Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Taking His Name...Is FREAKING ME OUT!

Okay, so... When FH first proposed I asked if I could take his name and he said no. I was a little hurt, I let it go, however, a first for me really. Later I asked him why the idea of me taking his name bothered him. He said he was raised not to expect anyone would take his name... I think it freaked him out too because it made it more 'real'. Eventually I got him to agree to it - I said I wanted to, that I wanted us to be one family and that meant one name.

Now I'm the one freaking out. Big time.

I went to get our marriage license yesterday, and it comes with a info sheet about your options for name change. Apparently if I legally change my name in Ontario, because I was born here, they will re-issue my birth certificate with my new name! My old name would be in brackets beside it, but still!! OMG!

My heart is still in my throat, where it's been since reading that.

I feel like that is a step too far! I want to be Mrs. Awesome, but I don't want to erase Ms.WickedCool to do it! Ya know??


Now I don't know what to do.

I... I may not always like who I am, I know I haven't always liked me, but, I'm still me, I still have a vested interest in me. I'm cool with being Mrs.Awesome from this point forward, but I never thought the gov't would go back and change who I was. That's what it feels like for me. I don't know why I'm personalizing it so but I am.

I'm proud of my last name. It's where I came from. My grandparents took me in when my father basically abandoned me. They didn't have to, but they did. My name is tied to them. And I feel like having their name is tied to my loyalty, my gratitude for them being my parents. I don't want to change my freaking birth certificate!

Logically, a name change doesn't change who I am - a rose by any other name, would smell just as sweet. But it freaks me right the hell out! There is connotation in names, and I don't want for one second for my parents to think I don't love them, that I don't love being their daughter, that I'm not proud of them, and all they've accomplished, and grateful for all they've done and continue to do for me.

So what do I do? Bah. I'm the one that convinced my FH that I wanted to take his name. And I still do. I just... Fuck, why does the gov't have to fuck with my BIRTH CERTIFICATE?!

I wonder if I can apply for a name change with another branch of gov't so they will leave my birth certificate the fuck alone. I suppose I could just keep my old one and cut the new one up into little pieces?? I won't give it to them, that much I will refuse.


Okay! So finding more information, yay useful gov't sites! I'm going to "assume" FH's name. That info sheet did not represent it well!

I can get my health card, driver's license(if I had one!), Passport(!), bank account's, credit cards, all in my "assumed" name by showing them my marriage certificate(when I get it of course). Wee! This is just want I wanted, and I still get to be me, Ms. Hazelton, legally, while also being Mrs. Wood for all intents and purposes! Best solution ever!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Octopedes! *

I have to admit a terrible secret. I have an unaccountable love for octopedes!! I just think they are the neatest things! I love jewelry of octopedes, I love pictures of octopedes, I love stuffed animals, key chains, fabric, art, what have you, if it has an octopus I'm going to squeal and want one desperately.

So I was surfing one of my favourite sites since beginning all this wedding planning stuff: The Graphics Fairy, and found the most amazing image of an octopus!

OMG! I'm in love! Seriously.

My first thought was, I need to include him in my wedding somehow. Since I'm currently working/focused on the guest book, I thought, Wishing Ocotpus! I can attach get my guest to attach their well wishes cards to him! Yes!

Alas, on further consideration, I don't think it's really viable. I would have to pay more than I'm willing to get him printed at a larger size. And then I'd have to colour him in/fuss with him to get him to look really good. And.... what would I do with him after the wedding? I'd have to throw him out. I'd have added tape to get the cards to stick, and he'd get a fuzzy if I tried to keep him. No, it's just too much work for such a little thing. Sadness.

I really really love this image. He's just so....perfect. I still really want to include him, I just... *sigh* It doesn't make sense to. The rest of my wedding is very classic and elegant. He doesn't fit. But man, do I love him! =/

* Terminology: The Oxford English Dictionary (2008 Draft Revision)[34] lists octopuses, octopi and octopodes (in that order); it labels octopodes "rare", and notes that octopi derives from the "apprehension" that octōpūs is a second declension Latin noun, though it is not.

I personally first thought octopi, I admit, but I wasn't sure, so I looked it up. I think "octopuses" just sounds wrong, so I'm following Chris' brother and using the 'rare' octopedes!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

OMG, Nightmares!!

