Butternut Squash Soup

November 29, 2009 at 8:42 pm (General Life Updates)

This deserves a post of its own. It is SO good!!! I didn’t really believe the raving I saw about it online. But, oh my.

I made butternut squash soup today for the first time. Got a recipe online and switched it up a little, and will probably make it slightly different next time. But it is delicious, creamy, and decadent. And its squash for crying out loud.

I used:

  • 1 roasted butternut squash (roasted about an hour on 365, in future, might remember to peel first)
  • 4.5-6 cups of broth
  • 2 T butter
  • 1.5 t onion powder (would probably be even better with the real thing)
  • salt/pepper
  • nutmeg
  • about 3.2 oz evaporated milk

Cut up the squash and cook till tender in the melted butter and onion. Pour in broth and then blend (little by little in a blender, or with an immersion blender, or with a food processor all at once), adding the milk as you go or after its all blended. Dash of salt and pepper to taste, and dash of nutmeg. I used about 4.5 cups of broth, but you might need more than that if your squash is bigger than mine was.

It is SO good. And SO simple. I imagine it won’t be quite so decadent tasting with the evap milk, but I had some leftover from the can I used to make my pumpkin cake crumble and it made a great addition. I have about 2 helpings of soup in the fridge and one in the freezer. YUMMMMMM

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Black Friday – Shopping Madness

November 29, 2009 at 8:26 pm (General Life Updates)

I ended up meeting my SILs at Walmart at 3 AM Friday morning. That’s right, 3:00 AM! They actually got started at ToysRus at 10:30 PM Thursday night, but ended up leaving TRU for Walmart without their loot at about 12:45 – 45 minutes after TRU opened and went CRAZY. They were waiting in a laptop line in Walmart when I got there. We canvased the place for the next 2 hours coming up with our game plan, and by shortly after 5 AM we were in line to check out with all our stuff. I got some great bargains and some great gifts for the kids. After further consideration, I’ll be taking at least one thing back, maybe 2. I haven’t decided.

Anyway, it took until 6 AM to get checked out with the crazy lines and rude people. We headed over to Entertainmart for the next step on the gameplan. There, I got some more presents for bargains, and waited in line with a SIL for an XBox for her man. From there, we headed to Village Inn for a much-needed breakfast. After that, Target, Best Buy and Walmart again.

I got home around 10:20 AM after dropping off one of the SIL’s. It was a crazy few hours, but I’m glad I went. It was fun quality time with the SILs, and you can’t argue with bargains like that. Next year, though, I won’t be going at 3 AM. Maybe 4:30 or so. 🙂

Upon arriving home, I cleaned the kitchen, started some mango, kiwis, and apples to dehydrating. And went to bed at noon. I only got about an hour and a half of sleep before the kids crashed my bed. Then K took them at about 1:50 and headed over to his mom’s/sister’s house to say goodbye to his mom, even though he knew we were leaving for Monument at 2:45. Grrrrr. He didn’t get back until 3:30, and we were late. Which meant he only stayed at my parents’ house for about an hour before he had to leave for work. My brother had the idea that he and I should go to a movie while the parents watched the kids, and despite my guilt I let him talk me into it. We saw New Moon. It was ok, but I still like the books better. Easier to read cheese than see it. I don’t see how New Moon was SO MUCH better than Twilight like everyone’s saying, but it was fine. T was a good sport to see it with me after seeing Twilight with me last Thanksgiving. 🙂

After the movie, T got us home at about 9:30. K2 was asleep in the car and was so exhausted that he didn’t really wake up through me getting him out of his seat, taking him upstairs, taking off his coat, and putting him in bed. P got in bed quickly, too, and I talked to T a few minutes before he left. He left to go back to UT Saturday morning so I won’t see him again until Christmas.

And I was in bed by 10:30. Slept until almost 10 on Saturday. And am feeling a little more human as a result.

Saturday was low-key. I went and checked out a couple more sales and bought a couple more gifts. Decided to take those things back that I mentioned. We went to check out a couple of vehicles in the afternoon as a family and ate dinner at Culver’s. NOT HEALTHY. K went to work after the kids were in bed (early – they’re still exhausted), and I did nothing but watch TV.

Today was quiet as well. I’m still not feeling comfortable with my new calling but today wasn’t too bad a start. This afternoon I watched Cinderella Man on TV. We had shakes for lunch – made with ice cream not spinach. And K and K2 took naps. We had baked potatoes and steak and refried beans for dinner. And now I want something sweet, but I’ll have to make it if I really want it.

