July 2009

Molten Chocolate Lava Cake

When I was a kid, mom would do her best to get me helping in the kitchen.  I know it’s hard to believe (haha), but I was quite an obstinate child when it came to cooking.  I’ve never liked it much, as I have quite a knack for messing things up.

When I was about 13, dad told me that if I cooked one meal of his choice, and everything turned out well, then I’d never have to help mom in the kitchen again.  Really?  That was it?!  Well then, bring it on!  And bring it on he did.  His request seemed simple enough: mashed potatoes, green beans and fried chicken.  Easy as pie! (Although, I’m not sure I had ever baked a pie…)  
That night, everyone assembled around the table, and I was proud of my hard work.  The mashed potatoes were smooth and creamy, the green beans were wonderful in a green-beany sort of way, and the fried chicken smelled fantastic.  Smelled fantastic.  Dad was the first to take a bite, and from the look of his face I knew it wasn’t good.  Dad gingerly pointed out that the chicken was crispy and golden on the outside, but a chilly, pale pink on the inside.  And so, my dreams of never stepping foot in our kitchen were dashed.  I don’t think I’ve ever quite gotten over the disappointment of that dinner. 
Recently, however, I’ve actually been cooking and baking quite a bit (at least by my standards).  My creations this week have included Banana Muffins, Panino Alla Margherita (Italian BLT), basic Ziti, and Ziti with Asperagus, Smoked Mozerella, and Prosciutto.  I’m patting myself on the back as I write this.
But tonight was the best of all: Molten Chocolate Lava Cake.  Oh. My. Goodness!  My only regret was that I had to throw away 1/2 the batter, as there’s no way we could’ve eaten any more.  I decided to take pictures to prove my story, as I’m sure mom and dad are skeptical as they’re reading this. ;)
Mikey liked it! 
Leftover batter.  I cried as I poured it down the drain…
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More from Montana

I went through more of our Montana photos tonight. We had such a great time on our trip, and we especially enjoyed our visit to Bozeman. David and I were just a small part of the huge group staying at Coralee’s parents’ house. At let me say, Mr. and Mrs. Welch were incredible hosts! We felt like we were staying in a bed and breakfast the whole time, and we definitely ate until our hearts content.

Andy and Brandy (Coralee’s brother-in-law and sister) made the trip from N. Carolina, and I will always be grateful to Andy for introducing me to thepioneerwoman.com. He also helped me realize the usefulness of my 75-300mm lens, which I rarely ever used. Now it’s one of my favorites.

We also met Patrick and Coralee’s friends, Dewy, Jenni and their two kids. They drove in from Washington in their “SUM-V,” as Dewy called it. I believe that stands for “Sports Utility Man Van.” I found it impressive that although they had driven such a long way, their SUM-V was lacking the funky smell and crumbs that are naturally expected of vans. How’d they do that? (That’s not a dig for anyone whose child-mobile isn’t “amazingly clean”. It’s just something that stood out to me…)

David, Patrick and Dewy were kind enough to let me tag along whenever they went fly fishing. I must say that it’s a lot more involved than “lake fishing,” but that’s what made it so fun. Of course, “fun” wouldn’t be the immediate word that pops into my mind describing my first fly fishing trip. We found a spot on a mountain stream, and it turns out that mountain streams in Montana stay ICEY cold through June. I didn’t think I’d make it through the first 30 seconds in the water (I can’t even begin to describe the stinging pain), but I didn’t want the boys to make fun of me for running out like a little girl. So, I stuck it out and actually enjoyed myself. Of course, I had to jump out about every 5 minutes to let my feet thaw out, but it was worth it.  However, it did take about 3 hours and a special pair of fuzzy socks for my feet to return to their normal state.  (David caught his first fly-rod fish that night.)

O.k. Enough of my rambling. 

Declan was clearly exited that Coralee found his sunglasses while we were on a hike.
This was taken the night we went “ice fishing”. (Patrick and Dewy)
These are from our 2nd fly fishing expedition.  The water was still cool, but not nearly as bad as the day before.
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Two Things Learned

This has been a productive morning! First, I found out how to frame my photos. The one below was from a stormy night in the Tetons. Then, I figured out how to make my photos larger on the blog. Ta-da! (Said with gusto.)
In order to make photos bigger I had to change my template, so my blog definitely doesn’t look the same. Opinions, anyone?
On another note… I need your help. I’m trying to think of a name for my future (imaginary at this point) photography LLC. I’d love to hear any ideas!
PS – the picture below this post freaks me out. I worked on it pretty late, and my eyes must’ve turned in for the night. Am I the only one who notices the streak running down Jackson’s mouth and clothes? I think I’ll have to put texture onto another photo and take that one down!

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I bought the lens I’ve been eyeing for quite a while now.  By Friday, I should have my Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens in my hands!  I can’t wait to take lots of low light photos of my friend Emily’s new baby, without the worry of an annoying flash in Margot’s baby blues.

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