Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Roasted Red Pepper and Potato Soup

I stumbled across a recipe that my friend Erin of The Sisters' Cafe brought to cooking club years ago. I remember I loved it and filed it away to use later. Well, I made it tonight for dinner and it was even better than I remember. I had to make some changes when I found that I was out of coriander and forgot to purchase cilantro. I liked it so much I may just keep making it this way!

I thought that my kids might get kick out of the bread bowls. They did, but not enough to want to eat the soup. So I spent most of my dinner hour negotiating bites with both daughters. But that's really no different than any other night. Sigh. Bobby loved it, though. I REALLY loved it. I ate about three servings! Should have bought the 1/3-less fat variety of cream cheese!

Roasted Red Pepper and Potato Soup
adapted from Erin's recipe in the 2nd SAA cookbook

1/2 large onion, chopped
2 T oil
1 jar roasted red peppers (undrained, chopped)
1 T jarred jalapeno slices, minced
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
(erin's recipe called for 1 tsp coriander, which I had to leave out)
5 diced peeled red potatoes
32 oz. chicken broth
2 T minced Italian parsley (recipe called for cilantro
1 T lemon juice
8 oz. cream cheese

Saute onions, roasted red peppers, chilies, cumin, (coriander), and salt in oil. Cook, and stir for 2 minutes. Stir in diced potatoes and broth. Birng to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir in parsley (or cilantro, if using) and lemon juice. Cool slightly. Put half of soup mixture in blender with all of the cream cheese. Blend until smooth. Return blended mixture back into the soup and reheat.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Choking Hazard

Last night the girls were in the bathtub and when I looked at Sophie, I thought I saw her putting something in her mouth. I said, "Sophie, what are you doing?!" She looked at me and with a bored sigh she said, "Hhhmmm- just choking."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Raspberry Bavarian Cream... Mommy likey.

Raspberry Bavarian Cream

Bobby took me on a date for my birthday to see the movie "Julie and Julia." I loved it! Ever since Friday night, I couldn't stop thinking about Raspberry Bavarian Cream. It sounded so delicious and like just the kind of thing I would love. My mouth watered more than once during that movie. So I found Julia Child's recipe and made it on Sunday. LOVED it! I didn't change a thing so I'll just post a link to where I found it: HERE.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Crummy pictures/yummy recipes

Like so many other things, I'm blaming my worse than usual food photography on the pregnancy. These are recipes I've made in the last couple of months that I loved but was just too sick to blog about. Enjoy!

Light Brioche Burger Buns
from Smitten Kitchen

Delicious! When there were no more patties left, I started eating these with a little butter. Oh my, that sounds delicious right now!

This is a favorite dessert of mine. Not sure if it's ever made it's debut on my blog, but even if it has, it deserves to be showcased twice. It's that good. Although, this is the last piece. It took me that long to get around to taking a picture. Strawberry White Chocolate Mousse Tart from Bon Appetit.

Linguine with Shrimp Scampi from Barefoot Contessa

I love this stuff. I'm the only one in my family who does. So I either have to eat the whole thing myself or host a girl's lunch. This time I felt no desire to share, so I ate this for dinner for a whole week. Yum!

Don't judge by the picture, this recipe was so delicious. Peach and Crème Fraîche Pie from Smitten Kitchen. It was fun making my own creme fraiche, too.


Franny is a big fan of camping. In the backyard. She learned about the concept of sleeping in tents outdoors in summer school and has been talking about it ever since. Some time in July, Bobby told Franny he would take her camping in the backyard. She started telling everyone she knew that we'd be going camping, neighbors, friends at church, teachers. Then when all those contacts were made aware of the news, she started telling strangers in public bathrooms, Walmart employees, people in elevators. Between Bobby's schedule and the rain, it took a long time to make it happen and the two had their camp-out just last week on a school night! We had fudge stripe S'mores outside with a fire log and invited our next-door neighbor over to join us. As you can see, Sophie loves fudge stripe S'mores. Then Franny put on her PJ's inside and said, "Goodbye Sophie, I'll miss you." Then she said, "Goodnight Mom, I love you," and hurriedly made her way back down to the tent. It was so cute. Sophie and I had our own little sleepover in my room and watched Strawberry Shortcake. I was worried she'd feel left out of Bobby and Franny's father-daughter outing, but she seemed relieved. I think she was scared to sleep outside. The sweetest story from the outing was when Franny sang to Bobby. She was making up songs and noticed him watching her. She put his little hand on her chest and said, "Daddy, am I camping with you?" (Is this really happening?) Then she said, "Did you like my song, Daddy? Do you want me to sing another one for you?" So she made up another song, and then another, and I think it may have been one of Bobby's favorite moments in fatherhood.


