Sunday, August 31, 2008

Vintage Photo

Since we are driving across the country, I thought I would keep you entertained with a vintage photo. This is my little Bill (on the right) and some friend. While we were in Portland last week, he showed me his Star Trek costumes. He informed me that he is not embarrassed of his past, so since he isn't embarrassed, I decided to share it with you all. Enjoy!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Good Food Friday

Since it is still summer time, though not as hot here in Utah, I'm posting one more salad for the season. This salad is delectable and fresh (did I ever mention how much I like fresh) and it is worth trying, heck you should probably make if for your Labor Day celebration. So I present to you:
Salad with Sweet and Sour Poppy Seed Dressing

For the Salad:
Wash and tear romaine lettuce and fresh spinach. Mix and place on a plate. Layer on shredded mozzarella cheese, tomato wedges, sliced cucumber, red onion rings, fresh sliced mushrooms, cooked chicken cut into chunks, and avocado slices. Top with poppy seed dressing.

1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cut sugar
2 Tlb chopped red onion
1 tsp dried mustard
1 tsp salt
1 cut oil
1 1/2 tablespoon poppy seed

Place vinegar, sugar, onion, mustard, and salt in blender. Mix until blended. On slow speed pour in oil, and poppy seeds. Wisk for a few seconds. Store in covered jar in refrigerator. Makes 1 1/2 cups dressing.

Try it, you'll like it!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Girls Trip 2008: DC Edition

The post you've all been waiting for, Girls Trip 2008. Okay, so maybe you don't care any more, or you never did care, but that is fine, because this is mostly for me, so deal with it. So I'll just narrate the trip with pictures, will probably be more interesting than every minute detail of the trip. So here we go.
Our first major stop on our road trip was to Overland Park, KS, my home sweet home. This folks, is where I was born and raised (at least the first 12 years). So we drove by the old house. When we lived there, everything seemed so much bigger, like the hill in the front, the back yard, the brick wall on the side of the house, the trees. But to my 24 year old eyes, nothing was as big as I remembered it.
Since we were there, we had to take a picture, even with the present owners home and lots of cars in the driveway. You'd do the same right?
Of course on a road trip, you have to sneak in a few pictures onto your sisters camera so she has a surprise when she downloads her photos. Too bad her lens was too big to get a full head shot.

Second stop of the trip: Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson. It was hot and muggy. My sister Marianne, and my mom.

Monticello in the flesh. It was pretty impressive, although his slave quarters were kind of shabby. This is the back of the house.
The front of Monticello.
Our ancestor, General John Bradstreet, seen at the National Portrait Gallery. Do you see the family resemblance?Waiting for the train, again it was hot and muggy.
We also took a trip to General George Washington's house, Mount Vernon. It was incredible. I think I liked it better than T. Jefferson. Well after touring both houses I've decided I like G. Washington better than T. Jefferson so I'm biased. The property was amazing, the house was fantastic, and who doesn't like Martha Washington. Oh yeah, and his slave quarters were much more humane. In the picture, Derek, Liz, Mom, Mari, and Me. (Derek wasn't on the road trip, he was at the final destination)
Aren't these pigs adorable. They were on the farm portion of Mount Vernon and boy did they squeal.
Washington tomb, quiet please!
While in D.C. we stopped at Derek's work which was right next to the White House, and snapped these pictures from the roof.
Another view of the White House.
Girls trip 2008 in front of the Capital building. If you were wondering what we looked like the last time we were here as a family, click here.

All together, the road trip was a success. I can't wait for the next girls trip - Girls trip 2010: Rome?!?!?!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Au Revoir Las Vegas

Goodbye Las Vegas, I'll be frank, I'm glad to be rid of you, but don't worry, there are some things I will miss about you. For instance, there was never a dull moment. So here are some pictures to remember the good times and the bad. You decide which is which.
Fremont StreetThe BellagioThe Court House
Home sweet home. Unfortunately, by the time I decided to take a picture of this gaudy sign, it was half burned out.
The locals
More locals
Fried Oreos at Mermaids

More fried Oreos.
Viva Las Vegas

*Disclaimer: There are nice areas of Las Vegas, but we didn't live in any of them, thus my pictures reflect the area we lived in. But these pictures will give you a PG-13 view of Las Vegas area near the strip.

