Nov 30, 2009

My friend Emily is having a jewelry open house on December 8th. She has some really great stuff, which make fabulous gifts. I love the interchangeable earrings sets that she has. I've given them to several people for birthdays, etc...and everyone just loves them. Anyway, let me know if you want to join me and I'll get you her address. Since my blog isn't private, I thought I shouldn't post her address. :)

Nov 29, 2009

Need your help

Dear friends and family,
We need your help. Our neighbor and friend Rafe is battling cancer. He is an incredibly good man, with an amazing wife and three beautiful little boys. Rafe's cancer has spread to multiple organs, including his brain. He has undergone chemotherapy, radiation and most recently, a surgery to remove a large tumor from his brain. During the surgery the surgeon found two more tumors. They are planning on doing radiation again to his head, in an attempt to shrink the tumors. You can imagine the financial strain that this has placed on their young family.

Their family has been very private in their struggle and have had a difficult time asking for help from others. They are independent and humble, yet gracious and kind, the type of people who would do anything for anyone. Although this will remain anonymous, many of Rafe's friends and neighbors have been rallying together to show Rafe that we love and support him and his family at this time. In order to help alleviate some of the burden associated with the extraordinary medical expenses we are conducting an online auction. Any support you are able to give will be put to great use and much appreciated. The online auction will begin on December 7th and will end on December 14th at 5:00 p.m. Please check out the blog for more info at about the auction.

Dan and I have decided to forgo neighbor Christmas gifts this year and will make a donation (via paypal on their blog to their family instead. There are many ways that you could help make a huge difference to this family. You could forgo neighbor gifts as well, and write a note or card to friends letting them know that you made a donation in their name to a family in need. OR if you have a special skill, talent or product that you could donate for the online auction, please do so. Here are some ideas just to get you, haircolor/cuts, photography, timeshare/condo stay, free tax service, clothing, products, massages, discounted services, gift certificates, Jazz or BYU tickets, hair products, body lotions, home decor, quilts/sewing, handmade items (i.e. cards, aprons, purses, hair accessories), tutoring, video games, piano or guitar lessons, party planning, graphic design, invitations, baby products (nursing covers, slings, hairbows, beanies, clothing), etc...(By the way, if you received this it's because I believe you have talents and skills!). No donation is too small. Also, if you know someone who might have something they could donate, please forward this email to them. Or simply post a blog or facebook message with the blog website and encourage people to donate raffle items or to bid on items. Once again, the online auction will begin on December 7th, so mark your calendars and check the blog on that day to see the list of items up for bid. The auction will end December 14th at 5:00 p.m. Even if you aren't able to donate, please spread the word about the online auction!

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I can't imagine how difficult the past year has been for this family (and even more difficult during the holidays). I hope that we can all pull together to make things just a little easier and to provide some hope for this incredible family. Please let me know if you have any questions or if you have anything you would like to donate. In order to make things easier, I'd be happy to coordinate on your behalf. Thank you!

All the best,
Holly & Dan Dixon

Nov 23, 2009

Orange Almond Wassail

Isn't it the perfect time for wassail? I wish I had all the ingredients, I'd make this right now. I'm not about to brave the cold again today, so I'll have to give this a try another day. If you're looking for a yummy wassail recipe, this is the one. It has such an amazing flavor. It's the perfect drink for the holiday season. I've never had almond extract in wassail before, but it really seems to be the secret ingredient in this recipe. My friend Sunny said she added even more than the recipe called for, and will add even more next time, so use a heavy hand with the almond extract for a little more tastiness!

Orange Almond Wassail

Makes 12, 6-oz. servings

- 2 cups water

- 1 cup sugar

- 1 large cinnamon stick

- ½ tsp. whole cloves

Boil and then simmer for 30 minutes. Then add:

- 6 cups water

- 1 6 oz. frozen orange juice

- Juice of 1 lemon

- ½ tsp. almond extract

Pour into crockpot and keep warm

Yummy biscuits & amazing salad recipes!

For gourmet club last month the girls made two different kinds of biscuits--pumpkin & buttermilk, served with cinneberry and orange-pecan butters. I'm totally going to have to steal this idea for a dinner party. The biscuits just melted in your mouth. And the butters had just the perfect amount of flavor. Sunny also mentioned that the biscuits are great alternatives to rolls for Thanksgiving dinner (and you don't have to wait for them to rise!), so if you're looking for a fun, new idea for your turkey dinner, give these babies a try! You'll love them!

