Friday, January 23, 2009

My New Favorite Recipe!

Hello blog-world!  I've discovered a new recipe that I love so much that I felt the need to post about it.  This side dish sweet, crunchy and most of all deeelicious!  Before I go into detail though, I have two very important questions that I need answered immediately... What does a sweet potato look like?  And what is the difference between a sweet potato and a yam?

To the best of my knowledge, sweet potatoes are the ones that look reddish/orange on the outside and orange in the middle.  I intended to make this recipe last week but when I went to cut what I thought was a sweet potato, I was shocked to find that it was beige on the inside.  "What the heck is this?," I thought to myself.  When I had gone to the grocery store, this thing was marked "Sweet Potato" and the things that I really thought were sweet potatoes were marked, "Yams."  I figured the grocery store knew better than I did, so I bought the beige thing.  After I cut the beige thing, I called my mom and dad (since they had made this recipe for Christmas) to find out what a sweet potato was.  They agreed with me that the reddish/orange one was the sweet potato and that I had bought the wrong one. 

When I went grocery shopping this week, I thought that I'd give it another try and even went to a different grocery store.  Sure enough the labeling was the same and I was confused.  "Oh well, " I thought, "I'm buying the reddish/orange thing."  As I was checking out from the store, I asked the cashier, "Those are sweet potatoes, right?"  She said, "No, they are yams."  "Really!?  Are you sure?"  "Yes."  Not believing her for one minute I said, "Oh well, that's what I'm buying!"  When I got home, I even Googled it.  According to Google, the reddish/orange ones are sweet potatoes and the beige one is a yam.  Am I missing something?  Or are the grocery stores here just stupid (which wouldn't surprise me one bit)?

Wow, that was long rambling about sweet potatoes.  This has been bothering me for two weeks, so if someone has the correct answer, I know that my parents  and I would appreciate it.

Anyway, this is a really easy and great recipe.  My mom found it through a local radio station in Phoenix, KEZ 999.  She made it for Christmas dinner and I was amazed at how tasty it was.  It's got soft sweet potatoes, tangy apples, craisins, and a crunchy topping.  Yum!  I cut the recipe in half, since it was only for Jerm, my father-in-law and me.  Also, I cut down on the sugar a bit because as a matter of fact, sweet potatoes are just that...sweet!  When I make it again, I think I'll cut back on the sugar even more and cut down the butter a bit.  Stop reading and go make this recipe right now.  That's how good it is. :)




Sweet potatoes, apples, craisins & cinnamon.


Topping mixture.


Hot out of the oven!


by Mama Joe's Meals, KEZ 99.9

5 cups (1/4 inch) diced sweet potatoes (about 2 large)
5 cups chopped Granny Smith apples (about 3 medium)
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar, divided
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick butter, cut into teaspoon size pats
1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 stick butter melted

  1. In a large bowl combine sweet potatoes, apples, and dried cranberries.
  2. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and salt.  Add to sweet potato mixture, tossing to combine.
  3. Spoon mixture into a 13x9x2 inch baking dish. Dot with butter pats.
  4. In a small bowl, combine oatmeal, 1 cup brown sugar, flour, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Stir in melted butter and spoon evenly over top of casserole.
  5. Bake, covered at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 to 30 additional minutes. Serves 10-12

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Big Move!

Hello to my six readers out there!  Did you miss you me?  I've missed you!  In fact, I've missed the Internet in general.  Does anyone else feel completely out of touch when they don't have Internet access?  Seriously, if I had to go any longer without it, I may have gotten the shakes.  Anyway, the reason I haven't had Internet access is because we FINALLY MOVED into our NEW HOUSE this weekend!  YAY! 

Last Saturday was the big day and we were very productive.  Throughout the week, Jeremy and his dad took boxes and little things over the house and then on Saturday, we rented a U-Haul and packed up the rest.  I got to the house at 7am on Saturday, in order to let the carpet guys in...they were supposed to finish the carpet on Friday night, but they had to come back on Saturday morning for a few hours.  Oh well, what can ya do?  I organized the kitchen for a bit, while Jerm and the gang packed up the furniture and remaining items from the old house.  By "gang" I mean: Jerm's dad, my mom, my dad, Jared D., Jared M. and Paul.  They arrived at the NEW HOUSE around 10am and we started unloading.  It was great having the "guys" there to help (thanks you guys!) because we (a) have a lot of heavy furniture, (b) have a staircase that isn't the easiest to maneuver a couch through, and (c) have two "old" (and I mean that in the nicest way) dads who should be lifting heavy stuff!  With the teamwork of everyone, we were all unloaded in about 1 1/2 hours!  Amazing!




