Saturday, November 22, 2008

Colby's Birthday

I realize that I am late in posting this but I couldn't get the scanner to work with my computer so I had to wait for Colby to do it and for some reason he wasn't in a big hurry to scan these photos for me. :) My honey recently celebrated his 32nd birthday.

We spent the day together and attended Body Worlds at The Leonardo in Salt Lake City. It was incredible! If you get the chance to attend it you should. It gave me a greater appreciation for the amazing complexity that is our body. (It also gave me a greater desire to lose weight after seeing what happens to the body that has too much fat.)

I have to admit I love this photo of Colby with Princess Leia from his mission. I was going to wax poetical about how great my husband is but I believe that I said everything that needs to be said on our anniversary in August, so please see my previous posting. I will say I love my husband a lot and appreciate all he does for me!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thanksgiving Kick-Off

We started the tradition about one year after we moved to Salt Lake City of having a Thanksgiving Kick-Off Meal about two weeks before Thanksgiving. It started because I wanted to cook the full meal and, at the time, mom was doing all the cooking and I was only occasionally helping. (It was good practice for me, once mom got sick with her cancer I have been cooking the meal for my family.) We invited the few friends we had in Salt Lake over to eat with us and a tradition was born. I love it because I get to eat all my favorite foods twice and I have found that I gorge myself less because I know that I am getting all my favorite things more than once. This year Colby's brother, Lyman, and his wife, Kim, held the dinner at their house. Bentley, their cute son, LOVES shoes. He got a hold of my high heels and kept walking around the house with them on. The food was fabulous.!
I forgot to post one of my absolute favorite Thanksgiving recipes. Thanks to Dacia for reminding me. My grandmother Schmutz used to make this every year for Thanksgiving and we learned quickly to grab some before Danielle's husband, Jason, came through the line because regardless of how much was left he would take it all. :)

Sweet Potato Casserole
3 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes (sweet potatoes are yellow and yams are orange, it must be sweet potatoes)
2 eggs (well beaten)

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

-Beat together sweet potatoes until mashed. Add rest of ingredients. Spread topping and bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes.

1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour

1/3 butter (melted)

1 cup finely chopped pecans

-Mix together until crumbly

Nothing about this casserole is healthy but it is one of the best foods I have ever eaten!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Holiday Traditions

My favorite thing about the holidays (besides spending time with family) is the traditions. There is something about the continuation of traditions that I find so comforting. Of course, a lot of those traditions involve food. One of my favorite memories of my Grandma McArthur is of her sitting in her big rocking recliner breaking bread into little pieces to make a pan of dressing for everyone in the family. She had this HUGE stainless steel bowl that she would use to break the bread into that sat on her lap and she would watch episodes of "Murder, She Wrote" when no one was there to talk to her. The recipe is one of those family recipes that Grandma would just make and was never written down. Grandma passed away several years ago and I had to beg and beg to get my mom to sit down and write the recipe out for me. I am so glad that I was a such a nag. So, for all my cousins who want this recipe (and those others who just want a good recipe)

Dressing by Fae McArthur

1 1/2-2 Stalks of Celery (chopped)
1/2 medium onion (chopped)
3 loaves of bread (broken into small pieces)
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 large can Cream of Chicken Soup (condensed, not mixed)
1/2 lb. bulk sausage
1/2 lb. ground beef

-Brown the meat, add all liquids together, stir together all other ingredients until well mixed.
-Bake at 350 for 45 minutes (until crust is browned)
-makes 2 13x9 pans

One of my other favorite fall foods is pine nuts. I haven't been able to find them in Salt Lake but I happened to be in St.George last weekend and brought some home to share with Colby. In the fall my mother would always make "Old Witches Magic Pumpkin Cake". She would only make this around Halloween and Thanksgiving so I have found myself doing the same. Here is that recipe:

Old Witches Magic Pumpkin Cake

-Beat together 3 eggs, 1 lb. canned pumpkin (I always use the whole can), 3/4 cup vegetable oil, 1/2 cup water.
-Add 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking soda, 2 1/4 cup sugar, 3/4 tsp nutmeg, 3/4 tsp cinnamon and 1 cup raisins.
-Bake in a greased and floured bunt pan at 350 for 60-75 minutes. Frost after cake cools.


4 oz. softened cream cheese

3 tbs. softened margarine
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Finally, my favorite cookies that mom would make are Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies. I don't remember mom making many other kinds of cookies, usually these were what she made. When I make these cookies only about half of the cookies actually get cooked because this is the best cookie dough I have ever had. :)

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

3/4 cup shortening (butter flavored is better)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
3 cups oats (uncooked)
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 pkg. chocolate chips (can use raisins but why when you can have chocolate?!)
-Cream shortening, egg, sugar, vanilla and water; add dry ingredients; add chocolate chips.
-Bake on 350 for 12-15 minutes.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Jordanne's Senior Pictures

This weekend I traveled down to St. George and Erika Snow (Riley, Colby's cousin's wife) took Jordanne's senior pictures. She picked out several locations in St. George that we went to and Jordanne had several outfit changes. At one point Jordanne was changing behind the open door with me blocking the other side from view and Jordanne mentioned that she felt like a real model changing outside. Erika made fun of us because not only did we have several wardrobe changes but each wardrobe change required a jewelry change. What most people never see is what the photographer goes through to get the shot (and no, the excursion did not belong to any of us). Make sure you check out her blog to see the rest of the photos she has posted.