"experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." -randy pausch

Saturday, August 31, 2013

CHICKEN BACON TOMATO ALFREDO PIZZA {don't let the 2 cubes of butter scare you away}

it was mostly because i wanted to eat bacon.
partly because we are in the midst of garden fresh tomatoes daily.
and ok really, it was because i had heavy cream in my fridge.
and cream cheese.
ok, ok, ok,
it was mostly about the bacon:)
i LOVE bacon.
it's like the universe was screaming at me to make this.
and how can you tell the universe no when it talks to you?
i give you,

--this recipe is for ONE pizza--i doubled it and made 2.--
{if you don't want to make your own dough, 
you can always buy dough from some grocery store bakeries, 
OR stop by your favorite pizza joint to buy raw dough from there. 
call before just to make sure they do that, but most do.}

4 tsp yeast
2 cups warm water
4 tsp sugar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp salt
**for my whole wheat pizza dough recipe click here.**

1. yeast and sugar into the warm water. 
sit it your microwave for 10 minutes while the yeast rises. DO NOT COOK.
2. flour, salt, olive oil into your mixer. add water, 
yeast, and sugar mixture once yeast has turned 
yellow and bubbly {after about 10 minutes}.
3. mix with dough hook in your mixer 
or knead on counter top for about 5 minutes. 
i added about 3/4 cup water to it while it mixed.
click here and scroll down about halfway for tips 
about what your dough should look like.
4. put half of your dough into a greased bowl, 
cover and sit in the microwave for 45 min-1 hour. DO NOT COOK. 
{put the other half of the dough into a greased 
ziploc freezer bag and freeze if you are only making ONE pizza. 
you can thaw on your counter 
another day and let it rise as it thaws 
to make another pizza, 
but without all of the work of making your dough.}

1 cup heavy cream
{same thing as heavy whipping cream}
1 stick butter
{so if you double the recipe for 2 pizzas, you'll be using TWO CUBES OF BUTTER. 
don't let them scare you away. i promise, you won't regret it, nom nom nom!}
2 tbls cream cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, chopped OR 1 tsp garlic powder

1. in a medium sauce pan over meduim heat, 
stir together the cream, butter, and cream cheese until fully melted 
{the cream cheese took what felt like forever to melt, 
and it was lumpy/chunky until i had whisked everything in together at the end}.
2. stir in the Parmesan cheese, chopped garlic/garlic powder, 
and cook for 5-10 min on low heat until the sauce thickens.

{these toppings are for ONE pizza, i doubled this and made 2 pizzas}
1 chicken breast, boiled, and cubed
1/2 packaged of bacon, cooked to your liking, chopped
purple onion, chopped
1-2 tomatoes, chopped
garlic salt
1/2 cube of butter-ROOM TEMP!
{for butter garlic crust spread}

1. make your dough. let it rise.
2. boil your chicken, chop it, set it aside.
3. fry your bacon, cool on a paper towel, chop, set aside.
3. after your dough has risen, roll it out on the counter with lots of flour.
4. spray your pizza pan{s} with PAM and plate your dough.
i like a stuffed crust.
click here to see how i do that.
it will be awesome either way, i just LOOOOOVE a stuffed crust.
4. pour on sauce all over, lay your cheese around the edge 
if you're doing the stuffed crust, fold the sides in.
**if you're doing a regular pizza crust, then just lay your dough out and put your sauce down.**
5. sprinkle cheese, chicken, bacon, tomato, and onion all over evenly.
6. once all of your toppings are on, spread your room temperature butter on the crust all the way around,
then sprinkle with garlic salt. basically, you're turning your crust into garlic bread, and if you chose to stuff your crust, then you are turning your crust into cheesy garlic bread.
it's everything you've ever wanted in a pizza crust.
i promise:)
7. bake at 425* for 15-18 minutes.
sometimes i bake at 450*, but i make sure to REALLY keep an eye on it as it gets closer to 15 minutes so it doesn't over cook the crust. start with 425* the first time you cook it to see how your oven does. if you like a crispier crust, i would recommend 450*, but KEEP your eye on it;)
8. cool for 5-10 minutes after you take it out of the oven.

it's the most time consuming pizza i make,
worth every minute!

