Saturday, June 30, 2012

Strawberry Mint Lemonade

With the weather in the high nineties and above all I want to do all day long is lay in my dark air conditioned apartment (new apartment :) can I get a woo woo for moving into a new place?!) and sip on something cold. Something like strawberry mint lemonade. And sip on strawberry mint lemonade I did. One particularly warm afternoon I gave homemade lemonade a try, and oh my it was delicious. It was so tangy and sweet but then the mint steps in and is like "Oh hi! I'm incredibly refreshing!" and I'm like "Yes, yes mint, you are". My family gulped this gone in about an hour. No leftovers for us. It was fabulous! Try it!

Strawberry Mint Lemonade
1 pint strawberries, hulled
2 c. water, divided
1 c. sugar
2 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
large bunch of fresh mint
4-5 c. sparkling or still water
1/2 lemon sliced thin

Using an electric or handheld juicer juice about 12 lemons into a measuring cup until you get two cups, set aside. In a blender, blend strawberries with 1 cup of water until smooth, using a fine mesh strainer pour strawberry puree into a large bowl, make sure to clean out seeds or large strawberry pieces from strainer, use a spoon or spatula if you need to, to help force puree through, set aside.

In a small sauce pan combine sugar and remaining one cup of water. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved and mixture turns to a syrup, set aside to cool. In a pitcher combine strawberry puree, lemon juice and cooled sugar syrup. Add enough sparkling or stilled water as needed to achieve desired constancy and taste. (the more water the less tart a taste) Add fresh chopped mint and lemon slices to the pitcher and using a wooden spoon, stir to combine. Serve chilled in glasses filled with ice and fresh mint. Enjoy!

Farmers Market

Farmers market is
busy and hustle bustling
fresh smells and loud sounds
yummy things to taste and pretty things to see
bunches of lavender and a new herb garden came home with me today 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Saturday Afternoon

We went to the Utah Arts Festival this weekend and had a blast. There were so many things to do and see (and eat), hence the overload of pictures. 
 My sister and I and my mom had to look at all the hats and hair pieces, they made us wish that we were British and going to Ascot.

Adam and Todd even found booths that they liked. Jessi found an owl painting that she couldn't live without. And we tried some greek yogurt.  
 There was a sand sculpter that was busy sculpting away a beautiful flamenco dancer. He was so talented.
 We met up with good friends Liz and Josh and tried the festival lemonade.
 The food of course was fantastic. Mom tried a crepe, I got a bbq chicken pita with mango salsa. We were pretty stoked.
 I found the most perfect painting that I am so excited to display in the kitchen of our new apartment.
 It was such a fun day with so many amazing pieces of art work, and just cool things to see in general. I glad we were able to spend the day with good friends and family.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Baby Shower

Best friend Tess and her husband are expecting. So our closest friends since forever (Jr. High...and before) got together, with our cute moms and had a yummy dinner and celebrated Tess and the little guy that will be here soon!

We ate at Cafe Trio which, as per usual, was divine. My new favorite there is the pasta carbonara - but if you try it be prepared, it's rich and heavenly. And creamy. And cheesy. And bacony.
And fattening. So that's good.

Tess got lots of cute stuff. Elephants seemed to be an unconscious theme of the night, which was awesome. And I got to feel the little guy swimmin' around in there!

Overall a wonderful night spent with girls I love and their amazing moms.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


 A flower that reminds me of Grandmas house (bleeding hearts), stripped obsession, momma and me baby showerin' it up, dinner on the patio at the pub (also my favorite sandwich ever, their spicy french dip), loving my new glasses (more than that though, loving that I can see stuff), my favorite cookie, a much needed low key Friday night with my love, and cherries by the pool.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Life GPS

Do you remember this post? It's funny when I wrote it I felt hopeless, and confused and maybe even a little lost. The thing that I had forgotten was that I do have a "life GPS" - His name is God and He knows where I need to be going and if I would just ask He would remind me. So I finally realized this weeks after the fact and life has once again fallen into place thanks to some Heavenly Help. I am grateful for a loving and caring Heavenly father, who knows what jobs, which apartment, what path is going to be right for me and my sweet husband. 

(Picture of our GPS on our epic trip across the country)

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Snickerdoodles are a really good feel good cookie. Eating one is like getting a big warm cinnamony hug. This recipe is a good one because the cookies stay really soft and have lots of flavor. They call for cream of tartar make sure you don't leave that out, other wise the cookies could turn out flat or just plain dull. (FYI: I just googled what cream of tartar is and was thoroughly surprised, byproduct of the wine making process...what??) Anyway these cookies are great give them a shot, you wont regret it.


