Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Plea to the Members of the Sister Wives Club

Dearest Sisters,

I would like to formally request special permission access to events of the Sister Wives Club. The reason for this request is that today, my boyfriend brought me homemade chicken noodle soup, the noodles also being homemade, because of my illness. In other words, my boyfriend is MAJORLY kicking my booty in the domestic department. I have to learn to cook things that DON'T come in a box, ASAP!! Thank you for hearing my plea, I await your hurried responce

The youngest (and only unmarried) sister

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I'm a Symphony Member!

Today we had auditions for the Idaho State Civic Symphony. For auditions, we had to perform 4 orchestral excepts. They included Beethoven's Leonore Overture No 6, Debussy's Prelude to the Afternoon of the Faun, Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dram, and the exhibition to Mozart's Concerto for Flute in G. These are all intensely hard pieces that I have been practicing for a year and perfecting. This took a lot of work and a lot of practicing. AT the auditions, I was VERY nervous! There were 4 people going out for 1 chair - one of them was 60, one was 30, and the last was nearing 24 and just graduated with her music degree. Needless to say, I felt at a slight disadvantage with myself only getting ready to begin sophomore lessons. However, I just got a call from my flute professor. I was one of the 2 best auditions! What they decided to do is to give the technical chair to the 30 year old - and I made what's known as a 'sub list'. However - my professor will be putting me on at least 2-3 concerts this year. In fact, if I hadn't rushed (which I was doing because I was nervous), I would have been the only one to make it! How exciting is this?! How great to see those hours of practice paying off! If only I'd spent a little more time with a metronome... but that's ok! I made it!!!

Oh and yes - I did cry when I found out. The only times I've ever cried from joy have been flute related.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Why Vinegar kicks all other salad dressing's bootys!

I used to be the queen of ranch. I loved it - and the perfect salad for me included black olives, shredded cheddar cheese, bacon, cucumbers, and ranch (over ice burg lettuce). However, since visiting Europe I have taken a particular loving to Oil and Vinegar or Light Vinaigrettes on my salads (I now prefer bolder flavored lettuce, like Chopped Romaine Hearts or Dole's European Blend). In Europe, there is no such thing as ranch, thousand island, Italian, or any other of the USA's THOUSANDS of dressing options (or at least that's how it seems when walking down the dressing isle). If you get salad, you either get the house dressing (which in Paris is usually this yummy light cream that has a hint of horseradish in it), vinaigrette of some sort, or oil and vinegar in their seperate bottles. That's it. They don't even ask you! There are no options. Well if you compare the slimmer figures of Europeans to our bubbly American selves, you have to assume they are doing more than one thing right! Perhaps keeping their salads healthy is part of this. I mean - do you even realize what ranch is? Basically, if you really get down to it, it is flavored lard. That's right, flavored lard. Mayo (lard) with some ranch (flavor). GROSS! And NOT healthy! Drowning lettuce in flavored lard does not a healthy option make. Besides, you eat it more for the creaminess than the flavor, and, remembering back my ranch days, you can't really 'lightly toss' your salad with it. I mean you can - but it doesn't taste near as good.

This is why I LOVE vinaigrettes. Their flavor is STRONG. I mean, I use probably half as much as a vinaigrette on a salad as I would ranch. Also - because it is liquid instead of liquified lard, it dresses the salad itself as it slides over the leaves of lettuce. No intense mixing or redressing required here. Also - even if I put it on a salad in the morning, the lettuce isn't too soggy at lunchtime because it's lighter. To be honest, when they put oil and vinegar on my table, I'll sprinkle a little oil and mostly use vinegar. Oil is fatty-ish (but in a good way according to scientists), but vinegar has a bunch of health benefits, besides being lean!

Check this out:: Olive oil provides the body with healthy monounsaturated fats, which fights heart disease and has antioxidant benefits. Vinegars help regulate the body, controlling blood sugar level, increasing mineral absorption and replacing unhealthy substances (fats, sodium) with healthy ones. Cool huh!! Vinegar goes through your bodie and replaces unhealthy substances with healthy ones!

