Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Liebster Award? Well, Thank You! Thank You Very Much!

It's been a while since I blogged. 454 days to be exact. I've had a rough year. Haven't felt much like sharing anything... especially humor. That has to change. The masses need to laugh, and they need to do it while baking muffins. My best friend Candace nominated my blog for the Liebster Award, and I'm really grateful. She was inspired as usual. This is the kick in the butt I needed.

The Liebster award is passed friend to friend, blogger to blogger, to those whom have in some way influenced your character, changed the way you think or feel, and/or let your mind fill with inspirational MAGIC! And to help introduce other readers, writers, or authors to share in the fun.  

The rules:

1. Acknowledge you belong in the blogging community, and that you ROCK! 

2. Nominate influential bloggers that you have admired, read, love, and let the world know it!

3. Give these lovely people a few questions.

4. Answer said questions.

5. Watch the world ignite with excitement.  Share!

There you have it... Hopefully I can do this justice. Who am I kidding? I'm going to answer the majority of these questions facetiously, and I'm going to be brief, because simply put, it's the kind of mood I'm in. Here are the questions Candace asked me:

1. Who has been a constant in your life, making you the person you are today?

My library card. I got him when I was eight years old. Library card has always been there for me. He's introduced me to literally thousands of characters, and I most assuredly wouldn't be the brilliant person I am today without him. Thanks for bringing the two of us together Mom.

2. What song would play at the quintessential part of your own movie?

"We Close Our Eyes" by Oingo Boingo. Except that Psych just used it for their quintessential moment. I really wish they hadn't done that. Season seven was just awful. So bad. Jump the Shark much? I digress. My second choice would be "How Soon is Now" by The Smiths... but only if my life continues in it's current depressing spiral.

3. List three literary characters that best represent you, or wish you had created.

David Copperfield. Big surprise. I adore his character more than any other because he taught me that it doesn't matter what circumstance I'm in, I can always do my best.

Harry Potter. He best represents me because people are in awe of him for being this super great wizard, and he's like "I'm just Harry." I can relate to that sometimes. I'm not saying that to be braggy. I'm merely pointing out that I don't always feel as super great as you perceive me to be. I have some major self esteem issues. Working on that.

Corrie ten Boom. Ok, I know she's not a fictional character, but dang. She was an amazing woman. I can't remember the last time I was so touched by someone's life story.

4. How do you inspire those around you?

See my above comment about David Copperfield... "My meaning simply is, that whatever I have tried to do in life, I have tried with all my heart to do well; that whatever I have devoted myself to, I have devoted myself to completely; that in great aims and in small, I have always been thoroughly in earnest."

Hmmmm. That'd be a great name for a blog.

5. What is the tagline for the book of your life?

I have literally sat here for an hour trying to think of something clever to say. I've got nothing. Zippo. Candace, I hereby bequeath this mammoth task to you. I figure you might as well write my tagline since you'll be the one penning the story of my life someday. Would you please make sure they give me a brilliant British accent when they make the movie adaption? Also, hidden magical powers. Thanks in advance. 

I nominate the following lovely people. Their online presence puts mine to shame:

Heather Morrison - Heather's devotion to her family & staying on top of their personal history is inspiring to me! 

Joy Candrian - Joy is creativity personified. I really admire her crafting & Grandmothering skills! She also reads like crazy... I really love that :)

Michelle Michelle's gazillion online recipes make my twelve recipes look like... well twelve recipes. She's amazing, and I envy her Pinterest fame!

Angela Angela manages her ten children with much more grace and humor than I do my with my five, and she still finds time to keep up a wonderful family blog. 

