Archive | October, 2007

>Carving Pumpkins

29 Oct

>So we carved pumpkins tonight for the first time since Sam and I have been married! Yes, we’re a couple of Grinches. But honestly, holidays are just more fun when kids are old enough to enjoy them!




>Weekend Fun…

28 Oct

>We’ve had a busy weekend so far, but it’s been really fun! Yesterday, my stepmom came to see us and we had a great time with her (aside from a major meltdown on Clark’s part as we were trying to leave the mall.) It was fun to just hang out and also to have another grown-up to talk to! And she folded my laundry for me…awwww! 🙂

Tonight, we went up the canyon and roasted hot dogs and made s’mores. We all had a great time, but Clark in particular thought it was awesome. It’s been a few years since we’ve done that and it brought back all sorts of memories. I have a warm, fuzzy memory of when I was pretty little and going up Logan Canyon with my family and doing the same sort of thing. This was where I first learned Irish drinking songs like “Rickety Tickety Tin.” It wasn’t until several years later at Girl’s Camp when Ann Smith informed me that “Rickety Tickety Tin” was morbid and inappropriate for a spiritual setting and that most families sing campfire songs like “Kumbaya.”

As I got older, there were more campfires–at Scott Hoffman’s cabin with my amazing high school friends, most of whom I’ve lost touch with; that makes me sad. We always said that would never happen, but it pretty much always does. In Provo Canyon during my first few years at BYU–with Becky, Sara, and Chris our freshman year, Dutch Ovening with dates during the summer…lots of happy memories!

I can’t wait until my kids get bigger and we can actually go camping. For now, I’m too much of a wuss to try and imagine doing that with a baby and a toddler and I’m totally content to pretend camp for the time being!


>Thursday Night Roundup…

26 Oct

>So I thought all the shows (at least the ones I’ve watched so far) last night were FANTASTIC!! Here are my feelings on what I was able to watch:

Grey’s Anatomy

I will fully admit that I was about to give up on Grey’s by the end of last season. For the most part, last season left me feeling VERY unsatisfied, with the exception a few storylines (George’s dad, part 2 of Meredith’s fall in the water).

I have to say that last season, I was very anti-Callie, but as I re-watched Season 3, I came to the conclusion that I cannot stand Izzie. Ack. And every week this season, I hate her more. It makes me disappointed in George that he would love someone so despicable. I’m loving Callie this season and think that she brings some much-needed maturity and reality to the show.

Last night, I loved the exchange between Callie and Cristina as they laughed hysterically about all the horrible things that had happened to them (right before Grandpa Gilmore hit the floor).

Other highlights–

  • I actually shivered at the look Alex gave “Ava” when he saw her again for the first time. Wow.
  • Meredith taking the little boy trick-or-treating for ears and then hearing from Sloane that she’s actually not as much like her mother as she fears. Sure, Sloane’s totally dysfunctional, but I think deep down, he’s a good guy.
  • The whole storyline with the dad/daughter/the heart. The things George said to convince the man to take the heart made me tear up.

All in all, I think Grey’s has really kicked it back up and I’m happy. My guilty pleasure is back!

The Office

The Office was good, as always. You know, I know I originally said that I liked the 1-hour format, and while I do, there’s something to be said for being left wanting more, so I was okay with its return to 30 minutes this week. I loved Andy’s description of his and Angela’s “necking” trysts (where there is no actual kissing taking place, just rubbing necks.) And Jim and Pam’s relationship is adorable–I think bringing them together was a great move, even though I know a lot of people were very worried.

Can anyone else believe that Michael hasn’t been fired? Seriously, (and I hope this doesn’t shock too many of you who don’t know I like the occasional swear word), but this season especially, he has been an ass. In the past, they’ve kind of balanced that behavior with some kind of pathos that makes you feel sorry for him (think him trying to sing both parts of “Islands in the Stream” by himself before Jim finally takes pity on him in Season 2) or understand why he is the way that he is, but this season, I just want to punch the guy.

