Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas is here!

Christmas is here! Really? Already? I'm not ready for this! I finally conceived a place put my christmas cards, the very large number of them as you can see. : ) 

Life has been rather busy at my house. I've intended to post and simply haven't made it! Here is a bit of what has been going on:

Aries came through for one last visit before heading back to Hong Kong. We raked leaves and gave her another unique american experience. I made her jump in them too. :)

My grandfather brought me some Arkansas Black apples and I had to do something with them! They were picked in September and I didn't get them until December. Surprisingly only a few were really gross. The rest became dried apples, frozen apples, and a little bit of apple cider. Yum! Thanks, Grandpa!

Aries also brought me back some chocolate from Seattle, compliments of her and KV. Not the best ever, but definitely a nice full bodied chocolate. I really enjoyed it.

Oh, and while all the apples were on the counter, my hubby left me a message. :D

Oh, and one last thing.

Merry Christmas to all!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend

We went to the family for Thanksgiving. We had the typical turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and bread. I did make these Vanilla Mashed Sweet Potatoes. They were good, a lot more like whipped potatoes than mashed potatoes. I used probably two teaspoons of vanilla extract in place of the vanilla bean, and omitted the autumn infused oil.  For part of thanksgiving weekend, we decorated for Christmas. My sister took these pictures. Enjoy!!

My brother. Don't worry. No announcement needed. :)

Wedding Ornament

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Chocolate Daze

I have recently been reading cookbooks (yes, reading) and done lots and lots of drooling. My current favorite drool has been over this book:

Well, I was in the mood this evening for something chocolatey. Something dark, decadent and delicious. Something more along the lines of Cupcakes, but alas, I don't live in San Francisco, nor could I find a recipe that looked as delicious as these.  I've been perusing David Lebovitz's blog (the author of the above cookbook) so I think I will blame my current chocolate cravings on him. :D Thankfully, he came to the rescue to satisfy my craving. I made Clotilde's Very Chocolate Cookies and let me say they are as dark, decadent and delicious as a girl could hope for. I used Lindt 85% dark chocolate bar and hershey's cocoa. I didn't have any cocoa nibs, so I left those out. I would love to try the cookies with those in them. For those out there who love bigger cookies, mine are about thumb size and are perfect. Each bite is so dark and so rich, anything bigger would be overwhelming. 


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What a mess.

So the bug guy is supposed to come and spray.... and he said for maximum effectiveness, you should empty your cabinets. *sigh* Now my kitchen (most of it) is all over my dining room, my family room, and inching out into the living room. Oh well. No more buggies?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Baking up a storm!

Can I just say "yum?!" Mike was gone this afternoon and I decided to work on some of my "projects". Namely, using or storing the roasted squash I had hanging out in the fridge. A friend of mine gave me a recipe for pumpkin bran muffins which I absolutely ADORE and had yet to find a good recipe for. I also wanted a pie. AND I needed to make dinner. So.. this is the result. : )

Butternut Squash Pie. It looks, tastes and smells like pumpkin! 

I made biscuits and then we had Chicken A La King.

Mike was helping me put away the muffins and looked confounded.

I went and picked some of the green beans out of our garden to use for dinner. They were huge! The top green bean is the huge one, the bottom one is the size I am accustomed to picking. I can't believe how big they got. I've been really enjoying going out to pick a handful of green beans every few days. I will have to plant a bigger patch next year. : ) Anybody have canning jars?

Pumpkin Bran Muffins

This recipe is the best bran muffin recipe I have ever had. We used to buy Krusteaz Bran Muffin mix and they stopped selling it in our store. : ( I think this recipe is going to be my replacement. I am curious to try substituting applesauce and peanut butter for the pumpkin and see how that works out.
Some things I did do, I used wheat bran instead of oat bran. I also used cinnamon and nutmeg instead of the pumpkin pie spice. An alternative would be cloves and ginger. For some added nutritional kick, yogurt would probably substitute well for the milk. 

Oat Bran Muffins
from via Joanna Campbell
1 1/2 cup oat bran 
3/4 packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup mashed pumpkin, cooked*
1/2 cup milk
1 egg (or 2 egg whites), beaten
2 Tbls oil
Mix dry ingredients
Mix wet ingredients well then combine with dry ingredients until wet (don't over mix)
Spray or line muffin 12 muffin cups
Fill 3/4 with mixture
Bake at 425 for 20 min.

