Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Thanksgiving in St. George 2012

We spent Thanksgiving in St. George this year with the Browers. It was awesome, like always. We played pickle-ball every night, we razored every day, the boys went biking and golfing, us girls went running, and there was a movie every night.  We always come home from St. George exhausted from all the activities. 
My favorite thing this trip was probably Ellie saying "Happy ThanksKevin" to us Thanksgiving morning.  She also says "Kevinly Father" in her prayers (and so does my other niece).  Who knew Kevin was such an interchangeable word?

Oh my long limbs.  They get me every time.

You can blame this blurry picture on Kevin.  He was done with taking pictures.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

recipe: Indian Sugar Cream Pie

I love Food Network Magazine.  They always have fantastic recipes and great tips.  They had an article on popular state pie's and this one looked like crème brûlée in pie form so I had to try it.  
And it was Y U M M Y!
Have you seen the vanilla beans at Costco?  I bought some to try them out and they have not disappointed.  They are pricey, but you can't put a price on how cool you feel when you add real vanilla bean to cookies, whipping cream, or pie.  They just taste that much better.

Indiana's Sugar Cream Pie

For The Crust
Use whatever pie crust recipe is your favorite.  I typically only like the one's that use Crisco in them.  I hate using this stuff, mostly because I believe in using real ingredients, like butter, but I know deep down a hatred comes from a childhood moment when I dipped my finger in it hoping it was frosting but quickly realized that this 'stuff' was nothing like my yummy pal frosting.

Let the dough rest in the fridge for 1-2 hours.  Roll out, place in pie plate and refrigerate for another 30 min.

For The Filling
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (or 1/2-1 vanilla bean)
2 TB butter, cut up
1/8 tsp freshly grated  nutmeg (uhh..mine was not fresh)

Place a baking sheet on the middle rack and preheat oven to 425.  Mix together filling ingredients except the butter and nutmeg and pour into chilled pie dough.  Dot with the butter and sprinkle the top with nutmeg.  Place pie on baking sheet in oven and bake 10 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 and continue to bake for 55 minutes.  Let cool.  Serve warm, chilled or at room temperature.

Friday, October 26, 2012

recipe: Raw Melissa's No Bake Cookies

My mom made and brought these babies to Powell.
And I was hooked.

No Bake Cookies

4 cups oats
6 TB cocoa powder
1/2-3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup almond butter
3/4 cup agave or honey
1 TB vanilla

Combine all dry ingredients.  Incorporate wet and mix with hands.  Place on a cookie sheet with wax paper, freeze or refrigerate for a bit.  Place them in a ziploc bag in refrigerator and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

lake powell's best kept secret... October. For those of you who haven't been to Lake Powell in October, shame on you!
It's the best time of year to go. 
 The crowds are gone.  
The heat is gone.
And the water is crystal clear. 
We loved being able to actually need blankets while sleeping.

The girls loved the water, despite it being a few degrees colder.  This especially didn't deter Kevin in his spear fishing this trip.  He loved actually needing his wet suit.  He fished all. day. long.  
Well, he did have some expectations to meet.  He needed to catch enough fish so we could all eat fish tacos one night.  So I guess the pressure was on.  
But he did not disappoint us.  He caught plenty of bass, and one catfish (which was surprisingly good).  We even had leftovers.  
He is too good, that fisher of mine.

Having that new paddle board of mine was a dream this trip.  The water was so amazingly clear that you could see 30 feet down in some places.  It was like Mexico down there people!
That paddle board was a great help in scouting out fishing areas for Kevin.  I found schools of fish.  I've never seen fish like carp or stripers in schools.  I might have deemed myself 'The Fish Whisperer' while on this trip.
My maiden voyage on my new board.

Hadley loved going out and watching Kev spear fish.  She would tell me to paddle out to "watch Kenin catch da fishies."

Oh, that shark in the background, don't worry, thats Kevin.

That was Kevin the entire trip.  Out fishing.  To be honest, I didn't see much of him during the day.  He was having way too much fun.
And also, look at that water!

Ah I hate those dang swimsuit wedgies!

Much better. A wedgie-free swimsuit.

My doo-rag dad.

Post mask-wearing Kevin.

Check out those yummy legs!

Chasing the ducks.
Any animal Afton sees, she makes a grunting-like sound.  So any time she saw a bird or a duck, the grunting commenced.  That meant there was a lot of grunting at the marina.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Recipe: pumpkin spice scones

I think I'm getting into the fall spirit!

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Scones
(makes 8 scones)

2 cups flour
7 TB sugar
1 TB baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 TB heavy cream
1 egg
6 TB cold butter, cubed

Plain Glaze
1 cup + 1 TB powdered sugar
2  TB heavy cream (or more, depending on how runny you want it)

Spiced Drizzle
1 cup + 3 TB powdered sugar
2  TB heavy cream (or more)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch ground ginger
pinch ground cloves

Preheat oven to 425.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a food processor combine all the dry ingredients for the scones.  Add the cold butter and pulse until the mixture is like the texture of corn meal.
In a separate bowl mix pumpkin, egg and heavy cream.  Add the flour mixture until just combined.  Put the dough on a floured surface and gently knead a few times until the dough becomes one.  Flatten the ball into a circle 1" thick.  Use a pizza cutter and cut to your specifications.
Place scones on baking sheet and bake for 14-16 minutes.  Or until golden brown.  Let scones cool on a cooling rack completely.
When scones are cool, combine the plain glaze and spread on scone.  Combine the spiced drizzle, add to plastic bag and snip corner.  Drizzle on top.  Let harden and enjoy!

