Monday, July 8, 2013

All in the Name of Science - Lindt Chocolate Experiment

As I mentioned back in my birthday post my darling friend snuck a bar of Lindt sea salt chocolate into my mailbox for my birthday. I had never really stepped outside of my milk chocolate box. I was excited to taste it even though I knew I didn't like dark chocolate. Well she created a monster. It was so enjoyable! And different. There was a whole new chocolate world that had just opened up to me. I had to try more. Luckily our grocery store was having a sale. 

These were the first four bars that I picked up. The kids and I had a taste testing party while Paul mowed the law. Sea Salt was still my favorite. I love when you get a salty burst in your mouth. If they made milk chocolate with sea salt I might just die of pleasure. Black Currant was fun. I named it my second favorite. It had a very pleasant sweet fruity flavor that went well with the slightly bitter dark chocolate. Intense orange reminded me of the chocolate oranges we get around Christmas but I have to say I prefer the milk chocolate Christmas oranges to the dark chocolate orange bar. The Chili wasn't bad but it wasn't a favorite. It wasn't too spicy which was nice. It was fun to try but I doubt I will buy it again.

The chocolate was still on sale the next time I went to the store. Of course I got more Sea Salt and while I was at it picked up the Roasted Almond and Intense Mint. I loved the almond. It was such a yummy blend of flavors. Emma loved the mint. Don't get me wrong, it was delicious but since she liked it so much more than the almond I let her have it while I ate the others. (To be clear the entire bar is NOT eaten all at once. This is such rich chocolate it is hard to eat more than a few squares at a time.)

I was at Wal Mart looking for a specific candy for family home evening last week and saw that they carried new flavors that my regular grocery store did not carry. In the name of science I just HAD to buy them. 

Passion Fruit was good. I'd buy it again but I don't imagine I'll crave it like I do the Sea Salt. Emma didn't love it. I think there is still some left so that tells you something right there. 

Caramel was really enjoyable. There were crispy chips of caramel AND bits of sea salt all in one bar. Holy moly. I will totally buy that one again.

As great as it was NOTHING could compare to the coconut. Emma and were literally fighting over it. It was gone in no time. We both loved it. We want more. Unfortunately we don't get to Wal Mart as often as the grocery store. Now that I type that I'm thinking maybe it's good thing. I've really been packing on the pounds this year with all the stress so the harder it is to get sweets the better. 

Can you think of a better summer experiment? I can't. I've had so much fun experiencing the different flavors of chocolate and bonding with Emma while doing it. I think there are still some more flavors to try. I'll have to keep you posted ; )

A New Favorite

On Memorial Day weekend we tried Sean's and fell in love. It's our new favorite BBQ place. I wouldn't mind some smoked turkey tonight, but that's not happening. Too bad. It's good stuff! 

American Fork Canyon

Paul has been serving with the YM/Priest for a year now. Last year, right after he was called, there was a Priest/Laurel activity up in the canyon. (That is all the boys and girls ages 16-18 and their leaders) They were suppose to roast hot dogs, make s'mores and play werewolves. The boys were in charge of this activity. It just so happened that the boys brought hot dogs and buns. I think that was it. Wait, I think they had marshmallows and stuff for s'mores but I don't know for sure since I wasn't there. I do know there were no plates. I don't think there were any condiments or anything else. They've been teased about it for the last year. 

They have been planning to go WAY over the top this year to make up for the last fiasco. I was asked to help with table decor. Of course I was excited to. I love working with the youth, I love the canyon and I love planning stuff like this. When Brant's wife (he's the young men's president) went into labor five weeks early I was suddenly in charge of getting everything for the night. I tried to think of every possible need. 

We had blankets, bug spray, candles, flowers, food, condiments, cutting boards, knives, towels, paper towels, plates, utensils, napkins, chips, watermelon and dessert. We had plenty of dinner food but we could have had more chips and chocolate but it was much better than the year before!

