Sunday, November 30, 2008

Saturday Night Special

Do You Remember Dolling Up For Some Saturday Night FUN!?
(..ahh, those were the days)
These two haven't forgotten how to do it.
They look good from all angles. Perhaps all the lunges are paying off?

Speaking of paying...ask Jordan how much she payed for these Michael Kors shoes.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Caramel Cake, Daring Bakers Style

Caramel Cake with Caramelized Brown Butter Frosting
Cynthia's Daring Baker Challenge number 6

Shuna Fish Lydon adapted this recipe from a Flo Braker recipe. You can link to the Shuna Fish Lydon recipe from HERE. Shuna is a noted chef from the Bay Area who is also a Daring Baker, and we are thrilled and honored to have her expertise with this month's challenge.

Helping with co-host duties are Delores , Alex and Jenny who were key contributors while Shuna was moving to London during this challenge, Natalie also helped with the gluten free versions.

We also had the option of making Golden Vanilla Bean Caramels from Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich, Artisan Press, Copyright 2007, ISBN: 978-1579652111

There.... the housekeeping business is out of the way, now I can get down to the nitty gritty of this recipe. I give this cake 2 forks up..Even though only one fork is in the photo.
Two Big Reasons....
I did NOT need to go to the store for exotic ingredients,
and It was REALLY good.
We made an awesome caramel syrup with 2 cups of sugar and 1/2 cup water. Then we stopped the caramelization process when the sugar became a dark amber color, by adding 1 cup of water to the dangerously hot caramel, (We were cautioned to wear long sleeves and keep ice water handy as first aid. I however had an incredible Home Ec. teacher in high school who was a master confectioner, and we did a candy making unit, so I knew this already. Thanks, Mrs. Lemmon;-) The mixture was beaten and reduced to a syrup, shown in the forefront of the picture below.
Take your time and make a nice batter as shown below. We used the caramel syrup to flavor the cake. The instructions were very clear on how to add the ingredients, dry,wet,dry,wet,dry. Kids, there is logical, chemical, scientific reason for this method...if you care about to the recipe.

Shuna's recipe was a really tender crumbed cake that relied on the bakers knowledge of fat, liquid, dry ingredients, and how to make this cake rise. Because I live in high altitude, I added 1/4 cup extra flour, and a pinch of extra baking powder. I did not have a problem with a fallen cake as you can clearly see. Because of the caramel, it baked into a glorious color.
The frosting was a simple buttercream using browned butter, and more of the caramel syrup. I found it very flavorful, but a bit too sweet for my taste. But that's just me, as I vastly prefer savory flavors. My family loved it. Yes, I will make this again.

My local grocer Smith's is stocking these jeweled plastic plates for 1 dollar each! In gold and green too. I will be running back for more of those now that I can see they photograph like a dream.

Friday, November 28, 2008

New Foods, New Men

A few new items were added to this year's line up of traditional Glad Family Thanksgiving Fixin's.
Susan's Cranberry Muffins. Thanks to my hairdresser for the recipe!

I did Pumpkin Créme Bruleé. It was really fun using the torch. My brother-in-law brought the pies. Oh, my they were wonderful.
My flowers were lovely. The photo looks like I went outdoors for it.
This is Jordan's boyfriend du jour. She really likes this one. I predict he lasts at least 2 more weeks; maybe through the Christmas season, since they have decided to buy gifts for each other.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mexican Chicken Soup Ina Style

As a Barefoot Blogger, I have to say I have been thrilled to focus on many of the fabulous Ina Garten recipes in print. I have tried some recipes that I probably would have overlooked for one reason or another. Have they all been winners? No, but I have found a few that with tweaking, I could learn to really love. Today's challenge of Mexican Chicken Soup is such a recipe.

