Sunday, August 28, 2011


"If we are serious about our discipleship, Jesus will eventually request each of us to do those very things which are most difficult for us to do."  Bruce C. Hafen
Photobucketgiven in a devotional on the 5 Feb 2008

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Zucchini Noodles

If you planted zucchini this year in your garden, I imagine, if yours is producing anything like ours you have a lot.  We like it cooked a lot of different ways - bread, cake, savory pies, fries, cut up in tomato veggie sauce, pancakes, and even raw on a vegetable plate.  We tried a new way tonight and I think it was a success.

While mom was here we went to the Sunflower market for a few produce items and they had a promotional magazine at the check out.  I picked it up and saw a recipe for zucchini noodles with tomato sauce.  Although none of the ingredients were cooked in the recipe in the magazine, we thought we would give it a try and put our own spin on it.

I have a tool called a julienne peeler.  You can buy them at any place that stocks a good variety of kitchen tools. We used the peeler on the zuchinni to make thin long strips - like noodles.   If you buy this tool, you will find yourself using it more than you think.  It is great for julienning veggies for soup and salads.  Even potatoes!

Ralph made a sauce with some of our home grown roma tomatoes, onions, garlic and a few seasonings all sauteed together.  We didn't cook the zucchini because we didn't want it too mushy.  When we were ready to eat we poored the hot sauce over the zuchinni noodles.  We grated a bit of parmesan cheese to go on top.  Tasty!

The noodles almost immediately started to expell their liquid, which we knew would happen.  Thankfully not enough to make the sauce to watery.   You could probably salt the raw zucchini noodles and let them drain the excess liquid, rinse them and then poor the sauce over.  Because of the warm sauce the noodles weren't completely raw when we sat down to eat.  I would describe them as al dente.  This dish along with some home made breadsticks makes for a great meal and super healthy too!  You could add meat to the sauce if you so choose. We will definitely make this again -

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sundays adventure

I was looking forward to Sunday.  A nice quiet afternoon.  My aunt and uncle were coming up from Huntington to spend the day and visit with my Mom.  We had a great dinner planned and a relaxing afternoon.

Ralph and I attended ward council and came home to a flustered Mom.  Uncle Brent had been in the ER most of the night with severe carpel tunnel pain, fingers and hand swollen.  Both of them were just exhausted and wouldn't be making the trip up to SLC.  Aunt Hilary really wanted to see Mom and felt really bad that it wasn't going to happen.  So, Ralph and I told her to call back and tell her sister we were coming down and bringing dinner.

We changed, made phone calls to make sure Sunday assignments were covered, packed a doggie bag and a cooler full of the dinner ingredients we were planning on fixing and got on our way.

The drive was beautiful, not too much traffic and a nice air conditioned car to ride in.  We had a great visit and Hilary spoiled us rotten.  Tammy's husband, Terry, brought over an old Amish cart and horse.  Mom got on to take a ride.  She asked where the seat belt was.  LOL

Picture was taken with a cell phone - not the best angle but you get the idea
I didn't get my camera out, but the back yard became a dog playground.  Riley found a best friend in a boxer named Deuce.  They played the afternoon away, the other dogs actually got Riley to jump in the little pond in the back yard.  I think it even shocked Riley when he figured out what he did.  When Deuce went home, Riley layed by the front door for him to come back and play.   Sadie was even a good sport and let everyone hold her. 

Here is a picture of the two yayhoo's (Dad used that word all the time) on the way there, once again taken with a cell phone in a moving car...not too clear but cute none the less.

We got home at midnight which made getting up for work not so much fun.  I said my goodbyes to Mom Monday morning.  I wish she lived closer.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Mom bought this statue for me for my birthday.  The caption on the card that comes with it says

FREE to sing, laugh, dance... create!

Mom told me how much it reminded her of me.  I can't begin to tell you what it meant to me to hear that.  I have had some down times and haven't exactly felt that way, especially of late.  It was a reminder of how blessed I am with so many good things and I needed to focus on those things that made me happy.

We had a great time together.  I took a couple of days off to spend with her.  Mom and I sang show tunes together, created together, had some good laughs, ate good food, did a little bit of shopping and truly enjoyed each others company. 

I couldn't ask for a better Mom.  Thanks for the reminder of what is important.  Love Ya

Alley Berries

We live in an area of SLC that has several alley ways cutting through the standard city blocks.  As we navigate the alley's as we take Riley on his daily walks we find all kinds of interesting things.  Riley won't walk through the smushed apricots fallen to the ground (he gets that from Ralph)  There are now several people who come to their back yard fences asking how Riley is doing.  He sure makes friends everywhere he goes.  There are several dogs that also come to the backyard fence to say hi. 

