Saturday, December 14, 2013

Fire at my sisters house in Murray. Info to help!

Yesterday, my sister had a house fire at her home in Murray, Utah. All the family and pets are safe! For which we are very grateful. The kitchen is pretty destroyed, and there is a lot of damage throughout. They are working with the insurance to get things taken care of but have some immediate needs. I told her I would post out info and communicate with her friends and those wishing to help so she can just deal with the insurance and the mess.

If you would like to mail cards, well wishes or anything to the family,  they can be sent to:
Griggs family
C/O Enderton and Mathews
555 East 4500 South, Suite C-200
Salt Lake City, UT, 84107
Feel free to contact me with questions and I will get more info soon.

Here are some pictures of the fire:

Immediate needs are clothing for kids and backpacks.  Update at midnight: Andrea needs long sleeved women's shirts.  Size Medium. Her Utah Utes Hoodie was also destroyed in the fire. I am sure she and her BYU loving husband could each use a new one...  ;)

Here are the kids sizes:
J needs Boys size 10/12 clothes and boys size 7 shoes. 
K needs Girls size 7/8 clothes, Size 1 shoes. 
E needs Boys size 7/8 clothes and size 2 shoes 
T needs Boys 4/5 clothes and Size 13 shoes.

3 Drop off locations! Information is following:
We do not want to post home addresses publicly,  but there are 3 locations. If you need an address for option 1 or 2 please call Rochelle (Andrea's mom, 801-859-4202)or Beckee (me, sister, 801-898-8318). You can also pm me on Facebook or email me for the addresses.
Option 1: Andrea's parents house in Millcreek area of slc
Option 2: Andrea and Jeremy's neighbor in Murray (For those of you that know the neighborhood, it is at the Talamantes house)
Option 3: Deliver to Enderton & Mathews, 555 East 4500 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84107 (items can be left at the entrance over the weekend--Enderton & Mathews staff will check every couple of hours during the weekend)

Feel free to contact me with questions and I will get more info soon.
And at 11:30 Mountain Standard time on December 14, 2013, here is an update from Andrea's Facebook page:

Just a little update. We're actually not home. One of our insurance guys (not the actual adjuster) came today and told us our house was uninhabitable. So, we are now at a hotel downtown (it was the closest hotel with enough room for our whole family in one room/suite) for the next 5 nights (possibly more). The adjuster is supposed to come out Monday-then we'll have a better idea of what's ahead for us. We have been told not to wear any of our clothes until they are cleaned really well (no longer smell like smoke) and some of our clothes are probably too smoke damaged to save. Our kitchen will probably have to be completely gutted and redone. Our entire house will have to be treated for severe smoke damage. This is rough, but it could have been a lot worse! It's been REALLY hard for J-any extra prayers, especially for him, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, friends!!

Andrea, here.  First-THANK YOU!  I have been overwhelmed by everyone's kindess and amazing service to our family!  WOW!!!   I think we have enough clothes for the kids now.  I could use some medium size long sleeved shirts for me.  We also got the backpacks we need..  What we could use now are some blankets-fun, kid blankets and a stuffed animal for each kid (Jaxon loves Monkeys).  Maybe some cute kids' pillow cases to cover the white hotel pillow cases.  After sleeping in a hotel last night I realize that's what my kids need the most, comfort objects.  Thanks, everyone!  I have been overwhelmed by your kindness!!!!!

UPDATED: December 18, 2013 at 11:24 PM

We are completely overwhelmed and amazed by the incredible generosity of our family and friends-WOW!! Thanks to so many wonderful people, we were able to get enough clothes, games, books, blankets, and pillowcases for our kids!! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! We know there will be things come up that we'll have to get along the way, but for right now, we have everything we need.  We have been extremely blessed through this little ordeal. We are also thankful for all the prayers given on our behalf-we can definitely feel them and we know Heavenly Father is blessing us! Thanks, again, friends! We love you!


#HersheysSpreads #Review Spoiler: LOVE it #SpreadthePossibilities

I have a favorite treat. I eat way too much of it. I won't mention it's name here, but I love it. LOVE it. It is a treat for me to have in the house. I learned that Hershey's was coming out with a similar product, and I could not wait to try it! Luckily, I did not have to wait! Thanks to Hershey's and Crowdtap, I was able to try it out right away because they sent me a sample of it to try out and tell you all about! YEAH!

What is it?

Hershey's now offers Hershey's Spreads in three flavors: a chocolate spread, a chocolate almond spread, and a chocolate hazelnut spread. I am a huge fan and I jumped at the chance to try any of the three flavors. The one they sent me to try was the Chocolate almond.

What did I think?