Tomorrow is back to the regular routine. School for P, work for me. Have Enrichment Tuesday night and need to try and make it to a Presidency meeting for my new calling Wed morning before work. Not sure how that’s going to work. Saturday is the last craft fair of the season, so going with Mom to that.

And Thanksgiving weekend rolls to a close. It was a good one.

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Thanksgiving Day — Food

November 29, 2009 at 8:20 pm (General Life Updates)

After the race we came home and started in almost immediately on prepping our contributions to the feast. K cut up his vegetables and made his dips for the veggie tray. I started mixing and mashing to make my pumpkin cake crumble. K served up some little sausages with BBQ sauce to warm up to take. And later after my cake cooked, we both peeled sweet and white potatoes for K’s special roasted/baked potatoes.

We were a little late to his sister’s since we left getting showered until a little too late. Got there at about 2:10 and ate by about 2:30. We had asparagus, mashed potatoes and gravy, turkey, deviled eggs, K’s roasted potatoes, carrots, rolls, fancy fruity punch. It was all very good and I ate way too much. Don’t regret it, either. 🙂

After dinner, most folks went off to nap considering the madness that was going to occur that night as Black Friday began. I was the only one that didn’t nap aside from my MIL. We sat around and chatted while the kids played and I looked at ads and tried to decide if I wanted to go with my SILs or not for shopping madness. In the evening everyone woke up/came back and we played a few short games, had dessert (my pumpkin cake was a hit – it was GOOD), and veggies from the veggie tray. We left around 9 to put the kids down (they were exhausted and so was I).

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Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot

November 29, 2009 at 8:12 pm (General Life Updates)

The Turkey Trot was so much fun! I got up around 6:50 Thursday morning to start getting ready before I had to wake up the rest of the family. I got my teeth brushed, face washed, put on my layers, got a bag of stuff ready to take for the kids. Then I woke up K and the kids and we were out of the house a little before 8 AM. I was so tense and excitable by the time we got there that when we discovered the street was closed off and we would have to go back out to the main thoroughfare in order to park where I had planned, I went kind of manic. Me: “We have to go back out to Research!!” K: “We’re not going back out to Research. Why can’t we park here like all these people?” The people parking on the street. Me: “Because this isn’t a parking lot! There’s a parking lot! We have to go back out to Research!!!!!!” K: “We’re not going back out to Research woman! We’re parking right here.” Me (taking deep breaths): “Ok, that’ll be fine. That’ll work.” K: “Have you lost your mind?”

Anyway, we got parked on the street and walked the 1/2 block to the YMCA, where we found my parents and brother and then I headed inside to get our timing chips. Got those and was going to try and go to the bathroom (my bowels are very unpredictable), but the line for the women’s bathroom was ridiculous, so I decided my bowels were just going to have to bow to my will. 🙂 Luckily, that went ok.

We went back out and after some confusion I met back up with K and the kids and my parents and brother and we migrated to the starting line, which was actually a starting block since there were about 2000 people running. There was no starting signal or horn or shot, so we started moving when the crown murmured and surged forward. 🙂 The course was hilly through a neighborhood, and for the first time I walked during a race. I walked 2 of the hills, and I was glad I had. If I’d tried to make myself run them, it would have taken me a lot longer than it did. As it was, I finished at 37:40, which we estimated at about 37 since it took a while to even pass the starting line in the beginning. Surprisingly enough (or not surprisingly when you consider his track record for hurting himself), I beat K. I don’t know when I passed him because he was way ahead of me at the beginning, but at some point he had to start walking because of his knee and I passed him. He caught up with me shortly after the 2M marker, and then I left him in my dust. Okay, not really, but I did finish a minute and a half ahead of him. Bummer was that Mom and Dad both missed me coming across and were still waiting for me to finish after they saw K get done. I had to find them and call them off from picture-watch and they both felt bad. But it was no big deal.

It was a beautiful morning, plenty warm that we didn’t need the crazy layers that I’d thought about so much. But I would rather be overheated than cold while running, so it was fine. It was fun and I felt good afterwards. I certainly hope it can be a Thanksgiving tradition, and now that I’ve done it once I can be a little more relaxed about it next time, while being more prepared physically. Since we all know I could definitely improve in the speed department. 🙂

I was so grateful for my parents and their support to be there for picture taking and watching the kids while we ran. Although I guess if we could afford a running stroller we could take them with us. It was great to have my brother T there – he’s always a fun addition to any adventure. And I was most grateful to have my DH there. To run with me. To support me and be proud of me, and to accomplish something new for himself. Such a great sport!

