Sunday, November 18, 2007

Holiday Recipes...Please

This year I have been working on compiling some great holiday recipes including anything for Halloween through New Years. I would love to get some of your favorites. If you have one that you would like to share please post it in the comments section of this blog. I will start posting some of my favorites in the next few weeks too. Here's one now:

Of course chocolate is appropriate at anytime of year so don't feel limited to making these cookies only for the holidays :) This one is from my girl, Martha Stewart.

Outrageous Chocolate Cookies

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chunks

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat chopped chocolate and butter in a microwave safe bowl in 20-second increments, stirring between each, until almost melted; do not overheat. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt

2. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla on high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; beat in melted chocolate.Mix in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chunks.

3. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough 2 to 3 inches apart onto baking sheets. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are shiny and crackly yet soft in centers, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on sheets 10 minutes; with a thin metal spatula, transfer to racks to cool completely.

Makes 2 dozen. Do not bake the cookies to a crisp; they are meant to be soft and chewy. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for two to three days.

Photo courtesy of

Back With a Plan

I apologize for the lack of entries on both of my blogs these past few months. You see, a road trip that was supposed to take one month, ended up taking two. We really enjoyed the past trip though and we'll have pictures and a recap on the travel blog in a few days...finally!

I am glad to be settling back into a more stable lifestyle and I've made a few decisions that I am looking forward to starting on. The first is that I am trying to get a temp job at one of the retail stores here in Boise for the holidays. This is something I haven't ever done but since we will be around here for both Thanksgiving and Christmas this year it seems like something kind of fun. Tomorrow I have three interviews so I will keep you posted on how it goes.

Secondly, I have decided to go back to school in January and work towards a Physician's Assistant degree. This is a big, unexpected change but I feel like this career would give me more flexibility later on in life and give me something that you don't always get working in marketing--a feeling that you are helping people. So in January I'll become a BSU Bronco for a year while I do prerequisite classes. If any of you know of any PAs in the Boise area please let me know because as part of this, I would like to shadow some to get to know exactly what I am getting into.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

"Channel your Inner Cooking Show Host"

If you are like me then sometimes you like to get out all of your ingredients, placing them neatly on the counter top or kitchen table and pretend like you are Rachael Ray or Martha Stewart as you prepare dinner or whip up a batch of maybe no one else does that.

Either way, if you like to watch cooking videos or you have daydreamed about making one there is a great new forum for that. It's called, a kind of YouTube for the culinarian. It's got all kinds of cooking videos done by amateurs, like you and me. Whether you want to post a video or not, it's fun to check out what others are doing.

It's a pretty new site so take some time to leave comments and build the content so it can really get rolling.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Rigatoni with Tomatoes and Mozzarella

This recipe is one of Matthew's favorites and I just made it for my parents at Lake Powell a couple of weeks ago and it was a hit so I thought I would share it. It's from Martha Stewart Everyday Food June 2004.


  • Coarse salt
  • 3/4 pound rigatoni, or other short tubular pasta
  • 2 pounds plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente, according to package instructions; drain.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine tomatoes, vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; set aside.
  3. In a small skillet, heat oil over low heat. Add garlic; cook, stirring often, until tender and just beginning to take on color, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in red-pepper flakes.
  4. Stir garlic mixture into reserved tomato mixture. Add parsley, oregano, mozzarella, and pasta; toss.
My interpretation:
Grape or cherry tomatoes are usually more flavorful than plum tomatoes so use those if you can. I don't bother using fresh garlic since it is so easy to substitute garlic powder--then you don't have to worry about dirtying another pan. You can eat it hot or cold but I think it's yummy to mix everything in with the warm pasta and serve immediately.

The Point of this Blog

I have tried to keep our travel blog very focused on just traveling so it would be interesting not just to friends and family who are interested in our well being but other people out there who might be considering visiting some of the places that we've been. But, after looking at several of my friend's blogs I have decided that I need to create a new blog for myself because I enjoy reading so much about what you are doing and I thought that maybe you would enjoy doing the same beyond just what's happening in our traveling life (though that's probably the most interesting). I am hoping to use this blog to share general news from the William's household (currently a Toyota Camery :) and recipes, helpful tips, and anything else I can come up with. By the way, does anyone know what the number 565 on my template represents?