Sunday, July 18, 2010

One In Every Color: Disney Style

Guest post

Once upon a time, Jessica's evil sister Valerie and her prince charming boyfriend Matt gave into their undying love for Disneyland and purchased annual passports. After learning of this exciting opportunity, Jessica wished to her fairy godmother that the two would take pictures so she could live vicariously through their adventures. But after 8 trips by the couple and no pictures, Jessica had given up all hope. Nonetheless, as Jessica learned of the two's final trip to the theme parks, she squeezed her eyes shut and wished for pictures one more time. Take a lesson kids, persistence pays off.

For two people that never carry around a camera, Valerie and Matt fulfilled Jessica's wish in Disney's "Wonderful World of Color." Not only did Jessica get pictures, but her dream world of one in every color came true.

And they all lived Happily ever after in Disney's Wonderful World of Color!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Birthday in the year AD

My apologies to all of my history professors. This time AD means after death, my moms. Yesterday was mom's birthday. Strange that for 22 years I had trouble getting her birthday right. One year I celebrated it on the wrong month, many others we were at Camp Keola for youth camps, and some I confess, it just plain slipped my mind. I’ll be the first to confess I’m bad at remembering Dates and Names.

Anyway, for 22 years I have trouble getting it right and this year....this year I've seen it coming for days.

The scenario made me think of a toddler meeting a strange new person. First the stranger and the toddler are on opposite sides of the room. Toddler is suspicious and gives stranger stink eye. I don't like you, please go away.

Toddler and stranger move around the room staying on opposite sides. Toddler is scoping out this new stranger. Stink eye, still there.

Stranger starts getting closer which gives the toddler a bit of healthy stress.

All right, stranger is within reach. Too close. Toddler starts to scream and cry. (Yes, I started to cry at work on Wednesday. I’m over crying. I sort of wish it would be over me.)

Then the stranger (who's not a creepy stranger in that he/she knows the parents) comes in one big swoop and picks the toddler up. The day is here whether you like it or not. The toddler contemplates letting all know that she is NOT happy but waits a second too long. Huh. Maybe this is doable. Hey look this stranger came with things that make him not too bad. Glasses are interesting. (Toddler starts poking stranger in the face, checking him/her out.)

Weird comparison I know, but given my recent proximity to kids it was what I could think of.

I didn't know what to think with Mom's birthday coming up. A birthday is day you celebrate loved ones and how happy you are that they have become a part of your life. While she's no longer physically a part of our lives Mom is still a part of my day to day life. I cannot go to the grocery store and not double check the price per unit, when I’m in the classroom I've adopted her obnoxious habit of calling young people friend, I'm using boards stacked on bricks as a shoe rack, our bathmats are 100% cotton the list goes on. Without the person physically there, it's hard to know just how to celebrate them. With a workplace that is currently understaffed it wasn't pratical to take the day off. So I kept busy. I talked on the phone with my sister all the way to work. I stayed busy with the kids at work.

After work Sara and Cami both included me in their evening coffee which then led to night time dinner. Sara and Cami have both experienced the loss of a parent. While I am sad for their loss, I am glad for their friendship, advice, and understanding. They are two people who could say I'm sorry, I feel your pain but don't. Because sitting there in Starbucks in Target all three of us trying not to cry we all knew. It was also good to have people who understood the need for enough, because then we went to get Noodles and talked only of lighter things for the rest of the night.

I tell you these things for several reasons.

1.) to let you all know how I'm doing and that once again God has put me here for a reason.

2.) From what I understand I will probably put off my full grieving for a good chunk of time. Being sad is a lot of work and after everything (death, marriage, moving) I don't have a lot of energy for large amounts of grief.

3.)I would like you to be included in this process because often the more we know, the better we can aid others in the future. Mom always liked to know the full reason why or how. I suspect this is how I ended up with so many random facts that make people exclaim "What don't you know." (My need for the full reason generally makes me think "tons" in my head, mostly because Mom always knew more.)

