Sunday, October 17, 2010

Roadtrip

My mom arranged for my aunt Margie to come for a visit this month. She's lived in Georgia for decades, but tries to journey back to Washington every few years. This time she flew into the SeaTac airport and we made a quick trip to Seattle to pick her up. When I say "we", I mean my mom, my sister Sammi, and I. The three of us haven't gone on a roadtrip in years, so this was a rare treat.
Overall, we had a great time! We drove to Seattle on Tuesday, spent some time at the Southcenter Mall, watched a movie (Life As We Know It), and then picked Margie up at the airport that night. The next day we headed home. And what a drive that was!! We found Sammi's old Aqua cd in my mom's van and listened to it most of the way. (If you're not familiar with Aqua, their main claim to fame was a song entitled "I'm a Barbie Girl". Real classy material.) We had a blast dancing and singing along even though my mom teased us incessantly. Of course, she didn't have much room to talk: she & Margie were grooving to Neil Diamond. ;)



Sunday, October 10, 2010

Shake It

My Pumpkin Milkshake Creation

It started as a simple craving: I wanted something pumpkin flavored.

I wasn't really feeling inspired to bake (i.e.: I'm lazy), so pie and bread were both out of the running.

I found some people online who consider pumpkin and peanut-butter sandwiches to be an easy treat...but I wanted something that actually sounded edible. (Yeah, that's right: I'm one of those knock-it-even-if-you-haven't-tried-it kinda girls. Deal with it.)

Then it hit me: a pumpkin milkshake! I had never had any form of pumpkin ice cream personally, but the Pumpkin Pie Blizzard got a rave review from my sister during a recent trip to DQ. Thus I was persuaded. :)

I hopped on Google and started hunting for recipes. Right away I found quite a few for multiple servings. Instead of going to all the trouble of shrinking one of the recipes, I decided to glean main ingredients from a couple of recipes and then just guesstimate the amounts. I ended up tossing in canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, vanilla, milk, whipping cream, and vanilla ice cream. I have no idea what amounts I used. It was all very scientific.

By this point you may be wondering how it all turned out. Well, have you ever heard those stories about people combining a bunch of different recipes/ingredients/techniques and accidentally winding up with an amazing new concoction? Something so delicious that the tale of its creation gets told over and over? Well, this is not one of those stories. My Pumpkin Milkshake was a flop. I'm left with an unpleasant taste in my mouth and a partially used can of pumpkin.

Speaking of which, I'm a little nervous about using that canned pumpkin for a non-baking project. Multiple internet sources report that canned pumpkin is indeed cooked during the canning process, but the internet has been known to lie. In other words, if I die tonight do not rule out Death by Pumpkin Milkshake. Ha. Now that would be a story that gets told over and over...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

More Froyo, Please.

As you may know by now, I love ice cream. Always have. Always will. That said, I've never really been a fan of yogurt or it's frozen counterpart ("froyo" as the cool kids call it). I guess I've just never felt compelled to stray from ice cream. Until now.

A couple of weekends ago, my friend Caitlin suggested we check out MyFroYo. I had heard the name before, but that's about all I knew of the place. Not really knowing what to expect, I tagged along.

Upon entering, we were greeted by the MyFroYo peeps and asked if we had ever been there before. "Nope." So they gave us the 411. To sum it up, the shop is self-serve. You grab a container, choose your froyo flavor(s), and pull the levers yourself. (If there's any flavor debate, they are more than happy to give you a sample.) Then it's on to the toppings. And boy, do they have toppings! Candy, cookies, fruit...pretty much anything you could possibly want. You choose the amounts and add them to your froyo. The final step? Weighing in. You take your froyo creation over to the sales counter, place it on a scale, and their computer calculates the damage. At 48 cents an ounce it's not exactly cheap, but it doesn't quite break the bank either.

For my first visit, I stepped outside my comfort zone (please keep in mind that I have a very narrow comfort zone). I chose vanilla and chocolate froyo topped off with strawberries, cheesecake bites, and hot fudge. Definitely not something I expected to like. I even tried to keep the toppings separate at first because I thought they wouldn't mix well. Little did I know I had just created magic. It was so good! The froyo was fantastic. The toppings went together like Mary-Kate and Ashley. The whole experience was a pleasant surprise.

Me & my concoction
So if you're in the area and think you can handle the awesomeness, stop by MyFroYo. You'll be glad you did. :)

Lucky Duck

[L to R: Liz, Sarah, & I]
While sifting through photos on my computer, I stumbled upon this gem. It's from a trip to Seattle earlier this year with two of my cousins. Sarah lives in the Seattle area and knows all the tourist hot spots. That's how "Ride the Ducks" ended up on our to-do list. In case you've never heard of it, their website summarizes the experience quite nicely: "Tour Seattle by land and water on a WWII amphibious landing craft. You haven't seen Seattle until you've seen it from a Duck". Another tidbit that might help is that our tour guide was named Captain Clem Chowder. That pretty much says it all, right?

Anyway, my FAVORITE thing about this picture (and the only reason we coughed up the money to purchase such an overpriced souvenir) is Liz's face. Priceless. :)
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