Thursday, October 31, 2013


My cute roommates

Halloween is upon us and my rommates wanted to have an "apartment date night" and carve Jack-o-Lanterns!  It was more work than I remember as a kid....and a little less exciting;)  Lots of guts, and I happened to choose a pumpkin with remarkably thick veggie. That was kind of hard to cut through with our butter knives. 

I don't know why we didn't win the competition... was still fun!  There's something satisfying about participating in holiday traditions.  The smell of the pumpkin guts spread all over newspaper brought back memories of elementary school competitions and my determination to create the PERFECT pumpkin.  I would walk into the gym after school and see all our pumpkins lined up on the stairs of the stage and hope that mine had a ribbon pinned to it!  Being roommates with Molly and Mikayla, ("Always go for the W!!! (Which is the 'win' for those of you who don't know...)) alas, we didn't win this competition judged by our helpful next door neighbor.

Which, I don't know why because our Jack-o-Lantern was the epitome of Halloween-y traditionalism.  

Happy Halloween!!!

Monday, October 28, 2013

52 New Things: Ate and Made the Liège Waffle (15 to go)

Part One: Eating the waffles

I'm counting this one as two new things.  A couple weeks back, Chris' parents were in town. His dad had served and LDS mission in the Netherlands and wanted to get these authentic waffles in downtown Salt Lake at Bruges Waffles & Frites.

Bruges Waffles & Frites downtown Salt Lake

They were indescribable.  But let me try anyway.  The liège waffle goes by many different names: Brussles waffle, Flemish waffle, Bergische waffle, or simply, sugar waffle.  

It was like no waffle I'd ever had.  They were crusty and carmelized on the outside with a little hint of cinnamon. They were doughy, gooey, sweet deliciousness on the inside.  The flavor was complex and tasted nothing like any other waffle I'd ever had.  They were very sweet, but that didn't inhibit the flavor.  The texture was so variable, my mind was blown.
Chris and I went back twice in the next couple of weeks to have them. 

To Salt Lake. 
They were that good.

Okay, we were already in Salt Lake both times, but I WOULD have driven 60 minutes to taste these waffles.  I knew I had to create them myself.
Most of the ingredients in these waffles are common, except for the Belgium pearl sugar.
Belgium pearl sugar is different from Swedish or Swiss, because it easily caramelizes with heat, where as the others stay solid. Important, because you don't want crunchy chunks of sugar in your waffles, just crusty caramel.:)

Part Two: Making the waffles

As I have expressed, these waffles are VERY unique and VERY different from regular Belguim waffles.  I wanted to make them right.  I researched and read a lot about how to make them and compared a lot of recipes. I finally settled on this baby.  
Why?  Primarily because this guy has an entire blog, no no, not blog post,  an ENTIRE BLOG dedicated just to these waffles.  Yeah, they're good:)  This recipe was very specific and explained why each step was essential to creating an authentic liège waffle.  
This recipe starts the dough making process the day before.  It's quite specific about amounts and mixing times.  I was sooooooo happy when my dough balled up within 30 seconds of when he said it should!  Victory, part one:)  But I'm not gonna lie, I skimped a little on the 4 hour rising period to "develop the flavor."  Because I wanted to go to bed before 2:00.  Silly me.  Baking should always come first;)
     *Side note; the morning after rising, I made pumpkin pancakes with some leftover pumpkin from
pumpkin bread. Can I just state that I love fall and baking with pumpkin:)))??? But I thought it 
would be inappropriate to serve simple pumpkin pancakes along with these gourmet waffles, 
so we ate them all this morning.:)
Anyway, the dough sat in the fridge all day (under heavy objects of course, wouldn't want that dough getting all crazy and trying to rise...) while I was at work.  After work I came home and my pearl sugar had arrived!  I ordered it off Amazon.  Lars Own was the recommended brand, so that's what I bought. 
I mixed it into the dough, let it rise 90 minutes and threw them in the waffle iron.  I played with turning the iron off and on because it was hotter than the recommended fancy cast iron Liège waffle iron.
They turned out perfect!!!!!
After crouching with my chin on the counter watching them cook, I took my first bite and was literally jumping for joy.  They were just like the ones we had:)  VICTORY!


Hoppy Halloween!!!

Chris and me as a bunny and carrot for Halloween:)

Hoppy Halloween!  Okay, I know it's usually "Hoppy Easter," but I dressed as a bunny rabbit, so I think it's fitting:)  Chris and I wanted to do a couple's Halloween costume, but we weren't sure what we wanted to be until a couple days before our ward Halloween party.  He wanted to involve his green afro somehow (I mean, who wouldn't?)

We were sitting on the couch casually thinking of ideas, mostly being funny, and my roommate Beth suggested he be a carrot.  I thought this was hysterical for some reason, and Chris agreed that it would be an unorthodox and humorous costume. Then Beth suggested I be a bunny rabbit and our costume was born!

I found a little accessories set for the ears, bow and tail at Target for just $5!  I dressed in white with a pink tank top, and I think I was a pretty convincing rabbit. 

 Chis and I went to D.I. and found this TREASURE.  We were looking for pants, but orange pants are pretty hard to come by, so we wandered into the women's section and found this carrot orange sheath dress.  With an orange t shirt to go underneath, he's never looked so vegetarian:)  
Just being weirdos

Bunny tail!

Aha! They tried to catch us kissing and failed.  Because we are kissing ninjas.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Grandma Wilcox's Funeral

It was Grandma Wilcox's funeral.  I've been to services for various people before, but this was my first time being there from the viewing to the graveside services.  It was quite an experience.  I've never lost anyone so close to me.  There were a lot of emotions and thoughts.  I wished I'd been able to call her one more time, visit her one more time.  But then I realized I would probably have always felt that way.  

It was strange to spend a few days talking about life and death, reflecting over her entire existence, her posterity, her future.  It was hard to come home after that and face life.  To think I need to keep on keepin' on for 60 more years.  To think I'm already about 1/4 of the way through my life.  I think it's good to focus on the eternal perspective, but it was strange to think of life and death as so close that it seemed nothing in between is very significant.

In a way, I suppose that's true.  But the other thing that's been on my mind is how influential people's lives are.  I think of the way things happened, choices my predecessors made, and how they affect me. How my life would be different if they had chosen differently.  How my posterity will be affected by me and my choices are important; not just for me, but for them too. I need to keep on going, not just for me, but for all who will follow in my path.  Heavy stuff, but good to think about once in a while:) I'm just grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and temple covenants.  I know I will get to see Grandma and all of my ancestors again:)

Me and Chris

Family is forever:)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

General Conference!

Yay!  It's that time of year again, the semi-annual general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!

It was wonderful.  We got to go to the Saturday morning session.  What a great conference!
We were so close.  Like soooo close!  Just a few rows back!

Chris' parents got us great seats!

MoTab was amazing as always.  The acoustics in the conference center are unbelievable!