Sunday, February 26, 2012


So you put yourself out there.  Mind, body, soul.  You answer the questions, reciprocate with the most honest and sincere answers that come to mind.  Engage in really great stories that leave your date smiling and laughing.  You ask all the right questions... open ended, profound yet not intimidating. 
You smile.  You make direct eye contact.  You do every single thing you can to make that positive connection with the person across from you. 

The question is... how often can a person put themselves out there?  Bear all?  Make yourself so vulnerable?  It's been my experience that all that emotional energy doesn't really come back to me.  Maybe one of these days it will all be worth it.  All of this physical and emotional energy will be returned to me when the fates align and something actually comes from it.  Here's hoping.

I'm the type of person who dreams big, but plans small.  So in order to make my dreams a reality I set up small goals along the way towards that big dream.  But this dream... this relationship dream... it's really only halfway my responsibility.  I've got to find the person who shares this dream with me.  When you think about it like this, when you type the words out onto a page it becomes so starkly real.  And the reality is that this may be one dream that just never comes true.  It just might not ever come to fruition.

Wherever you are, whoever you are.
Wheather I've met you already or I have yet to meet you.
I miss you, and I want you in my life. 
So when you're ready.  Show up.
I'll be very patiently waiting.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Homemade Crab Rangoon

Homemade Crab Rangoon
Yield: approximately 30 pieces

8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
1/4 cup chopped fresh green onion
1 package (16 ounces) chunk crab meat*
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
30 wonton wrappers
Deep fryer or a medium sauce pan with oil
Cookie sheet with wire cooling rack

*I used artificial crab because I am a poor college student.  If you want to spend $16 on a can of the actual stuff, more power to you.

1. Cream together the cream cheese, green onion and crab meat.  You want the onion and crab meat to be chopped up very finely because the large chunks make filling the wontons more difficult.
2. Add in the soy sauce and worcestershire sauce, mix completely.
3. Lay 1 wonton wrapper out, place a small mound (1 tsp?) of the crab mixture into the center. 
4. Moisten 2 sides of the wonton wrapper and then bring the corners together.  Remove as many air pockets as you can without ripping the wonton.  Seal the edges to form a triangle.  This takes practice but it gets easier as you go.  Working with clean fingers is important (keep a towel nearby to wipe fingers) so you get a proper seal.
5. Fry the filled wontons until golden brown.  Watch carefully and only fry a few at a time.  Tongs are extremely helpful here.  Brown both sides.
6. Let cool slightly on racks, serve with Sweet Chilli Sauce.
7. Enjoy!

Enjoy my pictures! 

 I ran 6 different trials of shapes before I finally decided that the simple triangle fold-over was the best option.  I had all sorts of strange shapes, and I really enjoyed working with the wontons.  Just make sure you get them separated, they are about the thickness of a dime. 

 Just moisten 2 sides, and don't use too much water.
 Fold in half, remove air pockets, seal.  Make sure they're sealed.


I found this sauce in the Internation isle of my grocery store.  I love it's flavor (mildly spicy) and it is very similar to what they serve with Crab Rangoon at Thanh Linh in Peoria. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

Well... it's here!  Happy Valentines Day!  Woo.
I know, I know.  Hallmark holiday, I hate being single blah blah blah.  I get all of that.  I really truly do.  But I love this day.  How can you not LOVE a day with so much LOVE in the air?  Not even just romantic love... but all kinds of love.  That's why I've been collecting some of my Facebook friends' favorite love songs for about a week now!  I've compiled them all here... with videos from YouTube!  So everyone who has commented has their favorite love song posted here.  Now you can sit back and enjoy some really great (and some not so great) love songs.  

EDIT: I removed the direct link videos from this post because it wasn't loading right.  You can look up all these songs if you wish. 

