Monday, June 25, 2007

Yummy carrots anyone can make

This is a favorite from my food guru Alton Brown. Yummy. The carrots stay really crunchy and it's way more sweet then spicy.

1/2 pound mini carrots
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon chili flakes
2 dried chilies
Place carrots in a spring-top glass jar. Bring the water, sugar, cider vinegar, onion powder, mustard seeds, salt, and chili flakes to a boil in a non-reactive saucepan. Boil for 4 minutes.

Slowly pour the hot pickling liquid over the carrots, filling the jar to the top. Place the chilies in the jar. Allow the carrots to cool before sealing. Refrigerate for 2 days up to 1 week.

Take me the way I am

This is my current favorite artist. Here is my song! I love this song and sing it to DJ daily. It's kind of hard to hear all the words so I posted the lyrics. Check out her myspace to hear it better.

If you were falling, then I would catch you.
You need a light, I'd find a match.

Cuz I love the way you say good morning.
And you take me the way I am.

If you are chilly, here take my sweater.
Your head is aching, I'll make it better.

Cuz I love the way you call me baby.
And you take me the way I am.

I'd buy you Rogaine if you start losing all your hair.
Sew on patches to all you tear.

Cuz I love you more than I could ever promise.
And you take me the way I am.
You take me the way I am.
You take me the way I am.

Too funny!

If you have a mom or are a mom you'll love this, too funny!

Calling in some prayers.

DJ has a resume in with Wells Fargo and we are awaiting the call to set up an interview. We are so so so very thankful to Lindsay for helping us with this possible opportunity. Stay tuned and I'll let you all know if he gets the call.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Death of a Soccor Ball

So we bought this ball for Roxy since she didn't seem to have any interest in the tennis ball we gave her. She clearly loved it from the start as she grabbed it from me and proceeded to throw it all over the living room. Then 30 minutes later it was too quiet so I snuck out and look what I found.

Holy cow! This girl loves to chew! I have a feeling we will be taking out some stock in the soccer industry.

Tres Leche Cake

In honor of my current addiction I thought this week’s recipe should be for my own Tres Leche cake. I must admit I got this first from my food hero Alton Brown and I have found no fault so there has been little of my own flare in this one, but if it ain’t broke you know don’t fix it.

For the cake:
7 ounces (just short of 1 cup) cake flour, plus extra for the pan
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 ounces butter (unsalted) room temperature
5 whole eggs
1 & ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

For the glaze:
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup half and half

For the topping:
2 cups heavy cream
8 oz sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil and flour a 13x9 inch metal pan and set aside.

Mix together the cake flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed until fluffy, approximately 1 minute. Decrease the speed to low and with the mixer still running, gradually add the sugar over 1 minute. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl, if necessary. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and mix to thoroughly combine. Add the vanilla extract and mix to combine. Add the flour mixture to the batter in about 3 batches and mix until just combined. Do not over mix or cake will not turn out right. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread evenly. This will appear to be a very small amount of batter. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cake is lightly golden and reaches an internal temp of 200 degrees.

Remove the cake pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool for 30 minutes. Poke the top of the cake all over with a skewer or fork. Allow the cake to cool completely and then prepare the glaze.

For the glaze:
Whisk together the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and the half and half. Once combined pour the glaze over the cake. Refrigerate the cake overnight.

Place the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk together on low until stiff peaks are formed. Change the setting to medium and mix until the topping is thick. Spread over cake and refrigerate until ready to serve.

