Friday, November 30, 2007

Past Dinners

that I forgot to post the pictures to:

Fish and Apple Salad



And one of Jake's favorites, Rice & Beans

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

because my food stuffs is me



I have decided that my other blog will be my foods stuff, but I will post each of those posts on this blog as well because it is who I am. If you follow only this blog, and you like reading blogs just to read them there may be posts you want to read from the past...

And here is two photos of Helen just because. The first one is in her new pink pajamas. The second was pulling dirt out of Grandpa's pot the weekend before Thanksgiving. She found this activity quite enjoyable and tried to repeat it many times over Thanksgiving weekend. She did get in trouble by Grandpa for doing it, but really she doesn't understand what being in trouble is all about (especially when Mommy is laughing about it).




Cherokee Purple

Jake and I love Cherokee purple tomatoes (our favorite heirloom breed). Heirloom tomatoes have a much richer taste. Once you've had a heirloom tomato it hard to eat the store tomatoes. I love tomato season. It is always a sad day when I eat my last garden tomato and have to go back to the store ones until the next year. Our last tomato day was a couple of months ago, but I was just thinking about it today because my seeds are still out drying. The great thing about heirlooms is they aren't cross bred so their seeds aren't sterile and you can get offspring next year from this year's seeds.

Jake and I bought a Cherokee purple at the farmer's market in Monterey and saved the seeds. I gave half to my dad and I kept half. Jake and I only got a few this year (we discovered a pollination problem with our pots on our patio - - no bees come down there, and we solved the problem a little late.) My dad got some beautiful tomatoes.

Another thing is heirlooms aren't bred to look good or have long shelf life like store bought tomatoes so beauty must be found in their knobby, distorted shapes. But, oh, the taste is remarkable - nothing like a tomato bred to be perfectly round and bright red with long shelf life to be transported.

Jake used to think I was crazy to eat a tomato by itself in slices or like an apple. That was before I introduced him to heirlooms. Just have to cut it up and a little sea salt, maybe some fresh ground pepper or olive oil and balsamic vinegar and you have a perfect snack or side dish for dinner!!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Suni Tagged me with 5 things.

Jeepers, once you are put on the spot it is hard to think of 5 things most people don't know about you, but I finally came up with them. So here it goes...

1. I love NPR, especially the shows "Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me" and "A Prairie Home Companion". I usually don't get time to listen to them on Saturdays as I am usually busy with my family or something else. So during the week I listen to the previous weekend's programs off the internet while cleaning the house or cooking. I also like listening to the news and interviews.

2. I started cooking very young, I (and some others) consider myself a pretty good cook, and I love to read cookbooks like novels (I can sit down for an hour with one). My mom says I could make scrambled eggs by age four and she would awake to the sounds of me getting out pans and turning the stove on, and then she knew that she had to get up and supervise. When I was ten I learned that when a brownie recipe calls for cream cheese it doesn't mean creamed cheese and you can't beat cubes of cheddar and sugar around in a bowl like you would cream butter and sugar and expect the brownies to be desirable. By the time I was a teen-ager I was told that unless I followed a recipe exactly I would have to buy my own groceries to cook with since most of the time I experimented and many times I learned how to not make something. To this day I still have a extremely hard time following a recipe unless it is for bread, and even then sometimes I try to fudge the recipe.

3. I was originally a photography and history major in college. I wanted to teach high school and be involved with yearbook or be a National Geographic Photographer. As I took classes I realized it wasn't quite what I wanted to do or that it wasn't compatible with raising a family. I still love history and photography. I have owned 6 non-disposable cameras in my life, receiving the first one for my eighth birthday. My really nice film camera (that I spent my complete savings on as a junior in high school) has been broken for years - something happened during my senior year photographing for the yearbook. I've taken it in to be fixed and it always works fine for the store. It is sporadic when it works or doesn't. It is so unreliable that I just quit using it. Jake and I now own a simple digital camera which I am using to get back into photography hobby. Maybe some day I will buy another fancy-dancy one.

4. I love architecture. All through junior high and high school I thought I would be an architect. I drew hundreds of house plans as a pre-teen and teenager. I finally went through the apple box during college and pick out a few that actually were good and got rid of the rest. One year I received a kit for making house plans that I still have. If I buy a magazine to read I will usually choose one of those that is just house plans and study them. I have an intriguing interest in restoring and transforming non-domestic buildings (schools, factories, old post offices, etc) into homes. The most odd thing is that when I picture my dream home I can walk through all the halls and know where each room is located if were in a floor plan, but I cannot draw it up in a plan. I have tried many times and it never comes up matching what is in my head.

