Saturday, July 30, 2011

The 24th

Our Pioneer Day consisted of attending our church meetings, eating lunch meat sandwiches, salads, chips, and 4th of July Pie at The Ridings, and watching fireworks with the Nichols side of the family. The firework show was great, although a little scary at times with malfunctioning Ladybug fireworks. The boys really loved doing sparklers and pops themselves, and catching the parachutes. The adults enjoyed the newly legal aerial fireworks.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Hess Signature Goodnight Kisses

Distraction and bribery are my two most often used parenting tools. However, the older my kids get, the more creative I need to be with these tools. Gone are the days that I can shake my car keys in front of their faces to stop them from crying.

Palmer is a pro at delaying bedtime. He knows how to draw out every part of this bedtime routine, and every once in a while will out right refuse to go to bed. Unfortunately, our go-to parenting tools of distraction and bribery aren't always beneficial at bedtime, since often they involve adding a new activity or treat, which thereby delays Palmer's bedtime even more.

Palmer's goodnight kiss, thanks to his talent at drawing out the routine, has become multiple kisses: one on each side of the cheek, one one the lips and an Eskimo kiss, or in Palmer's words a "nose kiss."

We've also invented other kisses during some difficult bedtimes. Such as the dinosaur kiss, one of Palmer's favorite kisses. A dinosaur kiss involves Greg or I giving Palmer a kiss while growling like a dinosaur.

One night, when Palmer was throwing a fit about going to sleep, I told him once he calmed himself down, that Daddy had a very special, surprise kiss for him. I really talked it up, and Palmer took the bribery bait, calmed down and said he was ready for bed. I then watched Greg slowly walk to Palmer's bed with a perplexed look, trying to muster up some fun kiss his son would enjoy. Greg gave Palmer the usual kisses one on each cheek, one on the lips, a "nose kiss," and then emphatically exclaimed, "Butt kiss!" and shoved his behind in Palmer's face. I suppose that's what a get for putting a Dad of little boys on the spot. Palmer of course, loved it and was happily giggling as we closed his bedroom door for the night.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Recipe - Barbecue Ribs in the Crock Pot

We love this rib recipe! One reason for my love is that they are cooked in the crock pot which means they are so very easy. As a bonus, the slow cooking crock pot also makes them incredibly tender, to the point that they fall off the bone. Another reason we love these ribs is that they taste amazing! In fact, they are so good, that Greg has declared them better than Texas Roadhouse's ribs, his former favorite rib place. Greg now orders steak at Texas Roadhouse, since he gets these delicious ribs regularly in the comfort of his own home.

Barbecue Ribs in the Crock Pot
3 lbs. pork or beef ribs (we like Kirkland pork ribs from Costco)
1 c. water
1/4 c. cooking sherry
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c. barbecue sauce

Place ribs standing upright, up against the edge of the crock pot. Pour in sherry and water. Sprinkle with Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper. Pour barbecue sauce over ribs. Cook on low approximately 8 hours. If you want the sauce more caramelize, place ribs on a foil lined baking sheet and broil 3-5 minutes. Serve with additional barbecue sauce for dipping.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Baby Fever

Baby fever, uh oh... I feel it creeping in. More specifically, I should say, baby girl fever. Although I'm sure a soft, pink baby boy would treat the burning heat just as well.

Oh dear, I can hardly keep tabs on the two crazy little boys I already have. Yet, this fever is not one that is easily treated with reason. Even with the plethora of cute, cooing babies my job renders me to hold, my temperature continues to rise.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Only You...

...pat your hands on your knees when we first get in the car, as Little Einsteins do to start their rocket.

...have to put anything soft or fluffy directly into your mouth, especially your stuffed animals.

...head butt people when you want to cuddle with them.

...say four two-word phrases: thank you, Veggie Tales and cheese ball and ewww gross.

...would be physically attached to your momma at all times if possible. Elmo "Lala" because of his theme song.

...pant like a puppy.

...walked on your knees until you were 16 months old.

