Friday, July 31, 2009

We Made Beer Can Chicken

Tonight my daddy grilled some beer can chicken! It was an interesting experience. I would like to share it with you now- but you will have to wait until I get home. Sorry. The camera/computer situation is hard.

We are off to the cabin for the weekend. Grandma is going to teach me to crochet a potholder and a blanket! Brain cells must be prepared. I'll be back in Colorado on Monday. And then it is real world time- I will need to find some interview clothes fast! Ahh!

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Beer Can Chicken

Have you ever heard of Beer Can Chicken?

I have. It is very good. You take a can of beer and a chicken- make them be friends and then grill. We have had it at family gatherings at the cabin. num.

Last time I was here, I requested Beer Can Chicken, but we ran out of time to make it. Oh well. When we came back, my father had this waiting for me.

It is a stand for the beer and chicken. And I can even make it at home in my oven now! I am super excited. You will be hearing about this again. Just you wait.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Taryn ate what at the wedding?

Hi peeps! Hope you had a good weekend. I did.

Elise and Josh got married as planned. Imagine that. Here is a picture of the cabin girls all dressed up. Weird to have nice clothes on . . . (Also note- I actually wore my bridesmaid dress again. ha!)


Anyway, the thing I really wanted to show you is that . . . I ate an orchid.

I know- it is hard for me to believe myself.

My cousin works in food service and she said that they can't/won't put anything in the plate that isn't edible. So Chris popped his into his mouth without looking back. And 15 minutes later- he still wasn't dead so I gave it a shot.

Here I am checking it out.


Pretending to bite.


Really biting- look at Katie's face!


And this is what I think about it. Not too tasty in my opinion.


Hugs from Minnesota. I will be making Barbecue Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza for the family tomorrow night. Nummy!

(Sorry about the weird picture sizes. I don't have my computer . . .)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Happy Wedding and Exciting News

Today my lovely childhood friend is getting hitched. Yea for Elise and Josh! I love you so much.

Also, exciting news- on the plane to MN last night we sat by a man who owns a construction company in Minnesota and they have just expanded to Colorado. We chatted about life and guess what? He has a son named Taren! How crazy is that? I'm not sure if it was my name or my sweet talk- but I have an interview for an administrative assistant type position in Denver when I get back to Colorado! Awesome possum. A real job! Wish me luck.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog


I don't know how many of you are Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Firefly fans- but if you are then you know Joss Whedon. He is a pretty funny guy. No?

During the writers' strike last whenever, Whedon and some of his friends and relatives decided to do something besides nothing. So they made a three part, 45 minute musical. It is awesome. My dad showed it to us when we were home in Minnesota, and we have been singing it's praises (and songs) ever since. If you have some down time- check it out! You will not be disappointed.

Here is a good link to the whole show: Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

photo from here

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lemon Blueberry Bread


Mmhm, fresh blueberries! Gotta love summer. Here is a splendid way to use your summer bounty- make blueberry bread. It is amazing.

However- do not forget to put in baking powder. I almost forgot.

The bread was in the oven when I remembered I didn't add the baking powder. So I did what any good baker does and I took it back out, added baking soda and put it back in the oven. I don't know if my mishap is why the bread was kinda small-but it was still delicious!

Lemon Blueberry Bread
adapted from Finding Joy in My Kitchen

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 C whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 C sugar or succant
  • 1/4 C butter, softened
  • 1/4 C applesauce
  • 1/2 C lemon juice (or lemonade)
  • 1 egg (Snow white added 1 egg white- I did not)
  • 1 C blueberries
Directions
  1. Cream butter and sugar. Then add applesauce.
  2. Add Egg and mix well.
  3. Add flour, salt and baking powder- alternating with lemon juice. Stir until moist.
  4. Stir in Blueberries.
  5. Pour into a greased bread pan. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Snow white suggested adding a lemon glaze on the top- I think that would be phenomenal- but we devoured this bread before I could make a glaze. = )

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Today is the real deal people. On this day- three years ago- Chris and I tied the knot!

