Friday, September 26, 2008

Food Friday - Hamburger Buns

These have a really nice texture and taste. We had them last week with sloppy Joes and they were enjoyed by all: 5 Celery Sticks* from the whole Bamafam.

You can do this either by hand or in a Kitchen Aid (or whatever).

1 T Yeast
1 T Sugar
1/2 C Warm Water

1 T Butter
1 Egg White (save the yolk)
1 1/2 t Salt

Yeast Mixture
1 T Honey

Knead in:
1 3/4 C Flour

  • Knead by hand for 10 minutes or with machine for 5 minutes. The dough will be pretty soft and sticky.
  • Cover and let rise until double in size (60-90 minutes).
  • Punch down (use flour to lessen the stickiness).
  • Divide into two lumps and then divide each lump into three parts.
  • Form six round lumps of dough and place on a greased cookie sheet.
  • Using your leftover egg yolk and 1 T of water, make an egg bath and coat your buns generously. (At this point you can also top with sesame seeds, garlic salt, onion salt, or whatever tickles your fancy.)
  • Cover and let rise 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375 f and bake 15 minutes.
  • Cool, slice in half, eat.

*Food Friday has a new rating system (as opposed to the old one? I know...). If I share a recipe that we have recently tried, I will let you know how we enjoyed it. Stars just don't seem culinary enough though so we will rate it on a scale of 1-5 Celery Sticks (5 being the best of course). Some day Phil is going to create me an image that I can actually show the ratings but for now you will have to be content to read the ratings.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Food Storage Baby Style

I've been thinking about food storage more lately (along with a lot of others). Two weeks ago we had a really great Stake Conference. It was right as Ike was whirling around our neck of the woods. We were admonished to prepare for more disasters and storms (physical and figurative). I need to do better at getting a handle on our supply and then rotating it (and adding to it).

I think one of the reasons that this is hitting me more is because I am now responsible for someone besides myself. As terrible as it would be to be hungry myself, it would be beyond my imagination to see Eden hungry. How would I explain to her that she couldn't have milk or cheese or dinner before going to bed.

It made me realize that our powdered milk is low-fat and until she is two, she still needs to drink whole milk. I went to the store and found three options:

  1. Whole Powdered Milk
  2. Toddler Formula
  3. Boxed Whole Milk (not dehydrated) - it does not require refrigeration
I chose option 3 for our immediate needs. I will probably also do some of option 1. She is six months away from being able to drink the low-fat stuff so I probably won't go crazy getting tons (she'd probably be fine drinking some low-fat stuff now).

Once again, being a parent totally changes the way I think about things. I am responsible for this adorable, bright, loving, amazing little soul (who, incidentally, calls me "mommy" finally!).

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Random Life in Pictures

It has been a while since I've posted pictures so here is a strange combo of pictures from the last month. Enjoy.

We had another dress-up party about a month ago. Here Eden is wearing Macy's veil. She'll be a beautiful bride (in 25 years!)

Our fair ladies: Erin, Kendal, Macy, and Eden (barely getting into the picture)

I bought Eden this horsey at Kid2Kid for $16! It is hard foam under the fur-like fabric. If you pinch one ear it whinnies and if you pinch the other it makes a clip-clop noise. So cute! She loves it ... OBVIOUSLY!

You can see that she has learned to love the horse (but not as much as she loves Elmo). Here she is watching an Elmo movie we got from the Library. After it had to go back we ended up buying an Elmo DVD (Elmo with pets - you know doggies and kitties! she is in HEAVEN)

I love this face, it just cracks me up!

Eden is a great eater!

This is Eden being very happy about the apron I made her. Actually, she does love it. This was the day she took off walking and she was really sick of me taking pictures of her walking.
"Just pick me up like the good old days (like this morning)!"

Our little artist - she is pretty sophisticated in her conceptualization and color choices, don't you think? LOL

This is a cool beetle thing that was climbing on our house. It is about the length of my finger.

This is a bag I made yesterday. The YW are going to make these next month and use them for scripture bags - their PP stuff fits perfectly in the pockets. Thanks to Amanda for the idea and pattern.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Conversations with a Toddler

You know in the movie "Finding Nemo" how the character of Dory has short-term memory loss and so Marlin is constantly repeating, redirecting, and trying not to be totally frustrated? Well, I decided today that Dory must have been a toddler...

Location: Laundry Room of our Home
Scene: the mother is folding three batches of laundry* while the daughter is playing with some little plastic cars and trucks of various colors. The daughter then sees some crayons.

Daughter: color?

