All I Want(ed) for Christmas

To me, the most monotonous thing on my to-do list is dinner. The thing is, it isn’t just the cooking part that makes it time consuming and trying. Nope, there are many steps to this cooking thing and every single one of them, to me, feels like a chore. Which is why, every year, my Christmas wish list is full of things to help me make this chore slightly more bearable. Like Rudolph, this year will go down in history… as one of the best cooking years ever.

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7 days, 4 states

The past week took me to 4 different states and into a new month.  Instead of talking about all the places I have visited and things I have seen, here is a bit of the week through my lense.

welcome to the land of below 0.

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The Coming of the White Night

Although some people might whine about the cold temperatures and the permanent version of rain (a.k.a. snow) that resides on the ground during the winter months, in Utah we look forward to it during all 6 months during which we can see the green grass.  Winter isn’t just a season around here.  Winter is a way of life; some might even call it a religion.  In the good years, the record breakers, there is a pre-season sign, something that signals the coming of something great.  So when we see the sky turn red prior to a storm front, we appreciate it for more than just a beautiful sunset.  We know red skies mean something more.

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Homemade Cafe Rio Pork

Utah is home to the fast-growing restaurant chain, Cafe Rio.  The restaurant is famous for its fresh ingredients (they don’t have any freezers or microwaves in their restaurants and squeeze about 1000 limes every morning), fast service, and their sweet pork.  The only problem is that everything on the menu contains about 1,000 calories and doesn’t keep very well for leftovers.  So when I found a recipe for at-home Cafe Rio Sweet Pork, I had to give it a try.

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Halloween Feast

I know it might be a little early to be talking about feasting, Thanksgiving is still a few weeks away, but my Halloween dinner was too yummy and festive to pass up as a post.  I am no chef, I wouldn’t even call myself a cook.  I merely do my best to put edible foods on the table then I cross my fingers, hold my breath, and hope that both my husband and I survive.  Tonight, however, I surprised us both and managed to make something we both actually enjoyed.

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Just the Ticket

There is something about Sunday that makes me happy.  There are so many ways to spend a Sunday.  Some times I lounge about in my PJs eating scrumptious things and enjoying the company of those I love.  Occasionally I wake early and spend those Sunday morning hours basking in the most silent hours of the week.  Now that Football season has started I spend Sunday with the NFL Game Day Ticket.

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Warming up to Fall

I don’t know what it is about this Fall that makes it different from the others.  Maybe it is being in the mountains.  Perhaps it is the extra-vibrant colors on the leaves out side.  Or it might simply be that I have the time this year to pause and soak it all in.  Regardless of what the change is, I am redefining this season and warming up to Fall.  No better way to warm up than with Pumpkin Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread.

photo courtesy of:

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The Perfect Ingredients

Yesterday was spent in Orem, a city about 40 minutes away from Park City.  I was there for work so I decided to meet a girlfriend, Mel, for dinner and to obtain fodder for yesterday’s blogging subject.  Around 5:30 we met at Pizzeria 712.  This has long been Mel’s go-to place for great food in Utah County (which is actually harder to do than one may think) but I had only been there once and remembered the meal was decent but nothing spectacular.  Last night, however, was completely different.  I didn’t know it when I arrived but I was in for one of the top 10 meals of my life.

photo by: Melissa Stratton

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Tea Time?

As a young girl, I loved to play with Barbies.  I am not proud of using that word but it is the truth.  My Barbies got to go on all the adventures I never got to go on, saw all the sites that I only dreamed of, and they even ate all the foods that I was never allowed.  Although most little girls have a tea set that they share with their dolls and stuffed animals, I had a tea set that was designed for my Barbies.  It was just beautiful.  The ceramic was painted with delicate pink flowers and inscribed with Barbie’s autograph, everything a little girl would dream of.  Fast forward twenty years and I am sitting in a tea shop looking at life-sized tea sets and imagining sharing tea with some fictional “lunching ladies.”  Instead, I sit in the tea house and I read a great book and enjoy the new treasure that I have found.  Allow me to introduce you to Atticus.

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