Thursday, April 28, 2011

Perfect Proposal!

Perfect Proposal
Friday. April. 1. 2011

Brandon and I have had a pretty structured routine over the past four years. Most evenings are grabbing a quick bite if I didn't make something and doing homework. I love it. As far as dinner is concerned we eat Subway 99% of the time. We know eachother's order forward & backward (it's the same thing with an exception, mustard for me, ranch for him).

Let's start out by mentioning that Friday was a bright, WARM, beautiful day and my mood matched. I left my office and headed north, calling Brandon to check in.
He answered deflated. Work was the worst. He was further behind in homework than he thought. It was not going to be a fun night.
I jumped on board with the nights plans and asked if he wanted me to pick up some sandwiches on the way.
No. He replied. I'll grab some on my way home.

When I got to his house he greeted me with a hug but appeared stressed out and fatigued from his day. "Lets just eat so we can get right to work".
He placed the sandwiches on the table; "Yours has the M on it for mustard/mayo". I kept talking as I unwrapped my sandwich. I opened the paper and sitting, pinned on top of my sandwich was this:

Perfect. Stunning. Just what I wanted. (the picture doesn't do it any justice!)
My heart stopped just like it does when you reach the highest part on a roller coaster ride.
I just stared. I was so surprised!
He took the ring, dropped to one knee, said some very sweet things, and asked me to marry him.
(By this point I've got mascara black tears trickling down my cheeks)
I replied yes, I guess pretty quietly cause he asked me to say it a little louder. Yes!

We hugged & kissed. Then he started saying, "The thing about April Fool's Day is..." I slapped his shoulder. I knew this wasn't a joke! He wouldn't do that, but I didn't want any part of it to be a joke or change. He continued..." The thing is, we won't be eating these sandwiches for dinner. I want to take you some place special. Now I need you to put this on..."

He proceeded to bring out one of my little black dresses and heels. He gave me time to get dolled up and then we headed out.

We ended up here:
The Metropolitan. Downtown, SLC. Absolutely Unreal & Perfect, Everything about it!

Our table was so cozy, overlooking the fireplace.
(The only thing about this evening is I didn't have a camera, but I can remember every little detail in my mind!)

Everyone at the restaurant knew about the special occasion and greeted us warmly.
The sommelier poured us a drink. Then when we walked by and we hadn't taken a sip yet he informed us. "It's sparkling cider...Not that sparkling." We toasted.

Here's our delicious meal!
The Chef sent out chilled cucumber and mint soup

Appetizer: This came on a 4-way plate,(the pic below isn't ours but it gives an idea.)

~Metropolitan Mushrooms w/ truffle potatoes, red wine sauce, potato cylinder (The pic of this was what ours looked like) ~Artisan Cheesescardamom meringue, lemon curd, rhubarb water
~Bacon Marmalade & House Pork rinds (I know sounds interesting but was soo good!)
~Tempura Shrimp: These had amazing, bold flavor & just melted in your mouth,
Then both Brandon and I selected the 5 course tasting menu. Heaven!

1 Curried carrot & parsnip soup

2 Butter lettuce ceaser salad with anchovie

3 Intermezzo: Passionfruit sorbet with coconut crust & chocolate base

4 Entrée: braised bison short ribs with truffled macaroni n' cheese and brussel sprouts

5 Bread pudding with mango ice cream, pistachio spread and cherries

They brought out a plate with congrats written in chocolate with the dessert.

Although unable to breathe the Pastry chef sent out one more little bite:

An Orange chocolate pastry we intertwined arms and took the last bite

Brandon was so thoughtful when he selected this restaurant. I am such a foodie! I love artful, modern food. It was the perfect choice and so thoughtful! I was beyond thrilled! It was the perfect night & we were absolutely STUFFED by the end of it!

Brandon gave me these beautiful roses, my favorite! Such deep red color & smelled unbelievable!

