Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Finishes

There are many things in life we start and finish.  Sometimes the time in between is short and other times the finish comes much later. As the summer comes to a close and we look forward to some cooler weather we have a few finishes we have looked forward to.

1. The first real crop of our peach tree!  Yes we have peaches!!  They are a bit on the small size but boy do they taste good. It's really the aroma of them that is intoxicating.


2. The Finish of my Supernova Quilt!!!  Lee over at Freshly Pieced put together such a wonderful quilt along. And though it took me a while longer to finish it, I am super excited that it now is finished!!! 

If you look at her original example you'll notice I choose many of the same colors.  I'm not that original, or maybe I just liked her's so much, I wanted one as close to it as possible.  


 I added some of my own touch with my name and date embroidered on the bottom corner. This pattern was a real stretch for me as I'd never worked on such a detailed block before.  I learned how important it is to stick to your 1/4 inch seams.  I also used my sewing machine to "quilt" this one, which was a first.  I love how the star pattern shows up on the grey back.  I can't remember all of the fabrics I used, but put together I love it!  I will definitely make this pattern again, I'm thinking maybe a red and white theme. I'm already collecting pieces. 

 It's all washed and ready for cooler weather. Now cooler weather get here!

Love having something on the back too! 

Other finishes on the horizon:
      - Our basement (hopefully before the next one)
     - This baby growing inside of me!



Happy 3rd Birthday Dean!


Three is a big number for such a little kid. And the year that's been from two to three has been a big one too!  We've gotten rid of the pacifier, learned colors and shapes, learned to ride a bike, learned tons of words and is quite good at using them.  Can run faster then Mommy & Daddy, and sleeps most nights in his own bed.  Oh how we love you Dean!!
 He got to choose his meals for his Birthday, and we started out with pancakes!
Birthday Package from Grandma Balke
 All he wanted was a "shoot gun", Mommy & Daddy went for a Nerf!

 Big brother Evan enjoyed the pizza too!
Kind of glad he only ate the ice cream and icing, because it wouldn't be a Birthday without throw-up around 10:30pm.
 The next morning, playing with all the toys.

 The aftermath the next morning. Mommy was too tired to clean up that night.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bikes Bikes Bikes

At some point in a boy's life he learns how to ride a bike. With 2 boys and a third on the way bikes are definitely in our future. We are at that point that Evan wants to ride a big boy bike, and so our adventures start.

A bike would normally be a birthday or Christmas gift. But Evan's birthday is in December and when there's 2 feet of snow of the sidewalk you don't really want a bike.  It is Dean's birthday in August, but it's unfare to get Dean a bike when really Evan's the one who needs it.  So we did 2 early birthday's and got two new bikes. I know we are crazy.

After a week and much running by Daddy Evan can ride a big boy bike, and Dean is having tons of fun pedaling and stopping.

Enjoy the video's Grandma!


An Awesome Week of Food!

Some people eat to live and others live to eat. I'm more of the second.  I'm not going to say that I was born with innate cooking skills, but I was raised in a home where food mattered, and where my Mother was a great cook. I'm sure I picked up a lot just by watching her. I learned from her that when baking cookies, take them out of the oven, give them a minute, and then transfer them to a wire rack. They cool better that way and don't stick to the cookie sheet.  

I left for college with the standard Better Homes & Gardens Cook Book, and did enough to feed my roommates every once and a while and tried a few things like pies.  I got married and soon realized that I liked cooking for my husband. My specialty was Spaghetti Pie (which is basically noodles and sauce pressed into a 8X8 or 9X13 and baked). Once our first child came along and I became a stay at home mom, I had more time to find new recipes and try new things.  Somewhere, (I think my Mom had them at her house) I picked up a copy of Cook's Illustrated magazine. This is where my culinary world changed.  I found the "best recipes" for classic dishes and learned methods of cooking and baking that are like a mini cooking school at home.  

Last year for my Birthday my sweet husband gave me a dual gift. Something that benefited me, and him. I got The Best International Recipes   and The Best Italian Classics.   Can you tell what his favorite foods are??  Noodles anyone.   Last week I pulled out the International Recipes book and decided that I was going to pick 3 new recipes to try.  At almost 8 months pregnant food is sounding really good again and I want to be cooking, which I'm sure will change in a few more weeks.

So I picked home made cheese ravioli, empanadas, and kung Pao shrimp.  At the end of the week I ask my husband which one he liked best and he said there was no way to choose, they were all fabulous. 

I didn't get a picture of the ravioli, we scarfed it down to fast. I could have eaten more then there was.
 The empanadas were to die for. Who really wouldn't like pockets of meat baked in a soft dough, to golden perfection.   Pure delight.
Then Friday night we had home made Kung Pao Shrimp.  Much better then anything I've had locally, but then again we live in Utah and not China.  The best part is that it came together in about 30 minutes. 

To finish off the week I made Profiteroles filled with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. 

You know you want them. Yes they were that good.  Best part is there is come chocolate sauce left, and you know I'm going to take the left over Ice Cream and go for it tomorrow.  Thank you Cook's Illustrated. You've taught me to be a better cook, and taught me to love to make really, really good food!
 The boys liked it too.



For all of you I'm giving you the Chocolate Sauce Recipe.  

3/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
Table salt to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon)
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine

Bring cream, corn syrup, butter and salt to a boil in small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Off heat, add chocolate and gently swirl.  Cover pan and let stand until chocolate is melted, about 5 minutes.  Uncover and whisk until combined.  Serve warm over Profiteroles or let cool to room temperature.  Place in an air tight container and refrigerate.  Use as desired.







Friday, August 5, 2011

I think the boys got a hold of my camera!

I think I have a budding photographer.  We need to work on focusing.








Happy Pioneer Day! Camping

Needing to get more camping in this summer Jon reserved 2 nights at Little Mill camp ground, in American Fork Canyon over the 24th of July Pioneer Day holiday.  We had lot's of fun with Uncle Scott and Aunt Anna, and our good friends the Davidson's.  This was only the 2nd camping trip for the Davidson family so we were proud of how well they took everything!
 The gang on the first morning.
 Sweet AnaBelle
 Dean trying to stay warm.
 Yum Yum Breakfast!
 Our hike at Cascade Springs!
 Carter and Matt



 Barclay Family 2011
 Davidson Family 2011
 It's not camping without a little fishing! We did well, and the kids had fun!



 Carter excited about his fish!


 AnaBelle trying her luck.

 She's still all girl!