When Bobby came home from work late the other night, one of the first things Franny said to him was, "Dad? I hate bears."

It was so random and so funny! Well, we did watch Parent Trap the day before (with Hayley Mills, of course) and she may have been a little traumatized by the scene where the twins sabotage Vicki and put honey on her feet, so she wakes up to find bear cubs licking her toes. She said she never wants to go camping in the mountains.

Sophie calls hot tamales "makeup." Bobby loves hot tamales, and when she sees him with them, she says, "You got your makeup, Daddy?"

The picture above was taken at the dentist yesterday. Sophie's first check-up and Franny's first filling. I thought it was going to be miserable. I was right. ;)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

getting jiggy with it

We have this radio station that students from our local university run. I LOVE this station. Thanks to them, I've found these two gems. (Although I have to give credit to my friend Josh and my brother-in-law JP for telling me about them first. I merely heard them for the first time on this station.) Listen to them. They'll be "like music to your ears." Literally.

I've heard them play "Sexy Sadie" by the Beatles, the Breeders, Bob Dylan... And these are college students? They do such a good job. And somehow, miraculously, they knew tonight that I wanted to hear "Getting Jiggy With It" by Will Smith. I took car dancing to a new level tonight, my friends. Seriously, I could teach lessons.

Steak Tacos al Carbon

This recipe goes way back to our first year of marriage, when Bobby tore his ACL in a pick-up game of basketball and had to have surgery. That night after his surgery, I made this for dinner for the first time and we LOVED it. I remember Bobby all sprawled on our full-sized double mattress borrowed from the guest room and carefully sandwiched between our living room furniture. And we slept downstairs for a while since Bobby couldn't make it up the stairs the first week or two. I remember grilling this steak on our George Foreman and I remember Bobby with his swollen knee and enormous leg brace, all drowsy from the painkillers and telling me how much he loved his dinner.

Then for some reason, this recipe was forgotten about until now. Boy am I glad for this reunion. This meat is tasty! BTW, I am feeling better. I found the secret to avoiding nausea is eating. Eating a lot. So I may gain a lot of pregnancy weight (what else is new), but at least I won't feel so nauseous anymore. Now if I could only figure out how to fix the constant headaches and fatigue. And yes, I am being dramatic.

So back to the delicious recipes! I served these on corn tortillas that I briefly toasted over a very hot skillet. I also served them with a delicious tomatillo-avocado salsa that goes with a Martha Stewart recipe I have. Sorry the pictures aren't great. I didn't bother to take them until after we ate. But it was dee-lish!

Marinated Flank Steak

1 1/2- 2 lbs. flank steak
1/2 cup lime juice
4 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

In a shallow dish, stir together lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Add the flank steak and marinate in refrigerator 2-4 hours. (I marinated it overnight.)

Remove steak from marinade. Discard marinade.

Grill steak over medium heat to desired doneness. (It will be perfectly tender at medium rare. Well done will mean rather chewy steak.) It took mine about twenty minutes to grill, ten on each side. Transfer to a cutting board, tent with foil, and let stand for 10 minutes before carnving. Carve steak across the grain into thin slices.

Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa

3 tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and halved
1/2 yellow onion, halved
2 cloves garlic
1 jalapeno chile, stemmed and halved
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp coarse salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and cut into small cubes

1. Grill tomatillos, onion, garlic, and jalapeno, turning occasionally, until lightly charred, about 10 minutes.
2. Place grilled vegetables in the bowl of a food processor, and add cilantro, juice, salt, and peppe; pulse until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a medium bowl, and fold in avocado.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Wonder Woman

For several months this summer Franny emphatically told me she wanted to be a ballerina for Halloween this year. I was a bit disappointed. I mean, she's going to be taking dance lessons this fall, so she's going to be a ballerina anyway. I was just hoping for something a little more fun. So I was thrilled when she changed her mind and said she wanted to be Wonder Woman instead. Coolest female super-hero ever! You bet. Then I remembered that Wonder Woman looks like this:

Make that sluttiest female super-hero ever.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Meet me at the fair.

