Friday, May 30, 2008

Top 100 club: Chicken Saltimboca

The recipe pick of the week comes from my sister, who is really really cool. They're on a budget so she tends to stick with inexpensive looking dishes. For this week she's picked the Chicken Saltimboca. I'll be making it with the carrot orzo since I LOVE the stuff! I'd like to dedicate this side dish to by BFF for introducing me to the wonderful world of orzo.

Reminder: If you want to join the club feel free! This link has a list of all the different recipes we're going to try. Friday afternoons I post the recipe for the following week and I review them on Thursdays.

Small World

So normally people think that the internet is the big anonymous place and there are millions of strangers and stuff like that.

Well, its not quite so big.

While I was in Utah my cousin mentioned that Nicole at A Little Sussy was one of her childhood friends and she lives very close to my consin's in-laws.

How neat is that?!?! I've had Nicole as a daily click for the better part of a year now thinking all the while she was a total stranger. Turns out, we're only one person removed!

Our trip...finally

Well, I'm finally caught up to the beginning of our trip down to Disneyworld. Phew.

Day 1: Arrival, humidity and Magic Kingdom

After arriving in Orlando we were hit smack in the face with a brick wall of humidity. Coming from Colorado, any amount of water suspended in the air is a bit shocking. We boarded the bus that took us to our resort and we were just a little bit excited.

From the resort we went straight to Magic Kingdom.

Right in front of the castle they were performing a live singing and dancing show and, I'll admit, my little heart melted and I decided that it was indeed the happiest place on earth where all my dreams really could come true.

The whole afternoon was filled with noting the differences between Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom, running through empty lines and watching fireworks.

All day the park had seemed nearly vacant. After the fireworks? That's another story. Check out all these people crowded onto main street! Yikes!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Top 100 Club

Well, I don't know about you guys, but I really liked this week's choice. The Texas Cesar Salad was a big hit for us.

The recipe called for store bought croutons, but I sort of HATE store bought. In my opinion, a crouton shouldn't be so hard that you worry about cracking a tooth when you bite it. Also, it shouldn't brake apart into a million microscopic pieces when you spear it with your fork. Making croutons is about the easiest thing to do in the world, so that's what I did first off:

The ear doctor was fully aware that this night's cooking spectacular would be a photo filled experience. He is always SO thrilled when I whip out the camera.

I got out all my ingredients. We didn't put the anchovies in because I didn't want to buy a whole can/jar and then have nothing else to cook them in. It was OK without them, but I'm sure it would have been spectacular with those little fishies.

While we cooked we stimulated our appetites by snacking on Flat Earth veggie crisps. I'm not sure, but I think the ear doctor liked them.

We chopped the veggies

Whirred the dressing until smooth

(not smooth yet)

And tossed the salad

All in all, I think this was a pretty successful dinner. What did you think?

Reminder: If you want to join the club or make a suggestion for next week, feel free! Click this link, pick a recipe, leave a comment. Tomorrow afternoon I'll post the next recipe we'll try.

Well, hello, dream home

Grace at Design Sponge has found my dream home designed by Jessica Helgerson. I never thought I'd like a split level home, but now I'm changing my mind. This home is spectacular!

Manitou Springs

After riding the train we spent some time walking around and exploring an awesome little town called Manitou Springs. The ear doctor's dad wanted a snack and tried to convince me that popcorn was as good as fudge. Dream on!

We found a really interesting mural painted on the side of a building. Yes, my husband is hilarious, in case you were wondering.

Right in the middle of town they have a huge covered area filled with old fashioned arcade games. The ear doctor liked the rides,

While I preferred the awesome mirrors.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Say cheese

Alright, so I have to admit, I sort of love Utah.

Growing up I spent many summers getting sunburned between Provo canyon and Utah Lake. My grandparents and all of my remaining extended family are settled in the heartland of those lovable Mormons. I attended the BYU where I found out that there are a lot of different types of people, even if they do profess to believe the same basic thing. I learned about myself and I grew to love the people around me.

