Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Little Ambition

It's amazing sometimes how the simplest gesture can trigger a whole lot of ambition. 
Take me for example... I've never considered myself to be a "good" cook. I mean, I'm "OK", but I would never categorize myself with my Mom, Dad, (yes I said Dad, he is an excellent cook) any one of  my aunts and of course neither one of my Grandmas.  Somehow a link in this chain passed right over me.
I always tell myself I'm going to do better. Do I get credit for telling myself?
A simple gesture = A birthday gift from my favorite little sister.
Triggering ambition = A cute flirty apron and a new cookbook.
Stuffed Mushrooms
 Italian Chicken and Vegetable Skewers

A mediocre Italian meal at best, but I'm still proud of myself. :)
(one day I'll add the pretty little garnishments to make my plate more attractive)
Due to time and mean$ I have decided I'll be able to put my new apron and cookbook to good use at least once a week. Well, let's be honest... I'll probably use the apron a lot more than that. 
Thanks for inspiring me Rach. :) 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

First Catch

We attended our Soelberg Family reunion last week. One of the scheduled activities was an afternoon at a fishing hole near The Homestead (located in Midway). We aren't big fisherman so I had to do a little shopping before hand to purchase some poles, bait and a fishing license for the older boys.  On my shopping trip, I found a couple of cute cheap poles for the little girls Lila and Emma and was excited to accompany them on their first fishing excursion.  
When arriving at the fishing pond, I had to rely on the gracious help of my big brother Ryan to get our poles ready. Remember, I am inexperienced, but I did watch and learn and with his help we had everyone fishing and happy in no time (ok, it took a while). I somehow managed to break the "princess pole" but with Lila and her unwillingness to be patient, (what? a 2 year old impatient) kept waving the pole around and dipping it into the water so it was really more of a blessing there was nothing on the end of that pole, meaning fishing line and hook. 
While Dad and boys were off doing their fishing thing, I was hanging out with the girls and casting while they took turns with the non-working and working poles. I was also trying to keep them from sitting in the duck poop. Let's just say I failed at this miserably.  Emma seemed to do a little better with the pole that I was able to hook and bait so I let her keep that pole while Lila sat beside her.  Both were as happy as could be.
Emma would frequently reel in her line which she seemed to get very good at, so I would get up and cast again for her (I actually quite enjoyed this). 
On one occasion I could see that she was getting a little restless so I asked for the pole so I could cast it again for her. As I reeled the line in, I soon realized that this restlessness just so happened to be a fish on the end of her pole. 
I was so excited for these girls because they had been asking to "see the fish" and I really didn't think that they even had a chance at catching one. 
As you can tell by the photos, Lila was overjoyed but wouldn't touch the fish, while Emma just stared straight ahead with a distraught look on her face.
I assured her it was a good thing and we did release the fish so I hope she is not too traumatized. :)
I love these girls. They are hilarious together!

Monday, August 22, 2011

You've lost that bloggin' feeling...

I notice that many people don't blog like they use to. This makes us sad. The ease of Facebook seems to have added to our lazy ways. I can't let myself continue to go on like this. I WILL TRY to do better. I expect the same of you. Please remember that we don't live in the same town as you do, and even if we did, how often do we see you? We can't rely on gossip, We need the truth. We CAN handle the truth. We also need your memories.
I know you're busy. We all are.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pin Pals

Lately, my Pin Pal and I have been dishing out some friendly banter to one another. You see, a few weeks ago, a conversation that started out: "I'm a much faster meat wrapper than you and aunt Rachel" ended up with my pin pal also stating: "I am a much better bowler than you are". Healthy conversing right?  Before parting ways with my Pin Pal I stated that I would like to see him "walk the walk", so we decided that the next time he was home, we would have a nice little friendly game of bowling to see who indeed was better. :) I also need to mention that later on that same week, my Pin Pal sent me a photo text with a bowling score of 181 along with what I thought to be some pretty comical threats. I will give my Pin Pal "props", that was a pretty good score.

Determined to give my Pin Pal a little scare, I practiced up with a few work friends. The first round I ended up at 124 (ok, but could be better), with my second round ending up with a 161. I then sent a picture of this to my Pin Pal so that he would know I meant business.

The week arrived that my Pin Pal was home and just like we had planned we drove up to our local "fake" bowling alley. I will explain the "fake" part momentarily...

