Wednesday, September 30, 2009

White Sauce... The answer to what's for dinner...

White Sauce:
Mix 1 T softened butter together with 1 T flour
in a small sauce pan on low heat creating a roux

Pour 1 cup of milk into the mixture and slowly bring the temp up until it is bubbly and think..
make sure to keep stirring so that it doesn't scald on the bottom.

You can add any spice you like. I like 1/2 tsp. sea salt and some pepper

Then you can add any type of grated cheese to make a quick mac-n-cheese

I often steam broccoli and boil some type of pasta add the white sauce and some paprika and it's a lovely ... cheap meal that looks like restaurant food.

Making this is easier & faster than going through the drive through, the ingred. are almost always on hand, it's cheap, fairly healthy and kid friendly. Works over rice too.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie...

This recipe is sooo easy.

I usually get some frozen Western Family pies shells (sometime it's the off brand that is the tastiest)

I sprinkle a handful of choc. chips in the bottom. I always use Guittard... best choc. around

Then mix together in a bowl:
3 eggs
1 cup corn syrup
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter melted
1 tsp. good Mexican Vanilla
1 1/4 cups pecan halves

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 min

Monday, September 28, 2009

Owl Love Box with the Gift Service added...

... includes matching Owl Postcards, pink tickets, brown Sharpie, green apple & caramel candy lollies...
tied with a tiny grosgrain ribbon.

Me & My Sister...

Friends Forever...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Halloween Ellie...

is a very cute Etsy shop with lots of fun little handmade critters.

The Owl & The Pussy Cat...

I don't know that this book is the favorite little board book of the children, but It's mine. The illustrations are so intricate. Also, I love Edward Lear and find the story of his life interesting as well. Read it here.

Mmmm... Pie.

I once attended a Sunday School lesson where the class was taught about the 5 love languages. It was a very good lesson. When it was over, I came home and told C about it and asked him what kind of things made him feel loved most of all. If you know anything about the 5 love languages.. it's a hard choice.. Who doesn't like gifts, help, hugs or words of appreciation?
Anywho, C said that he would have to think about it. A week later he said, "Pie... pie is how I like to be loved."
I have a couple of good pie recipes. I love Toll House Pie. I make fabulous Choc. Chip Pecan Pie.. do you see a theme here?
I even got a great recipe from my neighbor for a fabulous fresh peach pie, but I don't really make fruit pie after that..
But, the Pie Pantry does. You have to remember this for next summer. They make great pie and now they are making these darling pie pockets which are simply heaven. Don't miss one next summer.. Put a pie pocket at the top of your to do list! It will make you feel loved. :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Fair Lady...

This is my favorite costume from My Fair Lady. My grandmother, who graduated in Clothing & Textiles copied this dress in white and that dress became my mother's wedding dress. She looked so much like this photo.
Anyway, it was so much fun to show this really amazing film to my daughters last weekend. They loved it.
A funny bit of trivia from the stage production...
"The musical had its pre-Broadway tryout at New Haven's Shubert Theatre. On opening night Rex Harrison, who was unaccustomed to singing in front of a live orchestra, 'announced that under no circumstances would he go on that night...with those thirty-two interlopers in the pit.' He locked himself in his dressing room and came out little more than an hour before curtain time. The whole company had been dismissed but were rounded up by the assistant stage manager. The opening night was a triumph."

Eagan Automotive...

For the first time in 10 years.. I had some car trouble. My family recommended this mechanic and I was very pleased with the service here as well. So, if you live in Davis County and have some car trouble.. these guys are honest, quick and priced very competitively.

Busy Bunnies By Lisa McCue...

Baby Book Review...
We love little board books around here. This one is fun because there are things to feel and smell and at the end there is a mirror to see yourself in.
The illustrations are very cute. The words get a little annoying by the 100th read, but the babies love it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fabulous Fall Etsy Pin Finds...

Premium Lustre Blizzard Pine...

I was looking through the Martha Stewart decorating issue and the corresponding online article and found this laminate that I love. What a pain, but I would love to put this throughout the whole house.. dust and allergies be gone!

