Friday, March 28, 2008

A Different Dinner

A while ago I ran across this interesting food item at Harmons grocery store. It is called "Israeli Couscous". I have used regular couscous in a few meals before. I like it because I think it tastes good, it goes with almost anything, and it is so fast to cook up. It really only takes a couple of minutes. But this Israeli couscous was quite a bit larger than the regular couscous. I used to think that couscous was a grain, but it is actually a pasta. Regular couscous is really small little balls if pasta. I estimate about 3 graduals of it will fit on a pin head. It's really tiny. This Israeli couscous was larger. It was more the size of a BB. It is also known as Pearl Couscous. I thought I'd try it out, although I had no idea of what to do with it yet.

I did an internet search to find recipe ideas, and I ran across this recipe:Pearl Couscous with Roasted Tomatoes and Olives.

Oh Yummy! The picture here is my actual dinner. I roasted 2 whole pints of tomatoes and some garlic cloves. The olives in the recipe were fancy ones that I had never tried before. Usually an olive for me is just the canned black ones, or the green ones you get with the red pimento in them. The olives in the recipe are Kalamata olives. They may be available in the grocery store, I'm not sure. I got these ones I used from Granato's here in Salt Lake.  The olives are salty and very flavorful. They were a little expensive, but I think they, along with the roasted tomatoes, really made the dish.

Even though I had to make a few small substitutions in the recipe, It turned out so nice! I used some dried herbs in place of some of the fresh ones it called for. I couldn't find fresh mint, so I used dried from my garden. I used rubbed Thyme instead of fresh. And in place of flat leaf parsley I used cilantro. I don't know if they are similar or not. But I like cilantro and it was delicious in this recipe.

I made chicken breasts that I had marinated in some Balsamic Vinegarette. I think it was the perfect side dish for this. They were very good together. I like the texture of eating fun little balls of pasta. The couscous was very flavorful and fun to eat.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

My Back Yard Visitor

Who loves birds as much as I do? If I knew how, I would be one of those geeky people that go out into nature with a fancy camera just to get their pictures. I think I will have to take some Utah Bird Watching classes someday.

Last fall I saw the most beautiful bird land on my backyard fence. It chased off all the Starlings that like to hang out in my backyard and eat my dog’s food. It was hopping all around the fence and looking into the birdhouse that Lane had made me. I thought it looked like some sort of a woodpecker, but I wasn’t sure. I tried to run and get my camera so I could take its picture, but it flew away before I could. Then just the other day when I was talking to Sondra on the phone, I saw it again! It is so beautiful. I wanted to run and get my camera again, but I figured I would miss the chance to watch it if I did.

I have looked a few times online to see what kind of bird it is, and I finally found it today. It is a female Northern Flicker. It is a type of a woodpecker. It looks just like the picture I posted on my post here. I wish I could have taken credit for this picture. It is beautiful. But I just found this online.

Did you know you can set up woodpecker feeders in your backyard to attract woodpeckers? I didn’t know that till just today. And now I am excited to give it a try. But of course I need to do some research before I do it. I have loved having humming bird feeders in my yard this last year. I think it will be cool to have a woodpecker feeder too. I hear they are beneficial to have around your yard because they eat icky things like grasshoppers, garden pests, and spiders.

Here are some interesting links I have come across in researching about my backyard friend.

Wilipedia-Northern Flicker

All About Birds

Birds Forever

Woodpecker Feeders

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Good Wife....

Most of you have probably gotten this in an email before. It's pretty funny. It is supposed to be an actual guide on how to be a good wife. Although there is speculation on the authenticity of this, it is still fun to read. I didn't want to retype this, so I just posted a link to someone else's site.

The Good Wife Guide

There is a link to that tells a little about the origins of this list. It mentions a book called "Fascinating Womanhood". I have that book. My mom gave it to me when I was a teenager. I think I tried to start reading it when I was a teenager. I never did finish the book because it made me mad. I thought it would be interesting to read it now that I am an adult with an adult brain and see if it is still offensive to me or not.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Stupid Haircut

I got my haircut yesterday. I sometimes like my hair kind of short. But this time, it is a bit shorter than I had in mind. And it has layers that are pretty short too. I usually like longer layers with the shorter overall length. I'm having a hard time learning to like this cut. So far I hate it. It looks like an old ladies haircut to me. Not a cute and fashionable haircut. I'm sure glad it grows so I will not have an old ladies haircut forever!

I may post a picture another day, if I get brave.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Young Women Transitioning into Relief Society

I need a little bit of inspiration from you guys.

The transition from Young Women's to Relief Society is when a lot of the Young Women are lost. It is a time when even confident girls feel insecure. They don't see what they could possibly have in common with women who are a generation older than them. So they feel uncomfortable and they may start to avoid the whole situation by just not going. Too many of them fall away from the church this way. And sometime they don't come back.

I don't know if any of you remember the transition from Young Women's to Relief Society. I remember mine. I went from being active, to being inactive. That is of course what we want to prevent.

There is a very nice young lady in our ward. She is kind of a free spirited girl. Like a lot of teenagers she tried to stand out from the crowd. She is very sweet. She has been the one to try to fellowship Kayla into the church. Even though Kayla likes the girl a lot, Kalya really doesn't want to have anything to do with the church right now. But that hasn't stopped this girl from trying.

This girl turns 18 in a couple of weeks. That is when she leaves the Young Women's program and joins us in Relief Society. She feels like most young women do at that time, she doesn't want to leave her friends and peers and join us old ladies. Of course we are not all just old ladies, but you know the stereotype that Relief Society has.

Do any of you have any ideas to help? The Relief Society Presidency is going to take her a bag of things that we know she likes. We have a sister that we think she will get along with assigned to befriend her, and give her someone to sit by and stuff.

This last Sunday this girl was crying in her Young Women's class, because she says she doesn't want to go to Relief Society. She wants to stay where she is at. Does your wards do anything that you know of that eases the transition? Or do you have any ideas to help this girl feel comfortable and welcomed. Do you have any ideas on how to show her that we are not really old ladies that sit together and knit and make casseroles and green jello?. I'd like her to know about the friendships we make, and the support we give each other, and the fun we have.

I do plan on writing her a little note or card and telling her how I think she is a wonderful young women and welcoming her to Relief Society.