Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spinach Balls

So, when husband and i got married i had to decide on what to serve at the reception for food. I was going through cookbooks to get ideas and i found this weird book my step-mom cindy has that some women put together on one of the bases she had lived at, and it had a million recipes of all kinds of things i'de never heard of. In it i found the Spinach Balls. Holy yummy food goodness. It sounded so amazing reading the recipe. But i figured no one would really eat them since we were already having the meatballs (that was husbands only food request), so i almost didn't add them to the menu. but, i needed simple recipes with minimal ingredients so it was included. I'm glad i did too. They really were as good as they sounded. They were all the rave at the reception (mostly from johns cousins husband doug, but from other people too). An exact quote i heard was "this is what wedding receptions are all about: good food!". The more i think about it, the more i think it may have out-shined me at my own wedding... Oh well. it was still fun.

This week we had a double baby shower for 2 of our Young Women leaders that are having babies and i was asked to bring something for food to it. Remembering how wonderful the spinach balls were, i decided they were the way to go for the shower too. They were as big a hit as they were at the reception. Girls and women were standing around the food table wafting in the smell of them before the shower started. Everyone asked about them, and who made them, and what was in them, and if they could get the recipe. The relief society president even wants to put the recipe in the monthly newsletter for everyone. So, spinach balls are now my official number 1 party food. Every party or get together i go to will include them. And since i don't want to be greedy and deprive you the people of the well deserved praise for including them in your future parties, i've decided to give you the recipe :]

Spinach Balls

2 (10 oz.) pkgs. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 c. herb stuffing mix (crushed)
1 c. firmly packed grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 c. butter, melted
4 sm. green onions, finely chopped
3 eggs
Dash of grated nutmeg

Combine all ingredients in large bowl and mix well.
Shape into 1 inch balls. Cover and refrigerate or freeze until
ready to bake 350 degrees on un-greased baking sheet
15-20 minutes until light brown. Makes about 4 dozen

And that's it :] It takes a little time forming all the balls, but you can place them fairly close together on the pan, i fit 24 to a pan, so they cook in a reasonable amount of time. i hope you enjoy them when or if you do make them!

Monday, March 23, 2009

A little about John, and then some about Twilight...

So, John has been gone for 3 whole weeks. The first 2 weeks it felt like it was whipping on by (man how time flies!...), but now its starting to feel like its been forever. At least on my end. John is doing well in his classes though. He's definitely in the top half of his class, if not the top half of the top half. He's trying super hard so he can have his pick of base assignments when its time. I'm proud of him for putting so much energy into doing well while he's there. He's also on a lose weight mission there too. He feels a strong urge to lose all the "happy weight" he's put on since we got married (if he doesn't he won't make rank at the end of school lol). The only things we seem to talk about are what he's eating, how much time he spent in the gym that day, and how much he has been studying. it makes me feel like a slacker some times... But still, he's passing all his tests, and training really well, and he says to say "Hi" to everyone. I told him i was going to write that in there for you all and he was surprised that we have a real blog. I told him back when i created it that we had it, but for some reason he thought i had started it and wasn't doing anything with it. I'm not as good at it as some people, but i am doing better then others.

