Technically it's not the New Year yet, but I am counting this as a HUGE accomplishment and a change in the essence of who I am. To be honest, I have to credit my college roomie and bestie (not beastie - bestie) Julie for this drastic change.
Several weeks ago I was complaining to Julie about my incompetence when it comes to bread making. I have tried 3 different times and each time my bread comes out stiff and really dense. I think the primary reason is my house is so cold the dough refuses to rise, but it's just so frustrating when all I want to do is make my own bread and I simply CAN NOT DO IT. Ugh.
A few people had mentioned the "no rise" bread as an option when I received my Dutch Oven but, being stubborn, I did not think too much of these recipes. Fast forward to my conversation with Julie - she mentions the "no-rise" bread and I asked her if it was really worth it and if it would really work - she promised yes.
Pictured below is what I pulled out of the oven an hour ago. It is so good! You should try the recipe today!!
Are you excited because the title of this post is making you think it will be on my own personal eschatology? Or how Kirk Cameron films are always the best? Or how you, too, had a childhood crush on Austin O'Brien? No, my friends (little Maverick shout out there), I am sorry to disappoint but this post is actually dedicated to the left side of my behind, which is killing me due to the excessively long run I did Saturday - more on that later. Oh, and the fact that it's kind of an "update" which I'm getting really good at - I think I'll only blog once a month from now on since these update blogs are so successful.
This month started out like any other December - with a visit from my seeester Kimberly (who can be stalked on facebook if you are interested) and her bf Erik-with-a-k. When they came, we did lots of fun things. I made dinner at home one night - tomato soup with fresh cracked pepper and parmesan crostini, french bistro steaks with blue cheese crumbles, green beans and asparagus - blanched? why of course! - and roasted golden potatoes. YUM.
Here is the table, I welcome you to my dining room.
We also spent lots of time with #2 in the Kalleberg ladies line up - Corrie! We went to RA! Sushi and ordered half the menu...
Paid our holiday visit to Disneyland where we used the lovely blue lighting in Space Mountain for fabulous photographs. While at Disneyland we dined at our 2nd favorite lunch spot - Storyteller's Cafe at the Grand Californian Hotel where I think everyone should eat every time they are at Disneyland. Lunch is better than dinner, and you can't go wrong with one of the hot sandwiches (including the burger) or the cobb salad. If you don't think it's going to be worth the price and aren't feeling like leaving the park - take a chance and do it anyway. I guarantee the first bite of unlimited hot out of the oven bread will make the 1/4 mile walk worth your while.
The week of Christmas I had NINE DAYS IN A ROW off! Paid! Only had to use two vacation days! Welcome to the amazingness that is my job! We went to Idyllwild for the Murdock family vacation (the extended Murdock's, not just Glenn and I - we do plenty of other annual vacations on our own...) and spent time with the nieces and crazy uncles/brothers/girlfriends/wives/moms/fun. I modified Ina Garten's Chicken Chili and it was a success! I used ground turkey instead of chicken, added a lot of extra cayanne pepper (ai yai yai!) and also snuck in two cans of kidney beans, much to Glenn's dismay. Nothing seems to pair with chili like cornbread so I did the Ina jalapeno cheddar cornbread that I've only made twice now but, like most of her recipes, has been breathtakingly scrumptious both times. Wish you were in my family? I know, it's awesome.
The Christmas Chill, two favorite friends getting engaged, fun gifts from Anthropologie (hello, aprons) and A NEW SANTOKU KNIFE, a long run and a life saved by my running buddies (not kidding - read about it here) later, it's almost January and Glenn and I are discussing 2009 goals.
On the agenda for this week: use the knife as much as possible, read a few more chapters of the book pictured below, and enjoy the last days of what has been a glorious year.