Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Humility of a Child

Here's the story: I dressed Kate up in one of her Christmas outfits from Grandma DeAnn. Ryan thought she looked very nice so he said, "You look very nice today Kate." Without missing a beat, Kate said, "Get out!" accompanied by the appropriate arm gesture of pretending to push away the complement. For all you Seinfeld loyalists out there, you might think she's been picking up on some of their lingo, but I'm pretty sure she's never seen Seinfeld. Although she is pretty handy with the controls on the TV, so who knows. We have no idea where this came from, but it sure was cute. So we tried it again, and she did it again.

This is a reproduction, made obvious by the audible, "Ok, go!" at the beginning of the video, but we were still glad to get it on camera.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Real Christmas Request

Being a poor college "family" does have its benefits. We can only sink about $150 deep into the materialistic side of Christmas. Although our budget may confine what we spend on Christmas to a relatively small number, our minds, thoughts, and spirit do not have the same definite boundaries. I find myself still cataloging new items to add to my wish list, Kate's wish list, Ryan's wish list, and anyone else I can think of. New stuff is fun!

But "stuff" is not what Christmas is about. When I see the shining, fresh face of my little girl everyday I am reminded what the Savior gave us through His life and atonement: the chance to start anew, make amends, receive comfort, and find love to make our countenances once again shining and new. All the stuff in the world winds up looking like nothing at all when we compare the gift we have been given through Jesus Christ.

So, my request: How do you, or your family, remember Jesus, His life, and gift during the Christmas season?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Joy of Bulgur

No I didn't steal this post title from the most recent title of our ward's home storage cookbook. It's sincere, I really do find joy in eating bulgur wheat. And although this may come as a shock, so do Kate and Ryan.

If you read the word "bulgur" and your mind immediately jumped to weird medical conditions, don't tune out! Bulgur is a grain commonly used in middle eastern dishes. It is so versatile, I love trying lots of different things with it. Although it's not really good with chocolate, at least that's what I hear ;) Also, it's soo good for you! Trivia: bulgur has more fiber than oats or buckwheat!

So you have to cook bulgur like any other grain before you use it. I like to make a big batch and have lots leftover so I can try different combos at lunch.

Here are some of my favorite ways to eat this yummy grain. I apologize ahead of time because the measurements are by no means precise. I just wanted to throw some fun ideas out there for healthy meals. And remember, with all of these you're basically making a salad, so if you like or don't like ingredients there is no problem with tweaking them. I serve all these variations in pita pockets, but you can eat them alone too.

#1 Traditional Tabbouleh
I learned to make this from an Iranian lady I worked with as a teenager. You can find a great recipe on but here are the basics I use:

2 cups cooked bulgur (1 cup uncooked turns into about 2 cups cooked)

2-3 roma sized tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 cucumbers, peeled and chopped
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
salt to taste

#2 "Greek" Tabbouleh
Really it just has feta, but Greek in the title sounds fun

2 cups cooked bulgur
2-3 roma sized tomatoes, seeded an chopped
1/2 - cucumber, peeled and chopped
1-2 tblsp fresh dill, about 1 1/2 dried
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 - 3/4 cup feta, mmm!
1 cooked, chopped chicken breast (I put lots of seasonings on mine and then just bake it in the oven)
salt to taste
lemon juice to taste

Note : Let the bulgur cool a bit before you mix, other wise the mixture gets gooey

#3 Annie's "Tabbouleh"
Have you ever had "Annie's" shitake mushroom salad dressing? My sister Audrey introduced me and I'm a goner for it. MMM! This is totally just an idea to use up some bulgur, no measurements at all

Cooked bulger
Shitake Mushroom Dressing, lots of it.

Monday, December 1, 2008

1st Christmas Present

Kate received her first Christmas present today! The little nativity set came in the mail from Grandma and Grandpa Morgan, they hit the nail on the head with this gift. Thank you!

Here's a little video of her enjoying the gift.