Logan Oates: So much love by the Rocket Summer 

 Haley Kopis: At last by Etta James

Stacee Houser: Groovy kind of love by Phil Collins

Alan Blankenship: Don't know much by Aaron Neville & Linda Ronstadt 

Kelley Blankenship:  Wind beneath my wings by Bette Middler

Murray McKinsley: Heart of gold by Neil Young

Tristen Carter: Woman like you by Lee Brice

Joni McGrath: Into the Mystic by Van Morrison

Darlene Carter: Love me tender by Elvis

Robin Thompson: Home sweet home by the Motley Crew

Levi McFadden: Man in the mirror by Michael Jackson 

Sherri Chaney: Its now or never by Elvis

Roxanne Uhrig: It's your love by Faith Hill and Tim McGraw

Cathy Adams: At last by Etta James

Kelli Jo Fultz: My best friend by Tim McGraw

Kelly Mettler: Everything I do I do for you by Bryan Adams

My mommy: Grandpa tell me about the good old days by the Judds

Sarita Andrus: Thats the good stuff by Kenney Chesney


Bailey Deiner: Hero by Enrique Iglesias

Erica Tisdale: I'll be by Edwin McCain

TJ Klockenga: Endless love by Diana Ross & Lionel Ritchie 

Abby Prickett: Swept away by the Avett Brothers

Sarah Hamner: Ladybug by Nevershoutnever

Fadi Halliwell: Shefto Mn Be'eid by Yara

Daniel Ehrman: Kiss Me by Sixpence None The Richer

Michelle Haney: The girl by The City and Colour

Tessie Lucas: You wont ever be lonely by Andy Griggs

Zachary Thompson: Not that different by Collin Raye 

Hannah Antonacci: Some kind of wonderful by Michael Buble

Jay Bowman: If these walls could speak by Amy Grant

Rhonda Deiner: Lady in red by Chris Debugh

Lindsey Oates: That's how your love makes me feel by Diamond Rio

Brenda Antonacci: You light up my life by Debbie Boone

Max Kerr: Never gonna give you up by Rick Astley 

Lindsey Scypta: Still the one by The Orleans

I'll leave you with this... use today as an excuse to tell all the people you love in the world how you feel.  Call your Grandmother, your long lost best friend, or crazy Aunt Mel.  Use today as an excuse to put a little more love into the atmosphere.  We should never need an excuse to show love to one another, but sometime we all need a little reminder to show love to one another.

With love,

Saturday, February 4, 2012

8(ish?) layer chocolate cake.

The most glorious chocolate lovers cake.  Ever. 
I suppose this is kind of a tutorial.  Kind of?  I am not going to go step by step, but I have tons of pictures here.  You can make this cake on your own.  I promise.  It's really easy.
It's hard to tell but one of the layers is a crunchy cookies layer.  Think DQ ice cream cake.  I spent quiet a while on the phone with my lovely mother trying to figure out what I could use to make my own crunchy cookie layer.  We started with and ended up back at Oreos. 

 But it's not that easy.  You see... we don't want the cream filling.  We only want the chocolate cookie part.  So grab a knife, a zip lock baggie and a small container and plop down infront of the TV.  Disassemble all of the cookies.  Keep the cream filling for... um... a rainy day?  (:
 Done and done.  The cream filling is shelf stable.  It can just hang out in a cabinet somewhere.  Until, of course, you go on one of those I NEED SUGAR NOW rampages and eat it all with a spoon right out of the baggie. 
 Crumble up the cookies and then add in a good amount of the hot fudge topping.  Microwaving it first makes for easier pouring.  You want to add about 1 full cup to the Oreo cookie bits.  Make sure each piece is even coated.

 I made my own cake pedestal.  Jealous?  
 I baked off 2 9" round chocolate cakes earlier in the day.  After they cooled I split them both in half.  This leaves you with 4 cake layers.  Stick the layers in your freezer for a few hours... being able to handle the layers without them breaking on you is critical.
 If you take 4 strips of wax paper and place them on the edges of your cake plate they will serve as a barrier for any frosting/chocolate ruining the finished look of your cake.  Does this make sense?  You'll build the cake ontop of this now, and when all is said and done we will pull these out and the cake plate will be nice and clean.
 Confession: I used boxed cake mix and jarred frosting.  Oops.  Yes you will use all 3 jars of frosting.  And the entire container of hot fudge.  And the Oreos.
 Even though I didn't need to pipe this cake (layer cake, not cupcakes) I find a piping bag to be SO MUCH easier than using a knife to spread icing.  I also wanted to try out this round tip that I have.  I wasn't sure how thick the frosting would come out...

 This, my friends, is the reason why no one should ever use a round tip to pipe chocolate icing.  Because.  Well.  It looks like poop....

 Important: if you baked 2 9" rounds that means you have 2 perfectly flat layers.  Right?  The bottom part of both 9" rounds is perfectly level.  Now think this through... where do we want the perfectly level layers to be?  Right in the middle of out cake?  NO.  We want them on the top and the bottom.  Duh.
 Cake, frosting, cookie crunch.  Warm it back up in the mircowave and then use your hands to spread it around.  Next time I do this I will spread the cookie crunch into a 9" baking pan and press it into one layer.  I didn't really think that through this time and the cookie layer was really too thick for my liking.

 After the cookies layer, add the next cake layer. 
 Essentially we have cake, frosting, cake, cookie crunch, cake, frosting, cake.  Bam.

 Now I used my piping bag to fill in the big gaps between the layers of the cake. 

 I had "extra" icing.  So I got out some pretzels.  Yum.
 After you spread the cake with its finaly layer of icing and make sure there are no gaps... it's time to let her chill.  For as long as you can manage.  Put her in the fridge.  Walk away.  She needs time to set up.
 I waited an hour.
 Pull off the wax paper.  All of that frosting would be on your cake plate... but it isn't.  Good job!

 I added 8 swirls on top of my cake...
 And then I added a single chocolate chip to each one. 

 Use a sharp knife to cut.