Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Reminder: Don't forget to subscribe to ITRML!

Hopefully you've had time to check out my new site I've imported all the post from this blog over there, so you should be able to find everything you need, from recipes to Etsy shops to Wordless Wednesday photos.

I know it's asking a lot, but what I'd really love for you to do is subscribe to ITRML's feed. You can find the little RSS icon on the right-hand side of the page, just above the "celebrating or medicating" banner (or simply click here). A few of you have made the leap of faith but there are still tens of you who haven't. Perhaps you're waiting for the site's design to be complete. Take it from me, if you wait until that happens you'll be waiting a really, really long time. That's why I finally dove in and simply started posting.

You can also find ITRML on Facebook, fan page and all.

Okay, heading to bed after a day I thought would never end. I'm glad it finally did. Perhaps I'll even post about it tomorrow. You'll have to visit is this REALLY my life? to find out! --Emily

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I've moved! (i.e., check out my new site!)

I've been wanting to start my own site for some time, especially since LeShan and I decided we'd be wrapping up georgie tees so we could move on to other projects. My friend Quinn over at has been helping me with the design, and though it's not complete (the right-hand side is still a work in progress), I've officially started posting over there. AND I've imported all my Blogger posts into the new site as well so you faithful readers (hi, Mom!) wouldn't miss a recipe, Wordless Wednesday or any other life-changing post.

I'll no longer be writing on freshly baked so I'd love, love, LOVE for you to head on over to my new site:

Like I mentioned, please pardon my dust as I tidy up the site. Feel free to look around. You'll find the inspiration behind the site and its name on my "about me" page, and if you really and truly love me you'll become a fan of on Facebook and subscribe to the site's feed (RSS icon at the top of the right column). I'll even give you extra credit if you snag a button and add it to your site! (The HTML can be found on the right-hand side of the homepage.)

I'm so excited about this new adventure and hope you'll join me for the ride! --Emily

Friday, January 15, 2010

Fave soups & main dishes

This is about part three in a four-part series recapping my favorite recipes from our church's annual progressive dinner. You can read the first two posts here (appetizers and drinks) and here (breads and salads). Today I bring you soups and main dishes. You for sure need to try the two chilled berry soups. They are delish! Soup's on!

8 Can Soup
1 can (14 oz.) Veg-All
1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 can (14 oz.) diced potatoes
1 can (14 oz.) vegetable soup
1 can (14 oz.) kernel corn
1 can (14 oz.) green beans, sliced
1 can (14 oz.) Hormel chili with beans
1 can (14 oz.) Hormel chili w/no beans

Mix all together and heat thoroughly. Serve w/grated cheese, sour cream and nacho chips.

Chilled Raspberry Soup
1 (32 oz.) nonfat raspberry yogurt
2 cups sour cream
1 cup Cran-Raspberry juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 whole cloves

Set yogurt and sour cream to the side and chill. Stir together remaining ingredients. Cook in crock pot for 15 min. and sugar dissolves. When done, strain out whole cloves and put juice on ice. Add the yogurt and sour cream just before serving. Whisk together until smooth. op with berries when serving.

Cool Berry Soup
1 (32 oz.)plain or vanilla yogurt
1 - 1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup pineapple juice
1 cup powdered sugar
Frozen berries

Combine all ingredients, whisk until all sugar is dissolved and is smooth. Serve with frozen berries on top.

Spicy Tomato Bisque
1 (28 oz.) can chopped tomatoes or tomato puree
1/3 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup milk
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed

In saucepan over medium heat, stir together tomato puree, red pepper flakes, black pepper, basil and sugar. Bring to a simmer, and cook 10 - 15 minutes. Whisk in cream cheese until well blended, then stir in the milk. Heat through without boiling. Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches!