...find absolute joy in tearing toilet paper into tiny little shreads.

...refer to any beverage that is not in a sippy cup as pop.

...have pooped out a penny.

...hold telephones to the back of your head to say hello.

...are so sweet and loving that you feel empathy for your brother when he gets in trouble for hitting you.

...take not only three stuffed animals to bed with you, but also your toothbrush and often a remote control.

...are so accident prone, that you broke your back before you were even a year old. to play with wires, whether an extension cord, plug or a USB wire; they are your favorite toys.

...will snuggle with your cousins' enormous dog even after he has knocked you over and given you a bloody lip.

...will choose to eat every last crumb in your bag of chips before joining your family for a swim in a pool on a hot summer day (picture shown above).

Friday, July 8, 2011

Recipe - Peanut Butter Silk Cake and Milk Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

I made peanut butter silk cake for our girls' cake night last month. It pretty much took me all day long to make it since my first batch crumbled when I removed the cakes from the pans. I usually don't use a whole lot of cooking spray when cooking and baking, since using too much not only adds unneeded calories but it often leaves the finished product greasy. Well, that was my mistake with this cake. It needs to be greased, and greased good. Once I realized that, it came out wonderfully. I made it a second time for Greg's family on July 4th and it turned out great then too. This cake is very, very yummy, but it's not for a weak palate; it is super sweet, and super rich. Top it with my milk chocolate buttercream frosting and you are in for a world of sweet deliciousness!

Peanut Butter Silk Cake

1 box butter recipe yellow cake mix
1-1/4 cup water
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
3 eggs

1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

chocolate frosting (milk chocolate buttercream frosting recipe included below)
chopped peanuts

Heat oven to 350°F (or 325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Generously grease bottoms only of 2 (8- or 9-inch) round cake pans with shortening or cooking spray. In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1/2 cup butter and eggs with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pans.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Run knife around sides of pans to loosen cakes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour. In small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; stir in brown sugar. Heat to boiling; boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat. Refrigerate 10 minutes.
In chilled medium bowl, beat whipping cream on high speed until soft peaks form; set aside. In another medium bowl, beat 1/2 cup peanut butter and the brown sugar mixture on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add whipped cream to peanut butter mixture; beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth and creamy. Split each cake layer horizontally to make 2 layers. Fill each layer with about 2/3 cup peanut butter mixture to within 1/2 inch of edge. Frost side and top of cake with chocolate frosting. Press peanuts onto frosting on side of cake. Store covered in refrigerator.

Milk Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

1 c. butter, softened
6 c. powdered sugar
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa
1/2 c. milk

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add remaining ingredients, beating until smooth.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Water, Sand, and Fire

We spent the 4th of July weekend celebrating with family and friends. Saturday we attended a barbeque at our Bishop's house with their family and some other friends from the ward. The kids played in the sprinklers, and on the slip and slide, while the adults visited. That evening our hosts put on an amazing aerial fireworks show. We also had the opportunity to present our good friend in the ward who had recently returned from serving in Iraq, with a poster on which we had all written letters to him thanking him for his service.

On Monday, we had dinner at Grandma Nancy's house with the Terrillions and Great Grandma Emily. Then we took the boys to the lake at Daybreak to play in the sand and wade in the water. We ended the evening with fireworks at the Terrillion's home. Inspired by the Bishop's spectacular display, Greg made an impromptu stop at Winco for a big areial firework for the night's finale. Since aeial fireworks are now legal in Utah, Greg is all about buying and setting them off. I'm sure we'll be seeing more of them on Pioneer Day this month. I must admit, they are pretty cool.

A happy Forth of July, indeed! What a wonderful country we are privelidged to live in, and how thankful we are for those who bravely fight for those freedoms we enjoy!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Winner, Winner

Winner, winner, chicken dinner, or rather dessert for your chicken dinner. generated the number five out of 18, so that means Becca is the winner of our 500th post giveaway. Congratulations Becca, chocolate caramel bars are on their way, and thanks to everyone else who played!