Friday, August 27, 2010

Hobble Creek Half Marathon

Last weekend Andrew had his half marathon... needless to say I'm not a huge fan of these and neither is Andrew really, but for some reason he continues to do them. :)  He always says he's going to train for it and then he never does and before he knows it, it's time to run and he's not prepared.  Then he pays for it for the next few days as he hobbles around and winces in pain.  I told him this year was his last and he should just do 5k's and 10k's from here on out since he can easily run that without killing himself.  Anyways, we still love him and are proud of him once again and it was fun to actually get to see him cross the finish line this time (I've always missed it in the past).
Waiting for daddy... still happy
still waiting... not so happy anymore
trying everything to keep him happy

here he comes... finally... the race started 45 minutes late and we didn't know so we ended up waiting for about an hour instead of the 15 minutes I thought we would be waiting... that's why kids were cranky
Yay!  He made it!
Not that we doubted him... although before I knew the race started late I was starting to worry he was passed out on the side of the road

Good job as usual Babe!  We love you and are proud of you!

Summer Days In the Life of A Munchkin

Here is a little taste of what Ella and Cameron have been up to this summer...
Enjoying a little pool time (and I do mean little pool)
We had already decided we needed a bigger pool for next summer, but when Roxy ate a hole in the pool that sort of sealed the deal
Cameron wasn't such a fan of the cold water
So he sat at a safe distance with daddy
Cameron looking as "dapper" as ever (we've been reading a lot of Fancy Nancy lately)
What little girl doesn't chase bubbles in her big girl panties!?!
Ella Bella got a big girl bike
More water games... notice the pool is gone at this point and we've moved on to the beach ball sprinkler
Roxy wrestling time
A little daydreaming...
Lots of crazy naptime hair
Plenty of horseback riding
And lots and lots of storytime... 

Bear Lake Camping

Wow!  I can't believe August is practically over already.  We've had quite the busy month, which explains my lack of blogging.  So our month is going to have to be blogged about it several posts, so just bare with me.  First things first...  the first weekend in August we went with friends camping up to Bear Lake for Raspberry Days.  We had this trip planned since last summer practically and had really been looking forward to it.  We headed up Thursday after work and stayed through Sunday, which was nice since this was really our only trip this summer.  Here is how we spent our time:
On Friday we headed to the lake where the kids quite enjoyed the water and sand

Ella got to ride the wave-runners with daddy
And Cameron enjoyed throwing rocks in the water
We did have a little adventure on Friday.  We'd always heard about the storms that come up from out of nowhere and seem to destroy just about everything in their path, but we'd never seen one, until this trip.  Friday night we went out to get hamburgers and raspberry shakes.  While eating we were watching the storm blow in and knew that we needed to get back to camp soon.  We got back just in time and were able to get all our loose items secured.  At that point everyone hunkered down in their tents or cars.  We decided to sit in our tent and play with the kids, which was fine until the 80 mph winds decided to snap two of our tent poles in half and destroy our tent, soaking just about everything inside at the same time.  Fortunately, I had enough sense to have Andrew grab our sleeping stuff while I was fighting the wind and rain to get the kids in the car.  Our friends also happened to have their tent (which was not being used - long story) their and let us use that for the next two nights.  In the end it was fine, but next year we've got to get a new tent.
Cameron loved pushing the trucks around camp
He also really loved the dirt... I guess he is a boy
On Saturday we made it up to Montpelier, ID and ended up here... Andrew was quite happy being the history buff that he is... I was just happy to be out of the sun for a little bit

Ella thought it was pretty cool that she got to play with the coin machine at the museum
Don't let this happy face fool you... he really wasn't that happy to sit in the stroller and walk around
Both kids thought the bear on the wall was pretty cool and helped to keep them entertained

Cameron especially loved the bear and its teeth... not sure how I feel about this
Did I mention that between the four couples camping we had "nine" kids four and under and two more on the way :)
On Saturday after dinner the guys took the older kids and went fishing
Since we're really not the fishing type (I have told Andrew he could do an Alaskan fishing trip though) and didn't have anything to fish with, Ella enjoyed playing on the rocks and Andrew got some fun pictures

Thanks everyone for a great trip... and thanks again Porter's for the tent and blankets and tent heater.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My Newest Most Heavenly Recipe

A couple weeks ago we went to Mimi's Cafe for dinner and I had the most heavenly meal.  I got the Artichoke Asiago Chicken Spaghettini (crispy parmesan chicken with artichoke and asiago cream, spaghettini, garlic spinach, tomatoes, diced asparagus and tomato cream sauce) - pretty heavenly huh!  Anyways, I've really been wanting it again, but since dinner out every night isn't really in the budget I decided to try and replicate it.  Mine isn't quite the same (I didn't add the artichoke and asiago cream - cut out a few calories there and I wasn't going to pay $5.99 a lb for asparagus so I omitted that too - although when it's in season and a more reasonable price I will add it), but it was still pretty tasty and was enough to satisfy my craving.  So here is my recipe:

Pasta and Parmesan Chicken with Tomato Cream Sauce

Parmesan Chicken:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
(1/2 c) Italian seasoned bread crumbs
(1/8 - 1/4 c) Grated parmesan cheese
Dash of dried parsley
Dash of garlic powder
Salt and pepper
Egg, beaten
Olive oil

I'll be honest, I don't really measure things so much when I make up my own recipes, so just throw enough mix together until it smells good and will coat your chicken.  Dip your chicken in the egg and then in the bread crumb mix and coat completely.  Heat up a little olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and brown/cook the chicken - about 2 - 3 minutes on each side. 
Note: I actually only use two chicken breasts and then cut them in half lengthwise so they are thin.  This also helps with portion control and it makes our meat go farther.

