Friday, March 27, 2009

It's a Fruit Thing

I don't know what has come over me, but I'm in a recipe sharing mood lately. Natalie had a little shin-dig at her house yesterday and it gave me the perfect excuse to make one of my favorite party foods. Fruit Thing is a slushy concoction that is super yummy. And it's healthy, right? You know--it's fruit. (Never mind the four cups of sugar.) And for your recipe viewing pleasure, I've included pictured steps this time!

Fruit Thing

In a large pan combine 4 cups water and 4 cups sugar. Bring to a boil and continue to boil for 5 minutes.

Pour into a large bowl or container. Add 3/4 cup lemon juice, 4 cups cold water and 1 large can of crushed pineapple.

Put the container in the freezer. Freeze until slushy--stiring once every hour or so. (This should take around 6-7 hours.)

Add the following to the slushy mixture: 2 16 oz. packages of frozen whole strawberries, thawed slightly and cut in half; 1 16 oz. package of frozen blueberries; 2 16 oz. packages of frozen raspberries; 1/2 cup seedless red grapes (cut in half, if desired). (OR you can use an equivalent amount of any frozen berries--Costco has a good mix.) Return to freezer.

Before serving, thaw to slushy stage (approximately 1/2-1 hour).


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Two Reasons I am a Blogging Slacker

I guess I shouldn't be too surprised that several people guessed one of my slacker reasons: Facebook. I am a facebook addict. I fully admit it. It has been so fun to reconnect with so many people I have lost touch with. And it is so great to keep up with family and friends that we live far away from. I initially joined facebook in order to share photos with my mom. But my blog pretty much replaced that need. In the meantime I discovered the most addicting aspect of facebook: Word Twist. When I consider the amount of time I've spent playing that game, I realize that I should be able to ace it every time I play. But I don't. I have a terrible memory these days. But I do love playing. I often use Word Twist as an incentive to get other stuff done. For instance, if I fold a load of laundry I reward myself with a game of Word Twist (in fact, I'm rewarding myself with a game as soon as I finish this post!). I used to spend a lot more time on facebook doing things like taking care of my Green Patch (and all my friends' Green Patches) and taking care of my virtual dog Mandy (and everyone else's dogs). It was actually a little psycho, in a way, because I couldn't sleep at night until I had fed, watered and played with several dogs. Thank goodness I got over that! I still occasionally take care of my Green Patch (I'm helping save the rain forest, you know), but I don't feel responsible for taking care of my friends' patches.

Nobody guessed the second reason! No--I am not pregnant. I won't ever be pregnant again. Reason number two is the Nintendo Wii. More specifically: Wii Fit. I have actually become a pretty avid exerciser. I actually use the Wii Fit, a "game" on the Wii called Fitness Coach and a few other things like walking and stepping. But it takes a chunk out of my day.

It seems like I'm always sharing conversations I have with Haven, so how about one I had a few days ago with Ryder?

Ryder came into my bedroom as I was putting my exercise clothes on:
Ryder: Mom, you doing Wii Fit?
Me: Yes! I am going to do Wii Fit.
Ryder: That awesome.

I love doing the Wii Fit with Ryder in the room. After every activity he cheers for me and tells me I'm doing a good job. He says, "Yea, mom!" He also tells me what he wants me to do. He often chooses hula hoop or the "lope" (this is actually the tight rope) or the penguin game. I actually prefer the boxing game (expert version) or the step games. I don't really appreciate being told that I am not the ideal weight on a daily basis, but that fact does give me some incentive for wanting to change that.

Fitness Coach is pretty good. I like it a lot because the workouts vary in focus every time between upper or lower body, core, flexibility and cardio. I can also choose the duration and track activities I do elsewhere. Maya (my virtual coach) kicks my butt all the time.

So there you have it. Two reasons I stink at blogging lately. I am going to try and do better. You know, for journaling purposes.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sometimes it's all About the Food

Last night was the first night of our ward's book club since it was assigned to me. It was a good time. And what is a book club meeting--or any meeting, for that matter--without food?! Well, last night we didn't have to find out. My plan was to have cucumber sandwiches, a simple salad, and a little dessert of some kind. But then Natalie and Brooke got involved and things took a more yummy turn. Brooke lost complete control and made the gorgeous cupcakes you see pictured above. Yes, they each have their own individual flower and bow; and yes, they were delicious. She also made her secret recipe chocolate chip cookies. I would have taken a picture, but they had been devoured by the time I thought to take out my camera. And Natalie dipped strawberries in both white and milk chocolate--yum! (You can see last one or two on the plate behind the cupcakes. Seriously delicious.) Thank you so much, ladies, for your help and attendance.

