Wednesday, February 20, 2013

New Indian recipe: Curried lentils with chicken and potatoes

Don’t want to completely shock you all, but I’m finally posting on the “Sister’s Letters.”  Greg has this thing for lentils lately and I tried a new recipe tonight.  Greg hasn’t actually even tried it yet, but the recipe got a thumb’s up from three of my four kids who tried it.  Even Josh liked it.  That means a raving endorsement for this recipe.

Curried Lentils with Chicken and Potatoes
1 ½ cups lentils
1 ½ pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ginger
2 tsp. curry powder
4 cups chicken broth
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 tbsp. lime juice
Plain yogurt and cilantro for serving

Combine everything into slow cooker, except lime juice.  Add 1 ¼ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper.  Cook on low until done…. Approx. 5 hours for me but the recipe called for 7-8 hours.  Shred chicken before serving.  Add the lime juice.  Served topped with dollops of sour creams and cilantro.  I served it with homemade naan.

So very yummy!

Hillary, my kids want to try more Indian food.  Will you re-post the recipe for tandoori chicken.  Thanks!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Stone Soup

Dear Sisters,

I remember very vividly making Stone Soup at school when I was in 3rd grade. We first read the book in class and then we brought ingredients from home and threw them in the pot to make our tasty soup. I remember how wonderful I thought it tasted. I was convinced that the stone (which I think might have just been a giant potato) we put in the pot made the soup taste more delicious than any other soup I had ever or would ever taste.

Well, the other night we made Stone Soup at our house. And, yes, we put an actual stone inside. I know, kinda yucky. I did try my best though to clean it beforehand and made sure the soup boiled for a while after adding it. But, I think next time we will just use a potato because it did kind of gross me out to think of that stone sitting in our soup! :) Anyway, it was really fun and the girls got a kick out of the whole process. Fun memories!

 The hand picked stone!

I know, I know. Eliza's head is dangerously close to that hot soup!

Hope you all have a great Easter weekend!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Go for the Half?

I've just committed to train and do a half marathon with a gal in my ward the first weekend in June. Am I crazy? Have I made a mistake?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Always Learning

Again, I wanted to share some of the things I've been reminded of recently.  As you know, Nate broke his leg last Saturday.  He's been reliant on us to move him from the couch to his bed etc.  He hasn't really left the house much and is very limited in what he can do.  It has been so nice to see the outpouring of kindness from others.  I haven't really felt like we've "needed" help...there are many others with bigger issues they are dealing with. But, that said, I have really appreciated the little things that people have done.  His preschool class made a big card for him, several different friends have brought by treats or things to occupy his time and they also wanted to see how he was, the neighbor kids brought by a big card and some candy for him, and one of my sisters sent a fun toy in the mail.  All of these things have made his day and have made this first week more bareable.  I also had a friend come and spend a couple of hours with him yesterday so that I could leave for a bit.  She read to him and played games with him, he loved it.  I have so appreciated these small acts of kindness and have realized that even a small five minute service can make someones day.  It has reminded me that it doesn't need to be a big event to let someone know you are thinking of them.  Everyone needs to be remembered and thought of, even if it's just during a small bump in their road and not a major catastrophe.

Once again, I've realized an area I need to work on and I appreciate the examples of those around me that have reminded me of this.  Just wanted to share my thoughts.

Enjoy your day...I hope you have sunshine like we do.  Spring is in the air and I love it!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Lesson I Learned From my Five Year Old

Yesterday we woke up to about 1-2" of snow. This was so exciting for my 5 year old because we have had so little snow this winter.  He excitedly asked me if we could go sledding.  I told him that once the kids got home I had scouts, then Jon had scouts and then we were going to an event to support dad at the high school.  With his sweet eyes, he looked at me and said, "If we weren't so busy, would you take me sledding?"  For some reason, that melted my heart and I re-evaluated my "busy-ness".  I asked him where we would go sledding...he had some great responses and I realized at that moment that he didn't care if we waited for all the kids to join us, but that he wanted to have some fun in the snow and go sledding.  We did go sledding, just Nate and I.  We laughed and loved every minute of being together in the snow.  We raced down the hill together on a sled, then we raced each other each on our own sleds and we even had a snowball fight.  It will be a cherished memory that will last a life-time.  I was grateful to be reminded that in spite of the busy-ness that frequently runs my life, I need to take time to enjoy the little things and especially the "little people" that I am grateful to have in my life.  We were only gone an hour, but it was the best hour of my day. 

Take time to enjoy your day!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

1-2-3 Magic

I read this book recommended on 71 Toes, and since it was right on the shelves at my library, I picked it up.

It. Is. Fabulous.

It's an engaging read, and I found myself nodding my head like an eager bobble head as I read it. We've instituted the 1-2-3 method, and I noticed a HUGE difference around our house in 24 hours. I kid you not. I'm sure not everyone would have such dramatic results, but not everyone is struggling like I was.