I can't sleep. I'm not letting myself, though I'm totally exhausted and sick to my stomach for lack of rest. I'm terrified to go back to sleep. And I really really don't want to wake Chris up yet again.

You see, I woke up about 6 or 7 times, gasping for breath, trying not to scream, from intensely terrifying nightmares in a very short span. Every time I would wake up Chris, likely with a start, poor man. He'd ask if it was a bad dream, I'd say oh yeah, and then promptly fall back to sleep. I couldn't keep my eyes open, no matter how much I wanted to! :( The last time I was gasping, I didn't even had a nightmare, I was just starting to fall asleep, realised, and woke myself terrified. Chris got cranky, saying I needed to stop so he could get some sleep.

So here I am sitting up on the couch, trying not to fall to sleep, and wondering where the hell those nightmares came from. *sigh* It's been a long ass time since I've had a string of re-occuring/repeating/re-entering nightmares. It sucks major hairy goat balls. The only thing I can think of is that I took a lot, and I mean a lot of ibuprophen today trying to stem the very intense pain of the UTI I have. I wasn't thinking of it at the time, but I think I took like, 4 times the recommended daily dose. No wonder my tummy hates me.

The worst part is, of course, that I still fucking hurt. But I don't have much more than ibuprophen available to me for the pain. It's something I plan on talking to my doctor about this week when I get my physical. It's imperative to any future good health I might have that I have some better fucking pain meds available to me, damnit. But my doctor is really terrible about pain meds. He's never willing to give me anything more than tylenol 2s which, if I take them again, won't fucking help for very long as I'll rebuild my tolerance for them. I need at least 2 to make any difference as it is. I need something stronger. But that's not likely. *sigh*

My doctor has known me for 31 years, hell, he presided over my birth! He knows me. He knows I'm not faking it. I'm not some kind of addict looking for a fix. And yet he won't fucking give me anything for the pain. It's making me crazy frustrated. The pain makes me fucking useless. I'm bedridden with it more than I'd like to admit. Between the migraines, tension headaches, and the fibro, my life is filled with pain, and it's a real struggle just to survive it, nevermind DO anything. I'm fucking useless! I can't work. I can't take care of myself. I can't even help around the apartment half the time because I'm in too much fucking pain. What the hell good am I?! What the hell good is a life like this?! It is no life. Damint. And I hate it. I hate the pain, and how overwhelming and tiring it is. I hate being useless. I hate being so fucking helpless! BAH.

And I'm so fucking exhausted right now. I'm practically falling alseep as I type, but I'm just so damn terrified to even try to sleep. My dreams were worse than bad. They were terriying, and painful. They shook me to my very soul and filled me with fear. I don't understand what any of them were about. I was being hunted, that's the most prevalent theme. Hunted, caught, and attacked. My hunters kept trying to kill me it seemed. I was hit on the head, bludgeoned,
drowned, all sorts. I had no chance to defend myself, almost all the attacks were sudden, I totally didn't and couldn't see them coming. The ones that lasted longer, I had no way to defend myself, my enemy then was incorporeal/metaphysical.

Maybe I'll try sleeping sitting up on the couch. I don't want to go back to bed as I really, really don't want to disturb Chris' sleep yet again. I've done that enough for one night. He hasn't had a good night sleep in days, as he's been on call, and I feel like a total ass for fucking up his first chance at good sleep. :(

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Wedding To-Do List

  1. Finish knitting shawl!!
  2. Make bracelet?
  3. Make cuff links for Chris
  4. Get Shasta to make/buy(?) head band

  5. Find cake pans!
  6. Make test cake(will there be enough time now??)
  7. Get Shasta to make cake topper?
  8. Make wedding cake
  9. Do test bouquet & buttonholes
  10. Make wedding bouquet & buttonhole(s)

  11. Chris to write his 'thank you' for wedding program
  12. Finish designing/writing wedding programs
  13. Make wedding programs
  14. Buy 6x4" cards for guest book
  15. Make sign/instructions for guest book
  16. Make container for guest book cards
  17. Buy pens??

