Friday, December 30, 2011

Eating with Liz 2011 - Potato Sausage Soup

Here we are at the end of the year and this is the last recipe. I've been really bad about posting recipes the last several months, but it's the holidays and I'm sure everyone understands how that goes. I would like to report that I have succeeded in cooking something new at least once a week for the entire year. Good job for me. I feel that John and I have eaten a little healthier this year and I'm pretty proud of that. Here's hoping we can continue to do even better next year.

Here is the final recipe of 2011. I didn't actually make this one. John did. He let me play video games all day and he took care of everything. He's such a good husband.

Potato Sausage Soup


1½ T butter

¾ c onion, chopped

¼ c celery, chopped

6-8 oz smoked sausage, diced

¼ c flour

½ t dried parsley flakes

½ t dried basil

Salt and pepper to taste

1 ½ c chicken broth

1 lb potatoes, peeled, diced (I bought a 1lb. bag of mini-red potatoes.)

¾ c sour cream


Melt butter in skillet on medium-high heat; add onion, celery and sausage; cook until sausage is browned.  Stir in flour until smooth; add seasonings. Blend in chicken broth; add diced potatoes, cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir in sour cream and continue cooking until heated through.


Sliced Celery Sticks


Sliced celery sticks

Peanut Butter


Spread sliced celery with peanut butter.




Frozen biscuits



Cook biscuits according to instructions; top w/ butter.

Okay – So that's the recipe.

When John had gotten it nearly done he called me in for some help… He'd let the food simmer on too high of heat and most of the liquid had gone out of it. With a little ingenuity we added about another 1½ cups of water and stirred it in and then let it all come back up to temperature. It turned out pretty good.


What did John do differently?

He added pepper and only a little salt because the sausage is usually salty enough. In the end it could have used some more pepper.


What would I do differently next time?

I'd use Kielbasa Sausage or maybe Italian flavored ground sausage. The smoked sausage just didn't seem to have enough flavor to balance out the flavor of the rest of the ingredients.

I'd probably add that extra 1½ cup of water to the recipe. It didn't hurt it, and it actually still had a really thick broth after adding the extra water.



Again, a big thanks to for helping getting things on track. If you're interested use the link below to sign up so I can get some credit for it.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

That's a long drive....

The new and improved map on how we shall get to our friends house on New Years Eve.... I wonder how long it will take us to get there?

View Larger Map

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas with the Evans' 2011

Dear Family and Friends,

It has come to the time of year when we like to look back at what has been and gone, and look forward to what is coming. I have tried writing this letter many times in the past few weeks, but the words just never seem to come out correctly. This year has been so full of good memories for us, and the months have just flown by. I can hardly believe that the year is almost over.

I’m feeling very… preachy… spiritual… humbled… awed… today. I’m not really sure of the word to use for it. I have been sitting within the confines of my cubicle listening to Christmas music all morning and feeling touched by the spirit and feeling my cold black heart melt a little towards this season of greed. Because, it’s not about greed at all, but it’s about our Savior.

Jesus Christ was sent to earth for me, and the angels sang of his glory and testified of him to the world, not just to some shepherds in a field. Some times I like to think that maybe, just maybe I was a part of that heavenly choir singing praises to my King, my brother, and our Father’s gift to man.

I may hate the Christmas season, and what it has grown to be. I hate the shopping and the commercialism. I hate the greedy kids and the parents that just wont say no. I hate the “I wants” and the “give me” that we hear daily. I hate the crowds and the noise and the busyness of it all...

But above all else, I love giving. I love sharing. I love seeing the smiles and wonder on the faces of the little people in my life when Santa appears, or when the Christmas story is read. I love seeing strangers smile at each other in the streets and neighbors waving. I love seeing families spending quality time together. I love the music that speaks, not just of the season, but of our Savior. I love singing hymns and carols and not caring if I’m off key. I love looking at the lights in the stillness of the night. I love watching the snow fall and how it makes the world look new. I love being reminded not only of our Savior’s birth, but also of the promise of the atonement and eternal life and families. I love that for just a little while, the majority of the world sets aside their differences and we all share in a day of peace and humbled remembrance of what gifts we have been given.

This year has gone by quickly and we have done so many great and fun things, but what stands out to us so much is that this year has been full of examples of love for us. We have been on the receiving end of so many blessings and I hope that some where we were able to reciprocate and let you know that as our friends and family that we do love you, more than I think we even understand some days.

John and I have been blessed with families with whom we value our time. For friends that love us and understand us and might was well just be part of our families as well because we love you just that much.

