Friday, October 30, 2009

What are your anxieties?


I was born from a high anxiety person. Like a "go take your pills" anxiety person. Luckily, I am generally a chill person and have almost no anxiety. Although, for everyone some anxiety still exists. Do I have anxiety that my husband is going to die in a firey plane crash, or be murdered on the mean streets of Africa? Some wives would worry a little, but Fairb is golden, nothing is going to kill that guy. I could have a blog just about reasons my husband should be dead. Do I have anxiety that I am destroying my children's lives because I am a completely non sympathetic mom who isn't always thrilled with motherhood and I occasionally loose my temper? I have friends that worry about that, but I don't because that is exactly how my mother was, and I am golden! I turned out great!

My small anxieties rear their heads in the kitchen. Like yesterday, I saw raspberries at the store for 4.74$ for a whole flat. That is a completely unreal price. A regular priced flat would be like 30 $ Our family just started consuming freezer jam, opposed to store bought regular jam. Well it turns out that freezer jam is like 10 million times better than regular jam. Now my kids won't even eat regular jam. So now, I have anxiety that we are going to run out of jam before I can buy raspberries on the cheap. So of course to feed my anxiety, I had to buy the raspberries. Two flats. Yes, I am in the throws of major primary halloween party prep. Yes, I have two sick kids. (probably swine flu, I will not feed into the frenzy!) Yes, I haven't even done the dishes from last nights dinner. But I HAVE to buy these berries, and from the looks of them, the jam has to be made tonight.

So I bought the berries, realizing we haven't eaten that much of the jam I already made, I didn't even have enough jars. I just counted my jar of raspberry jam . . . .50 jars. Good thing I have a big freezerThats a lot of toast and peanut butter and jelly. I better go make some bread.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tis the season for caramel apples


I am no chocolatier, but making caramel apples at Halloween is one of our families favorite traditions. This is what I do know about making caramel apples,

1. a fondue pot or crock pot is the perfect thing to melt the caramel. Which gives away the fact that I did not MAKE caramel, candy thermometer? I am not there yet. Add a couple tablespoons of water for a bag of caramels. Yes, I unwrapped a million caramels. You may say, Natalie it was you who told me about "caramel bits", why didn't you use those? I did use a bag of those, and it was a huge mistake because they just plain didn't melt smooth!

2. Airheads candy is the perfect candy for decorating everything, just use scissors to cut the shapes you want. Airheads come in tons of colors, so its great.

3. Chocolate (including white) are great toppings. Along with nuts, butter finger, m&m's, snickers, Reese's pieces, and anything and everything else candy.

4. Set on parchment that has also been sprayed with cooking spray.

What I don't know about making caramel apples:

1. How to make caramel

2. How to melt white chocolate on the stove without screwing up the first batch.

3. How prevent everything from sliding off the apple

4. how to make them pretty.

Luckily, it all tastes good in the end, and a good time was had by all!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Seasons change


The trees are naked again, the air is cold, we have stacked the wood and let the fire burn again, making our little house on the hill be cozy and happy. Its times like theseyou feel like yummy earthy soup. Mmmm..... I almost called this soup, "cream of mushroom" then I realized "cream of mushroom" only means one thing, bad mormon recipe (hey, even I am not immune to using cream of mushroom soup in one of my recipes, its shames me) So let's just call it "mushroom soup" shall we?

Cream of mushroom soup

Mushrooms of any variety you like (I used shikate, baby portabella, and button) about 2 pkg worth
1 small onion diced
4 cloves garlic minced
1 can chicken broth
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
4 T butter
1 c cream

In a large sauce pan sauté the mushrooms, onions and garlic in the butter. Don't try to sauté it all at once, do it in batches as to not crowd the pan so you can brown the mushrooms properly. While sautéing, season with salt and pepper. Be gentle on the salt because you are going to add stock, but be liberal on the pepper because it is the star flavor of this recipe. Once all the mushrooms and onions have been sauteed, put them all back into the pan and cover with the chicken broth. Now add some water, enough to make the liquid cover the mushrooms by about a 1/2 an inch. Let it simmer for about 5-10 minutes. Taste to make sure the salt levels are good and you can taste the spice from the pepper. Transfer to the blender and blend till smooth, or use an emulsion blender. Before serving, heat throughout and finish with the cup of fresh cream. Although the bread in the picture is from Costco, want to make your own yummy crusty bread? Try this bread.

nan's note: if you are using any dried mushrooms, reconstitute them by boiling them in the chicken stock.