Restaurant Review... Sonora Grill... Ogden...

This place does some things very well. It was clean (I'm a germaphobe so that's where I start). They have great chips and tomatillo salsa.. heavy on the lime.. yummmm. They make fabulous corn tortillas.. so soft. The beef melts in your mouth. Everything is incredibly fresh. The prices are very reasonable.. especially if you consider that fact they your entree ought to feed you for 3 meals (the portion sizes are ginormous).
I ordered the shredded beef tacos which came with Mexican rice and re fried beans.
Realizing that Mexican food is my thing and I'm very picky.. my only negative comment is that the food is a bit bland for me. This place is going for the healthy label, and I'm sure the food is healthy as long as you eat just 1/6th of your burrito. The burritos are 4,000 calories if they are 1.
Honestly, I would be running back there if they were a bit more liberal with the onion, garlic and pepper (I love stinky food).. but I realize lots of folks like milder food and not a lot of heat (peppers) in their food.. which is OK. But, then just for me, put a bottle of Cholula and a shaker of sea salt on the table and everything would be just perfect.

Monday, September 21, 2009

New little Halloween Witches will be in
P.S. Don't forget to sign up for the Halloween Giveaway.. several posts below this. :)

Halloween at The Rock Loft...

Every change of season I love to visit The Rock Loft in Fruit Heights Utah and see all the fun Holiday decorations.
They go crazy! It's like a festival!
... and you really shouldn't miss it.
The July 4th decor this year was amazing...
I love Halloween too...
... and Christmas is right around the corner...

Bun Basket.. A Favorite Spot...

The other day, some of us around here got talking about the fabulous treats there are right in our backyard. So I thought this week, I might highlight a few. The Bun Basket has many of our family's favorites... yummy mint/choc. brownies, the best ever veggie sandwiches, amazing Cheezy Potato Soup, the cutest shape sugar cookies. They also sell amazing wheat breads, my favorite Blue Cattle Truck Mexican Vanilla, some great local jams & honey and fabulous cinnamon roll mix.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sinful Brownies...

My basic brownie recipe is adapted from Better Homes & Gardens...

Fudge Brownies
1 cup butter
4 squares semi-sweet choc. squares (I use Baker's)
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. good Mexican Vanilla (Blue Cattle Truck is my favorite)
1 1/2 cup unbleached flour

Melt choc. & butter over low heat. Remove from heat and mix in remaining ingred. Bake in a 9X13 pan for 30 mins. at 350 degrees. (Do not over-cook)

That's the basic recipe.. and it's fun to play with. You can melt a bag of Guittard mint chips and spread that and then some choc. frosting over the top.

You can add milk, semi or dark choc. chips. I love Guittard choc... it's the very best and this dark choc. is no exception. So how about adding 1 cup dark choc chips to the batter and 2 cups of whole pecans. ... Sinfully delish.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Halloween Starter Kit... Giveaway...

Kit includes: Candy Corn Love Box, Candy Corns, Chocolate Pumpkins and Eyeballs, a set of Dracula Teeth, Halloween sticker, Spinning Spin Top Spiders, Caramel Apple Pops, a book mark to hold your place in a scary book, spider rings and a black notebook and pen to make your Halloween plans in...
Instructions: Everyone is welcome to enter by...
making A SINGLE comment in the comments section
Winner will be drawn Monday Midnight EST
Michelle is the winner!

Aggie Ice Cream...

While BYU and UofU wage a football war.. The Aggies easily slip away with a more important win. THE MOST AWESOME ICE CREAM EVER!

My Visiting Teacher brought Treats...

Marshmallows dipped in caramel, dipped in rice crispies... If you made these yourself.. Oh the creative possibilities.. They were so cute, but we ate them. Thanks Emily!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Comfort Food...

Easy Meatloaf:
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 egg
1 onion chopped
1 cup milk
1 cup dried bread crumbs (I used good wheat bread toasted and finely crumbled)
1 T Worcestershire sauce
dash garlic powder

2 T brown sugar
2 T prepared Mustard
2/3 C ketchup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine beef, egg, onion, milk, bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce & garlic powder in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Place in a lightly greased 5X9 loaf pan.
In a separate small bowl, combine brown sugar, mustard & ketchup. Mix well and poor over meatloaf.
Bake for 1 hour and 20 min.

