Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Super Saturday

So not only was my last Saturday chock full of lots to do with party decor and what not but I also did 2 faces for the WX High Christmas dance. This is a lot of fun for me as I get to catch up with my old Sunday School girls and check up on what they are doing. Here's 2 faces with different eyes; one natural pink and the other greens finished off with some purple liner. What's sad is that I used to wear makeup like this everyday to work but now I don't get up early enough to do it anymore so I've settled into the 'everyday' makeup routine for time. Maybe once the New Year hits I'll feel inspired to get up a little earlier. I just wish I could find enough inspiration to wake up early enough to pull off a workout. But I know that won't happen.

I can finally start pretending that Christmas is at my house

After Sabrina took over my life for the past week and a half with ward party decorations I can finally resume my normal habits. Sabrina is amazing and has the best party decor ideas so it was fun to get to be a 'scraper' for a week and do crafty stuff. But on Sunday Jared and I finally got our Christmas tree up. I love our tree and I have to fix holes here and there because Atticus thinks its a toy he can climb. Of course there are no presents under it yet but we'll get there. Oh and I bought some lime green glittery wire ribbon last night at Michaels and I need to you tube a video to make a big bow. I have no idea how to make those bows. Funny huh? Here's detailed pics and a cute pic of Jared and I this holiday.

Endless Enchiladas

Here's what Jared and I have been eating for the entire last week. I finally finished off the last of it yesterday at lunch. I realized that I already blogged this recipe but its a keeper so it doesn't hurt to mention it again. Recipe can be found on 1/5/09 post. Technically that my 2nd post ever on this blahg. Make these . . . they're yummy I promise. And to top it off Jared brought home an entire pan of pork enchiladas from Cafe Rio last week as well. So I'm not kidding when I say we had enchiladas coming out our ears. Mmmm, Cafe Rio. Love that place.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Two good books

In a few weeks I'll do a post of the best books I read for 2009. But I thought I would put a plug in on 2 books by the same author that I totally got sucked into. This author writes a lot but these are the only 2 books that I really got sucked into. I read MSK a while ago but read The Pact last month and couldn't put it down. Jodi Picoult always writes controversial topics so you always know what you could possibly be getting into. I actually tried other books of hers but they never hit a nerve with me.

Easy Weeknight Dinner

Don't you love how one night I just post like 4 posts at once. I need to be better and posting on a regular basis. Here's an extremely easy weeknight dinner.

Chicken Parm
4 pieces chicken breast cut in 8 halves
salt, pepper, and garlic
italian bread crumbs
your favorite spaghetti sauce
mozzarella cheese
spaghetti noodles

First, get a nice long piece or saran wrap and put one of the chicken halves on on wrap and then cover with remaining wrap. With a meat cleaver pound out to where chicken is about 1/3 inch thick. Sprinkle on salt, pepper and garlic on chicken. Take pounded chicken and cover in bread crumbs. Do this to all the chicken until every piece is breaded.
In a large frying pan, use about 1-2 Tbs of olive oil and heat over medium heat. Cook chicken about 3 minutes on each side. Chicken will not be all the way done but this is what we want. Once your chicken is cooked put it in a 9x13 inch glass dish. Once all your chicken is laid at the bottom of the dish cover with your spaghetti sauce and cover it good. Top off with shredded mozzarella cheese.

Bake on 350 for 25 minutes. I like to broil the top for the last 3-5 minutes to brown the cheese and burn it a little. Serve over some noodles. We light the wheat pasta.

Yummy Holiday Salad Anyone?

Some of the best recipes of mine come from those Pillsbury and Betty Crocker books that they sell at the check out stands at the grocery store. I can't help but pick some of them up when I'm checking out. I was asked to make a salad for my dad's birthday party and I had dog earred this salad because I was needing an excuse to make it. And I'm glad I did because it was so yummy. The dressing is what made it all come together. This salad would be great for any holiday party or your Christmas dinner.

