Friday, March 28, 2008

Whoa Mamma

My husband secured the honor of favorite birthday gift with a red dutch oven. :::swoon::: I have been wanting one of these buggers for a while now. I've found myself watching Barefoot Contessa frustratedly because I can't properly reproduce some of her most amazing recipes. Not anymore, suckas! I am going to attempt her famous 40 Clove Garlic Chicken this weekend. I'm really close to being off of meat, but I'm going to try this with organic chicken and see how I feel about it. I love cooking. I just need more time (and a husband who actually enjoys eating at home).

Here is the recipe and link if anyone is interested:

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

3 whole heads garlic, about 40 cloves
2 (3 1/2-pound) chickens, cut into eighths
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons good olive oil
3 tablespoons Cognac, divided
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Separate the cloves of garlic and drop them into a pot of boiling water for 60 seconds. Drain the garlic and peel. Set aside.

Dry the chicken with paper towels. Season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat the butter and oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. In batches, saute the chicken in the fat, skin side down first, until nicely browned, about 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Turn with tongs or a spatula; you don't want to pierce the skin with a fork. If the fat is burning, turn the heat down to medium. When a batch is done, transfer it to a plate and continue to saute all the chicken in batches. Remove the last chicken to the plate and add all of the garlic to the pot. Lower the heat and saute for 5 to 10 minutes, turning often, until evenly browned. Add 2 tablespoons of the Cognac and the wine, return to a boil, and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pot with the juices and sprinkle with the thyme leaves. Cover and simmer over the lowest heat for about 30 minutes, until all the chicken is done.

Remove the chicken to a platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of the sauce and the flour and then whisk it back into the sauce in the pot. Raise the heat, add the remaining tablespoon of Cognac and the cream, and boil for 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper, to taste; it should be very flavorful because chicken tends to be bland. Pour the sauce and the garlic over the chicken and serve hot.

I'm nerve.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

29 Words

I'm taking inspiration from Aber for this one*:

Thirty feels really close. I have 365 days to accomplish all I wanted in my twenties. I need to get cracking. Birthdays are depressing for me, especially this one.

*His blog is genius, by the way. It's one of my current favorites.

my day just got a whole lot happier. Biz, an awesome girl, had her class make me this (we share a birthday):

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I Feel a Little Bit Different

I spent a lot of time preparing for and experiencing our Good Friday and Easter programs. There was a ton happening...go go go. My most favorite moment, though, was when a handful of us gathered in a bare room with only a cross and some pillows to spend some time singing and praying. I felt a little bit different after. I'm so blessed to be a part of such an amazing church.

Here's a slideshow of Good Friday and Easter moments:

Check out more at flickr.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Do you live in Erie?

Come to Grace Church today between noon and 9pm to spend some time reflecting on what today means. It is going to be amazing. 

Also, check out what Derek wrote about the event.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Obama and Wright

I was going to post some quotes I found on this subject, but there is a great post at that does an awesome job of taking info from different people (Victor Davis Hanson, Michael Crowley, and Gerald Possner). Please check it out. There are some really thoughtful comments (from different viewpoints) as well.

Let me know what you think. I'm still not sure myself.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Automotivator Picture

automotivator picture, originally uploaded by DanielleSuzanne.

There is an awesome site where you can upload your own images and create text to make your own motivational posters. Love it. Try it out here.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I Have a Lawyer

That is a really weird sentence to say (type). Today at 12:30, Dave and I are meeting with a lawyer to go over some temporary custody options for our niece. We haven't committed to anything, but I think we're close. We want to do a good job making this decision, because it seems so much bigger than us...probably because it IS.

We've received some really great advice from friends and family, which has been amazing. When it comes down to it, though, the decision needs to be ours, BOTH of ours. I can't tell you how many times I've heard, "I trust whatever you want to do." My parents keep telling me that, but...I can't even trust myself most times. I mean, if this happened, I would effectively be taking my niece away from my sister (even if only for a time). It feels so simple and so complicated at the same time. I hate it.

I guess that's why I have a lawyer.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


The movie was amazing. I would recommend it highly. It "went there," and not in the way you probably think. The relationships are some of the most real I have seen portrayed on screen. It's a great way to spend 90 minutes of your life.

However, this post is not about the movie, it's about the music. I just recently listened to the soundtrack at Barnes & Noble and was absolutely captivated. I didn't want to walk away from the germ infested community headphones, and I felt sad each time a preview ended. I love music that makes me feel happy. You know when those certain songs pop up in your play list , making you smile uncontrollably? This whole album would do that for me. It reminds me of the Garden State soundtrack, which is amazing. So, if you hated the Garden State I wasted your time.