5. I love looking at the back side of quilts. When I was little and my mom would have a quilt on the frames in our living room I would lay underneath it a gaze like I was gazing at the stars. When ever I tie a quilt or have a quilt I made machine quilted, the first thing I do when it is finished is to turn it over to admire the back. I don't know why I do this. Maybe I like looking at the pattern made by the tying or quilting. But even my mom knows and when she has a quilt on frames she always asks how the underside looks before we pull it off the frames.

I am going to be the awful end of this tag. I need to get more people onto my blogging list....everyone I know who has a blog has already done this tag.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

'bout me

I haven't posted in a few days. I keep meaning to, but I am trying to get this photo collage made for the post. So today I decided to take the tag from Robin and use it as my post until I am finished. I tag anyone who reads this blog.

Jobs i've held:

florist and wedding manager, Rexburg, ID, Bountiful, UT, & Logan, UT
ice cream server, USU Dairy Bar
Seattle's Best Kiosk coffee maker, Centerville, UT
server, USU Junction
teaching assistant, USU Dietetics Program
mommy

Jobs i'd like to have:

test kitchen coordinator
school lunch lady
working at WIC or Head Start
naming crayons at the Crayola Factory

Movies i watch over and over:

National Treasure
Night at the Museum
Little Women
Pursuit of Happyness
My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Favorite reads, recent and old:

What Einstein told his Cook
What Einstein told his Cook 2
Nobody don't love nobody
The Five People You Meet in Heaven
Tuesdays with Morrie
I will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato
Love is Walking Hand in Hand
any cookbook

Favorite things to do:

grocery shop
organize my photos on my computer
cook
take community classes and cooking classes
go on walks with Helen
travel to non touristy places
read about food and science
and I am learning to scrapbook

Places i've lived:

SLC, & Bountiful, UT
Rexburg, ID
Logan, UT
Manurewa, Hamilton, North Shore, & East Tamaki, New Zealand
Athens, OH
Monterey, CA

Favorite things to eat:

heirloom tomatoes
eggs
sushi
soup
cinnamon ice cream
fresh veggie sticks
rice

Places i'd rather be:

North Pacific coast
NZed or Aussie
a cabin on Maine's coast
a beach in Aruba
in Idaho visiting family
a spa indulging in every service they offer
where I am at is actually quite good

Words i like the sound of:

gimp
Pacific
popovers
envelope
phbbbbhph bbp (Helen’s jabber words)
cacao
my husband calling my name

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Cherokee Purple

Jake and I love Cherokee purple tomatoes (our favorite heirloom breed). Heirloom tomatoes have a much richer taste. Once you've had a heirloom tomato it hard to eat the store tomatoes. I love tomato season. It is always a sad day when I eat my last garden tomato and have to go back to the store ones until the next year. Our last tomato day was a couple of months ago, but I was just thinking about it today because my seeds are still out drying. The great thing about heirlooms is they aren't cross bred so their seeds aren't sterile and you can get offspring next year from this year's seeds.

Jake and I bought a Cherokee purple at the farmer's market in Monterey and saved the seeds. I gave half to my dad and I kept half. Jake and I only got a few this year (we discovered a pollination problem with our pots on our patio - - no bees come down there, and we solved the problem a little late.) My dad got some beautiful tomatoes.

Another thing is heirlooms aren't bred to look good or have long shelf life like store bought tomatoes so beauty must be found in their knobby, distorted shapes. But, oh, the taste is remarkable - nothing like a tomato bred to be perfectly round and bright red with long shelf life to be transported.

Jake used to think I was crazy to eat a tomato by itself in slices or like an apple. That was before I introduced him to heirlooms. Just have to cut it up and a little sea salt, maybe some fresh ground pepper or olive oil and balsamic vinegar and you have a perfect snack or side dish for dinner!!

