Monday, November 30, 2009

thinking december.


i spent 7 straight hours on campus today. and i forgot to eat breakfast, so i definitely didn't eat anything until i got home 30 minutes ago. no bueno.

after a quesadilla and a couple deep breaths, i realized that december starts tomorrow. the other night, my roommate and i decided that we want to do something festive every day of december, leading up to christmas. so we started making a list. [i love lists]. here's what we have so far:

see the lights at temple square
make and hang-up christmas stockings
drink hot chocolate with homemade marshmellows
decorate a christmas tree
wrap our gifts for a little girl in need
watch 'a muppet christmas carol'
make apartment christmas cards
build gingerbread houses
take a drive to check out the neighborhood lights
have a roommate 'christmas' dinner
write goals for 2010
make christmas sugar cookies
go to a christmas concert
make a wreath for the door
take 'family' pictures [our apartment family]
hang mistletoe
christmas caroling
serve food at the homeless shelter

so what am i missing?

what are your favorite traditions for the month of december?

suggestions are welcome :)


Saturday, November 28, 2009

thanksgiving for two.


dear alexandra's mom,
don't worry. we ate real thanksgiving food.


ps. really though, it was incredibly exciting to make a thanksgiving meal in it's entirety and not ruin anything. alexandra and i were pretty dang proud of ourselves.
baking our first chicken - check.
[don't shower and wash your face in said shower after chopping an onion and rubbing a chicken down with a clove of garlic. probably common sense, but we all make mistakes. mostly me though].
cooking stuffing for the first time - check.
[thanks for the help, dad].
bacon wrapped asparagus. yum.

we finished our thanksgiving off with 44 oz. diet cokes and julie & julia at the dollar movies.

bring it on december.

life is good.

pss. i brought the music back. if it's really annoying and irritating, feel free to tell me. i know the first 3 songs are probably old news, but i've been listening to them over and over again the last few days. in that order too. not sure why.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

the best things in life.


diet coke.

and season 4 of the office on dvd.

have a lovely thanksgiving :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

looking forward to...


lunch today with a friend.

glee tonight. and the finale of project runway tomorrow.

a very exciting sewing project i can hopefully finish up this weekend.

a few days without school next week. time to paint my heart out and dive into all the fabulous photos i took over the weekend. not to mention, sleeping more than 5 hours a night.

possibly hosting my first thanksgiving dinner. [or pre-thanksgiving dinner, which is just as cool and exciting].

december already. i didn't get enough kisses from these boys when i was home over the weekend.

attempting my first quilt.

egg nog and candy cane hugs.

snow [the looking at it, not being cold], christmas trees and lights and being able to listen to christmas music without feeling guilty. plus making my roommates and myself stockings and decorating the apartment.

a new nephew in february and another new nephew/niece [hopefully niece] in april.

a trip to new york in the spring.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

i love when pretty families ask me to take their picture.

wittmer1 copy

5 pretty families in one weekend. more where these came from.

what i don't love is that i have to go back to utah tomorrow where it is apparently going to be 13 degrees. no thank you.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

southwestern chicken chowder.


the food styling in this picture is terrible. that's what happens when you have 5 minutes to snap a photo before you need to leave for the airport, and you know the rest of the soup will definitely be gone by the time you get back.

over the summer, i went to a friend's birthday dinner at the california pizza kitchen restaurant. i was so hungry that i ordered a bowl of soup to tide me over until my pizza was ready. they came out at the same time. but after one bite of the soup, i was not even mad. 

since the weather started turning cold, i started craving this chowder. so i tried to recreate it. i looked up their description on the internet, and then i found a few recipes that were pretty similar. 

attempt 1 = rice. good rice, but rice nonetheless.

attempt 2 = soupy rice. seriously! but don't worry. this time, i fixed it. and it was fabulous.

so if it's getting cold wherever you are and you feel like a spicy+creamy something to warm you up - here you go.

just a disclaimer before i start: there are 2 reasons why i will never have my own cooking show. 1) i am terrible at writing recipes - i apologize. 2) i always cut and burn myself in the kitchen. i did both while making this soup. moving along...

this is what you'll need:
2 T canola oil
1 medium white onion, peeled and diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 or 2 red bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
1 can (4oz) fire-roasted chilies
3 small jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
chili powder
freshly ground black pepper
1-2 boneless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
2 quarts (8 cups) chicken broth
2 cups corn [i used frozen corn and it tasted fine]
3/4 cup white basmati rice
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup flour
1 lime
10 sprigs cilantro, finely chopped
corn tortillas [optional, but awesome]

1. in a large pot, saute the white onion, garlic, and red pepper in the canola oil until vegetables begin to soften. add the chilies and jalapeno peppers. then add the spices: 1 t. paprika, 1 t. chili powder, 1/2 t. cumin, 1/2 t. ground black pepper. continue to cook until vegetables are heated through.

2. add chicken, turning the pieces until they are fully cooked. or cook chicken separately and add it to the sauteed vegetables.

3. pour in 1 quart (4 cups) of chicken broth and bring to a boil. stir in the corn and rice, reducing the heat to a simmer and let cook until rice is tender [30-45 minutes].

