Thursday, September 1, 2011


lest you think i am an overachiever, let me start by saying this venture was slightly accidental.  not accidental as in i accidentally bought 10 quarts of pears, but accidental in the fact that i had not planned to set out on this venture alone.

you see, i have this become involved in my ward.  so seeing an opportunity, i signed up for 'canning groups'.  'great', i thought, 'this is a great way to be doing something and meet people'.  little did i know that the term 'group' was being used very loosely.

a week or so after signing up i got a call from a friend in the ward.  she found a great deal on pears and wondered if she could pick some up for me.  i thought that sounded like a great idea...that is until she said they weren't really going to be able to do the groups...since it was the weekend before school started.  but by was too late.  i was stuck...with 10 quarts of pears.

so i peeled.  and i peeled.  and i peeled.  then i got excited and started filling jars...but i only filled 3 1/2 i peeled some more.  and i peeled.  well, you get the idea, there was a lot of peeling involved. 

it really wasn't as technical a process as i had imagined it would be.  hot water.  sugar.  lids.  steam canner.  and lots and lots of time.  and peeling...don't forget the peeling.

luckily for me, all of my jars sealed and i can call this venture a success.  but i must give credit where credit is due.  first to my mother-in-law who gave me the steam canner a few Christmases ago...thank you, thank you, thank you!  and to my own mother...who answered several distressed questions and gave great over-the-phone instructions.  thank you, thank you, thank you!

my jars are currently sitting on a shelf in my cold storage room...much too pretty to be eaten.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


in an effort to make use of the massive quantities of cucumbers coming from my garden...i ventured into the land of pickling.  luckily, i saw a segment on studio 5 (a utah morning show) on pickling. 

i opted not to process them, so we'll be eating 5 pints of pickles in the next 2 weeks.  let's hope they're good!

next up...dilly beans.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

kale chips

in a random turn of events i came home with a bunch of kale from a visiting teaching appointment last week.  with the kale came specific instructions on how to make kale chips.  i've been hearing lots of great things in the nutrition world about kale chips for quite some time now, but just haven't gotten around to making them. we go.

tear your kale into 'chip' size pieces leaving out the main stalk (i hear it's bitter)
brush with olive oil and place on cookie sheet
sprinkle lightly with seasoned salt
bake for approx. 6-8 min in a 400degree oven

as for the result...i would call them...interesting. 

they had a slightly veggie taste, but mostly tasted like the seasoned salt (which i sprinkled time i would go easier on that).  the texture was the interesting was almost like eating dry leaves...but more tasty.  they were fun to eat in a way, just because of the way they crunched in your mouth.

i would say that if you have a burning desire to eat kale (which is chalk full of nutrients) this would be the way to go.  for me, being extremely picky about texture, they were a bit strange. interesting venture into the world of kale.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

congo bars

so you know when you eat something and it totally hits the spot...and then when it's gone you're still thinking about it weeks later.  (well, maybe that's just me and my relationship with chocolate.)  well that's what happened with the congo bars

my mom made these when i was visiting in early may...and here it is almost the end of june and i still can't get them out of my head.  so i broke down and made them.  i say 'broke down' because a) they are slightly complicated [a two step process is just beyond my 'easy' qualification]...and b) i'm pretty sure i can eat the whole pan by my self [my bike and i will be spending much more quality time together this next week to compensate].

so now the pan of deliciousness is cooling, the anticipation is killing me, and my house smells incredible.  i think it's time to crack open a cold diet coke to celebrate. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

garden 2011

three summers of marriage.  and three different garden plots.

of all three, this one is the largest...which also means it took the most work to get ready.  but after a lot of sweat, i finally got it planted this morning.  we're taking a low-key approach this year and hoping for the best.  i mostly used the seeds i had left over from last year, along with a few extra plants.  i got the strawberries from a friend (thanks keri!) back in april.  in addition to the strawberries, we've got basil, cilantro, dill, a green pepper, two varieties of carrots, radishes (just to space out the carrots...who actually eats radishes?!), three varieties of cucumbers, marigolds, beans, and a pumpkin.

the previous owners of our home put in this nifty little irrigation system...we'll see how it works for us.

i love gardening.  for some reason, turning over the dirt, adding a little water and some seeds is very therapeutic for me.  i'm sure it won't be perfectly weeded.  and who knows how much of it will actually produce, but for now...i'm just enjoying it.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


since we've been in our new home...a total of 6 weeks mind you, we've have 3 different water issues in the basement and one leaking fridge.  water, water, everywhere and not a drop to drink.  okay, so we do have water to drink, but still, we have had water in plenty of places we don't need it.

