Saturday, October 17, 2009

Birthday Dinner ala Julia Child

Several months ago my friend Marsha, Tessa and I went to see the movie Julie and Julia.  I had read  both of the books the movie was based on (Julie and Julia and My Life in France) and loved both books.  In fact my first introduction to blogging was when I read Julie and Julia several years ago.

We loved the movie and we drooled over all the amazing food in the movie too.  On the way home we talked about having a Julia Child dinner sometime.

Marsha celebrated her 50th birthday this week so I decided that was the perfect opportunity to host a Julia Child dinner.  I picked up a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking at Costco and planned out the meal.

One thing I discovered is that Julia Child must have had a lot of time on her hands because nothing in her cookbook is quick and easy to prepare.  It gave me a better understanding and appreciation for what Julie must have gone through that year that she cooked every recipe in the book - it took a lot of TIME!!!

I started with the French Onion Soup on Thursday evening.  I also got the Artisan No Knead Bread (not a Julia Child recipe but European) going Thursday night too since it takes 18 hours before it's ready to bake!.

Friday morning I got the table set and decorated and made the amazingly delicious chocolate and almond cake and then moved on to begin the Boeuf Bourginon (which took about 5 hours to fix)

My friend Jane brought some french like appetizers - lots of yummy french cheeses, fruits and some delicious fig/orange jelly to eat with the cheese.  She also made the Barefoot Contessa Sundried Tomato Dip and some yummy hummus.

The french onion soup turned out delicious complete with it's cheese covered crudites on top!
The Boeuf Bourginone was perfect and so tender!

We celebrated and sang happy birthday to Marsh!

and did I mention how delicious the chocolate/almond cake was!!!  We enjoyed a wonderful evening together as friends!

We kicked the boys out of the dining room so we could have some girl talk and they went into the kitchen and did all the clean up - love those boys!!
Of course you can't have a Julia Child dinner party without wearing pearls!  I even wore my little vintage hostess apron for the occasion!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What 50 Looks Like!

If this is what 50 looks like I'm not going there!

I attended a birthday luncheon for two of my friends yesterday.  They were both celebrating their 50th birthday - born on the same day!

Marsha and Daurie use to look so young....not sure what happened!

They were hilarious in their old lady get ups - complete with saggy stockings and saggy other things :)!!

They even did a special reading for us - all about getting old! 

I guess I've got a couple of good months left in me before I have to join their old ladies club!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Swine Flu Tips

We received a call from Grandma Wilkes this morning about the arrival of cousin Emily's new baby boy - yeah!  But also the news that Emily has been diagnosed with swine flu and is isolation in the hospital.  Our prayers will definitely be with them.

We have been a little paranoid around here about swine flu.  Two kids that Tessa knows at school have been diagnosed with it.

We are trying to take some smart precautions around our house and thought I'd share some info I found to be helpful.

We have all started taking Vitamin D.  I have read and heard from several sources that Vitamin D is excellent for boosting the immune system and one of the best things you can do to combat Swine Flu - one of the sources I heard it from was Dr. Oz of Oprah fame

Adults can take up to 2,000 IU a day and children 1,000.  We bought it at Costco, it was on their coupon special and was $10 for 300 of them.

Here are also some other tips.  One of them is to use a neti pot which Tessa has used to help her sinus infections - if you want to see how to use it - check out the post I did on it.

We are definitely taking precautions around here and encourage you to also!!

1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications).

2. "Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat, bathe or slap).

3. Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don't trust salt). H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.

4. Similar to 3 above, clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti (very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities), but blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.

5. Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C. If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.

6. Drink as much of warm liquids as you can. Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Wilkes Week

I had almost decided there wouldn't be a blog post this week because nothing very "blog worthy" had happened this past week.  It was a pretty boring week.  There was lots to do but just nothing too exciting except that $1,800.00 car repair bill we got - now that is exciting - NOT!!  No, I did not put the decimal in the wrong spot!

Jim and I both got a temple session in.  I attended our Stake RS Temple day and Jim went on his own - one of the advantages of being unemployed is more time to go to the temple.  He was been very good about going once a week.  Hopefully he won't be able to do that as easily soon!!!

Tessa kept busy with school, play practice, voice lessons and she played Mom to the neighbor kids this weekend when their folks went out of town and she took care of them.  She had a good time and all went well.

This weekend our ward had a family activity - a soup and pie night with a program of funny skits and stories.  It was fun.  I made a peanut butter pie.  It didn't win the pie contest but I thought it was pretty darn good!!

Today I had the "opportunity" to go to church for 7 hours!  After attending my own ward, the Stake RS Presidency visited 3 of the Relief Socities in our Stake and had a Presidency meeting in between.  Got to hear the same lesson three times - it was a good lesson on Joseph Smith.  I have a greater understanding and compassion for those Bishoprics who are at church all day long - I have to admit 7 hours of church is just a bit too much!  I was struggling big time to keep my eyes open during the last RS we went too.  Since we were sitting in the front facing the rest of the room I figured I better stay awake!

Logan and his friend Mark Boothe have been working out and training for a while now.  This weekend they competed in their first 5K - they are working up to a mini-triatholon.  This was a costume 5K so they dressed up.

Aren't they cute!

They are salt and pepper shakers if you can't tell!  They borrowed the costumes from Mark's folks.

They won first prize with their costumes.  And, yes, they did run the entire 5K in the costumes.  Logan said it felt like running in a dress!  They didn't come in first in the 5K but Logan said they were in the "middle of the pack".

Their prize for winning the costume contest was a free pancake breakfast - they even put chocolate chips in them!

Cute College Roomies

Cali and her roommates headed up the canyon this weekend for a roommate photo shoot.  They are such cute girls - you can really see in these photos how much fun they have together!

They can be cute and crazy all at the same time!

I think this one is my favorite....

Cali and Brittany share a room together - and have way too much fun together!!!

And some photos of my beautiful girl...

Our Pathetic Little Pumpkin Patch

Every year we dedicate one of our raised garden beds to pumpkins.

Each year we usually have more pumpkins that we can use.  Since our kids have gotten older and not been home at Halloween we have invited the neighbor kids over to the Wilkes Pumpkin Patch to pick a pumpkin.

This year we only ended up with about 5 pumpkins in our pumpkin patch - so pathetic.  It is probably a combination of lack of fertilizer (we just never got around to it) and the intense heat we had for several weeks this summer.  Despite a HUGE water bill they just must not haven gotten enough.

So there was no Wilkes Pumpkin Patch for the neighborhood kids this year but Tessa did get to pick a pumpkin!

The choice wasn't very hard this year!

Next year we'll do better...

Logan and Jenesee visited a pumpkin patch this weekend too - only in Utah and there were a few more than five pumpkins to choose from!