Husband and Father

Husband and Father
July 15, 1958 ~ August 25, 2008

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Coveted Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

I have had many inquiries for my Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe. I must say that this is my kids favorite meal. Whenever someone has a birthday and they get to pick a meal for me to make, it is always Sweet and Sour Chicken. When I make dinner for a friend in need, more often than not I prepare this meal. Most everyone LOVES it. It is easy, and basically hard to mess up.

I can't take credit for this recipe. It was given to me by a dear friend Eileen Moore. I could write pages and pages of the many things that this sweet friend has done for me over the years. Maybe at a later date I'll blog more about her.

Steve was put in the bishopric of the Mueller Park 5th Ward when my oldest child was 7 and when my fourth baby was blessed. Eileen and her kind daughter Andrea took care of our family. When Steve became bishop several years later, I had two more babies. and the Moore's continued to serve us. Andrea would come to my house every Sunday morning to help me get the kids ready for church. The Moore Family would sit with me to assist with the little ones.

Eileen took a particular interest in teaching me culinary skills. She would invite me to her house to make her famous cinnamon rolls, and dinner rolls. Andrea and Eileen would make cookies with my older kids almost every Sunday. One Christmas Eileen made a recipe book for her daughter and daughter-in-laws. That is the book where you will find this delicious recipe:

Sweet and Sour Chicken

3 pounds chicken breast (I use chicken tenders)
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 beaten egg
6 Tbsp flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup chicken stock
3 1/2 Tbsp. ketchup
1 Tbsp soy sauce
Sprinkle chicken with garlic salt and pepper. Let stand for one hour or more. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Dip chicken in beaten egg, then flour. Brown in hot oil. Place in baking dish. Cover with following sauce: Mix sugar, vinegar, chicken stock, ketchup, and soy sauce in saucepan and heat. Pour over chicken. Bake uncovered for 1 hour. Turn chicken once or twice.
Best if served with rice. ENJOY!


The definition of salsa is,"a kind of Latin American dance music influenced by jazz and rock, and usually played at fast tempos." Well....I am pleased to announce that NO, I did not take up a new hobby of Latin American dancing. I was merely canning salsa for my family. Phew! No worries.

In a previous blog, I mentioned the movie Julie and Julia. I loved the passion and quest for perfection in their cooking. I especially loved Julia's love for life and enjoying the journey of learning her specific trade. She was portrayed in the movie as a fun-loving, full of energy, genuinely nice person, pursuing her dreams.

This movie has inspired me to expand upon my own culinary skills. I have been trying to domesticate myself. So yesterday, I learned how to can salsa. I have never done this before, but have loved partaking of the product of other's skilled in this area.

My family and I LOVE salsa. We love the fresh juicy tomatoes, zippy peppers, and sweet onions. Rio Grand is our favorite fresh salsa. I have only found a couple canned salsa recipes that my family likes. Uncle Scott's is definitely one of their favorites.

It is always more enjoyable for me to socialize or work in groups on these projects. So yesterday, I canned salsa with my brother-in-law, Scott Brown, his parents, and his kids. was definitely a group effort. There was a role for everyone. Salsa isn't just throwing a bunch of ingredients together. The ingredients have to be manipulated, measured, and cooked to a precise or designated moment. As you soldier through, you realize, that you learn so much more from observing others and having specific roles in the salsa making.

These are several tidbits I learned from observing:

  1. Hot peppers can be minced in the blender. Cover whole peppers with water, blend, and drain off water.
  2. Instead of pureeing tomatoes with a food processor, squeeze them between your hands.
  3. While cooking tomatoes remove over abundance of juice.
  4. When done with project wash hands and dishes in bleach. It removes the odors.

    Thanks to the Brown's for sharing their amazing salsa making skills with me, and in helping provide exquisite salsa for my family. Two bottles already devoured, 44 to go. Maybe I should ration.

Friday, September 18, 2009


I have had a wide spectrum of emotions since Ben has entered first grade. I love spending time with Ben. He is so entertaining, and has such a quick wit for such a young age. I think I am selfishly not wanting to give him up full time to the world of learning. I am sure Ben is ready, it's just me that is having to adjust to life without Ben for a few extra hours during the day. The first day of school was hard enough, but with Ben going to school full time, I have to say I was a little weepy.

