Cherry Blossom Kite Festival

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Haydn’s sister, Nina, came to visit during spring break and the Cherry Blossom Kite Festival.  Even though it was 73 degrees two days earlier, the day of the kite festival was windy and in the low 40s.  Great wind for flying kites if not many are around but crazy when a bunch of people are in a small area.

Sarah ended up getting the kite almost taken down by a kid but in the process of getting both her kite and the kids back in the air, her kite cut the kid’s line.  His kite went flying off so we decided no more flying for the day.

Nina wasn’t really prepared for the freezing temps so we made a make shift blanket dress to keep her warm.  Overall it was fun but a little too cold.

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Apple Picking

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I went apple picking at Lariland Farm with some friends from work and it turned into more than just apples. The farm had smoke house and honey crisp apples and they were delicious. The apples were small but so crisp and they even let you eat them right off the tree. Of course it started to rain but I was prepared with water proof shoes and a rain jacket.
After picking apples we decided to venture out to the other areas of the farm and I was able to pick cabbage, kale and grapes for the first time. Those grapes were so delicious and had a totally different mouth feel than any grape I had bought from the store.
I suggest that you go try to find a farm to pick fruits and veggies because it made for a fun and fruitful day.

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This smoke house tree was more like a bush than a tree

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Rows and rows of delicious honey crisp apples

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Tiffanni, Michael and Kelly hanging out in the rain

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Kelly cutting kale in the rain

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I picked this cabbage and thankfully someone came by with a knife or I might have taken the whole thing by the roots

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Looking out on the raspberry bushes which didn’t have any berries so no royal raspberry cake for me

Sugar Loaf Mountain Maryland

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We don’t get to get out into the wilderness much these days either due to Haydn’s busy schedule or the lack of wilderness where we live. Haydn had just finished up his testing for his surgery rotation block and was about to start the family med and pedatrics block so I could tell he needed a little escape. I had heard about this place from a co-worker who told me it would be a good way to “get your toes into hiking”. As you might know I was a little grumpy that he didn’t think I could handle it or knew how to hike…if he only knew what family I grew up in.

So back to the hike. It was about a 45 minute drive from Bethesda, out where there are corn fields and more trees than people. What a great thing that is! We had gotten a late start so we did the shortest hike up to the top which was just a 1/4th mile straight up hike with stairs. (Not as bad as some of the hikes in Washington). We made it up pretty quick and got a great view. We were sad to see the layer of haze that blocked our view farther but it was nice to be away from it all and be able to look out at God’s canvas.

Here are some of the great shots Haydn and I took.

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Refinishing the Dining Room Table

Well it took me 10 weeks and lots of sweat and sand paper but I was able to get it done. I love it now so it better last forever since I never want to refinish it again. If you want any gory details about the process I took just let me know as I had lots of errors and funky results before getting it right.

Now to sit down and relax at my new table before I get ready to make a nice meal for our three year anniversary tomorrow.

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The beautiful flowers Haydn got me for our anniversary tomorrow.

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This is with all the leaves in. The table is huge! And we do have one more chair but that hangs out in the study so I can scratch Haydn’s back while he studies.

A Weekend in Paris

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Well the day after Christmas we decided to jump on a Space A flight to Ramstein, Germany and then take a train to Paris. We were banking that there would be a flight home January 2nd but we weren’t that lucky so instead we just spent the weekend in Paris. We got to see some amazing sights in our short trip such as the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, the Christmas Market and a bunch more. Below is a link to the photo book we made of our trip so be sure to take a look and let me know if you have any questions.

Click here to view this photo book larger

Shutterfly offers exclusive photobook layouts so you can make your book just the way you want.

Our Backyard

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Well there is a lot of nature going around in our backyard at this new apartment. We are loving all the deer and birds and can’t wait what else each season will bring. Here are a few shots I took the other day.

Enjoy!

Snacking on a chocolate acacia berry.

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Snacking on a chocolate rice cake.

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I like to call them red jays because they look like the NW blue jay. Which the NW blue jay is actually a stellar jay. So confusing!

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This deer is actually on the back patio eating some of the bird feed I threw out so the birds could have more to eat with all the snow. One deer tried to eat the plants I have on the other side of the door.

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Pizza Pizza

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This is a guest post I did that is going to be posted on the USU SSC blog soon but I thought I could share it with you too.