Friday, October 23, 2009

pumpkin pancakes

Ok, its been a slacker halloween. I haven't even taken my kids to get pumpkins. The problem is, I HATE carving pumpkins for three children. The children are worthless when it comes to pumpkin carving. They are too little to use the knifes, and when it comes to getting the guts out, they cry and moan that it feels "gross". Further our menace dog Rock has an inkling for pumpkin. Grandma Vicki sent some little pumpkins home with the kids and Rock destroyed all of them. So I am trying to lay low on the whole pumpkin thing this year. Think I can get away with it? I made up for it by making pumpkin pancakes instead, and boy were they yum! yum! yummy!


Pumpkin Pancakes

1 c pumpkin puree from a can
2 eggs
1 c milk (might need more)
pinch of cinnamon (optional)
pinch of nutmeg (optional)

First mix together the eggs, milk, pumpkin, and spices until well combined. Add pancake mix and gently mix to combine, do not over mix. Make the batter to your perfect consistency with milk or more pancake mix.

Serve with butter, syrup and chopped pecans.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Nearly whole wheat pancake mix


Did you know Bisquick is basically poison? I grew up on Bisquick, and now I am learning its poison. It has trans fat in it. Come on Bisquick get in the 21 century. It doesn't matter because its over between us, hopefully the damage you have done to me is reversible.
Secondly, have noticed how expensive "healthy" pancake mixes are in the stores? Listen, I am no bargain grocery shopper and even I noticed that buying a tiny box of pancake mix for like 6 bucks is expensive. So I had to come up with a great tasting pancake mix on my own. Now this is nearly whole grain because we've got to keep everyone in the family happy. Here is the mix:

2 c whole wheat flour (preferably fresh ground)
1 c oat flour (I just put old fashion oats in the blender)
2 c all purpose white flour
1/2 c sugar (I use evaporated cane juice, you know the brownish organic sugar, sugar is optional in this recipe)
8 t baking powder
1 T salt

one stick butter, cold (1/2 c)

In your food processor, combine all the dry ingredients. Cut butter into cubes and add to mixture, pulse to cut the butter into the mixture. Store in an airtight container. (if you are butter in the fridge girl I guess you could store it in the fridge, but I keep my butter on the shelf).

To make pancakes and waffles mix with eggs and milk. Use 1 egg for roughly 1 cup of mix. How much milk you use depends on how thick you like your pancakes. I am a make them thin and stack them high pancake girl, so I make my batter thin. If you are a muffin girl (if they are thick, its a muffin not a pancake) then go easy on the milk. I have never in my life measured milk for pancakes. If you are reading this and say to yourself, "I always measure the milk!" Then NOT measuring while making pancakes from a mix is the first step on learning to eye ball stuff when cooking. You can't be a good cook if you can't eye ball. So go practice on some pancakes.

Stay tuned this week for some other great pancakes!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Let it snow!!


Forgive me for not giving fall time and halloween its due (this kind of looks like a ghost actually), but we are a family of winter time. We live on top of a mountain where we get FEET of snow. My children sleep in an igloo and make fun of city kids and their "rain". This year Porter and Alta are going to ski on the sundance ski team. Tonight is their equipment night, and we are bringing "snow" to the party.
I own a cotton candy machine. It was a necessity really. Along with me movie popcorn popper. You can rent cotton candy machines at party supply stores, and if you are my BFF, just call me and you can borrow mine. Anyhow, so I made this "snow" with plain white C&H sugar to which I added a little vanilla extract to flavor it. I let the vanilla dry in the sugar before I put it in the machine. In my world the snow is sugar! Welcome to my world!

Friday, October 16, 2009

I am home!

Holy cow, I think Malaysia is the the farthest place on the earth. I have been up for 30 hours. Airplanes smell like butt. Are my kids always this loud? I will start cooking soon, I swear it. Till them I am going to dream of spicy shrimp and bean spouts . . . .

