Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Yea for Halloween!



























Happy Halloween from the Lego Family!

(also pictured: Sophie & Nana. Don't worry. Only some of those tattoos are real.)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Recipes - Main Dishes

Here are my staple recipes (meaning they're super easy since I make them often)

Stroganoff
(Gook Housekeeping)

1/2 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove-minced
1 lb ground beef
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 can Cream of Mushroom (10.5oz)
1 cup sour cream
1/2 package egg noodles

Cook onion & garlic in butter until golden (about 3 min). Add beef, flour, salt, & pepper. Cook, stirring, until meat is browned (about 7 min). Stir in soup-heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low & simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in sour cream and heat, but don't boil.

Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions.


Chicken Squares
(Xan A. - Ward Cookbook)
3 oz cream cheese-softened
2 Tbsp butter-melted
2 cups cooked chicken-shredded
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp milk
1/4 cup green onions (recipe actually calls for 1 Tbsp chives or onion)
1 pkg crescent rolls
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 Tbsp butter-melted

Preheat oven to 350. Combine cream cheese & butter until smooth. Add chicken, salt, pepper, milk, & onions. Separate rolls. Stretch a little. Fill with 1/8th of filling & roll. (Most recipes have you press 2 rolls into a square before filling, but I like to have more, smaller rolls). Brush with butter & dip in bread crumbs. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Note: I usually don't have bread crumbs, so I just skip that part. I've also made this with Grands biscuits.


Fajitas
(Better Homes & Gardens)
12 oz beef flank steak or chicken - bite sized
1 cup red or green pepper-cut into thin strips
1/2 cup onion - cut into rings
3/4 cup tomato-chopped
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp Fajita seasoning (pkg or homemade)
4-6 tortillas

Fajita Seasoning
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp onion powder

Place meat in a bowl & sprinkle with 2 tsp of seasoning. Cover & chill for 1/2 hour.

Wrap tortillas in foil & put in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp oil over med-hi heat. Add peppers, onion, & remaining seasoning. Cook til crisp-tender. Remove from skillet. Add meat and more oil if necessary. Cook & stir 2-3 min until done. Drain well. Add onion/peppers and tomatoes. Cook 1 minute or until heated through. Remove from heat. Add lime juice. Serve with tortillas & if desired, sour cream, guac, etc.


Baked Ziti
(My own invention)
1 pkg rotini (spiral noodles)
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1/3 lb cheddar cheese-shredded
salt, pepper, & italian seasoning
Optional: cottage cheese, mozzarella, cooked zucchini, browned ground beef

Cook noodles according to package. Preheat oven to 350. In a 9x13 pan, combine sauce, seasonings, & half the cheese. Add any optional ingredients. When noodles are done, drain and add to pan. Mix well. Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top, and bake for 5 additional minutes.


Hamburger Hash
(Jake's mom Kim)
5-7ish potatoes
1 lb ground beef
1 pkg brown gravy mix
1 cup water
salt & pepper

Brown beef in skillet. Remove & drain juice. Add potatoes to skillet & cook til almost fully cooked. Add gravy & water. Add meat, salt, & pepper. Cook til potatoes are done.


Chili
(Friend from Tempe)
3 cans dark red kidney beans
1 can diced tomatoes (28 oz) or fresh tomatoes, but add extra water.
1 onion-diced
1/2 to 1 lb ground beef or ground turkey
1 pkg chili seasoning

Cook in crock pot til hot. (Can also cook on the stove-just brown beef ahead of time)


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Journal Jar #21: Food

What is my favorite food?
When I cook for my family, what do I enjoy making most?

I'm going to have to go ahead and say that my favorite food is chocolate. I admit it. Other sweet things I love include ice cream and homemade cream puffs (both of which usually include chocolate).

As far as non-sweet things, I seem to have a love for oriental soups. My top two: Thai Tom Ka Gi, and Vietnamese Pho. I also love fresh Mexican food, authentic Mexican food, sea food, and a good steak and potato meal every once in a while.

When I cook, I really enjoy baking. However, baking usually isn't healthy. So let's talk about healthy-ish foods. There aren't a lot of meals on my recipe rotation. I find myself making beef strogonoff, chicken squares, fajitas, baked ziti, and hamburger hash on a regular basis.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Journal Jar #20: My Bedroom

What does my bedroom look like?
Do I share a room? Am I comfortable in my room?

