Archive for August, 2008

Happy Birthday Sweetie!

Today is my sweetie’s 25th birthday.  I had it all planned out to post a picture of one of his many McDonalds Birthday parties because he was sooo cute.  When I look at pictures of him when he was a baby and a little boy, I wish I could be there so I could see what he was like.  But I think I can guess he was the same back then as he now  – loving, snuggly, funny, and always willing to give to others. 
Happy birthday sweetie!  I love you bunches!


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First Time

Dear neighbors at the Hyatt Regency DFW,

This seems to be your first time staying in a hotel, as I can hear the excitement in your voices as you talk so loud I can easily hear you across the hall.  You apparently find it fun to watch tv with the volume up high or find it cute when your kid is continuously tapping on the tile floor in the bathroom.  To your credit, I know you told him to stop the tapping, I heard you.  Across the hall.   

Again, I understand your excitement, but would appreciate if you could keep it down a little.  KThx!!

You neighbor on the 3rd floor

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A little birdie recently left a package of these at my house during her last visit. So I couldn’t let them go to waste.

This Tiramisu recipe came highly recommended from the AllRecipes.com readers! (Click on over if you want to see nutrition facts or scale the recipe for more or less people.)

Classic Tiramisu
Submitted by: Carol
Rated: 5 out of 5 by 392 members
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Ready In: 2 Hours
Yields: 12 servings
“Classic Italian dessert made with ladyfingers and mascarpone cheese. It can be made in a trifle bowl or a springform pan.”
6 egg yolks
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 1/4 cups mascarpone cheese
1 3/4 cups heavy whipping
2 (12 ounce) packages
1/3 cup coffee flavored liqueur
1 teaspoon unsweetened
cocoa powder, for dusting
1 (1 ounce) square semisweet
1. Combine egg yolks and sugar in the top of a double boiler, over boiling water. Reduce heat to low, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and whip yolks until thick and lemon colored.
2. Add mascarpone to whipped yolks. Beat until combined. In a separate bowl, whip cream to stiff peaks. Gently fold into yolk mixture and set aside.
3. Split the lady fingers in half, and line the bottom and sides of a large glass bowl. Brush with coffee liqueur. Spoon half of the cream filling over the lady fingers. Repeat ladyfingers, coffee liqueur and filling layers. Garnish with cocoa and chocolate curls. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.
4. To make the chocolate curls, use a vegetable peeler and run it down the edge of the chocolate bar.

One of the cool things about checking out recipes on their website is that you can see what modifications people have made when they try a recipe. For instance, some people made this one without the coffee liquor by using strong brewed coffee or espresso. I, of course, didn’t want to stray from the original recipe because it might not taste as good. (mmm yummy coffee liquor!!!) I thought the lady fingers might stay too hard if I only brushed them with coffee liquor, so I gave them a quick dip, making sure I got both sides good and coated. (I don’t have a basting brush anyway, so this is an excellent, and highly recommended improvisation!)

The only other variance I made was chilling the mascarpone creme mixture for a few minutes before layering in a pyrex dish to thicken up the consistency a little bit. The final product wasn’t so pretty for my first time out. I had some issues shaving chocolate into cute little curls, so I ended up grating the chocolate with a microplane. You can hardly see the difference between the chocolate and the cocoa powder.

And I had enough left over to make a cute little mini tiramisu. I had somewhat better luck with the chocolate curls.

This is definitely a recipe to do again. It is creamy and as tasty as any restaurant’s recipe, and most definitely a good pick-me up! Buon Appetito!

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Hey Good Lookin’

Me and my sweetie at his sister’s wedding reception.  We had a good time and there were only minor hiccups.  And I must say, we both look pretty snazzy!

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Shangri La Botanical Gardens

An awesome perk of my job is getting to take my students on cultural trips. Last Friday we had the chance to go to Shangri La Gardens in Orange, Texas. Shangri La just opened up in March after being closed to the public for about 50 years. You can read more about Shangri La here. Here are some of my favorite pictures.

From the boat trip down Adams Bayou.

A non-native water lily that only blooms for a few hours in the mornings.

A beautiful and bright flower.

The bayou.

The 1950s greenhouse.

I strongly recommend a trip to Shangri La if you are in the Orange, Texas area. I hope to make another trip in the fall or spring (when it isn’t so hot out) so I can see the gardens when more flowers are in bloom.

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No Excuses

I just haven’t written. But I was in Chicago for 5 days scoping out the grant competition or rather getting even more nervous about the process of re-securing a grant worth over a million dollars for my university.  And re-securing my job for a few more years.  Until I’m back in writing mode, check out Cherrye’s Love Thursday post here.  I love reliving the story!

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