Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I Love These Videos

I wanted to share two videos that I watched tonight that have touched me deeply.

The first is one of those "I'm A Mormon" videos.  To be honest, I haven't ventured into this realm of Youtube very much but when my cousin posted one with the title  "I'm a Mormon and Mother to 154 Orphaned Children," I was intrigued.  Please do watch it.

I hope that one day I can have a tenth of her beauty.  She is such an amazing example of service, sacrifice, love, patience, hope, etc.

The next video was one Jess from Girls with Curls shared.  I am always a bit behind on Youtube videos, so forgive me if this has already made the rounds, but I had to pass this Taylor Swift video along.  I may have watched it three times in a row and bawled each time.  CANCER JUST SUCKS!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sunday Dinner

I made these Mexican stuffed shells for dinner Sunday night.  The only change I made to Maeghan's recipe was adding corn to the cheese and beef mixture in the pasta. 

I picked this recipe to make because I knew that if I succeeded in making them without making a major mistake (which seems to be all to common lately), Jon would probably love them, and love them he did.  He told me to add this dish to the normal rotation,whatever that is now.  

As for me, they were good, just too much beef for me.  Since the pasta shells are thick, to have them stuffed with beef was a bit much.  But still very tasty.  I would love to test out this recipe with other filling besides beef....maybe beans.  I would also like to test this recipe out with another type of pasta, maybe making it more like a chili mac.  Otherwise, I won't be able to add this to our "normal rotation."  You can't find whole wheat jumbo shells and I would like to cook almost solely with whole wheat pasta, which the hubby and I find both to be a healthy option as well as a tasty option. 

By the way, I am sitting here typing this post with coconut oil in my hair.  Go Pinterest!  I will let you know later if this hair tip is worth a try or not.  

Sunday, September 23, 2012

What We Have Been Up To As Of Late - Picture Post

Jon had to work quite a bit one weekend but we managed to squeeze in a session at the Oakland Temple. 

We may or may not eat this once a week.  At least we split it between the two of us. 

Trying to take pictures of city lights at night.  Next time I need to bring my camera.  Cell phones don't cut it.  This was right outside of The Slanted Door. 

Delicious food at the Kitchen Door at the Oxbow Market in Napa.  If you ever visit the Oxbow Market, go to Three Twins Ice Cream and get a scoop or two or three of the lemon cookie ice cream.  A little taste of heaven. 

Arranging flowers stresses me out (and I did not do a good job this time around) but it was still such a treat to buy these from the farmers market.  

Sunday dinner with the hubby.  

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Party at The Slanted Door

We went back to the Ferry Building Marketplace Saturday night for a birthday party at The Slanted Door.  The restaurant has mixed reviews online so I was a little unsure how good the food was going to be, despite the positive reviews from friends and family.  My final review of the restaurant is as follows:


  • Loved the cotton candy that was served for dessert part one. 
  • A non alcoholic cooler is another major score.  Virginia restaurants don't ever have good non alcoholic drinks which is so lame and no fun for those of us who don't drink. 
  • Never knew that vegetables could taste so amazing and I love my vegetables. 
  • The grilled peaches were out of this world.  I need! 
  • Family style was perfect for the party and allowed everyone to try each dish.  
  • Loved the location and view. 


  • I thought the meat could have been better.  Sometimes I have off nights with my taste buds and it's very possible that that was part of the problem.  Overall though, I was much more impressed with the vegetables and seafood. 
  • The price.  Be prepared to spend.
  • Our waiter could have been a little bit more energetic.  He was friendly, just a bit quiet. 

As for the was awesome!  The hubby and I aren't used to going out to a fancy restaurant all dressed up to socialize with a large group.  While it's not something I want to do every weekend, it was such a fun change of pace (even if it required being out way too late).  The group was filled with funny, energetic, beautiful people and the food just kept coming and coming.  You really can't ask for anything more.

San Fran at night is so beautiful.  I can't wait for the chance to spend an evening exploring the city.  City lights are always amazing.

Monday, September 17, 2012

You Learn Something New Everyday

Some may remember the Veggie Laksa that I measurably failed at making back in January.  Well I may have attempted to make it again.  And I may have made sure I bought the right ingredients.  And I may have failed anyways.

After trying the broth while it was simmering, I couldn't wait for Jon to get home.  But then when he told me he may have more than he can eat in his bowl, I knew he wasn't really psyched about it.  So I got him to tell me what was wrong.  He  proceeded to tell me that it was too sweet for him.  I accepted his complaint and moved on since others had said the same thing in the comments section of the original post containing the recipe.  I was enjoying it though....or I was until I was more than half way through the bowl and it started getting too sweet for me too.  We have been trying to eat better and this began to feel like it was going against all of our previous efforts.  So we threw the leftovers away and I decided the Veggie Laksa was being deleted off my pinterest wall, never to be tried again by me. 

