Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bleeding Hearts

Bleeding Heart flowers always remind me of my grandma. In both houses that she lived in, while I was alive, she had these flowers. I especially remember them from her house in Utah. I love them and think they are so pretty and also so intriguing with their shape. When we moved into our house, I knew I wanted to have Bleeding Hearts here. I always think of her when I see them. I just wish they lasted throughout the summer. Our plant is still relatively small, but it sure produces some pretty flowers.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Guess Who's.....

MY MOM!!!! YAY! April 22nd is her birthday and she just turned a young 70. I used to think 70 was old, but when I look at my mom, I realize that it doesn't have to be. She still could work me under a table by a long shot!!

I have always thought it was interesting that her birthday is also Earth Day and Secretary's Day because she LOVES working in the earth and gardening and growing beautiful flowers AND for many years, she worked as an amazing secretary.

A little more about her...she was born in Idaho and loves the state. However, she has no desire to move back here. (Believe me, we've tried to get her to move) She likes where she is now.

She is a super baker. She makes delicious bread and I love her pies better than any other pies out there. My favorite is her cherry pie. I try and make it every once in a while, but it never tastes the same. She is also such a hard worker and can do everything from sewing to canning to gardening to her amazing musical talents. (Wish those had been passed down to me!)

She loves doing things with her family besides all the other industrious things she does. She loves flowers, especially roses. And one of her favorite candies is cinnamon bears.
Right now she is serving a mission in Michigan. We are very proud of her and love her very much! Happy Birthday, Mom!!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

19 Years Later--You're Still The ONE!!!

I was listening to the radio the other day when "You're Still The One" by Orleans came on. I hadn't heard that in a long time. As I listened to the lyrics (and sang them at the top of my lungs) it reminded me so much of Dale. Next week is our 19th anniversary, and he's STILL THE ONE. Neither of us can believe that we've been together for 20 years.

Here are just some of the lyrics from the song that seem to sum up some of my feelings for "my better half."

"You're Still the One"

We've been together since way back when
Sometimes I never want to see you again
But I want you to know, after all these years
You're still the one I want whisperin' in my ear

You're still the one that makes me laugh
Still the one that's my better half
We're still having fun, and you're still the one

You're still the one that makes me strong
Still the one I want to take along
We're still having fun, and you're still the one

Changing, our love is going gold
Even though we grow old, it grows new

You're still the one that I love to touch
Still the one and I can't get enough
We're still having fun, and you're still the one

You're still the one who can scratch my itch
Still the one and I wouldn't switch
We're still having fun, and you're still the one

You're still the one that makes me shout
Still the one that I dream about
We're still having fun, and you're still the one

Monday, April 13, 2009


Happy Easter 2009

Here's the gang Easter morning. We had a very nice Easter--just our family this time. Both of the boys had new shirts, and Calista had a new dress that she and I made together. It was a lot of fun (except the sewing machine was having issues--grrr!)

Church was wonderful on Sunday. I love being at Church for Easter and having the chance to feel the true meaning of the holiday deep down.

The Easter bunny was very generous with his allotment of candy for everyone. New fun candy item this year: Nerds jelly beans. (jelly beans coated in Nerd candies)

We had a delicious dinner (if I do say so myself) which took two days to prepare and about 20 minutes to eat. Sigh.... We had turkey, stuffing, potatoes and gravy, homemade rolls, brussels sprouts, jello salad and a decadent lemon-coconut dessert with cream cheese frosting. I'll post a link for it below.

One funny thing on Easter....as I was getting dinner ready, I sat the rolls, which were rising in a Pampered Chef stoneware pan, on the stove. I accidentally set them on a burner which I had left on. They were probably sitting there for about 5 minute when, all of a sudden, it sounded like someone had dropped something. I turned around to see that the stoneware pan had kind of just exploded into four or five pieces. It didn't shatter--it just exploded apart. Weird and a little scary! The funny thing was that the rolls basically stayed in their same location and just dropped right onto the burner. (So a couple of our rolls had burnt bottoms.) I would never have expected the pan to burst like that. I guess that's the lesson for the day!

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Best Bread I've Ever Made

For dinner last night, I was making a new pasta dish (yummy) from a recipe our friend Scott gave us. When he gave us the recipe, he said to serve it with a great bread. For a long time, I've been wanting to make the No-Knead Bread that's been so popular on the internet and TV food shows. It's a type of sourdough bread that doesn't require any kneading--just about 24 hours to make it. Yes, I said 24 hours.

You start the bread the day before you want to eat it by simply mixing flour, water, salt, and a little tiny bit of yeast in a bowl and then letting it sit until the next day.

Here's what mine looked like after about 18 hours. It rises and then forms lots of little bubbles on the surface. (And smelled slightly sour.)

For the next step, you just dump the dough/batter on the counter and, using just a little flour, form it into a ball-kind of shape. You sprinkle it with cornmeal or wheat bran, cover it with a towel and let it sit for another 2 hours.

Then you just dump the ball into a preheated dutch oven, cover it, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes. This is what it looked like in the dutch oven.

Here's the final results. This picture doesn't do it justice--it was gorgeous and big!!! I was so happy with it.

Here's how the interior looked. The outside was very crusty and crackly and the inside had a great texture. It was just a little sour, not as much as I was expecting. It was delicious!!!

And then because I had so much success with this bread and was so happy about the results, I promptly cut a big gash in my finger when I was slicing the bread for dinner. I ate dinner and decided my finger hurt too much to attempt cleaning the kitchen. That's what Friday mornings are for, right??!?! I'll add a link at the bottom for this recipe.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I love St. Patrick's Day! I love the color green. I love leprechauns. I love Ireland and anything Irish. Maybe this is because I consider myself Irish. (OK, maybe this isn't true, but I can pretend, can't I??!?!) Anyone can be Irish on St. Patrick's Day! I also think that part of the reason I love this holiday is because nothing gives you a little hope better in the dead of winter than to celebrate everything green. It's like a little preview of Spring.
And, truly, Ireland was one of the most beautiful countries I've ever visited.
We always like to have a fun dinner on St. Patrick's Day. A couple times we tried having corned beef and cabbage, but it never went over too well. We switched several years ago to having "Pot of Gold" potato soup. Everyone likes that a lot better. We also have Irish soda bread, which I love!! I finally found a great recipe for it, and it's so delicious. (There's a link at the bottom of the page for the recipe.) This year we also had shamrock cookies and green punch. Very fun!!