Wednesday, December 29, 2010

So I'm back

Christmas was lovely, the weeks leading up to Christmas were lovely, and now it's all over. I'm always a bit blue after Christmas. I don't want all the loveliness and coziness to go away.

Here a few glimpses into our celebrations.

Swanky Work Sponsored Date

At the beginning of the month TC's employer held their annual year-end dinner and got rooms for all to stay at the Grand America Hotel. It was quite exciting!

TC got dressed up, which we all know I really enjoy. He cleans up nicely. What can I say?

Here is the obligatory "we are in the elevator of a fancy hotel and are super excited, but we're trying to keep it on the down-low, but since there's no one else in the elevator with us we are going to show our excitement" photo. 

And here I am chilling in the living room of our suite. My wardrobe included my Vince Camuto shoes, and my hot pink paper sack skirt

In the morning we had breakfast at the buffet and positively filled our gullets. Then we walked around and browsed in the hotel shops. Lastly, before checking out we bought gelato. 

Holiday Baking

I spent quite a bit of time in the kitchen, but for some reason did not photographically document any of it. 

I made Puppy Chow (could the name be any stupider?) for TC's coworkers and put them in cute little cellophane bags with green polka dots. All very cute, no photos to show off my handiwork. Also, I really wanted to write on the tag the following: "Allergy warning, may contain peanuts and Christmas cheer." I thought it was very funny. I was outvoted by the sane and left it off.

I made Muffins that Taste Like Donuts with the intention of including them as gifts for the coworkers, but they did not turn out. They taste fine, but looked like mutants. I might have left out some, or all, of the salt. They may or may not have been raw in the middle and severely concave. Sigh. And TC didn't like them because they had too much cinnamon for his taste (I say, "Too much cinnamon? Impossible.")

I made Pan Dulce with chocolate chips substituted for the dried fruit (TC HATES dried fruit and cannot emphasize this enough). It was tasty, but dry. So if you ate it with hot chocolate and dipped it in the hot chocolate it was great. Double sigh.  

I made wheat bread, and it was dense and heavy. 

I planned to make the following items, but did not get around to it:

GarrapiƱada (sugar coated peanuts), a traditional Argentine Christmas treat

Fruit Salad, another traditional Argentine Christmas treat

Sugar Cookies, a traditional American Christmas treat

But alas, I did not find/make the time. 

Christmas Cheer

And for our celebrations, we spent time with my family, TC's family, and ourselves. 

Photos from the festivities:

TC and I in front of a beautiful tree in our Sunday clothes. 


Just because red and white are pretty colors.

Our tree, Eileen.

Us in front of our tree. By the way, we did not have a white Christmas, but it was lovely nonetheless. And it is supposed to snow today. So yay!

Me at my parent's house with one of my awesome gifts. Mom got me a Cricut cartridge.

TC with his favorite gift of all Christmas. (The previous statement may be infused with slight facetiousness.) 

It turns out that all the manly men in the family got Eclipse, so here they are showing that real men love shiny vampires.

And here they are showing their more feminine sides.

Muscular nephew Derrick showing his muscular muscles.

Me looking demented.

In a nutshell, Christmas was lovely. I have been listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing Christmas music on Pandora for weeks now and I'm not quite ready to switch over to non-religious, non-Christmas music just yet. I want to draw out this peaceful feeling, the quiet remembrance of the Savior and all He did for us, that man that was born just a tiny little baby in a manger. 

Merry Christmas all. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

5.7 million minutes

This man and I have been bound together in holy matrimony for over 5.7 million minutes, or 11 years, today. Happy anniversary to us!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Friday that is Black

On black Friday, we went shopping. I managed not to buy anything for myself, except for these exceptional boots.

They are Guess Heatherly. And we bought them at DSW. Now I went to DSW with the intention of helping SIL2 pick out some boots for herself. And that we did. But, while she was deliberating, my eyes were wandering, and TC insisted I try these boots on. So I did. And you all know what happens when I try on shoes. 

So, yada yada yada, I have new boots.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Let's just be honest here.

Seen on the corner of State St and 1700 S in Salt Lake City. At least he's honest.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Blue tights

I found blue tights to match my blue shoes. And I wore them together, and had TC take a photo of me. I'm not sure I LOVE the rest of the outfit, but I DO love the blue tights on blue shoes. I think I need a charcoal grey sweater dress to go with the bottom half.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

R.I.P. Plantita Adorada

I loved you from the moment I saw you at Costco and realized that you were a Gardenia plant.

I loved you all those moments I watered you, and all those moments I forgot to water you.

I loved you all those times I brought you from the outdoors in to protect you from the unpredictable spring and fall weather.

I loved you every time you bloomed a new blossom.

I loved you every time you drooped from neglect.

I loved you even when I forgot to bring you indoors during the worst storm of the season.