Apple-Walnut Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

1/2 cp. jellied cranberry sauce
1/4 cp. olive oil
2 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. grated orange peel
2 Tbs. white vinegar
2 Tbs. fresh orange peel
1/4 tsp. salt

1 head green leaf lettuce
2 medium apples, diced (squeeze a little orange juice on these to keep them from browning)
3/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries (they're called Craisins at the store)
3/4 cp. cubed Brie Cheese (ok I LOVE Brie cheese - seriously - good stuff)
1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts

To toast walnut, turn oven on to 350 and then toast on cookie sheet for 6-10 minutes. Set aside. In blender, place all vinaigrette ingredients. Cover and blend for 15-20 seconds or until smooth. Pour into a air tight container and refrigerate up to 2 days. Let stand at room temperature about 1 hour before serving.

In large bowl, stir together lettuce, apples, and cranberries. Divide salad evenly among 8 plates and top with Brie and walnuts. Drizzle vinaigrette to your liking and enjoy. Seriously, so good, and just typing this makes me want to make it again.

Long overdue post - Thanksgiving Quick Trip

So Jared and I headed out of town for Thanksgiving this year. We went the go-around with where we were going to go. First, it started out as St. George. Then we changed to Vegas. Finally after putting it off as long as was comfortable we settled on Jackson, WY. I had never been and thought it just sounded like too much fun. We stayed in Silver Creek Ranch on a recommendation from some friends of ours. We had a fireplace right in our room as we got addicted to it very quick. Plus Jared got to exhibit his man skills with building us fires every morning and night. We had Thanksgiving dinner in a restaurant at the lodge called The Granary. It was quite good although I missed a sweet potato dish. That is always a holiday favorite of mine. On Black Friday we did some shopping in the town square and I bought a pair of shoes that I can't wear until Spring. We also ate breakfast at The Bunnery twice on a recommendation from Sabrina. I wanted to eat everything in the pastry counter. Yummy. First pic if of Jared and I on the outside balcony of our room. Second pic is a snipit of our room.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mixed Bag of Candy

Since I haven't blahgged in awhile here's just some random updates. I had to get these posts up on here so I could earn my book tonight. I know, I'm such a book nerd. But there's a book I've been waiting for all summer and it came out on Tuesday and I promised I wouldn't start reading it until I got some photos uploaded of the floor and other things.
Tomorrow the purple scarf with the white skulls is coming out. I've got to go hit up walmart tonight so I can grab some candy for work tomorrow since we open it up to kids of employees to come and trick or treat in the afternoon. I also need to grab some ultra fine glitter so I can do glitter fingernails to match my red glitter toes for Saturday. I'm dressing up as my favorite book character on Saturday but hardly anyone will get it (only a few friends and neighbors). I've never been good at the dressing up thing since I was in elementary school but at least I'm attempting to do as much as I am this year. In fact I used to hate Halloween so this is a big step for me. I would leave college Halloween parties crying because my costume was always lame. Girls used it as a poor excuse to wear the least amount of costume possible. hee hee. I could never pull off the skank thing. I'll post pics of course of my attempt at dressing up this year.

2 weekends ago Jared and I stayed up at 'the Bird' for the weekend and the weather was beyond gorgeous and in the 60s. No snow this year unlike last year. I'm posting pics of what the view was from our room. And don't worry . . . this week we got our first snow, even though it's not on the ground anymore. Winter is coming to Utah soon.

Update Day 2,3,4,5 . . . . . .

So I didn't hold up my end of the deal and update everyday like I thought. And I heard from 2 people today telling me to get my blahg updated with more pics. Here's the status . . . baseboards are still ripped off. We haven't had time or the weather to get them sanded down and repainted. Floor is completed and grouted. It's beautiful and I LOVE it. It changed my entire downstairs. Jared and I got the kitchen repainted and it's a brighter orange but we like it and we're happy. The kitchen is still a work in progress and we still have tools and stuff all sitting on our island but we'll get back to normal soon. And to top it off Jared installed lights on top and below the cabinets. I love him, he's so handy in the house and I find his skills invaluable. All the pics are below.

