Sunday, May 30, 2010

Chocolate-Cinnamon Gelato Revisited

I made Bon Appetit's Chocolate-Cinnamon Gelato again. Wow! It is worth every calorie. Just thought I would repost the recipe because it the perfect time to enjoy this divinity. We enjoyed ours on the patio on a perfect Sunday afternoon after we devoured carne and pollo asada. I love Summer!!

Click here for the original post and recipe. i omitted the toffee chips and used semi-sweet chocolate chips. Next time I will cut back a little on the sugar as well. And of course I still quadrupled it and put it in my big ice cream maker.

Friday, May 28, 2010


I have recently had reason to reflect on our consumption of water. We have always tried to be fairly frugal with our water usage (my husband is somewhat an environmentalist). We usually use 3000-4000 gallons a month, thanks in part to un-metered irrigation water (but if anyone has seen our yard and more specifically our grass, they know we don't splurge on that water either.)

Our last month's water bill came and I was shocked to see we used 10,000 gallons!!

I tried to figure out how in the world. Did we have a leak? No. Are the kids leaving faucets running? Yes. And does our new old school washer use that much more water than our old high-efficiency one? Yes.

Our HE washer broke recently and we had issues with it so, instead of spending $200 for the part, we just decided to buy a used top-loader for $200.

This week our water heater also broke. We decided to buy a tankless one since there were $600 in rebates available. And while the plumber was at it and we had money from our tax refund, we decided to get a water softener since we have wanted one for 5 years. The cool thing about the softener is that it tells us how much water we use. We check it before and after showers, doing wash, flushing the toilet, etc. It is fun to track our usage and try to reduce it.

But what shocked me the most about our usage was not that it takes 2-3 gallons to flush a toilet, but that it takes 40 gallons to wash 1 load of wash in our new machine. Yikes!!

So what does all this mean to us? I'd love a new HE washer, but I don't think it is in the budget now. So, I think we need to reduce the amount of wash we do and eliminate other water wasters. I talked to the kids today and maybe our plan will work. We plan to:
  • Check our clothes after we take them off, and put them away instead of in the wash if they have another day in them.
  • Wear our pj's for more than 1 night.
  • Take faster showers.
  • Wash our hands with faucet off.
  • Brush teeth with faucet off (they are already pretty good with that).
  • Use a cup to get drinks instead of putting face under the faucet.
What other things could we do?

Fall 2009

These are just some really fun pics Tom took in Salt Lake. Grandpa Elbert saved all the leaves for the kids to rake and play in.

They had a blast with their cousin, Olivia. They are so lucky to have so many cousins that they love so much.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Does it mean I am Nesting if..,.

I feel like cooking again?

I have to admit that I have been so lazy and neglectful this entire pregnancy. My family is lucky if they get 2 real meals a week. We literally eat cold cereal or eggs and toast at least once a week, each. It has been bad.

I keep telling Tom that once the babe arrives, it is all going to get better. I am going to go back to cooking 5 meals a week. I will blog regularly and post fun recipes. I will workout and actually make progress with my athletic endeavors. (Working out is the thing that has least suffered this pregnancy. I don't always feel like doing it, and I don't do it as often or as intense as I would like, but hey I am pregnant.) I will keep a clean house, ok who am I kidding, that has never really been a reality, pregnant or not.

Tom just rolls his eyes at me and says ok. He has been the best trooper. He has suffered through lack of meals, lack of a clean house and a lazy wife really well. He cooks. He cleans. He lets me sleep in every morning while he readies the children for school. I am one lucky girl and I will make it up to him, someday.

I think I will start by trying some of these recipes I have recently found (I have been so lazy and haven't felt like cooking that I haven't even been looking at new recipes, but I feel like it now.)

Pioneer Woman's Homemade Glazed Doughnuts

Pioneer Woman's Salted Caramel Brownie

Culinary Bliss's Chocolate Ice Cream

Who am I kidding? These recipes will be more satisfying to me than to him. Oh well.

Fall Soccer

My kids have since played another season of soccer, but I might as well post the pictures from the fall first.
This was Eliza's second season playing. She got much better and more confident. She was still very timid, but had fun. She got to play with one of her best friends, Gus.

Porter had the most awesome coaches ever and began to really learn the sport. His coaches helped develop actual soccer skills.

He really learned to dribble the ball down the field. We need to work with him on his power shot, though.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Grandpa Dick

Tom's Grandpa Dick recently passed away after a long and very fulfilling life. We were so lucky to join him and his kids, grand-kids and great-grand-kids to celebrate his 95th birthday.

I will always treasure the memories of Grandpa Dick and know the kids will too. He really had a knack with babies and children. And he was a grandpa to me since mine had both passed away while I was fairly young.Here he is with James on the 4th of July, 2009. One of their neighbors had a great party every 4th and the whole neighborhood was invited. We joined them a few times.

Grandma and Grandpa loved to dance. Here they are at Grandma Shanna's 70th birthday Bash.

Grandpa made the trek to Tucson in August to meet tiny Porter and participate in his baby blessing. Porter loved to be held by Grandpa Dick.

Here Grandpa and Grandma adore sweet baby James on his blessing day.

Another of my favorite pictures is of Grandpa on Eliza's third birthday. He held her as she blew out the candles on her colorful cupcakes and they enjoyed the Salt Lake summer afternoon on Tom's parent's porch Unfortunately, it isn't on my computer.

These are just a few of the pictures I have of Grandpa Dick, the rest aren't on my computer. I just wanted to share some images of a great husband, grandpa, and person.

Halloween 2009

Seriously pathetic. But I am going back a ways. The kids had two costumes, one for school and a different one for trunk-o-treating. It was fun to dress up as always. My costume was for the gym. I can't believe I went out in public like this, but hey, I had fun.
Align Center
Porter wanted to be an army guy. Simple.

James as an Old Navy mouse on clearance.

Eliza as the wicked witch from Pottery Barn on clearance.

Eliza as Dorothy. I made it a couple of years ago, and it still fits. James as a very retro clown. My mom made this costume 40 years ago. All of my kids have worn it.

Porter also wanted to be a ghost, using a sheet. Again, simple.

Happy Halloween in May!

Powder Keg 2010

I am so behind in blogging, it is pathetic. I thought of just skipping everything since I last blogged anything of importance, but decided I might as well just back-blog a bit.

In March Tom and a couple of his brothers and friends participated in the Wasatch Powder Keg, a grueling backcountry ski race. The racers climb 3500 feet over 4 climbs and 6.6 miles, on skis.

The boys all rocked it as always and we had tons of fun cheering them in and playing in the snow.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Hurricane Trails River Run

Click here to join the adventure on Facebook.

Click here for more info at the city website.