Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Perfectly Provident and All Children's

All Children's Furniture is a store specializing in children's products. From toddler beds to toys, they have tons of great products to choose from, and right now you can win one of those great products over at Perfectly Win a Step 2 Flip and Doodle Easel Desk with Stool! There are multiple ways to enter. Hurry - ends July 31, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

Movie night - Popcorn Delight

Growing up we had popcorn every Friday night. My grandmother would pop some kernels in a pan with a bit of oil and some salt and "voila" we had the treat of all treats - POPCORN! She would then turn on the TV and we would munch while watching Love Boat, Fantasy Island or shhhhh! don't tell anyone "The Dukes of Hazzard". Popcorn became a must have treat for a night of favorite TV. I think I have tried it with everything....cheese, brown sugar and butter to create a carmel, caro syrup, and my least favorite of all butter. But never in all my experimenting did I find an ingredient that complimented popcorn quite so well as I did Friday night. See we love chocolate with our popcorn and even better chocolate covered raisans so my three year old and I concocted what you see below.

Chocolate Popcorn and Raisan Delight

Chocolate Covered Popcorn Explosion

Chocolate Popcorn and Raisan Delight or Chocolate Covered Popcorn Explosion
Popcorn - as much or as little as you desire
3 squares of Chocolate almond bark
Raisans - I used golden (no raisans in the explosion)
Rainbow sprinkles (I didn't use sprinkles with the raisan delight)

Make the popcorn as directed on the package and pour popped corn in serving dish. Sprinkle with raisans and toss. Melt the squares for 1 min and stir and then continue to melt at 30 second intervals until smooth. Drizzle chocolate over popcorn (use as much or as little as desired) for explosion add sprinkles and let chocolate dry. Then eat to your heart's content!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

"We are family"

left to right - Miss Livvy, Lilah, Chancey, Zeke (in Chancey's Lap), Joaquin and Abe

Here are some highlights from our overnighter!

Joaquin awoke Thursday morning shouting with joy, "My Cousins are coming, My cousins are coming!" He was beside himself with anticipation.

A few short hours later Abe ran enthusiastically into our home and announced "I love this place". I thought, me too Abe especially when you are visiting!

And the fun began...Lehi pool, twirling chairs, Webkins named Custard and Jo Jo, Oquirrah Temple, laughter, fears of gators and crocs, tacos, cookie dough and cookies and cream ice cream, cannon balls, more laughter, super dark scarey slides (at least for aunt Karmen), bloody nose and lip from a super hero like jump with a twist, bedtime book, bedtime puppy story told by Livvy to Abe and Joaquin, more laughter, lazy river, super hero duels, some sleep, cleaning, cranberry juice, Power Rangers, gummies, 100 degree weather, Scooby Dooby Dooo Where are you?, lime green and pink toothbrush, yummy bubble gum toothpaste, baths, "just a little bit more comfortable in the water" (emphasis on the little), night lights, dreams, hopes, fears and lots more laughter.
We miss them already!!! Thanks to Matt & Cayr for sending their sunshine our way!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Broccoli Salad

As I was searching for a good salad for a recent pot luck I rediscovered this recipe among my sister's "tried and trues". It is quick and easy and tastes like it took you all day to make. It is always a hit wherever we take it. Sorry it doesn't have a picture but it got gobbled up before I could find my camera. I will make it again soon and add a picture.

Broccoli Salad
Recipe courtesy of Sonia Goodwin and Caprece Curtis

Salad Ingredients:
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 3 heads of broccoli chopped
  • 8 oz of shredded mozzarella cheese (2 cups)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of cooked or pre-cooked bacon (I always use pre-cooked...hate what cooking bacon does for the smell of my kitchen)
Dressing Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 TBS apple cider vinegar
Mix the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. In a medium bowl mix the salad ingredients and toss. *2 hours before serving pour dressing over salad and toss again making sure to cover salad well. Place in refrigerator until ready to serve.
*Although it is better if you let it marinade in the dressing for 2 hours, it tastes perfectly wonderful marinading only for 30 minutes.

Ensalada de Rabanos - Radish Salad - Chilean Style

Recipe below serves 3-4.

Rabanos chilenos or Radish salad
This little root veggie is very under appreciated and I didn't discover this til I married a man from a country that champions the radish in their recipes. The taste is uniquely wonderful leaving your mouth tingling for more.

1 bunch of radishes washed and quartered
juice of one lemon/lime
salt to taste

Mix the above ingredients and allow to marinate for about 20 minutes before serving.

Pico de gallo

This is one of those must have recipes because it can be served with everything...kind of like the avocado. I put it with eggs for breakfast, chips, tacos (of course), carne asada, and salmon - YUMMY, just to mention a few. You can spice it up to the heat your mouth can handle- me - I like it HOT! HOT! HOT!
The recipe below serves 4.