And here's what the cat did the whole time while Jared and I painted every night last week after we got home from work. That's my ripped of white baseboard in the back.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New Kitchen Floor - Day 1

I can't believe in the matter of one day Jared and I pulled the trigger on getting our new kitchen floor. I'm not one of those super motivated people who always works on their house so I really didn't know when the kitchen floor would even happen. It started this morning with all my appliances getting put in my living room. I took some pics and will post some each day of the progress.
Atticus was a total stinker. We put him in our bedroom to keep him in there while the crew worked. He managed to get himself out of the bedroom twice. Determined little booger. We had to barricade the door with a hamper and other items that he wouldn't be able to push out of the way.
And I officially joined the ranks of individuals who have relocated their toilet out on the porch at one time or another. I apologize to all my neighbors for the mess out there. But we're working on getting it out to the dump.

Monday, October 12, 2009

My Halloween Pumpkins

Fall is my favorite season. I love the colors and the weather. I've been wanting to get a cute Fall wreath for my door but I haven't found anything that I'm in love with.

So this weekend Jared and I painted pumpkins. We don't carve them. So on Friday night we bought 3 different sized pumpkins from Smith's and then my parents came over on Saturday to hang out. My mom helped me make the bows because I'm not a bow makin' kinda girl. Give me a recipe, I'll make that. Bows . . . not so much.
So we bought spray paint in lime, purple and blue. We did one coat on Saturday and then I sprayed the bottoms of them today since I had the day off. I love them. Of course I'm pulling them in at night so some punk teenager doesn't throw my pumpkins guys out into the road.

Things I'm Looking Forward to This Week

Ok so it's been awhile since I blahged. I haven't really had a whole lot of things that I thought people would be interested in. But we have some fun things this week and next coming so there will be some more posts. Today's most exciting item is that I'll be getting a new kitchen floor. Jared and I have been talking about having our Pergo ripped out for a few years now and it's finally going to happen. We're getting travertine put in and I'll totally take some before and after pics. So that means my baseboards are getting ripped off and re-painted. So that inspired me to paint another coat of orange paint in my kitchen that has a satin finish. So that will freshen my kitchen up a bit. Can't wait.
Second bit is that Jared and I are staying up at The Cliff Lodge in Snowbird this coming weekend. I'll be sure and take lots of pics of the leaves up there. I hope it snows. I'm looking forward to some relaxation and reading. They have a spa up there too. Last year it was buy one get one half off deal. I hope they have something like that this time because I think I might get a facial.

So lots of posts coming . . . check back in a week or two for some home improvement photos.

Ok, here's the star of the weekend. Jared helped me make tacos on Sunday night after we went and rode the bikes one last time since the weather is cooling down. He was so proud to be wearing one of my aprons that he stressed his desire to get on the blahg. Here he is. Also, our 5 year anniversary is coming up on the 21st. Can't believe it's been five years.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Labor Day Goal - Check!

Ok there was one thing I wanted to get accomplished this Labor Day and that was reading the second installment of the Hunger Games. I read HG last Fall and thought it was pretty good for a young adult book. Lots of violence and a story that I got invested in. Well book 2, Catching Fire, came out last Tuesday and I was dying to go buy it. So Jared and I went to Barnes & Noble and it was not there. I thought it might have sold out because there were 275 holds on it at the library before it even officially came out. So we went home and decided to get on the bikes and go head to Target. It wasn't there either. I was actually ok with this because I was still engrossed in my other book at the time. Jared suggested we give WalMart a try before we headed home. And wouldn't you know, it was there. Wahoo!!

Catching Fire was even better than the first. I read 150 pages my first night. I could not put the stupid thing down. Love the storyline, love the characters . . . this was a great book to start off my fall reading season with. If you are a book reader and not afraid of a little futuristic theme . . . pick these up now. Start with book 1, you won't be sorry.

