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Christmas 2014

Christmas was lovely and simple this year. So much of the past few months was stressful so it was nice to have some days to just relax and enjoy spending time with Chris. It was a little surreal that this was our last Christmas with just the two of us. Exciting, but surreal. We enjoyed every minute of it.

 

It was particularly fun to reminisce about where we were last Christmas. We had just moved into our new apartment and the only furniture we had in our living room was a desk and two bookcases. We had our traditional Christmas clam chowder on blankets on the floor. This year we ate it on our kitchen table and then snuggled up on our couch. Simple blessings and fun memories :)

Plus we woke up to the most magical of all Christmas surprises: A white Christmas!

Merry Christmas from C2, Skittles, and the growing baby!

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Christmas 2013

We got “settled” into our new apartment just in time for Christmas. (Why does it seem like we’re always either moving or traveling during Christmas time? We really need to stop that. It’s much too stressful.)

 

We still didn’t have any living room or dining room furniture (our “couch” was a pile of pillows in a corner and our “table” was an upturned moving box), and we were nowhere near being upacked, but we unearthed our decoration boxes and decked the halls for Christmas anyway.

Including our tree :)

 
I found a tutorial on Pinterest on how to take sparkly Christmas tree photos. I had some fun testing it out :)
 
And of course, the annual church Christmas concert. I was in charge of the decorations again this year and with a LOT of help from Carrie and Anita it turned out pretty fun!
Chris performed “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” with our bishop’s daughter, Anna, complete with full instrumental accompaniment and backup singers. One of these days I’m going to have to track down a video recording of the performance, because it was just darling! The ward has been a little obsessed with Chris’ deep voice ever since.
Since we weren’t traveling anywhere for Christmas this year, we were exposed to some more Norwegian Christmas traditions. One of our new favorites is ‘ribbe’ (roasted pork ribs) which is a traditional Christmas dinner in Eastern Norway. Our friends, Grethe and Leidulf, had us over for ribbe one evening and it was oh-my-gosh-delicious!
And oh yeah! It snowed! Fresh snow is such a magical way to get into the Christmas mood. We were hoping it would last until Christmas Day, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be. We were happy to get one last snowy shot from our old apartment’s view before it all melted away.
 
We’re really learning to love Christmas in Norway!

 

 

Christmas Eve Pizza Night

On Christmas Eve we gathered the fam together for a homemade pizza night. I contributed my friend Anna’s famous spinach pizza and Shannon made BBQ chicken and chicken-bacon-artichoke pizzas. I feel a new Christmas Eve tradition coming on!

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“They see me rollin’…my pizza…”

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Draining the tomatos for the spinach pizza.

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A little brush of melted butter and a sprinkle of garlic salt makes the crust oh so good!

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Even Tian helped make his own allergy-friendly personal pan pizza.

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Saucy!

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Shannon’s genius trick of spreading the sauce all the way to the edges of the rolled-out dough and then rolling it up inside the crust. Try it next time you make homemade pizza. I dare you.

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Nice and brown and bubbly! ::Drool::

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The BBQ

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The Spinach

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The CBA (Chicken Bacon Artichoke)

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Mmmmm…. :)

Now… it would be just plain mean if we showed off all of these yummy photos without providing a way for you to enjoy them yourselves! So the recipes for the dough and all three pizzas are below. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

 

Pizza Dough
 
Creator:
Ingredients
  • 3 cups Flour
  • 1 package Active Dry Yeast, (0.25 oz)
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon White Sugar
  • 1 Cup Warm Water
  • ½ tsp Garlic Powder, (or fresh garlic)
  • 2 tsp Pizza Seasoning, (make sure it has marjoram in the seasoning. If not, add in a bit)
Instructions
  1. Combine flour, salt, sugar, pizza seasoning, garlic, and yeast in a large bowl.
  2. Mix in oil & warm water.
  3. Spread out on large pizza pan or stone.
  4. Top as desired.
  5. Bake at 375℉ for 20-25 minutes.
Notes
If you have time, let it rise in a warm place for an hour or two. If not though, the dough is still great un-risen! Recipe for Homemade Pizza Seasoning: 2 T oregano 2 T basil 2 T marjoram 1 tsp garlic powder