Cucumber Sandwiches have been a favorite of mine since I worked at my good friend Wendy's reception center way back when. And then, when they catered my wedding, these babies were served at the reception. It was years later, but I just had to get the recipe from Wendy. I've actually had dreams of eating them. And last night, I sure did.

Cucumber Sandwiches

white bread (preferably a hardier white bread like Great Harvest or Granny's)
cucumbers (I like to use English cucumbers best)
4 Tbsp. softened butter
8 oz. softened cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
seasoning salt (like Lawry's)

Combine butter and cream cheese to make a spread, set aside. Combine sour cream and mayonnaise, set aside. Peel desired amount of cucumbers and slice. Using a round cookie cutter or top of a glass, cut circles out of the center of the slices of bread. (Bread can be cut to any desired size, depending on how many servings you want or the size of the cucumbers.)
Spread each circle of bread with the cream cheese mixture. Place 1-2 cucumbers on bread. Place a dollop of sour cream/mayo mixture on top of each cucumber. Sprinkle a small amount of seasoning salt on top.

I got this recipe for Corn Salsa from my friend Michelle several years ago. I changed it up a bit for last night, but it is always good. I like it best served with Tostitos Lime Tortilla chips, as Michelle suggests!
Corn Salsa

Mix together in a medium sized bowl:
2 cans Green Giant Shoepeg corn
1 bunch of green onions sliced very thin
4 Roma tomatoes cut up into chunks
1 small can of chopped olives (I left these out last night)
(I also add) 2 avacados cut into chunks
1/2 large bottle of Kraft Zest Italian salad dressing (I use fat free)

We also had water flavored with orange and lemon slices. This fact led to a funny Haven conversation:

Haven: Mom? I just had some of that drink. Did you make it?
Me: Well, yes. Natalie helped me. Did you like it?
Haven: Ummm. It just tasted like water.
Me: That is what it is. Water flavored with fruit slices.
Haven: Well, did you forget to add the sugar? I learned on Calliou that you are supposed to add sugar when you make lemonade.
Me: You are supposed to do that. But I wasn't making lemonade.
Haven: Next time you should remember to add the sugar.

Incidentally, the book we talked about was Persuasion by Jane Austen. It wasn't loved by everyone as much as I love it, but I like to think that we had some good conversation.

Upcoming Blog Posts: a flashback to about 18 1/2 years ago and a post about the reason I am a lousy blogger these days (there are actually two reasons--any guesses?--no fair guessing if you already know!).

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Brooke Made me do It - A Giveaway

If I don't respost and play along, Brooke won't send me my cool suprise!! So here we go:

The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me! My choice. For you. This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:

1- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!
2- What I create will be just for you.
3- It'll be done this year.
4- You have no clue what it's going to be. It may be a story. It may be poetry or an article on properly cleaning your face before a masque. I may sew or paint something. I may bake you something and mail it to you. Who knows? Not you, that's for sure!
5- I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.

The catch? Oh, the catch is that you must repost this on your blog and offer the same to the first 5 people who do the same on your blog. Oh, and be sure to post a picture of what you win when you get it!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Savannah is working on a persuasive essay for her English class. Her topic is "ghosts." (No big surprise that she is pro-ghost, if you know her at all.) Please take a minute to take the poll on the side-bar. Thanks a bunch!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Erik James Wilson

It's difficult to know what to write after two years. Very difficult. I don't want to relive that day. Not in my mind. And not in words. But I do want to say that I will never forget Erik. I think of him every day. His life and his death have impacted my life in ways that I don't always think are necessary. But despite the pain, I am so grateful for the privilege of having been--and still being--his sister. I still don't understand. And it continues to be bewildering, in a way, to have life go on.

Let me just say, Erik, that we all love you and we always have. Thank you for being a part of our family and our lives. We'll see you again.