Thursday, July 30, 2009

Blueberry Boy Bait

I am inspired by pictures of food. Rarely do I choose a new recipe to try if there is not an accompanying photo. However; if a certain recipe has a killer name, it gets at least a second glance.

I thought the name for this one fell in the charming category. How adorable the thought of using a delicious recipe as bait to catch a boy! Not only did it sound good, it tasted amazing! Blueberries are sooo yummy, and semi-affordable right now. And this coffee-cake type pastry has just the right amount of sweetness. Perfect to be served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or a bit of sweetened whipped cream.

Blueberry Boy Bait

2 cups all-purpose flour plus 1 teaspoon
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup blueberries--if using frozen, do not thaw

1/2 cup blueberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease& flour 9x13 pan.

Whisk 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl. With electric mixer, beat butter and sugars on medium-high speed until fluffy, about two minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated. Reduce speed to medium and beat in one third of the flour mixture until incorporated; beat in half of milk. Beat in half of remaining flour, then remaining milk, and finally remaining flour mixture. Toss blueberries with remaining 1 tsp. flour. Using rubber spatula, gently fold in blueberries. Spread batter into prepared pan.

Scatter other half cup blueberries over top of batter.

Stir sugar and cinnamon together in small bowl and sprinkle over batter.

Bake until toothpick in middle comes out clean, 35-40 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Cake can be stored in airtight container for up to three days.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Backyard Rising......

The garage was a project whos time had come. Things just aligned to make it an easier decision to make. The prices of construction materials came down quite a bit from when we last contemplated the building. Our next door neighbors still had an un-landscaped yard and were willing to let us use their front yard as a driveway for large equipment. We hadn't put in the west side fence yet, but were planning to do so soon, so we knew we needed to get the garage done while we still could without cutting down large trees to provide room for all the big equipment. So here is a photo-journal of the progress so far.....

The above space represents the hole in our savings after we paid the almost *****$800.00 freaking dollars!!!****** for the building permit!!!!!! Even if I could have taken a picture I would have been too depressed to do me this was like paying $800.00 for a piece of paper that let the city have control of everything we do. Don't get me started.....

Front and side view of space that will soon be transformed. Seeing these pictures now make me a little ill.....

The formed up hole was relatively unassuming...

Jason and Spencer getting ready for the pour.

One of four trucks bringing 35 yards of cement to out little dig.

The boys doing a masterful job of finishing the cement.

Jason can push a mean bull float....thanks to some expert Merryweathers, the cement turned out beautifully.

First wall being built.

Cameron & Nicholas lived outside for two days. They had a blast!

Catching some air.

Connor loves, loves, loves his Grandpa.

Starting to lift the first wall.

Almost up.

My dextrous child.

Looking good!

Second wall. VERY heavy!

Not what you want to see.......

Fixing the problem!

Third wall going up.

All four walls!! A busy, productive days work for about 6 men!

Day two: Starting on the trusses.

At this point I realized that we were blocking our last remaining view of Timp from anywhere in our backyard.......

Lifting it up onto the frame.

Getting the forklift into the garage to finish the lift was a very tight squeeze.

Jason knew what he was doing when he made the door the size he did!


Most of the trusses in.

Half of the sheathing on the roof.

And just like magic......(not really....)

A fully formed garage!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Caramel Crispies

Rice Krispy treats are good. I don't know anyone who wouldn't eat one if it was put in front of them. But these are beyond yummy to the point of addicting. Is there anything that can't be improved by adding a can of condensed milk? I say, NO!!

This recipe also makes a large amount, so it's good for either large gatherings, or sharing with friends and neighbors.

You will need:

22 oz. of crisp rice cereal

2 cups brown sugar
2 sticks butter
1 3/4 cups light corn syrup
1 can condensed milk

In a very large bowl put the crisp rice cereal. In a heavy sauce pan put the sugar, butter, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes. Add 1 can condensed milk. Stirring well, let boil three additional minutes. Pour over rice in bowl. Mix well. Divide between two well buttered jelly-roll pans. Cut into squares.

Monday, July 13, 2009

PLEASE read this!


I love Pioneer Woman. I love her website, I love her food, I love her stories, her photography, her funny/weird sense of humor. I love how from her site, I have found many, many other interesting blogs and such.

She is very successful. She quite often will have awesome give-aways. And I mean awesome. Things like Kitchen Aids,

Le Cruset cookware,
camera equipment, cameras, photoshop get the idea. So I'm always checking her site and entering every contest she has just in case. You never know. I could beat out one of the perhaps 25,000 other entries for whatever prize is up for grabs! (yeah, right...)

So the other day, I'm cruising her site, and see another awesome giveaway. This time it's several Photoshop CS4 programs. I would love to have Photoshop. I have wanted Photoshop for over a year and just can't bring myself to justify forking out the bucks. Along with the Photoshop, she is offering a Nikon D80 WITH Photoshop together! How exciting!!! So I begin to read further. I discover that the Photoshop alone is a straight-up givieaway, while the Nikon is a raffle-type deal. Okay. Cool.