One of our early discoveries was a huge patch of blackberries that were uncared for and nobody ever picked them.  Last year we just sampled everytime we walked by. 

This year, we decided to pick the berries so they didn't go to waste.  Mom was a great help.  The patch is full of thorns and it hasn't been pruned for quite some time, so we had to go digging for the berries. 

We have picked them twice and I imagine it is time to go again.  We got about two quarts the first time and about a quart the second time.  We froze most of them so we can make some freezer jam with them.  The second batch was used to make cobbler.  This recipe creates a buttery crisp, cakey topping that you just can't get enough of.

Not my picture, but it looks just like it.
Easy Berry Cobbler

1/4 C butter
1 Cup Flour
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Milk
2 tsp baking powder
2 Cups favorite fruit

Preheat oven to 375.  Melt butter in cobbler dish.  To make the batter, mix the next four ingredients together.  Add batter to the hot melted butter in the cobbler dish.  Do not stir.  Sprinkle fruit on top of batter.  Do not stir.
Bake at 375° for 30-40 minutes.
Serve warm with ice cream, whipped cream, or English custard.

A birthday wish come true

Mom reminded my that life begins at 40.  I wish she would have told me that two years ago. 

For several years, like a loving husbund should, Ralph asks me what I would like to do for my birthday.  I tell him a drive up the canyon to Heber or Kamas for a juicy hamburger, a great thick shake and a drive through the Uintahs.  I look forward to the quality time with Him and a good burger and fresh air.  Now to his credit  - some of those years it just wasn't feasible to do that.  But instead of the drive and burger I wished for, he has always invited his family over sometimes for dinner, but always for cake and ice cream and they spoil me with cards and gifts.
   Smiley from
I enjoy spending time with the family, but when this happens, I don't get to spent time with him because he is prepping for company.  The food and birthday cakes are always to die for yummy.  But it wasn't necessarily how I wanted to spend my birthday. 

This year I made him promise to do it my way, and he did.  I got a ride up the canyon, although I was expecting a more leisurely drive, the route he planned covered a lot of ground, so we didn't make a lot of stops.  The fresh air was great - especially considering SLC was in the red zone for air quality.  The scenery was so pretty.  Mom eventually asked as to close the windows because it got down to low 50's outside which was a bit too cold for her.

We stopped in Oakley at the Road Island Diner for dinner.  It was recommended by a friend, so I thought we would try it out.  The place has an interesting history and good food.  It is one of the original style diners manufactured in the 1930s.  It traveled all the way across the US to find a spot in Oakley UT.  If you get a chance...check it out.  My burger was just ok, but I didn't care because I was hanging with my favorite people away from the hum drum of life.   Mom and Ralph made better menu choices.  Definitely a place we will try again.

On the way back we stopped at Granny's Drive-in  in Heber for a shake.  My favorite is almond joy with fresh raspberries. (almonds, coconut, chocolate and berries)  Creamy, chunky, sweet goodness.

Here is to another year of birthday wishes coming true!


I can't believe it has been three + weeks since I last updated the blog. 

Two funerals, one wedding, and a house guest (one of my favorites) for a little over a week, a birthday and a few of lifes frustrations and I am exhausted. 

The garden is ripening very slowly.  We (meaning Ralph) just finished our first batch of cold pack tomatoes.  I hope it continues to stay warm enough to have enough produce ripen, so that we can put away more food storage for the winter months.

My Mom came for a visit and we had a great time together.
The first day we went to the farmers market in Pioneer Park.  The only other time Ralph and I went was when it was just starting.  My how things have changed.  The produce looked great and was reasonable priced.  In fact if our garden doesn't start producing we might have to resort to the market for some produce.  The market also had booths with...
*locally made cheeses of all kinds,
*locally grown beef, turkeys, pork, wild boar sausages, jerky
*several different local bakeries selling fresh pastries and breads,
*locally made, salsas, jams, harvested honey
*fresh flowers
*musicians (at least they thought they were)
*several booths with crafts, jewelry, art etc.

And we got to sample most of it.  We did come home with some of our favorites.  Some goat cheeses, a fresh salsa I couldn't get enough of , flavored olive oils, and some fresh bread and a pastry.  A very fun day!