Monday, August 22, 2011

Summer Recap

I've been blissfully silent on the blog this summer. For those of you who haven't given up on me, here's a few snippets of our summer:

First we had a wonderful visit from Emma's dear friend Alyssa. She was so very kind to fly down from Sacramento and come to Emma's graduation as well as spend a week with us. We invited my sister and decided to go on a little tour of Hollywood with our little tourist. We started at the Grove, and even got a bit part on the show Extra (ok, they asked us to walk behind the interview to look like shoppers), ate wonderful crepes at the Farmer's Market, and then went on the convertible "Buddy Fun" bus (basically a hacked off Ford Econoline van)to see the Hollywood sign and stars' homes. I didn't really know who half the stars were but I did swoon over Lucille Ball's house. We finished our day with dinner at Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles...it was so fun!


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Me and my sweet sis. The tour guide asked if any of us on the bus were locals - we were the only ones who raised our hands! Funny, we've never had our picture taken in front of the Hollywood sign after living here all our lives!

At the end of June, we sent Emma off to the Resolved conference with the high school group for the senior trip. It was a joy seeing her off with these kids, her lifelong friends who just happen to be the kids of some of my dearest friends in life. What a blessing!


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left to right: Taylor Dempsey, Kaitlyn Guyle, T.J. Brooks, Emma, Robert Jensen... these kids are such godly young people and blessings to our family.


I'm glad our summer included some food adventure! Good times were had on a recent "Asian tour" with Albert & Alik Lin, as well as their sweet baby Sarona. Albert & Alik are sweet friends, wise beyond their years, joyful and inspiring servants of the Lord. Oh, and not to mention, fine fellow foodie friends!! Because Alik is Armenian, and Albert is Chinese, they have led us to many fantastic food finds from their cultures. Recently on a Saturday afternoon, we went on a 3-stop extravaganza: the best ever egg rolls from the Vietnamese restaurant Golden Deli (also known for their amazing Pho) eaten in a parking lot, then to-die-for dumplings at the Chinese Luscious Dumplings, and finally our last stop for Japanese food at a food court of all places- amazing soup and a yummy rice bowl. We were happily stuffed! Thanks A & A for a great time, we must do it again soon!

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Shamelessly stuffing our faces in a strip mall parking lot.

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My favorite part of the food tour - the dumplings. See that little bowl of sauce. Oh man it was spicy/yummy. Albert showed us how to do it right.

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Little Sarona was completely content the whole time to just watch us eat. Future "foodie-cutie" in training! I just love this sweet girl.

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The last stop. Doesn't this just look awesome?

And what summer would be complete without a camping trip to San Clemente? We were blessed to be able to take some of our extra daughters along, our dear Kait and even Catherine Hardy who was visiting from North Carolina. We enjoyed all our favorites: Pedro's tacos eaten on the beach at sunset, mornings at the Bagel Shack, and even found a new fave - the Sugar Blossom bake shop - their macadamia nut glazed buttermilk cinnamon rolls were off the hook!! (fyi -only made on Sundays).

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Drew and Steph

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Me and my almost college girl! I am actually 2" shorter than her - I must have been standing higher up!

And lastly, though I didn't cook anything new and spectacular this summer - kind of winged most dinners- I did find a new brownie recipe and it is hands down the best recipe I've ever made. These babies are the perfect texture, the perfect taste, and are super easy to make. They truly make you *sigh* when you take a bite. You will want to make these soon. Trust me.

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Kristine's brownies

4 squares of unsweetened baking chocolate
1 cup butter
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp. instant coffee granules
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 12-oz package of chocolate chips (about 2 cups)
2 cups of miniature marshmallows

Chop chocolate and butter and melt together in microwave; cool slightly. Transfer to mixer bowl and beat butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Add coffee granules, eggs, and vanilla and again bring to a nice fluffy consistency. Add flour, salt, chocolate chips, and marshmallows. Mix just until blended. Pour into a well-sprayed 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. Cool a bit before cutting and dust with powdered sugar if desired.

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1 comment:

Pur et Simple said...

I'm thinkin' I'll take these to our church potluck!! YUM