Friday, November 26, 2010

Kitchen Boss

Decorations--Yeah, J never got around to setting a pretty table. A couple candles, a few gourds...but we did use real cloth napkins. The parade was blaring on the television in the background. K arrived home Thanksgiving morning and J was already hard at work. K jumped in and helped with everything, including dishes and trash. We ate one big meal at 3:00 p.m. and had pie for "supper" around 9:30 p.m. We talked about our first Thanksgiving which was at the Red Lion in San Diego during our honeymoon. They had a Thanksgiving themed buffet. Doesn't matter where we are so long as we're together. We should invite others to join us and share all the bounty, but our time together is so limited that we just mostly keep to ourselves. Maybe someday we'll have someone besides ourselves for Thanksgiving.

Deviled Eggs--Well, for such an important holiday, we HAD to have an appetizer...

The Bird--This fourteen pounder cost one dollar thanks to J's coupon prowess! LOVE having our own turkey. LOVE getting all the leftovers! LOVE saving the bones for soup and stock!!! LOVE being the Kitchen Boss!

Whipped/Mashed Potatoes--I grew up calling them mashed, but K lets me know they're whipped. His family mashes with a potato masher by hand adding milk (and some salt?). My family uses the hand mixer and beaters to "mash" with milk, butter, and salt. K requested "whipped" and that was just fine by me.

Gravy--Yes, it's from a packet. K dumped in some of the juice from the turkey. I was willing to make gravy from scratch, but we just doctored up the packet.

Dressing Casserole--our version of stuffing, a recipe from K's mom.

Green Bean Casserole--K didn't request it, but J INSISTED. Certain foods BELONG to certain feasts.

Apricot Salad--not as good as our version of it last Christmas, but we did the best we could under the circumstances.


It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without Pumpkin Pie (in J's opinion).

Can she bake a cherry pie, Billy Boy?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Las Vegas

K drove down on Tuesday for his NAI conference. J flew down on Thursday to join him. On Friday, we went out to the Las Vegas Temple to do a session there. We were asked to be the witness couple, which of course was a wonderful omen since we were celebrating our sixth anniversary! We were asked to be the witness couple in Washington, D.C., in San Diego on our honeymoon, and numerous times in the Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple. It seems to happen a lot while traveling.

After the temple, we headed out to the Lake Mead Recreation Area and used our handy-dandy pass to get in (you should all get a pass, people). Since J is still in a surgical shoe, hiking was not a good option, but we stopped at little pull-outs along the way to see what we could see. We made it over to the Hoover Dam.

We've been on the Hoover Dam tour before, but this time we got to see the new bridge. We drove under it and over it. We walked up to it and across it. Massive. Impressive! Windy! You should check it out sometime. When we got back to town we went bowling in our hotel (a mere seventy bowling lanes). This was a little rough on J's foot, so the scores weren't great, but we had fun! Then we helped ourselves to the Buffet. We had a great experience staying at The Orleans. Wish we would have had more time to check out the new Harry Potter flick in one of the hotel's eighteen movie theatres.

On Saturday, K had a couple more sessions to attend with his conference. Afterward, we had lunch with five other TICA rangers. Good times. K and J freshened up and headed over to the Venetian for window shopping, dessert, lots of staring at the human white marble statue (just like the sea lions in San Francisco, K had to literally pull J away from the spectacle...she could have stayed all night!), and more window shopping (you know, a thousand dollars doesn't seem like that much for a purse). Then it was time for the SHOW!

We got to see PHANTOM OF THE OPERA and it was AMAZING! The stage, the set, the backgrounds, the costumes, the SINGING, the acting, the emotion...ahhhhhh. So great. We both really enjoyed it. Go! If you get the chance, go. We returned to our hotel and dined at the Prime Rib Loft. We ordered prime rib. Yummy.

