Monday, January 28, 2008

Another Great Resource

Speaking of valuable resources. . . I came across another great one today. An article in this month's issue of BYU Magazine sited Marriott School's personal finance website, which I looked up at work today.

This is a great website! They have all kinds of budget and planning worksheets, family home evening lessons ( including buying a house, budgets and saving, money and marriage, setting goals and understanding credit), finance course manuals for every stage of life and all the talks you could ever want to read on the subject.

Since we're looking at houses and making the adjustment to joint spending, this is one resource that Kelly and I will definitely be using in the near future!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Live from New York

So, I've only seen two operas in my life, but I think this is amazing.

The Metropolitan Opera is collaborating with Fathom entertainment to bring LIVE opera from New York to a theater near you. I love the idea of quality cultural events being accessible like that. It's the perfect solution for those of us in culture-less places like Las Vegas.

As an MPA grad and art/culture enthusiast, I always notice small towns that try to support an art museum or a library. It's admirable. I can appreciate what they are trying to do-- but it's always a constant uphill climb for funding and a quality "product". I love that the internet and other technologies make the world smaller and these things more accessible in an affordable way.
I read somewhere that more people are cooking gourmet because no matter where you live, you can have exotic ingredients delivered to your front door within the week! That's wonderful!!

What amazing things have you been exposed to lately online or at the library?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Good Eats

Alright, no excuses, I've just been a terrible blogger of late. But my distractions are very worthwhile!

So, married life is great! One of the things I love most is how much I get to cook! No more feeling guilty about not being social every night of the week. No more daily church activities of one kind or another, all aimed at getting me married off. I can come home from work and stay there! (What a concept!)

I would estimate that Kelly and I ate out or got take-out 4 out of 5 nights of our engagement. Those were the most hectic 3.5 months of my life! We're really making up for it now and it's just nice!

Last week I decided that I should keep a food journal and it's been really fun so far. I wrote about the memorable cooking experiences from our honeymoon and holidays. I wrote about the famous peach cobbler from our first date and I started to record the dinner we have every day. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it's a great way to start a journal if you're not very good at it! It's fun and easy and the things you eat almost always have to do with either the events of the day or how you're feeling-- so it often expands into a more detailed account. Although it doesn't make up for recording some of the more meaningful events of life, it does cover the basic events in a way that will make you remember what those days felt like when you read it later. Years from now, it will be fun to remember how we made caramel popcorn for the family at the cabin over New years and the time that I set off the fire alarm in an attempt to toast coconut (just last night)!

I've been doing a lot of experimentation in my cooking misadventures. I love trying new things. I love learning that the absolute staples for MY kitchen are whipping cream, an excellent olive oil and fresh pepper. We've tried new recipes from various magazines and cookbooks we got for our wedding, but sometimes I like to invent with whatever is in the kitchen. I've included the recipe for my proudest creation below:

Pecan Encrusted Chicken
This is some good chicken, but I've decided that it would be at it's best when served in a salad. {dark leafy greens with blue cheese crumbles, cranberries and apple or pears}

Slice boneless chicken into small strips (whatever you consider salad-sized)

Batter chicken in:
1/2 c Buttermilk (or whipping cream + 1 T lemon juice)
1/2 t salt
1/4 t allspice
freshly ground pepper to taste

Use a food processor to chop about 3/4c pecans into a coarse meal. (I had pecan "pieces" from Trader Joes, but I still chopped them into a finer mixture.)

Coat chicken with pecan pieces and bake at 375 for approximately 8-10 minutes (it doesn't take long).