However, this last weekend I noticed a new and shocking trend advertised on the omnipresent billboards up and down the freeway. We were in town for my beautiful cousin's wedding and I started to pay attention to the products being pushed.

The first? An ad for a bridal show held at one of the best venues in the valley. They were offering a door prize of a $100,000 dream wedding complete with a picture perfect bride and groom.

The second? Tooth whitening, because heavens knows you can't be happy without the most gleaming white teeth on the block.

The third? An add for a home theater installation company. The words read, "Make the Jones's keep up with you."

The fourth? Plastic surgery. It reminded me of this article published in Forbes about the SLC being the vainest city in America.

These ads placed so close together really got me thinking. Is there an overemphasis on looking and being perfect? Or am I reading too much into this here?

Oh, and please don't be offended in any way if you live in Utah. I'm not saying anything about you personally at all! YOU are cool, great, wonderful and so very awesome!

The train ride

The day after the ear doctor's glorious graduation we drove down to Manitou Springs to ride the Cog Railway. I had to show my wonderful in-laws the beauty of Colorado coupled with the marvel of a National Historic Mechanical Engineering landmark!

The ear doctor was thrilled to be there.

The railway has to be REALLY steep to get up this mountain. So steep that a regular train would just slide backward on the rails. A gear is mounted to the bottom of the train and it climbs up a gear track between the rails. Just look at the angle between the car window and the least 25 degrees!

The day we decided to go up there it was too windy at the top to go all the way. That was a real bummer. However, I was ready to turn around and go back head was pounding! That elevation really takes it out of me. On the way back down I snapped this photo:

On our way back to the station the train stopped for a potty break. We got out walked around and took some pictures of Colorado at it's finest. Observe:

My awesome mother-in-law doesn't think she takes cute pictures, but boy is she wrong! Feast your eyes on the total cuteness that is this photo:

I love it.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Hooray for cooking!

When I moved to Colorado I was decidedly NOT a foodie. Kraft Mac & Cheese was my go-to meal and I loved it. To be perfectly honest, I still love golden stuff and I often "have the blues".

However, I met one of my very best friends I was introduced to a whole new world. Cooking great food. Since then I bought myself a subscription to Bon Appetit and never looked back.

Today I found out that the awesome folks over at bon appetit have revamped their website and, boy oh boy, is it nice. I'm seriously considering not renewing my subscription because I like this online format so much! It has videos and comments and the most exciting thing is the top 100 recipes! It's like the best of the best all at my fingertips without the scary possibility of getting a nasty paper cut.

So, here is my proposition. I'm going to start a little club similar to the Tuesdays with Dorie folks, but on a much smaller and less intimidating scale. Let's pick one recipe from the top 100 each week and make it together! Join if you want, don't if you don't, or just jump in when a recipe sounds good.

Each Friday I'll post the selected dish on my sidebar and I'll make it and post about it sometime the next week. If you want to suggest the next dish we try together just leave a comment in the post about my dish and we'll go from there. If no one makes a suggestion I'll just pick the next one.

Since it's Friday and I always go shopping Friday afternoon I thought I'd kick this sucker into gear. My first pick is the Texas Caesar Salad:

There are very few things the ear doctor loves more than a kick-A salad. I'll let you know how it goes next week!

The graduation

Well, I'm going to go back in time a couple of weeks to share what we've been up to.

First there was the awesome graduation/cinco de mayo party. I forgot to take pictures of the event, but here is a look in my fridge and at the supplies stored on the ground.

The morning of his graduation he put on his BRAND new navy jacket, shirt and orange tie. He was really excited to open the card from his grandma Stella!

We spotted him walking in right away!

Then he spotted us.

The ceremony was going along great, until the chancellor FORGOT TO RECOGNIZE MY HUSBAND'S DEGREE! I was so mad I almost passed out.