We had a lot of fun this summer that has yet to be blogged so I'm going to try and catch up over the next few weeks. We'll see how it goes.

We splurged and bought season tickets to the fair. We didn't "eat our way through the fair" like we do in Blackfoot when we go to the fair with Grandpa Howard and Nona. The food at our fair just doesn't compare. But the kids had a lot of fun riding the kiddie rides (okay, Franny had a lot of fun riding the rides) and looking at the animals and we all got a kick out of the tiny and cranky old monkey who takes your quarter and puts it in his pocket. I think we gave this monkey a total of five dollars in quarters. We're a bunch of suckers.

During the day they had 4H activities and contests going on and one of those was a turtle race for kids. Sophie and I went with our neighbors Lydia and Amanda and Sophie took first place in the first heat! Because there were so many children, they had three different groups race and then they had the three first place winning turtles race against each other. Well imagine how upset I was when the contestant in the next lane kicked (no, I'm not kidding- KICKED) his turtle into first place. Until that stunt, our turtle was a shoe-in for first place. I looked at the turtle-kicker and said, "I saw that." The mom giggled and said, "Oh, it's all in good fun." Whatever lady. But Sophie didn't seem to mind. She got a cute little participant ribbon and she seemed thrilled about it. I, on the other hand, stewed about it all day, but I'm over it now.

Here's Sophie and I with our turtle (who suffered from major anxiety, I think- which is probably why he ended up being such a great contender); on the right are me and Lydia. We were making a wall with our feet so he'd head straight to the finish line. Sophie is missing as you can see, at this moment I think I was calling her back. Apparently the little turtle-kicking boy I mentioned earlier was actually a girl. Whoops. I had my eye on their turtle the whole time, I guess. Sophie, I'm glad you are such a good sport, but that trophy belonged to us! I swear, I'm really over it. ;)

My favorite memory from this year's fair has to be the awesome prank Bobby and I played. Three years ago, we were walking through the fair and saw this booth selling tacky stickers for your car. One of them said, "Cowboy Butts Drive me Nuts." We thought it was hilarious and decided we could stick it on our friend Phil's car as a joke. Then we saw the price and decided it wasn't worth it. Well, we've talked about that prank we never pulled ever since then and decided that it was definitely worth the splurge. Phil has since moved so we chose our friends Morgan and Jill who just moved back to town for residency. So we left the kids with some friends, and drove over one Sunday evening. We got out of our van and sneaked over to Morgan's truck. We were hoping that by leaving it on his car late Sunday night, he wouldn't see it early the next morning, drive it to work, and leave it in the hospital parking lot all day. So as Bobby is applying the sticker, we hear their dogs barking and voices in the backyard. Oh crap! They were entertaining in their backyard. We took this quick picture and got the heck out of there. It was classic.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Pregnancy is a very weird thing. How can you ravenously devour a handful of licorice and guzzle one can of diet coke every day for years and then all of the sudden, after the stick stares back at you with a plus sign, not be able to stand the sight of either? It's troubling.

And if anyone's keeping track, I also can't stand the sight of tomatoes. So odd.

So there you have it! I'm pregnant. In my current state, I feel tired, sick, and unmotivated, so it's hard to gush about how excited I am. But I am so happy. Hopefully that explains where I've been all this time. I wish I could skip all the nausea, heart burn, swelling, and weight gain (especially the weight gain) and just have that baby in my arms.

Did I mention we think it's a boy? We've already told Franny and she tells everyone, "I'm going to have a baby brother and he's this big!" At which point she holds up her thumb and forefinger about an inch apart. I'm happy she's so excited.

P.S.: I've had a lot of phone calls, emails, and messages all from friends checking in and making sure I'm okay. I'm so touched by your concern and yes, I'm great! Just weathering the storms of early pregnancy, but I'm sure they'll be over soon. :)

Ooh, and chocolate has lost it's appeal. What the WHAT?!
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