Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Miss Millie

This is what happens when you leave an 18-month old in her high chair unbuckled with a mug of hot chocolate on the counter to go upstairs for a minute. I sure do love Miss Millie.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Stained-Glass Christmas Cookies

I tried a new Christmas cookie recipe and loved it. The cookies are super cute, tasty and the kids loved them. The original recipe can be found here.

Stained Glass Cookies Recipe


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 30-40 hard candies (such as Life Savers), preferably in several flavors/colors


1 Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat.

2 In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add molasses and vanilla extract, mixing until incorporated. Add egg and mix until light and smooth, about 1 minute on medium speed.

3 Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Fold dry ingredients into wet mixture. Use electric mixer to blend just until flour is incorporated. Divide dough in half and flatten into two disks. Wrap disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour and up to 2 days.

4 Remove any wrappers on candies and separate them by color into plastic bags. Using a mallet to crush candies.

5 Place one disk between two large sheets of waxed paper and roll to 1/4-inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut dough into desired shapes. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Using a smaller cookie cutter or a knife, cut shapes into centers of cookies, reserving these center bits to add into extra dough.

Use a spoon to sprinkle the crushed candy into the hollowed-out centers of the cookies, filling to the edges. Try to keep the candy within the centers. Any candy specks that fall on the cookie will color the cookie.

7 If cookies will be hung as ornaments or decorations, poke a small hole in the top of each cookie before baking.

8 Bake 9 to 10 minutes. The candy should be melted and bubbling and the cookies just barely beginning to brown. Remove baking sheets from oven and place on wire racks to cool. Allow cookies to cool on pans at least 10 minutes; otherwise, the candy centers may separate from the dough. When cookies are completely cooled, remove and store in an airtight container. String with ribbon if you want to hang as an ornament.

Makes 2 to 4 dozen cookies, depending on how large you make them.

Monday, September 19, 2011


I had my doubts that I could ride 206 miles over 3 states in 1 day. I've been training like crazy, but being a mom to 4 is pretty crazy too. And I also had to split my training between biking and tri training. And they are not the same.

The weekend was starting out perfect. My sister decided to come to my house to watch my kids (so she could be close to my brother in ICU and his wife who was about to have a baby). Because of this, we were able to drive up with my riding buddy. We stopped for lunch in Provo and REI in Sandy and made it to Logan with plenty of time to enjoy the evening. I was a a ball of nerves checking in and getting my race packet. It was very real now and there was no turning back.

Race day preparations continued into the night. We went to a catered dinner with fellow VCBO racers. The dinner was not very good and extremely over priced. And to make it even worse there was no dessert. I was trying to carb load. Alicia and I nervously prepared our race day food and put it in bags to Jeff to give us at each stop. He and Marta rocked the support. They were cheerfully at each of 4 stops with our food ready, water bottles filled and encouraging words spewing forth. I couldn't have asked for a better team.

Alicia (one of my besties), Dan (Tom's brother), Steve (Tom'c cousin) and I were doing the fun ride portion of LOTOJA. What that means is that we got to start almost 2 hours before some of the racers and weren't officially racing it. We were still timed and still rode the same distance.

We started the race a 5:55 am in the pitch black of Logan. We were all equipped with front and rear light. The morning was perfect. Temps were in the 50s instead of low 40s. All I needed to supplement my amazing kit, were arm warmers, light vest, and knee warmers. The first 30 miles were flat. The 4 of us just took it kind of easy to Preston where our support met us. I ditched my knee warmers and vest, kept the arm warmers and fueled.

Nutrition for the race consisted of salted steamed new potatoes, gogurts, pb and honey on white, pretzel m&ms, and coke at aid stations. The gogurts were the best. They go down fast and easy and taste great. On the road I fueled on Shot bloks, Hammer gels, and a few bites of Luna Bars. I drank CarbRocket Half Evil (half strength) and Hammer Perpetuem. Both seemed to be fine on the tummy. I also took a few Hammer Anti-fatigues caps. I didn't take them every hour, but I could definitely feel their awesome effect.