Monday, August 18, 2008

California = Perfect Weather

Bill and I went to California this weekend to visit my brother and his family. They only live 4 hours away, how could we pass up a visit. So we set out on Friday night and did the following :Stopped in Baker to eat here. They Gyros were tasty.
Bill got his butt kicked by a 6 year old playing table tennis on the Xbox.
We went down to see the stars and we were lucky enough to see scary Micheal Jackson!
More stars!
Made a trip over to the tar pits of L.A. This is a prehistoric sloth of some sort. Nice hu?
Here is a Bill standing next to a tar pit that has filled with water, and behind him is a Wholly Mammoth running to it's death.
We also made it down to the beach. This is my brother and his family. They always have their Christmas picture taken down at the beach, and they are usually wearing about the same thing. They like to rub it in our face that California does have the most perfect weather year round.
Us, just in case you couldn't tell.
The sun was setting, it was perfect weather and there were little sand crabs everywhere, and....I like the beach. So here is another picture!
Bill is happy. He is smiling.........see?
Kate is happy, she is jumping for joy because of all the fun we were having! (my form is definitely as good if not better than Nastia's and Shawn's)
And finally, we saw a real celebrity (I like to look for stars besides on the sidewalks when we go to L.A.). We saw this Doctor with a famous zip code at church. Altogether, we had a great trip!

And for my last bit of news, we only have to deal with sweltering heat for 4 more days!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

To All Ye Soda Drinkers

I like soda so I drink Diet Coke. I like it mostly because it’s diet. Let’s be honest, diet is just something you have to get used to, and I’m used to it by now. I would gladly drink another diet soda if it were any good. Okay, Diet Dr. Pepper is pretty dang good, but most places don’t serve it. But wouldn’t it be great if Diet Sprite or Diet Root beer were actually bearable to drink. Or how about this, Diet Orange Fanta. That would be a dream come true. I love Orange Fanta. So now I'm curious about your soda drinking habits. Please take the following survey for me because I just have to know why you drink Diet Coke (or insert Pepsi if you like) and leave a comment with one of the following.

I drink Diet beverages because:
(A)-I love the artificial sweeteners in Diet sodas
(B)-there aren’t any other diet options
(C)-I don’t drink any diet sodas, I’m a purest
(D)-I need the buzz from a caffeinated beverage, and I don’t want to waste 140+ calories on non-diet.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Where Have all the Good Carts Gone?

The other day, my sister and I were talking about grocery carts. We have come to the conclusion that the days of good working grocery carts are gone. Has anybody else noticed this? I feel like every time I go to the grocery store, I grab a cart and it constantly veers to the right. So I turn around and grab another one. It, of course it has a bum wheel that won't rotate anymore and thus makes a lot of noise when you drag it along. So I try a third time and if all else fails, I’ll just get a stupid basket. Why, oh why? Why isn’t there ever a grocery cart that works anymore? Where have they all gone?
Now I could be wrong about all of this, it's just a theory. But I'm starting to think that all those signs around your grocery store that state that the cart wheels will lock upon leaving the store premise must be false! It has to be a a scare tactic, or else people are just picking up the cart and carry it off the property.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Car Wash

Yeah, that's totally my car, nice little BMW

I love to go to the car wash. I would love it more, if we had a car that was worth keeping clean, but I'm happy to go with anyone else to get their car washed. My favorite car wash is the kind where they have the spinning brushes, not the stupid touch-less car wash, those are stupid.
I went to the car wash while I was in Utah with my sister. We sat in the car, opened the cover of the sun roof (roof remained closed) and squealed (isn't that what sister do?). Oh yes, it was so much fun.
So the other day, I went to get the car washed because Bill is going to a wedding in St. George and he didn't want to drive up in a car that looked like it had been in a tornado of bugs. So being the good wife that I am, went to the car wash and lucky me it was a mop/brush kind!!!!! I was jamming out in my car to NPR talk of the Olympics while the wash was going, when I start to notice a large crack forming on my windshield. It was going right up the center, vertically. I'm totally bugged. I'm not going to be able to pass inspections with this huge crack.
Kind of like this, except straight up the middle

You can forget everything I just said rotating brush car wash, you're dead to me now!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Good Food Friday

It is time again for Good Food Friday, our favorite day of the week. And since it is still blazing hot outside, our recipe for the day will be cold. Here we go.

Cucumber Marinades
Variation #1:
6 cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 c thinly sliced onions
1 c white vinegar
2 c sugar
2 Tblsp salt
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp mustard seed
Combine together. Let marinate

Variation #2:
1/3 c vinegar
1/4 c sugar
combine with sliced cucumbers. Let marinate.

And that is it. They are nice, tasty, and fresh.

