Feb 2, 2009

Success Journals

by Ellen Wilson

MIX! has had articles on food journals where we've demonstrated the benefits they can have on your diet and lifestyle. In addition to a food journal, the next journal we suggest you keep is a success journal.

Choose a goal, or several goals, that you'd like to accomplish. Write out a list of when you'd like to reach this goal and the steps that will take you there. Be honest. Don't set a goal that you already know is insurmountable. Start small and work your way up. Reaching the steps along the way and recognizing your accomplishments is the main idea in this journal that tracks every success in your day.

 While journaling takes time that most of us have very little of, there are a few different directions to take your journal so it conforms to your lifestyle. If you're a techy individual, create a blog that you can work on while you're on your laptop. If you like to draw, find a sketchbook and illustrate your journal with doodles or pictures. A constantly on-the-go person should make sure their journal is small enough to carry around with them so they can write while they're riding the bus or waiting for class to start. Once you have the format secured, the key elements of this journal are being consistent and being honest. In this case, humility goes out the window; it's time to honestly assess your success.

Keep your eyes open. Anything you accomplish, even if it seems miniscule to you, could be a success. These are things such as finishing your English homework thirty minutes before you expected or making it to the gym three times in a week. In addition to daily successes, keep track of the actions that are leading you to your overall goals. This method of journaling assists in actively pursuing your goals by documenting the steps you're taking so you can visually see your accomplishments. It also serves as a daily reminder of what goals you're working towards.

The benefits of such a journal are numerous. Reading through entries will give you insight to yourself and help you discover what motivates you, where your skills lie, and where you are in your life. Taking the time to record your achievements, inspirations and goals will itself be a daily success.

The Museum of Art Café

by Ellen Wilson

Located on the mezzanine of the BYU Museum of Art, the MOA café offers an artistic dining experience with unique salads, sandwiches, soups, hot entrées and desserts. On their menu, they offer savory salads, like their Chicken Curry, Greek, Ranch Potato, Oriental, and Caesar. For sandwiches, they have the Honey Ham Baguette, Turkey Harvest Croissant, Wasabi Beef, and Vegetable Focaccia.  In addition to their standard menu, they offer a special sandwich, entrée and salad daily and a monthly special, such as this month's Mexicali Tortilla Soup. To know what is coming up on the menu, be sure to grab a MOA postcard when you visit the restaurant so you know when to come back for your favorite creamy Chicken Pot Pie. You can also visit their website to see the weekly menu.

In addition to your meal, try an Italian soda or one of the MOA's delicious slices of cheesecake. Open Monday-Friday from 11am-2pm, the MOA is a great place for a girls' lunch out or a lunch date. Be sure to also take some time and visit the art exhibits on the main and bottom level of the museum.

Non-chocolate Desserts

by Natalie Mitts

Though Valentine's Day may mean chocolate to most people, it doesn't always have to be that way. Surprise your friends (whether they dislike chocolate or love it) with a different kind of sweet. Here are our suggestions for some easy-to-make desserts without chocolate.

Crème Brûlée: This French custard is sure to please anyone you're cooking for. The name is French for "burnt cream." The custard base is topped with sugar that is caramelized by either baking or using a torch. Purchase a crème brûlée kit for as low as $20. A kit normally contains 4 ramekins (individual baking cups) and a small torch. Some even come with premade mixes and caramelizing sugar. Use the torch for other things in the future - like baked Alaska, meringues and melting cheese.

Fruit Pizza: This is a no-brainer since everyone loves both pizza and fruit. Combine them for a delicious sweet treat that's healthier than many other desserts. Use a sugar cookie base and a cream cheese frosting. Top with any kind of fruit that you like - kiwi, mandarin oranges, strawberries, bananas or blueberries. Make a cool spiral design or some other pattern with the pieces of fruit.

Cheesecake: Although the original flavor of cheesecake is delicious alone, top it with fruit (like strawberries) or try a new flavor. Some great variations include Vanilla Bean, Dulce de Leche, Pumpkin, Dutch Apple, Key Lime, Lemon and Banana Cream. Get yourself a recipe, ingredients and a 9-inch springform pan and you are good to go.

Peach Cobbler: There's no dessert more comforting on a cold evening than warm peach cobbler. Cobbler is a traditional dish in both the United States and England. You can use any type of fruit, but you can't go wrong with peaches. The batter bakes up around the fruit, forming both the crust and the topping. Serve with whipping cream or vanilla ice cream to cool your mouth off between bites.

Fruit/Custard Tarts: A tart is a flaky pastry that comes in a variety of sizes. Make a large tart and slice it like a pie or buy individual shells to bake each person's serving in. Many tarts contain custard and are topped with fresh fruit. A strawberry tart is especially appropriate for Valentine's Day. You can even find heart-shaped tart shells to show your loved ones how much you care.