  18. Taste test menu options
  19. Pick menu for luncheon
  20. Pick wines - get help?

  21. Pick music for reception & make CDs
  22. Pick music for pre-ceremony time & make CD
  23. Get Chris to edit processional song
  24. Make ceremony music CD

  25. Pick & buy wedding bands
  26. Get marriage license!

  27. Apply/pay for picture permit at Humber Arboretum
  28. Pick Bridal picture day
  29. Apply/pay for for picture permit at Gage Park

  30. Book hotel room with fridge for night before wedding ->ask about late check-out!
  31. Email hotel contact list of questions--room for cake?!

  32. Chris to pick reading!!
  33. Send ceremony to officiant for approval!!

  34. Chris to get suit pants hemmed & jacket hemmed, if needed

And the list just keeps getting longer... o.0

Under 2 Months to go, and I'm starting to freak out!

I have less than two months to go, and I'm starting to freak out. Every time I think about the wedding my stomach starts to knot up and I begin to worry in earnest.

I'm not getting cold feet. I'm perfectly happy to be marring my FH, I know we'll be fine as a couple. We've been living together now for almost two years in a tiny apartment and we haven't killed each other yet. We'll be better than fine. :)

But the wedding! I just don't know if I will be able to get everything done in time! I feel like my To-do list just keeps getting longer and longer, and I'm not making any headway. It's freaking me out!

Everyone says, 'oh what you don't get done no one will miss but you', but the trouble is, most of the items on my list are things that would be missed. Like a marriage license, wedding rings, menu selection, music selection/making CDs, a bouquet, the cake, picture permits, finishing the ceremony and getting it to the officiant to approve.... All really necessary things!


I just wish I was making some bleeding headway!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Went to a pool party at a friend's in Mississauga. Despite the fact that it wasn't super warm, and looked like rain for a good part of the day, the party was very party-ish, with much pool action. Everyone that had one loved my burgers! yay! I even got a gleeful smile over my messy lemon squares! yay! Oh, and Alison brought cherries, and a box of ganache. OMFG, so so so good! I would never have thought cherries and chocolate, as I hate those cherry liqueur chocolates you get at Christmas, but this, this was nothing like that. So so good! mmm!

We got there about the middle of the afternoon, which was probably a good thing for me, otherwise we likely would have had to cab it back to Kipling station - I wouldn't have made it a whole day energy-wise. As it was, I took out towels and had a nap on the lawn around 10pm-ish I think, while 80% of the party attendants were in the pool, screaming, slashing, and generally having a ball. I was so tired the ground felt comfortable! The ground! Me! I woke up I think an hour later to an empty pool, and everyone either changed or drying off, and even a few gone. So weird!

Chris said something to me, during the course of the evening that I just can't get out of my head.... I'm almost thinking he's right. I really shouldn't be around people. Clearly I'm just too much of a prude, am too closed-mouthed, and have more issues than a 747 has baggage(these aren't his words, they're mine). I should be a hermit. *sigh* Why is he marring me??? Sometimes I worry he's making the worst mistake of his life....

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Humber Arboretum

On Saturday Chris' parents came with us to check out the Humber Arboretum on Humber College Campus. Chris suggested it/knew about it because that's where he went to school. At the back of campus is this...gem!

We walk in past the lovely front entrance full of flowers - I didn't get any good pictures of this area! Doh. Anyway, a mere, what 50 feet in, we see this beautiful vista.
Beautiful vista
I don't know as it's good for photos, but it's just so darn pretty.

A few yards past that we see this fairy-tale-like corner!
Great place for couples shots
Perfect spot for couples photos.

There's a pond in the middle of the groomed area, that looks ungroomed really, and perfectly natural. I snapped the shot as Chris was looking at the pond; it's the best way to get photos of him. :D
Pond!  Great place for family shots, with my Chris
Backdrop for family photos maybe?

In wandering around to one side of the Arboretum we found this rock garden/waterfall section. The sound of babbling water drew me to it; we might not have found it otherwise; it was so well hidden by trees!
Bbeautiful couple/family location
Either family or couple pictures. Or both!

Seriously, how pretty is that!? I totally want pictures there. I mean, how lovely is this?
Chris with the waterfall

Then, just a mere 5 seconds from all that manicured beauty is a wooded path!!
Wooded path
Squeeee!!!!!! I want couple pictures here. WANT.

We took a like 10-15 minute walk down the wooded path and into the trees, it was really pretty! We even came across a deer and her fawns. So cute!

