Thursday, July 31, 2008

Grilling by the Pool - Meetup Group

Last night I went to the monthly meetup group party. I originally wanted to make grilled corn on the cob with lime butter, chili rub and queso fresco. I forgot to post my suggestion and someone else decided to bring the corn. Actually I think Rechelle's recipe was better than mine anyway.

I had a ton of queso fresco I needed to use. I decided to make my standard pasta salad replacing the Mozzarella with queso fresco. This salad is so simple. Yet the fresh herbs, especially the basil, add a nice touch to this traditional salad.

11 ounces small shell-shaped pasta
3 cloves garlic
18 ounces red cherry tomatoes
1 cucumber
1 handful black olives, pitted
Mozzarella cheese (I used queso fresco)
2 tablespoons fresh chives
1 handful fresh basil
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the pasta and garlic, and simmer for about 5 minutes or until al dente, and drain.

Put the garlic to one side for the dressing. Put the pasta in a bowl.

Cut the tomatoes, cucumber, cheese, and black olives into small pieces, about half the size of the pasta, and place in the bowl. Roughly chop the herbs and place these in the bowl.

Using a fork mash the cooked garlic cloves on the board with a little salt, add to the salad.
Add the oil, vinegar, and seasoning.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Zucchini Muffins

I have so much zucchini from my garden and I can't keep up with eating it all. Last night I made these zucchini muffins to use a portion of the squash. I found the recipe on and modified it just a bit.

When it comes to bread I love anything oaty, wheaty, or grainy. This recipe has oatmeal in it and I replaced the oil with applesauce. So overall I'd like to think these are a healthy little snack.

Zucchini Muffins

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3 large eggs
3/4 cup applesauce
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini (about 2 medium zucchini)
Crushed Pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Stir the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a large mixing bowl. When combined, mix in the oats. Make a well in the center of the ingredients. Whisk the eggs, oil, and vanilla together in a small bowl and pour the mixture into the well. Combine lightly, then stir in the zucchini. Do not over mix.

Put the batter into lined muffin tins . Sprinkle with the crushed pecan if you wish. Bake for 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bead Fairy

Last night Dave's Cousin Liz, Aunt Sue and I took a trip to the Bead Fairy. I was thrilled when I found the section of natural stone beads. I always assumed the beads you found in a store like this would all be plastic or glass.

This is what I came up with. The green beads are jade and the coral beads are yep you guest it, coral.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Lightning McQueen

Dave's high school friend Amanda asked if I would make a cake for her son's 4th birthday. His party is Cars themed so we came up with this Lightning McQueen cake. This was my first attempt at making Lightning. I thought it turned out pretty good. I put in the basement to stay cool, so I thought.

Before I went to bed I decided to check on Lightning. It was so hot yesterday the bottom cake buckled. I'm sure I had enough supports in it but the heat was just too much I guess.

Luckily Wal-Mart carries fondant and is open late. Dave ran to the store while I disassembled the poor Lightning cake. I put a new layer of fondant on the bottom tier and repiped the message. Disaster averted!

I actually like the second cake better. The first time I put Lightning in the center of the cake and wrote Happy Birthday Eli on the side of the bottom tier. I wasn't thrilled with how it turned out. So the second attempt I made room to write the message on the top of the cake.

Cake decorated always has its surprises. When I was working on the cake in the morning I thought "this was too easy." I guess I was a little too confident and needed to be humbled. Well, fixing a cake in the middle of the night in my pajamas seemed to do the trick.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Another Katie Post

Katie has to be involved with everything I'm doing. Last week I got a pedicure. When I got home I put the spa flip flops on the couch. I looked over and Katie was trying them on. I thought maybe she wanted a pedicure too.

Did I ever tell you how Katie came to live with Dave and I? Well, she belonged to my Great Grandpa Anderson. He got her from the shelter when see was a kitten. He needed company after my Great Grandma past away and Katie was perfect for him. She's very needy and possessive of her people which is kind of annoying for me but was great for my Grandpa. She was always by Grandpa's side.

Two and a half years ago Grandpa moved into a nursing home. They let Katie come with him to the home but after a month it was to hard for Grandpa to take care of himself and Katie. Everyone really wanted Katie to stay in the family because she meant so much to Grandpa. Dave and I were nominated to be Katie's new parents. I drove out to Idaho to see my Grandpa and to pick up Katie. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. Grandpa loved Katie so much and had asked for someone to take care of her for him. But when I tried to take her away he was really confused and kept saying "why are you taking my cat?" It broke my heart. Within a week of us taking Katie, Grandpa Anderson passed away. I feel like Katie keeps my Grandpa in my mind and heart.

