Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Eve Devotional

My family always does a devotional Christmas Eve, where everyone is asked to come prepared with a song or poem or story about the true meaning of Christmas (okay so Cratey's is not spiritual at all, but it was a last minute idea and had to be on his level!). We don't do any gifts and it's always a neat evening and just a great chance to focus on the Savior.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Free Patterns

Hey all, I came across this website where this gal is giving her patterns out for free. (Have I mentioned how much I love the word "free"?) Out of all the crafty things I like to do, sewing is not one of them. I have been known to do it on the rare occasion (seems like it's always around this time of year), but I find it incredibly painful. However, I got the patterns for some baby shoes that were way cute and I'm thinking I might just have to give it a try!

Anyway, here's the website that explains it and you just have to click on the gray link to get to her shop to buy the patterns. http://myhomespunthreads.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Stolen I-Phone

I uploaded the pictures from Ric's phone onto our computer the other night and just for nostalgia's sake Ric and I stayed up looking through them and reminiscing. Imagine our surprise when we came across the following sequence...

Hee, hee! I know it's gross, but it was just so hilarious I couldn't resist! There were actually about 20 pictures he took in all, but blogger only let me post this many at a time and I didn't think you actually wanted to sit through all of them. However, it was quite an interesting commentary on what life looked like through the eyes of our 4 year old!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Just Pictures

So my husband and children are disgusted that this "has turned into a food blog". In an effort to appease them, I am posting pictures (of them). No, there is no theme to these pictures, just cute ones I've taken recently. Sorry family, I do love you more than food! (Well, usually.)

I think Keely's waving in this one.
This next one was tonight. A momentous occasion: all 3 kids in the bathtub for the first time. (Ric thinks I'm weird, but I can't help it - I love bathtub pictures!) Directly after the picture I got Keelian out and let the boys continue playing. I came back later to find the bathroom under 1/4 inch of water and more flooding out onto the carpet just outside the door. Creighton.
He was put in time out (naked) while I started to clean up. I brought him back in a few minutes later to show him what a mess he made. That backfired as he was totally delighted to see all the water - animatedly told me he dumped the water out of the tub because "it was sinking!" - like it was some life or death situation. It's sure tough to discipline someone who's so totally excited about what they did wrong. :/
The boys were too impatient for me to pull out all the decorations in the Christmas boxes so they started without me. Creighton obviously doesn't yet understand all this Christmas hoopla, but he did find a good use for some of the decorations!
And speaking of messes...
Love you, my family! ;)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Soup

3 cups cooked, chopped chicken breast (I used 3/4 jar of home bottled chicken)

1 onion, chopped

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 cans chicken broth (about 4 cups)

1 (16 oz.) jar of salsa

1 heaping teaspoon chili powder

1 heaping teaspoon ground cumin

2 heaping tablespoons lime juice

½ (16 oz. bag) frozen corn

1 teaspoon chipotle rub (optional)

Sauté onion and garlic with cooked chicken breast until tender, about 3 minutes. Add chicken broth, salsa, chili powder, cumin, and lime juice, bringing to a boil. Reduce heat and cook 10 minutes and add corn, cooking for a few more minutes.

To eat immediately: serve with tortilla chips, avocado, cheddar or pepper-jack cheese, and sour cream.

For a freezer meal: cool to room temperature, transfer to freezer bags, label and freeze for no longer than 3 months. When ready to eat, defrost and reheat over low heat. Serve with tortilla chips, avocado, cheddar or pepper-jack cheese, and sour cream.