White Chicken Chili
1 tablespoon. oil
1 lb chicken, cooked and diced
1 med. onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans great northern beans
1 can chicken broth
2 cans chopped green chilies
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup. sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream

Sauté chicken, garlic and onion in oil in a skillet. Place in stock pot or crock pot with remaining ingredients except sour cream and heavy cream. Simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and add sour cream and heavy cream. Stir and serve. Serves 6. For a lighter version, add 1 cup of Fat Free sour cream instead and omit cream. Still just as yummy!

Oven Kalua Pork
4-5 lbs pork roast (pork or shoulder)
1 T liquid smoke
2 1/2 tablespoons sea salt, divided

Preheat oven to 325. Rub pork with liquid smoke and 1 ½ T. salt. Wrap pork several times with foil and seal completely. Place pork in roasting pan and bake for 5 hours. After baking, shred pork, sprinkle with the remaining salt. Serve with rice.

Parmesan Chicken
4-8 chicken breast halves
1 pkg. Ranch dressing mix (dry)
1 cup crushed cornflake crumbs
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup butter, melted

Rinse chicken and pat dry. Mix all dry ingredients together. Melt butter in separate bowl. Dip chicken in butter and then in dry ingredients. Place in greased baking dish. Sprinkle remaining dry mixture on top. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until done.

Spinach Ravioli Lasagna w/Pesto Bread Crumbs
Note: all these ingredients can be found at Costco

1 (23 oz.) Alfredo Sauce, divided
1 (38 oz.) pkg. spinach & cheese ravioli, cooked according to directions
1/4 C. basil pesto
1 C. roasted red peppers, sliced into ½ inch strips

Pesto Bread Crumbs:
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup basil pesto
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 13x9 inch baking pan with cooking spray. To prepare the bread crumbs, mix all ingredients in a small bowl until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

Smooth 1 1/2 cups of Alfredo sauce over the bottom of the pan. Layer 18 of the ravioli in slightly overlapping rows - 3 across and 6 lengthwise. Tuck any extra ravioli into this layer. Smooth 1/2 cup Alfredo Sauce over the Ravioli. Place red pepper strips evenly across the top. Sprinkle with Pesto Bread Crumbs.

Cover with foil and bake until the sauce is bubbling, about 35 minutes. Remove the foil and broil until the bread crumbs are lightly browned. Let the Lasagna rest for about 5 minutes.

Taco Pie
1 can crescent rolls
1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1/2 onion, chopped
1 sm. can tomato soup
1 cup sour cream
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups crushed corn chips

Press crescent rolls into bottom and sides of a 9" pie dish for crust. Brown and drain ground beef. Add taco seasoning, onion and tomato soup. Layer into crust 1 cup crushed corn chips, meat mixture, sour cream, cheddar cheese and remaining corn chips. Bake at 375° for 20 - 25 minutes. Serve with chopped lettuce and tomatoes.

The only man who is really free is the one who can turn down an invitation to dinner without giving an excuse. ~Jules Renard

Image by Carol's Lines, shared via Flickr.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

You too can support relief efforts in Haiti

In the past on this blog we would do a "thankful thursday" post. It's been a really long time since we've had one and the recent devastation in Haiti (due to a 7.0 earthquake) reminded me how very blessed I am. I wish it didn't take a disaster to put things in perspective but that's often what happens.

Who cares if I have purple crayon all over my walls? At least I have four walls that make a home for our family. So what if my foot sticks to the floor when walking through they kitchen? At least we have food on the table along with the floor. My furnace may make really strange sounds in the middle of the night but it keeps my family warm. And though my girls may use up all the hot water when they shower, there's more where that came from.

My heart goes out to those affected by the recent earthquake, both in Haiti and around the world. But a heart can only do so much; that's why I'm so glad Cool Mom Picks promptly put up a post outlining a variety of ways in which you can donate your time, money and supplies:

I chose to go with Direct Relief International since every penny I donate goes directly to relief efforts already underway in this earthquake-ravaged area but there are plenty of other options and resources.

