Monday, August 30, 2010

Bits of Encouragement

"But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord for he has been good to me." Psalm 13:5-6

Brian making dinner = AWESOME dinner!
He made grilled ratatouille last night (yes, like the movie)...seriously awesome! As you can see we pretty much cleaned the bowl. Plus it was a great way to use up a lot of veggies. Now, I'm trying to negotiate an apple pie. We got two bags from our CSA last week. Have a great week!
We're going to the fair today!!!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


All Summer long I have been wanting a pair of espadrille wedges. Since I am more of frugalista than a fashionista, I put the purchase on hold.
If you didn't know already, I tend to be on the petite side of the height scale. I'm not coordinated enough to pull off a stiletto, but a wedge I can do.
Last week I took the children to Target to get some new shoes. Katie got a darling pair of of sequined black ballet flats that will be perfect for dressy occasions. I know some of you with young girls have a hard time finding appropriate dress shoes for your daughter, especially once their feet have reached a certain size. Target has a great selection of ballet flats on sale this week for $8! Ian got a new pair of tennis shoes. He insisted one shoes with laces...great! And I got these cute shoes that you see above. They were on clearance for $13.98, plus I got my discount so they ended up being around $11!! Patience is a virtue.
There are a lot of great sales going on right now, so make sure to check the clearance racks.
Happy Belated Birthday Dad!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Zucchini Vichyssoise, Brown Rice Salad, and Butter Chicken

When we were childless last week. We decided to try a couple of recipes that we knew wouldn't be favorites of Ian. Brian and I really liked both of these dishes and we will make them again for sure. The soup is a great way to use up some of the zucchini in your garden. Speaking of Zucchini, I saw the recipe for this Zucchini Cake with Crunchy Lemon Glaze. I have been waiting for the weather to cool down, so I can bake this. I think today might be my day.
Zucchini Vichyssoise
This recipe comes from Ina Garten's Barefoot in Paris. I made a few changes.
2 Tbs. good olive oil
3 large leeks white and light green parts, chopped
5 small red potatoes chopped
5 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp. kosher salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tbs. heavy cream (I forgot to add this)
Fresh chives.
Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot, and the leeks, and saute over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, zucchini, chicken stock, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil; then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Cool for a few minutes and then blend in batches with your blender. Add the cream and season to taste. Serve either cold or hot, garnish with chopped chives.
Brown Rice, Tomatoes and Basil
This is a perfect summer salad! The recipe comes from Ina Garten Barefoot Family Style. I slightly altered the recipe.
1/2 Cup brown rice
1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1/8 cup cider vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tbs. olive oil
Fresh ground pepper
I used a few small cherry tomatoes and 1 medium size yellow tomato
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
Bring 1 1/4 cups water to a boil and the rice and 1/2 tsp. salt. Return to a boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes , until the rice is tender and all the water is absorbed. Transfer the rice to a bowl. Whisk together the vinegar, sugar, olive oil, remaining salt and a bit of pepper. Pour over the rice. Add the tomatoes and basil. Mix well and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve at room temperature.

This is Butter Chicken. It was good, but we all like Tikka Masala much better. Why, you might ask? We all felt the Tikka Masala has more flavor and had a richer consistency. The Butter Chicken uses butter and 2 cups of heavy cream. I'm sure you could switch out some of those ingredients, but I still don't think it would have the same flavor or consistency as the Tikka Masala. The Butter Chicken recipe is pretty simple to make. Katie pretty much made it, with my supervision. It is not as spicy either, which might appeal to some. Since I will most likely not make this again. I have linked the recipe. I know it might sound like I am give this recipe a negative review, but that is not my intent. Like I stated previously it is good. It's just that it is very similar to Tikka Masala, so it seems silly to have two recipes that are so similar. With one that blows the other one out of the water.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Bits of Encouragement

When you lead, dear Lord, I venture out into the great beyond with courage and expectation. A protected cove is safe, but you have called me to live with passion. I may encounter risks, but I know your provision and care are enough. Give me hope in your saving me from storms, climbing mountains before me and finding me when lost. I trust in you and I thank you for the adventures in life that make me who I am called to be. Make my way purposeful and glorifying to you. Provide me with all I need for the journey-your perfect peace, joy unspeakable and unwavering faith.
~Life Beautiful Magazine, Summer 2010~
Have a great week fill with glorious adventure!
I'm totally digging Life Beautiful Magazine. Check it out.

Friday, August 20, 2010

More South Dakota fun!!

You gotta Y Wall Drug!!!!

Yeah it's Friday!! Happy weekend friends!!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

BLT Salad and thoughts on this past week

We have been childless this past week. Kate is at camp until Saturday and Ian has been at Amachi and Appachen's. I went back to work this week.
I had high expectations for a lot of quality time with Mr. Young. Alas that didn't seem to really happen. I mean we did have some fun. We ate out three different times this week: India Palace, Szechuan, and Bucca. That isn't what I had imagined though. I thought we would make wonderful dinners together and take walks around the lake (which he promised), oh and ice cream was also promised. Late nights reading in bed with the cool air blowing in to our room. You get the idea. He got sick one day, so that kind of threw a wrench in my dreams. Since I got my iphone, I like to call Brian on his iphone in the morning when he is downstairs getting ready for work. I ask him very sweetly to come up and cuddle with me. He always says "I love you, and I'll be right up." Well this morning I called four times and he didn't answer! He came up to say goodbye just as he was leaving. I explained my frustration to him and he said he was sorry, he didn't hear the phone ring (because he had it on vibrate). I was not happy as it was and this didn't make this better. He said goodbye and was on his way. Then a few minutes later he called and said he loved me. I still wasn't happy though. When I got home he asked me what was wrong and I frankly told him "I need a little romance!!" A little later I asked him if he thought I was being too hard on him, he said Well, I could use a little help're shooting down all my ideas. We ended up watching a movie and then we made this salad together. The movie was o.k., but the salad was great! We'll make this again for sure. As for the romance...we'll see.

