If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?

Friday, November 30, 2007

Sparkly Eiffel Tower

On every hour for 10 mins. the Eiffel Tower sparkles. We got to see it from the top of the Arch de Triumph.

video

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Thursday

A boy almost ran into me on the street today and I shouted, "Oi!" and totally cracked myself up. It just fell out of my mouth.

I saw an old man tip his hat to greet his two lady friends and then tip his hat again before he departed.

The other day while I sat down on the tram a little old nun gave me the biggest smile...I passed it along:)

Lights



Jared surprised me with Christmas lights after work yesterday. They are very temperamental. I have to slap them a few times to get them to work. But they're up and giving out home a Christmas spirit!


Flat Cookies


Every time I make cookies they turn out flat. (I even had the special oven fan on to make them fluff up.) I actually really don't like making cookies. I hate doing the batches. The cookies are more concave than flat. They giant craters in them. Jared loves cookies and I love Jared so I'm trying to master them to show my appreciation. He says he likes them flat...but I still wonder if that's really the truth.


See that stack of 6 concave cookies? Well, it's ~2 in. high. (I might be exaggerating.)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Map of our adventure in Paris

You can click on the balloons and it will show you fun photos! You can zoom in to separate the balloons to make it easier to click. Jared put together this map for us:) It's fun having an engineer for a husband!



View Larger Map

Monday, November 26, 2007

Paris in November

Twelve years ago my family took a trek to France in November to pick up my older brother Jeremy from his mission. We spent Thanksgiving in Paris. Jared and I decided to meet up with my friend Meredith who I knew from the Tonga study abroad program at BYU and her husband Baptiste who is French and saved us several times with the language since my French isn't so great. Meredith and Baptiste were the perfect guides because they had previously lived in Paris and were fluent in the History of every building we came upon. It was amazing.

A well thought out agenda:
Eat pastries dripping with butter and delicious hocho
Notre Dame
Saint Chapelle
Crepes for lunch
Louvre
Monet
Arch De Triumph
Dinner w/ Frois Grois
Candy
bed
Delicious breakfast
Versailles
baguette for lunch
Pompidou
Montmarte
Merry-Go-Round
hocho in big mall w/ Christmas tree
Eiffel Tower
yummy Galletes for dinner
exhaustion

We climbed the towers of Notre Dame to see the bell. Jared got a little shaken up.
















We mimicked Rodin's "The Kiss" one of my favorite sculptures.

Instead of battling the Disneyland like crowds at the Mona Lisa we took photos of people taking photos at the Louvre. Thank goodness for Meredith and her knowledge of the Louvre like the back of her hand.













We climbed many more stairs to the top of the Arch de Triumph and rewarded ourselves with good food and yummy candy.











At Versailles we walked the Hall of Mirrors with my Han Solo boots.


We wasted no time and zipped by metro (thank goodness the French stopped striking) and headed back to a beautiful day in Paris:)












We had baguette sandwiches by the fountain in front of the Pompidou.



I was happy to see some scissor art at the Pompidou












We headed to Montmarte.



We caught a beautiful view of Paris and a sunset.







And rode on the Merry-Go-Round featured in the movie "Amelie."











All four of us squeezed into the packed metro with our vending machine candy and headed to the Eiffel tower


Where we wandered around in awe of the architecture and size




What a wonderful, exhausting, tasty weekend with super fun(ny) people.









To see more photos double click below:



Thursday, November 22, 2007

Meet me in St. Louis

Last night Jared indulged me and watched Meet me in St. Louis. I used to watch this with my father when I was little kid every year around Christmas time.


During the film I made a comment at how beautiful Judy Garland was. Jared said, "She's not that beautiful, she actually kind of looks like a cartoon." Which I replied with, "That's because back then their skin was so nice because there weren't hormones and chemicals in their food and meat products."


I love the dancing and singing.


Margaret O'Brien is hilarious as Tootie in this film. She's morbid and horrible.

I'm getting lots of beta-carotene

Pumpkin: You can eat that scrumptious pumpkin pie without all the guilt! Pumpkin is an excellent source of beta-carotene (269 percent RDA per half-cup serving), which is converted to resistance-building vitamin A. Pumpkin is also a wonderful source of iron (17 percent RDA per half-cup serving), a mineral essential for transporting oxygen to our working cells. And surprisingly, canned pumpkin contains 15 times more beta-carotene than fresh pumpkin.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

What are we doing?