HELLO SHOE ORGANIZATION HEAVEN. {we've been looking for you}

no more searching for the other shoe in the pair,
only to switch halfway through your search b/c you're convinced the other shoe you just found will be easier to find,
at which point you drop the first shoe you were looking for,
and end up finding the mate to the first pair you had,
but lost when you gave up and started looking for the next.
three different pairs in three different sizes,
and they all need them before you can leave your house.
goodbye shoe basket,
kids get the bottom drawer,
we get the top.
the rest of my shoes are in cubbies in my closet upstairs.
the ones i wear most often throughout the week get to bask in the glory of
the shoe dresser by the garage door.
the best piece of furniture we have EVER purchased.
you're welcome in advance.

Friday, August 30, 2013

day 4 & 1/2 {first responder & hazmat crew}

day 4 & 1/2
1:05am-chase pukes milk all over me.
three times.
and i had even showered less than 12 hours before.
i shower.
sean bathes chase.
change of clothes.
throw in load of laundry.
we watch barney in bed.
chase drinks blue powerade.
we all go back to bed.
except for me b/c i stay up coughing.
couldn't stop.

"somewhere in the middle of the night AM"-
max comes in wanting milk and a "bee-na-na."
sean takes her downstairs.
puts her back to bed.
she comes in again.
he goes to lay with her in her bed.
i start coughing again.
we all fall back asleep.

6:36am-chase pukes blue powerade all over me.
three times.
my hair was spared this time.
i shower.
sean gives chase a bath.
we are a well oiled machine of puke clean up at this point.
i wipe down the floors.
put towels over and under the part that hit the edge of the bed.
put the first load of laundry into the dryer.
throw in a second load of laundry in.
we watch barney in bed.
i tickle/scratch chase's back until he's in a coma.
i think he is the cutest sweetest thing laying there all curled up on the pillow in our bed.
we put him back to bed.
i tell sean i'm a puke magnet.
b/c whenever one of our kids pukes,
i'm always covered in it.
he tells me that's because i'm the first responder,
and then he said that he's the hazmat crew.
we laugh really hard at this.
i slide up against him on his side of the bed, 
so i don't have to lay by the puke spot that hit my side of the bed 
{it really didn't smell, and i wasn't changing the sheets. i just wasn't.}
thank you king sized bed.
where one side is on a different planet from the other.
heaven sent.
i start coughing again.
we fall back asleep.
the alarm goes off to get brennan up for school.
i'd say we're off to a great start!
have mercy.
the good news: i know it's not an ear infection.
hip hip hooray!
seriously though, this is really exciting.
i've got to say, it IS pretty funny.
first responder and hazmat.
we make a good team.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

growing pains {1st week of kindergarten}

the cherry tomatoes in the center of the bush are always the trickiest to get out.
let's wrap up the first week of kindergarten so far...

day 1:
sad he's gone. 
put away every piece of laundry in my house.
everything is clean and quiet.
celebrate with chick-fil-a.
this is gonna be great!

day 2:
really, 8:15am again?
this is early.
yes, you can play at cade's house again.
max is bored out of her mind.
chase is teething and whining.
my house is a mess.
we watch tv all day.
go to ikea at night.
brennan goes into the play center.
i love ikea.
brennan and max stay up late laughing and playing in bed until after 9pm,
even though they were put to bed at 7:45.

day 3:
brennan doesn't want to go to school.
why does kindergarten have to be so early?
he wants to know why i signed him up for mornings, 
and when he can watch tv and play with a phone?
chase is teething and miserable.
he won't eat.
must be held.
fever hotter than Hades.
green poo.
i'm still sick with a cold.
going on day 8.
max is bored out of her mind.
she refuses to watch tv.
i drag brennan and cade to my house, 
promising them mac & cheese and an hour of lego batman on the wii.
brennan thinks i'm the meanest mom on the planet.
he and cade want to live together.
they are mad that susie and i won't let them.
i feel sad b/c i don't feel like i've seen brennan in 3 days.

