Sunday, March 20, 2011

Cheddar Cheese Muffins

I was making a pasta dish for dinner today and really wanted to make some bread sticks to go with it but I didn't have any yeast! Then I had a great idea, what about a savory muffin? I got out my wonderful Williams Sonoma baking book and found this recipe. It was a hit! And so easy to make.
Cheddar Cheese Muffins

1 3/4 c flour
1 1/4 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 T sugar
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 t chili powder
1 large egg
3 T olive oil
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 375. Grease 7 std. muffin cups with butter or non-stick spray. Mix all ingredients until just evenly moistened (batter will be slightly lumpy). Spoon batter into each muffin cup filling until level with the brim. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden, springy and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Surgery Update

Jer's surgery on Thursday went well. It ended up being 3 hours long which was more than twice as long as they said it would be. You can imagine I got a little nervous after hour number 2 but they assured me everything was fine. It turns out his MCL was completely torn from the bone so they needed to fix that as well.
Here he is at 7:30 am all suited up for surgery:
 I think he's pretty dang cute if I do say so myself. :o) He was pretty funny coming out of anesthesia. He couldn't stop talking about the Cougars and Jimmer. He loves his basketball.
This is the day after surgery. They had him in physical therapy the very next day an the doctors were shocked at how well he was doing. His swelling isn't too bad yet either. The plan is no weight bearing for three weeks and then he will be walking with a brace for another 5 weeks or so after that. We have had lots of friends come and bring him Dr. Pepper and little treats they know he likes and just stop by for visits. It's been really nice to have visitors for both of us because being cooped up in the house all day gets a little hard sometimes. I'm really grateful for Jer's mom and for all of our friends who helped with dinner and taking care of Jer while I was working. We are very blessed!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


A lot has happened since the baby shower, so let me fill you in. But first:

Sorry, I don't really celebrate St. Patty's day. I'm lucky if I remember to wear green.
 Next item of business is my new obsession: This pillow.
This is a felt pillow my mom and I found at Quilted Bear for $20. I was tempted to buy a couple but my mom, (so wise) said, "I bet you could make those pretty easily." Well guess what? I found out how to make them on a blog, it IS easy, AND they cost under $3.00 to make! Are you kidding me? So, once school is out, we are back from Asia, and I unearth my sewing machine from our second bedroom, that's my next project along with a rag quilt. Can't wait!

Next: DANCESPORT!! Wow, what a weekend. My Mommy came to watch which was literally the highlight of the whole event for me. Other highlights:

I got a full-tuition scholarship for next year.

 We placed 4th in Pre-Championship Ballroom
 6th in National Open Amateur Smooth
 My really good friend Becky did an amazing job on my hair. Seriously?! So cool.
I got 5th place in Gold Bar Paso Doble. 

AND some of my students took 1st, 2nd and 5th place in their Quickstep final! I was such a proud teacher.
I'm so grateful for the wonderful opportunity to dance and to teach. I love it!

Now for a couple of life-y things. Remember the last post with the picture of Jer with his knee brace? Well today he went to the doctor and got an MRI. The results were not fun. He tore his ACL, MCL and fractured his femoral condyle. All in the name of church ball?! :o) Well anyway, regardless, he is going in for surgery tomorrow morning at 7 am. He will be on crutches again for at least 3 weeks and then no physical activity for 6 months. Needless to say we're both pretty bummed out. I know in my head that of course this isn't the end of the world, and everything will work out. But being the worried, emotional wreck that I am, I had a little break-down today. It seems that when it rains it pours, don't you agree? I have felt that way lately so this event kind of broke me. I don't know if its just me but once the flood gates open and I start to cry, there is no stopping me. I was a total baby at school today and made myself look like an idiot but Jer and I have been blessed with wonderful people in our lives. We had dinner brought to us and have seen so much concern and compassion from teachers, friends and family. I know everything will be OK but sometimes you just need a good cry. I feel like I have learned a lot of valuable lessons from all the little things that happen that I get so dramatic about and I'm grateful for those experiences. I will keep you posted on how the surgery goes and how he is recovering. We are going to work extra hard to get him better before our trip to Asia. Lots of PT and lots of rest.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Going Bananas