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Work Christmas Party

November 25, 2009 at 8:47 pm (General Life Updates)

This will be brief, because I am already kind of over last weekend. 🙂 No living in the past for me! But I figured I should write it down so that I can come back and read about it.

The work party Saturday was surprisingly fun! We got dressed and ready, took the kids to K’s sister’s house (his mom was there too to help) and headed downtown. We stood in the square at the Pioneer Museum for about 20 minutes listening to them making speeches and then reading name after name after name. And we got cold. So we finally decided to go inside and wait until the rest of the people came in for the party. I sat us in a corner away from the door but kind of facing most of the room – knowing I wasn’t getting up again to do any ‘mingling’. Ended up that during appetizers, another 2 couples sat at our table that were super-fun to talk to! Especially one couple – this guy that works in mapping at my office and his wife. She is in nursing school, so that kept K and I making conversation with her for quite a while since K is considering doing that. We laughed a lot with them and had a good time through appetizers and dinner. Then the door prizes were given out. I won a wine bag, but since everyone knows we don’t drink, they switched it so I got one of the food baskets and the next person got the wine. It had some excellent chocolates in it that didn’t last long, and the crackers and stuff are still in the cupboard. They’ll get used eventually.

The white elephant exchange was probably the funniest part of the evening. The people at my office are very amusing and quite jovial, especially when drinking. K and I laughed a lot and had a great time. I think we were both pleasantly surprised by how much fun we had.

Anyway, I know that’s not a very exciting recount. But there you have it. Farah – here’s so you can remember when next year’s work party comes around.

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Wednesday before Thanksgiving Day

November 25, 2009 at 8:41 pm (General Life Updates)

Let’s see. Today consisted of:

Sleeping in until 9.

Getting breakfast and spending a little time on the computer while the kids ate their oatmeal. P asked for a second bowl and ate almost all of it!

Getting ready for work. Going to work. Kids acting like maniacs, and I was glad to leave the house.

Working for a little about 3 hours and calling it quits because I couldn’t see myself starting anything. Plus I needed to….

Went to the YMCA up north to pick up our race packets. Getting excited…..

Stopped by Big 5 Sporting Goods on the way home to take back a couple of kid bats that the kids roped their Dad into buying them the day before. We had gone there to buy me some new running shoes. Anyway, I returned the bats – they were 12.99 each!!

Then I stopped by Walmart and got myself a long-sleeved wicking shirt to wear during race and a cheap second bra to go with my sports bra – that fits.

Came home and K was feeding the kids quesadillas – minus the brocolli that I always put in mine. He made us all some, and then got ready for work and was about to leave when he got a call saying he didn’t have to go to Canon City tonight!! Yay!

So we went for a quick family shopping trip to King Soopers (CRAZY THERE TONIGHT) to get the supplies for the veggie tray we are assigned to bring to dinner tomorrow.

Now we are home. K went to work but should be done around 11:30 or so. The kids are watching a little TV before bed. I’m going to do T-Tapp tonight while trying to watch a show on the DVR. I’ll let you know how that goes – if I’m capable of concentrating on my form enough while watching TV.

Getting excited and a little nervous for the race tomorrow. We’ll be leaving here at about 7:30 to get up there in time to get our timing chips, park, and get in place for running. Wish me luck! My first course with hills – and there will be over 2000 people running/walking this thing. I hope it isn’t too cold, but not too hot for the layers I’m planning on wearing.

Then, food! 🙂

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Feeling Unstable

November 23, 2009 at 9:22 pm (General Life Updates)

I’m sitting here at the computer. I just put the kids down and now should be the time when I’m setting up the treadmill and getting set to run and sweat. And I’ve convinced myself 10 times in the past 10 seconds that I will…..that I won’t…..that I will…… that I won’t. You get the idea.

I lost my temper with the kids tonight. Yelled a lot, etc., etc. I feel impatient with myself, with the world, anxious, tense, overwhelmed, ornery in general, self-pitying………

Wait a minute. Remember that post from a few days ago where I said I had learned how to cope better in the past year? That I didn’t have moments like this as frequently? Here I am. Why?

