Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Lists, Piles, and Stacks

Lists of things to do.....Piles of scrapbooking supplies out for design team projects....Stacks of recipes to try and holiday decorating ideas..... Hey, at least it's categorized. That makes me feel organized!

Lately everything I've done can be checked off of a list. I live by lists during this time of year. Sometimes I'll even write down things I've already done and check them off, just to feel like I've accomplished something. Ha! :) I love seeing all of those marked off lines of text, knowing there is one less thing to do. I've had to say no to three different events lately just because of all that is on my list. I will not stress out about all there is to do, though. I've made my main list and am dividing it out into days. That way I'll have a few things to do each day and none of the days will be full of stress and worry. I'm so thankful for so many things to do! They translate into blessings. :)

Anyone else a list maker? I know my sweet friend Kelly is. In our family we have a calendar on the refrigerator where we write down EVERYTHING that is on our schedule. It's so helpful...and it's also fun to look back on the calendars from past years. I have one for almost every year of our marriage! If you have little ones, you can also write down things that already happened: Jane lost a tooth today, Jack went to Billy's house to play, Noah wrote his full name today. I don't know about you, but I enjoy reading the little details. :)

We got a new coffeemaker yesterday. I returned some things to Linens and Things and got a new thermal Cuisinart coffeemaker. It's awesome! There's still a half pot of VERY hot Starbucks coffee in the kitchen right now, brewed at 6:30 a.m. The only thing I don't like about it is this very annoying set of 5 long, LOUD beeps that sound when the coffee is finished brewing. Ugh. However, I didn't even hear it this morning so I guess it's not loud enough to wake me up. It's just quite annoying when you are awake and have to hear it. And you can't turn it off. Other than that, it's great! :)

Did you know that there is an 80% chance you are wearing the wrong bra size? It's true! And 90% of women wear the wrong style of jeans for their bodies. I learned a LOT and now need to go to Nordstrom's for a bra fitting. (And I just love Stacy London.)

Here I'll share two recipes I'm going to make on Thanksgiving. I've been watching lots of Food Network and Martha and I've found a yummy appetizer and a dessert to make.

Sugar and Nut Glazed Brie
by Paula Deen - Food Network

1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts or pecans
1 tablespoon brandy
1 (14-ounce) round brie
Apple wedges, for serving
Pear wedges, for serving
2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
Crackers, for serving

In a small bowl stir together the sugar, nuts, and brandy. Cover and chill for at least 24 hours or up to 1 week.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Place the brie on an ovenproof platter or pie plate. Bake for 4 or 5 minutes or until the brie is slightly softened. Spread the sugar mixture in an even layer on top of the warm brie and bake for 2 to 3 minutes longer, or until the sugar melts. Brush the fruit wedges with lemon juice and arrange them around 1 side of the brie. Place crackers around the other side.

Chocolate Bread Pudding
by Martha Stewart

Serves 8 to 10
A nine-by-thirteen-inch glass baking dish may be used in place of a gratin dish.

2 cups heavy cream
2 cups milk
1 whole vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise, seeds scraped
3 cinnamon sticks(optional) I WILL be using these! :)

1 loaf brioche(about 1 pound, or you may substitute white bread)
12 ounces roughly chopped Valrhona or other bittersweet chocolate, plus 1/2 ounce or 1/4 cup shavings for garnish
8 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar

1 container (8 ounces) crème fraîche

1. Heat the oven to 325°. Place the cream, milk, vanilla seeds and pod, and cinnamon sticks, if using, in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit for 30 minutes to infuse flavors.

2. Cut the brioche into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Cut slices into quarters, setting aside the rounded top pieces. Fill a 9-by-12-inch gratin dish or a deep oval roasting dish with the quartered pieces.

3. Return the milk mixture to a boil, remove from heat, and discard vanilla pod and cinnamon sticks. Add chocolate, and whisk until smooth. Combine egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl, and whisk to combine. Pour chocolate mixture very slowly into egg-yolk mixture, whisking constantly, until fully combined.

4. Slowly pour half the chocolate custard over bread, making sure all the bread is soaked. Arrange the reserved bread on top in a decorative pattern, and press firmly so bottom layer of bread absorbs chocolate mixture. Spoon remaining custard over bread until completely covered and all cracks are filled. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the dish; press down to soak bread thoroughly. Remove plastic, wipe edges of the dish with a damp towel, and allow to sit for 30 minutes. Place gratin dish in a larger pan; fill outer pan with hot water halfway up the sides of the gratin dish. Bake until set, about 35 minutes. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes.

5. Whisk the crème fraîche until soft peaks form. Serve pudding warm, garnished with crème fraîche and chocolate shavings.


Yum, huh? Well, I'd better get back to my scrapbooking projects! :)

Oh, and I have a big big scrapbooking-related secret. But I can't tell...haha...sorry!

Don't forget to watch The Apprentice: Martha Stewart tonight. One of my favorite shows!

Grateful for my blessings,

"Nothing is too big for my God to accomplish, and nothing is too little for Him to use in accomplishing it!" - Anonymous


Heather D. White said...

I am definitely a list maker, especially the older I get. I used to be able to remember everything and keep everything straight, but the older I get and the more kids I have that suck my brain juice during pregnancy, the more lists become a serious NECESSITY!!! They definitely help keep me organized! you watch MARTHA's talk show as well? Because of you, I am addicted to it. I seriously want to try the Chocolate Cake and French Toast she made this past week...they sounded DIVINE!!!! Have you made either of them? LMK! These recipes you shared today sound delish as well!!! I'll have to try those out! Thanks for always having such fun and inspiring entries!!! I love reading your blog!

Anonymous said...

hi, jenny! Good lists are very important and helpful. I always make lists as well. Can't wait to taste the brie on Thanksgiving.
I love you. Mom

Teresa Wilkins said...

Hey Jennifer, did you know that Paula Dean has a new magazine out? I just got the first issue and it is quite nice.

Miss Carrie said...

We are kindred spirits! I totally write things on my lists just to cross them makes me feel important :o)

I LOOOOVE when Oprah does bra and jean interventions. After the last one, I went and had a fitting...turns out I'm like the .00001% wearing the right size. Go figure.

Becky said...

Definitely a list maker here! I can't survive if I don't write it down anymore!

I just went a couple of weeks ago and got fitted for a new bra. I haven't done that for years. I was actually pretty close to what I thought my size was, but it definitely helps to have one that fits exactly right!

Wendy Reed (Wishin4MoreTime) said...

Great coffee maker! I am a total list maker. I love lists. Keeps me on track.

Heather said...

Chocolate bread pudding? I know a man who's going to want some of that!

And big scrapbooking secret??? Can't wait to hear.

stephanie said...

I'm still chuckling at the earlier comment made about how one reader gains weight just by reading your blog.........!

I'm a total list maker and I will sometimes, when really bored (!), even list inane chores like brush teeth, go to bathroom. Ya know, just ot put it on the list to get crossed off. It's completely silly, I know, but fun and keeps me motivated.


TracieClaiborne said...

I'm cracking up because that's one more way we're just alike. I'm A TOTAL LIST-MAKER. I mean big-time. I write everything down. That's the only way I can remember it!!! Too funny. I think we're absolute type A personalities, huh?

Okay don't tease us about your scrappy secret!! I wanna know!