What did I love about this recipe? I loved the shredded chicken technique. I normally cook the hell out of a chicken and bone it and use the broth in some sort of soupy way. Well, since my 16 year old is a vegetarian, I have had to re-think my way of cooking. I am glad to change foods to suit her needs since she is such a good and wonderful child, who hardly ever gives me grief; I figure making things work for her benefit, benefit me too!
What I did or would do different:
  • In this recipe I substituted the veggie stock for chicken stock.
  • Good so far, I roasted the chicken and used the juices in the soup after I portioned out some soup for her.
  • I liked the white corn tortillas! My tortillas really kind of thickened my soup.
  • I did not care for the carrots. I understand their use in an aromatic sense, but they seemed out of place in this recipe.
  • This recipe screamed for Hatch, New Mexico green chile's. Luckily as a good Mexican-American girl, I keep oodles and oodles in my freezer. I don't imagine even Ina goes to the lengths I do to keep a fresh roasted supply of these lovelies in stock.
  • I would probably add some hominy in place of the carrots. Even fresh corn would have been a better addition here than the carrots. Do you understand....I did not like the carrots?
  • I didn't like the sour cream either, but it did look pretty on the soup. It was optional, I felt it took away from the true flavor of the soup.

Did I mention I didn't like the carrots? Even potatoes would have been better here.

Pretty bird....

Monday, November 24, 2008

Saturday Night Fun Provo Style

We loved the Provo High Production of Joseph
and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Bravo kids!
We have the best time with the camera and self portraits.
I especially love this cute picture of Tiny.
This is Tiny and her boyfriend Brandon, his brother was one of
Joseph's many brothers in the play.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Japanese Beef Bowl--Gyudon

Yoshinoya is well known for its famous Beef Bowl. This is one of my family's all time favorite meals. Once you gather the supplies, this meal takes only a few minutes to prepare. If you live near any Asian market you can obtain these supplies. In Provo, Many Lands is the place.

The beef should be frozen first so you can slice is paper thin. You only need about 1 pound or less of meat. This steak has nice marbleizing. Pickled ginger really makes this meal a standout. Also I use short or medium grain rice that has been rinsed a time or two to make it stickier.

4 cups steamed Japanese Rice
1 pound paper thin sliced beef
1 onion sliced into thin wedges
1 1/3 cup dashi soup, I buy the granules and use 1/2 teaspoon in hot water
5 tablespoons Soy Sauce
3 Tablespoons Mirin
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 tsp. sake or sherry (opt.) but worth it
Put dashi, soy sauce, sugar, mirin and sake into a pot. Add onion slices, simmer for about 4 minutes. Add the beef to the pot, simmer only until the beef is cooked. About 3 minutes more. Remove from heat and serve over sticky rice. Garnish with the pickled ginger and the Nanami Togarashi chili seasoning if desired.
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Twilight...My girl-gang loved it.

So, we went to see Twilight yesterday.

I got there at one thirty, I like to sit in a certain spot in the theater, where people can't bump my seat from behind, or put their stinky feet up on the empty seat next to mine. Our show started at 4:00. My daughters trickled in between 2:30 and 3:00. Part of the fun of anticipating a movie is the party in line with the other movie goers before the show. One other girl was on Christina's softball team. They were first in line, we were second. The had some fun card games going on.

Christina was so twitter-pated when Edward came on screen that she screamed out" whoooo hooo" at the top of her lungs in the dark quiet theater. Everyone burst out laughing.
I am not going to review the movie. I think there are many other sites that can do a better job of that than I can. I will say that I thought everyone in the movie was nicely cast. The movie followed the book and even Stephanie Meyer had a small cameo in the show. If the box office receipts are correct, this will beat all expectations the studio had for this movie. They thought the movie would gross 65 million tops. Now they think opening weekend will be 75 million alone. Ain't vampire romance fun?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Would you do the Lift?

