Saturday, February 17, 2007

My Valentine

I have always disliked Valentine's Day. It's probably because I never had a boyfriend on that particular day and I was jealous of those who did. My best Valentine's Day was when I was engaged to Chris. We had a romantic evening listening to a piano quartet at BYU and then eating chocolate something-or-other. Over the years I have become less and less romantic. I still don't care for the day. This year we didn't exchange any gifts. How boring is that? I did bake some cookies and take them around to the neighbors. I did that for Kennedy's benefit. I want her to learn to be compassionate and loving. She had fun delivering her Valentines. These are the recipes I used. The sugar cookie recipe comes from my Mom. It's the best because the cookies are soft. Oh, and I do love my husband very much. I don't need a holiday for an excuse to tell him I love him.

Sift together:
3 ¼ cups sifted flour
1 tsp. soda
½ tsp. salt
½ cup butter or shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
Beat for 2 minutes. Add ½ cup sour cream. Add flour mixture. Beat 1-½ minutes. Roll out on floured surface to ½ inch thickness. Cut with your favorite cookie cutter. Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 8-9 minutes. Do not over-bake. Cool. Spread with your favorite frosting.
My favorite frosting is a tub of Betty Crocker cherry flavored frosting. Add just a tiny bit of powdered sugar to thicken. Yum yum!

½ cup butter, softened (no substitutes)
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. almond extract
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
Additional sugar
40 milk chocolate kisses with almonds
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 Tbs. milk
4 tsp. raspberry jam
¼ tsp. almond extract
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Beat in egg and extract. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Cover and chill for 1 hour or until easy to handle.
Roll dough into 1" balls, then roll in additional sugar. Place 2" apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 325 for 10 - 12 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately press a chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie. Cool on wire racks. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over cookies.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Mexican Beef Pile-Ups

I tried this new recipe today. Probably everyone already has it but I will post it anyway. It's kind of like a Mexican version of Hawaiian Haystacks. It made a lot of meat sauce so I put half in the freezer to use another time.

Mexican Beef Pile-Ups

3 pounds ground beef
3 cups water
1 16-oz can refried beans
1 package enchilada mix
1 14-oz can enchilada sauce
2 6-oz cans tomato paste

Cook ground beef and drain fat. Add rest of ingredients ans simmer for 2-3 hours on top of stove or in oven at 300 degrees. (I put it in a crock pot and cooked for about 5 hours.)

Pile up your meal in this order:
white rice
corn chips
meat mixture
Cheddar cheese, grated
green onions, chopped
olives, sliced
tomatoes, diced
avocados, chopped
lettuce, shredded
sour cream

Mental Photo

Sometimes things happen that are so emotional for me that it makes me want to take a mental photo of my life at that very moment.
Last week one of my sister's neighbors had a terrible tragedy. There was an accident with a gas line and after it was fixed the wife went in the house with the gas worker and the house blew up with the two inside. I don't even know these people but I have cried for them. The wife left her husband of just a few years and an 18-month old daughter, both were standing outside the house when it exploded. The worker left a wife, children and grandchildren.
Today I found out that my niece, Tyffanee, is expecting a baby. I am so thrilled. Tyff is just five years younger than I am and we have been close most of our lives. I feel bad because since I got married we have not been so close but I would love to sit down with her right now and give her a big hug and tell her how much I love being a mom and give her all kinds of advice and tell her stories about my own kids.
Both of these things, one bad, one good, have made me appreciate my life a little more today. I am so happy to be alive, have a husband and two kids, and have security. I know that all this could be taken away in an instant so for right now I'm not going to take it for granted.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Six Unusual Things About Me

I already did a list of 100 things about me but my friend Lucy tagged me so here is a list of six more unusual things about me.
  • I have transparent eyebrows.
  • I eat pizza and grilled cheese sandwiches with a fork.
  • When I am having a hard time sleeping I tell each one of my body parts that it's time to go to sleep. I start at my toes and work my way up, but I usually never get past my knees.
  • I have a skin tag on my left eyelid.
  • I can't do push-ups, even from the knee.
  • I don't think this is unusual but my husband does--When I put anything on toast or bread, i.e. peanut butter, jam, butter, it has to cover the whole piece of bread. Otherwise, what's the point of putting anything on your bread?
Tag--you're it Alison!