Here are my questions for you my nominated friends:

1. What is one book that you go back to again, and again? Your literary comfort food?

2. Which actress would you want to play you in a movie about your life? What actor would play your significant other?

3. How has social media affected your life? Could you live without it?

4. List your top five pet peeves. Being nominated for stuff like this can't be one of them ;)

5. Do you wish on stars? If yes, why? If no, why the heavens not? It totally works.

Thanks again Candace, for the honor of being nominated. More importantly though, for the honor of being best friends with one of THE cleverest people on the planet. I love you goopy girl :) Visit Candace's blog at:

Friday, April 4, 2014

Spongebob Squarecakes

Fifteen years ago I was introduced to a little square dude named Spongebob... It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Hands down, it's the coolest cartoon EVAH.  I can quote seasons 1-4 by heart... So can my kids.  Don't get us started.  

I love Spongebob so much, I named a recipe after him.  When my twinners were little, they were pretty picky.  I made german pancakes one day and wondered how the heck I was going to convince them to eat it... I used my IMAGINATION.  I told them that we were eating Spongebob Squarecakes.  They literally ate it up :)  "The most important meal of the day, serving it up Gary's way!!!"  Food humor.  Heh heh.

Here's the delicious recipe... You can just call it german pancakes at your house if you want, but I'll cry you a sweater of tears if you do.

Spongebob Squarecakes

6 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 400.  Place first six ingredients in the blender.  Blend until smooth.  Place the butter in a 9x13 baking dish and put in oven to melt.  Pour batter into the buttered baking dish.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Serve immediately with desired toppings... We love syrup & powdered sugar, or strawberry freezer jam with whipped cream.  It's good for your soul.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Tomato Soup in the Blendtec & 90 Minute Bread

Spring is in the air (wishful thinking), so I guess I better post one more comfort food recipe before it's too late.

I **HEART** tomato soup.  I also **HEART** dipping toasted tuna sammies in my tomato soup.  Sigh <3 <3 <3  I have a couple conditions when it comes to my crazy love for tomato soup & tuna sammies.  One:  The soup must be silky smooth. No chunks.  Chunks = Gag me with a spoon.  Literally.  Two:  The bread's gotta be homemade.  

Now, a word before we begin with the recipes.  I am not a professional chef.  I'm a busy Mom.  If you're a regular follower of my bloggie, you know that I take shortcuts galore, and I have a tendency to use phrases such as "throw it in the pot", "add whatever you like", and "cook for a few hours".  If you ever have questions about one of my recipes (ie: Just how hard should you throw said ingredient into the pot, you really don't know what you like, or the definition of "a few") leave a comment below, and I'll answer!  I want your dinner to be successful, I really do :)

Tomato Soup in the Blendtec

3 cloves minced garlic (1 1/2 teaspoons of the pre-minced stuff.  Heck yes I use it.)
3 - 14oz cans of crushed tomatoes (or whole, or diced, whatever... it doesn't matter at ALL.  You're gonna pulverize this stuff)
2 cups water
2 chicken bullion cubes
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons fresh basil (or freeze dried... tried it both ways, doesn't make a lick of difference.  I never have fresh herbs laying around.  I admire people who do.  I wish those people would write a blog about how to get your crap together.  I would so follow that.)

Here we go, ready?  Throw EVERYTHING into your Blendtec (or equivalent large capacity blender).  Make sure the lid's on tight.  Hit the soup button.  Soup's done.  You can eat it right now if you want because the Blendtec makes the soup "hot". More like luke warm.  I never do that... I pour it in the crock pot & let it simmer for a few hours while I get the bread going. Speaking of bread, here's the recipe:

90 Minute Bread

2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cups flour

Here we go again, ready?  Throw the ingredients into your Kitchen Aid mixer in the order listed.  Attach the dough hook & give it a good knead, adding a tiny bit of extra flour as you go until the dough's not tacky.  Divide dough into two loaves, and place in two greased pans.  Cover with plastic wrap coated with cooking spray.  This stuff rises quick... 45 minutes at the most.  Once it's doubled up, bake at 375 for 30 minutes.  Brush with butter & let cool for a bit.

