Thursday, December 30, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

I know you are thinking, "Christmas is over!"  Tell that to Mother Nature.  It snowed a lot last night, and it has been snowing again today.  Besides, the title is appropriate for blogging about Christmas, which I was going to do last time, but we had company.

Anyway, I woke up around 8:00 AM on Christmas and nudged Sean awake.  After I woke Mike up, we opened the presents under our tree.  Sean bought me an iTunes gift card, Up In The Air on blu-ray, a Nintendo Wii, an extra Wii Remote and Nunchuk, and two games: Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Mario Bros.  We set up the new system and washed the dishes (because who wants to leave dirty dishes in the sink on a holiday?) before going to my parents' house at 11:00 AM.

We ate a yummy brunch and then opened more presents.  My grandma gave me various knickknacks, my stepmom and dad bought me a Walmart gift card, and my sister bought me Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Tooth Fairy on blu-ray (it was a two-disc set...).  We then played a quick board game before going to Sean's parents' house around 2:00 PM, where we opened even more presents (Sean's dad gave me Telestrations, and his parents bought me a nice watch and a bottle of wine).

After eating lunch, we exchanged white elephant gifts (I ended up with the present I bought, a rip off bikini, which I gave to Sean).  We then played Scene It? Star Trek, as well as Telestrations, which ended up being funnier than I expected.  Around 7:00 PM, we went home.  Sean played with his new camera, and I played the Wii.

Christmas didn't end there, though.  A few days later, I bought myself a Nintendo DS Lite, a DS Lite Zip Case, and four games: Golden Sun, Golden Sun: The Lost Age, Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, and New Super Mario Bros.  Sean bought himself gifts, too.

It was, among many feelings, sad Mom wasn't here to celebrate with us, but all in all, it was a good Christmas.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Cooking With Marsala

I am glad I did not commit to posting a topic from The Blog Challenge everyday, like Sean did.  I would have failed, considering I have not blogged since my last entry, My Favorite Things.  At least I completed a topic, unlike Mike (but to be fair, he only committed to posting the list of topics).  So, to make up for my lack of posts, I am blogging twice today!  Yay!  Lucky you!

A few weeks ago, I watched a Good Eats episode ("The Proof Is In The Pudding").  The host, Alton Brown, breaks into the liquor cabinet, not to concoct a drink, but to examine the uses of alcohol in food preparation.  He made zabaglione, a dessert consisting of eggs, sugar, and Marsala.  It looked really good and very simple to make, so I decided to make it.  It was fantastic!  Below is the recipe, as well as a recipe for chicken Marsala I cooked to go along with the zabaglione:


Prep Time:  30 minutes
Cook Time:  15 minutes
Serves:  8 - 10

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup Marsala
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • Fresh berries, for serving (optional)

Bring 1-inch of water to a boil in a 4-quart saucepan set over high heat.

Add the egg yolks and sugar to a large glass bowl.  Using an electric hand mixer on the highest speed, beat the eggs and sugar until the mixture is thick, pale yellow, and the sugar is completely dissolved, 4 to 5 minutes.  Decrease the mixer speed to low and add the Marsala and salt.

Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and put the bowl atop the saucepan with the boiling water, making sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water.  Beat the mixture on medium speed, until it is thick, frothy, holds a ribbon, and the temperature reaches 145 to 150 degrees F, on an instant-read thermometer.

Spoon the warm mixture into custard cups or serving glasses and serve immediately or allow to cool slightly.  Serve with fresh berries, if desired.

Chicken Marsala

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time:  5 minutes
Serves:  4

  • 4 (8-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 3 ounces butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 4 tablespoons Marsala wine
  • 2 cups beef stock

Put the chicken breasts between 2 pieces of waxed paper and flatten with a meat pounder until thin.  Cut each chicken breast into 4 pieces.  Add some flour to a shallow bowl.  Dredge the chicken in the flour and shake off the excess flour.

