Monday, September 30, 2013

Sticky Sesame Chicken

 Here's a yummy recipe for you to try- it's quick to throw together and really tasty!

Sticky Sesame Chicken- 6 servings
1 1/2 to 2 lbs. frozen popcorn chicken
6 Tbs. honey
4 Tbs. ketchup
4 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. white vinegar
2 Tbs. soy sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
Green onions
Sesame seeds
Cook popcorn chicken as directed on package. In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk together honey, ketchup, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce and salt and pepper. Bring sauce to a boil while stirring and simmer for a few minutes until sauce thickens slightly. Toss cooked chicken in sauce and serve over rice. Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Garage Makeover

Bruce has always wanted to spruce up our garage, so he enlisted Brian and Lindsey for the task. Lat week they painted the walls and it looks amazing! Now they have started on the floor. We are going to put that rubbery epoxy coating down, but first the kids had to grind off the seal that was already on the floor.
It was quite a process between grinding, hosing off, then grinding some more.
This picture kind of scares me. And not because Brian is wearing one of Lindsey's old jackets.
Next: an acid wash goes down and sits for 3 days, then it will be time for the epoxy. I'll keep you posted on the progress.

When it's done it will become the Party Room because it will be too nice to mess up with dirty cars. We'll put in a big screen TV and lots of bean bag chairs. And a mini kitchen.

BYW, Gus is completely bent out of shape that "His" garage is off limits. He's been very vocal about his displeasure. I hope we all survive. If you don't hear from me, you'll know he killed us off, one by one.

Friday, September 27, 2013


I was lacking in flowers pictures for my header, so I went down to the botanical gardens to see what was blooming there. Turns out there was lots of blooming going on.
There were some strange blooming things:
And normal blooming things.
Is it just me, or do you feel Fall coming? Ugg.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Dover Saddlery Photo Contest

 First off, happy birthday to my little brother! Have a great surgery!

Every year, one of the biggest English horse supply companies, Dover Saddlery, sponsors a photo contest. This year I decided to enter a few of my pictures. There were several different categories that I entered.

The Jumping category: This shot is one of my favorites for a few reasons. First, it's a guy riding and that makes it stand out from the get-go. I like the straight-on angle, and the fact that both the horse and the rider are looking in the same direction, with lots of concentration.
Black & White Photo: I love the glint of bling on that shiny belt.
Junior Rider: Perfect lighting, beautiful girl, amazing horse. Plus, those jumps in the background and flowers in the foreground make it all interesting.
Best Headshot: Goodness gracious! There is no better headshot than this!
Dover Model category: There's that beautiful girl again, standing by a culvert. "Nuff said.
Artistic category: Yeah. It's artsy.
There are a bazzilion entries in the contest, so I have no chance of winning, but at least I put myself out there, right?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sister P

One of our very special friends is going on a mission next week. I've known her since she was 9 years old and riding Sonora the Pony at the barn. She was the closest thing Shannon had to a sister when she was growing up.
Sister P is going to the Georgia, Macon mission. Let her show you where it is:
They eat peaches in Georgia. But Sister P doesn't like peaches. That might have to change.
Sister P and Shannon are the only LDS girls at the barn who have never competed on a Sunday. Not once. I'm proud of them.
Sister P is going to whip those southern folk into shape! She will be a great missionary.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

H All On Her Own

Yes, I know. This girl is a stunner.
She is very good at the whole "not smiling" thing. Maybe that's because she's a teenager, I don't know. But it worked for me.
 The barn is a good place for props such as old Ford trucks and John Deere tractors.
I've known H for about 6 or 7 years now. She is a very calm and quiet rider, which is a good thing. She's had some tough luck in her horse world- that bracelet she's wearing has the name of her horse that passed away last year engraved on it. He was a bit of a stinker but she was very patient with him.
 Lucky me to be able to take pictures of this tough and beautiful girl.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Woody And His H

Last week I got to do a private photo shoot with a girl at the barn and her horse. We'll call the girl "H" and her horse Woody. :) (Woody bites.)
It was fun to try some creative shots that have been simmering in the back of my mind for a while.
Lessons were still going on in the ring, so between moms driving their kids in and out and Woody being eaten To Death by flies, this shoot had it's interesting moments.
My Photoshop skills were put to the test, what with erasing riders in the ring, trucks parked under the trees and the gazillion power lines that surround the barn.
 All in all, we caught some sweet moments between these two. 
 When Woody had had enough, I took a few pictures of just Miss H. I'll show you those tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Spicy English 7-Layer Salad

Last Sunday Bruce and I went to my awesome nephew's mission report in Twin Falls. He's a great kid and did a great job with his talk- he really reminded me of his dad. After church we had a potluck lunch at my sister's house. Family and good food- that's what it's all about. I made Spicy English 7-Layer Salad. It's one of my favorites. It might not be for everyone because the dressing is made of mayonnaise, brown sugar and curry powder. It has a sweet and savory thing going on. But it's good! You can do what I did and mix all the ingredients up in a bowl, or you can layer it like a Sara's Salad.

