Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Alliance to Save Energy

It's that time of the year again! The Alliance to Save Energy is an alliance (duh) that works to encourage a more energy efficient lifestyle. They lobby in congress to promote energy efficiency as well as show large corporations how they can save money in becoming more energy efficient. They are supported by a wide range of members of congress, large corporations and non-profit organizations. We found this group because Craig was writing an essay for his English 2020 class about how much of global warming is the sun and how much is man-made which led him to some interesting websites about energy usage and the effect it has on our lifestyles as well as the environment. There are only so many resources we have and even those have a limit, we believe that becoming more energy efficient can help our world be a little more pleasanter to live in for a little bit longer. All we have to do is become a little more aware. Happy Holidays, everyone!

For those that just want to see something cute :)


And WHAT a Thanksgiving. It was just the four of us and my cousin Sarah but I made all the food I wanted, anyways. Get over it. We didn't even end up with as many leftovers as we thought we would. Oh we had leftovers...just not a full weeks worth. That's good because some of us are not leftovers people (Lucas).
Yes that's Lucas picking at the Dressing...he just couldn't wait.

On the Thanksgiving menu:

Prosciutto Turkey Breast: I lifted the skin off the turkey and stuffed rendered prosciutto between the skin and the flesh and brushed the rendered fat over the skin. I think next year I'll do thin slices of bacon instead to get more of a bacon flavor. Regardless, it was delicious. And the gravy it made was absolutely heavenly. Light but flavorful.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes: The secret is using warm evaporated milk. If the milk is cold it will cause the starch in the potatoes to seize up and gives you a gummy bueno. These potatoes were light and fluffy thanks to the warm evaporated milk (you can use warm plain mik, I just like the flavor of evaporated milk).

Apple, Cranberry, Cinnamon Dressing: Need I say more?

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with bacon. They were beautiful. No marshmallows for these mashed sweet potatoes. I used bacon, sour cream, and green onions to give these taters flavor. Topped with some panko bread crumbs gave them the perfect crunch.

Jello Pretzel Salad: I say salad...but it was really just pre-dessert. Raspberry jello with mandarin oranges in it, on top of cream cheese and whipped cream, on top of a pretzel crust. Best pre-dessert at Thanksgiving.

Rhodes Rolls: Yes I took a shortcut here...but it saved me so much time. I topped them with some melted butter and garlic salt and those rolls were MINE.

Green Beans: Yes...just plain old green beans. Craig and I decided we didn't want to have heart attacks this year so we played it safe with some salted and buttered green beans.

And finally...THE PIES!

Yes I said pieS, as in more than one. Two to be exact. It's just blasphemous to have only one pie at Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Pie: This was probably the most perfect pumpkin pie I've ever made. No scorches, no sagging, no unwanted weird skin on top. Perfect. The changing variable? Using Sweetened Condensed Milk instead of evaporated. Changed my world of pumpkin pies.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Truffle Pie: Craig chose this pie (go figure) and it was worth it. A thin layer of ganache on the bottom and a light cream cheese, whipped cream, and peanut butter filling on top to make up the rest of the pie. Topped with melted chocolate and chopped peanuts. It was worth waiting a couple of hours between the first piece of pie and the second.

The only picture we got of any of the pies...I seriously don't know what happened there.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday not only because of all the food I get to cook, but because of the reminder it is to me to stop and smell the roses. This is a busy time of the year and it's nice to take a break and be thankful for all the blessings in my life. I am truly grateful for the things I have in my life. I have a loving husband, two beautiful children, generous friends, patient extended family, a warm place to live, and a healthy appetite for progression.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Darci's Tryptophan kicking in!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Our Thrill Seeker

What makes Darci giggle? Getting thrown in the air by her daddy, of course!

Sorry this one is weird, it was easier to hold the camera long now they look upside down...but Darci's laugh is still cute!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Restaurant Watcher

It's a new blog I've started. I know, I've become one of THOSE moms. I don't care. I just like that I get to write about things that I generally love to talk about. The Restaurant Watcher is me going around to hole in the wall restaurants in Northern Utah (for now) and trying their fare and then writing about my experience. I started it a month ago and I'm finally getting the guts to tell people about it. It'll be updated weekly and I welcome other suggestions of restaurants that I should try, should you feel so inclined. Anyways, you're welcome. I hope you enjoy it as much as I am enjoying writing about it.

The Restaurant Watcher

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

It's the Great Pumpkin, Lucas Dell

We went to Jake's Jack-O-Lanterns to pick ourselves a Pumpkin! They had everything! Animals, a hay maze, a corn pit, and pumpkins of course! Fun was had by all!

He's got his pumpkin face on

ISN'T she BOOtiful!

I know what you're thinking...and yes...that is a wallaby...

...and that's the closest thing we could get to Lil' Sabastian here in UT...


He just wants to be like Dad!

The corn pit was surprisingly deep...

He was surprisingly hesitant when it came to ripping the guts out

Pumpkin carved? Check.

Lucas loving the carved pumpkin? Check.

We had a great Halloween. We all went to our church's Halloween party as The Huxtables from The Cosby Show and then Lucas went as Batman for trick or treating. Unfortunately, we didn't get ANY pictures. Yeah. I know. Lame. We'll do better next time. Happy Halloween!