So, i'm sure you all know that Twilight came out on DVD last weekend. John and i got to be among the small amount of masses that watched it for the first time where the books/movies supposedly take place. Jealous right? i will tell you right now though, the Port Angeles depicted is not what its like here in real life. i'm not even sure there is a "bad" part of town. I know some of you may have been worried about me being here all alone like john's mom was after she saw the movie, but it's really not like that here. There is a shady townhouse complex that's a bit of an eye sore in my opinion that i don't plan to walk around in the dark any time soon, but every town has that kind of place. The crime rate here is nothing of note. i think there is more suicide then anything (considering there's rain and overcast 9-10 months of the year i can see how that is possible).
So, i didn't even know it was a trend at the time when i read the books. The first time i saw the book was at John's parents house over a year ago. I found his sister Sarah in every room of the house with her eyes glued to it like a zombie. She said it was about Vampires but i didn't give it much thought after that cuz i assumed it was just one of the regular young adult book i don't read any more. Then a few months later i was hanging out with my bed ridden friend Rachel at the time who had just had a huge tumor taken off of her liver. her sister had sent a care package to give her things to do while she was stuck in bed all day. I flipped through the first few pages and read a little, but i wasn't sucked in right away so i didn't think too much about it again. Then john and i found out we were moving to Port Angeles last July. I had no idea where it was, i had never heard of it, and i had to pull a map out to find it. When i told Rachel that was where we were moving, she actually knew where i was talking about. She said that was where parts of Twilight take place. So, i asked her if the books were any good and she said they were. So that got me thinking about them finally. When john and i got married, after the honeymoon i had to go back to Preston for a month while he was in Seattle on the boat until we were stationed to the base here. I was walking around the airport all by myself and saw the book on a stand at Borders there, so i figured "sure. why not?". I purchased the book and went to sit by my gate. That night i finished 1/3 of the book. i was hooked. i would have read more if i hadn't gotten lost leaving the Salt Lake airport. yes, i know. who gets lost in Salt Lake? Me. i wasn't paying attention to the signs and ended up on the belt loop headed south instead of north for about an hour. It took me 2x's as long as it should have to get home. Oh well though. My fam was out of town for a few days so when i got home i had free time. I set up a box for the cat to have her kittens because i noticed she was following me from room to room with a look in her eye looking for a good place to do her business. So, while i did my best to keep her out of my lap during her little miracle of life (yuck!), i kept her company and finished the book that day. It took me a total of 2 weeks to read all the books because i had to wait a few days for the last book to come out. I sat around the house glued to them like sarah had done. i just had to know what was going to happen. They're easy reading, but they're entertaining.
When the movie came out john reluctantly came with me. But i kind of think he liked the movie more then i did, and more then he'll admit to as well. Every day for months, if it was rainy or overcast he would say it was a good day for vampires to be out lol. it was cute i thought. I know the movie will never be his favorite and will probably only watch it to humor me if i chose to watch when he's around, but i'm ok with it if he doesn't. i wasn't thrilled with the movie, but it wasn't the worst one i'd seen either. i'm only ok with it though. I hate the actor that plays bella for one thing. I can imagine her looking like that and maybe with edwards character too, but the girl has a stick up her butt in my opinion. She always has this disgusted look on her face like she's annoyed to be there when people talk to her, even in other movies and interviews i've seen her do. But it was all bad acting, and it didn't follow the book as well as it should have.
If you like a book enough, the movie is always a let down. But, we get over it most of the time. Like for Harry Potter. The books were great, the movies are great, but the movies don't have everything that the books have. My mom says the Star Wars movies are better then the books though. The best thing to do is to never read the book within 4 months of watching the movie for the 1st time i've decided. I made the mistake of reading the book within the week of watching the movie for a few different titles. But i can watch those movies now and not be so harsh as i was the 1st time, and sometimes even end up liking the movie a lot. Last week i started reading Twilight was a mistake though. in my defense, i ran out of books that i haven't read in the last 5 months, so i figured i would give it a whirl again. I read it in 3 days and then made the mistake to go buy the movie and watch it. I hated the movie more this time. Dang it. but oh well i guess. The reason i buy movies any more is to make sure i have them for any future kids we have....that'll be my excuse for that one at least lol. Maybe later i'll watch it again and decide i can stand it.
So, last night i finished the 2nd book, New Moon...i had forgotten how boring that one was. i almost skipped it all together when i realized it, but since its easy reading i just decided to get it over with. Now on to book 3 again...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Snicker doodles

