Sunday, November 25, 2012


we are in that phase with my toddler.  explosive learning is taking place.  words learned often tend to be repeated, repeatedly. as in over and over.  only a mother can appreciate this phase.  while my video on the previous post demonstrates this point, maybe that will give my story credit.

while in the midst of sunday sacrament worship, rowan let it be known that his tummy was sick.  tummy sick, over and over.  within minutes he lead the chorus with melodic tones in his voice ringing out "i'm poopin" over and over.  we are quite past the binky phase and so i desperately stuck my finger in his open jaw - kind of like you would a puppy, to quiet the chorus, all to no avail.  he is no dummy. he saw the rows in front of us and the ones behind us with red faces and giggles leaking out.  he knew his song was first rate with that reaction, and so from our bench the song of praise heard was "i'm poopin, i'm poopin".

sorry bishop.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


there is rarely diversion at my mother's thanksgiving feast.

let me tell you what will happen tomorrow.

I will make holiday salad:

Butter Lettuce (a must and a luxury)
Good Season's Italian Dressing (Follow all directions on the package but use Balsamic Vinegar instead of regular vinegar)

On your beautiful butter lettuce greens, top with the following:
grapefruit segments (you can buy pre-segmented grapefruit at costco in the cold section in little cups)
avocado sliced into small square chunks
whole, fresh raspberries
shrimp - tail off, deveined, thawed and cut up into about 3 pieces per shrimp. remember to always buy frozen shrimp in utah or states where you are not close to a freshwater body.
nut of your choice- you can sugar pecans, do sliced almonds but i usually stick to salted cashews
gorgonzola or blue cheese,  we have also used swiss shredded

Layer those beautiful, colorful toppings on your butter greens and I promise you will feel holiday oozing out every pour of your little body!

And my mother will make turkey in a pot.  Once we tried this recipe, we can't go back to the big bird.  It seems sac-religious on Thanksgiving, but give it a try and you will also convert.

Turkey in a Pot:
1 boneless Turkey breast (3-4 pounds) {this time of year at costco they sell a boneless, seasoned, fresh turkey breast in the cold section- not frozen.  they only carry them for a few weeks. i have 9 in my freezer. they are wonderful gems. about $11 per breast and that will serve my family of 6 w/ leftovers. run! their time is almost done}
1 can (16 oz.) whole cranberry sauce
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup apple juice
1 TBSP cider vinegar
2 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice
2 TBSP all purpose flour
1/4 c cold water
1/4 tsp browning sauce-optional ( i have never used it)

Place turkey, skin side up in 5quart slow cooker. ( i tried the oven once and it failed miserably) Combine the cranberry sauce, sugar, apple juice, vinegar, garlic, mustard, cinnamon, cloves and allspice; pour over turkey. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until meat thermometer reads 170 degrees.

Remove turkey to cutting board; keep warm. Strain cooking juices. In a saucepan, combine flour and water until smooth, gradually stirring in strained juices.  Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in browning sauce if desired. Serve gravy with sliced turkey.

It always happens that two weeks before the event my mother seems open to suggestion.  She will make you think you can make the sweet potato souffle, rolls, or other big ticket items.  Days before, she will relinquish your assignment and tell you to bring a pie.  I will get my standard salad and appetizer assignment. It happens every darn year.  Then, my husband will fight for the right to do dishes.  They will fight and he will grab a spatula out of her hand and send her to bed for three days as she has done every single thing.  She will rally shortly so we can go on our thanksgiving walk to which only a few of us will go on. We will come home and snuggle up to "It's a Wonderful Life, and Holiday Inn". Scott and my kids will retreat to the basement to watch their shows and we will rouse for sandwiches as the sun sets. so completely predictable and so utterly wonderful.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

In my effort to make your day happy, I felt so inclined to pass on my favorite pie recipes!

One of my best friends Brooke passed this pie recipe on to me.  It is a superb apple pie, which I didn't know I needed in my life.

Brooke's Apple Pie

Yield 2 Pies

4 c. flour
1 3/4 c veg. shortening
1 TB sugar
1 t. apple cider vinegar
1 egg
1/2 cold cold water
2 t. salt
mix dry ingredients in a bowl. mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl.  Combine ingredients. ( i use my hands to mix pie dough. if it gets over mixed it won't be flaky. you can better gauge with your hands when it is incorporated)
Roll into a ball in wax paper (or whatever you have on hand, i have used a lg. plastic baggie) for 15 minutes in the fridge.