My friend Sarah over at Cable Car Couture also mentioned another option for those looking to help. In "Contribute Aid for Haiti Earthquake Victims" Sarah highlights a local Utah business owner who is partnering with Healing Hands for Haiti in gathering donations. Vanessa from I Never Grew Up (one of my fave blogging girlfriends) also has a few links to other organizations. You can catch those links in her post here.

And the efforts don't stop there. Take a few minutes to count your blessings...and then count out a few dollars or a few hours of your time to help those in need. Every little bit helps. --Emily

P.S. If you check the comments below, my friend Kalli (My Life as Kalli) is organizing a quilting bee here in Utah and could use donations. Please read her comment for more info and donate if you can!

P.P.S. Allison from Petit Elefant just posted about a fabulous auction our mutual friend Alma is having on her Ollibird site to benefit victims of the recent earthquake. Some fabulous prints and some fabulous prices on Photoshop and Illustrator classes (if you live in Utah). Check it out!

Image by alandd, shared via Flickr.

Wordless Wednesday: Someone needs a Speak & Spell

Breaker box in the basement

Breaker box upstairs

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tip Junkie's Favorite Project Show-and-Tell

This week's Talk to Me Tuesday from Tip Junkie is a project Show-and-Tell. Now, faithful freshly baked readers know I'm not a crafter so I wondered if there were anything of interest I could add to the Linky list...and then I remembered those dang cute shark cupcakes I made for George's birthday. Though no fabric, hot glue, ModgePodge or paint was used they were still a project in my book.

If you want to see all the great projects by Tip Junkie readers, head on over to her Talk to Me Tuesday post. My faves so far are Laurie's jewelry organizer and Lanie's Chalkboard Flower Pots. Now those I might be able to do someday, hot glue gun and all! --Emily

Monday, January 11, 2010

RMMB: "What are you really saying?"

Warning! This is a cheater post (i.e., I'm referring to another post either written by myself or another person rather than typing up something from scratch). But time is short and my new website is already collecting dust due to my inability to get over there and get moving on it.

So in lieu of a "real" post I'd love for you to check out my latest feature on Rocky Mountain Moms Blog:

The words "I'm sorry" are simple enough yet can be said—and interpreted—in so many ways. I'm not talking about variations of "I'm sorry" like "I apologize" and "Can you ever in your wonderfully merciful heart forgive me?" What I'm referring to is the tone or voice used when telling someone you're sorry, and my kids are pros when it comes to saying one thing and meaning something entirely different. {click here to read the full post}

If you're in need of a chuckle you just might find one while reading my take on my children's apologies. And if not, I can guarantee a smile simply by reading Kalli's comment. Aren't brothers the greatest! --Emily

Friday, January 8, 2010

Another sign winter's here

Today is a sad, sad day and what happened is yet another sign winter is still in full force. What tragic event occurred? Brace yourself...I had to switch my L'Oreal Infallible Advance Never Fail foundation from 605 (Nude Beige) to 603 (Classic Ivory). In other words, I've officially gone from this:

(an actual photo from our Caribbean cruise in September)

to this:

Image by merwing little dear, shared via Flickr

Yes, "porcelain" is beautiful and often a reflection of healthier skin but I look like death warmed over without makeup. Happy 2010 to me! --Emily

Fave breads and salads

Here are my favorite bread and salad recipes from our 2009 progressive dinner. For past recipes check out Monday's post and the bottom of this post. I won't stop until I've shared all my faves with you! But only a few at a time, mind you. This time of year it's all about portion control...

Bran Muffins
1 cup boiling water
3 cups All Bran (divided)
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oil OR 1/3 cup oil + 6 tabelspoons flax seed meal
2 eggs
2 tablespoons molasses
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons soda

Combine water and 1 cup All Bran. Let cool then add 2 cups All Bran and buttermilk. Set aside. Cream sugar and oil. Add eggs, flax seed (if using) and molasses. Mix well then add dry ingredients. Stir in buttermilk/All Bran mixture until combined. Bake in greased muffin tins at 400° for 15 min.