Jerm and one of the Jareds.


Just painted walls + hard to maneuver staircase + dresser = SCARY!


These pictures crack me up...just how many people does it take to get the couch upstairs?  Apparently, 5!

The rest of the day was spent putting together furniture, breaking for lunch (yum, In-N-Out animal style cheeseburger!), making another trip back to the old house (thanks to Jake and Kayla for stopping by to help us,  in between work and signing your docs), and unpacking all our stuff.  Why is it that you never realize how much crap you have until you move?  Seriously, I didn't know that we had half of the junk that came into our NEW HOUSE.  Our "good will" box is growing more each day with random items that don't need. 

The day ended with my parents departing back to Scottsdale, all of us being exhausted and per the request of my mom and father-in-law...with Jeremy carrying me over the threshold. (insert cheesy "awww" right here!)IMG_1152

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Jeremy, The Chef?

Last Sunday, as I was planning the dinners for the week and making the grocery list, I asked Jeremy for his input on the meals (we usually try to comprise, where I pick 3, he picks 3 and we eat out one night).  Well, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that one of his goals for 2009 was to help me out with the dinners and cook one night a week!  Though I love cooking and look forward to it daily....WHOO HOO!  I get a night off. :)

Jerm made his first meal of 2009 last night and I must say, it was very delicious.  The dinner he chose to prepare was Club Sandwiches with french fries/onion rings and fruit.  It was a fairly simple meal, but boy was it good.  The sandwiches consisted of sourdough bread, ham, turkey, cheese (for me), tomato, lettuce, bacon and mustard.  He agreed to wear an apron while cooking (isn't he cute?) and assembled the sandwiches, while I put the french fries/onion rings in the oven and cut up some fruit.  I just had to help somehow, plus we were starving and wanted dinner ASAP.


Starting dinner.


Carefully cutting the tomato.

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Assembling the sandwiches.


My delicious dinner made by the hubby.

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The sandwiches were HUGE, but of course, he could fit it all in his mouth!

So, Jeremy's first dinner of 2009 was a success!  My sandwich was so big that I had to save half for lunch that's dinner AND lunch from quote my mom, "What a guy, huh?"

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cute Things from the Today Show

I enjoy watching the Today Show in the morning; however, I don't get to watch a lot of it because I'm getting ready for work and then I leave the house at 7:30am. So, during the day I always check out Well, I have come across two clips and bits of information, that were so cute that I felt the need to post.

The first clip is about a Dalmatian named, Buttons, who had 18 puppies! That's right! 18! Can you believe it? This is Buttons ' second litter and in the first one she had 16 puppies! Amazing. You rock, Buttons! The puppies are so cute, aren't they? I wanted to post the clip of the video, but it wasn't working. So please see the clip here:

The second cute thing from the Today Show, comes in the following clip. Apparently, there is a website called Cute Things Falling Asleep.  Seriously....go check this website out!  You cannot help but smile when you watch these clips.  So far, I've the polar bear and puppy #17 are my favorites...they are just so sleepy!  Clip from the Today Show:

Alright, so I'm a nerd and I just spent about 20 minutes watching cute sleepy things...but you should watch them too because they'll make you smile and before you know it, you'll be addicted too!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Amazing Christmas Present #1

Yea, yea...I know I'm slacking as a blogger, but I've been busy (a.k.a. lazy and still wishing I was on Christmas break).  No really...I've been somewhat busy, getting back into the swing of work, starting to pack and working on finishing up my online courses.  But I'm not busy now and I wanted to blog, so here we go!

As I mentioned before, I got a lot of great stuff for Christmas.  One present that I'm somewhat obsessed with is my new blanket.  It is a Charter Club 3 in 1 Snuggle Wrap from Macy's and its wonderful!  I'm sure you're thinking, "What is so cool about this blanket?"  Well, this blanket can be used in multiple ways.  It is lined with warm fuzziness and you can place it on you to keep you warm, just like a regular blanket.  Or you can wrap it around yourself, zip it up from the bottom to your waist, and then drape it over your shoulders to snap together and WEAR IT!  It's kind of like a big, warm sleeping bag that your feet stick out of the bottom.  To illustrate:


It reminds me of a Snuggie.  Have you guys seen the info-mercials for the Snuggie?  If not, here it is:

Admit it...the Snuggie looks pretty cool, right?  What an ingenious idea!  Why didn't I think of that?  I hate it when you're all nice and warm under you blanket, but then you have to get up to do something and get all cold.  Blah!  I was begging Jerm to let me get a Snuggie, until I found this beauty at Macy's and then my grandma got it for me! 

