Sunday, November 28, 2010

thanksgiving part two, and then some.

Thanksgiving was A BLAST. We had so much fun at Dori's. While finishing the food prep, we enjoyed "Butter Beer." Goodness, so yummy. If you're not familiar with Harry Potter, "Butter Beer" is mentioned in the books. No, it isn't beer, but cream soda + butter extract with a heavenly cool whippy foam on top. Recipe for "Butter Beer" here on Dori's blog. Cheers!

We filled up quickly. It's hard to eat much when you're already full of "Butter Beer"

Last night Jared took me on a date. Movie and dinner. Movie was killer, and so was our meal. We ate at The Copper Onion, downtown, and we highly recommend it! Mmmmm... Jared got a great burger and I had the pasta carbonara. I was craving more of it all night. We need to go again, pronto.

We're still house/dog-sitting for my brother Andy. We love their Newfoundland, Javi. I love watching her tackle Jared out in the snow, and overhearing him say, "I love you, Javi," when he puts her to bed at night. Cute.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


the above photo was taken two Thanksgivings ago, on top of the LDS Conference Center, overlooking Temple Square. Jared and I had been dating for about four months. I spent Thanksgiving with my family in Phoenix and rushed back to SLC to see him this night.

I am stoked for Thanksgiving tomorrow. Jared and I are joining my sister, Dori, and a friend of her's at her place. Dori and I are doing the baking & cooking, but I'd have to say she's doing the tougher stuff (turkey, stuffing, etc.)

as for tonight, Jared's working out in these bitter cold temps tonight, while I start the baking. apple pies, pretzel jello salad (addicting), "Christmas puffs" (so naughty), and garlic mashed potatoes. my Thanksgiving favorites include pie and stuffing, those are the must haves. Jared's must have is green bean casserole, so the ingredients will be waiting for him and we will make that together when he comes home tonight.

photos of tomorrow's feast to come. stay tuned. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, filled with family, friends, laughter, love, and much gratitude.

Monday, November 22, 2010

pumpkin pasta.

I took a trip to one of my favorite places today, World Market. My momma took me there often growing up, but back then it was called Cost Plus. I still have a hard time calling it anything but that. If you haven't been, go. Amazing food, jewelry, bags, housewares... everything very unique. Today I found the above pumpkin pasta sauce and immediately thought of a recent recipe I saw on . I didn't look at the recipe again once I got home, but whipped up a little something similar.

My tummy has been feeling icky lately and nothing sounds super appetizing... so, the few bites I had I did enjoy, but it's definitely a strong flavor. The only thing I would change would be doubling the mushrooms, they're so yummy. Jared's at work now... let's hope he approves when he gets home tonight.

1 box pasta of choice
mushrooms (cooked separately)
1 cup low fat cottage cheese
1 1/2-2 cups pumpkin pasta sauce
basil (I think I used about 1 teaspoon? maybe more..)
pecan pieces sprinkled on top

Just throw that all together. Not too tricky :)

Monday, November 15, 2010


I love seeing beautiful frames displayed well. If done right, they can still look stunning, even if they are empty.

Here are some pretty awesome and creative ideas I came across.


this one is amazing...
previous photos found :::via:::

the photo above is of my sister, Trevlyn's, master bedroom. gorgeous.

Friday, November 5, 2010

please help.

My brother is gathering clothing and taking them to children in an orphanage in Haiti. There's obviously a lot of need down in Haiti, in this particular instance, there is a basic need for clean clothes and whatever money is donated will go toward as much soap and personal hygiene products as we can buy. These little ones need help. Specifically, donated clothing should be for ages 3-12. If you have any clothing for these age groups or can help in any way, please contact me at

Thursday, November 4, 2010

wedding. better late than never.

This post is very delayed... but I wanted to share a few photos from Ben & Amber's beautiful wedding day!!

Walunas family.

sisters. (my mom and Aunt Jody, Ben's momma).

Jared entertaining darling Hayden, our second cousin.

so happy for him.

Ben, with our dear friend, Candy.

mushroom heavenly goodness.

Last night I took TRAX home from work, stopped at Whole Foods to pick up two pounds of baby bella mushrooms, and made my way home with my brown bag. I got home, spent a good chunk of time sprawled on the couch, speaking to my wonderful brother, Tyler, on the phone... then started cooking. I spent the day at work, craving mushroom soup. So I attempted to conjure some up. I only used one pound of mushrooms initially and LOVED the outcome. But I didn't have much soup to show for my work. So I used the second pound to make another batch. It doesn't look very appetizing in the photo, but I promise, so yummy.
I studied a few different recipes I found online, and this is what I came up with:

1/2 cup butter (one stick.. I know, naughty)
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 lbs mushrooms, chopped
1/4 teaspoon thyme
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup half & half (again, naughty)
kosher salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

In a large pot, cook onion and garlic with butter for about 5-7 minutes.
Add chopped mushrooms, stir occasionally for about 10-12 minutes until mushrooms start releasing liquid, uncovered.
Add stock and thyme, stir occasionally for about 10 minutes, uncovered.
In blender or food processor, puree half of the mixture, then add it back to the pot with remaining mushrooms/stock.
Add half & half, add salt and pepper to taste ( I was pretty generous with the salt and pepper)
Simmer, uncovered, for another 5-10 minutes.