Pumpkin Angel Biscuits

***Use a light hand when working with this dough to ensure that the baked biscuits will be tender.

Makes about 24 biscuits. Prep time: 30- min. + chilling. Baking time: 12 – 13 minutes.

- 2 ¼ tsp. active dry yeast, room temperature. (1 pkg.)

- ½ cup warm water (105 degrees – 115 degrees)

- 5 cups all purpose flour

- ¼ cup sugar

- 1 T. pumpkin-pie spice

- 1 tsp. baking powder

- 1 tsp. baking soda

- 1 tsp. table salt

- 1 stick cold, unsalted butter, cubed

- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree

- 1 cup buttermilk

- Melted, unsalted butter

Dissolve yeast in warm water in a small bowl; set aside.

Whisk together flour, sugar, pumpkin-pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the 1 stick cubed butter into the dry ingredients until butter pieces are the size of peas.

Stir together pumpkin puree and buttermilk; add to the flour mixture along with the yeast mixture. Stir just until ingredients are moistened. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead dough lightly 4-5 times to incorporate the flour.

Roll dough to a thickness of ½ inch. Cut dough with a 2-inch floured cutter to form 12 biscuits. Place biscuits in one of the prepared pans. Gather remaining dough scraps, then gently roll out dough again. Cut 12 more biscuits and place in second pan.

Brush tops of biscuits with melted butter. Bake biscuits until lightly golden, 12 – 13 minutes.

Turn biscuits out of pans and serve warm.

Make-Ahead Directions:

This dough will keep for 2 – 3 days stored in the refrigerator. You even can cut the dough into rounds and place the rounds into the prepared pans. Cover biscuits and chill them up to 1 day before baking as directed.

Buttermilk Biscuit Option:

You can replace the cup of canned pumpkin puree with an extra 1 cup of buttermilk. Omit the pumpkin-pie spice. No matter what version you choose to make, these biscuits taste fabulous as a base for mini leftover turkey sandwiches!

Cinnaberry Butter:

Combine 1 stick unsalted butter (softened), 2 Tbsp. chopped dried cranberries, 2 tsp. sugar, ½ tsp. ground cinnamon, and ½ tsp. kosher salt in a bowl. Scoop mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap; roll wrap around butter to form a log. Twist ends of plastic wrap tightly to seal. Chill log in the refrigerator until butter is firm. Store butter, sealed, up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator or freezer.

Orange-Pecan Butter:

Combine 1 stick unsalted butter (softened), 2 Tbsp. chopped toasted pecans, 1 tsp. honey, 1 tsp. minced orange zest, ½ tsp. kosher salt in a bowl. Scoop mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap; roll wrap around butter to form a log. Twist ends of plastic wrap tightly to seal. Chill log in the refrigerator until butter is firm. Store butter, sealed, up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator or freezer.

This salad is a recipe from Stacie's grandmother (who is German). I'm seriously in love with this salad. It had the most amazing flavor! I agree with Sunny who said that it just looks like an ordinary salad, but tastes anything but ordinary!

German Family Salad

- 2 bunches of Romaine lettuce, chopped

- 1 large Gala apple cubed

- 1 ½ avocado cut up

- CCaesar or Garlic croutons

- pPine nuts

Dressing for German Salad:

o ½ cup olive oil

o 1/3 cup rice vinegar

o 2 T sugar

o 2 cloves garlic

o About ½ - 1 Tablespoon of “Season All” salt. (I use 1 + even a little more. It’s what makes it.)

o Pepper to taste

More good recipes!

I really post recipes more for myself than for anyone else. I just forget about so many great recipes, so if I have them here on my blog, then I have easy access to them and I don't forget about the keepers! Here's some from gourmet club that I have and need to make. In fact, I'm going to make these sweet potato fries for dinner tonight!

Sweet Potato Fries with Garlic and Sea Salt

*These were AMAZING!!! The best sweet potato fries I've ever had!

• 2 lbs sweet potatoes
• ¼ cup olive oil
• 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
• 1 tablespoon lime juice
• 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
• 2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, chopped
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic
• Course sea salt

Preheat oven to 450. Rinse and dry sweet potatoes. Cut sweet potatoes into batons about ¼ inch wide and 3 inches long. Mix the oil, mustard, and lime juice in a large bowl or ziplock bag and toss with the sweet potato batons to coat. Spread sweet potatoes on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast, stirring with a spatula midway through baking time, until tender and browned on the edges, 20-25 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix parmesan, parsley, and garlic. Add warm oven fries and mix gently to coat. Season to taste with additional salt and serve at once.

