Friday, July 24, 2009

Homemade Oreos!

For the past couple of months I have had a craving for homemade oreo cookies. With all the time at work that I have I researched some recipes and picked one out to try. However, after I bought the stuff to make them I never got the motivation to actually bake the cookies b/c our kitchen is always so dirty! Last night all of my roommates went out of town except for one, and she was gone for the night so I took the opportunity to clean the kitchen thoroughly and make my cookies!
I also got a pleasant surprise... Bryce is home! He has become one of my best friends and I have missed him a lot. He had surgery on his jaw almost 2 weeks ago and has been at home since. He got back last night and so I invited him to help. He claims to be a great cookie maker. Time to show me your stuff! Though he couldn't talk it was SO much fun. And it's a good thing he helped. I didn't know the difference between confectioner's sugar and sugar, and some of the cooking terms kept me puzzled. He knew the answer to everything. The cookies were a success thanks to his knowledge... I have a lot to learn. But that's why I'm baking so that I can learn before it's too late! Here is the finished product. I took this picture at work. Preview of what I'm going to eat for my snack :) They are soooo yummy! And they were really easy to make. I think I've eaten 5 already today. I really should stop since I can't exercise them off til the end of the summer haha. If you're interested, here is the recipe. I think they would be fun to make with kids too... maybe that'll be my mom specialty haha... maybe.

Homemade Oreos by Smitten Kitchen:

For the chocolate wafers:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar [see recipe note]

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) room-temperature, unsalted butter1 large egg

For the filling:

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) room-temperature, unsalted butter

1/4 cup vegetable shortening

2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Set two racks in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375°F.
In a food processor, or bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.
Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately two inches apart. With moistened hands, slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.
To make the cream, place butter and shortening in a mixing bowl, and at low speed, gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla. Turn the mixer on high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes until filling is light and fluffy.
To assemble the cookies, in a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch, round tip, pipe teaspoon-size blobs of cream into the center of one cookie. Place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top of the cream. Lightly press, to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie. Continue this process until all the cookies have been sandwiched with cream. Dunk generously in a large glass of milk.

Happy Pioneer Day! AKA 24th of July

The other day while I was at work my supervisor, Lindsey, asked if I knew any fun activities that we could do at our weekly staff meeting for Pioneer day. I didn't have many suggestions but we ended up making gingerbread wagons! haha, has anyone ever heard of such a thing? Surprisingly it was a success, and so much fun! I think I enjoyed it more than Gingerbread houses at Christmas time... all you people with kids should try it! I would have to say that my wagon turned out the best... we were in groups of 2 and this was our final product: We used donuts for the wheels, licorice for the wagon top, covered in a napkin, gummy bears as the pioneers (a little out of proportion to the wagon), and marshmallow and black licorice oxen. Creative eh? The oxen were my contribution...
I was quite pleased with the outcome... so... HAPPY PIONEER DAY!