Monday, October 8, 2012

playing in eden

We got to spend some much needed time with long lost friends a few weekends ago. 
Do you want to know what happens when boring, married couples get together in a huge cabin with a sound asleep baby?

youtube videos.

banana chairs.

We had so much fun and are hoping for more weekend outings with these guys.

I've never been on a lake before with fall colors all around.  It was beautiful!

My Yazbeck.

This was my first time really meeting this sweet baby boy.  He was adorable.  Smiles for all.

The wrath of Kevin.  "Look! He looks like a gnome!"

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Recipe: easy hearth bread

King Arthur Flour Hearth Bread
(its also called 'the easiest loaf of bread you'll ever bake')

(this makes 2 loaves, when I make it I make the whole recipe, then freeze one loaf)

1 tablespoon (1 packet) active dry yeast 
1 tablespoon sugar 
1 tablespoon salt
 2 cups warm water (not over 110°F)
 5 1/2 to 6 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour 
boiling water 

 To mix: Mix together the first four ingredients. Let this stand until the yeast, sugar and salt are dissolved. Gradually add the flour to the liquid and mix thoroughly until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface to knead. (This may be a little messy, but don't give up!) 

 Knead It: Fold the far edge of the dough back over on itself towards you. Press into the dough with the heels of your hands and push away. After each push, rotate the dough 90°. Repeat this process in a rhythmic, rocking motion for 5 minutes, sprinkling only enough flour on your kneading surface to prevent sticking. Let the dough rest while you scrape out and grease the mixing bowl. Knead the dough again for 2 to 3 minutes. 

 Let It Rise: Return the dough to the bowl and turn it over once to grease the top. Cover with a damp towel and keep warm until the dough doubles in bulk, about 1 to 2 hours. Shape it: Punch down the dough with your fist and briefly knead out any air bubbles. Cut the dough in half and shape into two Italian- or French-style loaves. Place the loaves on a cookie sheet generously sprinkled with cornmeal. Let the loaves rest for 5 minutes.

 Bake it: Lightly slash the tops of the loaves 3 or more times diagonally and brush them with cold water. Place on rack in a cold oven with a roasting pan full of boiling water on the oven bottom. Bake at 400°F for 35 to 45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and sounds hollow to the touch. For a lighter, crustier bread, let your shaped loaves rise for 45 minutes. Preheat the oven and roasting pan with water to 500°F for 15 minutes. Brush the loaves with cold water, place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Lower the temperature to 400°F and bake for 10 more minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool and devour!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

don't endo.

So I got into a little accident mountain biking this week.  And I am only telling this story because it is a pretty funny one.  So here it goes:

I used to be called Downhill Mal.  I could go pretty fast.  
That was, until I crashed and all my confidence crashed with it.  
That was two years ago, so this season I was feeling pretty good. 
On our last ride, we started our downhill and I was feeling pretty confident.  
That was until I hit a rock.  I endo-ed and flew over my handle bars. 
It all happened so fast and I found myself skidding on my side and stomach and the bike somehow was flying and landing on me (a nice cushy landing for it, lucky bike).  Kevin luckily had stopped just down the trail and heard it happen.  He came running up and was expecting the worse.  I tried to hurry and stand up and tell him I was fine.  That wasn't a good idea.  I started to feel nauseous and that combined with the wind being knocked out of you, is not a fun one.  Kevin told me we should try and get off the trail so he got on my bike and told me to start walking down. 
This wasn't the greatest idea either.  I remember hearing myself muttering,

"Ugh, I can't really see, I kind of feel out of it Kevin...I don't feel good..." 

And then I hear "Lean back, lean back, lean back!"from Kevin.  But all I remember was being annoyed.

And then I blacked out.  
Kevin said he started to see my legs get all wobbly and rubber like as I tried to walk off and knew that wasn't good.  He quickly grabbed my backpack that I had on as I went limp.  My arms dangled in front of me as Kevin was holding me while trying to stay on my bike he had just gotten on. 
 He said I was out for a good five seconds.
Oh, to have seen that.
And then I came too and realized what had happened and started to laugh.
But in between those laughs I wanted to cry.  I do not deal well with pain, this is obvious.  
I had to lay down for a good twenty minutes before I felt ok to ride the rest of the trail down.
We both couldn't stop laughing as we rode down. 

My body can handle a little fear and adrenaline, but mix that with two road burns as well, forget about it!  I am knocking you out, it says!

Oh bless me when I have a child.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, here are some pictures my great husband took of me feeling and looking just fantastic.  
Ok, I actually told him to take some pictures.  I wanted some pictures of my sick road burns, but these are even better.  They make me laugh every time I see them.

