March 30, 2009

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

This is one of those recipes that you don't really want to give out because once you do people realize you're not actually a good cook; you can just follow a great recipe. So my secret's out...don't tell Bobby.

Throwdown Cookies
3 eggs
1 c raisins
1 t vanilla

1 c butter
1 c brown sugar
1 c white sugar

2 ½ c flour
½ t salt
1 t cinnamon
2 t baking soda
2 c oatmeal

Mix the raisins, eggs (break them up with a fork) and vanilla in a little bowl. Let them stand for an hour.

Cream the butter and sugars. Add everything except the oatmeal and egg mixture. Add the oatmeal and egg mixture together. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350° for 10-12 minutes.
They are better underdone rather than overdone.

March 28, 2009

Left Unattended

Ryan went to St. George this weekend for a little biking fun, so I took the chance to release my inner seamstress. Danielle bought a pattern on Etsy for this shirt and on Thursday we cranked it out. This was no easy feat given two curious babies underfoot. By the end of the day we sequestered the girls in Ella's room and took turns playing with them while the other worked away. I still have to muster up the courage to add the buttons, but all in all I am happy with the finished result.

And for my next trick...

...trying to use my neighbor's Cricut to cut out fabric pieces for onsies. It is still a work in progress, but with a little tweaking there is hope.

March 23, 2009

food for thought

Last night while watching the Food Network Ryan asked me what I would make in a Throwdown against Mr. Flay. Good question. I decided if Bobby shows up at my door,  I will be ready with my Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. I don't know where we got the recipe, but they are really good.  And adding chipotle probably wouldn't work in Bobby's favor.  

"So to all you cooks out there, keep doing what you do. But ask yourself this: are you ready for a Throwdown?" 

March 22, 2009

food and fun

Thayer gave me the new Barefoot Contessa cookbook (Back to Basics) and I am loving it. My favorite new recipe is the Herb Marinated Pork Loin. It is easy, tasty, and reasonably priced. I bought a pork tenderloin at Costco for $13.51. I froze half of it, and the other half fed 6 adults and 1 child and had leftovers to boot. Can't beat that. Here you go:

Grated zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4-6 lemons) (the second time I made this I used bottled lemon juice and it turned out fine)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbs minced garlic (6 cloves)
1 1/2 tbs minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 tbs chopped fresh thyme
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Kosher salt
2-3 pork tenderloins, 1 lb each
freshly ground black pepper

Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, mustard, and 2 tsp salt in a 1 gallon resealable plastic bag. Add the pork tenderloins and turn to coat with the marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight, or at least 3 hours. (I've tried marinating it overnight and marinating for 3 hours--couldn't tell much difference.)

When you're ready to cook, preheat the grill. Remove the tenderloins from the marinade and discard the marinade.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then grill, turning a few times to brown on all sides, for 15-25 minutes--until the meat registers 137 degrees at the thickest part.
Transfer the tenderloins to a platter and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Let rest for 10 minutes.

Carve in 1/2 inch thick diagonal slices. The thickest part will be pink; this is just fine. The end parts will be well done--something for everyone.

On another note, Ella is getting more hair. No ponytails or braids, but if you look close enough you can see a little clip hanging on for dear life on her left side. I've long maintained that there are two hair genes. One for thick, beautiful hair and one for styling hair. Most people get one or the other, and a few lucky people get both. I have neither. Hopefully Ella is okay with a little clippy because that's about all I'm good for. No french twists here.

And on yet another note, I am nearly done with my quilt. Thanks to a little positive encouragement from Beth et al it turned out nicely (with a few carefully placed skewed stitches to make it appear handmade). I'll post pics when it's done.

March 18, 2009

Getting crafty

For some time now I've wanted a sewing machine. Sewing is in my blood. Grandma Tweet can make anything out of everything. The smocked dress Grandma Lota made for me ended up in a "How to Smock" book. Some of my favorite memories are hanging out in the sewing room pressing seams while my mom whipped out one of her creations. Now that I have Ella the sewing bug got worse. I wanted to make her cute clothes and playthings. So I went to Shingelton's and bought myself a sewing machine. My first project was a burp cloth. I had a few hiccups along the way, but all in all it went fairly well.

Filled with confidence I started on my next project: a quilt for Ella. Not a real quilt, the kind with a named pattern (like "Log Cabin" or "Jacob's Ladder), just some fun fabrics pieced together in squares. Easy peasy.

I started by picking and arranging the fabrics, with a little help from the design-savvy Kimmy.
Then I sewed the connecting strips between the blocks.