Burrup Family Reunion

Here we go! I'm almost done updating my blog. I'm really surprised with how well I have been doing at blogging lately. It's fun! So anyway, during the weekend of July 4th our family got together for our annual, soon to be biannual, family reunion. We reserved a campsite at the Heber Valley Camp which is owned by the church and mostly used for Girls' Camps. The camp was so big that we decided to invite the Collier family to share it with us. What a great idea that was. Lots of people, but lots of fun! Of course blogging isn't as fun without pictures, so here is the story of our family reunion told in pictures. Audrey, Emily, and I. We sure do love pictures. I am once again so glad that they were able to come! This is the first summer Audge and I have lived more than a quarter mile away from each other! We sure have been spoiled to be so lucky.
Erin and I had our own photo shoot. No, this isn't the cutest picture we got of the 2 of us, but it IS my favorite picture! I still laugh like I just saw it for the first time. No words can describe this picture. I sure do love Erin a whole lot. She is one of my best friends and I'm so glad we got to spend time together before the reunion. She makes me laugh like no one else does. Multiple times I have been talking to her on the phone and my roommates will come in to the room wondering what is so funny b/c I am laughing so hard and consistently. I just smile and say, "I'm talking to Erin." That's all they need to know haha. Love her!
Me and Audge. We have been best friends for so long that I consider her my sister. Mitchell loved playing baby with Analise. He would beg to be put in the play pen and then roll around and "goo" and "ga" at everyone. It was the funniest, and cutest thing. He is such a pleasant 2 year old, most of the time ;) And Analise was a joy the whole time. She is full of smiles.
I wish I had more pictures over the years with my sisters. Look what they've been hiding all this time! Haha, we had our own photo op and when I suggested we do a silly picture Laurel and Kristen had a surprised look on their face as if they've never heard of such a thing! Erin and I had to coach them through it. Lets just say that out of all the attempts, this is the best one. But the series of pictures leading up is hilarious! I love my sisters so so much. It was so fun to have everyone together again. I wish we all lived closer so we could have sister outing more often!
After our campfire dinner the Colliers prepared a skit for everyone to enjoy. Brandon and I got to participate. This is the story of Goldilocks and the 3 Little Bears. Brandon was Goldie Locks and I got to be his hands. It was quite the production with David as Papa Bear, Dad as Mama Bear, and Mark as Baby Bear. Their wives sat in as their hands. They did things like brush their teeth, eat, drink, and sleep. It was a success, and everyone rolled with laughter. Great idea Colliers!
Brandon and me after the skit. We did a pretty good job of staing clean!
Me and my little stud muffin, Mitchell. He loved the s'mores we made after dinner. Quite the sticky mess, but that's what camping's all about. The next day we had the opportunity to go down to the Camp Lake and use canoes and paddle boats for an hour. Jenna had the great opportunity of coming with Audge and me. It was so fun to have her with us. Much like Erin and Jared's experience with Cannon, we feared that our canoe was going to tip over. Jenna wanted to help out and paddle, but everytime she moved from side to side Audge and I got a little scare and had to keep from tipping. Poor girl, she just wanted to help. We kindly reminded her that tipping was not an option and she had to sit in the middle. It ended up being fun, and she was so cute and had a great attitude. Happy disposition! Here we are in our canoe! What a great looking crew :) It was a gorgeous day, and the water was great. After we played in the canoes for a little bit we decided to take a turn in one of the paddle boats. This picture shows that I sat in the middle, but it didn't start that way... the missionaries put me and Erin as the paddlers, Audge in the middle, and Jenna and Cannon in the back. After my knee injury I was a little nervous that I wasn't going to be much help in paddling. My analysis was correct. I think I peddled twice before I couldn't do it anymore. Poor Erin thought she was going to die. We decided maybe it would be nice for Audge and I to switch spots. Once we did this it was a smooth sailing trip. Cannon was a little annoyed we wouldn't let him paddle, but we wanted to be able to reach it back to shore in a timely manner. It ended up being very relaxing, for me at least, and we had a lot of fun.
The family reunion ended up being a great success! We also did a ropes course but I unfortunately didn't get any pictures of that. My favorite was Kristen on the high ropes event. It was quite the show, but I'm so glad she did it! And with her eyes closed... she's a pro. I sure do love my family and I can't wait for our reunion next year which Trent and Kristen's families are planning. The rumor is that we are going to try and do a beach house in California! Partay!

