Sunday, May 13, 2012

School, Graduation, Cupcakes: What a good combination!

So life has continued to go on and on and on and I have done a terrible job at updating our blog. I'm sorry. I fail. So this blog is going to be a little bit lengthy-er then normal. I'll try and put more pictures to make it go faster. A picture is worth a thousand words, right?

So Benny is still a part of our lives. In the process we have bought a new "Shark Pet Vac" and a "Shark Hand Vac." The person at the humane society said he wouldn't shed very bad and that was a Big Fat LIE. He sheds like nobody's business. It drives poor Erick crazy. We're learning to adapt with our handy dandy vacuums and a lint roller in every room and every car. Benny is great though. He makes me happy. 

So I student taught 8th graders for awhile. They were so hard to teach, but super fun and super challenging. On my last day a lot of them surprised me with gifts. I was so surprised. Most of the time I thought they hated my guts, but they gave me lots and lots of stuff. I loved it. They're such sweethearts. This picture is one of my students who made me a candy bar poster. I lost the Rolos and the Snickers...dang thieves. I guess some really didn't like me. :) 

So then I graduated. My family flew out here to Utah from Texas. How awesome is that?! I loved it. That was such an awesome graduation present.  

The parents got to come down and take pictures. I loved all of this. Even if they said my name was Samantha Alethia Reed. They got it right after a couple of goes. 

My mom and Erick got me flowers! I got a purple lei and some pretty orange and blue flowers. So cool!

There's my Erick hubby. I love him so much for supporting me. There were some times that he probably was frustrated with my stressful student teaching, but he stuck it out. 

Here's all of my siblings! It was such a beautiful day and I loved it. Teddy and Alex barely survived the super long and boring ceremony, but I'm so glad they were there! And yes, Teddy is wearing a BYU shirt. Gotta start 'em young, right?

There's the whole fam-bam. My mom got a little sunned out, but she's there. 

My grandparents made it too! They have been my support away from home throughout the entire 5 years. They kept me sane and healthy. I'm so grateful for them!

Alex is a goober.

One day we went hiking just us Crist kids. I took them (and Benny) to Bridalveil Falls. We had fun. At the end Alex asked me if we could go on another hike.

We were right by the Provo River and I don't think my flat-skyline-Texas-Raised brothers had ever heard of hiking before. They started having fun just taking rocks from the mountain and throwing it in the river.

This was Benny's first time hiking, too. He had a hard time being in a very public place. Teddy helped me out here.

My sister and I switched off pictures with each other. The boys had fun with it (Benny had TOO much fun).

The very blonde pretty Reba.

 The Alex-inator.

The falls! They're so pretty!

The sister and brothers with the falls. Benny actually posed for this picture. 

The two alumni. We got matching BYU alumni shirts. I feel so old. I'm an college alumnus!

To make me feel even more grown up I got a job at Riverton High School! I'm going to be a sophomore/ senior english teacher and assistant swim coach! I'm so excited. I can't believe I get to teach. I love it.

The next part of this story comes from my cousin Brittany's wedding. At her luncheon I got to sit with a bunch of cute kids. My cousin Ben's kids! They're so cute. Gotta love them.

There's my cousin Danielle. She's been one of my supports throughout this whole thing too. (She's Ben's sister these girls are her nieces.

Silly girls.

So this was kind of fun. On April 30th was our 1st anniversary! Erick bought us a room at the Anniversary Inn. Its this awesome Bed and Breakfast with themed rooms. We stayed in the Country Garden. It was awesomely cheesy/ romantic. I loved it. Probably wouldn't do it again, but it was fun to do something like that at least once. For dinner we ate at The Copper Onion and oh-my-gosh was it awesome! Best food I've had in a LONG tim. If you are ever in the Salt Lake City area and want to go eat somewhere that's delicious. Go there. It's reasonably priced and you get enough bang for your buck.

The bed was a circle bed in a gazebo. with all that fake ivy around it. HA! So great. 

There was a jet tub as well. If you look up at the very top you can kind of see the shower head. It was a flower watering pot! So great!

The t.v. lived in a wheel barrow. Erick chose this room because it had the biggest t.v. and what better place to put the biggest t.v. in a wheel barrow!

This next part of my blog is from my adventures today. I decided to create some cupcakes! Martha Stewart's Cupcakes book is fantastic! I have only made one nasty thing from it...but that's for another time and another place. I made some raspberry lemonade cupcakes out of her strawberry cupcake recipe and swiss meringue frosting. They were Delicious.

So here's her recipe. I know you can't see it, but the cake was just a simple sponge cake (which I didn't know how to make, until now!) It was just eggs, salt, baking soda, a little bit of sugar, and a little bit of flour. I'll put the recipe at the end. Don't worry. 

