Jan 12, 2010

It's time...

I'm officially switching the blog.  Thank you to all that read along on Magen's Blog Spot. My new blog is my project and an idea that's been in my head for a very long time. You can now find me over at . Soon this blog will take you to the new one. Go tell me what you think...I need the encouragement. Remember it's a work in progress :)

Dec 23, 2009

Candied Squash

A couple of weeks ago I went through a butternut squash phase. It blows me away that a vegetable can be SO good just by itself. Growing up every vegetable was usually smothered in either butter, gravy or cream cheese at our household. I can bake butternut squash with just water and be perfectly happy gobbling it up straight out of the oven.

One recipe I've been waiting to try is Pasta with Butternut Parmesean Sauce from Simply Recipes. This pasta was very yummy with a very good combination of sweet and in other words, it was rich. If I made it again I think it would have to be made as a side or with something bitter on the side. This pasta is a little too rich to eat by itself...which we attempted. I was very pleased that Kellen tried this recipe because he claims he doesn't like squash...and he liked it!

Another recipe I had on the waiting list was Butternut Squash with Browned Butter and Thyme from Simply Recipes. Butternut squash AND browned butter...yes please. I made it for Thanksgiving dinner at my parents in lieu of candied yams. I really don't like candied yams and no one eats them in my family. So I followed this recipe (omitting the Thyme) and at the end I spread the squash into a ceramic dish and tossed marshmallows on top. I then "toasted" them it in the oven...I in reality charred them and advise that you don't take your eyes off them this step. It turned out to be very good and MUCH better than candied yams. My family actually ate some. I consider that an accomplishment. Also, I was surprised to find that when saved and then nuked in the coming days it was even better! I LOVE dishes like that. When you warm them in a microwave the marshmallows melt into a syrup which is incredible. Give this one a try...maybe for Christmas dinner in a couple of days?

Dec 21, 2009

"Where the Locals Eat"

We were kicked out of the house this morning. We're to loud and the drums are too loud for us.

We spent the night at Kellen's moms in Logan so that they could record drums today. So I thought I would make up for us not having breakfast Friday of last week and take the girls out for breakfast.

I've been wanting to try Angie's ever since his mom moved to Logan. It looks homey from the outside and of course the slogan "where the locals eat" entices me. Apparently, it has the opposite effect on Kellen and he has been apprehensive about coming with me. I have a need to fit into local food scenes...being able to navigate eats like I have been living there my whole life. Not sure where that need stems from, possibly a mix of love for food and being a "know-it-all".

As we made our way inside my first impression was that this place had a quick pace. They quickly took us back to a booth and had us settled in while others were buzzing around chatting. I even noticed the manager walking around chatting with families and people he knew. Again, I had envy in my heart...pathetic I know.

Leah was pumped that they had crayons and was not much of a conversationalist after she set to coloring on her menu (I barely was able to get her to look up for the picture).

Our waitress was very pleasant and non-intrusive. They also had those translucent brown diner cups (some kind of nostalgic plus for me) and fresh flowers on the table...although wilting (it's the thought that counts). Again, playing on the local theme some of the servers were wearing Aggie shirts and I noticed you can get 20% off your meal if you bring a game ticket in.

Leah has a kids meal which was very generous...I ate her egg because I can not get enough of eggs lately!

I had the Garden omelet with FRESH mushrooms...hallelujah! Only thing...not just topped with cheese, infused with it...I'll admit it was good and I ate it all, but if your looking for a healthier version of breakfast this is not for you. I'm kinda at a loss what you would order...I guess the granola, fruit and yogurt.

Overall my expectations were met and I enjoyed the food. Now I just need to convince Kellen to join me...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Dec 17, 2009

Lame Chow Mein

Okay. So maybe you'll think this is gross or below you...or maybe this is something you haven't thought of. Chow Mein made with Ramen noodles? Your liking it right...huh huh? Yeah...I know Lame Chow Mein.

We (I) make it all the time because it is so convenient. Leah eats Ramen EVERY night and so we have large quantities of Ramen noodles on hand at all times and we always have random veggies that need to be used ASAP before they become less than desirable.

So it usually goes like this, I take whatever veggies are available (leftover) and stir fry them with a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil and a few drops of sesame seed oil. I then add the al dente cooked Ramen noodles and fry them up with an added splash of soy sauce. Yum. Tonight I even spruced it up with some toasted sesame seeds. Again...yum. I usually will serve it with some homemade egg drop soup or egg fried rice...both of which I'll have to post about in the future.

Hope this brings some inspiration for desperate dinner nights! Enjoy.

