Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Recipe Sharing

I have tried a few new recipes recently that I thought were worth sharing:

Couscous Encrusted Halibut
http://wirewhisk.blogspot.com/2010/03/couscous-parsley-crusted-fish.html
I wasn't sure how this would turn out but I was pleasantly surprised. It was fresh and light and had the perfect hint of lemon. I served mine with homemade tartar sauce.

Roasted Summer Vegetables
There are a ton of recipes out there for this and chances are you probably already have a favorite. But I had never roasted zucchini and summer squash (always preferred to steam them) and I loved it! So here is my recipe:
zucchini cut into chunks
summer squash cut into chunks
small red potatoes cut into chunks
sweet yellow onion sliced
2 cloves minced garlic
oregano
salt and pepper
olive oil

Toss all ingredients in a large bowl until coated. Spread onto baking sheet. Roast in a 425 degree oven for between 20-30 minutes. I did mine a little too long and the squash came out a little mushy. But still very yummy!!


Bran Bread
My good friend Becky, who is a wonderful cook gave me this recipe a couple of years ago. It is pretty easy and very delicious. Healthy too!

1 cup warm water
1 Tablespoon yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 14 ounce can evaporated milk
1 cup All Bran cereal
4 1/2-5 cups flour

Let water, yeast and teaspoon of sugar sit for approximately 10 minutes until yeast is dissolved. Add sugar, salt, milk and cereal and mix. Add flour and mix again. Dough will be somewhat sticky. On a well floured surface, roll into three oval loaves (fits on one greased jelly roll pan). Let sit for three hours, covered. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-22 minutes.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Firsts

While my oldest has entered the exciting and somewhat scary world of middle school, my baby has started preschool. That means that 3 days a week for 2 1/2 hours a day I will be...All. By. Myself.

SJ had mixed feelings about going to preschool. I tried not to make a big deal out of it and casually suggested we take pictures. Although it looks like she is posing - don't be fooled. She wouldn't sit still and smile for one picture.



Addie and I walked her to school and she seemed to be fine when we left. Sadly I completely forgot about the parent/child picnic that was being held on the first day of school (with 4 kids going to 3 schools and about 100 activities - my mind is swimming!). Feeling like a horrible mom, when I picked her up her teacher used words like "stubborn" and "contrary" to describe her behavior (she was very nice about it - and I really love her teacher). SJ came home happy, though and I later found her here:

The good news is that even though she was crying when we dropped her off this morning - her teacher said she did much better. There is hope! Just kidding. I have been a mom long enough to not make long-term predictions based on toddler behavior. Am I right?

And as for Addie - she is adjusting very well to middle school. She says it feels like it's her job.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Two Last Flings - Separate but Equal

We were able to take advantage of this last weekend before school starts with a couple of quick get-aways. Even though we went our separate ways - I think it was the perfect end to a fantastic summer.

For me - it was off to Cedar City with 6 friends to see a couple of plays at the Shakespearean Festival. Ahhhh! It was a lovely weekend filled with great food, conversation, culture and, of course, great company! And part of the vacation was that I didn't take one picture! We left Friday morning and stopped to tour Cove Fort on the way down. It was very interesting and provided a nice break in the drive. Friday evening we saw Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps and I have probably never laughed so hard watching live theater - laughed to tears!



Saturday we headed to St. George and strolled through some beautiful art galleries, ate at the Painted Pony, did a little shopping, and dipped our toes in the pool at a newly remodeled home that belonged to one of my friend's in-laws. Then we headed back to Cedar City for dinner, the green show and a delightful performance of Much Ado About Nothing.

It was a quick trip but worth every minute. If you haven't ever been to the festival - GO!

Wes and the older kids took a trip of a different sort. They all went backpacking with Grandpa Dave in the Uinta Mountains. It was supposed to be Addie's 12th birthday rite of passage - a backpacking trip with her dad (a tradition Grandpa Dave started when did the same thing when Wes turned 12). But when given the option - Addie voted to have Isaac and Grandpa Dave join in the fun. Afterall, they kind of started a tradition when they did it for the first time 2 years ago.


They started their hike in a small break in the storm last Thursday. First stop - Provo Falls.



As they continued their ascent - the rain turned from a drizzle to a downpour.
They built a fire and huddled in some trees until after becoming quite soaked and freezing they determined that to continue their trip would only lead to more cold and discomfort. So they headed back to the car...
The trail turned into a muddy river!
After attempting to spend the night in Kamas and Heber - they ended up back at Grandpa Dave's for a sleepover. They were treated to steaks for dinner and a night of fun and games! Here is all of their gear laid out to dry.
Bright and early the next morning - they made their second attempt. This time it was a success!
Visiting their fire ring from the night before
Unfortunately the fishing was a flop. Only Addie and Grandpa Dave caught a fish.
They did some cliff jumping off yonder cliffs...yikes!
All in all - an awesome and memorable adventure!

And the little girls? They spent the weekend with grandparents and Aunt Amy and had a wonderful time. Thank you, thank you!

We all made it home safe and sound and immediately turned our thoughts to the week ahead: First day of junior high!, 4th grade, a full day for the 1st grader and preschool for the baby. Busy and exciting!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Out of Space...

Question: I have run out of space and cannot post anymore pictures on blogger. Has anyone else had that problem yet? Any solution ideas? I read that I can add another contributor to my blog (as myself) and add more pictures that way. ???

Update: Turns out you can purchase more storage! It's all good!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Check it out!


Have you seen the new mormon.org? I believe it was launched fairly recently but it is very cool! It is sort of a social networking site in some ways. I just spent about 10 minutes watching the profile videos and found it compelling. It makes me want to spend more time exploring it!

Check it out!
www.mormon.org

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Wedding

Well - she's married!!! It was a busy couple of days with the wedding dinner, the temple sealing and the reception. It was all absolutely lovely and Liz was radiant! Congratulations!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Apricots

August always meant one thing at my house - apricots. At one point there were about 7 apricot trees in my parents' yard. That's a lot of apricots! So my memories of bottling apricots and making apricot jam go back as far as I can remember. Nowadays there are only a few trees still alive but on a good year - my parents are still overwhelmed by fruit. So we joined together with Amy's family for a day to make jam.

First, though, Papa wanted us to pick up the apricots that had already fallen from the tree (a job that I was often assigned to as a child)


SJ not so sure about wearing the glove



Jars reading and waiting
Apricots ready and waiting
Apricots washed and picked clean of the earwigs. Earwigs love apricots!
Preparing the fruit
Grinding the fruit

He did an awesome job mowing Papa's lawn after we picked up all of the smashed apricots!
Stirring the jam - I am telling you - this was a family affair!
Amy skimming off the foam (Addie named it, "apricot curd"). When I was a kid - I loooved eating this foam - it was such a treat.
Filling the jars
Our first batch!
We made a total of 6 batches - that's close to 60 jars of delicious apricot jam!!
Yum - we are set for another year.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Treehouse Update

For those wondering what is the latest with our "house in a tree."
Here it is:
A fresh coat of paint


Two flights of stairs - which will eventually have a railing

A balcony


Flagstone pathways



Windows

And there is more progress in the works...

See the treehouse in the making HERE.


Guess who loves the treehouse and constantly runs up and down the stairs?
Our little kitties, Jasper

...and Jimmy

Actually not so "little" anymore. But they are so sweet - we love them.