We got over our blinding white hot rage to pose for this victory picture. Look how stunningly crappy my posture is! Look how cute our happy family is! (it was a million degrees that day)

We went to lunch at a FANTASTIC restaurant Brasserie Ten Ten. That's where he opened his gift from his parents (a beautiful leather bag) and I told him we would be leaving for his surprise trip to Disneyworld in 3 days! He was pretty stoked.

Then it was time for his department graduation. He had to crouch down to be hooded because his advisor is so short.

After he'd received his degree, shook hands he turned and walked back to his seat. There was a moment of silence, and I took advantage to yell out, "that's my man!" The look of pride and joy on his face will be one that I never forget. The entire room filled with laughter and I was so proud.

I sure am one proud wifey.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What's your address?

While at disneyworld we stayed "on property."

This means that we stayed at one of the umpteen million hotels owned and operated by Disney. Each of these hotels is laced together by an ever flowing bus system that moves a staggering amount of people from park to park every day.

It's pretty fabulous to hop on a cool, air conditioned bus after a long day of excitement and be at the pool in under 10 minutes.

One night as we were standing around waiting for the arrival of our sub-arctic chariot I noticed a little girl. She was about 10 years old, British (cutest little accent), red haired and a little round. Reminded me of someone else at that age....ahem.

Anyway, this little girl was GOING TO TOWN on a bag of Nacho cheese Dorit0s.

As I watched this little girl fully engrossed by one of my very favorite addictions I wondered to myself, I'll bet this is her first encounter with the goodness of Doritos. This is the first time she'll experience that euphoric smell wafting out of that red wrapper. Her small pudgy fingers are, for the first time, coated in that delicious orange "cheese" powder. For the rest of her life she'll look back and remember how great those "crisps" were at Disneyworld and try to find them every time she goes into an American themed store. Just like me and Munchies and any British-type place.

Then I thought: poor girl...she's hooked! There's no going back now.

Then I thought: Maybe I can exchange information with her. We'll become international pen pals. I'll send her some Nacho cheese Doritos and she can send me back my precious Munchies.

Then I thought: Probably I shouldn't encourage a young girls addiction just to satisfy my own dark desires.

Then I thought: Eh, It's ok. Because I really WANT SOME MUNCHIES!!!


The ear doctor and I returned yesterday from our Florida adventure. All I can say is that I've never met someone who I love spending time with more!

I have a bazillion pictures to sift through before I can do justice to the vacation wrap-up, so that will have to wait. Today I want to leave you with this interesting self observation I made while I was down there.

If I am stuck behind someone moving slowly in a teeming, throbbing mass of people I, like any average person, get annoyed. However, if that lethargic person in front of me is wearing something totally ridiculous I'll absolutely loose it. Mullets, rat tails, man capris, black dress socks with sandals, safari vests, aqua socks, platform shoes, and/or fanny packs send me right over the edge.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The real ear doctor

Well, on Friday the university honored my super cool husband with his first of two doctorate degrees. I could not have been prouder of his floppy-hat, funny-hooded, bat-winged, degree carrying self.

For his graduation I planned a surprise week long trip to disneyworld! We leave tomorrow and I'm so excited. I've been planning this baby for almost 6 months now and he didn't have a clue.

Last night he was so excited he couldn't sleep. He stayed up all night with his computer researching everything. I found him passed out this morning in our front room on the new couch. I love giving the perfect gift!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

How I lost 12 pounds in one month

So I totally unintentionally lost 12 pounds in a month. When I stepped on the scale I was BLOWN away by these results for a few reasons. First, I hardly ever weigh myself...I just don't ever think to do it. Second, I didn't think that I'd actually done anything different. And third, I was wearing my ultra heavy dansko clogs at the time.

After reviewing the past month I think I've figured out how I did it and I'm here, spilling all of my dieting secrets. Please don't write them into a book and make millions without at least dedicating the book to me, m'kay?