BLT Salad
I found the recipe on Steamy Kitchen, but it seems the original recipe came from Fresh Flavors Fast Cookbook, Martha Stewart Everyday Food. I halved the recipe and used chives instead of green onions. I also threw in an avocado.
4 slices of bacon
1/4 of a baguette, sliced into cubes
olive oil
salt and fresh ground pepper
1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
2 tsps. apple cider vinegar
a handful of chives
half a head of romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped
Half a pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 avocado cut into bite size pieces
1. Preheat your oven to 375. Place the bacon in a single layer on 1/2 of a rimmed baking sheet. On the other side of the baking sheet, add the bread cubes and toss with a little bit of olive oil. The bread cubes should take about 15 minutes, half way through baking time toss them. The recipe said the bacon should be done in 15 minutes also but ours took about 25. When the bacon is done crumble into large pieces.
2. Meanwhile in a large bowl, whisk together buttermilk, mayo, vinegar, and chives. Add salt and pepper to taste. Then add in lettuce, tomatoes, bacon and croutons; toss to coat with dressing. serve immediately.
You may have noticed that I added a new tab at the top of the page...take a peek. I also have changed our favorites tab a bit and will add to it. Let me know what you think please!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bits of Encouragement

She's at camp this week.

"I'm a loving girl, and I'm happy 99% of the time." ~Katie, summer of 2010.
"Let love and faithfullness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart." Proverbs 3:3


Friday, August 13, 2010

Mint Chip Ice Cream

You know all about my love affair with ice cream. Well, I'm not the only one with something on the side so to speak. Mr. Young has a thing for Mint Chip so I decided to satisfy his taste buds with my own creation...kind of. I used Martha's mint ice cream recipe and added David Lebovitz's technique for the chip part of the ice cream. It was quite light, creamy and refreshing. Perfect for these hot days we have been having. I'll make it again for sure, the only thing I would do differently is decrease the amount of sugar. It was a tad sweet.

Mint Chip Ice cream
1 cup skim milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar (this is the amount I would use next time)
1 cup fresh mint leaves
4 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate melted over a double boiler

Mix the mint and sugar in a small bowl with the back of a spoon, until the sugar looks like wet sand.
Add the milk and cream and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Refrigerate the mixture for two hours.
Strain out the mint leaves, pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and follow your manufacturer's instructions.
While the ice cream is in your machine place the container that you will use into the freezer.
Once the ice cream is done, drizzle some of the chocolate in the bottom of the pan. Place some of the ice cream in the bottom of the container. Drizzle some more chocolate and stir it up breaking up the chocolate. Continue adding more ice cream and chocolate until you have finished it all. Place in the freezer and enjoy the next day for best results.
Next time I will skip the melted chocolate and just add chopped chocolate during the last 5 minutes of churning. It seems like it would be less of a hassle.
Have a wonderful weekend!!!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Eight is great!!!

It is way too hot these days!! I tried to snap a few photos of Ian yesterday morning.

He loves the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books.

These are The Last Airbender moves. He saw the movie a couple weeks ago with Brian.

These days he would prefer to just wear a undershirt.

The Buckmans have been kind enough to take us as their guests to the pool. I told Brian that we should really consider getting a summer membership to the Y next year. He thought it was a great idea!
Have you started school shopping yet? The school supplies have been purchased here, except for two boxes of tissue. I do need to add to Katie's fall wardrobe a bit.
It is supposed to cool down on Sunday, 75 and sunny. At least that is what my iphone is telling me (did I tell you I switched my Blackberry out?)
It will be so nice to enjoy the outdoors again. I think a picnic might even be in order.
Stay cool!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mount Rushmore

When we planned our vacation several months ago. We knew we would go to Mount Rushmore. It is really pretty cool. There are a couple of trails and a small museum at the bottom of one of the trails. I was surprised that there was not more to see there. It was still neat though and we would recommend going.

These two always take the best photos.

Check out my Dad's cool aviators. They're vintage Ray-Ban's. I remember him wearing them when I was a little girl.

Me and my sweetie.

I'm not sure what these four are looking at. Right now they are all here at our home having a "dance" party.

He's not obsessed with the President's anymore he just likes them now.

One of the class clown's and his "exotic bird."

Stay cool and dry today.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Bits of Encouragement

"And God said. "Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear." And it was so. God called the dry ground "land," and the gathered waters he called "seas." And God saw that it was good.
Genesis 1:9-10
If you head out to western South Dakota make sure to stop at the Badlands National Park. It is absolutely stunning! I think this was everyones favorite part of the trip. Plan on spending the whole day there. It is definitely worth it!
Have a great week!

Friday, August 6, 2010

2010 Vacay

We went here.

With them

and them
and them.

We stayed on this beautiful mountain (second house to the left).

In this gorgeous home.

Would we do it again??? Absolutely!!! In fact we hope to!
More details of the 2010 vacay to come.
Have a great weekend!
Young Adventures is under construction so please bear with us.

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