Paul, Andrew and I went up into the canyon early and secured a good spot. (Emma had her own activity so she wasn't with us.) Paul left Andrew and I behind so he could go back to the church to pick up some of the kids. Andrew and I set up the food and the tables but it was incredibly windy so we couldn't have the table places set like we had hoped. When everyone arrived they were surprised to see us there and to see everything all set up.

The Spread

One thing we weren't in charge of was the fire. We didn't bring any wood with us. We had matches but that was it. Paul and Andrew tried getting the fire started before Paul left so Andrew could eat but it never got going enough to cook on, until I took charge. After Paul left Andrew was starving and I needed to feed my baby. I got the fire going enough to roast him a weenie. Paul was very impressed that we had fire when he came back with a car load of kids.

My Fire-It may be small but it worked.

My Happy Son

The table decor

The Leaders and some of the Youth

It was a great night. We ate well, played werewolves and had a blast. I think it's time we go back into the canyon again.


This cat is so starved for attention. If you're not moving he's trying to get on top of you. Even if it means his head is squished under the edge of the table.

My birthday meant a trip to the DMV. The whole experience was pretty quick and painless (once I got a replacement social security card to prove I'm a legal American) but the new picture is AWFUL! It's super close-up. I think I look very heavy because you can't see my neck, it's just all face. Really scary. 

Uncle Ben in the Texas Roadhouse saddle for his 40th birthday.

In January I bought myself some spring. $10 very well spent.

In January we also got Emma registered for EFY. So exciting!!!

There's a new place in town and it serves Mexican! Emma and I went one night on a mommy daughter date. We got fancy drinks and after dinner we got cupcakes next door. I like that our little town is getting more businesses.

A close-up of the peace offering rose Andrew picked out for Emma.

This is the makings of a quilt like I made my mom but in fresh spring colors. I haven't made a lot of progress, just one block that I used as practice for my mom's quilt. I need to get going on it.

This is what it looks like when Emma and I both get crafty at the same time. It's not pretty.

My mom got me these two scrumptious make-up palates as a treat since things were so rough at the beginning of the year. For the record, things are still really rough.

 I toyed with the idea of going blonde this summer. The idea only lasted a minute. I put my face in a picture of Jennifer Aniston and that was enough of that idea. I'm not meant to be blonde!

Andrew did a country report this year. He chose Mongolia since that is where grandma and grandpa are living right now. They sent us some cool stuff that really helped him with his poster and oral presentation. We left the writing of the report up to him. He did a great job. It was hilariously written. This wasn't ten pages of stats. It was all Andrew telling a story. You'd have to read it to really understand I guess. We were glad his teacher appreciated his approach to such a serious report.

This was suppose to be a postage stamp quilt. It wasn't until I got 60% of the way through that I realized the two jelly rolls weren't actually the same width even though they said they were. Now I have to pick ever seam, trip all the white pieces and sew from there. It will take forever. I'm not sure what I'm going to do at this point. I want to write the manufacturer and complain since it's a design flaw but doubt I will. Still it's very frustrating. 

I was able to get this quilted with my birthday gift card. I LOVE IT!

My cat has a thing for quilt fabric. He likes to deposit as much hair as possible on it.

Emma and I have recently fallen in love with taffy. Coconut is our favorite.

My columbines started blooming in May. I adore these quirky flowers.

We found a quail nest. Unfortunately it was abandoned and a predator ate the eggs a while later. We never got to see the babies.


I am so over having a pet but Andrew loves him.

Jenna's big sister Tori got her mission call and Emma and I were lucky to be there when she opened it. I got to teach Tori in activity days when she was ten or eleven. I am so proud of her and so grateful that we got to share this moment with her and her family. I just love them all. She's going to be serving in El Salvador! This is such an exciting time. I'm grateful for her example.
This could be one of the predators that ate the quail eggs...
We've had a lot of snakes this year.

Paul and I got crafty. We built an earring holder for all of my earrings. It turned out well. I like collaborating on projects with my hubby.

Free tickets to Sound of Music thanks to our Pass of All Passes. Maggie and I need to go soon!

Emma and her friends at the Provo temple for a service project.

That's all for now...