4. chances are, the rice drank up all your soup and there is hardly any broth left. so go ahead and add the other quart (4 cups) of chicken broth. then stir in the cream and flour to thicken it up. finally, add the cilantro and the juice of 1 lime.

5. then, add more spices. depending on how spicy you want it... i pretty much just added all the spices in a second time: 1 t. paprika, 1 t. chili powder, 1/2 t. cumin, 1/2 t. ground black pepper. then, add a teaspoon or two of salt, to taste.

6. if you feel like being really cool, slice a few corn tortillas into strips and fry them in a little pot of incredibly hot canola oil. these can go on top for a little crunch and a cute garnish. feel free to throw some extra sprigs of cilantro on top too.


feel free to ask questions and let me know if you try it!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

the sun will come out...


because i'll be on a plane to see some of my favorite little people in the world.

and some of my favorite big people too.

can't wait.

ps. stay tuned for an awesome soup recipe tomorrow. it was actually soup this time :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

fall thoughts.


i'm not very good at photographing nature - i need people in my pictures. but the other day i tried anyway and got this one. i'm kind of proud of it.

i'm ok, i promise. diet coke works wonders. [my dad calls dr. pepper his antidepressant. we're related]. but thank you so so much for your sweet comments and e-mails. you guys are the best.

it's only 3:00, but today has been a really good day. reading my scriptures and working out in the morning is even more effective for happiness than diet coke. [no brainer].

i'm supposed to go home on thursday, and i have so so much to do before then. and i mean SO much. [ps. if you're in the bay area and want some pictures taken this weekend - e-mail me. it will be fun, promise].

i have a bajillion ideas for paintings bouncing around this little head of mine. now to find the time to translate those ideas to the canvas. i'm painting today. i mean it.

i think i'm going to try to make soup again today. keep your fingers crossed that it comes out soup this time.

the fall leaves in utah are starting to disappear. it's sad. one, because i love love fall. two, it's going to start getting colder real soon. i'm not so much a fan of cold.

does anyone watch project runway? because i am so so happy with the final 3 - definitely who i would have picked. i have a feeling irina is going to win. i know she is kind of a mean little woman, but you have to admit that she is good. i'm secretly pulling for carol hannah though - she doesn't really have the 'air' of a fashion designer - but i would wear everything i've seen her put down the runway. sigh. maybe one day ill be cool enough to be on that show. i am taking patternmaking next semester :)

i lost 8 pounds last month. i'm not being the least bit facetious when i say that i don't really know how it happened. especially after finding this recipe. but i'll take it. [by the way, if you haven't tried making these yet, you need to. you will thank me - i promise. i've lost 8 pounds. you can trust me. they're magic cupcakes].

this next one is really random, but it's my blog so i do what i want. i had never realized before today that there are specific washing instructions on the tags of certain underwear. true story. apparently the underwear i'm wearing today are supposed to be tumble dried and removed promptly. because heaven forbid my underwear sit in the dryer a little too long and wrinkle.

is it bad that one of my favorite things about thanksgiving is that you get to start getting ready for christmas as soon as it's over? poor thanksgiving. i really do love you for other reasons too.

i'm going to paint.

right now.

maybe i'll shower first.

or maybe i won't.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

i usually don't post on sundays.

but can we just talk about how much i love this picture?


Thursday, November 5, 2009

a diet coke kind of day.


[mom, don't judge me for drinking caffeine].

it was just one of those days...

you know what i'm talking about.

it was the kind of day that just didn't get off to the right start. you get up much later than you had planned, because the night before was terrible. and the last thing you want to do is get out of your warm bed and face the day ahead of you.

but you do.

and you put your pink robe over your pajamas, slip on your uggs, and make cinnamon rolls for your group project meeting. only your cinnamon rolls don't rise. of course they don't. and they're dense and gross and your frosting has chunks of cream cheese that won't smooth out.

and then it's time for school. and you spend 4-ish hours in the basement of a school building with no cell phone service and all you accomplish is getting your pattern cut out and a wimpy pocket sewn on. 

and there was probably 100 moments in the day where your eyes just started to well up with tears, without any provoking at all. and it takes every ounce of your self-control to keep those tears from falling. and all day long you wonder if last night you made a huge mistake, and all you can do is hope and pray that everything will just work out.

you make it home. to an empty apartment. because apparently your roommates have lives.

so you decided to change out of the sweats and tennis shoes you wore to school, and you get cute. because that should make you feel better. only you swear that last week you were so excited about the 5 pounds you lost, and today they all decided to come back.

but hey, at least now you're wearing mascara and you smell nice, so you decide to be supportive of a friend and go to his comedy show. only you drive all the way across town to find out you went to the wrong place. 

and that's when you need a diet coke. in the worst way.

thank goodness for the crest gas station's drive through and $1.10 refills.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

ryan. melissa + boys


this is my brother's family.

ryan is in school to be a chiropractor. melissa is really good at making cute little boys [i'm sure she's good at making cute little girls too]. their 3 boys are some of my favorite little people in the world. i love them. it doesn't hurt that they look great in pictures.

i took these in april. i even posted them in april, but i decided that it didn't do these photos justice.

can't wait to see you guys in a week and a half.











Monday, November 2, 2009

soup gone wrong.


i wanted soup last night for dinner.

so i decided to make some.

but i added too much rice.


oh well, people still ate it. and liked it.