30 November 2011

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Tim loves homemade chicken noodle soup.  I do all...never have...probably never will.  However, because my awesome hubby enjoys it so much and since its winter, I decided to make some for him today.  It's my Dad's recipe, which means there's not really a recipe, but I'll tell you what I did and maybe it will make sense?

Yesterday, I boiled a package of about 10 chicken thighs in water, seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and a couple of bay leaves.  I boiled the chicken for about 3+ hours and added water as necessary to make the broth.  Then, I separated the chicken from the broth and put it all in the refrigerator.

This morning, I skimmed all of the fat off of the broth and poured it into the crock pot.  Tim, because he knows how disgusted I get when I have to deal with chicken on bones, shredded the chicken into the broth.  I peeled and sliced up about 10 carrots and put them in the broth.  I also added a package of frozen corn from our garden, as well as some leftover broccoli from dinner the other night.  This hung out in the crockpot for about 9 hours.

With about an hour left, I added a package of egg noodles and a package of frozen peas.  Then, I let it finish cooking.  The above picture is the final product.  I will eat it.  I'm sure we'll have it for dinner again tomorrow night.  Tim loves it and it looks pretty so I guess it's a keeper. 

Oh, and Tim tried my Dad's homemade chicken noodle soup and said it was DELICIOUS.  Mine doesn't measure up but is still tasty.  Let me know if you make it and what you think!  You can also share any tips because I'm certainly not an expert at the soup making business.

29 November 2011

Awesome Killer Dreadmill Workout

The other day, I came across some new dreadmill workouts from Triathlete magazine, so today, I finally got motivated to try one of them.  Of course, I modified it because while I was running, I realized I needed to be successful and not discouraged.  So, this is what I did.

5 min warmup
5 min @ 10K pace
5 min @ 5K pace
2 min @ 5% incline
3 min recovery
2 min @ 6% incline
3 min recovery
2 min @ 7% incline
3 min recovery *At this point, I was supposed to start the incline at 6%...I stayed at 5%.
2 min @ 5% incline
3 min recovery
2 min @ 6% incline
3 min recovery
2 min @ 7% incline
3 min recovery
10 min @ increasing speed each min
5 min cooldown *Except I did some strides and finished with 2 min of sprinting.

I finished 5.25 miles.  My average heart rate was 169 and I maxed out at 182.  Definitely a great workout.  I've decided that dreadmills are much more bearable when I do intervals.

Oh and the picture...LOVE IT!  I'm pretty sure this is the form of a hippo!  :)

25 November 2011

The Putrid Coconut

Yesterday, I blogged about my new pumpkin pie recipe.  See here.  I mentioned that I bought a whole coconut to use for the "shaved coconut" that tops the pie.  I also said that we would have my dad open it since he's an expert.  However, when Tim read that in my blog, he decided to look up videos on youtube about how to open a coconut.  By the way, there are some interesting ways to open a involved using your teeth.

We did not use our teeth, but hit Tim the Tool Man's tool box for a hammer and screwdriver.  First, we poked holes in the "eyes" of the coconut.  This should have been a clue when we didn't smell that yummy sweet coconut milk.  It was a tiny bit smelly.  I haven't opened a coconut before, so I thought, "hey, maybe that's what it's supposed to smell like."

We poked out all three "eyes" and then let the coconut water drain out.  It smelled a little like coconut but not so much.  Even Kona wasn't that interested in it.

After the coconut water was drained out, Tim started tapping around the outside of the coconut.  Apparently, this tapping is supposed to make the coconut crack open into two halves.

Unfortunately, we did not get two halves...  The skin of the coconut peeled right off, which is absolutely not supposed to happen.  It smelled horrid...disgusting...foul...  And yet, Tim still thought, maybe the coconut is good in the middle.  So he sliced it open.  That was when we hit putrid.  Both of us were gagging and dry heaving. 

I was frantically trying to find a plastic bag to put the putrid coconut in so it could be disposed of.  I'm pretty sure our trash can will smell like putrid coconut all winter long.

So, needless to say, we did not have coconut on our ginger pumpkin pie.  I also learned that apparently, you can't trust a coconut to be fresh and yummy.  Oh, and that rotten coconuts smell absolutely AWFUL. 

