Monday, December 13, 2010

Lunch with the Girls!

This past Saturday my good friends Amanda, Noelle, Lori Jane, and I were able to get together. This is something I look forward to each time we plan a lunch or dinner date! These girls were strangers to me a little over two years ago, but when we became roommates for our 25 day American/Church History tour back in September 2008, they became some of my BEST friends! I love them to pieces and am so glad they are part of my life! Amanda will be leaving on a mission to Kentucky the end of this month... we will miss her!! Good luck girl, I love you!
Amanda, Noelle, Lori Jane, and I at Kneaders for some brunch and catching up on life :)

Below are some pictures/memories from our Tour.... It was so fun looking back and giggling to myself of all the fun times we had together! Good times I will never forget!
This is the whole group! Our family for 25 days!
Far West
Boston... oh how I love Boston!
This is Noelle and a perfect picture of what you get when you put the 4 of us together!
I'm already forgetting where some of these pictures are... Girls, can you fill me in here?
DC Temple!
Williamsburg Colonial

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ragnar Las Vegas October 22-23, 2010

12 team members/friends, two vans, 30 straight hours of running between all... 195 miles total
So this is me on my 1st leg (6.4 miles)... SMILING and thinking, I got this, no sweat! After a couple BIG hills I was ready to be done with my first leg!

Moving on to my second leg.. It was a total of 3.1 miles in the dark, dark night. My biggest fear of running the Ragnar was running in the dark. I'm SO scared of the dark and I especially hate being alone in it. I was told oh no worries my team van would be able to stick with me along the whole way. YA RIGHT!! I begin my 2nd leg and probably 1/2 mile into it I am suddenly on this dark trail with a fence on one side and a wall with trees up agains it on the other side the only thing lighting it was my headlamp and what little moonlight there was.. I'm alone for a while and FREAKING out, running as fast as I can to get off the trail! The trail went on FOREVER it seemed! Soon a couple girls catch up with me (thank goodness!!) and we stuck together til the end of the trail and were on the road again with streetlights. Phew! That leg ended, and I survived!

By now its really starting to hit me, 15 hours into it.. im tired, feeling nautious, and my body is aching! Thankfully we got to go back to our hotel to get a few hours of sleep before starting our 3rd leg. I sure needed it, although when I woke up, a couple hours later, I was thinking to myself am I CRAZY, what was I thinking?! I'm tired, SO SORE, and I still have another 6.9 miles to go! AH! ha! So here we go again! On to the LAST exchange where we will start our 3rd leg! I was the 4th runner so I had a little bit of time to mentally prepare myself! Karen, Cindy, and Dana flew through their third leg and now it is my turn.... I get out there and off I go... 6.9 miles on a rocky dirt road. I was hurting and wanted to cry, but I kept telling myself "you can do this and once you do, you'll be done, COMPLETELY done!" My team was AWESOME, they cheered me on the whole way and kept me going!.....This is me after handing off the wristband to Hank. Not so smiley, tired, beat, and not wanting to take another step, but I actually felt GREAT! If that makes sense? I was DONE and I ran a total of 16.4 miles!All done! Can you tell, I'm ready to hit the sack?
This is half our team Van 1 at the 1st big exchange (Lake Mead)

This is van 1 and van 2 (the whole team except 1, Paula Flake, she took off right after). Celebrating our Ragnar Accomplishment with some good food! Well done team! Thanks for the fun experience!!
This is one of the many CRAZY team vans, nice huh. ha!

So that is my Ragnar story.... would I do it again? MOST DEFINITELY!!! Even if I was hurting, aching, and lost alot of sleep... It was one of the funnest things I've done!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree!