Add the butter and olive oil to a large saute pan over high heat and heat until it sizzles (do NOT let it brown).  Add the chicken and saute until brown on both sides.  Stir in the sliced mushrooms and saute briefly, then add the garlic.  Add the Marsala and simmer for 3 minutes, then stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour.  Pour in the beef stock and let simmer until the sauce thickens, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Transfer to a serving platter and serve.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Favorite Things

It's been a few days since I posted The Blog Challenge, so I figured I should actually do one of the topics.  So, in no particular order, these are 20 of my favorite things (adult discretion is advised)...

#01:  My family
#02:  My friends
#03:  Sean
#04:  Cats
#05:  October 1 through January 1
#06:  Food
#07:  Luxury (and being able to afford it)
#08:  Being pampered
#09:  Music
#10:  The Internet
#11:  Staying in bed when it is snowing/raining
#12:  Games
#13:  Traveling
#14:  Lazy weekends
#15:  Alcohol
#16:  Movies
#17:  TV
#18:  Small dogs
#19:  Laughing
#20:  Sex

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Blog Challenge

I stole this idea from my brother and sister-in-law's blog.  The idea is to blog about one topic every day, but let's be honest; that's probably not going to happen.  My goal is to do one or two a week.  The topics are numbered, but I will complete all 30 of them in no particular order.  Without further ado...

The Blog Challenge Topics:

#01 - my favorite song
#02 - my favorite movie
#03 - my favorite television program
#04 - my favorite book
#05 - my favorite quote
#06 - 20 of my favorite things
#07 - a photo that makes me happy
#08 - a photo that makes me angry/sad
#09 - a photo I took
#10 - a photo taken over 10 years ago of me
#11 - a recent photo of me 
#12 - something I am OCD about
#13 - a fictional book
#14 - a non-fictional book
#15 - my dream house
#16 - a song that makes me cry (or nearly cry)
#17 - a piece of art (drawing, sculpture, painting, etc.)
#18 - my wedding
#19 - a talent of mine
#20 - a hobby of mine
#21 - a recipe
#22 - a website
#23 - a Youtube video
#24 - where I live
#25 - my day, in great detail
#26 - my week, in great detail
#27 - my worst habit
#28 - what is in my wallet
#29 - hopes, dreams, and plans for the next 365 days
#30 - a dream for the future

Thursday, November 25, 2010

2010 Christmas Wishlist

Here are some things I want for Christmas this year, categorized and roughly in the order of importance.  I only want new, unused items, please.  I'll add to this list as I think of more stuff I want.  There are more items on my wishlist, too.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


It is amazing how much can change in a week.  For example, last week, a day after Good Times, Bad News, I updated my status on Facebook to, "Andrew L Jenkins thought today was going to be a bad day, but instead, he received good news that made the day fantastic! He is not looking forward to next week, though..."

A few individuals criticized me for posting such a cryptic message, so...the good news: I received a nearly $2 raise, and Sean was offered the job at Marriott Guest Services he applied for (Marriott Rewards Specialist, my first position with Marriott, as well).  The extra cash will be appreciated, and I bought Sean an Xbox 360 (and a few other things) to celebrate.  I won't/can't provide much detail regarding the last sentence in my status, but it involved the terminating of an associate, something I don't enjoy doing.  It went better than expected, though.

I mentioned in Let's Call The Whole Thing Off our friend Mike was moving in with us.  Well, that briefly fell through when the company he worked for was sold, but he applied for a job with The Ritz-Carlton and was offered the position a few days ago.  So, he'll move in soon (probably this weekend), and all three of us will be/are employed by Marriott International.  Speaking of Marriott International/The Ritz-Carlton, we launched The Ritz-Carlton Rewards today.  Exciting!