24 November 2011

Ginger Pumpkin Pie with Toasted Coconut

When I got my November issue of Cooking Light magazine and saw a picture of this pie on the cover, I knew I would have to try it for Thanksgiving.  So, last night, after a super busy day, I made the pie...and burned the crust sort of badly.  

So, this morning, since Tim had to start work at 6am, I headed to the store to buy another pie plate and some fresh ginger to make pie #2.

We did eat pie #1 for breakfast this morning and I think  this recipe is a winner.  I couldn't find shaved coconut at the store, so this is how I decided to address that.

Yes, that is a whole coconut.  I have no idea how to open it or deal with it or anything, so I'll be taking this over to my parents house so that my dad can help me.

Anyways, here's the recipe.  Enjoy!

1/4 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 T. grated peeled fresh ginger (Tim suggested using a potato peeler to peel and it worked great!)
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. allspice
2 large eggs
1 (15 oz) can of pumpkin
1 (14 oz) can of fat-free sweetened condensed milk
1/2 package of refrigerated pie dough (I used Pillsbury)
1/2 cup flaked or shaved, sweetened coconut toasted

1.  Preheat oven to 375.
2.  Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth.
3.  Roll dough into an 11-inch circle; fit into a 9-inch pie plate.  Fold edges under and flute.  **I didn't have to roll the dough and I had no idea how to "flute" the edges, but I think whatever I did turned out kind of pretty.**
4.  Pour pumpkin mixture into prepared crust.  Place pie plate on a baking sheet.  Place baking sheet on lowest oven rake.  Bake at 375 for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from baking sheet; cool 1 hour on a wire rack.  Refrigerate 2 hours or until chilled.  Sprinkle coconut over pie.  **I will make some whipped cream to go on top as well.**

A Grateful Heart

Today, I got to wake up early and think about all of the many, many things I've been blessed with in my life.  I'm so grateful that we have the opportunity to celebrate Thanksgiving and take one day out of the year to focus on all of the "stuff" we've been blessed with.  The other night, Tim and I were talking and I asked him to list the top 3 things he's grateful for.  To be fair, I thought I would post mine no particular order.

I'm so grateful for my husband.  He has brought so much MORE to my life.  I'm grateful that we get to do all sorts of fun things and that we truly get to live life!  I'm grateful for all of his love and support in all that I do.  I'm grateful for his hard work and that I get to spend so much time with him.  I'm grateful for his patience with me and I love him more each and every day.

I'm grateful for my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I'm grateful for the spirit that we have in our home.  I'm grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ.  I'm grateful that we are led by a prophet, President Thomas S. Monson and that we receive such amazing counsel and blessings.  I'm grateful for my testimony and for the scriptures.

I'm grateful for my family.  I'm pretty sure that I have the very best family in the whole world.  I'm grateful that I get to be a stepmom to Kyra and Rylan.  I'm grateful that we get to spend so much time with them and for all of the joy and excitement and stress they bring into my life.  I'm so grateful for my parents and for all they have done for me and all they continue to do for me.  I'm grateful for my brothers and sisters-in-law and all of my cute nieces and nephews.  I'm so grateful that I get to be an aunt.
I'm grateful for the life I get to lead each and every day.  I'm grateful for all of the adventures I get to have.  I'm grateful to live where I live and to be able to enjoy all of the beautiful creations around me.  I'm grateful for my body that is healthy and strong that allows me to do all of the fun stuff I love to do. 
I'm grateful for the challenges, trials, and hard things in life.  I'm grateful for the strength that I develop through them.  I'm grateful for the personality traits that I've been given that allow me to endure my specific trials.  I'm grateful for my desire to challenge myself and for the drive and determination that is in me.

Those are just a few of the things that I'm grateful for.  I hope you all have a grateful day and enjoy the feast!

23 November 2011

The Christmas Lights are Up!

Today was the day the Christmas lights went up at our house! Of course, Kona had to supervise.  Tim even got him to climb the ladder. 
 We only had to use 2 strands this year, so we actually have an extra stand that we're trying to figure out what to do with it.
We also hung my awesome wreath.  This took a couple of tries because we kept changing our minds on where exactly we wanted the wreath to be.  I'm debating on a ribbon for the wreath, but I'm thinking that maybe I should just leave it sort of rustic looking to go with my super cool reindeer.  Oh...the reindeer will be going out least one of them will be on the porch.
 Maybe we should use this as our Christmas card photo?!
We also had to adjust the cord for the wreath because the first attempt made the wreath look square.  I'm pretty sure wreaths are not meant to be square.
 I'm pretty sure that the highlight of Kona's day was finding this tiny ball in one of the planting beds.  He brought it in the house and was flipping it all over the place. This was before I got the house all cleaned up, but I'm sure the cute tiny soccer ball will make an appearance tomorrow.

