Tuesday Thyme: Melting Chocolate

If you are like me, you have probably ruined chocolate at least once while trying to melt it. Here is a much better way to melt chocolate!


The weekend

We had a very busy weekend. Here are a few of the things we did...

1. Dinner and a Movie

On Friday night, Sam and I went out to dinner and then saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. It was very good but much longer than I thought it would be. I was very tired by the time we got home and had to wake up early the next morning because it was the...

2. Splash and Dash 2009

This is the third year Sam and I have competed in the team division of the Splash and Dash. I swim one mile and then he runs a 10K. I finished it in my fastest time so far! 29 minutes and 12 seconds! Much slower than I was in high school but I am 5 months pregnant, so I was proud of myself. And the baby was trying to help me kick. It was very cute. But wasn't really helping.

My sister (Michelle) also swam in the team division. This is the third year she has done it with us too! She beat me by 100 yards, which ended up being a little less than three minutes (her time was 26.24).
One of the few times Michelle and I were actually next to each other (I am on the left in this picture).

After we finished. I was tie-erd!

Michelle and Jaime waiting for Sam to finish...

Michelle's niece (Jaime) ran for her and she was amazing! She held to 7 minute 15 second miles for the entire 10K! In case you don't know, that is fast.
Anna (Sam's sister) ran with him even though she wasn't competing.

Sam and Anna have been running together four times a week because they are training for a half marathon.
They finished the 10K in an hour. Once they finished the 10K they ran three more miles to keep to their training regimen. Insane.

3. Eating grapefruit
I asked Sam to bring me a grapefruit and this is what he brought me. That is almost in half, Sam. Awesome. At least he tried.

4. Women's Conference
My stake had a women's conference yesterday. I was two and a half hours late because of the Splash and Dash but I am still so glad I went. I learned that I really need to stop comparing myself to other people. I realized that I am always admiring other women for their strengths and building one super woman/mom out of each different person and then comparing myself to that "person."

5. Orchestra concert

This was probably my last orchestra concert ever. It is hard to believe that I have played the violin for eleven years. I haven't done anything else for eleven years! Except eat. And swim. I am really proud of myself for sticking to it because a lot of people quit when they get to college. Lots of family and friends came to support me (Kayla, Justine, Jacob, Matthew, Laura, Michelle, Sheldon, Sam, Grandma, and Grandpa). My grandma called me after they left and thanked me for sticking with it for so long because she really enjoyed listening to it. It made me happy.This is me and my stand partner Wendy after the concert. She is so nice and she is incredibly athletic. She ran to orchestra every week and I am pretty sure she could kick your butt.

6. Festival of Colors

Since Sam is moving to Ohio tomorrow, we decided we should do something that is a very Utah thing. It just happened that yesterday was the Festival of Colors at the Hare Krishna temple. We left for the temple about one hour before the color throwing began but traffic was so backed up and it took us two hours to get there! At least we stayed clean. It was still fun to see the temple and listen to the music which consisted of "Hare Krishna" repeated over and over.
My brother (Matthew, on right) with his roommates.

While everyone was throwing the colors. I stole this picture from Matthew's roommate's facebook.

Sam in front of the Hare Krishna temple.

7. Dinner with Micheldon

I wish I had taken a picture. We went out to dinner with my sister and brother-in-law (Michelle and Sheldon = Micheldon). I am so sad that we will be moving away from them. They are so much fun and are always so sweet.
It was a fun dinner and a nice end to a very long day.


20 week ultrasound

This is just a post with a lot of pictures. If you can't tell what it is, then I probably can't either. The ultrasound tech was very nice and labeled some things for us. :-)


The Passenger

Someone has been stuffing the ballot box! When I left for the appointment today the votes were tied for a boy and girl! Sneaky little devils!



I haven't scanned the pictures yet but he's a cutie! As cute as an alien-looking munchkin can look. We got a DVD of the ultrasound and so many pictures that the ultrasound tech told me to hide them in my purse because she isn't allowed to print that many.

I am very excited. And so is Sam. Actually, Sam is thrilled! He was practically giddy when we saw the little man's "appendage."

The ultrasound tech said, "Here is one leg. Here is the second leg. And here is the third leg!" WHAT?! That is my baby!

The ultrasound tech called the fetus an exhibitionist! He was lying with his legs bent back (like a frog) and his legs spread wide apart. She also said he is well-endowed. Oh boy, now I can sleep well at night. All I can say is that if this baby comes out with facial hair, Sam is dead!

She kept repeating that he was very cute. I think they just tell all moms this though.

His mouth was open. Yum, amniotic fluid. But it was cute.

He is healthy and growing properly.

We do have some names we are thinking of but we are keeping them a seeeecret from name-stealers like YOU! Shhh!

