Thursday, November 29, 2012

Our Turkey Day.

Hey there! Are your pants a little tighter this week? Then you must have had a good thanksgiving ;)

Just so you know, I didn't plan on taking such a long hiatus from the blog. In fact, I had a lovely little Thankful for post set up for Thanksgiving day. But I went to edit it and it disappeared. boo.
So don't think I left you hanging.

We spent our Thanksgiving this year in Southern Utah with Torrey's family. We road tripped our way up there the day before.

Roadtrip Breakfast

I have always loved our little road trips up and down the 15. Long conversations, lots of music, lots of Redvines, and discovering new places. Like this hidden gem in Vegas.

Crepes and puns. A classic combination.

I helped out my brother-in-law Andrew cook Thanksgiving dinner, and I have to say I love making huge dinners! Thanksgiving dinner especially, because its the one time you can toss pound of butter in the potatoes without question. The lack of calorie counting allows for a creative freedom of sorts. (I might have let a little too much foodie-ness out just now..) What we ended up with was perfect. And I have a few new recipes I can't wait to unveil on my family at Christmas (green bean casserole from scratch say what?)


The majority of our non-eating festivities were spent playing with our little nephews. They are just the cutest little things. And my heart melts to the floor when they ask "un-ko tor-wee" to play.

Watching Toy Story is some serious business.
Rough-housing.

To make good use of our time in Utah, we took a short hike through Zion National Park. I still can't get over how beautiful it is in there. Probably why they made it a national park. #obvious


It turns out that President Uchdorf was in the St. George Temple the same time as us! That's almost like meeting him right?


His "do you really need to take pics of everything?" face.
My first time trying frozen custard. yum.














Lots of eating, lots of sleeping, and lots of family time made for a great Thanksgiving. I hope you had a great Turkey Day too!

now onto the best holiday of all! let the Christmas countdown begin!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Eat well, travel often.

Our family motto.

The passports are in, The tickets are booked. We're headed to Southeast Asia!

We are going to visit Torrey's brother and his family, who are currently living in Singapore.
I couldn't be more excited.

As a geography major, I am always intrigued by new places. I love experiencing different cultures and cities. Especially cities.

Not to mention this is my first time out if the country. Never in a million years would I imagine my first international trip to be through SE Asia. But I am going. And I can hardly wait!

Here's some of the gorgeousness we'll be encountering:


 If I don't ride an elephant this trip will be for naught.



This is hopefully the first of many international trips for the two of us.

So in my spare time for the next few months I will be pinning many pretty pictures and Tripadvisor-ing myself to death. The longest flight I have ever been has been 5 hours, so I'm worried about the endless plane rides it will take to get there.

So blog friends! What's the longest flight you've ever been on? What the heck to you do for 10+ hours? You can only sleep for so long!



Monday, November 12, 2012

The Fact is.

Fact: As I type, Torrey is KO'd next to me. Someone's not adjusting to the time change well.. ;)

Fact: I voted! I hope you did too. Even if the election didn't go the way you had hoped, your vote is still counted and most definitely still matters. Especially for all of those little state propositions. Those don't go through an electoral college.

Proof of voting. And Tuesday tacos.
  
 Fact: When a man is elected (or re-elected) to the highest office in the country, I believe that office should be respected. Disagreeing with the ideals and actions of that man is all fair game, but at the end of the day, he is the president of our country. Which is the toughest job in the world. I am so disappointed with the way people have handled this most recent election. There is just no place for the kind of disrespectful comments I have come across. Your angry Facebook posts will not incite any change.

 (now that I've got that load off my chest..)

Fact: I love my husband because every time were in the car he will turn on my seat heater without question. Because he understands that Winter = wife is always cold.

Fact: I got a very much needed haircut. I love long hair because of all the fun things you can do with it, but my curly hair just gets so big. It grows like a weed on a mission to take over my head.

A tamed mane.

Fact: I don't believe in mixing friends with business. Unless you're cool with not being friends anymore. Recipe for disaster.

Fact: My most favorite Family Night as of late was a Monday night shopping spree at the mall. All the stores were empty, the sales racks nice and organized (of which I tried my best to keep that way for the poor late shift sales people), it was awesome! Monday night is the time to go.

Fact: I am one lucky sonofagun. Remember when I said I won a blog giveaway? Well I won another! (not grand prize but hey I'll take it!) This lucky streak is not something new. I've been lucky ever since I was a little kid. I've won contests, gotten picked at those sea lion shows at animal parks, all those good things. Not mad about it.