Now the climbing began. The first climb was 20 miles. Yep, 20 miles of climbing a mountain. This climb was actually my favorite. It wasn't very steep, just a nice steady climb for a long time. I felt good. Alicia and I rode together. Somehow we lost cousin Steve (I think being from Boston didn't help). We regrouped at the neutral stop at the top. The descent was amazing. Twisty and fast. I loved it. Click here for a fun picture of the descent. We got in a pace line the rest of the way to Montpelier. We were cruising at 25 mph, but felt like we weren't working at all. Here we parted ways with cousin Steve. I feel bad, but my goal was to finish and he was cramping and starting to struggle. I don't think he was too heart broken. He did finish, but struggled with cramping all the way in.

The next section had 2 climbs. The first was a shorter but steeper one right off the bat up Geneva. It still felt pretty good. A very short descent followed and then the worst section of the race. It was windy, it was slightly uphill and we couldn't get in a pace line. everyone was either too fast or too slow for us. So the 3 of us worked together and slogged through.

The final mountain pass followed this section, Salt River Pass. Steep, windy, and just all around brutal. They time the last 4 miles of this climb for king and queen of the mountain bragging rights. I'm not going to lie, I pushed as hard as I could, but I was pretty beat. Dan rocked this climb and I couldn't keep up with him. Also, the fastest female racers caught me on this climb. They started almost an hour after me and 4 caught me on the climb. It's a little discouraging, but they are fast girls. I climbed it in 22:27. The fastest professional girls did it in 18s and the racing women in 19+. I'm content with my effort and time considering it is 106 miles into the race. And among the fun riders I was 70 out 536 and I think I was the 2nd or 3rd fastest fun riding woman.

We refueled in Afton and started the flat section through Star Valley. It was windy, but we were able to get in a few pace lines and the 3 of us worked well together. I was really amazed at how evenly matched we were. And grateful. I hated leaving cousin Steve, but it would have been even tougher to leave or be left by Alicia since we trained 6 months together for this. We were all pretty tired of the saddles by this point. We were all super bloated. Not sure if that is due to inhaling the food at each aid station or the dinner the night before. But we were all pretty spent. Alicia's tummy issues were the worst at this point and she struggled to hold the pace. She did a good job and holding our wheels until she got stuck behind someone with a flat. She lost our wheels and couldn't get back on. But we were able to regroup in Alpine and her bloating was somewhat relieved with GasX and mine with Coke.

The last section of the race is up Alpine Canyon following the the winding Snake River. This section is spectacular. I did wish I was floating down the river instead though. We had some good company to share the pulls. Until some crazy guys decided when it was there turn to pull to bump up the pace dramatically. I couldn't hold it, but neither could most of the group we were with so we let them go on ahead and we regrouped and continued to take turns pulling.

The last 10 miles through Jackson and into Teton Village were tough. At this point I just wanted to get done, so I just dug deep and pedaled hard. However, I soon realized Dan and Alicia were not on my wheel. I stopped and we regrouped. I wanted to cross that finish line with my team. We all just suffered through those last few miles and crossed that line together. Click here for a finish line photo.

I was so ecstatic to cross that line in 12 hours 21 minutes. We really didn't have a finish goal other than to finish. Our ride time was 11:02 and 18.4 mph. We had over an hour of stoppage. To put this in perspective Tom had 32 minutes of stoppage and that included a 15 minute break where he was contemplating quitting and a long 8 minute rest stop to refuel. We definitely can improve on our stoppage time.

I am definitely planning on doing it again and would like to race it and try to break 11:30.

Highlights of the race include: Amazing support (thank you Jeff and Marta!), Strawberry Climb, riding and finishing with Alicia and Dan, perfect temps (lows in 50s and highs in probably 70s), sitting in a jacuzzi tub after in an amazing condo (thanks Mary!), watching Tom cross the line, my bike not falling off on the way to LOTOJA.