We had new beginnings this week for the girls that will be coming into young women this year (i don't remember mine all that well because its been 14 years, but i do remember a little stand that had all the little flags in it with all the value colors, and i remember wondering if yw's was going to always be at that time of day after church because if it was then i wasn't going). Anyways, i was helping with the refreshments for our new beginnings program here. Cookies, drinks, and a veggie platter. i made my amazing snicker doodles and their equally delicious friends "Devils food cookies", got all the veggies washed and separated, and bagged it all up to be ready when it was time to head over to church. i was supposed to be there at 6:30 to set it all up, and i still had hours to wait. So, i sat down and watched some tv. the whole time i kept thinking how long the day seemed, and i kept looking at the clock behind the couch to make sure it was still working. So, 6:30 finally starts coming around. I threw everything in the car and drove over to the church. i arrived at exactly 6:30 from what my car clock said...but i was a little surprised when i got there and there were so many cars in the parking lot. But, i grabbed as much as i could carry and walked in. As i was walking past the relief society room to the kitchen, i realized what i had done. My clocks have not all been changed over yet to daylight savings.... I figure, if its not effecting anything then it doesn't matter. But this week i realized i use those clocks more then i think i do. I never realized how many clocks we have in our house either.... So i ran to the kitchen and set it all up on the platters so as soon as the program was over i could run in and put it all on the table. i was able to finish just in time. whew! i felt so bad though. when i got home i changed ALL of the clocks. i haven't figured out the one in the car yet, but at least i know its wrong and i'll keep trying to fix it. But yeah, from what i saw of the program, it was really cute. The new little beehive girls will be a lot of fun. And the refreshments went over great. Everyone was a fan of my cookies.

i've always been a fan of chocolate chip cookies when it comes to making cookies at home. But one day, back when i was still single living in CDA, my friend Christy came over and said we were going to make cookies for our little movie night we were having. Then she pulled out a white cake mix from her bag. i was so confused. But we made cookies with it. Snicker doodles have never been my favorite until then. they were always too crunchy and i didn't think they were worth the work to make them. But now, they are all i make if i want cookies. Them or their equally easy, devils food chocolate cookies. Yum. They're always perfectly soft and wonderful, every time. Because i love them so much, i figured i would share the recipe with everyone. Super Easy!

Snicker doodles.

1 box white cake mix
2 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
a baggie of cinnamon sugar

Pre-heat oven to 375. pore the cake mix in a bowl. Add the eggs and veg. oil, and mix well. The mixture may sometimes seem a little dry, but don't worry, its ok. Form the dough into small balls and toss around in the baggie of cinnamon sugar until coated. Place on an un-greased cookie sheet and bake in the oven at 375 for 10 minutes or until the tops start to crack.

That's it. Easy :D let them cool a few minutes if you can hold yourself back. If you want to make the chocolate ones, use a chocolate cake mix and don't add the cinnamon to the sugar to toss them in.

So that's it. My contribution to the baking community for the week. Girls and guys alike can make them with ease. Next week i'll be helping with refreshments for a baby shower and i'll be making Spinach Balls. YUM. If you were at our wedding reception, you know they are to die for. Some of the guests were raving about them the whole time. Seriously, they are beyond amazing. They're like heaven. I'll try to put the recipe on here when i make them :)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Email to the Airline