Best fact for last: My little sister has decided to go on a mission! She's already finished her mission papers. I can't wait to see where she will serve. She will be an amazing missionary who will get lots of food-related care packages from a certain older sister.
 

Pumpkin Apple Muffins

The best types of recipes are the ones where all of the ingredients are already to your pantry.

You know the feeling. When you see a gorgeous Pintrest pin, read the recipe, then realize you can pop into the kitchen and make it this very second.


That happened to me with this pumpkin apple muffin recipe.  It was a way for me to use up leftover pumpkin purée and to use some of the Winesap apples we picked.


The result was better than anticipated. The pumpkin keeps the muffins moist, and the apples provide a tart surprise when you take that first bite. And the streusel topping is the perfect sugary touch. (I threw those apple slices on top as a cute garnish, but they didn't mix too well with the streusel topping. I will use one or the other next time.)

Pumpkin Apple Muffins

adapted from Allrecipes
Makes 18 muffins

Ingredients


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups white sugar

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 cups peeled, cored and chopped apple
 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 18 muffin cups or use paper liners.

In a large bowl, sift together 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 cups sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, pumpkin and oil. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stirring just to moisten. Fold in apples. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.

In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons flour, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle topping evenly over muffin batter.

Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

PS. Happy Veteran's Day (yesterday)! For my husband it means he gets a free lunch today ;) Thank you to all those that serve or have served for our country!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fall Date- Apple Picking!

Last weekend we went on an apple picking date. I got the idea from the cutest blog, and when I told Torrey about the idea, he told me there were apple orchards in his mission area. So we were sold! We drove out to Riley's Farm in Oak Glen for our sweet little Fall date! My favorite dates with my husband are the ones when we try something new.

  Riley's Farm is nestled right under the San Bernardino mountains. It was a beautiful day- perfect for apple picking! 


Torrey grew up with a peach tree in his yard, so he's always been good at picking ripe fruit. It is shameful the amount of unripened watermelons I have brought home. 


Like here. Totally thought that was a ripe apple. Wrong. It wouldn't even come off of the tree.

We picked from the Winesap orchard, a more tart apple that is better for baking. Apple-based recipe posts to follow ;) The apples were beautiful.


 Apples are by far my favorite fruit. I literally eat an apple every day. So I was super excited to pick my own fresh ones, ripe from the tree!


We drank fresh apple cider from the farm, and went to Apple Dumplin's for an apple based-lunch. I had a sandwich with apple in it, with apple cider and a slice of apple pie for dessert. #appleobsessed

 Once we had our fill of the good stuff, the way back Torrey was able to show me some of his favorite mission areas. We also took a drive up through the mountains. This was such a fun 
day trip. I highly recommend you see for yourself. Now I've got a lot of apple baking to catch up on ;)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake.

Breakfast is my favorite meal hands down. I get it from my dad. The rare times he would make dinner they would always a breakfast dinner of some sort. Pancakes, toad in a hole, omelettes, I loved it all.

Honestly, I think its my favorite meal because of its playfulness with sweet and savory. You cant hate a stack of maple-smothered pancakes with a side of crispy bacon. You just can't.

So on those quiet Sunday mornings, after I've caught up on all of my beauty sleep, I love to whip us up something special.To start off our Sunday on the right foot ;)



Lemon and blueberries are a match made in heaven. Tart lemon zest with sweet bursting blueberries just make the perfect pair in this coffee cake. I had some extra of both that I didn't want to go to waste, plus the almond streusel topping in this recipe just had me sold.


The original recipe uses blueberry preserves, but I loved using the fresh berries I had on hand. I would recommend the preserves to those who really love their blueberry (I'm a more of a strawberry person myself). My version had the surprise of a busting blueberry in every other bite.

Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake

adapted from My Baking Addiction

For the Cake

zest of one lemon
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 large egg
2/3 cup milk
Juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup fresh blueberries

 

For the Topping

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup almonds, finely chopped
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon cold butter

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray an 8 inch square baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine sugar and lemon zest; mix with your fingers until the sugar is slightly moistened and fragrant. Add flour, baking powder, salt to the sugar and mix until thoroughly combined. Add butter, egg, milk, lemon juice, and vanilla, mix to combine.

Pour half of batter into prepared pan; take care to spread evenly. Sprinkle blueberries evenly over batter. Top with remaining batter, again spreading evenly.

In a small bowl, combine topping ingredients; mix until crumbly. Sprinkle over top of the batter.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
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