I went with my mother to her doctor appointment yesterday.. She needed some cortisone shots in her fingers. She is having an age related problem with her fingers. As is happens , her MD was also a plastic surgeon . I asked how much to do an eye lift? IT was more affordable than I thought! I just may surprise a few folks when I show up looking 10 years younger! My father had such an amazing "hood" over his lids, that his will probably be covered by insurance. Right On DAD!! Go for it!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Almost No-Knead Bread

Okay, so I am a foodie. I cook, bake, eat and create. I sent Dave to the store last night so I could have the ale to make this bread. He bought this really fancy "boutique" beer. He had to buy the whole six pack when I only needed one can. He gave the cashier at Walker's the other 5 bottles of beer. Basically we paid 9 dollars for this bottle of Cutthroat Pale Ale. I should have read the recipe instructions more clearly; not until I looked at it further did I notice any old can of beer would do... even mild non-alchoholic beer. But, kids, the purpose of the beer is to get a really awesome crust, is awesome indeed. I had enough beer to make 4 batches of bread.

The Cook's Illustrated recipe also calls for a 6 Qt Le Crueset Enamel Coated Cast Iron Dutch Oven. Mine below is only 2 quarts. I can't afford to run out and pay 280 dollars for a bigger pot.
So I remembered I had this old Pampered Chef La Cloche Baker, that did an equally stupendous job.

Almost No Knead Bread

Makes 1 large round loaf. Published January 1, 2008. From Cook's Illustrated.

An enameled cast-iron Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid yields best results, but the recipe also works in a regular cast-iron Dutch oven or heavy stockpot. (See the related information in "Making Your Dutch Oven Safe for High-Heat Baking" for information on converting Dutch oven handles to work safely in a hot oven.) Use a mild-flavored lager, such as Budweiser (mild non-alcoholic lager also works). The bread is best eaten the day it is baked but can be wrapped in aluminum foil and stored in a cool, dry place for up to 2 days.


cups unbleached all-purpose flour (15 ounces), plus additional for dusting work surface


teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast

1 1/2

teaspoons table salt


cup plus 2 tablespoons water (7 ounces), at room temperature


cup plus 2 tablespoons mild-flavored lager (3 ounces)


tablespoon white vinegar

1. Whisk flour, yeast, and salt in large bowl. Add water, beer, and vinegar. Using rubber spatula, fold mixture, scraping up dry flour from bottom of bowl until shaggy ball forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 8 to 18 hours.

2. Lay 12- by 18-inch sheet of parchment paper inside 10-inch skillet and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead 10 to 15 times. Shape dough into ball by pulling edges into middle. Transfer dough, seam-side down, to parchment-lined skillet and spray surface of dough with nonstick cooking spray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until dough has doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with finger, about 2 hours.

3. About 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to lowest position, place 6- to 8-quart heavy-bottomed Dutch oven (with lid) on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Lightly flour top of dough and, using razor blade or sharp knife, make one 6-inch-long, 1/2-inch-deep slit along top of dough. Carefully remove pot from oven and remove lid. Pick up dough by lifting parchment overhang and lower into pot (let any excess parchment hang over pot edge). Cover pot and place in oven. Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is deep brown and instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 210 degrees, 20 to 30 minutes longer. Carefully remove bread from pot; transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.

Just be sure to give some away...

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cranberry Cream Scones

Greetings from Glad daughter #2..

When Malaina is not off on some adventure (here snorkeling off of Radang, Malaysia for a class trip) she is the Compassionate Service Leader in her Singles Ward. I have invited her to guest post her recent baking adventure here:

I had every intention of getting up at 8:00...I was going to get ready for church, do some homework, prepare for a meeting, and make some awesome scones to serve at my meeting. Well, both alarms were mysteriously turned off, and I rolled out of bed at 11:00 with bed hair and Alice Cooper eyes, with guests arriving in 1 hour. I'm a fan of the Barefoot (Contessa)- I never actually cook any of her stuff but I watch her show all the time; the night before, I demanded that my mom get out the Barefoot recipe for scones because I had seen her make them on TV and they looked amazing. It was pretty late and she refused to go hunting through her collection of over 1,000 cookbooks (I'm totally not exaggerating) so I had to make do with "Baking-Class Cranberry Cream Scones" a recipe from
They were awesome!! In under an hour I was able to throw these together, and have time to shower while they baked. I'm not nearly as good a cook as my mother; instead of neatly rolling out the dough and using a cup or bowl to cut 4" circles as the instructions said;
I pulled out clumps of dough and flattened them into patties and then cut them in half. Some were huge, some were okay sizes; the huge ones I cut again after they were baked and they turned out fine too.
I also didn't take the time to neatly place them on two baking sheets like I probably should have; I stuffed them all on the same sheet and hoped they wouldn't rise so much that they baked together in the oven.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that when they did expand and bake together, that lifting them out individually didn't rip them apart or mess them up- this was a very forgiving recipe.

