Thursday, January 29, 2009

Quick random updates

Very quick update so I can feel like I actually made a real post...

Take welding class - I have a friend who can probably teach me so hopefully I can make some time for lessons. It'll definitely be sometime this year.

Read one book/month - I've maybe missed a month, but have been trying really hard to keep motivated to read a book every month. Some of the books were short or in comic form so that's kind of cheating, but each book still requires some level of commitment so that's a big step for me. I need to get the exact titles together so I can actually post up everything I've read. :) The book I hope to start soon is "The Witches of Eastwick" - I feel a little ashamed of the fact that the recent death of the author made me consider this book. I wouldn't have given it a second glance otherwise.

Join a community band - I joined the Band of the Hills and went to my first rehearsal on January 8. I got sick that week so I had to skip the next week's practice, but I've been going consistently since and look forward to our concert in Austin and Houston. I may even stay longer than 6 months, but we'll see where things are by then.

Buy a new bed - I think I more meant to buy a new bed mattress, but this is a step in the right direction. We bought a new MALM platform bed frame from IKEA, which enabled us to get rid of the box spring. I'm so happy about that! Hopefully we can look at a new mattress later this year or early next year.

Visit 5 of USA's top 41 wonders - saw the following during our trip to NY/NJ last month: New York Skyline View, Statue of Liberty, American Museum of Natural History and Times Square at Night. That leaves one more to go! I'll admit that list is a little weird and non-conventional. The Alamo should definitely be on that list, but it's not. Oh well, I picked it so I will have to just go visit other places. :)

See a broadway musical - I just bought tickets to "Avenue Q" on April 16th! I've been trying to see that musical for a while and when I found out it's coming to Austin and tickets are only $20, I had to jump on it. The seats are horrible, but that's alright. :)

Ok, time to get back to my regularly scheduled life... stay tuned!

(87) New recipe every month

Ok, I think I need to make these posts shorter so I don't feel like I'm writing a novel every time I post. I feel like I have so many updates to make, but I never want to sit for several hours at a time to post updates. When I write, I tend to proofread...a lot.

In September, I tried to make yogurt from scratch. My parents have made their own yogurt for years and I wanted to give it a shot. I tried to use store-bought yogurt for the starter culture, but it just didn't produce the same results, but nonetheless, it still produced some semi-firm yogurt that I ate a couple times before throwing out. I made way too much, I think. Here's a picture of the final product:

Then I tried to make Crème Brûlée in... October? Or maybe it was November. Yeah, looking back, I watched Amelie at the same time so it was definitely November. Here are a couple pictures:

I have yet to get a picture of the final product (after torching the sugar layer), but if I wait until I actually catch a picture, I'll never get around to posting this so deal with it. :)

Hm...what else have I made? Oh, last week, I bought a giant bag of baby spinach to get more nutrients while I was sick and I realized I could just cook and reduce it down. I know it's best to eat it raw, but I had some issues chewing so the softer the food, the better. It really reminded me of indian food so it hit the spot. I've tried sauteing it in just butter and in a dash of chicken broth and preferred the latter, flavorwise, but I'm perfectly fine with butter (I use Smart Balance butter blend). Sorry, no pictures of the spinach - deal with it. :)

For December, I needed to come up with some sort of party crock-pot dish and decided to try a cranberry meatball sauce. I did some research online to find any recipes and decided to keep things as simple as possible and use the basic ingredients from those recipes. So... I threw together a can of cranberry sauce and a bottle (or two) of sweet/tangy BBQ sauce. That's it. You have to mash/puree the cranberry sauce to make sure it blends well with the BBQ sauce and then just heat it up with the meatballs. Yum!

Ok, that's all for recipes. I'll update on a few other things soon.