Sunday, April 26, 2009


While you patiently wait for me to be back up and running with a new, virus free computer I have a public service announcement for you.

I'll call this "Sage wisdom from Jennie".

Believe me, you'll thank me for this.

Really, this is kind of how I'm feeling about the whole technology thing at this point.

Are you sure you want to see this?

Wait for it, just hold yer horses...

Here it comes:
You can pick your friends and
You can pick your nose but
You can't pick your friends' noses.

Thank you, thank you very much! And I can just feel the pride beaming from my mother-in-law right at this moment (hi Susan)!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Down But Not Out

Have I ever expressed exactly h0w much I *love* modern day technology? Really, I do! But you know what I don't love? Problems with modern day technology!!!!

My computer got a virus resulting in the discontinuation of our DSL service. It's been a long process of getting everything back up and running, and it's still not at 100%.

Please know that I'm itching to post something of interest, namely "Poster Child for Bike Helmets", as well as some fun food related posts for those of you looking for those.

Hang in there with me. I'm sure that we've all come to realize that technology requires patience. And I am oh so patient (ha-ha)!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Mini Me

Nearly everywhere Ashlyn and I frequent together we hear over and over again that we are look-alikes; the salon, the grocery store, the library, the_________ (you name it). We look so similar, people say, that Ashlyn is my" mini me". Quite frankly I'm not seeing it. Do you?

Hopefully this cut-from-the-same-mold talk will chalk up to something. A local contest is asking for mother/daughter look-alike photos, with big prizes in store for the winners. The above photo is our submission. We shall see...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

See this?

Do you know what it is? No, it's not that! Do you really think I'd have that on my counter, in a container? How dare you think in such a manner? No far from that, this my friends is domesticity in a dish! This is homemade, freshly ground peanut butter. Anyone like peanut butter? I see a few raised hands, so read on.

Freshly ground peanut butter yields these:

Don't these raw cookies look delish, luscious, and maybe even rustic? I just found the recipe for these puppies and I am in love! Now don't go all Salmonella on me when I tell you that yes I did eat the dough. Salmonella is no worry with these because it's an egg-less recipe. You heard me right, egg-less cookies! And you know what else? These are cookies you can write home about because mama would be proud. Check out this ingredient list:

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, spelt flour, or unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 cup organic, chunky natural peanut butter
1 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
(Courtesy of

And the directions are pretty darn simple as well:

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Place racks in the top third.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. in a separate larger bowl combine the peanut butter, maple syrup, olive oil, and vanilla. Stir until combined. Pour the flour mixture over the peanut butter mixture and stir until barely combined - still a bit dusty looking. Let sit for five minutes, give one more quick stir, just a stroke or two. Now drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Press down on each one gently with the back of a fork. It's a loose batter, so if you're set on doing criss-crosses, go ahead and chill the batter for an hour or so before this step. Bake for 10, maybe 11 minutes - but don't over bake or they will be dry. Let cool five minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.

Make 2 - 3 dozen cookies.
(Again, courtesy of

Before I proceed let me tell you that my alterations to the above ingredients included adding just a smidge of olive oil instead of 1/3 cup. I nearly omitted all of the oil, just depending on the natural peanut butter oil for fat, but I probably ended up using a mere 1 to 2 Tablespoons. And for the inquiring mind, I used whole wheat pastry flour as my flour choice. And the peanut butter I used? Take a look at this:

Homemade peanut butter is beyond simple. I remember my first time learning of this wonder and was amazed that it could be so darn easy. Here's what you do. Choose your peanuts. The possibilities are endless. At the risk of sounding like a character from Forrest Gump (remember Benjamin Buford Blue, aka Bubba, naming the nearly endless shrimp recipes that abound?) , there are raw peanuts; dry roasted; dry roasted and salted; honey roasted; and Spanish just to name a few. My personal favorite are all-natural dry roasted with sea salt. After purchasing your peanuts, toss them into either your food processor or blender. Note that if you use your blender you'll have to process the peanuts in fairly small batches; a food processor allows larger batches. On my processor I start by using the grind button till the peanuts are roughly ground. I then use the chop button, which reverses the blades, and I process those babies till they reach the desired consistency. This takes some time, like five minutes or so, but oh is it worth it! The taste is undeniably fresh, and there's something so satisfying about procuring your own peanut butter. Plus it's cheap!

And see these?
These, fellow readers, are heavenly. Trust me on this one!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Spring Is In the Air

Bozeman's weather updated 9 seconds ago: 31.1 degrees, 90% chance of precipitation and as I look out the window I see an all out blizzard. Welcome to spring in Montana! And despite the snow and cold I'm in a springy mood.

In my kitchen I have tastes of spring:



And from my laundry room comes the sound of spring:




Weather unaccounted for, spring is in the air!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Lest You Think They're Angels

Remember back in the summer when the flood waters rose? Well, for the sake of the story let's travel back to that time. Close your eyes and breath deeply. The water has been rapidly rising and Zack is out of town on business. The friends have been commissioned and the basement has been emptied...

Wait, what am I thinking? Who would be crazy enough to want to travel back to that time? Granted it was a time of clarity and a time of revealing that which is most important. Granted it was a time of lessons learned. Did I just say lessons learned? Lessons, indeed! Lessons such as just because your children have never used the walls as their canvas you are not immune from the attack of the stray writing utensil? Yes, that's right. My boys are not angels!

It had been a long day of box packing, using a blue permanent marker to label said boxes. We had come to a good stopping point, early in the evening. We loaded the kids in the van, not even noticing the permanent marker that will have come into question. Granted the car ride to the condo we were staying at was a quiet one, but it had been a long day and the kids had to have been exhausted.

It wasn't until we put the van into park that suspicious giggles erupted from the back seat along with squeals of, "Mom, we're skeletons!". Blue permanent marker and bones drawn all over the tanned bodies of boys - not a good mix, no not a good mix indeed!

To say I was speechless would be an understatement. How in the world do you remove permanent marker from skin? I mean we had church the next day. We couldn't go to church with blue skeleton boys! All I can say is thank goodness for moms. Not only did she come to help us pack up our ruined home, but she being the saint she is, had the solution to our permanent marker woes. Toothpaste. Not gel but paste. And you know the best part? Mom sent Zack and I out for a date night and single-handedly restored our boys to proper form.

All's well that ends well! Plus, I now know that Garrett and Brody have an accurate understanding of the structural composition of a human body. I mean just check out the femur bones on Garrett! But wait, a belly button bone Garrett? Nevermind!!!