At this point, I'm feeling fairly good about my self. The quilt is coming together nicely. I sew the long connecting strip down the sides, and start pinning things together.

This is when I notice that the blue connecting strips aren't quite matching up.
You can't see it well in this picture, but trust me, some of the blue pieces are bigger than others.

And now I remember why it has taken me so long to buy my sewing machine. Tweet, Lota and Sue may have passed down their love of sewing to me, but they forgot to give me their skills. And then I remember my C from my sewing class at BYU. And I remember that there was a reason I was the one pressing seams in the sewing room with mom.

Oh well. Ella will never have a mom who can make her brilliant Halloween costumes and Prom dresses. Lucky for her she has two grandmas who both can sew. And her mom will keep practicing and unpicking until those seams line up!

March 17, 2009


So Saturday was a good day. Jamie and Taylor rocked the ward snow-sculpture contest with their Brooklyn Bridge. Ryan rode 60+ miles and didn't see a single deer. I started my first quilt. Doug stopped by on his way from San Fran to Rochester. We went out to dinner...and left Ella with a babysitter. The non-related kind.

This being our first paid babysitter, I needed to find out the going rate. I called my friend down the street who has three kids and asked her how much she paid. She told me 5 bucks an hour. I assumed that either 1.She was lying to me so she could outpay everyone and more easily get a sitter, or 2. She is really cheap. So at dinner we saw another couple from our neighborhood and I asked them. Their answer? $1 a child/hr, max $5/hr. Still not believing them, today I knocked on the door of one of the girls in our neighborhood who I know is a highly sought after sitter. I asked her what the range was, the very least she had ever been paid to the very most. Her answer: $3 to $5! Am I living in the ghetto? I distinctly remember being paid $3 for my first gig when I was 12. 18 years ago. I remember getting a raise to $5. Kimmy remembers getting paid $10.

So now I'm not sure what to do. $5 seems low, but if the neighborhood's got a good thing going who am I to rock it? Is my perspective skewed? I swear Thayer pays over $10. What do babysitters charge in your neck of the woods?

March 16, 2009

Popcorn and Raisinets

Come March 20th I am getting a baby-sitter and going to the movies. Ryan and I haven't been to a movie since Ella was born, so Julia and Clive have a lot to live up to. But with a tagline like

Outwit. Outspy. Outsmart. Outplay. Then get out.

I think they've got a shot at making my movie dreams come true. Here's hoping it's a good one.

March 9, 2009


When I was little, I had a rocking horse named Sam. I loved him, or so I'm told. I think Trav loved him too. So when I saw this little rocking horse (minus Sam's finger pinching aluminum springs) I couldn't pass it up. Ella was a little hesitant at first, but if you put her right in the middle of the seat she can rock back and forth.

Cowgirl up.

March 6, 2009

i love ashley.

For Christmas this year Kimmy gave me a photo shoot with her friend Ashley Swapp. It may have been the best present ever. Check out these pictures. Kimmy is a brilliant stylist, Ashley is an amazing photographer, and Ella is good-looking. It was a winning combination.

March 5, 2009


 I think most people hate listening to recordings of themselves. I am no exception. I cringed while watching the news piece this morning. But Ella was great. Her television debut was a success. And the story was a "Top Story" on the ABC website this morning. Right up there with natural disasters and raw sewage. Can't beat that. 

March 4, 2009

blowing my horn

So I did the ABC interview with Nicea DeGering for the iPhone apps. I felt like a fool, but Kimmy said I sounded somewhat coherent. Either way, Ella looked great. The interview airs tomorrow on ABC sometime between 5:30 and 7:00, and then maybe again on the evening news, but that one's still up in the air.

March 2, 2009

Sitting Pretty

Today Ella made her grocery store debut. No more carseats, no more carriers; now Ella sits up in the cart. She loved it. And she was cuter than ever--reaching to hold the handle while looking back and forth, trying to take it all in. I wasn't the only one enthralled with her performance; two middle age men and one punk looking teenager stopped to comment on how darling she was. Most fun I've had at Alberstson's in years.


Jamie posted part one of her wedding pictures, and they are worth checking out.
Click here to see more.

March 1, 2009

To be young...

So I turned 30 this week. No big deal. I've got a husband. A baby. A job. A house. But know what I don't have? The spontaneity of youth. For that we turn to Kimmy. No husband. No baby. No job. No house. But she more than makes up for it by going bowling with Vanilla Ice on the weekends. Seriously. She and Ice, livin' it up. Makes you miss those days when you were 24, doesn't it?

Mom (and others who are technically challenged): If you click on Kimmy's name you can read the whole story. It's a good one.