Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Cooking by Blog 101

After over 30 years of cooking family dinners night after night, the repertoire tends to get a little old. As a blog lurker, I have discovered some great recipes that I thought I should try. So this week was "Cooking by Blog" at our house. Let me share some of our favorites. (Click on the title to go to the recipe)
Well OK the first one wasn't from a blog at all, but it was a recipe I got off the internet.
Sweet and Sour Kielbasa
I actually already put this recipe on my blog but thought it was worthy to mention. It is what got me started on this adventure. I found it on allrecipes.com and find it to be very much like the Chester Fried Kielbasa. Delicious!
I give it Five Stars. Easy to prepare, great taste and Larry loved it.
Dani's Chicken Pot Pie
This is the Vest Best! Dani is the wife of a 1st year dental student at Temple University (the school my son Brian attends), and she writes a pretty funny commentary on life in Philadelphia and some amazing recipes, among other things. I have only tried a few, but I am working my way through her list! This Chicken Pot Pie is reminiscent of those great pot pies of my childhood, only much better!
I give it FIVE + stars. Easy to prepare, great taste, Larry loved it, and I LOVED IT! Larish says it deserves a TEN.
Hoisin and Honey Glazed Pork Chops
Another Dani recipe. This one was delicious too, but not my favorite. I think I either put too much ginger in, or I just need to half the ginger cause I found it overpowering. The pork was fork tender and very tasty.
I give it Three 1/2 Stars. Easy to prepare, fast for an after work meal.
Tortellini Soup
Dani once again. This was delicious and super easy to make. We loved it.
I give it a Four 3/4 Stars. Also very easy to prepare and fast to make. Great with a salad and rolls or breadsticks.
Pineapple Glazed Ribs
Gotta love Dani. This one was amazing as well. The only problem with these ribs is that they are so tender that they fall off the bone and it drove Larry crazy trying not to lose any meat in the grill. I suspect more went in his mouth than down to the bottom of the grill but whatever. Maybe cook the ribs on low instead of high? I will try that next time.
I give these ribs a 4 1/2 stars, only because they are more labor intensive and caused Larry stress on the grill. Great flavor and very filling. A good recipe for a cookout with guests.
Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich
This is from Ree over at The Pioneer Woman. She is one of those famous bloggers, making tons of money by running great contests and getting a million hits on her blog so every advertiser in town pays her big bucks. I am pretty sure she is one of the original strike it big bloggers, and I love her writing so I look past the ads. You gotta read her love story. And, she is a great cook.
This sandwich is amazing. If you don't like Worcestershire sauce, you won't like it, but we love the stuff around here, especially mixed with some good beef, so this sandwich was a hit. I did add a slice of Provolone which added a few more calories for the heck of it. I left off the hot sauce cause I am hot enough already.
I give this sandwich five stars, but then again I love spicy things. And I firmly believe and adhere to the principle that a stick of butter makes anything taste good.
It was a Pork heavy week, so gotta work on getting some variety in the diet. Probably ought to go look for a diet blog too. ;-) wink wink
I don't want to steal photos - so if you wanna see what this food looks like - you gotta go to the links. I promise, you won't regret it!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Idaho.........

A few random pics from our trip...
It's a long ride for a little one, but Alex did great.
So did Denver and Heather....

Even Katie and Rode managed fine, but we did have to stop a lot for the pregnant ladies...Alex has a monkey on his back... He love the rocks at this rest stop. Throw. Rocks. Throw. Rocks.

The new Rexburg temple is so beautiful!
It looks a lot like the Boston Temple.
Alex couldn't wait to go swimming. He told us over and over again. Swimming. Swimming. Swimming. The kid has a one track mind.
I love this shot. This is at the hotel in Idaho Falls. I think he is worried about the long ride back. Or maybe the fact that we are leaving the swimming pool.We sure did have a good time!

BIG JUD'S

Anyone who has been to school at Rick's College or BYU-Idaho has heard of the legendary hamburger joint in Archer Idaho known as "Big Jud's". It is right down the road from Aunt Bessie's, so of course we had to stop and experience a Big Jud for ourselves. We were anxious with anticipation.
The menu looked pretty good. Could we eat a Big Jud gourmet burger?
The fries were delicious, especially with that western "fry sauce"!
You have to be a weightlifter or a farmer to get a job as a waitress - these burgers are heavyweight!

What do you expect me to do with this? Are you kidding me, Grammie? (This is NOT an optical illusion - they are HUGE!)
Katie and Rode appear up to the challenge....
As do Heather and Denver...
I will just take a slice, please.
Rode was the winner - but he could only down half!
Next time you are in Archer, Idaho, be sure to take the Big Jud Challenge!