I have discovered that I am a mother who talks WAY too much. And even though I knew it aggravated the heck out of my kids, I didn't really know of a better option. In one part of the book it says that some kids would rather cut off their left leg than lose a good battle of words. We have one who carries a bone saw around with him at all times, so this book has been a lifesaver.

This book has turned a huge light bulb on around here, and although you all probably aren't stumbling around in the dark like us, you might still like a little more illumination anyway.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines!

Happy Valentines Day!  I wanted to share some of the things I love about Valentines. I know I've shared this before, but at our home Valentines has become a family event...and one the kids look forward to and love.  We always have a family dinner complete with using the nice china and crystal.  We always have steak and shrimp...which we never have except for on Valentine's Day.  I also decorate the table in a fun way and we have angel food cake with strawberries and cream for dessert.  We love it.  

Another thing I love is the sugar cookies...what is Valentines without sugar cookies?  Nate and I had a great time making and delivering cookies yesterday.

One more of my favorite things includes getting valentines ready for the kids to take to school.  Tom is very creative and this is the one time during the year that the kids beg him to help them make a creative valentines box.  This picture is the one that he and Em made for the big day.  She really wanted to make a dragon.  It turned out great and she was so excited to take it to school.  They had a great time making it together. Now we'll see if the kids feel okay putting their hand in his mouth to deliver valentines! As a mother, I love seeing the kids so excited about something creative that they are doing with their dad.  Now I'm anxious to see what they'll come up with next year!!
I'd love to hear about some of your Valentine's traditions.  I hope you all enjoy your Valentines day!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"I Wanna Wish You Merry Christmas"

As many of you already know, Dave and I are big fans of The Killers. Well, despite the temperatures outside, our love does not wax cold during the Christmas season.

May I present to you reason #77 we love The Killers:

Annual Christmas Singles. 

Oh, yes. You read that correctly. Annual Christmas singles. Beginning in 2006, The Killers began releasing a Christmas single each December. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of the singles are then donated to charity, specifically Product Red.  The songs touch upon several aspects of the holiday season that we love, from the nostalgia of childhood memories, to the faith of the man who would serve as Jesus Christ's earthly father, to the redemptive power of the Atonement.

Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!



Our boys' current favorite is "Don't Shoot Me, Santa!"

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Best Bread Pan

Dear Sisters,

I have a variety of bread pans. Some are SUPER old and some are somewhat newer. However, I was so displeased with them all, that I went in search of better pans.

Enter the Norpro 10-inch non-stick bread pan. I LOVE THESE PANS. Your bread slides out effortless, no need to grease your pans! They bake perfectly without burning. And I love the size…long and narrow. The size and shape is more similar to a grocery store loaf…no more giant slices.

I love them. Truly. Do yourselves a favor, let Santa know that these are on your list this year.

Love, Kate

Baking, Baking and More Baking…My Favorite Bread Recipe

So, I’ve been busy putting my new Bosch mixer to the test. I’ve tried Dayna’s favorite bread recipe (which is delish and I hope she’ll share it here with everyone!) and a few others in search of a good standby recipe.

I came across this recipe and made a few changes. It is really, really good. The bread is light and soft…great texture and not too dense.

Slice o'bread

Best Bread

  • 1/2 c warm water

  • 3 pkgs or 1.5 T active dry yeast

  • 1/4 c unbleached, all-purpose flour

  • 1 T white sugar

  • 4.5 c warm water

  • 1 c old-fashioned oats

  • 1 c wheat bran

  • 1/2 c flax

  • 2 c whole wheat flour

  • 1.5 T salt

  • 2/3 c brown sugar

  • 1/3 c olive oil

  • 1/3 c melted butter, cooled

  • 1/2 c vital wheat gluten

  • 9.5 c unbleached all-purpose flour

  • In the bowl of your mixer, add together first four ingredients. Mix on lowest setting until combined. Let sit 5 minutes to allow yeast to grow. Meanwhile, in a blender, blend together oats and flax seed until very coarsely ground.

  • Add to mixing bowl: water, oat/flax mixture, bran, wheat flour, salt, brown sugar, olive oil, butter and gluten. Mix on low speed 1 to 2 minutes. Increase speed. Add 1/2 to 1 cup of flour at a time until dough pulls away from side of bowl. Amount of flour will depend upon humidity. Dough may be sticky.

  • Place dough in oiled bowl and turn to coat surface. Cover with a damp cloth and place in a warm spot or on an oven mitt in a 150-degree oven. Allow to rise until the dough doubles in size or about an hour.

  • Divide the dough into 6 small sections (8“ pans) or 4 large sections (9” pans). Slap each section on the table to remove air pockets and form into loaves.

  • Place the loaves in greased bread pans and allow to rise another hour or until the dough is about an inch above the rim of the pans. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 35 minutes or until brown. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn loaves out of pans onto rack until cooled.