1) Worked today and need to start picking up my hours at home in order to finish a project I committed to helping someone with by the end of the year. Means I’ll have to work more at home – either spending more time on the computer or organizing my time better so that my time spent on the computer is more productive and less airy. This is looming over my head and making me edgier than normal.

2) P has a presentation at school in the morning, which means I take her to school and come home to get K and K2 out of bed and presentable. And make myself presentable, too. Then she’s out of school for Thanksgiving. More edginess.

3) Race on Thanksgiving Day. Tons of food on Thanksgiving Day. Edgier.

4) Think I’m PMS-ing, which means I’m probably not pregnant. Edgierrrrr

5) Resisted candy at office, but have eaten a lot of dried fruit since I got home, in addition to dinner and scheduled snack. Edges.

6) Feeling insecure and uncertain about new calling at church. Have no clue what I’m doing. Edgiest.

Writing this out has made me feel better. I have had all that fruit – but that’s better than candy. Had a lot of my mint chocolates from basket from work party (need to write about that), but they’re gone now and no more chocolate in house. I had long, skinny, zuchinni in lieu of spaghetti pasta under my spaghetti sauce for dinner with a side-lettuce-salad. Was good. Saved calories. Ate what I brought to the office and nothing else. A HUGE victory. Primary doesn’t have to be accomplished today, and I don’t have to learn everything at once. I apologized to my kids and hugged and kissed them because of my temper tantrum. If I’m not pregnant, we’ll keep trying and I have a little more time to regain my food-control. Thanksgiving Day will be fine. A big meal, some dessert. Not the end of the world, but I need to post a sign or something to remind me to eat well and balanced the rest of the week. The race will also be fun – no need to beat any PRs or outrun my husband. It’ll be FUN – and I shouldn’t let it stress me out. Same with the program tomorrow. FUN, memories for my daughter at school. Chance to see her in her school environment.

And if the race is gonna be fun, it can’t be my first workout this week. I haven’t run since Thursday so I better “hop to” as I tell the kids.

Typed myself down. Thanks for listening.

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Ginger Snap Bulk Granola

November 21, 2009 at 4:22 pm (Daily Workouts/Eats)

Ginger snap granola from the bulk aisle in Whole Foods is now officially on my list of trigger foods that I can not and will not have in the house. Crazy delicious. Can’t buy again. Bought about 3 cups worth yesterday and I’m finishing it off as I type this. I ate most of it on yogurt, which means my 3 greek yogurts from yesterday’s shopping are also gone.

Ginger snap granola = evil.

Not really, but that’s how I’m going to treat it from now on.

In other news, started running last night, lasted about 3 minutes and wimped out. And ended up staying up until 1:30 watching movies, shows, and eating. And eating. Argh. Kind of upset with myself, but that won’t do much good. Here’s me snapping out of the ginger snap granola coma.

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Grocery Shopping Friday

November 20, 2009 at 8:23 pm (General Life Updates)

I love grocery shopping. I love trying to find new things, stocking up on old favorites, and filling the kitchen with fresh whole foods that I’m super-excited to eat.

This afternoon I went to Sam’s, Walmart, and Whole Foods for my shopping. I was stoked about some protein powder that I found to replace my egg-white protein powder that I’m out of. It is called Greens & Whey and it is by Biochem Sports. It is full of organic greens such as alfalfa leaf juice powder and barley grass juice powder. 100 calories for 2 scopps that contain 20g of protein. I will use only one heaping scoop per serving since I don’t need to add that much protein to my breakfasts (IMO), and that makes the powder last longer. It also has about a quarter of the sodium my egg-white protein powder contained. Only hitch, I accidentally grabbed the chocolate instead of the vanilla. Don’t get me wrong, I love chocolate, but since my morning creations usually involve spinach and fruits, I’d rather have vanilla. I don’t like chocolate and fruit mixed together. So, I’ll have to take it back and get the vanilla, but I was also excited that this container has the same number of servings as my egg white protein powder, but it was only 12.69 instead of 19.99. Savings! Yay! Of course I still have to taste test it. But here’s hoping it tastes as good as it sounds it is for me!

