Monday, April 29, 2013

A New Home

As it turns out, you can't change the domain name of a blog without losing that first blog entirely. Boo! The good news is I have a new blog but with everything from this blog: all of my old posts, comments, pages, the whole shebang!

All you need to do is head over to the new website The Brave Little Taylors and follow us there!

Aaron and I have had a lot of fun working on this page, and I'm sure we'll keep changing things! This will be my last post on this blog, so be sure to head over to the new one!

An Introduction Is In Order

Let me introduce you to my blog-in-progress!

I decided it was time to create a blog for my little Taylor family! The new name is "The Brave Little Taylors" (Look here for the reference).

I've been having a lot of fun playing around with the Adobe Suite to make a new blog header and other page elements (with lots of help from Aaron), but it's a work in progress. Please excuse the mess as I work on it!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Weekend Jaunt in SLC

The semester is over! Hallelujah! It was a crazy end to the semester, as always, but everything got finished. Aaron and I have been off of school for the past couple days, and boy we've loved it!

We had a fun excursion in Salt Lake City on Saturday. We started off with a live session at the Salt Lake Temple (my first time inside!) and I loved it! It was, if possible, more beautiful inside than outside! Aaron and I both needed that break from the world.

I dream of one day having a gardens that are a fraction as beautiful as the temples'.

Love this kid.

When we left the temple, my stomach began to whisper, "Take me to Settebello. We wants it. We needs it." I couldn't say no.

Yes, these are leftovers. I wanted to take a picture of the full pizza, but my stomach took over.
Settebello is this incredible Italian restaurant that serves authentic Italian pizza (this ain't Pizza Hut). The chef is actually from Italy, and they ship almost all of their ingredients straight from Italy because they are a part of this sweet Napoletana society that works to preserve the authentic pizza of Napoli. Boy, is it magnificent! My brother Jared signed off on it, and he served a mission in Milan, Italy. Wonderful. They actually have a sister restaurant in Orem called Terra Mia, which is also excellent, although in my heart, I am still partial to Settebello.

As part of our end-of-the-semester celebratory meal, we got some gelato next door! A wonderful decision.

Mango & sweet cream for Aaron
Mint cookie & sweet cream for me
One of Aaron's cousins had a hotel room in Sandy he had bought, but he wasn't able to use it so he offered it to us! It's a rare treat for us to stay in a hotel room, so we couldn't pass it up. Hello cable television!

It was a wonderful celebration between semesters. The next term starts on Tuesday. Oh boy.

However, on a happier note, today marks the one year anniversary of the day that Aaron proposed to me. What a wonderful, surreal day that was! I can't believe we're starting to hit these year marks! I'm feelin' like an old married woman! Love you, husband.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Carbo Load

The end of semesters are always interesting. I have 2 more papers to finish up and I'm hoping that the print shop doesn't screw up the printing of my recipe book. (Sending good vibes to BYU Print and Mail. Don't mess up my pet project!) No matter what, it all ends on Wednesday. In better news, I start my new internship with BYU Religious Studies tomorrow! I'm excited to meet a new staff and gain new skills! I hope it goes well!

There is nothing like finals (or the procrastination of final papers) that makes me want to eat massive amounts of carbs. We had the Andersons over tonight, and we made tasty mini deep-dish pizzas and garlic bread. Oh deliciousness.

I made my favorite Martha Stewart recipe for both the pizza dough and the mini pizzas. Have I mentioned how much I love Martha Stewart? When my friend Emily asked me how I found this recipe, the honest answer was I probably found it when I searched through the Martha Stewart website for hours looking for recipes and craft ideas. This happens occasionally. I love making these when we have company over because people get to help us make their own specialized dinner.

Look how cute it is. They are surprisingly filling!

Martha's Pizza Dough

1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
3/4 c. warm water
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to coat bowl
Leave in a warm place until dough has doubled in bulk, 45–60 minutes.

Combine yeast with warm water; let stand 5–10 minutes, or until foamy. Stir well.

Combine flour and salt. Add yeast mixture and olive oil, and process just until dough comes together.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, knead for 1 minute, and shape into a ball. Place in a well-oiled bowl, turn to coat with oil, cover loosely with plastic wrap.

Leave in a warm place until dough has doubled in bulk, 45–60 minutes.

Mini Deep-Dish Pizzas   

Olive oil, for muffin pan
All-purpose flour, for rolling
1/2 lb. homemade or store-bought pizza dough
1/2 c. shredded mozzarella (4 oz.)
1 large tomato, coarsely chopped or tomato sauce
Desired toppings (I love ham & pineapple)
Coarse salt and ground pepper

Preheat oven to 450˚ F. Brush 6 standard muffin cups with oil.

Roll out the dough until it's about 1/2-inch thick. Use a mug or bowl to create 6-inch circles. Fill each cup with 1 round gently pressing the dough into the bottom and sides of the cup. Season with salt and pepper.