30 Rock

Oh, man. I’ve said it before, but I sure hope people start watching this show! I have not laughed so hard since Gob Bluth fell into an open grave while performing an illusion at his father’s “funeral” on Arrested Development. I don’t know if I was just punchy or if it was really that funny, but during Alec Baldwin’s impressions (where he’s also having a therapy session with himself), I about died. And then Carrie Fischer’s, “Help me, Liz Lemon, you’re my only hope!” She’s a good sport, but you can’t make Star Wars and then expect not reference it again at some point in your career! If you want (actually, I’m strongly encouraging…maybe even BEGGING), you can watch the full episode from NBC right here. You want “Rosemary’s Baby.” And then you have to start watching the show so it doesn’t get cancelled. Don’t worry, it’s safe to download it from NBC; it’s not some random bit-torrent website where you may or may not be signing away your technological security for a few minutes of 30 Rock pleasure.

>Baked Potato Soup

25 Oct

>I love this soup, especially on cold, yucky days in the fall and winter. It was a gorgeous fall day today, but I had all the ingredients to make it and it was still delicious! It’s deceptively thick and rich–you can use 1% milk and light sour cream and it tastes like the real thing and this way, your friendly neighborhood cardiologist can have the night off.

Baked Potato Soup

4 baking potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds)
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
6 cups 1% milk
1 1/4 c. cheddar, divided
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 c. light sour cream
3/4 c. chopped green onions, divided
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled.

1. Pierce potatoes with a fork; bake at 400 for 1 hour or until tender. This step can be done in advance or you can even use leftover baked potatoes. Allow to cool. Slice in half and then scoop insides into a bowl. Discard the skins and break any large chunks into bite-sized (or smaller) pieces.

2. Place flour into a large pot and gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly, but do NOT bring to a full boil! Boiling will lead to curdled soup, and hey, no one likes curdled soup.

3. Add potatoes, 3/4 c. cheese, salt, and pepper. Stir until cheese melts and remove from heat.

4. Stir in sour cream and 1/2 c. onions. Note: the onions in this picture are not chopped. Like sausage links, you do not want a whole green onion in your soup. Alisa, I’m talking to you. 🙂


5. Cook over low heat until soup is heated thoroughly. Again, this is a recipe where you have to be vigilant–don’t let it boil and don’t let it burn the bottom of the pot (unless it’s someone else’s night to do the dishes and you hate them). No running off to check your email.

6. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with bacon, remaining cheese, and green onions.

>Making Pizza

24 Oct

>I’ve been trying to make the perfect pizza since Sam and I got married 6 1/2 years ago. After experimenting with countless doughs, oven temperatures, and sauce recipes, I think I finally have it!

Sam told me I should start taking pictures of my recipes to go on the blog, so here you have it–a step-by-step tutorial to super-yummy homemade pizza! Oh, by the way, the dough is my friend Lisa’s recipe. Lisa is one of my very most favorite friends and has a brand new baby girl as of last night!

Homemade Pizza and Sauce
3-4 c. flour
1 1/2 c. very warm water (I say the temperature should be about what you’d be comfortable taking a hot, but not scalding shower in or, if you want to get technical, around 100-105 degrees.)
1 Tbsp. yeast
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

1 6-oz. can tomato paste
6 oz. water (I just use the can from the tomato paste)
3 Tbsp. garlic bread mix (I use Johnny’s that I get from Costco, but you could use any powdered brand)
1 Tbsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. onion powder

Olive oil
Garlic salt (I get mine from Penzey’s)
8 oz. Mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
Oregano
Pizza toppings of your choice (we always go back to Canadian bacon and pineapple which, according to my dad, is not real pizza, but about every pizza establishment in the US begs to differ…)

1. Combine water, yeast, and sugar in a bowl and let stand for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, it should look like this:

2. Add 1/2 tsp. salt and stir to combine. Add 1 1/2 cups of flour and combine thoroughly. Add more flour, a little at a time, until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl and it barely sticks to your finger when you touch it. This should be about 3-4 cups TOTAL (this includes the 1 1/2 c. that you already added).

3. Spray a metal or glass bowl with cooking spray and transfer dough to that bowl. Turn the dough over once and then cover with a clean cloth and let rise for about 45 minutes or until dough is doubled in bulk.

Dough before rising:

Dough after rising:

While the dough is rising, prepare the sauce by combining the tomato paste, water, garlic bread seasoning, sugar, and onion powder. If you really don’t want to get garlic bread seasoning, you can use 1 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning, 3 Tbsp. freshly-grated Parmesan, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, and 1-2 cloves of garlic in addition to the sugar and onion powder. I know, I know, it sounds all fresh and fancy, and that’s how I made it for a long time, but once I was out of Parmesan and garlic, so, in a moment of desperation, I used the garlic bread mix instead and it was better!