I loved you even when I forgot about you as I watched on the news all the storm warnings, and warnings of sub-zero temperatures.

I loved you when I looked outside to realize that you had been killed by the inclement weather.

I loved you when I brought you indoors hoping you would resurrect. And I loved you when I realized that I had not brought you in time to save you.

And I loved you as I dropped you down the trash chute.

R.I.P. I will miss you.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanks for the giving

This year Thanksgiving was longer than usual. For the first time in my life I hosted. I have always been a guest, except for my first Thanksgiving as a married woman when TC and I tried to have our own celebration, but in the end found the cost of a turkey prohibitive and decided to forego in favor of chicken breast, which ended up shrinking in the oven. Except for that time, I have never hosted my own Thanksgiving feast. This year, we invited TC's sisters and their families, and MIL.

I found recipes for the foods I wanted to make, made up a shopping list, created a cooking schedule that started on Tuesday, and then stressed like crazy. I kept having bad dreams that unexpected guests came (like random members of my family and distant cousins and the like), and came too early, and that I had forgotten to do essential things like, um, put the turkey in the oven. I start to feel the panic coming on when I just think about the panic I felt. Goodness.

At any rate, all went well. No uninvited third cousins twice removed came over, and no turkeys were left uncooked. I came out of it all with a cut on my thumb (from shattering glass all over the kitchen and living room and then hurriedly cleaning it up and finding a tiny shard of glass embedded in my finger), and minor burns on the palm of my hand (from taking the turkey out of the oven to baste with only a small hot pad).

To sum up the holiday, here are some photos taken by SIL 2.

TC and SIL3 making mashed potatoes and squash.

Get your butt in the kitchen. Ha ha. Ha. (Mine is on the right, in case you wanted to see it.)'

SIL1 tossing a salad. Please, please ignore my double chin in the background. And the horrible hair-do. In fact, focus all your energies on the beauty tossing the salad. 

Me, carving the turkey. I feel like I've set the standard high for myself on this blog, and here I am, letting all of you, my dear readers, down with my lameness in appearance. I have an excuse: the cooking of it all, and taking breaks in between basting to play PS3 with the Huz took precedence over fixing my hair and putting on clothing that was actually sort of flattering. So there you go. But at least in this photo you can't see my double chin, so that's good, right?

One of the little ones enjoying rolls.

The little ones with their Tio Van, playing Lego Indiana Jones.

The littlest little one with SIL2.

The spread: rolls, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and squash, cranberry sauce, and Ferrero Rocher. 

And don't forget the dulce de leche apple pie (on the top of the microwave), Coca Cola and Sprite.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pizza Crust Heaven

There are two things in our house that are constant, and one of them is pizza. Pizza is a constant around here because we love it, and because we REALLY love it. (The other constant is superheroes, but that's a conversation for another day.)

Our weekend dinner schedule is this:
Friday-Cafe Rio

It's been like this since 2004. And pre-2004 it was the same, just nix the Cafe Rio. That's our lives: predictable and cozy. Just how we like it.

Back in the pre-historic days I made pizza on a sourdough loaf. Then I moved on to crust mixes. Then I moved on to crust made with actual yeast mixed by my bread machine, which is where I have remained for the last 8 or so years.

It's like I said; our lives are predictable.

A few weeks ago I felt adventurous, and also was tired of my bread machine which is worn out and needs to be thrown out a high window, so I looked in one of my trusty cook books for a pizza crust recipe. I found one in The Best of Cooking Light. And this is what came out:

Puffy, fluffy, yummy crust. TC declared his love for the crust and ever since we have dedicated our lives/weekend dinners to this crust.

The recipe is for Herbed Cheese Pizza, but really I just use the dough recipe and skip the rest which calls for crazy stuff like kasseri cheese and paprika.

Here it is:

2 cups bread flour, divided (I don't actually have bread flour in the house due to space constraints and laziness, so I just use regular old all-puprose flour)
1 teaspoon sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons yeast
2 cups warm water, divided
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons olive oil

Combine 1 cup flour (bread flour if you have it) with 1 cup warm water, sugar and yeast. Let it stand for 15 minutes until it's all bubbly and alive.

Then, combine 3 cups of flour, salt, olive oil, the other 1 cup of warm water and yeast mixture. Stir until combined.

Then, turn dough out to a floured surface and knead, adding the remaining 1/2 cup of flour (or more if needed) until the dough is smooth and elastic (this usually takes me about 5 minutes).

Place dough in a bowl coated in olive oil (I usually pour in a little bit, like maybe a 1/2 teaspoon, then take a pastry brush and spread it all around). Cover and allow to rise in a warm place. (I turn on the oven to the lowest temperature, which for my oven is 170F, and place the bowl on the stove top.) Let it rise for about 45 minutes, until it has doubled in size. Then punch it, divide into two and let it rest for 20 minutes.

