where's Vanna?!"

These chicks were stomping - It was probably the most involved "marching" of the whole parade and I am semi-interested to know how they did it for the entire stretch of the parade.

Snow in New York - Robert Henri

Final photo in DC - Mari and The Capitol Building