Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My Heart Will Go On

For Christmas, Cameron scored serious points by making all my hopes and dreams come true. When I opened up the Celine Dion tickets he surprised me with, I may have shed a few happy tears, gave plenty of heart felt smooches, and instantly started counting down the days. February 22nd couldn't come soon enough!

You could say we "Drove All Night" and "The Power of Love" carried us through until we reached Caesar's Palace on Saturday night. I felt so "Alive" as we ("All by Myself") sang her songs for hours straight before the show. I about died of excitement on our way to the Colosseum and Cameron "Loved Me Back to Life." "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" as I write about that blessed night. Celine's wardrobe, orchestra, stage, and most of all her incredible voice and music was seriously amazing, "That's the Way It Is". The overall performance was, as my Mother-in-law warned me... almost as holy as General Conference.

I might be going overboard, thankfully Cameron was such a good sport and let me be as excited as I needed to be. I loved every minute of the show. Cameron definitely won husband of the year. "A New Day has Come" but "My Heart Will Go On".

-Sappy I know, but I thought it was creative-

In the excitement of getting to the theater, I left the good camera in the car... so bare with the iphone photos and the fact that I begged Cam to take a picture in front of every poster. 

(That Holy)

"I Got Nothin' Left"...

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Wishful Cooking

Let me start off by clarifying my lack of skills in the kitchen, but also add my will and optimistic dreams of being this killer cooking queen of a wife. In my heart I know Cam's love for me will grow, my kids will think I'm a cooler mom, my neighbors will want to be better friends, and then someday the food network will offer me my own show...and then the smoke clears from the kitchen and I wake up from the fireman beating down the door because I've burnt the dang toast again.

I will say I'm pretty lucky because Cam is the easiest eater on planet earth. He will eat anything I make and say it's delicious even when the chicken is dry as dust or the bread is burnt black. Hopefully I'm getting better with each meal I attempt. My mother reminds me she's been cooking for 20 years and that's a lot of practice...so my dream continues.

I did attempt a delicious recipe this week and it turned out pretty delicious, except I haven't quite mastered the moist chicken yet. If you are better at that than I am, I am sure this will turn out scrumptious.

This recipe comes from a magazine I picked up at the local Costco, but you can find it HERE

Curried Chicken with Ginger, Mango, and Lime

Serves 4

You'll Need:

3 lbs bone-in, skinless chicken thighs 
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon allspice
25 grinds black pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil (I use coconut oil)
1 1/2 cups finely chopped red bell peppers
1 1/2 cups finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh jalapeƱos (seeds and all removed)
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup mango chutney
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed, strained lime juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 3/4 cups 1 inch chunks ripe mango
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
4 lime wedges, for serving

In a large bowl, coat the chicken with a light layer of flour, shaking off and reserving the excess flour. 
Season the chicken on both sides with the curry, 1 teaspoon salt, allspice, and 18 grinds of pepper.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a sauce pan over medium-high heat.
When hot, add the chicken and cook, turning halfway through until both sides are lightly golden brown (about 7 minutes).
Transfer to crockpot

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the pan, then saute' the bell peppers, onion, ginger, garlic, and jalapeƱo until the onion has softened (about 3 minutes).  
With a wooden spoon, add the reserved flour and stir until in disappears (no more than a minute).
Add the stock, chutney, lime juice, honey, and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 7 grinds of pepper; bring to a boil, stirring often.
Pour over the chicken, cover and cook on LOW LOW LOW (hence my dry as dust chicken) until tender and cooked through.

Just before serving, gently stir in the fresh mango and garnish. 
I served it over quinoa with a side of zucchini and squash.  YUM!

Bon Appetit,

Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Letter to Our Future Children

To my Darlings,

You are not yet on Earth with us. I imagine you are running around in Heaven together, laughing at silly things your Dad and I do. Maybe you roll your eyes occasionally, grateful we can’t yet embarrass you. I hope we are living up to your hopes and dreams and are the kind of people worthy to someday have you in our home and lives. I promise to better keep this in mind, and prepare myself more for your grand entrance into this world, whenever that may be.

Today was your Dad’s birthday and I want to tell you about the person he is at now 26 years old. 

He graduated from BYU last year, but never stops learning. He loves to read and listen to books on audio.  I will try to spare you in your young years from the less exciting car rides, but I can’t make any promises, he really loves those books “on tape”. He has been working for a company called Vivint, doing sales and only gets better and better at it because he puts so much time and energy into improving his skills. I am sure your proud of his hard work, I definitely am.

I have great confidence in the Dad he will be someday because of the way he acts with others around him and me. He already talks about you as we make our goals. I can tell you he will love you to pieces and then some because of the nature of his soul.  He will be gentile in his words and never stop telling you how much he loves you. He will drench you with hugs and kisses as long as you let him. He will believe in you and cheer you on while you reach your goals. He is great at comforting too, when things don’t quite work out the way you hoped.

Your Dad makes me laugh every single day. He does this thing we like to call “Story Telling Eyes” that can make my cheeks hurt from laughing so hard. I always tell him to “stop it” or “knock it off”, but secretly I’m extremely entertained and enjoy his playful performance. I’m sure that one will stick around forever. He also is a talented sing talker, taking any conversation and changing it into a song to lighten the mood, even mid sentence. I’m sure you will be woken up in the morning and put to bed with this hilarious concert many times throughout your lives. One thing you can count on is his dance moves. Doesn’t really matter where we are or what time it is, at any given moment he could bust a move. You can act embarrassed, but you can’t help but enjoy it. It’s pure talent really. He is quick-witted and a great storyteller. Basically there is always a form of entertainment with him around.

Your Dad treats me with respect. He has never used unkind words to hurt me. He is very loving in the way he speaks and acts. He will always want you to have what makes you happy, but in reason. He has a gift of not losing sight of the end goal, and can stand strong to not give up what we want most, for what we want now. I sometimes challenge him on it, but I shouldn’t. It will keep our family on a straight path to reach our greatest desires.

He has a testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ that can touch you deep to your core, and he is always ready to share it. I want to be more like him and I am so grateful that you will have him as an example of unshakable faith. He will talk to you about the scriptures and gospel principals as easily as any other subject. It is his favorite topic. He not only talks about it well, but lives it even better.

We don’t always get along perfectly. We will disagree on the radio station to listen to, the travel time it’ll take to get to our destination, or other silly things, but I want to make you a promise. As long as your Dad follows our Savior and stays close to the spirit, which I know he will, I promise to support him. I will stand behind your Dad is all he does, because I know he is doing his best to make our family successful. Feel free to remind me of this promise anytime, I’m sure I’ll need it.

I love your Dad and I ALWAYS always will. Can’t wait to meet you someday. 

We love you already,

Your Future Mommy

PS Prepare for his adventurous spirit…