Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Halloween Ya'll...

Well, there's nothing like Halloween to kick off the fall season. Rylee dressed up as a black cat this year. As you can see in the pictures we made sure that she was barely visible to anyone looking out for a tricker treater on the road. Those are some awesome parenting skills... Seriously, what were we thinking. Good thing I was walking with her. But the fur on that costume is slightly reflective...maybe. I'll be smarter next year. But she does make a very cute kitty.

The night before Halloween, we have a tradition of carving a pumpkin. Next year Rylee is going to attempt her own pumpkin... and I'm moving on to carving 3-D pumkins. After carving teeth all day, this was a nice break.

It took a while to convince Rylee to get her hands dirty, and even when she finally did, she kept going to the sink every five minutes to wash her hands. Every one who is close to me will completely understand where she gets this from.

This year she still wanted my help, and this is what we ended up with. She picked out the pattern, scooped out the guts and complained that it took me too long to carve it out. Typical.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fried Delacacies, Carnies and other stuff...

Last week we had the chance to attend the NC state fair. We didn't get to go last year for whatever reason, so this year was highly anticipated. I'm not sure how it is at the Utah fair these days, but out here, they like to fry everything...and candy bars are definitely at the top of the list of favorites. I also found fried pecan pie, fried PB & J, fried pickles, fried hamburgers, and the list goes on and on. AWESOME!!!
Here I am with one of the classics, the fried Snickers. But if Snickers isn't your thing, you can choose from, Milky Way, 3 Musketeers, Oreo's, and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. The trick with these is just not to look at it as your eating it. The inside is melted and brings back memories of changing diapers.
Looks like a corn dog...but don't let that fool ya. This is one of the un-natural wonders of the world.

Rylee and I had fun playing in the UNC tv cut outs. Oh, by the way, Rachael was with us at the fair but somehow escaped all of our pictures, she usually ends up taking all of the pictures. Probably because her camera skills are better than mine.

As soon as we told Rylee we were going to the fair the first thing she said was that she was going to get some cotton candy. So here ya go for all of you who think we don't let Rylee have any sugar...a stick with nothing but sugar just for her.

Rylee was so excited this year because she was tall enough (aka 42") to ride the all (kiddie) rides by herself.

She's so smart too! Here she hurried to the front of this roller coaster so she could have the best seat on the ride.

And this was her reaction every time a ride ended and we told her she had to leave the ride. I can't really blame her, the rides are pretty short!

And finally! What do Carnies do for fun? Well, we know from the Simpson's that Carnies are clever folks. This Carnie has figured out how to draw huge crowds for racing his barn animals. Hogway Racing Pigs was a lot of fun to watch. But my favorite part was watching how much people were getting into it was a Nascar race or something.
Here are the pigs racing around the track. They were actually really fast.
My favorite was watching the ducks race. I had no idea you could teach ducks to race around a track. Apparently, I really need to get out more.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I stumbled across a great blog the other day which I thought I would share. It is called A Year of Crockpotting. The author has been using her crockpot everyday in 2008 and blogging about it. Check it out! She has some great recipes for Fall. Her pictures/recipes are mouthwatering and have definitely made me want to pull out my crockpot more often.

Also, here is the whole wheat bread recipe that I have been using that I learned from my friend Wanda Molnar. I wanted to be sure to mention her name so as not take credit for it, but I did have a few people who were interested in having the recipe:

100% Whole Wheat Bread

2 2/3 cups lukewarm water
2 tablespoons baker's yeast
2 tablespoons gluten (look for "vital wheat gluten" in the bakery isle if this is an unfamiliar ingredient to you)
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup honey
6-7 cups whole wheat flour (which is about 4 cups whole wheat, ground into flour)

Put all ingredients together in bowl. Knead in Kitchen Aid for 5 minutes or by hand for 20. Let rise, approximately 15 minutes. While the bread is rising, grease two bread pans. When dough almost doubles in bulk, form into 2 loaves (assuming you are using 1 pound loaf pans). Let dough rise in pans. While dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350. When bread has risen 20 minutes or about 1" above the pans (this is where having the right size pan matters) bake for 40 minutes. After baking, brush the tops of the bread with butter or oil (optional...I omit this step). Enjoy!

The thing I like about this recipe is that the gluten makes a softer, less crumbly loaf. It also freezes well (I freeze it unsliced). Also, the rising time is super only takes 1 hour tops from when I mix the first two ingredients and when I am putting it in the oven. Might sound too good to be true...but it works, trust me! And since the rising time is so short the dough does not need to be covered or oiled. All things I like...but what I love is the taste!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Saturday, October 4, 2008


When I finally recovered from the morning sickness phase of this pregnancy and began cooking again, I decided I wanted to learn how to make bread. I took an enrichment class, tried multiple different recipes (white, half wheat-half white, 100% whole wheat), spent time searching U-Tube for different demonstrations on how to knead, using a kitchen aid mixer, how to shape the loaf, what temperature the water should be, etc. To say the least, making bread was not something that came natural to me, but I was determined to figure it out and incorporate it into our weekly routine. Finally, I spent a morning with a friend at church who makes bread for her family (including 4 kids) every week. And just like that...success! I love her recipe! It is 100% whole wheat (which I grind at my mom's house) and very tasty! I would dare say it is easy (compare to other recipes I have tried anyways). So now it is my personal goal to eliminate store bought bread and make my own bread once a week. We will see how it goes, but nothing is more motivating than the smell and taste of warm homemade bread! Yum!