Oh. My. God. Humber Arboretum could not be more perfect for what I want!! Manicured gardens, natural-looking greenery and a wooded path just seconds from it! Yes!! So so excited for this! Squeeee!!!!!

Worries Gone! Mostly, anyway!

Okay, so I think all that worrying was for nothing. But sometimes everything just seems to come at you at once, and overwhelms you with stress, and GAH.

So, Pa is home - yay! I have a ride to my dress appointment, though I'm still not sure how I'll get my dress to Toronto. I think what might be best is to schedule the bridal shots closer to the wedding, get my parents to drive me to the dressmakers to pick it up some time before that. It can live in a closet or on the hook on the back of the spare room door until then. Taking it home on the train still sounds like my best bet. If it's all wrinkled from the bridal session/transit then I'll have to get it steamed...by someone. o.0 Hopefully someone I know in this city uses a dry cleaner they like/has suggestions for me on that count.

Chris totally stepped up to the plate and is currently my hero. He got the photographer answering him promptly - amazing all on it's own! And is taking time off on the 27th, and getting someone to cover for him during business hours (which will give us more than enough time)! Squee!! So so so pleased. He's also made sure his on call week is not the week of the wedding, heck, it's not even the week before the wedding!! which is just amazingly wonderful as he is always so tried the week after, this way he will be all fresh, and bouncy for the wedding! Well, as bouncy as he gets anyway. Which, I think some of our friends would be surprised to hear, in the mornings, when he's happy, he's adorably bouncy. mmhmm.

As for the needing help bit. You know, I think if I really need it, and I need like girl help, not something Chris can do for me, I'm pretty darn sure I can ask my Toronto friends and bribe them with chocolate cake or brownies; or really, they'll just do it 'cause they love me. Cause I'm starting to realise, they do love me, at least a little. Yay!

Oh! And as for my old friends who don't actually make an effort but expect me to make all the effort - screw that! Relationships are two way streets. If they aren't willing to meet me half way, well... oh well. Maybe our road just won't get traffic. I have to take the 'it's your fault' crap with a huge grain of salt. Cause, damnit, it isn't just my fault. So there!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Worry Update

My Pa is out of the hospital! Yay!! Mom just called to tell me he's home and feeling pretty good. Such a relief! I've been worried. More worried than I wanted to let on I think, even to myself! ha. Grumpy me broke out in a smile when I heard the good news!

And, he's definitely going to be able to drive me to my dress appointment on Monday since he has to take himself to the doctor's then too. Yay! And we know they wouldn't be asking him to drive if they, they being the doctors, didn't think he'd be perfectly fine to do it. Woohoo!

Two pieces of very good news that have taken my worry down a couple notches.

Stressed out, grumpy woman

My grandpa's in the hospital with pneumonia. He's in a ward now, which makes me wonder if my Mom just didn't want to tell me he was in the ICU and left that out. o.0 He's teasing the nurses, and eating lots, as of yesterday, so I know he's getting better. I'm not too too worried, or I would be at home in Hamilton. Still...worried. Omg.

Also on a selfish note, I have a dress appointment next Monday, and with Pa not well, even if he's home by then, he'll be in no position to drive me, so I have no way out there. I'm going to call my Mom later today, as she's at the hospital visiting Pa right now, as far as I know anyway, to ask if she has any bright ideas on the subject. I'm kinda thinking my uncle Bob might take us, if they aren't on vacation themselves then... as I know they go away for a week in August... *sigh* Or maybe my Dad as he's been taking Mom (Mom being his mom too) places. Very unusual that. I don't know as I've ever known him to be helpful in his whole life. No, seriously, he was never helpful to my parents, his parents, when I was younger. They raised me all on their own, never penny or any other kind of help did they see from him. Do I sound bitter? I am. For their sake. My loyalty is all for them, and I feel like he's taken advantage of their goodness and independence.