day 4:
sean gets irritated with the safety patrol about the drop off rules for kindergartners.
we laugh about it when he gets home, and i am still in bed barely opening my eyes 
{i was up with chase and another Hades hot fever last night, so hot it burned my lips, i kid you not. gave him some motrin, rocked him for half an hour while his fever came down, 
and remembered how much i love holding a baby that sits on my chest 
all snuggled and sleeping--flashbacks of life before tubes.},
and then we talked about how he'd better just walk him in every day until brennan can walk by himself from one side of the school to the other from the drop off line to the kindergarten part of the school.
i complain to my friends about how i don't like the drop off and pick up routine 
while i'm visiting teaching, one says she saw sean this morning, 
we laugh about that, continue to gripe about how people get out of their cars 
and the pick up and drop off at the school is annoying.
then i left to pick up brennan and try to avoid going through the pick up line,
by parking on the street in front of the school,
behind another car that did the same thing
{i'm thinking that my luck is on today and that i must have hit it at JUST the right time
with all of these open front curb spots available. i was feeling SO awesome},
and then when i'm walking back with brennan, 
i see a motor officer 
and i realize 
that the reason why no one was parking there 
was because it was illegal to park there.
he voids my ticket, 
i thank him profusely,
all in front of the principal and two kindergarten teachers,
and other parents following the pick up line rules.
but not really b/c then i walk off with a smile 
b/c thank the heavens above!!!
for the first time in my entire life
i got a warning.
and in my defense,
i really did believe it was ok to park there.
bless that motor officer for having pity on a 1st time kindergartner mom.
we come home,
brennan tells me i'm the meanest mom for not letting him play with cade,
even though they've played after school for 3 days in a row,
AND i make him tell me about school when he gets home instead of watching tv.
it feels good to be getting into a new routine.
our garden is bursting.
max is my gardening helper.
i love it.
but she is just mostly lonely for brennan.
he tells me he loves kindergarten,
he's learning the pledge of allegiance,
and they are supposed to wear red tomorrow.
i can already see he's more grown up today
than he was on monday.
i'm so proud and happy for him.
and he says he's really tired,
and doesn't want to go to morning kindergarten tomorrow.
i wonder what will happen on DAY 5?
this is the only picture i have of brennan from this entire week 
b/c i haven't seen him 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

SALSA CANNING RECIPE {no peeling necessary}


8 cups very ripe tomatoes, cored and chopped 
{do NOT peel or seed the tomatoes!--this is the BEST part of this recipe.
SAVES you steps, and gets your salsa going faster.}
2 1/2 cups yellow onions, chopped
1 1/2 cups mild green Anaheim-type peppers, chopped
1 cup jalapeno peppers, minced
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 1/2 tsp cumin {1tsp if you don't like spicy}
2tsp black pepper
2tbls canning salt {also called pickling salt--no iodine}
1/3 cup white vinegar
15 oz tomato sauce
12 oz tomato paste
juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1. you can hand chop everything as directed above OR you can use a higher quality blender. we have a ninja, and that it was we do to save on time. if you want a chunky CHUNKY salsa, do hand chopping. 
if you don't mind a medium chunk then make things easier for yourself and USE YOUR BLENDER:).
2. if you are USING YOUR BLENDER the key is to layer things in the right order so that it doesn't end up in a pure liquid, unless you want a pure liquid salsa, and then it doesn't matter.
{i recommend hand chopping the garlic 
b/c it just doesn't get chopped up well when you're pulsing the salsa.}
**if it doesn't all fit in one blender you can split it up, 
layering each time, 
or just do one layered batch of everything, 
and one of just tomatoes, 
pulsing less with the tomatoes b/c they are do delicate and "mush" faster.**
3. in a NON-ALUMINUM pot, mix everything together except for the lime juice and cilantro.
4. bring the mixture to a boil. continue boiling 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. remove from heat and stir in lime juice and cilantro.
6. fill six pint jars {or your choice of jars} with hot mixture 
{i prefer wide mouth pint jars for my salsa making}.
7. wipe rims and add lids and screw-bands.
8. process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes if you're doing pints,
or 25 minutes if you're doing quarts. 
{add 10 min. to either time if you live in utah for elevation.
for example: i process my pints for 25 minutes and my quarts for 35 minutes
click here for an elevation guide}.
{make sure the boiling water is deep enough to cover the jars by 
at least ONE INCH, and start timing when the water starts boiling after adding the jars.}
Click HERE for a CANNING "HOW TO"!
24 pints under our belt.
we want some more, we want some more!
my canning buddy is my favorite part.
church clothes, gloves, and all.
such a champ.

Monday, August 26, 2013

i'm just a sucker for pomp and circumstance.

