Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Baby Puff Pancakes

These may just be the cutest things you ever eat. :)

Puff pancakes, German pancakes, etc....whatever you call them, they are yummy. These are made in a muffin tin, but if you like you can cook the batter in a 9-inch glass pie plate instead. Just cut into wedges to serve.

Baby Puff Pancakes
2/3 c. flour
3/4 c. milk
2 large eggs
1/8 t. salt
1 T. sugar
1 t. vanilla
zest of half a lemon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place a 12-cup muffin tin in the oven to heat up. (Don't spray it first!) Put all batter ingredients in your blender and blend on high for 2-3 minutes til light and well-mixed. Remove hot muffin tin from the oven and either spray with nonstick spray or put a little butter in each one to melt. Pour batter equally into the cups. They should be about 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until browned and puffed. Remove from tin at once and put them on a wire rack so they don't get soggy. Great with jam, syrup or powdered sugar....or all of the above. :) Enjoy!!

Friday, April 26, 2013

{I like it better than Cafe Rio} Slow Cooker Sweet Pork

Today I have another delicious recipe for you. This week I haven't cooked anything but new recipes, and this was one of them. If you like Cafe Rio pork, you'll like this. And if you don't like Cafe Rio pork, you will still love this recipe. {I do not really like the Cafe Rio pork, because it's too sweet for my taste, but I LOVE this}. Give it a try. You can't beat another slow cooker easy recipe.

Slow Cooker Sweet Pork
adapted from The Sisters Dish

3-4 pound pork loin roast
2 liter bottle Coke
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. water
garlic salt
20 oz. can mild red enchilada sauce
4 oz. can chopped green chilies
2 T. brown sugar

At least two hours before cooking (or even overnight) put the pork loin roast in a large ziploc bag. Mix together 1/2 cup brown sugar, and about 2-3 cups of the Coke. Pour over the roast and let it marinate.

After marinading, pour off the liquid and put the pork into your slow cooker. Sprinkle it liberally with garlic salt. Add 1/3 cup water and 2/3 cup Coke. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Remove roast from slow cooker and drain off the liquid. Using two forks, shred the pork. Put shredded pork back into the slow cooker and stir in 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, the green chilies, and most of the can of enchilada sauce. Stir in up to another 1/2  cup of Coke to make the pork the consistency you like. You don't want it too saucy. Continue to cook for another 1-2 hours on low. Serve in tortillas as pork tacos, or roll up into burritos, or make your own Cafe Rio sweet pork salad. Delicious!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Baked Chicken Chimichangas

Hey everyone!

Here's a delicious, easy-peasy dinner idea for you. The filling in these chimichangas is spicy without being too spicy, and melted butter on the tortillas makes them crispy and flaky. Delicious!!

Baked Chicken Chimichangas
3 10 oz. cans white meat chicken
1 15 oz. jar salsa--your favorite
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried cilantro
1/2 t. onion salt
1/2 t. garlic salt
1/2 t. dried oregano
1 1/2 c. shredded Colby Jack cheese
16 flour tortillas
4 T. butter, melted
1/2 c. shredded cheddar or Colby Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combined drained chicken, salsa and spices. Stir in shredded cheese. Warm the tortillas in the microwave for 30 seconds on high. Put a rounded 1/4 cup of chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla. Fold in opposite sides, and then roll up. Place folded sides down on a large greased baking sheet. Brush each chimi with melted butter.  Bake for 25 minutes or until golden. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheese over top of chimichangas and bake for an additional 3-4 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve topped with sour cream and chopped avocado or guacamole.

The beauty of this recipe is its variability. Use cooked, shredded chicken breasts instead of canned chicken if you have time. Add black beans if you like. Try it with whole wheat tortillas. The possibilities are endless.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

72 hour kits--circa 1957

When you help clean out your in-law's house, which they built in 1966 and spent the rest of their lives in, you never know what you might find lurking in dark corners.

Behold, the 1957 Perma-Pak Survival Kit.

