Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Experiencing all the seasons

So, I have been here for about 10 months now. I have absolutely loved experiencing all of the different seasons. Las Vegas the seasons that you experience are extreme hot, hot, and mild. You also don't see a lot of variance in the color scheme either. I am so glad that I get to experience the changing seasons and the variety in colors!

I came here in June. The summer was incredible! I love it! My favorite part was the fireflies that came out at dusk. We have a field in our backyard and those little lighted bugs covered it! It was so cool! The worse thing was the mosquitoes. I didn't even mind the humidity all that much. We also have a pond in our backyard and the mosquitoes were unbelievable! I have never spent so much money on mosquito repellent as I have here. The temperatures were wonderful here. Being in Las Vegas for three years and three summers, was really taking a toll on me. I do have to say for Vegas, it is nice to be able to go to the park in February and only have to wear jackets.

The Fall here was incredible! The colors were so vibrant! There are farms all around and so you always could find fresh produce! There is a Farmer's Market right down the street from me and they have the most amazing produce. I don't think that I have ever tasted such good produce as I have here. There is a store here called Brennan's and they have these peaches that are so good. They call them "Chin Drippin' Peaches". They have all sorts of other peaches and produce there as well. They have these apples that are called "Honey Crisp" apples. They are not too sweet and not too tart. They have just enough crisp to them when you bite them.

The winter before I got here, Madison had over 100 inches of snow. Everybody told me that when I got here that the farmer's almanac was predicting an even worse winter. We didn't have near the amount of snow that was predicted. I was very grateful for that. We did have cold. I have never experienced cold like they have here. Snow pants are a requirement at school. We even got down to a windchill that was -35- -40 degrees! They also have freezing rain. It makes the roads so slick, it makes everything very slick! I kept telling my friends that it was so cold here and they would just smile and say "Not yet". That was in December. January was when we got very cold.

Well, now it is April. I really love Spring. Mother Nature plays tricks on you here though. It will warm up and just when you think that you are finally experiencing Spring, it snows! It looks very Springlike when you look out your window. Then, you go outside and it would be okay, but the wind makes it really cold still. They have a lot of fun outdoor free activities here and I am anxious to be able to do them again. I just want it to stop snowing and warm up! I looked at the weather for the week and we are supposed to hit mid sixties this week and then it drops again into the 40s by the weekend. Why can't it just warm up and stay that way? The winter was cold enough to last us another year! My friends here tell me that Spring really doesn't start until the middle of May! Spring is almost over by that time! My Las Vegas friends that are reading this are enjoying 80 degree weather right now at night! But, when they have 115 degree summer, I will be enjoying weather in the 80s. Oh well, there are pros and cons to everything!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Recipes for April 3-9

I decided to post more recipes. I didn't do it last week because I was too busy dealing with Spring Break for my kids and I think I am only going to do this every once in a while and not every week. Anyway, this weekend is conference weekend and I like to make extra easy and good food for that so that my kids look forward to this weekend. My kids for the last 5 years or so have actually watched all of the conference sessions and stayed quiet so that Chad and I can watch them. Conference Bingo helps too, but having yummy food and snacks is the best. My kids look forward to it the same as they would a holiday. My family does the same thing in Utah and so I have to do it too, so I don't get too homesick.

Friday- Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwiches

Bagels and cream cheese and cereal
Croissant sandwiches and Queso dip with chips, fruit
Pizza night

Breakfast- Breakfast Casserole, Scones, Honey Butter, Orange Julius
Orange Julies:
2 cups milk
1/3c. sugar
1tsp. vanilla
6oz. orange juice concentrate
Blend all ingredients in blender until well incorporated and you have no ice chunks.
Breakfast Casserole:
6 slices of bread
1# ground sausage (if you want it more meaty, do 2#s)
6 eggs
1tsp. dry mustard (I have used prepared mustard and that works fine)
dash of pepper
2cups of milk
1tsp. salt
Shredded cheddar cheese
Place bread in the bottom of a greased 9X13 pan.
Brown Sausage and put on top of bread, sprinkle cheese on top of sausage.
Mix everything else and pour mixture on top of cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
Lunch/Dinner-Yummy Chicken salad
4cups cooked chicken breast cubed
1cup celery chopped
1/2c slivered almonds
1(16oz) can pineapple tidbits
2 c. red grapes
1 bunch green onions
1 can sliced water chestnuts
1 large can mandarin oranges
Chinese chow mien noodles
2c. mayo
1/2tsp. garlic powder
1Tbs. lemon juice
1Tbs soy sauce
1tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
1/2tsp. pepper
Mix dressing ahead and chill
Mix everything else together except the noodles and oranges.
Garnish with the noodles and oranges just before serving.

Monday- Steak Fajitas
This is my husband's recipe. He won't let me in on how he makes them so good!

Wednesday- Strawberry Waffles
Use your favorite waffle recipe and serve with strawberries, whipped cream, and butter syrup.

Thursday- Zesty Chicken
3 chicken breast (can be frozen)
1 dry zesty Italian mix
1 cube butter
1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
cooked noodles (any kind)
Put chicken, zesty Italian mix, and butter in a crock pot cook for 3-4 hours on high. The last hour add everything else except noodles. Mix well until cream cheese is melted. Heat through and add noodles.

Dessert: Munchie Stuff
2 boxes of chex corn or rice cereal or one of each
1c. brown sugar
3/4c corn syrup
2 cups butter
1tsp. vanilla
1tsp. baking soda
Empty cereal into a large roasting pan. Mix everything in a sauce pan except for vanilla and baking soda. When the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved remove from heat and add vanilla and baking soda. Stir until foamy and pour over cereal. Bale @ 250 degrees for 45-60 minutes. stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and put in a large bowl to cool. Stirring every once in a while as it cools. If you don't do this you will end up with a hard brick of cereal. My kids and my husband like this as regular cereal too.