Huge, Special thanks to Brandon's Brother-in-law, Brady & Sister Stacy for helping make our special night so special! They were so great to help get the reservation, sending us a delicious appetizer and treating us to such a great meal!

The truth about Brandon's day was it was great at work, he had worked hard to get homework done in advance, he actually came home a day early from school to pick up the ring, visit with my Dad, see my mom & pick up my dress!
I felt so special and taken care of. He made the night about us and what he knew I liked.

The only word to describe it is PERFECT!

I love Brandon, he's such an amazing man!
I'm so excited to continue our life together & be by his side!
He created the PERFECT Proposal!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Cute As A Button!

My Mom, Jill, is so creative! I wish I came close to some of her ideas but I'm very grateful that I've got to watch her and hope some of her creativity rubs off on me a little bit. She has had this huge collection of buttons that she's gathered her whole life, many of them having special memories. She found a small picture in a magazine with a button flower and put her buttons to good use. If you have some buttons and wire laying around give them a try. Super cute and quirky!

Game Day Grub

Superbowl Sunday really isn't about the game or even the commericals, it's just a great reason to get the family together. We had a great time cheering for both teams-the room was defininitly divided. I helped plan the menu & it was simple enough that it hardly took anything to get ready and we could just enjoy company and relax.

Menu: Steelers Sliders-BBQ Chicken & Carmelized Onion Sandwiches
Packers Mac N'Cheese- a hit with my nieces and nephews. Had to do somthing w/ cheese!

I drew plays on the table and my mom had these X's and O's for decor. They're really for hugs and kisses but worked for our decorations too.

Some of the spread including Carrilyne's Famous Cookies!

Some Cheesy, Creamy Mac N' Cheese! My nieces thought is was so fun to see people in the crowd with cheese head hats!

Good Game, even better company! Happy Superbowl Sunday!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I am the Luckiest...

I had such a lovely Christmas with my family and the Finch family and recieved so many beautiful things. I had so much fun with my brothers and sisters Christmas morning. There's 9 in my family but we've never drawn for names, we get something for everyone. I love it & am so glad that my parents give us that opportunity to think of others and feel enthusiasm for giving. Christmas morning excitement is not from thinking about what we'll be getting, but genuine excitement to give. It has never been, "It's my turn" "Where's my next gift", it has always been- "let me give to her next!", "I want him to open mine!" which is then followed by the recipent being just plain thrilled at the thoughtfulness and creativity of the giver. I love it.

With all this cheerful giving I did get some beautiful & thoughtful gifts, much more than I should have. I am so delighted and surprised. I am the luckiest...Here's one reason why...

Meet my new Mint Green iPod.

It's perfect.

It's just phenomenal. Brandon surprised me so much with this and a beautiful new cookbook. I never thought i'd have an iPod. It was something I could never justify in my mind to buy, I constantly told myself, "the radio is free", and brainwashed myself into thinking that running without music was my preference. It's not. Yes, there are times that running without music allows for a more "zen" like running experience, but most of the time I'm just trying to get through the workout and using my new iPod has made all the difference in the world. Brandon was so thoughtful for this gift and I'm so appreciative of him everytime I use it. I'm sure he get's tired of my announcements about what song I'm listening to while on the treadmill next to me.

I am so lucky and so very, very blessed. Happy New Years!

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Today we celebrated my sister, Shelley's 20th birthday. She's such a fun girl and it was great to spend a day with her. We spent saturday shopping for a "cocktail dress" to go to a party later that night at Spark Lounge in provo. It was fun to see what she picked out, everything looked so great on her!

In years past Shelley has always requested hot pink, bright flowers, crazy cakes...overall just young and fun. Well as she's maturing, her tastes are changing too. This year when we asked about her birthday she said she wanted everything a little more "sophisticated". I had fun decorating the table for her family dinner and did a chocolate ganache cake with chocolate leaves on top.

I found bottles and flowers around my house and the beads from the ceiling are christmas tree garland! They added a little sparkle to the table.

