Hold on, man. We don't go anywhere with "scary," "spooky," "haunted,"
or "forbidden" in the title.~From Scooby-Doo

Sep 21, 2008

Peaches, Peaches, PEACHES!!

We've been inundated with peaches from our very own trees! One of the selling points of the home we're currently in was the storage, back yard and the fruit trees. We have two plum trees and two peach trees. Sadly, the previous owners planted them but never got to see them bear fruit and reap the rewards...happily we do!! The very first summer we were in the house we had peaches and this year was our 3rd summer enjoying the 'fruit' of someone else's labors.

We have put very little money into them other than some water and spray for bark beetles. Very little effort has produced an abundance! This past week I started to pick some and was fully intending to let them stay on the tree for another week or two. Mid-week we had a storm roll in with high winds - just as the winds picked up I noticed peaches were falling from the tree. RATS! I hurried outside with the kids, boxes and a ladder and pick all the peaches. I wish I could say that my helpers were extremely helpful but that would be misleading you! My oldest did hold the bag and carried many of them to a box. The younger two were easily drawn to the nearby trampoline. All in all we got 6 boxes full and a Trader Joe's bag. (This was after losing about 30-35 that fell off in the last week and slugs got them plus the 100 or so my hubby thinned out at the beginning of the season).

Luckily, this past Saturday had nothing scheduled other than an early morning volleyball game. Our peach 'taskmaster' kept us busy all day: blanching, peeling, cutting, mixing and bottling. Gratefully we had two friends and my parents come over to help. It was quite a job! We divided our spoils with all those who participated (think Little Red Hen!) Our half was 20 quart jars of peach halves, 11 pint jars of peach slices and 8 jars of jam. I love the way they look stacked up on the shelf!!!

Peach cobbler was on tonight's menu for dessert - so yummy! Here's our favorite recipe:

Fresh Peach Cobbler, the Absolutely Best Ever Recipe #61366

Fruit Mixture
6 tablespoons
6-7 cups
fresh peaches, sliced (or equivalent canned peaches)
1 cup
sugar (omit if using sweetened canned peaches)
1/4 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon

Cobbler Dough
1/2 cup
butter, softened
1 cup
2 cups
1 1/2 cups
2 teaspoons
baking powder
1 teaspoon

Cobbler Topping
1 1/2 cups
2 tablespoons
cinnamon, to taste
nutmeg, to taste
1/2 cup
boiling water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, combine tapioca, peaches, sugar (if used), cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix thoroughly. Pour the fruit mixture into a buttered 9" X 13" baking dish. In a bowl mix thoroughly the ingredients for the Cobbler Dough. Spread over the fruit mixture. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together DRY cobbler topping ingredients. Sprinkle evenly over the cobbler dough layer. Then pour the boiling water evenly over the cobbler.
(Do Not Stir.) Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean and top has a golden crust.
I still have a little over a box calling my name, "Wash me...peel me...chop me...make me into jam!" Guess you know what I'll be doing tomorrow...but that's peachy keen with me!

Sep 19, 2008

Woo Hoo for Cake Mix Extender!

I posted this simple recipe earlier in the year for extending a cake mix! Today I put it to good use as I made cupcakes for the school carnival.

I was supposed to make 2 dozen and knew that the cake mix would leave them puny and definately wouldn't give me any leftovers for the little gal that hangs out with me all day! She can't keep her 3-year old hands off the cupcakes when I leave the room for a minute (Imagine that!) So...the cake mix extender worked like a charm - I got 2 dozen regular-sized cupcakes and 2 dozen mini cupcakes out of one mix! Woo hoo!!!

I was debating how to decorate the cupcakes - they are for a cake walk at the carnival. I didn't want to bring just plain ones (the kind that sit there until the last kid has finally won!) and definately don't have time to do the fancy schmancy stuff (nor would I want to since they are going to be scarfed down in 30 seconds flat!). So, yesterday I was in the BYU bookstore and saw these:

Yes, I am taking the easy way out by plopping one of these little critters on top of each and every cupcake. Now, the only debate is whether they should be sitting on chocolate frosting or vanilla dyed red!? The cupcakes themselves are devil's food. I really don't think it'll matter in the end. I'm fairly confident that the tarantulas will be the 'draw' and not the flavor of the cake and frosting. In all honesty, I'll probably go with whatever is on sale when I get to the store later this morning...but then again...maybe a mini cupcake or two will find its way into my belly and I prefer chocolate! (Of course!)

