Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My New Love!!!

My dear cousin Nathan got hitched.
It was at his open house in Utah that I met someone.
My new love.
A tiny little cookie sandwich with pink filling.
What are you, you delicious goodness?
Surely not just a sugar cookie.
And surely not just frosting.
But what?
And will we meet again?

Photos by Lili Wright. Thanks Lili!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Peach, Peach, Peach!

Whitney had a bunch of peaches that she got FOR FREE!
FREE stuff is the best.
But she didn't want them to go bad and she and Pete couldn't eat them fast enough so we made some peachy goodness.
First: A Peach Pie

Yes, my crust needs some work visually, but the tase was perfect!

Here's the peach pie recipe:
10 fresh peaches, pitted and sliced (We also peeled them by putting in boiling water for one minute then straight into ice water. Peels came right off.)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
Mix flour, sugar and butter into crumb stage.
Place one crust in the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate. Line the shell with some sliced peaches. Sprinkle some of the butter mixture on top of the peaches, then put more peaches on top of the the crumb mixture. Continue layering until both the peaches and crumbs are gone.
Top with lattice strips of pie crust.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes, or until crust is golden. Allow pie to cool before slicing. Best when eaten fresh.
But it was still good the next day when I finished it off cold from the fridge.

Then we made homemade peach ice cream with Whitney's fancy ice cream maker. I want one so bad.

Unfortunately, this is the only picture I got of the process. Once it was done I was too concerned with eating it to take any pictures. It was so good. Better than the pie, which was really good.

Here is the recipe for the ice cream:
5 large ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped (We peeled with the boiling/ice water method- is that called blanching?)
1/4 cup water
1 (12-ounce) can peach nectar
1 cup sugar
4 ounces sour cream
1 pint heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon juice
DirectionsCook's Note: A few hours before making, place ice cream insert into the freezer. Place chopped peaches into a saucepan. Add water and a can of peach nectar. Cook over medium heat until soft and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain peach juice. Place peaches into a large bowl; add sugar and allow to cool to room temperature. Add sour cream, heavy cream, vanilla extract and lemon juice to the bowl with the peach mixture. Using an emersion blender mix together to incorporate. (If you do not have an emersion blender, a food processor works just as well.) Remove ice cream insert from the freezer and turn the machine on. Pour the peach mixture into the insert and follow manufacturer's instructions for churning. Freeze ice cream in a covered container until ready to serve.

If you try one of these recipe's, please let me know how you liked them.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Does this look like a hobo to you?

This is a hobo spider. Also know as the Aggressive House Spider. I killed seven of these things in my house last week. And aggressive is right. As soon as they know I'm after them they run straight at me. On Saturday we found five of them hanging out outside our front door.
So we decided to take some defensive measures. First we fixed all of our weather stripping. ( I know it says stripping, Jeanna, but I assure you we all had our cloths on.) Even the thing that attaches under the door. This was long over due. We have been heating and cooling the neighborhood for three years now.

Hopefully the spiders won't be feeling free to just mosey into our house anymore.
But just in case they do, we bought some sticky traps that will be down at night and up during the day. So far we've caught one spider that mangled itself so badly trying to get off that we can't even tell if it's the same kind.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Book List

Remember way back in February when I said I was going to post a list of books I've read every month or every other? Well, it's been over 7 months now so this may be too long for most of you to read the whole thing. I'm sorry and I'll try to do it more often to keep it shorter. Here we go!

Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow Plague (book 3) by Brandon Mull - I have enjoyed this whole series.
River Secrets by Shannon Hale - This is a companion book to Goose Girl and Enna Burning. Read the Goose Girl first and then Enna Burning because this one will have spoilers for the other two in it. I liked it.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho - (February Book Club Selection) I like this book, it's the second time I read it because I recommended it to my book club. But I will have to tell you that it is most definitely the philosophies of man.
Princess Academy by Shannon Hale - Another hit. I loved it.
The Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull - I thought this was average. Fun premise with really good parts and some slow parts.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows - I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! I've read it twice already.
A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck - This was up for a Beehive book award this year, so I gave it a try. It's a cute young adult or junior fiction read.
It's a Mall World After All by Janette Rallison - Also a Beehive book nominee. I really enjoyed this more than I thought I would. Entertaining, for sure.
CrissCross by Lynne Rae Perkins - Beehive book Nominee. I liked it, but thought there could have been more.
The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt - (March Book Club Selection) I reviewed this back in August. I've read it twice since, I loved it that much!
Austenland by Shannon Hale - I have to say I was disappointed. It's very different than the other Shannon Hale books I've read. It's an adult book and I just wasn't feeling it.
My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok - (April Book Club selection) I really liked this book. It's interesting and thought provoking and a little bit heart breaking.
After Tupac & D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson -Another Beehive book nominee. As someone who seemed to be passed by with the whole Tupac tragedy it was interesting to read. I remember it happening, but I don't think I had much of a reaction.
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie - My first Agatha Christie read. And I liked it, though I had some trouble with the foreign names and phrases. A great mystery.
Lost Boys by Orson Scott Card - Very, very sad and troubling. Made me scared to send my kid to school, and I had problems with some of the main characters and what I saw as their personality flaws.
A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban - Beehive book Nominee. A very fun read, especially as the mother of a boy to is learning to play the piano on an electric key board that can make beats.
The Miracles of Santo Fico by D.L. Smith - (May Book Club Selection) I reviewed this book back in March of 2008. I read it again for book club and liked it just as much the second time.
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton - (June Book Club Selection) Not my favorite book... It was weird. And a bit Gothic.
Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, and Nathan Hale - This is my first graphic novel. I LOVED IT! It was so fun and not at all what I expected. I'm not a big fan of comic books so I was apprehensive but I gave it a go anyway and I'm so glad I did.
Savvy by Ingrid Law - Newberry Honor and ALA Notable book. I LOVED IT!
A Single Shard by Linda Sue Pack - Newberry Medal book. Interesting insight into a different culture. Fiction.
East by Edith Pattou - I didn't know what to expect. I just picked it up off the shelf and I LOVED IT!
The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs - Interesting insights, quirky author, Hilarious parts... Non fiction, kind of like a weird reality show.
The Surrender Tree by Margarita Engle - This one was on a special rack at the library, but I can't remember which one... Maybe Beehive Book Nominee. It's poetry that tells a story. It's a really quick read. I found it interesting.
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selsnick - Another Graphic Novel. I liked it. Let me know if you read it so we can talk.
Grace by Richard Paul Evans - Tear jerk er! So sad.
Precious Bane by Mary Webb - (August Book Club Selection) I LOVED IT! But I do feel like I should warn you about the way it's written. It's a weird dialect type of writing and so for a good portion of it you will have to reread stuff, and it will take some extra time to read. But it will be so worth it.
Daughter of the Forest by Juliette Marilier - I LOVED IT! And there are two more that come after.
When you have the time, read a book.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

La Mar Goes To School

La Mar,who, if I haven't mentioned before, is our fish that I have managed to keep alive for a year and half so far, had a fun afternoon last Friday. And by fun, I mean, his peaceful life of swimming around in circles was totally disrupted by a class full of third graders. Sam requested that I bring La Mar and all his fishy belongings to the school for show and tell.

His belongings are few, but Sam felt they needed to make the trip. His bowl was too heavy to carry with him and his water in it so he had to hang out in a jar for the trip. But I brought the empty bowl.

I brought the brush we use to clean his bowl and the net we use to get him out of the bowland the plastic plant we put in his bowl when the look suits us. (All in the Skippy Jar.)