Well, it's getting late, and I'm planning on waking up early again tomorrow.  I attended the Big Alliance's Young Leaders Forum this morning to meet and listen to gubernatorial candidate Peter Corroon, so I'm pretty tired.  Good night!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Good Times, Bad News

Time passes way too fast.  I can't believe it's September, and Mom's been gone six months.  Pretty soon, the year will be over, and it feels like it just started.  I love that it's getting darker earlier, though, as well as cooler.  I used to say winter was my favorite season, but I think I enjoy fall more.

On Monday, Sean and I returned from Capitol Reef National Park.  My family usually stays at Thousand Lakes RV Park over Labor Day weekend every year, and we estimated we've visited this particular campground for more than 15 years.  Below is a picture (stolen from my sister Jill) of the view behind the park:

And here's a picture of Mom and I the first time, I believe, we visited Capitol Reef:

Strike a pose

Sean, my brother James and his wife Heather, my brother-in-law Daren, and I hiked Sulphur Creek, my favorite place in Capitol Reef.  This article does a good job explaining why.  Everyone seemed to have a good time.

Before the trip, I received a call from my Big Brothers Big Sisters Match Support Specialist.  He had bad news.  My Little Brother's grandma asked for the match to be closed because she expected someone to play sports with him more often.  I can understand that, but what I can't understand is why she didn't give me the opportunity to change.  I'm disappointed, of course, and I'm sure it'll be a long time before I'm matched again.

Well, it's late, and Sean's pestering me to come to bed (what else is new?), so hopefully, I'll update again soon.  I feel like I don't even scratch the surface of everything that has happened between posts, but it's hard to find time to write.  I'm still trying to update every week, though, but you can see how well I'm doing...

Good night!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Let's Call The Whole Thing Off

I've discovered it doesn't really matter if you stand in the kitchen while watching a pot of water boil or if you wait for the aforementioned pot of water to boil while updating your blog from another room.  It still takes too long for that pot of water to boil, especially when you are hungry and craving macaroni and cheese with sliced hot dogs (everyone's childhood favorite).

Exciting news!  There are currently TWO tomatoes growing on one of five vines in our small, pathetic garden.

Tomayto?  Tomahto?

(Yes, I know, you can see only one of the tomatoes in this picture.)  We planted the vines two months ago, I'm guessing, in June, and ever since, I've been anticipating the first tomato sandwich.  Nothing tastes better.  I do hope there are enough tomatoes to make salsa, though.  I found an awesome recipe a few years ago.

Let's see...what else is going on?  Oh!  Our friend Mike is finally moving in.  We extended the invitation to him shortly after we bought the house, and although he wanted to move out of his grandparents' place, drama prevented him from doing so for awhile.  In a lot of ways, it'll be nice to have someone else in the house, but I think I will miss being alone sometimes.

Kyle and I went to a picnic hosted by Big Brothers, Big Sisters last week.  They provided Arby's regular roast beef sandwiches, chips, drinks, and ice cream for all the Bigs and Littles, and there were several games, such as disc golf, football, and three-legged races.  There was also a water fight with sponges and squirt guns, and of course everyone got soaked!  It was really fun, and I'm grateful Big Brothers, Big Sisters offers these opportunities.  

The end of the term is coming up.  I've passed two out of the four classes I wanted to complete, but I am nearly done with a third.  I only have one task left, but I doubt I will finish it by the end of this month.  I've been struggling with the assignment, but I'm going to ask my brother, James, if he'll help me out.  Even if I don't pass this class by the end of the term, I'm still in good standing.  I'm a bit disappointed in myself, though, and I'm jealous of all those who've recently successfully graduated from college.

By the way, Sean started his own blog a few weeks ago, and he'd really like more followers.  Now that I've pimped my husband's blog, I'm going to bed.  Good night!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted

I am currently sitting in the small, yet comfortable condominium we (the Welfy Clan) rented in Oceanside, California, and I am rushing to finish this entry before dinner at 333 Pacific (side-note: I wasn't able to and am now finishing this a day later). We arrived on Sunday, after an uncomfortable one-night stay at the Residence Inn Las Vegas Convention Center, primarily due to the 108-degree heat, but the hotel itself wasn't as good as others I/we have stayed at. The weather here in Oceanside has been very pleasant, though.

