Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Butta' Yaki!

Confession time: my family is addicted to fried food. Our latest addiction is this blessed stuff called Butter Yaki, which was introduced to us by our neighbors, Lopaka and Mandy. Here's what it is: you take a bunch of foods that start out healthy, like zucchini and halibut--then you fry them in butter. And then you dip them in this amazing sauce which is composed mostly of sugar and salt. Oh, and fat. It's delicious. It's just like eating at Samurai 21 for dinner, only no one throws a shrimp at you. And you don't have a bunch of weirdo srangers at your table, although I'm sure you could arrange that. Why do they insist on throwing the shrimp at you, anyway? Is it to prove that they are amazing chefs? We know that. I think that it's a Japanese inside joke. Like they're all sitting around sipping their sake going, "stupid Americans. Ha ha. Here-- catch shrimp!" I have both eaten the thrown shrimp and dodged it. To be honest, I feel better about myself when I dodge the shrimp. Sometimes I try to catch it if it looks like the chef doesn't have it in for me. I like it when they ask. "Would you like me to lob this flaming hot, butter-covered shrimp into your face in front of a restaurant full of people?" Why, YES!!

So we made Butter Yaki for our friends Chad and Rachel the other night and Rachel suggested that I post the recipe on my blog. So here it is. Lopaka, if this is a family recipe that has been a secret for the last five generations, I'm sorry. You can take comfort in knowing that only two people look at my blog.

Butter Yaki

1 cup soy sauce
1 cup sugar
3/4 water
1 T sesame oil
3-5 drops Tabasco
1 quarter-sized piece of ginger, peeled
2 T toasted sesame seeds

Bring first three ingredients to a boil. Add last four ingredients. Turn heat to low. Serve with rice and all manner of meats and vegetables fried in butter.

Be careful, it goes right to your Butta. Tee hee...

Monday, August 18, 2008


You can't give your four-year-old daughter a nickname like Fez and expect her to be completely normal. The other evening, after we had sent our little blonde-haired blue-eyed creatures to bed for, like, the 37th time, Fez dramatically descended the stairs wearing her Most Pathetic Face. She pulls this face out on rare occasions when she wants to eat frosting straight from the can or drive our car. Maybe not so rare. So she says, in her Most Pitiful Voice, blue eyes blinking, "Mommy...can I trouble you for a drink of water?" *sniff* To which I replied, "NO! Get back in BED!" To which Fez replied, "But my tummy is saying, 'I'M THIRSTY! I NEED A DRINK!'" Apparently her stomach sounds exactly like the monster people in I Am Legend. No wonder she is such a slave to her appetite. Her excuses in the past have been, "I need a drink or I'll be a flat banana," and (my personal favorite), "If I don't get a drink I'll be a smashed tomato." She seems to have a very graphic, produce-related self-image. Don't get me wrong, I do not want my first-born to turn into a smashed tomato. I wish only the best for her future-- I was thinking more along the lines of her becoming a doctor or New York Times Bestselling author. Becoming a smashed tomato--or flat banana, for that matter--were not how I envisioned my daughter's future. Nevertheless, I denied her request for refreshment, and sent her--crying--to bed. She awoke the next morning, with her original Swedish/German genes intact. No bananas or tomatoes, much to my relief. So am I a bad mom?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Animal-Style Cheeseburger

Is there anything else in this world so mouthwateringly delicious? DJ and I drove into town tonight...yes, we left the prairie...and took the kids to In 'n Out for dinner. Feeding a family of five for thirteen dollars is such a miracle. It's like the loaves and fishes but with fried food and paper hats. Anyhoo, I've been itching for an animal-style burger for a few weeks now and I guess the stars were aligned tonight. I left DJ alone with the children this afternoon. I was only gone for an hour. When I returned I found DJ in my kitchen up to his elbows in venison. I say venison because it sounds so much less vomit-inducing than "dead deer meat", which is what it really was. Stinky, bloody, dead Bambi meat all over my kitchen counter. I do not know how he managed to produce so much carnage in under sixty minutes. And what were my kids doing? I contemplated the idea of cooking dinner for about three seconds and came to the conclusion that tonight was the PERFECT night for my long-lost friend, A.S.C.B. (Animal-Style Cheese Burger). It was a wonderful reunion.

p.s. I'm including a photo with this blog, because let's be honest-- a blog without pictures is just words.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Let's hear it for Lisa and Paige!

Until she starts her own blog, I've decided to include updates on my sister, Lisa, and her four-year-old daughter Paige for your enjoyment. Lisa and Paige live in Ohio, which is really far away from where they are supposed to live--Utah. As of our last conversation Lisa had approximately 100 pages to go in the book Breaking Dawn. Paigie was swimming in her grandma's pool. Here are some noteworthy and fun things about Lisa and Paige: Lisa is probably the most generous person I know. She loves giving gifts to people (I'm not 100% sure that she loves it, but WE love it). Also, Lisa is a very good mom. She should write a book about it when she's done with Paige. Paige has one of the strongest spirits of any little kid I've met. She could go on Larry King and make LARRY cry. Paige is very smart and fun-loving. And she has a really cool deep voice. I wish I had one of those. I also wish I could remind myself to finally get around to flipping all of my pictures that are sideways. I apologize to those of you who are getting taco neck as a result of my laziness.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Annie Bananie fo Fannie

Isn't she cute? This is one of my nieces, Annie Bananie fo Fannie. I like to think that she and my son DJ are best friends and so I decided to take a minute and let the world know about Annie. Annie is 1/2 Chilean, 1/4 American, and 1/4 American who wishes she was Chilean (that's my sister, Carrie. More on her in a future post.) One of the coolest things about Annie is that, to show the world how much of a Stephenie Meyer fan she is, she grew out her vampire top teeth before she grew out her front top teeth (you know, the ones that are important for biting off bits of hot dog. That's just how devoted a fan she is.) Some of Annie's talents: taking a few steps, yelling loud (and I mean LOUD), smiling really big, and last but not least, flirting. Annie and DJ love to crawl around my house, playing and leaving a path of destruction similar to that of an F5 tornado. We sure love you, Annie Bananie!

Friday, August 8, 2008


That's what it sounds like when a one-year-old gets his first real taste of chocolate cake. We celebrated baby DJ's first birthday on the 30th. This was one of his delicious dirt-covered cupcakes. I decided to go with a dirt theme in my party planning because A) it's DJ's favorite thing besides milk and B) it's easy to make a dirt cake. Just a few Oreo cookies and a little elbow grease, baby. I think we're going to have a lot of dirt-themed parties in future. Dirt anniversaries, dirt bridal showers...you get the idea. Anyhoo, DJ seemed to really like it (who's surprised? That kid's idea of a delicacy is freshly watered potting soil). He was spoiled rotten and got to eat an entire cupcake. What more can you ask for?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Well, I finally did it.

That's right. After months of telling myself, 'Elise, you have no time for such nonsense. You don't even do your hair anymore. You are not going to start a blog." I have started a blog. I don't care if I'm the only one who ever sees it. It's there and I look forward to wasting a lot of time posting on you, my little bundle of blog-joy. Until next time.