Enjoy! Let me know what you think! Happy baking!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Fun Saturday Outing

Hi sisters,

Have any of you ever heard about the art projects that the Home Depot does for kids on the first Saturday of the month? I'm pretty sure that it is every Home Depot that does this. So fun! It is free and the kids get to take home an apron and what they make. Alex took the girls for the first time in November and has decided to do it every month. They really have a blast. They went this past Saturday and brought home these cute snowman napkin holders.

Obviously, Eliza needed a little thumb sucking break. :) Hope you are all enjoying this Christmas season!


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happy Holidays

We arrived home late Sunday night from a fun week down in Utah with a lot of you. The time flew by even though we were down there for about five days. That's a longer trip than we've taken in a long while, but it went quickly as it always does.

This trip the boys had a fantastic time dressing up in Grandma Gadd's dress-up clothes. They are mostly all "girl clothes," but the boys still thought it was hilarious. By the by, Jeff made it very clear you had better not call him a girl, or he'll take you out.

The babes got plenty of attention from cousins, and they ate it up. They were perfect babies on this trip, sleeping in until 9:00 a.m. on some occasions. Heavenly. They loved every second with all their loving and kind cousins.

On Sunday, before heading home we took the opportunity to take in the Christmas lights on Temple Square in Salt Lake. They were gorgeous as usual, and I particularly loved the different nativities on the south side of the church office building. So fun! It was the perfect night for it with a manageable crowd and mild weather. After, we had warm cookies and hot chocolate at the Bretzings. What a perfect way to kick off the holidays! Thanks to all our family for making it a great trip.

Unfortunately, Jeff has come down with the flu, something we didn't discover until he threw up in class at school Tuesday morning. Arg. Here's to hoping we don't all get it. So far so good!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Too Long…

Dear Sisters,

I’m sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted. Between my ongoing frustrations with blogger and our spotty internet connection, I’ve wanted to pull my hair out!

We had a wonderful Halloween and two fabulously fun birthdays. We are now the parents of a 3-year-old and 4-year-old. The time goes by crazy fast when you have kids. I can’t believe they are so big already!

Anyway, I’m a believer that as soon as they are able, kids should be able to choose what they want to be for Halloween, as long as it’s appropriate of course. So, about a month before Halloween, the boys and I started to discuss their costumes. After a few hiccups, they finally settled on D being a chimney sweep and Eric being a pirate.




We also had a lot of fun this fall playing in the leaves in our yard. I do love the fall. The crisp, cool air is exhilarating.



Then came the birthdays. For whatever reason, my boys are not into shaped cakes that look like anything other than a cake. We made Eric a monster cake one year and D a bus cake, but they weren’t too into it. They like to choose a flavor and then look at pictures until they find THE ONE. This year, Eric chose a massive caramel cake from the November issue of Martha Stewart Living that I was looking at during lunch one day. The recipe is here. It took me quite awhile to make, but it was insanely good and Eric was delighted.



Seriously. Yum. We gave about a quarter of the cake away, and I put half of it in the freezer. Slowly over the next few days, I let the boys finish off the rest. That cake was a monster. It was so heavy I had to do some stretching in preparation for carrying it from the kitchen to the dining room. The cake probably weighed more than Eric does.

For D’s birthday, a scant 6 days later, we again indulged in cake. D requested something chocolate and mint. We looked at numerous photos and had many discussions before he decided upon this cake, again from Martha Stewart. After the ordeal of making Eric’s cake, this cake was a single-layer breeze. And it was equally delicious and extremely rich.


SUPER. DELISH. We also indulged in an ice cream cake with Grandma and Grandpa when they joined us to celebrate both birthdays. We. Are. Caked. Out.

I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is already next week. This year has FLOWN BY. We are tasked with bringing an hors d'oeuvre and bread or rolls. I cannot wait to throw my new Bosch mixer into high-productivity mode. It’s just so pretty.

So, that’s what’s new with us. And now that I think I’ve got this blogger thing under control, I should be posting more regularly. Fingers crossed.

What’s your favorite small kitchen appliance?

Love, Kate

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Zombie Babies

As I've mentioned before, the babes are crawling all over the place now. They seem to have an innate sense of where they are not supposed to be, and those are the places they are most interested in playing. The fridge, the pantry, out the front door. The moment one of those doors is opened, or heaven forbid left ajar, they can seriously hustle. It's funny seeing any baby do this, but there's something hilarious about seeing both babies turn immediately and move practically in sync and just as fast as they can with the same unspoken goal in mind. Dave calls them zombie babies because of the way they move together with undivided focus and the fact that they often crawl lopsided (Ben especially), dragging their bodies along.


Well, the other day, the door to the pantry was left ajar, and the babies made a serious mess. But they were so enjoying themselves, I had to take a video. Notice Peter eating the cereal right off the heaven. It's so fun watching them interact and play together. We are truly blessed by these two special boys...and their three older brothers as well.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Mothers Who Know

I know I just posted something similar to this, but I looked up the talk Mothers Who Know this morning. It had been a while since I read this talk, and I think it's one of the great talks that I need to read regularly. It was a good reminder to me and has given me the shot in the arm I need this morning. Maybe it'll do that for you, too.