We've spent most of our time in the condo, on the beach, and in the hot tub. It's a short walk to the ocean, and the water is comfortable once you get used to it (I didn't actually go swimming, though, because I don't like swimming in bodies of water I can't see the bottom of).

On Wednesday, we ate lunch at Ruby's Diner. It was here we found out Proposition 8 had been ruled unconstitutional. Sean and I began talking about getting married, but that conversation ended when we found out a temporary stay had been issued.

Paradise? Not quite, but it's pretty close. I prefer quieter white-sand beaches, warm crystal-clear water, and skimpier bathing suits.  (EDIT: Photobucket decided a picture of two attractive men in skimpy bathing suits violated their terms of use.  Lame.)

Well, Sean wants to watch an episode of Mad Men, plus it's late, and we're waking up early tomorrow to begin our long drive back home (ugh). Goodnight!

To see more pictures from our vacation, please visit my mother-in-law's blog, Welfyville.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


It's been a week since my last entry, and as mentioned, my goal is to update once a week. This post will be somewhat short, even though I can think of several things I want to say tonight, since it is nearly 11:00 PM (way past my bedtime) and the battery in my laptop is low.

Kyle and I went to Lagoon last Saturday, as I said we were going to do. He didn't have a panic attack. In fact, he ended up riding rides he said he wouldn't ride (Wicked, Colossus, Cliffhanger, and Jet Star 2). It was pretty fun. This week, we will probably go to a park and play catch, so he can practice pitching.

(Useless information: I had to get the power cord for my laptop before it died.)

The Welfy Clan (Sean's family) is going to Oceanside, California (just north of San Diego) in two weeks. I'm excited, and of course, time seems to be standing still. I look forward to our annual vacation, and I really need the time off. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my job, but I need to get away from it for awhile. Plus, I have a few hundred hours of PTO I need to use by the end of the year.

Speaking of work, I have been the Internet/Correspondence Support (ICS) Supervisor for a year now. It's hard to believe how quickly time flies. My annual review is this week. It will be interesting to see how my manager rates me, but I think I've done a good job, for the most part.

I think I'm going to end this entry here, since my eyes are involuntarily closing. I guess that means I'm tired. Good night!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What the...?

No, that isn't a pig you see flying. No, Hell hasn't frozen over. Yes, I am blogging again. Shocking, I know. I think reading my old journal two weeks ago helped me realize I don't need anything particular to write about. And what I write doesn't necessarily need to be perfect (although, I have spent far too much time on this paragraph already). Hell, the majority of my last blog consisted of surveys and quizzes, such as the Rate My Life Self-Help Quiz I mentioned here. At least it was something. So, going forward, my goal is to update once a week (and posting a survey or quiz won't count).

Kyle and I are going to Lagoon this Saturday. I haven't been to Lagoon in a long time. I can't even remember the last time I went. But it should be fun. And interesting. According to his grandma, whom he lives with, he had a panic attack when they went to Disneyland a few years ago, but he was okay once they entered the park. He ended up riding almost every ride.

There is much more I'd like to write about, but it's taken me a little over an hour to write these three paragraphs, and I'd kind of like to focus on something that doesn't require much concentration, like TV or Facebook. On the other hand, maybe I'll just go to bed.

Good night!

Friday, July 2, 2010


I spent the past several hours reading entries in my old blog, and seeing how often I wrote prompted me to update this blog. I was such an angsty emo kid. In some ways, I miss that period of my life...and in some ways, I guess I still am that angsty emo kid.

