Happy (almost) Halloween!

This is my first weekend away since Chris' departure and I must say I need this more than anything. I'm heading off to California tomorrow to see my best friend of 9+ years! Kim is a 3rd year law student at Pepperdine (also our undergrad alma mater) and she is possibly the most involved law student in the world.

In order to break from the real, and sometimes harsh world, we have mega plans for the weekend. Halloween will be filled with a fun night at a party and the bars. Saturday will be breakfast at our favorite place, Lilly's and then a nice walk on the beach. Sunday is Malibu Kitchen and Pepperdine stuff. I'm sure there will be a mixture of other fun things in there as well, but that's what we have planned for now. I hope to be a busy picture taker this weekend (I am currently contemplating taking the good camera) and I'll post some stuff when I get back!


I Think This Says It All


Hot Tamale!

Saturday was quite the day as it was the annual Haug family tamale making day! Every fall for the past 30+ years my mom's family has made tamales. Years ago when my grandfather owned a lodge in Northern Arizona, our family would sell the tamales at their annual rodeo. I was a little kid when they sold the lodge, so I don't remember much of that, but I guess they sold out every year. Pretty good for a 100% German family!

This year, we exceeded many expectations by making approximately 400 of these things. We started at 2:00pm and with 7 of us (my gramma, grandpa, mom, aunt, great aunt, mom's cousin and myself), we stopped around 6:30. The best part was eating them at the end and having 24+ tamales sitting in my freezer waiting for consumption. Here are a few photos of our tamale making process.


The Right Stuff!

Last night was something I had been waiting for for months...the return of New Kids on the Block! That's right, in concert, right here in Arizona. I will admit that I am a huge dork, but last night was so much fun! There is of course a story behind the reason why I went. When I was in the first grade and NKOTB was super popular, a bunch of my friends and their moms bought tickets to the concert. Well of course, my mom said no and I was bummed beyond all belief. After all, they were my world! So fast forward 18+ years or so...they are back and in action and coming to Phoenix. My mom calls me up and says that she is finally going to make it up to me and get us tickets! I was so excited, and last night was definitely worth the wait!

I'll post some pictures later on tonight hopefully, but I must say I was impressed by their dancing and singing. After all, they aren't spring chickens anymore :) They sang a combo of old and new hits, but my favorites were still The Right Stuff, Step by Step, and Hangin' Tough!


Down for the count

The House on Canary is officially down one member! Friday morning Chris officially left for OCS. I was very proud of myself for not shedding a single tear before, during, or after his departure. The days have been very busy since he left. Saturday I spent most of the day with my mom and family and Sunday was spent decorating for Halloween and picking up the house and running errands.

I am now able to write him letters, which I've done every day so far. I can't ever call him, and he can't call me until at least week 3 I believe. So for now, I just rely on my writing to keep me connected.

There are two issues that I'm having right now though, and I almost had a fit (the only child syndrome was setting in) last night. One is that the Tivo remote is acting up, and by acting up I mean not functioning. I'm sure you're thinking, who cares, but because of the way it's hooked up to the TV, it's the only way I can turn the TV on and off and change the channels. Well technically I can turn the TV on, but it won't change channels without the remote. And it's not the batteries, I checked. So no tivo and no TV on the big screen until I can get the problem solved. Problem #2 is that I can't find the DVD player remote, ANYWHERE. I've looked around the entire house (well where it could possibly be) and can't find the darn thing. Why do these things have to happen when he's not here? I'm in charge of making sure his favorite shows get recorded so he can watch them when he gets back, and I can't delete the unnecessary things and watch my stuff b/c of this darn remote. Hopefully I am able to solve both problems soon. I have a list from Tivo of things I can do to try to fix the remote before I have to buy a new one. Sorry, that's my rant for the day.


Birthday Brownies

I FINALLY had a chance to do some baking this weekend! As much as my body probably needed a break from the sugar, I was really happy to be back in the kitchen. This past Sunday we invited some friends over before Chris' impending departure, and it was also our friend Emily's birthday. I've known Emily since college, and thanks to her, I met Chris. I searched long and hard for something that was not simply brownies. Then I found it...Smores Brownies! They sounded really good, and the picture that went with them made them look mouthwatering delicious. I did make one giant detour from the original recipe, instead of following the recipe for the brownie part, I used a mix. In all honesty, I really like brownies from a box, and since it saved a lot of time and the combining of different ingredients, it was the perfect idea.

Results? Not anything like the picture. They were hard to cut with the marshmallow on top because the knife kept getting stuck on the gooeyness of the mallows. Taste wise...2 thumbs up! Rave reviews all around, and no one minded that they weren't the prettiest things. I still recommend making them, but maybe not for a bake off :)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch fine salt

1 box brownie mix (for 8x8 pan)

4 cups large marshmallows

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8 by-8-inch square baking pan with foil so it hangs over the edges by about 1 inch.
For the crust: Lightly butter the foil with some of the melted butter. Stir the rest of the butter together with the crumbs, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Press the crumb mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the brownie.

Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the top is crispy and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean, with a few crumbs, about 40 to 45 minutes.

Remove from the oven and carefully position a rack about 6 inches from the broiler and preheat on low. Layer marshmallows across the top and toast under the broiler until golden, (keep an eye on it, it can go quick), about 2 minutes. Cool on a rack, gently removing the brownies from the pan using the aluminum flaps. Carefully separate any marshmallow from the foil and fold away. Cut into 12 (2-inch) squares.