*I tried this one out this week and it was oh so easy and really good! I altered this recipe a bit from the original in Holly Clegg's Freezer Friendly Meals book. As with most soups, you really can just kind of dump and adjust to what you like. This adjustment is perfect for one meal for my small family (2 adults, 2 small children) with not much extra, so if you're cooking for more, dump in a bit more chicken broth to stretch it. ;)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Freezer Apple Pie Filling

Apple Pie Filling

Apple Pie Recipe

Original Recipe Yield 5 - 9 inch pies


· 24 cups thinly sliced apples

· 3 tablespoons lemon juice

· 2 cups water

· 2 ¼ cups white sugar

· 2 ¼ cups brown sugar

· 1 cup cornstarch

· 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

· 1 teaspoon salt

· ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

· 10 cups water


1. In a large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice and 2 cups water and set aside. Pour water into a large cooking pot and heat over medium heat. Combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Add to water (*It is important that the water is only lukewarm when you add these ingredients or else the cornstarch will clump up!), stir well, and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

2. Drain and add apples and return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until apples are tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes.

3. Ladle into 5 freezer bags. Cool at room temperature no longer than 1 1/2 hours.

4. Seal and freeze. Don't forget to put the bags in a container to freeze uniformly. Can be stored for up to 12 months.

*Notes: You may want to use a firmer apple (like a granny smith, not a golden delicious) that will hold its shape well with heating, freezing, then reheating so that your pie isn’t just mush. Also, as these apples are already somewhat cooked you may need to reduce the bake time when it comes to actually baking your apple pie.

If you want to take this idea a bit further, try making and freezing your own pie crust. J (But if you want to try that, I would recommend you freeze the unbaked pie crust separate from the filling so that the crust doesn’t get slimy.)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fall on Temple Square

We were already on temple square and dressed up for a family wedding, so we took
advantage of the time to get in a couple of nice family shots.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Feather Light Overnight Rolls

Mom and I brainstormed yesterday about how to simplify our big Thanksgiving dinner preparations. We decided to get done what we could ahead of time. One of the things we're doing is preparing the rolls this weekend. You get them to the point where they are all shaped and need to raise to bake, and then you freeze them. So I'll mix them tonite, stick them in the fridge and let them do the 1st raise overnight, roll them out in the morning, stick them on a cookie sheet in the freezer, then pop them in a ziploc after they're frozen.

Next Thursday morning I'll pull them out and stick them back on the cookie sheet (lightly covered with plastic wrap so they don't dry out) and let them raise until early afternoon, then bake them right after the turkey comes out of the oven, and in my perfect little plan they will come out of the oven, moist and golden, just as we sit down to our feast!

And then everyone will ooh and aah and tell me they're just too beautiful to eat...(okay, reality check - the most appreciation they'll probably garner is that my brothers will wolf down most of them before the rest of us get any)... But anyway, this is a recipe I got from Meridian magazine last Thanksgiving and it quickly became my all-time favorite roll recipe.

Golden Crescent Rolls Recipe

FEATHER LIGHT OVERNIGHT ROLLS - Light and irresistible. Can freeze rolled dough

1 cup water

1 cup butter (2 squares)

3/4 cup sugar

2 tsp. salt

1 cup cold water

4 beaten eggs

2 pkgs. yeast (1/4 oz. each)

1/2 cup water

7 1/2 cups flour

Bring 1 cup water to a boil. Add butter, sugar, and salt. Once butter is melted, remove from heat. Pour into large plastic container. Add 1 cup cold water. Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water (not hot). When first mixture is lukewarm, add yeast mixture and beaten eggs. Stir briefly. Add flour and stir together. Cover container with lid and refrigerate overnight. When ready to roll out, divide in thirds. Flour surface of breadboard. Roll dough out in a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Spread dough lightly with butter. Cut dough down the middle. Shape each half into about six triangles. Roll each up beginning at the wide end to form crescent shape. Oil baking sheet. Put on 3 baking sheets (about 12 per sheet). Let rise about 4 hours. Bake at 400 degrees for about 12 minutes.

If doing ahead, freeze after dough has been shaped into crescent rolls and placed on cookie sheets. Once frozen, put into plastic freezer bags until ready to use. Return them to cookie sheets and let rise about 6 hours or until light. Proceed with previous baking instructions.