OK here’s my twist. In the summer serve with berries on top. I use strawberries, blackberries, raspberries or blueberries. Peaches work well too if you prefer those to berries.
In the fall and winter try it this way. Add a little cinnamon (1/4 teaspoon) and a little nutmeg (1/8 teaspoon) to the cake batter. Instead of topping with fruit top with a caramel sauce. Yummmmmmm

Mixed emotions

So this past weekend has been so jam packed with activities and emotions I was quite literally worn out by Sunday night I just didn’t have the energy to write all I wanted to down here.
Ok this past week’s main focus was preparing for our Friday night tradition and then my friend Christy’s big event on Saturday. We have a tradition now where twice monthly a group of us make the trek out to Mesa for a wonderful night of Temple work. Our usual group of 3 expanded to 7 this week and we had such a good time. I always feel so peaceful when I come out, I just love how the whole week’s stress can melt right off of me. It’s so true that when you are helping/serving others you just lose all of your own issues. I promise you that next time you have a big problem try helping someone else and you will not only feel better you might just find the resolution you are looking for.
Then after we were all done we went to my current favorite food in the world, CafĂ© Rio. Oh my so yummy. I’m so addicted to the pork barbacoa that I can actually taste it while ordering my burrito. Oh and the green sauce………………………all I can say is heavenly. I can’t even begin to say how yummy it all is, then we get to the desserts. Ok the tres leche cake is just to die for, so creamy and sweet and dense and yummy. Then I tried the key lime pie and holy cow so creamy and tart and cool and yummy. Next time I’m in trouble because I won’t know what to order. I truly think we should all get together and buy part of the franchise and open one out in the west valley near the new movie theater being built on Litchfield and Waddell. We would make a killing! But it wasn’t just the food the conversation was great too. Pat and Allison Delmoe joined us as well as Hailey Ward and her beau Brent. We had such a good time getting to know each other better and must have sat and talked to each other for a good hour over our food. Such a great Friday night!
After dropping everyone off at home Christy and I were still awake and it was only 11:30pm and she had wanted to go look for a new outfit for her big day on Saturday, so we decided to head over to our local friendly 24 hour walmart. We had so much fun wandering around the store looking at goofy shoes and trying them on, then Miss Christy goes dancing down the aisle wearing some high heals and I almost lost it laughing. We had a great time and didn’t end the night until close to 1am. So much fun, I just love how Christy can get me to laugh and how she has the best most positive attitude. She let me come over on Saturday and do her hair for her, so touched that I got to be a part of her day even though I couldn’t actually go with her.
We met up again on Saturday night and she looked like she was glowing, so at peace and all together a different person. I was so happy for her. We took a dip in the pool then went to Cold Stone with DJ and met up with Sher and Taylor Murphy. Oh my, such good times! They are such a great couple and I just love to talk with her. We heard their whole story about meeting and getting married; I just love how they are so different but fit together so well. We closed that joint down and finally headed out around 11pm.
I was so tired by the time I got home, but I felt so happy to have had such great friends around.
Then Sunday we got up extra early to so to church with my mother to support my old Bishop who was going to be released that day. He and his family were moving to El Paso TX this week so he can move up in his job. I learned so much from that wonderful man and his family I can’t even express how much he means to us. I have been in the presence of people with solid testimonies but none can compare to the power of Dave Snyder. I can’t even put into words my feelings on the matter because they wouldn’t do any justice. We love them all so much and will miss going to their house to work on greeting cards with Annette and hanging out soaking up the Sprit there, ah good memories. Finally we went to dinner at a dear friend’s house and had such a good time. We had our first true family home evening and I just love how much fun we had. Tracy went through the structure of it all and we learned how to put on our own FHE for the future. I’m so excited to be able to start having our own in our own house. I just can’t wait to mix some kids in there later, gonna be great! Isn’t it just such a great idea to have one night a week to put the craziness of the world aside and declare some family time. No phones, or TV or anything else, just your family talking and enjoying each other.
So it was an absolutely great weekend, wore me plain out but I loved every minute of it even having to say good bye to our dear friends because I know that they are going to be blessed in this move. But, boy I could have used a day to recover and sleep in. Oh well there is always next weekend right?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

My big fat greek salad

Yummy greek treat. I love this salad and make it year round. In the winter time instead of serving it over salad greens try tossing this mixture into a couple of cups of orzo pasta then serve warm. Yum-mmmy!


