Sunday, February 28, 2010

2010 Olympics

On February 12th we were sitting in Chili's waiting for a table when I started to get emotional watching the parade of nations. I love the Olympics. I love the excitement you see on the athletes faces. I love watching them take pictures and video as they walk in. I wish that I could be a part of that in some way. I know that the games weren't without tragedy, but they were awesome none the less.

I may not have gotten to watch as much as I wanted but that's okay. From what I did see these are some of my favorite athletes.

We love Shawn White. He blew our minds and Paul covets his pants.
Evan showed such class and poise. He was such a great example to everyone.

These girls are gorgeous and talented.
Who doesn't love Apolo? We had so much fun watching his races as a family.

I can't wait for 2012 in London. Maybe I can convince Paul to take me so I can experience that excitement in person ;)

A Lazy Saturday

I knew that Saturday was going to be spent close to home since Paul was going to BYU for a basketball game. I was looking forward to a lazy Saturday. My number one priority was to get my lesson all squared away. After that I wanted to spend time sewing, napping and relaxing.

I really wanted to get this quilt cut out. This new fabric is so yummy. I loved the colors and the patterns. The multi-color rick-rack is just the cutest thing ever. I want to buy yards and yards and bind a ton of quilts in it. LOL!
Slowly but surely I made good progress throughout the day.

Am I the only quilter out there that hates to toss these pretty little scraps?
Emma and I spent some time getting all the blocks figured out. (Yes I am that anal)
I managed to actually sew one block.
I also got the rest of these blocks sewn. I am doing a disappearing 9 patch with these. I'm hoping to have this top finished in the next week.
When Paul left for the game the kids were already pretty bored. I promised to take them up to "the reservoir" to look for rocks. We were pretty surprised at all the snow that was still up there. Shocked actually. It has all melted at our house so we weren't prepared. Emma wore Crocs.

We were glad that there was some ice though. We love trying to get rocks to break through the ice.
It was a gorgeous day.
The ice was thicker than it looked. See our collection of rocks that wouldn't go through?
We crossed over the water to see what else we could find.
Have you ever seen a spider in the snow? It was weird.
It was hard to find pretty rocks so the kids climbed them instead.
I found a few good ones.
The scenery around here is just breathtaking.
I love our view.
It's so fun to live right by this little canyon.
The kids got their hands dirty digging out a big rock that was sure to break through the ice.
Or not.
They were dumbfounded.
We had a lot of fun. I have to admit, I love the area where we live, most of the time.


I would say that I was a pretty lazy blogger this month. I was lazy in a lot of things. I didn't read any books, I didn't finish any quilt tops (I did finish binding two or three though!) and I didn't try to follow the list of 10 pictures for the month. Oh well.

I did try a few new recipes. Some were good, others, not so much. In January we actually tried four new recipes. I only blogged two. (vanilla cupcakes and almond chicken)

This is a picture of a Cashew Chicken recipe I got in an email that I also tried in Jan. It was suppose to be "healthified" but I didn't make it with their healthy suggestions like low sodium soy sauce etc. so it is just Cashew Chicken to us.

2teaspoons canola oil
1lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1teaspoon finely chopped gingerroot
2cups fresh broccoli florets
1cup reduced-sodium chicken broth (I used regular)
1/8teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2cups frozen sugar snap peas (from 24-oz bag)
3tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2teaspoons rice vinegar (I used flavored rice wine vinegar because that is what I had)
1tablespoon cornstarch
1teaspoon sugar
2medium green onions, sliced (2 tablespoons)
3cups hot cooked brown rice
cup cashew pieces

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In 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and gingerroot; cook and stir 4 to 5 minutes or until chicken begins to brown.

Add broccoli, 1/2 cup of the broth and the pepper flakes. Cover; cook over medium heat minutes, stirring once. Add peas; cook 2 to 4 minutes longer, stirring once, until vegetables are crisp-tender.

In small bowl, mix remaining 1/2 cup broth, the soy sauce, vinegar, cornstarch and sugar; stir into chicken mixture. Add onions; cook, stirring frequently, until sauce is thickened and bubbly. Serve over rice; sprinkle with cashews.

We all liked this. It was very mild and easy to make. I have made it twice now. I would like to add celery and maybe some carrots next time.

Emma asked why I never let them choose what to try. I said "Please! If there is something you want to try tell me and I will make it." Both kids dove right into my cookbook collection. She picked a black bean and potato soup with ham. I need a barfing smilie. ;) The next day I went and got everything I needed from the store and made her soup. There as nothing wrong with it but it just wasn't good. It wasn't hearty enough. It was like beans, potatoes and meat floating in broth. I am not even going to post the recipe but here is a picture.
In February I made Cake Balls for the first time. You make a cake following the directions on the box. Once it is cooled you crumble it up and add a tub of frosting. Mix until combined. I used my Kitchen Aide. Roll the mix into balls, freeze and then dip in a candy coating. I used Almond Bark. They tasted like mooshy cake. Emma loved them. Andrew ate them. Paul and I didn't care for them, but, they were adorable!
Tonight I tried another recipe. I had fresh spinach on hand so when I saw this on a blog I knew I had to try it. I got the recipe here and she got it from here. (the here's are clickable)

Garlic Chicken Pasta with Spinach

6 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (this doesn't add spiciness - just the right amount of flavor)
6 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound penne pasta
1 (5-ounce) bag baby spinach
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried
6 tablespoons juice from 2 lemons (measure this!)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Meanwhile, combine garlic, pepper flakes and oil in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave until garlic is golden and fragrant, about 1 minute.