I highly recommend that you all run out to your nearest Macy's and buy one!  My blanket (his name is Brown) keeps me toasty warm as I walk around the house , and of course,  I'm wearing it right now, as I type. :) 

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Seriously?! It's 2009?!

Happy New Year everyone!  I can't believe that it's 2009 already!  The years are just flying by these days, aren't they? 

Well, Jeremy and I just got back from our whirlwind trip through 3 states in 3 days...and we're exhausted.  Our trip started on Monday morning at 7am.  Jeremy works the mid-shift Sunday night to Monday morning, so once he got home at 6:30am and got his stuff together, we hit the road for Orange, CA.  We got to Cali around 12:30pm, had lunch with Jerm's family and then went to see a movie.  We saw the new Will Smith movie, "7 Pounds," and I do NOT recommend it.  I won't spoil it for those that haven't seen it, but it had potential to be a good movie; however, it just turned out to be a bit creepy and odd.  Oh well.  After the movie, we came home and had dinner, then opened our Christmas presents!  Next came dessert and bedtime because we had another busy day coming up.

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On Tuesday, we left Cali around 10am and headed to VEGAS!!  If you refer back to my post, Happy 1st Wedding Anniversary, you'll remember that Jeremy got me tickets to see The Phantom of the Opera in Vegas on December 30th.  For our quick little trip to Vegas, we stayed at the lovely Mirage Hotel.  Our room faced the Strip and we had an awesome view.

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The view of the Strip.


The Mirage's volcano show, right below our room.

Before heading to the show, Jeremy placed his sports bet (which he won about $52 on!) and we ate dinner.  We tried out a new, yummy burger restaurant in The Mirage called BLT Burger.  They had delicious burgers and excellent shakes! 


After dinner, we headed across the street at the Venetian to see Phantom.  The show was AWESOME!  I saw Phantom on Broadway a few years ago, but I loved it so much and I knew that I had to see it in Vegas.  It is a bit shorter than the Broadway version and it's "Vegas-ified" with elaborate costumes and pyrotechnics.  To quote the website, "By incorporating special effects and enhancements made possible today by modern technology into the timeless music and story of Phantom, new audiences and loyal fans alike will be awed by and all-new Phantom."  Though I think I'm a bit bias to the Broadway version (just because I saw it first), I still loved this one.  Oh it was so good!  The actors had amazing voices, the music was incredible and as always, the Phantom won me over!  If I were Christine, I definitely would have chosen him over Raul.  Plus, even Jerm was humming some of the songs when we left!


The Phantom of the Opera.

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In line for the show.

On Wednesday morning, we departed Vegas for the fabulous city of Scottsdale (oh, I love home!), to have Christmas and New Years with my family.  My parents made us a delicious dinner and then we opened presents. 

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After presents, we played a board game that my parents got us, Clue.  But it's not just any's quite possibly the BEST Clue's Harry Potter Clue!

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As the night went on and our game of Harry Potter Clue finished, we had about an hour to spare before ringing in the New Year.  At this point, I was so tired and getting goofy, that I would have gladly went to bed at 11...but we stayed up.  At midnight, we toasted sparkling cider and popped a bunch of party favor poppers in the backyard.  Fun, fun!

Then, this morning we left Scottsdale around 10am, since Jerm worked today at 2pm, and as I said before, we're pooped.  So, our whirlwind trip has come to a close and it's quite possible that we'll never do it again.  Maybe I should do the holiday planning next year and not leave it up to Jerm. :)

As for presents, we both got some great stuff this year!  Jerm got a bunch of Blue-Ray DVDs, some much needed clothes, ESPN magazine and some other great stuff.  I got a ton of stuff, but I am particularly excited about my peanut butter variety pack (yes, I am a nerd and I asked for peanut butter for Christmas) and my blanket/wrap/snuggie thing (I wearing in the picture above)!  There will most likely be blogs about these to specific items in the near future, so stay tuned.

We had a great Christmas and New Years and we hope that you all did too!  Hopefully, 2009 be a great year for all our family and friends!


Our first picture of 2009...we look a little tired...