Your sauce will look something like this:
4. When your dough has 5-10 minutes left to rise, preheat oven to 450.

5. When your dough has risen completely, remove it from the bowl and punch it down on a lightly floured surface. Roll it out into a pizza-sized circle (I like a French rolling pin, but that’s just me…). Spray a pizza stone with cooking spray and then place your dough on the pizza stone. You might need to re-shape it a little once you put it on the stone.
6. Drizzle a little extra-virgin olive oil over the dough and spread it with your fingers, spoon, or a pastry brush so it coats the dough all the way to the edges. Sprinkle with garlic salt.
7. Bake in preheated oven until lightly golden, about 10-12 minutes. In this picture, it’s actually a little underdone because I was in a hurry.
8. Spread pizza sauce on top of pre-baked crust. Unless you REALLY like sauce, there will probably be some left over, but it freezes well. Add desired toppings, sprinkle with cheese, and then sprinkle with some oregano. The oregano, along with the pre-baked, garlic-salted, olive-oiled crust is the secret to yumminess!

9. Bake about 10 more minutes, or until crust is golden brown and cheese is starting to bubble. Allow pizza to sit for a few minutes before slicing, lest you burn yourself and sue me.

>Meredith’s First Laugh!

24 Oct

>Here’s a video of Meredith’s first laugh! Gotta say that hearing your kids laugh is one of the best sounds in the whole world, especially when you hear it for the first time. Please ignore the amazing cinematography as well as the dorky voice in the background. I have no idea who it belongs to.

http://www.youtube.com/get_player

>Morning at the Park

24 Oct

>Sorry to post these pics and the video separately; the video was giving me trouble, so I went about it a different way.

Anyway, here are the kiddos at the park! The Clark picture is actually a few days ago because he wasn’t cooperating today with my picture-taking efforts. Kid, someday when you wonder why we have more pictures of your sister than we do of you, it’s because you RAN AWAY, SCREAMING every time I tried to take your picture.

>I May Not Have a Dishwasher…

23 Oct

>…but this is the view from my kitchen window:

>So Scary…

23 Oct

>

Today, I had to go to the mall so I could make sure my new contacts were fitting right. Right outside Standard Optical is a play area, and Clark wanted to hang out there for a little while, so we did.


Letting kids grow up is a scary thing. Clark seems to do well in nursery, but I’m only usually there for a few minutes. For some reason, it strikes me as funny when he comes home and talks about what he and his friends did in nursery; sometimes I forget he’s a little person of his own who’s capable of making his own friends, the ones he chooses.

I want him to be strong and independent and I want him to be able to stand up for himself, but I also want him to retain the kindness and sensitivity that comes so naturally to him. There was a group of kids there who all seemed to know each other and Clark didn’t, so naturally, he was the odd one out. And I just held my breath. In that group of kids, I saw every group of kids I’ve ever known–the bossy Queen Bee, the one who was pushed around, the ones who want to be accepted and the ones who don’t really care. I don’t care what my kids’ social standing is, but I do care that they’re happy and that they’re kind to others. So I watched, my heart pounding, as Clark came onto the scene as the outsider, wondering what he’d do, how he’d do. At first, he was timid, playing by himself, but slowly he relaxed and the kids around him relaxed, too. Miss Queen Bee tried bossing him around and he told her no, and I was proud. He hopped on the pretend bus and played with the other kids and I was still proud. And I realized that he’s capable of more than I give him credit for.

Unfortunately, he won’t let me take pictures of him. Well, he will, but if he sees the camera then he cheeses it up. However, Meredith still lets me take her picture. It may be off-center, but it sure is cute!

>"No, no, the other nose!"

23 Oct

>Clark: Mom, I have bugs in my nose?
Kate (pointing to Clark’s nostrils): Which nose has bugs in it?
Clark: The one by mine eyes.

Also, I was nursing Meredith this afternoon and Clark asked me what Baby was doing. I said, “Baby’s eating from Mommy.” He replied, “She’s eating from you?! SHE doesn’t love you!”

Finally, he told me the other day that I drive him to drink.