I used to take several quizzes and post the results on my old blog. One of these surveys was the Rate My Life Self-Help Quiz. This survey asks you a number of questions and then computes your life rating. It also breaks down your score into the following categories: Mind, Body, Spirit, Love, Friends/Family, and Financial. This was posted on my old blog three years ago on July 6, 2007:

This Is My Life, Rated
Life: 7.2
Mind: 7.4
Body: 5.9
Spirit: 7
Friends/Family: 6.5
Love: 7.3
Finance: 7.5
Take the Rate My Life Quiz

This is my life rating now:

This Is My Life, Rated
Life: 6.6
Mind: 6.3
Body: 5.5
Spirit: 7.6
Friends/Family: 5.9
Love: 5.5
Finance: 7.8
Take the Rate My Life Quiz

This survey is only for entertainment purposes, so I take the results with a grain of salt. I am sure if I took this same quiz tomorrow, my life rating would be different, since it is almost entirely based upon my mood at the time. It is interesting to compare the two life ratings, though.

Anyway, my Little Brother, Kyle, and I went to a baseball game on Tuesday. Our team, the Bees, lost to the Reno Aces 5 - 3. It was really fun, and I had not heard him talk as much as he did the other night. It seems he is opening up to me. He is a great kid, and I am enjoying the opportunity to be his Big Brother.

Well, I think I am done blogging for the night. I hope to update again soon...but we shall see...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mothers Day

Tomorrow will be the first Mothers Day without my mom. We "celebrated" a day early by eating good food and visiting the grave. Needless to say, it has been an emotionally difficult day, and to top it off, she gave me a Mothers Day present...

From: Richard Jenkins
To: Andrew Jenkins
Subject: Tribute to Baby Andrew
Date: Sat, 8 May 2010 20:48:15 -0600

I found a paper in Carolyn's things that she saved for a special occasion. I have retyped it for this email but you can have the original when you are here again, if you want it. Perhaps this might be the time for you to read it and know of her deep love for you.

For Andrew Lees Jenkins
A Saved Paper From Your Sweet Mother

When my husband got home
from work today
I had something very important
to say
A new little baby is coming
our way
To join our family for its
earthly stay

Already our children
numbered seven
And all were excited for our
gift from heaven
It was very hard
awaiting the day
But a new little son
soon came our way

A warm little sunbeam
sent from Father above
To fill our hearts and
our home with love
“Oh, Father in Heaven, help me,”
I pray
To raise your child to
follow his way
Help him to follow the ways
of thy Son
So he’ll return to Thee
when his earth life is done

Baptism, the priesthood, a mission
for thee
Marriage in the Temple
and soon a father to be

But first let me hold him
and cuddle him too
Let me smother him with love
as new mothers do
Thank you dear Father
for letting me be
A partner in creating bodies
for Spirits for Thee

-Author Unknown

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Quick Update

Hello! It has been a long time since my last real post. I would like to promise to change that, but I am pretty sure I would not be able to. I do want to update more often, though, and as I have said before, knowing I actually have readers is encouraging...

A lot has happened since the last update; some of it has been good, and some of it has been bad. Since this is supposed to be a quick post, I am going to avoid details right now, for the most part, but if you are interested in reading more about something I mention, please let me know.

First, my mom passed away March 5, 2010. It has been difficult at times, and I am sure it will remain so for awhile. She was a wonderful person, and I miss her very much, but I know I will see her again someday. If you would like to read her obituary, please click here.

I decided I needed to go back to church after my mom's death. For the past month, Sean and I have been attending the South Valley Unitarian Universalist Society. We have enjoyed attending and listening to various speakers, such as Charles Lynn Frost (AKA Sister Dottie S. Dixon) and former Salt Lake City mayor, Rocky Anderson.

Finally, after a year of waiting, I have been matched with a Little Brother. His name is Kyle, and he is 10 years old. We had our first activity together yesterday, and I am really excited to get to know him and hopefully make a positive impact on his life.

Much more has happened, but these three events stand out the most in my mind. Again, if you would like to read more about anything I have posted, please let me know; I will try to provide more information. Until then, best wishes.
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