All I really have to say is that the 1957 concept of  "perma" packing something was not what it is today. Not by a long shot. I'll let you just imagine how well the food stuffs were preserved in that thing...Not as bad as you might think, but kinda smelly.

It's interesting to see how times change, isn't it?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Do redheads (a.k.a gingers) have more fun??

This one definitely is.

Now, you can judge me if you want for coloring my kid's hair--that's okay--but here's the story. Mia, as I posted back here, played Ariel in her school's production of The Little Mermaid Jr. A red wig was brought in for her to wear, but according to her, it was "HIDEOUS!" The directors agreed with her. The idea was given to dye Mia's hair red using the wash-in, wash-out foam. Trouble is, the hair has to be soaked in conditioner first, and this would have to have been done before every performance.

I figured that would be a pain in the butt. So we used a semi-permanent hair color instead. (One that gradually washes out over 6 weeks or so). It's L'Oreal Healthy Look 6R Reddish Brown to be exact. And it turned out better than I imagined. She has had TONS of compliments.

Fast forward to the day after her Ariel gig ended. She had an audition for Fiddler on the Roof at the big community theater in our area, and of course, her hair was still red.

I turned in a BLONDE headshot. I wondered about the red hair in comparison to the headshot, but not for long. Because she scored a callback. This happened during the time Jeff's dad got really sick and went to the hospital. A few days later, he'd been put on hospice care, and we got a call that Mia was offered the role of Bielke, Tevye's youngest daughter!! This was such a huge bright spot in an otherwise very difficult week. It gave Jeff a lot of happiness and really brightened up his entire week--that can't be understated.

Monday night of this week, Mia had her first Fiddler cast meeting, where she was introduced with the oldest sister as "our two redheads!!" with great excitement by the director. I sat there and thought, "Uh oh." I told the director Mia is really blonde, and she was surprised. She said Mia is "an adorable redhead."

She was cast as a redhead, and blonde is a no-go. You know what they say about "look" being a big part of casting? It's true.

Of course, we are not giving up the role of Bielke--so the red is here to stay until Fiddler is over in July. Miss Mia is not unhappy about it, either.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

INSPIRE MY LIFE: Conference for Women

Hey, Utah ladies! (Or within reasonable distance to St. George)

There is a new FREE conference for women THIS weekend, Saturday, April 13th, down at Dixie State University campus! The Inspire My Life conference focuses on helping women inspire change in themselves and each other, through great classes and music performances.

In conjunction with this event, you can help women who are battling domestic abuse by donating to The Dove Center. Donations can be either money or your extra jewelry. Help women who've been affected by domestic and/or sexual abuse by donating. All donations of either kind will help support The Dove Center and its programs.

Remember, it's free to register, and the artists and presenters include musician Charley Jenkins, Katherine Nelson and Vicky Pahnke Taylor.

The 999th person to register at www.InspireMyLife.com will win a Girlfriend's Getaway for two to the Green Valley Spa in St. George!! This is an awesome prize which includes an overnight stay, all meals and snacks, guided hikes, and a 50 minute massage. Don't miss your chance to win by registering for the free Inspire My Life conference for women.

For more information about this event, visit the Inspire My Life website or Facebook page.

Enjoy a video clip of Katherine Nelson:

Life, Death & Love

 Last week was spent dealing with matters of life and death, and only that. Everything boiled down to taking care of necessities, and my blog didn't make the cut.

You see, Jeff's dad was on his way out of our lives. Not for forever, because we know we'll see him again someday, but for long enough. All goodbyes are hard--and this was no exception. We spent our days and nights taking care of Dad, taking care of our kids, and taking care of whatever practicalities demanded. Like food. {I admit the grocery situation got pretty low before I finally made the world's fastest Costco run}.

Yesterday was the funeral. Aside from a lot of rain, it was perfect. {I know some people would say even the rain was perfect}. Somehow rain seems fitting when you are laying a loved one to rest. There was a quote given during the funeral which I thought was so lovely. "To take the sorrow out of death, we'd have to take the love out of life."

So grateful for love in my life, and for a father-in-law who was caring and appreciative of me from the start.