Saturday, February 28, 2009

Williams-Sonoma Chicken Essentials

So, I went to a new Williams-Sonoma class this morning. It was called Chicken Essentials. Unfortunately, I had to leave early, so I didn't actually get to taste anything, but it was all smelling really good! Here are some things I learned:
You should always grill your meat at room temperature because it seals in the moisture. Also, thawing frozen chicken causes it to lose alot of moisture.
Organic Chicken weighs more than Regular Chicken.
You can use a panini press to grill meat (yet another reason I need one!)

Here's a few recipes we did:
Chicken Satay
2 Shallots, quartered
2 cloves of garlic, halved
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp lemon grass powder
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
Mix them all together in a food processor.
Add 2 Tbsp unsweetened coconut milk and 2 Tbsp water and process again. It should be a thick paste.
Put it in a big ziploc and add 1.5 lbs of cubed raw chicken breasts. Marinate overnight. Skewer and grill. Mmmm!

Chipotle Chicken Panini
Find the recipe here:

The rub is chipotle, cumin, oregano, onions and garlic. I'm sure you could make you own rub or marinade. It would also be tasty with a different rub, I think.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


So, when Jason was 17, he got in a really bad car accident. He was driving down a very curvy road in the rain (and going fast, of course) when he lost control. He regained it, but hit a truck head on coming the other direction. He was going about 50mph, and he was knocked backwards, so that truck was speeding like nuts! Anyway- the steering wheel shoved into his face, and then between the seats. He broke his jaw in three places and had it wired shut for 9 weeks, and also had to have his nose reconstructed.
So why am I telling this story? I'll tell you. Ever since then, Jason's teeth have been horrible. He had tons of hairline fractures all through them, and so he was very susceptible to cavities and root canals. I think he has had about four so far, maybe more- three since I've known him, and has two more teeth that need them. So, yesterday, he was flossing, and a huge chunk of a root canal-ed tooth broke off. So, of course, we call around to dentists (and of course we have no dental insurance) and find someone who can get us in. But- that tooth is so bad now, he has to go see an Endodontist. Who will no doubt charge exorbitant amounts. Anyway- while at the dentist, we found out that he has three failing root canals that will have to be redone, one failed apocayectomy (or something like that- it was a tooth surgery), and like six teeth that need crowned. So, we will be shoveling as much money as we can to get all of Jason's teeth fixed so he won't lose them all. Poor Jason! Yikes! The total bill (including a 15% discount, and it was the cheapest we could find) will run us about $11,000. And all I can think is- there goes my hope of getting a new car this year. Sigh.

Friday, February 20, 2009


You know what I hate? When you are feeling super-great, and everything is going good. And then, BAM- you are sick. I was feeling amazing yesterday- healthy, happy, like everything was going my way. And then this morning I woke up, and I was like "My throat hurts!" But I thought it might go away, since sometimes I just breathe weird while I'm sleeping and wake up with a sore throat. But, once I actually get up, I realize I am sick! Achy, runny/stuffed up nose, sinus pressure, cough and sore throat sick. Yuck. So not fun! I mean, usually you have a day where you're feeling a little blah, right? So you know it's coming. But nope- not today. I think sometimes when things are going too well for me, my immune system decides to shake things up a bit. Or take a vacation. Or something. I just wanted to whine. So- enjoy your good health, and pity poor little Amanda who is sick all of a sudden. Bleeaaahhhh!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Coolest Website EVER!!!

OH MY GOSH!! I just discovered the coolest website EVER!!! Okay, at least for me it is! As you all know, I have been trying to count my calories. But, it's hard when you're cooking because it's all guesstimation. Unless you want to take the time to count everything out and measure it, which I don't. But- NO LONGER! Now- you don't ever have to do it again, thanks to
You enter in your recipe and servings, and immediately, you get Nutritional Information! And not just calories! We are talking fat, fiber, sugars, protein, and significant vitamins. I mean- AMAZING! Right? It is so cool! I can't wait to start using it! I tried it for a trial recipe, and it was so quick! And incredible! And it even gives your dish a grade based on the health aspect. I know- maybe I am a little over-excited here. But I thought I would share it, as it's the coolest website I have found in a LONG time!
Again, it's

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Bane of my Existence

I have decided that I have an arch-enemy. Yes- that is right. I have a nemesis. Jealous? Well, don't be. Is anyone curious who it is? Well, since the joy of blogging is that I don't actually have to hear your lame responses and see your rolling eyes, I can just tell you. My arch-enemy is treats for mutual. Here I am, trying so hard to count my calories, and I have to bring treats for mutual. Two weeks in a row. The first week, I wasn't worried. I was the only one bringing treats, and teenage girls eat a lot more than you think. So, I bought two boxes of mini cupcakes. Pictured below.
Well, much to my chagrin, the girls only ate part of one box!! So, of course, I had to eat the rest. And those little suckers are over 100 calories each, which isn't too bad, except for I was eating like 4 a day. Well, this week, I had to bring a dozen cookies. And you can never make just a dozen cookies. I was worried, because I knew others were bringing cookies. And they ate maybe three of mine. So, I had like 4 dozen cookies at home. AAAAAHHHHHHH!! It's like my worst nightmare!! Luckily, Lauren and Adam decided to save my butt from becoming any lardier by agreeing to take them all. Thank goodness, because I don't think my diet can take this! Next week, I am going to buy or make something I won't eat. I hope.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!!

