Sunday, July 13, 2008

My Johnie lies over the ocean, my Johnie lies over the sea

Tuesday, John had to go back to England for 3 months! It’s a horrible situation we’re in, but it’ll all be worth it in the end. It’ll be a very lonely 3 months though.

A very good friend of mine shared an e-cookbook with me and tonight I selected a refreshing beverage from it to make, Blueberry Lemonade! Now I’m a blueberry junkie to begin with so the question I gotta ask myself is…Why have I not thought of this before?! Blueberries…good! Lemonade…good! So when the two combine you’re in taste Heaven people!

Here’s the recipe, my very few modifications are in red:

1 cup plus 2 tbsp. granulated sugar (I added an extra tsp. because my blueberries were a tad tart)
2 cups water (My changes here are down in the instructions)
1 pint fresh blueberries
1−1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about
10 big lemons, including pulp but not seeds)
First make a simple syrup by combining 1 cup sugar and water in a saucepan
over medium heat, stirring until the mixture boils. Lower the heat and allow
the syrup to simmer for another minute. Remove from heat and let cool. In a
blender or food processor, puree the blueberries with 2 tablespoons of
sugar. In a pitcher, combine the cooled syrup, lemon juice and blueberry
puree. To serve, pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup of base into a glass and fill with
water. Alrighty, I may just be lazy, but this seemed like unnecessary work to me. I just added about 7 cups of water (8 cups when you count the 1 cup in the simple syrup) to the pitcher. Makes base for 12 servings.

And there you have it! A warning for some, you get blueberry pulp. I however, thought that was an added perk!

I’m eyeing up the recipe for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Peanut Butter is another weakness of mine. I’m planning on making them soon so I’ll keep you posted.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again

Like most teenagers now days, I got my driver’s license on my 16th birthday. I was so excited to have it. It meant I was growing up! I wouldn’t have to ask my parents for rides to the movies or to hang out with my friends. I could have gotten my very own parking space at my high school. I could leave the house and go wherever I wanted whenever I wanted to. Yup, I got my driver’s license on my 16th birthday. That was also the day I swore I’d never drive again.

I know I know, it’s not very logically of me to swear such a thing. But I had an experience that shook me up so badly that it brought me to swear just that! I tried to drive after it honest I did! I would get into the car, buckle up, check my mirrors, and start the car. On one occasion about a year later I even managed to back out of the driveway. But I could never do more than that. Then I moved to England where it’s common not to drive. The bus systems there are excellent, filled with odd characters, but excellent nonetheless. So you would have thought that maybe living there for awhile would have help, maybe it would have let me calm down. But oh no, you would be wrong! Have you seen the drivers in England?! It’s understandable that someone wouldn’t want to drive there. It’s just crazyness man! Plus, I never did get a handle on the whole opposite side of the street thing. I can’t tell you the amount of times I looked the wrong way before crossing the street only to be pulled back by whomever I was walking with at the time.

Driving is still quite a terrifying thought to me, to be in control of a 1.5 ton vehicle going 70 mph…*shudders*. I’m 21 years old and I haven’t driven in roughly 5 years. Should I have stood up and said my name first? I’ve unofficially checked myself into driving rehab. Or I suppose really it would be de-rehab since I’ve stayed away from driving rather than been addicted to it. I’ve begun my Step program either way! Tonight I started by driving around in a deserted parking lot with my mom and John. I reached a top speed of 25 mph. Oh yeah, I’m a rebel baby! Well, I may not be ready for NASCAR but I’ve begun the recovery process.

In other news, I made a chef salad for dinner tonight.
That picture is of John’s, hence why it’s all meat and no veggies. Mine had carrots and cucumbers but I passed on the cheese and egg yolk (yuck!). It was actually my first chef salad as I’ve always been a little iffy on having meat in a salad (unless of course you count bacon bits, which I seem to have an addiction for). I’m a self-proclaimed picky eater. I only like one kind of salad dressing, Catalina, and I was frightened of what that red dressing would taste like on meat. But I dared go where I would think not many picky eaters have gone before! I sliced the round steak super thin, chopped up crispy bacon, and threw them onto my normal every-day salad. My oh my! I was quite happy that I did. It was delicious!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

To ease the memory of John’s stinky socks.

When I started this blog I had full intentions of annoying my readers with a bombardment of post after post. However, one tiny little move out of country and that objective goes up in smoke. Well, I stand (well technically I sit…quite comfortably) here in front of my computer screen today to tell you my aim is true! I will try like a mad woman to post all of my happenings from here on out! The good, the bad, and the ugly, you shall all know the occurrences of my life. I pray for your sanity for I have lost all hope for mine.

It’s been quite an eventful start of summer! John has only been to America once during Christmas time so everyone was so excited to show him a proper summer. We’ve been camping, had at least 10 BBQs, and been in the pool as much as humanly possible. We’ve done the late night ice cream runs, the early morning garage sales, and the mid-day vegges (a vegg, for those of you who may not know, is when you sit on the couch with the AC on full blast and the shades drawn. You vegg because it’s too hot to move). He’s experienced the 118-degree weather and I’ve been there with a big HAHA and a loving hand to push him into the pool. It’s been great!