  1. Get really sick. I had a bad case of stomach flu/food poisoning that really helped.
  2. Stop drinking diet coke like it is the essence of life.
  3. Switch from drinking 1% milk to skim. With the volume of milk I drink on a daily basis this cut a lot of fat out of my diet.
  4. Eat breakfast. I'm no nutritionist, but I think this has sped my metabolism back up because I get way hungrier all the time now.
  5. Eat slower at meals. The ear doctor and I have started putting our forks down between each bite and talking more at dinner. I end up eating WAY less.
  6. Walk with your sweetheart for 20 minutes in the morning at least twice a week. Since the weather got better we've been hitting the pavement. Such a great way to start the day with some quiet one on one time.

That's it. I think I've been on the elliptical machine twice in the past 4 weeks, so no real exercise has even gone into making this change happen. Score, huh!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Well I'll be

This morning I did a favor for the ear doctor. I took a big pile of his clothes to the dry cleaners. As I was pointing out small smudges and counting up shirts the nice southern lady behind the counter looked up and me and innocently asked a one-worded question:


I looked back at her mute. I have no idea if my husband likes starch in his shirts. I've never asked. I've never wondered. What if I get starch and he hates it? My dad loves starch, so is that normal? After almost a year of being married, how on earth do I not know about my beloved's starch preferences? DO I EVEN KNOW MY HUSBAND?

I replied, "Umm, a little I guess...."

So I hope I didn't mess up.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


Why can't I write like this? I love to read stuff like this, so why doesn't in translate? Am I just too lazy? Inexperienced? Untalented?

I mean, if I were to write something about Top Chef, a show which ranks in my top 3 with The Office and House, it would come out like this:

I love top chef this season. I really liked the lesbian couple and I'm totally bummed they didn't stay on the show longer because they were very entertaining to watch and seem more talented than some of the people left to stay behind.

For example, and those too busy to click the above link, I found this sentence to be extremely well written and excruciatingly applicable to my own life and drive:

Primped with self-confidence, many of the young chefs learn that their skill has left them in the lurch and that their nonchalance with the most basic of tasks is their undoing.

How many times have I walked into a situation in my life, primed with confidence only to realize a small detail has proved to be my personal Goliath? The presentation I spent hours creating and forgot to make enough copies for everyone attending the meeting? The culinary concoction I and thrilled to bring to a party and realize there is no serving spoon to be found? In school, the 20 page report I stayed up for weeks on end only to turn in unstapled because I was sure there would be a stapler on campus? A great post I spend a lot of time thinking about and putting together only to be riddled with spelling mistakes because I never learned to spell?

Why can't I ever seem to get everything pulled together?

Stats of our party

Last night was our awesome Cinqo de Mayo/graduation party for the ear doctor. Here is a rundown of the party stats:

Pounds of carnitas consumed: 12
Gallons of lemonade drank: 2
Costco-sized bags of chips eaten: 4
Hours of Mexican music listened to: 3
Number of people it took to break the pinata: 5
Number of couples containing an engineer from my work: 3
Number of audiologists not including ear doctor: 2
Amount of cupcakes gobbled up: 35
Quantity of avocados mashed into guacamole: 15
Total trips up and down from our third floor apartment to load up supplies: 10
Number of people from our old church: 6
Number of adults from our new church: 6
Total tortillas consumed: 60
Thoughtful gifts received: 7
Sum of friends we've had forever: 5
Total number of this-year grads in attendance: 5
Number of fetuses attending that I knew about before: 1
Number of fetuses attending that I now know about: 4
Quantity of cute little kids running around: 6
Number of people we missed terribly becuase they couldn't make it: 3

I wish SO much that I would have taken some pictures of the details of our party, because I'm pretty sure I would have made Jordan proud!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Interesting Observation courtesy of a 11 year old

Saturday morning I had 10 little girls, ages 8-11 over to watch a movie. The clubhouse of my apartment complex has a special movie theater with surround sound and big soft chairs with cup holders, so I thought a private showing of Enchanted was in order.

I got us pizza and REALLY sweet soda and popped some popcorn and hit the lights. We watched the movie and were on cloud 9.

