Saturday, November 14, 2009

Recipe Testing - Someone's Gotta Do It!

I spent my day off creating a few batches of goodies for potential use in my bite-size treats catering business. I did a test-run of Mini Cheese Danishes, which I am making for T'liese's baby shower next Saturday. I didn't want that morning to arrive without me knowing these would turn out. Be assured...they turned out! They were absolutely delicious and oh so tender! One of my new cookbooks teaches me how to make puff pastry, but it can be a process requiring several days and lots of beating and kneading and (hopefully not) cussing. Going to the freezer section of my grocery store was much easier! And the danishes still melted in my mouth despite the dough not being made from scratch this time!

My second attempt was a chocolate cheesecake cupcake with a gooey chocolate glaze. Everything was delicious except the appearance of the glaze, which formed an awkward ball prior to frosting and led to the cupcakes looking like a disgrace. They still tasted good, but people eat with their eyes first! I knew I was in trouble when John took a second look at them before eating half a dozen! Back to the drawing board, at least for the frosting!

It was fun to move along a little more towards creating a full menu to offer to clients. I sure am having fun with this!

Ankle Update

John is still on crutches, and these pictures certainly show why. The bruising has spread throughout his entire leg up to his knee. Because of the swelling, his entire leg aches. Isn't it pretty? When I first came home from work, I thought he was wearing a fuzzy purple and yellow boot (you can imagine my relief when this was not the case). I am amazed at how the muscle on his leg has suffered through lack of use these past two weeks. He is hoping to be walking before Monday so he doesn't have to worry about carrying his books, laptop, and brain while trying to maneuver crutches as he hobbles to class. It is still too painful to put any weight on it. And because of the swelling through his leg, it's hard for him to find a resting place that is free from pain. I have been forcing ibuprofen on him as often as he will let me. Hopefully it will be on the mend soon!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Denver, Detroit, and NYC

My airplane departed Monday evening for Denver Jeffco Airport, with me in the Captain Seat. I hadn't been there before (we always fly into the Centennial Airport), so I was pretty excited. And a night flight with Ron is so rare since he prefers to leave early in the morning, so I love getting some night landings in! I flew all week, and I was happy with my work. There is always something I want to do better, but it would probably be a boring life if everything was done perfectly!

We left for Detroit Willow Run Airport on Tuesday morning. Rather than spending the night there, Ron decided to continue on to Teterboro Airport. Of course, we found this out just as we sat down to a dinner of Mexican food near the airport. We rushed back and beat him there! We stayed in Teterboro until Thursday afternoon when we made the loooooooong trek west to Phoenix. Yet another night landing! The weather was beautiful, and if I had gusty winds on landing, they were right down the runway. How blessed am I? I ran some errands near the hotel on Wednesday and worked on some projects from my hotel room.

It was a pleasant surprise to head home before Friday. I pulled into my driveway at 8:00 PM and got to see John's ankle (no better...and his whole leg is now yellow, purple, and achy!). I am testing some recipes today and cleaning house. And enjoying a day home with John, since he has the day off!

It was a great week at work, even if it was short and sweet!

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Pioneer Woman National Holiday

If you don't know who The Pioneer Woman is, you should be ashamed of yourself. When I say one of the main reasons I went to Utah was so she could sign my copy of her recently-released cookbook, I am not exaggerating. I thought it would be much more fun to visit her with my Mom and sister, Charloe, than alone (she came to Phoenix the very next day). They both follow her blog like me, and we all simply adore her! The best thing? She is just as cool in person as she is in writing!

Jeff tagged along on our journey to visit P-Dub. Charloe and Mom's books both arrived in the mail that morning, but mine was a no-show. I ordered one from the bookstore over the phone so I wouldn't have to worry. We swung by Nephi and picked up Mom before continuing north to Salt Lake City. We stopped first for a non-healthy lunch at the wonderful Utah buffet, Chuck-A-Rama. There may be nothing better than fresh homemade scones with honey butter. Charloe needed an oil change on her CR-V, so we walked to Costco for some great shopping while waiting for the car. We all got some Christmas shopping done and enjoyed our few hours in the store! Then we house-hunted in the area of town where Jeff is thinking about moving if he gets a local job. The neighborhoods are so cute near Sugarhouse, which is where I went to school for a year at Westminster College before transferring to the University of North Dakota to finish my degree.

We drove past the bookstore around 5:00 PM, and the line was already curving around the block. We parked and waited with the rest of Pioneer Woman's fans. She just released her book, The Pioneer Woman Cooks, which is loaded with delicious recipes that she has developed as a city-girl-turned-cowboys-wife. It is also a photography book, showcasing so many of her gorgeous pictures from her ranch life in Oklahoma. We were finally allowed inside the art gallery next to the book store to listen to her talk. It was magical when she finally arrived! She is so beautiful and funny, and we enjoyed listening to her answer questions from the hundreds of people who had shown up to see her. We then waited in line for three more hours before finally getting to her signing table. It was so worth it! We finally made it out of the book store, with huge smiles and autographed copies of our books in hand. We stopped at Crown Burgers for dinner before making the trip back to Nephi to drop off Mom. Kip was asleep, but Parker had made us cookies and Merrill stayed up to say hi. At 1:30 AM, we finally pulled into Charloe's driveway. It was worth the trip to Salt Lake City to see Pioneer Woman.

So you, too, can become an addict:

The Last Dinner

Since Dad is heading home to Mexico this week, and because some of the family hadn't been able to see him yet, we had an easy excuse to get together for a perfect dinner at T'liese and Joe's home on Sunday evening. The first course was Caesar salad and rosemary artisan bread, accompanied with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and pepper to dip it in. T'liese also made two of Mom's Lasagnas, but they were so good I couldn't get a picture before being devoured! Dessert was an incredibly good apple and pear crisp with vanilla bean ice cream and Leatherby's Caramel sauce drizzled on. I tell ya, this family knows how to EAT!

Note to self: when trying to be sweet to your husband by playing footsie with him under the table, be sure to sit on the opposite side of his hurting ankle.

No Plans to Become a Child Photographer

Despite having adorable kids, I couldn't create a successful photo shoot with Charloe's family. They were good sports and got dressed for the event, with our intentions to get a good shot for her Christmas cards. After half an hour of what the kids thought was intentional torture, we finally gave up. Corban tried hard, but most the time that came through in his smile. Brynn just wanted out of there unless she was getting photographed inidividually. I'd give us an A+ for effort! Thanks for the chance anyway, Charloe. Maybe next time we can do your kids more justice!

Tear-Inducing Photos

Who knew an ankle could get so ugly? John came home from basketball over a week ago, writhing in severe pain from rolling his ankle during a church ball game. A doctor was playing with them and had wrapped it in ice before sending him home. We decided to go to the Urgent Care to make sure it wasn't broken. The swelling has caused quite a bit of pain for my kid, but it's hard to get him to take anything for it.

The first few pictures are from the day he got the sprain. The really scary ones are from over a week later, taken Sunday evening. Yikes!

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