Every year our city of Gilbert hosts a Constitution Week. It was started several years ago to help people become more aware of the constitution, and the liberties it provides. It has grown into an amazing event that our family looks forward to each year. We live in a city who's population is over 200, but the thing I love about Gilbert, is that it still maintains that "small town" feel. Constitution Week is one of those events that makes me reflect on the many freedoms and blessings that come through living in our great country. Alex Boye was the main performer of the evening. He gave an unbelievable performance. The guy is a super entertainer and gave such a fun, family friendly concert. My favorite was a remix of Coldplay's "Paradise" performed by Alex and The Piano Guys. See it here. Also check out McKenna who did a little pre show song...love that girl!
It's that time of year again....the season of Utah peaches. I picked up a case yesterday and made this new recipe from my mother in law. Results...the name speaks for itself. YUM.
Perfect Peach Pie Butter-crust dough: 2 c. all-purpose flour 1/4 c. sugar 1/2 t. salt 1 c. chilled unsalted butter in 1/2" cubes 4-8 T. water Combine flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Add butter and work into flour mixture with pastry knife until mixture looks like bread crumbs with a few pea-size pieces of butter. Sprinkle water evenly over the mixture, tossing with a fork until the dough comes together. (Begin with 4 T. and add more as needed.) Divide dough in half and let rest in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Working on a floured surface, roll half the dough from the center out and transfer to pie pan. Roll out top crust to a thickness of 1/8 inch and at least 1-inch larger than the pie pan.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peach filling: 7 c. peeled and sliced peaches 2/3 c. sugar 1/3 c. flour 1/4 t. nutmeg 1/4 t. salt 2 T. fresh lemon juice 2 T. butter Place peaches in large bowl. In a separate bowl combine the sugar, flour, nutmeg, and salt and stir to blend. Add dry ingredients to peaches and stir to evenly coat. Add lemon juice and stir to mix. Mound peach filling into pie shell and dot with 2 T. butter. Place top crust over filling and firmly press crust together. Cut off excess crust and crimp and desired. Cut vents in crust. Bake for 10 minutes (at 400) and then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 50 minutes OR until the filling is bubbling up through the vents and the crust is golden brown. About 15 minutes before the pie is done, sprinkle the crust with 1 T. sugar. Let the pie rest for at least 25 minutes after baking to let the juices thicken. Serve warm, cold AND a la mode!!!
*Note: the peaches I used were incredibly sweet already...if using less sweet peaches, maybe add about 1/3 c. more sugar. Also...watch pie closely...My oven cooks fast and I needed to add a crust shield and tinfoil on top (for 25 minutes of the baking)so the pie wouldn't brown too fast.
Our sprint triathlon is less than three weeks away. Apparently, somewhere in my subconscious, I'm starting to get a little nervous. Last night I dreamed it was the day of the race. In the dream, I finished the swim, got out of the pool and couldn't find my bike. Then I looked down to see that I was wearing parachute pants, striped knee-high socks, and some keds that I actually owned in seventh grade. I immediately started to panic and tried to roll up the pants so I could do the bike ride. Just as I was fixing my pants, I looked up to see the last runner cross the finish line. I woke up thinking, "What did I eat last night???"
I do hope to be a little more prepared the day of the race.
I keep trying to encourage Drew to train a little more too. He is on the swim team, so he's got the cardio in place. But every time I say, "Hey Drew, you may want to get out and run a little bit." He says, "Mom, I'm fine, don't worry about it!"
In our family, on the the morning of your birthday, you get serenaded with a birthday donut and candle. It's one of our time honored traditions.
This year we had a "first" for one of our kids....she was too far away to present the birthday donut... so we improvised. Sadie turned eighteen on September the first, and we sang our hearts out to her via Skype. And, I will be honest, it was a little sad. But, traditions are important in our family and it made Sadie smile, even through the web.
Sierra turned thirteen on Saturday. I do love my teenagers.
Especially when I get to accompany them to this on their birthday. (Reflexology: more for another post, but seriously the most lovely thing ever).
Followed by Red Robin.
She really is looking thirteen.
And last, but not least, Cheesecake Factory (vanilla bean) with good family and friends.