If you have never used fresh pumpkin or squash, it makes things even better!

Roasting Squash

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice pumpkin (or squash such as butternut) in half, empty the innards. The seeds can be roasted too. Place pumpkin skin side down and bake for at least one hour, until a fork easily pierces the flesh. Remove skin and puree pumpkin. 

Let me know how things turn out, everybody. : )

Oh, and this picture is just for fun. My sister took it.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Friends and Fun

So it seems this weekend turned into an intense people filled weekend. We had dinner with some friends, then some more friends arrived to spend the weekend, and then saturday we went to a party of some other friends. Whew! I crashed out last night and didn't want to wake up this morning.

Saturday we went to the Nelson - Atkins Museum of Art. We didn't look at more than a third of the exhibits and spent several hours. It is definitely on my list to go visit again. I enjoyed not feeling I had to see everything because I can come back. So often on trips to museums and what not, it is in a different city and if you miss something, the opportunity might not come again.

Here are a few pictures of the exhibits.
I forget how much taller we have gotten.


I LOVE this photo. Don't ask me why.
And.... some photos of us. : D

Photo bomb!

What? Nothing to see here.
Now you see me

Now you don't!  :D

And last not but not least, a real picture of the group. : )

D.J, Anne, Hubby and Me, Steph and Gary.
Yeah. : )

Saturday, October 2, 2010


I feel like a man. I mean this in the best way of course. Tonight, I conquered the grill. : D I got the charcoal, lit the charcoal, let it catch on fire nicely, had lovely coals, and cooked the steak. Woot. :D  Of course, Mike gave me advice on how to get the charcoal going.... and then he flipped the steaks for me. Oops. Didn't realize they would cook so fast! Oh well, dinner was quite yummy. : ) Sorry, no pictures of the roasted corn, baked potatoes, and steak.

By the way.... why is it the corn is roasted and the potatoes baked, but they were in the oven together?


Monday, September 27, 2010

What's one more?

I just finished reading this:

At 1007 pages including illustrations and endnotes, it is the longest book I have read in quite a long time. However, I started it Saturday afternoon, and finished Sunday evening. I didn't spend all my time reading either. Whew!

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

This book is an epic saga, of which Way of Kings is the first of a planned ten-book series. (According to Wikipedia). Goodness that is 10,000 pages! What a stack of paper. The story follows several different characters for the main story lines. I'm expecting them all to weave in together. However, in a 1000 pages, the story was only just beginning! Sword fights, special powers, unique plant life, and a diverse culture and religion all give life and depth. My favorite two characters are Shallan and Kaladin. They lead very different lives, but seem to have the same determination to succeed. When the story ends, both have just embarked on a new era in their lives. One which Sanderson left wide open to his creativity. Here is hoping the new one arrives quickly!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Busy, Busy!

I had such a lovely weekend. It was such a busy weekend! :D My grandpa came through Friday, then he came through again on Sunday and brought a friend. Mike taught him how to play Wii bowling. It was great.

I also got to see my friend Candice. Yeah!! I haven't seen her in almost two years. We stayed up late.... talked, caught up. It was lovely. Anybody have an adventurous weekend??

Have you ever had Peach Nehi? It is peach flavored soda. My husband introduced me to it, and it is yummy. Particularly with vanilla ice cream! I had it for dessert yesterday.


Saturday, September 18, 2010


Congratulations Gary and Stephanie!!
Sparklers in the dark.

Who us? We're adults. :D

Some Photos

Some photos I never got posted....

Katie, Malachi, Mike and I all went camping in Oregon. It was beautiful! And a bit chilly. : )
Katie hanging out with the bear at the lumber museum.

She's beautiful!

I like this one even better.

Oh! Smoochies!! : )
Glacier Lake. GORGEOUS! And snowy in June?

Family Vacation!
The curviest street in the world. According to some people. : )

Monkeys in the trees!

Giant Sequoyia
What's your wingspan?
The Bay Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge

Looks like a Cali girl.