The food came along too because Sam wanted to teach his class the rules for feeding La Mar. The rules are: One pellet at a time. No giving him another until he eats the first. Then, one at a time up to 6. No more than 6 pellets in one day. Sam's plan was to teach them the rules, feed him a pellet so they could see him eat, then call up five volunteers to have a turn feeding the fish. La Mar did not cooperate. He wouldn't eat the first pellet.
Also along for show and tell was the mirror we use to harass the poor fish. Sam asked me to bring it so he could show his class what La Mar looks like when he's mad. You see, when La Mar sees his own reflection he thinks it's another fish and then flares out his gills and fins like he's about to fight.
Some of Sam's classmates got a little ticked when he relayed what the pet expert at Walnast, where we got the fish, told us... "If you see a beta fish with beautiful colors such as red and blue, then it's a boy. The girl beta fish are ugly." So, yeah, the girls weren't too happy to hear that. I'm sure the smug look on Sam's face when he told them didn't help.
I found it impressive that Sam had his show and tell presentation all planned out in his head before he even talked to me about bringing the fish and making it happen. I also found it typical that I had to make it happen. I guess that's what being the mom is all about. Helping the offspring achieve their ideas and desires. Luckily for Sam, this was a desire I could support.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cream Puffs

I made cream puffs for a book discussion I was hosting. The book was Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt. If you have read it then you know why I made cream puffs. If you haven't read it you should. I have read it four times. It's that good.
But my main problem that day was that I don't have a pasty filler in my collection of culinary tools. So I had to improvise.

I used a little medicine syringe.

And even though I had to concentrate so hard that my tongue stuck out, it worked great.

I chose chocolate, rather than chalk dust as the finishing touch.... Read the book.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Swimming by the light of the Full Moon

We went camping over Labor Day weekend. We were able to stay at the Tifie Boy Scout Camp near Mt. Pleasant, Utah. It is a beautiful new camp donated to the Boy Scouts by generous donors. To learn more about one of the charitable foundations click here. It was a fabulous weekend. But I only have pictures from the first night because I failed to charge my camera battery before we left. We had a night swim, which was pretty chilly. And this is the best picture I could get of the breathtaking view with my little old camera.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I Feel Empowered.

Is it weird that canning makes me feel empowered? In the past it has scared me to death. It's hot (I don't ever want a skin graft), and there is glass involved (I don't ever want stitches), and what if I feel botulism to my family (I don't ever want to do that, I can't even spell it)?
But this year, through the help of my friend Melissa, I have learned to be comfortable with the process.
So far we have canned (from left to right) Salsa, plum jam, and jalapeno jelly!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

This one is for Becky and Whitney! (Oh, and Amy, she was a victim too.)

So, my somewhat tactful sister called me and told me of an amazing discovery she made in a book she got from her sister-in-law. The book is called The Cheapskate or something like that. I thought, Wow, Becky's sister-in-law really knows her well. She told me that if I put my dish rags in the sink with some water and vinegar, and let them soak for about an hour, and then ring them out, and throw them in the wash, then they would smell good again. I decided not to be insulted, since they really did stink and gave it a try. It really works!
Then, my poor sister-in-law had unfortunate luck and got a major whiff of my flip flops. The ones I've been wearing everyday, all summer long. Of course I wash them, but the results don't last. So I took the cheapskate tip and I soaked them in water and vinegar for about five hours. Then I threw them in the wash..... And Whitney, I am happy to report, no more stench!

I just recalled that my poor cousin Amy was assaulted by the same flip flops ealier this summer. Sorry to all who were exposed to my stinkyness!

By the way, my feet don't stink, just my flip flops do.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Guest In My Kitchen

I guess this little farmer wanted a closer look at my tomatoes.
Where is his face?

Thursday, September 3, 2009


One day I was out admiring the beautiful flowers.

I noticed some mouse poop on the side of my house. How did a mouse poop on the side of my house? I looked up, nothing. I looked down and noticed about 20 more similar poops caught in a spider web. Do we have flying mice?

Then I noticed that my iris leaves were looking pretty poor. Somethings been eating my iris leaves!
The poop and the chomp marks belong to a million bazillion grasshoppers that have invaded our neighborhood. They specifically like my yard. Sam has been given orders to catch as many of them as he can. He was up to 20 within an hour. One day he even had half the neighborhood on the job with him.

And today I found these beasties hiding out in one of our bushes. I wasn't brave enough to get a better picture. Some of their friends have taken up residence in our shed.
Where are those birds when I need them?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The bounty keeps coming.

So we made some fresh salsa.