Lowlights include: having to eat, Salt River Pass, crazy long line to get our medals (luckily Marta saved us this hassle), seriously sore bum after sitting on a saddle for 12 hours, my bike falling off the car at 75 mph on the way home. (we are still waiting to hear from insurance company, but hopefully it won't be too big of a deal and they'll get me an equivalent bike.)

FYI: Tom rocked it even after bonking hard halfway through, but came back. He finished in 11:11 and 15th place in his start pack (which were a bunch of serious guys.)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A New Endeavor

I am launching  new blog in an effort to help all runners, Run Cute. Check it out, and feel free to give me any advice. 

Run Cute is blog devoted to cute, handmade running accessories. Currently, I have no-slip running headbands (they can be worn for so much more, though). But I will soon have available race belts that can hold your race number, gels and look cute.  

Thursday, August 11, 2011

What's for Dinner?

I haven't cooked a good meal or tried a new recipe in a while. I know, I am pathetic, but hey on the bright side, we have enjoyed our summer.

I am itching to try something new. So for dinner tomorrow I plan to make:

Details to follow.

Monday, June 27, 2011

New Headband Choices

I just got a few more options for headbands. And I am still trying to raise a little bit more money for the MS Society.

Remember they are only $7. They don't slip and they look super cute. I can make them to fit any size head. They are perfect to wear when running or just to dress up a ponytail on one of those days.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Headbands for MS

We are raising money for the National MS Society. Every year Tom and many members of his family participate in the Harmons Best Dam Bike Ride, a 100 mile bike ride through Logan and surrounding towns. It is a beautiful ride and supports a beautiful cause.

Tom's mother suffers from MS so it is close to our hearts. The treatment she endures is keeping the disease from progressing too rapdily, but has its own side effects. We are so grateful for her health and her positive attitude and her everything, she really is an amazing woman.

Because she is so amazing, we want her around for a long time and we want her to enjoy being around for a long time. So MS treatment research is an important thing to us. The more that is learned about this disease that affects the central nervous system, the better the treatments, and the happier Shanna will be, and that makes us all happy.

You can help support this great cause by purchasing a handmade headband. These headbands are amazing. They don't slip and they look cute. I wore one during my last marathon and it didn't budge.

I custom make them and they come in a variety of sizes to fit a variety of heads from babies to adult.Each headband is only $7 and that donation is tax-deductible and for an amazing cause. I can ship the headbands for only $1 more.

These are the available color options. Each headband is lined with black velvet and has some elastic to keep it on and from slipping. Let me know if you would like to purchase any- let me know what ribbon you want and what size (baby, child, or adult). Payments can be made via cash, check or paypal.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Funny Man Giveaway

If you want to win a seriously awesome giveaway, head over to Fast Cory. Cory is the second funniest guy I know, and writes a very clever blog about his running and hostess eating endeavors. His funniness has even been featured on Runner's and inspired a cult following of jumping racers. So check him and his blog out.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New York Feast

Tom recently went to New York City with his family. I got to stay home with my sweet kids and play with my sister while he was gone. I decided I wanted a taste of New York, so when he came home I made a New York City feast. The meal was delicious and I almost felt like I was there.

Reuben Sandwiches, Waldorf Salad, Sweet Potato Fries and New York Cheesecake

Now Reuebn sandwiches didn't actually originate in New York. They are actually from the midwest, but I figured any great deli sandwich is New York cuisine. I was especially excited to make the Reubens with my homemade sauerkraut (more on that in a different post).

But a basic Reuben is: rye bread, thousand island dressing, pastrami, sauerkraut and swiss cheese. I grilled the meat, topped with cheese and put on bread with thousand island and grilled the whole sandwich. Oh my goodness they are awesome! 

