Monday, September 28, 2009

May I See Your Dessert Menu?

Photo courtesy of Land O'

If you know me, you know I have quite the sweet tooth. I always ask to see the dessert menu at restaurants - even if I'm completely stuffed and couldn't possibly eat another bite. I guess I just want to see what I'm missing. And if I deem it just too good to pass up, I usually talk someone into sharing it with me. After all, life's too short to go without dessert... don't you agree?

Since I'm always on the lookout for new desserts to try, when my mom forwarded THIS recipe to me, I knew I had to share it. Bread Pudding=Yum. Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce=Sinful. (I thought I would include the nutritional information below, but maybe you should read it after you eat/inhale the bread pudding... there's no sense in ruining a perfectly delightful recipe!)

Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Start to Finish Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

Bread Pudding:
4 cups (8 slices) cubed white bread
1/2 cup raisins
2 cups milk
1/4 cup LAND O LAKES® Butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup LAND O LAKES® Butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup LAND O LAKES® Heavy Whipping Cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine bread and raisins in large bowl. Combine milk and 1/4 cup butter in 1-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat until butter is melted (4 to 7 minutes). Pour milk mixture over bread; let stand 10 minutes. Stir in all remaining pudding ingredients. Pour into greased 1-1/2-quart casserole. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until center is set. Combine all sauce ingredients except vanilla in 1-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens and comes to a full boil (5 to 8 minutes). Stir in vanilla. To serve, spoon warm pudding into individual dessert dishes; serve with sauce. Store refrigerated.

Nutritional Facts:
(1 serving, 3 tablespoons sauce); Calories 490; Fat 26g; Cholesterol 125mg; Sodium 300mg; Carbohydrate 58g; Dietary Fiber 1g; Protein 6g

Thursday, September 17, 2009

To Ski or Not to Ski? That is the Question.

I've never been an adrenaline junkie. You know, the type that likes to bungee jump, sky dive or rappel down 40-foot walls dressed in Army fatigues.

Well, I actually did do the rappel thing when I was in college...but that was for a reporting assignment and back then I would do practically anything to get published. Yes, even join BYU's Army ROTC for an exhausting day of field training exercises. (Hey, I made my grandpa proud!)

This is the infamous wall I rappelled down.

Did I also mention I threw a grenade (no pin) and climbed under a barbed wire fence (on my back)? Okay, maybe I am a little more adventurous than I give myself credit for. (If you'd like to read the full story and have a chuckle at my expense, here's the link.)

So while I was on vacation last month, I was given the opportunity to water ski. I’ve never really embraced skiing - either the water or snow version - but I'm always up for a challenge, even if it means I will mostly likely end up on my butt - which usually happens in both instances.

But like I said, I like pushing my body to do things my mind puts the brakes on. So what if I'm older and out of shape? Age is only a number and your body is a miraculous sum of many parts. I just wish my toes liked freezing cold temperatures!

Here I am all suited up and ready to water ski. I just dipped my toes into the 65-degree lake water and my sister snapped this reaction. What was I thinking? Instead of easing my way in, limb by limb, I ended up diving in. Much like a band-aid, it's sometimes best to just go for it!

Once submerged, the cold water isn't so bad. You just hope the skis are set to match your foot size. My dad likes to joke that with size nine feet, I already have built-in skis!

Once the skis are on, it's time to untwist the rope and align yourself straight behind the boat.

Point your ski tips up and then there's only one thing left to do: PRAY!

After two failed attempts, I finally got up! Five minutes later, I finally surrendered to my wobbly legs and aching back, and dropped the rope. And yes, I ended up on my butt!

Here's to all you adrenaline junkies out there! Thanks for letting me step into your exciting world every now and then. I may not stay long, but I sure have a good time while I'm doing it!


P.S. What's the most adventurous thing you've done lately?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Happy Birthday, Big Sis!

Mom and me in Sundance, Utah, 2007

"Most of all the other beautiful things in life come by twos and threes by dozens and hundreds. Plenty of roses, stars, sunsets, rainbows, brothers and sisters, aunts and cousins, but only one mother in the whole world." ~Kate Douglas Wiggin

Happy birthday to my big "sis"!


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Farewell to Summer!

"What do I want to take home from my summer vacation? Time. The wonderful luxury of being at rest. The days when you shut down the mental machinery that keeps life on track and let life simply wander. The days when you stop planning, analyzing, thinking and just are. Summer is my period of grace." ~Ellen Goodman

Until we meet again,