Anyway! I have no way out there. It's in Waterdown you see. Like a 25-30 minute drive from my parents. I suppose we could take a cab, I'm just worried about how much that would cost. =/ Maybe I should postpone the dress fitting until I can actually get a ride....though I don't even know when that will be. =/

And how do I get the damn dress home to Toronto? No really. I just thought of that. How do I get it here in good shape, in I can wear this down the isle shape?? Do I take it on the train?? Cause there ain't no where to hang a dress on the bus...there isn't on the train either, but there is at least more room. I could maybe sit it on the seat beside me, kinda hanging over it? I don't drive. My Pa won't drive in Toronto...most of my family would rather not or simply won't, in fact. I don't know of anyone I could ask. And I hate asking to begin with. So what do I do? Do I just get it steamed once I get home??? And who the hell do I trust with my dress??? Gee, can you tell I'm stressing? ha.

I'm also grumpy because I'm frustrated and disappointed that we can't do our engagement photos on the day we'd agreed. Chris came home a few days ago to tell me the day he previously agreed to, and specifically requested, was now during is 'on call' week, and he couldn't do it. We could have picked a day the week before, but nooo, he wanted the 27th. I honestly wonder if it did that knowing full well it would end up his 'on call' week, so he could get out of doing them. He hates having his picture taken. Almost all the pictures I have of him, where he knows I'm taking the picture, are of him scowling at me. Bah. I'm just so damn frustrated.

And now that it's wedding season, and it's in full swing our photographer basically has no time for us. Expect possibly like one day two weeks before our wedding. Bah! Oh well. It's not like I wanted the engagement photos for like... something at the wedding... I just thought.. it'd be nice to have casual pictures of us, and that our parents would appreciate them more than us in our wedding clothes. I know I'd like to have casual pictures of us, even if I am the size of a house...

I want to be all 'whatever, it doesn't matter', but it does matter, damnit. And I was really looking forward to doing them. Now I'm all disappointed and grumpy and really worried they just aren't going to happen. And angry. I'm angry damnit. And I don't want to be angry at Chris, it's not really his fault. But, at the same time it is. He picked the day damnit. She had time the week before, but nooo, he wanted the 27th. He didn't have his on-call schedule for then at the time, so he didn't know for sure if it would be his week, but at the same time, the schedule is like freaking clockwork, and he could have just extrapolated from what he knew and guessed. But he didn't bother to do that. I'm sure it will be fine he said. Well it wasn't fine. It wasn't anywhere close to fine. And he didn't even bother to see if someone would be willing to cover for him so he could take half the day. Nooo. Because he only every takes time for people, he never expects them to return the favour. *Growl*

And if I have it right, there is exactly 4 weeks of no on call time, and then it's his week again, which puts his next week as exactly the week of the wedding. Who wants to bet instead of taking the time off, he gets someone to cover him exactly the time of the wedding and nothing else?? I'd say it's a fair bet. So I'll get to do all the last minute running around, and shit all by myself. I'll then get to spend the week after the wedding, when I hopped we could have some time together, alone. He said he'd take time off, but he hasn't mentioned asking for it off yet... I don't think he has. And when he finds out it's his on call week, he won't take it off. He never does. He always plans everything around that week, like it's fucking sacred.

Maybe I'm being completely unfair because I'm stressed about everything else, and nothing seems to be going my way, so why should this? But at the same time...... He works so damn hard.... He really does treat his 'on call' week like it's a sacred duty and they'd fire him if he ever asked to change it/have someone cover for him for a day even. I don't think he values himself at all. Like he can't ask or something... Which is ridiculous. He's covered for lots of his co-workers, they should bloody well be willing to return the damn favour.

I've been telling him for a year now that he is not working our fucking wedding; that I want him available to help me on the Friday and Saturday, because I don't know what I'm going to need, and me with fibro, I'm not sure I'm going to be able to do it all alone. *Sigh* But I know him. If he's on call that week, he won't help me, he won't take time off, other than the wedding day itself. And I'll be left to do it all myself, or just not have it done.

Here's where I wish I had friends I could count on. But Sabrina works full time and has three kids. She's also totally unwilling to even think of coming to Toronto, so she's no help. And Angie.... well, we weren't ever that close really, and besides, I know she always works weekends. They both blame me for not making an effort to stay in touch - I got the lecture from Sabrina over the weekend. Meanwhile it's been years since Angie actually invited me to her home or called or tried to get together with me. Sabrina always says I should come down to Hamilton and spend time with her, but she's totally unwilling to come to Toronto to see me. She does that vague thing 'we should get together', but that's it. She's works full time; she has three kids; she's busy. I'm not going to assume she can drop everything, but she never tells me when's a good time. And why is the gods damn onus all on me?! Why don't they share any of the responsibility?! It's totally unfair. And it makes me so angry. Why is it all my fault??? It's not damnit.

