Sunday, November 27, 2011

Food Adventure: Kansas

 When I met Adam he told me that his favorite type of food was BBQ. At the time I found that strange. Probably because the only experience I had ever had with "Bar-B-Que" was Famous Dave's. After getting engaged Adam introduced me to a little place called Oklahoma Joe's, in Kansas. There, I found the light. I was shown the way, and I was converted.

Oklahoma Joe's Bar-B-Que is the best Bar-B-Que I have ever tasted in my life.

The owners could run a thriving business based on their french fries alone.
They are that good.We went on "burnt end" night which, by the look of the line is favorite among locals. In case you were wondering burnt ends are flavorful pieces of meat cut from smoked brisket. According to Wikipedia they are a traditional part of Kansas City Bar B Que. Burnt ends are considered a delicacy in Bar B Que cooking. Kansas state food is wet bar b que. Basically the difference between wet bar b que and the dry bar b que of North Carolina is how it's served. Kansas style bar b que is all about the sauce, it's messy and saucey and is served with many napkins. North Carolina bar b que is much more about the meat, little to no sauce is used. 
We got the burnt ends and the bar b que chicken sandwich. Thanks for the always amazing bar b que Oklahoma Joes!

On our "yumm scale" we rated Oklahoma Joe's Wet BBQ as a Holymolycanoliyumm!

For your reference the "Yumm Scale" :
1. Yuck
2. Yu...
3. Yumm
4. Super Yumm
5. Holymolycanoliyumm!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Kansas Style

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, I think it has something to do with the pie. Anyway this year we were able to spend our third thanksgiving together in Kansas, Adam's home state, with his family. I was able to participate in some of his family traditions, and had my eyes opened to what my saint of a mother-in-law must have put up with on a regular basis with all 6 of her kids running around the house.

Growing up with all girls in my family guns and football were never a part of our Thanksgiving day traditions. Instead of shooting or playing pig skin after we were done eating we typically had a photo shoot or put on a puppet show for the family. Let's just say it was a new experience; I shot an AK-47 for crying out loud.

We started the morning off by heading out to the woods to go shooting. There was a wide variety of guns, and the only difference I could tell between them was how scared I got when handling them. The bigger the scarier. I think I scared everyone when after I shot my first shot I jumped up and down squealing. I was nervous but no one was injured so I figure it was a success even little Joshua got in a few shots on the 22 (that's what its called, right Adam?). Then we had a fantastic dinner filled with turkey, stuffing and all the regular trimmings. Yummmmm. After dinner we all gathered in the front yard for some football. I lasted about 15 minutes and decided my time would be better spent taking pictures or cooking something. I've never been the best at hand eye coordination and I knew I was only bringing the team down. Also that squeal from earlier (remember shooting practice) may or may not have made a second appearance when I was hit (didn't catch) the football. I was an embarrassment. After our football game we headed inside to finish off the day with some delicious pies made by me and my sister-in-law Christie.

We had a fantastic day filled with lots of laughing and even more food. I am thankful for Thanksgiving and for the amazing family that I had to spend it with.
I hope you had a great Thanksgiving too!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us I thought it would be appropriate to write down a few things that I am most thankful for.

Family - Particularly my husband, he is "pretty cool" and I am so proud of him, especially right now, for going after the the things that he wants out of life. He is so driven, and determined.
But mostly I am just thankful I get to call him "mine".

Music - I am thankful for the albums you get obsessed with and play over and over and every time you turn it on it makes you want to dance. Right now for me that album would be "It's not me, It's you" by Lilly Allen.

Ugg Boots - As ugly as they are and as much as my husband would like to burn mine, I love them. I love them with jeans and as slippers, I love them in the morning and at night. I love them on my eastern flight. I love them Sam I Am. I love green eggs and ham.
(Dr. Seuss...Where did that come from?)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints - I am thankful for the gospel, for the answers and the truth and peace it brings to my life. More specifically I am thankful for the temple and for the eternal perspective that I get when I go inside.

Cooking - I am thankful for my ability to create delicious goodies. I am thankful for butter, and sugar, and molasses, and chocolate chips, and bacon, and Italian flat leaf parsley, and for yeast and cream, and peanut butter, and strawberries...

Indoor Plumbing - I am thankful for Hot show
ers, need I say more?

Free shipping - I am thankful for all of the free shipping this time of year. Can take 5 minutes of your time to convert you to doing all of your Christmas shopping online?

Cookies - I am thankful for warm just out of the oven freshly baked cookies, any flavor, just as long as they are soft and gooey and perfectly cooked.

