Monday, September 26, 2011


The basher helped me pick some apples in the backyard this afternoon to use for dinner.

I used one apple in a new recipe that was TO DIE FOR! Butternut squash soup. This luscious concoction is officially my new favorite soup. Wowzers! So delicious! The butternut squash came from my parents' garden, as did the tomatoes I used for my side dish.

After dinner, we picked more apples.

Then we ate apple crisp with vanilla bean ice cream. It's been an apple-licious day!

For the soup recipe, visit me here. Seriously, do it. Yum.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I Am Woman

I had about 20 kills today. That's what my friend and former Ragnar teammate calls it when you pass a fellow runner during a race. But by comparing my speed to the speed of my fellow chicks on the road, I am comparing apples to... apples with two bites taken out of them. Let me 'splain. No. There is too much. Let me sum up. (Name that movie.) I completed my first triathalon this morning. (TriathaMom) But I'm cheating a bit when I say that. My teammates and I completed our first tri. Together. We did it as a relay! Heidi swam 300 meters. Susan biked 12 miles. And I ran the 5K. So as I passed those 20 women during the run, my pride was tempered because I knew that most of them had already completed the two other legs of the race that my teammates had done for me.

As I passed these fellow contestants, I cheered words of encouragement. "You're awesome!" "Looking great!" "Way to go!" Racing events bring out the cheerleader in me because I have been brought to tears when strangers have cheered for me during a race. I'm just paying it forward.

Later today, I joined my three string quartet members at the beautiful Memory Grove to play a wedding. It was a gorgeous (albeit hot and sunny) afternoon. We enjoyed playing the ceremony, then chatted about newborn babies while we were packing up. My violist and cellist very recently gave birth to sweet baby girls.

On my way home, I flipped on the General Relief Society Broadcast to hear an all-woman choir sing. Tears filled my eyes as the power of women hit me. I had spent all day surrounded by women. The triathalon, my quartet... We are all women trying to feel good and do good, for our families, for our clients, for ourselves.

I actually thought about my boys at home and found myself wishing for a moment that I had a daughter who I could teach how to be a strong, confident, smart, capable woman. I always knew, for instance, that girls could do math because my (female) math teacher taught me so. But then I realized that I do have a great opportunity to teach my boys about us female types. I can show them that their mama is strong. She is brave. She is capable.

At least, I can tri.

Heh heh.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pain Rustique

We are going on a family vacation tomorrow. I am stockpiling some meals to take with us so we don't have to go out too much. Don't get me wrong. I love going out to eat! But the basher and the punk have not yet come to appreciate restaurants as much as their mama. So I'm packing lasagna, chicken tacos, cinnamon rolls, brownies, and... wait for it... homemade bread. Although it does take some preparation and some time, it is super easy, and only requires four ingredients, including water! Mmmmm, my house smells so good right now. These little babies just came out of the oven. I don't think I can wait much longer to dig in with some butter.

Jeffery Hamelman's Pain Rustique

For the Poolish:
1 lb. bread flour (3 5/8 cups)
1 lb. water (2 cups)
1/8 tsp. instant yeast

For the final dough:
1 lb. bread flour
6.1 oz. water (3/4 cup)
poolish (all of above - 2 lbs.)
1 Tbs. salt
1 1/2 tsp. instant yeast

To make the Poolish: Mix the yeast in the water, add the flour and mix until smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic and let stand for 12 to 16 hours at room temperature (about 70° F.)

After the room temperature fermenting, add the Final Dough ingredients of flour, water to the Poolish in a mixing bowl. Do not add the salt or yeast. In a mixer, mix on first speed just until the ingredients come together in a shaggy mass. Cover the mixing bowl with a sheet of plastic and let this rough dough rest for 20 to 30 minutes.

At the end of the rest period, sprinkle the salt and yeast over the dough and turn the mixer to second speed. Mix until the dough is fairly well developed, 1-1⁄2 to 2 minutes (or adjust the mixing time accordingly for hand kneading). The dough should be supple and moderately loose. Desired dough temperature is 76° F. Place dough in an oiled bowl and let rise for 70 minutes total, with folds to the dough at the 25 and 50 minute mark of the 70 minute rise.

After 70 minutes, divide the dough in half and form in to loaves and place on a flour dusted peel (or on to flour dusted parchment paper on a baking sheet). Let the loaves proof for 20 to 25 minutes at room temperature.Preheat the oven (and baking stone, if using) to 460° F.

When ready to bake, slash each loaf down the center. Spritz the side of the oven (avoid light bulb area) to generate some steam. Load the bread in the oven and spritz again. Bake at 460° F. for about 35 minutes.

Monday, September 12, 2011

12of12: September (Monday)

Click on the block of photos to enlarge.

