Friday, April 24, 2015

A Seattle FF

1.  Sunday my Aunt Leslie, Uncle Gordon, and cousins Deborah and her family came for dinner.  It was my first time entertaining in "my home."  It was fun to have them come for dinner and to cook for other's besides myself.
2.  I will be staying in this cute cottage in MVY in only 7 weeks.  I can't wait!  This cottage is across the street from the beach and the bedroom window has an ocean view.  How fun.
3.  My last permanent day at the Goodyear clinic was Wednesday.  I'm going to miss those patient's.  For the first time in my career I felt like these were my patient's, because I got to know them and their families.  I am really going to miss this view when I leave at night.

4.Thursday morning I left early to fly to Seattle, it was a very light flight and I had 3 seats to myself to catch some zzz's.  Tim (Grandma Betty's Son-in-law) picked me up and took me to their home that they are actually selling in Kirkland.  We met Marlene there where she brought us a delicious burrito lunch.  I left a little AZ sunshine in the form of Grapefruit on Aubrey's door and then Marlene and I headed to their beach house.  Marlene introduced me to my new favorite drink...

5.  Oh the beach house!  It is gorgeous, relaxing, peaceful and I felt just like I was at home.  It was a bit windy, so we only spent a short time on the beach where there are tons of huge shells.  We each took a short nap and then made dinner.
The sunset was gorgeous!
4.  Friday morning we had breakfast, relaxed and I wrote in the guest book.  I loved reading this entry from both Grandma Betty and Grandpa Randy.  Grandpa Randy said it best about the beach house, "This is the place to come when tired, hungry or needing a hug.  What more could one ask for or wish for?"

I love the kitchen (this picture doesn't do it justice) and the ceiling.
5.  We spent the afternoon in this cute little town where we shopped a bit and I bought some very cute head bands and a hounds tooth navy and cream scarf, ate a delicious lunch of crab and strawberry salad and then we hit a bakery on our way out.
6.  We caught the ferry to Seattle which brought us some absolutely beautiful views.  I think got some pretty great pictures today!
I love the teal boat, can you spot it?
This is my most favorite!
7.  Tonight I attended a reception for my CME, went to the gym in the hotel and watched Twlight.  That's a lively Friday night, not...

Monday, April 20, 2015

Mom's Molasses Wheatbread

Last time I was home mom made homemade rolls and a loaf of bread which I brought half of the loaf home.  It was so yummy.  I asked mom for the recipe this past week and she sent me a text with the ingredients.  Yea, my mom's cool like that!  I made the attempt yesterday and it turned out amazingly delicious!  It has been probably 4 years since I have made bread, because I really haven't needed to since my Aunt Leslie is a Queen Of Bread Making.  She even brought me one of her loaves yesterday, which I was thrilled with! 

I think this bread is pretty healthy because it only has 2 T of oil and has flax.  Give it a try.  It's super easy.

Mom's Molasses Wheat Bread
3 C warm water
3 T sugar
2 T yeast
let yeast bubble
1 T salt (I put in just under this)
2 T Olive Oil
1/4 C molasses
1/2 C ground flax meal
3 C wheat flour
3-4 C white bleached flour (you can use all wheat flour if you prefer)

My dough was a little sticky, but it turned out just fine.
I let this rise to double outside since it was warm.
Place in bread pans and let rise again.

Cook on 350 for 30 minutes

I made 2 medium loaves and a mini loaf.

