Friday, March 26, 2010

Friends. I like them. Dont you?

I have recently been thinking about friendship. Its just so wonderful to have people to talk to and to discuss things with and make memories with and do all sorts of fun stuff.

My friend Sarah is graduating from SVU this year, and as a theater major was required to put on a senior show. She asked me to be a part of it and It was such fun! She did a mix of several different monologues from different plays as well as songs from a variety of musicals. She also asked two other friends to help with a few scenes. Not only was the program itself incredible and well put together, but I was able to be a part of a show and a lasting memory that the four of us can enjoy for a long time. It was such an uplifting experience! And afterward we had a cheesecake that I made with a homemade raspberry glaze! (you know you are jealous...)

My friend Rachael moved away a year ago. After she graduated from school, she went off to start a real life. I have recently been having some concerns about decisions I have to make in my life that I know she has already made (life, growing up, etc.), and she has been so kind as to come up with a plan for me that should guarantee success. She will even help out while she is in town for a few months. How kind of her! She has even involved a friend who is here at school and between the two of them I feel well cared for. And I cant wait till I can be with the two of them again. ;)

My FAVORITE family (other than my own that is) has moved back into town, and I am beyond ecstatic. Their two middle children, Brady and Bethany, visited two weeks ago and I was able to spend some good quality time with them both. Much needed and appreciated. Although all we did was eat. It was fun, but very taxing on the durability of the buttons on my pants.

There are so many amazing people in the world. I love people! I can never know enough! Hopefully I will always be able to know so many kind, gracious, helpful, sacrificing people. Tell your friends you love them! Tell them how grateful you are for them. And dont forget to tell your best friends; your family members. I love you Mom and Dad! I love you all my wonderful, talented siblings! Thanks for being amazing!

And no need to thank me...I already know Im the most amazing person in your life. :P

Monday, March 22, 2010


I recently spent a lot of time with some very close friends. They like to joke and tell people I am an "appendage" to their family. I blush with honor.

Well, they had some actual family members visiting and I was able to make a treat for them. It turned out rather well and is easy to make if you enjoy this sort of thing.

Cheesecake base:

* 1 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
* 1/2 stick butter
* 1 tablespoon cocoa

Cheesecake filling:

* 6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped small
* 2 1/2 cups cream cheese
* 3/4 cup superfine sugar
* 1 tablespoon custard powder
* 3 large eggs
* 3 large egg yolks
* 2/3 cup sour cream
* 1/2 teaspoon cocoa, dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water


* 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
* 1/2 cup heavy cream
* 1 teaspoon dark corn syrup
* Special equipment: 9-inch springform pan


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the base, process the graham crackers to make rough crumbs and then add the butter and cocoa. Process again until it makes damp, clumping crumbs and then tip them into the pan. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan to make an even base and put into the freezer while you make the filling.

Put a kettle on to boil.

Melt the chocolate either in a microwave or double boiler, and set aside to cool slightly.

Beat the cream cheese to soften it, then add the sugar and custard power, beating again to combine. Beat in the whole eggs and then the yolks, and the sour cream. Finally add the cocoa dissolved in hot water and melted chocolate and mix to a smooth batter.

Take the springform tin out of the freezer and line the outside of the tin with a good layer of cling wrap, and then another layer of strong foil over that. This will protect it from the water bath.

Sit the springform tin in a roasting pan and pour in the cheesecake filling. Fill the roasting pan with just boiled water to come about half way up the cake tin and bake in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The top of the cheesecake should be set, but the underneath should still have a wobble to it.

Peel away the foil and cling film wrapping and sit the cheesecake in its tin on a rack to cool. Put in the refrigerator once it is no longer hot, and leave to set, covered with plastic overnight. Let it lose its chill before unspringing the cheesecake to serve.

To make the chocolate sauce: very gently melt the chopped chocolate, cream and syrup. When the chocolate has nearly melted, take off the heat and whisk it to a smooth sauce. Let it cool a little, and pour it over the chocolate cheesecake on its serving plate.


So, I started a blog. Mostly as an accident, yes. But I still did it. And I call it Beef Stew. Mostly as a joke, yes, but I think some good can come of it. Here is why:
I had a BAD experience with a person who loved Beef Stew. I didn't know his name, so he became known as beef stew. I proceeded to tell some of my friends the "interesting" things he did, and they said I should blog about it. I am a partially horrible person, so I thought that publishing these stories to the internet would be fun. The not horrible part of me thought it would be wrong. The idea of blogging, however, stayed with me. I had to let it stew, if you will.

So, I started one. But I hope it will be for more than just silly stories about my life. I want to be able to keep people I love informed about my life. They may be far, or near, but they will know how I am. And I think It will be good for me to do something constructive. So. My Goals:

-To Share. I want to share my life with people. My happy moments. My sad moments. Doesn't matter. I just believe that interacting with other people and sharing is what makes us who we are. So, I hope to help us all be a little bit more human.

-To Uplift. There are too many sad people out there. No bueno. I like laughing, but even more, I like the sound of other people laughing. So come here and relax! Have a good laugh!

-To Motivate. I believe that I am a little bit of a terrible person. As a Christian, I feel guilty for that. So, I want to have a blog where I can report the good things I do. That way I will want to do good things that I can report on. And I hope others might read this and be motivated to do better themselves.

Well, thats about it for today. You may read. You may not. I might be doing this just for myself, but at least someone is getting something good out of it. :)