Saturday, September 29, 2007

Okay...Now it's officially gone

I woke up this morning to howling wind, not just little rustlings but the check your windows, look for damage to the outside of your house kind of wind. The kind of wind that signals that you really should have pulled out those winter clothes earlier in the week when you woke up and didn't want to get out of bed because it was cold inside the house. The kind of wind that means that summer is over and you will not be seeing the upper side of 80 degrees unless you get out your passport...or at least your gas card.

By the time the E. and S. and I left to go to The Secret Garden at the Hale Center Theatre it was raining and really COLD. "Mom, we can't go out in this!" said S. truly concerned that it just wasn't safe and could certainly not be pleasant out there! "The play is inside!" I answered and thought to myself that if we waited for only good weather we could possibly be spending the next five months sequestered in the house.

When we got home later in the afternoon we had an inch or two of snow. Enough to dig out the snow clothes and find the hot chocolate. Don't worry it occupies it's own special shelf in the new kitchen. What a great tradition--Mom bundles up girls, Mom lays towels on the floor just inside the door to catch all the snowy clothes coming back in, Mom tucks gloves back in coats once or twice and watches from the kitchen window as the girls play in the snow, Mom thinks about getting the camera to capture the first snow pictures, Mom doesn't get camera and misses pictures, Mom is waiting with the fireplace going and hot chocolate readys when the girls come in soaking and cold and Mom and girls have hot chocolate together! It's inescapable...summer is officially gone, but hot chocolate is here to stay!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Summer's Not Over Yet...

...and I have the perfect dessert to prove it. I found this Peach Tart recipe from a couple weeks ago and I have been waiting for ripe peaches and an afternoon when I had a couple of hours to play. Finally yesterday afternoon I had both! I skipped the almond filling step and used some almond paste that I won at a King Arthur Flour demonstration a couple of months ago. These little tarts tasted almost as good today out of the fridge as they did last night out of the oven. The almond filling and the crust had blended and were a perfect compliment to the peach.

Special thanks to Brian for the picture. He took pity on me after seeing the pic of the last peach tart I made and volunteered his considerable expertise for today's effort. Pretty soon (maybe just a couple more lessons) and the photos will be my own!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

5 1/2

A year ago I would have told you that I really disliked running, that I had bad knees and that I always got stitches in my side when I ran.

I don't feel that way anymore. Remember the first time that you accomplished something that you weren't really sure that you could do? Remember the euphoria when you pushed through the pain or the exhaustion and finished something new?

That is how running feels to me now. This week I registered for the 10K in Sprindale, UT on Nov. 3, and this morning I ran my longest distance ever, 5.5 miles. I know, I know it's not really that far, but it's all relative. For me, it was a longest ever and I did it in under an hour. The 6.2 miles in a month and a half not only seems possible, but I think I might actually be able to do it in under 70 minutes.

This could just be the euphoria talking, but I am loving these long Saturday runs, I'm tired when they are over, but I just can't help grinning the rest of the day. My mind conquered my body and I was able to just keep going.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Peaches and Cream

I wait anxiously every summer for the peaches to ripen. Are they ready, is it time yet, still two more weeks?!? And then...that first bite of juicy, tree-ripened, heavenly...peach. And I pull out all my peach recipes and eat peaches every day while they last. The following recipe is one of my favorites. I've decided to start taking pictures of my fun food projects...just to keep track and also to improve my photography skills. I recently joined a recipe exchange group with some friends and Laura had the brilliant idea of creating a blog to keep us organized and make it easy. Check it out . In the meantime, try my Peaches and Cream Tart for a delicious taste of summer.
Peaches and Cream Tart
Macaroon Cookie Crust
2 cups macaroon cookies, crumbled
¼ cup butter, melted
Mix crumbled macaroon cookies with butter. Grease round cake or pie pan. Press mixture into pan and put in freezer for 15 minutes.

1 cup whipping cream
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
4 Tablespoons orange juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
Fresh peaches
Fresh raspberries or blueberries (optional)

Prepare Macaroon Cookie Crust and freeze for 15 minutes. Whip cream until stiff. Set aside. In a large bowl beat cream cheese then blend in the 2/3 cup sugar, orange juice, and vanilla and almond extracts. Fold in whipping cream; spread over frozen crust. Let set in refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours before serving or place in freezer for 1 hour. Before serving, peel and slice peaches. Lightly sprinkle with sugar. Top filling with peach slices and garnish with berries, if desired. Makes 6 servings. (This recipe can be doubled in a 10-inch springform pan or 9x13-inch pan.)

From The Essential Mormon Cookbook by Julie Badger Jensen

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

One down....forty-nine to go

One project down...and only forty-nine to go. Actually I haven't numbered the projects still to be done. That would be a little to discouraging. We'll just pretend there is a check list and get things done a little at a time.

I am especially proud of my pantry door because I helped with it. I must confess my favorite projects are the ones that I put on the honey-do list. You know those projects--the ones where your personal involvement is limited to bringing it to your husband's attention and then following through with him to make sure it gets done...(also known as nagging-but that would never happen at my house!)

However, this project was different. The pantry door was delivered in it's raw wood form over a month ago. After walking past it daily and admiring it propped against the garage wall we finally decided that if we wanted to actually use it we were going to have to finish it. Brian did the first stain coat and then decided that I needed to be involved. I did the sanding and the second stain coat. He finished off with the laquer and hanging of the door. I have to admit being proud of my contribution- I was a little scared of the sander and it's potential for harm, but now as I run my hand over my very smooth pantry door I have to say I (ok, WE) did a very good job!

And now on to the lockers in the mud room!