Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Job Searching.....

Can I just say, job searching absolutely sucks. I'm sure others of you out there would agree.
After the day I've had today, I will be increasing my "I need a new job prayer" by like, a thousand. Rough day, which means an evening of red wine and jog hunting for me! At least the wine part is fun. I also decided that maybe it's time to create a profile on LinkedIn. I've had the account for a little while now, but I haven't done anything with it until now. So far, it seems like it will be productive. However, I'm having difficulty posting my resume. I keep getting an "unexpected error" message. And I don't know why. Other than it being unexpected, that's the only answer I have. Any who...... that's been my day. So, now I will enjoy my second glass of wine, thank you very much, and some leftover homemade chicken and dumplings =)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Julie & Julia

Another obsession, especially over the last few days since I am still not fully over this head cold. Ugh.
I've had the movie playing on repeat since sometime yesterday afternoon. Fell asleep while watching it last night and started it again this morning. It's on right now as I'm blogging.
I find it inspiring and all I want to do is cook. But I DO NOT want to get up and go grocery shopping or actually put forth the energy to do the cooking. So instead, I sit, watch and drool. lol.
I've been wanting to make the bruschetta she makes. I've made bruschetta before but not the way she does in the movie. She grills the bread in a frying pan with butter before topping it with ripe tomatoes, mozzarella and drizzling it with olive oil. Delicious, yes!? At least, I think she puts mozzarella on the bruschetta, if not, she should. I definitely will!
And the chocolate cream pie she makes, ummm, yummy!!
I think I have a problem. I told you, all I seem to think about is FOOD!

I did make chicken and dumplings last week, for the very first time, and it turned out wonderfully. I was impressed with myself.
I used Rachel Ray's recipe, but I added a few more vegetables than she called for, 3 large carrots instead of 2 and I used about 6 small red potatoes rather than a russet potato. And to the broth, I added some Chardonnay, because let's face it! Wine makes everything better.
For the dumplings I used the Bisquick heart healthy biscuit recipe and added parsley just like her recipe calls for.
And let me tell you, this meal was fabulous. Especially with the cool fall weather we have just been able to enjoy.
I've included a picture of my delightful little masterpiece. I will definitely be making this again. It's a must have meal for Fall.

Cupcakes, Cupcakes, Cupcakes!!

For the last couple of months all I seem to think about is food. Cooking, baking, dreaming up recipes, salivating over my ideas and "creations". It's pretty ridiculous. I watch the Food Network constantly. As well as Cake Boss, Cupcake Wars and any other baking/bridal show. It's become quite and obsession that has turned into a passion.
So, this past Saturday my friend Courtney and I decide to attempt baking using our own recipes. Well, we attempted to bake from scratch. Not using a box from Pillsbury or Betty Crocker.
I had a few ideas I wanted to try. We used a basic batter recipe and frosting recipe and then added ingredients in to change the flavors.
I have to say, it was pretty challenging, but a lot of fun. We made a huge mess, twice! I should have taken pictures of the kitchen, lol.
About 4 or 5 hours after we started baking in the kitchen, we had 48 cupcakes that needed to be frosted.
This was the fun part. Or, at least it should have been the fun part.
Our lemon-basil frosting did not hold up very well. It tasted amazing, but it sort of liquefied after sitting out for a while. The maple-brown sugar cream cheese frosting was way too soft. It didn't hold up well in the piping bag and as soon as it hit the cupcake, which had been cooled off for quite some time now, it began to melt and drip off the sides. Very tasty, but again it did not hold up at all.
The fudge frosting with almond extract for the cocoa-almond cupcakes, was to thick and refused to budge from the piping bag. Another frosting disaster.
As for the cupcakes, well, they all tasted fantastic, however, the basic batter recipe we used seemed to be to heavy. All of our cupcakes were on the dense side.
All of our hard work, only to prove that we've got A LOT of work ahead of us!

If anyone has any ideas/tips that could help us with our frosting, I would greatly appreciate the assistance. I think the lemon-basil frosting for the strawberry lemonade cupcake went south when we added a bit of lemon juice to it. I think maybe the acid in the lemon broke down the butter and made it runny....? I'm not sure.
As for the cake batter, well, we just need to try other recipes. We'd like a basic, yummy, moist vanilla cake recipe that we can modify/add to for each cupcake flavor. Any recipes or ideas are greatly appreciated!!
I've attached a picture of our cupcake creations. They all looked and tasted great, but the consistency was off......for all of them. So disappointing. But, practice makes perfect! And I am a perfectionist! =)

Stay tunned for more cupcake creations!

