Friday, October 30, 2009

a healthy surprise

I made these carrot-cake muffins out of my Deceptively Delicious book this week and was happily surprised at how yummy they tasted. I was missing an item for the frosting, so I just used a creme cheese store bought frosting I had left over in the fridge. So far, I have liked almost ever recipe that I have tried off this book. Jack and Cash still aren't that hip on eating most of it - but I think once they are a little older, it will be an easier sell. They did, however, like the muffins - and I was happy I was sneaking carrots, cauliflower, prunes and apricots into their diet. How deceptive! (sorry - bad joke)

Prep Time: 10min
Total Time: 35 min
12 muffins

+ Nonstick cooking spray or paper muffin cups
+ 1/2 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar (I used light)
+ 4 TBS margarine
+ 1 cup carrot puree
+ 1/2 cup cauliflower puree
+ 1 large egg
+ 2 TBS frozen orange juice concentrate
+ 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
+ 1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
+ 1/4 cup pitted prunes, chopped
+ 2 cups all-purpose flour
+ 1 tsp baking powder
+ 1 tsp basking soda
+ 1 tsp cinnamon
+ 1/4 tsp allspice

1. Preheat oven to 350. Coat muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper cups.
2. In a large bowl, use a wooden spoon to beat the sugar with the margarine until smooth. Stir in the purees, egg, orange juice concentrate, and vanilla, and then the apricots and prunes. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and allspice, and stir until just combined. Do not overmix; there are supposed to be lumps in the batter.
3. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake until the tops of the muffins are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean from center of muffin. Approx. 12 - 15 minutes.

Super yummy.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

a month of festivities

I keep thinking I'm going to be better at blogging. But I'm not.

So once again, I find myself doing a recap blog of the past events and weeks.

I know winter is upon us, but it still surprised me to wake up and find snow on the lawn this week. Jack's eyes about bugged out of his sockets when he discovered the miracle and was eating his cereal in his snow gear in anticipation to get out and try out the new laid snow. We made little snowmen, Cash ate some snow, and then we decided to come in for the first cup of hot-coco of the season. Then the snow really came. So of course, I had to take Jack back out again to make a proper and larger snowman. He spent the entire day looking back out the window - all up until he went to bed - to make sure his new made friend was still there. I am dreading when the sun will finally take him out. I am just crossing my fingers the snow holds off till the trick-or-treating is finished.

October has been really fun this year. I guess the addition of kids makes you get more into holiday spirit. I love any holiday - any excuse to eat great food and hang out with the closest of friends and family, and this month has been no exception.

We took the boys to the Red Butte Garden After Dark with a bunch of our friends - (I would show you pictures, but unfortunately Cash demolished my camera just prior to this event) - and I recommend to anyone. There were pumpkins to paint, hot chocolate and cider, spooky walk ways, broom-stick crafts and mazes for the smaller kids. It was a great night.

The next day, we took the boys to Boo-At-The-Zoo with Ryan's sisters. The weather was perfect. We got to see the adorable baby elephant and giraffe, while the boys practiced their trick-or-treating skills. Jack and Cash refused to wear anything but their costumes for the next 2 days.

We then had our friends, Jamie, Jill, Fayth, Jennie and Jeff over that night, for a massive pumpkin carving extravaganza. Jennie roasted up some of her famous
seasoned pumpkin seeds, Jeff made his delicious wassail, Jill made a yummy pumpkin role (please send the recipe), and I put too much ginger in my butternut squash soup - nuts.

Tonight - all the grandkids met up at Grandma and Grandpa's house for another pumpkin carving event. Cash and Jack both walked away with stellar carvings and had a fun night filling their bellies with pizza, candy and just hanging out with the cousins.

Tomorrow Ryan and Atherton, are playing an opening set for a Halloween movie/party downtown (at the Rose Wagner Theater if anyone wants in), and then the next day is Halloween. Yippee!

(sigh) This is the most celebrating I have ever done towards Halloween. I think I will need a nap after this month is out.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

where the wild things are

Jack and I have been anxiously awaiting the release of Where The Wild Things Are. It comes out tomorrow - I am not sure if we will be able to find a babysitter for our own wild thing, Cash - so we may have to wait a day or so to see it. We have watched the trailer at least once if not more a day since it debuted.

At his last birthday, Aunt Jennie and Uncle Jeff gave Jack the Wild Things and Max dolls. He takes the entire posse with him where ever he goes - along with his favorite ratty bear of course.

While I was looking up some reviews on the movie tonight, I found this great interview with the author of the children's book, Maurice Sendak, and director Spike Jonzes with screenwriter Dave Eggers

I especially loved the part about the wild things being created after his aunts and uncles from Europe. Or the part about the controversy over the words "and it was still hot" at the end of the book. You should take time to read it.

I have been completely fixated on this movie ever since the trailer played out with that amazing Arcade Fire song, to which Jack has every word memorized, and can sing the melody perfectly. I can't wait to see this movie. I have always loved the book. I know it is going to be amazing.