anyways, we're all dried out now and our fridge is fixed.  so...onto decorating...finally.  hopefully i can get a few things up on the walls (at least the ones that are painted) and decide on a few more paint colors.  i'm really looking forward to buying some rugs (if i can ever decide on what i want) and getting things settled.

so...nothing really exciting going on here...just thought i'd post a little update.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

our a very, very, very fine house...

well, we've done it. we've officially made a big step towards actually becoming adults. we're buying a home. so here are a few photos to show you all what we've got to work with. in the next few months there will be lots (and lots) of painting, decorating, organizing, and just plain getting things figured out in our new place. so let's start with the 'before'.

this is the front of the house (i actually didn't take this one, it's from the listing, but you can see the gorgeous trees in the backyard when they are in full foliage. love them!). it could use a little landscaping love, but we'll get to that this summer.

next we have the view from the front door. this just might be my favorite part of the house. i love all of the light that the windows and doors let in. you can't tell from this photo, but the paint color in this room is a tomato red/orange color. not my favorite for this room, so we'll be working on that first.

this is the view from the far right corner of the living room. you can see the kitchen. that strange wall is where the fridge sits and the mud room/garage door entrance is on the left. (we're up to three paint colors now...keep counting!)

here's another view of the kitchen. the kitchen sink window looks out over the garden area. and yes, we'll be painting the yellow walls too.

here's the mud room. it's got some great shelving and hooks...and yes, our fourth paint color.

next is the upstairs bathroom...and the fifth paint color so far.

and now onto the master bedroom (paint color #6). the bay window looks out over the backyard.

and now the master bath...paint color #7. if you haven't caught on by now, the previous owners loved to paint.

there are two more smaller bedrooms on the main floor...with, you guessed it...two additional paint colors...that takes our total to #9.

okay, now to the downstairs. we LOVE this room as well. it's very spacious and we love the fireplace. the downstairs was finished about 5 years ago, so it feels slightly newer than the upstairs. (and yes, this is a new paint color...#10)

here's the downstairs bath...with two sinks and a jetted tub! technically it's the guest bath, so come on over! and yes, another paint color (#11).

also in the basement are three additional bedrooms, the laundry room, and storage room. another charming feature is the play nook under the stairs. it's super cute. and just in case you were wondering, all three of the bedrooms and laundry have their own paint colors...that takes us to a grand total of...drum roll please...#15! for now we probably won't paint the basement. the colors are fairly nice, so we're not going to create too much more work for ourselves.

here's a quick look at the backyard.  this is a view looking off the deck to the right.

this view is looking towards the back of the house.

and this view is to the right of the previous picture.  there's a garden spot and a small sand box and nice little shed.

i hope you enjoyed the tour! and we look forward to having you all as visitors! (just be sure to bring your paint brush!)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

mighty, mighty vinegar

so two cleaning problems at my house.

#1--nasty, nasty buildup from the dishwasher on my glass drinking glasses. so here in utah they pulled sulfates out of the dishwasher soap...and my glasses have been cloudy and gross ever since. they were getting so bad, our finger prints were showing up in the buildup. GROSS. seriously.

long story short, i did some online research and found that vinegar was the answer. so i filled my sink (just enough to cover my glasses laying down) with hot water and some vinegar, soaked them over night...and wa-lah! sparkly clean!

there are a few small spots that could have easily been removed if i had been ambitious enough to scrub them, but i think i'll just soak them again when they start to cloud up again. (they also do say that a cap-full of vinegar in your dishwasher (after it's started to fill) will help prevent the buildup.)

#2--terrible hard-water stains on my glass shower doors. again...vinegar to the rescue, plus a few other ingredients. the online research results recommended lemon juice (applied with a sponge) for the most of it, and then a paste of vinegar and baking soda for the tough spots (but my whole door qualified as a tough spot if you ask me). then you spray with a mix of water and vinegar. then squeegee or finish with window cleaner.

this wasn't quite as dramatic as a result, but it still worked. i'm planning on doing a second round and hopefully it will all come off.

ah the power of vinegar...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

cna anyone?

just passing this along.

if you or anyone you know is interested in getting their CNA, check this out...and pass it along.