3 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1 small cucumber, chopped

¼ small red onion, chopped

¼ cup sliced kalamata olives (optional)

1 cup feta cheese, crumbled

1/3 cup olive oil

2 teaspoon red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

salt and pepper to taste

1 head romaine lettuce


In a salad bowl, combine the tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, onion and olives.

Whisk together the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Let sit for 1 hour, occasionally stirring to blend flavors.

Pour dressing over salad, add feta cheese and toss before serving over lettuce.

A whale of a post

So it’s been a crazy week followed by a fun filled weekend. I had a huge review at work with some analysts from headquarters. They swoop in and go through all our stuff then fly away leaving a big ol mess. The bad news is that since we are short staffed I was stuck with the work 3 people, oy big headache! The good news is that the big boss saw the hard work the hard work and has petitioned our national budget office asking for an exception to the hiring freeze to hire me on as the new analyst. This would mean that I would receive a small pay increase and I would get me creds so I could do independent collateral interviews. Yay that would be fun!

So this is the card that I'm making for this months card swap. I saw some swirly stamps this week and I just had to try something with my own set. I have been digging the blue/brown combo so I thought that I would put it all together. So far I'm still liking the card; we'll see how much I like after making 19 more.

Friday night I got to go to a scrap crop with a friend of mine Amie. I had such a good time! I have so missed scrap booking and I am so far behind that I will have to be logging some serious scrappy time to cure my reignited addiction. I haven't journaled on these pages yet so I will re-post when they are all done. We went to a local store Keepsake Trends, and it only costs 10$ then the store owner Ginger gives you 10$ in product. The store website also has a forum and a gallery you can post on. Way cool ideas!

Then Saturday night we went out to dinner with some friends. It was such a great night! We went out to Thai food and ate our hearts out. We ordered like 8 different entrees and sampled everything. I absolutely adored the soup, fried rice, pad Thai and the catfish. Oh my word so yummy yummy yummy. The conversation was great too. We finished our dinner and sat talking for an other hour about everything from cooking to travel and families such good times! I've always wanted to have couple friends so yay yay yay for our new friends. Woo Hoo can't wait for the next dinner!

Finally this is Roxanne. She is a 6 year old boxer and she has found her way into our family. I'm not sure yet if we can keep her. Our friend Robyn just returned from her mission and she can't take the puppy back due to her living arrangements and Roxy's issues with other girl doggies. So we thought we would give it a try to see if she can fit in the house. The cats are completely freaked out. Asher spends most of his days in the closet and the girls seem to hide on chairs or tables. They will come around occasionally and while Roxy is a super sweet and very well behaved dog she wants to play so bad that she jumps up and they are so freaked out that they just scatter. Oh Roxanne what are we going to do with you?

So that's what's new with me. Whew......lots of stuff last week. This week I have Temple night, some gardening, scrapping and my good friend Christy gets to receive her endowments. And Cafe Rio Friday night. Woo Hoo!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Mr. & Mrs. Gamache

Here are some of my favorites from my last wedding shoot. I was down in Destin FL for Andrew and Christina's wedding. These two are high school sweethearts who went to school with DJ and I. As a matter of fact, Andrew is responsible for DJ and I meeting. Still thanking him to this day!

The J.O.B.........

.............unfortunately did not want me :-(

"Thank you for your interest in the position with the City of Surprise. It was our good fortune to have several standout applications from which to choose. It was apparent you have valuable experience and genuine strengths for the position, but ultimately the decision was made to interview the candidates whose qualifications most closely fit the needs of the City and the Department. Your time and effort invested in the recruitment process is recognized and appreciated."