3/4 cup melted butter
3 eggs
1 1/4 cup milk
2 1/2 cups Bisquick
1 cup sugar
1 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Stir together well. Pour into greased 9x13-inch pan. Bake at 350° for approximately 25 minutes.

No Knead Artisan Bread
3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon rapid rise yeast
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water

Mix all ingredients and let sit for at least 12 hours, preferably 18 hours. Dough will generally be loose and bubbly. Pour onto floured surface and fold over a couple of times. Let rest. Shape into loose ball and place on well-floured piece of wax paper or hand towel. Cover with towel and let rise 2-3 hours.

When dough has risen, place a covered casserole into oven and preheat to 450 degrees. You want the casserole dish to be very hot (no need to preheat the lid). Remove the dish from the oven, invert the dough into the dish, give a shake to center and place back into the oven and cover with lid. Bake at 450° for 35 minutes, remove lid and bake another 10-15 minutes until loaf is browned nicely. Remove from casserole and cool on wire rack.

BLT Salad
1 head lettuce
10 slices bacon fried crispy and crumbled
2 large tomatoes, diced
2 cups chicken, cooked and cubed
4 hard-boiled eggs, sliced

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
1 tablespoon onion, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Mix and chill sauce. Just before serving toss salad with dressing. Or you can toss it all and chill overnight.

Fruity Lemon Salad
1 small pkg. lemon Jell-O
1 small pkg. lemon pudding (cooked, not instant)
1 cup whipped cream or Cool Whip

Dissolve lemon Jell-O in 1 1/2 cups boiling water. Cool in fridge until almost set. Prepare COOKED lemon pudding, following directions on box (adding an egg); then cool in fridge. When pudding and Jell-O are both partially set, whip them together with electric mixer. Fold in whipped cream (or Cool Whip).

Add any combination of fresh, canned, or frozen fruit, such as bananas, grapes, strawberries, apples, peaches, pineapple tidbits (drained), pears, Mandarin oranges (drained), blueberries. Also add mini-marshmallows or nuts. Chill until served.

Potato Salad
6 large potatoes, cooked and peeled
6 hard boiled eggs
sweet pickles, diced small (as many as desired)

Dressing: Experiment with portions since it depends on how much dressing you like.

Miracle whip
Mustard - just a little bit!
Sugar to taste
A little milk just to make creamy
A shake of celery seed and pepper

Mix dressing ingredients with a wire whisk, then pour over potatoes and eggs and mix gently with wooden spoon. It needs to sit at least four or five hours and tastes really good the next day! (Note: add dressing while the potatoes and eggs are still a little warm - not hot. The flavors seem to blend better.)

Why does Sea World have a seafood restaurant?? I'm halfway through my fish burger and I realize, .... I could be eating a slow learner. ~Lynda Montgomery

Image by prettytypewriters, shared via Flickr.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Will work for massage

Come one, come all!

Whenever we visit my parents' home, my second oldest immediately sets up shop in one of the bedrooms and offers massages to the family complete with sign on the door and sign-up sheet outside. We all take advantage of it not only to humor her but also because they're so dang cheap. I'm talking 25 cents for a good 15 minutes. And if you're one of the lucky few, she'll even give you a coupon for a free massage. (Megan, you better give me back my coupon!)

This Christmas she enlisted the help of her younger brother. A couple questions:
  1. How did she come up with the name Buggerts? It wouldn't be my first choice for a spa's name.
  2. How did she convince her little brother to advertise for her via a homemade sandwich board sign?
  3. Why was he so dang happy to help Lauren when he's usually happier pushing her buttons?
The answer to number one is still a mystery, but I'm thinking the answer to two and three is simply this: the perks rock. I'd walk around my parents' house advertising massages if it meant I scored one for free. (Honey, don't get any ideas...)