"i hope there's gonna be show and tell, 
'cause i love show and tell."
age: 5
favorite color: blue
best friend: cade
favorite animal: tiger
what do you want to be when you grow up: policeman
where do you want to live: california
favorite sport: soccer
favorite food: macaroni and cheese
favorite thing about yourself: being myself
favorite movie: batman
favorite super hero: batman
favorite holiday: halloween and christmas
favorite song: phillip phillips
favorite tv show: batman
favorite day: every day
favorite treat: cookies
favorite drink: rootbeer soda
favorite number: 6
favorite toy: superman
what are you most happy about this summer: mom
favorite memory about summer: going to the zoo with cade and blake
what are you really good at doing: jumping
favorite thing to do at home: play toys with max
what super power do you wish you had: 
flying and strong b/c i like being strong and i've always wanted to fly
favorite book: lego star wars
what is hard for you: nothing
what makes you happy: a hug and a kiss, but from mom's that don't wear lipstick on sundays
i started to tear up when he gave me a hug and a kiss.
and again when he walked under that banner on the red carpet.
so i figured i'd better just walk fast to my car if i was going to cry.
but by the time i got to the car, 
i couldn't muster one lousy tear.
i'm just a sucker for pomp and circumstance i guess.
susie and i picked the boys up and took all of the kids to chick-fil-a.
where they told us that they read a story,
had recess,
found their bins,
were unsure if they had name tags on their desks or not,
and really, couldn't remember where their desks were anyway.
brennan told me he was sitting by a girl with hair.
clearly disappointing to him, which i thought was hilarious.
and then they ran off to play in the play zone.
 oh to be finished with your 1st day of kindergarten.
right before bed we couldn't find monkey anywhere.
all of a sudden brennan said he remembered where he was.
and i was all, "why??!! monkey shouldn't be going to school!"
and he was like, "i sneaked him into my backpack."
and i was all, "how come?"
and he was like, "so i wouldn't be scared or sad at school."
at which point my heart melted,
my brows furrowed all puppy dog like,
and i had to climb into bed with him.
so i could hold his hand,
with monkey on his chest,
to watch him fall asleep.
thank heavens for little boys.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

there's always going to be somebody that doesn't like peaches.

we laid out all of his choices.
it took him about 5 seconds to decide.
then we labeled everything but his underwear and socks,
even though he begged me to do his socks,
i would not.
don't know why i wouldn't,
just seemed excessive i guess.
plus really,
if he actually takes off his socks and loses them,
i don't really want them back. 
i chased little Hawaiian umbrellas around my patio for about 2 minutes
while i was trying to set the table. 
until i realized tape was really what i needed.
when i came back,
max was chasing Hawaiian umbrellas around the patio.
and i laughed.
kindred souls.
but once i taped them down,
they were a hit.
i gave each of my kids a plastic hawaiian necklace,
and brennan was the first to suggest we cheers.
the green puffs were my favorite part.
and it was just so fun to fuss over.
inspiration here.
i've only been waiting 5 years to do it:)
and i have been counting down the days this week to enjoy it.
{even though chase threw food at me almost the entire time.}
spaghetti and meatballs, with green beans and rolls, per brennan's request.
it wasn't "if" he was going to touch the balls,
just "when."
his little world is about to explode into a thousand times bigger.
and i'm terrified and ecstatic for him all at the same time.
like we're opening a brand new book we've never read before.
and i feel like we're going to Disneyland.
with the buzz of the first day jitters all around.
so excited you can hardly sleep!
after dinner he told me that he's most excited about making new friends,
and most nervous about making new friends.
so i told him that if he's nervous about making new friends,
that maybe the other kids might be nervous too,
and he smiled at me and said "yeah," 
a little excited about thinking about it all.
and then i told him to be nice to everybody,
and always
tell the truth.
b/c i used to be a big fat liar,
and all it got me was trouble;)
and then i told him that no matter how big and juicy a peach is,
there's always going to be somebody that doesn't like peaches.
and he rolled his eyes and told me that i already told him that yesterday,
so i didn't need to tell him that again today.
i can't believe my baby is going to kindergarten tomorrow.
here we go...


he always goes for the green ones.
and can be found camped out in the back,
and rummaging through the sides,
usually with a smirk on his face,
like he's doing something naughty.
and i just feel like he is the happiest of babies on the entire planet.
not a care in the world.
sitting naked in the dirt,
leaning up against the warm fence,
eating unripe cherry tomatoes.
looking out on the yard.
or down in the dirt for ants.
max is usually his partner in crime,
but he's always the one that will outlast everyone.
and i love him for it.
my chaser man.
{the storm last night uprooted one of my sunflowers. sad day.}