Wednesday, February 19, 2014

President's Day Weekend

We had a great time during our long weekend, and thought you might enjoy seeing some of the pictures we took.
Valentine's Day dinner on the balcony
Underneath a full moon - if you want recipes click here
Ward picnic at the park
Fay and Adam fixed authentic Columbian cuisine for dinner - Ceviche and Arroz con Pollo.
Pressure washing the front of the house
Perfect afternoon at the beach

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

We hope you're all having a great day. Just thought you might like to know what treats you'd get if you lived a bit closer. Maybe someday! However, they're all pretty easy to do, so you can make some yourself if you want.

First I tried dipping some sugar wafer cookies. WAY too sweet! But they look pretty. I tried a new recipe for dipping caramel and that was a bust, so the double-dipped pretzels will have to wait for another holiday, but I did do a few single-dip ones just to use up the almond bark.
What I really wanted to make for Wayne to take to work were these Reese's Peanut Butter Cookies, using Dove's heart-shaped chocolate instead of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Can you believe that when I went to the store to buy them, they didn't have any? Fortunately, I found a silicone heart-shaped mold, so I made my own. It was probably just as quick to melt chocolate and spoon it into the mold as it would have been to unwrap individual chocolate candies. But the Dove's would have tasted better!
My recipe (which is really just an ordinary Peanut Butter Cookie recipe) said to bake them in a mini muffin pan. You have to be patient and let them cool thoroughly in the pan, or else the cookies crumble into pieces.
So, I decided to make a batch just on the cookie sheet. Both of them taste great and look fine, but we decided the ones made in the muffin pan look more impressive, and are worth the extra effort it takes to carefully remove them from the pan. What do you think?
For the seminary students, I decided to make the s'mores kits that you see all over Pinterest. I figured graham crackers were more of a breakfast food than sugar cookies. The graham cracker recipe I used - found here - was awesome. I actually used my food processor!  Super easy and delicious, too. Then I just packaged them with some heart-shaped marshmallows and Hershey's kisses. (Earlier this week I had each student write one nice thing about every one else in class, which I then compiled into individual lists and attached to their treat bag. They loved reading what everyone else said about them. Success!)
Finally, I decided we really did need some pink frosting and sprinkles. Fortunately, there was a container of sugar cookies in the freezer (from our Christmas preparations), so those didn't take too much effort. Good thing, because the counters were already covered with other treats.
Wayne was happy, and that's what's important.
Preparing treats for others was yesterday's project. Today will be nice and quiet, ending with dinner for two, just the way it should. Our low-calorie scallops are thawing while the high-calorie mousse is chilling. We hope you enjoy whatever you do to celebrate the holiday just as much as we will!
Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Remembering December - Caroline Park

Welcome home, Jeff!
It was a little overcast and chilly, so instead of heading to the beach after picking Jeff up at the airport, we stopped at a little city park for a picnic lunch.

Brooke finally warmed up to Uncle Jeff after he started feeding her grapes.



Once we got home it was time to finally finish opening the Christmas presents. Isn't it nice to be the center of attention?
Brooke was a great helper in the kitchen as we prepared a second "Christmas Eve" dinner. We felt badly that Jeff missed the original one, and everyone else was fine with another feast! We always have a lot to celebrate.
And it was just as yummy as the first one.
Merry Christmas, Jeff! It was good to have you home.