Until I got curious and researched a little something that was bothering me.  The can of coconut cream I thought I bought was actually cream of coconut.  I caught the mistake before cooking but didn't want to run to the store again and figured it was close enough that the substitution wouldn't matter.  Before I permantently banned the recipe from my life, I decided to do a bit of research to see if my assumption was correct.  And of course it wasn't!  According to the information I have found on the subject, it is common to use coconut cream in soups and you can buy sweetened and unsweetened cream.  But cream of coconut tends to be used in drinks because it has added sugar making it really sweet. 

So apparently I don't know everything like I thought!

Maybe this soup is one of those 3rd time's the charm sort of things?  Not sure I want to attempt to see if that's the case. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Must Do Activity in the Bay Area

We try to see a Bay Area sight or two every weekend so we can take advantage of our time in California.  One of our favorite activities yet, and something we will never forget, was the Pebble Beach 17-Mile Drive  in Monterey.  It was seriously gorgeous. 

Tips for doing the 17-Mile Drive: 

Consider bringing a picnic.  The restaurants aren't cheap and the reasonably priced one we visited wasn't that good. 

Bring a jacket.  It was very windy the day we went so it was pretty chilly most of the time. 

Bring cash.  There is a 10 dollar fee that can only be paid in cash.  Oh and bring some quarters for the telescopes if you have any interest in seeing wildlife. 

Plan at least 2 hours for the drive.  It technically doesn't take that long to drive the 17 miles but you will want to stop often to take pictures and explore.  

Go to the bathroom before.  For a large portion of the drive the only buildings around are private (huge and gorgeous) homes. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Back Into the Kitchen I Go

We lived the past few years with my husband's family and for various reasons I did not do much cooking during this time period.  It has been and will continue to be an interesting journey as I jump back into full time cooking. This means I might be focusing quite a few posts on my adventures in the kitchen and the recipes I find, try, and like from around the web.  

To get things started, I thought I would share with you the following two recipes: 

I ran into Kimberly's blog the other evening when I was trying to figure out what to make this week.  I decided to try my hand at the falafel sandwiches because we had extra tzatziki sauce left over from a previous meal.  I have only had falafel one other time so I don't have much to compare this meal to but the hubby and I did enjoy it.  I wish the falafel was a bit less crumbly but it wasn't that big of a deal.  It tasted delicious, was a decently healthy meal, and super easy to make.  This is a recipe I plan on using again.  

101 Cookbooks is a blog I recently discovered while searching for blogs that focused on whole foods.  The hubby and I love Italian food so I thought I would try out Heidi's recipe for stuffed shells.  Considering the sauce is made from scratch, I thought the ingredients list was pretty short which I liked.  The recipe was easy to follow and the ingredients were easy to find.  I also took Heidi's advise from the comments section and froze the extra shells.  I just stuffed them, put them on a plate and froze them a bit, before putting them in doubled zip lock bags.  

I think if I were to make this again I would either add more lemon to the recipe or add something to make it a bit more spicy.  The hubby and I have really weak taste buds from all the hot foods we eat.  Overall though, I enjoyed the meal and can see myself using this recipe again and again.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Remembering 9/11

It seems impossible to me that 11 years have already gone by, that I was only in high school when our country was attacked and changed forever.  I was in science class and a student came by telling the teacher what had happened.  My teacher did not believe the student.  I remember being confused about the news and shocked the teacher would think the student was making it up.  My teacher eventually went and asked around to see if something really had happened.  By then the news was much worse.  Students began to be pulled out of school.  Parents spend the evening in front of their televisions.  Sorrow, pain, anger, and fear could be felt everywhere.  I can't and wont forget.  There were too many lives lost, too many families left broken, too much pain felt, and too much sacrifice to allow this event to just fade away.

With that, I wanted to pass along the following article:  Father's note changes family's 9/11 account.  It is a 9/11 story with a unique but heart breaking twist.  Have the tissues ready. 

"Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children." - President George W. Bush

California is....




lonely.  So very lonely.  I feel the distance from family and friends.  The husband's long work hours leaving me even more alone then ever.  The weekend coming up that I will have to spend with myself.

I just want this week over with.

I know I am still blessed.  I  have much to be thankful for.  A tiny blessing just yesterday being the extremely nice homeless guy relaxing outside of the library who talked to me for a long time.  Who made me realize that I don't go completely unnoticed in this world after all.

But I just hate feeling lonely.

P.S.  We moved into an apartment a few weeks ago and have been working on getting settled in and getting the internet, hence the long absence.  I really do promise to post more often.