We got our Christmas Tree up and it is beautiful! The Christmas tree has always been my favorite Decor of Christmas, along with my mom's beautiful Nativity set! I could just sit for hours by the Christmas tree and just stare! I love Christmas time! The lights, the feeling, the giving, and the remembrance of our Savior's birth! I hope ya'll have a Happy Christmas Season!
I was anxious and excited to decorate this year because I got all my decorations last year after Christmas so I could get them all 50% or more off! So They've been sitting in a box just waiting to be used!
I had to show off my one piece pajama... Andrew gave it to me for Christmas 2 years ago and has been giving me a hard time about not wearing it very often. So I broke it out and he loved it! haha... it wasn't long before my feet got super hot and I had to take it off to let them breathe! Once my feet get hot I get very uncomfortable! But at least I was warm!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Homemade pizza!

So Andrew and I agreed that homemade pizza is just not the same as Papa Johns or Pier 49 or any other pizza place. The crust always seems to be flat and just not the same, so Andrew and I have been determined to find a recipe to prove us to be wrong and that homemade pizza can be good! Well Andrew found that recipe and we tested it out.... the results... Delicious and it even looks good too! Recipe below! :)

1 Cup warm water
1 pkg. (.25 oz.) dry active yeast
2 3/4 flour
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. olive oil

1.Place water in a small bowl and stir yeast. Let Stand 5 minutes

2.In a large bowl, whisk together 2 1/2 cups of the flour, sugar, and salt. Make well in the center and add the yeast mixture and olive oil. Stir until dough comes together and forms a ball. Turn out onto a well-floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, adding as much of remaining 1/4 cup flour as needed. Form into a disk and place in a bowl that has been lightly coated with olive oil. Turn disk over and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm place for 2 hours.

3.Remove dough from bowl and punch down. Roll out into desired diameter

*For best results cook on a round pizza stone

After rolling out dough and placing on the pizza stone, spread 2-4 tablespoons of BBQ sauce (I recommend Sweet Baby Ray's) on top of dough. Add your desired amount of cheese (we used colby jack as well as mozzarella). Then spread cooked chicken that has been covered in BBQ sauce (we used george foreman grill to cook chicken) on top, about 3/4 lb. chicken breast. Then spread 1/2 RED onion (next time I'll use more cause it tastes so yummy!) on top, as well as pineapple tidbits. Top with a little more cheese! Bake at 500 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until crust is nicely browned. ENJOY!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Girlfriends... love them!!

Better late than never!... My girlfriends from home; Lawryn, Aleesa, and Christina came and visited Conference weekend! It was a weekend full of fun and loss of sleep (but totally worth it!) I love these girls like crazy! Next time they come it'll be snowy and wintery and we'll be hitting the slopes!! Right girls!?! :) Some things we enjoyed together.....
General Conference...
Trying on sweet glasses in a costume store....
Lunch at the Roof, before going to conference (my fav, so yummy!)....
Pedicures (so relaxing!)...
and Jamba Juice with a slice of Great Harvest Bread (yum!)

Thanks for coming girls! It was so fun to have you girls here! See you at home at Christmas time! Can't wait!!! Love you all!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cheesecake.. Yum!

Well a few weeks ago I attempted my first cheesecake and well... I decided if I attempt it again I won't start making it at midnight, I hadn't a clue what I was getting myself into! The results though... absolutely delicious!

I wanting to have the cheesecake for Sunday dinner dessert, got home from hanging out with some friends Saturday night and thought ah I should probably start the cheesecake right now, midnight, 12:00 am, well past my bedtime!! I whipped the crust out (which i will definitely do a thicker crust next time), got it baked and out to cool and then began the other part. I got it put together, threw it in the oven and continued to read the baking time instructions which read....

Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes THEN turn the oven down to 225 degrees and bake for another 1 hour and 15 minutes, THEN turn oven off and open the door wide AND allow cake to set in oven for 30 minutes. By the time all this had happened it was 3:00 AM... I was thrilled to be hitting the sack, but the thought of having to wake up in 3 HOURS after the cheesecake had cooled to put it in the fridge was not a happy thought!