Monday, July 20, 2009


It has been a long time coming. I have been planning a trip to Arches for me and some friends in the ward. This has been a work in progress for a little over a month, and it finally came together! The preparation was fun, stressful, and busy all in all. I have to personally say thanks to Bryce for helping me with everything, even though he won't read my blog anywho, I still am so grateful for his willingness to help! There is no way I could have done all of this by myself and still enjoyed it. This trip was planned for about 10-15 people but ended up being a 24 person vacation. Whoa! A lot of people, but I'm glad they all came. So here are pictures and commentary about my trip. If you want to see more pictures you can look on my facebook profile in the photo album titled "Skadoosh". Amber, one of the cutest girls I've met here at BYU, and my fellow gimp, outside Arches National Park wearing our matching gimp shirts :) I am so glad she was able to come. She recently had ACL reconstruction surgery and is a trooper for coming on the trip. May I add that she was amazing!? Stuck with the group almost the whole time and never once complained. I sure do love this girl. She makes me laugh so much! Day 1 in Arches we didn't do any hikes we just drove around and parked at the different viewpoints. This is Balanced Rock. There is a small pathway that allows you to walk around the rock formation so this was the "toughest" hike of the day. From left to right we have Sini, Amber, me, Audge, Nalene, and Enni. We were having fun with pictures and in this one are imitating the rock and balancing on one leg. Not too hard! Day 2! We all were awake at 5:30am and had camp packed up by 6:30. We wanted to get a head start on all of the hikes we wanted to do b/c it was hotsy totsy in Moab! This is me at Delicate Arch. The arch that is pictured on Utah license plates. This was the only thing that I was determined to do while at Arches. It is actually the thing that inspired me to pick this park to visit for our vacation. It was absolutely gorgeous, and so much bigger than I expected. The hike was beautiful, and not too long! We made it up and back in about 2.5 hours (includes playing time) and we beat the heat on this hike. I am so glad that Audge was able to come on the trip with us. I sure do love her! It was so fun having her there and doing all of this fun stuff together. Here we are next to the arch. I am in red shorts (right) and she is in orange shorts (left). Look how big that arch is compared to us! Enormous.
Here is the entire group minus Amber under the arch! There is no way I can tell you who everyone is, but isn't this an incredible picture? I absolutely loved this trip and all the people who came with. It was neat to get everyone under the arch together. 24 people under 1 arch= one big arch!Later in the day we hiked Landscape Arch which was gorgeous as well. About 2 years ago while some hikers were on the trail they heard a loud sound which they thought was thunder and come to find out part of landscape arch had fallen off. The arch at its thinnest point is only 6 feet thick! Who knows how long this arch will be there? It sure was gorgeous. There were some other arches past Landscape that had a tougher terrain. Half of the group stayed behind and wanted to take a rest while the rest of us hiked on. I was a little nervous about physically being ok and able to do it b/c the majority was bouldering. With the help of some very cute boys I made it all the way, but I do have to give myself credit and say that I did most of it myself. But it sure was nice to have the assistance if needed. Here we are under one of the arches which I forget the name. Audge, Nick, Darin, Bryce, me, and Trevor. What a great crew!
Hike over? No! Mike Degener, a member of the Gimp club, whose number on his shirt is infinity b/c he has been injured so many times wanted more adventure. We lost the trail and climbed up the rock to the highest point we could find, and It was the highest point around. I did it! It was absolutely gorgeous! Here are some of us on top of Arches National Park pretty much. We are so far up that if you look down to the bottom left corner of the picture above you can see landscape arch and we are well above it. It was the best hike of the day and a priceless experience. I wish I could explain the beauty of the scenery around. It was breathtaking.

Here I am looking out over the view from on top of the Park. It was gorgeous, once again. I had to get a picture of me on top of it with my gimp shirt b/c I needed proof that I climbed to the top with a handicap! I like to joke that this picture is of me contemplating how in the world I'm going to get down- that was the real challenge. I told mom when I initially got hurt that nothing would keep me from going on the trip, and even though I had a reinjury I still accomplished my goal and nothing held me back from enjoying the experience. Gimp or no gimp it was a great trip!

This is the last picture I got of the trip. The last arches we visited were the 2 windows. They were gorgeous and we were tired. We opted to walk half way up the trail and take a picture from a distance. Still got to see them! This picture is a rememberance of all the water we drank. Nice, warm, pool water. What a great treat ;) haha, lets just say we were excited to get to some clean bathrooms and cold drinking fountains- heck, they could even be cool drinking fountains. That would be refreshing. After we visited these we headed out of Arches to go eat lunch in Moab and then head home. What a great trip it was, and I am SOOO proud of myself for pulling through and really doing it! No more sitting around wishing we could do these things, we actually did it! And it was an experience to remember. I will also add that it was only a $20.00 trip for everything! Affordable, fun, and filled with friends. What more could you want?

