Wednesday, October 31, 2012


It's a metaphor.

Gonna dance my socks off!
The monkey's tail beard.  Also, a metaphor.

Matt and Theona come home for a spontaneous visit and bring Fat Baby Carter!

Mmmmmm . . . fresh grapes from the arbor.  Why do they look so serious?
Uncle Reid and his son Brady(L) and nephew, Landon(R).

Grandma Blanchard and Avery, her only female grandchild.

Being a new daddy to Carter makes Matthew happy.

Family portrait with canine

It's our first family picture with Pandora.  Becki took it on cider day.

Ciderfest 2012 with the Bralliers

Cameron was a great apple loader 

Dave and Eric gaze into each other's eyes while pressing the apples.  Don't ask me what those black specks between them are, probably their thoughts.  Or maybe birds.

Lunch time weinie roast in my parent's fire pit.

Just in case the kids didn't take in enough sugar from the gallons of apple cider, we also frosted Halloween sugar cookies.

Beren's Class Field Trip to Lalooska Lodge

Back on the bus

My Crazy Group:  Taylor, Kyle, Beren, Sabrina

Beren's teacher:  Bethany Glovatski

Beren and best friend Carlos

My neice, Avery Grace, turns 1

Mutant Fruit

Not all of the garden produce came out perfect; in fact, this tomatoe grew a schnoz.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I made these. Love them.

Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies
1 cup softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 box (7.4 oz) Alpine Spiced Apple Cider Instant Original Drink mix -not sugar free- all 10 packets (I found this in my grocery store near the hot chocolate mixes.)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups all purpose flour
1 bag Kraft Caramels (14 oz)

  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Line cookie sheets with parchment. (You really need the parchment!)
  • In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.
  • With your mixer (or an energetic spoon) cream together butter, sugar, salt and all 10 packages of apple cider drink mix powder, until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and mix well.
  • Gradually add flour mixture to butter/egg mixture. Mix until just combined.
  • Refrigerate for about an hour. (If you're really impatient you don't have to do this, but it makes it so much easier to work with.)
  • When you are ready to bake, unwrap your caramels. 
  • Scoop out cookie dough ball about the size of a walnut. (I used a rounded cookie scoop-full. My scoop holds about a Tablespoon.)
  • Flatten the ball of dough slightly in the palm of your hand. Press the unwrapped caramel into the center of your dough and seal the dough around it, covering it completely. Place on parchment covered cookie sheets 2 inches apart.
  • Bake 12-14 minutes, or until very lightly browned around the edges. Please don't over-bake! Once the cookies are done, slide the parchment off of the baking sheet right out onto the counter. Allow cookies to partially cool on the parchment. When cookies are cool enough to be firm but still slightly warm, carefully twist off of parchment and allow to finish cooling upside down (either on the parchment or on a rack.) If you forget about them and they cool too much and stick to your parchment, put them into the freezer for a few minutes and they'll pop right off.
  • Yield: about 4 dozen, depending on how large you make your cookies (or how many caramels have been snitched out of your bag before you begin.) Store in an airtight container.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Thanks Honey!

For those of you who don't know, I love to garden, but my sad little patch of ground at my house is too shady to produce much.  So this year for Christmas, Eric secretly purchased me a plot of land at the community gardens over by City Hall.  It's amazing what a difference a little sunshine makes.

This is from just one trip to the garden this week.  This isn't even all of it.  When I took this picture I had already eaten the green beans for lunch and put the carrots into a soup for dinner.

Art Smart

For the Regional Day of Service, our stake decided to help renovate the Imagination Station park structure and grounds.  I was the team leader for getting the woodcarvings painted (they were just brown wood before) and ran around like a crazy person, trying to supervise 6 different painting projects while my men leisurely worked on their chosen canvases.  Didn't they come out amazing though?   I am quite proud of both my guys.
Eric's Masterpiece:  Dragon Fang

Beren's work was a little more abstract, but just as well executed.  He worked on this panel with scout friend Alex Paurus.

My Best Friend's Wedding

End of ceremony smooching performed by my best friend from high school, Douglas Mitchell, and his lovely Bolivian bride, Shadia.
L to R:  Jonny Hofmann, Dianna (Dolan) Fontez, Heather (Blanchard) Mowrer
These were two good buddies from my school days who I still love to hang out with.  We had a wonderful time at Doug's wedding.

Blanchard Family Camping Adventures

I learned about all kinds of edible berries on our ranger walk and decided to make a berry sauce out of them for the cake I was making for dessert.  Eric thought I would poison us all, but I didn't.  The sauce was made from wild strawberries, thimble berries, salal berries, Himalayan blackberries, and red huckleberries.  Yum!

My brother Reid and his little son, Brady, out on the dunes.

 Aunt Theona and Aunt Melissa spent most of their camping trip feeding their ravenous offspring :)

Swimming in the Sandy Lake at Honeyman Campground is the best!  This is Beren with Uncle Matthew, Aunt Holly, and Cousin Landon.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Good thing the dog is pretty 'cause she ain't too bright

So I needed to ripen up the cantelope a bit for the BBQ that was coming up.  I thought leaving it on the deck in the sunshine might do the trick.  Instead, I came home to this.  No doubt Pandora thought it was a ball and then realized it had a fragrance and then, well . . . all roads lead to edible.  Aren't canines supposed to be carnivores?  Will someone please explain this to my dog?!!

Friday, September 7, 2012


It's an oldie, but a goodie.  Time to share these magnificent photographic gems with the world!

We're Back... Soon!

We are preparing to resurrect this blog. Be prepared for wily shenanigans and hilarious hijinks to ensue. Is anybody still out there?