We have also talked about pre-baking our pie shells (MC's acknowledged for the many years my hubby did that!), and I have a freezer apple pie filling recipe i'm going to try (I'll tell you how it went next week), and I've also found a mashed potato recipe that can be done in the crock pot ahead of time (not a freezer recipe per se, but here's the link if you're interested http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Slow-Cooker-Mashed-Potatoes/Detail.aspx). So here's to a less stressed Thanksgiving day!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Creamy Chicken and Pasta

Shall we just rename it "Freezer Food Saturday"? It just doesn't have the same ring to it. Family wedding yesterday... an all day affair.

Creamy Chicken and Pasta

3 cups pasta, any shape

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 12-ounce can evaporated milk

1/3 cup parmesean cheese

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

2/3 cup French fried onions

1 pint canned chicken, drained (or 2 cups cooked chicken)

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta in salted water for 1/2 of the time recommended on the package. Drain. Combine all ingredients. Put in gallon freezer bag, label, freeze (remember for uniformity and easier storage in freezer to freeze filled bag in a casserole dish).

Thaw before baking in a greased casserole dish. Bake covered for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncover, top with more French fried onions. Bake for 5 more minutes.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Freezer Food Friday...on Saturday!

Okay, I'm pretty lame, I know. I'll get this down yet! ;)

This week's meal is one I got from my mother-in-law but tweaked it a bit (used red peppers instead of green because I think red taste better cooked!). It sounds intimidating, but is really very easy. And you can quite easily do a ton all at once. I love this one because you don't have to wait for it to thaw before you pop it in the oven.

Stuffed Red Peppers

Pepper Shells

3 Large Red Peppers

5 cups boiling salted water

Meat Filling

1 pound ground beef

1 small onion, chopped (about ¼ cup)

½ cup chopped celery

1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

½ cup uncooked instant rice

½ cup water

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut each pepper lengthwise in half. Wash insides and outsides; remove seeds and membranes. Cook peppers in boiling salted water 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Cook and stir meat, onion, and celery in large skillet until meat is brown. Drain off fat. Stir in half the tomato sauce and the remaining ingredients; heat to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 5 minutes.

Place peppers cut sides up in ungreased baking pan, 9x9x2 or 8x8x2 inches. Spoon meat filling into peppers. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 25 minutes. Uncover; top with remaining tomato sauce and bake 5 minutes.

Makes 4-5 servings.

For freezer version, prepare as above except stir all the tomato sauce into the filling mixture, cover with aluminum foil but do not bake. Label; freeze no longer than 2 months. I wrap them individually in plastic wrap and then put them all in a gallon freezer bag.

To serve: Bake foil-covered pan of frozen peppers in 350 degree oven until hot, 1- 1 ¼ hours. Uncover; top peppers with cheddar cheese slices, catsup, or chili sauce and bake 5 minutes.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Holiday Boutique

I'm so excited!!! This is a really nice, fun boutique my mom and I go to every year. About October I start looking forward to it. We go under the guise of buying Christmas presents, but usually end up getting more things for ourselves and our homes :P. Every year we get cute ideas and say to each other, "Gee, I could do that if I had the time," or "We can make cute stuff like this; why don't we sell stuff here?" Well this year we are! We're going to have some of our homemade breads, sweet rolls, and granola there. (We entered to late to get in any crafty things... maybe next year!)
There are cute items for every price range and even if you don't buy anything it's fun to get crafty ideas for your own home. So go check it out!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy Halloween!

A dry run of the costumes a couple weeks before Halloween. These are all the local Rogers' grandkids.
Yes, Cratey was bored and ready to be done with pictures - I began to feel the same way after a bit!
After much anticipation for the pumpkin carving event, it was rather comical to see the lack of enthusiasm and Stratton's reaction to the dirty work of carving:
They did survive, and here's the finished product:
And these are our two cowboys later that night, ready to rustle up some candy. (And our little Keely-Cat!)
He-lo sugar high for the next two weeks!!!! :/

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Freezer Food Friday FAILURE!

