Saturday, March 29, 2008

Easter in Logan

We thought we would share some of our Easter pictures with everybody (only a week late...).

Friday, March 21, 2008

Dump Truck Racer

I would pay good money to watch a dump truck race. Luckily, I don't have to.

Ian had decided that he is a "dump truck racer". He rides his dump truck down the hill in our backyard.

Monday, March 17, 2008

New Toy......

We added a new (to us) toy today. We decieded that since we borrow somebody's truck at least once a month and often 2-3 times per month, it was probably time for us to get a new truck. So, the Escort is available if anybody wants a cheap car. :)

This is what I will be driving now:

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Daily Humor....

I saw this and thought I would share it with everybody for your enjoyment.....

the best slow cooker beef stew

Sundays at my house are a little bit chaotic, consequently I like to make things in the crock pot for dinner. This week I made stew and it turned out very well. I was a little hesitant of the vegetable foil packet the recipe says to use but it worked very well.

Ok so some of the recipes I post are not fantastic but this one is. I got a new magazine that I am really liking. It is called cooks country and is made by the same people that write cooks illustrated the difference is the recipes are not as fancy. Anyway I made this recipe and it was awesome!! I think Matt told me 3 times that ti was really good. and It is really easy to make.

Here is the recipe as printed in the magazine, with some notes from me.

5 pounds boneless beef chuck-eye roast trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes ( I used WAY less meat than that. I just had nice stew meat from the butches and I used about 1 1/2 lbs)
salt and pepper
3 tbs vegetable oil
4 medium onions, chopped fine (I just used 1, I thought 4 sounded like a lot of onions)
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
2 cups beef broth (I used bullion)
3 TBSP soy sauce
1 pound carrots peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 pound red potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 pound parsnips pealed and cubed (I didn't have any so I skipped it)
1/12 tsp thyme (I didn't have any)
2 bay leaves (I did not have any so I did not use it)
2 TBSP minuet tapioca
2 cups frozen peas

1. Dry beef with paper towel, then season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 TBSP oil in large nonstick skillet over medium high heat until just smoking. Add half of beef and brown on all sides, about 8 minute. Transfer to slow cooker.
2. Add 1 tbsp oil, onions and 1/4 tsp salt to empty skillet and cook until golden brown, about 6 minuets. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring well, for 2 minutes. Add both and soy sauce bring to simmer, and transfer to slow cooker insert.
Toss carrots, parsnips, potatoes, thyme and remaining oil in bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Wrap veg in foil packet that will fit in slow cooker. Stir bay leaves and tapioca into slow cooker; set veg packet on top of beef.
4. Set slow cooker to high , cover, and cook 6 to 7 hours (or 10 to 11 on low) Transfer veg packet to plate. Carefully open and stir veg and juices into stew. Add peas and let stand until heated through.

Here is what the magazine cooks said about it:

The time saved by using a slow cooker is too often an excuse for mediocre flavor. Beef stew is a case in point. Most slow cooker recipes simply dump the ingredients together in the cooker and simmer the mix for hours and hours. The resulting “stew” is bland as can be and pale, too. We wanted beef stew from the slow cooker that tasted every bit as good as a stovetop stew. Here’s what we discovered:

Test Kitchen Discoveries

  • Brown the meat and onions on the stovetop to intensify their flavor and deepen the color of the stew.
  • Steam the vegetables in a “hobo pack,” a packet made of aluminum foil, atop the meat and broth to prevent them from drying out. Stir them into the stew just before serving so that they maintain their firm texture.
  • Add a little soy sauce to intensify the flavor and darken the color of the broth.
  • Thicken the stew with instant tapioca to avoid any starchiness in the broth.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Gospel Flannel Board Stories

In the past I have had a difficult time finding the flannelboard story pictures from the friend on the church website. I recently found this link and thought I might not be the only one who was frustrated with the church site. I hope you can use it.

Jello for easter

The quest for healthy recipes continues. For easter I am going to make some of the teats for my kids using healthier recipes (face it, it is not hard to get healthier then jelly beans) I made this recipe at Christmas and it was great so I am going to make it again at easter using these molds. You can get them from the jell-o website. And the website has free shipping. What could be better.

Yes I do know that this is the second jell-o recipe I have posted, so I guess that makes me officially a jell-o making Mormon from Utah but if you try it you will like it.

Homemade Gumdrops
2 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 1/3 cups applesauce
2 packages (3 ounces each) red or green gelatin
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 tsp lemon juice

In a large sauce pan, combine 2 cups sugar, applesauce, red or green gelatin, unflavored gelatin and lemon juice; let stand for 1 minute. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Immediately pour into a cold 11 x 7 x 2 inch pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Refrigerate for 3 hours or until firm.

With a spatula, loosen gelatin from sides of pan. To remove, invert onto waxed paper. Using kitchen scissors or small sharp cookie cutters dipped in hot water, cut into 1 inch squares or shapes. Place on waxed paper. Dry at room temperature for about 8 hours or until slightly sticky. Roll in remaining sugar. Store in a airtight container. Yield: about 1 3/4 pounds.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Things I heard today

  1. You need to drive that car like you hate it! (My instructor to another student. I already drive my car like I hate it. You always hurt the ones you love...)
  2. Looks like he ran out of talent. (In response to car spinning off the course.)
  3. Let me know if I scare you, honey. (Said to me by 60-ish lady in bright yellow, baby-blue-striped convertible Mini Cooper as I sat in the passenger seat. The lady has been autocrossing for years decades and is still one of the best drivers in the Tar Heel sports car club.)
Today was a blast. Here is a video that captures very well the sights and sounds of autocross. Unfortunately, capturing the feeling of driving is tougher. This and this come closer.

The above is me at an event last year.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

What to do in case of a tornado...

according to the guy on the news who survived one:
  1. Put pants back on
  2. Turn off Hillary Clinton
  3. Take shot of Jim Beam
  4. Grab mattress
  5. Get in bathtub
  6. Pull mattress over head
  7. Repeatedly call upon favorite deity
You think I made this up. I did not.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

An Unexpected Annoucement

Ashely and I have an announcement. Look here for more information, or here for a picture of what he may be like all grown up.