For the cookies:
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
8 tbsp (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 c. vegetable shortening
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 large eggs

For the coating:
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 c. granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), beat together the butter, shortening, and 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and mix until well incorporated. Reduce the speed of your mixer and add the flour mixture, mixing until just combined.

In a small bowl or shallow plate, combine the cinnamon and granulated sugar to coat the cookies. Roll the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and roll in the cinnamon and sugar to coat. Place the balls of dough about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake the cookies on greased cookie sheets, one sheet at a time, until the edges are light golden brown and the centers are soft and puffy, about 9-11 minutes. Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

This Weekend

 We had an eventful weekend. We visited my grandparents in Logan and went to one of my favorite places to get pizza. Frederico's on the USU campus. I love their crumbly ham. It's the best.

My Pizza:                                          Adam's Pizza:

 I tried out dots and stripes for size and sported my bran new glasses.

 But lastly (and most importantly) we went to my cousin's missionary farewell. It was a beautiful Sunday morning spent eating yummy food and hanging out with family.

 Peru is lucky to get such a great guy!

Thursday, June 7, 2012


 Einstein's lunch with my sisters, a big Disney hint at where we'll be for Christmas this year (Disneyworld we're comin back!),  quilting with my momma, studying math (pray for me), hickory wood chips and bar b que tools (husband's newest interest), celebratory cold stone for the high school graduate (who is curently in Europe for the next 3 weeks...brat), jumba freakin lya, a slurpee run first of the season folks. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Parmesan Bread Sticks

If you haven't worked much with yeast, and it seems like a daunting task this is the perfect "stepping stone" recipe for you. These breadsticks, while being utterly delicious are fail proof! I swear it would take a lot to screw them up, if you follow my easy directions you'll be fine. The breadsticks themselves are soft and chewy with a crunchy cheesy top. They are so yummy, my family will go through spurts where we'll have several times a week, they're that good but more importantly, they're that easy!

Parmesan Bread Sticks

1 Tbsp Yeast
2 Tbsp Sugar 
1 1/2 C. Warm Water (Don't let this part trip you up, the water needs to be warm not scalding, but not cold either, just warm.)
3 - 4 1/2 C. Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 C. Butter
1 C. Parmesan Cheese
Garlic Salt or Seasoning
 (Hello, my name is yeast and I'm here to be your friend! Please don't be afraid of me.)

In the bowl of a stand mixer or other large mixing bowl combine yeast, sugar and warm water and give it a quick gentle mix. Allow the mixture to sit for 5-10 minutes until the yeast has grown and it looks foamy and bubbly. 

In a separate bowl or large measuring cup combine flour and salt, gradually add it to the water mixture about a 1/2 cup at a time until it's all been added. Allow the mixer to run for 5 or so minutes gently kneading dough (if you're not using a stand mixer knead for 8 or so minutes) if the dough feels really sticky add 1/2 cup more flour a couple of tablespoons at a time until the dough is smooth and still slightly tacky. It's better if the dough is more sticky rather than over floured, keep that in mind while you're adding additional flour.

Remove dough to floured surface and coat in flour. Allow dough to rest 10 minutes. Meanwhile place sheet pan on two burners of your stove top turn burners on to low and allow butter to melt. Dust rolling pin and begin to gently roll out dough until it's about a 1/4 inch thick, and is shaped like a large rectangle. If your dough is thicker that's ok it will make a few less bread sticks, just try not to make it any thinner than 1/4 inch otherwise it will be harder to handle. Once dough is all rolled out use a pizza cutter to cut in half and then into 1-2'' strips.

Remove sheet pan from stove top and place dough strips on buttered surface, flipping so that each side of dough gets buttered. Once all dough strips are on pan sprinkle with shredded Parmesan and sprinkle with desired amount of garlic salt. Cover pans and allow to rise in a warm place until they are puffy. About an hour. (If I'm in a hurry I'll put the pan in the bathroom and turn on the shower for a couple of minutes, let it get really steamy and close the door to let the bread sticks proof faster.)

Once the bread sticks have risen preheat the oven to 400 degrees and bake for 10 -12 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden and the bottom of the bread sticks are slightly brown. Allow to cool on pans for 5 minutes, remove and enjoy!

 *These are so versatile you could use any variation of cheese or spices you prefer. A nice hard cheese like Parmesan will work best but you could sprinkle Italian seasoning or oregano as well as garlic salt, whatever you and your family prefer!