P.S.  The Christmas lights will not be turned on until tomorrow night...  :)

16 November 2011


I have been struggling with motivation lately...especially in my workouts.  I don't know what the deal is.  It seems like a constant struggle to talk myself into working out.  Usually I feel pretty good after a workout, but lately, I've just felt more tired.  I can TOTALLY relate to this comic.

This morning, while I was lying in bed, catching up on Facebook, I found some motivation.  I'm "friends" with Siri Lindley, who is a phenomenal triathlete coach.  I've never met Siri Lindley, but I have read alot about her and have been totally impressed by her coaching abilities.  I love the athletes she coaches and I love the positive energy she sends out.  Each morning, she posts some inspirational quotes.  When I come across one that I like, I write it down. 

However, this morning, her quote got me out of bed and into my workout clothes and I even got a workout done.  Here's the quote:

"Don't wait until everything is just right. 
It will never be perfect.  
There will always be challenges, obstacles, and less than perfect conditions.  
So what.  
Get started now.  
With each step you take, 
you will grow stronger and stronger, 
more and more skilled, 
more and more self-confident, 
and more and more successful." 
~Mark Victor Hansen

How could this statement not motivate you?!

I often find myself waiting until all of the stars are aligned and everything is perfect with no distractions and everything going my way before I start working towards my goals.  It's not that I don't want to, I just want "stuff" to be in place so that I can be successful.  But, this quote reminded me of something I already know.  Life will NEVER be perfect. I need to just get my butt in gear and start kicking it.

Now, if I can just remember this tomorrow morning...

14 November 2011

The Giant Reindeer Project

Two Saturdays ago, Tim and I made our giant reindeer prototype.  See here.  Because we liked it so much, and because we heard alot of great comments about how cool the giant reindeer was, we decided that we would try our hand at building and selling these steel reindeer.

On Friday morning, we decided to paint the prototype.  I chose a color called "antique oiled brass."  Tim was skeptical, but it turned out awesome.  Before we could paint, we had to clean the reindeer off with alcohol and then prime it.  Of course, Kona had to supervise.  I did put him in the house before we started the painting because I really didn't want paint paw prints all over my carpet.

After the primer went on and dried, we painted it the "antique oiled brass."  It is a dark brown with gold metallic in it.  I'm typically not a gold person, ever, but I think the shimmer in the paint really adds to the color.  I'm a fan and my reindeer will definitely be painted this color.

Once the reindeer was dry, we took it outside to see how it would look.  I'm pretty sure it looks fabulous, but I'm also completely and totally biased.

While we were having lunch at one of our favorite places, The Italian Place here in Logan, we spoke with owner about putting a couple of our steel reindeer in the restaurant and trying to sell them.  They said, "Of course" and also suggested that we put the reindeer in the local gallery walk on December 2.

So, last Saturday, we went back to IPACO and bought the steel to make six sturdy giant reindeer.  We spent the afternoon building two of these reindeer.

This morning, we sanded, primed, painted, and laquered the reindeer and now they're sitting in the garage drying.


Tomorrow morning, they're headed to the Italian Place to hang out for a few weeks with hopes that we can build even more super cool steel reindeer.  If you're interested in purchasing one, or a pair, let me know and we can definitely have a conversation about it!  Oh, and if you have any suggestions about how to make the giant reindeer cooler or fancier or a way to sell/market them more, please let me know!

10 November 2011

The Ogden Half Marathon! We're In!

I woke up at 5:55am this morning to register Tim, Kyra, and I for the Ogden 1/2 Marathon in May.  This is one of my very favorite races and I'm totally excited because this will be Tim and Kyra's first 1/2 marathon.  Oh, and our friends Tom and Andrea and KeniaAnn and even my mom are signing up.  What a fun day we will have! 

08 November 2011

Reunited...And It Feels So Good?!

