Monday, August 30, 2010

First Day of School 2010

A Junior in High School.

First Day of Middle School.

First Day of Kindergarten!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Hare Krishna Bread

This year Calista was in the Boise Fourth of July parade with her drill team. It was a lot of fun and just the right length. It was also fun because friends and family got to "march" along with the girls. It was neat to be able to walk down the street past the Capitol building.

There were lots of interesting entries in the parade, and one of the best were the Hare Krishnas. Of course, they had a very colorful "float" and beautiful costumes. As they walked down the street, they passed out little packages of sunflower seeds and raisins to everyone. Our family ended up with several little packages.

I was interested to know if the little packages had any significance, so I tried to research it. I didn't do a very good job, but I think I found out that these little "gifts" are called prasadam. Supposedly, worshippers give a treat to the gods at their temple, and then the worshippers are given a treat back. This treat is then shared with everyone. Many times the treats are made with some kind of nuts and fruits. (This may be entirely wrong, but that's the closest thing I could figure out.)

Anyway, we ended up with these little bags and, while they were OK to eat plain, nobody was that enthusiastic about eating them. I wondered if I could come up with a way to use all the little packets. They were interesting because the raisins and seeds were flavored with some sort of spice and some salt. I remembered a recipe I had made a long time ago from Bon Appetit for some pumpkin/sunflower seed bread and thought maybe that would work.

I found the recipe and realized that the recipe already called for some spices, so the already-flavored seeds and raisins just might work. I think the family was a little skeptical of my "Hare Krishna" bread until they tasted it. It was DELICIOUS!!! The bread was very moist and flavorful, and the sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds added just the right amount of texture and crunch. Guess we'll have to catch the parade next year, too.

For those of you who don't have Hare Krishna packets, I'll post the recipe and you can just use sunflower seeds. OK? OK!!

Pumpkin Sunflower Seed Bread (Makes 2 loaves)

2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 2 loaf pans. Combine all the ingredients (batter will be thick). Divide the batter between the two pans. Bake for about 55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool bread in pans for 10 minutes then turn out on to a rack to cool completely.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Buttermilk Syrup

I recently saw a recipe for buttermilk syrup on a website. I had never heard of anything like it. The person posting the recipe raved and raved about it, and other commenters said it was incredible. I decided we might as well try, especially since it's such an easy recipe.

Oh, my goodness!!! You cannot believe how yummy this is!!! Seriously!!!!! It is so rich and delicious. You all must try it right now!!!! Go--get the ingredients right now!! It's worth it!!! We had it over French toast, and it was heavenly! OK--here's the recipe....

Buttermilk Syrup

Melt one stick of butter (not margarine) and 1/2 cup buttermilk and 1 cup sugar in a LARGE saucepan over medium low heat (Yes, large!). When butter is melted, bring the syrup to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and add 1 teaspoon vanilla and whisk in 1 teaspoon baking soda. The syrup will foam up when you add the baking soda. Whisk the syrup for a second or two and the foam will go down a little, but not very much. Serve immediately over french toast, waffles, pancakes, etc. As the syrup cools down, the foam goes away and the syrup gets thicker, but it's still super yummy!!!

Have fun!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!! I thought it would be fun to have a big old fiesta, but it ended up being a crazy day. We did manage to pull of a couple fun things for strawberry margaritas (virgin, of course)

Crab ceviche with tortilla chips.
Fish tacos with a yummy lime cilantro sauce

And for dessert, mexican brownies with vanilla ice cream and dulce de leche drizzled over the top.
It was so crazy, we had to have all the parts of the meal at different times for different people, but it was still fun. I was also going to serve jicama with lime and red pepper but couldn't quite get it all done. Maybe next time....

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Doin' Our Best For Charity

For the 5th year in a row, Dale's band played at the Children's Archery Challenge. This is an archery tournament/shoot where all the proceeds go to help fight children's cancer. The band plays for free at the Challenge but, as you can see, the family gets a lot more entertainment out than we put in. It's a fun thing to participate in each year, and it makes me happy that Dale and his band are willing to play for free for such a good cause.

Monday, April 19, 2010


When I was a kid, one of our neighbors had the opportunity to go to South America many times. She also had South American friends that would come and stay with her. A few times those friends would make South American food and invite our family over to share. On one of these occasions, a woman made empanadas. I had never had anything quite like them before, and it's one of those flavors that I can still remember from that one, exact time.

I've experimented with making my own empanadas over the years and made some pretty good ones, but never been able to quite duplicate that first one I had as a kid. This last time, I made them, they turned out really well. Instead of using the same filling that I usually do, I improvised a filling using some leftover potatoes and rotisserie chicken. They were very yummy and I even felt like I got the hang of crimping the edges pretty well.

Basically all you're doing with an empanada is making a little meat pie and baking it. The one thing that I always like to do, though, is to include the very traditional hard-boiled eggs and green olives. That really makes them taste like authentic empanadas. Look for the recipe link at the bottom of the page.

Buen Provecho!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Pork Tinga--Say That 5 Times Fast

WOW! It's been a long time since I posted anything new. I've thought about it, but never got around to it.

I bought some boneless country-style pork ribs for a good deal the other day, but wanted to try a new recipe with them. I searched a couple sites and found this recipe from Rick Bayless.

It was super yummy. It was a tomato-chipotle kind of sauce with falling-apart pork and potatoes and onions in it. We served it taco style on corn tortillas and garnished it with avocado and fresh cheese. Even the kids ate it up.

There was enough left over, too, that I'm going to attempt to make enchiladas out of the remaining meat and sauce. I'll post a picture of that if it works out. Check out the link to the recipe below.

(And I'll try and post a little more in 2010)