Thursday, September 29, 2011

30 by 30: Part 1

I've seen this started on other blogs and I was the one who gave Rob the idea for it.  I thought that it was time to start my own!  (Actually I've had ideas for quite a while which means I've already accomplished one of them...) All of this needs to be completed by Dec 21, 2014 (balls, that sounds not as far away as I want it to).  I'm very open to suggestions, so please leave some in the comments!  Here are my first eight:

1. Own some sort of property

2. Work as something other than a control systems engineer

3. Go watch Michigan play in a bowl game as a fan

4. Take Rob to a foreign country

5. Take Rob camping (Done!)

6. Enter a dog agility competition

7. Nordic ski to the Glacier Point hut in Yosemite

8. Learn a new flute piece (I haven't learned a full one since high school)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Football Friday: I won't be watching any games.

The reason I won't be watching any games is because I will be camping all weekend at Point Reyes in Northern California.  As much as I tried to convince Rob we should head out there after at least the morning Saturday games (So I could watch Michigan), he said no, we have reservations starting Friday night.  So then I tried to look into a nearby sports bar (I could just sneak away for the morning), but it is really hard to find a sports bar in the Bay Area if you are outside of San Francisco so no luck there.  I have given up and decided to accept the fact that I will miss college football this weekend.  The only consolation is that I will be enjoying the outdoors all weekend at a National Park, Point Reyes!

I can taste the oysters now!

All that doesn't mean I can't discuss this weekends games, though.  It'll be short roundup of things I would look forward to if I were watching the games.  There are only a handful of "big" games and they are all teams in the south-ish.  I'm kinda sick of all these southern teams and I'm ready for some real Big Ten games!

First up is Florida State (FSU) vs Clemson.  Clemson did a good job last week with Auburn, but Auburn wasn't going to be great this season anyway.  FSU did a decent job in their loss to Oaklahoma, but I'm still not sure if they will be "back" this season. Then we have Oaklahoma state vs Texas A&M, I think both of these teams are over rated, but Texas A&M a little more so. Last is Askansas vs Bama, I don't really like either of these teams.  Can you tell that I really don't care about these games? Maybe it is a good thing I'm going camping...

One thing I would like to see is from the Big Ten, 10 of our teams are playing this week and we have a good chance to go 10-0 on the weekend.  It won't take any crazy upsets, just all 10 teams playing solid football.  Michigan probably has one of the tougher games, against San Diego State (SDSU).  SDSU has an experienced quarterback who is a great passer, and Michigan's secondary is not great.  Michigan also stole their coach, Brady Hoke, last year and he apparently gave his former players the news via mass text message.  I would be out for some revenge if I were them, so I hope Michigan is ready!  Maybe Denard's passes will start working better for him this week, or maybe he'll just run run run...

Still think the logo is stupid...but love the conference.

Enjoy all the games.  I'll be hiking, tide pooling, camping, devouring oysters, and trying not to think about the football games I'm missing (that shouldn't be too hard).  Big Ten conference play starts next week and I will be IN MICHIGAN, YAY!

I'll be here, be jealous!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Oh, How Pinteresting!

I've recently become obsessed with Pinterest (which is apparently a common thing :).  So I decided to join in with this link up over at The Vintage Apple and share some of my pins from this week!

                                                                           Source: via Annie on Pinterest

                                                                     Source: via Annie on Pinterest

                                                                             Source: via Annie on Pinterest

                                                                             Source: via Annie on Pinterest

                                                                                   Source: via Annie on Pinterest

                                             Source: via Annie on Pinterest

                   So many fun things! You can follow me on Pinterest here, and I'll gladly follow you back!


The table was set, it must've been fancy...

To recap, we spent a week in Tahoe for a short summer vacation.  Some of the highlights were 2 days spent backpacking, and one day painting preschool equipment.  We also cooked my parents a fancy-ish dinner as a birthday present!

Both of their birthdays happened over the summer and since we hadn't seen them until our recent trip to Tahoe we thought it would be a good time to take advantage and do something nice for them.  Luckily, Rob is a very good cook, and I am very good at telling him what to do.  So we I decided we he should cook this really great dinner for the main course, something including buttercream for dessert, and I had my eye on a few different appetizer recipes.  I also thought it would be nice to have a wine to pair with each course.

For the appetizer I decided to use this recipe for a blue cheese and leek bruschetta.  Rob was skeptical because he has a problem with serving something we've never cooked for ourselves.  But I knew my superior cooking skills would come through, and they did!


We paired this course with a Sonoma cab from Mutt Lynch Winery, Canis Major.  These were an overall hit, and very simple to make.

For the main course Rob cooked this wonderful Julia Child's recipe again.  He poached sole in a dry white wine and then covered it in a parisienne sauce (not really sure what this is, but it tasted good!).  This was served with a side of asparagus and multicolored carrots.

I was so excited to eat that I almost forgot to take a picture

We paired this course with a dry white wine (that was also used to cook the fish in) that was on sale at Whole Foods (although we'd recommend just using two buck chuck, that's what we did last time).

For dessert we made shortbread and buttercream.  Using the buttercream skills he learned we made the most simple one.  It normally uses Cointreau to give it an orangy flavor, but I wanted to try and use Chambord since I love raspberry and chocolate together.  We compromised and did half with Cointreau and half with Chambord.  For the shortbread we used my grandma's secret recipe (Ok not really secret, I just don't know it, but I'm sure Rob could tell you).  We paired the dessert with a red port from Kaz Winery.  We had made waaaay too much dessert (probably enough for 8 people), luckily we had friends coming into town that night and they finished most of it!

I think my parents really enjoyed it, we really tried to make it a nice atmosphere, too.  It's normal for us just to cook them dinner so actually setting the table and using nice place settings and glassware made a difference.  Eating on my parent's back deck with a great view of Lake Tahoe is a perfect backdrop for a nice summer dinner.

Fancy table

nice view

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Football Friday: The correct way to use a cowbell

I watched the LSU vs Mississippi State game last night, and it was quite the defensive struggle for a while, but eventually LSU pulled through and I really think they just wore out the Miss State defense.  But the worst part of the game was those damn cowbells.  Lots of people complained about the vuvuzelas during the world cup in South Africa, but I think these are worse.  It's one of those background noises that just sounds like a swarm of bugs, very annoying.

A much better use of a cowbell would be one person beat out a rhythm with a drumstick and everyone around them cheering something catchy like "Go Blue".  This is much less annoying and makes for a unified cheer instead of just background noise.  But I might be just a little biased :)
(I tried to look up you tube videos of both these situations but it was hard to find anything, I guess you have to go to the games and judge for yourself!)

Anyway, this weekend my Wolverines take on the Eagles of Eastern Michigan University.  This game is usually a walk over for us, but there are a few things different this year.  They come into this game 2-0, I can't remember the last time this happened.  And they have Mike Hart as an assistant coach of some sort (hopefully they are just grooming him so he can take over the running backs position coach at Michigan in a few years!).
I <3 Hart
Another interesting game is obviously Oklahoma vs Florida State (fsu).  I'm still not convinced that fsu is for real, I think Oklahoma will beat them.  The other game to keep an eye on it ohio state (osu) vs miami.  I hate osu, but they are part of the big ten which I always try to root for so I'm kinda stuck.  Miami already lost a game so it'd be great to see them beat osu.  But I's also like he big ten to look good, for once, so a road win would be nice.  I can't decide who I want to see lose! And lastly, michigan state (msu) vs notre dame (nd), I'm also torn on this one.  I think nd is better this year, but they are still over rated so I think I'd like to see them lose (again!).  Lots of people root against MSU (they are a hated rival) but I don't see many msu fans around here (they usually don't make it vary far out of Michigan) so I don't have to deal with their fans.  I'll take Oklahoma, Miami, and msu.

Check out my earlier post for some great game day fashions (haha, fashion, from me!).

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Fancies: Game Day Chic!

Ok, I usually wouldn't participate is something fashion related (since I'm not very confident in my style) but this one was right up my alley!  I've also never done a link up so here's my first one through the blog {long distance loving}.

The outfit on the top is a super cute outfit, but if I'm being honest with myself I'd be wearing the outfit on the bottom on game day!

Michigan Gameday

Yellow scarf, comfy "I feel hoMe", cropped jeans, dark blue nail polish and cute yellow flats.
Denard Robinson legacy jersey, Michigan adidas running shoes, and straight leg comfy jeans.

I will also have a football friday post later tonight.  Currently watching the Boise State vs Toledo game, hoping for the Broncos to win big (although things are looking a little shakey right now, uh-oh)!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Baked Green Tomatoes

I've recently discovered green tomatoes and the wonderfulness of frying them. The dp (formerly bf, actually he doesn't need to be anonymous since he has his own blog where he calls himself ~RoB, but I think that is kinda stupid, so I'll just call him Rob) fried them the first time I brought them home from the farmer's market.  Then I saw a post over on my friend Mandy's blog about green tomatoes.  She did something a little different though, she baked them! And then she topped them with blue cheese and basil vinaigrette!

So I told Rob the next time I bought green tomatoes that we should try doing it her way, and guess what? He listened to me! You can see the whole recipe over on her blog (and check out some of her other recipes, they are awesome!) but I'm just showing you the finished product here!

They were very tasty and I loved a new idea for the toppings, not sure if the baking part won me over, I think I still like fried better, but if I'm trying to be healthier I guess I could work with it.  As you can see in the picture we paired it with a lovely wine, Bardessono Petite Sirah, that we got at Uncorked in Tahoe City.  Oh, and I started the meal with a little cheese that we happened to have have left over, one of which is my new favorite, Drunken Goat (you can get it at whole foods).

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Yummy yummy yummy!

On Thursday I was reading the recent post from the blog poppytalk and they had what they called a simple peach tart.  Now, I'm not the best person in the world when it comes to cook or baking (the dp does most of it, like this amazing dinner) but I'm pretty good a following directions/recipes.  I bought a tart pan a few months ago in hopes of making this strawberry tart, but it looked a little time consuming and took some planning and I just never tried hard enough to make it work.  So, when I saw this peach tart recipe I thought ok, I'll try it!

There is a farmer's market next to my work on Fridays so I knew I could get some fresh peaches (and super cheap, too).  Besides that the recipe called for pretty standard ingredients that I knew we had.  I followed the recipe closely, only adding an extra tablespoon of butter.  The most time consuming part was cutting the peaches (and mine had gotten squished on the bike ride home, so I had to cut off the bad parts).
My dog, Angel, loves peaches more than anything else, he was sad he only got a little piece.

After that mixing the dough was easy, no mixer or food processor needed.  Then just throwing everything in, putting it in the oven and hoping for the best!

The dp was off playing tennis and I was hoping to have this delicious dessert ready when he got home (I've tried to do things like this before but the food usually flops).  Of course the first thing he said when he walked in was that the crust smelled like it was overdone and that I should take it out.  After taking it out it looked a little soupy so we let it sit for a minute.  It was still very soupy when we cut into it. We each got a slice and realized how wonderful it was, I was so proud of myself!

The dp thinks its thed  best thing I've ever cooked and said that I should make it every week until peaches are out of season!  When I went into the kitchen to put it away I noticed half of it was gone, apparently he had been sneaky in the kitchen and finishing off the first half, I guess he liked it!

Where'd the first half go?

Anyway, super good, highly recommend, very easy!  You should go make it before peaches go out of season!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Football Friday*: Under the Lights!

Its Michigan vs Notre Dame this Saturday, YES!

I know, I know, neither team is ranked so whats the big deal...well, it must be a big deal because ESPN Gameday will be in Ann Arbor tomorrow!  It is also the first night game ever in Michigan Stadium (which I guess means the first night time kick-off, because there was that triple overtime against msu a few years ago that went well into the night!).  I'm not a fan of the "throwback" uniforms we will be wearing, but if that's the worst thing all night, I'll be happy!

I have mixed feelings every year about this game.  I'm always very excited, but also very nervous.  Its so early in the season you never really know what to expect.  I do not, however, agree with Lou Hotlz when he always says this game will make or break your season. Maybe thats true for notre dame because they don't play a real conference schedule, but I don't think a win would send us to the national championship game and I don't think a loss will cause us to implode forthe rest of the season.

I also have mixed memories about games in this rivalry in the past. My first ever Michigan vs nd game was in '03 and it was a total blowout (38-0, M) and all I could think was why were we so scared of these guys and why were they ranked?  Ever since then I've always felt the were overrated...always (even when we lost to them, I still felt like they were overrated).  Some of my best memories are from '06 and '09.   In '06 Henne and Manningham lit up the field and our defense came out hitting hard and destroyed (then Heisman hopeful) Brady Quinn.  I loved the Sports Monday headline "Heisman-handled".  Also when Mannigham ended up in the band I got to give him a congratulatory pat on the shoulder!  In '09 I was returning to Ann Arbor as an alum and our team had just come off a terrible season and was looking for any glimmer of hope.  We seemed to have found it for at least that one game in freshman QB Tate Forcier and it ended up being a nail biter, come from behind victory!
A familiar sight in '06, I miss this defense :(

From '09, I was there, cheering my head off!
 I think it will be good and close this year but sadly I won't be able to watch it live (so no texting or calling me!), since we have yet another wedding to go to. PLEASE no more weddings on Saturdays in the Fall, if you are my friend you will understand and WON'T plan your wedding for a Michigan Football Saturday, right? right!  Ok, rant over, unless I get another wedding invite....

I'm not sure there are any other exciting games this weekend, I guess Bama at Penn State might be good, I'd love to see an upset there. The Auburn vs Miss st game should be good, but I can't see Auburn beating them. Or maybe the in state rivalry in Iowa? I'm a little curious about the Oregon vs Nevada game, but that could quickly turn into a rout...or maybe not (as much as I enjoy watching Oregon, I feel a slight tie to Nevada since it's so close to where I grew up!).

Anyway, GO BLUE beat the Irish!

I couldn't resist!
*I think this will be a new thing for me every Friday, thoughts?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up

I had a really wonderful Labor day weekend, and instead of going in depth to every awesome thing I did, I figured I'd sum it up quickly.  Here are  8 cool things I did this weekend:

1. Spent most of the weekend in Omaha, NE.  We had never been there and really enjoyed it, I especially liked that every other establishment in their downtown was a sports bar (see some of our fun bar hopping here)!  I also saw a flier for a woo-woo equinox festival that included live music, camping, and a football tailgate party, how awesome is that?!?!?

2. Went to probably the fanciest wedding (for full explanation see here) we will ever attend, and didn't feel out of place!

3. Made lots of new awesome friends as the wedding and have plans to see some of them again, soon!

4. We experienced thunderstorms!!!  Its been so long since I've seen one of those!!

5. Went to a Nebraska sports bar to watch part of the Michigan football game (which we won, Go Blue!).  The sports bar was awesome and even though we were surrounded by Nebraska fans we didn't feel unwelcome.  Also, since all the state of Nebraska has is a college team, all they seem to care about are college sports, which I love!

6. Correctly predicted the Notre Dame upset!! I think Lou Holtz and I were the only two people in the world to predict this but no one can understand what he says so I was pretty much the only person to predict it!

7.  Bought these awesome sunglasses at The Flying Worm in Omaha, super cool store!

Yup, I just took this picture and have bad aim for self portraits
8. When I got home I bought a new jacket that I LOVE!

This one was taken in the mirror, I'm so talented!
Were any of your weekends as awesome as mine?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Beautiful, Beautiful Desolation!

We took a  week long vacation to Lake Tahoe a week ago and did some really awesome stuff, here is part one (and most extensive), our backpacking adventure!

My partner had never been camping in his 26 years alive, so we decided it was time to change that! And we didn't want to do something normal and easy like car camping we wanted to go all out and do some sort of backpacking trip!  Ok, not a big one just one night, and what better place to go then desolation wilderness?
Circled area is Desolation Wilderness (approximately)
 Desolation Wilderness is located near emerald bay (the southwest shore) of Lake Tahoe.  It is a protected area of beautiful wilderness with many alpine lakes and other great sights.  It is necessary to get a permit to spend the night there but they usually aren't very hard to come by.  I had an idea of where I wanted to go from past trips but a lot of it would have to be decided on the fly and I just hoped it would all work out!

First day, we started with a few friends who were just day hiking with us and started the long uphill trek out of emerald bay.  Pretty quickly we were told we were heading in the right direction (see pic)!

It is such a steep hike at the start but the views of Tahoe are amazing!

We then passed our first lake, Granite Lake, and after that, more steep uphill.  But more elevation means more and better views!

Granite lake is closest to us, with Emerald Bay and Tahoe in the background
Another shot without the funny looking people
After that we hiked about 3 more miles to get to the next body of water (a beautiful stream heading out of the Velmas) and say goodbye to our day hiking friends.  We took a short break before they headed back and as soon as we sat down somewhere the mosquitoes attacked, it was really bad. We frantically looked for our super strong bug spray and in the meantime only got bit like 30 times, ugh.

From there we decided to look for a campsite so we headed around Upper Velma to see what we could find.  We got to the end of the trail and heard rushing water, so we decided to go see what it was.  There were all kinds of streams and falls flowing into Upper Velma. Finally, Rob was impressed by our surroundings and decided it was pretty cool out here so, logically, he decided to sit in the flowing streams.

We decided it would be cool if we could find a nearby campsite so we could sleep to the sound of the falls.  We found one about 5 minutes later and ditched our bags, hung our food, and went out to explore!

View from our campsite
We decided to scramble up the falls to see if we could get to Fontanillis Lake. This ended up being very fun and provided us with some really great views.
One of my fav pics!
We the got up to Fontanillis, which was also beautiful, and decided to go dip our feet in since it was warm out.  The lake was straight snowmelt (see pic below) which made it so clear and so cold, obvs.

On our way back we crossed some snow, and the dp (short for domestic partner, I will use this abrev from now on) was so excited!

From there we headed back to basecamp and enjoyed some dinner, we got some good recommendations for dehydrated food from Alpenglow Sports and were very satisfied!

Then the dp decided it was bedtime.  Neither one of us slept very well, and we realized, too late that we should've just switched mats and we would've both been happier.  It also rained (we use this term loosely) on us around 4am, we frantically got out to put a tarp over the tent, but by the time we got it secured it had stopped "raining".
The next morning we had breakfast and headed out.  We decided to take a different route part of the way home that took us by fontanillis and dick's lake.  We saw some great flowers by these lakes and the lakes themselves were very pretty.

On the way out we had to climb over a small ridge before descending back to Tahoe, we decided this was the highest point we reached in our whole adventure (about 8500ft). 

On the hike back down we hit a big patch of snow that covered the trail, and for a while had no path to follow.  Even though the dp thought we'd be lost for good about 2 minutes later we found the trail and all was back to normal.
This was the large patch that had us worried for 90 seconds
It was smooth sailing from there back out.  The whole time we were at Upper Velma we didn't see anyone and it was about a mile or two back towards the trailhead that we ran into our first people.  This is a great reason to love this area. We had a good time and it all seemed to go smoothly (except for the sleeping) but hopefully it means we will be able to go on more adventures like this in the future!

And to finish up this post a few pics with me being fancy and using the self timer on my camera (yeah, I'm super high tech!)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Best Season is Finally Here!

Its almost fall, and that means its COLLEGE FOOTBALL season (aka the best season)!!! It's been a long wait but its finally here, the first college football game is on tonight, and my beloved Wolverines play on Saturday!
I have a strange history with the sport of football.  Growing up I was very athletic and played lots of sports but had zero respect for football, maybe because I thought it was stupid that only americans play it.  It also didn't help that our high school football team was god awful and they seemed to get all the money, when our soccer teams were consistently making it to state championships (I might have some pent up bitterness).  Every now and then I had to play in the pep band for those football games, this was also pretty terrible.  We didn't have a marching band so sometimes our director would throw together a random assortment of students from the jazz bands which resulted in poor instrumentation.  And we played really crappy music, our high school didn't have (doesn't have?) a fight song so when we scored a touchdown (which was rare) we played the "Hey Song", which is awful.  All this resulted in me using the common phrase "Football is Stupid", ask anyone in my family, I said it all the time, I truly hated the sport.

Then came college, everyone told me that i would have to like football because I was going to school in the Midwest.  And I felt like that would be ok, I've always loved big sporting events but to me football was never that.  I had also made the decision to play in the marching band which obviously revolves around football, this I was also ok with, maybe I was turning over a new leaf.  I was even excited for my first football game in the Big House. 
Yup, that's me, second in line
Then, BAM, I loved all of it!  I soon became Michigan  football obsessed, over the next year this turned into an obsession with college football as a whole.  Now, my Saturdays are run by football I want to watch games all day and eat/drink/tailgate.  I read a ridiculous amount of blogs about Michigan and college football, I really can't get enough.
Pure love
That brings me to this weekend the start of this amazing, amazing time.  The most important game being, of course, Michigan vs WMU (GO BLUE!).  Other games I've very interested in are LSU vs Oregon (I'm taking Oregon in this one), Boise vs Georgia (going with Boise).  A few upsets that I'd love to see are Minnesota over USC (go big ten!) and south florida over notre dame (who doesn't love watching notre dame lose?).  Have I mentioned how much I LOVE this time of the year?

I hope to see some of this!