Although I miss having Ben around as much during the day, I have embraced my new found freedom. I like routines, and schedules, but I also like spontaneity and having less restraints. Quite a contradiction I know, but I guess I like balance. I have enjoyed the structure in attending the temple once a week, and volunteering in Lizzy and Ben's elementary classrooms. I have found pleasure in the spontaneity of lunch dates with friends, expanding my cooking skills, and being able to attend fun functions such as Swiss Days. Oh, yes, I think I am adjusting to first grade just fine.


Katelyn went to Bountiful High School's Homecoming Dance with Taylor Perkins. Taylor was such a gentleman and not only had exceptional manners, but he brought her roses. They had such a fun group that consisted of 20 couples. They went to dinner at Joy Luck, and had a great time with good friends.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Ben turns 7

Ben's birthday is August 23rd. Steve's Dad, Wayne, has a birthday on August 24th. It's difficult to celebrate these birthday's when the anniversary of Steve's passing is on August 25th. We try to make a special effort to celebrate these birthdays rather than think of the tradegy that followed them. We had a family party at our house to celebrate both birthday's. Ben had a birthday party with friends a little later at Kangeroo Zoo.

Anonymous gift giver.
Ben's tent from his siblings.

Baseball helmet and glove from mom.

Grandpa Brown and Ben

Jono, Alex, Mitchell, Ben Dallas, and Josh

Kangeroo Zoo

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Peachy Day

I think the movie Julie & Julia has inspired me to improve upon my cooking skills. I am an ok cook, but Julia Child was exceptional. She is someone to aspire to be like. Today I went with my friend Amy Jacobsen to Leslie Barton's to learn how to make fresh peach pie. Amy brought peaches from Brigham City, which I must say were delightful! Leslie Barton taught us how to make peach pie out of one of Julia's cookbooks. Her mother-in-law has adjusted the recipe to make it unique, and even more exquisite than Julia's. When you follow ever detail and trick, it is fabulous. Yum! I would say it is the best pie I have tasted, but Grandma Janet's pies are hard to contend with. All comparisons aside, this is a uniquely different pie with a custard filling. The light, delicate, flaky, pie crust, is engulfed with fresh, sweet, peaches, and are topped with a delightful custard, with whip cream being the final touch. Wowza! Next up.......eclairs!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Ben said the other day, "It seems like Dad is on a long vacation." I really took that as a compliment. We talk about Steve, we laugh about the funny things he used to do and say. We try to keep his memory alive, but we also continue doing the things that he and we loved to do. Routines are kept; hobbies continue; we have gone on a lot of fun vacations together; we have learned how to boat together; and most importantingly we are savoring our family relationships, and adjusting to life without Steve. Life is different, it is constantly changing, and it will never be the same. We are trying to find joy in our new journey, although sometimes it is difficult.

Our family has had fun, but we have also experienced many trials. The trials have been extremely hard, difficult and wearing. I do know that we are given strength to help us through our trials. Strength is not something you necessarily have, it's something you find. Sometimes you find it through people acting as instruments in God's hands, and you will always find it in a lovely Heavenly Father. Everyone has trials, challenges, and tribulations in life. What makes our challenges and trials bearable is when we help each other through them. We mourn with those who are mourning. We celebrate our triumphants, and lift and share one anothers burdens. I am truly blessed by the goodness of others and strong and amazing children.


Quinn and Meagan took the boy's fishing. I love it when the older kids want to take the younger kids on adventures. It warms my heart. They went to Millhollow Lake in the Uintas. I love the Uintah. It is so beautiful. I love the big tall pine trees, and quaint little lakes, the windy roads, and just the beauty of nature. Ben got a brand new fishing pole from Grandpa Brown for his birthday. He was so happy to have an opportunity to use it.

They caught 5 fish. They were on the catch and release program, so I guess we have to just believe them when they tell us how many fish they caught and how big they were.

The boys had a great time! Ben is just learning and takes a little patience. Quinn was helping Ben with his fishing line and his new pole broke right in half. Quinn and Meagan were nice enough to take it back to Cabelas on their way home. Cabelas gave him a new fishing pole. No damage done.