Thursday, December 23, 2010

What to do with your leftover ham

Ok, so I'll admit, Ben and I are doing things a little bit backwards this year. We ate ham for Thanksgiving and we are finally going to cook our turkey for Christmas Eve dinner. In trying to use up the leftover ham, I stumbled upon a delicious recipe for ham soup. Seriously, it gets five stars from me, I forgot how good the soup was in between each bite. Here it is:

Ham and Potato Soup

3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup diced cooked ham
3 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper, or to taste
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk

  1. Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, carrots, ham and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.
  2. In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.
  • I recommend using the white pepper instead of the regular ground black pepper because it works so well with the other flavors in this soup. And although I typically use "Better Than Bouillon," I think the crushed bouillon granules work really well.
  • Feel free to add other vegetables to the soup. I like adding carrots because they make the soup heartier and add color. You can even omit the meat, making this a creamy vegetable soup.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs or grated cheese

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Another Trip to Idaho

At the beginning of December, I went back to Idaho with Remy for my sister's baby shower. Inevitably, I forgot my camera, so I only have a few pictures others were willing to share with me.

It was my first time flying with a baby, and boy was it an adventure! Ben and I figured flying would be much easier than me driving by myself for six hours, especially with a baby, so when my mom offered to pay for half of the flight, we took her up on it. Our flight out of Salt Lake City was early in the morning, so after getting loaded up, we headed off to the airport and Remy fell back asleep. Inexperienced me though, didn't know that both the stroller and carseat have to go through the x-ray machine. So I had to wake Remy up and take him out of his carseat to get through the security checkpoint. Although it was inconvenient, I LOVED the family friendly line which was considerably shorter than the regular lines.

Remy fell back asleep before we boarded, and then woke up while we were descending. He was still so tired and fussy, he cried until we landed. So yes, I was one of those moms, on the airplane with a crying baby. Flying back was a little bit easier. I got to the security checkpoint and felt like a pro, breaking down the stroller, putting the carseat on the belt, and keeping up with the traffic. One man, however, must have thought that I wasn't going fast enough when about a foot and a half of space appeared on the belt between me and the person in front of me. Much to my surprise and chagrin, he cut in front of me! I guess he needed to get somewhere much faster than me. Remy did much better on the second flight. He cried during take-off, but fell back asleep until Ben picked us up in Salt Lake.

During the trip, I helped my mom get ready for the baby shower (no pictures, sorry). My sister had a tea party theme, so we had a buffet of treats and sweets, along with tea, hot chocolate, and mulled cider to drink. It was fun to see some of my friends from Idaho and catch up.

We also happened to go shopping at the mall while I was in Idaho. My mom bought me my birthday present...these fabulous snow boots:
I love the color, don't you? She also bought Ashley her birthday present, which was the same boots in red. :) While at the mall, we went to Williams and Sonoma, my mom's favorite store, and Caitlan my sister wanted to wear Remy in my Moby Wrap. Remy seemed to enjoy it as well, since we put him facing outward for the first time.

One of the most important things Remy and I did during our trip was to visit my grandfather, who is 94 years old. He lives my Aunt Sherron, since my grandmother passed away this summer. We made a special trip on Sunday to visit him, and Remy took to him immediately. It was amazing to see Remy smile at my grandpa, and sit on his lap like I used to do when I was little.

Four Generations
(Remy wearing his Christmas sweater outfit my mom bought for him).

Remy and I were ready to go home by the time the weekend was over. We missed Ben and wanted to get back to him and our daily routine. However, we enjoyed our visit with friends and family.

Three Months!

Remy hit his three month mark this week, and he is certainly growing up. He has gotten much better at holding his head up and can sit by himself on the couch (propped up of course). During his tummy time he can hold his head up for short bursts, and will switch his head from side to side. He also has started drooling and loves to put his hands in his mouth. Recently, his hands have "discovered" each other and he will hold them grasped together. He also has become much more aware of his surroundings, and will look intently at anyone or toys that are put in front of him. And now, he prefers to sit facing outward so he can see what is going on. Today, I put him in his Bumbo chair, and he does so well sitting by himself.

Remy in his Bumbo chair

Remy is much more social and will "talk" through his coos and cries. We have had a couple conversations with me asking questions and pausing long enough for him to answer back. Remy loves to smile now, and he is learning what to smile at. If I do something new, he won't know how to respond until I smile and laugh. Then he smiles and tries to laugh, but hasn't quite gotten the hang of laughing yet, so he'll give himself the hiccups instead.

He'll sleep some nights for six hours at a time, and those are my favorite.

