Tuesday, November 17, 2009

TWD: Berry Crisps

I'm doing this on my commute so I will post photos and links later. But this was a delicious fruit crisp! It had a great balance of fruit, sugar and topping. We only had a few apples so I used two large rather than four medium. More apples would have filled up the pan nicely but it's just for our little family this week. I used fresh cranberries, the first of the season in fact. It turned out to be a perfect balance with the sugar, apples, ginger and cinnamon. Nobody in the house likes coconut so I doubled the oats in the topping. I probably pulsed them too long in the food processor but everyone loves it. Oh and it's the perfect spur of the moment dessert. We almost always have the fruit on hand. And after a busy weekend I casually mentioned after an equally long day that I needed to bake. My husband groaned, but could not believe I was done in 20 minutes or so. And he even ate some! If there's any left I'll take photos when I get home.

And now I need to go have some! You can see what the others have been up to here, and learn more about Em who selected this recipe. And I'll leave you with a picture of a cute boy!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

TWD: Sugar-Topped Molasses Spice Cookies

Awesomeness! I was surprised because of containing a fair amount of ginger, and being quite
spicy the whole family loved them.

Like another TWD Blogger said, "they're like Thanksgiving in a bowl" and I agree with cinnamon, allspice, ginger and molasses. Much to the kids' disappointment we baked up a sheet and rolled the rest into balls:

and bagged them up to be baked for a gift, or for a special guest, to make the house smell good, or just to eat!

Plus, now I feel like I have a tiny headstart on the holiday season by having these gems in the freezer. I added a little bit of shortening, since several bakers talked about the batter spreading, and that tends to really happen at high altitude. My mother-in-law taught me that trick, and she probably learned it from growing up in Lake Tahoe. Thanks for stopping by and happy baking!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

TWD: Chocolate Caramel Chestnut Cake

I've started a blogging and baking group, called Tuesdays With Dorie. Each week we bake something from "Baking from My Home to Yours" by Dorie Greenspan. It's a gorgeous cookbook, and while I've been following but not baking along with this group for som etime, have been drooling over some of the things they bake. So, an opportunity opened and I'm in!

Unfortunately, not knowing that we can switch up the order of the recipes during November, I baked what is in my opinion one of the most difficult cakes. I would have saved this one for Thanksgiving week, or another special occasion.

Anyway, the recipe was pretty much a fail. I used hazelnut spread instead of the chestnut spread called for in the recipe and chopped hazelnuts instead of the chestnuts I could not find in my grocery store. The cake turned out fine, and tastes like a slightly nutty chocolate cake. I fell in love with the chocolate caramel ganache used for the filling, but would not have added so much butter in the final step. It is very thick in the cake, almost like a candybar in the middle. The last step is the glaze, and this really didn't work for me. It's basic components are cream, sugar and chocolate. The recipe said it was supposed to thicken to a spreading consistency at room temperature and it never did. So, I put it in the fridge and it still didn't thicken enough. When I attempted to glaze the cake, it ran off, leaving a very thin layer on the cake.

We've eaten some of it, but because the glaze did not thicken enough to cover the ganache the cake really doesn't look good enough to share. To say I'm disappointed is an understatement, as this is the first week of something I was looking so forward to. The other recipes for November look fallish and yummy, so next week will be a fresh start-stay tuned!

Stop by here to see what the others have baked up, or to read more about TWD!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Conner: Mom, what does a 9 and a 10 make?
Me: 910. (we've been working on reading numbers)
Conner: No it's not, it's 19!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Conner: "How many sleeps until school?"
Me: "Two. I'm glad you like school so much."
Conner:"Yeah that's because of recess."
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Saturday, October 10, 2009

First Snow!

Playing catchup is not fun, but it's the perfect day to do it:

(Thanks to the folks at NCAR's Earth Observing Laboratory for our favorite current weather tool).

After a little bit of this...

And this...

We hope you are enjoying your Saturday too!

SSWC09 Durango, CO

That's Single Speed World Championships which Rob raced in September.

I raced, hiked, had some beer, ate bacon, and then fell down, got stitches and drove home the next day. Bacon? Sure. After the 3rd or 4th beer station, there was a guy who had a giant pan full of bacon. If you wanted bacon, you were encouraged to drink a shot of Jack Daniels. Luckily, I was able to get away from him without the whiskey, but I did have a few pieces of meat. The story is best told in photos

The one and only DeJay Birtch. 2007 NUE National Single Speed Champion. Somewhere there is an interview of me conducted by DeJay which kind of scares me. Notice the camera on his helmet.

While talking with Birtch we were spotted by the NUE 2008 Single Speed National Champion John "Fuzzy" Mylne. I met him in Tahoe last year, and had a few PBR's with him. (yes, I do idolize both of these guys, but not as much when they are dressed like this.)

The first real hike-a-bike of the race. It looked like this for awhile.

Nothing fancy here, BUT you have to see the riders/hikers accending to the top of the ridge. See em'?

After making it to the top of the ridge, we encountered the 3rd? beer station. No roads anywhere near here, so I don't know how the keg made it up there.

My favorite shot. If you LOOK real close, you will see the train of riders coming up the ridge. Look in the middle of the photo. I was killing it seeing that all these folks were behind me!

On top of the ridge looking west toward the town. The lake you see is actually on top of a plateau, and main street is near the base of the "haystack" looking mountain you see in the distance. The lake is approximately 1000' higher than the town. (according to some locals)

Hope you enjoyed.