So we did a preview of trick or treating last night at Ric's office, Great-grandma's house, and my parents' house... consequently I spaced the post I had ready to put on last night. :/ Ha! Oh well, here we go:

Lasagne Casserole

1 pound ground beef

1 onion, chopped

1 t. minced garlic (I'm all for the Costco bottles of pre-minced garlic. Just know there's extra sodium, so you may need to decrease the amount of salt you use in your recipes.)

1/2 of a 1 lb. package of bowtie pasta (8 oz.)

1 can of spaghetti sauce

1 can of tomato sauce

2 T. sugar

1 10-oz package frozen chopped spinach

1 cup cottage cheese (or 1/2 of a small container)

2 eggs, slightly beaten

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 t. Italian seasoning (or your own mix of basil, oregano, and thyme)

Brown the ground beef with the onion. Cook the bowtie pasta in salted water for half of the time recommended on the package. While the beef is browning and the pasta is cooking, in a separate bowl mix together the rest of the ingredients. Put in a gallon freezer bag. Label and freeze.

To serve: Thaw. Place in greased baking dish. Stir. Place baking dish on a baking sheet. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Top with more grated cheese.


I love the "estimate and dump" method so some of the measurements aren't very technical. Makes it faster ;).

For easier, more uniform freezing, put your gallon freezer bag in a casserole dish in your freezer. Once it's frozen, just pop it out and stick it back in your freezer. They stack really well this way.

For my family I split the sauce and noodles in half, cooking half of the noodles fully and also cooking half of the sauce fully (to cook the egg). Then I use that for dinner and follow the recipe for making the other half a freezer meal.

If you also have a husband or children that are not overly fond of spinach, it might be in your best interest to chop the spinach even more (that disguises it a bit) and maybe even decrease the amount by half!

Try it and let me know what you think!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Announcing Freezer Food Fridays!!!

With encouragement from my sister, I have decided to begin doing Freezer Food Fridays where I will post a new freezer friendly meal (or dessert!) every Friday - along with maybe a tip or two. Freezer meals have been an obsession of mine for the last 6+ months. It just makes so much sense to me - cook once, eat twice (or more!).
So I've bought a couple of books, hunted recipes online, created my own, and found a bunch that I really like (and some I don't). Acknowledged, tastes vary. But these will all be meals that I have tried and tested on my family.
So check back next Friday and I'll have a yummy recipe for you to try!
What do you think? I'm excited! :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Harvest Time

Picking raspberries in Grandma and Grandpa's garden.

Grandma and Grandpa grew giant pumpkins this year.
We look forward to carving one!

I love my cute kids!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Brown Sugar Muffins

I took these muffins to a brunch a few weeks ago and promised the recipe to my cousins, so here it is. The recipe was given to my mother by a dear friend - she brought these over with some honey-lemon tea when mom had a sore throat and they instantly became a family favorite. (By the way, these are definitely not low fat, but they are way easy to throw together, you most likely have all the ingredients on hand, and they are absolutely delicious and guaranteed to impress!)

Brown Sugar Muffins

Mix and crumble together:

1 c brown sugar

½ c margarine or butter, softened

2 c flour

½ t salt

1 t soda


1 c milk

1 egg

1 t vanilla

Gently stir until moist. Add ½ c nuts if desired. Will be lumpy.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Makes 12-15 muffins.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Video my friend made

This is a video about modesty that my friend made. Kinda goofy but in addition to a good laugh, it teaches good values. :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bug Soup

Hey all, I finally got a You Tube account so that I can post some videos of the kiddos. (Just for you, K and D!)