Well, first let me tell you that I love to eat spreads like this with lots of different things: Pretzels, bread, apples, bananas...really I will try it with anything. When I got the package in the mail with the Chocolate almond Hershey's Spread, I happened to have a box of pears at my house, so we cut it up and tried it out.
I loved it! LOVED it! In fact I ate too much and shared too little...
My kids did get some though and they liked it on bread with peanut butter (some of the kids liked it on bread alone). 
And, I am not sure I should mention this, but I had my favorite competitors spread in my house, and my husband and I did a little taste test. Let me preface this by saying this other brand has been my favorite treat for many, many years. I love it. Still. a blond taste test, I preferred the Hershey's almond spread over the other brand. 
Where can you find it?
Well, luckily Hershey's Spreads hit the shelves on December 6th, so next time you are out and about, check your grocery store shelves and see if you can find it! If you do, pick up a bottle and enjoy! I'm pretty sure you won't regret it (just don't eat the whole bottle in one sitting. Try to pace will be hard...)
Seriously, go try it out!! I loved it, and so did the family! 
By way of disclosure, I did receive a free sample of this product to try. Thank you Hershey's and Crowdtap. But as always, all opinions expressed are my honest opinions! 
Thanks for reading!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

That's one #JuicyBird! Thanks @KikkomanKitchens and @Smiley360

Are you still wondering how to make your bird juicy and moist with a great crispy skin? Well, Let me tell you that Wes and I tried something awesome last week, and we are doing it again for Thanksgiving: Brining! 
I have not brined a bird before because it seemed like an extra hassle and an unnecessary extra step. Now that I have tried it, I can tell you it is a very worth while step and was not nearly as difficult as I thought it might be! 

Before I tell you about my #JuicyBird Brining with Kikkoman's experience, I want to tell you a little about Brining and about using Kikkoman's soy sauce to do so. From Kikkoman's:
The act of brining is simply salting food, usually a process of letting meat sit in a mixture of salt, spices and water for at least 24 hours. But take your brining to another level by adding the taste of umami to your Thanksgiving meal with Kikkoman Soy Sauce. All-purpose Kikkoman Soy Sauce is naturally brewed from wheat, soybeans, water and salt. Like fine wine, Kikkoman Soy Sauce is aged for several months to develop its characteristic rich, yet mellow flavor, appetizing aroma and distinctive reddish-brown color.

Besides using it in traditional Asian dishes, try it in mainstream American foods, classic Mediterranean dishes or exotic Caribbean cuisine.
I had honestly not thought of using soy sauce for my Thanksgiving turkey before this mission from @Smiley360, but I am so glad I tried it! Let's talk about that now!

I was sent a bucket to brine my bird in, and 2 free coupons for Kikkoman's products as well as a recipe to try. First, Here is the recipe right from the Kikkoman's site (You will want to keep this handy):

Savory Turkey Brine

Ingredients (Recipe for a 16-24 pound turkey)

2 gallons Cold Water
10 ounces Kikkoman Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons dried sage
2 tablespoons dried celery seed
1 tablespoon dried thyme


The night before roasting, remove giblets and turkey neck; rinse turkey inside and out. In a large stock pot or 5 gallon bucket mix water with remaining ingredients. Stir well until all the salt is dissolved. Place turkey in the pot cover with a lid and refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours. Remove turkey from the brine, rinsing well. Follow your regular cooking instructions.
I took step by step pictures for your enjoyment. (Be prepared to drool). First we gathered our ingredients:
Wes began to put the brine mix together for me:
Here's the turkey in the brine:
Then we sealed it overnight to soak and get all full of flavor and moistness.
In the morning I rinsed the turkey as instructed to do then followed my regular cooking instructions (which means I added some butter to the skin to make it crisp and yummy, and stuffed it with herbs). Here's the bird ready to be cooked:
Then a few hours later, this delectable, #JuicyBird came out of the oven and went into our bellies:
I thought the turkey was super moist and had an awesome flavor! It was actually the moistest turkey meat I have even made! I was super happy with it and guess what? So were the kiddos. Here are a couple of them enjoying their turkey:

Kikkoman's has so many other fabulous recipes, like this one: 
Kikkoman Chicken Brine Recipe:
2 cups Kikkoman Soy Sauce
2 Gallons water
1 1/2 Cups Kosher Salt
8 Cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
4 dried bay leaves
1/4 Cup Worcestershire sauce
3/4 Cup brown sugar

Combine all ingredients in a large food safe container. Whisk until salt and sugar are totally dissolved. Place meat into brine. Leave in brine about 1 hour per pound of meat. Once done brining, pat meat dry before cooking. Roast the chicken and baste with Kikkoman Soy Sauce.

There is also an awesome looking Brined Brussel Sprout recipe among others. You can see the Kikkoman recipe collection online here

By way of disclosure, I was sent the brining bucket, 2 free coupons for Kikkoman's products, recipes and information for the purposes of me doing this review. Thanks you Kikkoman and @Smiley360 for providing these items so I could have such a #JuicyBird!