4.) For journaling purposes. I've never kept a diary or a journal. I’ve been much more motivated to blog. I suspect this is because it writes back in the form of comments which makes it feel less like purposeless writing. If you are a new or anonymous reader I encourage you to comment. You don't have to join, you can make an anonymous comment and just sign your name/nickname should you choose, but you all encourage me to journal and make record, so thank you!

Ps. Val and Matt went to Disneyland and took lots of One in Every Color pictures. I’m hoping they'll be doing a guest blog soon!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Spare Guts Soup

I have finally found it. Well, actually, that implies I've been working at it for a while. This is the first time I've tried the recipe but it worked! And it was good!
What you may ask?
California Pizza Kitchen's Asparagus Soup.

It's delicious. And dairy free. That makes it even better.
But it doesnt taste dairy free. It tastes delicious and creamy. Im adicted. And I've finally learned to make it!
The trick is the use of chicken broth. And an imersion blender. Ours is red. (Colored tools make's the food taste better!)
Soooo here's how it worked,

I simmered 1/2 an onion and two cloves of garlic with a little bit of oil in 1/3 a can of chicken broth in a small saucepan.

I dumped in a whole bundle of skinny tender asparagus snapped into inch and a half size pieces.

Added some salt, pepper and another can of chicken broth.

Cooked until asaparagus got mushy.

Took the saucepan off heat and immersion blendered the stuff to bits. Actually to purree. Grown up baby food I think.

CPK's has a bit more kick, but I wasn't QUITE sure how to get there safely, seeing as normally I prefer mild flavors. Im a bit afraid I might cross the line and once you cross it with spice, and kick Im not sure how to take it back.

Since the soup was an experiment I only made a small amount. Not nearly enough for sharing to fill Luke up. The back up plan:

Mohito Lime chicken, lemon asparagus and white rice seasoned similiarly.

It was good. Very good. The secret::
These little packets are magic! Especially this one. It's my favorite! I couldnt find it in Fresno so I bought 10 packets in Moscow just in case. Then we move to Co Springs and I've seen it in almost every store. Figures.

The thing I'm not seeing so much of....some good stone fruit. It just cant be found. Or at least not an my locations on my hours. Sigh. Most of what I'm seeing is rock hard, picked early in California and shipped to the uninformed consumers who don't know how a GOOD peach should feel/look/taste. If youre heading out this way....bring fruit. Fresno area fruit just cant be beat. I'm really missing the amazing peaches, nectarines, apricots and plums of last summer. I think that's when I truly learned to appreciate it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Vandal Baseball

Hahaha just kidding. The U of I doesnt have a baseball team. We DID however head up to Denver on Saturday to meet Luke's parents for a University of Idaho Alumni (Colorado Chapter) event at a Colorado Rockies baseball game!
Luke took a morning shift at his place of work (we're not even allowed to type the name on the internet) which meant he had to get up at 5AM!!! Fairly typical except this time I had trouble falling back asleep (normally not an issue.) So here you go Grandma G, pictures of our sunrise.
Garden of the Gods too early in the morning!
After Luke got off work we headed to Denver!
Ive never seen so many people wearing purple before in my life! It was fantastic!
I even painted my nails "A Grape Fit" for the game. Thats what I did with my time being up so early and all.
Luke wore his Germany shirt in honor of them getting 3rd place in the World  Cup!
Every stadium has it's "food to get." When we went to Grizzlies Games as kids it was always a funnel cake, at the Skysox stadium it's Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory's Caramel Milk Chocolate covered apple, and here it was kettle corn. We went on a mission and found it. Good for munching the whole game long.
The famous fountain.
Red slushie?
Rockies beat the Padres 4-2.