Add in cheese first (this is important so the sauce doesn't seep through), and then add tomatoes or tomato sauce. Add desired toppings and more cheese.

Bake until dough is golden brown and crisp, around 10–12 minutes. Let cool for 2 minutes before removing from cups.

Ooh and aah over how cute and delicious they are.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tasty Pieces of Meat

Last day of winter semester today. I have 2 papers, 2 projects, and 1 hymn to write, and I will be one semester closer to graduation! Everything will be over by a week from tomorrow. I can make it 'til then, right? And if I don't, I guess I'll just eat tasty, unhealthy food. That'd be OK, too.

I would like to introduce you to one of Aaron's favorite foods: Stromboli. This has about every awesome and delicious kind of meat in it, and I was pleased to find that I could easily manipulate the recipe to match my food allergies. (Did you know that almost every processed form of bread has high fructose corn syrup? That is, except for a few tasty bakery loaves from Smith's, and they didn't make my favorite kind this last week. Ergh. Not that I'm bitter, or anything.)

Anyways. Here it is!

I used a different bread dough recipe, mainly because the original recipe's dough was so-so, and I have some amazing dough recipes. I decided to make "Our Best Bites" pizza dough because it's perfectly soft and chewy. I love Our Best Bites. I live on the recipes from their cookbook. (Thanks for getting it for me for Christmas, Mom!)

Adapted from The Taste of Home Baking Book and Burn Me Not

Makes 2 loaf recipes. 

1 1/2 c. warm water
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. active dry or bread machine yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
3–4 1/2 c. flour, divided

In a large bowl (using a Kitchen Aid is handy, if you have one), combine water, sugar, and yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes or until yeast is bubbly.

Add salt and stir. Add 1 1/2 cups flour and mix well. Gradually add more flour (usually between 1 1/2–2 1/2 cups) until dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl and it barely sticks to your finger. 

Spray a glass or metal bowl with cooking spray (or if you're like me, your metal popcorn bowl) and place dough in the bowl. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk. 

Makes enough for 2 Strombolis. Double the filling amount if you want to make both loaves at the same time, or pop the other dough recipe in the freezer.

1/4 lb thinly sliced ham (I found a nice honey ham from the deli. No HFCS! Win!)
1/4 lb pepperoni
Dried basil
Dried oregano
4 slices provolone cheese
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Punch the dough down. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Roll one portion into a 15 x 12-inch rectangle.

Arrange ham slices lengthwise down half of rectangle. Place pepperoni on top. Sprinkle with a little bit of basil and oregano. Arrange provolone slices over the top and then add the mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with a little more basil and oregano. Fold plain half of dough over filling and seal ends well. Brush with oil. Sprinkle with oregano.

Bake on a baking sheet at 400˚F for 20–25 minutes until lightly browned. Cool slightly and cut into 1-inch slices. It will be toasty and delicious and everyone will love it!

Last Lectures

The ends of semesters are an interesting time for me. There's stress that comes with working on 5 different projects and papers at once, there's little sleep, and there's also hope for a respite from everything. But there are also goodbyes. I'm not good at goodbyes in general, and it's always hard to say goodbye to friends in classes. ELang is a relatively small major, and I see all the same people in most of my classes for the past year or two. We joke during class, share our stress about tests, find out little snippets about each others' lives, and in general, we get used to seeing each other every day. It's obviously not the same as your best friends or your family, but they are kind of like a support system from school.

I don't hang out with my school friends outside of school, mainly because I hang out with Aaron most of the time and my time is already limited with everything I am working on. But they are great people, and in some different time or place, I like to think we could be good friends. And yet after 3 or 4 semesters together, numerous homework assignments, and group projects, they go from being strangers to friends to what?

I have these great friends, and yet I usually don't have a poignant last phrase that summarizes our friendship, because it seems kind of dramatic and overdone. Instead I say, "See you later." I choose to believe we'll see each other again someday.

Last day of classes of winter semester. Phew.

Monday, April 15, 2013

New Opportunities

As I was looking towards my spring semester, I suddenly felt this anxiety. Yes, I have been blessed to get this job at the Maxwell Institute, but why haven't I been trying to take advantage of all of the other opportunities offered in college? So I made the decision to not take my upper level grammar class I was scheduled to take and I started to look for an internship. I talked to my editing superviser, and he gave me a list of people to contact about internships. I've never made cold calls (or emails, really) before, and I found that most people were looking for someone to stay on for the next school year.

But finally, mercifully, I got a bite.

BYU Religious Studies brought me in for an interview and editing test, and I received an official offer about an hour later! I'll be working on journals, magazines, and books with a group of editors. It's a paid position and I'll be working about 10 hours a week to receive my internship credit. I am so excited to start this additional phase of editing!

Now when I graduate, all I have to do is find a group of religious writers who might be looking for an editor. That should be a large population of people, right?