Door Ding and Ditch

So I thought I would post a pic of the ding on my car door that I found last week. I actually thought it was funny because whoever dinged my door tried to rub off the red paint that they left with their finger. My car is black and so it's always dirty. I could see their finger swipes. What's even better is it looks like they then licked their finger in hopes of the paint coming off. You can't see that the paint is red from the picture. LOSER! Thanks a lot red car . . . 'preciate ya.

PS . . . it's really not as big as it looks. Don't let the reflection of the car fool you. That was a grey Accord I was parked next to that you can see reflected in my door.

And the winner is . . . (at least for now)

The flat gooey snickerdoodles won out. I found a recipe for the puffy cookies and it looks like one of the secrets is shortening v. butter. So Jared and I tried out the puffy cookies and we decided that we both loved the flat gooey ones a lot more. I apologized to Jared that I had to make more of the same dough all over again and not something different. We'll just say he wasn't very sad. So I'll share that recipe.
3 1/2 cups flour
1 Tbs baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbs light corn syrup
2 1/2 tsp vanilla

To set aside:
3 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

In small bowl combine flour, baking powder and soda, salt and cinnamon. Cream butter until nice and fluffy. Add sugar and beat until combined. Add eggs, corn syrup and vanilla. Beat until creamy. Gradually beat in dry ingredients until combined. Let chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour. I actually like it when it's chilled for a few hours, even over night.

Roll table spoon size dough balls in the sugar and cinnamon that was set aside. Bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes. These cookies taste super good nice and warm and good the next day after begin stored. Here's pics of the puffy cookies v. the flat gooey ones. Look at the gooey-ness in the picture of the flat pic that I loaded.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Some Summer Reading

It's no secret that I'm a crazy reader. I can't go a day without doing any reading. I don't go to bed unless I've done some reading before hand.
Something that happened that I didn't plan for was that I read like 3 books this summer that were centered around WWII. And all three have been excellent. In fact, I'm not done with the third one but I'm blahgging it anyway because it's going to be my favorite, I can already tell. It's so good. I already know which of my friends will pick it up. Ok so here are the 3 WWII books. Skeletons at the Feast, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Book Thief. That's the one I'm reading now that is so so good.
Another excellent series that I read the sequel too this summer is the Tea Rose series. I read The Winter Rose this summer and it so good. They are long though, like 600+ pages long and the books themselves are huge. Good historical fiction and not to mention that the covers are beautiful.
Starting Tuesday, my first book of the fall comes out. Catching Fire. It's the second Hunger Games book and I way stoked for it!!! Then 2 weeks later, Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger comes out and she wrote Time Traveler's Wife so I'll definitely be reading it.

Also, everyone congratulate Jared. He got his library card this week. hee hee. We're such nerds. Oh well, I lllloooovveee it.

I have a question . . .

So totally random question . . . ya'll know that I like to cook right? And I think I'm pretty darn good at it. Anyone . . . comments are welcome as I'm putting this out there. If I were to start making meals, ready to go, ready to eat that were good meals, say better than your average chicken dishes. Meals that you would definitely be impressed with . . . if I were to start making meals for a minimum of 4 people a meal . . . do you think people would pay to have meals already made for their families? And what if they were delivered to their house? Do you think there would be people that would do that . . . even if it was moderately priced? It wouldn't be cheap but it wouldn't be knock your socks off expensive either.

Just putting that out there.

The August Review

So I didn't post a ton this month. I've been busy with various things so here's the run down.

Ok so as posted before, I decided to learn how to ride a motorcycle spontaneously. It's one of those things that I always thought would be cool to learn and I just pulled the trigger. I like to think of it as working on my marriage. hee hee. Jared rides and so I hate for him to be out there all alone seeing the sites and me sitting around the house watching all my BBC shows or reading my books. So I'm being selfless and trying to spend more time with him. Not bad, huh? This is me in the church parking lot just getting started. Don't worry though, I've graduated to major streets. Tonight we took a ride into Farmington. So fun!! Got a few bugs stuck in my lipgloss but I'm still alive.

