Tuesday, March 19, 2019

2019 Blue Jeans Week 11

We had a good week last week.  The weather has finally become more moderate, and we have seen the sun and are so excited for spring!!!  It was Spring Break "Day" for my college girls.  They don't get a week, they just get a day, but they enjoyed it!  We enjoyed a professional hockey game and loved our Pi day!  Take a look at our week...
Puzzles are a few a our favorite things, and we got a new one this week that Miss E started.

Life lesson--how to shine your shoes.  Ben teaches Mr J how to shine his church shoes.  

Happy Pi Day!  We had apple pie this year to celebrate Pi day.  Super easy recipe that I will share this week.  So yummy and quick!

For Miss A's spring day she went down to Zion National Park with her cute friends, and they hiked Angel's landing.  So much fun!

For Miss O's spring day she and her cute roommies went to a nearby hot springs and exploring in some caves.  

Some friends had hockey tickets they couldn't use, so they donated them to us.  First hockey game ever for us.  As Miss E said, "Flying hockey pucks and fighting, what more could you want from a sport?"  Lots of fun!

Thanks for visiting!  Hope you had a great week!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Chocolate Bundt Cake

Chocolate Bundt Cake

This chocolate bundt cake is divine.  It is so moist and yummy.  It doesn't need a frosting.  You just dust it with powdered sugar, serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and you have the perfect dessert.  I have made this for the past 14 years.  

I have two good friends that I make it every year for their birthdays.  They both love chocolate, and they always know it is coming from me for their birthdays. 

  It is super simple as it uses a cake mix, but so very, very good.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Bundt Cake

1 box devil's food chocolate cake mix (you can also use German chocolate or chocolate fudge or just regular chocolate, but our favorite is the devil's food)
1 package regular chocolate pudding mix
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees, grease the inside of a bundt pan well. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer combine all ingredients except chocolate chips.  Mix well for 3 minutes--it will be a thick batter.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Pour the mix into the prepared pan.  Bake for 50-60 minutes, checking with a toothpick in center to make sure it is done.  Remove from oven and cool 20 minutes in the pan, then remove from pan and cool completely.  Once cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

2019 Blue Jeans Week 10

We had a good week.  Crazy winter weather that has hopefully ended and we can finally get to spring.  Church was cancelled Sunday because of a bad snow storm and high winds.  Saw Captain Marvel!  Woohoo!  Been waiting for that one for a long time!  Our family are huge Marvel fans!  Went to the temple as a family and just had a good week.   Take a look...
Sunday was a stay at home day with church cancelled, so Miss E make some amazing pizza for us for dinner.  Pesto chicken with spinach and tomato.  Yummy!

Classic game of pick up sticks.  Some times you just can't beat the classics!

Miss E likes to experiment in the kitchen, today she made avocado mousse.  It was good!

We are trying again to pass a school bond to get new schools in our town.  We tried 5 years ago, and it didn't pass, so hopeful this time it will!!! Yes for our kids!

Went up to the city with our family and some good friends to do baptisms in the temple.  Love to see the temple especially with my family!

And since we were at the temple Friday, so went to see Captain Marvel Saturday.  Loved it!  It did not disappoint!  Now we are just anxiously waiting for Avengers:  Endgame!!

Thanks for visiting!  Hope you had a good week!

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Minestrone soup or "Junk Soup"

Minestrone Soup or "Junk Soup" 

This minestrone soup is one my mom made for me growing up, and she got it from her mom.  As a kid we always called it "junk soup" because there were so many things in it.  It is a thick Italian type soup perfect for a cold night, which we are still having a lot of here.  My mom would serve this with garlic bread, and it was a total comfort food.  Enjoy!

Minestrone Soup or "Junk Soup"

In a large cooking pot combine the following:

1 lb ground sausage, or turkey sausage, or hamburger, browned and drained
4 cups water
2-3 stalk celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped fine
2-3 large carrots, chopped
2 (8oz) cans tomato sauce
1 can beef broth or 13 oz water and 3 beef bouillon cubes
2 cloves garlic, chopped or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1 Tab sugar

Simmer for 1 1/2 hours, then add:

2 cups eggs noodles, uncooked, (or noodles of choice)
1/2 can corn, drained (optional--I didn't use it in this one)
1/2 can garbanzo beans, drained (optional--I don't use those either)
2 cups more water

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook another 20-30 minutes until noodles are done and it is all heated through.  Serve with Parmesan cheese on top and garlic bread on the side.  So yummy!

