Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wordy Wednesday - Something Greater.

I'm sorry I haven't been around a lot lately! School is back in full swing and when I'm not working, I'm reading textbooks and writing papers for class. I have been pondering something lately and feel passionate enough to share it with you.

First of all, I love my life. I love my job, I love being busy with school, I love everything. With that being said, I feel like there is a greater purpose for my life. I don't feel like I was put on this planet to just work, go to school, and in general, be a good person. I want to help create change. I can feel it in my heart, in fact, when I think about it I'm somewhat overwhelmed with emotion. I just can't quite figure out where exactly I'm supposed to be taking these feelings.

My trip to Thailand in 2009 (Did you miss it? See my Thailand blog here.) was originally supposed to be a volunteer trip. Somewhere amidst the planning, I decided I just needed Ashley time and I was going to spend that month living for me. Honestly, it was absolutely amazing and I wouldn't change that trip for the world. I met some amazing people who remain in my life today - most importantly Stacey (hello my most precious British friend!) who was my roommate for the month and somehow put up with me. My heart still calls to Thailand. If you've been there, you might understand my pull to go back. But this time, it needs to be for different reasons. This is something I feel I need to do within the next year while I'm free to roam (you know - no mortgage, kids, or serious life commitments aside from Dan.) I will be planning within the next few months so stay tuned for more details!

Have you ever volunteered overseas? If so, where? If not, what would be your choice of country to volunteer in and what would you do?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Five for Friday.

I love...

1. How gentle you are with me.
2. That you are good at fixing things.
3. The annoying fact that you are right most of the time.
4. That you always encourage and believe in me.
5. To hate how you're good at everything. :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday.

How do you know you spent too much time working on homework in one evening? Your Victoria's Secret "Pink" logo from your PJ's can be seen in our couch. Look closely!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Five for Friday.

1. I love that you e-mailed me a 'Five for Friday' from you.

2. I miss how your presence alone makes me feel better about things that are bothering me.

3. I miss your smile.

4. I love that you called me early in the morning to have a skype date before I left for work. It made my whole week!

5. I miss having you rush to give me a hug and a kiss as soon as you walk through the door.

ps. We're a third of the way until we see eachother again at Christmas!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bake-N-Blog Unveiled!

I was pretty darn excited to take part in the Bake-N-Blog Jess, over at Jesstagirl and Her Officer, was hosting! Having a reason to bake cupcakes is not necessary but it definitely provided me with some motivation. Each participant chose a cupcake from Ming Makes Cupcakes and they all look fantastic!

I decided to make the Flourless Beet Chocolate Cupcakes with Whipped Cream as mentioned previously. These cupcakes are absolutely delicious. They are chocolate-y, rich and amazing. I have never eaten something so moist. Betty Crocker has nothing on me now. I wish I could just sit and eat all twelve. I wasn't alone in my enjoyment. They received rave reviews from everyone who was lucky enough to try one...or two!

Cupcakes really are love. See how these wonderful little cuppy cakes were created:

Puree beets in blender until smooth. Measure 1/2 cup and put aside.

Then, melt 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips and 3/4 stick of butter using a metal bowl set in a pan of simmering water on low. I used Trader Joe's Semi-Sweet Chocolate Callets and would highly recommend using these. When melted, take off heat and let sit for a few minutes. Afterwards, add the 3 egg yolks and the 1/2 cup pureed beets.

Now, if you're me, this is the point where you realize that you left your eggs at the self checkout. Oopsies. What to do? Call mom, who was with you when shopping, while in a panic and say "did you pick up the eggs?!" At that point, you hear something that sounds like "no" and your phone cuts out. By the time you call your mom (who just so happens to be the best mom ever!) back, she is on her way to the grocery store to buy you another dozen. Sweet, right? Luckiest little baker ever.

While stirring the now melted chocolate, and incessantly licking the chocolate covered spoon, I realized I missed an incredibly important step in the whole baking experience. Wine.

Mom came to the rescue and I added my egg yolks and beets to the melted chocolate goodness!

In a metal bowl, I beat the 3 egg whites until soft peaks formed. Then, I gradually added the 1/4 cup of sugar and continued to beat.

Once the egg white mixture is still and glossy, whisk some of it into the chocolate mixture, and then back into the whites while stirring.

Fill the cupcake liners. Bake at 275 degrees for 35 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

While your cupcakes are baking, put a clean metal bowl along with wire whisks into the freezer to prepare for the whipped cream preparation!

Beat 1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream until light and foamy. This will take approximately 3 or 4 minutes. If you'd like some direction on how to whip cream effectively, this may help.

Now, this is a very important step so listen carefully. Lick the delicious whipped cream off of the whisks. You must. Ming obviously didn't feel it was necessary to outline this in her recipe, but really, it's vital.

Mmm, the cupcakes are baking. I was surprised at how voluptuous they were considering they lacked flour. They did fall a little once out of the oven, but not much.

Now, keep calm and have a cupcake!

Enjoy and happy baking!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Corn Bonanza Fail.

You may remember my intentions of making those four corn on the cob recipes? Well, I think it's become quite clear that they failed. I made two of the recipes and ate soooo much corn. I eventually was over it. I really wanted to finish the recipes since I said I would but lets face it - it's just not going to happen!

Stay tuned for the Flourless Beet Chocolate Cupcakes I'm making for Jess' Bake-N-Blog! They will be unveiled on the 15th! Who needs corn when we have cupcakes?

Speaking of corn and cupcakes - take a look at these little gems!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Five for Friday.

1. I love how you're always on my mind.

2. I love how you make me excited for the future.

3. I love that you're an amazing cook! I always enjoy the nights that you make dinner because it's absolutely delicious! I also love the way you're so serious about it because you want it to be perfect!

4. I love that you appreciate all the little things I do for you.

5. I love that other people can see your face light up when you look at me.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday.

Ahhh, day dreaming...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

53 Years!

Look at this precious couple! Today, my Nanny and Grandad are celebrating their 53rd Wedding Anniversary! They have definitely been through ups and downs but worked together through all of it. They have invited me to come out for dinner with them tonight and celebrate! I'm definitely looking forward to spending this evening with them!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Five for Friday.

1. I am elated that my love and adoration grows each and every day, even when you're far away.

2. I love that you call me at the end of your work day regardless of how late it is for you, the early hour you woke up at, and the various other elements you faced throughout the day.

3. I miss seeing your overnight bag on the floor where you always put it.

4. I miss telling you all the mundane details about my day. You always take interest even when they seem really silly!

5. I love that you're reading my blog and learning even more about me. If you're reading this right now - I love you and you're the absolute best. Thank you for making 'Five for Fridays' so easy!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesday.

Design by Small Bird Studios | All Rights Reserved