Monday, October 12, 2009

your ears will thank you

If you are itchin' for some new tunes - the latest Pearl Jam is a tasty treat to lay upon your ears. Go give yourself a listen. For you softies... Just Breath and The End are amazing. Or if you like to rock out like Cash and Jack do, listen to Got Some, The Fixer and Unthought Known. Jack has the lyrics almost memorized - while Cash has some wicked dance moves he likes to break out. We are so proud.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

ah, Sarah.

Tonight I went down to visit Ryan at the studio. The hymns record is going amazingly well, from what I have heard, and so I wanted to just hang out a bit and watch in envy as all these musicians effortlessly do their thing.

Somehow though, I found myself in front of a mic, clapping my hands along with the beat, singing along with the latest song being recorded. Now don't get any ideas - I can't sing. And I'm not being modest. In church I was once called to be the music leader for the primary. Each week was torture for me - and I'm sure everyone else ... In fact, if any of you know me at all - you know I am not a shy person by nature, but I hate anything that puts that kind of spotlight on me. Singing in front of people is at the top of the list of things I can live my life without.

So tonight, while I let someone film me - while someone else was recording everything - while I was standing next to someone who can sing... really really sing (ah - Sarah Sample, you have the most amazing voice - and you sing as if it was no effort at all. I'm happy I could hear more of you then me tonight) - I was a little more out of my comfort zone then usual. But even then, in all my self-voice loathing - I have to admit I had a little fun, and I really liked being apart of the process of recording this thing.

Overall, I loved being able to see Ryan for more then the 2 seconds before he goes out the door. I love watching him sing like he does, when I can tell he is having a great time - and completely opposite to me - totally in his element. I loved eating M&Ms while I watched video's of Sarah S. adorable little girl dancing it up around the living room, to have some great chat time with my cute friend Rachel Hardy, and to get to snuggle baby Huck (Sarah and Scott Wiley's newest family addition) - and all over some great Thai food (although I was less then happy to find us a little short on our order. Thanks alot Spicy Thai!).

All in all, a good night.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

the beginning of something great

Last night we had a big BBQ to start off the recording of the hymns record. Ryan and as many amazing musicians that I feel lucky enough to call our friends - are coming together to record a bunch of gospel hymns. We had everyone over to eat some mighty good grub and let the spouses and kids mix it up as they planned out the next week and tried out some of the songs they may record.

Although I have no musical talent - I even found myself singing along in the kitchen as I was cleaning up the sea of dixie cups - and thought this record is going to blow people's minds. My old friend Jed Wells - who I know from the arts program at BYU - is going to be filming and documenting the entire thing. His stuff is amazing and I have been drooling over the small mini youtube test videoes he has been uploading. If Ryan gives the go ahead, I'll post a few...

But for now - I am just so happy I got to meet so many cool people last night, on top of hanging out with some of my most favorite people on this planet. Man I love me some good ol' fashioned get togethers.

Monday, October 5, 2009

side note, it's fajita night

The hard part about claiming that you are going to post a "catch up" blog entry - is that you have to own up to it once you don't. I keep getting distracted, and now I can't quite remember even what I was going to write about.

Jack had his birthday at the beginning of last month. My little heartbreaker. Turning 4 seems so strange. It ends the great era of not having to pay for him at most events - suddenly I realize he needs to be going to school, and that about blows my mind. How did time get away with letting him grow up so fast. We had a great party with the extended fams. I feel pretty lucky to have everyone in both our families live within 10 minutes of each other (for the time being).

Cash is still refusing to say much.
But he has finally added Jack's name to his 3 word vocabulary. I know he's smart, so I think he is doing it just to spite us. He is much more brave then Jack ever was, and is constantly finding himself in situations I never had to worry about with Jack. He is our daredevil and I have my work cut out for me. But I love the little monster. I can't seem to squeeze and kiss him enough these days.

Freelance work has been busy. It is always a love/hate relationship I have with being able to work from home. I love the flexibility of it - the chance to bring in some extra cash flow - but it usually requires me to let the house go to waste, dinner to not be on the table, the boys to get into a lot more trouble then should be allowed, and a LOT of nights staying up into the wee hours of the morning to get things finished why the boys sleep. It leaves me with zero free time to do anything else (my excuse for being horrible at blog updates).

I have been trying to make as much salsa as possible before the summer produce comes to an end. I wish I was more dedicated to can it and have it all winter long, but I haven't reached that deep into my homemaking skills.

Ryan and I did get to sneak away the other night and watch The Invention of Lying. I have heard it has caused some what of a stir amongst religious groups, but I thought it was hilarious - and had some very sweet moments. It had a great cast of actors and their mini rolls. Plus, I love me some Ricky Gervais.

And that pretty much sums up what I have been doing this last month. I would have included photos - but it would have pushed me back another month, so as boring as it is, you can now consider yourself updated. There.