Weekly Review

Some of the highlights from this week include:

Deer in our apartment complex. The other one had already made it past the building. You can arely see it behind the stairs.
Meat loaf and mashed potatoes. (Yep sorry Uncle Steve, I stuff it full of veggies (cellery, carrots, onion, and spinach)
Bowling with the kiddies.
Toy Story 3-D
and the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. How cool is this! The giraffes stick their heads over and kids (and grown ups) get to feed and pet them! Best part of the zoo if you ask me!
The animals seemed to be in the mood for romance!
Other attractions at the zoo included
for all of you Kim Possible fans Naked Mole Rats. Gross. And they were little. All the billboards around town make you think they're giant! These guys were like your average hampster. Meh. (Thats what the kids said too.)
Overall I'd give this Zoo an 8.5 the giraffes made it a trip to remember!

Ps. I also went to Color Me Mine with a few girls from the area for Sara's birthday. Shout out to Sara (Aly took the pictures.)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Fourth

Dinner was scarfed before I remembered to take a picture! Sloppy Joes and corn on the cob! Yum!
We watched fireworks on our balcony (since we can see the whole town we got to catch all the shows!)
For dessert:
home made strawberry ice cream!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

2nd of July Fireworks!

Yesterday (Friday) Luke and I went to the Skysox game with two of my co workers and their husbands.
L-R Luke, Andrew, Sarah, Aly, and Bryan (Brian)

It was as Aly says "Fuller than I've ever seen it before." This MIGHT have been due to the fireworks they have every Friday night game and the people of this patriotic city trying to get in avery fireworks moment possible!
Can I just say that it became quite aparent as we were walking to the game from work, that none of us married short. We were dwarfed. The picture below is my knees in between Andrew's (left) and Luke's (right.) No wonder they're more concerned with seating on an airplane than I am!

Aly got these stylin glasses for watchiing fireworks in 3-D. We all gave her a lot of grief but then she let us try em out for a bit and let me just say....they're pretty cool.
Here are some of my non 3-D pictures of fireworks!
Happy Fourth of July!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Following the Recipe

You've been hearing quite a bit about our food lately. Primarily because with these new silly 40 hour work weeks at the end of the day the only place left for creativity is in my food. My taste buds are enjoying it. My fabric and yarn...not so much.

Because I'm using food as my creativity outlet, recipes have become less of a set of instructions and more like guidelines. For some reason I hardly feel obligated to follow the ingredients, measurments, and even steps. Is this normal? Do the rest of you view a recepe as merely inspiration for your own masterpiece?

Take for example the Prosciutto, Spinach, and Pasta Casserole(Found in the Better Homes and Garden's Plaid Cookbook):
Ah this has spinach. We have lots of spinach from Costco. I'll do that. Except, ours is fresh.
And I'd rather use bacon.
And cook the onions and garlic in some of the bacon grease for less dairy.
Ooooh I dont like Anise. I'll trade our for Italian seasoning.
A dallop of sourcream wont hurt...I didn't use butter.
Hmmm maybe just a bit more flour.
Ooops, too thick more chicken broth.
I'm scared of our oven, pie dish fits in our toaster oven, lets use that.

Aw man we have mushrooms, I should have cooked those with the onions.
Luke doesnt like em anyway. Ill saute some and put them on top of mine.

Ok. Really. Does this even qualify as the same dish anymore?

Ps. Made lemon sorbet. Minced the lemon peel because we don't have a zester. Didn't like the idea of all the chunks in our sorbet. Straining them out seemed like too much work.

Busted out the immersion blender. Realised not only does it make peel chunks smaller, but also whips air into the mixture to keep it from getting ROCK HARD after putting it in the freezer for a bit. To this day it is still light and fluffy thanks to the RED immersion blender.

PPs. I'm pretty sure all of our red kitchen goodies and amazing flavor and goodness to the food, just by being red.
PPPs. The side benefit of making Lemon Sorbet is that you have lemon juice ready to go on fresh avacado slices to then be sprinkled with salt. One of my favorite snacks. Noteworthy moment: This is the best avacado I have found outside of California.