It's been mocked, villainized, and reviled. The simple mention of the word "meatloaf" often solicits looks of contempt. Why is that? Perhaps, because of the many "classic" homemade recipes out there, there are a lot of really bad versions of meatloaf.
So, here's the thing, I've been making my mom's recipe for years. It's not vegan, it's not trendy, you probably won't find it on pinterest, but it is a yummy, meat-and-potatoes, midwestern dinner that my boys frequently request. And the best part....it only takes five minutes to put together and stick in the oven. Throw some potatoes into the micro if your in a rush, and voila....dinner!
Mom's Meatloaf: 1 lb. ground beef (I use extra lean) 1 egg 1 slice wheat bread crumbled 1/3 c. parmesan cheese 1/2 c. salsa 1/2 can tomato soup or tomato sauce 1 t. salt 1/2 pepper 1 bay leaf Handful of chopped parsley (dry works if you don't have fresh) 1t. basil Mix all ingredients just until combined well. Be gentle. Put in bread pan. Shape to form. Pour soup or tomato sauce on top and add 1 bay leaf on top. Bake at 325 for about one hour (my oven is 50 minutes). *Potatoes can be baked at the same time, put them in about 25 minutes before cooking meatloaf. Enjoy (and thanks mom!!!)
Do you have a bucket list? I do....although I've never taken the time to write it down. It's more like a bucket "cloud" that floats around in my head and gets filed under that "someday" catagory. One of the items on that list that makes an appearance from time to time is "do something physically hard". I never really defined what that would be. I just wanted to do "something" that would take me beyond the 30 or 40 minute gym routine that sometimes smothers me. Last year Gregg and Drew participated in a sprint triathlon. They said it was fun, and after they told me about it, somewhere in my mind, I had one of those little, "hmmm" moments.
So, this is how the numbers break down for a sprint.....a 400 yd. swim, a 12 mile bike ride, and a 5k run. I started thinking about those numbers. And then I started experimenting with those numbers. And then one day, I just said it out loud, "I want to do a sprint triathlon". After a little research, I found a race. And then, last Saturday, this guy (you know the one who spoils me rotten) helped me commit completely....
by hooking me up with this.
And bonus: Drew signed up to do the race with me. Gregg said he will be our water-boy.
p.s. Anyone have any advice/wisdom on the whole sprint tri thing???
I was this close (imagine my index finger and thumb about 2mm apart) to giving up blogging. It's part of the reason I took a blogging break. My time constraints were getting to be overwhelming, and I just didn't know if I could justify taking time to blog. Then, suddenly, I had major shift in my responsibilities (another post for another day). And I took some time to reevaluate. I love blogging for many reasons, but the most important one is that it motivates me to record my life. One day, I hope my kidos will read an entry from my blog and say, "remember when mom used to do that", and smile (or maybe grimace?).
Sadie. As the weeks passed by, and the countdown got smaller.....
the piles got bigger....
Until the day arrived.
And after a 12 hour drive, this was the view.
Sadie's new home (before)...
And a new roommate (Destiny).....who is a sweetheart.
So we walked Sadie's class schedule....
made sure her debt card was working....
and took one last picture before Gregg and I got back into our (now very empty) suburban and drove away.
I look pretty happy and composed, right? I was. And even when I gave her one last hug, I only cried a little bit. And then we drove away, and I cried some more. And then I got in the very back seat of our suburban and wrapped up in a a big blanket, and watched the clouds go by for hours. And Gregg drove and drove until we were home.
The hardest part? Getting home, walking in the house, and knowing that Sadie was 800 miles away. I was emotionally wiped out, but I wanted to be positive for our other kids. I decided that if I didn't go into Sadie's room, I'd be able to keep it together for the rest of the night. Epic fail. An hour later Gentry and Sierra (who were spending lots of time in Sadie's room) started yelling that they needed me to come kill a scorpion (bane of my existence) on Sadie's wall. I decided I couldn't refuse that request. I walked into the room, headed right for the scorpion and ended its earthly journey in one blow. Then I tried to quickly exit the room without looking around. On the way out I caught a small glimpse of Sadie's bulletin board with a hundred pictures and memories. And then all those tears that I'd been trying not to show came out. And once I started crying, I couldn't stop. And my kids kept saying, "Are you ok mom?" And after a couple of hours I just went to bed and hoped the next day would be better. And it was.