Saturday, February 25, 2006

Dinner Party

Chris left Thursday night and flew to Indiana for his camping adventure with Todd, Steve, and Ken. They drove to Tennessee and are camping in the cold, rainy weather. They went last year, too, and Chris had such a good time. I know that it's really doing him some good to be with his friends and to get away from work.

This week for me, in my first cooking class, has been really stressful. To make the weekend a pick-me-up, I decided to have a dinner party last night. I invited all the women from our community group at church and some extras. There ended up being 4 people that came, and I would say that they were the four ladies that I don't know very well yet, so it was actually a huge blessing to be able to spend time with them and talk. We had dinner: Manicotti Italiani, Roasted Vegetable Medley, Challah bread, and New York Style Cheesecake with Strawberry Topping, and we planned on watching a movie together, but instead the conversation just naturally went really well and we talked until about 11:00pm when they decided to go home. I was encouraged and uplifted from those women.

It is a rainy, dreary day here in Austin, and it's reflecting my calm, quiet mood today. I loved being able to sleep in this morning, and having the entire bed to myself was great! :) I think it's the best sleep I've had since I've been married! Today I'm getting my hair re-cut because I am not pleased with how it was done last week. I'm also going to a friend's house to deliver all the of the junk food that's in our apt. I was looking through the pantry and frige last night and couldn't believe how much unhealthy, sweet foods we had...and we definitely don't need them around, so I'm going to let someone else have them around.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Bon Appetit

I got my hair cut yesterday. I really like it, and hopefully I'll have a picture or two to post soon. This morning Chris and I are going to my school for the Gumbo Competition. I have several classmates who will be participating and it will be a great time for Chris to meet my Chef and friends. Monday I begin my first lab. It's Culinary Arts 101, and it's the saucier class: sauces, stocks, and veg. Here's a bunch of random stuff we'll be doing (according to my syllabus)... veal demiglaze, marchand du vin, shrimp bisque, corn and crab chowder with basil, brussel sprouts with prosciutto and pignoli, breaded mushrooms with horseradish-cream sauce, fresh spinach pasta, alfredo sauce, white clam sauce, gnocchi parisienne, feather dumplings in lemon-sage broth, hungarian potatoes, garbanzo beans with tomato, zucchini, and cilantro, and risotto alla parmigiana. Wow..I'm excited. That's just a brief synopsis, too. I'll let you know when I learn what all those words mean. :) Now that I'm in culinary school, I kind of wish I would have taken French or Italian instead of Spanish. Also today, we're getting Chris a framepack since he'll be camping in Tennessee next weekend. It will be cold, I'm sure, but he's really excited to be with his friends, Todd, Steve, and Ken.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Baby Peyton

For 2 weeks now, I have been nannying for the Travis family, who go to my church. Madison is 3 and Peyton is 7 months. This week I just have Peyton because Madi is visiting with her grandparents for a week in Houston. I've been taking Peyton back to our apartment everyday, and we've been having lots of fun together. :) She is crawling a lot, but can't quite stand up on her own yet. She loves music and looking at her reflection in the mirror. She likes it when I sing to her in the car, and when she laughs, it sounds like her voice is shaking--pretty cute. I took a few pictures of her to show you. I wish I could upload the video clips, too. I want you to take a close look at the picture of her and see if you notice anything....see that itty-bitty tooth on the bottom? That's all she's got! Soo cute. :)

Also, I made lots of Valentine cookies (Mom's recipe, of course!) for Chris to take to work. We weren't able to celebrate V-Day together because he's been really busy with work, and I had to babysit practically all day that day. Chris was fine with that because he believes that V-Day is just a holiday that Hallmark created to sell more and get richer. But because it's important for every woman to know that she's loved and appreciated, and because dates are just good for a marriage and fun, we're going out tonight to celebrate our love for each other and God's love for us. :) More details to follow...I'm not sure what Chris has up his sleeve for tonight.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Catching Up

I don't know what it is, but every time I listen to Alison Krauss sing, my soul gets happy. She'll be in concert in Houston in March, but tickets are crazy expensive. When I listen to her music, I think of my paternal side of the family that has a bluegrass band. They're getting together in June to sing and make music together, but I can't go. Kinda bummed about that.
This week will be my last in the CS class and Culinary Arts class that I'm taking, then next week I'll start my labs in the kitchen! I'm very excited about that. Our first class will be over stocks, sauces, and vegetables. I love school right now. I think it was a really good decision for me.

