Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Please tell me...

...that other houses look this awful during the day:

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

An afternoon at Deer Creek

Sunday afternoon we packed up the Element with towels, sunscreen, and snacks and headed up Provo Canyon to Deer Creek Reservoir.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day at the lake and I loved just watching the water and boats. Taylor and Sean built sandcastles together and had fun swimming in the water. We were both really surprised that Taylor was so willing to jump in and swim.

Ollie and I made a little makeshift tent by putting the Pack-N-Play on it's side and covering it with a blanket. It was really hot and there was no shade, so we just hid out in there and played with toys while the boys explored.

Don't I look lovely, all sweaty and overheated? It really wasn't THAT bad, but I honestly believe that something about me being super pasty white prevents me from being able to survive in the sun for any extended period of time.

I love when we go on spontaneous adventures as a family. It was a really great afternoon and it was nice to get out of the house for a while.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Cooking Frenzy!

Because we'd been saving up every penny we could for our Seattle trip, our food budget has been teeny tiny. This means that for the past few months we've been living on almost nothing but macaroni, hot dogs, and tuna sandwiches. I decided I'd had enough of that and wanted to cook my family a yummy Sunday dinner.

I searched my computer and my Pinterest boards for some recipes I wanted to try and came up with a menu: Creamy Tortellini Soup, fresh homemade Artisan Bread, and for dessert some Peach Apple Cobbler with vanilla bean ice cream.

I absolutely LOVE cooking from scratch as much as possible, and I think I enjoyed making this meal as much as we enjoyed eating it. Here are the recipes for everything I made.

(and sorry for the formatting; I can't get Blogger to cooperate.)

Creamy Tortellini Soup (via Better Homes & Gardens)

  • 1 1.8-ounce envelope white sauce mix
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 14-ounce can vegetable broth
  • 1-1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 7- to 8-ounce package dried cheese tortellini (about 2 cups)
  • 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 6 cups fresh baby spinach leaves or torn spinach6
  • Ground black pepper (optional)
  • Finely shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)

1. Place dry white sauce mix in a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. Gradually add the water to the white sauce mix, stirring until smooth. Stir in broth, mushrooms, onion, garlic, basil, salt, oregano, and cayenne pepper.

2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2-1/2 to 3 hours.

3. Stir in dried tortellini. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 1 hour more or high-heat setting for 45 minutes more.

4. Stir in evaporated milk and fresh spinach. If desired, sprinkle individual servings with black pepper and Parmesan cheese (I would STRONGLY suggest this). Makes 4 servings.

Four Ingredient Artisan Bread (via Something Edible)


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt heaping
  • 1 tsp rapid-rise yeast heaping
  • 2/3 cup water tepid

  • Directions:

    Into a 1 gallon zip-top bag, add flour, yeast & salt. Seal the bag, and shake up good. Open the bag, add the water and then close the bag to gently knead the whole mess into a dough.

    Open the bag and let it sit at room temperature for two-ish hours to proof. When it's time to bake, cut open the bag and sprinkle the dough with as much flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to everything so you can [attempt to] shape the dough into a ball. Place the ball on a parchment-lined sheet pan and preheat the oven to 450F. When the oven's hot, dust the dough with a bit more flour, slash the top a couple of times with a serrated knife and bake for 25-30 minutes. Let the loaf cool at least 15 minutes before slicing with a serrated knife.

    Peach & Apple Crisp

    (not sure where I got this recipe. If I stole it from your blog, let me know!)


    20 oz. can sliced peaches, light-syrup pack, drained

    2 medium tart apples, peeled, sliced

    1/2 teaspoon vanilla

    1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    3/4 cup flour

    1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

    3 tablespoons margarine, chilled


    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 9x9x2-inch casserole dish.

    2. Combine peaches, apples, vanilla, and cinnamon in a bowl. Toss well and spread evenly in greased casserole dish.

    3. Combine flour and sugar in small bowl. Cut in margarine with two knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

    4. Sprinkle flour mixture evenly over fruit.

    5. Bake until lightly browned and bubbly, about 20-25 minutes.

    Everything was so delicious and it was probably the best meal I've cooked in... well.. a long time. I'm looking forward to cooking more meals like this now that we're not trying to save for a vacation.

    Wednesday, August 24, 2011

    Anyone else notice a problem here?

    Apparently correct spelling isn't necessary on clothing meant for babies...?

    Monday, August 22, 2011

    Home at last!

    We left Seattle yesterday at about noon, stayed overnight in Boise, and made the rest of the drive today. I am happy to say that we are finally home! The trip was fun, exciting, stressful, and exhausting all at once. It was great to finally explore a city I've been wanting to visit for over a decade, and it was also amazing to see my favorite band and meet some of my California and Oregon friends there.

    It was a great trip, but I am SOOOOOO glad to be home. I've already unpacked everything and started laundry so that hopefully tomorrow I will be doing a whole lot of nothing.

    Thursday, August 18, 2011