So, john left for North Carolina on the 1st. Not my favorite. Saying goodbye was torture. On friday after i got off work we loaded his stuff in the car and drove to Seattle to spend the night there because his flight was so early saturday morning. We checked into the hotel and then went out for dinner. After that we tried to stay up as late as possible to talk and spend time together because we knew once he went through security the next morning at 5 a.m. that was it for 5 months. it would be all phone calls after that. sadly we were asleep before midnight though. we were talking one minute, and seconds later john was snoring. Seriously, we were watching Cast Away on tv and he said something about Tom Hanks being his own dentist with the ice skate, and then he was snoring before Tom even hit the skate with the rock. But i just laughed at him and turned the tv off. So we didn't last the night. the next morning we got up and took the shuttle the hotel offers over the airport. Check in was fast though. Faster then i would have liked. And the line for security was looming in wait for him to go through it. Since he was on orders with the millitary they had to do a special checkin with him so he wouldn't be charged for baggage, and just when she was finishing up putting tags on his bags, she turned to me and asked if i wanted to go to the gate with him. I could hardly hold myself back from jumping in her arms to say thank you! All emotions spilled out of my eyes when she handed me the pass to go through. She gave me a pass to spend 2 more extra hours with my husband, and for that i love the airline. So, this week i felt so moved that i wrote an email to them to tell them thank you, and this is what i said:
My husband is enlisted with the US Coast Guard
and is on orders now to attend a school they have
in Elizabeth City, NC for the next 5 months.My
husband and i have only been married 7 months as
of this weekend. With his service in the Coast
Guard over the coarse of the 6 months of our
engagement we only saw each other twice, and then
after we did get married and back from the
honeymoon we were separated again for a whole
month until we could be stationed to an airbase
together. Our time together has been precious and
a blessing, and we haven't taken it for granted.
I love my husband very much, more then i will be
able to express to him in this lifetime, and being
away from him again has not been something i have
looked forward to. This past weekend my husband
traveled with your airline on orders from the
US Coast Guard to this school and i was the one to
take him to the airport in Seattle so I could say
goodbye to him there. With the change in
regulations after 9/11, I knew I would be saying
goodbye to him before he went through security and
I wasn't too thrilled for that time to come, but
while we were getting his baggage checked your
ticket agent asked if I would like to go to the
gate with him. I don't know if it was the
depressed look on my face, or if its a general
practice you have, but it was like hearing a voice
from heaven. An absolute blessing. The floodgates
i had so desperately tried to keep up that morning
couldn't hold back my emotions any longer. She
checked my ID and gave me a security checkpoint
pass, and i was barely able to squeak out a "Thank
You!" without sobbing all over her. It was a
surreal experience and blessing to be able to
spend an extra 2 hours with him at the gate before
he left on his flight. I can't thank you enough
for that.
*I think the airline industries' respect and
treatment of our countries armed forces and their
families is applaudable from everything i have
witnessed over the last few years. No baggage fees,
discounts inside airport businesses, and free
headphones to men in uniform on flights with
various airlines. I've seen many things, all given
without asking for anything more then the service
they are already giving to our country. I know
none of these things are a general public
knowledge, but still, THANK YOU!
*With our budget i'm almost sure that i won't be
able to see my husband John until he completes
his training in 5 months and returns home. I know
there are other wives and husbands or parents and
loved ones of military men and women that go a lot
longer then that without seeing their loved ones,
but as a wife, I want to thank you from the bottom
of my heart for that extra time i was given with
him, even if it was only a few hours. I needed
it, and i love you for it.
*Again, thank you, thank you, and thank you!!
**With sincerest gratitude,
**Cassie Hurst
The next monring, i received a response from them:

Dear Mrs. Hurst,

I appreciate your e-mail to United Airlines
Customer Relations.

Mrs. Hurst, I'm delighted with your positive
reaction to our service. Your kind message is
both appreciated and meaningful to all of us here
at United. We always try to provide efficient
customer service to all our customers and we are
pleased to know that United could be of assistance
to you as a result of which you were able to
spend some more precious moments with your husband
at the airport. Please be assured that your
positive comments will be shared with the
management here at our headquarters as well as the
airport management team. They will be ecstatic
to read such a positive reaction to our service.

We hope you have a happy married life and we look
forward to delivering quality service to you and
your husband when both of you travel with us to
different destinations around the world.


Anish Chandran
United Airlines Customer Relations

I just wanted to share that with someone, i don't know why. But it really was a great experience and blessing
to have so i am grateful. After he got on his flight i went back through the airport and back to the hotel to my
room to take a bath and cry some more. The rest of the day wasn't that amazing. I got a stupid call from rude
verizon (that i hate), and then i couldn't get any more sleep before checkout

i'm staying busy with work and young womens and church stuff this week, but i think it sucks to not have him for 5 months.