Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Best One Liner of the Trip

The family was sitting in the linving room and my mom read this article about a male cheerleader being beat up by two girls.

Mom: "Wow, that's embarrassing."
Nate: "Yeah, heh heh male cheerleader!"

Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Cookies

My teenage sisters are part of the young women group through church. (Actually, I am too, but in Utah, and as an adviser.) This year their group decided to do a service exchange, and Clairice decided to make cookies as part of her service for another girl in the group. It looked like so much fun that everyone joined in.
We searched high and low for silver non pareils, like they use in fancy magazines, but it turns out it is not legal to sell those in the state of California!

Instead we found these blue pearls which are also pretty cute.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Chicanery

We are visiting my parents for Christmas. It is really fun, and really warm. Today my dad, Bryce, and I all took a tour of Northrop Grumman. It was very interesting and very exciting. We have had fun with my siblings as well. We made laser pointer art:That one, above, is an apple. Below you will find my name:
We also made bristle bots, which we found on this page. Nate has been excited to make them, and they are really simple. Bryce and I tore apart some old cell phones and removed their motors, which were then attached to a toothbrush head and taped to a battery.
Handsome Bryce McEwen (I am calling him Handsome Bryce McEwen because on Google if you search "handsome Bryce" I pop up on the first page, but if you search "Bryce McEwen" I don't show up for three pages, and that is crazy!!!) worked on the Bristle Beast, using a larger motor and a hairbrush.
This is my sister Haley's fabulous headband thingy which I love.
Here are the finished bots:
Here are two silent movies of my brother, Nate, playing with the bots.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Dear Dove,
When you need to entertain a bunch of 12-year-olds, in a pinch, prison crafts are not so bad actually.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Heimweh Streusel Experiment

When we first got back to America I was so happy to be back that I could have kissed the filthy Slurpee machine in 7-11, but as time has gone by I have started to miss Germany again. I miss our friends there the most. I wish the ocean was smaller.

Another thing I miss about Germany is the little bakeries all over the place. Seriously all over the place, I think there was one on every block! These bakeries make piles of delicious things every day and sell them at a reasonable price. My favorite was the streusel. To make myself feel less Germany-homesick I decided to make some streusel, but I couldn't find a real German recipe anywhere on the internet though! So I decided to use this cinnamon roll recipe from allrecipes. After I made the dough it occurred to me to search for the words "Streusel Teig" (Teig means dough or pastry) and ta da! About a million recipes came up, doh! (haha get it? like dough? hee hee hee) Anyways, next time I'll try a 100% authentic recipe. Here is the dough all rolled out:Then I put blueberry jam on it. I am pretty sure they don't use jam in real bakeries.
Then I rolled it up.
Then I sliced it with some floss.
The streusel I had was a lot more flat than cinnamon rolls are, so I tried squishing my rolls.
My friend Carolla Heller, gave me a recipe for the topping. She is German so it made me feel better about using a random dough recipe. Her recipe is:
1 1/2 C flour
3/4 C butter
3/4 C sugar
1 t vanilla extract
Smoosh it together and put on top:
Here is the finished product!
Bryce said they were great and tasted like the ones from German bakeries. I thought it was similar but not quite as good, (this could be because I was cranky about discovering a bunch of real recipes after using a fake one). Anyways, it made me feel better about not having bakeries all over the place. Also it turned out much better than my fish rolls:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Middle Ground?

Really Dove? This is what it comes to? Tawdry craft projects from the prison?
Oh sorry, tawdry is kind of a harsh word.

P.s. This snowman came from this site, where you can learn to make many more like it. Sheesh, Dove, it's not even an original prison craft!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Taylor Swift's Hair*

Ok, before anyone gets all excited you must know:

I only know one thing about Taylor Swift and that is that she has fantastic hair. I have never heard one of her songs, I have never seen any TV shows featuring her, and I have never read any magazine articles about her. Seriously, the only thing I know is what I can learn from her shiny face and wicked hair staring at me from magazine covers as I purchase groceries! Ok? So just don't get all excited or anything.

Foiled again by nature!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Picture Dump

I just found the cord to our camera, thus it is time for pictures. First, we see BYU flooding the field at the Utah rivalry game:
The announcer said, "Please...don't tear down the goalpost." in a pained voice over the loudspeakers. And this is why:
Let's not think about last year's Utah game...
This is Bryce and me on our way to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra in Salt Lake:
Yay for blurry concert pictures!
If the pictures do not do it for you, here is a silent film of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra show. Just switch on your iTunes and add your own music!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Too Late
Dear Dove,

It's too late. I threw all my dreams away yesterday after you showed me how futile they were.