We were so blessed on the drive home. We only had bits of trouble here and there with the storms. We are just so grateful that we had better traveling conditions than even the folks an hour behind us. We were tired, but we made it. We also enjoyed our car time. So nice to sit next to your Sweetie casually chatting about things as they come to mind. Also, we listened to some great talks as well as Music and the Spoken Word. Yay IPOD! We were planning to find a Sacrament Meeting in Vegas, but we ended up leaving by 7:30 a.m. because of the weather. We had to get back for interviews with the stake presidency to renew our recommends. Ironic, I know. Skipping church to get to the temple.

While visiting Nevada, being from Utah, J and K wandered into Arizona, and were heading down this road to the Colorado when J suddenly commanded K, "Slow down for this jackass on the side of the road." K, being quite shocked by J's use of any language remotely associated with a cuss word, burst out laughing, not seeing said jackass up ahead. K was actually scanning for a human figure. J has a bad habit of picking words that are "close enough." For some reason, other words such as burro or donkey or mule simply escaped her and out came "jackass." Actually, there is a reason. There's a place in the San Rafael Swell called Jackass Benches, so she probably got it from that, being in a desert terrain and all. Totally understandable.


Told you.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Eating Out with Full Confidence

I'm not that good at it. Once on a trip...perhaps we were in Nebraska?...we stopped at some fast food place and I tried to look at the menu and pretend that I knew what they offered and what I wanted, but I don't really go to fast food very frequently and so with full confidence I blurted out that I wanted a cup of chili and a side salad (because I like to put the chili over the salad--it reminds me of taco salad and seems less dangerous than most fast food selections) only to hear K inform me that we were at McDonald's, not Wendy's. Oh.

So...K is away--and yes, I do realize I just told everyone in the universe, but I am surrounded by people who would defend me if necessary--and he's been telling me all the fun places he's been going, so I decided to SPLURGE tonight and do something REALLY CRAZY, which I never do, like ORDER A PIZZA. I can't drive because of this cast and so I got to thinking that I DESERVED something like a splurge because I miss my K. Fourteen days apart from my darling husband! Four and a half weeks in a cast and no driving! Emotional Eating. Now there's something I'm experienced at. I had been toying with this splurging idea all day.

After getting a ride home from school, I toddled up the stairs in my lovely cast and WHAT did I behold taped to the doorknob? A flyer! With coupons! Coupons for pizza! But this was a pizza place I had never heard of. I felt wary. I did notice that you could get a medium two-topping pizza for $5.99. The ad said, "Call for Delivery." Well, I decided I'd better call the Other Place because that's who K uses when we order once or twice a year (usually during football season). When I called the Other Place, they asked if I would like to hear about Tonight's Specials. Well, of course! None of it sounded all that Special to me, so then, in order to do some comparison shopping, I asked about a medium pizza. With only one topping, tax, tip, delivery, warranty, and attorney fees, it came out to like thirteen bucks. Oh.

So then I called the Pizza Flyer Place. I told them right up front, with full confidence, that I had their ad in my hot little hands. I asked how much they were planning to charge for tax, tip, delivery, warranty, and attorney fees, and I even told the guy that I had already price-checked the Other Place. In the sweetest, most patient, teaching voice, the nice gentleman kindly explained to me that any pizza place would not be able to deliver anything unless the total bill was over ten dollars. They have to turn a profit. Oh.

Now I have to build up my confidence for lunch tomorrow. My whole team is taking a class together all year long. We always run away from the district office on these days and eat out somewhere, guessing how our students are doing with their substitutes. Although I survey the menu like everyone else and order, with full confidence, the server usually says something really bland to me like,"Okay." When other people order, the server says really flamboyant and congratulatory things like, "Excellent Choice!!!" "My personal favorite!" "That dish has been flying out of the kitchen all day today!" Oh.

Maybe someday I'll really catch on, but for now, I'm going to feast upon a peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich made with honey whole wheat bread which offers four grams of fiber per slice! I guess you could say that's my kind of splurge!