6 AM surely did roll around TOO FAST and I drug myself out of bed, put it in the fridge and immediately went back to bed! 11:30 AM rolls around... Andrew pops up out of bed, looks at the clock and says surprisingly (because he NEVER sleeps in) "Jena its 11:30, we're LATE for church!" ha... the cheesecake baking left me sleep deprived! We made it to church just at the end of Sacrament meeting in time to teach our little SUNBEAMS which by the way... are ADORABLE! Then later that day we enjoyed a yummy and delicious cheesecake, which turned out to be worth the loss of sleep! :)

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers)
1 Tbsp. sugar
6 Tbsp. butter melted
(I personally think there needs to be more crust, so add some more if you please!)

2 1/2 lbs. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 whole extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
To make crust, combine the graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter until moistened. Pour into a 9-inch springform pan. With your hands, press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan and about 1 inch up the sides. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees

To make the filling, cream the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium and add the eggs and egg yolks, two at a time, mixing well. Scrape down the bowl and beater as necessary. With the mixer on low, add the sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly and pour into the cooled crust.

Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 225 degrees and bake for another 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and open the door wide. The cake will not be completely set in the center. Allow the cake to sit in the oven with the door open for 30 minutes. Take the cake out of the oven and allow it to sit at room temperature for another 2-3 hours, until completely cooled. Wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the cake from the springform pan by carefully running a hot knife around the outside of the cake. Leave the cake on the bottom of the springform pan for serving.

Choose a topping! I used raspberries mixed with jelly like the recipe said but I personally would not recommend the jelly idea! I loved the raspberries but will probably use a box of danish dessert gelatin stuff instead!

Recipe from BAREFOOT CONTESSA cookbook.... ENJOY!

Friday, November 5, 2010


Oh how I LOVE Halloween!!! This year Andrew and I were Willy Wonka and Oompa Loompa! Because of my sweet mother and her sweet sewing skills we were able to pull my costume together... thanks mom, you're the best! The friday before Halloween our friends Nesha and Brock had a costume party in which we went on a scavenger hunt... it was a blast! Andrew and I won first place for the costume contest and got an ash tray, cigarettes, and a couple bags of candy bars.... hahahaha! Since we got our first pack of cigs we decided... heck lets give em' a try! ha... just kidding :) They'll be making a GREAT white elephant gift, with the Holidays around the corner! Thanks Nesha and Brock! :) The following night we got together with our friends in our costumes and went to dinner at Outback! Below are some fun costumes of everyone!

Oompa loompa doompadee doo!
All of us at Outback!
Andrew and I had the privilege of having my good friend Aleesa from Arizona with us all weekend! She was a little hesitant on dressing up, but we got her in costume and I think she made the best hick in town! :)
Nesha and Brock as Astronauts! How sweet are their costumes?!?
Sari and Mckell as nerds!! They were Buddy the Elf and Elf the night before... So good!
Cass and Jordan and little Quinlee! Loofa and Soap on a rope, very Clever!


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pumpkin Banana Mousse tart

One thing I always look forward to in the fall and during the holidays are all the yummy pumpkin treats! I LOVE PUMPKIN! I got this recipe out of an Ina Garten Barefoot Contessa cookbook and it was delish! It's kinda like pumpkin pie but with a twist! YUM, YUM! Enjoy!!

For the Crust
2 c. graham cracker crumbs (14 crackers)
1/3 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 stick of butter

For the Filling
1/2 c. half and half
1- 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree
1 c. light brown sugar, lightly packed
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
3 extra-large egg yokes
1 package (2 tsp.) unflavored gelatin
1 ripe banana, finely mashed
1/2 tsp. grated orange zest
1/2 c. cold heavy cream
2 Tbsp. sugar

For the Decoration
1 c. cold heavy cream
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
orange zest (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter in a bowl and mix well. Pour into an 11 inch tart pan with a removable bottom and press evenly into the sides and then the bottom. Bake for 10 minutes and then cool to room temperature.

