Monday, March 25, 2013

Spread the Word

As most of you know we are going through the adoption process to begin our family. Many of you have helped us spread the word by linking our blog or website to your Facebook or handing out our pass-along cards. We appreciate all of your help! After many hours of reading on blogs and trial and error I have created a button that you can place on your own blog. If you have a blog we would love if you would grab our button by copying the text in the grab box under our button and pasting it in the "add gadgets" section of your blog. Once there you will see a section called "HTML/JavaScript" click on this and paste our code. You should then have our button on the side bar or your blog! Yay for technology and smart people who are willing to do tutorials so not so computer smart people can do this.

Mike and Madison

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Mom and Dad Come to Visit

Each year for Christmas we give our parents "A night on the town" with us. We are taking my parents to Les Miserables at the Pioneer Theater and to Ruth's Chris in May and Mike's parents came down for a visit for their night on the town a couple of weeks ago. We had such a great time! Mike's brother Jon is getting married at the beginning of May and so Mom, Dad and I went shopping looking for wedding stuff. We also went and visited Mike's grandparents and had lots of family time and good food. This year we took them to Bambara. We each got something different so we were able to taste more things on the menu.
 I got the sea bass. It was so good! After they cook the fish they put it under a salamander (a really cool broiler that makes things really crispy on top). The top of the fish was golden brown and crunch. Underneath it was a bed of leeks, and lentils cooked in duck fat.

 Mom got the filet. She had fingerling potatoes that were also cooked in duck fat. The two sauces on the plate were to die for.

 Mike had the new york steak and frites (aka fries).

Dad got the salmon. This came with brussle spouts and cauliflower puree.

While we were wandering around Costco we found the most amazing thing.

I refrained from buying anything that day but I soon returned to buy some. How could I let these treasures go! These are the cartoons from my childhood! They just don't make them like they used to.

I also got my Christmas present from Mom. She sent it home with Jon after Thanksgiving and I finally got it. Can I just say I LOVE IT!!! Thanks Mom O!
Yes, that is a giant pink Tupperware bowl!

Real Belgium Waffles

This year our friends Katie and Reed introduced us to a little place in downtown Salt Lake called Bruges. It is a little hole in the wall place across the street from Pioneer Park. Since then I have fallen in love with the "Waffle Monster."
Thanks to Urbanspoon for this photo.

After trying this delicious treat I had to find a recipe and make it. Although I haven't made it yet I was able to find two of the most important ingredients, Belgium pearl sugar and speculoos.

Thank you Trader Joe's and Gygi's for these great finds.

Cool, Crunchy, Chicken Tacos

One of Mike and my goals this year is to eat healthier. I don't know about you but when you hear something is healthy the first thing that comes to mind is "flavorless, boring, gross." This is not one of those recipes. This recipe is packet full of texture and flavor. I adapted the ingredients to make it more healthful. The original recipe is from The Pampered Chef.
I Know this isn't the best picture but I was really hungry and didn't want to get out the nice camera.

Whole wheat tortillas (original recipe calls for hard yellow taco shells)
1 small head romaine lettuce
1-2 limes
1/2 C. plain yogurt (original recipe calls for mayonnaise)
2 t. ground cumin
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1/4 t. salt
3 C. diced grilled chicken breast (I use some of the sauce as a marinade)
1/2 small jicama
1 small mango
1/2 C. cilantro

Sauce: mix 1 t. lime zest, 1 T. lime juice, yogurt, cumin, and cayenne pepper. 

Salsa: Peal jicama and mango and cut them into 1/4 thick strips. Chop cilantro. Combine jicama, mango, cilantro, salt, and remaining lime juice and toss to coat. 

Set 1/4 sauce aside to used as a garnish. Coat the uncooked chicken breast with 1/4 of sauce and then grill the chicken. Once the chicken is grilled cut into strips. Pour the remaining sauce (1/2 of the amount) over the chicken and stir to coat.

Chop lettuce.

Get tortilla and put some of the reserved sauce. Add chicken, salsa, and lettuce. Wrap and enjoy.

Give me a V-E-G-A-S

See that cute girl behind me? That is my amazing niece. Each year she has a cheer competition in Las Vegas and Mike and I tag along with her family to go and route her on. Last year we went to plenty of delicious places to eat but didn't get to do much else. This year her competitions were at night so we got to do some pretty fun stuff. This picture was taken at Cirque Du Sole's "O". This was the second time Mike and I saw it but we sat up higher and were able to see more of the performance.

The stage and auditorium is pretty amazing.

My stud nephew if one of the Cirque masks.

Before the show we walked around the gardens in the Bellagio. They change the frequently and it was Chinese New Year themed.

 There weren't as many things made out of flowers like the last time we visited but these people were pretty amazing.

We were also able to go to Hoover Dam. It was love at first sight for Mike. We had a great time walking around and going on tours of this amazing piece of American History.

This was Mike's favorite. He loved learning about the traffic bridge that was built between 2005-10.

From the traffic bridge you were able to get a stellar view of the dam.

We also took a tour of the power section of the dam. It was amazing to learn how they create energy for millions of homes.

It is pretty crazy to think that all of these tunnels were made so long ago by using dynamite.

These are the turbines where the electricity is created. Depending on the time of day and day of the week there are a different number of these going to meet the electrical needs of millions.

A representation of the men spreading out the drums of concrete that were lowed to build the dam. Once they opened the bottom and the concrete poured out these drums would shoot off into the air.

This showed how the electricity is made using the turbines.

As always we ate some delicious food while we were there.
 The macaroons at this chocolate shop are to die for!.

 We tried the mint chocolate frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity 3.

 Yep saints and sinners breakfast again. Their french toast is the best I have ever had.

 Mikes breakfast sandwich.

 This place served authentic asian noodles. The decor was pretty cool too.

We didn't eat here but it was new since we were there last summer. One day we will eat there. The menu look delightful.

All in all it was a great trip. Syd took first place and won a sweet "Jamz National Championship" jacket. I can't wait until next year!