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I have always enjoyed pizza probably more than I actually should. When having pizza made from scratch at home it never was as good as getting it from a pizza place which was frustrating. While looking for baking yeast at the commissary I came across this special pizza crust yeast made by Fleischmann’s. It claimed to have a pizza fully cooked and ready to eat in only 30 minutes. I thought why not try it out. I got the rest of my ingredients and was ready to see if it would actually work. When I made it the first time I used a baking stone which I heated up and made just one 12 inch pizza. The crust was gooey and the toppings were overdone just like any other pizza I had made from scratch. What a disappointment!

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I tried again but baked the crust for a few minutes before putting the toppings on. That didn’t go so well either since the crust puffed up and was super crispy with a big bubble which made it difficult to top and tasted almost like pizza toppings on a cracker. Well that just stopped me from trying for a while and I instead just made mini pizzas with flour tortillas. Those by the way turned out great!

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I still had a packet left of the yeast so I tried again and decided to make mini pizzas since I thought maybe then the crust would actually cook all the way through. Well I made the big ball of dough which was super simple and not intimidating at all (do try it even if you don’t normally do stuff like this). I then pulled off small pieces of the dough and just rolled out a thin crust. I put about three of these on a cookie sheet, topped with whatever I wanted and baked for about 12 min at first, checked them then added a few more minutes to make sure the crust was fully done. Well they turned out amazing and I was able to have a variety of pizzas. The crust was fully done in the center and the toppings were not overdone.

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With the ability to quickly make this crust I got the idea of having a mini pizza party. Either pull the kids up to the counter or bring some friends over and everyone gets to make a pizza of their very own from rolling, topping to eating. I have done something similar before for a new year’s eve weekend and this dough would have been way easier than the dough I had used. Everyone had a great time making a pizza they knew didn’t have all those yucky toppings and just the right amount of the good toppings. With the short cooking time everyone can be snacking about the same time too.
If you decide to go with the mini pizzas then you will get about 6 pizzas from one packet of yeast. Check the recipe below and if you have questions please let me know. Can’t wait to hear what delicious pizzas everyone makes!

~Sarah Roberts

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Basic Regular Pizza Crust

Description
Use this easy pizza crust recipe with no need for rising time.
Prep Time:
15 minutes

Bake Time:
12 to 15 minutes

Number Of Servings:
1 (12-inch) pizza

Ingredients:

Crust:
1-3/4 to 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 envelope Fleischmann’s® Pizza Crust Yeast
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup very warm water (120 to 130°F)*
3 tablespoons oil
1/2 to 1 cup pizza sauce
Other toppings as desired
1 to 2 cups (4 to 8 ounces or 125 to 250g) shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425°F.

Combine 1 cup flour, undissolved yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add very warm water and oil; mix until well blended, about 1 minute. Gradually add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Dough should form a ball and will be slightly sticky. Knead** on a floured surface, adding additional flour if necessary, until smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes.

Pat dough with floured hands to fill greased pizza pan or baking sheet. OR roll dough on a floured counter to 12-inch circle; place in greased pizza pan or baking sheet. Form a rim by pinching the edge of the dough.

Spread with pizza sauce. Top with desired toppings and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake on lowest oven rack for 12 to 15 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and crust is browned.

*If you don’t have a thermometer, water should feel very warm to the touch.

**To knead the dough, add just enough flour to the dough and your hands to keep the dough from sticking. Flatten dough and fold it toward you. Using the heels of your hands, push the dough away with a rolling motion. Rotate dough a quarter turn and repeat the “fold, push and turn” steps. Keep kneading dough until it is smooth and elastic. Use a little more flour if dough becomes too sticky, always working the flour into the ball of dough.

Recipe Note: Use crust to make one thick crust 9-inch pizza. Increase baking time to 20 minutes.

A Mossy Roof

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So we went home to visit family and as everyone knows, the Seattle area is very rainy. Yes the jokes have been made about Seattleities being mossybacks as they have lived in the northwest so long moss grows on their backs. Thus if moss were to grow on our backs then it is probably also growing on our roofs. So in comes laundry detergent to the rescue! Legend says that powdered laundry detergent will kill moss so why not give it a try. The problem happens when the ladder is just too difficult to get out of the garage. So what does my father in law and husband do? Watch and see. This just might become the next big thing. 🙂

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