June 18, 2012

The Way to a Man's Heart

...in our family, through the stomach is definitely a true statement.  Which makes for A LOT of Father's Day cooking.  Luckily, I had some help.
If it's John's heart your after, French Toast is the only way to go.  
Stuffed French Toast with Raspberry Syrup to be exact.
He also had a request for my Aunt Penny's fabulous Cool Penne Pasta (a.k.a Penny's Pasta).  
Because it's Father's Day, I made 100% WHITE homemade rolls, which never happens at our house.
For my Dad, I made Hot Milk Cake with Strawberries and Cream and for John's Dad, we whipped up these Peanut Butter Bars, 
courtesy of Carly's Kitchen.
No, I'm not turning this into a food blog, but nothing brings family together more than great food.  I enjoy cooking for my family and I especially love to have clumsy little hands working beside me in the kitchen.  

Besides helping John put on a few extra pounds, the kids gave him coupons for a variety of things:  Extra big kisses, playing catch, and free chores to name a few.
He also got some new games for the X-Box.
There are few things in life I find more entertaining then watching John play Kinect...actually, watching the kids play might be even better. 

One thing that is not at all entertaining to watch (in fact I would even say it is excruciatingly painful) is your child in a parade.  The Saturday before Father's Day, Wyatt's Taekwondo team was in the South Jordan Parade.  How fun this is going to be, I mistakenly thought.
We woke up early and rushed out the door, only to line up and wait in the heat of Summer for 2 1/2 hours.  After which, the children were forced to march along the heat reflecting-asphalt, in long-sleeved uniforms and were excepted to appear happy while doing so, all for the sake of advertising someone else's business.  I'm sure there are child labor law against this kind of treatment.
Somehow, I got roped into carrying the banner, my shoulders were on fire after the first 10 minutes.  I realize this is getting a little whiny, but I can't stop now...John and his parents waited for over 3 hours in the hot sun to get a 15 second glimpse of an exhausted Wyatt, waving limply with a fake smile plastered on his face.  Macie and Cole came home with 2 backpacks full of candy...not a good thing.

That night, we also learned that it costs $17 to take our kids on one ride each at the South Jordan Fair.
 Do you think they were satisfied or grateful in anyway for that one ride?  Unfortunately not, my sweet little trio was appalled by the horrible unfairness of their parents.  But they did have fun and so did I. 
 John however, isn't the biggest fan of fairs, carnivals, amusements parks, or any of the like, but I think he enjoyed making fun of my scarf and trying to take blackmail photos of me.  
So, I posed the question:  Which is uglier, my scarf or your beard?
 That led to...who has the ugliest beard?
Black vs. White...I'll let you decide.  Thinkin' my head wrap is pretty cute right about now.

We finished off the night with a firework show while John serenaded us.

The past week wasn't too pretty.  Monday night, we came down from a family-night hike in the mountains to discover John's car had been towed.  After calling the police, exchanging angry words (more than once) with the most unbelievable scam of a company, we finally forked out the $215 to get his car back.  That basically set the tone for the rest of the week.  On top of the usually day to day craziness and an extremely demanding work week for John, it seemed like nothing would go our way.  And then there were a couple of  not-so-great doctor visits thrown into the mix (still no results from the heart tests).
So this week was a little rough, but I think that life is just that way sometimes.  It really make us appreciate moments like this...
When we can celebrate our family and take time to ponder how blessed we truly are.  After the past week, I hope John enjoyed Father's Day.
These three adore their father, plain and simple.  He tells amazing (sometimes PG-13) bedtime stories, has written and sings them their own individual bedtime songs, and can get them giggling hysterically without even trying.

The other day at breakfast, Macie's prayer sounded like this:
"...please don't let Daddy ever get lost or go to jail."
I'm hoping that has something to do with the kinds of stories he tells rather than a little girls intuition.
I don't think I have ever heard her pray without mentioning something about her daddy.  
The boys completely idolize John.  They hang on his every word and not just at story time.  I often catch them looking at him with such admiration and pride, it melts my heart.  Wyatt is convinced that John knows everything, except for when arguing with mom, of course.  And no one admires Dad more than our sweet little Cole, he will forever be John's biggest fan.

Happy Father's Day John, Papa Lynn, and Papa Monte.  We love you!


Grandma Elaine's Famous Rolls
1 square butter
1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 c. milk, scalded
1 1/4 c. warm water
2 T. yeast
3 eggs
8-9 cups flour

In a large mixing bowl, cut butter into small pieces.  Sprinkle sugar and salt on butter.  Pour in scalded milk.  Let stand to melt butter.  In a separate bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.  In another bowl, beat eggs well. Pour eggs and yeast water in milk mixture, stir slightly.  Add 5 cups of flour and beat until fairly smooth.  Add 2 more cups of flour and beat again until flour is mixed in.  Add 1 more cup and mix in.  Then add flour by 1/2 cups until dough cleans the side of bowl while kneading (about 9 cups).  Knead for 8 minutes.  Cover and let rise until double.  Punch down and roll out into desired shapes.  Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  Tops should be golden brown.  Brush with melted butter.