Cut the bread nice & thick, toast it, and fill with tuna prepped with mayo.  Dip the tuna sammie in your lovely silky smooth tomato soup.  Sigh contentedly. Life is beautiful. 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Simple Shepherd's Pie

I've been trying to come up with a clever name for my Shepherd's Pie, but I'm drawing a blank... I am currently suffering from a holiday induced brain cloud.  I've also been trying for months to get an appetizing picture of it... That's never gonna happen for two reasons:  1. We usually devour it before I remember to take said picture, and 2: Even if I do remember, it's just not the prettiest food.  In fact, it's quite possibly the ugliest food on the planet.  Once, I made this for dinner on St. Patty's Day & used green mashed potatoes. Don't ever do that.  It wasn't gross tasting, just psychologically scarring.  It looked so nasty. So yeah... Even though my Shepherd's Pie lacks a clever name, and a drool inducing picture, I feel I must share the recipe with you anyway... it's just too good to keep to myself any longer :)  Just remember that it tastes better than it looks.  Waaaaaay better.

Simple Shepherd's Pie

1 lb lean ground beef
1 Tbsp dried minced onion
Salt & pepper to taste
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 14.5 oz can corn drained (or french cut green beans)
4-5 cups instant mashed potatoes (prepared as directed)
Shredded cheddar cheese (As much as you like.  'Round these parts that means TONS)

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray 9x13 casserole dish with cooking spray.  In a large frying pan, cook lean ground beef, dried minced onion, salt, and pepper until meat is browned.  Drain.  Return to pan & add tomato sauce.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Layer the ingredients in the casserole dish in this order:  Meat, corn, mashed potatoes, shredded cheddar cheese.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Serve with Rhodes rolls if you're as lazy (or busy) as I am most days.

Like the completely boring and not at all clever name of this recipe suggests, this is a really simple dinner... I think that's why it's such a big hit around here.  It's one of our favorite Sunday meals because it's so yummy & so easy to make.  I'm thinking since we start early church this Sunday, I'll make the pie the night before... That way I can take a nap while it's cooking!!  I'm going to be sooooooo tired.  I've been sleeping in till 10:30 every morning this entire Christmas break.  Hence the brain cloud.  I hope you enjoy this recipe... let me know what you think!  Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Go Ahead, Play With Your Food!

I've suddenly found myself with a tiny bit of spare time on my hands... what?!  Weird.  So today I've decided to take a minute & share some of my favorite Bento Box creations from the last few months with you! It's been almost two years since I discovered this fun little trend, and I still love it!!  That's saying A LOT for my usually short attention span!!  My Bento Boxes are really simple... I don't use sticky rice & sushi, or cut designs out of seaweed... they're just cute, and my two littles request them everyday :)  Feel free to follow my Bento board on Pinterest, and please don't hesitate to message me with questions! Now go ahead, play with your food!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Twinner Winner Baked Mac & Cheese

Heaven help my waistline, it's comfort food season.  There's nothing like coming home on a cold day to the smell of soup simmering on the stove, or a casserole baking in the oven.  Don't even get me started on homemade bread!  I'm putting on pounds just thinking about it.

To my prideful delight there has been over the last few days a huge surge of re-pins for my Easy Peasy Chicken Noodle Soup on Pinterest... It makes my heart happy that random people all over the world are making MY soup for dinner.  So I've felt a sudden urge (even though I'm ridiculously busy) to appease the mass demand for comfort food recipes that is currently trending on the nom-nom boards.

Without further ado, I now bestow upon you, my loyal friends & Pinterest followers: Twinner Winner Baked Mac & Cheese. THE best baked mac & cheese recipe, EVER.  Named after my twinner winners Spencer and Erik because they swoon & get cartoon hearts in their eyes every time I make it, and I always have to double the recipe 'cause they eat so much.  
Double the recipe. Twins. Get it? Food humor. 

You just drooled on your keyboard.

Twinner Winner Baked Mac & Cheese 
(Original recipe from my friend, Sariah Fuller...Thank you dear, my twins are forever in your debt)

1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
2-3 cups shredded cheddar cheese (who am I kidding, I always use 3)
2 cups crushed corn flakes
2 tablespoons melted butter

Cook elbow macaroni until just done (don't let it get too soft!!). Rinse. Combine soup, sour cream, milk & cheese. Add the cooked macaroni.  Spoon evenly into a square casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Top with crushed cornflakes coated in melted butter.  Bake for 35 minutes at 350. If you double the recipe, increase baking time to 50 minutes.