I am going to share some pictures of the event. I hope you don't mind. I was recently going through them for my scrapbook and it was so fun to see it all again. It was so wonderful. We actually go married in the same church as my parents!

But first- 3 fun facts:
  1. When the officiant announced us for the first time as "Mr. and Mrs. New Last Name," she accidentally said "I would like to introduce Mr. and Mrs. Andersen!" Andersen? My mother's maiden name? Oops!
  2. My mother made my veil. She did a great job- don't you think?
  3. You might not believe this- but in lieu of a traditional dinner and dancing reception, we had a small dessert reception after the wedding and then an all day celebration at my favorite place on earth (my parent's cabin) the next day. It was a blast!
We opened presents at the next day get together- and my cousins all pitched in and got us this huge box. It was huge.
It had balloons inside. So fun!

Wedding Party



Cutting the cake . . .

Pictures where Chris proposed . . .



Happy Anniversary Chris. I love you!

(If you want to see more pictures- you know you want to- check them out here: tarynandchris.com)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Homemade Chocolate Chips: Take 2


I decided to try Chocolate Chips again- seeing as my previous ones couldn't be out of the freezer for more than a few minutes before melting into a gooey mess.

This time I followed a recipe from Heavenly Homemakers. She has super good step by step instructions here if mine are too confusing.

These turned out pretty well. They don't taste as good as my first ones- they are a little more bitter. But that might end up being good for adding to cookies and such. These must be kept in the refrigerator right now, but in the winter I might be able to keep them in the pantry. We'll see.

Homemade Chocolate Chips
from Heavenly Homemakers

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar or sucanat
  • 1 cup coconut oil or butter
  • 1 T. vanilla
Directions
  1. Mix cocoa powder and sugar.
  2. Place oil and vanilla into jar.
  3. Place jar into a sauce pan of water. I placed mine on some canning lids- but Heavenly Homemake just put the jar in the pan.
  4. Heat on medium high heat for quite some time (20-25 minutes) until the sugar has dissolved. Stir frequently.
  5. When disolved, pour chocolate mixture into a parchment paper lined baking pan. Place in the refridgeratior to cool. (Not all of my sugar completly disolved - and neither did Heavenly Homemaker's so I guess that is ok. I might try to fix that next time somehow.)
  6. When cool, break into pieces and enjoy!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Swim Shirt = AWESOME

Yesterday Chris and I did something amazing and awesome. We went on a real boat on a real lake . . . in the Colorado Desert! Seriously.

Some friends from our recreation kickball league (really, is there any other kind of kickball league?) invited us out on their boat for the day. It was good fun.

I got to swim, ride around fast in a boat while gazing a the mountains, lust after the houses that get to see water and mountain everyday and even knee board for a second before the boat broke. Chris says I broke the boat with the massive load I put on the engine. Thanks Chris.

Here we are swimming- but what is it that I am wearing?

My Swim Shirt! Last year, after going to Hawaii I bought a swim shirt. They are also called Rash Guards- surfers wear to avoid rashes from the wax and sand on the boards. I do not surf- so I am not trying to avoid a rash- I am trying to avoid the sun- and lucky for me swim shirts come with SPF in them and that is why I bought one.

I wear it every time I go swimming now. But until yesterday, I had only tested it in MN- where there is plenty of atmosphere to block the sun's rays.

Yesterday I spent 5 hours in the Colorado cloudless sky, water reflecting the sun, and with absolutely no shade. I put sunscreen on my face and hands a few times, but never did not put sunscreen on my body- just put on my shirt. It is amazing. I am not even a little burned. At all.

(Okay- I am a little pink- but that is from the 30 minutes I spent in the morning, in partial shade trying to get the boat into the water. The pink line is follows my tank top perfectly.)

Sick. I love my swim shirt. If you do not tan- or just want to forgo rubbing greasy chemicals on your body every time you swim- get a swim shirt.

I just had to share this photo- Becky was trying to take our picture and look what Chris did- he dunked me! Doesn't he look happy?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Haha- fooled you! Our wedding anniversary isn't until July 21st . . .