While your dough is resting, grate your cheese (we love plain old low-moisture mozzarella), make your pizza sauce (pop whatever tomatoes you have on hand in the blender with a teaspoon of sugar, some salt, oregano, garlic and whatever other seasonings you like), and preheat oven to 425F.

Now here's the fun part, spread cornmeal on a flat cookie sheet. Spread dough on cookie sheet over cornmeal (the cornmeal makes it so the dough doesn't stick), working it until you have a roughly round shape and the dough is fairly evenly spread out.

This recipe makes two crusts. Now, for us, one pizza is perfect for two hungry people for dinner, so I usually just store the other dough portion in the fridge until the next day (which explains why we have pizza two days in a row). I just keep the dough in the bowl that it rose in, covered with plastic wrap.

You can see that my crust is, um, NOT round. It's more rectangular with a hint of oblongness.

Top dough with sauce and cheese and whatever else you'd like. Then pop it in the oven (on a middle rack with nothing below it obstructing the heat from baking the bottom of the dough completely) for 15 minutes or so until the cheese is bubbly. Then voila! Magically, or by the power of leavening, the dough puffs and huffs and rises and congeals. It's beautiful, and I find myself frequently staring into the oven to see the progress.

And this is what you get: crusty, lovely goodness. It smells spectacular and tastes even better.

And if you want to turn up the yum factor, instead of using cornmeal on the cookie sheet, brush on olive oil and brush some olive oil on the crust. It's crazy good.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I covered my trials and travails of Vogue 1169 ad nauseam and somehow still left out that I did finally finish those covered buttons, and have not been able to wear the suit for two reasons:

  1. The fabric sucks. It sticks out in the most inopportune places and generally makes me crazy with its non-hangy-ness. It looks ridiculous. Really. 
  2. The fabric REALLY sucks.
But I love the pattern. I love the design. And if it were not for the poor fabric choice I made, I would wear that suit every other day. Or something like that. 

So, I'm doing a do-over. 

In my 13 lb box of fabric, was a beautiful worsted wool. I don't know how it got there. Ha ha. Ha. 

Okay seriously, I ordered it. Because I figured this suit deserved to be made up in a proper suiting fabric.

The fabric is an odd color. It's not quite brown, it's not quite grey, and it's not quite green. I didn't notice until I went to the fabric store the other day with a swatch to match a zipper, thread, and embroidery floss for the pick stitching. That got complicated. But I eventually found colors that work okay.

And here it is with the pattern.

Progress so far is as follows: wool jacket cut. I'm holding off on the skirt because I had some major fit issues with the skirt last time, so I'm holding off until I figure out how to fix those issues. I bought the interfacing, and will cut that today. I also need to cut out the lining. 


It was a lengthy project the first time, and I'm a bit surprised at myself that I'm going through all this trouble for a second time. I think it will be worth it though.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I have yet another pair of shoes to share with you. TC's dear mother bought these for me in the mother land, and brought them all the way here just for me. I can't thank her enough.

They are Topper Durbans.

Most of my dear readers have probably never heard of Topper. Topper is a company founded in Argentina that sells all sorts of sports clothing and shoes.

You may notice the the shoes already have signs of wear. That's because no sooner did I receive these shoes was I wearing them all over the place. I'm not usually much of a sneaker person; I typically never wear sneakers outside of exercise and perhaps long walks. But these. These really won me over.

I love the pink on pink. I love the soles. I love everything about these shoes.

I adore the details. Already these shoes are worn and loved.

Friday, November 12, 2010

New (to me) Patterns

I bought some new/old patterns from Deseret Industries (a local thrift store). I could have purchased at least triple the number I ended up buying, but something vague about avoiding excess stopped me. So here's my loot.

1. Bunny Suit.

Because let's face it: at some point in my life I am going to NEED a child's bunny suit. It was so cute that I didn't have a chance at passing it up. (Copyright 1970)

 2-5. Toys
(Copyright 1964)

(Copyright unknown)

(Copyright 1968)

(Copyright unknown)

I'm a sucker for stuffed toys, and an even bigger sucker for vintage stuffed toys.

6. PJs

Nightgown AND panties! What grown woman doesn't need bloomers? (Copyright 1971)

7. Bow Top

I love the polka dot top best. (Copyright unknown)

8. Dress

 The navy blue version is my favorite, although pink ruffles are adorable too. (Copyright 1964)

9. Man Pants
If I sewed these for Mr. Compensator, do you think he'd wear them? (Copyright unknown, but I'm thinking 1974 or so.)

10. Toddler Romper

Um, yeah, so this was too cute to pass up. So I didn't pass it up. (Copyright 1965)

The only problem with discovering such a plentiful source of old patterns is that now I want to go back and buy every single one that tickles my fancy. Self control Gordita. Self control.