Aunt Bessie

After a college graduation we like to take a family road trip. This year I requested that we head to Archer, Idaho to visit my dear Aunt Bessie. Bessie Amelia Small Erickson is my dad's little sister. She looks pretty good for 90, don't you think? She hasn't changed a bit! It was so good to see her.During the flu epidemic of 1918, both their mom and dad died of the flu, leaving these precious 4 orphans: My dad and his sisters Laurel, Bessie and Valeda. Valeda was a new baby when they lost their parents. Their grandparents kept them together and raised them in Bangor ME with the help of Auntie Georgia and Uncle Herbert.
Uncle Norman has been a great husband and a wonderful Uncle. I love him! He has a heart of gold (and a pacemaker to keep it ticking now!) I LOVE to hear his laugh, and Aunt Bessie's laugh as well. It is like music to my ears.


See that cute guy sitting next to Aunt Bessie? That is my cousin Herman, and I finally have confessed that I had a wicked pre-teen crush on him. He is still as cute today.
Aunt Bessie loves her pictures and I love going to her house and looking at them . She especially loves the picture behind her in this next shot - the one of a tree lined street - where she grew upon Kenduskeag Avenure in Bangor Maine. I tell anyone headed to Rexburg that if they run into a lady in the grocery store Broulim's with a "wicked" Maine accent, that is my Aunt Bessie. She has never lost her accent, and boy it is a "Downeaster's accent".
Everyone took turns taking Alexander outside on the farm to see the animals, and play on the swing. He loved jumping from the table.
Aunt Bessie feeds Walker a hotdog every day when he comes over from my cousin Norman's house. Alex got to help feed him too.
FINALLY Brian is in the family photo's! We are so glad he was able to leave dental school for a few days to join us. Can you see her missionary wall behind them? She has a map with everyone's missions on it and it would put any ward missionary wall to shame. Uncle Norman and Aunt Bessie served in South Africa, their kids all served missions and now the grandchildren are on the board. So awesome!
It was hard to say goodbye at the end of our visit. The family in front of Aunt Bessie's mural.

I love my family!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Pics of Graduation

What is the definiton of Convocation, anyway?




BYU does two ceremonies - one is Commencement where they officially announce that everyone has graduated, then Convocation where each school has a ceremony with speakers and then the graduates proceed to the podium to get their diplomas. Heather is in the School of Health Sciences. It was a beautiful day and we loved watching Heather and the other graduates. I don't have any pics of the actual convocation since my camera was in Denver's car, so you will have to watch for Katie's post to get those pictures!
Look at these cute pregnant ladies!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Commencement

Our daughter Heather is now a BYU grad. Well not officially until after she finishes her minor coursework spring term, but she's as good as there. Isn't she beautiful?

Elder Bednar was the Commencement Speaker. I love him, he is so real and genuine. He is also very inspiring.

I just wish I had seen it in person. Yeah, I travelled 2400 miles to watch Commencement on BYU-TV! I woke up sick and participated in the festivities from my front row seat - on the sofa in Heather's basement! Oh well, Daddy was there, and Denver's Mom and JR were able to be there as well.That meant a lot to Heather to have family with her. I am not sure why we don't have pictures of Katie and Kelley since they were also there, but I suspect they were coming home to get ready for the party since I was sick.The happy graduate and her cute hubby:JR, Nari (Denver's mom), Heather and Denver:


Did I mention that Belle was there for the festivities? Yup, right there in the Marriott Center, but shhhhhhhh don't tell anyone. Doesn't she look incognito?
The proud family:
Since I was sick and I am the official photographer, I don't have any pics of the post commencement party, but we had a great time. Kelley's Mother in law Denise, sister in law Andria and nieces Kennady, Sydney and Avery came, along with the entire Braby family (Randy, Cindy, Russell, Amy, James and Lucy; along with JR, Nari, Belle and all of our families. Thank heaven for Lisa, who showed up before the crowd, coming in like the calvary to rescue me since I was too sick to prepare the food. She had everything ready when the guests arrived and saved my butt! (Can I say butt on a blog?) Anyway, Lisa and Chey were there through thick and thin the entire trip, helping us entertain and just plain having fun.
All in all, a very good day!

As good as Chester Fried

I don't know if they have Chester Fried in Gas Stations across America, but they do have it here in New England. Anyone who has had Chester Fried dipped in BBQ or Sweet and Sour sauce knows it's the best.
Alas, Our local gas station closed up lock stock and barrel leaving the fine residents of Milton with no Chester Fried! Well this week I tried my hand at duplicating Chester Fried with mixed results. First I made Fried Chicken following the recipe of Paula Deen found in this month's Good Housekeeping. I have never attempted fried chicken before and now I know why. It is messy, tricky and NOT WORTH IT. I vote Kentucky Fried, Chester Fried, Days Market Fried, Hannaford Fried, anything is better than trying to get the temp right, the mess contained etc.
I did make some MEAN sweet potatoe fries, though, and it was one fat filled funfest eating that fried grub!
Tonight I found another Chester Fried item that I CAN duplicate, and you can too. Anyone ever go in there and get one of those BBQ pieces of Kielbasa? Now you can make it at home. I made this tonight and it is delicious - reminds me of Ray Yeagley's BBQ hot dogs that Heather is so fond of. So easy to make. I served it over rice (go easy on the sauce) and it was just yummy.