Tom actually stayed in a hotel just a block or 2 away from the Waldorf Astoria Hotel where the salad originated. I was suprised at how tasty Waldorf Salad is.
The basic ingredients are chopped apple, chopped celery, toasted walnuts, red grapes. Toss those in a simple dressing of mayonaise and lemon juice (I used lime). Salt and pepper to taste and serve over a bed of lettuce. Super delish.

And any meal finished off with a cheesecake is amazing! I use my Grandma Brownrigg's cousin's recipe. I don't think it is actually a New York Cheesecake, because I think those tend to be dry and the Fishers like theirs nice and moist and slightly undercooked.

Llewelyn's Cheesecake

1 package graham crackers, ground finely
1 cube butter, melted
1/4 c sugar
Combine and press into bottom of springform pan. chill

2- 8 oz pkgs cream cheese, room temp
2/3 c sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 t vanilla
Blend well and and pour into crust. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. You want it soft and slightly jiggly. Let sit 15 minutes.

1 c sour cream
2 T sugar
1 t vanilla
Gently pour over top and bake for 10 minutes at 425.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mad Science

I'm very proud of my budding scientists. They both entered the science fair at school and did very well.

Porter's project was about which fruit or veggie makes the best battery. He made made a battery out of 4 fruits and veggies. He used the battery to power an LED light and also tested the voltage of each battery.  

 His hypothesis was a lemon would make the best battery because of it's acid content.
photo by Porter

His project was quite a hit at the fair. He took second amongst 3rd graders.

Eliza's project was about how a plant gets water from its roots to its leaves. It was the perfect project for a 1st grader. She understood the concept, was able to come up with a hypothesis on her own. And it didn't take too long to do.

She put a celery stalk in red water and observed it as the water made its way through the plant. 

My cutie girl took 1st place amongst 1st graders and made it to the district fair. She did not place at the district level, but I think she had fun. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Updated Race Schedule

Here is my updated schedule and results thus far. There are a few additions.
January: St George Half Marathon (1:41:54)
February: Death Valley 10K (44:52), Dam 2 Dam 10 miler (1:17:17)
April: SHAC Sprint Triathlon (1:04:18), Salt Lake City Marathon (3:35:54), Hurricane Half (1:48:20)
June: Utah Valley Marathon, Utah Summer Games Cycling
July: Hurricane Trails River Run (4 mile trail run)
August: Utah Half (half iron distance Tri)
September: LOTOJA (206 miles, 3 states, 1 day on a bike)
October: St. George Marathon, Las Vegas Ragnar (200 mile, 12 person relay)
November: Butch Cassidy 10K (although deep down I want to try the Snow Canyon Half, maybe next year I can convince Tom to change the date of Butch Cassidy), SHAC Turkey Tri
Decemeber: Hostess Half Marathon

There is still room for a few races. Any suggestions?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Boston or Bust

Click here for all the glorious details of the Salt Lake City Marathon.

Monday, April 4, 2011


So i think I finally went crazy (or just a little crazier).

i decided to commit to a few crazy athletic endeavors this summer, and it turns out they are all very close to each other. And to make it even crazier, Tom is doing them all as well. i don't exactly know how we'll train, but I am excited.

  • Utah Half. Half-iron distance triathlon. Swim 1.2 miles, bike 56 miles and run 13.1 miles. I've done this before and it's not as bad as it sounds. The bike and run courses are flat. The last 2 years have been super windy. I am excited because Tom is doing it. This will only be his 2nd open water tri.
  • 2009

  • LOTOJA. 2 weeks after the half, I am going to attempt to ride my bike 206 miles from Logan to Jackson Hole. In 1 Day! This means I have to climb 3 giant mountains, face lots of wind, and probably dig deeper than I ever have. Tom is "racing" it and I am just doing the "fun ride." It's the same except I get to start earlier and don't have the pressure he does to do well. I am excited because 1 friend from down here decided to join me for her birthday and I hope I can ride with Tom's brothers as well.
  • Tom at mile 80 in 2009

  • St George Marathon. 3 weeks after LOTOJA is the marathon. I am not going to stress too much about it, assuming I qualify for Boston in the time I want at SLC Marathon in a week and a half.  

