July 30, 2014

5 ingredient recipes

I've been in a cooking rut for a little while and then a friend introduced me to an amazing five-ingredient recipe.  It has been suprising to me HOW MANY recipes there are out there for this!  Cooking slump?  Solved!  If the recipe turns out tasting awful, I don't feel as bad because it wasn't as much of an investment in my time.

Reasons why you should love five-ingredient recipes too:
  1. Easier to duplicate the recipe
  2. Cut our grocery bill by quite a bit
  3. Helped us use things we already had in the house
  4. Easy way to build your food storage up
  5. Makes less of kitchen mess
  6. It's easy
I ended up deleting all of my old "haven't tried it" Pinterest boards and made one...solely based on 5 ingredients.  I think that is my way of saying I'm in love.
my brownie in a mug!
We've tried all of these since we've been back from vacation:
  • Cook-off winning chili  Strong tomato soup taste, but it could have been because I halved the meat.  We ate a lot of cheese and sour cream with it, but technically that makes it a seven ingredient recipe. 
  • Kielbasa with peppers and potatoes I used olive oil instead of vegetable oil. We ate something pretty similar to this a lot growing up. 
  • Mexican casserole Simple and yummy, can't beat that! 
  • Beef stroganoff  We doubled the recipe, and I have the meat to make it cheaper, and we ended up packing this in Devin's lunch for days. 
  • Brownie in mug This was AWESOME, but we usually split it with two mugs.  I also wanted to compare it to a brownie/cake microwave recipe I tried a few years ago here.  I thought it was just as yummy, but didn't include the roommate bonding.  We've tried it with nutella and chocolate chips.
Do you have any five ingredient recipes you'd like to share?

July 28, 2014

Utah: Cascade Springs

We scheduled out three days, after Yellowstone, to visit friends and our college in Provo.  We haven't been back in two years, since Devin graduated, and we were pretty lucky that Mandy and Chance let us stay with them.  They had two of their other friends in town visiting as well, none of us had vehicles, and we were all scrambling around seeing places and people.

We had decided to use public transit, but then we actually realized how ridiculous it was to use because our time was so limited and we found out it is completely closed on Sunday!  We ended up renting a car last minute and everyone, but Devin, ended up getting car sick on the drive up to the mountains.  Good luck for us, this is what it looked like when we had to pull over!
Photos from this day are probably going to be our Christmas photos this year, lucky us! :)
Chance and Mandy, I have a disc to send them with photos :)
It was totally worth it though, because man, this is beautiful!!  I had never heard of Cascade Springs, living in Provo, but if you're nearby- you should visit! 

July 25, 2014

Utah: Provo

Three days in your college town isn't enough to reminisce, we decided.  So much has changed around campus!  This time visiting, we could still get mistaken for students, but maybe not next time.  Also, was it really that hot when we went to school there in the summer???!?  How did I not notice that?!  I think I'm made for humid heat... .

We walked by the Provo Tabernacle, which is being renovated as a temple, after a fire.  It burned a day before our wedding and I couldn't believe how much progress there has been.  In college, I used to day dream our children sitting in there for stake conference, with their fiances holding hands, like I remember with Devin.  Now our kids can just get married there instead, or not, there are a lot of beautiful temples :).

We met with Suzanne, her husband, and her cute new baby at Cafe Rio!  Suzanne made my first year of teaching bearable and taught me so much.  She was always so upbeat and uplifting, and even though it was her first year teaching in Special Education, she was the best mentor I could have imagined in teaching.  After having desks right next to each other for a year, it was wonderful catching up with her (even if it embarrassed our husband sometimes).

We had the opportunity to visit Shari that I became friends with my freshman year at Murray State and Chelsea and Nate, who moved from our ward this year, and eat lots of yummy food!  It was fun catching up with people, and yet, somehow we still had a huge list of people to see when we left.

I hope we can go back and visit again sooner rather than later!

July 23, 2014

Yellowstone: part 3

Before this trip, I thought all of Yellowstone looked like the paint pot geysers because those were always the photos I saw. Although, they are definitely the prettiest (and don't seem to smell as bad as the other ones), the other ones are sand colored and just look like bubbling mud.
These were SO beautiful!!  Going to go see the Paint Pots is something you have to add to your bucket list if it isn't there.  It was so amazing to see these colors together in nature!
....and voila, you get two almost idenitcal photos of us!  Matching was not intended.
Absolutely unreal looking, huh?
It was really fun how well we got to know everyone over the week!  We stayed up pretty late telling stories, saw a lot of beautiful scenery, were trapped in an epic downpour after watching a play, and I don't know about everyone else- but we ate entirely too much food (and ice cream).

It was a great opportunity to meet so much of my biological family and match personalities with pictures I have seen on facebook over the years!

July 21, 2014

Yellowstone: part 2

Another beautiful day at Yellowstone!  I can now say I've eaten a buffalo burger and I own a cowboy hat :). 
It kind of terrified me when I saw people walking on the tree close to the cliff.  You can't tell in this photo, but it was ridiculous close to the drop off.  I'm going to be a super annoying Mom, I learned how obsessive I am about sunblock on this trip too.
 
By the end of the trip, I saw a bear (very, very far in the distance), elk, mule deer, and loads of buffalo.  Someday, I'm gonna see a moose and I hope I have a camera on me when I do!