So instead of a travel log of what we have and haven’t done this year, instead I’d like to share with you my testimony of our Savior. He lives. He loves us. We celebrate His birth because this is a man who came for each of us. He is the greatest example. He atoned for our sins and gives us the opportunity to be forgiven. He lived his life as an example of what we can and should be. Christmas should be about HIM and not about the things we have. He asks us for our faith, our love, and our broken hearts. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior, with all my heart I know it. If we can just follow his example and do the best we can He’ll make up the difference and we’ll be able to live with him forever. I’m grateful for the gospel in our lives and the opportunities that we have to share with others, by word and example.

May the Lord bless you in this coming year. May you always remember the love that we have for you, and know that we consider ourselves blessed because of our friendship.

Merry Everything, and Happy Always.
Liz and John Evans


"This Christmas, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and then speak it again."
~ Howard W. Hunter, "The Gifts of Christmas," Ensign, Dec 2002, 16 ~

Movies: Some Good Stuff

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) - I really loved this movie! John enjoyed it too. Robert Downey, Jr. did not disappoint as Holmes again. The story was engaging and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. What a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. I'll admit, the end made me cry.
Torchwood: Series 1 (2006) – We’ve nearly completed the entire season in the last 3 days. That’s a lot of episodes… but they have all been pretty good. There is a an over abundance of sexually related themes in some episodes, but the stories themselves are pretty good. It’s just that awesome extension of Doctor Who that us nerds look for some days. The stories follow the adventures about Gwen Cooper, even though I really do wish they were about Jack Harkness. I’d suggest this for adult viewers since there is adult situations, but for fans of The Doctor you’ll enjoy the alien zaniness of it.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Movies: The Musicals Continue

Victor/Victoria (1982) - This was better than we expected. It got a few good laughs and we enjoyed watching it. But I'm sorry, there is nothing remotely manly about Julie Andrews. A short haircut does not a man make. Robert Preston made an excellent old drag queen.
The Sarah Jane Adventures: Series 2 - Love this show. There switched out some main characters this season, but since I watch it specifically for Sarah Jane I don't care so much.
The Tudors: Season 2 - I know this isn't the best viewing selection, but I love it. I am fascinated by the story historical information (or misinformation as the case is sometimes.) I think I need to get myself a real history book about the Tudors and learn something real. This season Anne Boleyn falls from grace and is executed in the last episode as well as most of her friends and supporters. I wish I could have my enemies beheaded some times.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


I hate fighting.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

What is today's stupid holiday?

Today is...
Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day
Time to pull out my sonic screwdriver and robot dog and have at it. :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It Came and Went...

Nov 5th – We took Banjo to get fixed. That darn cat went into heat the week before and howled and howled nightly all week. That deep guttural primal howl that makes you just want to throw a lamp at her… No one in the house slept well – if at all – for the entire eight days, and we were all super grumpy – cats and people. I found a discount spay/neuter clinic in Clearfield. Thank Heavens! Heartsong Spay and Neuter Clinic really saved us. Banjo was nearly driving John to the point of throwing her outside again. I had called around to other veterinarians in the area, pricing out how much it was going to cost us to get this girl fixed, and the prices started at $158 and just went up from there. There was no way we were going to be able to afford this, but it had to be done before Banjo found herself homeless again. Thankfully, Heartsong will do it for $45. In the end, we ended up paying out $72 to get her fixed ($10 extra for cat in heat and extra $$ for vaccinations.) She scratched the heck out of my arms while we tried getting her in the kennel that morning, but the battle scars are worth it to have quiet in my house again. The scratches on my left arm have the look of a Zombie bite. That’ll make a cool scar.
Also - She is still FREE TO A GOOD HOME. Now there is a bonus. Not only do you get her snazzy yellow collar, a pink house, and a food bowl, but now she is fixed. Isn’t there anyone out there who wants this adorable kitty for your own?

Free to good home: Banjo the woodpile cat who is often called Banjo Doofensmertz. She needs some serious love, patience and rehabilitation. The people next door just left her outside when they moved away. Box trained. She’s brown and black and super soft. The cat is pretty skittish and untrusting still, but what do you expect after being left behind. With some extra love I think she could be pretty snuggly. As it is she is really sweet when she lets you get close enough. Seems pretty good with other cats bus she may be most happy as an only cat. I'd love to keep her but 3 cats is proving too much for John's allergies (and my own.) If you are interested let me know. Please share this with your friends. If I can keep her I want Banjo to have a good home. She’s been neutered! Pink house, yellow collar, and food bowls included.

Nov 6th – Scott and Ariane had their cute baby Jack blessed at church. The blessing was nice, and John was asked to stand in the circle. I was asked to bring a pot of soup, so I chose to bring my chili. Everyone apparently loved it, I got quite a bit of praise for it, and I didn’t have to bring any of it home. Too bad no one realizes just how easy it is to make.