For the filling, heat the half-and-half, pumpkin, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water until hot, about 5 minutes.Whisk the egg yolks in another bowl, stir some of the hot pumpkin into the egg yolks to heat them, then pour the egg pumpkin mixture back into the double boiler and stir well. Heat the mixture over the simmering water for another 4-5 minutes, until it begins to thicken, stirring constantly. You don't want the eggs to scramble. Remove from the heat.

Dissolve the gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water. Add the dissolved gelatin, banana, and orange zest to the pumpkin mixture and mix well. Set aside to cool.

Whip the heavy cream in a bowl of an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and continue to whisk until you have firm peaks. Carefully fold the whipped cream into the pumpkin mixture and pour it into the cooled tart shell. Chill for 2 hours or overnight.

For the Decoration, whip the heavy cream in the bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue to whisk until you have firm peaks. Pipe or spoon the whipped cream decoratively on the tart and sprinkle, if desired, with orange zest. Serve Chilled.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Playing Catch up!

Well it has indeed been a crazy and busy last couple of months.... it seems like I was out of town every weekend! It really made me miss my Sunbeams! Oh how i have grown to LOVE them!! They are so fun!! Anyways... here is an update of what we've been up to the last 2 months....
My sweet Grandma Hatch passed away on September 22... Almost 93 years old... I knew the time was coming soon, but wow did the emotions hit me hard! It was a bit of a bittersweet... I laid in bed the night of the day she passed away and I thought to myself, 'I wonder what grandma and grandpa are up to now that they are reunited?!' (Its been almost 11 years since my grandpa Hatch passed away) I began to cry, but smile at the same time! I am truly grateful that I have an eternal family and that I will again see my grandparents one day! Grandma, you were an incredible woman and I will miss you dearly! Above is my family at the grave-sight.
My cousins Kaitlynn and Tyrel, it has been quite some time since I last saw them! Love you guys!
Grandma's casket was absolutely beautiful!
Andrew and I ran one of the funnest races I've ever ran before! The Dirty Dash! It was a 10k run with obstacle courses and in the MUD! We hopped over hay bails, crawled through tunnels, hopped over walls, ran through swamps, slid down a giant slide, and SWAM in mud to the finish line! It was incredible and I look forward to next years race!
After the Race, all muddified! :)

My dear sister and bro in law... love them!! They so kindly let Andrew and I join them for a SPECTACULAR meal at the Red Iguana! It was delicious!! It may have been just as good as La Cocina De Eva's (oh how i miss the yumminess of her food!) But I think Glenn has introduced us to a restaurant that will satisfy my mexican food cravings!
We also took a stroll on Main street in Park City! Glenn and Andrew decided to try some EXTREMELY hot, hot sauce. Typical. Andrew LOVES hot stuff. By the looks on their face... you can tell its PRETTY hot!! That was just a lick from the tip of a toothpick!
The famous moose on main street!
The moose has some sweet cowboy boots eh?!
Our sweet Christina's wedding reception... Lawryn, Aleesa, and I (especially) enjoyed the cupcakes! They were delicious!! And her reception was beautiful! It was so fun to be reunited with my girlfriends from home!
Me, Tina, and Aleesa just after the sealing, isn't she beautiful!?
Jordan & Christina Reidhead... love it!! :)
The Day Alla went back to Russia! We will miss her!
Sorry! Its upside down?! I thought this pic was so cute! My crazy nephew Jett... at our family cabin in Colorado... he loves to catch toads in all sorts of shapes and sizes... and obviously stick them on his head!
The family at a beautiful waterfall in Colorado!
Aren't my parents the cutest?! Love them to pieces!! :)
Andrews find of the day! a big ol' crawd ad (spell check?)!
Have you ever seen a 72 year old jump a trampoline?! It was Alla's first time and she loved it!!
I love this little guy! isnt he cute?!
At a baby shower for my sister Trisha! She had baby #5 back in September... Austin Kent, he is adorable!
Its become a tradition of mine and Andrews to go to the Sandy Demolition Derby each year... This year Mckell and Sari joined us! We had a great time! :)
At the Demo Derby! SO FUN!