Sep 15, 2008

Lists of 100

My good friend Stephanie posted a list on her blog - 100 things every good omnivore should try at least once. The original post was found on http://www.verygoodtaste.co.uk/ and after reading her list I thought it'd be a quick and easy post to add my own - saving the results for future generations to come and maybe expand my horizons (and list). Post your own results or at least your score in a comment! My Score: I've eaten 46 of the 100 items, won't eat 22 so that leaves 32 things for me to put on my 'to do' list!

The original post:

"Here’s a chance for a little interactivity for all the bloggers out there. Below is a list of 100 things that I think every good omnivore should have tried at least once in their life. The list includes fine food, strange food, everyday food and even some pretty bad food - but a good omnivore should really try it all. Don’t worry if you haven’t, mind you; neither have I, though I’ll be sure to work on it. Don’t worry if you don’t recognise everything in the hundred, either;
Wikipedia has the answers."

Here’s what I want you to do:
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating. (I made mine red...meaning Stop! Do Not Pass Go! and NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS! - Teddi)
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at
http://www.verygoodtaste.co.uk/ linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:
1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush (have even made it at home!)
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi (mmmm...yes!)
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes (have 4 varieties growing in our garden!)
22. Fresh wild berries

23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche (thanks to Eric, yes indeedy!)
28. Oysters
29. Baklava (learned to make it from a Deaf, Greek friend)
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl (at Boudin last year during RID Nat'l Convention)
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut (would or could eat them every day!)
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear (my grandma used to make prickly pear jelly)
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal (sadly, yes!)
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake (absolutely!!!!)
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie (delightful!)
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict (can make this at home too!)
83. Pocky (crunch, crunch!)
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash

88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam (delicious fried with potatoes)
92. Soft shell crab

93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

I'm hungry now! Guess I'll have to settle for the tuna fish sandwich w/peppers I have prepared! Bon Appetit!

Sep 12, 2008

My Summer Vacation is over!

How quickly 3-months can pass when you're having fun! This past summer was full of all kinds of good things! I think my 50 lb weight loss has given me the confidence, finally, to try lots of things that I always wanted to do but never would. Mostly because I was afraid of how I'd look from behind while running...or dying of exhaustion from exercise, HAHAHA!

The summer started off with a big bang when we headed to Arizona to visit some family. The main point of the trip was a concert featuring this guy!

That's George Michael for all you young'uns out there born in the late 80's or early 90's (although you should still know who he is!) I got to go to the concert with Stephanie M. and my sister - it was so much fun!!! Gorgeous George performed some of my old favorites and some new ones as well. We were good girls and didn't take our cameras in but we wish we would have! We had fabulous floor seats - thanks Brad and Stephanie! and the whole thing was a celebration for Stephanie's 40th birthday. And DID WE CELEBRATE!!! There was much dancing, singing and general good vibes had by all! This is what it looked like although I didn't take this photo:

One of my favorite moments was his singing "Freedom 90" - which unbeknowst to me has been viewed as an anthem for the gay community. Who knew!!!??? (Shows how much I don't pay attention to the lyrics sometimes.) Anywhoo - we were shouting it out with everyone and I think it really fired me up to get free this summer. So here's a sampling of what I did:

Ran (and I mean walk/ran) my first 5K, the Freedom Run in Provo, after starting to run the week before:

And subsequently ran my 2nd and 3rd 5K's (plus my fourth 5K this past weekend - and yes, my time is improving!)

Rode the medium-sized and super-sized zip lines at Olympic Park in Park City. (I'm the middle rider)Hiked to Timpanogos Cave with the 3 kids and my niece - what was I thinking!? But we made it up and back in one piece. I also overcame my brief internal bouts of hysteria thinking about going into the cave but made it out alive and well! (We were actually grateful for the cool temps in the cave after the heat during the hike up!) Gotta love this picture taken by one of my kids - I am looking oh so fine, dontcha think?

Sprinkle in trips to "This is the Place" village, Stadium of Fire with Blue Man Group and Miley Cyrus, Temple Square in SLC, a Xango party, watching "The Drowsy Chaperone" with my niece, all the foster parent training courses (32 hours worth), work, presenting at and attending 2 conferences, farmer's market, gardening and fun times in the backyard kiddie pool and slip-n-slide! WHEW!!! It WAS a full summer!

Another highlight was marked by the "Breaking Dawn" release party at BYU - fun times with family and friends (and our specially designed "Team Edward" t-shirts. I actually won a door prize as well - toot toot!)

I loved every minute of it - how good it feels to be so free!