Fyi- Fuzzy and DeJay are the type of riders who get paid good money to ride bikes, that is their job. Some of the most interesting riders I have ever met. Here is more info you want it.

Busy Busy!

I started an awesome new job at a company called Lijit.com, which is also one of the reasons I started this blog. A new job addded to an already busy September with Rob and I both traveling to separate places during the month, and it sill only being the 3rd week of school for the kids.

And, the job is a completely different pace than what I had been used to, but that is part of what makes it really fun. Add to that everyone's excitement about our product, and our publisher's excitement. I switched jobs in part to have a more customer-facing role and that is already happening which makes my job really fun. I also work closely with the marketing team and they are a great group of people as well.

At home, Rob is doing an awesome job holding down the fort. Luckily, although unfortunately for the company REI is pretty slow right now, so Rob is working a shift or two every couple of weeks. That is perfect right now, as he can still get pro deals and discounts, but mainly takes great care of all of us.

And, the kids are doing great in school. Emily's class size dropped by about 10 kids this year and she is thriving in that environment! We just had a conference which she led with her teacher and both of us, and he said she is really 'getting things' this year, and working really hard when she doesn't. She's in a book group, where they all read the same book then discuss it. They choose the format on their own, and everyone's roles.

Conner loves school and can hardly stand the "5 sleeps" between each Thursday and Tuesday. On the other hand, that and riding his two-wheeler back and forth to school each day to pick up his sis, he is really tired many days so I think the schedule is perfect.

That's a snapshot of what's been going on with us. Today is the first snow, so more on that when I get some photos uploaded-because you know we're loving that!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Good Friends + Twenty Years and a Splash of Social Networking

Equals a lot of fun! I went to my 20 year high school reunion a few weeks ago. First of all, it was the first trip I've taken by myself in several years, other than work travel which totally doesn't count. Second, I was able to see lots of friends while I was in California, including a group that I grew up with but were a year older than me and not attending the reunion. Friday night was an absolute blast, with friends coming to a local deli that Monica's brother owns from as close as a few blocks, to as far as Los Angeles. We ate and drank but mostly just chatted and enjoyed each other's company.

The next day was a lazy day hanging out with my mom, swimming in the river and pretty much doing nothing. I met some old friends at the hotel where the reunion was being held, and I had a room for the night, so I could avoid responsibility all together. We got ready, had a great dinner and good conversation, then embarked on a night of nostalgia. It was way more fun than the 10 year reunion because everyone had forgotten high school BS and were truly glad to see each other.

The good times continued well into the night, with the hotel kicking us out of the ballroom at 11:00. Luckily there were a few bars closeby so we wandered there for more drinking and hanging out. There was a big festival going on in Folsom, so the bars were shutting down "early" around 1:00 am. It's funny because when I'm at home, that is never early! We gathered in a hotel room for more celebrating and by 3:30 hotel security was knocking on the door. I saw a few bleary-eyed folks in the morning, but I was off to spend time with my in-laws, then my mom and grandpa. All in all it was a great trip, and it didn't take me as long to recover as I thought it would!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September? Already?!

As I reminded the kids that they might need a sweatshirt this morning, then uploaded photos into a new folder named "September," I'm in disbelief! Where did the summer go?

The school year is getting off to a great start, and I'm enjoying the time I can take off from my current job before I start the new job on Tuesday. Conner is settling into preschool and loves to go. He has a hard time waiting the 5 sleeps in between Thursdays and Tuesdays. I had the pleasure of taking him today

and he rode his bike all the way to school with no complaints and parked at the bike racks!

We're getting over first colds of the season, and enjoying the cooler weather.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

C had his first day of school today. I haven't received a verbal report, as I was out goofing around on my mountain bike on my way into work. But, here is a photo!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

First Day of School

And so it begins...preschool and 4th grade. The big kid got off to a rocky start but wound up really excited to be at school, and looking great of course!

A little while later, the little guy was able to go to school for a meet-the-teacher and playtime. He was a little shy at first, but wound up loving it and being sad to leave. Each child decorated a cutout like themselves. Conner drew eyes, and all of his other beautiful features. Then, they were off to play in the classroom. There are lots of trucks, a workbench, and a cozy reading area among other fun things. He can't wait to go back tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New and Old Site

I discovered Etsy.com a few years ago, and bought a few gifts there. Recently, I checked it out again for a necklace to wear to a special occasion. I was blown away by how it has grown, and after purchasing a few things, even more impressed with the sellers' awesome customer service. One seller in particular (and if you know me well, you know these were not expensive purchases) threw in a complimentary matching bracelet. It's also very fun to browse for necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and almost anything else that can be handmade. My favorite sellers of late are:


I purchased the necklace pictured from a seller in Greece, to wear to my 20-year high school reunion.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


We've accomplished our goal this year, of camping more often which we're all really happy about. Conner is turning into a great little camper. On this trip, despite very stormy nights with wind blowing through the Cottonwood trees overhead and a lot of thunder and lightning, both kids slept like champs.

We did a lot of exploring down by the water, and had a lot of beach and swimming time. Both kids are little fish, but Emily is really becoming quite the swimmer. The beach had a nice slope to it, so the water was shallow for a long way out. Emily was constantly in up to her neck, diving down, seeing how far she could go out and still touch, and oh, yeah, being thrown in the air!