At the end of the movie we all sat around outside dipping our legs in the water of the pool and talked about the movie. Which is when I participated in this conversation:

Girl #1:"That is the greatest movie, I love it when they sing in the park:

Girl #2:"Me too. (pause) Do you think that Giselle and Robert got married in the end?"

Girl #1:"I don't know....I hope so."

Girl #2:"Katie, did they get married in the end like the cartoon prince and that brown haired girl did?"

Me:"Hmmmm, I don't really know."

Girl #2:"I really hope they did."

I've been thinking about this non-stop since then. I didn't even notice that the cartoon "fantasy" couple got married and the other "real" one didn't. Is there some kind of mild messaging in this movie saying that getting married is more of a fantasy than long-term dating? Thoughts?

Dear Bear Grylls,

We need to have a chat.

Since I married the ear doctor he has been expanding my TV watching horizons. Never before would I have considered watching your show, but, actually, it's pretty entertaining.

Your exploits in the wild are fairly interesting. Once I saw you throw your body down a glacial crevasse and free climb out if it...absolutely insane, but good TV. And another time I watched a special about you strapping a big fan to your back and paragliding around Mt. Everest....NUTS.

Last night we watched your newest episode, your experiences in Zambia. First you were dropped off and rode a boogie board down the Zambeze river, which is one of the most hardcore set of rapids in the world (I think). Then you scrambled out of the river and found some one's old flipflop which you later used as a float for fishing and to make black smoke to signal your chopper I thought you were pretty resourceful. Next, I watched you filter water of the Zambeze river with the pocket of your "rucksack" that was pretty neat.

However, I'm going to have to draw the line at a few things that happened last night. First, you ate the meat off a dead and decaying antelope carcass. Gross. Second, even after your "feast" on rotting carrion, you were still hungry. You decided to listen to old dead logs to hear if there were any larvae moving around inside. Much to my chagrin, you heard something promising. You broke the log open and found the biggest, fattest, grossest old grub I've ever seen. Seriously, it was about 2 inches around and 8 inches long. SICK.

As you held it up to the camera to show it I started screaming at my TV, "DON'T EAT THAT SUCKER! DON'T DO IT BEAR! I CAN'T TAKE IT!"

But did you listen to me? No, you did not.

You took a huge nasty bite and the guts of the thing exploded out toward the camera.

I started retching so bad that I almost vomited up all the lovely guacamole the ear doctor and I made for our party tonight.

I was sickened like I haven't been in a long, long time. Especially since the ear doctor insisted on rewinding and replaying it over and over again all night.

So, what I'm saying is that I'm drawing a line. A line in the sand. If you continue to do horribly gross stuff like that I'm not going to watch your show. It's me or the grubs. Make your choice.

With warmest regards,


Friday, May 02, 2008


Holy crap!

Over the last 5 years I've burned a lot of random CDs onto my computer. A lot of them were mixed CDs from friends. The result? I have a ton of songs that are mysteriously called "Track 12" with no artist or disc name.

Usually, I avoid listening to these songs. I just can't handle the unknown.

Today I should have listened to that foreboding voice warning me not to go there, but I did. I felt brave. I loaded up all of the unknown songs into a playlist and let em roll.

When the sound of the whiny, breathy voice of Jessica Simps0n started blaring into my ears I literally ripped them out of my ears to protect my poor mind from turning into a addled mess.

How was I to know the kind of fire I was dancing with? Talk about a horrifying experience.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Meet Walter

Every Thursday the ear doctor works with one of the coolest speech pathologists in the world. They focus on helping kids with cochlear implants be able to speak clearly, which can be a tough thing to do. All year he's had a great little patient who just seems like a little cute angel from the stories I've heard.

Today is his last Thursday working at the clinic where he has done his year long residency, which means he has to say farewell to this cute little girl to whom he has grown really attached.

All year he has convinced her that we have a pet prairie dog named Walter who lives on the balcony of our apartment. Every appointment she asks about our little pet and he tells her stories about him.

This afternoon I'm going down to his clinic to meet her and go to dinner. I'm bringing her a photo of the two of us with Walter. Which one do you think looks better?