Wednesday, August 22, 2012

recipe: Blueberry cream pie

Pie making in the past has not always gone as planned.  I could never get the crust right.  And a recipe would never make enough, so my crust would look horrible and never reach the edges.

Well I think I found my pie crust cure.  
This recipe is all around good.  We have already eaten half of the pie and I know we will finish the other half soon.
The filling is sooo good, and the crumb topping is amazing.

Blueberry cream pie

4 cups cups flour
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 3/4 cup cold shortening, diced
1/2 cup cold water
1 large egg (cold)
1 large egg mixed with 1 Tablespoon water (for egg wash)
3 cups blueberries (I used frozen and it turned out awesome)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
                                                                                         Crumb Topping
2 1/2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch ground nutmeg (about 1/16th teaspoon)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup plus 2 1/2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
Go here for step by step instructions.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


We got to go on a quick trip to Powell with the Browers last weekend.
Us girls read and relaxed.
The boys spear fished and free dived (8 bass total!).
That pretty much sums up the entire trip.
Ellie loved to search for lizards.  And squirrels.  She has an obsession with squirrels. 

Ellie loved to throw rocks in the water. 

 And now onto the many faces of Patrick Brower:

Kevin skiing good.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

recipe: creamy basil & balsamic chicken

Holy *%^! this chicken is good.  
Sorry, its just that good.  
We couldn't stop saying "Wow" while we ate it.  
This is a restaurant grade recipe; a high-end restaurant grade recipe.  
I might just change the name of this chicken to Love Chicken because whoever you make it for will fall in love with you.

Creamy Basil & Balsamic Chicken

3-4 chicken breasts, seasoned with salt & pepper on each side
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 package of whole mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tb olive oil
3 Tb butter
2 Tb balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (freshly grated real parmesan please!)
salt and pepper
freshly chopped basil (roll up leaves then chop right before you put it in)

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, caramelize onions on medium for 10 minutes or until golden.  Remove from skillet.  Melt butter, brown chicken breasts on both sides, about 3-5 minutes per side.  Remove chicken and deglaze pan with chicken stock.  Use spatula and get all the bits and pieces off the sides of the pan.  Add cream and balsamic and stir to combine.  Add mushrooms and salt & pepper and simmer for 10 minutes on medium-low.  Add the chicken back into the pan, turn up heat to medium and sauté for 15 minutes.  Remove chicken to plate.  Add in parmesan cheese, caramelized onions and chopped basil.  Stir until combined.  Top chicken with sauce and ENJOY!

Recipe adapted via here.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

camp food

Just because your camping doesn't mean your food has to suck!  If you make a meal plan and a list of everything you need to prepare it; cooking real food while camping is easy and oh so worth it.

Here was our weekly dinner menu:

Wednesday:  Costco hot dogs (the best!) with all the fix-ins.  S'mores on the side!
Thursday: Tilapia fish tacos with homemade tarter sauce and sautéed green beans with onions.
Friday:  Teriyaki marinated chicken, cous cous, and asparagus.  Costco rolls with creamy honey.
Saturday:  Spaghetti with meat sauce and green beans.
Sunday:  Chicken fajitas with corn and bell peppers, sautéed cabbage on the side.  The boys also made cheesy potatoes.

I was really surprised how quickly the food disappeared.  I went on a huge Costco run before this trip, not knowing how much food four boys would eat.  But somehow I got it spot on, and we ran out of food right on the last day.  Huzzah.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Mt. Hood, continued...

Five days of camping is a long time with no real shower. By day four, I had had enough of the stank and told the boys to go to the lake to wash their stank off. We decided on the beautiful Trillium Lake, which surprisingly, was not cold! You would think, being below a glacier, it would be freezing. We later found out that it was only 10 feet deep in the middle so we figured that to be the reason for the unusual warmth.
Kevin recently decided he needed a new hobby (sigh) and became a certified free diver. He can now successfully hold his breath for 3 min, and dive down 65 feet with just fins, goggles and a snorkel.  He wanted to try out all his new, necessary he says, free diving gear at Trillium.  To his disappointment, it was only 10 feet deep in the deepest section.  And there were no sunken ships or treasures.
Ok and his whole outfit?  Lets just say he is making my childhood nightmare into reality.  Not cool Kevin, not cool.  I don't like you as Scuba Steve.
If you are unaware of my childhood nightmare of Scuba Steve, here is the story:  When I was little I would have a continuous dream of a man dressed in an all black wet suit (with a hood, just like Kevins), black fins, black goggles, and a black snorkel.  This crazy man would walk to the doorway of my room, covered in seaweed and all wet, breathing like Darth Vader.  He would then just sit there and stare at me.  OHhh it was a great nightmare...    
Scuba Steve.

The next day we decided to try out the local Alpine Slide.  As you can tell, the boys were excited.  You never want to get stuck behind a slowie on this slide, so you have to plan your position well.  Well since I was too busy taking pictures, I got stuck behind a little fat kid.  Not good.  I waited for him for as long as the workers would let me up top.  This did nothing.  I quickly met up with him and, no kidding, yelled "FASTER, FASTER, FASTER!!"  This didn't work.  So my ride sucked.

The popular tourist destination Timberline Lodge.  This was a part of FDR's New Deal, so it was built by the government.  

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Mt. Hood, part 3

Day three I thought a good long hike was in order. We all decided on a hike to Umbrella falls. It was definitely a good hike. It was probably five miles up and back. The boys were dying the entire time.  I was making them hike at a pretty brisk pace and they weren't too happy about it. They decided that even though online it said it was 'Easy', they decided it was 'Mal-Easy.' I guess it's a new definition which really means 'Difficult.'
The falls were definitely worth it.  It was a gorgeous water fall.  And you couldn't beat the weather.  It was 70 degrees, sunny and blue skies.  Combine that with walking through the Mt. Hood National Forest with my man and you can't find a happier Mal.

This is the view I get every time I go to pick the boys up from their morning of skiing.  Gangsta'.

"We need a rest Mal.  And snacks."

"Kev, take a picture of me with the falls."  And this is what I have to work with.  Goober.

"We need a kissy shot!"

Watching the falls.