Moving on to New York; quite simply, we are not yet. I guess all I can say for that is God has other plans for us right now. New York hasn’t been forgotten about but it’s been put on the back burner. I’m not sure when we’ll get there, but it won’t be til at least October. My mom might head on over there sooner or she might give up on it completely. Her choice. All I know for sure is John and I will be New Yorkers one day. It may be 10 years from now or (fingers crossed) it may be before Christmas. John has to go back to England for 3 months because it’s illegal for him to stay in the U.S. for more than 90 days. I’ll wait it out at my dad’s house in Phoenix until he comes back home.

My oldest sister, Lindsey, is getting married! Her wedding is Oct 3rd of this year. My other sister Katie, my cousin Sarah, 3 of Lindsey’s friends, and myself will be her entourage. She’s full of wonderful ideas; it’s going to be a beautiful wedding and reception.

I finally got to meet my nephew, Davin! He’s just as cute as could be. At 5 months he’s already got the world wrapped around his tiny pudgy fingers. He’s got car door ears that you have no choice but to love and he smiles constantly! If he didn’t vomit on my shoulder the first day I met him, I may have considered stealing him.

It’s strange being back home. I didn’t realize how accustomed to England I became. I even sort of miss it now. It’s hard for oneself to be thrown from one world to another in so quick a fashion. I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like for my poor Geordie. Although, I have to hand it to all of my dogs, they have been a million times better than I thought they would be. There are still a few scuffles every now and again but for the most part, they seem to be getting along.

My bed has begun to whisper sweet slumbering words. I shall answer it’s call and save the rest of my tales for another morn.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I'm ready for my close up

Oh the glamorous life I lead. While many of you were following that "rest of the world" crowd by sleeping at 3am (if the whole world jumped off a cliff would you too?!) John and I were matching socks together. Hold your jealousy until the end please because there is more to this tale. Our unmatched sock bag was so large that as we neared the bottom of it, we began sniffing the socks to see if they were clean. (Hey, no judgement shall be passed while reading my blog!) I am happy to report that all of the socks were indeed clean...unless you count the very last one I slyly handed to John. The face of utter disgust he made was in no way related to me since it was his own dirty stinky sock he was smelling! He insists time after time that his feet do not smell. I now have evidence to prove him wrong.

Three of my "meatloaf" brownies went missing today. All I know is I was standing next to the brownie Tupperware then sometime later was brushing crumbs off my mouth. It's a complete mystery I tell you! I made the brownies, so of course the brownie crumb trail will lead to me! This is just what the real brownie culprit will want you to think. Perhaps I should check on the brownies once more before bed...just to make sure they are safe.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

You Talk Better Than You Fool!

Not today I don't!

Today is April 1st or April Fools Day. And in celebration of this foolish day I made a fool out of food! (Wow say that 5 times fast)

I made Meatloaf "Cupcakes" with Mashed Potatoe "Frosting".

For dessert we had "Meatloaf" Brownies and "Mashed Potatoe" Ice Cream and Hershey's Syrup "Gravy".

I used this brownie recipe from It came highly recommended by a group of my friends on a cooking forum.

1 cup butter, melted
3 cups white sugar (I used 1 1/2 white and 1 1/2 brown)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I didn't have chips so I went and bought a plain chocolate candy bar and cut that into chunks)
I also added 1 cup of pecans....which I think are the best part!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish. Combine the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each, until thoroughly blended. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture until blended. Stir in the chocolate morsels. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking dish. Bake in preheated oven until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove, and cool pan on wire rack before cutting.

Now I cooked mine in a loaf pan thinking I'd be clever and make it in the shape of meatloaf...however I wouldn't recommend this as the outside brownies got a little too done and the middle of the brownies weren't cooked at all. But hey the brownies inbetween those were sure yummy!

Last year I made chocolate rice crispy treats shaped into a loaf. I thought that looked perfect! You can even add bits of fruit roll-up or something to make it look like peppers.

John and I enjoyed it.

Happy Foolin'

Monday, March 31, 2008

Chapter One

Hello, my name is Alyson.

This is the part where I'm supposed to describe myself. I suppose I could follow my own blog theme by starting out like this...

Once upon a time there was a girl named Alyson who lived in a land far far away known as England. She called a small run down flat home. She lived there with her prince charming John and their spoiled little Rottweiler dragon, Geordie.

I even have the perfect evil villains for that story, but see that doesn't describe me. Plus, there would be too much background information for that story. Where would I tell you that I haven't always lived in England? Or how would I tell you about my family? Family doesn't play much of a part in fairy tales but my family play a huge role in my story.

I love writing horror stories, so I suppose maybe a scary tale would work better as an introduction? I know I have enough unpleasant and frightening experiences to make it a worth-while one, but why would I want to make that the prologue? Plus, where would my love for cooking fit in a scary story?

A love story, yes I could quite happily make that my intro. I'd tell you all about how John and I were soulmates from the beginning, how we had to move Heaven and Earth to be together, how we'll be together until The End. However, I do not feel that's a story that should be told at first meeting.

So I shall start it simple.

Hello, my name is Alyson.

If we were to meet in person, that's all I would say. You'd tell me your name, we'd shake hands, and we'd go from there. We might develop a friendship and over time we'd know all of each other's stories. I guess that's how it'll be here, only you are a quiet friend and I'll be the talkative one. I'll slowly but surely open up to you and tell you all about myself. Some things I'm sure you'll like, while other things you won't. But it will be me and my story.