And now I am off to buy some knee pads and elbow pads.  I am going to look real cool when I bike now.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Recipe: homemade mushroom soup

Homemade Mushroom Soup
serves 2
(I recommend doubling, this barely serves 2)

2 cups mushrooms, cleaned and finely chopped 
(or if you don't want to finely chop the mushrooms, you can just add the entire soup to a blender at the end to soup-ify it)
1 Tb olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 Tb butter
1 Tb chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
1-2 bay leaves
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 cup chicken stock
1 Tb flour dissolved in 1 Tb water
salt to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
dash of nutmeg
ground black pepper to taste

Heat olive oil.  Add butter and light saute garlic on medium heat until golden.  Add mushrooms, thyme, bay leaf and worcestershire sauce.  Cook over medium for 5 minutes, or until the moisture from the mushrooms disappears.  Add chicken broth, stir and reduce heat.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Add diluted flour and stir constantly allowing the mixture to thicken.  Season with salt and nutmeg.  Add milk and cream, bring to a simmer and turn heat off.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The day I was going to fly to Vegas...

So my brother-in-law had this great idea that we should all go to the airport and greet Elder Moser. He then took it a step further and said we should buy a refundable ticket so we could go all the way to the gate with Elder.
Everyone else chickened out except us sisters (kidding, we thought it would be best if only those who could control their emotions went).  We bought our ticket the night before and hoped that we could get it refunded.  But if for some reason we couldn't get the refund, we wanted to go somewhere close we could play.  So Vegas it was.  It was either that or Boise.  And Boise was double the price (?!).

We knew when Elder Moser was supposed to get there (we knew his whole flight schedule), so we made sure we got there before he did.  We checked in for our pretend flight to Las Vegas and waited.  
And waited.  
We started to get nervous so Chelsey went and asked the lady at AA if she could let us know if a certain someone had checked in.  She said she couldn't, but Chelsey put on a sad face and said it was our brother we hadn't seen for a few months.  She quickly told her he hadn't yet and shoo'd her on her way.  We then went and asked a Skycap worker how the whole missionary drop off worked.  
With all the acquired information we now knew that he hadn't checked in and that the missionaries came in large un-marked buses. 
Awesome.  Now only if they would show up.
And then, the heavens parted and a big blue bus showed up.  We looked threw the windows and lo' and behold...a bus full of Missionaries!  I have never been so excited to see Missionaries.  I got out the video camera my dad gave us (he wanted a play-by-play) to record him walking out of the bus.  We watched all the missionaries come off, and not one looked like Tyler.  We both ran over to the big group (giving up our stealth location) and started searching for the maybe-very-different-looking-Tyler-we-no-longer-recognized.  When we couldn't find him, we asked if any of them knew of an Elder Moser.  A Sister answered me with a "He is not on this bus," in which gave me a heart attack.  We had missed him, I thought.  "He is on the next bus she then said", pointing to another replica of their bus pulling up. 
I started recording as all the young elders got off and there he was!  Elder Moser!  I hear him say to another elder, "Look! There is your family", and then in a very confused tone "...and my family?"  Total surprise!  I started to run up, with the camera on, and gave him a hug (watching that film will not be fun).  Oh it was so good to see him again.
And he wasn't weird!  Hooray, this still was our brother!
We helped him and the other three elders he was flying with check in and check their luggage.  Both of  Tylers suitcases barely made the weight limit, carrying the next two years of his life in them.

We then got to hang out with him while we waited in the incredibly long security line.  An important question of his was "So was the second Dark Knight as good as the first?  Be honest."  

While waiting in line he pops in a mint.  And me being me, "Uck, here just chew some gum," and while I'm searching for a piece he goes "Mal, really?  I am a missionary.  I am on the Lords errand.  I can't chew gum!"
 I had bought a spongebob squarepants mini-puzzle and some crossword, word search and sudoku books for him for his long travels.  While I pulled them out to give to him, he takes one look at them and goes "Mal, I am going to be studying the whole time."  Like, duh, I should have known.  "Babylon", he then said.  Ha, and I had thought those were the least evil products. 

I still stuck the puzzle in his backpack while he wasn't looking.
Because I mean, who wouldn't get bored from studying the day and a half he is traveling?

I guess I will repent for that later.

Sadly, we only had enough time after security to walk them to their gate and watch them board immediately.  It was hard to get emotional when Tyler was so excited to go.  I won't forget when he looked back and waved at us before he got on the plane.  So cute.   
See you in a while bud. 

Oh and your wondering if we got a refund?
We did.
Beatin' the system over here.

Soo happy to see him.
Cute siblings :)
All of his roommates.  Tyler was the only one going to the Scotland/Ireland mission.
He is going to miss his roomies.
Chelsey and Ty.
Trying to check him in.
50 lbs!  Good work Ty.
Kinda blurry, but I thought it was a cute picture.  We gave our phones to the other two missionaries Ty was traveling to Chicago with so they could call their family.  One was from Utah, the other from Hawaii.  They were so grateful.  It was so sweet to see them talk to their families :)