Love my stinker boys!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Linguine with Tomatoes, Basil and Brie

I was asked earlier this week what I cook for dinner. Well here is a recipe I discovered this week and decided I really like it. It's way easy and if you have generous in-laws with a large garden, it is a way cheap meal right now! This is actually a variation of something I do quite frequently. I love pastas! The changes I made to this were I probably used 2 teaspoons of minced garlic (no vampires around our house!), no pepper, and being repulsed by online descriptions of Brie cheese i opted for grated Parmesan (may try feta next time). Not hot at all - if you're going for spicy I'd add another jalapeno or keep in some of the seeds.
Linguine with Tomatoes, Basil and Brie

The beauty of this dish is that the hot pasta warms all the other uncooked ingredients.

8 oz. linguine
2 cups chopped seeded tomatoes
1/2 cup sliced fresh basil
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 jalapeno chile, veins and seeds removed, chopped
6 oz. Brie cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup (1 oz.) shaved Asiago cheese

1. Cook linguine according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile, in large bowl, combine tomatoes, basil, oil, garlic and chile; stir gently to mix.

3. When linguine is cooked, drain; immediately add to tomato mixture. Add Brie cheese, salt and pepper; toss to combine. Sprinkle with Asiago cheese.

4 servings

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Keely Update

Keelian will be 7 months on Tuesday so I thought it was time for another update on her.
She is finally sitting up, but doesn't really like it much. She would rather be lying on her back, able to roll around. She is able to get all over the room that way.
She loves taking a bath and always gives me a huge grin when I wrap her up in her towel after. (I took an even cuter nakee bum picture, but I'm not sure that should be posted on the internet!)
Her foot is healing nicely. I've been putting vitamin e on it and I think that helps. Yes, the darker pink is the actual size of the burn. Poor baby! :(
She has become increasingly energetic, but remains quite patient with me, as if she realizes that I have many other demands for my time. But she definitely makes herself heard when she wants to be heard! And she's quite a little chatty girl.
Her brothers adore her and dote on her. Stratton knows he's her protector and frequently "saves" her from Creighton's not so gentle loving. Unfortunately he also thinks he's big enough to lift her and move her around, despite my orders otherwise.
Daddy also adores her and is relieved that she is finally showing a desire to stand. I think he was worried that she was developmentally behind because she didn't stand on his hand by 8 weeks old like the boys did. But she finally did it last Sunday, so he's feeling much better!
I constantly reassure him that I've just finally been given a normal, laid back, easy baby!
We love our baby girl!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Man and His Dog... A Boy and His Toad!

The larger toad Ric brought back from high adventure two years ago (yes, it has survived for two years!) and the smaller one was a "gift" from our upstairs neighbor who found it one night when she took her dogs out and caught it for the boys.
This was the first time this year we've gotten them out and just let them hop around in the back area for a bit. The boys were ecstatic! And Creighton learned how to catch them and hold them on his own - quite humorous to witness, but admittedly not very humane!
I tried to talk Stratton into letting them go this summer - told him their moms probably miss them. He started crying, telling me he'd miss them too much! So much for my strategy for getting rid of them. Looks like we'll be buying crickets for a little bit longer yet. (I hate paying money to have bugs in my house - especially when they get loose!)
Ah well, I suppose a little boy needs something to love!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Gramma's Creek

We went to my Grandma's house earlier this week for a luncheon with my cousin, second cousin, and their 3 kids. I have long been promising my boys a chance to get in the creek in Grandma's back yard so after the others left, I took them down and we got in the frigid creek.
I remember doing this when I was a kid and it was fun but oh so painfully cold, but it felt pretty good on a hot summer afternoon.
Cratey is not sure he wants to get back in! (Pics are out of order, sorry.)
After your feet go numb, it really is fun. Stratton didn't want to get out!
Cratey perched on the side again.
The happy picture.
The not-so-happy picture!
This was when the boys first stepped in. Mill Creek is just runoff from the snow up in the mountains. Now it's September so the water is pretty low, but still cold and being little boys, it came up to their thighs - mid-calf for me.
We took this picture and then the boys wanted out. Then after being out for a minute, Stratton wanted back in. Since Stratton got back in, Creighton wanted back in too. So they got back in and Stratton played around, exploring up and down, while Creighton tried to hug to the sides and stick to the high rocks to keep him out of the water as much as possible.
Maybe it'll be a little warmer and more fun next summer!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Labor Day Fun