Try it, you'll like it!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

My.....Our Anniversary

If any of you are feeling sad, fear no more, I have something to cheer you up. I'm going to tell you about my anniversary, okay our anniversary. Yesterday, Bill and I celebrated our 3rd anniversary. We are so old. I was grumpy for the whole day. It started out that I was in the shower when maintenance guys came by and started pounding on my door. I had it locked. They pounded some more, and then they let them selves in. I yelled from the shower to get out. They yelled back that they had to come in. I told them to get out anyways. So they got out, and I grabbed a towel, stuck my soapy head out the door and told them to come back in 20 minutes. Stupid guy gave me attitude. I was bugged. Then I had to wait all day to go and pick up my man. I waited and waited. I knitted, I talked to my mom, I went to the library to check my non-existent emails and I waited some more. Then the hour finally came, hurray. So I drove down to his work, parked where I always park when I'm waiting for him to come down (next to a fire lane) and stupid parking police lady came and gave me attitude that my wheels are stopped, which means I'm park and told me to get lost. My bad mood came back, especially because Bill took his sweet time coming down from his office and it was 104 yesterday (cooler than usual but still way too hot). So I'm baking in our car until Bill comes down, I tried to put on a happy face, but it was no good.......until we got to our first activity of the night!
We saw The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2!! Mock me if you like, but it was fun. It didn't follow the 2nd book really at all, but I'm all about a silly movie occasionally. It gets better, Bill was one of three men there that night and I thought it was hilarious. I can never doubt his love for me, not after that movie. Oh yeah, the other great thing about the movie, Lena (Alexis Bledel), has lots of freckles!!!!!!!!
Okay, so after the movie, we went to a tasty restaurant called Rosemary's. Oh yum, that place was so good. We had all sorts of great/controversial food. The flavors were fantastic, the service was incredible, it was fine dining at its best. Besides all the great food, my favorite part was at the end of our meal, after we had had dessert (because I love dessert), the chef sent us a plate of bite sized desserts and wrote in chocolate "Happy Anniversary". It was a great night! The end

**Be jealous, how many of you can get your man to go to a traveling pants movie on opening night!?!

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Grand Canyon

Yep, we went to the Grand Canyon last Saturday and we had a great time, well mostly a great time. Let me give you a break down of our trip.
8:00 am pdt, leave apartment
8:01 am pdt, stop at McDonalds
8:05 am pdt, Bill comes out with 2 sausage and egg McMuffins, and giant coke (I already ate breakfast)
8:06 am pdt, hit the road, headed for the south rim in Arizona
9:00 am pdt, Bill starts feeling like booty (another word for sick) from eating 2 sausage and egg McMuffins
9:10 am pdt, Bill confesses that he always feels ill after eating 2 sausage and egg McMuffins, and wishes he hadn't eaten them
9:12 am pdt, Kate gets bugged that Bill is getting sick from eating crap, even when he knew he shouldn't have eaten it
12:30 pm pdt (yes it taks 4 1/2 hours to get to the Grand Canyon (south rim) from Las Vegas), arrive at the Grand Canyon
12:45 pm pdt, eat more junk food at Wendy's (limited options in the city by the GC)
1:15 pm pdt, drive into the park to partake of the beauty of the Grand Canyon, take lots and lots of pictures that all look the same but are cool nonetheless. (this goes on all day)
1:20 pm pdt, realize that we are about the only English speaking people there (apparently the Euro is doing MUCH better than the US dollar which equals vacation in America and a trip to the "Wild West")
4:00 pm pdt, leave the Grand Canyon to drive the 4 1/2 hours back to LV
7:00 pm pdt, stop in Kingman to have dinner, Bill got to choose so we had stuffed crust pizza at Pizza Hut (you'd think he would have learned his lesson from his breakfast, but apparently not)
8:00 pm pdt, leave Kingman and start looking for the Las Vegas turn off
9:00 pm pdt, cross over the California boarder, yes that is correct we saw this sign except it was very dark!9:01 pm pdt, start panicking and ask for directions.
11:02 pm pdt, drive into Las Vegas, hallelujah.

It was a very long day, but I'd say, the Grand Canyon was worth it!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Good Food Friday

Do you ever ask yourself, "gosh, why does Kate make so many mistakes (grammatical, spelling, punctuation) in her blog posts?"Well I'll tell you why. I go to the library around 1 or later, and then I take care of business (blog, write emails, do some soul sucking (search for jobs), check up on the Tour de France) you get the picture. But after sitting at the library for a couple of hours, I'm usually starving, seeing as I haven't had lunch yet. So I rush through my post so that I can go home and stuff my face. Preferable with something as delectable as this: COUSCOUS. I know, I stuffed this down your throat about how wonderful couscous is. But just give up and try it, because it is wonderful. And what better time to have this nice, cool, flavorful salad than right now, while it's blazing hot outside. So, I present to you:

Couscous Salad w/ Dried Cranberries and Pecans

1 c. shelled pecans
1-1/2 c couscous
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 c boiling water
1 c thawed frozen peas
3 scallions, very thinly sliced
2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced
1/4 c shredded fresh basil
1 cup dried cranberries

Lemon dressing:
zest of 1 lemon
1/3 c lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/3 c olive oil

Toast the pecans in a shallow pan in a preheated 350 degree F. oven until very fragrant, about 7 minutes. Set aside to cool

Place couscous, cranberries, and turmeric in a large bowl. Pour in the boiling water, stir, then cover the bowl w/a large plate or foil. Let sit for 10 min. Remove cover, then fluff couscous with a fork. Cover again and let sit 5 more min.

Stir in pecans, peas, scallions, cucumbers, and basil.
Combine the dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously.

Try it, you'll like it!