We sure love the little guy and can't wait to see what new developments await next month. :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Caramels

I love Thanksgiving because it jumps off the holiday season. The holidays are such a fun time of year because of the traditions we share. One of my favorite traditions is making and delivering treats to our friends and neighbors. This tradition started when I was a little girl. I'd watch my mom hard at work in the kitchen., as she'd make caramels, fudge, rice crispy treats, cookies, and other goodies. We'd then form an assembly line and decorate, wrap, and plate the treats, making sure there were enough left over for us hungry kids. Finally, we'd get bundled up and deliver the treats, which were often accompanied by Christmas Carols.

Making caramels last Christmas with my sisters.

Check out Caitlan's cool Aussie apron

This year, I decided to jump start this tradition a little early. Ben and I are eating Thanksgiving dinner with some friends here in Utah. We have discovered that traveling in general becomes more difficult after having a baby, and with a short turn around in Ben's schedule, we put off our Idaho trip. I decided to make caramels as a host gift for our friends. The best part is that there are plenty left over to eat and share with our neighbors.

Here is my homemade caramel recipe:

Toasted Almond Caramels

1 teaspoon plus 1/4 cup butter, divided
2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped almonds, toasted

1. Line an 8-inch square dish with foil; butter the foil with 1 teaspoon butter. Set aside. In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and remaining butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low; boil gently without stirring for 4 minutes.

2. Remove from heat; slowly stir in cream. Return to the heat; cook, without stiriing, over medium-low heat until a candy thermometer reads 245 degrees (firm-ball stage). Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla and almonds.

3. Pour into prepared pan (do not scrape sides of saucepan). Cool completely. Using foil, lift the caramel out of pan. Discard foil; cut caramel into squares. Wrap individually in waxed paper or foil; twist ends.

Bubbling Caramel goodness

Caramel is in the pan and almost all cooled

All plated up

Looks tasty


  • Make sure you test your candy thermometer each time before use. You can do this by placing the thermometer in a saucepan of boiling water for several minutes. The boiling point for water is 212 degrees, so if your thermometer is off, you merely add or subtract the difference to the temperature in the recipe.
  • It is easier to toast the chopped almonds in a frying pan on the stove rather than in the oven. This way you have much more control and it is easier to see when they are done.
What are your holiday traditions? And do you have any good holiday recipes to share?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Early Christmas

I was sick this past week and shut up in the house all weekend, which was no fun. It convinced me, however, (and allowed me to convince Ben) to get a Kindle, the ebook reader from I wanted an ebook reader so that I could purchase books without leaving home and download them immediately.

After reading a couple reviews, I decided to go with the Kindle. I was so excited and so anxious to get it that I signed up for a free trial of Amazon Prime. That's right, I paid an extra $4.00 to overnight my Kindle.

It really is a beauty isn't it? The best part is all the Classics I've downloaded to start reading. Yay! Does anyone have any other good book recommendations?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Two Months!

Remy is two months old! Today we had his two month doctor visit, and I can't believe how much he's grown!  He now weighs 10 lbs 9 oz, and stretches out to 22 inches.  He can hold his head up now.  And he is more social, noticing the world around him.  He smiles at us, and loves it when we play and talk to him.  He talks back now through his coos, and we love hearing all that he has to say.  He is very active and loves to move and stretch his muscles.  He has even managed to roll over twice.  He sleeps for at least one four hour stretch at night, sometimes longer when he's swaddled.

We love our little guy, and are enjoying all the time we get to spend with him.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remy's Baby Blessing

The real reason we made the trip to Idaho was Remy's baby blessing. Since Ben and I are both from Idaho, we decided it would be easier for us to make the trip up there with Remy, rather than having everyone come down to Utah.  Due to Stake Conference, we opted to have Remy blessed at my parents' house.  It was a great setting because it was a much more intimate so we could invite the most important people in our lives.

The blessing Ben gave Remy was amazing!  It made me realize all the good things we want for Remy, not just as a baby now, but for the rest of his life.  And I was pleased that my grandfather, my dad, Ben's dad, my brothers, and Ben's friends could participate, making this a memorable occasion. 

Father and Son

Our Little Family

Brandon, Ben, Remy, and Robert

Beau, Mike, Ben, Remy, and Grant

Ben opening a gift from Todd and Christy
Me, Remy, Mom, and Vicki

After the blessing, we got to and eat and mingle.  My parents put together a nice meal for everyone, and it was nice to spend time together.  I love spending time with my nieces and nephews especially, because I don't get to see them much.  One of my favorite moments was when I realized how much of an attitude my niece Peyton has.  I told her that she looked so cute, and she turned to me and said, "No, I'm not so cute!"  I love it!! 

