Saturday, March 26, 2011

Goodbye to the Old, Hello to the New!

Thanks to Mike's amazing parents, we were able to upgrade our couches from this:
To this!
Not only are they really comfy, but they recline! Now excuse me while I go curl up and watch Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Scratch That

So, I've decided to scratch the whole going private thing for now.. And it's only a week and a half until I can take a pregnancy test.. I'm keeping all of my fingers AND toes crossed that I get the bfp. It's kinda strange - I'm excited, calm, nervous, and anxious about what will happen all at the same time. But I'm more calm.. Guess we'll just have to wait and see..

Friday, March 11, 2011

Revenge is Sweet

We *finally* beat New Mexico in basketball tonight. 87-76 - that's the way we get revenge. Not to mention, Jimmer was on FIRE. He scored 52 freaking points. Really Jimmer? I mean REALLY? 52?!? Revenge is sweet. Bring on the conference championship baby. I will be cheering us on from the comfort of my living room - although I would much rather be in Vegas!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Europe Itinerary!

Tiffany sent us all our Itinerary for Europe today.. Mike and I are so excited! There's still quite a few things we need to get for the trip, but we do have three months to get them.. Turns out we have a four hour layover in Athens before we head to Santorini, so we may drop by the Acropolis! I'm sooo keeping my fingers crossed on that one! Did I mention how stinkin excited we are?!?
Saturday:       SLC / ATL / ATHENS
Sunday:          Athens arrive 10:30am, fly to Santorini
Monday:         Santorini, Honeymoon Petra Villas, Boat Tour
Tuesday:          Santorini
Wednesday:   Fly from Santorini to Athens to Milan. Cars to Lake Como.
Thursday:        Como, Grand Serbelloni     
Friday:              Como
Saturday:         Drive to Venice, Centurion Palace, 4-hour walking tour, Gondola tour
Sunday:            Venice
Monday:         Train to Rome, ½ Day Tour
Tuesday:           Rome, Cavalieri Hilton, ½ Day Tour
Wednesday:    Rome, ½ Day Tour
Thursday:         Fly to Paris, Paris Bike Tour
Friday:                Paris, Hotel Splendid Etoile
Saturday:             Get to airport by 8am / fly 11am non-stop to SLC.

Monday, March 7, 2011

February

We haven't done a whole lot this last month, but here's the few things we did do. We went to the BYU basketball game against Utah - 2nd row court side tickets. It gets so loud inside the Mariott Center you have to yell in each others ears to be able to hear what the other person is saying! We have an amazing team this year! I've never been that into Cougar Basketball, but this year I watch the games on TV if we don't go, then I get on ESPN afterward and read stats and commentary about the game. I've never done this before! Mike finds it kinda funny I think...especially since I am so animated while we are watching the game!
The man himself - Jimmer Fredette. If you don't know who he is, you should. For starters, he's the lead candidate for National Player of the Year, averaging 27.9 points per game - leading scorer in the NCAA, and shooting 90% from the free-throw line. He sunk 38 against Wyoming on Saturday, and 47 on Utah on their home court. Getting less than 30 points in one game is a quiet night for him. Not to mention he can hit three's from WAY beyond the arc time after time after time. Prime example - half-court buzzer beater against Utah at Utah that was nothing but net. His name is now a verb - "You got Jimmered." Yeah, if you don't know who he is, you should. You can see a typical Jimmer three-pointer here and his story here. Needless to say we had lots of fun at the game. And Utah got Jimmered.
We also had my birthday. Mike surprised me with a shopping spree, which resulted in a closet make-over. 18 shirts, 3 pairs of pants, a jacket, 6 pairs of shoes, 41 pairs of earrings, a sewing machine, books, and some kitchen gadgets. I also got 3 more shirts and a J Crew jacket (on sale for $10 rather than $60!) from a gift card to Downeast from my family, and 2 cardigans from Old Navy from Mike's parents! So all in all, it was a pretty darn good birthday! We also went to Tucano's to use my free birthday meal there, which is always a treat since we only go on our birthdays!

On the Upswing

Mike found a new hobby...building model ships. This is his first one and he's loving it!

Anyway, things have calmed down here for a bit finally. It's been one of the toughest months we have both ever experienced. We went from being on one of the highest and happiest points of our marriage to one of the lowest in a matter of a few minutes. Miscarriage is devastating - especially after you are told you will not be able to even get pregnant. I am so grateful to Mike for being my rock and my strength on those days I would sit in a corner and sob from grief. Even though we both still have our days, we have grown SO much closer to each other through this ordeal, and our love for each other is stronger than it ever has been.

It's still tough, especially since most of my friends are pregnant and we were all due within a month or two of each other, but Mike and I have hope we will get pregnant again - soon. We are finally on the upswing...

Southern Italian Ratatouille

A miracle happened tonight.. I got Mike to eat a vegetarian dish! I was keeping my fingers crossed he would be willing to take a bite or two, and he ended up having more than I did! Which is huge because I love veggies, and he is a *picky* eater. He even said it's a dish to make again! One of the many reasons I love the Food Network!