The instructions said to bake them until golden on the edges- the ginormous scones didn't have the pretty golden edges like the others because they took longer to bake. This wasn't much of a problem as I was able to take the fully cooked scones off the baking sheet and put them on the cooling rack and then place the slightly underdone ones back in the oven- like I said, very forgiving recipe.

Baking-Class Cranberry Cream Scones
By Marcy Goldman
3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 cup butter,cut into chunks
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 to 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, or more as required
1 1/2 cups frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped (Malaina used half frozen cranberries, and half dried cranberries).
Finishing Touches:
Whipping cream
Sugar, for sprinklng

Preheat oven to 425 ° F. Stack two baking sheets together and line top sheet with parchement paper. Arrange oven rack to upper third position.
In a food processor, add flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder and blend briefly. Add Butter and pulse to make a coarse, grainy mixture. Turn out mixture into a large bowl. ake a well i center and stir in eggs, vanilla, and cream to make a soft but firm dough. Fold in cranberries. Knead by hand briefly on a lightly floured work surface and then pat into a large round. Dough should be about 1 inch thick. Cut into 4 inch circles; then cut these in half. Place on prepared baking sheets. Brush generously with cream and sprinkle on sugar. Bake until scones are lightly browned around the edges, about 15 to 20 minutes.

...Mother says...Malaina took these to her Bishopric and they gobbled the whole thing up.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Who Do You Think I Am?

A woman's purse is as individual as its owner. It kind of speaks a bit about that person too. Let me explain. (see sleeping cat;)
  • Color. Who else but me would be stupid or daring enough (form your own opinion) to fork out mega bucks for an orange purse? I had to have it. I could not stop thinking about this bag when I first saw it. I love you Cole Haan. Orange to me is my signature color. This came to my notice one day, when I was looking at my clothes lined up in the closet and noticed I had oodles of every shade of orange, salmon, peach, melon, and rust hanging up in there. Someone told me once, that the color you are attracted to, is one that is complimentary with your own coloring.
  • Contents. Now this is really personal; my kids will have totally different things than I would. Christina keeps Sour Patch candy, gum and ipod. Malaina, a power bar, every receipt she ever got and ipod. Jordan will keep sunglasses, a little black book and ipod.
  • I keep coupons that I rarely ever use, reading glasses, and two types of hand lotion and always hand sanitizer. I usually never leave the house without my phone or a nail file and I have NO DESIRE for an ipod.
All of these items tell a story about me. I like to save money, but I am not going to kill myself if I spend an extra 50 cents on something that might be on sale at the store 5 miles further away. So basically I am an impulse shopper who feels a teensie bit of remorse (thus the coupons). This is a great big change from the early days of my marriage, where I used to make dramatic lists and menus. Now if I want something special to eat, I'll just go that day to get it.
I am getting older. I need reading glasses and I want to be able to see! And yes, I do use them to look at price tags.
I keep two lotions. One to share with others, if I need to use lotion when I am in a group; this one is usually a hotel give away. My second is a fancy hand cream that I pay through the nose for, and I am not going to share it with " just any old person" (If you can name the movie that quote comes from, I will give you one of the fancy hand lotions), (The movie quote comes from "Dick" congrats to Malaina) so I use it when in private. So some would call me stingy, or just plain practical. You decide.

And the hand sanitizer is because you never know what other people you come in contact with are doing while they are in private! And, items I touch may have been sneezed on or their kids might have just picked their nose and touched it. I will never touch an item of food, or my face without first washing my hands or using the hand sanitizer.