I also bought a bunch of fruit for dehydrating, and I’m excited to get started. Who am I kidding, I’m just excited to have lots of dried fruit to snack on, not necessarily about the work I’m going to have to do. 🙂 I got apples, gala and granny smith (wanted to do honeycrisp again but they were just too expensive), kiwis, bananas, a mango, lots of canned pineapple. Some bulk ginger spice granola will call my name a lot, I’m sure, but hopefully I can ration it reasonably.

Tonight the kids and Mom and I went to get some Quilt Magic. I had a hard time picking one, but I finally settled on a Christmas-themed one with silver bells and green and red ribbons. Classic and simple. I hope it looks good in our house when we decorate for Christmas. We don’t do that until a couple weeks before when we go up into the mountains and cut down our tree; we don’t want the tree to get too dead before Christmas. I really want to buy some new lights this year. Every year we grumble and curse (not real curses, ok maybe one) about our dollar-store and hand-me-down lights. Trying to rig them all up together and so they’ll all plug in is some kind of nasty jig-saw puzzle. Got to buy new lights this year and simplify the process. I’m also supposed to look through Mom’s ornaments that she doesn’t use anymore now that she does a small fake tree with her gold ornaments and that’s it.

Anyway, I got one, Mom bought 3. One for herself, one for my SIL, and one for my daughter, P (a surprise). K2 was a terror the whole time and was very distracting. Ugh, I swear I don’t want to have to take that boy out of the house until he’s 5 or 6. Sheesh.

We came home after the Quilt Magic shopping and Mom only stayed for a couple minutes. I immediately started whipping up some brocolli/cheese scrambled eggs for the kids, which they ate with a clementine (from today’s shopping). I also called my SIL so she could bring over her daughter A for a sleepover tonight with P. The three kids are playing together now and making lots of noise and hopefully getting plenty tired. Because in about an hour I’m putting them to bed and whether they go to sleep or not, they’re going to have to be pretty quiet so they don’t keep K2 awake. And then I’m going to work out – I’m not letting a 4 and 5 year old sleepover disturb my workout schedule that’s going pretty well this week.

When we got home I also got some news from my husband. A member of our bishopric had stopped by and asked if K could support me in being called as 1st counselor in the Primary Presidency at church!! I’ve never served in Primary before, so I’m super-nervous. Of course, when I speak to him myself and he actually asks me, I’ll accept. I’ll serve in whatever capacity the Lord thinks I need to. I’m just nervous about working with other people’s kids! And I don’t know anything about Primary – my memory is too poor for me to remember my days in there as a kid. So anyway, that’ll be a change from teaching Relief Society, and I don’t know what they’re going to do since I’m their only teacher right now.

All in all, its been an eventful day. My eats have been pretty good. There were a lot of samples at Sam’s and I had a taste of almost everything…… ooooh they had these creme brulee candied almonds and I’m still daydreaming about going back and getting some of those. SO GOOD. Basically candy.

I had a brocolli, cheese, egg, garlic burrito for dinner with a clementine. I’m still pretty satisfied, though I’d love to eat a yogurt with some granola. I’m going to try and hold off and have that be it for the day. Especially since I did have a few of the kids’ peanut M&Ms (about 5).

Tomorrow should be pretty packed as well. Mary Kay meeting in morning. Taking back protein powder for vanilla flavor, maybe some running mid-day, work Holiday party with my DH in the evening while SIL watches the kids. If I don’t run mid-day I’ll need to run after our date, and that’s pretty unlikely so I hope I can do it before.

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Minor Victory, but Victory Nonetheless

November 19, 2009 at 8:19 pm (Daily Workouts/Eats, General Life Updates)

I decided before I went to the office today that I wasn’t going to eat any of the extras – candy, chocolate, cookies, donuts. Reading over my blog last night and this morning helped me to remember that any excuse I can put forth is just that, an excuse. If I say I can’t leave it alone at the office, its really just a cop-out. And I’ve proven over the last year that I CAN leave it alone if I so choose.

So today I did. I ate my sandwich, my carrots, my almonds and craisins. I drank some water. I did have about 1/3 of a quesadilla that a coworker offered to me from her lunch. But I didn’t have any candy, I didn’t eat the cookies that were in the kitchen, and I didn’t go trolling for chocolate. And I will choose to do the same on Monday of next week. I can do this, even going to the office 3 afternoons a week.

K made tuna casserole, black beans, and corn for dinner. I had my casserole on a bed of lettuce.

I’m so glad tomorrow is Friday. Planning on going grocery shopping if all goes well. We’re out of almost everything around here.

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