Thursday, April 30, 2009


I say Kanoodle, you say knoedel... let's call the whole thing off!

In an effort to broaden our families culinary horizons I stumbled into the world of Knoedels.

Knoedel is an Austrian dish of pure comfort and merriment. By definition, they are big, round, poached or boiled dumplings made without yeast. By taste they are hot, moist, yumminess floating in delicious broth.

I found many recipes for Knoedels made out of potatoes, but I didn't have any potatoes on hand. Then I found a recipe for Knoedels made out of Cream of Wheat. Yeah, Cream of Wheat, like the yummy hot cereal that we love so much in winter time. Also known as Farina (C of W) Knoedels. I browsed over the recipe (cream of wheat... good, butter... good, eggs... good!) and decided that there was nothing not to like and oh boy, was I ever right!

The easy, peasy recipe:
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
2 tsp. salt
1 cup cream of wheat

Mix together butter (just slightly softened) and 2 eggs. Add salt and slowly stir in Cream of Wheat. Shape into small teaspoon sized balls(they will triple in size when cooked). Drop all balls into boiling water at the same time. Boil uncovered for 2 minutes then remove from heat and cover for 15 minutes... don't peek at them durning this time. After the 15 minutes remove dumplings from hot water and add them to 1 quart (32 oz) of hot broth (chicken, veggie, ham, beef). Serve hot and enjoy.
The kids (especially Ben) and I thought these were marvelous. Even Big Ben liked them, but suggested he would rather this as an accompaniment to a meal rather than making it the main dish.

I envision these as being fantastic when you are sick, easy when you don't have many ingredients on hand and a wonderful "memory" food for the kids.

...and after some additional reading I discovered that when my order of whole wheat comes in a few weeks, I will be able to grind my own wheat into farina (C of W), making this a VERY inexpensive meal as well.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tent City

In light of the economic recession, the children have begun practicing for the remote possibility that we are forced to reside in one of the "Tent cities" that are popping up across the country. This Tent/Fort has been built in their room several times during the course of the last week. They watch movies in the Tent, Read books, Sleep and one night they were even allowed to eat dinner in their tent.It's good to know they are doing their part to prepare in the event of harder times!

Friday, April 24, 2009

In Loving Memory

Big Ben's grandmother Marguerite passed away yesterday. Grandma Alexander was 91 years old and was a dear, sweet, wonderful lady. We were able to visit her a few weeks ago when we were up in Utah. She told us how at peace she felt. Her strong testimony of her Savior and Heavenly Father's love was radiant. It was beautiful to hear her talk of the life she'd lived here on Earth and how fulfilling it had been. She was ready to go "home" when the time came. We loved her very much!(Big Ben with Grandma last year at her 90th Birthday celebration... by the way, she DANCED at her 90th Birthday party!)

(On the far left, Grandma at our Wedding)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


BYU Creamery Chocolate Milk... The choice of Champions!

After telling Ben for days about "The best chocolate milk in the whole wide world," we headed to the bookstore on campus to pick some up. We sat in the Wilk with our little sack lunch, packed that morning for the occasion, on the floor in a hallway. Ben was at first dismayed by just sitting on the floor to eat our lunch (all the tables were filled) so I explained to him that sitting on the floor is just what college students do. We then pulled out the milk. Ben took one drink and said, "It tastes just like EVERY other chocolate milk." Stunned, I went on with my lunch and didn't respond. How could this child of mine, this boy who has been raised to love and appreciate chocolate milk so much, not comprehend the amazingness of what he was consuming? Not wanting to influence him I remained quiet. Then he took a few more drinks and spoke again, "Mom, I was just saying that... It REALLY is the best chocolate milk in the whole wide world." And at that moment, I felt bonded with my son in an entirely new and unique way!


While we were in Utah, we were able to spend one day doing "tourist" things in Salt Lake with cousins. We went with Tanya and Amanda and their kids to Heritage Park and to the Church History Museum.

Although Heritage Park wasn't really open and the kids spent most of the visit peeping in windows, it was a great place to visit.

The Church History Museum had an exhibit in honor of the birthday of "I am a Child of God." The exhibit was especially for children, with hands on activities and dress up opportunities. The kids could have been entertained there for even longer than we were able to stay.

The best part of the day was the opportunity for Ben and Sarah to get to know some of their cousins better. We had a great time.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Ooey, Gooey, Yumminess!

Do yourself a favor... make this recipe! ( didn't say it would be a favor to your wastband, but oh my goodness, the deliciousness)

Cake mixes have been on major sale the last couple weeks. I felt compelled to stock up, adding these to my food storage supply... then they went on sale even cheaper! I now have over 20 boxes of cake mix in my pantry. After buying all of the mixes it occurred to me that at most I make 5-6 birthday cakes a year, and I'm not really too fond of cake, so I started to think creatively. This is what was created:

  • 1 stick butter/margarine, melted
  • 1 pkg. chocolate cake mix
  • 1.5-2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (additional)
  • 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place butter and cake mix in large bowl. Mix with fork until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over bottom of 15x10" cookie sheet pan and press. Sprinkle with 1.5-2 cups semisweet chocolate chips and almonds. In microwave melt milk chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk in 20 second intervals until melted. Pour milk mixture evenly over pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-25 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely and cut into bars.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Best

Ben and Sarah are with their Dad, Grandma and Grandpa for Easter. Grandpa (David) sent me this too cute picture of them this morning. (Thanks Grandpa!)


An Attraction

(This the first of many posts focusing on our Utah trip)

Big Ben was able to come up to Utah for one day of our trip. We spent the day with Broc and Maris and visited Big Ben's Grandma.

We took the four kids to Cabela's. It's a sporting good store, it's "an attraction," it's fantastic!


A very HAPPY Easter! Today, I am filled with so much love and gratitude for the fact that I will NEVER be alone!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Curbside Pickup

I'm pretty sure these are about the cutest kids ever!

And I'm pretty sure I'm not bias in any way! Oyyy, they make my heart hurt!


What happens when you give a camera to a 4 year old...

Now, really, who am I kidding? Look what happens when you give a camera to a couple of 30 year olds...
I guess the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree! (haha... Meredith and I are in an apple orchard in our picture!)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Take me out to the Ballgame

Ben isn't crazy about the fact that he is an Angel instead of a Dodger!

But oh man! Does his mom ever think he is one cute Angel!
Something about the mother in me doesn't like the idea of my baby doing anything that requires that much protection.

See you in the funny pages!

Ben and Sarah made comic books: