Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Relief Society broadcast.*

*An all too rare venting blog post.

Last Saturday was the Relief Society broadcast for my church. For the occasion, the women of my stake got together and all watched it together. When Mormons get together, there is always food and because many hands make light work, assignments went out to all of the different wards of our stake to make a recipe each.

I volunteered to make whatever it was our ward would be assigned. I received an email riddled with grammatical and  typographical errors along with several patronizing comments for a recipe that sounded super gross. With instructions to make 200-225 of them, I called in some reinforcements, i.e. two other members of my ward's relief society presidency and my friend Adrianna.

My disdain of the task stemmed from the email. I tried more than twice to actually read the recipe all the way through before I actually could stomach it. I immediately took a dislike to the person who sent me the email. She touted this recipe as "super simple" several times (for the super simple singles, no doubt,) and then asked in the email, and three times in subsequent emails if I understood the task in front of me.(I don't like the implication of baking something makes it too complicated for us to handle, nor do I lack the skill set to temper white chocolate.)

My rebellious nature ruled my decision making process. Just to branch out from the condescension, and because I've never been able to rebel properly, I opted for boysenberry jam instead of raspberry, almond milk instead of cow's milk, and shortbread cookies instead of 'nilla wafers. And the greatest rebellion of all -  WE BAKED THE CRUST- HA!  TAKE THAT, WOMAN WHO EMAILED ME!

The morning of the broadcast, we all - Rachel, Rachel, Adrianna, Joanna and I - gathered in Joanna's kitchen to make a super rich and artery clogging dessert. How do I know it was artery clogging? After we made the crust of the first batch I had to sop up the extra butter with three paper towels. We then cut the butter down by 3/4 and made successful crusts from thence forth.

When we came to the broadcast and dropped our little "treats" in the kitchen, the author of the email was pointed out to me. I recognized her from an art class I took earlier this year, when my mom told me that she was the author of a popular blog. A little googling on my iPhone during one of the hymns confirmed my suspicions. She is the author of a popular blog about all things domestic. 

The sad news was, these little rich treats were the first treats to be gobbled up. These little gross things that none of us actually wanted to ingest after we made them were gone in lightening speed. So, before you even have to ask, here is the recipe, as it was given to me, for you to take what you will from it.**

**Be warned: she accidentally swears in this email, because she doesn't know how to spell fridge.***

***Don't believe me that frig is a word I wouldn't use in polite company? Well it is.  

You will be making White Chocolate Raspberry Bars.  This is a great recipe and super easy - no baking recquired.  It is made in a 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 pan.  They are very rich so we cut them small - 1 inch x 1.5 inches.  We need 200-225 bars so if my math is right we will bet about 40 squares from an 8 x 8.  So if you could make 5 batches that will give us plenty.  Also if you could have them pre-cut when you bring them that will help a lot.  Or if you want to do it in a 9 x 13 just double recipe for each batch and only make 3 batches  You should be able to get 78 bars from one pan.  Hope this is making sense.  They will be a bit thicker in the 9 x 13 but that is o.k. if you don't have access to enough 8 x 8 pans.

I found when I made the recipe that they are easier to cut if you let them sit at room temperature for a while.  You don't want them to get too soft but if you cut them straight out of the frig the chocolate layer on top cracks and falls apart.  I used raspberry jam that I bought at Trader Joe's - the TJ variety.  It is good jam. 

The vanilla chips I bought from the bulk food bins at Winco.  You do not want to use white chocolate chips and they don't melt well.  The vanilla chips work great.

If you have any questions about the recipe please let me know.

If you could deliver the food to the kitchen at the Stake Center about 20 minutes before the broadcast that would be great.  We will have platters there to put them on.

White Chocolate Raspberry Bars
Recipe for an 8 x 8

1/2 C butter
1 C vanilla chips
2 C vanilla wafer cookie crumbs
2 T softened butter
2 T milk
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 C powdered sugar
3/4 C raspberry jam
1/2 C finely chopped pecans

Lightly grease a 8 or 9 inch square pan.  In medium saucepan, combine 1/2 C butter and 1/4 cup of the chips.  Cook over low heat until melted, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat
Stir in cookie crumbs until well mixed.  Press mixture evenly in greased pan.

In small sauce pan, melt remaining 3/4 c of chips over low heat, stirring constantly.

In small bowl, combine 2 Tbsp butter, milk and vanilla; mix well.  Gradually beat in melted chips and powdered sugar until smooth.  Spread jam over crumb mixture gently.  Spread chip mixture over jam (the jam may bleed into this a bit but try not to get it to mixed in)  Sprinkle with nuts.
Refrigerate until set and cut into bars.  Serve bars at room temperature.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Five Things Friday

1. Victoria Beckham's Spring RTW look 23

I love white clothes. I love white dresses especially. Posh's dresses have always been covetable, but this one is the absolute living end!

2. Speaking of dresses... I am so in love with one of Michelle Williams' latest sartorial choices - this Jason Wu gown. As if there was room for more jealousy from myself toward Ms. Williams. Shoot.
image stolen from InStyle
3. Look Around You
When Rachel first told me about "Look Around you" I didn't understand the premise or appeal. After watching everything I could find on youtube, I am OBSESSED! Two of my favorites:

I LOVE that 8 and 9 are "CLASSIFIED". So much funny!

4. Jonah Lehrer's blog moved to a while ago, and since then I have been introduced to so many crazy things, not excluding the super crazy soala.

5. The Netflix app. Have you tried it? Natalie told me about it. I can stream movies to my phone! OUTRAGEOUS!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hair Crush(es)

When I saw these two ladies' hairstyles I had to file them in my "hair inspirations" file. Carrie Underwood especially always has amazing, amazing hair. (And can we talk about the perfection that is Diane Kruger's makeup?)

Also tucked away in that file are several pictures of Grace Kelly, Ashley Olsen, and the Audrey Tautou advert for Chanel no. 5.

Did you see the funny "how to" article from the NYT on creating a modern beehive? What's that phrase about the bigger the hair the closer to God? I'm not sure how true that is, but I sure do love big hair! Could you please pass me the What a Tease, backcomb in a bottle?

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Anyone remember when Tobias Funke tried to go to the Gothic Castle for GOB's magic act and ended up at a leather bar with an inappropriate name that rhymes Gothic Castle? "Take me to the magic."  Whilst perusing the latest issue of Rolling Stone, I came across probably the funniest image I have seen in quite some time. I LOVE Kurt! And something tells me that this leather bar doesn't have Tobias' barbershop quartet, The Whip and Snaps, because Kurt would ROCK that.

The only slight sadness is that the gang I usually watch Glee with is in Mexico soaking up some rays for a whole week, so I can't shriek with delight with them right this minute, so instead, I will share it you with you fine people.

By the way, don't you just love love love his ensemble??

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Hands on a Hardbody.

I will forever be indebted to a republican named Bill for telling me to watch Hands on a Hard Body. It's a documentary about a yearly contest in Texas where people stand around with their hands on a Nissan Hardbody, trying to outlast and outwit everyone else.

I was looking through my notes from a few of my film classes, I found a list of my favorite quotes from perhaps the most enjoyable doc ever. (Grey Gardens and Spellbound are also contenders.*)

-"It's almost a mystical experience. It transcends the truck."

-"She started laughing a while ago and said it was the Holy Ghost. That was pretty cool."

-"It's done gone numb."

-I have a 20 ton air conditioning unit in my house, it can go to -12 degrees, you can actually freeze to death in our house."

I just LOVE that movie and the social actors in it who are so charming and delightful. I so wish it was on DVD. If you ever get the opportunity to watch it, jump at that chance.

*Let's ignore the fact that in school I wrote a paper on the exploitation of social actors in documentary films citing Spellbound, Hands on a Hard Body and Trekkies as examples.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Into the Coven

Yesterday I went to EverydayMusic on the East Side. I was looking for something fairly specific in their tiny classical music section. The process of looking and finding was hindered by my being constantly distracted, if not made entirely uncomfortable, by the music they were blasting throughout the store. I simply had to use Shazam to see what I was listening to, so as to put a name to what I was hating.
Shazam told me that it was "Into the Coven" by Blood Ceremony. Which made sense since the lyrics were saying things like "witches are awesome."*
Doing a little Googling led me to their MySpace page where this is their profile pic:

Yes, I agree, that does look like a velvet cloak. And a flute. A flute in a scary** rock*** band?? Their little tag line is, "Do What Your Love Tells You To Do." They love flutes and cloaks and they are doing that! How inspiring. 
I've since been trying to figure out who would listen to this music, aside from the crazies that work at the store, and am pretty much at a loss.  But on the plus side, I know what record to buy my mother for Christmas now.****

*Not an actual lyric.
** Maybe more off-putting and disturbing than scary.
***They describe themselves as "Rock/Progressive" I would disagree on both counts, but that's really not my affair.
****This is a joke. *****
*****No it's not.  tee hee hee.