Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Yum Yum Yum Yum Yum

As a newlywed, I'm always on the look out for easy, delicious recipes to make for my cutie patootie husband. You see, he's kind of a WAY better person than I am, and I know this, so I have to keep him hooked somehow...and he likes food...so I try to even the playing field by cooking for him.

Enter the most delicious soup I have EVER made in my entire life. I know this is kind of geeky to put a recipe up here...but I made it on Sunday, and just finished off the last of the left overs and it really was just so incredibly delicious, I think you should all try it. I got it in a Pampered Chef recipe book thing that Alicia gave me after she went to a Pampered Chef bridal shower and we watched her kids.

Loaded Baked Potato Chowder

3 baking potatoes (about 2 1/2 lbs)
3 1/2 C milk, divided
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 T butter
2-3 green onions with tops (1/4 C)
4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 1/2 t salt
1/2 t coarsely ground black pepper
Option toppings such as chopped cooked bacon, sour cream, or steamed broccoli florets (We added broccoli and corn and it was splendid)

1. Slice Potatoes in half lengthwise, place in Deep Covered Baker (or any other microwavable casserole-type dish). Pour 1/2 cup of the milk over the potatoes. Microwave, covered, on HIGH 11 minutes. Remove baker from microwave. Move center potatoes to ends of baker and outer potatoes to center. Cover; microwave on HIGH 8-11 minutes or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork. Remove from microwave. Coarsely mash potatoes.

This is where I had to change the recipe to fit our needs in the tiny-ness of the love shack...I'll put what the recipe says, and then say what I ended up doing.

(Pampered Chef version)
2. Meanwhile,whisk cream cheese until smooth. Slowly add remaining 3 cups milk, whisking until smooth. Add cream cheese mixture and butter to baker. Microwave, covered, on HIGH 3-5 minutes until mixture is hot. Slice green onions.

3. Carefully remove baker from microwave. Grate cheddar cheese over chowder; add green onions, salt, black pepper, and mix until cheese is melted, serve with toppings, if desired.

(Camille version)

2. Whisk together cream cheese and milk like above, but instead of adding milk to baker, transfer potatoes to biggish soup pot and add cream cheese mixture. Heat on stove at medium until hot.

3. While the soup mixture is heating up, add salt and pepper, green onions, as well as broccoli, frozen corn, or any other things you think might sound delicious. We also added a little Hidden Valley Ranch because Logan is OBSESSED with it. The veggies cooked while the soup was heating up quite nicely. At the very end, add the cheese and stir until melted. It was a little thin at first, but after taking it off the heat, it thickened up.

Yield: 6 servings (8 cups)

It was so much easier than I thought it would be, and it turned out so delicious! I'm going to have to go buy more potatoes and make this one again really soon! We just loved it! Hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Tennis Lessons

I have decided to take advantage of having a personal tennis coach as a roommate/best friend/husband. Mind you, I am NOT sporty at all, and my hand eye coordination is crap, but today for FHE I suggested I cook us some dinner (delicious avocado ranch burgers, salad, and some watermelon) and afterwards we go out and play a little tennis. Logan looked at me like I was nuts...I'd cook him dinner AND play his favorite sport with him?!?! He was excited none the less.

Dude, I really did have so much fun though. I'm not very good, but Logan was so cute and patient with me. He worked on me with my swing and trying to put spin on, which I think is way over my head because I'm still having a hard time following through with my swing, but I really did enjoy myself. I know I still have a long ways to go. Max and Logan just make it look so easy when I go and watch them play!! I think Logan had a lot of fun too, he was talking about going home and watching pros play so I could watch their swing. I wouldn't mind if I had to watch Roger Federer (my tennis boyfriend). He's a cutie patootie.

At the end of my lesson, Logan helped me work on my Kick Serve...where you throw the ball in the air and arch your back and whack it hard. Logan's got a good kick serve. Camille needs work. Lots and lots of work. I don't think Logan would mind too much, he'd get to play more often, even if it was klutzy me.

Also, Logan looks so incredibly hot doing a kick serve. But then again, I do have the hottest tennis coach out there.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Love Shack

This is The Love Shack. Not just any Love Shack, the Spence Love Shack. Yes, do you see this teensy, weensy box of an apartment? This is where we live. Don't let your eyes fool you into thinking maybe it's bigger than it appears. It is most definitely as small as it looks. And we love it here.

Through the front door is our kitchen/living room/laundry room all rolled into one. One step down the hall is the bathroom...with a tiny shower and a toilet you have to slide into like a desk with the sink right over your lap. One more step down the hall, and you reach the bedroom. Our bed is so long we can't ever shut the bedroom door. We've had to get really creative with our storage situation, and it looks like a bomb went off if you set just one thing down, but we're making it work. It has gorgeous wood floors and beautiful cabinets. The bathroom was remodeled right before we moved in and the shower has pretty tiles in it. There are tons of windows all over that we love to open and feel the breeze come through our home. Our landlords are awesome people, and let us have free access to their hot tub, fire pit, and grill, which we are loving now that it's not snowy anymore. Our neighbors are fantastic. The ward is great. And we really just love it. As the words from my favorite song go....The Love Shack is a little place where we can get together, yeah. Well, except we can't fit more than 4 adults in the place. But we still have couple dinner parties as often as we can. I love having my own place to entertain in!

We moved in last June, after everything had bloomed and this spring has been so gorgeous seeing all of the trees covered in flowers. My favorite is the tree right next to our front porch. It smells fantastic and has beautiful pink blossoms all over it. Anyone know what tree it is just by looking at it? I told Logan we have to get one when we are grown up and have our own house.

Aren't these just gorgeous? They smell so wonderful too! This tree makes me smile everytime I go outside of our little home. It's just the best tree ever. I'm quite attached.

I Love that I Love My Job!

I seriously have the best job in the world!! This past year I have been teaching at an after school ballroom program at an elementary school in Provo. I've had quite the challanges, from havint 45 students to getting kids ages 6-12 (let me tell you, there's a HUGE mental difference between a 6 year old and a 12 year old, believe me!), and finally my show being changed to a week earlier last minute. I had my handful of frustrations with all of this, but let me tell you.... These kids....all 45 of them...have made it totally worth it. They are the best kids in the world.

I have learned so much about myself as a teacher, as a future mother, and as a person. It's because of these kids that I have started thining about maybe going into elementary education after I am done with my dance degree.
They did two dances at their show...a cha cha to "Play that Funky Music" and a swing to "Ain't Nothin' Wrong with That" and they were so adorable! We had a really great turn out to our show. I was expecting maybe 30 parents and we ended up having over 150 people come to watch, and they all had a great time. After they presented their dances, we did a little bit of social dancing and they were able to dance with their parents, siblings, grandparents, and whoever else came out to support them.
I'm working on figuring out my schedule for next year so hopefully I'll be able to teach here again next year.