Southern Italian Ratatouille
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced fresh wild or domestic mushrooms
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 pound yellow squash, cut into 1/4-inch dice, about 1 1/2 cups
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 pound zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch dice, about 1 1/2 cups
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced leek, white part only
  • 3/4 cup peeled, seeded, and chopped vine-ripened tomatoes, about 1/2 pounds
  • 1 cup loosely packed baby spinach, sliced
  • 2-3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add the mushrooms and cook, without moving them, until brown on 1 side, about 1 minute. Continue to saute for another 1 to 2 minutes. Season mushrooms with salt and pepper and pour onto cookie sheet to cool. Set used pan aside. In a separate, clean skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic. Cook until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. In the pan where the mushrooms were, add 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add yellow squash. Cook until browned, about 1 to 2 minutes and drain onto same cookie sheet with mushrooms. Place peppers in hot pan where squash was cooking, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of thyme. When heated thoroughly, add peppers to waiting mushrooms and yellow squash. Add zucchini to the same pan, add remaining thyme, cook until browned, about 2 minutes. Pull both pans (onions and zucchini) off the heat, and add to cookie sheet with other vegetables. In the former zucchini/mushroom pan, cook leeks to soften, about 2 minutes. In the other, bring the tomatoes to a simmer. Season the leeks with salt and pepper, to taste, and add spinach. When spinach is wilted, add cooked leeks to cooling vegetables on cookie sheet. Add basil to the tomatoes, then add tomatoes to cookie sheet. Stir gently, and top with Parmesan and serve.

The only thing different I'm going to try next time is adding more basil - but only because I LOVE it. I can't get enough of it!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Greek Butter Cookies

Mike's new all-time favorite cookie. I got this from allrecipes.com

Greek Butter Cookies:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar for rolling
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and egg until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts. Blend in the flour to form a dough. you may have to knead by hand at the end. Take about a teaspoon of dough at a time and roll into balls, logs or 'S' shapes. Place cookies 1 to 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned and firm. Allow cookies to cool completely before dusting with confectioners' sugar.

Margherita Pizza #1

I have become quite the Italian food fanatic lately. I spend hours looking up new Italian recipes I can try. I guess this is due partly to the fact we're going to Italy in three, yes three months.. Anyway, I have been on the hunt for the perfect margherita pizza recipe the last week. I haven't quite found it yet, but came across one that Mike and I love. The first time I made it Mike at half the pizza himself. Which is big seeing as how the majority of the topping is simply chopped tomatoes!

Margherita Pizza #1:
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. plum Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed and finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 6 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 6 fresh basil leaves cut into julienne strips
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 12-inch thin crust
  1. Combine 2 Tbs. olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, and salt in bowl.
  2. Allow to marinate while making dough.
  3. Brush dough crust lightly with olive oil.
  4. Top with cheese, then tomatoes.
  5. Drizzle with olive oil.
  6. Bake in preheated 500F oven on pizza stone for 8−10 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly.
  7. Remove from oven and top with parmesan cheese, then basil.
  8. Cool on a wire rack for 2−3 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving.
For the crust:
  • 1 envelope (1 Tbs) of dry yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sugar
  • 3/4 cup of lukewarm water
  • 1 3/4 cups of unbleached plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  1. Combine 1 envelope of dry yeast, 1/4 teaspoon of sugar and 3/4 cups of lukewarm water. Mix a little and let sit for 6-8 minutes.
  2. Combine 1 3/4 cups of unbleached plain flour with 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a bowl or food processor.
  3. Pour the water combination into the bowl (or food processor) and mix until ready to knead (around 30 second in a food processor). If using a bowl, mix with a spoon until you have a neat ball.
  4. Prepare a lightly spinkled surface with flour. Turn out dough and knead for around 2-3 minutes. Lightly cover your finger tips with flour if the mixture is a little sticky.
  5. Roll out by hand for a 12'' base.
  6. Place in 12'' lighly oiled oven pan. Press out dough to form a slight lip.
  7. Prepare and apply your sauce and topping of choice.
The finished product:
Yum! I am able to make two pizzas from one crust recipe because we like really thin crust so we can taste a lot of flavor. Tonight I decided to mix it up a bit and just throw some toppings on that sounded good. It got Mike's stamp of approval!
  I just did a *little* pizza sauce (I used about 3 1/2 Tbs is all for a 10" round) and added mozzarella, about 2 teaspoons dried rosemary leaves, a light sprinkling of ground oregano, and about 4-5 chopped basil leaves.

The best part I love about these pizzas, they are relatively guilt-free and don't sit heavy in my stomach at all!  Next week I'm thinking I'm going to tackle a Southern Italian Ratatouille recipe I found here. In the meantime, the hunt still continues for the perfect homemade margherita pizza recipe..

Friday, March 4, 2011

Going Private

So we are going private for the next little while starting next week... So give me your email address ASAP if you want to keep reading!