I like to serve this with green salad, steamed broccoli and yellow garden squash. And, I like to quarter some new red potatoes and put them in a ceramic covered dish which I place in the oven beside the meatloaf and then add a touch of butter and some parsley flakes.

The recipe is from

Monday, September 14, 2009

Method Water Flower Foaming Soap...

I love this stuff. Elegant and doesn't chap. It's one of those happy little luxeries.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Why Giving Matters...

Thanks to Janice, who passed this along. This is a brilliant article by a Catholic Economist...
Hope you'll read it. HERE...

"Americans give a lot. In 2006 they gave about $300 billion to charity. To put that into perspective, $300 billion is more than the entire national income of Sweden. Seventy-five percent of America’s families give every year. Fifty percent volunteer their time, and Americans give in myriad other ways that are not captured in data.
The most charitable state in the United States is Utah, where people give approximately twice as much as the second leading state. I’m tempted to say that that should make Utahns proud. But I suppose that’s not the right word. However, it should make you pleased—and determined to keep it up. "

Monday, September 07, 2009

Art Of Andrew Daniel...

I like THIS artist very much and had a small print framed from my new yellow hall.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Salsa Fresca & Cholula Chicken...

Slow cook these ingredients, shred chicken and it makes a healthy and delicious meal served over rice with steamed veggies and a salad.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


In an interview with Malcolm Gladwell, the author claims that his research has debunked American Individualism, "Americans like to believe in the myth of the `rugged individualist' that pulls himself or herself up by the bootstraps for this is a part of the American credo." Yes. It is.

And, after reading this book, I still believe in pulling yourself up by the bootstraps. Why? For those of you who've read the book, you know that Gladwell's theory is that everyone CAN succeed if given opportunity. He talks about how amazing it was that Bill Gates was given almost unlimited access to a computer at a time when the only other people with the same access were those attending the elite universities in the land. He talks about the significance of the early birthdays of hockey players and elementary students. He makes some great points about opportunity and how vital it is to success.

But the bootstraps exist in the 10,000 hours.. and in desire, creativity and effort. Everyone at Bill Gates highschool was given access to this amazing computer, not to mention those attending the elite universities and yet there is only one Bill Gates. I'm sure that among the kids who attended Bill Gates' high school, there are many high achievers. They had opportunity like Gladwell points out. They obviously had a great deal of community backing for their school, parents who were willing to donate time and money to improve things and to provide opportunity. The smart kids took advantage of those things and learned something, but for many it wasn't computers.

When I was a kid my dad purchased a Steinway piano and found a good teacher for me who also taught at a local university, an amazing opportunity. I learned to play the piano in a very basic way. Given time, I can read the notes and can play something very simple. I'm no Mozart.

Americans often refer to their country as "the land of opportunity". The idea being that we are free to pursue those options that interest us. No one tells us what to read, to watch or how to spend our time. Time is where the "rugged individualism" comes in... time and effort.

The Homestead Act provided a great opportunity for those who were "rugged American individualists". Here is a piece of land. It's all yours.. you just have to make something out of it... make it livable and profitable and do it in three years. For those who had a bright mind, a healthy body and were willing to work from morning until night without ceasing, this was a great opportunity.

Did I play the piano from morning until night? No. I love music, but it has never been my first love and there were days and days that I simply forgot to practice. I may have been a better pianist if I had been forced to practice for hours, but I don't think I ever would have been great because I wanted something else.

Gladwell is right that no one is self made. Even if they don't get a lot of help along the way, there are circumstances and influences. But, when you have a passion, people have a propensity for finding themselves in the way of opportunity.

There are so many lessons to be learned from this book. One, for me as I look at the current political climate, is a concern that the public's desire for greater government control of almost everything discourages opportunity and therefore success. Another lesson I learned is that time is the great equalizer. We all have the 10,000 hours. How will we spend it? How will we encourage our children to spend it? This book proves, if we didn't know it already, how precious every moment can be.