Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Netflix This!!

The Odd Life of Timothy Green
Such a darling movie! The boy who plays Timothy is adorable and the storyline is so sweet. It is family friendly too! Trust me: you WILL need tissues at the end of this movie.

Monday, October 28, 2013


By 'swoosh', I mean NIKE!
We were lucky enough to be one of the 2000 WSU Cougar alumni to get a shopping pass to the Nike Employee Store yesterday. Once a year, Nike, invites WSU alumni to it's store. You have to respond within minutes via email. Yes, the passes go that fast! Last year, I was too slow and didn't get a pass. This year, I saw the email and responded within 60 seconds. We got the much coveted pass! That was on October 2nd. We had to wait until the 27th at 5:30 p.m. for our slot. Why are people so crazy to get a pass to the NES? Most of the shoes/merchandise is so new, they are only available at the NES!
After reading reviews on Yelp, Matty & I convinced Omid we needed to get to the store at 4:00 p.m. to stand in line. We got there at 4:00 p.m., but there was no line. It was such a beautiful day, we decided to walk around for a bit.
Killing time!

We were gone for 45 minutes and what do you know? A line had formed!! Instead of being first in line, we were now 90, 91 & 92 (Matty counted!).  It's a good thing we were only gone for 45 minutes! There are no photos allowed in the store, but Matty did capture this cute photo at the entrance for me.
We had a definite plan going in to the store. Another helpful tip I picked up via Yelp. That was great advice!  Matty & Omid ran back to men's shoes, I ran to WSU athletic gear. I got in, grabbed what I needed, and met the boys over in shoes. By the time I caught up with them, Matty's shopping cart was full of shoes and so was Omid's. We then went through the carts, decided which items to keep and headed to the checkout.  We spent exactly 45 minutes in the store and came out with 20 items, several of them gifts.

After dinner, we stopped at Benihana Japanese Steakhouse. This was our first time there. Here's a tip: you need a reservation! We didn't have one. As luck would have it, a party of three was a no show, so we got their seats; and only had to wait five minutes!☺ I didn't take any photos of the chef, but he was very entertaining and we had a great time. The food is delicious too!
Waiting for our food!
All in all, a great Sunday!☺

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Make This!!!

It’s pumpkin season! Yay! My friend and fellow baker, Laurel, passed this recipe on to me via the Pinch of Yum blog. I believe this recipe is the best I have ever tasted for pumpkin muffins! The secret? The glaze! Just the right amount of maple & butter. Bake these muffins! They are over-the-top delicious!

Healthy Maple Glazed Pumpkin Muffins
Recipe Yield: about 18 medium sized muffins
2 cups whole wheat flour
1½ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon each cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup real maple syrup
3 tablespoons milk
3 eggs

2 tablespoons butter
1¼ cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla
1 tbs. maple syrup
1-2 tablespoons water

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Mix the dry ingredients (flours, baking soda, baking powder, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and sugar). In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients (pumpkin, oil, maple syrup, milk, and eggs).

Combine the dry and wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl, stirring until just combined. Fill each muffin tin almost to the top with a scoop of batter.
Bake for 20 minutes or until tops are puffy and spring back when you press them. Remove from the muffin pan and let cool before glazing.

For the glaze, melt butter in saucepan. Add powdered sugar and vanilla – it will be thick and sticky. Stir in maple syrup. Add water until desired consistency is reached. Dip the crowns of the muffins in the glaze and let dry on a wire cooling tray.

 **NOTE: I substituted coconut oil for the olive oil. If you do this, make sure to have your eggs at room temperature so the coconut oil doesn’t solidify in your batter. I also used Mrs. Butterworth’s brand of maple syrup as that is what I had on hand at home. It worked great and the glaze was still full of maple flavor.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Beautiful Brisket!

Mmmmmm, brisket.
I love the photo on the right! The bark is my favorite part.☺
There is never any shortage of meat at our house. We love it roasted, grilled and smoked! On Sunday, Omid was craving a brisket. He picked up a 17 pound Angus brisket at Cash & Carry. Why not Costco? Because Costco only sells center cut brisket & trims off all the fat. Not so good when the meat has to smoke for 16-18 hours!

Omid smoked this particular brisket for 18 hours. It was finished at 8:00 a.m. Monday morning. I sliced off a few sample pieces to share with a work buddy. She pronounced it delicious!☺

The best part of Omid smoking a brisket this size? Dinner is set for the week! On Monday we had brisket wrap sandwiches (tortilla with Boursin cheese, brisket & avocadoes), last night we had brisket with these yummy potatoes, and tonight we are having brisket chili. I can't wait to taste it! Tomorrow, we will probably have pulled brisket sandwiches (smothered in bbq sauce). The possibilities are endless when brisket is on the menu.

If you haven't purchased a Traeger smoker yet, DO! Costco is now carrying them and they are really the best way to smoke meat (poultry, pork, etc).