Dec 11, 2009

Big Ed's (The Hungover Breakfast)

 Located close to campus at the U of U and following in suit with the atmosphere of a lot of local campus eats...grungy with specialized menus and loyal followings. It felt like this was the the cool place to get breakfast every morning on campus, whether your a student, professor or local. The kind of place where you don't need a menu because you get the same thing every morning. Kellen described the vibe as "homey" and it's true...many of the customers looked right at home with newspapers or homework while the lone waitress called customers by name.

As we walked through the door I felt like I was intruding. Maybe it was the way everyone looked up with a weary eye as they noticed our newness to the establishment or it could have been my surprise to walk into such an intimate dark setting from the bright cold day outside. We quickly tried to blend in as we found a table and the waitress brought us menus...because WE would clearly need them.

The walls are covered with pictures of customers from over the years. Makes you kinda want to belong...

I had the vegetable omelet with hash browns and wheat toast on the side.

Kellen had the G.A.W.D, hash browns topped with chili, cheese, and a fried egg.

This place was all atmosphere. We had mixed reviews on the food. They offer the hardcore breakfast. Your not going to find any pancakes on the menu...but if you want some meat, toast and hash browns they've got it! Kellen really enjoyed his meal although he felt anyone could make it at home. I was not very fond of my omelet. I'm pretty sure the mushrooms were from a can...which is a big no no. I HATE rubbery mushrooms. I also thought the hash browns had a funny taste.

So if your looking for a home away from home, where the female cook can often be heard yelling out to the waitress from the kitchen and where you can establish a place where you sit and have "the usual" every morning...this is the place for you. I wouldn't recommend it for a stellar breakfast. 

Lily felt right at home...and look at those cheeks!!!

Dec 8, 2009

An Official Family Update

Happy Holiday's Everyone!

2009 brought our family a 5 year anniversary, a new edition and a lot of fun times together. I've enjoyed blogging about our family and my own endeavors. I'm hoping that in the near future I will have a re-vamped website so check back and tell me what you think.

Let me update you on our current happenings:

Kellen starts his last undergraduate semester in January. He is getting a degree in Communications and specializing in Public Relations. Last weekend he took the LSAT and spent most of his free time for the last three months studying for it. He feels that he did well...and I'm willing to bet he did VERY well. In coming months he will be applying to law schools on the west coast for fall 2010.

Right now I'm living it up at home with the girls while I'm on maternity leave from work. The house has never been cleaner :) We have a lot of fun together playing and crafting. I spend my free time reading, blogging and if I'm lucky sewing. The beginning of 2010 I'll start back at work which will be hard because I'll miss the girls and our routine. I'm still working at a local Emergency Department as a Crisis Worker. Fortunately, I enjoy the work I do and the people I work with which will hopefully make the return easier. I have only a few months until I will receive my official license as a LCSW which is currently my goal.

Leah is currently into Disney princesses and cutting paper. She sings all day long and prances about. She is excited to have a little sister and is very helpful big sister. Currently she attends a fine arts pre-school three times weekly. Her school is perfect for her...they sing, dance, try different art forms and make-up stories each morning. Leah is a very good and happy little girl who always keeps us entertained!

Lily sleeps most of the day, eats franticly when she does wake and occasionally opens her eyes long enough to give us some smiles. As of today she has started cooing and is working on laughing...but at this point it just sounds like she is hyperventilating. We are blessed to have two girls that are happy and love to sleep!

2010 will most likely bring a lot of change for us. Kellen will graduate this spring and we hope to move to Portland, Oregon at the end of summer. It's time for us to leave the state of Utah behind before Leah starts Kindergarten. We are grateful for all our blessings and the gift of family. Thank you all for keeping in touch and we hope to hear from you. Have a happy new year!

Dec 6, 2009

An Ice-skating First

Leah's aunt and uncle, Kalob and Harmony, wanted to take Leah iceskating. She has been talking about iceskating for a while but we had not made it much of a priority unfortuantly. Thank goodness for aunts and uncles that spoil our children with love and consideration.

It was seriously cold outside...20 degrees. Holy freak. I'm not one for exposing myself to that kind of torture and was talked into going last minute. I guilt tripped myself...who would miss their child's first ice-skating moment? So I threw on and layered everything I saw in sight in an attempt avoid the cold. Lily was nice and toasty in her sling and never even made an appearance during the event.

Harmony and Leah

I loved watching Harmony, Kalob and Kellen help Leah. She did pretty good for her first time!


How cute are they?


This photo captures how very spoiled Leah can be. She is sipping the hot chocolate that Kalob went and got her because she was crying...Kellen wrapped her feet in Lily's blanket to keep them warm...she's leaning on me and asking me to hold her hot chocolate so that she can eat Harmony's snack...Can she be more pampered?

Thanks Harmony and Kalob for being proactive!