Oi Vey!!

Wow. My last blog post was really on January 4th!!? That's terrible. It's official. I'm a blogging loser. lol.
I'm extremely terrible when it comes to actually sticking to something. I decide to start on a new project or commit to something, like blog once a week, and then, it never fails. I don't stick with it.
Well, I'm going to say it again, and hopefully I actually stick to my word this time, I AM going to post at least ONCE a week from now on. And that's final. Hopefully my fellow friends, and the few followers I have, might be able to help keep me on track.... Maybe? ;)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year: Improved Me

Alright, so I've given my New Year's resolution a lot of thought. I'm not really a fan of making resolutions for the entire year because, let's face it, we seldom ever follow through on them entirely. So this year I've decided, with the help of a wonderful friend, to give myself deadlines/time frames for each "resolution." I've got 5.
Resolution #1 - I'm going to make a conscious effort to find things to be thankful for each day. And to thank God every day for each and every one. Even if it's as simple as "being thankful that today's patient charts were at my desk this morning". This is actually huge. Since I had been on vacation for a few days, you never know what you're going to come back to. And starting the morning off without having the charts there when patients start signing in, can be extremely hectic and stressful. Thankfully, whoever helped out on Monday was kind enough to put the charts up for me.
Moving on with my resolution, I've been challenged to "give thanks". To jot down things that I am thankful for. Once I've come up with 1,000 reasons to be thankful, I can quit. However, I hope that I continue on with this because I think it will truly be helpful. We often overlook the things we can be thankful for when we're focusing on the things we're lacking, hoping for, praying for, praying to be fixed....that we loose sight of those great things. When God is showing himself to us.
Resolution #2 - Finding balance
This one is going to be a bit trickier, and I'm not sure I can actually put a deadline or time frame on it. But, let's shoot for March 17th. St. Patrick's Day sounds like a good enough day as any.
I need to find my balance in life. I'm constantly stressing the small things, overlooking little blessings, not taking time for myself, not slowing down to breathe and enjoy life. I've really gotta get a hold on this because one day, it's not going to just be me. And if I can't find that balance now, I never will.
Resolution #3 - Finding Peace
This one will be on going. I can't put a deadline or time frame on it. I'm thinking that #3 will coincide with #2. Finding balance to eliminate stress will help bring me peace.
Resolution #4 - Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Before you judge me, I'm not talking about losing weight or working out more. I mean, of course those play a role in this one, but that's not my main motive. When I say healthy lifestyle, I'm referring to all aspects of my life. From what I eat and how active I am, to the people I hang around and how I choose to spend my spare time. If I'm wanting to rid my life of unnecessary stress, anxiety and worry, I have to choose the people I'm around, what I watch and listen to carefully.
Resolution #5 - Read more
I'm currently reading Safe People by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. I've got several more on my "to do list." I'm going to give myself 6 weeks to finish each book. I'll be needing some book suggestions in a few months, so if you have any, feel free to share.

There you have it.

Time to move

Wow. Has it been that long since I've posted something? November 11th? I suppose it has.
Well, I'm going to change that. Right this very second.
I've been wanting to blog about the New Year. You know, resolutions and what not. But the trouble is, is that I'm not entirely certain on my resolution.
So, I'm going to put that on hold for a second. I will however, post about my most recent inspiration. It came from a song that I heard while headed back from the airport. The sad, lonely drive after saying bye to my love, yet once again.
The song is called I refuse, by Josh Wilson. I've taken the liberty of including some of the lyrics. You can search YouTube for the video if you'd like. I wasn't able to post the link.

This world needs God, but it's easier to stand and watch
I can say a prayer and just move on like nothings wrong
But I refuse
'Cause I don't wanna live like I don't care
I don't wanna say another empty prayer
Oh, I refuse to sit around and what for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself
I could choose not to move
But I refuse

I can hear the least of these, crying out so desperately
And I know we are the hands and feet of you, oh God
So if you say move, it's time for me to follow through
And do what I was made to do and show them who you are

This song has empowered me to get moving. I've been doing a lot of talking, wishing, thinking and praying. It's time I follow that up with more action. It's time I start moving.