Wednesday, July 30, 2008

So. Much. Fun.

I was supposed to be at the lake this week but the forest fires have made the lake hazy, smoky and undesirable. Horrible summer at the lake. I have been dying for a water/sun experience so drove to Kelly's on Monday and checked into a 4 star hotel for a couple of nights (good deal on Hotwire). It has been so fun. Feels so good to be in the sun, swim and read. Love a nice hotel, doing whatever I want, when I want with no responsibilities. I have also had the bonus of seeing Kelly and family each evening for dinners out and had the boys spend the night with me. They have loved the hotel, loved the pool, loved the jacuzzi. It has been the best of both worlds-time for myself and time with family. I suggest all couples or women alone should check into a local or nearby hotel a couple of times a year just to relax. Thanks Lee for letting me go. Again. It has been so much fun!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Yes I am finally back in McKinleyville. Well until I go to the lake tomorrow morning till Sunday. I loved being in London and being with Linds and her cute family but it was nice to have a husband again and be in my home. Lee has been busy getting the backyard sprinkler system in prior to getting a yard. Can't wait.

Top Things I did in London

1. Held Oliver. He is the mellowest, sweetest baby. Love having him lay on my chest.
2. Hung out with Isobel. Hilarious child-mimics everything! She is so smart and funny-has things pretty well figured out and is adorable!
3. Doing day to day things with Linds. Just having her close to me every day.
4. Watching Alan and Lindsey and their little family. So impressed by their interactions, prayers, scripture studies.
5. Nando's. Portuguese BBQ chicken. ymmm!
6. Trying lots of new recipes. Lots of cooking and eating.
7. Going to the beautiful parks-love, love, love the London parks.
8. Sacrament meeting in White Chapel. 80% African. So impressed with how all the men/boys were in suits, white shirts and ties. Mind you this is an urban community (think Harlem). One man spoke who joined the church prior to the priesthood being extended to all males. He was investigating and all his friends told him it was a racist church but he couldn't deny the Spirit that it was true and joined anyway. He now is a temple worker. I was almost bawling listening to him and just the general Spirit of the meeting. Such humble people.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Mamma Mia

Lindsey, Isobel, Oliver and I went to the movie Mamma Mia last night-we enjoyed it. Music of Abba is so fun. I kept thinking though-Meryl Streep? It must have been a fun movie for the actors to be in. I've seen the stage musical twice-London and Las Vegas- and it's always fun. Makes you want to stand up and dance (the audience does in the play). We had to ply Izzywith lots of sweets to keep her interested. About 30 minutes till the end of the movie, she suddenly upchucked it all up. We did a quick clean up and finished the movie. As we left the theatre, Isobel announced "I like movies!" We were feeling guilty for giving her so many treats but I guess it didn't do any permanent damage!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


Rather than cook all the usual meals, Linds and I decided to try some new ones while I'm here. The weather is not cooperating (rainy) so it's been fun to cook. Here are the ones we've liked so far:

Lemon Cream Pasta with Asparagus and Squash

8 oz. dried mafalda or rotini
1-2 cooked chicken breasts cut up
2 cups asparagus, cut in 2 inch pieces
1 medium zucchini or squash, sliced in halves
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. butter
1 cup whipping cream
2 tsp lemon peel, shredded

Cook pasta and drain; keep warm. Cook asparagus, squash and garlic in hot butter for 2-3 minutes in a skillet. Add veggies and chicken to pasta. Combine whipping cream and lemon peel in a skillet; bring to boil. To serve, pour cream mixture over pasta mixture. Stir gently to coat.

This is really yummy and very easy and fast to fix.

Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil Cake
A Friend made this for Lindsey-it is more like a quiche. great with a salad. She made it for me and I love it!
Note: The conversions from g/ml to cups are approximate. I did my best!

Preheat oven to 180C/350F.

Boil 2 tomatoes for 3 seconds in boiling water, then rinse them in cold water, peel and de-seed them. Dice, place in a pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper, let them cool and dry out a bit. Chop 8 basil leaves and add to tomatoes.

Cut 200 g. mozzarella (just less than a cup) into pieces.

Whisk 3 eggs, 150g flour (over 1/2 cup, not yet 3/4 cup), 1 tablespoon baking powder.

Add 80 ml olive oil (6 tablespoons, or over 1/4 cup), bit by bit, then 125 ml milk (warmed) (over 1/2 cup), and 100 g grated gruyere cheese (just less than a cup).

Add tomatoes and mozzarella.

Pour into a loaf pan and cook for 45 minutes.

Vegetable Pie-also made by Linds' English friend
This was delicious too!
Preheat oven to 150'C/300'F. Oil a springform cake pan.

Step 1:
Lightly fry all in a skillet:
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
3 cups veggies, chopped (broccoli, carrots--I personally stopped using water-based veggies like mushrooms and courgettes because it made the pie too soggy)
1 grated potato

Step 2:
In a large bowl, beat together:
1 cup milk
3 egg yolks
salt and pepper
1 T. flour
2 t. baking powder

Step 3:
Beat 3 egg whites until soft peaks form.

Step 4:
Add veggies from Step 1 to egg mixture. Add 1 cup grated cheese (I use gruyere) and 2 T. melted butter. Fold in the egg whites. Bake at 150'C until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes.