I must now back track....

PW has many friends and online connections she has made through her blog. One of them is the Fat Cyclist. He is a guy she met while they were both up for a blogging award a few years ago. They became friends and I remember reading a short comment about him several months ago on her cooking page. Out of curiosity I clicked on her link to his home page. I read with mild interest and sadness about the struggle his family has been going through due to her diagnosis of breast cancer in 2003. Then I moved on. I mean, you hear sad things everyday, and I really have no particular interest in cycling, right? So it became just one more blip in my site-hopping history.

return to the present......

I read through the contest specs to see what I had to do. Usually PW wants you to answer a question of some sort. I became clear to me that the raffle was actually PW's way to help support her friend Fatty's involvement in Lance Armstrong's LIVESTRONG Challenge. For every $5 you donated to Team Fatty, you received a virtual ticket to win the camera package. Now I think this is great. I admire people who are motivated to help friends and others in such ventures. But I long ago determined that if I gave to every plea I saw to a cause, or a team, or whatever, I would put myself in the poorhouse. (as opposed to just sitting on the front steps of the poorhouse, which is my regular spot!) So I decided that rather than entering to win the Photoshop, and ignoring the raffle for the camera, I would pass altogether, thereby forgoing any related guilt for not donating $$$. That works, right?

So contest passes. I move on with my life. (after all, there's so much to move on with!)

Today I decide to take another peek at PW's photography page. Hmm.....she hasn't updated since the raffle. I guess I'll check to see who won. Lucky buggers.....But WAIT!! tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-clunka-clunka-tick (this is the sound of things falling into place in my brain) I look closer at the picture that went along with the post:

EGAD!!! I KNOW this woman! This is Susan Nelson. One of the three girls besides myself who enrolled in cosmetology school in 1987 and formed quite the tight little group since we were so small! This is Susan who we used to make fun of because she drove like a grandma at age 19. We teased her incessantly when she met and fell in love with Eldon because they were so lovey-dovey and smoochy at the bowling alley! (and every where else for that matter---in a very good-girl, mormon couple headed for the temple sort of way, of course...) Susan Nelson who I haven't heard from or about in nearly 20 years, but still remained somewhere close to the surface of my thoughts purely because we really were a close, close group while we were at school.

Now I am just SICK!! I spent the next hour following all the links I could, reading about all the trails she is experiencing due to her illness.

Should I be ashamed that it took the realization that I now had a personal connection to the story to want to take the time to find all that out?

Well, I am.

Sometimes I worry that I have created so much busy-ness for myself in the form of a large family, that I have
justified my ability to turn away from others and their problems because don't I have enough of my own? Don't get me wrong. I do feel for people when I hear about struggles they may be going through, but my willingness to help is directly related to how close I am to them. I just know from the past that I can't get carried away on behalf of everyone else unless I feel that things at home are taken care of. Which they never seem to be......

But I digress.

The real reason I wanted to post this was in hopes that I could entreat all 12 of my blog readers to do what I finally did. Think of how strong Susan must be to continue fighting in face of the compounded problems that have come from an initial diagnosis of breast cancer. Think of her four children and husband and how strong they must be as well. Put yourself in her position and think of what it would be like to seriously face leaving your family here without you. To know that your husband just wants to FIX as much of the problem as he can, but can never actually attack the root of it himself. Realize that one of the positive things to come from the situation is pulling people together into something that actually CAN attack the root of it, like donating a buck or two to the LAF or any other worthy, legit cancer fighting cause.

And for those of you who don't judge me too harshly for being a thoughtless, self-absorbed dolt, and also happen to have a much larger readership than myself, could you possibly post a link to this on your blog and hope that someone else will have some insta-compassion and feel compelled to also donate?

Thank you very much.

Good luck Susan and Eldon (sittin' in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g. Sorry, I couldn't help it.....)

That is all.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

I'm so sorry.....

Our Fourth in Photos: (apologies for the lengthiness......)

Watched some flame-throwing. (how do those balloons not burn?)

Enjoyed lift-off.

Got excited about lift-off.

Looked up. A lot.

Got tired. And hungry. (Apparently waking up at five makes you think you have to eat breakfast at 6:45)

Learned that size does matter.

Baked a cake.

Finally saw Star Trek. (It. Was. The. BEST!)

Talked someone into taking my picture.

Saw some star spangled sprinkles.

Slid down a slide.

Got a little Dutch with the ovens.

Got a wedgie.

Held hands.

All the way down.

Had some alone time.

Formed some flaggy fruit.

Took a ride in a wagon.

Met some new friends.

Laughed with some old friends.

Ate the cake.

I'm not even really sure.......

Created art.

And lived it up at the light show.

Hope your Fourth was as fun-filled as ours was!!

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