Friday, October 9, 2009


Yes I am on my 2nd honeymoon, and no I am not blogging. I left the on the dock, just in case you missed me. Thank you target for making footsie jammies for all sizes, my kids are in heaven. Except Everett has a small issue with them. See, he sucks his thumb and puts his other thumb in his belly button (perverted I know). So he was so excited to wear them until it was time to get comfortable on the bed while watching Scooby- Doo. Luckily he is smart kid and figured out he just had to zip them down a little, Hasseloff style, to show his chest and he could access the button. Here are to Everettisms . . .

Everett HATES getting sunblock applied, so while in Powell as I struggled to get him lubed up, he was getting increasingly difficult, to vent his frustration he said,
""Aaarrgghh! Why did Jesus make the people anyway!"

Tonight Everett gave the family prayer tonight it went like this,

"Thank you for my shark mom. Thank you for my Shark dad. Thank you for my shark sister. Thank you for my shark brother. Thank you for the ocean. Amen."

To which we disapproved when he was done, and we let Alta give a real prayer. When she was done we told her it was a good prayer. Everett replied,
"Ya, but mine was funnier."

Oh dear.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

10 years: 10 days!

Our wedding announcement photo, 10 years ago!

Big announcement! I am actually going to celebrate my anniversary this year! I can't remember the last time my husband was even in town for our anniversary. We are going to Malaysia and Singapore for 10 days! I can see the stress building in my husbands eyes from the thought of not working for 10 days! I love it!
We were married October 12, 1999 in the Mount Timpanogos Temple. 6 months before that, it was a powder day at Sundance I was a BYU student taking a telemark ski class. With no telemark skills, I was struggling down the powdery mountain. Just then, I saw a beautiful creature in a bright red coat gracefully making free heeled turns right past me. I, at the time, was infatuated with all men on telemark skis, so I called out, "Hey will you marry me?" He didn't hear the call, but when I got down to the bottom of the mountain, he was the assistant teacher to the class. That is when we met. It turned out he worked at Sundance, along side one of my roommates. My roommate was going to order me a tent through work that I was going to give my boyfriend who was on an LDS mission at the time. So I called her at work and Fairb answered the phone. Right then and there he asked me on a date, and needless to say I never got the tent. It wasn't long until Fairb and I were in love, and the missionary got his "Dear John" letter.

Now Fairb is wildly successful, an incredible father, and a amazing husband. And I get to go with him to Malaysia and Singapore for 10 days. We practically closed our eyes and put our finger on the map. Malaysia it is! All we have planned is our plane tickets and our first nights hotel. The rest we will figure out when we get there. It is going to be great! I know that food is going to a big part of my trip (otherwise it would be not fun right?) So hopefully I will have plenty to share when I get home. Wish us luck, and wish Grandma Vicki luck who is willing to watch our kids while we are gone. Thanks Grandma Vicki! So see you in 10 days, maybe you will hear from me while I am gone, maybe you won't . . .

our "other" wedding announcement, just to give our friend a laugh and shock our grandparents!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Demi glace

So my BFF Kris (she is becoming totally famous, and she loves it) signed up me and her for a cooking class at Thanksgiving Point for my birthday. Turns out, those suckers canceled the stinkin' class. Jerks. So instead she got me this stuff from Williams and Sonoma that she swears by that makes all sauces and gravys AMAZING! So of course, I was excited to try it. All I can say is Oh LA LA!
So its just a paste for a quick way to get a demi-glace but it also can be used to make your beef gravy taste even more tasty. So I first tried it with tenderloin steak. I used my cast iron skillet. It seems like if you use a non stick pan it is hard to get a nice brown on the meat. Of course I cooked the steaks medium rare, I don't want to dishonor the cow for sacrificing his life for me, the least I could do is cook it right. Once the steaks were done, I let them rest and quickly sauteed a small handful of chopped shallots. Once they were soft and poured in a little brandy to deglaze the pan (you could use water, I need to do a post about cooking with alcohol . . . remind me) and a tablespoon of the demi-glace. Once it cooked a little, it was ready. I sliced the steak and topped it with the sauce. It was delish! Get a friend like Kris and she will buy you some.