Monday morning we got up and went up Big Cottonwood Canyon on a family hike. I use the term "hike" loosely, as it was really more of a walk, stop and throw rocks, walk 10 more yards, stop and throw more rocks...
Proof that I was there - gotta take my own pic!
I love the mountains!
My little mountain goat.
This kid had a rock in his hand the entire rock - as soon as one was chucked in the water, another rock took it's place in his hand. He was obsessed!
Can't get enough beautiful scenery pics.
My Sweetheart. And this was Keely's first experience in the baby backpacker and she did great. (Love that carrier - it has been awesome and been on many adventures with our family.)

We also went to the Natural History Museum, went for ice cream at Arctic Circle, watched a family movie, walked to the park, and dropped by a family party for one of the young men in our ward. Busy day, but we loved spending it together!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Keelian's Foot

It was such an idiot thing to do and I should have known better. I was cooking dinner and had her in the baby bjorn, facing forward, on the phone with mom Rogers, and reached up high above the stove to get a cookbook and it dragged Keely-Belle's foot across the hot burner. I burned a spot just bigger than a quarter on the top of her right foot. She kind of cried and I felt her foot and it felt hot, so I went to the couch to sit down and look at it. When I saw what I had done I started freaking out, "I burned my baby! I burned my baby!" (I would be hopeless as a paramedic.)
Ric had just come home from work and had the presence of mind to do something about it. He grabbed her from me and ran to the kitchen and started running her foot under cold water. I called Candace (family burn specialist due to a couple of her children having had bad burns) and she told me how to take care of it. Keely was an angel and really didn't cry too much over it after we got it under control.
A few days later the blister popped and so I took her to the doctor, just to make sure I was caring for it correctly. They seemed surprised that I wasn't very upset about it and that made me worry that they were thinking they needed to call child services because I didn't seem appropriately remorseful. But by that point it was three days after it happened and I wanted to tell them that this was my third child and probably wasn't the worst thing that had happened or is going to happen. Is that bad? The good news is that the doctor said she probably won't scar, so things are going fine as soon as we get it all healed over.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Keelian's First Cereal Experience

I fed Keelian her first cereal meal a couple of weeks ago. She's been giving all the signs, but I haven't really done it because the boys were such spitters that they didn't do well with solids until about 6 months. Plus, it's time consuming and I've been so busy. But we've done it a few times and she really likes it. The first time was a mess, but she's catching the hang of this eating thing pretty quickly. And whenever she watches me or the boys eating, she just smacks her lips constantly, eyes glued to the food going in our mouths. I think getting her started on solids and getting Creighton progressing on potty training are going to be my goals this month.
Heaven help me keep my sanity!

Love this picture - wish it was a little more in focus!
This is her poor little burned foot. More on that next time.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Think Pink!

On Saturday we had a family party at grandma's house with my mom's extended family. So fun to see family! My cousin's wife has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and so we had a pink party to show her our support.
One of my cousins found this bracelet somewhere. It says, "I love boobies! Save a breast." And he said that the $4 he paid for it went to support breast cancer research.
We all wore pink. And some of the boys shaved their hair. (As Wendy will be soon losing hers, due to chemo.)
A good looking mohawk is a serious and precise business.
We did pink tattoos, pink nail polish, pink streaked hair, and such. This is Wendy teaching another cousin how to do the tattoos.
Yes, I had to go D.I. shopping to find pink for my boys and hubby, but they were all very good sports about it! I have to say that I really admire Wendy for her positive attitude and sense of humor about it all. We're praying for you, Wendy!