Merry Christmas!

Our Nativity on Christmas Eve at Oma and Opa's house:
It was a great night and as you can see Abigail was so happy to be Mary.


Grand Prize Winner

I went to the Larson& Rosenberger Christmas party and won one of the 3 Dell Netbooks! I was a little shocked as I never win anything usually. This is a really cute tiny laptop with about a 9 inch screen- I have just wasted an hour on it reading blogs in the basement as the little boys played with toys. I may have to get used to typing on this with my chubby fingers! I felt a little bad winning a big prize since I did not work very many hours this year. This will be a fun little portable internet device and maybe I'll use it in the kitchen for searching for new recipes.


Productive Playdate

Cathy and I had lots of fun doing cooking projects together today. It is amazing what you can get done when you work together.

Here is what we made:

Ground wheat flour
6 loaves of whole wheat bread
whole wheat pitas
a wheat pancake mix for Cathy to take home
Pico de Gallo
Taco Soup
And we took care of the 7 kids!

Thanks for all of your help Cathy! We'll have to get together again for another productive playdate!


Navajo Tacos

I made this on Sunday for Paul's family - it was a huge croud-pleaser. Sorry no picture - they were eaten too quickly.

Navajo Tacos

2 lbs ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
Approx 8 cups cooked pinto beans – (see below) or use 3-4 cans, drained (Also ok to use kidney beans)
1 6 oz. can tomato sauce
1 10 oz. can mild red enchilada sauce (or just use another tomato sauce)
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp basil
½ tsp oregano
¼ tsp garlic powder
2 1/2 - 3 tsp salt (only if you made your own beans – otherwise use just a few sprinkles of saltbecause canned beans are usually pre-salted)
pepper to taste

Chopped lettuce
Shredded cheese
Fresh pico de gallo
JalapeƱos or green chilies
Sour cream

Brown meat w/ chopped onion. Drain and rinse meat to remove fat. Put back in pot or in a crockpot. Add all other ingredients, stir, and simmer at least 20 minutes or for a few hours on low in the crockpot. I made this in the crock pot, so it could be done ahead of time and just kept warm. Serve on warm fry-bread and pile high with toppings.

This made a big pot that served about 15-18. You can easily half the recipe. Also, you can adjust the spice amounts to your own tastes. Note: I have made this with home-made beans and canned – I liked it a lot better with homemade, but the canned is a great quick substitute.

Beans – I soaked 3 cups of dry pinto beans overnight. Drain. Cook in pressure cooker for 19 minutes on high w/ about 10-12 cups of water, a slice of onion, garlic clove, bay leaves, and some cilantro stems. Don’t add salt, yet. When beans are done, use a slotted spoon to place into your pot or crock pot with the meat and onion. You can also cook beans in a crock pot – after soaked, cook w/ water and spices for 3-4 hours on high. (they turn out better for me in the pressure cooker)

Navajo Fry Bread (you will need 3-4 batches if making the entire bean recipe)

500 g. bread flour (4 cups)
8 g. salt (1 teaspoon)
14 g. sugar (1 Tbsp)
14 g. baking powder (1 Tbsp)
20 g. shortening (1 Tbsp)
10 oz warm water

Mix dry ingredients. Cut in shortening. Then gradually add warm water and knead. (I use the food processor for this and it only takes a minute). Cut into 6-10 pieces depending how large you want them. Cover, and let rest 10-15 minutes. Flatten by hand about 1/8 - 1/4 inch and fry for 1-2 minutes in a couple of inches of oil (375 degrees). Keep warm in 200 degree oven until ready to serve. Authentic fry bread does not have sugar or shortening - so feel free to omitt - this just makes it a little sweeter and softer. Also notice - there is no yeast - the baking powder makes it rise - do not use regular dough for fry bread, or else it will be too chewy.


Happy Halloween!!!

We had a fun time this weekend on Halloween. The kids loved trick-or-treating. This was Austin's first time - the neighbors couldn't refuse when he would say, "More..?" We had Paul's family over after trick-or-treating with lots of yummy food - popcorn balls, homemade doughnuts, pumpkin seeds, bratwurst, cheese fondue, apple cider, and caramel apples. It tasted great, but we have now been recovering from this for the past two days - the messy kitchen and our upset stomachs.

I helped out with Abby's class party and had to bring the boys along - they had lots of fun and were really well behaved - I should have let them wear their costumes, though.
Austin loved joining the 1st grade party!

Fall Update

Anther update of the last few months - I will add Halloween pics soon.

Homecoming game: We had lots of fun camping in Provo for the Homecoming game. We woke up early to go see the ESPN gameday show, then went to the parade, rode around on our bikes and scooters, and went to the bookstore. I also went for a run around Provo which I haven't done for about 9 years - that was fun. It was a great day until the football game started and BYU had a horrible loss to TCU - we still had a fun weekend, though.