Love and Kisses,

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dove Chocolate Promises

Dear Dove,
Today I opened I delicious peanut butter candy, made by your company. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I also enjoyed the wonderful message inside:
Its existentialist overtones inspired me to write my own messages, of a similar sort, which I am submitting to you for printing on future candy wrappers. Please enjoy:

1. Just give up.
2. It's ok that you are 30, unmarried, and play video games all day in your mom's basement.
3. Why plan ahead? You'll probably just get hit by a bus today.
4. We are all perched upon the precipice of death and nothingness.
5. What's one more chocolate, when you consider that we are all perched upon the precipice of death and nothingness?
6. Your arteries are clogging right now, oh well.
7. Mediocrity is easy.

Please respond quickly so that we can discuss compensation and publication rights. I look forward to your response,

Rachel McEwen

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

How to Really Avoid Being a Fashion Victim

I stumbled upon and read this article today, Avoid Being a Fashion Victim. I read it and their advice is ok I guess, but I found it lacking, so I wrote my own guide:

Rachel's How to Really Avoid Being a Fashion Victim tips:

1. Only watch Mythbusters on TV, that way the only fashion trends you will be exposed to are snarky T-shirts.

2. If three of your last five purchases are must-haves from 1992 you are in danger of being a fashion victim.3. Examine your closet using the "smell test".4. Ask yourself if you own a slanket.

5. If you can't be honest about the slanket it's time for an intervention...

6. Dude, I know you have a slanket alright? Just wear a robe instead!!!

7. Never ask for help in department stores, if you can't figure a fad out you will be too ashamed to buy it.8. Don't learn how to pronounce tricky French or Italian names, again the shame factor will save you from doing something you will later regret.

9. What the heck is a Chi Chi logo? Sounds like my mom wouldn't approve...

10. If you say the word "fad" enough times it starts to lose all meaning and seem like a fake word, this is fun to do.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Cooking tip

I really like to cook, and I like to add things to my blog, so I have decided to combine the two by adding more things about cooking to it!
Here are some things you should know about my cooking style before you decide if you want to try any recipes I use:

1. I hate most pre-prepared and box foods, and I shun them. (Exceptions: Rhodes rolls because they are tasty and soooo speedy; and Costco's bacon, because I hate cooking bacon.)
2. We try to eat very little salt, so if you like salt you will need to add it yourself.
3. I always make too much. (This used to be an accident, but now I have embraced it.) Probably 70% of our meals incorporate reincarnated left-overs.
4. We are not fans of fish.

So that said, here is recipe number 1:

Leek and Cauliflower (you can use Potato but cauliflower is better for you!) Soup:

2 Leeks chopped, except the nasty bits at the tip
1 Head of Cauliflower chopped into bite sized pieces
1/4 C Butter
3 Cans of chicken broth (or one jar of homemade broth)
1 1/2 C half and half
2 T of Coriander seed. (This is my favorite spice, you can use a different one if you like)
2 T Pepper (I like pepper)

Slice the leeks into thin rounds. Cook with butter until soft, add cauliflower, spices, and chicken broth. Give yourself a pedicure while you let it simmer for 30 minutes or so. (Wash your hands!!!) Add half and half and cook for 2 more minutes before serving.
*Note, this makes a giant pot of soup

*Note Note- If you add a can of clams this would be tasty clam chowder, but clams are too fishy for us.

Bonus Left-over Soup Recipe!

Pumpkin/Squash Bisque

Take leftover soup and put it in the blender with 1 1/2 cups of cooked butternut squash, or pumpkin, or both. Blend it until it is golden and velvety. Heat it up on the stove, (or in the microwave...lazy). And it's done! The end!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Feast or Famine

There! You see! I have been busy! That is why I haven't been posting anything. It was a little bit of a roller coaster looking for a job, but now life is good and normal again. I am happily working as a graphic designer and project manager at Patientdocs, a company that does web design. It is really fun, and really satisfying. I am glad we went to Germany because if we hadn't I would have never switched jobs! (I also would have never experienced "Nougat Bits" which is seriously the best cereal known to man!)