Instead, today is the one year anniversary of when Chris went from this:


to this!

He got PRK or PKR- whatever it is called (the Lasik alternative).

He can now see when he wakes up in the morning and is still holding 20/20 strong after a year. Yeah for Chris!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Barbecue Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza with Homemade BBQ Sauce


We had these for dinner last night. I must say they were really really good- way better than I expected good. Seriously- give this a try sometime. Mhhmmm!

Barbecue Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza with Homemade BBQ Sauce

Ingredients (for 5-6 personal pizzas)
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey
  • some chopped red onion
  • 1 grated garlic
  • cheese
  • 1 batch of BBQ sauce (see below for instructions)
  • 4-5 cooked and chopped bacon slices
  • Pizza crust(s)
Directions
  1. Brown turkey with some chopped red onions and garlic.
  2. Spread remaining ingredients on pizza to taste.
  3. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until cheese in melted.
As you know, I don't "do" spicy. At all. Most barbecue sauces are too spicy for me. This one - however is not. It is phenomenal.

Homemade Barbecue Sauce
adapted from Heavenly Homemakers

Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 T. minced onion
  • 1/4 t. garlic powder
  • 1 t. vinegar (I used white wine vinegar)
  • 1 T. molasses, honey or sucanat
Directions
  1. Mix everything together and bring to a simmer to dissolve sugar and blend flavors.
Done.

So easy- you will never have to buy BBQ sauce again! = )

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Healthy Heart Treats


As if we needed more sweets in this house- regardless, I made these delicious little guys. I have changed their name from Mudballs to Healthy Heart Treats. If I put healthy in the name- that makes them ok- right?

Healthy Heart Treats
adapted from Heavenly Homemakers

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • Optional: 1/4 cup sesame seeds (I never have these around so I didn't use them.)
Directions
  1. Heat all ingredients together over low heat.
  2. When chocolate has melted and cooled enough to touch, form treat into any shape you want. I made hearts because that is the only cookie cutter I own.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My Life Now

Between looking and applying for pointless jobs, I have found that I have no more excuses to prevent me from sorting and purging my school papers. I am not going back to grad school anytime soon, but I am a hoarder. I cannot part with my school notes. I fear that I will need them someday if I ever go back to school, or even if I just want to remember something. But if I am realistic with myself, I will never go back to those notes. They are so unorganized. And the internet is so much faster. So after hours of sorting and trying to be big- I recycled all of this.


And had a pile about half that size to use in the printer as scrap paper.

Good job Taryn. Good job.

I also organized the shelves of our coat closet, made our honeymoon scrapbook (we only got married three years ago) and organized the scrapbook stuff. Looking good now!
Happy Wednesday to you.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Homemade Tofee: Take 2


I am sure you have all been waiting anxiously for this recipe after I mentioned it in my Minnesota visit recap. Much like you have been waiting for pictures from Boston. Haha. I promise I really did go to Boston.

Anyway, here we go. I am sure you are all familiar with my first failures with Toffee- if you don't- you can read about them here. My friend Mandy and I tried- but yeah.

It was such a failure, my grandmother felt sorry for me and shared her Toffee recipe with me. Thanks Grandma!

I made the Toffee while in Minnesota at my high school (and college) best friend's house. Thankfully her mother was there to help us after I totally scorched the first batch.
Thanks Donna!

Here are instructions to make Chocolate covered Toffee. Grandma got it is 8th grade home ec. - how cool is that? It tastes just like a Heath or Skor Bar. Delicious.

Ingredients
  • 1/2 Cup butter
  • 3/4 Cup brown sugar
  • 6 oz. chocolate chips
  • Optional: 1 Cup chopped nuts
Directions
  1. Grease 8x8 pan. Add nuts to bottom of pan if using.
  2. Combine melted butter and sugar.
  3. Chop up chocolate if using large chocolate chunks. Thanks Kenzie!
  4. Bring butter and sugar to a boil (not too much though) and sir constantly for 7 minutes.
  5. Pour into pan and spread out.
  6. Sprinkle with chocolate.
  7. Cover with thick cutting board to keep in heat the melt chocolate.
  8. When melted, spread the chocolate around.
  9. Cool and break into pieces.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Etsy.com

What are your thoughts on Etsy.com? As a seller or a buyer.

