Monday, April 30, 2012

T is for Tolkien and U is for Underhill

This movie comes out in December. 

I'm pretty stoked. I loved the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, and always feel a kind of sadness at the end of Return of the King.  I'm really looking forward to The Hobbit. 

Plus, it's got a bunch of awesome dwarves in it: 

I'm especially looking forward to this character: 

Thorin Oakshield. 

Played by Richard Armitage of "North and South" fame 


Ok. Done swooning now. 

I'm thinking I'm not too old for a midnight showing...who's with me??? :) 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

R is for Ristupidiculous and S is for Splendiferous

I'm a fan of made up words. :)   These are two of my favorites.

Ristupidiculous: when something is both stupid and ridiculous; saying this just make you feel a little more emphatic when trying to convey the idea that something is beyond ridiculous and stupid. Trust me.

Splendiferous: splendid and wonderous/wonderful. Again, another great word that just has that little extra 'umph' to it. Plays well with sarcasm.

Monday, April 23, 2012

P is for Purpose and Q is for Quotes

I'm doubling up here on the A-Z because clearly, I'm failing at being faithful to post daily. I knew it would be hard - that's probably why they called it a 'challenge'....

There seem to be many definitions of the word purpose, books on the subject, how to find it, get it, give your life it, etc, etc.  As a Christian, I think my purpose in life can be easily summed up in the words of the Westminster Shorter Catechism:

Question:  "What is the chief end of man?"
Answer: "Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever."

(Oh, and see how I slipped in the quote right there...yeah...I'm sly like that)  :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

O is for Osmosis

Definition: molecules moving from high concentration to a low concentration through a semi-permeable membrane.

And for the record - I didn't have to google that definition.   :)  I love biology.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

N is for Numbers

*cymbals clash* 

M is for Menchies

It's quite possible that I might become addicted to this place. More specifically, their cake-batter flavored frozen yogurt or as the young masses are calling it these days: froyo.

Excuse me for a minute while I rant:

"Froyo"? Seriously, who came up with that word? Is it really that difficult to say "frozen yogurt"? Can your brain just not handle the vocab? Is your mouth really that lazy?

Ok. Rant over.

Where was I?

Oh yeah - Menchies.

I love being able to pick my flavors and toppings and mix and match to whatever weird taste my heart desires.

And their spoons are so cute!

I am well aware I'm a day late and a dollar short on the A-Z challenge...but if you consider the exchange rate I'm probably only about $0.98 short...

Saturday, April 14, 2012

L is for Laundry

I'm out of clean underwear and socks. I know y'all wanted to know that so very much so you're welcome. This means it's time to do laundry. So that's what I'm doing today. And while I'm waiting for the machines to do their thing, I browsed the web and I found these cute vintage laundry signs.

I want this in my laundry room 

This one's cute  :)

Only 25 cents? Where did those times go? 

This makes me glad we have machines  

Speaking of machines...I think  I heard them stop...that means it's time to go. 

In other news: it's snowed last night and hasn't stopped....we're up to about 10 inches.

             This the view of the back deck. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

K is for Kinesthetic

Have you ever taken one of those "What Kind of Learner Are You" tests? I've done a couple, and most of my results come out to show that I am a highly kinesthetic learner and a moderately visual learner.

I really like being able to do things with my hands - to touch, see and feel, what I'm doing.
In school, I was loved all my lab sessions and activities for all classes, from biology, chemistry, to my horse science and beyond.

 I love "how-to" books and projects that have photo guides.  I think this might be one reason why I love Pinterest so much...there's lots of DIY projects and ideas. I'm pretty creative and crafty and love making things.

What about you? Do you know your learning style?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

J is for June

Which, in my humble (yet accurate) opinion, cannot come quickly enough. Because that's when this happens:

More specifically my church's annual Family Camp 2012. 

There will be much of this

Some of this:  (we hope for sunshine)

And other stuff like this: 

I'm a little excited. 

The end. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I is for Inconceivable

"You keep saying that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."  

Any Princess Bride fans? Anyone?   :-) 

I is also for Inigo killed my father...

Monday, April 9, 2012

H is for Heavenly

"If you then were raised with Christ, seek those things above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory."
Colossians 3:1-4

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

D is for Dessert

Dessert. I love that word. This weekend we're having a get together for Easter, and I'm going to try and commandeer the kitchen. Which might be harder than it sounds what with having my family all in town means 2 extra adults plus a couple of big kids around plus 3 little kids running around in circles.

But I digress.

My real purpose for posting about Dessert today is to post a favorite recipe. I recently made this cake for church potluck and it's quite amazing. I'm not a huge cake person, gravitate more towards pies and icecream and the like, but this cake was different for two reasons:

#1 - Chocolate. I'm sold

#2 - Super dense AND moist to boot.

I love heavy dense cakes like pound cakes etc. This baked up so lovely and heavy and chocolatey - I can't wait to make it again.

Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake
(adapted from Williams Sonoma)

For the cake:

1 cup cocoa powder, sifted, plus more for dusting pan
7 1/2 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (semisweet chips work well)
1 cup boiling water
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
20 Tbsp. (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
5 eggs, lightly beaten
4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

For the ganache:

6 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream

Have all the ingredients at room temperature.

Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a Bundt Cake Pan and dust with cocoa powder; tap out the excess.  *I used "Pam for Baking" LOVE IT. Works super well, just makes sure to coat the inside of the pan really well.

To make the cake, in a bowl, combine the 1 cup cocoa powder and the chocolate. Add the boiling water and whisk until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth and blended. Set aside.

Over a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 30 to 45 seconds. Reduce the speed to low, add the brown sugar and beat until blended. Increase the speed to medium and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating until incorporated before adding more and stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the vanilla until incorporated, about 1 minute.

Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the sour cream and beginning and ending with the flour, beating just until blended and no lumps of flour remain. Slowly pour in the chocolate-cocoa mixture and beat until no white streaks are visible, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading the batter so the sides are about 1 inch higher than the center. *This recipe makes more batter can can fit in the bundt pan - make sure to leave that 1 inch of space from the top of the pan - use the rest for cupcakes or something*  :)
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached to it, 60 to 65 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool upright in the pan for 15 minutes. Invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan. Let the cake cool completely, at least 1 hour.

Return the cooled cake to the pan. Using a serrated knife, gently saw off any excess cake that extends over the edge of the pan. Set the wire rack on a parchment paper lines baking sheet. Invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan. (I skipped this step).

Meanwhile make the ganache: In a heatproof bowl, combine the chocolate and butter. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream just to a boil. Immediately pour the cream over the chocolate and butter. Whisk until the melt and the mixture is smooth.

Pour the ganache over the top of the cake, allowing the ganache, to drip down the sides. Let the cake stand until the ganache is set, at least 15 minutes.

Serves 16 (or more depending on your slice size)

*what it should look like - this is not my cake...I'm thinking this time I'm going to go all funfetti on mine and get it all springy looking. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

C is for Canada

When I moved to Canada this past January, I realize that many of you thought this is what I live with:

You would be wrong. 


But wrong. 

Also that I live in one of these

Also wrong.

That it looks like this year round:

As cool as it would be to actually go to Narnia, we don't live here either.

So,  again wrong - sorry.

And last but not least, that I see these everyday and we hunt them regularly.

And Again. Wrong. 

The closest thing to animals I live with are these monkeys: 

They make a lot of noise and are incredibly silly 

But you can't beat the cuteness factor

And while it did look like this for a while: 

And I dressed like this occasionally 

 It now looks much more like this: 

And I have seen one moose, but generally, the closest I get to them is this: 

They are not so completely uncivilized here.

There is plenty of this to be had 

And I get to live with one of my best friends. 

She's pretty. 

So yeah. There ya be. 

In other news: the rest of my family minus one sister are on their way. They should be here tonight. 


Monday, April 2, 2012

B is for Blessed

That's how I feel this morning. Normally, I'm not a "Monday-Morning" person. It's not generally my best day of the week. But this morning, I just felt particularly blessed and rejuvenated in my spirit.

Psalm 139 is probably my most favorite passage of Scripture and I thought of these verses today as I was driving and watching the sun come up through my rear view mirror. (Sunrises here in GP are particularly pretty - I think it's my favorite time of day)

"Where can I go from Your Spirit, or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven You are there. If  make my bed in hell, behold You are there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me and Your right hand shall hold me."  ~Psalm 139:7-10

That's a pretty powerful message. There is nowhere or any place that we can be or go that is out of God's hands or not in His purpose for us.  I sometimes struggle with feeling like I'm "in the right place" or "doing what I'm supposed to be doing" in life.  In those moments, these verses become very personal and I find great encouragement in them and the promise that they hold.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A is for April, Alleluia, and Awesome

April will be Awesome. The end.

Ok, so maybe not..

Since it is the first of April, it's traditional to do some kind of prank on people to fool them. Most people try and fool me. It never works though, because I'm too attuned to what day it is and I tend not to believe anything that seems too good to be true, or outlandish, or even the slightest bit off.

Does this mean I have trust issues? Yes.

But only one day a year.

There is something about starting a month on a Sunday that I really like. Sunday worship sets the tone for my week and I feel like starting out the month on a Sunday sets it up to be an awesome month.

Another reason April will be awesome is because my parents and sibs are coming!    They'll be here Tuesday and stay through the following week.  :-)   Squee!

*ahem* And now, I must go needs clean my room...

I just spent 20 minutes on Facetime with my Dad going through my closet so I could 'show' him some things I need them to bring up for me. Never thought I'd see the day with my dad rummaging through my dresses and shoes for me...  :)