Caitlan, Ashley, Ben, and Remy
(Everyone commented that Caitlan and I looked the same because we were both wearing black dresses)

Steven, Deborah, Brandon, and Aurora
Robert, Peyton, and Nic

Aurora holding Remy
(Because he was crying, she only wanted to hold him for a few seconds).

After I took Remy away, Aurora was sad because she decided she didn't get to hold the baby long enough.  My mom, to everyone's surprise, came rushing in and sat on her lap, pretending to be a baby.  We all had a good laugh at that. 

My beautiful mother

Happy Birthday to Me!

During our Idaho vacation, we had time to celebrate my birthday and so we organized a little get together at my parents' house.  All of my siblings came over, as well as my grandfather, who is 94 years old.  He doesn't look it, does he?  The food was amazing because my parents put together a prime rib dinner.  We had a great time chatting, and just hanging out.

My prego sister Ashley and my grandfather

My brother Rob and his wife Nicole

Caitlan and Robert
Caitlan doing the "Awkward Turtle"

My nephew Steven showing off his muscles

Dad and mom

Grandpa Adamson

Four Generations of Adamsons
Grandpa, Steven, Brandon, and Dad

Robert and Brandon

The only picture with Ben and Remy

Then, it was time for the cake!  I picked out the Red Velvet cake from Costco, and it was delicious.  And even though I had 27 candles on my cake, I blew all my candles out with one breath! 


The best part of the night?  Besides great company, THE PRESENTS!!  My lovely husband gave me the Julia Child cookbooks I had been eyeing at Barnes and Noble.  Although I won't be cooking like in the film Julie and Julia, I am looking forward to venturing outside my cooking comfort zone.  I also received some money and a Barnes and Noble giftcard.  From my sister Ashely, I received the newest book in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series (which I finished reading during the trip).  I even received an Amazon gift certificate from Ben's parents, which happened to be the only gift I received on my actual birthday.   All in all, it was an amazing day! 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Idaho Vacation

This last weekend, our family traveled up to Idaho for Remy's Baby Blessing  and celebrated my birthday (posts to follow).  I was pretty nervous about our first road trip with Remy in the car, but he did surprisingly well.  He slept most of the time, and I was able to feed him and change his diaper when we filled up with gasoline. And even though he is less than two months old, we had to pack a TON of stuff for him.

We hadn't been able to see family for awhile, and for several members, this was their first time meeting Remy.  Some highlights of the trip include dinner at Ben's parents and dinner at Todd's house, Ben's brother.  At Ben's parents house one we watched the movie How To Train Your Dragon.  Although I didn't see all of it, due to several interruptions by my cute baby, the movie was great!  (On a side note, I swear that having a baby has shortened my attention span).   The next night, we had dinner at my brother-in-law Todd's house and it was my first experience eating antelope, and I have to say it was pretty tasty!  It was really fun to see Remy meet his cousins Case and Easton for the first time.

I'll admit with all the new surroundings, Remy was overwhelmed and much more fussy than usual, but he had some good moments as well.  Here, I was able to catch some big smiles one day during one his calmer moments:

Ben and I had a great time visiting, and we realize how much we miss our Idaho friends.  We have some AWESOME friends we wish we could hang out with more.  Maybe we'll get moved up there eventually so we can spend time with them!  For now, we miss you and love you!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Swing for the Hursts

For about a couple of weeks now, Ben and I have debated about getting a swing. Ben has really, REALLY wanted to get one for Remy, but I didn't want to because I didn't really feel like we needed one. So last week, I received a baby swing as a gift from my boss Dee. I knew Ben would be thrilled about the Remy's latest toy. And I was right! The assembly was the first thing Ben did after work! It was almost like watching a kid in the candy store, just to see him put it together.

And then Remy got to try it. He loves it as much as his daddy. Most of the time, he just sits there contently. If he fusses a little bit, he can easily be soothed by switch it from the swing to the cradle sway, or from the cradle sway to the swing. Remy has even fallen asleep in the swing a couple times.

I don't know why I was hesitant about getting the swing now. It definitely lets me do more stuff around the house, which is nice. The swing I guess is for all of us. Although, I think it might have served Dee as well because I am able to get more work done. Either way, I have an awesome boss!


Our Halloween was pretty uneventful. We started by getting up and going to Church. Since Remy has been fitting pretty well in his 0-3 month, and 3 month clothes, I thought I'd put him in a suit I borrowed from my sister-in-law.

Doesn't he just look so cute? Everyone at Church commented on his suit, and on how handsome he looked.

After we came home, I had to put him in something a little bit more festive for Halloween. Remy was too little for any of the baby costumes, so this onesie worked out perfectly.

I had to add this picture, just because I love his neck rolls.