Monday, March 30, 2009

Recipe FAIL, Part I

I decided to start a new, on-going series called "Recipe Fail". Being a scientist at heart, I cannot help but experiment with pretty much everything I ever make, especially food.

I always claim to follow recipes, website/document or cookbook open as evidence, but on very rare occasions does that actually occur (as my husband often laments). I'm on a quest to make healthy food that actually tastes good, which means that I almost never follow a recipe completely - whether it be removing fat or sugar or adding fiber or veggies. And then there are those times when I just really want to make X, but don't exactly have all the ingredients called for, but I have others I would REALLY like to use up. (We don't want them to go bad, do we?) As you can imagine, this often results in, let's just say "interesting" concoctions that I would choose not to replicate later.

And this happens a lot.

So, I figure, even if I run out of blogging material, I'll always have this to fall back on.

Without further ado, I begin my Recipe FAIL by recalling a very infamous time from my youth.... The first recipe FAIL I can recollect:

Back in the day, everyday after high school, I would come home and make a snack which was always one of four things:
1) 2 chicken chimichangas (from Costco)
2) 4 pieces of toast with butter and jam (usually my grandma's strawberry jam)
3) macaroni and cheese from the box (I always ate exactly half* and saved the other half for Eve to eat when she got home)
4) a package of graham crackers and milk (for dipping)

Which thing I made mostly depended on what was available, my mood, or the weather.

One particularly unmemorable day, I decided to make "The Mac", and as I always do, I put the noodles in the boiling water, set the timer for 7 minutes (no more, no less) measured out the 1/4 c butter, and started to measure the 1/4 c milk when.. OH NO!! WE ARE OUT OF MILK!!

Panic ensues.

The noodles were already boiling! What was I going to do? I frantically searched the refrigerator for something dairy to use as substitute. Cottage cheese? No. Yogurt? maaaaybe... and then it hit! One of my most favorite dairy products was sitting innocently in the freezer. Waiting for me to call on it for help. Indeed, we had vanilla ice cream. It's made from milk, right? They're both white, right?

It sounded like a great idea at the time.

Needless to say, that was a complete Recipe FAIL.

In summary:

Milk != Vanilla Ice Cream.

*except that one time when I was really mad at her. I can't remember why I was mad, but I remember that to spite her I ate the entire box of Mac myself. I felt very sick after.

Excuses Excuses

I have 4 excuses:

1) I got shingles

2) The Frog has been teething like CRAZY!

3) My shingles gave The Frog the chicken pox.

4) We got our tax return i.e. I got a piano!!

Needless to say, these things have all led to sleep deprivation. Except for number 4, which has led to lack of extra spare time. (Since all my regular spare time has been spent playing my new toy.)

So the blogs suffers.

Happily, we're getting better, and really we lucked out on all accounts. Shingles gets more severe the older you are when you catch them... as do the chicken pox. And thanks to the new teeth, The Frog is incredibly cute being able to actually bite off pieces of cracker. I expect he will have 8 (EIGHT!!!) teeth by the end of this week. (So far, 6 are poking through)

No pictures for now. Soon. Very soon.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Recipe encyclopedia

I found an AWESOME recipe search engine. You give it any detail you can think of and it will search ALL the recipe sites for what you're looking for.

It's like the google for chefs!

We got this great new grocery store called "Buy Low" and they have amaaaazing deals every week. SO now I have a lot of lemons, broccoli, tomatoes and mushrooms and this site helped me find ample of recipes to work with.

Go team!

Quote of the Day

"Heaven wouldn't be heaven without potty humor... just like heaven wouldn't be heaven without you, Libby"

Saturday, March 7, 2009


It's funny, in the beginning, The Frog loathed his tummy-time and as I mentioned earlier, he always rolled to his back when we tried to put him to sleep. Well, as of today, he no longer stays on his back...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Farewell February

The more I put off writing about everything that's been happening, the more I dread writing. I don't have much of a vision for this blog, but I do have strong aversions to it becoming the one blog that you only look at the pictures of because it's always so verbose and uninteresting.

So, last month, the short version:

The Frog:
has now eaten and enjoyed, baby rice, squash, zucchini, carrots, peas, red pepper, and avocado.
He is very fond of water bottles, measuring cups, and chapstick. Why do I even bother buying toys?

As of two days ago, he has learned how to roll from back to tummy, though I have yet to be fortunate enough to catch it on tape. He's become such a prolific roller, though, that it interferes with his sleep. I now have to stand with him, holding his cute little bum, until he falls asleep; otherwise he will roll over, happily lay for awhile, babbling to himself, and then decide he actually can't fall asleep in this position and I must come put him back how he was. (And usually his pacifier will be on the floor by this time).

The Frog loves to stand, but he cannot do it by himself (despite what this picture might cause you to infer). Out of desperation from constantly being his crutch, I finally gave in and got him an excersaucer from our local Kid 2 Kid. He seems to enjoy it, and so do I :D The Frog has also learned how to screech and does so frequently. I often must look at his face to determine if it's a happy screech or a sad screech. Here's a little video of some happy screeching in the excersaucer.

The Frog's highlight (and ours) though was his first plane ride (finally the sky mall magazine is good for something) out to Massachusetts to visit the McCarthy family! He loved spending time with Nanny and Gampy and Auntie K. He also got to meet the rest of his relatives at a special Sunday dinner, just for him :) Nanny also made her famous Whoopie Pies- Yum!

I finally made some pizza dough that has the consistency I wanted! Jay and I like our crust to be very thin, but it's hard to get a dough that will stretch thin enough without breaking. I used this recipe except I used whole wheat flour and added about 1 1/2 T gluten. The trick, I think, is letting it rise overnight in the fridge, and then letting it rest for 2 hours on the counter before stretching it. She suggests forming the dough into separate balls before you let it raise overnight, but I don't have that kind of space in my fridge, so I let the dough raise in one ball in a bowl, and then separated it before the 2 hour room temp resting. I suggest making 4 balls out of it, unless you have a gigantic pizza stone. I cooked ours at 550 F and I found it worked best to put the stone on the very bottom rack and bake for 6 minutes.

While back East, we spent time with family, and catching up with old friends and Jay's favorite places to eat in Nashua. It was SUCH a nice vacation, and I'm excited to do it again in May for Jay's graduation :)

I'm helping out with a service project at BYU Women's Conference this year; the women can do various crafts (while listening to their choice of classes) that will be donated to over 100 charities and I'm helping with the crochet-edged baby blankets. It's been fun cutting fabric, basting and learning how to crochet the edges. I finished my third blanket and third crochet pattern tonight. Hopefully I've got it down well enough to be able to teach other women!

One of my friends crocheted me this so so cute flower hair-pin, and she's motivated me to do a bit more with my new crochet knowledge. Hopefully it will help me with my yarn-using New Year's Resolution :)

I had my best friends over for our monthly themed dinner which will ever after be referred to as "the dine-o-round". The theme I chose was fondue. We discovered the BEST combination: milk chocolate fondue (I used Guittard chocolate chips and whipping cream) with brownie bites. SOOOOOOOO much better than it sounds. Not that it doesn't sound good, but it really doesn't sound as amazing as it actually is. Promise.

Another recent occurrence is the increase in signs of Spring. YAY! Even though we woke up with snow on the ground, it all melted by the end of the day and it became completely sunny and pleasant! I love spring!

And finally, today is my half birthday! Go me :)