Nov 10th – Pi Day! November 10th is the 314th day of the year making it an unofficial Pi Day. John took pie to work for his guys, and later that evening the Evans’ got together for Pizza Pie and other assorted Pie. Mmm. One of our favorite days of the year. This day also brought about my newest favorite excuse Lucy gave for not wanting to talk to me… We were all sitting around watching football when Scott asked Lucy to tell me what she wanted for Christmas and the silly little girl turned away from me with a wave of her hand and said “I can’t. I need to hear the score.” And that was that. I don’t know why she doesn’t want to talk to me. Some days it really hurts my feelings that Lucy and Kira don’t talk to me, or say my name, but other days I just let it roll off and think that maybe one day they’ll love me enough to talk to me and not just talk about me when I am not there.

Nov 11th – BINARY DAY 11.11.11 which was pretty neat. This day wont come around for another 100 years so that made it a little special. It was also Veterans Day. There was also a thing going around on Twitter asking for your life in 11 words. This was mine: “Ten years, four cars, three cats, one husband. I am happy.” I thought it was pretty fun summing up things in 11 words. Just like the 6 word memoirs that I was so fascinated with a few years ago.

Nov 15th – I LOVE TO WRITE DAY. I love random holidays, and this is one I enjoyed this year. I didn’t know it existed until a friend at work pointed it out to me. And I do love to write. I’m sure if you’re an avid reader of this blog then you know that by all my ramblings on. But do you know how the desire to write burns in my soul and aches to get out. How my brain is constantly running dialogues and stories that may or may not ever make it to paper. Did you know that? Did you know that I’d love to be a real author, but that I don’t think I’m good enough? Today I’m going to share with you a link to a little piece of my soul. I post some of my writing on a website called Figment. Here is the link to MY PAGE on figment. And here is where this quote would be appropriate: "But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams." - W.B. Yeats

Nov 20th – Step One: Go back to Church. This is harder that it may sound. It has almost been three years (in February) that I have attended church on a regular basis and John hits his three year mark in May. It’s not that we don’t know that going will bring us blessings, and help us be happier, it just that we’re super, super lazy. We’ve gotten out of the habit and we need to change that. Yet, *knowing* what we need to be doing, and *doing* what we need to be doing are miles apart.

Nov 22nd – Ten years ago today John proposed to me on his parents front step. Ten years ago today I said yes. I haven’t regretted a minute of it. Ten years ago Nov. 22nd was also Thanksgiving day, so I kind of have two remembrance days regarding when I was proposed to. We went out to dinner at Javier’s in Layton to celebrate.

Nov 23rd – DOCTOR WHO DAY. Seriously, it’s a real holiday. This is the 48th anniversary of the première of Doctor Who back in 1963. I have been watching Doctor Who my whole life. As I explained in this POST from several months ago, I dearly love this show. This is one of the longest running Science Fiction shows on television. John and I celebrated by watching as much Doctor Who as we possibly could. Loved it! We got Series 6 in the mail just in time. We used our entire Thanksgiving weekend to catch up on Doctor Who, old and new. I was supposed to have made Dalek cupcakes for the occasion, but I only got as far as making the cupcakes. John ended up getting a 24 hour flu that put him in one of two places for the day, and I just kind of hovered around, so nothing got done that I had wanted to get done.

Nov 24th – THANKSGIVING! This year we got to spend the Holiday with my family. It’s been a while since we did that. What with Lari passing away 2 years ago somehow we were roped into spending the last two thanksgivings with the Evans’. Not that that is a bad thing, but I miss my own family every now and again. Especially since we have so few family traditions and family together times that when it does come up I really miss it when I’m away. Nicole and Geoffrey spent the day with the family since they’re at BYU. It was fun seeing them. After the McDermott family feast the pears’ ended up at Norm’s house to look at Jessica’s 500 pictures from England and to just generally be together. It was really nice. It was just me and John, my parents, Norm and Becca and Sophie, Jessica, and Nicole and Geoffrey. It seems that my brother Z and his wife have decided that we’re all evil because they no longer talk to any of us. No one really knows why or what we may have done to spur it, but that’s how it is, and it’s pretty sad for us all. Maybe John and I aren’t on the shit list, but we’re so antisocial we hardly speak to anyone in our families... <>

Nov 26th – We got to baby-sit Lucy and Jack while Scott and Ariane went to the Temple. Scott’s sister got married on the 27th so this was her endowment day. It was fun to play with the kids, and Jack is only 4 months old so he’s still one of those eat sleep and smile babies which makes baby-sitting easy for the most part. As for the four-year-old, she just makes life interesting. I was reminded today that even though I really want to have kids of my own I am very glad that I don’t have any. I’m not ready for that kind of responsibility.

Um... That looks like it was the end of the month. It went by so fast its hard to recall what really went on. Now it's on to the next few months of stuff.