CHICKEN MILANO-this was my favorite new one

1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 cup chicken broth, divided
1 cup heavy cream
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
8 ounces dry fettuccini pasta
In a large saucepan over low heat, melt butter; add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and 3/4 cup of the chicken broth; increase to medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until the tomatoes are tender. Add the cream and bring to a boil; stirring. Simmer over medium heat until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm oil and saute chicken. Press on chicken occasionally with a slotted spatula. Cook for about 4 minutes per side or until the meat feels springy and is no longer pink inside. Transfer to a board; cover and keep warm. Discard the fat from the skillet.
In the same skillet, over medium heat, bring 1/4 cup chicken broth to a boil; stirring the pan juices. Reduce slightly and add to the cream sauce; stir in basil and adjust seasonings to taste.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add fettuccine and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain, transfer to a bowl and toss with 3 to 4 tablespoons of the sauce.
Cut each chicken breast into 2 to 3 diagonal slices. Reheat the sauce gently if needed. Transfer the pasta to serving plates; top with chicken and coat with the cream sauce; serve.

Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies
I got this recipe from Alyssa Allgaier, who found it in the Martha Stewart Magazine, the issue of May 2007 (Carolynn's Chocolate Chip Cookies). They are to die for. I sometimes cook them a little too long, but if you take the out of the oven right when they start to turn brown, they will stay soft. Delicious!

2 cups plus 2 T. flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
Whisk together in a small bowl.

1 cup (225g) unsalted butter
Melt butter, then turn off heat.

1 cup plus 2 T. brown sugart
1/2 cup sugar
Add sugars to boutter, whisk until combined, transfer to a medium bowl and let cool.

1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/2 T. (it really is written this way in the recipe! I guess it means 1 1/2 t.) pure vanilla extract
Whisk egg, yolk and vanilla into butter mixture. Fold in dry ingredients.

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup toasted walnuts, broken into large pieces (optional)
Fold in chocolate chips and nuts, if using.

Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour. Bake on an ungreased baking sheet at 325'F/170'C for 12 minutes, or until just barely golden brown.


2 ½ T. Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
2 t. grated lemon peel
¼ t. salt
¼ t. freshly grounded pepper
1 (6 oz) artichoke hearts, chopped
1 (3 oz) herbed goat cheese, softened
4 skinless boneless chicken
cooking spray

preheat oven to 375
combine first 6 ingredients and stir well
Pound chicken breasts to ½ inch thickness. Top each breast half with 2 T cheese mixture and roll up jelly roll fashion. Secure with wooden picks.

Heat large skillet with spry and add chicken to pan. Cook 3 minutes on each side till brown. Put pan inoven for 15 minutes until done.


¼ c. fresh lemon juice
2 T. honey
1 t. olive oil
dash of salt, dash of ground pepper

2 c. chopped Granny Smith apple
2 C. Braeburn apple
¼ c. crumbled blue cheese
2 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
4 c. mixed salad greens.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Happy Birthday to my Ditzy Diva

Happy Birthday Alexa!! She is 5 years old-hard to believe she's not older-she acts like she is my age and we are bff's when I am with her. She is a laugh a minute, always gesturing with her hands and so expressive with her face when she talks. She thinks she knows about everything and I am totally in love with her little saucy personality. Love you Lexy Lou!

Lost in London

That is what Izzy and I were last night for about an hour and a half. I had gone out with her for a walk in her push chair (stroller). I went a usual route but thought I knew my way around so tried a different way back. Wrong move. I ended up having no idea where I was. And did I mention it was raining and getting dark? I asked people where certain landmarks were and tried to find them to no avail. I spent over $20 in phone booths to call Lindsey for directions. She was talking to Alex for over an hour and so the calls were diverted (voicemail). I'd walk a little more, find another phone booth and try again. About half of the phone booths ate my money and would not let me call. Luckily I had taken some money and my debit card with me (I often don't). I finally realized I was in the wrong neighborhood and asked a couple how to get to Kilburn High Street. They told me to take the tube (subway). I got the stroller down the stairs, got on the tube and got to the Kilburn station. oops, I'm used to the Kilburn Park station which is close to Lindsey's. I didn't know there were two stations. I take out some more money at a atm and plan to get a cab. Try to call Linds again and get hold of her. By this time I finally know where I am and start walking towards her neighborhood and she meets me and picks me up. Izzy had a great time, I bought her chocolate, and I got extra exercise so all ended well. I will be sticking to my normal routes now.

Monday, July 07, 2008

A Special Place

I've decided that there should be a special place that all men/boys that can't be honest with women should go. Maybe a special penance on judgement day. Alex is going thru a disappointment from "another fine young man". I can well remember my own disappointments. They say they'll call and you wait. And wait. And wait. They kiss you and you wait. They lie. They can't ever call you or talk to you and just be honest about their feelings. So disappointing. I guess we all finally find a good one but in the meantime, there should be a place certain ones should go. Far, far far away. And they should be punished for their deceit.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


I, too, am in love with Oliver. He is a dream baby. Gorgeous, content and sleeps a lot. Izzy is an adorable big sister. She hasn't completely warmed up to me yet, but I have plans.... Linds looks great. I brought my new camera but didn't check to see if it was charged and didn't bring the battery with me. Typical Pam. I'm going to get a disposable camera today and will post pictures later this week. In the meantime, I am enjoying the Phillips family in Jolly Ol' London!


I got this from a Kelly's blog. I thought it would be fun! I hope you will play along.Here are the directions:
1. Think of a memory you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!
2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you. If you don't want to play on your blog, or if you don't have a blog, I'll leave my memory of you in my comments.