Sunday, February 19, 2012

Potato Soup from Scratch

Dinner last night=Potato Soup from Scratch
I was inspired by Ree's (the Pioneer Woman) blog, the Tasty Kitchen. She featured a Cowboy Potato Chowder here. I changed the recipe to suit what I had on hand, and in the end it turned out pretty good.

Start with the chicken stock and water and bring to a boil. Add your spices now, too.

Add the potatoes

Once the potatoes are soft, add the milk, or in my case, half and half.

Allow to simmer. Time to make the roux which will thicken the soup. I am no expert at this step so I will not go into detail here. Please refer to the website for this one. My first attempt was weak, so I started over and doubled my ingredients. I think this ended up making the soup a little too thick, but Cary liked it, so in the end, it worked.

Add the flour to the olive oil...and be patient (again, refer to the website for this step).

And the best part, the bacon. This was Cary's contribution to the meal prep.

Combine all the goodness above, plus a tablespoon of butter, allow to warm through and through and add shredded cheese and yummy garlic toast. Dinner is served.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Our Trip

Back in January we took a trip out West to Park City and Las Vegas. We went with a couple friends, Brandon and Kathryn and had an awesome time. Luckily, Kathryn took a ton of photos and shared them with me (most of the ones on this post are hers).

As our luck would have it, Utah was experiencing the driest winter on record. There was very little snow in the low-lying areas. Luckily, the guys still found some good runs.

While the boys skied, Kathryn and I enjoyed the spa, explored Utah and found the HGTV Dream Home.

We found this wolf, I mean dog, outside a store in Park City. Luckily, he turned out to be very friendly!
The boys grew "mountain men" beards...even scarier in person.
Cary and Brandon skied Park City Resort and Deer Valley.

The Dream Home wasn't open for tours, so no, we did not go inside. The security guard was very nice, though and answered all of our questions. Wonder who the lucky winner is?!

We also ventured to the Olympic park which is now a museum as well as a training center. We were tempted to try the bob sled run, but decided to let the boys be the dare devils during this vacation.

The second leg of our trip was in Vegas. We spent some time at the tables, went to a Cirque du Soleil show and climbed Red Rock Canyon (plus found some burros).

Packing for two different climates can be a challenge...luckily, it all fit!

We stayed at the Palazzo Hotel, which is next door and connected to the Venetian. All of the casinos were decorated for the Chinese New Year, with a Dragon theme (this is the year of the dragon, by the way).

Kathryn and me at Caesar's Palace. The casino was decorated with flowers, plants and all sorts of Chinese lanterns.

We couldn't miss the fountains at the Bellagio. Gorgeous!

The Eiffel Tower lit up for the evening.

Red Rock Canyon
Possibly the best photo of the trip:

***Thanks Kathryn for the photos!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Organizing the Garage (Part 1)

Sorry we've neglected the blog for so long. We've been busy tackling home improvement projects around the house and keeping up with Asher. One of our first projects was organizing the garage.

Although the garage is great for storage, there is only so much floor space. Plus, Kelly and I are bound and determined to actually park BOTH of our vehicles inside our garage. So we are combating the clutter with "shelving units" made by Rubbermaid. They are called fast tracks and are a system of tracks and hooks that anchor into the studs and drywall. You can find them at Lowe's or Walmart.

This is part one of the garage organization project...check back for part two.