2 T butter
2 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c chicken broth
1 - 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 c heavy whipping cream (maybe I'll try half and half on time to cut fat)
Salt and pepper to taste
Parsley to taste
Basil to taste

Heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook until the garlic is tender, but not brown.  Add the chicken broth and turn the heat up to medium high.  Reduce the broth by half - this makes the sauce less runny and soupy.  When the broth has been reduced add the tomato sauce and whipping cream.  Add the salt and pepper and taste.  Turn the heat to low and keep the sauce warm.  Add parsley and basil to your liking.  I used dried because that's what I had, but I'm sure fresh herbs would be great too.  Let the sauce simmer, but don't let it burn on the bottom.

Begin boiling the pasta and cook according to package directions.  I used angel hair pasta since it's my favorite, but really anything works.

Garlic Spinach:
Heat a little olive oil on medium.  Saute garlic and spinach for a minute or two.  Use as much as you like - again I don't measure anything.  If I had asparagus, I would have cut it up and thrown it in to saute first and then when it was almost cooked I would add the garlic and spinach.

Bringing it all Together:
When pasta is cooked, mix the tomato cream sauce, garlic spinach and pasta together.  Add the chicken on top.  Enjoy!

This meal was definitely more work than I usually put into my recipes, but it was so worth it.  

Monday, August 9, 2010

Yay! She's Here...

No, not our baby.  She can't come for a few more months.  My newest love was delivered this morning though.  My brand spankin' new, very first, Kenmore Elite Upright 21.6 cubic feet freezer!  I'm in love.  All day I've been wondering what I should put in her first.  I need to come up with a good name for her.  Any suggestions!?!  So this week while my father-in-law is visiting and playing with munchkins I'll be in my kitchen making up a few batches of chili, ham and bean soup, ham and cheese quiche, chicken and broccoli manicotti and anything else I can think of that I have most ingredients on hand for already.  I think October will be my big freezer cooking month in preparation for the baby, so I'm saving the bulk of cooking for then, but in the meantime I may need to visit Costco and Macey's needs to have a good stock up sale on meat.  Eeee... I'm so excited!

I will post recipes as well of what I'm making since I've had several people ask.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Garden Updates

It's been a pretty good year for our garden considering the abuse it's taken (Ella really likes to get in there and pull things that shouldn't be pulled - Roxy (the dog) usually accompanies her and is the taste tester).  We tried several new things this year and I'm excited to say that they have actually produced something more than just weeds.  While I'm happy with this years progress over last years, I did have high hopes for the garden this year.  That is until I found out I was pregnant... wasn't really planning on that this summer.  It's alright though, there is always next summer.  So this is what we have so far:
Snow Peas - these have done super well this year, so far I've gotten a gallon freezer bag and it's still producing.  Although, our heat has just about completely fried them so I'm thinking I'm going to yank them out and replant so I get a fall harvest too.
Don't they look yummy!
Sugar Snap Peas - these haven't done nearly as well as the snow peas, but we've still managed to get a quart size bag.
Cucumbers - this is one of the poor plants that Ella Bella has attacked on more than one occasion (I'd actually venture to say it is her favorite).  We've had several cucumbers doing really well, only to be destroyed by a little girl.  I currently have close to 30 out there that will be ready to pick soon (barring any incidents).  I planted 24 plants in the hopes that I would be able to pickle them.  All the plants actually survived and are doing well.  Now if only I could get a cucumber that is ready to be picked.
I planted 12 tomato plants in the hopes that I could make salsa and tomato sauce this year, but unfortunately only 4 survived the crazy weather here in Utah.  Today the tomatoes were the latest casualty of Ella.  One of our drip connectors has come apart in our garden and so the garden was completely flooded and I went out there to find about 15 green tomatoes like those little beauties floating around the garden.  So sad.  I think I've given up on getting any red tomatoes.
Green Peppers - these are new this year and have started doing really well.  I'm so excited.  I plan on dicing them all up and sticking them in the freezer.
Carrots - these little guys are so cute.  They aren't quite ready to be pulled yet (I know this cause I pulled one last night and it was only about 4 inches long), but I'm excited that they are growing.
Corn - last year I planted and nothing even popped up.  Sad.  This year I wanted to try it again so I planted white corn and ruby red corn.  Only 8 of the 20 white corn came up and is doing well, but all of the 20 red corn came up and is doing really well.  I'm excited to try this red corn.  It's one of Burpee's sweet hybrid corns.  If nothing else it will look good all dried up as a fall decoration on the front porch.
Strawberries - oh sweet sweet strawberries.  I've decided that store bought strawberries don't even compare to fresh from the garden strawberries.  I planted these little guys last year and they didn't do anything, but this year there was a plethora of strawberries for about a month.  Of course someone (um, Ella) usually got to them before we could, but we managed to snag a few first and they were delish.  
Red Potatoes - I actually picked a couple out of the garden last night, but forgot to take a pic.  
Raspberries - these are transplants and all of them except for one are first year plants.  We have managed to see about 4 raspberries on them before the birds got to them.  One of them I actually managed to eat first.  I'm excited to see what next year brings on these babies.

We've also gotten a bag full of green beans, not really sure what happened to pictures though.  I'll continue to let you know how it goes.