All that hand washing and sanitizing is why I need the lotion.... the stinginess with the fancy hand cream is because I don't pinch pennies at the grocery store, so I have to be selective with whom I share it with!! Do you follow my logic yet? Now let's not EVEN get started on what is in the wallet......

Thursday, November 13, 2008

When Ye Are in the Service....

...of Your Fellow Men, Ye are Only in the Service of Your God. Mosiah 2:17

No matter what God you serve, or how you worship, it is pure and human to take care of each other. I have had that opportunity several times this month. I am not going to list my opportunities here, or keep a running tally; but I just want to say how good I feel when I can perform some service for another person!

So dear Barefoot Bloggers, that is why I am somewhat tardy in my posting of today's recipe
Herb Roasted Onions.

I must admit, I used an already homemade vinaigrette that I had made recently, instead of following the recipe exactly. I added some fresh thyme and other herbs to it. I only used one onion since I didn't cook dinner today because of other obligations, and I didn't think most of my family would eat this.

My daughter and I gobbled it up once it came out of the oven. One onion was perfect for the two of us. I will make this again though, but I will cut the root off and let the sections of the onion separate. And, I will put it on a bigger pan, to let more of the pieces caramelize more deeply.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Girls Play

If you ever go to a restaurant and there is a crazy lady setting the timer on her camera and taking tons of's me. My kids cannot count the times I have made them pose. When waiters come by and ask to take the photo, the girls just say, "No thanks, she likes to play with her timer and Gorrillapod."I was worried about the last 4 trips to Mimi's Cafe. It had been sub par. I wrote a letter to the corporation and they sent me 60.00 in corporate cash. We had an awesome meal. I am happy to report happy day's are back at Mimi's.
Her bestest "boy"friend.

Alas, some days are better.....

than others.Sometimes we spend a few minutes talking each other off the ledge, so to speak. But hey, we're's just what you do.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Rally Cry!!

Married to a Glad man you learn to love sports! I mean with 5 boys in that family, and a sports nut father, Glad children played ball, any ball!!! Their sisters played or cheered too.
But, how is it that I only just learned late this baseball season that flipping your cap is "man talk" symbolism for.."root, root, root, for the home team!"?
Christina looks like she smells something stinky, and Dave looks like he just noticed crap on his shoe.
No is just me taking photos at obscure moments.
I was organizing some photo's when I ran across these great pictures taken at the local Pioneer League Championship game. These two went to at least 15 games last season. The Orem Owls lost to some team from Bozeman, Montana. Tiny's best friend worked at one of the food stalls, so they even scored free food at every game. I Love America!!!

Get Your Reuben Sandwiches Here!

Did you know there is now a 10th anniversary edition of this amazing book out in print now? I always give new brides a standard cookbook, such as a Better Homes and Gardens or Good Housekeeping book. I also give "The Silver Palate" cookbook since I think it is one of the best cookbooks ever written, and I include a quality piece of kitchen equipment.

Anyway, I wanted to post about the Classic Reuben Sandwich, which is Dave's 2nd favorite sandwich, next to PBJ's. PBJ's are his favorites because he can make them himself without cooking anything on those nights, when I make him eat leftovers. The Reuben is my favorite grilled sandwich, and I usually make them on a Sunday night during half-time. You can usually find them on almost any diner menu too. I find the secret is in the quality of the ingredients, and the number of flips you give the sandwich on the grill.

Mark Bittman gives a recipe for his version of the Reuben on page 268.

Here is mine:
Buttered Dark Rye Bread
Quality Swiss Cheese 2 or 3 slices per sandwich
Pastrami or Corned Beef
Clausen Sauerkraut
Russian or Thousand Island Dressing

Put 2 pieces of bread on the griddle, low heat. Cover them with Swiss cheese. Let it start to melt. Top with heated pastrami or corned beef, heated sauerkraut. Top it with the other piece of bread. Turn up the heat a bit. Watch carefully that it doesn't burn, about 1 more minute. Flip the whole thing one more time, give it another minute and serve with dressing on the side for dipping.