Also - there are so many different Vinaigrette options! You can go with the normal good ol' oil and vinegar, straight. It's delish- I promise! A little too 'rustic' for you? Try Light Basalmic Vinaigrette! (Yes, because its premixed sometimes they try to add extra fats in, but light will keep the fat content, and calorie content, down). Want some salad for desert? Ken's Steak House Light Rasperry Vinaigrette is my latest addiction - it will give you salad CRAVINGS! There's not really the bitterness you get from other vinaigrettes, just sweet goodness!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Check out my other blog

In order to separate real life from my hobbies, I created another blog with a very specific purpose. Reading (really, are you surprised? REALLY?) Check it out! I'm super excited!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Favorite Things (Friday) Vol 1 Ed 6


That's right, now that I've become a Bountiful Basket-er, I have a lot of fruit, too much to consume alone! So, instead of letting my dear fruit go bad, I am making delicious, homemade fruit leather! That's right! So, I'll walk you through the simple process. Make sure peel and chop your fruit in semi-bite sized-ish pieces. I like to put my fruit in a large pot and boil in so it gets a little soft and doesn't hurt my blender so much. So, 1/2 a cup of water for every 4 cups of fruit, bring to a simmer, and let simmer with the lid in for around 10-15 minutes. Then mash the fruit up with whatever you can, and taste it. Add sugar as needed and let the mush thicken up a bit more and make sure all the sugar is dissolved!

You can let it cool a bit here if you want, but now you want to puree your fruitness. I use my blender, but if you have a food processor or something else that you prefer, then it will work. Make sure it gets super smooth! Taste the puree and make sure it is to your tasting. You can add lemon juice (just a little) to bring out the taste of the fruit. You can add cinnamon and/or brown sugar to apple, like I did, but I just added regular sugar to the pineapple example.

Now you want to super spray your baking pan with some sort of Pam (or substitute), or you can cover your pan in heat-proof plastic wrap. Anyway, pour your puree into the pan. A trick I have for smoothing it out is to shake the pan left and right and up and down, so you even out all the ridges and stuff. Be soft so you don't spill, just be gentle.

Stick it in the oven at the lowest setting. In my oven it is 'warm', try not to be over 150ish, and then close the oven door. This is when patience takes place. It could take 8-10 hours to dry properly. You know it is done when the middle is no longer gooey, of if you touch the middle and it doesn't leave an indent! It always peels off the pan pretty well for me, and then you just slice it and put it in a plastic bag. I guess you can put it in a freezer or fridge or whatever. As if there will be any left in time for you to do this!

Trust me, it is worth the wait! (YEah, I bit that piece, what of it?)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Favorite things Friday Vol. 1 Ed. 5

this Friday (Saturday) is First Dates! Why - you may ask - is something so awkward a favorite thing. Well for one - because I had an awesome one last night. I love the adrenaline. The shy awkwardness of both parties - it's adorable and kind of humorous if you think about it! I love the way you both are kinda wondering what will become of it. The awkwardness of who will pay. And then the cute 'Oh thanks!' when he offers. Besides - first dates means your dating new people. Which means you're meeting ad getting to know new people. I love how attentive he was when I was explaining my family situation - he wanted to see the picture of my niece I was showing around to the girls in the car. It was fabulous!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Favorite Things Friday Vol. 1 Ed. 4


That's right! I'm not sure you guys realize just how much I absolutely love my flute. There is nothing in my life that I care about more than my music. It's hard, it's expensive, it's time consuming, it's degrading (at times), it's competitive, it's painful, and yet, I still do it! It's a common fact around the music department that music majors cry at least once a semester when we have our breakdowns. It just happens. It's also a little known fact (to others at least) at how crazy of a course load we have. I am currently taking 18 credits, and yet that still amounts to over 10 classes! Class goes from 8 in the morning til 5 at night, and I have a few night classes every now and then. It doesn't even matter though, because when I get up on that stage (or even in that practice room) and just make beautiful music, it is the most amazing feeling ever! You have no idea the glory that comes out of the realization that I am the one creating that glorious music. I love Music Theory, I love everything about music. Sure, there have been times that I have gotten frustrated, REALLY frustrated, and thought about changing majors. But then I realized, what else would I do? There is nothing else I want to do in my life. I love that Dr. York is my professor now - she rocks so bad, and I don't know what I'd do without her! I now know that with her help I will succeed in this dog eat dog music world! I am starting to teach beginning students now, and I couldn't be more excited! It will be so much fun!