breaking in the spring

Yes, that’s right. I’m talking about Spring Break. I’ve had a lot of good Spring Breaks in my life, but this one was especially eventful and well-spent, so I’m going to tell you about it.

Well it really all started with Easter. When I woke up, Jeremy told me there may be something hiding in our apartment. And there was. Oh, there was. Hiding under the desk, I found this:

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An Easter basket! And what an Easter basket, indeed! I grew up getting hidden Easter baskets on Easter Sunday, but THIS one had my FAVORITE kind of Jelly Beans… AND a stuffed duck! Clearly I have an incredible husband. After a great Easter service and celebration of what Easter is really all about (J to the ESUS), Jeremy and I had the pleasure of hosting an Easter Brunch. here’s a little “before” action of the table (notice the china!):

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And here’s our spread, which included fruit, juice, turkey bacon, Dad’s famous coffee cake, a broccoli cheddar quiche with bacon, and an asparagus and mushroom quiche for the vegetarian folks:

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Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures of our actual guests because I’m awkward about taking pictures of actual people. Moving on.

Monday I worked, but Tuesday, Kristin came!!! Kristin is my best friend from since I was two. She’s been meaning to come visit me in California ever since I moved here for school. I was pumped. We spent the afternoon at Venice Beach, where the weather was a bit brisk… and windy.

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We had lunch at Baby Blue’s BBQ in Venice, and then headed home for an exciting evening at the Grove in LA. The Grove is a crazy sweet, kind of upscale outdoor shopping center. While we were there, we happened upon a concert, a bunch of the dancers from Dancing With the Stars, and Lance Bass.

Wednesday we walked to Chango for some coffee and breakfast before heading to the Fashion District downtown. We shopped for a while and I bought a scarf. Later, by Kristin’s request, we went to Chipoltle (there are none in Montana… SAD.) and then Biola. It was great.

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Our next day was maybe our most exciting. We got ourselves up bright and early to hike up to the Hollywood sign. A few yards after we headed up the Hollyridge Trail, we were confronted by this sign:

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We kept walking. I told Kristin I bet mountain lions were probably scared of people and so the liklihood of seeing them was probably really small. She told me that in Montana, mountain lions are used to people, and that when they attack a human they usually kill them really quickly. Fortunately, the only wildlife we saw were some lizards chasing each other. Well the hike was fun, and we kept getting glimpses of the sign on our way up.

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Fortunately, we made it to the top safe and sound, without any encounters with mountain lions.

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The view was neat, and the sign was BIG.

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‘Twas a lovely hike.

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The whole thing was a great success.

After climbing to the Hollywood sign, we went home for some lunch. After Mac and Cheese and some car trouble, we were off to Rodeo Drive to check out rediculously priced material goods and people watch.

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On our way home, we stopped by the Burbank Animal Shleter to pick up some foster kittens. They’re eight-week old girl kittens who are borderline ferrel. We’re in charge of trying to domesticate them (the shelter thinks they’re still young and impressionable enough to domesticate). They love to hiss and spit and hide from us all day long. We’ve named them Sophie and New Mexico.

We ordered in (TG express: our favorite Thai place) for dinner and I took Kristin to the airport the next morning. What a great visit. Kind of makes you want to come here, doesn’t it?

Today Jeremy and I went to the Flower District downtown and made ourselves a nice little spring arrangement:

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And that brings us to about now. Tonight we’re having dinner at the beach with Uncle Doug, who happens to be in town, and tomorrow I’m going to bridal showers and getting myself back into school mode. Hope you enjoyed the synopsis of my break. There’s video footage of most of these happenings and others that were too minor too include here. Feel free to check it out. Peace.

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how to save a quiche

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I’m writing this post in honor of tomorrow being Easter, for which many of you may be making quiches of your own. The following advice can be applied to any kind of quiche. Broccoli/cheddar/bacon, Asparagus/mushroom/swiss, you pick it. I don’t know what you people put in your quiches.

Let’s start with some helpful preventative tips, so you don’t have to master the art of saving a quiche.

preventative tip #1: It is NOT necessary to read the instructions on the pre-shaped, frozen crust you bought. Trust me on this one. Just go with your gut. Throw the insides of the quiche into the pie crust (which comes in a nice little pie tin) and just bake that sucker.

If you decide to ignore my preventative tip #1 (shame on you), you’ll need preventative tip #2: The pie crust instructions will tell you to remove the crust from the pie tin it comes in. Again, go with your gut (you know you feel like you should leave that crust in that tin). Do not discard the tin. It will not blow up in the oven (you may have considered this as a reason Marie Callendar is trying to get you to remove the tin).

Ok, last preventative tip is coming up here. When all your ingredients are INSIDE the pie tin with the exception of the liquid eggy mixture your recipe calls for, mind preventative tip #3: You DO NOT have to use ALL the liquid eggy mixture your recipe told you to make. If your recipe says something like “Make sure it doesn’t overflow,” you should make sure it doesn’t overflow. When your eggy mixture starts to kind of almost overflow, STOP POURING. The truth of the matter is, you might just have to throw a good bit of that stuff out.

If you followed these helpful preventative tips, you and your quiche will probably end up looking something like this:

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If you do not heed this preventative advice, you and your quiche will probably end up looking a little more like this:

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It’s going to be ok. Don’t panic. You’ll probably be thinking, “Should I just eat this quiche for dinner? Can I even serve this at my Easter brunch tomorrow? This is no quiche. It’s a quichish blob with tin foil all stuck to it. Did the quiche blob swallow up the crust?”

Now this rescue-desperate quiche is never going to look quite like quiche #1 (shown above my rescue-desperate quiche), but there are steps you can take to make your sorry quiche servable at tomorrow’s brunch. Here we go:

Step #1: Let the quiche cool. If you need to walk away from the quiche, that’s ok. If you need to nibble a little bit of the quiche to make sure it tastes better than it looks, go ahead. But be sure not to nibble too much or your quiche will look slightly deformed after you save it.

Step #2: When your quiche-blob has cooled a bit, try sliding a (preferably) stainless-steel pancake flipper underneath the crust, without ripping the tin foil (if you didn’t use tin foil, you won’t have to worry about potential ripping).

Step #3: (this is the most difficult step) Grab a friend, husband, or other trusted individual who can help you, and who knows what a quiche is supposed to look like. As a team, slide the pie tin under the quiche-blob, simultaneously lifting and maneuvering the quiche-blob into the tin.

Step #4: Squish any outlying pieces of quiche-blob into the pie tin so that the quiche-blob begins to look a little more like a quiche. Let sit.

After successfully completing these four steps, you and your quiche should look like this:

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After all of this you should give yourself a pat on the back or have your trusted individual give you a pat on the back, because you saved your quiche. It is now safely contained in a pie shape, and you can serve it at your brunch.