Friday, April 17, 2015

HIking FF

1.  My favorite part of this week was hiking with my Girlfriends Staci and Ofa.  I love these girls.  They are my therapy in Phoenix, along with my Aunt Leslie!  I had been looking forward to our hike for 2 1/2 months.  It felt so good to hike Shaw Butte.  I even felt a little burn in my back side the next day. 
After our hike we had us a picnic with fresh fruit, popcorn and this delicious Greek Pasta salad that I made thanks to  Funny that last week I posted a dressing similar to this one.
Light Greek Pasta Salad
  • 12 oz. penne pasta (2 cups uncooked) (I used the spiral ones)
  • 2 medium cucumbers, seeded and chopped
  • 1½ cups grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • ¾ cup pitted Greek Kalamata olives, cut in half
  • ½ red onion, sliced (I used 1/4)
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped (I was hesitant to use this but it made the salad so delicious)
  • ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled (I used the tomato and herb feta)
  • ½ cup lemon juice (yes I used stolen lemons)
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp honey (I used agave)
  • 1 tsp lemon peel, grated
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. In a small bowl, combine all of the dressing ingredients and mix well. Set aside.
  3. Drain pasta and rinse well with cold water.
  4. Add cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, red onion, and mint leaves to the pasta.
  5. Pour dressing over the pasta and vegetables and gently mix. Sprinkle with feta cheese.
  6. Refrigerating for at least 1 hour before serving will really bring out the flavors in the salad
    Did I mention how much I love this awesome spoon that I got in Mexico?  Ofa loved it too!
2.  I heard that Tenielle took a sick day this week to help Tristen pack (because they are moving to Spokane the end of this month, boo).  I have the best example of a sister.  They are both so special to me.  I'm so grateful for the love we share.
3.  I went to the Mid-Singles religion class this week.  It was so good.  It has made me want to study more about the Savior and to develop a stronger relationship with Him.  A cute redhead asked me to have lunch sometime, I told him I didn't have a day until mid-May, he said he would wait.
4.  My Visiting Teacher's came over on Wednesday for 2 1/2 hours.  I'm pretty sure we could have talked all night if we all didn't have to work the next day.
5.  I have the best calling in the church!  I love Sunday's that give me the opportunity to play the piano in Primary.  Our kids know the songs so well and sing so loud.  It's so fun!  Yes, lots of SO's in that sentence.  My niece Stella says she loves everything so much.  It's so cute!
6.  I'm getting so excited to go to Matha's Vineyard in 8 weeks!  Every day I get to see a picture from there because of this awesome photographer.  I love their talent.  This was one of my favorites this week.
7.  I'm even more excited that I'm finished working 5-6 days a week for now...(someone else just quit and so I'm sure I'll pick up some shifts at the Mesa clinic).  But I'm excited to only work 3 days this week before going to a medical conference in Seattle for the next week!  I'm going to spend my evening's studying for the boards that I'm up for retake.  I have horrible test anxiety and it never gets easier.  This is a great conference that I attend every other year.  It is usually in January, but glad they have moved it to April.  I usually feel pretty prepared to take my boards after attending this conference and review course. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Tax Day

For the first time in forever I am sending in my taxes by April 15.  Well at least I tried to.  You see because they wouldn't stop disability payments all last year I had to pay.  BOO.  But really hooray because I got to keep half of what I got.  Remember I got disability for ovarian cancer, even though I didn't really need it.  I'm grateful it was there if I had needed it though. They continue to give it to you for a year to make sure you stay healthy and don't need it after going back to work. 

Double BOO, when Tenielle went to send my taxes in yesterday Turbo Tax said they had already been filed.  Hopefully this is just an error on the Turbo Tax side.  If not this is going to be a big pain in the booty, but if there is one thing I learned from cancer it is not to not worry about something out of your control at the moment.  We will call tomorrow or the next day to figure this whole thing out.  I did however just stop off at the Post Office to have the official stamp on my envelops to the IRS, Massachusetts, and Idaho tax commission with my enclosed extension forms and checks totaling 11, 785 dollars.  I knew I was going to have to pay this back, but didn't think it was going to be that much, but grateful I have it to be able to pay. 

So no I won't be getting a huge tax refund this year like everyone else.  I'll just work more to have more, but then if I work more that means I have to pay more, so is it really worth working more?  I have yet to figure that question out. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Lemon Dressing

I'm still stealing the lemons from the yard down the street.  I have yet to take one from the tree, just off the ground, which I think is not really stealing.  So yesterday on my walk I noticed the lemons were brushed to the side of the yard, like owners had cut what little grass they have and are just waiting for someone to take these lemons out of their yard.  One of these day's I will stop again to ask if I can pick a lemon.  I just saw a recipe for candied lemons that I will have to try soon, so that day might be coming up.

I love this Lemon Dressing that I've concocted after having something similar at Pizza Lemone
Juice from 1-2 lemons
Lemon grind
Minced Garlic
A few squirts of Dijon Mustard
salt and pepper
a small amount of olive oil (you really probably don't even need this)
a squirt or two of Agave (my new favorite thing)
Wisk and delight in this light yummy dressing for your Spring and Summer salads.

This is so tasty over a salad with apples or mango's.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Ham and Beans

When I was growing up I dreaded the week after having ham for Sunday dinner because I knew it meant we were going to have to eat ham and beans for dinner at least one night that week.  Somehow this dreaded meal has become one that I actually crave.  I'm not sure when or how this happened, but in my adulthood my taste buds have changed.

Last week I came home from Easter dinner with the ham hock (which I had frozen this week).  My Uncle Gordon applies a sweet mixture to the ham, which is something my dad never does.  I really like the cinnamon/sweet taste this adds to the ham and due to this my Ham and Bean soup that I made today's dinner was out of this world delicious.  It was so good that as I sat eating by myself (I know totally pathetic, I should have thought to have Aunt Leslie join me) I thought how wonderful it would have been to have shared it with someone else.