I have been thinking about opening one and selling (or at least trying to sell) homemade bags and crocheted dishrags and perhaps other stuff.

But those things are already out there on etsy.com. Lots of them.

I don't know. I would love to hear your thoughts . . .

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Harry Potter Marathon!

Happy Saturday everyone!

We are off to a friend's house to watch all the Harry Potter movies (or as many as we can stand) in order to prepare for the upcoming release.

Awesomeness.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Asparagus, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Quiche


When I made this dish, I adapted it to have 5 eggs instead of 10 whopping eggs. It would have been fine, except for the mushrooms. If you make this, and do not love, love, LOVE mushrooms, cut the mushrooms in half- maybe 4 oz. or so. The mushroom texture was overpowering in our quiche. We had to eat it on toast to help hide the mushrooms. Seriously. But other than that, it was really good. Enjoy!

Asparagus, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Quiche
Adapted from Closet Cooking

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 8 ounces mushrooms (sliced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 pound asparagus (trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces)
  • goat cheese (sliced)
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Saute the mushrooms until tender, about 5-10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, thyme and season with salt and pepper and saute until fragrant, about a minute and remove from heat.
  3. Spread the asparagus out evenly over the bottom of an 8 inch square baking dish or pie pan.
  4. Spread the mushrooms and goat cheese over top.
  5. Mix the eggs and cottage cheese and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Pour the egg mixture into the pan.
  7. Bake in a preheated 375F oven until the eggs are firmly set and golden brown on top, about 20-30 minutes.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Homemade Lara Bar

For most of you who are feeling snacky- you could just go out and buy a delicious Lara Bar. But if you are like me and can't eat tree nuts without paying for it later, you can try this super substitute.

I traded the raw almonds for these bad boys.


In the end, almonds taste better- so you should use them if you can, but peanuts work pretty darn good.

Homemade Lara Bars - Banana Bread
Adapted from Oh She Glows

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup dried dates
  • 1/4 cup dried banana
  • 1/3 cup peanuts (mine were roasted and salted)
Directions
  1. Use your food processor to chop up the dates into tiny pieces. Add the bananas and puree some more.
  2. Empty the fruit and add the nuts (or legumes if you want the proper term). Puree those suckers.
  3. Add the fruit and peanuts together.
  4. Form into a shape of your liking.
That's it. Super easy, no?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Unnecessary Quotation Marks

I don't know if you have heard of this blog- but The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks is one of my daily reads. It is fun. And ever since I started reading it last winter, I have been on the lookout for signs I could send in.

Finally, while waiting for our flight home to Colorado, Chris found me this.
A close up
Nice, no? I guess the Airport Armed Forces Service Center will serve countries that pretend to be friendly?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Microwave Peanut Brittle


While home for my sister's wedding and the 4th of July, I was summoned to help Grandma make Peanut Brittle for Grandpa. Grandma didn't need me, but it was sure nice to cook by her side and learn how to make this delicious dessert. Thanks grandma and grandpa. However, my waistline does not thank you. = )

Microwave Peanut Brittle
From Grandma Andersen

Here is the recipe.

If you can't read it, I will transpose it here. You are lucky.

Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Corn Syrup or Brown Rice Syrup
  • 1 Cup raw peanuts
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 tsp baking soda
Directions
  1. Mix sugar, syrup, peanuts and salt together. Microwave for 4 minutes on high. After the 4 minutes, stir once.
  2. Place back in microwave and heat for 3-5 minutes on high until it starts to brown a bit.
  3. Add vanilla and butter, stir and then microwave for 1-2 more minutes.
  4. Stir in baking soda.
  5. Then quickly transfer to greased cookie sheet.
  6. As it cools, try to stretch it out so it is thin.
  7. Cool and break into pieces.
Note: Please be careful. The brittle is going to be VERY hot out of the microwave.