Feb 1, 2009

International Date

If you read our feature article on New Year's Resolutions, one of our ideas to spice up your life was to learn how to say, "Would you like to go on a date?" in another language. Well, we've decided to give you a little help and provide a few ideas. Whatever language you ask in, you can then prepare an international date to go along with it.

French: "Est-ce que vous voulez sortir avec moi?"         
Make crepes for both dinner and dessert. For dinner, fill the crepes with chicken and gravy or any other meat and vegetable filling.  For dessert, fill with fresh fruit, jam, whipped cream, or just sugar and lemon juice. Be sure to have powdered sugar to sprinkle on top.

For your activity, head up to an International Cinema if there is a French film that week. Otherwise, you can find some bikes and have your own mini Tour de France down the Provo River Trail to Utah Lake.

Spanish: "¿Quieres salir conmigo ?"

There are so many options for a Spanish themed feast. Make some loaded burritos or fajitas with lots of colorful vegetables. For side dishes, cook up some Spanish rice and beans. Dessert should be deep fried ice cream, but be careful with the hot oil.

Get an instructional dance video, or find someone who can teach you, and learn how to dance the Flamenco. If you're too shy to dance, buy some paint and do your best imitations of Picasso paintings.

Italian: "Ti piacerebbe uscire con me?"

Everyone agrees that an Italian meal means romance. Just ask the Lady and the Tramp. Dish up your finest pasta with a rich, creamy sauce. This is probably a dinner you'll want to do by candlelight.

If it's warm enough outside and you have access to a set, play some rounds of bocce ball. If it's too chilly or getting late, watch the old classic, "Roman Holiday," with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.

By Ellen Wilson

The Mezzaluna Knife
If you chop lots of vegetables or eat pizza more than once a week, your next kitchen purchase should be a mezzaluna knife. Shaped in a half-moon with a handle over the top, this knife reduces accidental cuts by keeping your hands away from the cutting area. Use one instead of a traditional pizza roller and also if you're making fresh pesto or cutting herbs for Thanksgiving stuffing.  A mezzaluna knife can be purchased in different sizes or with multiple blades, depending on what you will be using it most for. Purchase the size that works best for you at any kitchen supplies retailer. Prices range from $13 to $20, varying by size and number of blades.

Nathan's Famous Hot Dog

  Where: The Blue Line Deli & Market

What: Nathan's Famous Hot Dog

Price: $1.59

Hot dog on a bun with toppings of your choice: relish, olives, jalapeños, mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup
Head over to the Tanner Building to enjoy a huge Nathan's hot dog, only served on campus at the Blue Line Deli. Just like our world-renowned business school, Nathan's hot dogs have the reputation of being some of the highest quality in the world. From their beginnings 90 years ago in Coney Island, New York, Nathan's hot dogs have finally made it to BYU's only NYC deli, the Blue Line. Look through the rest of the Blue Line's many options to complete your meal. Choose from such items as chips, pretzels, fruit, salads or pie a la mode.

Valentine's Candy Holder

Valentine's Candy Holder
This simple yet elegant Valentine will win over your sweetie or impress your friends - whoever you decide to give it to!  It is so simple to make and very affordable, so you can make dozens!

Lightweight patterned cardstock in a square shape
1-2 yards of ribbon
Glue or double-sided tape

1.  Fold the paper in half diagonally, unfold, and fold diagonally the opposite direction.
2.  Fold the paper in half vertically, unfold, then fold horizontally.
3.  Bring one corner so it lies on top of the opposite corner and tuck the remaining corners inside.
4.  Cut a heart shape out of the top of the non-creased sides.
5.  Slide the inside folds together, one behind the other.
6.  Secure the inside with tape or glue.
7.  Punch a hole in the middle and put the ribbon through.
8.  Fill with candy.
9.  Give to your Valentine's sweetheart!

Srawberry Sorbet

Strawberry Sorbet
6 Servings

1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups fresh strawberries
1/2 cup fresh orange juice

In a small saucepan, combine water and sugar. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves, then bring to boil. Boil gently for 5 minutes without stirring; set aside to cool. Wash strawberries and remove and discard ca
ps. Puree strawberries in a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade. In a medium bowl, combine pureed strawberries, cooled syrup and orange juice. Pour into ice cream canister. Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.

Grilled Roast Beef and Peppadew Pepper Sandwich

Grilled Roast Beef and Peppadew Pepper Sandwich
Makes 2 Sandwiches

1/3 cup crumbled Blue cheese
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
4 slices sourdough bread
1/4 lb. thin-sliced roast beef
3 tablespoons sliced marinated Peppadew peppers (sweet piquanté peppers)
1/2 cup baby spinach leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter

Mash cheese and mayonnaise together in a small bowl until almost smooth. Spread mixture onto one side of each slice of bread. Top two of the slices with beef, Peppadew peppers, spinach, and salt and pepper. Arrange remaining two slices on top to make sandwiches. Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add sandwiches and cook, flipping once, until golden brown on both sides (about 2 to 4 minutes total).