Oscar and the trainer have been reunited.  I guess that's one of the joys of living in a place that has an actual winter...with snow and super cold temperatures.  Plus, I'm a total fairweather rider, so I've spent many a winters day and sometimes a spring and fall and even summer day on the trainer.

Today, I felt like riding, but I also wanted a serious leg-burner, so here's what I came up with.

5 min warm-up  -  easy spinning
5 min weights - 1 min each of squats, alternating lunges, dead lifts with 15lb dumbbells, side squats and plie squats
5 min pedaling hard in my big ring
5 min weights - same as above
5 min pedaling hard in my big ring
5 min weights - same as above
5 min pedaling harder in my big ring
5 min weights - same as above
5 min pedaling harder in my big ring
5 min weights - same as above
5 min pedaling in my big ring and smallest rear ring - hardest work
5 min cooldown with one-legged pedaling drills

My legs are toast.  In fact, I had a HARD time walking up the stairs after the workout was over.  However, it was an awesome workout.  I burned 694 calories and my average heart rate was 158.  I maxed out at 174.  I may have to try this workout again.

07 November 2011

"Treading" #2

Since I had such a great run doing the "treading" workout, I decided I would hit the treadmill and see how today went.  I also thought maybe I should write down these workouts to see if I have any improvements.  Here's how the "treading" went down today.

5 min @ 11:32 min/mile
5 min @ 10:31 min/mile
5 min @ 11:32 min/mile
4 min @10:00 min/mile
4 min @ 11:32 min/mile
3 min @ 9:27 min/mile
3 min @ 11:32 min/mile
2 min @ 0\8:57 min/mile
2 min @ 11:32 min/mile
30 sec @ 8:31 min/mile
30 sec @ 8:00 min/mile
1 min standing on the edge of the treadmill taking deep breaths and keeping the puke down
2 min @ 12:00 min/mile (trying super hard to stop dry heaving)
1 min @ 11:32 min/mile
1 min @ 11:00 min/mile
1 min @ 12:00 min/mile

I ran for 40 min.  I burned 490 calories.  My average heartrate was 164 bpm. I ran 3.?? miles on the treadmill.  Darn it...why can't I remember. So, how does that compare to last time?  My warmup and cooldown and recovery times were at 11:32 pace instead of 12:00 pace. I'm pretty sure that my distance was longer this time.  My last interval and first intervals were not as fast.  I'm wondering if that's a difference from a first thing in the morning run to an early evening run. 

Anyways, that run is in the books.  Now, I just need to convince some of my running buddies that this is a fantastic workout!

A Monday in the Life of a Trophy Wife

I should probably explain the "trophy wife" in the title...I think being a housewife sounds so dull and drab and boring.  Trophy wife sounds WAY better and definitely more when people ask what I do, I tell them that I'm Tim's trophy wife.  Of course that comment gets all sorts of looks, but I'm amused by it.  Anyways, on to my Monday.

Mondays are always super busy for me.  I do that to myself on purpose.  I prefer to get all of my cleaning, laundry, errands, tasks, duties, etc etc etc done on Monday so that I have the rest of the week to hang out with Tim and to do whatever other stuff comes up. 

Here's what I've done today:

-Read my scriptures
-Worked on my lesson for Sunday
-Made oatmeal for breakfast.  Tim cleaned up breakfast so he gets lots of gold stars and lovin for that.
-Unloaded and loaded the dishwasher.
-Took the dog out to do his "business"
-Went over my calendar for the week
-Took the dog out to do his "business"
-Got ready for errands
-Went with Tim to Lowe's to buy paint for our reindeer project.
-Went with Tim to his dad's house to work on the welder.
-Went to Praxair with Tim to get parts for the welder.
-Checked out my mom's thumb since she's injured.
-Ate some of my dad's yummy pineapple.
-Took the dog out to do his "business"
-Ate lunch with Tim.
-Started the laundry

-Used the lady drill to unclog the shower drain.  I joked with Tim that it may be time for me to cut my hair.  He said absolutely not.
-Cleaned and mopped the bathroom.
-Cleaned and mopped the kitchen. Decided not to "restore" the floor since it takes 24 hours to be completely dry.  Who has time to not use their kitchen for 24 hours???
-Dusted, vacuumed and cleaned the ceiling fan in my bedroom.
-Worked on the laundry.
-Took the dog out to do his business.
-Worked on my blog while waiting for the kitchen floor to dry.