Here's my Grandma Haws, Grandpa Anderson, Katie and I. Actually at the time her name wasn't Katie. Grandpa named her Chelsey but I don't think he ever called he that. He always called her Kitty. I wasn't a big fan of the name Chelsey for a cat and Kitty isn't really a name. So now she's Katie. I thought it was close enough to Kitty that she wouldn't even notice.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Elopement Cake

Disclaimer on my next few cake posts: I think I made a bit of a mistake with this blog. I started out showing my most recent cakes which of course are a lot better. So now I'm left with my beginner cakes that are a little lumpy.

This is my first attempt at a tiered cake. My friend Josh eloped a couple of years ago. He and his wife Molly had a casual party to celebrate after they told everyone the news. I thought it would be funny to bring a wedding cake since they didn't have one at their wedding. I was a little nervous bringing it because there was nothing traditional about their wedding. Luckily they loved it. They had a "ceremonial" cake cutting which was really cute.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Does anyone understand 12 year old boys?

I was shopping for some goodies for Dave to take to scout camp and I found my new favorite treat. Dill Pickle Pringles! I had some Dill Pickle Lays a couple of years ago. I loved the taste put I'm not a big fan of greasy potato chips. But this Pringles are awesome.

Dave told me the menu that the scouts planed for camp and I thought there is no way Dave can survive on the food the scouts said they wanted to bring. Each boy was in charge of a planning and shopping for a meal. One night they are going to have chicken breast. Dave said, "so do you want any sides with your chicken or any seasoning?" The scout said, "no, just chicken breast." For breakfast one morning a scout wants ham and carrots. What? Is that even a meal.

I couldn't bear to let my husband eat food prepared by 12 year old boys so I'm sending him with some processed, high calorie, full of preservatives snacks instead.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Birds and Blooms

Sometimes I wish Dave and I were a little more frivolous with our money. Because if we were I'd be the proud owner of this cute little writing desk and dresser from Pier 1. I've been in love with this set the first time I saw it last month. I have no need for it but that doesn't change the fact that I can't stop thinking about it.

Wood Floors

While Dave was getting ready for scout camp, I finished pulling up the carpet in the living room. There are a few problem areas, but overall I think they look pretty nice.

I went to RC Willey last week and picked out a carpet remnant. I had them bind it so we could use it as a rug. I wish we would have done this 3 years ago when we moved in. I think it feels a lot homier.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Preparing for Global Warming

I was behind this truck yesterday on Bangerter Highway. I couldn't help but stare at the map of the US on the back. I thought it was a bit odd that they left off California, Oregon and Washington. The only explanation I could think of was maybe they are anticipating those states to be under the ocean before it's time to design new graphics. Very Strange.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hibiscus Cake

This is one of my favorite little cakes. I've made it a couple of times. The first time was for my mother in law's birthday last year.

I like the idea of piping on fondant. I feel like I don't use piping anymore since I discovered fondant. So every few cakes I like to add some piped details. It's nostalgic I guess.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Katie's Destruction

I guess Katie didn't appreciate the fun trip we took to Idaho Falls. While we were gone she wanted to get out so bad she tore up the carpet around our front door. Most people would probably have been upset seeing 8 feet of carpet pulled up from the tack strip but I was thrilled. I've been wanting to get rid of the old carpet in our dining and living room to expose the wood floors. I've put it off because I wasn't sure what shape they would be in. I knew there were big chunks missing from the floor where there was once a wall making the dining room a bedroom.

About 7:00 last night I decided to take out the carpet in the dining room just to see how bad the floors were. Here is the result. Yikes the bottom of my table is dusty. Please don't judge!

I think they look pretty good . There was some damage under the piano where we think a closet used to be. Until I get a chance to patch it a rug disguises it just fine. Later this week I'll tackle the living room and the hallway. Hopefully there won't be too much damage. I eventually plan on sanding them down and staining them a different color. But for now I think it's livable.

Weekend in Shelley

We had a great but busy weekend. Dave and I headed to Shelley for the fourth. There is nowhere I'd rather be than in Idaho Falls for the forth of July. The day started with the Idaho Falls parade then a barbecue at my parent's house with the whole extended family. And of course we went to the Greenbelt for the big fireworks display. Somehow Idaho Falls has put together the largest fireworks show west of the Mississippi. (that's their words not mine). Over 100,000 people attend which is crazy because I think that's twice the number of people who even live in Idaho Falls.

On Saturday I had my 10 year high school reunion. I moved to Salt Lake right after I graduated so it's been hard to keep in touch with my friends from High School. I was really looking forward to catching up. Here I am with my good friends Sally and Melanie.
And Jamie and Sally (again).

Hopefully it won't be another ten years before we get together.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Surfer Cake

I made this cake a couple of years ago for Dave's cousin Braden. He loves to surf and at the time he had some crazy amazing long black hair. So I made a little surfer out of fondant with long black locks. I made it so he was swimming on his board rather than standing because I didn't have time to let the fondant dry. Dave added the shark chasing poor Braden who is trying to swim away. I think it's pretty funny.