Monday, September 24, 2007

A Quiet Afternoon

Welcome Fall! Come on in and make yourself at home.

We've had a lot of rain this week and it has been fabulous. Everything looks so green and lovely and new. The leaves are turning and becoming perfectly Fall-ish while the grass glows and looks so healthy. I've been inside for a few days and the knitting needles have managed to find a permanent home on the arm of my couch. This year I'm determined to make something besides a scarf... oh and dish cloths.

It snowed in the mountains last night and it just looks so pretty. As we went out to run errands this morning it was cold enough for a jacket. YEAH! This is totally my time of year. I don't really have a lot to say this afternoon. Cohen is asleep on the couch, I'm listening to a Dan Zane mix on Pandora (it is fantastic providing music from Riders in the Sky to Mason Jennings), and I've just finished some crafting. It is nice and I am really happy.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


What is up with zucchini? Does it multiply like rabbits everywhere it is grown or just the west? As long as I can remember, someone was always trying to push zucchini on someone and there was the "prize" 3 foot long zucchini monster sitting on the counter. Am I alone in this? The stuff spreads like wildfire.
While visiting Kim a few weeks ago, she showed me her typical over abundant zucchini crop. I am sure she was just hoping I'd say, "oooooh, can I have some?" but I wasn't going to volunteer myself as an outlet. However, Kim is a good sales person because she presented me with a stack of recipes using zucchini before she even started heaping the stuff into a bag. I was hesitant because I don't know what to do with 10 lbs of zucchini. I love zucchini but I only know how to put it in lasagna and bread. I'll take it battered and fried at the fair (read: a street fair like setting, not the fair because that is on my list of things to NEVER do again) but I don't really like it sauteed with onions and squash like my dad used to do it. Too mushy.

Now I can't get enough of it. I've searched recipe sites far and wide and have found the most amazing zucchini recipes. I got this zucchini bread recipe from That is a great source. I found the Creamy Zucchini Soup from the Lion House Classics cookbook to be the all time winner. Because it is delicious, I want to share it with all of you. Try it... you won't be sorry!

Creamy Zucchini Soup
3 Cups chopped or shredded zucchini (this is from the freezer)
1/2 Cup Water
1 Tablespoon minced onion (I added a clove of minced garlic, too)
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes (I only had fresh and it worked fine)
2 chicken Bullion cubes or 2 teaspoons chicken soup base
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon pepper (I added more because I like it)
1 Cup milk (I used Skim)
1/2 Cup light cream (I used Heavy because that is what I had on hand - it balanced out the unmilkness of Skim milk)
Sour Cream
Makes 4-6 Servings (we got 3 really big bowls out if it)

Combine zucchini, water, onion (garlic), seasoned salt, parsley and 1 bullion cube (or 1 tsp. chicken soup base) in a skillet. Cook until zucchini is tender and most of the water has evaporated.
Mash or puree (I used the food processor) zucchini and set aside. In a saucepan melt butter; blend in flour and remaining bullion (or chicken soup base) and pepper. Add milk and cream, and simmer until thick.
Stir in pureed vegetables. Thin with milk if desired (I didn't find the need to). Garnish with paprika and sour cream. Adjust seasonings to tastes.

I apologize for not taking a nice picture of my bowl with the beautiful paprika and sour cream dollop, but I really started taking spoonfuls out of the pan. YUMMY! I hope you enjoy it.

But I am not lying about my title... if you have zucchini and need to get rid of it, or know someone who does, I'll swap a bag or some fall decor of some sort for it. I live smack in the middle of the Salt Lake Valley (Holladay) and am willing to drive to Riverton or the Avenues to get more. So... the offer stands. Let me know (I'll take tomatoes, too). I love zucchini and have eaten all that Kim provided (oh Kim, why isn't your garden closer?).

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Late to Bed, Early to Rise

I have swap fever and I just can't stop... even though they make me stressed out. I always think I have all of the time in the world to get stuff done. Of course, my life takes most of my time and I get all worked up. Oh well... I love getting packages in the mail so it makes it all worth it.

Above I volunteered to make a twin sized quilt for my partners daughter. She wanted something cherry themed for her bedroom. At first I was thinking of slapping two fabrics together (one cherry and one polka dot) and just doing a simple tying job. When I got to JoAnn's to look for polka dots I couldn't decide which color scheme to buy. So I bought 1 1/2 yards of each and started piecing. The quilting is quite simple; I just ran strait lines through on my machine. As I was getting ready to cut and iron all of those inches for binding, I chickened out and just folded over the backing and machine stitched. It is a cheater quilt, but I like the way it turned out.

The red, black, and white color way reminds me of my high school colors. Go SFH Cougars! Also, as a youngin' in Carson City, NV, via 1985, one of my friends had a brother with an AMAZING bedroom. It had a black and white checkered linoleum floor. The paint on the walls reflected this pattern and fizzled into a black ceiling. All of his furniture was bright red metal and he had a red bedspread. It was pretty awesome. So I often think of that bedroom when when working with red, black, and white. I wonder if it is still decorated like that. He was going off to college and that usually freezes decor in time, unless the mom decides to make it a guest bedroom.

Anyway, I still continue swapping because I love it. The above picture is what I sent for the Fall Favorites swap. This was a great low key swap because I bought it all except the scarf, which you've already seen. My package represents Fall colors, scents, warmth, and the flavors that I love.