I ran it in 2010 with my sister 3 month post baby.

I'm not sure what I am getting myself into, but hey I'm not doing an ultra marathon or an Ironman like many of my friends so maybe I am little more sane than I thought.

Meatless Monday: Mahi Mahi

So some may say fish is meat, but for us, fish can be enjoyed on Meatless Monday (or Thursday as the case was this week).

Grilled Mahi-Mahi with Mango-Cilantro Salsa
I grilled 4 oz mahi-mahi fillets with only salt and pepper. I topped them with a mango salsa (1 mango, diced, 1/4 c chopped onion, 1/4 chopped cilantro, squeeze of lime juice). So delicious.

Orange-cilantro brown rice
I cooked brown rice and then mixed in orange juice concentrate and choppped cilantro. I think I would have preffered it with lime juice, but didn't have any.

Steamed Asapragus

Chocolate Cream Pie

It was a good meal!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Meatless Monday: Acorn Squash and Turnip Soup

I received an acorn squash (which I like) and 4 giant turnips (which I don't love) in my Bountiful Basket recently. The squash sat on my counter for 2 plus weeks and the giant turnips sat untouched in my produce drawer. I finally decided I needed to use them up. I remembered a link on the Bountiful Basket Facebook page for a turnip-butternut squash soup from All Recipes. I found the recipe to get a base for my soup and then just kind of flew by the seat of my pants. I think it turned out delicious.

Acorn Squash and Turnip Soup

2 T butter
1 T olive oil
1 sm onion, diced
3 c acorn squash, peeled and cubed
3 c turnips, peeled and cubed
2 cloves garlic
3 c chicken stock
2 c water
1 t chicken base
1/2 t nutmeg
1 c cream
salt and pepper

Sautee onion and veggies in butter and oil. Add garlic. Add stock, water and base. Simmer until veggies are soft. Blend with hand mixer or in batches in blender. Add nutmeg, cream and salt and pepper to taste.

We served it with a simple spinach salad and homemade half whole wheat rolls.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Meatless Monday: Pasta Fagioli and Zucchini Pancakes

One Monday morning I was running on my treadmill and I started watching the Cake Boss's cooking show. I can't stand the guy, but he was making some fun sounding meatless dishes that I happened to have all the ingredients for (thanks to Bountiful Baskets).  So I decided to suffer through his annoying mannerisms to get his recipes for Pasta Fagioli and Zucchini pancakes. I adapted them a bit to work for me so here are my recipes.

Pasta Fagioli

1 sm onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4-6 c water
1 4 oz can tomato paste
2 cans kidney beans, drained
parmesan rind ( I didn't have this so I topped with parmesan)
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb pasta, cooked al dente
fresh spinach or kale (i forgot to put this in :(

Sautee onion, carrot and celery in olive oil. Add water, tomato paste, kidney bean and parmesan rind if using. Simmer until veggies are soft. Add pasta and simmer 15 or so minutes. Add more water if needed. Remove rind. Salt and pepper to taste. Add spinach or kale and cook 5 minutes.

Zucchini Pancakes

2 zucchinis (or yellow squash), grated
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 c onion, finely chopped
1 T italian seasoning
1/3 c italian cheese (parmesan, romano, mozarella)
2 T flour
2 eggs
salt and pepper

Squeeze squash of excess liquid. Combine all ingredients and sautee in vegetable oil until browned.