Plum Nail Polish - Thanks urban.

Best friends - You know the group you email back and for with, quoting movies and inside jokes. The same ones you call begging for an intervention when you realize you just ate your 8th cookie. I am thankful for my bfs.

Sweats - Or the inverse: I am thankful for not having to wear jeans/dresses/skirts all the time.

Pictures - I am thankful for memories that I can record with a device I can hold in my hands. Love pictures, love that my new canon takes reallllly good ones.

Moms: I am thankful for moms everywhere, and how awesome they are. Naturally I think my mom is the best but so do you so it's ok. I love my mom and I am so glad she belongs to me.

Little Kids: Why are they so awesome? I am thankful for every hilarious thing I have ever heard a little kid say.

That's enough right? Probably, but here's one last one: I am thankful that Thanksgiving is here, and that I get to eat pumpkin, apple, banana cream and chocolate cream pie tomorrow. Yay!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

This Week

The moment in time when I realized I really am an adult happened to be when I had to buy new tires this week. Why did nobody tell me that rubber is so expensive? Was this a fact of life that I missed out on? Was I absent that day in school?

I got crafty this week and spent 16 hours of my life modge podging. Just remembering those dark, sad, gluey, messy hours depresses me. I'd rather not talk about it.

This week this little number entered my life. Adam and I finally exited the world of relying solely on our phones to take pictures. Hallelujah. We will be enrolling in a photography workshop asap.

This week I experienced the joys and pains of being an adult.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Chicken Pesto Calzones

I am all about meals that I can make a bunch of and then freeze half for later, you know like a busy week night or anytime that I may want to make that"chicken-bean-salsa-easiest meal ever" thing.
This recipe completely fit the bill for something easy that freezes well, and of course is really yummy. Don't be afraid to try something other than the pesto chicken filling, it would be great with red sauce, pepperoni and sausage. Or even spinach, mozzarella and ricotta. It's a calzone folks the options are endless.

Chicken Pesto Calzones
*Makes 4 BIG calzones or 8 small to medium sized calzones

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon dry active yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups of flour
1 cup pesto
3 cups cooked shredded chicken
4 ounces mozzarella cheese
2 ounces shredded Parmesan cheese
Extra virgin olive oil (to drizzle on top)
Italian seasoning

For dough, combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar in a mixing bowl allow to foam, about 5 minutes. Add the olive oil, salt, and 2 cups of flour. Stir until the mixture is smooth. Gradually add the remaining flour, stirring with a wooden spoon until the dough starts to pull from the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and continue to knead in the rest of the flour until the dough is smooth. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise for about 1 1/2 – 2 hours. (You could also do all of the mixing in an electric mixer.)
Once the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 475°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside. Divide the dough into four portions (or 8 depending on how many you want to make.) and spread each portion of the dough into a rectangle/oval on a lightly floured surface. In a mixing bowl, combine the shredded chicken and the pesto. Spoon 1/4 (or 1/8 depending on how many you’re making) of the chicken pesto mixture onto half of each piece of dough. Top with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Fold the dough over the filling and pinch the edges to seal the calzone.
At this point, you can wrap with plastic wrap and place in a ziplock freezer bag and pop the calzones in the freezer. Or you can transfer each calzone to the baking sheet, brush the top with some olive oil and sprinkle with Italian seasoning and salt. Bake for about 12 – 14 minutes until golden on top and cooked through.
For frozen calzones: When you’re ready to serve them, just unwrap and let them thaw on a baking sheet before baking according to the recipe directions (you can also unwrap them and let them thaw gradually in the fridge).

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Life Update!

Ok so now I can give you all some details about our Washington DC escapade. Adam is graduating from BYU next April with a degree in Communication Studies and a minor in Political Science. It was recommended to him that he find an internship opportunity to cap his education with, this is where the Washington idea came from. BYU has an amazing program called the BYU seminar, where students are able to live in DC for a semester in BYU housing and work for what ever congressional, political, or senatorial organization they choose, and are accepted to. Luckily Adam was accepted to the program and was offered a very competitive position in Utah Senator Mike Lee's office. Obviously this is a fantastic opportunity for Adam, and I am so very proud of him. He is one of those people who makes things happen for himself and I couldn't be more excited.

For Adam this means possible job opportunities, contacts for future projects and so much more.

For me this means that I need to start doing my research for must try DC and surrounding area restaurants, Adam says I am predictable. I say I am passionate.

Ooh hey Mike Lee, new BFF!