Sweet and Sour Kielbasa
Combine sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat to combine:
2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
6 Tbsp butter (Paula Deen would be proud)
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
Add:
1-2 lb kielbasa sausage (I used the lite kielbasa)
Cook 30 minutes, until the onions are soft, or as desired.

This would be great on a buffet table too. Yummy!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Happy Birthday to...

Me!
Wow, thank you everybody for your warm wishes and funny messages. It was good to talk to so many of you, and great to hear your voice or read your text and email messages. My birthday was awesome!
I had lunch with my boss Ben who got me an original Amato's, and the day was topped off with dinner at a Greek Restaurant in Portsmouth with Larry and our friend Burt who is in town from Hawaii. Tomorrow I get a pedicure with Aunt Maryellen!
I think that birthdays are an ideal time to make resolutions, not New Years. So I have been thinking about a few. I am going to be amazing this year! I am going to give up Diet Coke (again, yes I am a failure), lose weight, exercise, get to work early, bake homemade bread, get my food storage and climb Mount Everest! Yep, birthdays are a good time to be optimistic!

Uncle Denver Rocks!

Denver could hardly wait until Alexander got to Utah so he could bring him downstairs for a jam session. He taught Alexander the basics of drumming in a rock band and then jumped on the guitar so they could really rock!I see a drumset in the future for this little rocker. His mom, dad and Uncle Denver as well as his Great Uncle Billy are all drummers.
video

She's growing a baby!

(This post REALLY isn't about money!)
While we were in Utah, Heather hosted a baby shower for Katie and her new baby, yet to be born! It was so fun and so great to see so many people who are important in Katie's life.The shower was planned typical Kane style. We started out brainstorming on Tuesday (which mostly amounted to discussing yummy recipes until we knew Katie was joining us and we would have to stop discussing it since the shower was a surprise.) We decided that we would head out first thing Weds. morning and get inspired at Target for a theme, and then head to Costco to be inspired on the food. We did have a list of ingredients and decided whatever we didn't fix for the shower we would serve at the graduation party the next night.So, right at the crack of noon on Wednesday, we rolled out of bed and headed to Target to "get inspired". The $dollar section at the entrance gave us our theme! Gardening! She is "growing a baby"! Well, $75+ later - we had the start to an amazing baby shower.
On to Costco, arriving...oh around 2PM. Mind you the shower starts at 6:30 in Lehi, and we are now selecting the food we will go home and prepare. We had a great lunch grazing through the Costco sample tables, and bought the ingredients to about a hundred different recipes along with a few things for the graduation party. $380 later, we were off to WalMart! Truthfully, this price included food for two parties, some Shade Shirts and a BIG package of diapers. Oh and somehow I misssed the $15 jar of jelly bellies!3PM, we enter WalMart, Heather and I racing through the aisles, each of us with a list. What took us the longest? Figuring out how on earth to fit another $100 worth of groceries into a Van that already was stuffed with $430 worth of goods, 6 people and a two year old in a car seat! Did I mention the multiple bottles of Sprite that went into this punch?
4pm - we roll into the parking space in Lehi at Heather's house. The real typical Kane fun begins! We choose recipes, sort groceries, and everyone grabs a task that fits their party personality. Kelley begins decorating, sorting, arranging, getting the room ready. Dad is in charge of Alexander, trash, arranging chairs and putting up balloons.Oops Dad forgot the balloons, so Chey heads out with the ballooons!
Lisa, Heather and I are fixing, mixing, cooking and arranging food like crazy!
6:15 pm the door bell rings, but of course we weren't quite ready for guests and no one wants to open the door. Chey finally lets the first of our guests in while we continue the mad dash to the finish line.
6:30 and friends are arriving. We are ready!6:45 and Katie and Rode roll in. Kate was somewhat surprised but also somewhat suspicious of the pink balloons at every corner. (not to mention the pick balloons at the playground that the neighborhood kids had taken down from the signs)Guests were invited to give advice by writing it on a diaper. Every time Katie diapers the newest little girl in the family, she will get some good advice! We also wrote this poem while doing the above mad dash:
"These we'll use for her little bum.
Grab a marker and we'll have some fun!
Write a tip to be real nice.
As she diapers the babe, she'll get advice!"
We did introductions and told how we knew, or met Katie, or shared a favorite memory. My favorite of these was Shelby's memory, but I will leave out her story for Katie's sake!

Katie got some beautiful things for her little baby girl!It was so fun to get together with old friends and to celebrate Katie and Rode's baby girl!