Pico de gallo mexicano
2 tomatoes or 2 cups of cherry tomatoes chopped
1/2 of a medium onion chopped (we prefer white)
1 1/2 lemon or lime juiced
1 TBS chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 jalapeno or cerrano chile chopped (with or with seeds depending on how hot you like it)

Mix above ingredients and salt to taste.

Avocado Chileno

I honestly believe Avocado can make so very many things taste better. It doesn't hurt that they are super rich in vitamins and nutrients including the "good fat". I have included this recipe with our Taco meal but it can be eaten with sandwiches, chips, toast and cheese for breakfast or whatever your taste buds imagine.
The recipe below serves 2-3.

Avocado Chileno
juice of 1 lemon or lime (we prefer the lime though both are yummy)
salt to taste

Slice avocado and place on serving dish. Squeeze lemon juice over and salt to taste. This recipe can be varied by adding very thinly sliced onion before you cover with lemon. You can also add cilantro, tomato and onion together with the avocado for a guacamole salad. Lime is superb with this as well.

Arroz Nicaraguense - Nicaraguan Rice

I am blessed to call friend one of the most wonderful cooks I have ever known . She is from Nicaragua and seriously can take anything and make it taste like heaven. She taught me how to make the rice and the beans that we eat with our tacos.
The recipe below serves 4-6.

2 cups of white rice
1/2 medium white onion
2 TBS oil
1 lemon zested and juiced
4 cups of water

Pour the oil in pan and add onions (on high) cook until onions begin to soften. Add the rice and cook/sautee rice until rice begins to become opaque and slightly brown. Add next 3 ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat and simmer until rice is light and fluffy about 20-25 minutes.

Black Beans

Black beans - Contrary to popular belief dry beans are NOT difficult to prepare. I am blessed to call friend one of the most wonderful cooks I have ever known . She is from Nicaragua and seriously can take anything and make it taste like heaven. She taught me how to make the rice and the beans that we eat with our tacos.
The recipes below serves 4.

1 Bag of dried beans (you can use black, pinto, small red or whatever your fancy)
6 cups of water
5 cloves of garlic

Place the above ingredients EXCEPT SALT in a large pot and bring to a boil turn heat down to medium and simmer until the bean is soft (usually about 2 hours depends on stove). Salt to taste and cook about 10 minutes more.



Joaquin a.k.a "Clark Kent" a.k.a Superman

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Herbed Shrimp with Basil Dipping Sauce

I first tested this recipe on "Nochebuena". The basil and lemon combined with the savory Basil Dipping sauce make this dish light tasting and irresistible. I now make it occasionally as a treat. Rodrigo never got a proper father's day meal because we were on the road so I made up for it last Sunday with his favorites, steak, shrimp, pasta, salad and bread. I've already listed the steak recipe.

recipe compliments of Our Best Holiday Menus 2008 p64 & 66

  • 2 lbs of fresh or frozen jumbo shrimp (cooked or raw
  • 2 TBS snipped fresh basil
  • 1 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • Basil dipping sauce (below)
  • lemon wedges (optional)
  • snipped fresh basil (optional)
1. Thaw shrimp, if frozen. Peel and devein shrimp, removing tails (please note I served it like a cocktail so I didn't remove the tails) If your shrimp is pre-cooked skip to step 3 if raw go to step 2.
2. Rinse shrimp; pat dry with paper towels - ONLY IF RAW.
3. In a large bowl, combine 2 TBS of snipped basil, the lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 10 to 30 min. If your shrimp is pre-cooked you are done - you have the option of serving cold like a cocktail or heating the shrimp through and serving along side steak with basil dipping sauce.
4. In a large skilled, cook shrimp, half at a time,in hot oil over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes or until shrimp are opaque (be careful not to overcook shrimp which is very easy to do.), stirring often to cook evenly. Transfer shrimp to serving platter.
5. Again you can serve warm or chill until serving time. Serve with Basil Dipping Sauce and if desired lemon wedges and snipped basil. Makes 8 servings.

Basil Dipping Sauce
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1TBS snipped fresh basil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper.
1. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, basil, garlic, lemon juice, mustard, and cayenne pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve with Herbed shrimp. Makes 1 cup.

Skillet Steak

Although my hubby is like "Mikey" - he'll eat anything - he does have favorites and steak is at the top. This new york strip cut steak was marinated overnight, seered in the skillet, and placed in a hot oven for barely 8 minutes. The meat was super tender and delectable. A new favorite for my family.