My bedroom is a master bedroom with a walk-in closet and light green walls. I have dark brown window curtains and during the winter months, a dark brown and light green comforter. I love to decorate, but somehow never got around to decorating my room. I think my bedroom is the hardest room to decorate for some reason. It's like I don't want to make a permanent decision about it, so I just avoid it all together. Like having nothing at all is better than trying something I may or may not like.

Anyway, on to question #2. Yes, I currently share a room. Growing up, I also spent time sharing a room with all 3 of my siblings (separately). I was the last person in my family to have my own room - gaining that right at age 16.

Even though I haven't decorated my room, I'm very comfortable in it. I love my bed. It's so soft. When we got back to our house after living with my parents for the summer, I just laid down on my bed and sighed. I was so glad to be back to it.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Animal Noises


(Jake and Sophie reading a book with flaps together)

Jake: What's near the light bulb?
(Sophie lifts light bulb flap)
Jake: A moth! What's hiding in the grass?
(Sophie pulls down the grass flap)
Jake: A snake! Sssssssssssssss.
Sophie: Sssssssssssss
Jake: Yea! That's right! A snake! Ssssssssssss.
Sophie: Sssssssssssss
Jake: Abbie, did you hear her? She made a snake noise!
Abbie: Yeah, that's awesome!
Jake: Sssssssssssss
Sophie: Sssssssssssss
Jake: (continuing with the book) What's inside the shell?
(Sophie lifts the shell flap)
Jake: A snail!
Sophie: Sssssssssssssss

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Sophie's First Birthday Party

To celebrate Sophie's first birthday, we had a little party at Nana's house. I wanted to make her a mini double-layer round cake, so I baked 2 9-inch round cakes, and cut smaller circles out of them. And then, wouldn't you know it, I was able to put the remaining 9-inch crescents together and form an "S", so everyone else was able to enjoy Sophie's "S" cake.


Here is the progression of the cake:


Awesome, right? We then took this little one in for a quick sink bath and a change of clothes, and moved on to opening presents. Sophie got a big doll and a little doll and some cute clothes. She loved all of it.











Help from Mabel & Oliver











Poking her new baby's eyes out














Approved!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Picnic at the Park


Last Saturday, in between General Conference sessions, most of my family got together at a park near my parents' house for a picnic. It was a last-minute decision and it turned out to be a lot of fun. Sophie especially liked the baby swings.











This is a gesture that Sophie invented. Chin up, wrist high in the air or behind the back. It basically means that she's really excited about whatever she sees. It most always applies to seeing a person, such as a grandparent.

(Cathy, Nana, Abbie, Stephanie)

It looks like I need to get myself a pair of big sunglasses.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

What Can I Say? We're Fans


Last Thursday, Jake, Sophie, & I went to the Diamondbacks game. Jake's brother and dad, and my sister Cathy were also there. It was their second playoff game against the Cubs. We had a great time. We were in deep nosebleed seats, but it turned out to be quite the advantage. The game started at 7 (aka: Sophie's bed time) and turned out to be the LONGEST game in baseball history. It ended at 10:54. BUT, since we were at the top of the stadium, there was a lot of room to roam around. Plus, how awesome is it to watch an entire baseball game without having to move your eyes or rotate your neck at all?

Sophie spent the majority of the game playing at the top of the stairs with me, Jake, or her Grandpa Bard.


I made her this sign, and to our surprise, she spent a couple minutes just holding it and waving it around. And then she ate it.

Monday, October 08, 2007

The First Year

My baby turned one yesterday! Tomorrow I will have more highlights from my weekend, including Sophie's birthday party. But for now, enjoy seeing her grow over her first year of life.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Comprehension

I've noticed lately that Sophie is beginning to really understand what things are. For example, she picked up her shoe the other day, and instead of it going directly into her mouth like usual, she tried to put it on her foot.

Yeah.

Like a big girl.

And this morning, we were playing with some of her toys, and this is what she did:


Again. Like a big girl. Who exactly does she think she is?

But to really top it all off, I need to show you this:

video

Now, how big is that?