I still have 3 more loads of laundry to do, a workout to get done, a floor to "restore", dog school with Kona, and make dinner for my cute husband.  Oh and we need to do FHE.  Like I said, Mondays are busy, but hey...I'll take one busy day if that means the rest of the week goes smoother.

Happy Monday!

05 November 2011

The Giant Reindeer

When Tim and I were engaged, I went shopping after Christmas and found these amazing reindeer on sale and brought them home.  They're great for the house, but I knew that I needed some giant reindeer for my porch.  Last year, we didn't even consider making the giant reindeer.  But this year...well, I guess this is the year of the reindeer.

Earlier this week, I mentioned to Tim that I would like some reindeer for our porch.  He said he would help me, if I came up with the plan and if they weren't too expensive.  So, I began figuring out what I wanted and I also started figuring out materials and cost and design and lots of other stuff. 

On Friday, Tim and I headed to IPACO to buy our steel.  We got to make an exciting drive with 7 pieces of 20 ft steel strapped to the top of the cruiser.  We dropped off the steel at my father in law's place and then Tim worked on the welder.  I also discovered that wearing a welding hood doesn't work for me AT ALL due to my big mop of hair, as well as my claustrophobia. 

This morning, Tim and I headed out to make our reindeer prototype.  First, we had to measure and cut out our pieces.  Once the pieces were cut out, there was grinding, welding, bending, welding, shaping, welding and decision-making.
After 2 hours of fun, this is what we ended up with.  I LOVE it!  I can't wait to put it, and it's buddy out on my porch.  Of course, I need to take a better picture of it...after I prime and paint it.

We have one more deer to make for our porch, a set for my parents for Christmas, and we'll even have a pair to sell.  We haven't decided on a price yet, but I hope someone will think they're as cool as I do and will want to buy them.  Hey, maybe I've found my new calling in life... 

Chocolate Chip Dutch Baby

When I was flipping through my cookbook, I saw this recipe and knew that Rylan would LOVE this for breakfast.  I also knew that I wouldn't like it...mostly because I have a very vivid memory of ordering chocolate chip pancakes, shaped like Mickey Mouse, when I was six years old at Disneyland.  My parents kept saying, "You won't eat it...You won't like it," and yet, I just had to have the disgusting mound of pancakes filled with chocolate chips, and covered with whipped cream, chocolate chips, chocolate syrup and probably a cherry.  Of course, my parents were absolutely correct. I didn't eat the chocolate chip Mickey Mouse pancakes.  Anyways, I digress...

So, yes, when I saw this recipe, I knew I would have to make it for Rylan.  When Tim and I woke up this morning, we decided he would try to make german pancakes (that didn't work out so well) and I would make the chocolate chip dutch baby.  The recipe was a roaring success with the kids.  I didn't try it.  Tim said it was too sweet.  I think we'll try it again, but use berries.

Here's the recipe if you're interested!

3/4 c. 2% milk
1/2 c. flour
2 T. sugar
1/4 t. salt
2 large eggs
2 T. butter, divided
1/3 c. chocolate chips
3 large bananas, sliced diagonally
1/2 c. whipped topping

1.  Preheat oven to 450.
2.  Place a 9-inch cast iron skillet in the oven for 15 minutes.  Combine the first 5 ingredients; stir with a whisk until smooth.  Melt 1 T. butter in preheated pan until browned, swirling to evenly coat the pan.  Add batter; sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips.  Bake at 450 for 10 minutes or until puffed and brown.
3.  Serve with sliced bananas and whipped cream.

**The kids said they were very use your judgement with the chocolate chips.  Also, Tim did say that eggs with chocolate chips in them weren't great...I have no idea what that means, but maybe this is just a kid recipe.

Anyways, let me know if you try this and what you think!

The First Snowfall of the Winter

This past week, we kept hearing that we would have a snowstorm this weekend.  Sometimes I'm disappointed when they say "storm" and it's only a tiny bit of snow.  This time, there was no disappointment.

We had our first snowfall last night.  There was snow on the ground this morning when we woke up.  There was even a little snow on the sidewalks.  Let the winter fun and reindeer games begin!