Monday, August 29, 2011

Food, Glorious Food (around town)

Basically, I love food.

I love the connections it establishes, I love the way it tastes, I love trying new things, I love the comfort it brings, I love the memories it makes.

Here are some places in Utah County that I've recently discovered:

The Sweet Tooth Fairy

Um . . . so good. So, so good. Such a cute, cozy atmosphere, and the treats are to die for. Seriously. It's heaven in every cupcake and cake bite (which are A.MA.ZING., btdubs). 

I don't know what flavor this cupcake is, but I want to try it. And isn't it so pretty? It's so pretty.

What a beautiful sight. The two strawberry shortcake cupcakes on the top left-hand corner are my favorites.

(753 West Columbia Lane, Provo)

Great for lunch. Molly's serves up home-style brisket, roast, chicken, dutch-oven potatoes, cheddar biscuits, and has a delicious spinach salad. Delicious and filling. Oh! And their chocolate cream cheese cake? Divine.


I found a recipe for deep-dish pizza recently. It was a hit with my family. One reason it was so good was because my sister, who is a diabetic, was able to eat this pizza without her blood sugar numbers going haywire (which is what usually happens when she eats take-out pizza). I don't have any pictures of the pizza, but here's the recipe (for you, mom):

Deep-Dish Pepperoni Pizza (from the America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book)

2 and 1/4 to 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 envelope (2 and 1/4 teaspoons) instant or rapid-rise yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm skim milk

1 (3.5 ounce) package sliced pepperoni
6 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing
1 and 1/3 cups pizza sauce
12 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (3 cups)

1. For the dough: Mix 2 and 1/4 cups of the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Combine the oil, then the milk and mix until a rough ball forms. Let the dough rest for 2 minutes, then process for 30 seconds longer. If after 30 seconds the dough is sticky and clings to the blade, add the remaining 1/4 cup flour 1 tablespoon at a time as needed.

2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and form a smooth, round ball. Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly with greased plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours.

3. For the topping: Meanwhile, place half of the pepperoni in a single layer between double layers of paper towels and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Discard the paper towels and set the pepperoni aside; repeat with the remaining pepperoni.

4. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat two 9-inch cake pans with 3 tablespoons oil each. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter, divide it into 2 equal pieces, and cover with greased plastic wrap. Working with one piece of dough at a time (keep the other piece covered), roll and stretch the dough into a 9-inch round with a thick edge. Press the dough into the prepared pans. Brush the dough lightly with oil, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until puffy, 30 to 45 minutes.

5. Spread 2/3 cup of the pizza sauce over each pan of dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge. Sprinkle each with 1 and 1/2 cups of the cheese and top with the pepperoni. Bake until the cheese is melted and the pepperoni is browning around the edges, about 20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking.

6. Let the pizzas cool in their pans for 1 minute, then lift them out onto a cutting board with a wide spatula. Serve hot.

And enjoy! It's probably one of the healthiest pizzas I've ever had.

School Days

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy school is starting again!

It's crazy to think that I'm a JUNIOR at BYU! Upperclass(wom)an, baby!

And I forgot how stressful first days at school can be. Honestly, this was probably the hardest one since second grade (but no dogs chased me this time, fortunately).

But there are always silver linings:

--Friends (and friends-to-be) in all of my classes
--A Shakespeare class that I'm ueber excited for, even though it will probably be one of the most demanding classes I've taken so far
--Texting/calling freshman sister (Hi, Sarah!)
--Friends who take time out of their day to help me
--Courage found in the unlikeliest of places

This ain't gonna be an easy semester. But I know it will be worth it.

Hard things unfailingly are.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Kansas Trip

Things I learned on my trip to Kansas:

1) I have super-cool family and friends who can bust a move. And create dance routines to Glee's "Singin' in the Rain/Umbrella". And look awesome with high ponytails.

These pictures just shout: "We are cool!" 

2) Barnyard Rummy is merciless.

3) Adam-ondi-Ahman is beautiful. Especially in the morning, and especially when you get to read your scriptures, looking out at the valley. There's such a special feeling there.

 Can't you just imagine thousands upon thousands of folding chairs filling the valley? Yeah, me too. 

4) There is a special rock down the Tower Hill trail. It's called Preacher's Rock. And Joseph Smith gave sermons standing on top of it! 

On Preacher's Rock

5) The Kansas City Missouri Temple is coming along! And it's going to be beautiful. 

 The temple grounds 

Yay! My family is soooo excited for this temple. The people in the Kansas City area have waited for their own temple for a long, long time. Hehe, the Kansas City temple was announced the same day as the Rome, Italy temple. And even though a temple in Rome is incredible, my family was much, much more excited for the Kansas City temple . . . we cried and shouted for joy when it was announced. Kansas is where we've grown up, in one way or another. Our hearts are connected to this temple. 

6) I can fit into my Grandma's wedding dress from the 1960s! And it's such a beautiful, classic dress. 

 The lighting's not the best, but it's still a beautiful dress! 

 Now with the veil. 

7) I still love Kansas and my Grandma and Grandpa's house. It's one of my favorite places, and always will be. There's just so much love there, it's tangible. 

Oh! Big shout out to my best friend, Sharisa, who traveled with us. And put up with us. We're glad you came along! :) 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Family Roadtrip Playlist

My family just got back from San Diego. 

That's about 10 hours of driving both ways. Which means a lot of empty space to fill. And a lot of people to keep happy. 

Luckily for us, we love to sing. And doubly lucky for us, we can agree on music. 

We mostly listen to musicals. But we're just cool like that. 

Keepin' it awesome. 

Keepin' it classy. 

Keepin' it old school. 
(Okay, so it's not a musical, but it's not an Armknecht road trip without "Hey, Mr. Postman".)

Oh, yeah. We are awesome. 

I bet you wish all of your road trips were with us.