Steak Marinade
Compliments of LuuvBunny @
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 TBS worcestershire sauce
  • 1 TBS balsamic vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1 TBS soy sauce
  • pepper
1. Mix all ingredients together and place steaks (up to 4 lbs) into freezer freezer bag with marinade preferably overnight.
2. Here are a couple of tips for cooking a steak in the oven instead of on the grill. The grill is preferable for me but we don't have one right now. First and foremost the meat should be removed from the refrigerator early enough to allow it to come to room temperature before cooking. Heat the oven to 500 degrees with the cast iron skillet inside. When the pan is fully heated remove it from the oven and place it on a stove burner that is on. Place a TBS of oil in the pan and then place the meat(that is now at room temp) in the pan and seer for 90 seconds. USING TONGS (never use a fork on meat when releases the juices and will dry the meat out) flip the steak and seer on this side for 90 seconds. *Optional - at this point you can pour some of the remaining marinade over or not...your preference. Place steak and pan in your preheated oven and allow to cook for 5-6 mins for medium rare, 7-8 min for medium, 9-10 for medium well ( these times are based on a 1 1/2 inch thick cut of meat). Remove pan from oven and using tongs place steak on plate and allow to rest for at least 90 seconds DO NOT CUT until after it as rested. Repeat this process for each steak that you have. Depending on the size of your steaks you may be able to cook more than one at a time.

Friday, July 10, 2009


This past fast and testimony meeting on Sunday July 5, 2009 my little big boy Joaquin bore his testimony in Sacrament for the very first time. I can't tell you how humbled and grateful I was. The bishop for our ward encourages the primary children to bare their testimonies but they have to do it unassisted. As a result most of the children Joaquin's age began doing just that back in February. Soon Joaquin wanted to know "when is it my turn?" I told him we would have to practice and we began having family home evenings teaching him what a testimony is and then practicing at least once a week. Last Sunday he turned once again to me and asked, "When is it my turn" I said tell me what you are going to say and he did. I looked at Rodrigo and told him to take him up just in case he gets scared. Scared? He was NOT. He walked right up pulled the mic where he could talk into it and bore the sweetest purest little testimony completely by himself without a single prompt. It was so wonderful watching as the spirit bore witness of his words. How grateful I am to live in a ward that encourages the children to strenghten their testimonies by sharing them. I am also grateful Joaquin is surrounded by so many wonderful influences...teachers, friends, priesthood leaders, and family. I hope and pray this is the beginning of a strong tradition for Joaquin.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The 4th of July - A day at the beach

We started the day at the Parade of Freedom bright and early...a little too early for my liking but it was well worth it. The Parade of Freedom is one of the many events of the Freedom Festival is Provo, UT. The kids had lots of fun watching the floats and the horses and the bands(which is what Rodrigo and I enjoyed the most.) As we were walking back to the car we came accross the trailer that had been encased by plexiglass or the likes and the floor covered with sand and rocks with lots of tools for digging. Note from the pictures that it was a bigger hit than the parade :) The company that sponsored what they called "A Day at the Beach" gave the kids each a ballon and a treat when they were finished. Funny, last year on the 4th we really were at the beach with the Selph family. Christina and I were basking in the sun with the little ones while Joseph was giving Rodrigo surfing lessons. Miss our friends at the real beach :)
Afterwards we headed back home for a much needed and deserved nap. I think I slept for two hours which is something I never do! Got up and headed to one of Rodrigo's friend's home (a friend from Chile) wonderful family. We had the traditional bbq which was yummy and great company. As luck would have it one our way home we noticed everyone heading to Thanksgiving Point and concluded that there was a firework shoe about to start. We drove further west up the mountain, toward home so we would have a good view parked and watched a great show for free. All in all it was a beautiful day! How grateful we are to live in this great county and for the freedoms we enjoy! Happy 4th!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Mediteranean Style Pizza

This is my husband Rodrigo's favorite pizza. He likes it better than any of the store bought self-rising pizzas or any of the poplular pizza chains. I created the pizza just for him after hearing him critique other pizzas. I use a pre-made store bought thin and crispy crust(his preference). Sometimes I make my own pizza sauce and sometimes I just use store bought. Either way it is super Yummy...just ask him :)

  • 1 thin and crispy pizza crust
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • 5 slices of provolone cheese
  • 4 oz ofshredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 oz of shredded parmesean blend cheese
  • pepperoni (as much or as little as preferred)
  • 1 can of artichokes packed in juice NOT OIL - drained and quartered.
  • small jar of kalamata olives - drained and sliced
  • small jar of roasted red peppers - drained and sliced.
Preheat the oven as directed for the pizza crust. My pizza crust requires that you preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Spread the pizza sauce over entire pizza crust. Arrange the provolone pizza slices over the sauce to cover the pizza crust. Arrange pepperoni over provolone cheese. Sprinkle a handful of the mozzarella cheese over pepperoni. Arrange the last for ingredients over the pizza then cover with the remaining cheese. Place in oven and cook. Remove slice and serve.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

1 Tick, 2 Run for the Roses, and 1530 miles

Joaquin, Zeke and I took a trip to Kentucky this summer. One of the most beautiful of our 50 states. Joaquin was very excited because I told him all about the horses that were bred and raised in Kentucky for racing. While th
ere my Mom treated him and Nolan to a day at t
he Kentucky Horse Park. He got to take his first pony ride and thought he was an expert(even though his feet didn't even reach the stirrups).

