Friday, September 25, 2009

Pizza and Cinnamon Rolls

Let me first say that Michael LOVES PIZZA! We've created many homemade versions since we were dating, but recently we've been trying a new crust. This crust has been perfected by Mindy, wife of Michael's brother Scott. And it is amazing.

This picture doesn't do the pizza justice [blasted nighttime photos], but one can just imagine. And Michael and I can reminisce. Bwahaha. I think we combined the perfect amount of sauce, cheese, and toppings this time. Hopefully we'll be able to recreate it....

Late last night, Michael decided he wanted to bake cinnamon rolls. I know, I have the coolest husband ever. Anyway, the dough was not rising at all, so he decided to let it rise over night. I couldn't help myself this morning and was dying to bake the cinnamon rolls that I desperately wanted to sink my teeth into!

So, I talked to Michael and told him I was going to bake them and here's the final result!
Pretty good for my first cinnamon roll attempt, eh?
I've already eaten 3 of these bad boys. Don't tell my hips. They'll be mad at me. :)

Potato Flake Cinnamon Rolls

3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup water, warm
1 tbs. yeast
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup potato flakes
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3-4 cups all-purpose flour

mini chocolate chips
shredded coconut

  1. Combine ingredients in a standing mixer and knead for 5 minutes. Dough should not stick to the sides of the bowl. Add more flour as needed to ensure this. 
  2. Place in greased bowl, cover, and let dough rise 45 to 60 minutes, until it has doubled in size. 
  3. Roll dough out onto floured surface into a long rectangle, to 1/4 inch thick. Spread with melted butter and top with desired fillings (cinnamon-sugar, chocolate chips, coconut).
  4. Roll lengthwise and cut 1 inch thick. Place rolls close to each other on buttered sheet pan and let them rise for another 20-30 minutes. 
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes until light golden brown. 
Whole Wheat Variation: Replace 1 cup all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour.

    ICON Lagoon Night

    I think that this picture perfectly sums up our night of fun at the Annual ICON Health and Fitness Lagoon Night!

    Each year, employees and their families are invited for dinner, dessert, and general mayhem at a discounted price for an entire evening, as the park is closed off for only ICON itself. Since my mother works there, Michael and I were able to go this year and have a night of great fun! [Btw, that's our friend Spencer in the above picture with Michael. His fiancee's mother works at ICON and we spent the entire evening playing with their family!]

    I'm afraid that in all our excitement, we forgot to take lots of pictures. So, here are some of our favorites from when it was still daylight!
    This is for FRIGHTMARES which starts in the next week or so.....thought it was funny!
    Michael rode this ride, which I refused as I quickly knew that I would become sick and in the next picture you'll see why.
    Recipe for disaster on my side, but laughs for Michael! He really loved it.
    And, of course, we had to ride the bumper cars...twice. They are classic.

    We also rode all the rollercoasters, including Wicked, which is such a rush. I love the straight down free-falling feel. And every time I ride Colossus, I'm reminded of my first rollercoaster experience which was on that exact rollercoaster!

    But I must say, one of my favorite parts of the entire evening was being able to ride in a "couples seat" on the big swing-type ride. It was cute and sweet, letting our feet just hang and laughing like little kids. We always have fun together.

    Friday, September 18, 2009

    A sleepwalking/talking husband...

    I meant to mention this story last week, but it completely slipped my mind. Now you will be able to have the pleasure of getting another glimpse into our lives through my telling you of a situation that occurred last week upon our return from Lake Powell.

    I was sleeping soundly and hard as a rock when all of a sudden, I was awoken by Michael reaching over, grabbing my arm, and yanking me up into a sitting position on the bed. A bit confused and frustrated, I turned to him and said, "What are you doing?!? What's the matter?!?"

    He replied, "You fell off the boat and into the water, so I had to reach in and pull you out!"

    I told him, "We aren't on the water and we're no longer at Lake Powell on a boat! We're at home in our bed! Goodness, can we go back to sleep?"

    He said, "Okay", layed back down, rolled over, and went to sleep.

    Funny experience of my night and week. It has grown to be more and more hilarious the more I think about it. I always knew he was a sleepwalker/talker but this is by far the most extreme thing he has ever done during sleeping hours. [Apart from the one incident during our first month of marriage when he got up and showered at 1 a.m. because he thought it was 7, tee hee.]

    Sweet Michael, he just has such a vivid imagination, and for some reason it really loves to manifest itself in interesting ways while others are sleeping. Usually it's just gibberish that he speaks or something about computers and databases, but other times, I am delighted to experience even more fun!

    Friday, September 11, 2009

    Labor Day Weekend 2009!