I pretty much threw this together just before church.  I'm pretty sure it was even better than my mom's, because she doesn't put the sweet potato in it.

1 Can Chicken Broth
1 Chicken Bouillon
1/2-1 cup of Water
2 Cans slightly drained Navy Beans
2 Carrots diced
1/2 tsp minced garlic
Celery diced
1/4 onion diced
a few shakes of Thyme
some Parsley (I freeze this when I buy it fresh, so it doesn't spoil and I have it when I need it)
Salt and Pepper
1 white sweet potato chopped (my favorite part of this soup)
Left over Ham and Ham Hock

Cook in crock pot on high for 4-5 hours

Friday, April 10, 2015

Another Unexpected FF

1.  This week has been completely and utterly fulfilling, even though the events of most of the week were unplanned.  Friday my mom had called me at work to let me know that my great-aunt June (my grandpa Swensens brothers wife-got that?) was not expected to last on this earth much longer.  And she didn't, as she passed away Saturday evening.  Because of this I got to see my family again this week...but lets start this week in order.
2.  Saturday was great as previously blogged about, but Sunday was even better as I was able to listen to more fantastic talks from General Conference.  During the first session on Sunday I compiled a new favorite Easter Song Playlist.  I always love a new playlist and sharing those playlists with friends and family.  These songs remind me of the love Jesus Christ has for me.  Between conference sessions I went to Aunt Leslie's where I picked a grapefruit from the tree.  I miss being able to do this every day.  There is an abundance of sweet grapefruit this year.  I still have at least 1 grapefruit daily and will miss when grapefruit season is over!  I'm pretty sure grapefruit season must be the longest fruit season of any, which I'm happy about.  We watched the last session of conference and then everyone came for dinner including my cousin's Janna, Deborah, Laura and Lisa who was visiting from Utah.  Dinner was delicious as usual!  It's always more delicious with family.
 3.  I worked Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  Thursday I flew from Mesa to Provo at 6:20am, caught a taxi to the train station and rode the train to SLC where Tenielle, Aidree and Bridget picked me up.  I wish I had a picture of the girls running down the side of the train yelling, "Hi Auntie Terah."  It was so cute!  We then went to see Tanner at work, who happened to actually not have been at work because he took the day off to work on a school project.  We ended up having lunch with him and Tony, even though Tanner had no idea that I was actually coming to town.  Lunch was at Flat Bread, mostly because its' delicious and I knew the girls would have fun making their own pizza's.
The photobomber are aweseome!
 Bridget concentrates with her tongue out like her dad and grandpa.
4.  My favorite part of the day was visiting Temple Square.  Because I absolutely love tulips, I was in Tulip Heaven.  You really do miss the seasons when you live in Phoenix.  Nothing is more beautiful than Spring on Temple Square and the peace we felt there was almost touchable.  Aidree and Bridet say the cutest things.  I told Aidree that she needed to stop growing up and she said, "I need to hurry and grow up so I can be a mom."  Bridget got caught in the back seat smearing chapstick on her lips.  When I took it away from her she told me that she was getting ready for her wedding to her prince tomorrow.  How cute is that?
The girls wanted to visit the Christus and I took these precious pictures!  We also learned more about Christ as we read the depictions that went with these most beautiful pictures.
5. Tenielle and I drove to Pocatello where we met mom and dad, visited my mom's Aunt Arnetta and her cousin Kendra who was diagnosed this week with Colon Cancer and has a Hank (but only for 4 weeks) and then we drove to Idaho Falls.  My dear friend who I met in Jr. High and moved just after High School, let me know her mother was visiting Idaho Falls too, so she met us at the hotel and we talked for 2 hours.  It was such fun to catch up with her.
6.  Tyler and his family stayed at the same hotel so I got to have breakfast with my nephews.  They are darling.
7.  This morning was a beautiful Spring day in St. Anthony, Idaho to celebrate the life of a soft spoken, sweet woman.  It was so wonderful to see family.  Funerals bring families together.  I was so happy to be able to visit my Grandma Swensens grave.  I'm pretty sure I felt her sweet spirit there among us along with many of our dear family members who are buried there.  I'm quite positive she is sad that we don't visit more often.

This is the house mom grew up in.

8.  Of course the time was short and I had to catch a flight from Idaho Falls back to Mesa (so that I can pull a 12 hour shift tomorrow), but not before venturing into our favorite Candy Store in Rexburg to capture the deliciousness of Princess Michelle's.  These candies have a soft cream cheese center and toasted coconut on the outside and literally melt in your mouth.  We've got to find a recipe and make them ourselves someday.
Until next time...