Monday, February 25, 2008

I make bad decisions

My roommate and I watched the Oscars last night. I bought a few bottles of champagne and Sunny D to make Juno mimosas. Roughly half an hour into the awards themselves (we started with the red carpet), we had finished 3 bottle of champagne and a small portion of the Sunny D. I was in bed by 8:30.

Never again.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Hawaii! (edited to reflect the places that we actually went)

I'm headed to Hawaii with the man! We head out on Thursday morning and return 10 days later. I'm terribly excited! We head first to

View Larger Map,where we'll be staying in a B&B with a bunch of his friends. One of them is celebrating a birthday, so they're all getting together to celebrate. I plan to bake some sort of something as a hostess gift/birthday gift, but I'm having a lot of trouble deciding what to make. I suppose I'll post something once I decide. I'm having to come up with something that's portable, chocolate, and hopefully delicious!

Then, it's off to Honolulu,
View Larger Map where we'll be staying with a couple of his friends who live on the island.

Then, the final stop will be on Maui
View Larger Map, where we're staying in a resort by the beach. It turns out that the resort has been voted the "most Hawaiian" resort, and they are quite proud of it. I totally believe it too. I would definitely return there.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

New icecream maker

I've been slowly recovering from a bit of a cold bug, and it seems the only thing that is helping me recover is trying new recipes. I finally used 2 amazing gifts that I've left untouched since I received them.

The first is a shiny icecream maker attachment for the kitchenaid! It is super-easy to use, and I was able to start using it within a day oftaking it out of the box. The bowl had to spend a night in the freezer to get it ready, but that was really all the prep needed. I've already popped out 2 batches of ice cream, and I'm in love! I made a batch of nuetella ice cream first, and it was so easy that I went on to make a batch of darm chocolate peanut butter too. I think that may be my favorite rish dessert now. I used the same recipe, stolen from chocolate & zuccini (who was apparently thinking the same thing) for each:

1.5 cups nutella (or all natural dark chocolate peanut butter spread)
1 can evaporated milk

Whisk the 2 together until smooth.
Cover and refrigerate blend about an hour.
Whisk lightly and pour into ice cream maker.

Churn until done.

The nutella took longer (I think because it was less dense to begin with) - it took about 30-40 minutes. I think this is more of a normal time.

The dark chocolate peanut butter only took about 15 minutes. This could be because of the denseness, and/or because of the fact that I left in the fridge a little longer. Next time, I do think that I'll try to lighten it up a little. While I loved it, I think that it would be way to rich for most people.

Of course, ice cream is not nearly as amazing if it doesn't have baked goods to accompany it! I pulled out one of my new favorite recipies - a brown sugar pound cake. Normally I'd make it with pecans, but I had a bunch of walnuts and used them instead. It's a Southern Living Recipe. I love it with the tiny exception that I was the recipe was scaled back a bit. I don't have a single dish that can hold the full amount of batter that this makes. And rather than learn from my mistakes, I keep trying to get it all to fit, which results in a very dirty oven. One day, maybe I'll learn.

After cleaning out the oven, I finally tried another of my gifted toys - a madeline pan from Williams-Sonoma. Purr. (This also gave me a great chance to use my new dish.) I found a nice, basic recipe on, and went to work. The recipe left out adding in the vanilla, so I may have added it later thanI should have, and I wasn't sure how to fold in solid butter (although maybe it should have been done more like a croissant, which would have made it more flaky?), so I melted the butter first.

I've never actually had madelines before, but I think they came out OK. They tasted cakey, and I'm assuming that's normal. I also though the flavor was a little lacking. They smelled wonderful, but the actual taste didn't quite live up, for me. To have any real idea of how mine turned out, I think I'm going to have to sample someone else's.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I hate being sick. The is a cold bug running rampant through populated buildings in Virginia. I swear that the germs are incubated in the law school, the General Assembly, and the AG's office. The General Assembly has even begun to leave hand sanitizer stations throughout the building. I should have caught on.

Nonetheless, here I sit, feeling ill since Friday morning. Thankfully, the symptoms waited to really set in until after the party was done. I just wish they'd waited until after I was really done clenaing up. Instead, I mopped and moved furniture in short bursts for 3 days, during my moments of more energy. Still, 2 boxes of kleenex and a couple rolls of tp later, things are looking up!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

American Gladiators

The party actually turned out pretty well. Everyone loved Lauren't cut-outs, the decorations were lovely, and I we finished off two kegs and four dozen jello jiggler shots, and almost finished off two big things of punch (one blue and one red).

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Party Planning

I am hosting a Feb Club party. The one I was given is the American Gladiators themed party sponsored by one of our Journals. I was alittle worried about the theme at first, but now I'm really excited about it.

I've been planning - there will be the predictible decor - red and white stripes, blue Christmas lights, and lettering on the walls, etc. That isn't nearly enough, though. I enlisted a (very kind) friend who is in town visiting to paint giant Gladiators on plywood that someone else will cut the face out of and brace to stand alone so that people can stick their own face in and take pictures. I ordered star shaped ice cube molds to make jello shots in, and an ice luge mold.

I'm also planning a flip cup tournament to take place during the party, and the prize is this wonderful beer drinking trophy!
The food will all be themed, of course, with twizzlers; red, white and blue funfetti cupcakes; red and blue tortilla chips with salsa; and red and blue punches.
I absolutely can't wait! Now I just want to make sure that everything is ready by Thursday.