My Twinner Winners Erik & Spencer... Oh how I love these two!!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Putting Myself & My 10K Playlist Out There. Yikes.

It's no secret that I love to run... the secret is that lately I prefer to run on my treadmill in the basement while watching Doctor Who.  Ok, that's not really a secret either.  The Doctor Who part.

I used to run outdoors all the time, but after I had my 5th baby, I preferred cave running for numerous reasons.  First, I didn't have the energy to wake up at 5:00 in the morning.  Second, I began having crippling self esteem issues about my body. Running in front of people?  No thanks.  Being in front of people period?  Ugggh.  I did a half marathon in July 2011, and that was my last outdoor run until just a few weeks ago.  

When I was an outdoor runner, I would put together fantastic playlists for my iPod to get me through the hour run... warm up songs, fast/upbeat songs in the middle, motivational "you can do this" songs at the end.  Sometimes it was all just random songs that I loved at the time.  They were a big part of my training, and I loved searching for the perfect songs to keep me going!  

Back in April, I took a huge step towards repairing my self esteem issues... I had full abdominoplasty surgery.  It's a bloggie post for another day, but for my purposes here: The recovery was (and still is sometimes) the WORST pain I've ever experienced in my life. No joke.  Soooooo glad I did it, unbelievably glad, but DANG.  A couple weeks into recovery I signed up for the Provo Freedom Festival 10K... being high on pain meds may have had something to do with that decision.  

I'd been running with The Doctor in the basement for too long, so I had to put together a new playlist for the race.  I think it's one of my best yet.  I'm happy to report that I ran the 10K on the Fourth of July, and for the first time in my history of running this race, I didn't die at mile five!  Cloud cover, my playlist, and sheer determination not to let this bugger of a course get the best of me again, all combined to help me run the entire race without stopping.  I'm pretty dang proud of myself given what I've been through the last three months. 

Most of you aren't surprised about my surgery... I either told you about it,  or you've heard me daydreaming about it since my twinners stretched out my tummy beyond hope eleven years ago.  I really don't look all that different...  Most of you probably haven't even noticed. That's ok, because I did it for myself and no one else!  You may or may not approve of plastic surgery, but for me it was simply a case of having my doctor put the finishing touch on what I've worked years & years for with good diet and exercise. Again, despite the pain, I'm so unbelievably glad I did it.

So here's my super fantabulous 10K playlist for 2013... I'm honestly more worried about everyone judging my taste in music than I am about the whole tummy tuck thing, so absolutely no snickering! It's VERY random as you will soon discover... and yes, it's quite long.  I never said I was a fast runner ;)

2013 Provo Freedom Festival 10k Playlist

Sunrise - Simply Red (Always the first song on my playlists. Every time.)
Count on Me - Bruno Mars
Tragedy - Bee Gees
Gone, Gone, Gone - Phillip Phillips
Peponi - Alex Boye & The Piano Guys
Radioactive - Imagine Dragons
Defying Gravity - Wicked Original Broadway Cast
One Thing - One Direction (I told you, no snickering!)
There is a Light That Never Goes Out - The Smiths
Tonight Tonight - Hot Chelle Rae
Doctor Who Theme - Murray Gold (Daleks!!!  Run!!!)
Feel This Moment - Pitbull/Christina Aguilera 
Inside Out - The Mighty Lemon Drops
Michael Meets Mozart - The Piano Guys
Modern Love - David Bowie
What Makes You Beautiful - One Direction (Stop it!)
Home - Phillip Phillips
Don't Stop the Party - Pitbull/TJR
Try to Believe - Oingo Boingo
Without You - The Piano Guys
Then She Appeared - XTC (Finished the race on this song ironically)
I Won't Back Down - Tom Petty (Was supposed to finish on this song)
Island in the Sun - Weezer (Best cool down song ever.)