Anna's Famous Spinach Pizza
 
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Meatless and utterly delicious!
Creator:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Ingredients
  • 1 Store-bought pizza crust, (or homemade)
  • 1 Tablespoon Pesto Sauce
  • 1 clove Garlic, pressed
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 2 small tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 ball buffalo mozzerella, sliced
  • ½ cup pre-shredded mozzarella
  • 1 large mushroom, thinly sliced
  • ¼ medium red onion, sliced
  • 1 bag spinach, chopped
  • garlic salt
  • parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Spread sliced mozzarella and tomato slices on a piece of paper towel to draw out the extra water. (The spinach contains A LOT of water so draining the tomato and cheese will help keep it from getting soggy). Sprinkle mozzarella with a good amount of salt.
  2. Preheat a pizza stone in a 250℃ oven.
  3. Remove pizza stone from oven and form pizza crust onto the stone in a circle. Brush with a few drizzles of olive oil, pesto, crushed garlic, pepper, and a generous dash of Italian seasoning.
  4. Place tomatoes evenly spread out onto crust.
  5. Cover entirely with chopped spinach.*
  6. Place mozzarella slices on top of spinach (evenly spaced). Sprinkle liberally with pre-shredded mozzarella.
  7. Top with onions and mushroom slices.
  8. Cover with LOTS of grated parmesan cheese on top.
  9. Brush the crust edges with melted butter and sprinkle with garlic salt.
  10. Sprinkle entire pizza with more fresh cracked pepper and salt.
  11. Bake at 250℃/480 F for approximately 10 minutes until cheese is brown and bubbly. The cheese needs to be quite browned to make sure the crust is fully cooked.
  12. Tilt pizza to check for water build up. If there is some, soak it up with a paper towel and bake for a minute or two more.
  13. Cool for a few minutes, slice, and enjoy!
Notes
Makes enough for 2 slices per person for 3 people. *You will use more spinach than you think you'll need. It shrinks quite a bit in the oven. It is recommended that you follow these cooking instructions, despite what your pizza dough recipe calls for. The high heat and short cooking time allow for the correct amount of moisture to evaporate from the spinach. Otherwise you might end up with a soggy pizza!

BBQ Chicken Pizza
 
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Creator:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Ingredients
  • 1 Pizza Dough
  • 1 bottle BBQ Sauce
  • 1-2 breasts Grilled Chicken , (or 2-3 thighs) cut into bits.
  • ¼ Red onion
  • 1.5 cups Mozzerella Cheese
  • Cilantro, chopped
Instructions
  1. Roll out pizza dough. Spread BBQ sauce to taste on top of dough all the way to the edges. Roll up the edges around the sauce to form the crust.
  2. Top with half the cheese, all the toppings, and then the rest of the cheese. Top it all off with cilantro.
  3. Bake at 375℉ for 18-22 minutes until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly

Chicken Bacon Artichoke Pizza
 
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Creator:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Ingredients
  • 1 Pizza crust, unbaked
  • 1 jar Alfredo sauce
  • 1 cup Mozzerella cheese
  • 1-2 Grilled Chicken breast, (grilled with oil and salt)
  • 1 can Artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
  • 3-4 slices Bacon, cooked and cut into pieces
  • handful Spinach
  • 1 Green onion, chopped
  • 2-3 small Mushrooms, sliced to preference
Instructions
  1. Roll out pizza dough flat. Spread a layer of alfredo sauce (to taste preference) all the way to the edges of the dough. Roll up edges of dough (around sauce) to form crust.
  2. Top with ½ of the mozzerella cheese. Add all the toppings. Add the rest of the cheese.
  3. Bake at 375℉ for 18-22 minutes until crust is golden and cheese is bubbly.

 

 

The Good, The Bad, and the Guilty

“It is 10:10 p.m., 2 July 1881-a balmy evening in the little Wyoming Territory town of Roadkill.”*

So begins the night of dastardly deeds. Judge Waylon Payne was found murdered in his home on the eve of the hangin’ of the Malevolent Seven. One of these scheming, conniving folks has done it, but who??

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Chief Breaking Wind

Leader of the Cowpai tribe and town barber of Roadkill.

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Helena Handcart

Matriarch of the Handcart clan, mother of all thirteen (tragically killed) Handcart boys.

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P’elvis Swagarin

Mysterious gunslinger; recently arrived in Roadkill.

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Butch Chastity

Head of an all-female gang of outlaws; one of the most feared women in the West.

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Dee Adela Muerta

Mexican beauty, thrice-widowed, now Roadkill’s pastor and undertaker.

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Elias Truist-Heath

Up-and-coming heartthrob gunslinger. Raised by Judge Waylon Payne.

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Elvira-Lynn Fekshin

Madam of the Pigeon Ranch, the best little whorehouse in Roadkill.

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Wyatt Hertz

Former sheriff of Roadkill, caught a shotgun blast in the privates. Now owns Hertz Rent-A-Horse.

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Meg A. Helper

Milkmaid to Helena Handcart who survived the gunfight at Helena’s ranch that killed all 13 sons.

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It was a night of cunning intrigue and fierce deception.

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No one was to be trusted.

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 Alliances were formed,

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 accusations were made,

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and dinner was eaten.

All to find out…..

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WHO DUNNIT???

 

*How To Host a Murder, created by Decipher, Inc.

Christmas with the Hills

Chris and I went back to the US to spend Christmas with the Hill side of the family this year.

I don’t know about you, but our Christmas was lovely!

It was filled with home baked cookies,

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 dinosaurs,

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kisses,

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pizza,

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silly faces,

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pretty faces,

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Christmas carols,

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and happiness.

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Not to mention Snuggies that are full of awesome,

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funny jokes (Hint: That’s an eye.)

Wait for it….

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There it is!

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Norwegian treats,

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wrapping paper nom noms,

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and love.

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And, in pure Christmas Story fashion… one last present for Jon hiding behind the couch.

Daddys-iPad

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:)

Off-camera it was also full of visits with grandparents and uncles and Osborns, hoagie dinners,  and lots of games!

Merry Belated Christmas everyone!