Yield 2 pie crusts (if cooking only pie crust cook at 350 degrees from 15-20 minutes. if cooking with pie filling, directions to follow)

Apple Pie filling
5-7 tart apples (granny smith's work best)
slice and dice to your taste ( i personally like smaller pieces of apples in my pie )

mix together:
1/2 c sugar
3/4 t cinnamon
coat apples once you have mixed the sugar and cinnamon.


1/3 c sugar
3/4 c. flour
6 TB butter at room temperature

mix together with a pastry blender or fork.


Roll our your pie crust (2). Put in pie tins. Pour coated apples in crust. Sprinkle topping over apples.

Cook at 400 for 30-40 minutes or until apples are soft.

And, for my favorite Thanksgiving pie, Lisa's Razzleberry fits the bill.  I dated Lisa's little brother in high school and dreamed about this pie for years after the break up.  I finally got the courage to ask her for the recipe.  She ever so kindly obliged and I will be forever grateful.  I can attest to eating much of Lisa's amazing food.  She is a wonderful person and a fantastic cook! Thanks Lisa!

I have to tell you that this recipe yields 5 pies.  They can be frozen and taken out and baked as needed (which is my favorite thing about this recipe!!).

Hope you all stuff your faces to the brim!  My cute redhead joined a biggest looser competition at work and lost 18 pounds in preparation for the Holidays.  He was bound and determined to win.  I don't know if you have ever met my husband, but his definition of overweight is 165 pounds.  He was able to get down to the 140's so he could enjoy the holidays without guilt.  I told him that the last week of the competition he was going to have to amputate a leg to win.  He somehow pulled off loosing 4 pounds, sadly he did not win, but he is determined to enjoy the holidays!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


today i had a whole load of things to get done.  one of them not included was recovering from a UTI. well, i guess i had one.  the PA here told me all of the symptoms i had for a week probably wouldn't go away unless i had an antibiotic.  turns out, 24 hours into the antibiotic, he was right. who knew they could be so mean? sheesh. one of the items was taking my pre-teen to the doctor for her immunizations so she can enter the junior high next year.  i was dreading this more than the UTI. she recently had a plethora of blood work done that about did her father in.  she has been diagnosed with anxiety and these needles didn't help the all.

so, i head into the doctors office with three kids.  easton was off to an indoor soccer game that scott was off early enough for to take him to. i almost felt like a normal family where the father has some flexibility to help with those kids he made. almost, except the part where the pediatrician was behind and we had to miss the whole game entirely.  but a whole circus unfolded in the office that i would like to recount.

grayce is sent to the back office to take a teen mental health survey in which she had to be alone in a room to take.  after she comes out, we waited an hour.  in eleven years of taking my kids to the best pediatrician in the whole world we have never waited that long- so i took it in stride.

rowan has this thing that happens every time we enter the dr's office.  every. time. he loads his pants.  every.time.  and usually if i change him straight away, he will do it again. so i left it thinking after the hour wait, we were the next ones up. turns out it was a crazy afternoon at the dr.s office.  grayce is told her shots will be first as you have to be watched for 15 minutes after one.  she starts bawling and howling like a wild animal.  i am shocked and am holding in my giggles.  ella is relentlessly making fun of her. relentlessly. calling her a baby and all.  finally, two nurses hold her down.  i keep reminding her that these are the same nurses that gave her her baby shots and that they loved her. it didn't help.

once calm, ella told me my breath smelled like poop loud enough for the whole office to hear. it was embarassing. i told her she needed to use the restroom.  she was scaling the walls with her shoes and teasing grayce non stop, it was a clue.  after a few minutes of her not being back, i run out to check on her.  she has locked the door and can't get out.  she has alerted the nurse and she is trying to get it open.  this has never happened before. ella is no dummy, but can't for the life of her remember how she locked it despite our instructions on how to get out.  finally, after 10 minutes the nurse finds the key and a life of toiletry is rescued. she was so worried her kindergarten teacher would never know she was living in the toilet.

the only thing that saved us after two hours of waiting was watching rowan's lapse of accents.  we had hung out with our aussie family members the night before and we can only believe that he was influenced pretty heavily by 9 folks talking so strangely! our entertainment came from asking him to say - ah popped it! over and over again.