I promise this post has something to do with bananas, but first, I want to update you all on our lives. This week Jer dislocated his patella (knee cap) at his church league basketball game. I was having dinner group with my friends Lauren and Danielle and my sweet downstairs neighbor and good friend Alison called me and gave me the bad news. He went to the instacare and was promptly directed to the ER where they basically charged us a lot of money for some pain-killers and an ice-pack. I'm exaggerating but sometimes I just get so frustrated with the emergency room. Anywho, here is a picture of my sweet boy with his knee immobilizer on. He has been on crutches since Wednesday but he has recently been able to bear weight on his right foot which is good progress.
We are both sad because Dancesport Nationals are coming up this weekend and Jer was going to be dancing two events. It is looking less than likely that he will be able to dance. :o( On that note, my partner Caleb and I have been working and practicing very hard for nationals. We won pre-championship Ballroom in November and hope to maintain our title on a National level this week. The competition will be stiff and we are nervous but all we can do is our best so we will see how we do. We will also be dancing Amateur smooth again. Last comp we placed 3rd. We hope to at least maintain that title as well. Because this is a national competition, everything carries more weight. I will keep you all posted on what happens.

We have had lots of fun spending time with our friends on the weekends playing games and doing other fun things. I was able to go visit Mollie and her sweet twins Paige and Grant this weekend with my sister Katie. Mollie calls us Auntie Tina and Auntie Katie. We love those precious children! Jer took his little bro Cam to the BYU basketball game vs. Wyoming yesterday for his birthday and even bought him a Jimmer t-shirt. Cam also got a picture with the cheerleaders :o). Jer's little sisters and I went out to lunch during the game for Taylor's birthday and went to Forever 21. (Gotta be careful in that store, lots of cute, inexpensive things) We had a wonderful adult session of stake conference last night with a question and answer session with Elder Jensen of the Seventy and then a great meeting today with the sustaining of a new Stake Presidency. Our lives are very busy with work, school, dance and sports. We are getting very excited for our month-long trip to Asia coming up in the end of April. We will go to Thailand, Vietnam, and finally, Taiwan to visit Jer's mission.

Jer and I are so grateful for the many, many blessings in our lives and all of the wonderful opportunities that are ours. We consider ourselves very blessed. :o)

Now for the good part: Bananas.
I made banana bread today because I had some ripe bananas I needed to use, not to mention it's Jer's favorite, so I went back to my trusty and absolute favorite recipe. A couple years ago, I was experimenting with lots of different recipes to find a REALLY good banana bread recipe. I had found one that had a streusel topping that was pretty good, but then my room mate Lauren opened my eyes to her mom's DELICIOUS and wonderful recipe. I have never made another recipe for banana bread since. It has a glaze that is to die for but its good without it too.
Sharon Anderson's Banana Bread with Glaze
1 c shortening
2 c sugar
4 eggs
6-7 bananas (reserve 1/2 a banana for glaze)
4 c flour
2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1 t vanilla
Shake of salt
Pour into two bread pans and bake at 350 for 40-50 mins (I often cover it with foil halfway through so the top doesn't get too brown)

1/2 cube butter (needs to be very soft)
1/2 banana
1-2 c powdered sugar
splash milk and vanilla

Once bread has cooled cover top of loaves with glaze.

As I was flipping through my recipes to find the one above, I came across another banana one I love. This one is from my lovely mother-in-law. These are really hard to stop eating.
Sour Cream Banana Bars
1 1/2 c sugar
1 c sour cream
1/2 c butter
2 eggs
3 mashed bananas
2 t vanilla
1 t salt
1 t soda
2 c flour
Pour into greased jelly-roll pan and bake at 375 for 20-25 mins (keep an eye on them) until barely brown.