What kind of "shops" or businesses do your kids set up at home? Do they love the typical lemonade stand or do they do something a bit more creative?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Jack Johnson Helped Me Birth My Baby

A photo I took while enjoying the Jack Johnson concert at the Usana Amphitheater standing less than 20 feet from the stage. Pure heaven!

But let me explain the title of this post. Or rather, let this excerpt from my recent guest post on TodaysMama explain:
By the time it came around to our last child I had it down. I knew hypnobirthing with its exercises and relaxation CDs wasn’t for me, but the concept of distraction would work. So what to put on my MP3 player that would take me to my happy place and help me zone out when those non-painful (LMAO) contractions are hitting every two minutes? The be-still-my-beating-heart sounds of Jack Johnson. {click here to read the full article}
This was a really fun post for me to write. If you're dying to discover just how Jack Johnson helped in the labor and delivery room, check out "Birth Stories: Jack Johnson Helped Me Birth My Baby." And take some time to read the other experiences featured on TodaysMama. THESE are the stories we should be sharing, not the "I knew this woman who...{fill in the blank with scare-you-****less birthing experience}" stories.

Do you have any tips or tricks you use during pregnancy and labor/delivery? What works for you?

Monday, January 4, 2010

I don't do Mondays

The first Monday of 2010 is off to a shaky start thanks to a nasty cold both my husband and son lovingly shared with me. I can think of no better way to face piles of laundry, towers of Christmas decoration boxes, handfuls of Honeycomb cemented to the counter and a to-do list a mile long than with a pair of pj's, a box of Kleenex and some Nyquil.

On that to-do list is a post for Rocky Mountain Moms Blog AND gathering my thoughts for my first ever post on my new site. My new site is the silver lining around my somewhat cloudy forecast for the week. Quinn is almost done with the design and it's about time I started writing. I hope to unveil the new site within the next couple weeks whether all the kinks are worked out or not. Whoo hoo! I'll be focusing all my caffeinated energy elsewhere this week so forgive me if my posts here are few if any. One of my resolutions for 2010 is to do less online and more IRL (in real life) so something's gotta give...and this ol' blog is one of them!

But I don't want to leave you empty handed--or stomached--today so here are a few of my favorite appetizer recipes from my church's 2009 progressive dinner. I'll post a few more later in the week (breads, main dishes, desserts, etc.). By the way, even though the holidays are over that cranberry salsa would make a great appetizer, especially for Valentine's Day with its super rich red color! Enjoy!

Cranberry Salsa
1 bag fresh cranberries
1 bell pepper
1 to 3 tablespoons jalapeno
1/4 to 1 cup onion
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 to 2 packages cream cheese

Chop everything separately then blend together in blender or food processor. Chill for at least 1 hour then serve over cream cheese.

Tortilla Pinwheels
1 8 oz pkg. cream cheese
1 4 oz can diced green chilies
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Garlic, salt and Tabasco to taste
1 cup sour cream
1 4 oz. can chopped black olives
1/2 cup (or less) diced green onions
5 10-inch flour tortillas (flavored if you choose)

Mix all ingredients together until creamy (except tortillas). Divide evenly and spread an even layer of mixture on each tortilla. Roll into a log shape and chill for up to 24 hours. Slice each log into 1 inch pieces and serve with salsa or guacamole as an appetizer.

Ranch Vegetable Bruschetta
1/2 cup Ranch Veggie Dip
1 loaf French bread, sliced diagonally into 1-inch slices
1/3 C. olive oil
1/2 English cucumber, diced
2 med. tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup chopped red onion
fresh dill springs

Preheat oven 400 degrees. Arrange bread slices on a tray. Brush each slice with olive oil. Sprinkle with a little salt. Toast bread 4 - 5 minutes until lightly browned. Cool completely. Spread each slice of toast with veggie dip. In medium mixing bowl combine cucumbers, tomatoes and onions. Spoon mixture onto each toasted slice of bread. Garnish with fresh dill sprigs.

There is one thing more exasperating than a wife who can cook and won't, and that's a wife who can't cook and will. ~Robert Frost