I've started babysitting 3x/week for two little girls; Madison and Peyton. It is just a temporary job until the end of March, but in the meantime, we're having lots of fun together. It makes me feel old when I'm chauffeuring carseats in the back of my car, and especially when in public, people make comments about how cute my kids are!

I have an interview tomorrow for a food server position at a law firm. I don't know anything about the company, so I'm not sure if I will take it or not. Wednesday is a Career Fair at school, and several companies will be there. I will have an opportunity to set up interviews for my externship or for a part-time job, if I'm interested.

That's the scoop.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

End of the Spear

You should definitely see this movie. Inspiring. It will mess you up.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

My classmates

In culinary school, our class has definitely begun to "mesh" together. It's fun getting to know everyone. We see each other five days a week for five hours a day, so our relationships have sort of grown faster than normal. Here are a couple highlights from some of my new friends:

Sarah- She sits right next to me and is from Brinkley, Arkansas. She has a THICK accent and it's fun hearing her talk, although it sometimes seems like she'll never shut up. :) She's very sweet though. She got married in Vegas and that night her husband had to go to work. He's in the Army and has been in Iraq for a year and a half. They haven't seen each other for 7 months now, and she's counting down a week and a day to go until he's here for a leave of 2 weeks, then back to California, where he's now stationed. His ETS date is in May. So they'll finally get to have a marriage again.

Adan- He's a short Hispanic man with grey hair and he's the sweetest person. He stutters a lot when he talks, but I'm so glad that no one has made him feel less because of it. Everyone really likes him.

Kristen- She was on American Idol when they came to Austin, but she was #27 and they ended up only taking the top 25 singers. She has one of those kinds of dogs that has a wrinkly face, and his name is Big Mac. Her mom is a pastry chef, so her whole life, Kristen has made lots of wedding reason she's not pursuing a patissierie degree!

Elvin- He sits in front of me and he's one of the class clowns. He worked in California as part of an improv team. They traveled for their performances all over.

That's the wrap. Tonight's menu: Sherry Almond Chicken on a bed of cooked rice, asparagus, and grapes.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Happy February

It's already here. Month number two. Last weekend was a lot of fun because my sister-in-law, Laura, and her fiance, came to visit us for a couple of days. It was a great, lazy weekend. We ate a lot of food, played some old-school Nintendo, watched a movie, and talked. It was good to get to know Josh, too. He's a quiet fellow.

In school, I'm onto my CS class and Intro to Culinary Arts. In CS, we spend three hours a day discussing things like how to save a file to a folder, choosing ClipArt, and other fun things. It's not challenging at all, so I usually catch up on email during that time. I'm learning a lot in my CA class though, even though we're not yet in the kitchen. Today I'm reading a chapter that differentiates between braising, broiling, poaching, steaming, simmering, boiling, grilling, BBQing, and griddling. Lots of new things I learn. This afternoon I'm actually trying to stay awake for my study time. I didn't get in a nap today (hard life, I know), so I'm a little sleepy. Last night was a late night because Chris and I hung out with people in our small group. We went to the Taste of Austin and filled our bellies with yummy foods from tons of restaurants. Afterwards, we went back to Jason and Jenny Ford's house to talk. It was a good time, but we got out pretty late, so I was tired this morning.

Tonight's dinner: Roasted Red Pepper Potato Soup, a romaine salad with feta, croutons, and cherry tomatos, and biscuits. Mmm.