We're practicing our ice skating moves for winter!

More pumpkin

I made another pumpkin cake. It was a bundt cake that was too big for the pan so I had to make some cupcakes. It was good, even though I mixed the ingredients wrong. Jared wanted to pull another "Sunday" (when we ate the entire Pear tart in one night.)


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Puzzle vs. Squash

I know this is going to sound really exciting, but my family used to have a puzzle going during the holidays so Jared and I bought one yesterday to start. (We have to eat our dinner standing up since the puzzle has overtaken the kitchen table.)



This is a good season for Squash so I've been cooking several recipes with it. This turned out yummy. I added an onion and some leftover zucchini from the stuffed peppers and a yellow pepper from my fridge that was about to die to the recipe and I recommend it. It was juicy and very flavorful.


Pears are also in season so I whipped up a pear tart (puffed pastry came from the store.) I whipped together a bit of butter and some cream cheese along with some fresh apple juice from the market on Tuesday which I think is starting to ferment. I threw in some cinnamon and grated some nutmeg into the mix. Then I spread it evenly on the pastry and swirled honey over the pears and grated a bit more nutmeg. I cooked it on 175 C for who knows how long. I kept adding minutes to the timer when I saw that it was golden yet.

Pre-Baked.


Fresh out of the oven. Not sure if it's good yet though. Haven't tried it yet.



BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND RED PEPPER CASSEROLE
3 1/2 pounds butternut squash
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (about 2 ounces)
Preheat oven to 400°F.

With a sharp knife cut squash crosswise into 2-inch-thick slices. Working with 1 slice at a time, cut side down, cut away peel and seeds and cut squash into 1-inch cubes (about 9 cups).

In a large bowl stir together squash, bell pepper, oil, garlic, herbs, black pepper, and salt to taste. Transfer mixture to a 2- to 2 1/2-quart gratin dish or other shallow baking dish and sprinkle evenly with Parmesan.

Bake casserole in middle of oven until squash is tender and top is golden, about 1 hour.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A look from the outside

This is the building we live in. Our window is the one of the roof. See all of the cables in the photo, well those are from the trams and buses. They are always sparking. It's like lightening here at night without the thunder.


The circle window at the very top is ours.


Nothing lavish, here's our entrance.

A Friday in November

This is the morning sun in our front room. It's overlapping the painting that our landlady put up and was so proud because it matches the love seat below, which is a major art faux pas.



It continued on that evening to be a beautiful sunset across the lake.


There is still snow on our roof.



Instead of making dinner I make pumpkin spice cupcakes (since I can't find a proper cake pan here.)


It had honey cream cheese frosting. I've eaten about 5 so far today. We ended up having the leftover stuffed peppers for dinner and I steamed them a bit in the microwave so they were juicier. My mother always said leftovers are often better the 2nd time around. She's right.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

First Snow

It snowed last night and we woke up to white windows and a powdered street and rooftop. It was beautiful:)


Stuffed Peppers

I made stuffed peppers last night. They turned out a little dryer than I thought they'd be. I expected succulent juicy peppers. They were still good.


How in the world will I fit all of that filling into the peppers?


I smashed it in.


Here's the recipe. I subtracted the chick peas and fennel because I don't like either of those. I substituted butternut squash because yellow squash isn't in season.

COUSCOUS AND FETA STUFFED PEPPERS
Vegetable-oil cooking spray
1 1/4 cups fat-free chicken or vegetable broth
2/3 cup couscous
4 large bell peppers, mixed colors
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
6 oz zucchini, quartered lengthwise then sliced across thinly
6 oz yellow squash, quartered lengthwise then sliced across thinly
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
15 oz canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 oz crumbled feta cheese (about 1 cup)
Preheat oven to 350°F F. Coat a small baking dish with cooking spray. Bring the broth to a boil in a saucepan, add the couscous, cover the pan and remove it from the heat. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut the stems and top half inch off the bell peppers and scoop out the seeds and membranes. Boil trimmed peppers for 5 minutes, then drain them upside down. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet. Add onion, zucchini, yellow squash, fennel seeds, oregano, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Remove from heat and stir in the tomatoes and chickpeas. Using a fork, scrape the couscous into the skillet and toss with the vegetables. Stir in the crumbled feta. Place peppers upright in the baking dish and fill them with couscous. Bake 15 minutes. Serve immediately.