Tuesday Thyme: Curried Beef

This is one of my new favorite recipes. Amazing!

Curried Beef

serves 4

1 pound beef tenderloin
2 medium yellow onions
2 medium potatoes
3 1/1 T. vegetable oil
4 t. curry powder
1/3 c. water
1 T. cornstarch
2 T. satay sauce
1 1/2 T. soy sauce
1 1/2 T. apple sauce
1 T. Chinese chili sauce
1 t. instant chickken bouillon granules
2 c. steamed wild rice and brown rice combination (prepared according to package directions)

1. Remove and discard fat from meat. Cut meat across the grain into thin slices (the size of a stick of gum). Peel onions, cut into wedges and separate layers. Pare potatoes and cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
2. Heat 2 1/2 T. of oil in large frying pan over high heat. Stir-fry potatoes in oil until crisp-tender, about five minutes. Add onions and 2 tsp. of the curry powder. Stir-fry for two minutes. Remove mixture from frying pan.
3. Heat remaining 1 T. oil in the frying pan over high heat. Stir-fry meat until light brown, about 3-4 minutes. Add potato mixture.
4. Combine remaining 2 tsp. curry powder and all other remaining ingredients. Pour over meat-potato mixture. Cook and stir until liquid boils. Reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes. Serve with rice.



Last week (19 weeks along) I felt the baby moving for the first time. It was really exciting and yet a very strange feeling. When the baby kicks, I poke back. (Not hard!) It is quite a fun little game. We are bonding already.

Every time I tell Sam that the baby is kicking he will try to feel it and then the baby gets shy and stops. But tonight he felt the baby kicking! Just once. But at least now he believes me! He got a cute little smile on his face when he felt it. Yes, believe it or not, there is a little thing growing inside me.

That reminds me, we find out the sex of our baby on Tuesday! So vote on the poll! This is going to be a very exciting appointment! A book I am reading says that the baby is now the size of a cantaloupe!

20 weeks (halfway done!)


Tuesday Thyme: Baklava


1/2 lb. walnuts, chopped fine

1/2 T. sugar

1/2 t. cinnamon

1/2 c. melted butter

1/2 lb. phyllo sheets (you will cut each rectangular sheet in half to use in the 9"x9" pan)

1 c. sugar

1/2 c. water

1 stick cinnamon

2 T. honey

20 whole cloves

1. Combine walnuts, 1/2 T. sugar, and cinnamon in mixing bowl.

2. Brush bottom of 9" x 9" pan with butter.

3. Place 1/2 phyllo sheet over butter; butter the sheet. Repeat process for 8 layers.

4. Place 1/2 the walnut mixture over eighth buttered sheet. Cover with 2 more buttered sheets; top with remaining walnut mixture. Repeat layers of phyllo sheets and butter until all sheets are used.

5. Cut in diamond shapes and place a whole clove into the center of each diamond.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Reduce temperature to 300 degrees; bake for 30 minutes longer.


7. Boil 1 c. sugar, water, and cinnamon stick to a thin syrup. Stir in honey. Cool. Pour syrup over hot pastry. Cool before serving.


Just keep running

Sam and Anna (his sister) ran the Rex Lee Run on Saturday. They finished the 10K in about an hour. I signed him up for it two days before the race so I am really proud of him!

Anna and Sam before the race! It was cold!

They are almost done!

Crossing the finish line! Good thing, because I was getting tired!


Lehi Days

My neighborhood has an annual rodeo and I really wanted to go and have Sam experience it! About a month ago we started planning on going home and we kept it a secret from my family. Sam's great-aunt has been sick and so we were worried the trip might have to be canceled but thankfully she is stable now. So on Friday after my last class we left Provo and drove to Mesa. When we got there, we went into my house and no one was there! We figured they were still at the Lehi Days Dance so we went to the church to find them.

As soon as we walked in, my dad smiled and my mom just looked at us blankly. Suddenly it registered that we weren't supposed to be there and she got so excited! My brothers were also very happy to see us but they thought it was ridiculous that we drove nine hours to go to a rodeo.

However! The rodeo was awesome! I had forgotten how great it was. My family was really involved! My dad helped get everyone ready for their turn. My mom coordinated late sign ups for the events (I helped!). David said the Pledge of Allegiance to start out the rodeo. Adam did the calf ride. Flannel and Adam did goat dressing together. And Flannel did the rescue race.

Adam and Flannel getting ready for the goat dressing.

Dad doing his job. :-)

Enjoying the rodeo! And the nice weather!

This is a video of the rescue race. It took Flannel a little while to get on because the horse stopped before the line and he wasn't allowed to run up to the horse or else they would have been disqualified.


Tuesday Thyme: Quick Breadsticks

Quick Breadsticks
serves 10

1 1/4 c. warm water
1 T. yeast
2 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3-3 1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. butter or margarine, melted
garlic salt
parmesan cheese
oregano, opt.