These were both super simple dishes to prepare, super delicious, super healthy and meatless.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

2011 Race Schedule

My amazing friend had a great idea to blog his race schedule. Once it's written down, you are way more committe, right?. So, i decided to copy his great idea and blog my 2011 race schedule. Mine is not as ambitious as his, but good enough for me. Cory is even more obsessed with running than I am, but his OCD running makes him funny and fit, so he has a good excuse.

January: St George Half Marathon (1:41:54)
February: Death Valley 10K (44:52), Dam 2 Dam 10 miler (1:17:17)
April: SHAC Sprint Triathlon, Salt Lake City Marathon, Hurricane Half?
May: St. George Triathlon?
June: Utah Summer Games Cycling
July: Hurricane Trails River Run (4 mile trail run)
August: Utah Half (half iron distance Tri)
September: Red Rock Relay?
October: St. George Marathon
November: Butch Cassidy 10K (although deep down I want to try the Snow Canyon Half, maybe next year I can convince Tom to change the date of Butch Cassidy)
Decemeber: Hostess Half Marathon

There is still room for a few races. Any suggestions?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Shredded Wheat Muffins

You know when you eat a box (or bag if you are in to malt-o-meal like I am) of shredded wheat, frosted or not, you always end up with a bunch of shredded shredded wheat crumbs. My kids like to call it magic dust and they will gladly pour the stuff in their bowls.

But my amazing friend Jenny gave me a better use for the stuff: Shredded Wheat Muffins.

I've made them twice now in two variations. I made an orange-cranberry muffin and an apple-cinnamon with streusel topping. I did have troubles with my muffins collapsing in the center. I'm not sure why. Should I add another egg? More baking powder? But regardless, they tasted great!

Jenny's Awesome Shredded Wheat Muffins
3 c Flour
1 + cup shredded wheat magic dust
2 T baking powder
2 t salt
1 c brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 c milk
1/2 c oil
Mix dry ingredients. In separate bowl mix eggs, milk and oil. Add to dry mixture and stir just until moistened. Fold in filling.
filling and spice
        Apple Streusel Muffin
        2 c chopped apple
        3 t cinnamon
        1/2 t nutmeg
        streusel topping (1 c brown sugar, 1 c oats, 1/2 c flour, 1 cube cold butter cut in, 2 t cinnamon)
        Cranberry Orange Muffin
        2 C chopped cranberries
        zest and juice from 1 orange
        2 c frozen blueberries blended with 1/2 c yogurt
        2 t cinnamon

Spoon into muffin tins (don't overfill). Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Meatless Mondays

What a great idea. Tom and I try to consume less meat. We aren't vegetarians by any stretch of the imagination, but we do try to be frugal with our meat consumption, especially red meat. I found this blog post about meatless mondays and a number of great meatless meal ideas.

So starting this week, we are going to incorporate meatless mondays into our menu planning. On Monday we had wild mushroom and cheese ravioli served with a simple romaine/spinach Simple, yet delicious. I am excited to try more meatless meals.

Hurray for Bountiful Baskets! With a fresh variety of fruits and veggies every other week (or every if you prefer), I am bound to have some great options for meatless meals.

What are your ideas for meatless monday?

Death Valley 2011

We recently went to Death Valley National Park for a race (race report coming soon). What a beautiful place! As desolate and remote as it is, Death Valley is spectacular. We camped for 2 nights withmy parents and aunt and uncle. We only had one day to explore, and beacuse it is so vast, we couldn't explore much. There are some spectaular sand dunes in the park. They just sort of rise out of nowhere. We had tons of fun racing down them. The biggest one was about a 2 mile hike, and after our race and a previous hike, we just decided to have fun on a mini one. The kids loved it!
We also hiked a beautiful slot canyon, Mosaic Canyon. It was short, but beautiful. The kids loved sliding and climbing.

James especially loved exploring. He is such a firecracker.

I can't wait to go back. I think we'd like to try it out again next year. The weather was ideal for winter (60s). The campground was awesome (a little oasis in the desolate desert), the race was amazing (great finishes for all involved), and the company was grand.