Pat chicken dry with paper towels and cut into bite-size pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer 1 tablespoon of the garlic/red pepper oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat until oil is rippling. Add chicken and cook until well browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil.

Add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta to boiling water and cook until tender but still slightly firm (al dente). Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water. Drain pasta and return to the pot. Stir in chicken, spinach, basil, lemon juice, Parmesan, and remaining garlic mixture, adding reserved pasta water as needed. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

I think this has potential but today ours was *way* too sour. I just used two lemons and didn't measure the juice. I had the sour jaw tingle going all through dinner. Paul didn't mind it but the kids turned their noses up and revolted. I was amazed that the spinach didn't bother me. I would like to try it again. I think it is worth it. We will have to do it when the kids are gone or wait a long time. I think they would cry if they saw it on the table again anytime soon.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A House Exploded and we Felt it

This past Thursday evening was just like all the others. We are all sitting downstairs watching Survivor. Around 7:30 we were fast forwarding through a commercial so everything was quiet and then Boom! It was like an elephant has jumped off the couch upstairs. The house shook and the windows rattled.

We were all like "What the heck?!?" Paul and Emma went upstairs to see what was going on. My first though was one of our obscenely large trees had crashed through our house. It was dark outside but there was no visible damage anywhere. We couldn't figure out what the heck had happened.

The next morning Paul called. He had read an article about a house explosion in our little town. The freaky thing is it was really no where near our house. I can't even imagine what it must have been like for people who live closer.Apparently it was due to a gas leak near the furnace but they still don't know the details.

Maggie and I were going out fabric shopping and I asked her if she had heard/felt anything. She said no and asked why. I re-capped what I knew and she said "Well then we need to drive by." I knew I loved her for a reason.

We drove by and holy cow. The house (thankfully it was not lived in) was a pile of ruble. I drive on that road all the time. I could have been right there when it happened. Scary, scary stuff. There were a lot of gawkers.

Later that night we were going out so we drove by again this time I brought my camera.

Check out all the crap in the tree!
This is a quote that was take from an online article that I just read.

The pile of rubble that used to be the house is across the street from the Purple Turtle and is right off State Street, so it is a well-traveled area, Brande said. In addition to the half a dozen Questar and emergency vehicles, many cars drove by Friday to check out the damage and gawk at the debris that had lodged in the tree above. Even a pair of LDS missionaries walked by.

"It doesn't help when people stop to take pictures," Brande said.

Seriously, how can anyone resist? It is totally photo worthy!

Pinwheel Sampler Quilt Along has Begun

And miraculously I am on schedule. We just got the instructions for the second pinwheel today and it should go together in no time.

I've got to be honest. I am not loving my blocks so far. A lot of the fabrics are too light and I don't like that my layer cake didn't have doubles of fabrics that would work with the cream background. As a result my blocks are really scrappy. I don't love the way they look. I'm hoping it will all come together and all be okay in the end.
See my mistake? I didn't either for a while. The top left block is on wrong.
Luckily it was a pretty easy fix.
Watch for my next two blocks coming soon.

In my next life...

I want to be him.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Once Upon a Time...

there were two young people in love that got a little too close to some wet cement.

Saturday's ballroom competition was held very close to where we had scratched our initials into the bottom of a light-post over 14 years ago. Thank goodness for Paul. I would never have remembered where we had been.

The school has grown a lot and even changed it's name since then. We weren't sure if it would still be around, but it was. Andrew was the one that actually saw it first. It was such a fun memory to revisit but part of me, the adult part, feels bad for doing it. The romantic part of me still thinks it was a cute thing to do. Don't judge.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ballroom Dance Elementary Team Match

Today we got to go to our second ballroom dance competition. Emma and several other teams from her school earned a spot by winning gold at the last competition. This one was held at UVU and went a lot quicker.

Here she is before they went on. She was really feeling the nerves.

I think she was feeling better at this point.

She was up first again dancing the Merengue.
After all the dances were done they had to kill some time while they tallied the scores. They asked all the level 1 boys to get a level 1 girl from a different school. Then they ALL danced the Cha Cha. It was a big clusterfudge of bodies but fun to watch. That is Emma with the big purple flower.
Emma signed up to do the newcomers Swing. It was a separate competition and it was optional. She wanted to compete but her normal partner didn't want to. Her "boyfriend" Sam volunteered to be her partner. Awwww! I sat by his parents while they danced. We had so much fun watching them together.
This is them reading the results. They got called back to dance again! (they keep doing call backs until they narrow down almost 100 kids to the top 6 or 7 couples)
Here they are going out for round two.

They danced well but that was the end of their call backs. They made it into the top 50. They had only been working on the swing for the last few weeks. The other teams had obviously practiced it a lot longer. Because of that we were thrilled that they got the one call back!

She was a little disappointed she didn't go further with the Swing but overall the day went really well for her.

The team Emma is on got the gold ribbon again (they didn't have any trophy's at this competition) so they get to go on to the next level. This time they will dance at BYU in the Marriott Center. Out of the four teams (two level 1 and two level 2) that came from her school only theirs gets to go on. (as we understand it) Pretty awesome stuff.