Stuffed French Toast
From the Kitchen of Penny Roberts

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. vanilla yogurt
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Mix above ingredients until smooth and creamy.  Spread mixture on 1 slice of white bread (crusts removed) and cover with other slice (like you're making a sandwich).

Dipping Mixture:
8 eggs
1 c. half-and-half
1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla

Mix above ingredients together and then dip bread into mixture until fully coated.  Line a jelly-roll pan with aluminum foil and then spray foil with Pam.  Place bread on pan.  Melt cube of butter and spoon over tops of bread.  Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.

Raspberry Glaze:
Bag of frozen raspberries
2 c. water
1 c. sugar
2 T. cornstarch

Put raspberries, sugar and 2 cups water in pan and let simmer for 1 hour.  Then add 1/2 cup water and cornstarch to thicken mixture.  Pour over French toast.  Tip: Can be made ahead of time and then reheated.

Penny's Penne Pasta

                    Coarse salt                                                        12 oz. dry penne pasta         
                    7 T. extra virgin olive oil                                     Freshly ground black pepper   
                    7 T. red wine vinegar                                         2 cloves garlic, minced
                    1 T. chopped, fresh oregano                              1 c. thinly sliced red onion
                    3/4 c. pitted olives, coarsely chopped                 5 T. dried capers
                    1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced                   1 small yellow pepper, thinly sliced
                    1 c. red onion, thinly sliced                                 1 pt. tiny cherry tomatoes, halved
                    8 oz. feta, crumbled

In a large pot, bring 6 quarts water and 2 T. salt to a boil.  Add penned and cook until al dente, 10-12 minutes.  Drain pasta and toss it immediately with 1 T. olive oil.  Let it cool completely in the refrigerator.  In a large bowl, whicsk remaining 6 T. olive oil with vinegar and garlic.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add penne, chopped oregano, red onion, olives, capers, bell peppers and cherry tomatoes.  Refrigerate pasta for a few hours.  To serve, add feta and stir until just combined.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.  Turn pasta into serving bowl and garnish with oregano sprigs.


  1. Awesome post! You are quite the blogger, so glad you have taken it up! I am drooling at the pic of the peanut butter bars-and am getting a little depressed that I have a child with a peanut allergy! and btw-love the head wrap! Only you could pull that off!

    1. I never wanted to start a blog because I thought it would be just one more thing to do...but now I love it, I think it is my therapy! I probably blog way too much, but I'm sure it will slow down eventually. I LOVED the peanut butter bars, this was my first time making them. Thanks for the great recipe.

  2. I am in love with your blog! I can't believe how much you cooked/baked for Father's Day! You are a rockstar! So sorry your week was a bust but it looks like Father's Day turned out great. PS I love your headwrap :) Rick went through a bunch of heart testing this week too. We will have to compare notes ;)

  3. Oh no, I hope everything is okay with Rick! Yeah I got a little carried away with all the cooking, but I think it was a good distraction!

  4. We need to get together and play!! Your kiddos are so cute! I would say that the scarf is 100% cutier! Travis is also growing a sick beard and I hater it!

    1. Ha ha, yes I am very anti-beard right now! Let's for sure get together this summer!

  5. I love reading your blog! Makes me want to be one of your kids. Haha! But true.

    1. You crack me up...thanks for all the great recipes!

  6. I have really enjoyed reading your blog! You are such a good mom! You guys are always doing fun things! Seeing all the yummy things you made, totally made me hungry!:) I'm so glad you posted the recipes! Those 3 men are lucky to have you! Your kids are adorable!

  7. Thanks Breana, I ran into Ashley the other day...we should all catch up sometime! Do you have a blog?

  8. Loved this post!! you are super women! i don't know how you do it all!! Seriously!! i want to be like you, ha ha!!

  9. Whatever! You are the one with the perfectly clean house (and perfectly clean children)! And bring home the bacon :)

  10. First off-I have you totally beat with the parade experience! ;-) Second- your outta control! In the most amazing way ever...super mom in all ways. Third- Dad wins the beard contest- I like dad with a beard because the kids think he looks like Santa! John however resembles my idea of a terrorist ;-) Fourth- I MISS YOU GUYS!

    1. I was actually thinking about the amount of suffering you guys must have endured at your parade. Ha ha, someone in our ward asked me where John was from...she said, "I told my husband we might have to keep an eye on that one." Dad shaved his beard the next day!

  11. Yes, I have a blog. It's joeandbre.blogspot.com. Its nowhere near as fun to read as yours is:) Ash told me she saw you! It would be really fun to catch up sometime. Unfortunately I live in Texas now, so I'm only in Utah for a few days or a week at a time.