These panini's were amazing it makes me want to buy a panini maker just so I can make this!

Farmers’ Market Panini

Tart apples such as Granny Smith, chopped
Red onion marmalade
Brie Cheese, rind cut off and sliced
Roasted Turkey Breast, sliced
Hearty Wheat Bread, sliced
Brush one side of each bread slice with olive oil. Lay the slices oiled side down and spread the top of each slice with the red onion marmalade. Sprinkle the apples on top and place sliced turkey over the apples. Arrange a couple slices of brie on top. Top each sandwich with a bread slice, oiled side up.

Place the sandwich on a panini press, close the lid, and cook until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the sandwiches to a cutting board and cut in half. Serve immediately.

Moist and Tender Turkey Breast
1 (5-10 lb) fresh or frozen turkey breast (thawed)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 (10 1/2 ounce) can chicken broth
1-2 tablespoon mayonnaise

1. Place turkey breast in a roasting pan.
2. Combine melted butter and chicken broth.
3. Pour over turkey.
4. Rub mayonnaise all over turkey's exterior. Salt lightly if desired.
5. Roast at 300°-325°F until internal temperature reaches 170°F on an instant read thermometer.
6. Remove from oven and let sit for about 30 minutes before slicing.
Note: because the butter and broth are for making gravy, if you need to make a lot of gravy, double the amount of both.

Red Onion Marmalade
4 ½ pounds red onions
4 garlic cloves
1/3 pound butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
¾ cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
375 ml bottle red wine
375 ml bottle red wine vinegar

1. Halve and thinly slice the onions, then thinly slice the garlic. Melt the butter with the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over a high heat. Tip in the onions and garlic and give them a good stir so they are glossed with butter. Sprinkle over the sugar, thyme leaves, and some salt and pepper. Give everything another really good stir and reduce the heat slightly. Cook uncovered for 40-50 minutes, stirring occasionally. The onions are ready when all their juices have evaporated, they're really soft and sticky and smell of sugar caramelizing. They should be so soft that they break when pressed against the side of the pan with a wooden spoon. Slow cooking is the secret of really soft and sticky onions, so don't rush this part.
2. Pour in the wine and vinegar and simmer everything, still uncovered, over a high heat for 25-30 minutes, stirring every so often until the onions are a deep mahogany color and the liquid has reduced by about two-thirds. It's done when drawing a spoon across the bottom of the pan clears a path that fills rapidly with syrupy juice. Leave the onions to cool in the pan then scoop into a container. Can be eaten straight away, but keeps in the fridge for up to 3 months.

Nov 10, 2009

I heart Frozen Yogurt Junction!

(In memory of GAY's...)
There is a little mom and pop-style (self-serve!) frozen yogurt place Dan and I love. It's called Frozen Yogurt Junction. It's in American Fork, right next to Seagull Book, right by where the old Smith's was, by Chadder's. etc... I feel bad that it's not in a better location. The huge vacant building where Smith's was doesn't help either. Anyway, when we lived in Huntington Beach we loved getting froyo from GAY's (Great American Yogurt), so we were excited when we found this place. They have great flavors and great customer service. I'm all about supporting the small should too. Give it a try, I promise you'll love it!

Become their facebook friend (and mention it!)and get $1.00 off today.

They also have a blog that lists their daily flavors.

Anyone want to join me in Draper on Thanksgiving morning at 8 a.m. for the Utah Human Race? All the benefits go to the Utah Food Bank. Come on, it's only a 5K, anyone can do it! ;) Anyone? Anyone?? Check out more details or register at

Nov 5, 2009

Sienna 1-year pics...

....give or take a couple of months! ;) She was probably closer to 13-months. My friend Emily and I went up Provo Canyon to check out the leaves before the big snow storm (which happened the next day so we were glad we went when we did!). It was such a pretty day and the leaves were so pretty. Emily took some amazing pictures of her little girl, and then was kind enough to shoot some of Sienna as well. Here's one of my favorite's of cute Liv.
Sienna was being a little booger and was refusing to cooperate, that is, until Emily gave her a sucker. That just kept her from screaming or moving quite so quickly, she still refused to really smile for us. She is definitely trying to tell me who's boss these days. Despite being quite difficult, she still took some sweet pictures. It's a good thing she's so cute!

Think she was done?

Nov 1, 2009


I just came across these pictures of Sienna from the Spring. I can't believe how quickly she has changed. I love the smirk. She definitely has some sweet facial expressions!