Saturday, January 31, 2009

Well, it's an idea...

During a nice meal at TGI Friday's last week we had the following converstaion with our boys:

Erica: Your birthdays are coming up, what kind of parties do you want to have?
Jack: I want to have a Chowder (the Cartoon Network cartoon) party.
Erica: How about you Nixin? Your birthday is coming up, what kind of party would you like to have?
Nixin: I want to have a privacy party.
Chad: What do you do at a "privacy party"?
Nixin: You know, decorate, with weiners and stuff.
Jack: Yeah, with penises.

So at this point, we're both slightly embarassed and still trying not to laugh our heads off.

We're not quite sure where he came up with that idea. Maybe it's the fact that he's obsessed with being naked and so we've had many talks about "privacy" lately.

In case any of you are wondering, we are NOT giving him a privacy party.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

While I'm on a recipe-posting kick, I have to share one more, my very favorite soup recipe. It really is fairly easy and well worth the effort. My kids even eat it up without complaining (very rare these days!). We like to eat it in bread bowls.

4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
2 cooked, boneless chicken breast halves, shredded
1 cup cooked carrots or cooked, sliced carrots
3/4 cup sauted celery
1 (4.5 ounce) package quick cooking long grain and wild rice with seasoning packet*
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
2 cups heavy cream

In a large pot over medium heat, combine broth, water, chicken, carrots and celery. Bring just to boiling, then stir in rice, reserving seasoning packet. Cover and remove from heat.

In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper and flour. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in contents of seasoning packet until mixture is bubbly. Reduce heat to low, then stir in flour mixture by tablespoons, to form a roux. Whisk in cream, a little at a time, until fully incorporated and smooth. Cook until thickened, 5 minutes.

Stir cream mixture into broth and rice. Cook over medium heat until heated through, 10 to 15 minutes.
*I use Uncle Ben's Quick Cooking Long Grain and Wild Rice.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Fry Bread Tacos

Holy Crizzap! We had an awesome dinner last night. I tried two new recipes and both were so fabulous that I had to share. Chad's exact words were "I am blown away at how good this is." That was after his "this dinner looks like it is going to be interesting" comment.

I cannot remember a time in our marriage that I have fried anything, so I was nervous about that part. It was not hard at all. I also did not have a thermometer to tell me what temperature the oil was, but I just threw tiny pieces of dough into the oil until it looked like it was working. The fry bread is similar to a scone, but not sweet.

Don't waste any time, try it today. Seriously.

1 pound ground beef
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 can refried beans, heated
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
1/2 cup picante sauce

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
4 cups oil for frying, or as needed

In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef with taco seasoning mix according to seasoning mix package directions. Cover, and keep warm while you prepare the fry bread.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in milk, and mix until the dough comes together. Add more flour if necessary to be able to handle the dough. On a floured surface, knead the dough until smooth, at least 5 minutes. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.

Heat oil in a large, deep heavy skillet to 365 degrees F (180 degrees C). Oil should be about 1 1/2 inches deep. Break off 3/4 cup sized pieces of dough (to make 6 pieces), and shape into round discs 1/4 inch in thickness, making a thinner depressed area in the center. Fry breads in the hot oil until golden on both sides, turning only once. Drain on paper towels.

Top fry bread with beans, ground beef, lettuce and cheese. Spoon picante sauce over. You can also top with other of your favorite taco toppings, such as onion, sour cream or guacamole.

S'mores Bars

I got this recipe from our ward recipe site, I had tried it months ago and remembered that it was good, so we made that for dessert last night. Can I say holy crizzap again? Wow! Thanks for the recipe Amy!

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/3 cups flour
3/4 cup Graham Cracker Crumbs (about 6 sheets)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
4 (1.5 ounces) Hershey milk chocolated bars
1 cup marshmallow creme

Preheat oven 350. Grease an 8-inch baking pan. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until creamy. Add egg and vanilla until combined. In a small bowl combine: flour, graham crackers crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and beat until combined. Press half of dough in the pan, spreading evenly. Lay chocolate bars on top of dough, breaking apart as need to create an even layer of chocolate. Spread marshmallow creme over chocolate bars. Spread remaining dough over marshmallow cream and chocolate bars. Bake 30 minutes.

*I doubled this recipe and baked it for 35 minutes in a 9" by 13" baking dish.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Who's Who?

Here's a little game:
Can you tell which baby picture is Jack and which one is Nixin? I am curious to see if you can. Leave a comment and let's see how smart you really are. Good luck!

Picture #1:

Picture #2:

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Poppy Seed Salad

A couple of years ago a good friend brought this salad to a party. I loved it and immediately got the recipe. It sat in my recipe book all of this time and I had kind of forgotten about it.
This past week we were invited to a birthday party and asked to bring a salad. I started skimming through my recipe book and ran across this one. Remembering how amazing it was, this is what I chose. It got rave reviews at the party and I loved it more than I even remembered so I had to share it. Thanks for the recipe Shandell!

¾ c. sugar
½ tsp. salt
1/3 c. cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. fresh onion juice
1 c. oil
1 ½ Tbsp. poppy seeds

1 bag or 1 head torn Romaine lettuce
1 lb. bow tie pasta
1 jar artichoke hearts in juice
1 can large olives
1 tomato
1 jar baby corn, optional
fresh mushrooms, optional

Combine sugar, mustard, salt, vinegar and onion juice. Beat in oil. Slowly beat in poppy seeds. Cook pasta according to directions on package, drain and let cool. Add all ingredients in a bowl. Add dressing right before serving.

Tips from Shandell:
*Make the dressing the night before, allowing the flavors to mix together, and it tastes a lot better.
*Always use fresh onion juice; it does not taste the same without it. To make onion juice, grate an onion on the smallest side of a grater.
*Add a little bit of the dressing to the pasta while cooling to prevent it from sticking together.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Jumpin Jacks

After a very busy hair week I decided that my boys and I needed to go do something fun. I had heard about this new bounce house place called Jumpin Jacks in West Jordan. I've been wanting to try it out and when my friend Carrie told me about this killer deal they have right now, I just couldn't resist giving it a try. With their coupon you can get a pass that allows 1 adult and 2 kids in for an entire month (Mon-Fri from 11am to 4pm)! It is well worth it. It was clean and my kids had a lot of fun. We went with our friends, the Sullivans. I think that everyone else should get the pass too and we can hang out at Jumpin Jacks together for the next month! Here are a few pictures from our day:

Click here if you would like to print a coupon.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Every time I make this recipe I fall in love with it again. It is easy and so delicious. It is certainly not the normal (red) sweet and sour chicken that most of us are used to. Try it and let me know if you love it too!

1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks
1 ½ green bell peppers, diced
1 c. chopped celery
1 (8 oz) can sliced water chestnuts
1/4 c. soy sauce
1/2 c. vinegar
¾ c. brown sugar
¼ c. flour
1 1/2 lb. cooked chicken, cut into strips

Drain pineapple and reserve juice. In a large saucepan over medium low heat, blend reserved pineapple juice, soy sauce, vinegar, and brown sugar. Mix in flour and stir until thickened. Stir in bell peppers, celery, and drained water chestnuts into the saucepan. Mix in chicken. Cook and stir until heated through. Stir in the pineapple chunks before serving.

*This time when I made this recipe I added about 1/2 cup of grated carrot. I really liked that and will probably make it again that way.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Nixin thinks that he learned to wink. I think it is the cutest thing!