Anyway, back to my wedding prep help issue... I don't... I have friends in Toronto, but none so close that I invited them to my wedding, and I'd feel like a real ass asking for their help. Hell, even if they were coming, I'd still feel like an ass. I don't feel like I have any business asking them.... We aren't that close. And I'm terrible about asking for help. I hate it. Besides, I know the days before the wedding I'm going to be all stressed out, and not good company, and then asking for them to help me lug things.... No, I couldn't do it.

*sigh* Perhaps I won't need the help. I mean, it's not like I'll have a lot to do. I'm hoping to have everything but the cake and flowers done well before the week of the wedding. The cakes can be baked and frozen over the week before, and I can frost it in pieces on the Friday I think. Then I'll have Saturday to get flowers and make my bouquet and the buttonholes. Since those are the only flowers it shouldn't be too much for just me. I've already asked my semi-pro cake making friend if she'd make our cake toppers. I'm pretty sure I can do the rest myself... or you know, in a pinch I'll leave it plain and it will be fine.... assuming I can find cake pans. fuck my luck. I still don't know where to even find square pans.

Stressing! Everything is stressing me out. It will be fine. I'm sure it will be fine. Even if Chris decided to work the whole week, it will be fine. I didn't want a honeymoon anyway. I kept saying I didn't so if I don't get one, well, that's just what I asked for. And it's my own damn fault if I regret it. As for the engagement pictures....I'm as fat as a house. I hate how I look. I can't look at myself without disgust. This is not a time in my life I particularly want immortalized anyway. So if it doesn't happen, oh well. I honestly don't think I'll miss them.

It doesn't help that I feel tired and sore and bone weary all the time. It's so fucking draining. I don't want to do anything most of the time...except sleep. It's really hard to get the motivation to do anything when you're so damn tired, and riddled with pain. And nauseous. Lets not forget the nausea. I don't know how other people do it. I know others with chronic pain/illness and they are all better woman than I. They all seem to have drive and determination, and they just keep going. I honestly don't know how they do it. I can't. I just can't. I don't have it in me anymore.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Good News, Bad News

I had a pretty good weekend. Chris and I went with his parents to Humber Arboretum to take a look around. We are hoping to do wedding pictures there, but I'd never seen it, so we wanted to check it out. It's beautiful. There are so many wonderful spots for pictures. So many lovely plants. I'm terribly excited. I really hope it doesn't rain! I want pictures there. Chris suggested I come back much closer to the wedding to scout it out again - to see how it's changed. I'm totally up for that. I really like the place. Heck, it has a sort of forest in the back with paths, I would love to just go walking in there. So pretty and green!

I really want/wanted fall colours for my wedding, but I don't think that's going to happen in Southern Ontario in the beginning of October. Perhaps if the wedding was in the beginning of November...but we wanted 10.10.10, so oh well. I'm happy with my date. If everything is still green, the pictures will look lovely for it as well. :)

So that was the good news.... Now to the bad news. I called my mom today to see how she and Pa are doing, and to ask about fasting for a cholesterol test, as I know she's done it. She reluctantly told me that Pa is in the hospital with pneumonia! She called an ambulance for him Friday, and he's been in there since. o.0 She's seen him every day, and yesterday he was feeling a lot better, was eating like he's starved, and wants to come home - all good signs. I'm not too terribly worried. If he's eating like she said, he can't be that sick. My Pa can eat, the only time he can't eat is when he's really sick. So yeah, he's on the road to recovery, yay! B

What I can't wrap my brain around is that mom didn't want to tell me because she didn't want me to worry!! o.0 Of course I'm going to worry! And I told her so! They're my parents! I love them! Of course I worry about them. She laughed when I told her. I think it was my tone. But like, she specifically didn't tell me cause she didn't want to worry me. I swear, that woman is going to give me a facial tick!