1. There are days when I run because I should, and days when I actually want to. Today was one of the latter. 2. Monday = grocery shopping. Yes, the punk has a black eye. He also has a scraped shin and a bandaid on his finger. All from separate incidents. 3. The punk has been so sweet to his "bwudduh" lately. When the basher starts to squeal, he runs to get him a new toy. When the baby spits up, he asks me for a burp cloth and insists on doing the clean-up himself. 4. Just this week, I increased my number of music students from 2 to 5! (4 piano, 1 violin) Time to buy some new material. 5. Wendy's drive-thru for lunch. 6. A chicken nuggets picnic.7. The basher has been sucking his thumb much more lately. He puts his arms around my neck, grabs my hair with both hands, and with a strand in his fist, sucks his thumb in my ear. I love it. 8. The boys and I played outside for a while before nap time. 9. Making dinner. 10.Grilled chicken salad with balsamic vinaigrette, tomato soup made with fresh tomatoes from my parents' garden, and warm banana bread. 11.The basher loves "chasing" his big brother. (Check out my man's arms. Mmmm mmm.) 12. He also enjoys panda during bath time.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years

When I took these pictures during spring break in March 2001, the towers had six months left to stand. My friends and I walked mere blocks from Mariani's NYU dorm to visit the World Trade Center.

This morning, I was surprised at the emotion that overtook me as I thought back to the events of September 11, 2001. It was a typical morning for me. I was getting ready for school when my brother Jacob came in to tell me that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. Weird! What a random accident! Then the second plane hit and we knew it was no accident. Our world changed.

Today I was holding the basher and watching the special news broadcast. During the moment of silence, a bell tolled to commemorate the fall of the second tower. I cried. My heart was so heavy for the lives lost, the hatred behind it, and the families who still miss their loved ones. I also remembered how our nation had stood together. Proud. Defiant. One. And that I had never felt more patriotic than during the weeks following the attacks.

The punk started dancing when Paul Simon played Sounds of Silence. He was just an innocent child, enjoying the music and eating his toast. He asked us (the baby and me) to join him. So we did. It struck me that my boys weren't around when all of this happened 10 years ago. I was just a baby in college myself (look at my sweet, chubby cheeks)! I will have to be the one to tell them what happened on that day.

But not yet. I will let them enjoy their music and toast for a little while longer.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Hide and Seek

Can you find him? Thank goodness for the giggles.
Otherwise, he'd be lost forever.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Today I'm Grateful For...

a man who likes to play with his boys
opportunities that encourage me to leap
years of music lessons that have turned into fun & income
boys that adore each other
surprise treats from friends
skin that heals itself
shrieks and giggles
play dates
concurrent naps
weekly dinner swap

What are you grateful for?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

An Autumn Fall

Today is my man's first day at his new job, which means working from home, which means control over his own schedule and no commute, which means an extra hour of freedom in the morning, which means I get to run! By myself! Outside! At a reasonable hour! When I was feeding the basher in bed (best!) I heard the punk proclaiming his joy at seeing his dad in the morning with song:

"I'm so glad when Daddy comes home, glad as I can be!
I clap my hands and shout for joy and climb upon his knee.
Put my arms around his neck. Hug him tight like this.
Pat his cheeks and give him what? A great big kiss! Mmmwah!"

I knew it was going to be a good day.

As I ran north on Wasatch Blvd., I was reminded of the existence of rush hour. See, as a stay at home mom, I forget about these things sometimes. I ran on the side of the newly paved (read: bumpy and rough) asphalt road and hoped the drivers could follow the small reflectors that currently act as lane dividers. I was feeling good, running at a nice pace on my way back home.

Suddenly, a road troll appeared and grabbed my ankle as I sped by. Okay, okay... I tripped. I just plain tripped over nothing. My big (read: oversized, giant) toe caught on the rough road and in slow motion, I went down with arms outstretched. I landed hard on my knees and hands. My first thought was, "Ooooooowwwww!" My second thought was, "I'm on my hands and knees on the side of a busy road during rush hour." So I rolled myself over and up onto the curb, sat there for a few seconds to get my bearings and assess my injuries, then stood up and ran home.

The end.

P.S. As I huffed and puffed up the final steep hill, the song Love Today by Mika came on my iPod. I decided then that it would still be a good day. And it is.

P.P.S. Ouch.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Holiday Hike

I love the fall season. I really do! I'm just not ready for it yet. Perhaps it's because this year's winter was so unbearably long. I just feel like summer passed by much too quickly; I'm loathe to see it go. Actually, now that I think about it, it's not fall that I'm dreading; it's the season that follows it that I could do without. Fall, with its beautiful colors and crisp jacket weather, is never long enough. Winter tends to rear its ugly, grey, cold, dark head much too soon and stay long past its welcome. So today, we joined my parents for a lovely early-fall hike up Neff's Canyon to enjoy the outdoors while they are still enjoyable.

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