Happy Birthday


Oh, and look and the post before this, I just added it yesterday about Brandon's website but it shows a date for a month ago! No idea what I did to make it do that!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Who knew Homework Could Taste So Good?

I promoted myself to Chef/Food Stylist on Brandon lastest school project. Not that the title perfectly describes my short attempts at recipes and sometimes terrible plating and presentations. He created a website for class (quite a large undertaking for one assignment!-there's so much involved!) and is required to take all his own photos. He selected healthy foods as the subject since food is fairly easy to come by to snap a quick pic.

Glad I could at least help with a little cooking since he's got so much on his plate-besides all this food we cooked! I had three days to make 12 meals! We made it and enjoyed eating the finished product. All the recipes came from my favorite cookbook since the nutritional information was already included with the recipes & I wouldn't have to calculate it; The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger. Brandon gave this cookbook to me for Christmas-i love it. Every recipe so far has become a favorite.

You have to visit his website! It turned out so great and I love the clean, open look of it. He did great with all the pictures and layouts- He always does such a great job and I'm always impressed with his work!


whole wheat pancakes with strawberry sauce

broccoli and cheddar fritattablueberry blast smoothieLunch

roasted ratatouille tart
sweet and spicy grilled sandwichcurried butternut squash soup

jerk chicken with pineapple salsa

steak tacos with cucumber-avacado salsa
whole wheat spaghetti with turkey meatballs
banana cream pie
chocolate pudding towers watermelon granita

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Grillin' Girl

Grilling is one of my favorite methods of cooking. You need limited added oil, if any. You get great flavor and those beautiful GRILL MARKS! Usually I think of the grill for chicken and burgers but am starting to understand how much fun you can have with it. Guaranteed, I'll be using the grill year around, snow and all! It's totally worth it!
Below is a more traditional grill entree-Kabobs. Then a more adventurous option, Grilled Pizza-SO GOOD!


The added lime, chicken stock and green onions to the rice made so much difference. Kabobs are an easy way to get picky vegetable eaters on board. ____________________________________________________________________


Everything for this pizza was grilled, including the CRUST! We used turkey sausage for this recipe. We made a wheat dough, rolled it out, barely brushed it with olive oil and then threw it on the grill. Once both sides are done you top w/ pre-grilled meats and veggies & place it back on the grill and cover it til the cheese melts. We did end up finishing ours in the oven inside because the grill was being temperamental. The ricotta was spooned on after baking and then the pizza was drizzled with a sweet basil vinaigrette. The basil topping was really interesting, it had a good amount of honey in it which juxtaposed the spicy peppers beautifully! This pizza could be made with any ingredients but this sausage and pepper was pretty tasty. Grilled pizza is a great idea for a dinner party/cookout. Everything including the crusts can be done in advance and then just warmed up after the guests get to select their personal toppings. Who knew Grilled Pizza would be so tasty?!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Everyday Italian

Whenever I see a recipe I want to try, more often than not it's italian! There's something about it-maybe the common use of cheese! Yes italian can add a hefty amount of calories to your day but I think if you're careful about it you can get the same great taste minus any guilt for indulging in a favorite~
Turkey Meatballs have become one of my favorite things to make. The carrots and red pepper in them keeps them so moist and they have great flavor. The great think about these lasagnas is that each only has 2 lasagna noodles so it's not too high on carbs.

Everyday should be Italian Day!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Just Jessica Jill

This is me! Well for right now at least. Life is made up of work, church and play, just like most everyone else. Life is good! I find a little added enjoyment by experimenting in the kitchen. I'm constantly trying new recipes and more importantly trying to take a healthy spin. Most of my postings will be of my kitchen endeavors; the delicious, the overcooked, and the hopefully healthy!

Here's my most recent attempt~

The pork turned out really great although I had to look up internal temperatures since I was worried about it being pink. Tenderloin's ok from 145-160*. Jicama was a fun, new find. It's a sweet vegetable with a slight apple/pear taste. It definitely needs to be paired with lime when raw. Overall a tasty new addition to the cookbook!