Mommy: if you want to color you need to pick up the cars.

Daughter: color!? (more demanding in tone)

Mommy: if I get you a bag, can you put the cars in it? (mom then gets a ziplock and gives it to an excited little girl.)

Daughter: (thinking) ooh, this is so fun putting these cars in this bag, wow I'm putting cars in the bag...wait, I have a bag that is half full of cars how fun! I'm going to dump this bag of cars onto the floor and play with them... ooh, what are those? Crayons!

Daughter: (to mom) Color? Color!?

Mommy: Put the cars in the (now empty bag) and then you can color.

Daughter: (thinking) ooh, this is so fun putting these cars in this bag, wow I'm putting cars in the bag...wait, I have a bag that is half full of cars how fun! I'm going to dump this bag of cars onto the floor and play with them... ooh, what are those? Crayons!

Daughter: (to the mom who is now half done folding) Color? Color!?

Mommy: You need to put the cars in the bag first.

Daughter: (thinking) ooh, a bag ... and cars ... I get to put the cars in the bag! ooh, this is so fun putting these cars in this bag, wow I'm putting cars in the bag...wait, I have a bag that is half full of cars how fun! I'm going to dump this bag of cars onto the floor and play with them... ooh, what are those? Crayons!

and so on...

She did eventually get the cars put in the bag (with my help after the laundry was done) and then she did color (a masterpiece, it will soon by for sale at Christie's Auction house).

I LOVE my job. It is really quite amazing to observe her fascination with so many things.

*don't tell Phil that I didn't fold the clothes as soon as they were out of the dryer (although I did set aside his shirts and fold his jeans while they were still warm). Ok, let's be honest, he's probably figured it out long ago and if he hasn't he reads my blog religiously (good hubby) so he knows now.

Monday, September 22, 2008

"I Sad"

Eden loves having a professor-daddy ... during the summer (when he is home lots and lots). She is realizing it isn't quite as fun during the fall (when he is gone lots and lots).

She loves her daddy so, so much. They have their own ways of playing - different than the way I play with her. He is willing to take her into our bug-invested backyard to swing much more often than I am (but I walk 3 miles with her to swing at the community center!). They water the ferns and pick up branches and sticks together. Between his calling and his teaching schedule, she gets to see him about an hour a day during the week and she is noticing.

Last night after a long day of church and meetings (she did get to go to Priesthood with him) he left to go do some home teaching. It was time for a bath and bedtime anyway but when he left she began to cry. Then she said her first "sentence" - "I sad, daddy bye-bye."

December will come soon little girl and then daddy won't be bye-bye quite so much.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Food Friday - World Bread Day

I found this site and learned of World Day of Bread (third annual!).
Hey Food Friday Folks, let's participate!

Food Friday - Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta Bake

I got the idea for this from a restaurant in Utah. My mom duplicated it and then I decided to try to duplicate it too. As too many of my "jazz" recipes, this one doesn't have specific measurements but I'll try to give you a good idea of what to do.

1 Chicken Breast - cubed
4-5 Mushrooms - sliced (you can also use a can of sliced mushrooms)
1/2 Onion - chopped
1 T Garlic - minced
1 1/2 C Chicken Broth
1/2 C Flour
2 T Olive Oil
1 1/2 C Milk (or Half and Half)
1 C Dry Penne Pasta
Salt, Pepper, Italian Spices (thyme, oregano, basil) to taste
1 Tomato - chopped
1/2 C Bacon or Ham - cut in pieces (I just use the ready-made bacon bits that come in a bag)
1/3 C Parmesan Cheese
1/3 C Mozzarella Cheese

Saute (in the 2 T of oil) the onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Add chicken cubes and seasonings. Next add the 1/2 C flour and mix until the chicken is well coated (it will be pasty). Add the chicken broth and cook until it becomes thickened. Add the milk and stir until smooth (but don't thicken). Remove from heat.

Place the dry pasta in a medium-sized casserole dish. Pour the chicken mixture over the pasta. Mix in the tomato, bacon, and parmesan cheese. Top with mozzarella cheese. Cover and bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Serve with bread and veggies and a side-dish of fruit.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I'm already ruining her!

Today Eden and I were at the store and of course they place all the candy right at her eye-level. So, she picked up some Mentos, looked at me and said, "sad, sad" and then handed me the candy. I put it back. Then she picked up a chocolate bar and repeated, "sad, sad, grunt" and handed me the candy bar. It was as if she was saying, I'm sad and this will make it all better. Have I really already turned her into an emotional eater? Pllllease!

