Tuesday, December 7, 2010

First Loaf - Ciabatta

Thanks to 20 years at UnitedHealth Care I'm the proud owner of a Bosch!!!

The joke is that you're not really a mormon wife until you own one of these puppies. After reading many recipes I finally settled on Ciabatta - a) because it only had a 45 minute rise, b) I could understand the instructions and ingredients - water, salt, sugar, yeast, flour.

I wanted a hearty, country, rustic bread but I didn't know what a poolish was - do you? I figured out proofing is when you mix the sugar/water/yeast and it ferments. The kids enjoyed it piping hot with olive oil & balsamic vinegar.

This is the first of many more loaves to come.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Steve & Nettie vs. Food

The Deal:
24 hours of buffet at 7 different hotels for $34.95 . Hours of operation 6 am - 10 pm.for more info

The Challenge:
Eat at as many buffets as we can during the 24 hour period.

The Rules:
1 plate of food per buffet.
Each plate must include at least 1 vegetable and no fried food
Desserts must be shared
You must walk to the next buffet - no driving

The Outcome:
We started at 11:08 at Planet Hollywood. Great variety, many different cultural offerings.

We then walked to Ceasar's Palace and were very disappointed. The desserts however were noteworthy.

Next stop was Paris and the crepes were to die for as were the chilled grilled eggplant, asparagus, zuccini and peppers.

Luckily as we waddled to the nearest bench (I was so full I could not move) we were asked to participate in reviewing TV shows.

7:30 found us in line at Harrah's and then back to Paris for a night cap of those melt in your mouth crepes.

In the morning we went back to Planet Hollywood to fill up before the plane ride home. The Turkey Hash (like corned beef hash but healthier) was my favorite breakfast offering.

We will DEFINATELY sign up for this deal again on our next trip to the city that never sleeps!!!

Counting the minutes

until summer starts for the kids and peace and quiet ends for me. I'm fortunate that the people I work with have a sense of humor for there are many times in meetings I must explain that in Arizona, summer holiday starts in May and because many are Director level and above, it's a miracle I still have a job.

Steve and I got our chores done, showered, ran an errand and hurried home to wait for the kids to come storming in at 12:45, then at 1:00 I called the carpool driver, no answer. Finally at 1:22 I called the school - "Oh we get out at the regular time today". Didn't I read early release at 12:30? That means we could have had a nice lunch out. So I started count down again waiting for the boys to come bounding through the door at 2:35. I hope my 1:30 meeting is short and over by the time all the commotion begins.

Monday, May 17, 2010

May Madness

May has turned into a very busy month -

Jared celebrated his 10th birthday with Auntie Lee, Uncle Hamm and his siblings. I just realized this morning we need to have a REAL celebration. All he was interested in was his presents .... an airsoft machine gun and a set of scriptures. Can you tell which parent bought which present???? As you can see, he's ready to conquer the world!!!

The Senior Roast was held at our home on May 5th - Jared's birthday. We honored our graduating seniors with food, stories and gifts. It's a fun time but I'm so happy it's over (moving furniture, deep cleaning the whole house at the same time, and dinner for 35). Same set up next year, I provide the house, dessert and drinks and the YM President brings the food.

We visited the Gila Valley Temple open house and enjoyed talking about what we saw for several days. Jack recounted the 10 tribes of Israel to us, had no idea he knew. Those primary teachers are doing an awesome job.

Baseball games galore for Jared and Jack. It's the end of the season and they're having a great season. I'll be sad when it's over ... kind of.

Steve's birthday found us in Vegas (me at a conference, he at leisure). We enjoyed courtship again and not worrying about what was happening on the homefront.

Now we're getting ready for the Trek - gathering supplies, sewing aprons and bonnets for our 2 night wilderness trip. Roughing it is an understatement.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Breakfast Today

It was one of those days. By 9 am I'd been on 3 emergency calls and I was starving. If I don't plan and start out with something healthy like an egg and toast, this is what I end up with. Thank you Louisa, it was delicious.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My Girl

She is delightful and personable
She "gets it" most of the time
She is not ashamed of her parents or to show us affection in front of her friends or at school
She has great style
She loves BLING!!!
Her favorite Disney character growing up was Arielle the Mermaid although I thought she looked more like Esmerelda (there wasn't a prince in that story though)
She always smells good
She vacuums perfectly
She is a BEAUTY
Her favorite sandwich is Ned's Torpedo, she loves Chipotle burritos, and Crackers Restauratnt for breakfast.
She wants to be a Mom one day and I know she'll be a great one
We're glad she's ours - Happy Birthday PUNKS.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Separated by oceans but always close in heart

We've been waiting 13 years and about 6 months to reconnect with my girlfriend Estelle. We met in Kindergarten and parted ways in 1973 when my parents decided to move to the USA. We've been together only 3 times in the last 37 years. In 2009 we both turned 50 and the best gift we could ever wish for was to rekindle our friendship.

I was anxious about whether what we'd talk about, how things would go but it was all for naught. We talked non stop about everything and everyone. We have lots of similarities -

- We both have 3 children in the same order, a girl followed by two boys.
- Our husbands and second born boys are both left handed
- We are both pears
- We like old things (she the 50's & 70's, me the 20's - 50's)
- We are both independent women and relish our time with friends
- We both kissed the same boy in elementary school - Bruce Kennedy
- We don't mind if the bed is unmade
- We like to work out (need to work out to so the pear doesn't turn into a gourd)
- We are so, so easy going
- We LOVE to eat
- Our husbands are both semi-retired and we work

We both wondered if a week would be too long and it turned out to be much too short. Hunter, Estelle and Terry's young adult son, kept us laughing while his parents rolled their eyes. He entertained the boys and quickly learned that you can't rile them up 10 minutes before bedtime. It was endearing as I watched Hunter serve and take care of Jack and Jared through dinner one night. Yes, when he matures we can see the makings of wonderful, funloving father in him.

We visited Sedona where Hunter took off and was half way up Bell Rock before anyone knew where he was. Then to downtown Phoenix where we walked and saw a wonderful mix of past and present. The Kartchner Cavern formations always amaze me. Tombstone was a little cheezy but definately in character.

My favorite day was just Estelle and I rummaging through the vintage stores in Phoenix, having lunch and then sitting at Starbucks laughing, talking, and forgetting to pick up Amanda from school.

Estelle is just a I remember her and now it seems like a dream, just like my childhood. I wish the miles weren't so great, or that travelling to see each other was not such an ordeal. We are and always will be BFF's because true friendship never fades.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cooking with Norma

Over the holiday's my friend Norma sent home some Brazilian food with Amanda. It was to die for. Today I wanted to cook something a little different. I emailed Norma for her Chicken Pot Pie recipe (it has a tomato base and crust to die for), she laughed and said, "What recipe - tell me what time you want me to come over?".

True to her word, she came over and in 30 minutes we whipped up this creation. The crust has 2 sticks of butter and 3/4 cup of olive oil - but hey, if you're gonna eat crust it better be good. It was delicious and even better when I had it for breakfast today.

Thanks Norma ..... what are we making next????