thank you jim-

for proposing finally! we were cheering for you guys!


for those farther away!

just wanted to share what i'm lookin' like these days for those that can't come see!


black and white cookie disaster!

yesterday linds was craving cookies. so we decided to try out a recipe for the famed "black and white cookies" found only in NYC. her roomie carly came over and we got to work like the gourmet chefs we are, and slaved for three hours to make these cookies. and three hours later, none of us could finish a single cookie. they were straight sugar! we didn't realize the frosting would be so thick! we used about twice as much as we should have..... haha at least we had a good time doing it, right? now i'm sure these cookies are really good- so i'll give you the recipe. BUT with this caution- make the frosting thinner than you think you should, and don't put too much on! if it starts to get too thick, reheat it and add some more water. (if you REALLY want to know, ask lindsay where the recipe came from....)

Black and White CookiesAdapted from a bunch of places, but mostly Zabar’s
Traditional black and white cookies are BIG and LOUD, not unlike the New Yorkers that made them famous. Preferring everything on the daintier side, I’ve made them very small before, but this time went for a nice medium size.
Yield: About 2 dozen very large cookies, 60 medium (I used a scoop 1 3/4 inches in diameter that yielded 3-inch cookies) or so many cookies that you might lose your mind frosting them if you go tinier. I’m just saying.
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature4 large eggs1 1/2 cups milk1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract1/4 teaspoon lemon extract2 1/2 cups cake flour2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour1/2 teaspoon baking powder1/2 teaspoon salt4 cups confectioners’ sugar1/3 to 1/2 cup water3 ounces very bitter or unsweetened chocolate1 teaspoon light corn syrup.1 to 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 2 baking sheets with nonstick spray, or line with parchment paper.
2. In large mixing bowl, combine sugar and butter. Mix by machine or hand until fluffy. Add eggs, milk and vanilla and lemon extracts, and mix until smooth.
3. In medium bowl, combine cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Stir until mixed. Add dry mixture to the wet in batches, stirring well after each addition. Using a soup spoon, place heaping spoonfuls of the dough 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake until edges begin to brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool completely.
4. Boil a cup or so of water in a small pot. Place confectioners’ sugar in large, heat-safe mixing bowl. Gradually stir in enough boiling water to the sugar to make a thick, spreadable mixture. Err on the side of caution because a too-thin frosting is hard to undo. Leave remaing boiling water on the stove.
5. Spread frosting on half of the flat side of each cookie. Once all cookie halves have been frosted, place the bowl of the remaining frosting over the hot water and bring it back to a simmer (creating a double-boiler). Stir in the bitter or unsweetened chocolate until melted, as well as the light corn syrup. At this point, depending on the chocolate you used and your preferences, you might find the chocolate color to be a little lighter than the “black” of a black-and-white cookie. If so, I find that a tablespoon or so of cocoa mixed in darkens the color nicely.
6. Ice the remaining half of the cookies with the chocolate frosting. I find that the chocolate–especially with cocoa in it–is especially prone to getting too dry, so don’t worry about whisking in an extra teaspoon of that hot water from time to smooth it back into a shiny frosting.
7. Let the frosting set. Store in an airtight container. These cookies keep for a few days, but I think they’re best on the first or second. Because of the cake nature of the bases, they can get stale quickly. However, this is really a non-issue as I have yet to make a batch that didn’t get polished off in no time

hopefully someone can do this faster than the three hours it took us!


what joy can be found in utah

this is a list of things that i came up with last night about why i am glad we are back in utah. i couldn't sleep- i was dreading it because i knew that i would be getting up in a couple hours to head to the bathroom anyways, and was just waiting for it. and i took a nap at 830 pm. yay for being pregnant!
1. family

lindsay- shouldn't you be looking where you are driving?

2. friends

friends i miss you!

3. mountains

these make it sooo much easier to know where i am going! anyone who doesn't like mountains is crazy!

4. my home.
home is currently under construction. will post later!
5. byu football

59-0. need i say more???? (i will say that joe thought i was going to go into labor during the first game against washington, thats how excited, tense, nervous, etc. i was! i really love cougar football!)

6. things you can only get in utah

rhode's frozen rolls- cinnamon rolls, orange rolls, dinner rolls, caramel rolls.......

7. no traffic
you have to understand what the traffic is like in our nation's capital. i will never again complain about the traffic in utah! it is NOTHING compared to what you will find in dc. the only time it is ever bearable is maybe 11 pm. even then, you have to plan out your route pretty carefully because of construction.

really, these are just a few of the things that i have missed. now there are plenty of things that i didn't miss- but this is a happy post so i will leave it at that. oh utah, how i have missed you! now all you have to do is keep up the weather pattern that we have enjoyed since getting back here and you will be perfect.


we made it!

we are still settling in a bit, and getting ready for this baby to come, but we made it back safely to utah! lets back it up a bit and update where we left off- the week before we left dc:

we celebrated our one-year anniversary by making a quick little trip down to williamsburg, va for a day of sight-seeing! it was so nice to get away from work and just be with each other, especially because we would be separated later on that week....

governor's palace

in the stocks!

later that week i flew to st. louis a few days before joseph was done working to go see my family before we have baby claire. again- so nice to not be working and just relax! i was feeling guilty the whole time because he was still working like crazy.... while i was there some friends from my family's home ward got together and threw me a fun shower! it was sooo nice of them and we had tons of fun! thanks again heather and kirstin!

these girls know how to party :)
we then had a crazy couple days scrambling to get back to utah before school started last tuesday. i had tried to clean our apartment and pack as much as possible, but i had some stuff at work that HAD to be done before i left that i wasn't expecting to do, so after a loooong day of work he cleaned and stuffed the car-literally- and got to st. louis as quickly as the speed limit would allow. we decided he was too tired to drive straight through, and i would need to stop halfway between st. louis and utah, so we took our time. we left that monday morning, and it was a pretty long drive but we made it as interesting as possible. we had some friends that were taking the same route as us, and we met up with them every so often when we filled up with gas and stopped for food. we also made this quick little detour through liberty, missouri. joe had never seen the 'seashell' temple of the church of Christ. i decided he needed to see it so we stopped, used the LDS visitor's center bathroom, took a a picture and left. we then spent the next part of the drive discussing whether or not the spiral had stairs He would walk down or if He was supposed to slide.....
we rolled into town last tuesday night and have been moving ever since. joe started school right away, got all settled into his classes, and i've been putting the house back together and getting a nursery ready! i decided i needed to be more 'domestic' again- i had zero time to do that this summer, and have been making every meal and trying to develop some 'skills' in the sewing deparment by crocheting burp cloths and a blanket. so far so good! my mom is so talented with sewing, and i just did not inherit that gene, so i have to work extra hard. ask my sister lindsay- my hands just have a hard time with that stuff. anyways... we are getting ready to paint a few walls, etc. pictures to come!