I hope you guys are all having a great Valentine's Day! Jason and I did our V-Day thing last night, hoping to avoid all the crowds. We did pretty good, I think. We went out for dinner, and I just ordered what I wanted and didn't worry about the calories. Which is a big deal for me, especially since I have not been doing as great of a job lately. Anyway, we did that, and it was delicious! Then we went to see "He's Just Not That Into You" which was really sweet of him, since it's a chick flick, and he hates those. It was a cute movie, but I don't highly recommend it. Just an average chick flick. Then we went to get Coldstone, and again, I tried not to worry too much about the calories. Then we came home and watched The Addams Family Values.
I think we have just been in a movie mood lately. We have seen 5 in the last three days. The other one we went to in the theatres was Coraline. And it was AMAZING!! NOT a kids movie, though. It was really creepy, and really really good. Especially the art direction. And we saw it in 3d, which is always cool.
Anyway- just wanted to wish you all a very happy Valentine's Day! You have all my love and good-wishes!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


First 5

The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me! My choice. For you.
This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:

1- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!
2- What I create will be just for you.
3- It'll be done this year.
4- You have no clue what it's going to be. It may be a story. It may be photography or an article on properly cleaning your face before a masque. I may sew or paint something. I may bake you something and mail it to you. Who knows? Not you, that's for sure!
5- I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.

**The catch? Oh, the catch is that you must repost this on your blog and offer the same to the first 5 people who do the same on your blog.**

The first 5 people to do so and leave a comment telling me they did win a FAB-U-LOUS homemade gift by me! Oh, and be sure to post a picture of what you win when you get it!}

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I'm a Slacker! And a Mooch!

Gosh- I am such a slacker! I have just now realized that my last post was on Saturday. And now it is Tuesday night. I am ashamed. Very, very ashamed. I keep meaning to post things- I had a ton of things laid out for Sunday, Monday, and Today (okay, most of them happened on Saturday) but I have forgotten most of them. Here is one thing I remember.

I had a great time on Saturday going to a cooking class! It was called Chocolate Obsession, and let me tell you, it was a great title. Williams-Sonoma offers free cooking classes every other week (and sometimes more often) on Saturday mornings. Although, I think the classes are usually on Sundays, but here in Mormonville, they switch it for us. I have been to a ton of really great ones. My favorites have been Balsamic Vinegar, Pizza, Breakfast, and of course, Chocolate Obsession.
Here are some cool things I learned:
Most white chocolate you find (seriously- you have probably never had real white chocolate) is fake. It's just vanilla flavored waxy stuff. Not real chocolate. Real white chocolate is extremely rare and expensive.
The best way to shave chocolate is with a serrated knife, not a straight one.
The vanilla they sell at W.S. comes from three different locations (three separate vanillas) which you can also find other places. Mexican (which is the sweetest and goes best with chocolate), Tahitian (which is the most intense) and Madagascar (which is a middle-ish one.)
The commonly accepted best chocolate for use in baking or pastries is Valrhona.
What I ate:
A panini made with a croissant stuffed with chocolate and bananas (so good!)
A brownie from the W.S. mix (best Mix brownie ever.)
A brownie made from scratch with real chocolate bars (not cocoa powder) Super good and gooey!
A Cheater Chocolate Mousse
A molten lava cake called a Bouchon from a mix they sell. It was gooey all over! (In the photo)
Ganache (always a favorite!)
I think that was it, but I may be forgetting a few things I ate. Anyway- it was an amazing class, and I learned a ton. They also give you recipes, which is great. I got one for Balsamic Brownies, which really intrigue me. I would strongly suggest trying a class if they have a Williams-Sonoma by you. Hey- it's free, right?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

My first ring!

My fabulous aunt Laura went through all of her old jewelry and gave me everything that was broken or that she just didn't want because it was weird. So, lucky me, I get to remake them all into new jewelry! Yesterday, I chose a post earring that was missing it's other half. I turned it into a ring, and I love it! It's a little bigger than I usually like for a ring, but it is stunning, and it's really growing on me! Plus, it was super fun because I have never made a ring before. It took some creative juices, let me tell you! I was thinking about adding some beads to spruce it up, or add color, but I decided I like it better plain. Cute, huh? Thanks so much, Laura!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Amanda has found a new love...

