Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

There's the spread! I worked all day on the dinner, cooking perhaps 90% of it. My mom made up the stuffing as well as the gravy, and had to make the whip cream for the dessert too. The only reason I didn't post this update sooner was because yesterday my mother dragged me around town for a few hours trying to find new beds for myself and my brothers. Then I spent a fairly obsessive amount of time clicking through Black Friday online deals and attempting to find a decently priced new smartphone.

Anyhow, the menu was as follows:
  • Roast turkey - seasoned with salt, pepper, and drizzled with butter. About 22 lb that we got for $10 USD. SCORE!
  • Stuffing - basic bread cubes with celery, onion, and sage, seasoned with turkey broth from the giblets. It was stuffed in the turkey as well as baked off on its own.
  • Green Vegetable Casserole - Used this guy's recipe, with added asparagus and broccoli, using shiitake and white button mushrooms for the sauce.
  • Steamed Broccoli - My brothers hate trying new things without a fallback.
  • Sweet Potato Casserole - boiled sweet potatoes and carrots, with a little brown sugar and spices, and mixed in toasted cashews sunflower seeds. Topped it with a fluffy meringue!
  • Roasted Butternut Squash -  After cooking, I tossed it with some Mrs. Dash Caribbean Citrus blend, honey, and Turbinado sugar before baking some more to create a delicious syrup.
  • Mashed Potatoes and Gravy - Used dry milk and some of the boiled water to mix the potatoes. The gravy was PHENOMENAL (I thank the butter).
  • Whole Berry sauce - FRESH CRANBERRIES FTW! Used orange zest, apple-cinnamon preserves, a little sugar, and nutmeg to flavor it.
  • Canned Cranberry jelly - Because some people in my house are uncultured swine.
  • Wheat Hawaiian sweet rolls - For some reason the dough didn't ferment properly, so these were like really tasty dense breads.
  • Pumpkin Cheese Crostata - This guy's recipe again. I used regular cream cheese instead of mascarpone, because I'm cheap that's how I roll. It turned out really good, creamy but not too sweet.
  • Apple Pie - a friend at my mom's work brought her it, so I baked it off anyway, but it wasn't even dug into xD
The day was marked with several instances of nearly setting the kitchen on fire, the dishwasher had to be run 5 times, and apparently I can give myself a pain-induced seizure by twisting my shoulder just right. I consider this a very successful year, all things considered. We could have ended up at a local Denny's, where apparently they RAN OUT OF TURKEY!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What's Happening Around Here?

Hey there internet, I haven't forgotten I have a blog! Real life has been busy, so here's some images from the last two months to prove it! If they load oddly, it's because I can't figure out how to edit picture placement in this blog ._.

Halloween saw me wandering downtown Reno as a goth fairy in Reno's Zombie Crawl:

It was a night in which I sang karaoke, had an amazing swordfish and tabouli dinner bowl, and had about 3 drinks before I realized how drunk I was. That night was so much fun, and I can't wait to do it again next year! I also discovered there is a beer I like:
I have already requested multiple people to procure me this fine drink as a birthday/holiday gift. Sadly I have only found it online thus far :(

I have also been driving my new car for about a month:
Her name is Rosalinda, a 2008 Pontiac Torrent. She is probably the best car I've ever owned, and some road trips for Spring and/or Summer are in the dreaming stages!

School-wise I have been pretty consumed with baking class:

Left is an Oreo Cream Pie I made at home in order to master the base for making custard pies. Below that is the spread my partner and I made on 17, November: Chocolate Tuile cookies in the shapes of poinsettias and the Batman symbol, Coconut Macaroons, Ciabatta bread, Bavarian Creams, and Creme Brulees. Far right is a zoom-in of my Bavarian Cream decorated with Coconut crisps that resulted from our Macaroons spreading too much. The instructor said I should consider entering the college's Pastry Arts competition in the Spring! I was floored!

One of the bathrooms on campus had sticky notes all over the place one day:

 This kind of positive reinforcement needs to become the next big meme I think :)

This past weekend I was amazingly cultured. I visited the Nevada Museum of Art, which had one Renaissance painting as the main exhibit (a marketing strategy I am still confused by), as well as some cool architectural and photographic displays. Altered Landscape was definitely cool, and I wish I could find some of those works as affordable prints.

I also got to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra on their Winter 2011 Tour! Here are some photos from my seat in the back of the arena:

These ones are from when some of the musicians came forward to play on a raised platform, always a perk of sitting in the back ;)

The only bummer was that it was an early showing, so lots of children and elderly folks packed the audience, who for some reason feel the need to get up EVERY TWO MINUTES. Unfortunately I had an aisle seat right next to a main trafficway, so every single time someone needed to get somewhere (and it happened quite often) I had to deal with their tromping and blocking of my view >:(

Otherwise the show was incredible, I might have been having mild epileptic seizures for a few hours afterwards xD. Also, if anyone wants to get me this shirt (with the phoenix), for any particular reason, I will shower you with much glitter and confetti of gratitude :)

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in America, and I have been put in CHARGE. I will see how much militaristic planning my family will put up with, as I've been taking management notes from Robert Irvine >:)

Hopefully I won't be too exhausted and can remember to post the results of the day's labor :D
Have a safe and fun weekend, folks!