Next item. This is just a funny pic of my cat. He loves boxes and crawled into my boot box that had the lid attached. He got in a laid down. Silly boy. Psst . . . don't look, I'm hiding.

I'll do a separate post about some of the books I read this summer. Saw Time Traveler's Wife last Friday with some neighbor friends and it was really good for being a book adaptation. I loved the book and thought the movie was pretty good. TTW will probably be on my list of top 10 books I read this year. I know 10 seems like a lot but we're pushing 50 books this year so far.

Lastly, I discovered Cutler's cookies. This was not a good thing. I have a craving for one of their cookies about once a week. I especially love their brownie marshmallow cookies. Yum!!!

Oh . . . I used to have the best snickerdoodle recipe that made puffy cookies instead of flat ones. I'm on the quest to finding that recipe again. Jared and I tested out some snickerdoodles this week and they were yummy. Gooey and yummy . . . but flat. Once I get that figured out, I'll post it.

Crouton Chicken Anyone?

I love it when you realize you have more friends than you thought. The more the merrier I say!! Apparently quite a few of my neighbors like that I put lots of recipes on my blahg and so I'm happy to oblige with more. This recipe comes from my best friend in high school. So this one is tried and true and been a long for awhile. It's also a favorite of Jared's. Here it is.

Crouton Chicken

6 skinless chicken breasts
6 slices swiss cheese
2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup cooking white wine (you can use chicken broth if you don't want to use wine)
2 Tbs melted butter
Your favorite croutons

Preheat over to 350. Arrange chicken in a greased glass casserole dish. Put a slice of cheese on each piece of chicken. In medium size bowl, combine mushroom soup, white wine and melted butter. Poor over chicken and just pour it all into the casserole dish. Sprinkle lots of croutons on top. You can put as many or as little as you want.

Bake for 45 minutes uncovered. Serve chicken on top of a bed of your favorite rice. mmm, delish! Here's a bad pic I took of it before I cut into it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

29 Spankings

That's right . . . I received 29 spankings from my silly niece Paige on Saturday night, it was my 29th birthday. Jared and I kind of celebrated all week by doing lots of little activities. First, I decided to learn how to ride a motorcycle. I rode a few times last week and I'm switching gears and going around Jared's warehouse. I'm not up to par to ride on the street yet but I'm taking a 2 day course starting this Friday. I'm excited and scared at the same time so wish me luck. I learned on Jared's little bike but it will be a big girl bike for my classes. I know, I'll be careful, I promise.

On Friday night we went to The Roof restaurant and I decided that was the last time we were going there. The food is really not that good, let's be honest. And for what they charge for a plate, they should make a better effort at making their food taste better than what I can cook at home. It really wasn't good. Big disappointment. However, I did eat a decent piece of pecan tart and I am still trying to find a recipe that is close.

Saturday night we went to the Training Table and ate some cheese fries with my sister Tiffany, my niece Paige and my parents. It was delicious and made up for the LAME dinner I had the night before. We topped the night off with a few rounds of Mexican Train dominoes and the delicious chocolate chip cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes. If you haven't driven out to 106th in Sandy to get one of these guys, you need to. Worth the money. Best bundt cake I have ever tasted. Yummy!!

Sorry no recipes tonight. My sister Cerise, who lives in Texas, and I have recommitted to eating healthy. If I make it past three weeks it will be an accomplishment. Thanks Cerise for keeping me motivated. We'll have to check in a lot with each other. I'm determined to find some healthy recipes that taste just as delicious as my regular recipes. When I find some winners, I'll definitely post them.

Also, these pics were taking with my new point and shoot camera. Pics look pretty good I think.

Talk to ya'll soon.