So sad, that would have been a great commute for me. I am choosing to believe the person they hired was currently unemployed with babies to feed and needed the income more then we did. That was of course after a couple of hours of feeling very sorry for myself. So I'm still in the market if anyone knows of a position for a young girl with a B.A. in English and several years experience in admin, customer relations, human resources, case development and law research. Or I could just stay put with the whole putting bad guys behind bars thing. I still like the work and love my guys. Or maybe I'll just get a flood of wedding photography requests.......ohhhhhh that would be fun.........................

Monday, June 4, 2007


It was brought to my attention that my blog didn't allow for anonymous comments, so I fixed that. Any and all who read please feel free to leave me your comments.

Meet my Girls

I am currently taking applications for these two amazing women. This is Liz. She is super sweet and has a completely addictive laugh. Liz iz a return missionary with a deep testimony of the Gospel she would love to share with any and all who would listen. She loves to travel and can make anyone laugh if given the chance. She loves to kick back and relax or roll up her sleeves and get dirty. After returning home she will go to Alaska and help her sister with her new business for the summer. Then she will come home to Idaho for a few weeks before shipping off to Utah State to get her 4 year degree in nursing with a minor in Spanish. Anyone would be blessed to have a bit of Liz in her life.

Ok now we have Luke. She is the most amazing person to have around you if you need a good laugh. Luke stories always end in a great belly laugh. She was my baptismal gift and I am so thankful for her in my life. Luke has a laugh that will linger in the air long after she has finished the story. She loves babies and has an uncanny ability to clam a screaming baby with just her touch. She has overcome some amazing feats in her days and will make the most amazing wife to the luck guy who wins her heart. Her testimony is so sincere and since her return from her mission she has continued to serve daily within her own community.

Oh how I love my girls and just couldn't imagine life without their wonderful spirits in my world.

What a weekend

So as you can see in the photo Dj took the plunge this past weekend and was Baptized. This whole experience has been such a whirlwind experience. I'm almost having trouble putting everything into words here. The previous Sunday at church he just leaned over to me and told me that he was ready and wanted to join the Church, but it was our wedding anniversary the following weekend and he wanted to know if it would be ok if he was baptized on that day. I of course said yes! He has come so far and I am so proud of the man he has become in the past few years. DJ has struggled his whole adult life with knowing who he was and who he wanted to be in this world. He has struggled with his family to have strong meaningful relationships where he felt truly accepted for who he really was inside. When I went back to church and decided to be baptized and fully take on the life I wanted regardless of what others thought he was hesitant to join me in the journey. When we got into our house there were a number of trials that graced our path which really tried us as a couple and then again as individuals. I turned to my faith and openly prayed and asked for help then let it all go to the Lord and followed the promptings of the spirit as they came to me. I know all of those trials had been put in our path so DJ could have a better understanding of faith and my beliefs because up until that point he had not really understood what I had tried to explain to him. So long story short (mainly because I am still having rouble putting all the words together because the whole experience has been so emotional) he decided to take the discussions and has progressed, changed, grown and came to the decision to be baptized. He is so happy . I have not seen him this happy in years. We were talking this past weekend and he told me that he was sad to see some of our long time friends make the decision to walk away from us because we choose to have religion in our lives when we never walked away or judged any of them for their life choices, but he had made the decision to not apologise for his life and his beliefs no matter what. I was so proud of him to hear those words because DJ never would have said that in the past, he would have tried to be whatever the person he was talking to wanted him to be. So we found ourselves in Church on Saturday surrounded by the most amazing group of friends and had so much love we just felt so blessed . DJ and I have, our entire married life, longed for true friends who really loved us. We have found a small handful of really genuine people who we know loved us and we loved them, but we never had that community of supportive friends who just wanted to know us for us with out motivation. That long time desire and prayer has been answered with the amazing people is our lives now .Here are all the missionaries present who had taught DJ in his journey. The baptism was amazing and very full of missionaries. We were 4 missionaries short of the entire zone! So amazing to see all these young men and women so dedicated and full of love.
Sunday after all was said and done we came home and crashed out to just relax. Such an amazing time. So much love. So much fun. Just so much everything!