I still haven't gotten the pictures off my camera from the Arboretum. We had a really busy weekend, at least it felt busy. I need to charge my battery first I think, since it was flashing empty when we were there. But I'll post some of the pictures cause the place is just lovely!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Yummy Things I Make - Brie En Croute

Brie en croute sounds fancy, looks fancy, and is dead simple. It's the perfect thing for parties and get-togethers with cheese lovers. Or maybe it's just a girl thing... Cause the women seem to love it. I've gotten more marriage proposals with this than I think anything else I make. ;)

Sadly, I don't have a picture so you will have to use your imagination. I keep forgetting my camera! But they tend to get devoured quickly!

  • Double cream brie (600g is a good size for a smaller gathering or a gathering where there will be lots of other snacks)
  • puff pastry, defrosted (for 600g brie you will only need to defrost half the package)
  • sweet preserve (apricot jam or honey work well)
  • tangy preserve (raspberry jelly is all I've used, I could see orange marmalade working)
  • dried fruit (cranberries, currents infused with whiskey, chopped apricots maybe)
  • chopped nuts (I've only used pecans, but other softer nuts would work)
  • melted butter, approx 1/4 cup

  1. Roll out puff pastry with floured rolling pin on a floured surface(a clean counter is perfect) to about 12 inches square.
  2. Smear thin layer of sweet preserve on the approximate area the brie will cover when placed in the centre of the pastry, leaving a 1 inch boarder around the edge. Repeat with tangy preserve.
  3. Sprinkle dried fruit and chopped nuts over preserves.
  4. Place brie gently on top of the aforementioned fixings.
  5. Wrap pastry around brie. Slightly moisten the edges of the pastry(wet fingers work perfectly) where they touch to glue them down. Cut off the excess pastry as you wrap the brie (there will be far more than needed to cover it if you have a 600g or less brie).
  6. Turn brie over - the smooth side becomes the top. Place the brie on a oven-safe serving dish.
  7. Use the excess pastry to make a bow or leaves or other embellishment on top (don't worry if it looks a little limp, once cooked almost all flaws will be smoothed out). Use a little water on your fingertips to glue down the embellishments.
  8. Brush the pastry liberally with melted butter. At this point you can wrap it in plastic wrap and take it to your party.
  9. Bake in a pre-heated oven on the middle rack at 375˚F-400˚F for approx 20 minutes or until pastry is lightly browned and brie has exploded(it's totally okay if your pastry explodes, it just looks more appetizing to your guests! honest!)
  10. Allow to cool slightly. Keep your guests from trying to eat it for at least 5 minutes or cheese lava mouth burns could ensue.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Yummy Food I Make - Classic Brownies!


  • 3/4 cup butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tblsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped medium

  • 1/4 cup + 1 tblsp butter
  • 7 tblsp Hot water, to start
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • dash of salt
  • 1 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 9 tblsp cup cocoa

  1. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment, ensuring the paper goes up the sides to avoid sticking. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350˚F.
  2. Melt chocolate and butter in heatproof bowl set over saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Allow to cool slightly.
  3. In a large bowl, beat eggs and salt until light and foamy. Gradually add sugar and vanilla. Beat until mixture is creamy.
  4. Fold cooled chocolate mixture into egg mixture until just combined. Fold in flour. Fold in nuts.
  5. Pour batter into prepped 9x13 inch pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours, then remove brownies from pan by lifting parchment overhang.
  6. Frost brownies as a slab then cut them into squares and serve. (Store leftovers in airtight container at room temperature, for up to 3 days, or, ahem, in the freezer until your resistance gets the better of you.)

  1. In a small heat safe bowl, melt butter over heat/pot of simmering water if you prefer.
  2. Pour hot water over butter, and stir to melt further.
  3. Add vanilla extract, and a dash of salt(optional). Stir.
  4. Add icing sugar and cocoa. Stir well. (You really gotta use your arm here!) Continue to add icing sugar and cocoa until flavour is how you want it. Add more hot water if needed - must be moist or it won't stick to the brownies!!

I made these for a BBQ I went to today. I took all but 5 brownies from the 9x13 pan (because they wouldn't fit in the container), and everyone loved them! I took home an empty container! That's pretty amazing. I'm truly thrilled/proud since I sort of smushed together two brownie recipes to get this, and somehow ended up with truly amazing brownies! Moist, chocolatey, dense, delicious! Not too sweet, yet lots of chocolate flavour; moist but not gummy. Yay! Just what brownies should be, in my opinion. I'm so very pleased! And really simple to make! :D