Monday, January 25, 2010

Thursday Night Supper Club--The details and this week's menu

Alright, people. Thursday Night Supper Club is officially on!

This Thursday's menu is:

-Broiled Chicken Provençale
-Quinoa Salad with Dried Apricots
-Lemon Crème Brulée or Chocolate Tuiles with Vanilla Custard

If you're friends with me on Facebook, you'll get the update there, too. But if not, here are the details:

-If you know me and trust me in the kitchen, you're invited. :) Bring a friend (or spouse, o' course) if you feel so inclined.
-I'll make dinner every Thursday and you bring a few bucks to help pay for ingredients and whatnot.
-The cost will NEVER be more than $8-$10 per person, and I'm hoping to keep it more to the $4-$7 range.
-I'm NOT going to make money off of you--promise. The cost will be evenly divided among everyone who comes to dinner, including me.
-This isn't some weird self-promotional thing and I'm not trying to sell something to you.
-You don't have to participate every week (obviously).

I'll send out the menu every week by Monday, you let me know if you're coming by Tuesday night, and I'll have a seat and a plate for you on Thursday night. :)

Let me know if you want to join in!

If you're not interested this week, let me know if the general idea appeals, and I'll put you on my list of people to include in my weekly menu email.

Woo hoo!

Friday, January 22, 2010


Today I found a bookbinding tutorial online. I can't wait to try it out to make my own unlined journal.

I'll report back soon on how it went. Wish me luck. :)

10/101 - Read one (auto)biography every six months

I have read the following autobiographies to fulfill item #10 of my 101 things.

1) Actually, the first one I don't even remember. I don't remember the title, and I don't remember who it was about. But it was funny.

2) Lincoln: A Photobiography by Russell Freedman.

3) Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery by Russell Freedman.

I actually read the Lincoln biography last night. It's a children's book. Yep, that's how I roll. I'm really loving the Eleanor Roosevelt book by Freedman (also a children's book), so I might end up reading another biography or autobiography on her life. That's actually why I decided to read the Freedman books. They were short, so if I found someone I was particularly interested in through reading his books, I could go find some more in-depth materials.

That's it for now! All in all I will be reading 6 (auto)biographies before the end of the challenge.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Test Kitchen/Dinner Group

To help me resolve my little recipe problem, I decided to start a weekly dinner group/test kitchen combo.

Basically, I'm going to make at least one recipe from my (ahem) archives each Thursday and invite all of my Orem/Provo peeps for dinner every week.

I was thinking I would send out a weekly email with the plan for the main dish, a side-dish sign-up list with a couple of slots, and then let everyone else know to bring $3-$8 to help pay for ingredients, depending on how exotique the ingredients are. (So... if it's lobster, everyone brings $8-ish. If it's tortilla soup everyone brings $3.)

What do you think? Is it tacky to ask people to bring money? Should I just have them bring ingredients? If it were you, what would you prefer?

Would you participate in something like this if someone else was hosting?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sibling Inspiration: Amy

Amy has started running.

I used to love running, but not so much anymore.

I want to love running again. Come to find out I have not only diabetes in my family history, but a history of heart attacks at an early age.

For months I have had this couch-to-5K running plan saved in my external hard drive and eventually posted on my wall.

So today I put each week's workouts on a 4x6 index card so I can easily prop up an outline of my workout on the treadmill at the gym.

It's a nine-week program, and I'll be running indoors only until the spring. (I don't do inversions.)

The idea is to not only lose weight, but to increase my health altogether and have an established running habit before I (potentially) move away to graduate school.

Wish me luck. Join me if you'd like. It will do your heart good. (Mine, too, since I'll know I'm not doing this alone.)

Another goal I've set for myself that's inspired by Ames: Journal keeping. I'm only good at it when it's require for getting good grades in school. Lame. Amy is great at it. So, I'm going to buy myself a new little journal that I can carry with me wherever I go and see what happens.

Get Cooking!

I got "How to Cook Everything" by Mark Bittman. I think she was the one who said she learned to cook by just cooking her way through his book, and it inspired me.

Not only am I going to learn how to cook "everything," but I am also going to become a creative cook and ingredient-combining guru with the Ingredient Bible, which I bought for myself because it's my birthday.

So, if you would like to be a guinea pig, let me know and I'll invite you over for dinner, lunch, breakfast, or brunch.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

L'embarras du choix

At a ward activity with my church in Paris, there was a potluck with some of the most delicious-looking foods I've ever seen.

As I stood before the buffet-style setup trying to decide where to start, a member of the bishopric came up beside me with the same "Where do I start?" look of hesitation on his face.

"Ahh..." he says, "L'embarras du choix." Roughly translated, that conveys the idea of "overwhelmed by my options" or "spoilt for choice."

And that's the perfect description of my life right now. Really, where do I start?

I've been thinking a lot about graduate school, but for the life of me I can't settle on one program over another. It's kind of distressing, mostly because the deadlines are all coming up soon, and I'll need to get cracking on the GRE for some of the applications.

I feel pulled in several different directions. These are the programs I'm thinking of applying to:

-French studies
-French Teaching
-Language Acquisition
-Literacy Education

If I did either of the last two, I would want to do both and end up working for a non-profit with a focus on literacy education (either K-12 or adult ed). But I also feel like I should work in that field for at least a year or two to determine whether that's something I would want to do as a full-time career.

I think with French Studies or French Teaching it's almost a no-brainer that I at least apply, but the catch with that is I don't think I would want to teach secondary, so I would have to also do a doctorate. Yowza. I'm 28. You do the math.

They're all sort of related, having to do with literacy, teaching, and language... but they're all different enough that they don't really overlap. Except maybe Language Acquisition and TESOL. Those probably have some significant overlap in the theories I would study.

So, I'm not gonna lie... I think I would love them all. I'm not really making salary a part of the decision, because choosing a career based on how much I would make is a recipe for disaster (based on previous experience).

That's all. Just needed to get it off my chest.