Once the cupcakes (or pupcakes as Alex used to call them) came out of the oven--like immediately after--you poke them all over with toothpicks. After they are thoroughly perforated you put the mixture of evaporated milk, sweet and condensed milk, and heavy cream on top and let it soak in for a couple of hours.

So here's what it's supposed to look like while it was soaking, but the recipe did call for you to fill the cups 1/2 full and all of my cupcakes were too big and puffy at the end so I couldn't pour the milk mixture on it. So, I flipped all of them upside down and resulted in the picture below. 

 I took off all of the wrappers and poked more holes in the bottoms (now tops) of the cupcakes and poured the rest of the milk stuff on them and let them sit.

So this is the face of a very guilty dog. One of my beautiful cupcakes was murdered by this sneaky little thing. He's eaten 6 of my raspberry cupcakes before and I was determined he wouldn't get any this time. Well, he did. He got one of them from the counter. Good thing he's cute...

So on top of these delicious little things you put whipped cream! It was so good. Erick LOVES whipped cream so I had to make it at the very last minute. Martha Stewart does it again! So good.

Ok, ok. So I guess I love whipped cream too.

 The final step is to top it with cinnamon. Gotta love cinnamon and sugary stuff.

I've had Tres Leches with fresh fruit on top so I chopped up a pineapple and tried it with it.

Here's a couple of non-fruit topped shots. I ate the fruit topped one too fast. 

Doesn't it look simply divine???

I didn't even clean up I ate them so fast... I guess I better do that...

 Here's the yummy recipe. I halved it because I don't want to become overweight eating 20 cupcakes between Erick and me.

Tres Leches Cupcakes

from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes

(p.s. this is the full recipe)

6 large eggs, separated, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
Whipped Cream (see recipe below)
Ground cinnamon, for dusting

 1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper-lined foil liners. With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk together egg whites, baking soda, and salt until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to low. Add yolks and sugar; whisk until completely combined. Fold in melted butter with a flexible spatula. Add flour in four batches, folding until just combined after each.

2. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each half-way. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until light golden brown, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Immediately poke holes in tops of cupcakes with a skewer.

3. Whisk together evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream. With cupcakes still in tins, brush milk mixture over cupcakes, repeating until all liquid has been used. Allow cupcakes to absorb mixture, at least 30 minutes (or up to 1 day in the refrigerator, wrapped tightly in plastic once completely cool; bring to room temperature before serving).

4. To finish, dollop whipped cream generously onto cupcakes, and dust with ground cinnamon. Serve immediately.

Whipped Cream Recipe

2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar

Whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add in confectioner's sugar. Mix until combined.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

It's been awhile, but now I have a real reason to post!

So here's been our adventures since Christmas... at least most of them... I wish I could video every day of student teaching, but it might bore you... 
 So I made a cheese souffle! I was quite delicious. I haven't ever had one before... so this was quite an adventure. It looked like the picture, so I thought it was ok. :)

Now this next picture. My cousin Heather Stephenson is having a baby! I didn't have any wrapping paper so I pulled out my butcher paper that I use for sewing patterns and drew on it. It was kind of fun.

 Here's our apartment! I know, I know, you have been DYING to see our new apartment. We actually got a new couch with it too, but I haven't really had much time to catch our living room when it's not cluttered with school stuff.
 living room
 Front view of kitchen
 Erick's Valentine's Day roses for me. :)

 Dining room...there's a cool shelf over on the other side that I forgot to take a picture of.
 Inside the kitchen

So here's my real reason I decided it was time to update our blog. We got a new member of our family! His name is Benny. Erick is a huge Chicago Bulls fan so we named him after the Bulls' mascot. I thought it was appropriate. He's 5 months old Husky/Australian Cattle dog mix. He's really smart! His previous owners house trained him and taught him to sit. He doesn't bark and he loves to play (he's learning how to play in the snow). I'm hoping to train him to be a runner with me. I need a good running partner. So far he's really good on a leash. I'm too afraid to run with him right now since it dumped snow a couple of days ago. We're super excited to have him with us. It's going to take him awhile to get used to being here, but I'm sure things will work out fine. He's been a pretty good dog for our first dog so far. 

Erick is still working hard at his charter school. He's learning how to teach a lot of different types of students and learning how to deal with me. He's looking for another teaching job this next school year so he can be a coach. He misses basketball a lot. Especially now that we don't have cable. So cross your fingers for him!

I'm just finishing up student teaching. 8th graders are fun! They're really at a really interesting age. I'm starting to be reminded of how hard being an 8th grader was. I got a coaching job with Wasatch Front Fish Market this summer and looking for a teaching/coaching job this next year. I'm excited to see what's to come. :)

Well! That's our life so far. It's been exciting. We're coming up on our 1 year in 2 more months! Time flies when you're having fun!