My next blog entry will be about the family reunion. I have to upload those pictures. Hope you're looking forward to it!

Catching UP

Well, it's been quite the July! Lots has been going on, and I hope I can remember all of the details seeing as how July is almost over. Where does the time go? I'm going to break my posts up so that they are bearable to read. But all in all they will include the BYU college summer life, Burrup family reunion, and camping in Arches!

This past month has been incredible. My roommate, Kaitlin, sent her bf away to China for 6 weeks for an internship. Tears were shed, hugs were given, and some were rejoicing... jk Kait. But really, I was looking forward to doing lots of fun stuff with her while I had the chance. Some would say these were going to be the hardest 6 weeks, but I decided to be optimistic and look at it as a time to grow closer haha. She reluctantly accepted the fact that she was going to enjoy the time with me as well.
One of the fun things we have done together is going to see "UP" in 3D. It was such a great movie! I think I felt every kind of emotion throughout the movie. Happiness, excitment, anticipation, fear, sadness, and relief. I have really come to love Pixar movies, and I think UP is my new favorite. I loved the little boy and think he is the cutest, cubbiest character ever invented haha. Weird how we think chubby is cute sometimes... Kait and I especially loved our 3D glasses that came with the movie! They told us to return them so they could be recycled after the movie, but the rebells in us refused. We paid $2.00 for these glasses, and we were determined to keep them!

The night before Jordan, Kaitlin's "friend", left we wanted to play tennis. Jordan had been asking for quite some time if the 4 of us (Kait, Bryce, and I) could play together. After I got off work we headed over to the tennis courts but they were all occuppied. We decided to wait around for one to open up. In the meantime I had my soccer ball in the trunk! We got it out and passed it around. What was I thinking? It all happened so fast haha, I went to get the ball, pivoted, and my knee popped and twisted again. It wasn't long before I was on the ground rolled over in pain. I knew this couldn't be good. I did everything in my power to stay calm about the situation. This included clenching onto the grass to relieve pressure, and saying "Oh crap" over and over again. Great remedy right? I was really saying "Oh crap" b/c I could only imagine what Trent was going to say. I knew I was in for a few lectures from different members of my family, but mostly Trent. I composed myself after a few minutes and we decided maybe tennis wasn't a great idea. We headed home and changed so that we could move on to the next activity.
Our next activity was a movie in the canyon, and Kaitlin and I prepared another surprise for the guys. Homemade ice cream! When we found the perfect place to watch the movie we whipped out the ingredients. We didn't have an icecream maker of course, so we did ice cream in a plastic baggy. I've done it multiple times, and it's really good. As we were compiling everything Kait burst up into laughter. What was so funny? She whispered in my ear, "I forgot to borrow vanilla!" I couldn't help but laugh harder. Vanilla ice cream without the vanilla, it was going to be ok, but interesting. We all concluded that we should proceed. About 2 minutes later Kait burst up laughing again! I could only imagine... We forgot spoons! ha ha. Luckily we brought along oreos to put in the ice cream so we thought we could just substitue the oreos as spoons. All 4 of us were full of laughter. Elder Wirthlin was right when he said that it is better to laugh at mistakes and bad happenings. It sure does make all the difference!

So here is Bryce and I in the process of making our ice cream, or should I say sugared milk, and enjoying "Goonies!" I was the only one who had seen it! Can you believe that? Where did these people grow up and what kind of childhood did they have to have never seen a classic like "Goonies?" I was glad to share such a great movie with them, and they all loved it. So all in all our night was quite eventful and unexpected :) But it turned out to be a great night! Jordan, we will miss you, and Kaitlin, I'm so glad I have had the chance to play with you so much! I sure do love her! She is not only one of my best friends, but I consider her one of my sisters. We have had quite the events and so many laughs. I just love her! I know I'm no Jordan, but I am Tiffany :) Let the good times roll.