Austin at the BYU parade:

Fall picnic in AF canyon:

We spent conference weekend at a cabin close to Zion National Park. Kim and her family stayed there as well. We had a great time hiking through the park. Paul, Robert, McKinley, Dallin, and even Andrew hiked up most of Angels' Landing.

Mt Carmel overlook:
Emerald Pools
4-wheeling by the cabin:
Hiking up to the overlook:

Anthony's 4th birthday: We had a pirate celebration at home with a few cousins and some neighbor kids and then we went to Pirate Island. He loved it!

Abigail's 7th birthday: We were blessed with good weather so we were able to have a waterslide party for Abby's birthday. I can't believe she is allready 7!

School starts: Abby is now in 1st grade and goes to school all day. Here she is on her first day:
Andrew's first day of kindergarten after a wipe-out on his bike and scooter that week. He loves riding the bus with Abby in the morning.


Yummy Greek Pizza

I made some really good pizza the other day. For one of the pizzas, Cathy gave me the idea to make a greek pizza and I found the recipe she used at allrecipes.com . I made my own crust, rather than buying a pre-baked one like the recipe says. My favorite pizza crust recipe now it the one from "The Bread Bible" that Suz introduced to me. I also made two other pizzas - a pepperoni for the kids and an everything for Paul.

Toppings for the greek pizza:
1/4 cup mayo mixed w/ garlic and 1/2 cup of feta
sundried tomatoes
chopped baby spinach (use a lot because it really cooks down)
red onions
kalamata olives (i didn't have these)
more feta on top

(i added a few pickled peppers for spice even though the recipe didn't call for them - it was good)

Thin Crust Pizza Dough “the Bread Bible” (makes 3 thin-crust pizzas 12-14'')

600 g. or 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour (all-purpose is important)

15 g. or 2 ½ tsp. sea salt

9 g. or 2 tsp. sugar

2 ¼ tsp instant yeast

about 1 ½ cups water or 360 g.

a few tablespoons olive oil.

Wisk flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. Add yeast – whisk again. Measure water and put in a 2 qt bowl. Mix in dry ingredients and stir about 20 – 30 times by hand (if you don't mind your hands getting a little sticky, it is easiest to just use your hands instead of a spoon). Mix together just until is starts to sort of come together. It is ok if it is a little flaky - it is supposed to be flaky. Form into ball and coat generously with olive oil. Cover, and let rise ½ hour. Cover and put in refrigerator for at least 4 hours up to 4 days. Take out of fridge. Brush a little of the extra olive oil from the bowl onto the 3 pizza pans. Form 3 flat balls – smash down and let rest for 20 minutes on a pizza pan or baking sheet. Spread dough out thin on the pan. Let rest 20 more minutes, then cook for 5 minutes at 500 degrees. Take out and top with sauce and toppings. Place back in the oven to finish cooking for about 5 minutes more. If you like a crispy crust, place the pizza directly on the rack or stone without the pizza pan when you put it in the oven the 2nd time.

This dough is really easy to stretch out and the crust it makes is thin, crispy, and chewy. I like that you can make the dough anytime up to 4 days in advance - this actually makes the crust taste better because of a slow fermentation.


Summer = too busy to blog!

Here is an update of what we have been up to since my last post:

Trip to Cancun - it was so great to see Suz and her kids.

Abby, Andrew, and Anthony loved playing with their cousins at the beach.
Ruins at Xcaret.

Becca turns 30!
Andrew turns 5!
Kaley and Grant come to visit from Florida!

Mom's 70th birthday suprise!

Abby graduates from Kindergarten.

A trip to St. George w/ a stop at Cove fort on the way.
Hiking at snow canyon.

Austin's 1st birthday.
He was just about to grab the flame.

Wasatch Back relay = 187 mile run from Logan to Park City - what an event! This picture only shows 7 of the 12 on our team.
Here are Doug and Douglas - they just ran up ragnar (a steep climb 8% up Gaurdsmans Pass for 7 miles) Way to go!

A trip to Michigan w/o the kids - this is the Michigan temple where we were married 9 years ago.
We also toured northern MI and Mackinac Island.

BEAR LAKE - we went for the 4th with my family and then again for Paul's family reuinion.
Paul testing out his new 4-wheeler at BearLake.

A weekend in Lake Powell with Cheryl, Emily, Rick and their families - so much fun!

A weekend in Park City - here is the Art Festival.

Abby and I got to ride in a hot air balloon.

Anthony and Paul on the Coaster at Park City

We finished the summer off with a trip to Disneyland with the Hatch family.

We extended our trip to go to LA and see Uncle Rick.

Now that I am somewhat up-to-date, I may resume blogging again.