I hope you buy it.*

* for me

Monday, March 10, 2008

Photoshop Disasters

I have really been enjoying the Photoshop Disasters Blog:

Check out more here.

Friday, March 7, 2008


I saw this on a blog I love and really wanted to make some people do it, but I probably have to do it myself first, so here goes:

4 Jobs You've Had Party Supply Store Clerk - This was probably the worst first job anyone could have had. The manager who hired me quit after about a week of me being there and this horrible, lazy, fat woman was put in charge. She sat in the back room all day and her horrible fat sister came over with buckets of food every day for lunch. They literally made fun of me (16 years old) almost all day. Needless to say, I soon quit that job. My irrational love of paper was the only thing holding me there.

Wegmans Front End Clerk and Service Desk Rep. - I was a really fast checker, so I soon moved up to the Service Desk. I really liked it until I was accused of stealing. It was really vague and weird. I wasn't actually accused. It was just hinted at. The thing was, I was asked to stay and be a checker again (and handle a drawer of MONEY). I don't know man. Anyone who knows me knows that it is a laughable and ridiculous accusation. I sometimes wonder if they ever found out who the real thief was (if there even was one). After about a month more of checking, I quit.

Cleaner Person - Basically, I went into offices after hours and cleaned. It sucked. Mainly because I was always too scared. I wanted to get out as fast as possible...ugh...I hated it.

Youth Director - Lead the Youth Group at Grace while they looked for a permanent replacement. It was the most difficult and most awesome thing I have ever done. I loved it. I just generally felt that it wasn't my long-time calling, though. In the end, I think I was right because we now have a person in the position who is perfect.
4 TV Shows I’m Watching American Idol - I cannot tell you how glad I am that Danny Noriega is off that show. He was driving me CRAZY! I mean seriously, did you see him picking his nails during the elimination? How immature can you get? And, also, thanks for making it impossible for me to listen to tainted love without seeing your horrific hip thrust.

Barefoot Contessa - I've said it before: I love her.

Project Runway - It's over, but I had to include it's so amazing. I'm going to try and catch up on previous seasons.

Ace of Cakes - Most hilarious show. If my friends had a business together, this is exactly how it would play out.
4 Places I'’ve BeenHaiti - Mission trip with people from Grace. That was probably the most terrifying week of my life. I saw everything from kids playing to human heads on stakes. I'm not even kidding.

England (from Manchester to London) - Dave took me there as a surprise and proposed. Crazy.

Highway 101 (Portland to San Fran) - Absolutely gorgeous. I would do it over in a heart beat. Except, I would make sure we had real plane tickets so we weren't stranded in an airport for three days.

Minneapolis - This is my favorite place to visit. Hands down.
4 Music Artists I’m Listening To Right Now Red Hot Chili Peppers- Dani's my anthem (thanks, RockBand).
Casting Crowns - From the Altar to the Door
Passion Band - God of this City
The Killers- courtesy of RockBand
OK, now 4 people I choose to do this (I will not be mad if you ignore me):

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A Weekend with Candace

carousel, originally uploaded by DanielleSuzanne.

One positive that has come out of my sister making really bad choices is more time with my niece, Candace. She is pretty much the funniest 1.5 year old around. Dave and I spent the weekend with her and it was really great. It was nice to give my parents a break. She had a weekend in the life of Aunt Danielle:


  • Meeting at Becky's house: "NO Doggie!"
  • Home for PowerPoint (nap) "Where's Uncle Dah?"
  • Get Uncle Dave from work
  • Dinner with Uncle Dave, where she thanked the server every time he came to the table. "Tank OO."
  • Uncle Dave dropped us off at home for bath time and night-night.
  • Up at 8am. Not bad.
  • Creative Team at Panera where she laughed at all the stupid ideas, right on cue.
  • Brian and Rachel's house to see kitties: "NO kitty!"
  • Waiting for Uncle Dave.
  • ZOO! It was one cent for every degree, so 30 cents for each of us to get in. Fun. She especially loved the Polar Bears and the Otter. Well, and the carousel.
  • Lunch at Wegmans.
  • Church to work (nap in the nursery).
  • Home for PJs.
  • Aaron and Kelly's house to play with Eli and Owen before bed.
  • Up at 9am. Awesome! "(finger on lips) Shh...Uncle Dah seepin."
  • Church.
  • Grandma's house.
Sorry if you're bored. This was really for my own enjoyment. Also, there are a few more pics on flickr if you aren't bored.