    For the fun weekend of Labor Day, in which Michael and I both had time off to play, we were invited (along with some others) to take a trip down to Southern Utah! The Ajer Family (Richard & Kathy, Brooke, Megan, Mariah, and Justin) are old friends of Michael's from his home ward in Taylorsville and actually were kind of like a second family to him during his "growing up" years. He would go over to their house and watch movies, make crazy fast trips to play in Lake Mead and Lake Powell, and all sorts of things. It was great to spend more time with them and get to know the family better on our long weekend as I've only met them a few times. They are such a fun family and I can see why Michael loves them so much!

    To start off our trip, we drove down Friday afternoon and stopped in Goblin Valley along our way. The sun was almost fully set when we arrived at the hiking area full of really neat rock formations. View of where we would be hiking, just as the moon was coming out.
    Waiting to climb up and into a cave. [Thank you Michael for the picture of my booty!]
    After leaving the dark and very small cave. As you can see, it was rather dusty out there!

    We spent the night in Hanksville, a little town in the middle of nowhere, just an hour away from Lake Powell. We crammed 11 people into 1 hotel room! It was a cozy night. And the next morning, we arose early to beat traffic and made our way to the Lake, piling everyone and all their things on the boat. We found a camping spot on the beach and then went out to play until dark!
    Michael showing off his knee-boarding skills.
    Our new friend, Alex, got up on his first try knee-boarding!
    Kinda hard to tell, but this is Michael seeing how long he can hold on to the rope handle while staying underwater. The guys all thought it was cool, haha.
    The girls (Brooke, Mariah, and me) on the tube, waiting to be pulled out to our near deaths!
    Holding on for dear life. Wish I had a picture of the gnarly bruise I got when I was first bounced off, it's rad.
    Richard, Michael, and Chuck preparing to go out on the tube. Poor Michael got forced into this. Little did he know what he was getting himself into!
    This is known as "The Vortex", where the driver of the boat stops suddenly, sinking the front of the tube and causing all to scramble to hold on and not get sucked down, spinning 6-8 times before resurfacing. It's intense!
    Michael was the most entertaining one to watch, he would flip around trying to not get knocked off, and when he would fall off it was usually hysterical. I recall his feet flying up in the air while he rolled over backwards off the tube...heehee :)
    Fighting the wind and water. These guys tried to pull him off so many times.
    Sunscreen application in the morning. Very important stuff. I think our motto became, "We don't want to get skin cancer and DIE!"
    Riding on the boat next to Kathy and her worried expression as we headed to Rainbow Bridge for a leisurely Sunday hike.
    Kenzie, Alex's wife, having fun and smiling as she did practically the entire trip. She's such a sweetheart.
    First glimpse of Rainbow Bridge, the National Monument.
    Water run-off down the side of the rock. I thought it looked cool. This is what allows plants to grow in the middle of rock crevices where you think it would be impossible for anything to grow.
    Isn't it beautiful? This is a symbol to the Native Americans of how the sun moves across the earth, illustrating how there is always a beginning and end to all things. It's so sacred that no one walks underneath it out of respect for the beliefs and traditions that have been passed on for generations.
    Michael and me in front of Rainbow Bridge.

    We enjoyed such a fun trip with such fun people, heading home on Monday afternoon after some cliff diving, wake-boarding, water-skiing, more tubing, and some classic beach time. We were so glad to go on this trip and in some ways, happier to be home to the modern conveniences we all enjoy and sometimes take for granted. It allowed us to reflect on our lives and be grateful for all we are blessed with, not just indoor plumbing, but also for the beautiful earth our Heavenly Father has created for us! All in all, a wonderful experience!

    Tuesday, September 01, 2009

    A "Sweet" FHE

    Michael and I performed a little bit of "support the local community" for Family Home Evening on Monday. For weeks, we've been watching this cute little cupcake shop prepare to open in Layton. Every time we'd drive by it, Michael would laugh at me as I giggled in anticipation for it's grand opening. Cutsie Cakes Cupcakery and Gift Boutique finally opened and we decided to drop in on Monday night, seeing as I've been dying to go!

    You can see the ultimate happy look on my face.

    We perused around for a while, looking at their vintage candies and craft-related gifts from local vendors, and of course...their CUPCAKES! Michael and I decided we should buy a couple, rationalizing that we should support a local business that is just getting on it's feet. And besides, the owner and baker was such a sweetheart that we just couldn't leave without contributing to her long-life dream of opening a Cupcake Shop.

    This was the adorable box we brought our cupcakes home in!Don't they just look scrumptious?
    My Lemon-Strawberry Cupcake...
    His Coconut Cupcake...
    That's a smile of happiness that can only come from the perfect first bite of a Coconut Cupcake.
    And a similar smile resulting from a big, yummy bite from my Lemon-Strawberry Cupcake.
    I won't show you the rest of the eating pictures, as things got a little messy as we scarfed them down. But here's the final result...empty wrappers and tummies full of sweet concoctions!

    If you are ever in the Layton area, you should stop by and visit Cutsie won't be sorry!