Spicy English 7-Layer Salad- 10-12 servings
2 cups small seashell pasta
4 carrots, peeled and julienned
1/2 head leaf lettuce - rinsed, dried, and chopped
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
3/4 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup frozen whole-kernel corn ( I left this out!)
2 cups mayonnaise
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain, and rinse under cold water to cool.
Place the carrots in an even layer in the bottom of a large glass bowl, preferably one that is roughly the same diameter from top to bottom. Place the lettuce in a layer over the carrots. Combine the cucumber, peas and corn; spread in a layer over the lettuce. Once the pasta is cooled and drained, then spread that out over the top.
In a smaller bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, brown sugar, curry powder, and garlic salt. Spread this carefully over the pasta. Top with shredded Cheddar cheese. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

I think this dressing would be delicious in a chicken salad- I'm going to have to try that!

Saturday, September 7, 2013


Will miracles never cease? We grew corn this year. And it actually produced edible corn! There's a first for everything, I guess.
 Since Bruce never does anything by halves, we have a lot of corn. Way too much for us to eat. On Labor day I froze a bunch to eat later.
 This, I learned, was a labor-intensive job. I'd rate it right up there with pears and applesauce. Well, maybe not applesauce. What I needed was an army of shuckers and peelers, since this part of the job took the longest. I will remember to hire an army next time.

I boiled the carn for 4 minutes.
 Then I shocked it in ice water.
 The most fun part- cutting the kernels off with my electric knife!
 When it was all cut, I stirred in some melted butter and a little bit of salt.
Then into Ziplock bags it went!
 It took all morning, but I'll be glad to fish these out of the freezer in the middle of winter!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies

What's with this cinnamon roll phase we seem to be in right now? There are lots of cinnamon roll flavored treats and desserts out there. I tried these sugar cookies this past week and they got a big thumbs-up!

Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies - 9x13 pan
2 1/4 cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 Tbsp powdered milk
10 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3 Tbsp sour cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting
6 oz cream cheese, softened
6 Tbsp salted butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 - 3 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and powdered milk for 30 seconds, set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl occasionally. Add in eggs one at time mixing until combined after each addition. Blend in sour cream and vanilla. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Butter and 13 by 9-inch baking dish, then with buttered hands gently press and spread cookie dough into an even layer in dish. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 19 - 21 minutes. Allow to cool completely then frost with cream cheese frosting. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container.
For the cream cheese frosting:
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together cream cheese and butter until pale and fluffy, occasionally scraping down sides and bottom of bowl. Stir in vanilla. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in powdered sugar and continue to mix until fluffy.

Of course, they taste even better if you serve them on a Mickey plate!


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Lindsey Birthday

Happy Birthday to my cute DIL, Lindsey!
Lindsey is: always happy, is fun to talk to, walks faster than anyone I know, always has a good story to tell, looks cute ALL the time, makes friends easily, is the best at emptying the dishwasher, wins most of the games we play, knits with her arms, is the best Fry Sauce and raspberry jam maker, and would probably win American Ninja Warrior. What would we do without her??
 Happy Birthday to Yooouuuuu!!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Man vs. Mud 2013

Last Saturday Peter, Lindsey, Shannon and I did the Man vs. Mud race in Logan. It was...dirty. Our team's name was, "It's A Trap!", and we wore Admiral Ackbar shirts. 50 points to you if you know who Admiral Ackbar is! (Photo credits to Ben, who got a wicked sunburn!)
 Man vs. Mud is basically a very muddy obstacle course through farm fields. We slid down hills into mud pits:
 We climbed over scary net walls:
 We backed down slippery hillsides:
 We waded through muddy trenches. I never really thought about how many different thicknesses of mud there are.
 We ran over hill and dale. Let me say here that I surprised myself by not falling behind my kids by that much. Sure, they probably would have finished faster without me.
 We wound our way through bungee spider webs:
 We hauled ourselves across a river and we happy to wash a bit of that mud off:
 My least favorite obstacle was the ice filled mud bath. 20 feet of ice water and it was so cold that it burned. Here are Peter and I, climbing out, barely breathing.
 There were plenty of hay bales to climb:
 And victory dances.
 At the end of the race, we slid down another hill into another mud pit.
 There were spectacular splashes!
 Apparently, we like to point and laugh at the next person coming down the hill.
 Here we are after the race, Pretty disgusting, right?
 Then we cleaned off with irrigation sprinklers. :)
 Man vs. Mud was really fun!! Do I have any takers to join our team next year?