Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Big Horn Sheep Canyon of the Arkansas River

On Tuesday, we drove a little while to get to the Arkansas River and saw helicopters putting out large forest fires. Because of the fires, the part of the river we were supposed to go rafting on, the Royal Gorge, was closed. Instead we had to go on the milder course, Big Horn Sheep Canyon, but it was still perfect for our day. We suited up in wet suits, life jackets, and helmets, and listened to a lot of instructions for being in the rafts. Our group went in two boats. The guide of our boat was K2, the first woman to climb the north face of K2 mountain. She's also a Kindergarten teacher! She was very serious about getting us to paddle right (which was harder than it looked!) By the end of the trip, we all had it down and we had a lot of fun. The water was so clear and cool and refreshing and there were little portions of rapids between calm water. I would love to go white water rafting again after this.
Parents' Boat:
Aren't these pictures awesome? There was a photographer who drove along the river snapping shots. We had no idea...our faces and expressions are real! This is called a paddle high five. We did this after correctly steering through rapids or doing something like singing "Happy Birthday" to David.
 So here, we did know there was someone taking our picture:
The rafting company also included a few pictures of the forest fires and the helicopters putting out the fires.
The two helicopters dipped down to the river and sucked up water, then flew to the hills and let it go. They did this constantly all day, probably for several days. There were many forest fires around. I thought we had one picture of open flames, but all I see now are smoke pictures.

Broccoli & Potato Cheddar Soup--Best Soup Ever

On Sunday morning we were both hungry for soup, so I went to the store to get ingredients for this soup. While I was making it, I tweaked it quite a bit, so I'm going to write down what I did here (from what I remember.) In person, the soup wasn't that yellow actually.
  1. Use a chef's chopper (small food processor) to finely chop about 3/4 of a medium onion. Put this in a soup pot with a couple of tablespoons of marg. to saute. Add 1 tsp. minced garlic.
  2. Cut up 3/4 lb. of potatoes (any kind, but I used tiny golden potatoes) and add to the onion.
  3. Add 5 cups of hot water & bouillon combo./stock  (whatever you like to use for soups.) Bring to a boil for about 15 minutes and then reduce to a simmer. 
  4. Meanwhile, finely chop carrots and broccoli in a chef's chopper. I used a handful of baby carrots and one whole stalk of broccoli for this step. 
  5. Add the veggies, plus some larger pieces of broccoli
  6. Pour in one cup of half and half
  7. Pour in about 2 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese.
  8. Salt and pepper to taste, stir until it's ready to eat.
I also baked a take and bake french loaf from Kroger's bakery...fresh, pipping hot bread is amazing. :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Westcliffe, CO

We stayed in rental houses on the other side of town, but Rene and Buddy's house was where we went most nights for meals. They live on a small ranch in a gorgeous house with a beautiful view, and here are a few pictures of the view. We took family pictures here too, but I don't have them yet.
Westcliffe has an adorable downtown with cute shops and places to stop and eat. We spent one afternoon getting coffee, ice cream, and walking around here.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Whitewater Rafting

Here is one of the great pictures taken of us on our river adventure. A guide drove along the river taking pictures, but we didn't know that until the end. We were in the Arkansas River in Colorado. We were supposed to go in the Royal Gorge, but we couldn't because of forest fires blocking some of the river. Instead we went on a milder course before the gorge. This was soo much fun! I'll post more later.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Emack and Bolio's

Wow. I had no idea we have been missing out on such good ice cream! Today Jamie and Jody and I had lunch together and then went here for ice cream. We were in such a daze trying to order and listen to the man explain what was in everything. We were mystified by all of the interesting flavors and fun waffle cones. This was a great day!

Ranch Chicken and Smashed Red Potatoes

SMASHED RED POTATOES! These were so yummy and pipping hot...and so filled with butter and good things. (That's okay sometimes!) I also added just a little bit of garlic to the mix. The recipe was found here and was, of course, very easy. Easy is a major requirement for me. The chicken seemed great because I had everything on hand, but it was just meh, okay. I think it was one of the high rated chicken recipes from AllRecipes.com, so I'm sure it was good, but it wasn't my favorite. Here's the link. I served these dishes with a plain baby spinach salad with dressing, which was a welcomed change from ice berg. Baby spinach is so delicious. We'll be eating leftovers for awhile, so I doubt I'll have a recipe post for a bit...however, I do feel like baking something!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Clinging to me and shaking
 All dry and happy again!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Penny likes Taylor!

I want to let you know that Penny has bonded with Taylor. It's partly related to his fort building, his beard, and his play with the bunny toy skills. It's difficult to take a good picture of a playful puppy, but I try. Here are a couple of pictures after her bath this week. She doesn't know it, but she's having another bath today! :)

Pan Seared Red Snapper and Baked Asparagus

This was a funny dinner because during the first two minutes, I was choking on my drink and Penny was using the floor as her bathroom. But the food was so delicious!
I can't believe how easy and fast it is to make warm, good, and healthy food. This dinner took maybe 20 minutes from start to finish...there was a lot of multitasking and a little chaos, especially with the puppy at my feet, but the end result was very much worth it. The asparagus recipe can be found here...and it was awesome. I think I put a little too much olive oil and that caused them to be not as crispy as they were supposed to be, but I would definitely make this again. Even Taylor liked it! The red snapper I found frozen at Schnuck's for a pretty good price. The most difficult process was taking the skin or scales off of the fish, and the fillets turned into smaller pieces than they originally were. I'm not sure if you're supposed to eat that or not...but from what I read, you're not. So why do they sell it like that? I don't understand. This recipe was from AllRecipes.com, here. I had everything on hand except for the green onions, so I omitted them. I also was afraid of burning the fish, so my pan wasn't as hot as it was supposed to be. As a side, I made a box of garlic couscous. This was the first time I've had this and thought it was delightful. It's similar to pasta or rice, but the texture and flavor is a little more interesting. It has more protein than rice, way more vitamins than pasta, and it has less fat than both. So it's just great.