Dec 4, 2009

Breakfast Fridays

Every Friday morning Kellen and I go out to breakfast together. A nice marital ritual while Leah's at school. When we go out I really like reviewing restaurants and contributing pictures to Urban Spoon.

So today, I got excited because Kellen found The Ultimate Breakfast Guide written for Salt Lake Magazine that lists breakfast stops throughout Utah by different categories: Diners, cafe's, healthy, etc. We had maxed out on referrals and begun returning to the same places for our breakfast dates a couple of weeks ago. Now I have new places to check out. Woohoo!

While basking in my excitement I thought...hey! Why not document our breakfast adventures on the blog? Here we go Breakfast Fridays!

Today we tried out a new diner, Over The Counter, in the Millcreek area. Open 6:30-2pm...go on in and seat yourself! Oh, make sure you have cash or your check book.

The kitchen is open in the middle of the diner which is cool.

Kellen had the Spanish omlet which LOOKED very good.

I had the French Toast Combo.

The food was good...nothing exceptional but good diner food. Obviously yummy enough for us to clean our plates.

There were a few things that stood out. The meal was cheap for one which is always a good thing. The food was nicely presented which I really appreciate from a diner. The staff were NICE...not friendly which in all honestly can sometimes be annoying...but smiley nice. Also, they were very fast, so fast that I realized I never unzipped my jacket! I think when it comes down to it I would go back for the nice staff. I mean the cook would even look up and smile as he filled orders...

This was my companionship for the morning...studying for the LSAT has taken it's toll.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Dec 3, 2009

One More Tea Party (Leah's B-Day 09)

I got through it. Marathon decorating of Leah's room for her birthday and planning the birthday Tea Party. Actually, there wasn't that much planning for the party because I'm becoming an expert at quick Tea Party's. The most involved process for me now is the invitations.

I just threw together stuff to eat the day of. Which included peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, turkey pesto sandwiches (of course with crusts removed), snack foods, pigs in a blanket, fruit and Chinese chicken salad. We bought decorations as we shopped and picked up some balloons at the store. While at Costco we saw these flowers that we had to have because they matched everything so well. Leah fell in love with them and has been requesting flowers ever since!


Leah's cousins Kyra, Alivia and Sam were able to come which made Leah's day. They spent most of the party running around outside in the wind playing Peter Pan and other imaginary games.

Give Sam a balloon and he will be happy for a while! He's so cute...


I should note that the day of her party I was thoroughly worn out (regardless of pregnancy) and not feeling well. Which explains why I never got around to getting Leah dressed...and why she ended up dressing herself in this scandalous belly shirt dress-up ensemble with no shoes and scraggly hair. Oh well!

I did have a surprise when Kellen showed up to the party with my birthday present. He bought me a Flip video camera! I was SO excited and surprised...when I opened the box I almost started crying (again I was exhausted) with the pure thoughtfulness of it! I'll have to post video clips later.

I have a very thoughtful mother-in-law. She made a bunch of tea party hats for the party and had everyone wear them...we did request tea party attire!

Isn't Harmony beautiful in her hat?

Anything for Leah...

Leah's favorite cake is vanilla with strawberries. What a coincidence is mine :) I just made a white cake, poured whip cream on top and added the strawberries...MMMM. So pretty too.

We were supposed to have the tea party outside because it was a "Garden Tea Party" but it was too windy. It turned out to be a casual event because of the change of plans. At the end of her party Leah decided wanted to sacrifice her balloons to the wind...which I'm sure the neighbors appreciated :)

Dec 2, 2009

Here's to 5 Years!

Today Kellen and I have been married five years. Crazy. I'm sure in jest Kellen would say that it seems like SOOOO much longer...and I would agree :)

We celebrated during our trip to the west coast and went to dinner together tonight. But I also feel that this anniversary deserves public recognition in a culture where five years feels like a large milestone. Kellen might not like this blog...but oh well!

We have had a lot of great moments in the last five years in marriage from schooling to different jobs, children, traveling and playing together. My favorite part of marriage is growing together. When you first get married you have to learn how to mesh your lives. We have learned to do this fairly seamlessly without losing ourselves. I appreciate our partnership in bettering one another and loving our children. We're a team.

Here is my photo tribute. I thought that I would feature some of the out-takes along with some nice pictures from our engagement and wedding. They were not the highest quality to begin with and then I scanned them in which did not help. Just imagine their potential.

 Kellen and I, along with our family, had a VERY cold photo experience on our wedding day.

I like this picture because it seems to sum up our relationship. I would name it "Oh Kellen..."

Kellen's infamous open eyed weirdo smile...

This picture creeps me out...


Kellen, thank you for five great years (and staying so incredibly attractive)....I'm excited to see what we can do with the next five. How about a house and one more child?