Monday, March 9, 2009

Happy Coming to Earth Day!

Yay! A new baby is born!

On Thursday, February 19 the doctor discovered that Mike and Gracie's baby, Ryan was breached. It looked to me like Ryan was stubbornly refusing to leave the warm safety of his mommy's tummy by flashing his bum at the world and refusing to turn around and be born the proper and easy way (looks like he has some of his Daddy in him!). So a C-section was set for the following Wednesday, February 25. Apparently, Ryan was not so keen on this plan and decided he wanted to be born- breeched or no. When he decided he was ready to enter the world he gave everyone a little surprise. At 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 21st Gracie's water broke. At 7:30 p.m. she went into labor.

On Sunday February 22, 2009 a beautiful baby boy, Ryan Lee Montrose, was born at 01:01am, weighed 7lb. 11oz (which is ironically Michael's birthdate: 7/11) and is 20.5 inches long.

Saturday Adventures! Mar. 7, 2009

This weekend Casey and I had a little adventure together- we discovered a new park by our house with really big sidewalks for people to run, ride bikes, rollerblade etc. and it follows a river for some of it. It also connects to a mountain biking trailhead that Casey thought I would like. I was a little nervous because I tweaked my knee this week and its been giving me some trouble on the bike but it turned out fine for the ride.

So Saturday we had it all planned out- we got up early, made yummy waffles and we were just sitting down to breakfast when I got a reminder text about a big stake enrichment activity from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. that day. I couldn't believe I had forgotten! The Relief Society has been reminding us for about 3 weeks! But I weighed my options and was thinking about things that had been going on in our lives and I decided to stick with our original plan and I'm so glad I did. We got all packed up and rode our mountain bikes 8 or 9 miles to the trailhead and then did the 7.5 mile trail. Casey was really awesome- very encouraging and helpful, he was super supportive and gave me tips and demonstrations so I could learn how to handle trail riding better. We had an absolute blast together and I think it was just what we needed.

We were planning on getting Greek for lunch at this place, Ali Baba's. Casey went there for lunch one day with his team and really liked it so we've been trying to go; it turns out that the only day they don't serve lunch is on Saturdays!!!! So we settled for some leftovers in the fridge and Casey ran errands with me which ALWAYS makes them go by faster and they are always more fun. Casey also got a cute haircut but I didn't get a picture of it so I'll have to take one when he gets home. We ended up going to Five Guys Burgers with some friends for dinner. It wasn't the greatest hamburger place- but really not too bad- the fries were disappointing though. For dessert we walked to a little gelato place in the same shopping area- a first for Casey and I. It was good- I'm not quite sure what makes it different from ice cream. As far as I can tell it is milk based and doesn't contain gelatin although the name might make you think otherwise. I guess the main difference is that it has less butterfat than ice cream which makes it melt faster. I think I liked it more than Casey did, although I do agree that the amount of cookie dough chunks in our chocolate chip cookie dough was highly disappointing. :-)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Australia Top 50

Hey guys-

Thank you for all your support and for watching my videos.  The top 50 were short-listed yesterday and I didn't make the list.  The total number of applicants was over 34,400 so its understandable.  :-) 

I just want to say thanks again for all your support and love- love you guys

Monday, March 2, 2009

Cookin' Tips

Ok. I've been doing a lot of reading of recipes and have noticed that there are a lot of misconceptions about basic cooking that need to be rectified. Here is my list:

1. When cooking pasta- you do not need to add oil or salt to the water. Salt will give it a little flavor- but usually you are just going to cover the noodles with a yummy sauce anyway. If you don't want your noodles to stick- putting oil in the water is not the way to do it. All that does is make it harder for the sauce to stick to the noodles and sauce will make them less sticky anyway. If you are using pasta not covered in sauce or you are saving leftover noodles and don't want them to be a hard clump in the fridge- add a little bit of oil after the noodles have been drained and are back in the pot- then stir it around with a big spoon to coat them. They will not stick together but its also possible that nothing else will stick to them either.

2. When cooking- you do not need to use expensive extra fine virgin oil, regular cheap olive oil will do just fine. Everyone wants to eat healthier and olive oil is one of the healthiest oils we can have in our diet, so it is understandable why everyone wants to buy the very expensive extra virgin olive oil and it can be worth your money- if used wisely.

Olive oil is rich in polyphenols, antioxidants and lots of other big words that most of us don't know. These big words have health benefits like lowering cholesterol, protecting cells against heart disease and cancer and can help slow aging. Whether olive oil is extra virgin, virgin or 100% olive oil depends on how many pressings the olives have gone through. Extra Virgin oil is made from the first pressing of olive oil and contains a higher portion of plant extracts- that is why it is healthier and, of course, more expensive. It is best to save this kind of oil for use in foods that will not be exposed to high heat. The compounds that make this oil so healthy will break down when exposed to high temperatures and what you are left with is pretty much the same as the cheap, basic 100% olive oil- so why not use that kind to begin with? Save the expensive stuff for salad dressings and Italian dinner night (imitate Macaroni Grill and pour some Extra Virgin in a dish, grind up some fresh cracked pepper and use it as a dip for warm chewy bread. Then you can savor the flavor of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil and you get all of the nutrients that you pay for.)

If you don't want the strong taste of olive oil in a dish that you are making- try canola oil. It has better fats than vegetable oil (mostly monounsaturated which are healthy fats- the body can easily break them down for nutrients) and has a very neutral flavor. It is great for things like browines or other sweets where the olive oil taste might be undesirable or make it taste a little off. I use a canola and vegetable oil blend so that I still get the richness of vegetable oil- but its not so bad for you.

Well that's my diatribe! :-) I hope it was educational and helpful to you. If you guys like what you read then I can keep posting tips like these as I continue learning through my classes. And if you have any cooking questions I would love to learn more and answer your questions.

All my love and Good Eating!