Friday, November 28, 2008

Champagne Kisses and Thanksgiving Wishes

Oh goodness, this holiday is what I needed! Thanksgiving was the best!!!! We stayed at our house because my mom flew to California to be with my aunt, and since Casey had to work today, we couldn't make it to Bend, where his Mom lives.
We made everything from scratch and used fresh ingredients whenever possible.
We special ordered a petite turkey that we brined in maple syrup and kosher salt, then rubbed with herbs and butter, even injecting butter under the breast skin, then stuffed it with lemons, apples, and fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, lavender, and sage.
We made green been casserole w/ panko topped crust, french green beans, and garlic cream. From Cook's Illustrated recipes we made Baguette Stuffing (soaked in olive oil, fresh cream and soy sauce, and baked like bread pudding, but savory.) and we also roasted carrots and potatoes in the turkey juices.
We had champagne with frozen apple slices slices, which was so yummy and helped keep things fun in the kitchen
And for dessert we had this Skillet Apple Pie, the recipe is from Cooks Illustrated, it has no bottom crust and you caramelize the apples in maple syrup on a skillet then press the dough in the mix, bake for 20 minutes and you have flaky gooey pie (there are more ingredients, but that is the basics.)

And also we had these hearts shaped shortbread cookies, which I have made in the past as Strawberry Matcha Cookies, but this time I sandwiched Pumpkin Butter and Lemon Curd alternately with a little powdered sugar on top. I also made a big batch of these earlier in the week to give out as holiday gifts to neighbors and friends.
The pumpkin butter was cool, because it was like having little mini pumpkin pies. You can get jars of it at Trader Joes for under 3 dollars, and don't let the word butter scare you like it did for me at first, it is fat free, more of a jam than a butter.
There is a ton og butter in the shortbread already, so there was no need to add more!
After dinner we had coffee and hung out, watching the most amazing movies! If you have not seen the french insect documentary Microcosmos, you must watch ASAP!
It was the most beautiful film I have ever seen. I am a huge fan of nature films, and this is the beautiful and elegant one I have seen. It makes you look at insects with a whole new perspective. There is even a snail make out scene that is so freakin cute I just about died.
Better than any romantic chick flick out there. There is a lot of time lapse photography, something that always makes me pretty much clap at the television when I get to see it.
Then we watched a Japanese Movie called "Into the Faraway Sky" billed as the Japanese's answer to Stand By Me.I didn't see many simularities, except it was a heartwarming movie about young childhood friends with a fairy tale vibe that was sweet and had just the right amount of sweetness that didn't seem contrived like so many Hollywood movies do.
What a snuggly Thanksgiving! It felt good considering I did over a weeks worth of work in 3 days this week. The whole time I was at work I pictured eating and relaxing and spending time with Casey and the dogs and now that it is finally here, I am so very grateful for it! The leftover turkey will be used used to make turkey, bacon, and swiss melt on these homemade croissants I made last weekend and saved some dough for
I am also very excited for Christmas~! On the 6th I am going with my mom to watch the Nutcracker Suite, which Portland has a good show downtown of, we are going to get dressed up and have a date together. For Christmas we usually decorate a theme on a budget, in the past we did a Candy Cane Stripe theme, this year for our new house we are going to go with an all white Christmas, a white fake tree, snowflakes, and white hanging orb ornaments, sort of a 2001 Space Odyssey Christmas, haha.
We are already menu planning together and I am very excited. So I will update the Christmas Season as it happens, until then I hope everyone is having a relaxed, special holiday season with their family.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hello, its Bunbun......

Hey anyone out there! Wow, it has been a long time and so much has happened. I didn't mean to be gone this long or to lose touch with my blogging friends, but one thing lead to another and I almost forgot I ever had a blog! I still plan on mostly staying on flickr, but I want to keep Honey and Clover alive, because I really liked blogging.
So, summer came and went, and it was beautiful. both our birthdays were celebrated and we are now both 28. Then came the news that my mom was in poor health, and it was devastating. I am back in school and working full time, so there wasn't much time for me to process how I felt about everything. In fact for awhile I felt neither good or bad, which scared me. But for privacy reasons (I am not sure if my mother wants her health history broadcasted on the internet, haha!) I wont go into details. I do know because of where I work, that life is short and you gotta never take a second for granted, like that one song by the Flaming Lips(sorry I don't know the name cause I pretty much only listen to the Rolling Stones and Rap nowadays). The month of august I was pretty stressed and even my mom didn't know how much. I tried to look at the more beautiful and carefree aspects of my life, all of which I put on flickr, I have always wanted to focus on those things anyway.
Then around the time of our first wedding anniversary, everything seemed to calm down. My mom started to look and sound more normal. We got a new house which makes our old house seem like a crackhouse. If you have read past posts, you might remember that I love the St. Johns area in Portland, that is where we are now!!!!!! So close to a lot of beautiful trails small companies. We found it on our anniversary. I started baking again (goodbye toaster oven, hello new gas oven!), and everything fell back into place.

What is weird is that during this whole time, things were stressful, but probably the most happy time of my life! Autumn is my favorite time of year, so I am really enjoying everything around me. I am sorry if this post is a little vague and scattered. I didn't know where to start. I hope all my blogging friends out there are doing great and I hope to reconnect soon!

Also,(sorry, I normally am pretty quiet about this kind of stuff, but our country is falling apart!) today is our election day in America! I am not even going to try and be PC, if you didn't vote for Obama, then you are an ignorant and selfish idiot that supports war and needless killing. But I am pretty excited about the fact that he is really damn close to becoming president!
I am super excited that someone like him is here to represent our generation. Right now in my neighborhood people are lighting off fireworks and celebrating Obama! Okay, I will shut up now.......