I also participated in the Homecoming swap on Craftster. I had two partners and received amazing gifts. This swap has never disappointed. I won't post all of the items I received, but please check out the links. From Gina I received a scarf, a hat and gloves, the cutest knit owl, a set of ice cream stitch markers (that I am using for a camera and cell phone charm), a little log pincushion, train goodies for Cohen, and a great little hot pad for the kitchen.

I sent her this pillow and those button flower pins, along with several other goodies that I hope were well received.

This cute painting, which is hanging in my bathroom, is from Dawn. I love it. She also sent me a necklace and some great bath goods that have already been put to good use. I didn't take pictures of what I sent her but it was a creepy themed package with a monster purse and a beaded spider pillow.

End of story. I love swapping. I have just signed up for a 12 Days of Christmas swap that will be totally insane. Last year I drooled over the gallery as people opened their 12 gifts which equaled 78 items. HOLY MOLY! I can't wait to get my partner so I can start making this crazy amount of stuff!

*note* I really need to learn to make those tile mosaics on Flickr so I don't have to send you there a million times via links. Anyway, want to let me in the secret to making those?

Monday, September 17, 2007

$40 Too Much!

I've only ever been to a County Fair once in my life. A few friends of mine decided to take a late night drive to Blackfoot, Idaho to see what the fair was all about. By the time we got there, there was no entrance fee required and Maryssa flirted with the carnies enough to get on a few rides free. So, I thought the fair was a low cost activity. HA!

After attending a fabulous street fair, we didn't really have anything else to do, so I suggested we head to the Utah State Fair. We stopped at the ATM to get $20 because we all wanted a frozen treat of sorts. I guess I was shocked to find that it cost us $16 to get in. I figured that would cover admission to everything. I'm so naive.... I couldn't believe that we had to buy tickets to rides on top of that. Of course Cohen was so excited he almost peed his pants looking at all of the ride possibilities. We decided to get a few tickets and ride the Ferris Wheel. Well, that cost $12.15 for the 3 of us to ride, so I figured we'd already passed the point of no return and we just bought the coupon book for $23.00.
We had fun, I guess, but I am so embarrassed with myself that I didn't realize that the fair was a RIP OFF! I feel so used! No wonder my mom never let us go. She's a smart lady.
I did enjoy the randomness of it... like the pickled eggs and horrible dragon art.

Maybe next year I'll enter something I made to the random handy crafts barn. Oh well, now we have something to laugh at, great stories to tell, and... something that we'll NEVER do again.


Thursday, September 06, 2007

I Shouldn't Be Sick!

I cannot believe that I am sick during the first week of September, my favorite month. Honestly, you think I'd have the seasons on my side as I declare how much I love Fall. Oh well. I've spent the better par of the week sitting around my house letting the dishes pile up. Of course, this has been the week for random visitors, too. Sheesh. They must think I am such a slob. I told them all to come back next week when things are back to normal and my house is only 1/2 messy.

So I mentioned in my last post that we went to Bear Lake over Labor Day weekend for a family reunion. We stayed in the . It accommodated all 68 of us... IN ONE HOUSE! This place was awesome. It used to be the old general store and last year they converted it into a 8 bedroom family reunion wonderland. I don't think we could have found anywhere better.

We spent most of the time hanging out, but we did go to the beach for a few hours on Saturday. We rented 4 jet skis and had a great time, even though 60+ people were taking turns. I'm kind of a scaredy cat and I always made Mike go really slow. I'm just not the water sports kind of gal, which is strange because I've lived withing 30 miles of a lake or reservoir my entire life. To each their own. But, Bear Lake is pretty amazing. It is soooooo blue and it wasn't even that cold. I really enjoyed it.

Other highlights of the reunion were the BYU game... I guess. The bulk of my family have attended BYU, and one uncle works there, so I'm glad they won their opening game so everyone was in a good mood for the remainder of the weekend. Look how happy a game makes them....
I was assigned to be in charge of the craft. I bought 30+ unfinished wood mirrors from IKEA and brought paint, Mod Podge, craft foam, paper, buttons, eyes and other doodads and everyone had a great time.
We get together every other year and take turns planning it. This year my siblings and I were in charge. We had so much fun. I love my extended family. I think it is a pretty rare occasion when EVERY SINGLE PERSON gets along and seems to like one another. I'm sure glad we do, though, because we're all stuck together for a very long time.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Last Days of Summer

We have had an action packed few weeks with family reunions, house guests, and day trips. It is so wonderful to see everyone I love and makes me long for December when we will have time to see each other again. Now that the weather is cooler and the trees are starting to turn, I feel like I need to cram a few summer activities into our last warm days. Last night we had the most amazing storm. I LOVE YOU SEPTEMBER! I was so happy to see the sky clouding up. I don't know what it is, but I sure love the fall.

Two weeks ago we went to visit the Borcherts and we went to the American West Center that is just a few miles out of Logan. It was natural fibers week and we chose to go on the day that the pioneer ladies were spinning wool. I was expecting a bigger deal, but it was still very fun to watch them in their long dresses pumping away at the wheel. They were making beautiful yarn. I'd love to learn to spin, but I don't know what I'd do with the yarn since I'm not really a knitting prodigy.
Anyway, the boys had a great time running around and touching everything...including the animals in the petting zoo. *hello sanitizer - I'm such a freak about touching animals*

This little pioneer sweetie was our tour guide while we were at the Pioneer village. She was so excited to see little kids and followed the boys around everywhere.

I'll miss you summer, but I sure am glad that Fall is on its way. Yippee!
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