This recipe calls for like a vanilla frosting but I really like doing a cream cheese frosting. You can also do a vanilla frosting but add banana.
1/2 c butter melted
2 t vanilla
6 T milk
4 c powdered sugar
(I have found that this makes a LOT of frosting, it depends on how thick of a layer you like but I may decrease the amount a bit)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

It's a Boy!

No, I am not pregnant. I threw a shower with help from a few friends for my dear friend Sally Duffin and her sweet baby boy Bennett who I haven't actually seen yet because he will be born in three weeks-ish but I know he will be sweet just like his parents. We had a blast at Sally's shower, played fun games and ate some great food.
 I got these little baby feet and toy shaped lollipops for the favors and made a little arrangement of them for the food counter. Of course I forgot to tell people to take them as a favor so now I'm stuck with lots of baby boy favors.

 Some of the group eating. We had creamy tomato basil, chicken noodle and broccoli cheese soups, sourdough bread and crescent rolls. For dessert we had lemon raspberry bars and butter bars. Yum Yum. Recipes to follow. :o)
 More fun friends and relatives.
 Ballroom girls!
 We played a fun game I had played at a shower a long time ago. You put small safety pins in a bowl of uncooked rice and you have one minute to pull out as many safety pins as you can with your eyes closed, it is much harder than you think! The other game was guess the size of Sally's belly. Each girl guessed her belly size in inches and whoever got the closest got a prize.
 Opening gifts. I realized I wasn't very crafty when gift after gift came out and I kept asking, "Did you make that?" And of course the girl would always say, "yes". Good grief, I guess I need to gird up my loins and just whip out the old sewing machine.

I'm so grateful for the help of Kylie for doing the games, Carly for making the delish Broccoli cheese (I'm still waiting for that recipe ;o)) and Callista for bringing rolls. It really helps when others contribute. I can't wait to see Bryan and Sally's little man and I am so excited for the three of them!

Gooey Butter Cake

AKA Butter Bars

1 yellow cake mix
1 egg
1/2 cup butter (1 cube), melted

1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 stick butter, melted
3 cups powdered sugar

Combine crust ingredients and pat into a 9 X 13 pan. Beat cream cheese, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Add butter and sugar. Mix well. Pour over crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Variations: use lemon cake mix and add lemon juice and zest to filling, use chocolate cake mix and add 3/4 cup peanut butter to the filling. I have never tried any of these, if you do, let me know how you like it!

Lemon Raspberry Bars

Lemon Raspberry Bars

For the crust:
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons salted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
Zest of one lemon
For the filling:
2 large egg yolks
1-14 oz. can fat free sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
6 ounces fresh raspberries
Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a 8 by 8 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar, and lemon zest. Stir until graham cracker crumbs are moist. Press crumbs into the prepared pan, pressing the crust mixture one inch up the side of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
Once the crust is cool, combine the egg yolks and condensed milk until well mixed. Stir in the lemon juice and lemon zest. Stir until mixture begins to slightly thicken. Gently fold in the raspberries. Fold carefully so you don’t break the raspberries.
Pour the lemon raspberry filling evenly over the graham cracker crust. Bake for 15 minutes, or until just set.
Cool to room temperature, then chill for at least one hour before serving. Cut into bars and serve. Keep bars in the refrigerator-up to five days.
*Note-use fresh raspberries and make sure you gently fold the berries into the lemon filling or you will have pink bars.

Chicken Noodle Soup
From Lion House also courtesy of Rachel Neeley
Here we go - I only know this from memory when I am putting all the ingredients together.
2 cans chicken stock
1 bouillon cube - start boiling and melt the cube
add veggies -
chopped, carrots, celery, onions
let them slow boil until they are getting softer
add1 can cream of chicken soup
add 1 can corn
add chicken (for this I use the cans(2) of chicken from costco)
put stove on low - and let simmer

while simmering - boiling noodles (I use egg noodles for best flavor)
then add soft noodles to mixture
stir and bada bing
Oh - add pepper for taste

(I would recommend adding more chicken stock if there isn't much liquid)