Grandmommie Jacqi got them both t-shirts with pictures of them on their pony. Nolan was so excited that he put his on right away.

Just a few days later we took a quick trip to Cannelton, Indiana. My Aunt Gerry and Uncle Sam live there in the most beautiful log house set up on a hill in a canopy of trees. Grandmommie Jacqi took Joaquin on a tour of the prope
rty beginning with the front porch which is frequented by a large variety of beautiful birds. It was a wonderful day! I love every moment I spend with them. Aunt Gerry made corn bread for us and a nice afternoon meal. She is a wonderful cook. I
think the thing I enjoy most about being with them is watching the way they care for and look out after one another. Coming from 2 generations of divorces I haven't had too many examples of strong, loving, long-lasting marriages so I am grateful for their example. They are my standard of what I want my marr
iage to be like when I am 80 years old. We finished up the day in "E" town with Kimmy Joe and Kya (sp?) This was my first time meeting Kya. She is my cousin, Terra's little girl. They live far away from us in Texas so we don't get together as often as we would like. She is a sweet girl like her mama! Then it was vroom back on the plane to Utah.

No time to unpack because we were off to northern Ca
lifornia for Karina and Mike's wedding. Karina is Rodrigo's first cousin. She and mike were married in the Oakland temple. It was a very short trip...try 30 hours of traveling for one glorious day with family. Although Rodrigo and I have vowed to never take that trip again via car, this trip was oh so worth the fussy kids, hours and hours of driving down a highway of nothingness and a zombie like state from a lack
of sleep. At one point during the trip Rodrigo looked over at me and said, "Nevada is nothing...just Reno and Las Vegas...other than that it is nothing." Driving through the miles and miles of barren land I had to agree.

(more pics of the wedding at
The sealing was a sacred experience and I left with an understanding of the covenant of marriage that I had never had before. Th
e sealer was wonderful and his instruction was powerful and inspiring. It was wonderful
to be with Rodrigo's family. I am so happy to know that families are forever.

The highlight of our trip home was Joaquin telling us that there was something on his head. I was driving so I asked Rodrigo to take a look at it. Rodrigo said it was round and I asked if it was a tick...praying inside please don't let it be!
Rodrigo couldn't tell so I pulled off at the next exit. I have to tell you that I was terrified I was going to find an engorged tick on my sons head. For those of you who live where there are lots of ticks you'll understand my fear. Those of you who don't well, I hope you never have to experience it. I stopped ran around and started feeling through his hair trying to find what Rodrigo had described to me and sure enough....IT WAS A TICK! But not engorged. Strange as that is. I called my Mom and with the help of my Aunt Kathi was instructed how to remove it. I couldn't do it. I looked at Rodrigo and told him as much. He wasn't very happy and began to lecture me about the duties of being a of them being to suck it up and remove ticks. I looked at him and responded with a but Rodrigo "That is what marriage is all about...somethings I just can't do but you can so you do the
m and some things you just can't do and I can so I do them." I don't think he was convinced see-
ing how he demanded I do a thorough tick check of Joaquin once he had removed the tick. He was shaking his head a lot and mumbling. I am sure it had something to do with me. Having checked Joaquin, and luckily there were no more, we headed on our way. I wish I could say that was the end of it but I am all too aware of Lyme disease and Rocky mountain spotted fever. I felt confident Joaquin would be OK but Rodrigo was a bit more concerned. The tick kept coming up over and over and over again during the next 300 miles. By the time we got home I was sick with worry and even though it was nearly 2am I got immediately on the CDC website to research the symptoms and what we should be looking for if he had it. Long story short...after two trips to the doctor and three weeks of being symptom free Joaquin has little to show for his tick bite but a bump and a swollen lymph node(which when we first found we thought it may be cancer...didn't know it was related to the tick bite) Can you say "OVER ACTIVE IMAGINATION?!"
We still have our friend the tick he is in our cryogenics lab - better known as the freezer. Just in case he has to be tested at some future date for disease.

Wish I had taken more pictures of my trips...I have a camera but am the worst about remembering to use it! Here are a few more I did get!

I just fell in love with this house in Lebanon, KY. We were on our way to Lexington to see Mariah when we passed this jewel. I turned right around to get a few shots.

We are having a super summer!
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