So tell me...

What is it about Obama that you like? I don't mean the superficial stuff or even the semi-superficial stuff (like that he is charismatic). What policies that he represents make you think, "hey, I'm going to vote for Obama-Biden?"

On the other hand, what is about McCain that makes you want to vote for him? Again, I'm not interested in hearing some emotional response to him or an emotional response to his competition that makes you want to vote for him. What issue-based reasons have made you support the McCain-Palin ticket?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Food Friday - News Flash

Food Friday is preempted with this exciting news:

She Walks!

At about 3:00 today she came up to me and said, "mother, I believe it is now time to go retrieve the mail." Ok, she really said, "side, may" which of course means, "outside, mail." While we were getting the mail my neighbor walked across the street and began to visit. Eden was standing, holding on to my finger. Well, apparently we talked longer than she wanted and Eden let go of my hand and walked away. Since then she has walked all over the house and outside. Amazing.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Is there a gene for that?

This may come as a surprise to you, but I was 17 - almost 18 - when I first received my driver's license. This isn't due to the fact that I never took the test ... I did ... three times! I didn't fail it twice because I was reckless or because I couldn't parallel park or because I ran a stop sign. Why did I fail? you ask. To answer this most curious question I shall quote the man who conducted my road test:

"You are a danger to others on the road, a menace! You are overly cautious!"

Flash forward 25 years...

My daughter knows how to walk. She loves to walk. She refuses to be carried and seldom crawls. However, she will only walk if she can hold on to a person, a piece of furniture, her stroller, the grocery buggy, or keep one hand on the wall. She has walked around our entire block - pushing her stroller. She walks all over the church - along the walls. She insists on walking through the grocery store - holding on to the buggy.

Do you think there is a "cautious" gene? If so, we definitely have it.

To be fair, she has been walking a few (unassisted) steps at a time over the past few days. We decided to help her realize that it is ok to fall (she also has her father's "perfectionist" gene) and so we giggle when she falls. Now she will walk a few steps and then fall on purpose so that she can giggle and say, "OOOOH!" What a silly, cautious, perfect child.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Food Friday - Citrus Glazed Pork

I got this from my sister, Heather. We don't have a grill so we just do it in the oven. It is great either way!

1 (8oz) pork tenderloin
1/3 cup orange marmalade
2 TBSP chopped fresh mint (I use dried much cheaper & easier)
2 TBSP soy sauce
2 cloves garlic minced (2 t)

  • Cut tenderloin in half length wise, sprinkle with pepper.
  • combine remaining ingredients and stir well. Brush over tenderloin. (I usually marinade it for 4-8 hours).
  • Reserve remaining marmalade mixture.
  • Place tenderloin on grill over med heat. Cook 8 minutes on each side or until done, basting frequently (not needed if you marinade).
  • Place remaining mixture in sauce pan and cook till reduced (I usually add a can of mandarin oranges to the sauce).

If you do it in the oven you bake it (with all the marinade) at 375 for 30 minutes.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sleepy Pants

Now I know that there are many creative-crafty people who read this blog. Like this one and this one and then there is this one (and many others). But I just had to show my latest creation to y'all.

The other night Phil was doing a "photo shoot" of miniature toys for the cover/liner notes for the new CD (Kid Stuff - if you haven't heard). So it is about 9:00 pm and he has set up a "photo studio" on our dining room table. On it he has various items that correlate with the various songs on the CD. We then realize that he needs a pair of jammie bottoms (or sleepy pants). Where would we find a miniature pair of sleepy pants?

I pulled out the leftover fabric from this costume (I made this for my costume box before we got married). Here it is being fashionably modeled by my indulging husband (this was just before our first Halloween as a married couple, he DID NOT wear this on Halloween but he very reluctantly tried it on to humor me - it is sized for an 8-10 year old - it TOTALLY humored me).

Back to the original story ... I got the leftover fabric, made a pattern, cut out the fabric, did some sewing, made a draw string out of some embroidery thread I had, ironed them (yes I even ironed!), and voila! Aren't they cute? (they are about 2 inches tall)
I'm hoping that the Voice Male guys will let me sew them all sleepy pants for the CD release concert. Wouldn't they all be oh, so cute? LOL

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Some recent pics

Here are some recent pictures.

This first one is of Eden and some of her friends. They've all been swimming at Thorntons.
Eden really enjoyed the popsicle.