So, Jason's iPod Nano broke last week. We bought the coverage for it, so we took it into Best Buy to see if they would fix it. They just gave us the full amount we paid in credit to purchase something else. We wanted to replace Jason's iPod, since he uses it so much at work. However, he doesn't like the style of the new Nanos. They are too long, and the corners are really sharp. Pluse we have heard stories of people snapping them in half and stuff. So he debates and debates, and decides to just take my Nano (which is Bright Pink, I might add) and let me have the gift card. Which is okay with me, because, honestly, I don't use my iPod much. I have had it almost a year, and I think I have used it four times. The only reason I have one is because Jason forgot his while we were on vacation, so he bought one "for me." And then used it.

Anyway- After some debate, I decided to get a new iPod Touch, 16GB. I was really torn up about it, since really the only reason I want one is because they are nifty, and all. But, I did it. And I absolutely LOVE it!!! Okay- so I have only had it for like 2 hours. But, it is the coolest thing EVER!! Here is what makes it so cool. The applications, and the WIFI capabilities. And, alot of the apps are free, which is even better. Here are the ones I have gotten so far (and they are all AWESOME! and free!):

The Daily Plate: for those of you who must never read my blog, this is the website I use to track my calories. And now I can have it with me forever and ever, so I can track my calories anywhere! Yay!
Falling Balls: This is a puzzle-like game where you are running to avoid falling balls by tilting the iPod back and forth. Like a Wii game. Dinner Spinner: You put in what course, what main ingredient, and how much time you have and it find recipes for you! You never have to wonder what to make again! And there are tons of options, and it's got ratings and everything!
Facebook: Facebook for the iPod. It's great.
UrbanSpoon: This has lists and lists of restaurants with ratings, maps, and some menus. It gets your location, or you can choose it, you can choose a type of food and dollar amount (or not) and it will give you a restaurant. This is the hardest decision for us, so I am way excited about it!
WordWarp: This is identical to TextTwist
MoodPhone: This one cracks me up! You shake your iPod and it tells you your mood (much like a mood ring.) There are themes, like regular, relationships, psychosis/drugs, cowboy, pet, naughty etc that you can do. It's tons of fun.
Trace: A game where you try to get a guy to a goal, and you have to draw things to help him. Pretty fun.
Movies: Shows you showtimes, reviews, top box office, what comes out soon (including on DVD) and that kind of thing.
Tap Tap Revolution: Guitar Hero for the iPod (Katie- you know you want one!)
Expando: You make expanding balls to fill up most of the screen without getting hit by little balls flying around.
Shakespeare: The complete works of William Shakespeare on my iPod!! Now I can read whenever I want!!

Doesn't it just sound amazing? I am so excited. It was the best money I have ever spent. At least so far!
Also, here are some cute photos of me and my haircut. I had actually straightened it, so you can see more what it looks like.

A favor to ask...

So, as you all know by now, I have been called as Asst. Camp Director. So- I want to know all your favorite camp songs. I know quite a few, but I am sure I am forgetting some. I have had a blast looking through lists, and it brings back all sorts of fun memories. You all should think about it, at least. You are never happier than when you are singing goofy, often ugly songs at the top of your lungs. And your kids would love them. (If you have any.)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Various Tidbits

Well, I have been having issues with blogging lately. I think about it all the time (yes, maybe I am a bit obsessive-compulsive) but I can never remember what I want to write when it comes down to it. So, instead, I just don't blog, and then when I make myself, I have too many things to say.
I got called as an Assistant Girl's Camp Director. I admit, I am pretty nervous about it, as I had no great love for Girl's Camp when I was in YW. But, I am getting more and more excited about it. I had the chance to go to a workshop for girl's camp on Saturday morning. I admit, I didn't want to go since it's a LONG workshop, but I am so glad I did. Sherri Dew spoke, and she gave an amazing talk. There were a few things she shared, that I feel the need to pass on. She said that throughout the scriptures, every prophet has testified about two things: Jesus Christ, and the latterdays. We know we were all saved for the latterdays. That we proved ourselves somehow in the premortal existence to be worthy to come in these special times. She said "Do you really think Heavenly Father would have taken a chance on the outcome of these days by sending weak spirits?" That just really hit home to me. I never thought about it like that, and I firmly believe her. It gave me a great insight as to how important I am, as a daughter of God, and how important my calling is in the Young Women. I have the ability to shape my girls' lives. Wow. The other thing she said that really inspired me was a story she shared.
She was working the Manhattan Temple Open House VIP night, and afterwards, people were mingling and discussing things. Mike Wallace (of 60 Minutes fame) asked a great, insightful question. He said "Your women are different. Why?" Someone else answered "Because our women are pure." It shines through your face. I was impressed that it really is obvious to people who aren't members of the Church. Wow.
Well, after all that heavy stuff, I thought I would post a great video to lighten your spirits. Thanks, Faith for sharing it with me!