Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dissertations and Dinners

Tomorrow is Zach's thesis dissertation. He took his boards last spring which was SOOOO nice to have completed and for him to not have to spend spare time in the basement studying. But he's still been working on his thesis which has taken it's fair share of time. So tomorrow is a REALLY exciting day for the both of us. The thesis defense is from 5-? It goes as late as it needs to but we're required to provide a meal. Well we decided to give them a taste of Utah and I'm making Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Salads. Not the easy coke/brown sugar recipe, but this is the 3 days of cooking variety. It's an incredible copycat recipe my friend Kristen led me to and it's ROCKING! I've finished the rice and meat and tomorrow is guacamole, beans, tortillas and all the extra prep. Every time I try the rice and meat my knees buckle and I throw my head back in joy.
It's really fun for me to be able to directly contribute to something... I know it's food but it's a huge love language of mine. Wish me luck on the rest of the recipe and getting it set up and still warm when they need to eat it. :) My incredible friend from church is making a lemon lime cheese cake for me... I could cry I'm so grateful. I'll give you an update when the marathon is over. :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Houstin we have a problem...

I honestly can't keep up a current blog list. Last night while I was diligently adding to my list I accidentally canceled the entire gadget instead of just the address I was putting in. I am a fairly capable individual I'll have you know. But I have this incredible ability to make my blogging life more difficult. Sooooo, if your address isn't over there in the column and I know you... :) Can you please give me your site info because I'm determined to be a better communicator.

This is how we felt last night when the list was deleted. The crying came after the screaming...

I spent the last 45 min. finding some of you... but I'd like to have all of you... and I can't keep searching because the children have fed themselves breakfast and Kaitlyn even helped herself to her own vitamins. hummm... Let's hope the noise coming from upstairs is both of them putting on their clothes, brushing their teeth, braiding their own hair, learning to read and scrubbing my baseboards. :) I'm just going to keep thinking happy thoughts and get going.

Friday, November 12, 2010

I have Conquered Tofu!

So I'll have you know that I've had a long and at times painful relationship with tofu. We should be a match made in heaven, it's got everything I love in a food product. Tofu is nutritious and versatile and CHEAP! The trouble has been that in the past it's not been a great substitute for Chicken or Ground beef because of the texture and taste. WELL, I THINK I'VE GOT SOME GOOD TIPS I'VE FINALLY FIGURED OUT!

Tofu Tip #1: Don't cut the block of tofu! It will never feel like meat in your mouth if it's in perfect cubes. This has been my mistake from the beginning. Instead, either break it apart with your hands which makes it crumble or put it into a food processor and chop it up into bits. I'm a food processor fan.

Tofu Tip #2: Fry it with Onions. I've experienced fried tofu from others that tastes great, but I've never been able to achieve it. Throwing it in with minced onions insures it tastes like something!

Tofu Tip #3: Don't fry it too long! Tofu turns into hard plastic when it's left on the stove frying. Also the oil can't be too hot. This is all trial and error.

Tofu Tip #4: I like to use it in recipies that already have lots of flavor, specifically mexican dishes. Works great as a filler in Taco Soup, replace the chicken in Enchiladas, and last night we devoured it with taco salad. :) Hurray! You could also easily do the same with a teriaki sauce or curry and coconut milk.

Here's the Taco Salad Recipe:

I block of Tofu:
Crumble or food processor
1/2 onion: chopped or food processor
1 Tbs Olive Oil
1 package Taco seasoning
1/3 cup Salsa

Saute the onion and tofu together in the oil. When onions are cooked add the taco seasoning and let it combine for a couple minutes. Turn the stove off and mix in the salsa. Use it for the chicken or beef substitute in enchiladas, burritos, or salad.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I love London in the Fall

Life always keeps going on at a faster and faster pace. I noticed 2 posts ago (last year) I said I'd be a better updater... well that didn't work out. We've got so much to be grateful for it's good to stop and take a moment to write it down and record it.

Kaitlyn is nearly 4 1/2 and is growing like a weed these days. We do school together at home and she can read about 40 words. It's really rewarding to see her growing up and asking all kids of questions. Yesterday she said, "Daddy, will you be my prince? Every princess needs a prince." She changes out of her clothes about every other day and into a ballerina tutu and then dances around the house. She swims like a fish and is picking up a lot of speed on her bike.

Liza's turned 2 and speaks in sentences at 2 volumes: moderate and ear piercing. She cracks us up with her constant stream of thought which usually centers around Princesses and wanting to see neighbors, family, and dogs. She doesn't make a move without a purse on her arm and frequently gets her shoes on and her purse and tells me "Bye Mama! I going to the temple, it's Sunday." She's creature of habit and every night she asks me to sing "I love to see the temple" and "I am a Child of God". It melts my heart.

Zach has 5 months left in school! The end of a decade long process. We got married 6 months before he began dental school and we'll graduate a month after our 10 yr anniversary!!! This is a big year. He defends his thesis in a week and a half and I'm going to cook the dinner we have to provide to the panel.... :) I'm looking forward to it - I think. We're set on where we are going after school and after we settle some legal matters, we'll make a big announcement but we'll be returning to the States. We've LOVED living in Canada and we'll miss our friends here but it will be nice to get in closer proximity to family and friends and to not have to cross the border. :)

As for me... my parents just came to visit us last week after being released from a church mission. It was SO NICE to have them here and be around our kids and see how we do things. We really love having house guests and grandparent guests are the greatest. While Mom was here we finished a project I started when Zach's Mom was here... a quilt for Kaitlyn's bed. It's my first one attempted on my own, but as you can see, it required help to start and stop. So I can't say I can sew yet, but I'll keep you posted.