The other day Eden awoke, saw her sunglasses and insisted I put them on her (this is like 30 seconds after she woke up).
It cracks me up how she has her little ankles crossed. So cute.
This is two Sundays ago. She just looks like such a little lady. She figured out this pose on her own. She was sitting down while Phil took pictures and then she stood up and struck this pose.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Quirky Tag

The Rules:

1. Link the person who tagged you - that would be Charlotta the Great
2. Mention the rules on your blog - I'm doin' it!
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours - see below
4. Tag 6 fellow bloggers by linking them - I'm a rebel, so I'm not tagging anyone. If you wanna do it, do it.
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger's blogs letting them know they've been tagged - can't really obey 5 since I didn't obey 4 (that is how great sins are committed, one small disobedient move at a time and pretty soon you don't have the choice to do some good things because you didn't choose the prerequisite good things previously, so let that be a lesson to you!)

The Quirkiness of ME

  1. I listen to NPR pretty much all day long. I don't listen to our local NPR affiliate (except in the car), I stream KUER from the campus of the University of Utah. At times I am totally engrossed in the topics of the day and at other times it is like background noise but it is almost always on - although lately Eden thinks she needs to listen to these cheesy kids' CDs we have. Could someone make a really cool kids' CD please? (shameless plug for the new Voice Male CD - Kids Stuff - being released this fall. Sold where LDS books and music are found, or online at - I told you it was shameless)
  2. While I am listening to KUER I often have conversations with the hosts. They usually go something like this, "Diane, I agree with you completely, you are so insightful and such a good interviewer, good luck with your treatment** this next week, I'll miss you." or "Doug, you are such a wannabe sometimes, you're killin' me!" or "Terry, you are driving me nuts! Did you really need to ask that question? Are you serious?" or "Nina, that was most helpful, I've always been confused about that." or "Cokie, you rock, I want to be like you if I grow up." or "Scott, you are the most infantile person, are you a thirteen year old in the locker room? You could have written Dumb and Dumber (which I HATE), why do they even let you be the host!" or "Juan, I think you are absolutely right, you are so fair and balanced and not in the you've-got-to-be-kidding-me way that others say they are fair and balanced." These are just a few of my NPR friends.
  3. Sometimes when Phil is in the other room but his gmail account is up, I will "chat" with his friends and pretend I'm him (except for one time, they always initiate the chat, I just answer). There is one guy that I don't even know but we've had full conversations. I like to be enough like Phil that they really think they are talking to him but different enough that they go, hmmm... Richard is on to me though and usually says, "am I talking to Heidi or to Phil." Smart guy, that Richard.
  4. I don't think this next thing is quirky but Phil does, so you all can weigh in and tell me who is right. When entering the shower I get in then I pull up the lever and run to the end of the shower so only my feet get wet. Then when the water is the correct temperature I allow the shower to hit me. Quirky or normal - you decide. (He just turns the shower on and then gets in - BORING.)
  5. I like to jazz up things. As has already been discussed, I jazz cook* all the time. What might not be known and is perhaps a little more quirky, is that I like to totally change the melody of songs - mid-song. It drives Phil nuts. Sometimes I just get him hooked on my version and then I change it (not on purpose, just cuz).
  6. One time, about ten years ago, Charlotte and Phil commented on my widow's peak. They weren't necessarily teasing me about it but rather speaking about it as though it were somewhat odd. It totally stuck with me and I became subconscious about it. When bangs went out of style and therefore the peak became more noticeable Charlotte mentioned it again (this was about five years ago - so yeah, five years later). That very night I plucked it out. Seriously, I did. Then for about three years every time I waxed/plucked my eyebrows, I would also pluck my widows peak. I had a beautiful straight hairline. After we got married, I admitted this to Phil and he convinced me to grow it out (yeah, funny that the two who prompted me to get rid of it didn't even notice, huh?). (Check out the no peak in the picture with Phil, peak in the other one.)
It was one of those things though that once I had done it, it was hard to grow it out and un-do it because really who wants fifteen or so hairs that are stubby, then a bit longer, then a little longer, etc. So once again we see that it is so easy to follow up one mistake with more mistakes. It is just easier to make good choices from the start. (Do you think I've been serving in YWs too long????)

And that, my friends, is a lists of just six of my most quirky-yet-delightful attributes.

If you decide to do this tag, leave me a comment so I (and others) know.

*Jazz Cooking is the term for cooking without a recipe or drastically changing the recipe with your own improvisations. I first heard this term on ... wait for it ... wait for it ... yup, NPR!

**Diane Rehm has some disease that hurts her vocal chords and so she has to have these treatments every few months and so she is gone for a few days. I miss her when she is gone.