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water.
2. Add sugar, salt, and 2 1/2 c. flour. Mix to form dough.
3. If more flour is needed, add up to 1 c. more. Mix about 3 minutes.
4. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
5. Put half of melted butter or margarine in jelly roll pan.
6. Using rolling pin or hands, flatten dough into buttered jelly roll pan.
7. Spread remaining butter or margarine over the top of dough.
8. Using pizza cutter, cut dough into strips.
9. Sprinkle with garlic salt, parmesan cheese, and oregano, if desired.
10. Let rest another 10 minutes.
11. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
12. Cut with pizza cutter again.



I have the smartest husband EVER! We found out yesterday that he has been accepted to Cornell University! He has also been offered a half tuition scholarship! We are not sure if this is where he will be going yet because we are still waiting to hear from the rest of the schools he applied to. But hello! Cornell is a smart person school! That means my husband is a smart person! I knew it!

The only bad thing, Ithaca is pretty much freezing always. That does not sound pleasant. Yesterday's low was 13 degrees. Gag me. At least it is pretty!


We've been robbed!

I will try to keep my swear word substitutes to a minimum, but I am very angry so we'll see how this goes.

Have you ever seen "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days"? In that movie, the girl buys the guy a love fern. It was just a fern that represented their love. Nerdy, but adorable.

For my first Valentine's Day with Sam (2007), I bought him a love fern. It was more of a pine tree. He has moved to Fresno and back, and Denver and back with it. We have watered it and loved it. It was our love fern.

Our apartment complex management is insane and they won't let anyone have things on their balcony. We can only have patio furniture and barbecues. Patio furniture includes potted plants though so our love fern was safe! Or so we thought...

Our love fern disappeared! I called the apartment management and they told me to talk to the maintenance crew. I went to the maintenance office and they took me to the storage facility. Everything confiscated was placed in storage. We looked and looked and couldn't find it. I went home and called the apartment management again. They told me they would find it since everything confiscated is always placed in storage. Then they would call me back.

A few hours later, the maintenance supervisor called me to apologize. He had forgotten to specify to his crew that "patio furniture" included potted plants so they had removed our plant. While trying to get it over the balcony, it had been dropped, had broken, and had been thrown away.

It is ridiculous that this means so much to me, but it is something we have had since we were barely dating. We planned on planting it in our front yard when we bought our first house. We always said we were watering it to keep it alive like we were keeping our love alive (I know that the plant being gone doesn't mean our love is dead).

I want to just forget about it but I feel like we have been robbed. Violated. I wish they had brought us the broken plant and we could have tried saving it. Who "accidentally" steals someone's property, breaks it, and then just throws it away?!

They offered to buy us a new one or let us buy a new one, turn in the receipt, and have our rent credited. That doesn't seem like enough. I don't want a new one. It was irreplaceable. Argh!

Warning to everyone who reads this blog: NEVER LIVE AT THE BRANBURY! They will make your life miserable. And they won't even feel bad about it.

Anyone want to buy my contract? (So maybe I am not a good salesman.)

That circle is where our love fern used to live before it was murdered.

Goodbye, love fern. You were awesome!


Tuesday Thyme: Fattoush

This is really good and I hope everyone will try it! It tends to be very salty so start with a little and add more later.

Fattoush (pronounced fuh-toosh)
makes 5 servings

1 lb. 4 oz. Pita Bread
1 1/2 fl. oz. extra virgin olive oil
1 t. salt
t 1/2 t. ground black pepper
1 lb. plum tomatoes, seeded, medium dice
1 lb. European cucumber, peeled, seeded, medium dice
5 oz. (1/2 c. + 2 T.) radish, sliced
3 oz. yellow pepper, small dice
3 oz. (1/4 c. + 2 T.) scallions, chopped
1 1/4 oz. (2 1/2 T) partsley sprigs, chopped

5 T. lemon juice, fresh (use the rind to create lemon spiral garnish)
5 T. red wine vinegar
2 1/4 t. sugar
1/4 oz. (1 1/2 t.) thyme, chopped
1 1/2 t. garlic, minced
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. ground black pepper
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
13 fl. oz. olive oil

1. Cut the pita bread into small wedges.
2. Toss pita wedges with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake on a sheet pan in a 300 degree oven for 15 minutes, turning once halfway through the baking. They should be crisp, but not crumble.
3. Combine the tomatoes, cucumber, radish, yellow pepper, scallions, and parsley in a large bowl.
4. Combine lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, thyme, garlic, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a bowl.
5. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Combine the dressing with the prepared vegetables and toss. Just before serving, add the pita wedges and toss. Adjust with salt and pepper and serve.

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