No More Hair Bows :(

Yesterday Helen pulled the hair bow out of her hair and tried to eat it. I didn't know until I heard choking sounds behind me. It took what seemed like a whole minute to get it out, but I'm certain it was 20 seconds or less. Needless to say we are done with tiny hair bows for awhile. We will have to stick to the big head bands with big bows – the kind that can’t go down a baby’s throat. Sad day for me. I loved putting bows in her hair. And it had the added benefit that meant there were fewer comments about "my boy". Although there have been three times that Helen has been dressed in a pink shirt and pink pants with a huge pink bow in her hair and wrapped in a pink blanket and someone has asked me how my little boy is or if it was a boy or girl. After a few times I finally came up with my comeback - "It's a boy, but I really wanted a girl, so I dress him up in pink like this."

Poor Helen is hoarse today. In her learning to jabber she has picked up grunting. She has different grunts for happy, frustrated/mad, and sad. If she grunts for a few days without much babbling she gets hoarse. Her cry sounds so pathetic and it is tugging on my heart strings today. She is acting clingy today to. I wish on a star that her second tooth would pop through - it has been pretty miserable for her. Jake and I can see it, but we can't feel it yet.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Favorite Toast Breakfast


I love having a slice of cinnamon toast and a slice of peanut butter toast for breakfast.

Vanilla is neither plain nor boring

Vanilla gets a bad rap sometimes as being plain or boring. I believe this is due to the wonderful and versatile taste vanilla possess which allows it to be a base flavor in many products and recipes.

The vanilla bean is the fruit of an orchid (vanilla planifolia). Native to tropical America, obtaining pure vanilla begins with orchid blossoms, which open only one day a year.

Because this orchid has only one natural pollinator (the Melipona bee) the flower must be hand-pollinated. After pollination, pods take 6 weeks to reach full size and 8 to 9 months to mature.

The mature pods, which must be hand-picked, are green and have none of the familiar vanilla flavor or fragrance. They need curing, a 3 to 6 month process that begins with a 20-second boiling water bath followed by sun heating. Then they're wrapped in blankets and allowed to sweat. Over months of drying and sweating the beans ferment, shrinking by 400% and turning brown.

To use vanilla beans, slit lengthwise and scrape out the thousands of seeds. These seeds can be added directly to foods such as ice-cream mixtures, shortening for pastry dough, sauces, etc. Or vanilla extract can be made and added to recipes.

This seems very exotic and a tremendous amount of work to be labeled plain or boring.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Sugar Babies, Spills, & Onions

Here is Helen on Halloween. She was a package of Sugar Babies due to Jake and I calling her Sugar. We toured the pumpkin walk the week before Halloween.We decided to give out treats as we went Trick or Treating rather than gathering candy since it is obvious that Helen can't have candy and it is the last thing Jake and I need. It worked well, except that between Jake and I being sick, we were too tired to keep getting Helen out of the car to show off her costume. I ended up running the pumpkin bars up to the door by myself minus a few houses where we took Helen in. We did walk around the mall's trunk or treat with a neighbor and her boys and then we gave out candy at the ward's trunk of treat.

Helen learned how to pull herself up the night before Halloween. The first time was in the crib. So now she is having many tumbles and spills as she has not yet learned how to cruise the furniture. In her crawling around though she has found that my box of potatoes, onions, and squash is sturdy and weighs enough to support her if she pulls up on it. The other day I could hear her playing around there then all of a sudden she started crying. It wasn't her pain cry so I didn't think she had fallen, but went to go check. She had managed to tear off some of the onion greens. There were chewed up bits all around her and one coming out of her mouth. I imagine that after bland baby food onion greens are pretty spicy. She did recover though once I got them out of her mouth.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

And we're up and running again...

So it has been a very long time since I posted any blogs. I kinda forget about it. Thanks to my cousisns, Suni and Marissa, I have journeyed back into trying to keep this up. I'll have to get some posted later of Nellie, who, by the way, is currently teething. The first one was a breeze to come in, we didn't even know she was teething. This second one is more of like a bi-polar hurricane if there is such a thing. She keeps switching moods so quickly it keeps us on our toes.

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Made these the other night.­ They are great! This makes enough for 2 adults

3/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup shredded cheese (I used Italian mix)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 Large chicken breast + tenderloin
1 egg, beaten

Mix breadcrumbs cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper.­ Cut up the chicken into bite size pieces and rinse.­ Dip in egg, then dip in crumb mixture.­ Place on cookie sheet sprayed with PAM.­ Bake for 15 minutes (+ or -­), stirring once 2/3 the way through.

Mission Organize Apartment