Sunday, August 28, 2011

Baby blog

This time it's my own. Crazy!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mom knows best

My mom is a great cook. But one of my favorite things she made for me and my sister was her "Get Well Soup". The soup is really easy to make and its deliciously simple. Although when I was older I found out it was a typical Greek soup recipe, I still love it and call it Mom's Get Well Soup. So when you are feeling a little under the weather, whip up a batch of this soup and you'll be feeling better before you know it!

Mom's Get Well Soup

2 Quarts of Chicken Broth
1/2 cup of rice (although I always add extra!)
4 eggs
Juice of 2 lemons ( less than 1/4 cup)

Cook rice in chicken broth until almost tender. Mix eggs and lemon juice in a separate bowl. You may want to start with less lemon juice because you can always add more to taste later. When rice is done, remove soup from heat. Slowly add soup to egg and lemon mixture while stirring constantly to raise temperature of egg/lemon mixture without curdling. When egg/lemon and broth mixture is close to soup mixture combine with rest of soup mixture. Do not bring soup to a boil after this step because eggs will curdle. The soup should just be nice a cloudy without big clumps.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Deliciousness of Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Let me first give credit where it is due: the best cupcake I've ever eaten, The Cookie Monster Cupcake at Molly's Cupcakes in Chicago, is what I based this cupcake off of. After lots of Internet investigation and trial and error, I've found the what I think is the best way to replicate the deliciousness that is the Cookie Monster Cupcake.

Here we go. Okay I've had a bad experience in the past baking cupcakes from scratch, so i stick with cake mix. Betty Crocker, every time. Bake as instructed, I put abut 1/3 cup of batter in each cup which seemed to work best:

Next, cut out cones from the tops of the cupcakes. This takes a little practice in order to not cut too deep or too shallow, but don't worry too much about getting it perfect. But DON'T EAT IT! You'll need it in later steps.

Now you'll need to make some eggless cookie dough. Although I've never personally been sick from eating dough with raw eggs in it, I wouldn't risk making a whole party sick. Here's an example. I like to use mini chocolate chips so the chocolate isn't too overwhelming.
Now drop about a teaspoon of cookie dough into the hole you've cut out. I haven't figured out a good way to do this without using my fingers (wash those hands!). Don't worry about it being perfect, you'll be covering up the tops with icing anyways.

Next take those little cupcake cones (that you didn't eat!), and cut off the pointy part of the cone, leaving just a cupcake hat.

Now cover the cookie dough filled holes with the hats. I like to only do about 6 cupcakes at a time so that I can keep track which hat goes with which cupcake.

Finally make some icing. The best recipe that I've found is Wilton's Butter cream but I like to use less butter and more shortening. The butter makes the icing significantly sweeter and most people can't eat it. Add a few tablespoons of water to make the icing a little less thick. I use another Wilton product, the Dessert Decorator Pro, which makes icing the cupcakes super quick and professional looking.

To add the finishing touch, use your left over cookie dough to make small cookies to top your cupcakes, and to let your friends and family know there is something extra special about the cupcake they are about to eat! And wah-lah! Cupcake heaven!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Texas beginnings...

On thing I throughly enjoy about Texas: having a Space Shuttle on my license plate.

Don't agree? you should.

So far we have been settling in to our new surroundings in Dallas pretty well! Although leaving Arkansas has been hard, we've been blessed for a couple opportunities to head back and visit friends and family this summer. We are so blessed by all of our relationships back home, but are looking forward to the many more wonderful memories that are to come with all of them.

TI is a fantastic company to work for. Tons of great benefits, support, and a fabulous community. I've still got a lot to learn on the job, but they are keeping really busy with lots and lots of information to absorb.

Nick's starting up with his PhD full swing this fall and is enjoying it so far. He's a fantastic planner so he rarely has to stay up all night working on projects (totally not me).

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Kimistry of Cakes

As a gift to my best guy friends and in honor of their coming marriages, I like to do something special for their bachelor parties. I think its partly because I've always been a tomboy and I secretly wish I could attend the bachelor party and celebrate with them. But alas, that little small detail about bachelor parties being "only men" shindigs.

So I send my cakes which I make with much love. A couple of my girl friends were around for the baking of the cakes expressed interest in wishing that they could be there for the decorating process. So this time I decided to document what it takes to make a boob cake.

1. First I baked to 9in rounds. Usually I use Wilton Bake Even Strips to bake a cake that is essentially flat, which is essential for layered cakes. However for this design, you want the cakes to look "round" so I used two normal metal pans. The cakes are on foil covered cardboard cake board that can be purchased to Wal-Mart or Hobby Lobby.

2. Make a batch of buttercream icing, yes its super fattening, and yes its super delicious.

3. Color half the icing a nice fleshy tone and the other half the bra color of choice.

4. I cover half the cakes in the flesh toned icing and the other half in the bra color icing.

4. Decorate, Decorate, Decorate....

5. And wahlah!

Put it in a cake box and go!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Reflections in my last week at the UofA

I can't even begin to explain how good it feels to write "last week" nice. I have a lot of fun times at the UofA in my research lab, but there have been a lot more stressful, time consuming, and not enjoyable moments.

My first year was the most trying. I had already worked one summer in the "Lab" (which is mostly just computers) and my professor was confident in my skills and work. So when I started full time, he dropped me right in the middle of things. This was great because it enabled me to finish in 2 years but it felt like I just got thrown in to a hurricane. Although I learned a LOT, there were many nights of tears and doubts wondering if this field was really for me. I really felt so lost and inadequate in the depth and breadth of knowledge and how fast I was asked to come up to speed on it.

Then came my internship with Texas Instruments. I was so nervous about starting, but it was really a fantastic experience. I came home almost every day saying, "I really enjoyed work today." Of course there were the boring days, but I loved what I was working on and the people I was working with. I was blessed to have TI offer me a job at the end of the term in spite of the beginnings of the economic downturn.

I began my second year of the master's with the "get it done and get out" motto. I wanted to lie low, finish what I had to, and get back to TI and actual work that I liked. However, my research group was rocked with the sudden death from aggressive brain cancer of one of our PhD students. He had been the lead on our most important project (at the time) with our NASA Space electronics project. My professor asked us all to step in a help pick up where he left off.

This project was more of a big picture, top level design than the one I had spend my 1st year on. The more I learned about it, the more I was intrigued by it. Once again I was completely blessed to emerged as the new leader on this bigger project. Even though it was complex it was much more up my system-minded alley. As the months passed, more and more issues started to come up which I had to figure out and come up with solutions. The result was a better system which was the focus of my Master's thesis.

Even though that 1st year was really tough, my second year was such a blessing. I can say now that I'm truly proud of the work that I have completed in my Master's. Everything seems to be falling into place as I look at starting my engineering career.

Thankfully, I've got a couple of months to do some serious de-tox before starting in July! Sun and pools here I come!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


can I tell you how bad I want some cookie dough right now? Or an amazing glazed sugar cookie from Rick's bakery....I think a celebratory trip to Rick's is in order for this week!

I can tell you one thing....

Diet Dr. Pepper is good...but its not cupcake good.