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

2019 Blue Jeans Week 9

With all the crazy weather we have had, there have been lots of cancelled and rescheduled events.  That makes me crazy!  So this week and next Mr J has 6 scholar's bowl meets in 9 days.  Crazy!  Basketball is officially over and track practice has begun in our snow and negative temps.  We got a new heater before the most recent storm and super cold hit which was great timing!  It is so much quieter!!!  Our old one was 30 years old and SO LOUD!!!  I asked our dear 80 year old neighbors if they could hear it and they said, "Yeah, we thought it was a dying tractor"  Oh, my was I embarrassed!  So glad to have the replaced!  Miss E and I took a safety and self defense class to end the week.  That was fun.  I feel like this is the calm before the storm of spring as the calendar after spring break is filling up like crazy!  Last quarter of school starts next week!  Where has the year gone?  Anyway, take a look at our week.....
These kids got first place at one of their scholar's bowl meets this week!  (one of 6 in two weeks!  Crazy!)  They did awesome!!!

Both the A and B teams with their coach.  The B team got 3rd place, so it was a great day for our scholar's bowl teams!!!

Jazz band competition this week.  Mr J did awesome on his sax solos!

The "before" with our old 30 year heater on the right.  It services the downstairs and basement.  The one on the left services our upstairs and is obviously newer and working great and is quiet ;)

The "after" with our new heater!  Woohoo!  We played a game called "Can you tell if the heater is on?" once it was replaced because our old one was SO LOUD and the new one is so quiet!!!!!  But man, they are expensive!  We could have bought a nice used car or our new heater.  Crazy!  

Another scholar's bowl meet, and Mr J's team got 2nd!  Woohoo!

Self Defense and safety class that Miss E and I took together.  It was awesome!  There are some better pictures that they took, but I haven't gotten them yet.  We had 2 hours of instruction class time and then 4 hours of practical hands on learning.  Both Ella and I flipped that guy in the red, our instructor.  Pretty cool!

Our super hero pose at the end of our self defense class.  Pretty awesome group and amazing teacher!

Thanks for visiting!  Hope you had a great week!

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Andes Mint cookies

Andes Mint Cookies

Per my Amazing Aunt Becky's request, I am going to try and post a favorite recipe each week.  Probably shoot for Wednesday or Thursday to do that.  This week is one of Ben's favorite cookies ever.  I originally got this recipe from Becky Higgins in 2007, but her website has changed, and I don't see the recipes column anymore.  There is an "easier" recipe for these out there just using a boxed cake mix, but we have tried both, and this original version is way, way better.  Each year our library has a Valentine's Chocolate sale to raise money for the library.  I have volunteered to bring these cookies for the last 5 years, and I have been told they sell out very first.  These are good!   They freeze well too, and I have doubled and tripled the recipe several times.  I have made these for our neighbor Christmas cookie plates for years too.  Everyone loves them. What is not to love about chocolate and mint in a cookie???  Enjoy!
Andes Mint Cookies

3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 Tbl water

Melt the above in a saucepan over medium heat until just melted and then add...

2 cups chocolate chips (I always use semisweet)

Stir until completely melted, but don't over heat or boil.  Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes then pour into your mixing bowl and add

2 eggs, beat well, then add

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Mix together and then cover bowl and chill in fridge for 45 minutes.  Roll into balls (I use the medium cookie scoop from Pampered chef which is about 1 1/2 to 2 Tablespoons of dough) and place on a cookie sheet.  Bake 350 for 10 minutes--do not overbake!  

Right after you take the cookies out of the oven, place an Andes mint on top of each cookie and allow to melt for 10 minutes, then swirl the melted chocolate like icing (see picture above) and then allow to cool completely and ENJOY!

Monday, February 25, 2019

2019 Blue Jeans Week 8

Fighting the winter blues this week.  Weather has been cold, icy and gray, but we found some fun and got away to watch Miss E power lift this weekend.  Last of the basketball games this week and indoor fun with friends when weather limited us again.  Take a look at our week...
We love puzzles, and Sunday afternoons and evenings are the best for them with a fire going to keep us warm.

 President's day was cold and snowy, so we called some friends and had a pizza picnic at the church gym and then played games all afternoon with them.  We needed to get out of the house and sure had fun with these friends today!
Basketball game 1 of 2 this week, and the last week for them.  Yeah!  Miss Ella did great, and they won their last two games.  Great way to end the season!

During halftime of the boys game the girls' cross country team was recognized for being league champs.  A great group of girls!

This popped up on my phone this week from a teacher friend in a different town whose son (boy in the purple) is a friend of Mr J's at church, and they ended up working together at a regional science conference this week.  Cool!

Power lifting meet for Miss E.  Her bench press.  She did 130 lbs.  Very impressive!!

The Clean....love that look of determination

She did 120 lbs!  Way to go Miss E!!

After her meet, we were close to the state capitol, so we stopped to tour it.  We hadn't been there in many years, and Mr J had never been there.  It was recently remodeled, and gorgeous!

At the state capitol.  Ben and Miss E went on a tour that went clear up to the very top of the dome and they went outside and walked around at the very top.  Mr J and I stayed on the ground :)

Thanks for visiting!  Hope you had a great week!  Have a recipe coming later this week just for my Aunt Becky (love you!!), so check back later in the week!