Warm Up Match...
Pin Pal: 62
Mom: 88

The "Real" Deal...
Pin Pal: 37
Mom: 161

Needless to say, my Pin Pal was not one bit happy with me.

I got the luxury of hearing for the remainder of the evening... "This isn't even a real bowling alley", "This is so stupid, the lanes aren't even the width and length they are suppose to be", "I bowl the same way every time and never miss these shots".  Yes, this continued for the remainder of the night. He even got our other "Pin Pals" to agree with him about the condition of the bowling alley.

I know, I've raised these kids, but I won't take credit for their sportsmanship. You should have witnessed the crying and the swearing. I never do any of those things.

Determined that it was the bowling alleys fault, my Pin Pal wanted a re-match in another facility that met his "standards". Before my Pin Pal left for the week we met again for another round.

Warm Up Match:
Pin Pal: 106
Mom: 88
The "Real" Deal:
Pin Pal: 140

 Yes, I was schooled. We all have our bad days right?

This picture above accurately reflects the facial expression my Pin Pal had as we left the bowling alley that day. You should of heard him giggling! He kept saying: "I love it!, this just makes me so happy", "I can't wait to go tell your co-workers" and yadda, yadda, yadda. 
I was just happy I didn't have to listen to my Pin Pal complain and ramble on with excuses as to why he lost.
My Pin Pal could now return to his Grantsville home feeling happy, and me? well, I just felt at peace. :) Why, you ask? You see I totaled up the scores to both bowling matches and it resulted in....

Pin Pal: 345
Mom: 403

Until next time Pin Pal....

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Lost Recipes (okay, they really weren't lost)

I wouldn't be surprised if you found my name under the definition of the word Slacker: in the dictionary. I can't believe my last post was in April. I mean honestly, I told myself I was going to do better at updating. If not for my many adoring fans (yeah right) at least for journalism's sake. I don't want my posterity to think I was worthless.

As promised months ago, here are the remaining cookie recipes...

The "OREO" Cookie 

Mix Together... 
1 Devils Food cake mix
1/8 Cup of flour
3/4 Cup Shortening (cream)
then add 2 eggs

Roll into 1 inch balls

Bake at 350 Degrees for 8 min (remember oven times may vary) 

Let Cool.

1 8oz Cream Cheese
1 cube of butter or margarine
1 tsp. Vanilla
Powdered Sugar (this is added to your desired consistency) My personnel preference is a thicker frosting, so I add a little more than some may like. 

**Also, I always double the cookie recipe, that way I don't have left over frosting. The original amounts listed make the amount you see in the photo. (and I don't make mine very big)

The "Pumpkin Chocolate Chip" Cookie
*Courtesy of my Lil' Sister Rach. 


2 Sticks of unsalted butter (softened)
1 cup of sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 lg. eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. cloves (ground)
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg

*Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.
-Mix butter until smooth
-Beat in white and brown sugar
-beat in eggs one at a time
-mix in vanilla and pumpkin

*In a separate bowl, mix...
-all dry ingredients
-slowly mix this into the batter
-add choc chips

Bake 15-20 min. (Some prefer to bake on parchment paper) I've done both and don't really have a preference. 

The "Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Cup" Cookie

There really isn't a recipe for these little joys. Here is a link to the original post. It should explain it...

"Best Chocolate Chip Cookie"  


1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Butter (Cold)
2 Eggs (large)
2 tsp. Vanilla
3 or 4 Cups Chocolate Chips

2 1/2 Cups Flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

*Cut butter into smaller pieces and mix briefly with sugars. (butter will be lumpy)
Add eggs and vanilla (mix briefly)

Add flour mixture (incorporate) *Personally I just prefer to dump it all in and mix. To each her own I guess.
Add Choc Chips (my fav. are the Nestle Milk Choc. and I put in a lot!)

Bake at 325-350 degrees, regular oven for 10-13 min. (each oven varies, mine takes 14 min, but then again it depends on the size of your cookie scoop)
Take out right before they look done.

* I love to add Walnuts to mine. I have also played around with this recipe and done a white choc. Mac nut. Also a mint choc chip. and I would like to try a butter scotch.

If you try any of these recipes or prev. recipes I've posted, please let me know how they turned out and whether or not you liked it. Maybe you added your own little twist. If so, I want to hear about that too!

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